Monday, June 13, 2011

I love that story.

School's out, kids are home, and mommy plans lots of day trips. At our house if we stay in one place too long, someone is going to get into a fight. So instead of waiting for the inevitable, we are out the door, visiting a bounce house, swimming, checking out library books, heck, even Ikea counts as something to do. Every day when we drive into the neighborhood its a contest to see who will get the mail. Usually before I can get the words out, "Who wants to get--", I'm cut off by three little shouts of "ME!" Its the ultimate reward when one of them gets the mail and there's a key inside the mailbox. That means there's.....a PACKAGE.
So today when we got the mail there was that extra little key to the extra big mailbox. And what was in that package?

It was the Interweave Crochet Amigurumi Calendar! Look right there in the middle. See that stripey pink monster? That's Lovey and she's mine! I wasn't expecting it yet so when it came I was so surprised! All the stuff in the calendar is really adorable. I'm not sure when it will be available to order but my guess would be before 2012. Ha.

See all those other cute toys in there? Pretty neat, huh?

Besides admiring my monster in the glossy new calendar I got today, I'm working on more iam8bit stuff. This is totally NOT giving anything away if I show you these sneak peeks of what I'm doing for a new project for the show. Really. You will probably think its one thing but it will be something totally different. So here....

Pac-man ghosts and a little Kirby! I jotted down some patterns as I went but I'll get to that another day. They are small parts of a bigger picture. Hopefully I'll finish in time and you'll get to see them! Otherwise they will probably make cute Christmas ornaments.
Hope you are all having a great summer! What are you working on? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Feeling Sheep(ish) GIVEAWAY!

A couple of years ago I was asked to do a demonstration of creating amigurumi at the Alamo Drafthouse screening of Handmade Nation. I loaded up a ton of free patterns and yarn, some toys I had already made, and set up shop. It was so fun. The first person to sit down for help was a man that was left-handed. Challenging, but we muddled through! Sometime during the day, here came Vickie Howell with her little boy. I didn't even notice, but started to hand her a free pattern and looked up. "Oh, you know how to crochet!" I said, a little starstruck. (I'd seen her forever on Knitty Gritty!) So she got a little mushroom pattern and kit for her son and was super sweet. 
So when Vickie was looking for designers for her new yarn, Sheep(ish), imagine how happy I was when she asked me to design an amigurumi pattern for the launch! I obliged, and got to work. I can't show you the finished toy yet, but here's a sneak peek...

The yarn is soft and shiny, so unlike a lot of the yarn I started out crocheting with. I think sometimes people are drawn mainly to color (and ignore the feel of the yarn) when they're making amigurumi because so many of the wool or wool blend yarns come in mostly muted colors. This is why I think Sheep(ish) works so great for amigurumi. Its a 30/70 wool and acrylic blend that is worsted weight and washable. The worsted weight is what we want as amigurumi-ists because the crocheted fabric shows fewer holes and it holds its shape better. Sheep(ish) has all the bright colors and they all coordinate beautifully. I made a lot of Baby Monsters for Renegade Craft Fair and by far the softest and shiniest ones were the Sheep(ish). Usually a soft yarn has a gauge that I just can't work with. I either have to use a tiny hook to get a really tight gauge or I have even had to use two strands together. With Sheep(ish) I have the softness and gauge I need.

I'm sure you'll love Sheep(ish) as much as me! I'm so sure, in fact, that I'm going to give one of you a skein of this awesome yarn along with a kit to make your own Baby Monster! Not only will you get the tools and materials to make your own, but you'll also get a Baby Monster keychain I made out of Sheep(ish) in one of my favorite colors, Red(ish). All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below, telling me your favorite Sheep(ish) color. Check them all out here! Monday morning I'll pick a random number and that lucky person will get everything pictured below!

Can't wait for a giveaway? Sheep(ish) is available to order now on and Joann's superstores all over. If you're not sure if Joann's near you carries it, Vickie has provided a Sheep(ish) Finder App on her website.

