Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Still waiting....

Thanks so much for all the well wishes on the property search guys... we actually put in an offer for a piece and now we are just waiting for the seller to counter/ accept; I can hardly wait! It's only been one day since we made the offer, but it feels like much, much longer! I don't want to jinx it, so I'll just leave it at that for now; but I promise there's a great story behind it :D

To take my mind of the anticipation, I doodled a bit with the idea that I would color it in with my new crayola colored pencils. I don't know about you guys, but I can't resist markers, pens, erasers and cute books/ notepads... Having Target in Hawai`i now is killing me (have you seen some of their cute notebooks? They're designs are really great!) Drawing this fish made me think of an idea for an amigurumi series... to be started whenever I get the chance!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big Island!

We're flying to the Big Island tomorrow! It's just a day trip, and we're leaving really early in the morning (like 5am!) and coming back late at night. The main purpose of our trip is to look at real estate; my family is going to pool our money and hopefully buy some land where we can build our dream house. As you guys probably know, everything is crazy expensive in Hawai`i, which is why I've lived in an apartment my whole life... the only way we'll all be able to get a house right now is if we all work together, and we move to a neighbor island.

This property is near Volcano National park and not too far from Hilo... isn't it pretty? We're looking at building our dream house (my dad is a contractor, so its totally possible)... my part of it will definitely include a craft room/ workshop! Wish me luck!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Amigurumi Craft Series #4 Photographing outside

I happened to get outside this past weekend, and I decided to take some pictures of this little lamb (you may have seen him before!). I really love being able to take pictures of my amigurumi in nature; I think they look more "alive" that way, ha ha! If I could (as in, if I lived in a house with a yard rather than an apartment) I would probably take pictures of all my stuff in nature 24/7!

I've actually been photographing my amigurumi outside for a little bit, and I've learned 10 valuable lessons that I'd love to share with you... this is by no means a comprehensive list (though its still long, phew!), feel free to comment with your own suggestions! Here is Amigurumi Craft Series #4, Photographing Outside!

  • Make sure the exposure/ lighting settings on your camera are adjusted to your preference; there is a significant difference between outside and inside light. I personally always have my exposure settings dialed up... I feel this makes the pictures turn out brighter. When I am outside, however, I make sure to turn my exposure settings down a tiny bit; this is because being outside means there is light coming from many more directions (and in much greater strength than there is indoors). Because all cameras vary, I am hesitant to tell you guys a set number for your settings... don't be afraid to experiment (take lots and lots of photos using different settings to see what you like best... don't forget to take note of what settings you are using when).
  • Speaking of lighting, do NOT take pictures in direct sunlight; this will often cast weird shadows below your item. It can also makes colors different (sometimes more saturated, sometimes more washed out) than they may be face to face. A slightly overcast day will be your best option.
  • I've found that the best time to photograph often varies from season to season (and also depends on the weather, and probably on where you live) but as a rule of thumb I like around 11:00 in the morning or 2:00 in the afternoon. Try not to take pictures in the early morning or late afternoon (too dark) or 12 noon (when the sun is directly overhead). However, I do live kinda near to the equator, so this may differ for you... experiment, experiment, experiment!
  • Make sure you don't put your amigurumi in the dirt... use a leaf or another natural object to keep your ami clean!
  • Use a prop (such as a twig) to help your amigurumi stand up without your help... this way your hand won't be in the frame. I've used wire, clean lollipop sticks, twigs, anything available! Propping your amigurumi up will make it look more alive and like it's interacting with nature!
  • Don't be afraid of incorporating things you find in the picture; some of my best pictures have been of my amigurumi inquisitively looking at a flower, or some berries, or even climbing a tree. Look for interesting leaves, shoots in the ground, bark, sticks, even little puddles.
  • Remember that you'll often have to get on the ground with your amigurumi to get a good shot; keep in mind perspective and scale... try to get close to your amigurumi so they don't get lost in the landscape (although sometimes it's cute to have a huge picture with a tiny amigurumi in the corner) and don't forget that you will most likely crop your photo... keep that in mind as you shoot!
  • Take your pictures from many different angles... you can always select your favorites later! Remember which angles you liked and make sure you always replicate those shots with other amigurumi you're photographing... odds are you'll like them for that ami too!
  • Remember that you should edit your pictures before you post them; this includes lightening shadowed areas, sharpening enhancing color, cropping, etc!
  • Just have fun with your amigurumi, if you think your photo will turn out well and are confident/ happy when you take your shot, it will definitely show up in your picture! And, (just to be safe) take lots and lots of pictures!

