Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I've been making amigurumi for over 2 years now, and during that time I've learned so much! Though I'm completely self-taught (no amigurumi or crocheting books, patterns... I was actually given my first amigurumi book just a few months ago) I thought it might be helpful to have a mini series of things I've learned that can help others who are just beginning to learn the fun art of making amigurumi!
So here we go, Amigurumi Craft Series # 1: amigurumi tool kit! These are some items (essentials and embellishments) that I use to make my amigurumi. They aren't all necessary, though they add lots of fun to your creations! Each item is numbered, and each number has a description of why the item is great for amigurumi crafting, and approximately how much it costs/ where you can buy it (a lot is from Wal-Mart which is kinda bad... but they have the best prices!). If you have any suggestions of vital things to add, please leave a comment, much appreciated!
- Foldable scissors; because these fold, they can be carried everywhere! These are great for plane rides (security check) and for on the go crafting... they're small and slim enough to be very travel ready and handy, and they cut yarn and embroidery thread well. They don't cut felt well though, so you may need an additional scissors. $1-$3, Wal-mart/craft store.
- Yarn; so many different types, there will have to be an additional craft series just on yarn, I think! Yarns come in different weights, styles and colors; for beginners Red Heart acrylic yarn is the best. The different weights/gauges of yarn determine what size crochet needle you should use; for Red Heart acrylic yarn (not sport weight) an E or F hook is excellent... less holes for stuffing to poke through! $1.99-$3.99 a skein, Wal-mart/craft store.
- Plastic half-bead eyes; these are so economical! They come in multiple sizes, I typically use 8 mm and 5mm. Using a hot glue gun, attach them to your amigurumi as one of the last steps towards completion. These are not baby or toddler safe (meaning they can pull them off, though I think they're too small to cause choking...) $0.59, craft stores
- Thread: great for felt embellishment, attaching buttons, sequins or beads. Try using colors that coordinate with the yarn color of your amigurumi. Try getting mini bobbin variety packs... awesome color choices and very economical. Wal Mart $4
- Thread snips; these are optional, but so good! They snip really close to your material, so things don't hang off (like glue, thread or yarn). $3-$17, depending on style; craft stores
- Jewelry pliers (chain-nose) and craft wire: great for putting wire inside your amigurumi, so that they bend etc. Pliers- $4, wire-$2 Craft stores
- Pins and needles: great for pinning pieces together so you can see where you want attach them, placement of eyes, mouth, nose etc. Thread needles and embroidery needles are also a must! $2, Craft stores or Wal Mart.
- Paper and pen: handy for drafting ideas, patterns
- Safety eyes: greater variety of eye types and sizes, including cat eyes... meow! More expensive, but also toddler safe. $0.89-$2, stores.
- Yarn needles: allows you to attach crocheted pieces together, $2 craft stores
- Carrying case or bag: allows you to store everything you need all together, handy for traveling.
- Embroidery thread- great for embellishments, mouths etc ($0.49). Most useful colors: red, black and white.
- Polyfil- many different types (organic, hypoallergenic etc). Most economical is the 5lb box, but it also comes in smaller bags. $6 (bags) -$12 (box). Wal- Mart
- Crochet needles: we'll need a craft series entry just for needles! Many different brands and types: aluminum, bamboo, etc. Clover is an excellent brand, but more expensive. Shown from top to bottom: clover bamboo, clover soft-touch, bates. Different gauges go with different yarns; the thinner the yarn the smaller the gauge. Japanese and American sizes on needles are a bit different; I have an assortment of sizes and styles from D-H. My favorites are the clover soft touch in sizes E and F and the clover bamboo in E and F. Craft stores (Walmart for the cheapy aluminum ones) Clover: $4-$8, Bates: $2-$4
- Acrylic or wool felt: great for snouts, hearts, leaves etc... I love adding felt because it breaks up the yarn and adds interest to your piece. Wool felt is more expensive, Acrylic can be found at Walmart/ craft stores: $0.20-$1.00. Most useful colors: off-white, white, greens, red, yellow-orange, tan and black.
- Buttons, seed beads and sequins. Best if sewn on. Adds some specialness to your design! $0.25-$5.00.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Set A: Girl Fun!
#14, Mushroom Meadows
Set B: Purple Sweet!
