Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Must stop myself

I think I am addicted to cute stuff and it is slowly draining away my life force. Did I ever tell you that I learned how to crochet amigurumi all by myself because I didn't want to buy them or buy the patterns? So that saved me a ton of money, but I still impulsively buy lotsa stuff; I had to ask my sister if it was sane of me to buy $45 of cute japanese stationary for my future button machine ( which in itself will be like $240). She said no, so I'm going to wait until she is asleep to buy them. I kinda got it out of my system, for now at least, because I went shopping for my birthday presents today. I know, I know it is weird that I buy my own gifts, but I am hilariously hard to shop for. I got a wicked awesome japanese craft book; I'll show it to you guys when I'm allowed to open it! PS. here is some cute tape i got from smeeta on etsy; I lost one already :(

new and improved pachiderm

When I first started crocheting, I had a really hard time designing my elephant, which is weird because it is really just a series of crocheted tubes. My very first one looked like a pink anteater, and my second that sold on etsy had felt instead of crocheted ears. I was asked by a different customer for the felt-eared elephant, but now I'm so much better at crocheting that I crocheted the ears and then put felt on them (and I actually wrote down how I did it). The result? SOOOOOOO CUTE! And she loved it so much, she wanted another one for her boyfriend so I added sweet little tusks (I think I like the boy one better)! They look so kawaii; I want one for myself (so far I only have a tiny mushroom for myself... hee hee). Yep, I plan on making lots of elephants for my shop; next is a light blue one, maybe with a little apple (once I finish my orders that is)!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Food of the gods

So I am working on making my blog easy on the eyes. For those of you who are faithful readers/ etsy viewers, please let me repay the favor; send me YOUR blog address and I'll add it to my list :D
Here is what I am eating, it is so ono (delicious). If you like sashimi, you'll absolutely looove this (if you don't like raw fish, avert yer eyes!). In Hawaii we have poke (poh-kay)which is cubes of raw fish, usually ahi or aku(skipjack tuna)mixed with soy sauce, sesame oil, chili flakes, green and white onions, sometimes seaweed, and sesame seeds. You can also make it with boiled octopus and kimchi sauce, or any other seafood, or tofu. It's pretty healthy and it tastes sooooo goood, not fishy at all! When I was in the mainland for college this is what I really wanted... my friend came home from college and ate all the poke his family was saving for dinner and then got sick (it was like 3 pounds of poke though, I'm pretty sure if you eat three pounds of anything you'll get sick).

Friday, June 22, 2007

New fabrics (again)

Okay, so Kaimuki Dry Goods was having a 81st anniversary sale, so I couldn't resist checking it out. The ad in the paper said "Japanaese cottons-$4.98, regular price to $14.98" so it was too much to pass up! And then I got there and realized the sale stuff was only on this little table. Of course all the fabrics I wanted were NOT on sale, boo. But, the most amazing thing is, they had these cute japanese fabrics! The little old lady who was cutting them said they had just gotten them in last week, and they were already almost gone (she was really cute, she wouldn't cut over the patterns, only around them!). I was seriously debating if I should get them, because as you know I've already gone on two previous fabric binges. I had to get them though, and they are sooooo cute! I haven't even had time to do anything with all my other fabrics, so I'll just add these to the pile I keep unfolding to touch and look at lovingly. This little froggy one I've never seen before, so it is my definite favorite!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In a mailbox far, far away

A-crafting still... Makin' a whole bunch of pandas and flowers. But I'm also brainstorming what I want in my shop when I get the chance to refill it (have you seen it? It's practically empty space!) I really want to make a little amigurumi chicken, with a red comb and yellow beak. Also, a cupcake with a strawberry on top! Oh, the possibilities. I also can't wait to put other stuff in my shop like earring studs, keychains and those sucker things that stick on your windowshield (mine will have small amigurumi attached). Anyway, been doing a lot of job stuff at the archives, so that's why I'm slow right now. The good thing about it is there is a post office right next to the archives (and the royal palace, I kid you not) and there is a mailbox that is R2D2! The label on the box says: uspsjedimaster... Hil-a-rious. I haven't actually mailed anything out of this box though, out of respect for little R2; I go to the ugly boxes.

Monday, June 11, 2007

fish bag tutorial for you!

Hi guys, here is a fish bag tutorial for you; I had these in my store for Boy's Day and I had a request for another bag from a customer, so I made this tutorial while I was making her bag! I originally got the idea for this little fishy bag from local merchants in Guilin, China when I visited 2 years ago (so it's not my original idea!)I bought a whole bunch, but I know not everybody has the chance to go to China, so here is a pattern I developed for them! Hope the instructions are okay, let me know how yours turn out!

Fabric, thread, felt, needle, sewing machine?, string, scissors, paper, ruler, pencil.

Step 1 Create a pattern for your bag using a brown paper grocery bag (yay recycling). Cut the pattern pieces approximately 5/8” larger than you would like your bag to be. One piece (for the head) should be rectangular and the other piece (for the tail) should be shaped like a fish tail, rectangle shaped at the end where it will connect to the head piece. Here are the ratio of lengths x widths I used: head piece= 7”x 5,” tail piece= 6”x 5” at widest point. To make your fish tail congruent, fold your paper in half when drawing your pattern and draw half of the tail. Then cut out the folded piece and unfold… a symmetrical fish tail (you can also do this with the head piece).

Step 2 Pin your pattern pieces to fabric to get two pieces each of the head and tail pieces (it helps to fold fabric so you only have to cut each piece once). Cut out two squares of fabric (approximately 3”x 3”) and sew each one into a little rectangle by folding in half, sewing vertically, then horizontally . Turn right side out for fins.

