July 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

Sometimes you need to take time to create something that is purely for play.  I’m beginning to find that ‘playing’ is a discipline that needs to be scheduled into your day.  It refreshes, revitalizes, and makes you more efficient in work.  I’ll admit that I’m not very good at playing.   Actually, I’m horrible at it.  But I’m trying to get better at it.

This little Kasutera / 카스테라 / カステラ is one of the happiest things I’ve created in a long time.  It wasn’t for anyone nor anything in particular.  And it felt great.  I am really liking the little guy.


Freshen Up

June 28, 2013 § 1 Comment

A Kinfolk Workshop       

I have an odd obsession with the way my household products smell.  I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t sometimes clean just so I could smell the scents of ‘fresh.’  When I found out that the Kinfolk workshop, “Freshen Up” was going to consist of making natural household products, I was in.

Scents of jasmine, rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, and lavender filled the Kinfolk space, and it was scent heaven.  So fresh and so clean, clean.

While my main medium is a pen nib and a bottle of ink, I often find myself experimenting with paintbrushes.  It has recently become an imperative part of my business when projects require working on larger canvases.   This was one of those times.  The tools for my contribution: butcher paper, paintbrush, & a small bottle of acrylic paint mixed with water.  Simple, easy, and good lookin’.

The workshop was a great success.  Julie Pointer (Kinfolk Features Editor + Gatherings) and Jen Vitale hosted and styled the event.  To no one’s surprise, they delivered above and beyond.   It was a pleasure spending the morning chatting, working, and preparing with them both.

And oh yes, how can I forget?  The fruits of my labor – my cleaning supplies!  All of which are still being happily used.

P.S.  If you’d like to take part in the next Kinfolk workshop in your area, click here.

All photos by James Fitzgerald III

The Ace Hotel & Joshua Tree

June 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

In my humble opinion, the Ace Hotel is able to take an old motel and turn it into a destination spot because of their extreme attention to detail, especially in their design and amenities.  The Palm Springs location did not disappoint in this regard.   If you’re wondering, I did, indeed live in that Moroccan striped robe our entire stay and enjoyed every minute of it.

Their poolside was surprisingly low key (which we were very happy about) and pretty genius.  I never had to struggle with the sun/shade ratio due to the design of their chairs and umbrellas.  And when I wanted to seriously lounge, I plopped myself on one of their massive green canvas pillows and had some solid nap time.  When it was too hot, I napped in a yellow donut.

Joshua Tree is about an hour from the Ace Hotel and completely worth visiting.  I was unfortunately quite ill when we went and could barely muster the energy to leave the car.  Thus, the number of photos is few.  It’s hard to describe Joshua Tree in words, but it is definitely other-worldly.  There may have been references to Star Wars at some point and an imitation of the yelling Sand People.  Perhaps we got carried away?   Most likely.

Admitting to the fact that Jay and I both know what “sand people” are and what they sound like is probably an indication that it’s time to wrap up this post.  On that note, I’ll end here. ‘Til next time.

Photo 1,2,3,4,6 by James Fitzgerald III

Photo 5 by Joy Sunyoung Fitzgerald of MADE BY SOHN

Palm Desert Sunset

May 21, 2013 § 2 Comments

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.”

– G.K Chesterton

I can’t tell you how many times Jay and I have stopped to take photos off the side of the road.  Sometimes we force ourselves to stay in the car, continue towards the destination, and make a conscious choice to keep the camera under wraps.  But this evening was not one of those times.   We drove past this desert scene, which sparked a conversation that went something like this:

Jay, look how beautiful it is out the window right now!

Whoa.  Should we stop? 

We might be late for dinner.

Hm. I’m turning around.

I’ve found that it can be totally worth changing course to experience something you weren’t necessarily planning.  This can often mean letting go of your own meticulous plans, the anxieties in straying from them, and letting God guide the rest.   I’m definitely not condoning a life of wandering nor neglecting responsibilities.  But I do encourage taking time to see beyond your agenda, even when it might be inconvenient (something I am still learning to do).  I often get so involved in my own mission that I pass on the amazing things the Lord has for me – blessing, fruit, an opportunity to serve or create a memory.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on even the smallest of blessings in any form – like marveling at the desert sunset with my husband.

Whatever this means for you in this season, I pray that you’ll be able to perhaps change your view on the next inconvenience and see it as an adventure instead.

Mark 10:46-49

Photo 1 by James Fitzgerald III, Photo 2 by Joy Sunyoung Fitzgerald of MADE BY SOHN

Moorten Botanical Garden

May 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

For our honeymoon, we only had three things in mind: One – at some point, make it to Palm Springs. Two – as little planning/stress as possible so we could just enjoy being married.  Three – adventure on the road.


After planning a wedding for months, our last idea of a good time was more planning.  So we packed our little car full of essentials and set out with our non-existent itinerary.


One of our stops included the Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs.  If you’re staying at the Ace Hotel, it’s literally around the corner and definitely worth a visit.  Bring a camera and water, though – you’ll need both.


Moorten Botanical Garden also happens to provide opportunities for one of my favorite situations – monochromatic tones broken up by various textures.  Obviously, we had quite the field day there and these photos aren’t even the half of them.  But here are some of the real winners in the lot.  Side Note: I am now officially biased towards the Voigtlander Bessa III.  It has consistently done well for me.


God, the Creator of the universe does very much astound me at times like these.  It’s a surreal experience when you can look at sheep in grassy fields all day, and within one day’s drive be surrounded by an entire garden of massive aloe and cacti (with no sheeps in sight).  If there is anything that I really appreciate about road trips, it’s the ability to see how the Lord has manifested His immeasurable beauty in every place.  And in so many different ways. Amazing, always.  I’m excited to show you some of the other ways we saw His face on our honeymoon.  More to come.

And if you want to see some good ole iPhone snapshots, you can take a looksies on my Instagram.

Photo 1, 2, 3, 4 by Joy Sunyoung Fitzgerald of MADE BY SOHN, Photo 5 by James Fitzgerald III

Honeymoon Peek

May 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Well, hello strangers.  I have returned!  I am now officially Mrs. Joy Sunyoung Fitzgerald.  I’m still letting that sink in and enjoying every moment of it.  Melding two lives together, leaving & cleaving, and settling in is quite the beast.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  There is so much to say about the beauty of the last month, but I don’t think I could do it justice with words. Let’s just say I have never cried so much out of pure peace & deep joy.  And I don’t like crying either, so this is all a big surprise to me.  Involuntary tears – they’re real.

True to the ‘a/o’ way, we took an excess amount of pictures on the honeymoon – 22 rolls, in fact.  Needless to say, I have some memories to share with you.  It will take some time amidst all the other things going on.  But for now, a peek.

“His purpose was to create in Himself ONE new humanity out of the TWO, thus making peace, & in ONE body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross.” (Ephesians 2:15)

Photo 1 by James Fitzgerald III / Photo 2 by Joy Sunyoung Fitzgerald of MADE BY SOHN

Kinfolk Volume 7

March 20, 2013 § 4 Comments

Joy of MADE BY SOHN with Kinfolk Magazine / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

Kinfolk Volume Seven:  I really don’t need to tell you why it’s worth taking your time to get your hands on one.  The magazine always speaks for itself.   With this issue, I was incredibly blessed with working on three different stories.  It’s always a treat to see the fruits of your labor sharing the same space with fine works of the talented contributors.  And who can complain whilst drawing ice cream, crabs, and writing out script?  I certainly cannot.   As always, thank you Nathan and Katie Williams for believing in my work.Kinfolk Vol 7 Calligraphy by Joy of MADE BY SOHN / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

Kinfolk Vol 7 Illustrations by Joy of MADE BY SOHN / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

Kinfolk Vol 7 Illustrations by Joy of MADE BY SOHN / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

Kinfolk Vol 7 Illustrations by Joy of MADE BY SOHN / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

Kinfolk Vol 7 Illustrations by Joy of MADE BY SOHN / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

As I flip through the pages of Vol. 7, I’m reminded of how much there is to look forward to this spring.   Portland spring brings upon such needed refreshment.  Oh and trust me, I’m basking in it every chance I get.  Though spring comes every year like clockwork, I am still taken aback.  I’m still mesmerized by the blooming buds on my afternoon strolls, by the songs of creatures that take flight, and remembering the sun DOES exist (this is surprising for us Vit D deficient Pacific Northwesterners).  Being surrounded by so much new life reminds me of the beauty of the Lord’s new mercies every morning.

Kinfolk Vol 7 / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

Joy of MADE BY SOHN by James Fitzgerald III

Joy of MADE BY SOHN / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

Spring is especially significant, as it marks the season that I prepare to be a bride.  In only one month now, my lips will utter marriage vows under God.  The profound mystery of being ONE with a certain James Francis Fitzgerald III will soon be a reality I will be able to experience first-hand.  Oh, and if you haven’t figured it out already, my lovely fiancé is the one that took the beautiful photos on this post.  Thanks, darling!

Joy of MADE BY SOHN / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

Joy of MADE BY SOHN / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

All this to say is that I suspect I won’t be around these parts much until after our honeymoon.  Until then, I hope you will take some time to walk around and soak in the season, whatever that means for you.  And might I suggest that if you need some reading material, bring a Kinfolk along with you on your walk.

Joy of MADE BY SOHN / Photo by James Fitzgerald III

P.S.  This shot above was a joke, but I figured it was time that I embraced how solidly Asian I can be.  The Korean-ness seems to find its way out more each day (i.e. I eat salad with chopsticks instead of a fork.  It’s the way to go, people.  Try it!).