Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quick Shop Update

Hello everyone!

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season so far. I've been so busy with custom orders that I haven't been able to stock my shop as much as I would like. However, this weekend I was able to whip up a few amigurumi. Please visit my shop if you are interested. Thank you so much! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Crafting Life In Pictures

A few custom orders:

And some stuff to go in my shop:

I've been so busy with custom orders and other holiday busy-ness that I scarcely have time to write a complete paragraph.

More than anything I just wanted to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shop Update and Some Holiday Crafting

Aloha everyone! :)

I've been slow to update my shop lately so I'm thrilled to finally have these new editions soon to be listed:

Some Itty Bitty Ami Bears sitting in their origami gift bags . . .

And a trio of Bashful Blooming Cacti. Each cactus will now come with an instructional "How to Care for . . . " hang tag. It's an idea that I've been mulling over for ages and I've finally gotten around to doing it.

The tags read --

Caring for your Bashful Blooming Cactus:
1. Situate in a calm, peaceful place away from loud noises and crowds.
2. Encourage it to bloom without being too pushy.
3. Never put your cactus on the spot -- i.e., ask it to sing or if it knows any good jokes.

4. Finally, nurture your cactus by complimenting it everyday.

I'm excited by how the tags turned out! :)

This Christmas I'm attempting to apply the "use what you have" concept to my gift giving. As a platinum card carrying member of the hopelessly craft obsessed, I've amassed a mountain of fabrics, ribbon, yarn, and other supplies over the years. This Christmas is the perfect time for me to use some of my stock and make room for more. I'm being very strict about my "use what you have" philosophy. I won't run out to purchase something else in order to finish a project. Not even small supplies like thread. If I don't have what I need on hand, I'm going to have to improvise. This may not bode well for the friends and family that I will be creating gifts for. However, I am vowing to do my very best not to construct any Franken-presents out of random objects lying about like pipe cleaners, buttons, and toilet paper. I will strive to make things as cute and pretty as possible with what is readily available.

Here is my first "use what you have" Christmas gift project. It's what I came up with after finding way too many balls of red and green yarn in my stash.

I know, I know . . . they're just potholders, but they're cherry potholders so that's sort of cute, right? But then I discovered some cherry print fabric so I plan to make a whole cherry themed kitchen set. This project is still in the beginning stages so I have hopes that it will blossom into something more impressive than it seems. We'll see, I guess. Stay tuned . . .

Finally, the winner of the Kawaii Kitty for last month's Reader Appreciation giveaway is . . . Sew Very Carrie! Thank you for all your support Carrie! I'll contact you soon! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kawaii Kittens!

I've still been in a stitching mood since the Kawaii Koalas so I've been diligently working on some Kawaii Kittens. These kittens were derived from the previous koala pattern. I made a few changes here and there and voilà -- a whole new animal! I've been thinking about adapting the original pattern to make a bunny, a sheep, a monkey . . . the softie possibilities are endless! Sorry, I digress. Back to the Kawaii Kittens . . .

I wanted the kittens to have a sort of country, calico-y feel . . . but still remain stylistically kawaii, if you know what I mean. I thought the best way to achieve this was to use some folksy fabrics for the main part of the fur such as plaid or corduroy, and then use some fun Japanese print linen for the patches. The blanket stitching on the patches definitely adds to their homespun feel, too. I also passed on making them decorative flowers for their ears, which is what I tend to do with most of my softies. Instead, I gave these kittens a simple collar with a golden bell.

Well, here they are:

Here's a how the backside looks like. They have a wavy, little tail:

On a Blythe-ier note, I will be adding these Ice Cream Sundae berets to my shop shortly. I made these awhile back, and they slipped my mind, and I never got around to listing them.

<This "flavor" I call Berry Swirl. I used a pink and white variegated yarn and it makes a nice motley, swirly pattern throughout.

This "flavor" is Blueberry, obviously. :) The yarn is a deep purple-y blue.

For this month's Reader Appreciation Giveaway I wanted to give something really special (to make up for being so willy-nilly about the giveaway the past few months) -- A Kawaii Kitten just for you! This Kawaii Kitty is made from soft blue corduroy and has spots cut from a floral print Japanese dobby. Will someone please give her a good home? Well, you know how this works -- I'll pick a winner at random from this post's comment pool.

Last, but not least . . . the winners of the Hawaiian macadamia nut chocolate boxes from the last giveaway! Thank you for your support Evie and Sandy Michelle! I will contact you both soon!