# 10, Sugar-Coated
Set C: Secret Octo!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
One of the only drawbacks I saw was that many vendors had the same or simmilar items: there were a lot of T-shirts, Asian and Hawaiian print fabric household goods (like baby blankets, bags, napkins, tablecloths)... in many ways I expected it to be a little more hip and young... don't get me wrong it was still awesome, and there were many vendors selling unique and beautiful things. I guess it was just particularly noticeable to me because I was specifically looking for kawaii items like you see on etsy, like fimo charms, kawaii japanese import fabrics made into items, and amigurumi. I was especially shocked to find that there was not a single vendor dedicated to selling amigurumi, not even sewn plushies! I guess that means if I did participate in the craft fair, I wouldn't have that much competition, but still, I was more than a little surprised to say the least.
Anyway, here are some of my favorites vendors, which especially stood out to me because of their displays, and their nice products (which I found very appealing!). Here we go:
Wire and flower bead rings from Angie's Beads... such a sweet vendor; she was so polite and her jewelry was very affordable and soooo beautiful!
Nice displays, clockwise from Top left- Ceramic mushrooms from Li-Nan Ceramic Garden Art, Angie's Bead's display, Mesh and wire flower hair picks from Tropical Silk, Berry-Sweet Bath & Body.
Monday, December 1, 2008
B. Purple sweet!
Huzzah, I'm doing a give-away for Christmas (or any other holiday in this season, your preference :) There are two chancest to win;
- A includes a crocheted unazukin I did a while back, 3 paper covered pencils that have bunnies and strawberries, 3 bento sauce holders and a pack of kawaii girl stickers.
- B includes a new style of bearlet (crocheted and felted) but in mini; he's the first one I made using this new style, 3 paper pencils featuring hamsters and cherries, a bath bear zippered pouch and 2 bento sauce holders.
December 1st to December 15
(because that's when I get out of school... I think). To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post, if you have a preference between a and b, please note it (the first person I pull get's their first choice, the second person I pull gets the other set)! On December 15th I'll do a drawing using a random number generator, and then notify the winners, who will need to provide me with an address. Then the prizes will be on their way to lovely new homes!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
- Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston
- I Get a Kick Out of You by Jaime Cullum
- The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
- No One by Alicia Keys
- Rock Steady by No Doubt
- Viva La Vida by Coldplay
- Come on Eileen by Save Farris
- Ping Island by Mark Mothersbaugh
- On Love, In Sadness, by Jason Mraz
- Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- Remind Me by Royksopp
- Wish I by Jem
- Chocolate by Snow Patrol
- Men Senara by Bebe
- Sunshine (Go Away Today) by Jonathan Edwards
- Cupid by Jack Johnson
- I'm Yours by Jason Mraz
Doing: Washing my car... it consists of me driving my car around in the rain. All clean!
Making: Lots of stuff for Black Friday, in case people want to avoid crowded malls. 3 new pudding bearlets (2 purin flavor, 1 strawberry flavor... available in my shop 11.26.08 at approximately 10:30 pm Hawai`i time), many bearlets in a new style, a mushroom, a catepillar, keychains etc. And hopefully I'll get to some reindeer and snowmen before Christmas is over!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Luckily, I do have a bunch of stuff already made; mostly zippered pouches and clutches, but I do have a few amigurumi. I'll be listing them over this week. Best of all, I have a special going on with my zippered pouches (seeing as how I have so many of them)... I think I'll keep the special until Christmas. Anyway, they're deeeeply discounted if you buy three of them; normally I sell them for $8 each, but if you buy three (say for giving to your friends and family as gifts or stocking stuffers) you'll get all three for $20+$3 shipping around the world. That's actually the lowest I've ever sold them, and I think it may be one of the lowest prices on etsy. It's limited to the stock I have on hand, and the berrysprite fabric pouches are excluded (I know, I know... but I haven't even made anymore yet!)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
- Roundnose pliers
- chainnose pliers
- wire snips
- kawaii beads (plastic or acrylic work just as well as ceramic, wood or glass beads...endless possibilities!
- headpins (at least 1" or 2.54 cm in length; if it's a little longer its easier to work with)
- jump or splitrings
1. Thread your bead onto the headpin. If the hole of the bead is too big to stay on the headpin, slip a sequin onto the headpin before you put the bead on... that way the sequin will act as a shiny stopper!
2. Using the roundnose pliers, bend the wire of the headpin at a 90˚ angle, leaving a little room between the bead (pushed all the way against the head of the headpin) and the bend. This way, you'll have some room to coil the wire down.
3. Hold and wrap the wire around the end of the roundnose pliers so that a loop is formed on the pliers, use the chainnose pliers with your other hand to wrap approximately 2-3 coils around the base wire, as close as possible to the bead. Snip off any excess wire.
4. Attach to anything using jump or split rings (if you are really good you can just wire wrap your bead onto a zipper or anything else right away, so you don't have to use jump or split rings).
5. Voila! Enjoy!