Yummy crisp lemon cookies from Karen Higa’s Nevada kitchen are available at the Las Vegas Club Hotel and Casino. (Courtesy of Karen’s Gourmet Cookies)

Are you a cookie monster?

My hand is raised, I love cookies. Finding oh-so-good cookies is such fun! I’m on board when that fave Sesame Street muppet, the adorable blue Cookie Monster, says that “Cookies are a sometimes food!”

Locals up and down the coast of Cali all know about Kelley’s Kookies! Gift paks show off their cookies in classic green and white boxes. A variety are available at shops in the OC, Westside Pavilion and Westfield Santa Anita.

Here’s a new find that’s been around since 1991. When you need a break from the machines, check out the Las Vegas Jerkys, Etc. shop in the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. This downtown location sits across from The Cal.

Munchies galore — sweet, salty, spicy! All kinds of islander jerky, candies, dried fruits, nuts, cookies and more.

A scoop of tutti frutti ice cream is really a Sweetie My 3-in-1 Freshener. (Courtesy of Bunky Mar Inc.)

Destination: Karen’s Gourmet Cookies. Karen Higa’s original mac nut shortbread continues to be a best-seller. There’s chocolate-filled mac nut, almond butter toffee, cranberry and peanut butter, to name a few, smartly packaged in a solid  corrugated box that helps prevent breakage.

Two twenty-something gals heading home to Hawaii were raving about the finger-licking cinnamon and Parmesan-jalapeño flavored bagel chips as they toted six containers out the door. Hear tell that closer to home in Cypress is Katella Deli for can’t-stop-eating bagel chips.

Higa said flourless desert angels full of chocolate chips and almonds are new kids on the block.

Tempting cupcakes in 12 scents tantalize while working as bath fizzers/shower scrubs created by Bunky Mar of So. Pasadena. (Courtesy of Bunky Mar Inc.)

“I love cupcakes, but I’m on a diet,” said Bunky Mar, who is hitting the marketplace with a line of delectable cupcakes that are good enough not to eat. Looking so real, they’re room fresheners that double as a bath fizzer/shower scrub. Seriously!

Add a touch of whimsy to gift-giving. Pick yours out at the Krafty Delites Fall Boutique on Sunday. This is the first of two shows chock full of holiday arts and crafts fare hosted at the Carson Community Center.

Flavors entice, like creamsicle, cotton candy, crème brulee and cucumber melon.

Tagged Sweetie My Bath & Body Confections, Mar is a commercial product designer who knows what you and I like. You’ve probably seen her products and package designs at Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Costco and Target and did not even know it.

Everyday life and people inspire this FIDM graduate. Her goal is to continue creating new products that make people happy.

Yasuko Ozawa is a potter who is on the same page as Mar. She absorbs people’s comments like a sponge and then acts upon them.

Los Angeles ceramist Yasuko Ozawa hand-throws Japanese-influenced functional clay pieces. (Courtesy of Spin Fire Ceramics)

She gets high on the alchemy of ceramics. “All elements that I work with are from this earth … I take inspiration from forms naturally made … On another level, family and food definitely inspire me to throw certain things.”

Spin Fire Ceramic pieces have a Japanese flavor. No wonder. Ozawa grew up in a Japanese household using ochawan, kozara and donburi bowls. Her pieces will sit comfortably in such a setting today.

Now in her 40s, Ozawa decided to challenge herself. An appreciation for the arts was already there. She sat down at the potter’s wheel about three years ago at Summer Studios Arts Academy and has never looked back.

“The synergy between a piece of food, condiment, and the ceramic ware itself can be beautiful,” she said. “Part of me wants to contribute and participate in this kind of arrangement.”

Swirls of white glaze add the finishing touch to these matte plates. (Courtesy of Spin Fire Ceramics)

Available at the Venice Japanese Community Center on Sunday, there will be other choice selections of Asian arts, crafts and designer gift items offered by the West Los Angeles JACL Aki Matsuri. Lucky shoppers get the chance to win hourly door prizes. Bento boxes and beverages will be on sale.

For seasonal home décor and decorative holiday gifts, check out Touch of Nature in Diamond Bar over two weekends for a large assortment of silk arrangements.

Trick or treat!

Sunday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Krafty Delites Fall Boutique #1
Carson Community Center
801 E. Carson St., Carson
310-329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama

Sunday, Oct. 30, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
WLA JACL Aki Matsuri Boutique
Venice Japanese Community Center
12448 Braddock Dr., Culver City
310-936-3182, Marisa Tamaru

Friday-Sunday, Nov. 4-6, Nov. 11-13 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Touch of Nature Home/Holiday Décor Show
Diamond Bar, call for location
909-594-5964, Lily Saito

Sunday, Nov. 6 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kiku Crafts and Food Fair
Sponsored by W. Covina Buddhist Temple
E. San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center
1203 W. Puente Ave., W Covina
951-81-8740, Hisako Koga

Saturday, Nov. 12 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
408-888-8798, Gail Sugiura Bush

Sunday, Nov. 13 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Holiday Crafts Faire
Gedatsu Church
7850 Hill St., S. San Gabriel
626-372-4914, Judy Hamamoto

Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ayame Kai Holiday Craft Fair
Blaine Memorial Methodist Church
3001 24th Avenue So., Seattle, WA
425-827-4930, Shizue Yahata

Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Koi Krafters
Almansor Court, Lakeview Room
700 S. Almansor, Alhambra
626-282-2932, Irene Jong

Sunday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Beary Best Friends
Holiday Inn
7000 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
562-865-2637, Ellen Mabuni

Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
imaginAir Crafts Boutique
Toyota Meeting Hall
3330 Civic Center Dr. North, Torrance
310-719-8697, Deanna Takahashi

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

Sunday, Dec. 4, 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

Sunday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
A Time for Sharing Christmas Boutique
Gardena Elks Lodge
1735 W. 162nd St., Gardena
310-329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama

Saturday, Dec. 10, 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, Sakura Suzuki



  1. Thanks so much to Gail and Krafty Korner! My first ever pottery sale went really well at the WLA Aki Matsuri Boutique Fair. It was fun and very well attended! I’m back on the wheel and making more pieces!

  2. The WLA JACL’s boutique “Aki Matsuri” was held Sunday at the Venice Japanese Community Center and we had a very nice turnout. Our thanks for the Krafty Korner for listing our event and the comments about the vendors who participate. So many of our shoppers cut the article out to remember the many events coming up and it means a lot to the sponsors to have the information available to the public.

  3. Many thanks for your wonderful writeup Gail! Stephanie & Rick’s Krafty Delites event was fantastic~ I met amazing, talented vendors, and supportive customers…a wonderful launch for me!

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