Thank you for all for dropping by again! Happy crafting! :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kawaii Koalas!

Aloha everyone!

I know, I know . . . I've been M.I.A lately, but I have a really good excuse this time! I had an influx of custom orders to do so it was hard to get any fresh crafting done. The custom orders were all amigurumi so by the time I was finished, I felt a need to put my crochet needle down and do something completely different.

I delved into my box of old project ideas and patterns and rediscovered my tried and true koala softie. The koala pattern was the very first softie pattern I ever drafted. I still remember the delight of having an idea in my head slowly come to life in my hands. It felt magical. And it was the spark that ignited my cute and crafty obsession.

I was a wee bit apprehensive when I started the koalas because it has literally been years since I've made one. I was afraid I wouldn't embroider the faces right, that I couldn't re-capture their "spirit". These softies are so different from my amigurumi, whose faces are quiet and humble. With my koalas, the personalities are more lively, their expressions more developed and detailed . . . and I have to render it all with a needle and thread.

Well, here they are:

Here's a close up look of one of their faces along with the crochet twin cherries by her ear:

It wasn't the easiest thing, but I managed alright, I think. :)

Since we spoke last I also managed to whip up some new cards for my blog/ shop. I was getting low on MOO cards, and I was going to order more, but then I thought, "I have this nifty, new laser printer . . . " So I gave it a go with some basic printable blank business cards.

Well, they're nowhere as nice as my former MOO cards, but I think they came out alright just the same, and they were fun to design and a lot less pricey. Here's a tip if you are going to try these at home: The cards I purchased came in perforated sheets. I recommend not tearing them apart. Instead, hold a ruler along the perforated edge and use an exacto knife to cut them apart. The edges just look neater and sharper that way.

Lastly, I've been woefully horrid at keeping up with my monthly giveaway, haven't I? I really am trying. It's just been so difficult to keep up with my blogging lately. I'll definitely try to pick up the pace from now on. Anyway, I have two Reader Appreciation Giveaways this month (an extra to make up for missing last month). My pal P pointed out these super kawaii Hello Kitty mini candy boxes at a local store. Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamia nuts are a yummy-licious staple here in the islands and I was surprised to see the character endorsements they have now -- Hello Kitty and Lilo & Stitch just to name a few. P said they'd make the perfect giveaway for my blog and I think he's absolutely right! So you know how it goes -- I will pick two people at random from the comment pool at this post.

Thanks again for dropping by! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cupcake Invasion!

Hello everyone!

It's been awhile since my last post as I have been meandering aimlessly through these past few weeks, which were filled with lovely distractions like fishing, family time, and zombie movies via Netflix.

It's only lately that my mind has ceased contemplating the pros and cons of fast moving zombies vs. slow moving zombies, and re-focused with some nifty, new project ideas. Here's what I've been working on . . .

First off, remember these guys?

Yep, it's my trusty ol' Happy Swirly Cupcakes. If you've been keeping abreast of my blog posts you'll notice that I've been making mini versions of my usual amigurumi. I just love jamming a whole lotta cute into a small package. It's like concentrated cuteness! :) I suppose it was only a matter of time until my big cupcakes got the shrinking treatment, too.

Please meet the Mini Cupcake Cuties! Each mini cupcake stands 3 inches tall from base to frosted tip. I really love the concept of cute meets function in my Happy Swirly Cupcakes and I wanted to keep true to that with these little fellows. Therefore, I made little blank sign boards on which short messages can be written. I think these mini cupcakes make the perfect surprise "for-no-reason-at-all-I-just-wanted-to-tell-you-I'm-thinking-about-you" present. :)

I must say thank you to 6060 Etsy shop, where I got the little bead eyes for my mini cupcakes! They're the perfect fit! :)

Here's a shot of one of my big cupcakes next to it's baby sibling.

And another comparison shot of the cupcake tops. Although I love the look of the swirly frosted, berry tops on the bigger cupcakes, I've been dying to make some frosted sprinkle cupcakes for the longest time, and so I've done on the smaller counterparts.

All of the above will be in my shop shortly, if anyone is interested.

Last, but certainly not least, I must announce the winner of last month's Reader Appreciation Giveaway:

Wasted Wishes -- Thank you for all your support here at my blog! I will contact you soon!

Happy crafting everyone! :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

March of the Amigurumi . . . and July's Reader Appreciation Giveaway!