Friday, March 19, 2010


I went to Marukai today, and besides being reminded that I haven't blogged about the wonder that is Marukai yet, I found this really awesome candy from Japan! They're called "Popin' Cookin'" and they are basically little candy doughs that you form into more familiar food shapes, such as pizza, burgers, pies, cakes and even little sushi! Half the fun of this candy is in making it yourself; you roll, mix, blend, color, shape, scrape, etc and use your imagination and creativity to make a delicious sweet treat!

back of box with instructions

This picture shows how to make the kobbiko (roe) for the sushi set... isn't it neat? And I bet you thought eating candy was simple! The picture is from this blog, which has a really good write up and actual review of the candy.

The candy is manufactured by a company called Kracie which makes beauty products as well; I used google to translate their website for the candy and it was pretty hilarious! This is what it came up with:

Bloody murder paste? Haha! I never knew bloody murder paste tasted like sweet sweet candy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kappa stuffs!

This time it really is true... I'm working on a pattern to be sold in my etsy shop! Basically its taken me so long because I've been waffling between different ways of actually doing it; for example, what kind of information and pictures should I include in my pattern? Anyway, I think I've finally figured it out and I am more than 3/4 of the way to completing my first pattern.... for a kappa no less! I decided to do a kappa (and pickle) since they are so cute and relatively easy... plus there's not a lot of patterns for kappa on etsy already. I spent my weekend break time polishing my pattern writing skills and making a cute little paper set for my kappa babies.... I really like the way it turned out! Anyway, I'll let you know when I finish it... there may be another contest (a pattern testing giveaway) in the near future, so if you know how to crochet and are willing to judge, be on the lookout!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Giveaway winner!

And the winner is....Kimiko who picked the number 14 (which was then picked by the random number generator)! Huzzahzles all around! A big congratulations Kimiko, who is a lovely person that I've actually known from etsy almost from the beginning (luv luv!) Kimiko, please email me your mailing address so I can send the kappa phone holder to you straight away! Thanks so much to everyone else who left a comment (I wish you all... could have won... it was so fun to see the numbers everyone picked), and stay tuned for more goodies (like links to free patterns, future giveaways and more!) Big hugs everyone!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Giveaway! Enter to win March 7 to March 13

Since I missed Girl's Day and I'm probably going to miss St. Patrick's Day too (you guys know me and my procrastination!) I figured I'd do a little giveaway! In fact, I have two giveaways, and you can enter both! Go to my facebook and become a fan to enter to win a cute little whale USB hub! On this blog you can win this cute little kappa cell phone holder I got at Shirokiya (a Japanese goods and food store) here in Hawai`i: Don't forget to check back when the winner is announced on March 14!

Here are some instructions: Leave a comment with a number you have chosen between 1 and 100; please don't pick a number anyone else has left! Once everyone has entered (and in time for the 14th) I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner! Good luck everyone!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March calendar is ready for download!

Yay, March's free downloadable calendar/ wallpaper is now available for download, on my flickr or on my photobucket (your choice!). I'm getting better at making them, because I just did this one tonight :D Here's the story:

Scout the rabbit, Oscar the bear and Blackie the cat love playing in the rain... luckily the clovers have grown big enough to be umbrellas!

I especially love Scout's expression... like she's in heaven! That's how I feel in the rain too :D
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