Tuesday, July 31, 2007

wee bearlet

Whew, still busy on the manuscript, and I just realized that my summer's going to be cut short because I have to go and learn how to be a TA. Boo, I miss those carefree days of crafting ( but I guess that's part of growing up :). Only four more chapters left in the manuscript (see, I have too been working hard, even on weekends!)

Did a whole bunch of sewing zippered pouches and pajama shorts (shorts are for me) this weekend; I can't wait for next weekend to perfect my clutches and drawstring pouches.

Here is another custom order for a wee bearlet, especially for a blythe or pullip doll; I must say he came out cute! About 2.5" (6cm), the hardest part were his arms and legs.

Still trying to figure out my fall classes; Does two seminars, a language and two regular graduate classes sound like too much? Methinks maybe... I can't wait to register for classes though because then I can maybe get a parking stall at school (otherwise I have to walk and wake up an hour earlier). Walking will be good for me though, I know, I just don't want to be known as "that sweaty TA."

Monday, July 23, 2007

fixed links

Okay, ha ha I fixed the links in the tutorial... sorry about that! PS. I got that really cute little guy in the photos at the Urban Outfitters in the Santa Monica Promenade when I visited my sister in the mainland... He was the last one, actually a display missing some pieces, but I NEEDED him. He was also only $2!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

berry tutorial

I feel like making strawberries can make your day a little brighter, so here is a very quick tutorial for crochet amigurumi strawberries!

They are super cute and easy to make, they use up only little bits of polyfil, yarn and sequins so they are very economical gifts :) You could use them as decorations, tie them to gift bags, make them into keychains, and use them in your amigurumi. They are super easy and fast too; you only need to know how to single stitch!

10 ft (~3.05 m) of yarn; it’s really not that much
7-10 sequins or more, depending on how many seeds you want
1.25x1.25” (~3.5 cm) square of felt
Small wad of polyfil

Jumprings and embroidery thread for a keychain attachment
Small strip of felt for a stem
Coil-less safety pin

Crochet needle (G or F; my preference is F)
Needle and thread
Glue gun

Starting Crochet:

See these websites for great tutorials on basic crochet techniques; to start all of my amigurumi I use the magic ring formation here, but you can also:

1.) Crochet 2 sc, then crochet 6 sc in the second stitch from the needle. * use this for 1.) in pattern.*

Here is the pattern, x is a single stitch, XX is two single stitches in one single stitch, and V means decrease.

1.) x x x x x x (6 single stitches)
2.) XX XX XX XX XX XX (12 single stitches)
3.) x XX x XX x XX x XX x XX x XX (18 single stitches)
4.) x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x (18 stitches)
5.) x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x (18 stitches)

6.) - ????) x V x V x V x V x V x V

I just keep decreasing this way until it is closed. Don’t forget to put in the polyfil before it is all the way closed; pull the thread you began your work with through the inside of the strawberry with your crochet needle so it doesn’t show. Use your crochet needle to poke in the polyfil if it’s difficult. When you’ve close the berry up, pull the finishing yarn into your berry so it doesn’t show, and cut it off if it pokes through.

For the Leaves:

1.) Cut out a circle from the felt (it doesn’t have to be nice)
2.) Snip little triangles out of the felt so you have something that looks like a flower.
3.) snip the corners off the rectangular “petals” of flower, and shape them so they look nice.

You can use hot glue or a needle and thread, depending on the purpose of the berry ( ie., I sew on the sequins and jumprings if it is for a keychain) I’ll explain gluing:

1.) If you want a keychain: For the keychain, thread the knotted embroidery thread through your berry, making sure the knot disappears into the berry and the thread itself is secure. The end of the needle and thread should come out on the top part of the berry, where the leaves will go. Thread the needle through the center of the leaves, and use a ring of hot glue on the leaf top to glue them to the strawberry. Sew the jumprings onto the leaf top, securely knot and pull through the berry. Trim the thread.

3.) If you want a regular berry: Glue the leaf top to the bad side of the berry (the bad side is the finishing side, the good side is where you started the crochet.) Glue on the stem by putting a small bead of glue on the leaf top and pressing the flat stem down onto the leaf
4.)1.) Glue on the sequins, spacing them evenly if desired. It is less messy and easier to do them one at a time; I glue the sequin on flat side facing out to the world.
Bum bada bum! You are done with your sweet new berry, perfect for sharing with friends!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I've been so busy, I haven't even had time to do my blog! It's been nothing for my store or anything good though, just this manuscript! Huh. Frustrating. No worries though, I have resolved the conflicts within myself through blogging once again. Here is a custom order for a tiny lamb that was in my store for only a couple hours; the girl who bought it was really sweet. It was supposed to be based on the other lamb I had with grey arms, ears and legs, but I forgot and made him all cream colored. She loved it anyway, and bought it lightning quick! This is a special tiny amigurumi, made especially for a blythe or pullip doll.