I've been in a major amigurumi zone lately. For whatever reason I have it in my mind to make them in pairs . . . like some sort of amigurumi version of Noah's Ark.

Here are a pair of Bashful Blooming Cacti.

And a plush Apple Cheek Ami Bear and Bunny duo.

Finally, I made this sweet Itty Bitty Ami Bear twosome.

I thought I'd throw in a random shot of the big ami bear next to the mini one. I just wanted to take a photo for comparison, but it gave me the idea of doing a set -- like a little bear holding her little toy bear. Maybe that will be my next project! :)

Now before I leave . . . this month's Reader Appreciation Giveway are these two adorable Japanese fabric iron-ons. Isn't that blue elephant sweet? Apply them to your tote bag or backpack for instant cuteness! As always I will pick someone at random from the comment pool of this post.

Thank you for coming by!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Head Gear

Summer's officially here and the B gals were in need of something to keep their hair from whipping up into a frightful mess at the beach, so here's what I came up with:

A crochet lace head kerchief with a pretty floral appliqué. This is the first time I've ever crocheted any sort of lace, so I picked a rather simple lace pattern. I'm pleased with how it came out. It's lacy without being too fussy -- perfect for cool, breezy, summer days!

I made them in a bunch of different colors as you can see. They'll be listed in my shop shortly, if anyone is interested.

Do you remember these? I haven't made my Sundae Berets in quite awhile. I used to make them with nuts scattered all over the hot fudge sauce, but this time I decided to do them up with colored sprinkles. I saw something on Food Network about how sprinkles were one of the most popular toppings for ice cream, and I was instantly inspired.

Here's one of my B-gals wearing one. I'll be putting a bunch of these in my shop, too.

Well, that's all the crafting news for now. Sorry this post is so short, but I've been enjoying my long, holiday weekend! :)

Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back in the Zone

Since the vog (a.k.a The Vile Cloud of Crafting Doom) lifted, I've finally got myself into a nice crafting schedule again. This week it's been nothing but Itty Bitty Amigurumis. Between the crocheting and the origami, I find it a nice all around soothing craft.

As you can see, I've added some bears to my Itty Bitty repertoire. I experimented a bit with the muzzle -- I did an embroidered nose much like my bigger bears, but then I also tried out a black bead nose. I'm not sure which one I like better. What do you all think? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Here's a better look of them all decked out in their crochet dresses.

I've been on a desperate hunt to find more colors of this fingering weight mohair yarn. As you can see all I have at the moment are white and yellow. The manufacturer doesn't make any other suitable colors. The problem with Hawaii is that yarn shops are so scarce so I almost always have to mail order in. It's a bit of a guessing game since you can't see and feel the yarn for yourself. So far I've purchased some mohair yarn from Canada hoping that it would be a good weight/ gauge match with the yarn I'm presently using. No such luck. It was way too thin. I've just ordered some yarn from New York and I'm crossing my eyes and fingers that they're a good match.

I haven't done an "In Other Cuteness" feature in awhile, but I've discovered something so absolutely, irresistibly cute that I simply must share it --

Please meet Pecan! How adorable is he sitting on a stump with his little elephant push toy?

"Pecan is the oldest and wisest of the Pecanpals. He is a master storyteller, often spending entire afternoons sitting under a tall palm tree, reading. He insists that all the knowledge you ever need to know is found in stories. Pecan likes to be aware of things that are happening on the island, making sure to visit each and every person on his daily rounds." -- Noferin

The PecanPals are a group of whimsical characters created by the Australian artists of Noferin. They do paintings based on their characters and recently they branched out into making wooden figures of them. I just had to snatch one up right away! If you would like to purchase one, too, I wouldn't wait very long. These little guys have been going fast!

Before I leave I have to annouce the winner of June's Reader Appreciation Giveway! Thank you to Andrea Rooks of Rooks Paper Scissors for all your support! I will contact you soon!

Happy crafting everyone! :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It's the Vog's Fault, and the Return of Owls and the Reader Appreciation Giveway!


I hate it when I don't keep up with my regular scheduled posts. I've had a case of the blahs lately, which I blame on the recent weather. I know most people think that Hawaii weather is a dream -- and for the most part it is -- but sometimes we have this atmospheric phenomenon called vog, and it kicks me in the butt every time. Vog (volcanic smog) occurs when gases emitted from the Kilauea volcano in the Big Island mix with air, sun, and moisture and creates a smog like haze that makes the air feel thick, heavy, and sticky hot. Normally, it doesn't affect us much in Oahu, but occasionally wind will blow it down our way. Well, we recently experienced vog a couple of days running and it really choked the life out of me. Physically and mentally. Not only is the heat and humidity so miserable, but it's also rather depressing to look out at your once beautiful, crystal clear view of Diamond Head and see an ugly, brown film.

