Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Fruits of Spring Break

As Spring Break comes to an end, I'll use this time to reflect on some things that I have accomplished:

  • Some custom orders (there are still some left, but I made some real progress)
  • 2 pairs of shorts (which I saw online and copied sneakily)
  • blythe items, including 3 little ami's, and 4 hats (could use the moola)
  • some research for my thesis (most interesting thing stumbled upon: a book written entirely in Hawaiian titled Ke Keiki Pionea or The Pioneer Child, all about Abraham Lincoln in the late 1860s).
  • fimo stuffs (product development >__<
  • a lot of sleeping and walking around in the sunlight (am still ghostly pale)

Hilarious campy movie: Dororo
Movie which will change your perception of George Clooney: Burn After Reading

These are some fruits of my labor, if you will, which I made a while back for a store that I was potentially going to send my stuff to here in Hawai`i, but I ended up not going through with it because I don't think I 'm ready for that type of commitment! But can you imagine how awesome it would be to be at a craft fair? I'm excited for next semester, when I won't be teaching and a bonafide craft-fair will be a possibility (but I'm also scared that I should get a real job)!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Coming to my shop soon!

Ah yes, Spring break is almost finished, and I still have a few custom orders to take care of; I spent all day cleaning out my supplies and everything so it's nice and tidy. We actually had to raise my bed up so I could fit more things under it! Anyway, besides being busy custom crafting and cleaning, I also managed to photograph some of the things I've had done for a bit, including a bunch of stuff for blythe. Here they are, a small preview just for you guys; my favorite is the strawberry helmet (PS. I got my MSR a while ago, but I haven't properly introduced her... her name is Penn from her former mama, fishknees on etsy!). All for blythe: a pink bear, a magenta and white bear, a blue elephant, 2 gnome hats (one in cream and one in lavendar) and a strawberry helmet!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

amigurumi craft series #3: turning

I've been making amigurumi for a while, but I've only recently started turning them inside-out; I think it's mostly a matter of choice. What do I mean when I say turning them inside-out? Here you go!
When you crochet in the round (as you do when you are making amigurumi parts), there is a significant difference between the way the stitches look on the outside, and the inside. I usually leave it as-is and stuff and sew the pieces together. However, I think many people like to turn those pieces inside-out; it makes a difference in appearance! On the outside, the stitches are more rectangular, but when turned inside-out, they appear rounder and fuller. In terms of aesthetics, turning them inside out means that your amigurumi's stuffing is less visible, such that the very same amount of stuffing in an item will show LESS in an item that is turned inside-out than in an item that is just stuffed right after you finish crocheting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Work in Progress... this little girl is already promised to someone but she has yet to be named... I think I may have one but I don't want to say it out loud just yet (or write it.. whatever the case may be). These yarns are quite nice, I picked them up at a few specialty yarn shops around the island; I try to get as many colors as possible. Then one on the top left is a really bright blue bubbly yarn, the one in the center is like a periwinkle teri yarn with glitter and the little sweetie is made out of a seafoam green yarn that is SUPER soft... it's quite lovely actually!
So I'm loving specialty yarns, especially for the bearlets I do with needle felted limbs. However, I'm really bummed that my local Wal-mart has stopped stocking bernat softee chunky style yarn; now they only have caron super soft (in drab colors), red heart, and Vanna's choice. I've never tried Vanna's choice, do you guys find that it's good? I was a bit peeved because it only comes in these huge skeins and they are more costly than bernat was (the colors are nice though). I think a lot of craft stores are downsizing their yarn selections because of the economy (like I've heard rumors that Joann's is, and Michaels too) which makes me sad because I love a good yarn :) Luckily I have a huge stash of yarn which will last me for many more amigurumi :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Break!

Yay, spring break has started today; I finished my last class today at 4:00 (a bit earlier than usual for my seminar). Ohhh, the crafting I have planned! To celebrate, I just listed my bear lollipops in my etsy. I've talked about these pops since January, always building your hopes up only to make them crash right back down (so sorry about that!). At first I wanted to make just a few for Valentine's Day, but then I thought it would be awesome if I made a BUNCH. So I made a bunch, only to find that I ran out of time to photograph them; have to work on time management in the near future, hee hee. So here are the infamous bear lollipops now, at long last, huzzah!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quick Addendum: seller appreciation picture!