Step 3
Embroider scales on fish tail using machine or by hand. Repeat for both sides. Scales on my fish bag were approximately 1” apart, starting at tail joint and ending approximately 1.5” before edge of fabric on top part of fish tail (remember to account for 5/8” seam allowance in placement of scales).

Step 4
Insert fin between fish tail and head fabrics (tail and head fabrics should be right sides facing, wrong sides exposed to the world). Open part of fin should still be visible, closed part should be sandwiched. Pin fabric to make sewing easier.

Step 5
Stitch head and tail together, with fin sandwiched inside. Repeat for other side.

Step 6
Cut 2 pieces of lining using one of the sides as a guideline. WARNING: cut very carefully!

Step 7
Cut a large eye and small pupil from felt. Sew or glue together. Mine were Approximately 1” in diameter and 3/4” in diameter.

Step 8
Sew eye to bag, approximately 1” away from seam joining head and tail pieces, and ¼” away from fin. Keep in mind the 5/8” seam allowance in placing the eye. Repeat for other side (note: eye placement on opposite piece should be in the opposite side of the fin.) Check the eye placement on second piece by facing right sides of both pieces together and lining up the eyes.

Step 9
Sew exterior pieces of the bag together (I find it helpful to start from the tail). Leave about 2” on each side at the opening of the bag (these will be folded over in the next step).

Step 10
Snip the bag on the extra fabric provided by the 5/8” seam allowance a little below the 2” you left unsewn on the top of the bag. This will allow you to fold it over and stitch it down. Each side of the bag (right and left) should have two folds to stitch down. Do not the two sides on top of each other!

Step 11
Sew the lining the same way, checking it to make sure it will fit smoothly inside the sewn exterior pieces (If you don’t check it, it could be much too big when you finally sew then together. Sew up to 1” away from the edge of the bag (this makes it easier to fold down later).

Step 12
Turn the lining inside out, so that the seams are on the inside and the outside looks finished. Place the sewn exterior of the bag inside the lining (NOTE: the exterior should be wrong sides on the outside, with the right sides facing each other on the inside.) So;
Lining= right sides out, wrong sides in
Exterior= wrong sides out, right sides in
Fold the lining down on the inside so that you get a smooth edge. Make sure you fold the lining on top of the folded down exterior piece so that you have a tube on the top. Pin in place and stitch down. Sew it nicely, as this part will show!

Step 13
Turn bag right side out, and use string to create drawstrings. (It helps to use a safety pin threaded through a knot on one side of the string to pull the string through.)

Step 14:
Live it up with your fish bags yo.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

New fabrics and toys

Yay, my new fabrics are here! And I must say, they are A-dorable. I can't wait to play with them! My favorite would have to be the blue one with the little pigs and mushrooms; I saw this fabric once or twice on etsy and was like "oooh, I need that fabric!". They will be especially nice as buttons; I hope to get one with funds from all my orders! Hoo, so happy! Here are also some cute shoyu (soy sauce) dispensers from Marukai (I couldn't resist). Making progress on my orders, yessiree bob!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thursday musings

I must say, busy is what I am. I've been showing my friend from California around the island, and it was raining, so we just drove around for FOUR hours. We literally drove across the same mountain range three times, on each of the three highways. And the whole time I was with him I was like, "Man, I wish I could be crocheting to catch up on my orders!" On top of that, I have to figure out how to tell the author of the manuscript I'm editing that his premise for the first chapter doesn't jive with Hawaiian culture and that he needs to accept my revisions or there will be no book. It's my way or the highway (but I feel bad because he's an old man and he's alreadty frustrated with the publishers). And my other friend called and she wants to visit too; I haven't called her back yet because I don't want her to visit me! I am so mean. I had to take a break from being mean by making business cards... when I draw cute things I calm down a lot. Also, my bird calms me down. Here he is in my pen bag waiting for me to play with him. He got some pen on him, so now it looks like he has half of a green mustache.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


So, the bad thing about not being a pro at crocheting is that I have no idea as to how to proportionally increase or decrease the size of amigurumi. So for this special request amigurumi (a 10" panda mommy with a panda bearlet baby), I had to take out the head and make it bigger, then smaller, and then bigger again. Arrrgh. I think I may have OCD because when I start a part of an amigurumi, I MUST finish it, no matter how many times I had to take it out and try again, or how late it is or whatever. The good thing is, once I figure it out for the first time, I write it down and then I'll have it forever. To make the panda bigger than normal, I also had to buy thicker yarn and use a size H needle (usually I use F). It was actually lucky that the customer wanted a panda, because I could only find thick yarn in black and white! Anyway, all that work paid off, because the mommy and baby panda are extremely cute... I'll post a finished picture later!

Friday, June 1, 2007

I am a fabric buying machine!

Okay, so I got a call from the publisher of the manuscript I'm editing about my contract, and the pay rate is way higher than I thought it would be (yay!). Plus, all my paperwork came in for my Teaching Assistantship. Plus, I have a ton of orders on etsy. So I was very bad and I bought lots of Japanese fabric from this website: reprodepot.com. This was bad because it was more expensive than other fabric I buy and I already went on fabric shopping sprees this year (like when I went to California to visit my sister but that was just an excuse to go to JoAnn's Fabrics). It was also very good because it wasn't as expensive as other websites I've been on and they had more selection than the other stores (well, at least right now). I also like to look at superbuzzy.com and kitty-craft.com, but I've never bought anything. Hopefully I'll make some really cute stuff out of these fabrics; these are just two of them!
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