Make sure you follow the rest of the Sheep(ish) blog tour. I've put the whole list below so you can read everyone's take on this. Interesting how knitters and crocheters and amigurumi-makers all find things they like in this yarn, albeit very different qualities.

May 25th: (Kathy Cano-Murillo)

May 26th: (Linda Permann)

May 27th: Kitschy Digitals (Danielle Thompson)

May 28th: DOUBLE POST DAY:  (Kathy Cano-Murillo) + (Deb Steenhagen)
May 29th: Susan B. Anderson

May 30th: (Robyn Chachula)

May 31st: (Yarn Wreath Project by Cathie)

June 1st: (Review by Sister Diane)

June 2nd: (1 Skein Project by Shannon Okey)

June 3rd: (Allison Hoffman)

June 4th: Coquette Blog (Natalie Zee-Drieu)

June 5th (Sarah White)

June 6th: Manhattan Craft Room (Brett Bara)

June 7th:

June 8th: (Drew Emborsky)

June 9th: & (Dual post on the same day.
Yarn-wrapped mobil by Jennifer Perkins)

June 10th: (Ladybug Outfit Pattern by Vickie)

June 11th:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Renegade Recap and What's Next?

Renegade Craft Fair was amazing! I am so grateful I was chosen to be a part of it. I met lots of people, saw some really awesome handmade goodness and had a lot of fun! I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my sweet sister, Jennifer Stewart, who not only helped me set up my booth and let me borrow almost everything I used, but she sat all day with me on Saturday and talked about amigurumi with people! Also, I'm so thankful for my husband Paul for sitting all day on Sunday and getting a good dose of my crafty promoting. He's a fan. :)  Here's some booth photos...

 Fun, huh? I had free stickers, a TON of business cards, a nifty Square device to take credit cards (which was awesome and made this so easy!), and lots and lots of amigurumi! My owl kits were really popular and I sold out of almost all of them! I think next time I'll definitely do some more kits. I also had a big rack of patterns for sale (thank you Borders near me for going out of business!) with some super good deals.

So it was a busy few months leading up to Renegade, especially since I wasn't sure what to expect (I hadn't done Renegade before) and I didn't know what was going to be the most in demand. Since I didn't know, I just made a lot of everything! Now that its behind me, I am having a blast working on some new things!

I just finished designing a custom doll for a special someone's birthday. Working from pictures, I created a doll complete with a hat, apron, glasses, and a pie! The recipient hasn't gotten his gift yet so I can't show you a side by side comparison yet! If you recognize him, please don't spoil the surprise! I've blurred out the name on his cap so --ssshhhhhhhh! Soon I'll post a photo of the man himself holding his mini-me.

I absolutely LOVE making these custom dolls! So fun!

Now what? I'm working on several things. First, there's this hot new yarn you've heard about, Sheep(ish), by Vickie Howell for Caron. Thursday I'm a stop on her blog tour, and I'll be doing a giveaway of an amigurumi and a skein of yarn. I designed a new pattern (amigurumi of course!) for Sheep(ish) that will be released in June on her website. Come back Thursday!

Next I'm finishing up a design for Lion Brand Yarn, which will be coming out some time this fall. It's going to be really cute! It is being made with some fabulous, amazing, magical yarn. Really, you will LOVE it.

Last but not least, I'm going to have my work featured in two gallery shows this summer! I cannot WAIT for this.
I designed a few pieces for the iam8bit show coming up this summer in LA. So of course my husband and I will be there for the show! If you haven't heard of it, iam8bit is a production company that has an annual art show featuring work that celebrates retro video games. I really love the stuff I made for it and I will post pictures here just as soon as I get the OK. To the left is a picture of some of the work that has been in the show in the past.
The second show will be the Bear and Bird Gallery's "Stitch Wars Strikes Back" -- that's right! Star Wars themed! I can't wait for this one either. Again, photos will be up as soon as possible!

Please check out my new tabs up top---there's a Gallery, an About Me, and a Custom Order page. I've added a few finished amigurumi and when they're gone, that will be it for a while! Thanks everyone for visiting!
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