I had one customer who requested a custom order who never contacted me again after I told her it was ready, so I was a little mad about that, because I feel like a reserved item loses its exposure to the etsy world when it isn't listed as a "free" item and when people don't buy it, it may be harder to sell. But then yay! Someone super nice bought it! So far all of my other custom order customers have been the nicest, nicest people; so patient and excited (it makes me happy) :)

Here is something I hope to post a tutorial for soon, hopefully by the end of the weekend: a little berry! I'm thinking you could stick it on an amigurumi or make it into a key chain like I did for one customer.

Seriously, you guys have the best ideas... so many things in my store are from ideas of truly brilliant people! Thanks readers and customers for all of your ingenious suggestions!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy fruits

New Amigurumi fruits for my etsy, to be posted throughout the week! I dunno what the yellow fruit is. Neither does he, but he's not complaining :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Happy Friday the 13th!

I came that close to being born on Friday the 13th! It might have been cool... you never know. Been extreeemely busy with my job, but the good news is the author and I had a meeting with the publishers and they were positively glowing about the passages I had inserted into the manuscript (big pat on the back for moi :). So I haven't had much time to anything, even though all my orders are finished; I mostly work on the weekends for my shop now. I did get a chance to sew some of those bags with the fruit; it still needs some working out as this prototype is kinda wonky (see where the sides don't line up...). Oh, and i made this really cute pincusion from that aforementioned tutorial, which will be in my shop shortly. Yep, so things are movin' along until August...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

books and buttons

So I went to the Friends of the Library Booksale last week and I never got around to posting it! They had literally thousands of books, which they were constantly replenishing... as soon as you were done with one box they put out another! It was very crowded and sweaty because it was in a school cafeteria, but it was worth it; I got some stamp books, a japanese map book and some really cute kids books. This little girl was so sweet (and totally absorbed in the fairytales), I had to take her picture. Hopefully I'll be able to make some buttons out of my books using my future button machine. :)

Speaking of buttons, I scored these really cool buttons which you
can cover with fabric yourself for really great prices! So expect to see some really cool stuff out of those babies. There is a cool tutorial on how-about-orange, (see previous post for link)on how to make these types of buttons into nifty thumbtacks. Her blog is so cool; I envy her blogging skills.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Handmade stickers a-comin'

I got one of those little sticker machines about a month ago, and I've been sending them out with some of my packages since then. So I was thinking, maybe its about time I put some in my shop. Tada! Fun fruits hand drawn and cut out by me! Depending if these do well or not, I'll have sea creatures, mushrooms etc. I've also been working on some felt pins (i've got a really good idea for a jellyfish one)and sewing some zippered pouches. Just you guys wait till I get my birthday presents... I'll hopefully have some really cool japanese pouches in my shop after that! Meanwhile, check out this awesome awesome blog with a cutie tutorial on bottlecap pincushions...neato!It's here -> howaboutorange . I need some bottlecaps real bad; better drink some liter cola!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Apparently everyone's doing it

So I wish I wasn't another person just jumping on the bandwagon, but who hasn't wanted a cartoon caricature of themselves? Plus, the maker of the Simpsons is the maker of Futurama, my nightly cartoon indulgence. So now when I am watching tv late at night I can pretend I'm watching myself (its vain, I know). Yep, this weekend I hope to FINISH all my orders (if I don't get anymore that is), sew some of those great pouches, and make some new stuff for my store!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Baby birds!

We went to the botanical gardens again today to have a picnic... I was putting my crochet stuff on the table (yes I crochet practially everywhere. sigh.) and then I looked down and I saw..... BABY BIRDS! They were just sitting on the grass and I nearly stepped on them! I started screaming like crazy because I came that close to stepping on them both, and they didn't even move or make a sound. They were mejiro birds, also known as japanese white eye bird, which are these tiny green birds we have in Hawaii. They were only about an inch and a half long (4cm) I kid you not. I was going to take them home but their momma and daddy were right there in the tree; they were in the middle of a flying lesson (I know because I went away and watched what was happening)! Here they are... aren't they adorable? I have too many birds already though, so its good that they had their family. I tell you, I am a baby bird/ wounded animal magnet. Yes, I feel inspired by their pretty color... perhaps some green in my store would be nice.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

New craftiness for my store!

Yay, I finally had time to start some of the other projects I had in mind, as I'm down to my last 5 or so orders! Its been so great having all these custom orders, but I'm so happy to be doing something a little different, even if it was only for a couple of hours. Here are some earrings that I made using those craft earstuds (I believe they are surgical steel or nickel plated). The little flowers are actually glass beads that I got in two shops here in Hawaii; Bead It! and Bella Beads. Bead It! is pretty expensive, but if you are only buying a few beads, they are okay. Bella Beads has great selection and are less expensive, but every time I drive by, they are closed! They turned out really cute; since jewelry listings tend to get buried, I will list them sporadically in my shop so everyone will get a chance to see the cuteness. Also, I will be making some bags out of this really cute material! I LOVE the fruits so hard. Is the pattern familiar to anyone? No? It is a vinyl tablecloth from K-mart! I was originally worried that it would be hard to sew (not true, its really thin) and then I was worried that iron-in interfacing would melt it (low setting, quick motions). Yays! I will be making clutches and zippered pouches shortly! I'm so happy :)
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