Thanks for the comments guys! I guess I wasn't the only one who thought of this (rats!) but it was really great to hear that you guys think it's a good thing. I was so excited about it (and also I was procrastinating) so I made this as my first seller appreciation picture... hope you like it! So now, every feedback I leave for a customer will have this picture (or a similar picture, 'cause I'm not sure yet if I want to change them every month or every now and then!). Made with inkscape!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Survey says?

I have been thinking about this a while, and it's something that I think is theoretically available to etsy sellers; I thought it might be a good idea to ask you guys what you think.

When a someone buys something, they can leave an appreciation picture with their feedback. Etsy has created an option for a seller to view all of their appreciation pictures; kinda like you can collect appreciation pictures (it makes me happy to see the ones I have!) Anyway, I haven't seen it at all on etsy (so maybe you can't do it) but as a seller I think leaving an appreciation picture for my customers when I leave them feedback would do a number of things, including; allowing them to collect pictures even though they aren't sellers, allow me to thank them in a way that is additional to feedback, and also give my shop some exposure (I mean come on... who else is doing this?) I just don't know if buyers would mind getting pictures with their feedback. I think the possibilities are really great for promoting your shop (in a subtle, non annoying way), possibly by creating different appreciation pictures for different months, so that buyers could collect them and have a range of designs from your shop. I personally would do all of mine on inkscape, so they'd be a graphic, but you could also use real photographs of yourself, your items etc. So... what do you guys think?

PS. This is a partial design from some fabric ideas I have bouncing around!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Getting ready for St. Patrick's Day

I like to coordinate the colored backgrounds in my shop, and I've worked it out so that there will be lots of green for St. Patrick's day... here's what's coming up!

Bird's nest bearlet... I finally completed him!

Another caramel town pouch

a bird mini clutch

And what could this be?... You'll have to wait and see!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Today's adventure

Today I had a lot of work to do so I didn't get any crocheting done, but I absolutely HAD to go get some supplies to make a lei for my friend to congratulate her! Because Longs is so close to my house, I decided to walk there (10 minutes). I think when most people think of Hawai`i, they think of lei. When they think of lei, they think of flowers. However, not all lei have to be made of flowers; they can also be made from shells, seeds, beads, pearls, and many different things. I decided to make my friend a candy lei for extra enjoyment; they are also really common here; in fact, Longs was selling pre-made candy lei!

Lei are usually given for birthdays, holidays, special events, congratulations, and even just because. However, the absolute best time for leis is... graduation time, right around May and June. I've seen pictures of graduations on the mainland where students may have one or two purple orchid lei, and let me tell you... its kinda sad (haha, I'm rubbing it in!) Orchid leis are usually considered cheap and tacky (I hate to say it but this lei is mostly associated with tourists); if you get that type of lei from someone you might think a number of things
  1. the person who bought it for me ran out of time/forgot and had to get it last minute from Wal-Mart (yep, Wal-mart sells orchid lei's; so does 7-11 sometimes!)
  2. I must owe them money
At my highschool graduation, every single graduate in my class had a stack of leis so high that it covered their head to the point of not being able to see, like where your nose, mouth and ears are all covered and you have to push down the leis in the front so you can see out of them! Plus dozens of leis are strung around each arm of the graduate, plus aunties, moms and grandmas holding the other overflow lie... No Joke ( I wouldn't lie to you guys!) We become walking flower pillars during graduation time!

Although orchid leis are given, they are usually triply supplemented by all different kinds of lei, ones that actually smell good and made from flowers that are NOT orchids (such as ginger, tuberose, plumeria, pakalana, puakenikeni, rose bud, ohi`a, etc). Actually, these types of flowers wouldn't ship very well, so maybe that's why you can only find them in places like Hawai`i (We're so lucky!). There are also lei that are made from leaves, vines and berries such as the maile lei (fragrant vine), ti leaf (twisted to look like rope) and mokihana (rare, sometimes substituted with sea grape berries). And that is how it is at all graduations here in Hawaii ;) I'd show you a picture of me with my lei but it is seriously buried deep, deep within my closet under piles of other pictures, clothes and an old ironing board.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this candy lei with you because I BET you guys can make one too, even if you don't have flowers, wherever you are. All you need is a length of poly tubing or netting (maybe cellophane? I'm sure a bunch of stuff will work), some individually packaged colorful candy, and curling ribbon.