Anyway, I blame my vog addled brain for my lazy, blah, non-blogging state. Yep, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. :)

When the air (and my head) finally cleared, I decided to make some owls. I hadn't whipped up any of those little critters in awhile. I decided to make a Thoughtful Little Owl and a pair of Scholarly Little Owls. It was fun taking a break from crocheting and getting reacquainted with my sewing machine again. I think I'm going to do even more sewing projects now.

So I'm painfully aware that I missed last month's Reader Appreciation Giveway . . . *sigh*. I feel horrible about it because I hate being willy-nilly about things, even though this blog is aptly named for such behavior. To make up for it I wanted to make June's Reader Appreciation Giveaway super special. So here it is:

My new favorite craft is origami. I find it so calming and fun, and I would love to pass on my joy of origami to someone else. For those of you unfamiliar with the art of Japanese paper folding or for those who could use some more origami supplies, I put together this mini origami crafting kit. In it there's an origami instruction book with 33 sheets of paper included, and I've tossed in two more packages of super sweet Japanese import origami paper. What fun! :) You all know the drill -- I'll be picking the winner at random from the comment pool of this post.

Thank you again for visiting my hopelessly willy-nilly, but obsessively crafty little corner of the universe! Aloha!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's Loovee Crafting Time

As you well know, I've been all about amigurumi softies lately. Well, Loovee has been giving me that side eyed glance of discontent that tells me she has been quite neglected. Thus, I decided to devote some time to Loovee crafting. It wasn't hard to find some inspiration. With temperatures reaching upwards of 80° here in Hawaii, summer is definitely around the corner, and it put me in the mind of creating a pretty sundress for Loovee.

I wanted to create a dress that was sweet, simple and defintely summer-y. I decided that I would crochet it because nothing says warm summer days at the beach like a little crochet sundress.

Well, here is Loovee hitting the beach to test the final product. I think she's quite pleased with it. The design is simple and un-fussy. I added the curvy detail at the hem to convey surf and waves, and also to add some interest to such a basic design. I decided to variegate the waves in three different shades of pink, from darkest to lightest. I really like how it came out. It reminds me of a plumeria flower petal. Finally, I thought a beaded tie on the bodice would be a nice touch.

Loovee seems to enjoy sunning herself on the rocks.

Finally, a parting shot of Loovee as the sun sets.

I crocheted a couple more of these sundresses for the shop. I made a point to choose colors that were reminiscent of all things summer -- the beach, seashells, and tropical flowers . . . .

Please click on the pics to see the details better.

These three dresses have the variegated wavy hems.

These three have bold, solid waves.

If anyone is interested in any of these dresses, please check back at my shop. I'll start listing them tomorrow.

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Big Things Come in Small Packages

These little gals look like my usual ami bunnies, don't they? But what you don't know is that they're packing a little surprise . . . and I do mean LITTLE. :)

I never imagined I would -- or even could -- make amigurumi this small, but after a yarn mail order mishap (the new yarn I purchased was soooooo thin), I decided to make do with what I had. When life gives you lemons, you know? :)

All in all it wasn't so bad working with lace weight mohair yarn. It involved a ton of squinting. And lots of creative thinking to try to scale things down, yet still maintain my meticulous, borderline obsessive attention to detail. Oh, and there was a bit of cursing, too. :)

Sewing their fabric ear insets were a bit of chore. And I decided to crochet their smocks because just thinking about sewing something so tiny would likely cause my head to explode. I did, however, crochet the tiniest heart applique and stitched that onto the smock. I'll admit I'm a bit of a masochist when it comes to my crafting.

Here's a shot of their backside. I had to nix the pom-pom tails since I could not make them that small. I crocheted them instead.

Finally, in my unending quest to use what I have, I grabbed some origami paper and made these little origami packages to tuck the bunnies in. I crocheted the handles with some cotton thread and I cut some tags from cardstock. They're now ready for gift giving!

I'll likely have these mini ami bunnies in my shop next weekend if anyone is interested.

Thank you again for visiting! Happy crafting!