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#lacelitober 2023: week 3

This week's #lacelitober prompt responses have required a bit more effort than the first two. I attribute this to the fact that this last week's been a very full one due to preparing to vend at the Los Angeles Printers Fair this past weekend and getting all my nerikomi clay pieces cleaned up and turned in for firing in the kiln.

To loosen up expectations on myself, I let myself share a combination of pieces I've created in the past, but never shared with some digital collages, which take far less time for me to make.

Here are my responses to Week 3...

Meet Uteki (雨滴, raindrops), a rain-loving mushroom sprite who enjoys listening to the pitter-patter of rainsong while donning their red raincoat to make their evening rounds through the woodlands to make sure all is in order and filled with wonder. ✨

One of my early memories is of my older sister Stephanie teaching me how to get out of my crib by myself! I remember how exciting it all was. 😂

Step 1: Swing one little toddler leg over the edge of the crib nearest to my mom’s rocking chair.

Step 2: Pull your body up and over the edge.

Step 3: Reach down with your tippy toes until they find the arm of the rocking chair.

Step 4: Push yourself away from the crib and carefully climb down to the seat (be mindful of the chair’s ability to rock, and keep your balance!).

And the most daring step of all- Step 5: Make the jump from the seat down to the carpeted floor, and you’re away!

I remember how far that jump felt to me- counting to 3 and flying through the air for forever before finally sticking the landing! Suffice to say my mom wasn’t thrilled with Stephanie’s lesson of escape. 😂

Friends, have you discovered the loveliness of the documentary My Octopus Teacher? I enjoyed it so much and it‘s truly wonder-FULL.This little paper-cut mixed media exploration is inspired by the film. 🐙

Even the tiniest of pill bugs enjoy a good snooze in a gently swinging hammock from time to time. 🍃

I can press on, pushing through all the rock-and-hard places, refusing to listen to my body and mental health in order to squeeze out every last drop of energy- and it’s all so justifiable when it’s for someone who needs me or simply because someone has to.

But now, I realize the cracks.

Taking care of myself alongside caregiving is something I’m still practicing. Slowly and gradually with all sorts of setbacks and reversions to default settings and roles I’ve filled for too many years to step back from without a whole other kind of effort. But it can’t last, and I can hear the creaking of ice beneath my feet as it begins to give, the sound traveling outward through the ice in all directions.

So I will keep learning. Little by little, day by day, imperfect attempt by imperfect attempt. When an imperfect decision or situation outside my control leaves a crack, I will learn the art of kintsugi (金継ぎ, "golden joinery")- filling it in with golden strands to reconnect my pieces. And even more so, I will work to prevent the cracks from forming in the first place. 🧊🤍

A love letter to the @uspostalservice and dedicated mail carriers who help us stay connected with loved ones far away, receive packages and important essentials, and help small art businesses like mine ship our goods out to dear customers. 💌

Growing bamboo forests to carry around in our pockets. 🎍


I'm thinking of offering some of these as art prints, postcards, or on other types of products in the future, so feel free to let me know if there are any you'd most like to see!

♡ Kimberly Kuniko

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Words, Art + Photography by

© Kimberly Kuniko

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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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