making wild olive patterns extra kawaii
For those not familiar, "kawaii" is a Japanese word that means "cute". But when I think of or use the word, I think "extra cute". So now, I'm going to show you how to make something extra kawaii, or extra extra cute. Mmmmkay?
Often you'll see kawaii items and illustrations that have the sweetest little blushing cheeks. That has never been a part of the drawings I do, and one reason is that I find it to be a distracting element when you embroider them. I think those cheeks are sooooo cute, but I've never used them. Thankfully, a wonderfully creative customer sent me a photo of a quilt labels she stitched, and she had found the answer!
It involves crayon or colored pencil tinting, and it really does make my patterns extra kawaii!
Just look at that baseball and mitt! Amanda crayon tinted both designs so well, but it was the cheeks that jumped out at me. I'm so thankful to her for letting me share her work, and for coming up with a way to make cute into extra extra cute.
Here's how you can try this out when stitching something that needs some darling blushing cheeks. Grab some pink crayons or colored pencils. I used Prismacolor Art Stix, which are like a colored pencil in stick form.
Test some little circles on a scrap of your fabric. This is also a good way to practice how you want those cheeks to come out, because once you start coloring on your embroidery, you really can't go back. I went with the lightest color for this piece.
Gently add your tinted cheeks to the face on your embroidery. Start out light and make it darker as you go. I probably could have gone a little darker on mine, but in person it shows up really well.
There you have it! Extra kawaii!
As a side note, when Disney made Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, each animation cel that featured Snow White was hand tinted with real blush to give her soft, rosy cheeks. When I was tinting this pan of cookies, that's all I could think about!