KRAFTY KORNER: Savvy Shoppers Take Your Mark



Rafu Craft Editor


(First published in The Rafu Shimpo on Sept. 15, 2010)


Surprise family member at Christmas time with personalized angel ornaments from Hollister’s Leanne Nishita. (Courtesy of L. Nishita)

Fall chill is definitely in the air! A reminder of those anticipated hot summer days that fell short in August. What are the odds of an Indian summer to come?

September marks time on the calendar that vacation travel ends, schools begin, sunsets are earlier, football teams—real or fantasy are the buzz, and our freeways are way too congested.
Such is the way of life in L.A.

The good news is that August retail receipts were positive. Savvy shoppers are shifting gears for the upcoming holiday season. Cool, calm, collected. They know what they want, how to find it and at the best prices.

Enter the Asian arts and crafts shows, from L.A. to Seattle. Some of the best in ethnic fare. Designed by creative, smart artisans, this is where you want to shop! Not an online marketplace, but a real one. As we continue to stretch our dollars, these artisans are impacted by the same philosophy in their daily lives. That’s why their prices are fair.

Not been to one? Seriously—try one on for size! Bet you’ll be back for more. Addicting, there is something for everyone, in whatever price range works for your budget.

From distinctive wearables for gals and kids of all ages, cool guy’s tees to yummy edibles—neatly packaged cookies, candies and munchies. Lots of bling, stuff made with paper or fabric plus a bevy of gift ideas.

The 12th annual United Japanese Christian Church’s Asian crafts and food fair kicks off the big fall season this Saturday up in Clovis. Some 50 crafters come from as far away as Hawaii for this Fresno valley event. Somen salad, Spam musubi and fried rice will satisfy hungry appetites.

Nishita has turned her lifelong love for fabrics and crafting into a business. (Courtesy of L. Nishita)

Get into the spirit of the holidays now—shop ornaments! Leanne Nishita’s fabric designs take on a personal touch with individual names. Learning how to sew from her mom at an impressionable age in Hawaii, she even made her own itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini. Sans dots. Crafting was just a hobby until friends persuaded her to sell what she was gifting away. That was 32 years ago.

Always with an Asian flair, her new focus on antique fabrics, buttons and beads results in quilted wall hangings, fabric purses and jewelry.

Quilt shows inspire this self-taught hand and machine quilter. “I find that practice and perseverance bring satisfying results,” said Nishita.

Words worth remembering as it applies to our daily lives.

For more info, contact the event coordinator.

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Saturday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
UJCC Asian Crafts & Food Fair
United Japanese Christian Church
136 N. Villa Ave., Clovis
(559) 322-0701, Vivian Takeuchi

Saturday, Sept. 25, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Jan Ken Po Gakko Arts & Crafts Fair
Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation
9040 High Tech Ct., Elk Grove
408-839-6023, Renee Kumamoto

Sunday, Sept. 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
WLA JACL Aki Matsuri Fall Festival
Venice Japanese Community Center
12448 Braddock Dr., Culver City
310-399-4526, Sandy Toshiyuki

Saturday, Oct. 2 12-8 p.m.
Aki Matsuri Fall Festival
East San Gabriel Valley Japanese
Community Center
1203 W. Puente Ave., West Covina
626-960-2566, Pearl Omiya

Saturday, Oct. 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

16th Annual Eden Holiday Craft Show
Marina Community Center
15301 Wicks Blvd., San Leandro
510-471-8052, Karen Valerio

Sunday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Kokoro Craft Affair (Friends of the Museum)
Japanese American National Museum
369 E. 1st St., Los Angeles
(213) 625-0414, ext 2222, Janet Maloney

Saturday, Oct. 9, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
SEJSCC Holiday Boutique
(Hawaiian-Style Pancake Breakfast
7-11 a.m.)
Southeast Japanese School &
Community Center
14615 Gridley Rd., Norwalk
714-847-1173, Edna Kurihara

Saturday, Oct. 16, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Crafty Foxes Holiday Boutique
Saratoga Community Center
19655 Allendale Ave., Saratoga
408-356-2764, Carol Yuki

Sunday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Krafty Delites #1
Carson Community Center
801 E. Carson St., Carson
310-329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama

Friday-Sunday, Nov. 5-7,
Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 12, 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Touch of Nature Home & Holiday
Décor Show
Diamond Bar, call for location
909-594-5964, Lily Saito
Sunday, Nov. 7 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Holiday Crafts Faire
Gedatsu Church
7850 Hill Dr., So. San Gabriel
626-572-0923, Judy Hamamoto

Saturday, Nov. 13 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Japantown Winter Boutique
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
San Jose Buddhist Church Gym
640 N. 5th St., San Jose
408-294-3138, Mimi Suga

Saturday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ayame Kai Holiday Craft Fair
Blaine Memorial Methodist Church
3001 24th Ave. So., Seattle, WA
425-827-4930, Shizue Yahata

Saturday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Koi Krafters
Almansor Court, Lakeview Room
700 S. Almansor, Alhambra
626-282-2932, Irene Jong

Sunday, Nov. 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Beary Best Friends
Holiday Inn
7000 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
562-865-2637, Ellen Mabuni

Saturday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
imaginAir Crafts Boutique
Torrance Cultural Arts Center
3550 Civic Center Dr., Torrance
310-719-8697, Deanna Takahashi

Sunday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Krafty Delites #2
Carson Community Center
801 E. Carson St., Carson
310-329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama

Sunday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
St. Mary’s Christmas Boutique
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
963 S. Mariposa, Los Angeles
213-215-3883, Fifi Newcomb

Saturday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Kimochi’s Silver Bells Arts & Crafts Faire
The Event Center at St. Mary’s Cathedral
1111 Gough St., San Francisco
415-931-2294, Steve Ishii

Sunday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
A Time for Sharing Holiday Boutique
Gardena Elks Lodge
1735 W. 162nd St., Gardena
310-329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama