My name is Mariko. Kittenette is an account of my life in San Francisco, running a business from my apartment, my interest in film and media, cooking and crafting, and how I got adopted by a stray 5 month old kitten.   Read More

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Neruda Paper Cut

Another paper cut, this time a personal project.

I was watching Jane Campion’s In the Cut when I noticed a reference to a line from Pablo Neruda’s “Love Poem XIV” (from the sublime collection The Captain’s Verses):

I want
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.

In Spanish:

Quiero hacer contigo
lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos.

Something about this line stuck out to me, and I realized that it reminds me of the preoccupation with cherry/plum trees in classic Japanese poetry. I decided to make a paper cut of a cherry tree celebrating hanami season (the Japanese custom of sitting under and enjoying cherry trees in the spring) also including the line of Neruda’s poem. It could also be seen as a reference to the blending of poetry and images in traditional Japanese art.

Neruda Paper Cut

This happened to coincide with the plum tree blossoming in front of my window.

Framed Neruda Paper Cut

Framed, I put a piece of metallic gold paper under it.

I also made a version of it in Spanish (not pictured). Not available for sale in my shop, but I can make you one as a custom order if you contact me.

Custom Ring Box & A Busy Christmas Season

I’ve been asked to make some fun custom orders! One customer asked me to make my polaroid locket into an engagement ring box, which was perfect since I’d already designed some prototypes for jewelry boxes. The top for this box is held in tightly by the friction of the felt lining on the lid.




Also, the busy Christmas retail season is already in swing at Iluxo this year! Which means I’m fulfilling more wholesale requests, ordering lots of supplies, counting inventory, and playing with Excel spreadsheets. It also means my usually very orderly bedroom, which has recently been rearranged, sometimes looks like this:


I can’t wait for it to be next year.

City Skyline Clock Designs

My city skyline clocks were inspired by international time displays. Most international time displays with multiple clocks use the same clock but with a text label indicating the city the time corresponds to. I decided to innovate on this concept by integrating the city into the clock itself. I now carry the following cities: Paris, Tokyo, New York, London, Sydney, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Seattle.

Here’s how they look, all on the wall, together:

iluxo clock display

Individual clocks: Sydney, Tokyo, Berlin, Seattle


I’m always designing new cities. If you have a recommendation for a city, let me know in the comments along with some famous landmarks from that city that you’d want to see in the clock.

Laser cutting + iluxo

I’ve been in the process of starting a laser cut jewelry line on etsy. I called it iluxo. So this is what my desk looks like these days. I’m using some silicone baking cups I bought from Franc Franc to organize the little pieces.


One of the first things I designed is called a “Treasure locket.” Basically it’s just a wooden box with a slide-out lid that hangs on a necklace. They’re made interesting by laser cutting designs on the faces of the box. The first one I designed was based on a Japanese pattern that I see everywhere, including on some silks I have, someone’s photo of a manhole cover, on origami, product packaging, etc.


You can see how the lid slides out here:


One of my favorites so far was based on the front view of my Polaroid SX-70 camera.


This one is is based on some sketches I made of lace patterns. I decided to incorporate shapes from the suit of cards: hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds. You might have to look a while to find them all, though.


I made little “ilu xo” hearts to fill in the empty spaces on my laser cut sheets. Not sure what I’ll do with these, yet. They can be glued onto other pieces or I may make them into earrings to give as free gifts to customers.


Laser cutting Bamboo

My new passion is laser cutting. I’ve been drafting out ideas for designs for months, and finally I had some pieces laser cut for me on bamboo.

The first is a cherry blossom necklace. It turned out quite pretty. At the end of the chain, where the clasp is, a cherry blossom petal is attached. It references the falling cherry blossom petals during hanami season.


Available Here

More interesting is a cubic box shaped necklace with a cut-out design. The design is commonly found in many Japanese patterns. It functions like a locket, except you can keep larger things in it, like a folded up note.



You can see the lid in this picture. The lid slides out, but since the chain loops through the end, gravity keeps it closed while you wear it. The lid in the picture is too small (a prototyping error), but will be corrected when I get my next batch.


Now I just have to find a model and take some decent photographs and maybe I can sell them. I’m very excited.

computer cat