Tubing... I got the 2" wide one. You should plan on using about 3.5 ft or 105 cm, which will give you enough room to adjust length if you have a tall or short person.

Sigh... this candy is too expensive; it's imported from Japan and is really popular

Perfect! Some gummy strawberries, gum, and hard candy!

These are Japanese glass candies, popular for Girl's Day, also called Tutti Frutti candies.

To make the lei, just slip the candy in the tubing and tie of each section using the curling ribbon. Curl the ribbon after you have achieved the desired length and put the two ends of your lei together.


Monday, March 9, 2009

2 more weeks until Spring Break!

Short, meaningless post... but I feel like it's good to post something every two days so it doesn't get boring! Anyway, two more weeks until Spring Break. To illustrate the concept of two, we have a photo of two turtles sunning themselves at the Honolulu Zoo, which I took a few months ago when I went for fun. It seems that getting older also means regressing into doing/ liking fun things that you did/ liked when you were little. Which might explain my obsession with kawaii items and my making of amigurumi/ toys. Oh well, that's all for now... cheerio!

P.S. Thanks so much for the encouragement guys! I'm working on my app for that internship right now!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I know I know, when will I ever get my act together! I had been madly trying to finish this little girl (actually I wanted to make three of them as per my illustration below) for Girl's Day, but alas to no avail. Luckily I am slowly catching up on my custom orders and my schoolwork. Although, keep your fingers crossed for me, I am hoping to apply for a month long research internship at the Smithsonian Museum... I hope I get it! They only choose 12-14 graduate students a year, but I figure I can bring something good to the table because of my background in Hawaiian history (I don't think many candidates have that going for them!). It would be AWESOME!

Anyway, this little Japanese girl is the first I've made in a long, long time, mostly because the first few I made I didn't like that much. I was just starting out with crocheting, and so I made their kimono out of felt. They actually were just crocheted pillars, with a felt sleeve for an arm! This little one is sooo much better, mostly because I've learned how to switch colors nicely while crocheting. I used felt for her obi (sash) and her kimono dressings, as well as for her flowers. She also has glass pearls for the flower centers. Hopefully I'll get a chance to make her some sisters soon! PS. she's in the shop now!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Thanks for all of your comments on my latest amigurumi guys, it helped me to finish him! Here he is, finally ready! I'm especially pleased with the way Patrick and all of his goodies came out: I got the idea for a clover gardener because of St. Patrick's Day (surprisingly though I was having a hard time coming up with a name, then my sister said "Duh, what about Patrick?" Duh indeed!) Anyway, there is a new set of desktop calendars on my flickr and photobucket, just click and download to use as a desktop for your computer! Patrick will be going on sale in my etsy shop Saturday morning, at approximately 10:00 am in case you're interested in nabbing this cutie!

Here's his story and description:

For those of you who wanted to know or guessed... you were right! Patrick is made out of chenille yarn! He also has dark teal limbs with an embroidered snout, and will come with a crocheted red scarf with yellow tiny button, pompom chicken friend made with acrylic yarn, a bit of earth sewn from felt, three clovers which have loops on the end so he can hold them, a basket with a green dotted ribbon, and a handmade fimo ladybug (I especially love the ladybug).

"Patrick is a gardener at heart, he loves spending hours and hours on his little patch of earth, tending the clovers! Sometimes if he's lucky, a ladybug will hide among the clovers and surprise Patrick and his chicken friend, how sweet!"

Enjoy your new desktop calendar featuring Patrick the clover gardener and his friends!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Patrick is almost ready...

Whew, I managed to finish Patrick the other day but I still haven't had a chance to photograph him extensively and make a calendar for all of you lovely people yet... my excuse is February is a shorter month so I couldn't finish him on time! Hopefully by Wednesday, but for now here is another sneak peak of my little Patrick!
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