I’m going on an adventure!

This weekend will not be filled with me sitting on the couch crocheting. Instead, I’ll be running around the World Forum in The Hague, making sure that Animecon 2013 is going as planned. It’s one of the biggest anime conventions in the Netherlands and I’m one of the lucky (if a little stressed out) people who get to make it happen.

I have been helping with organising the festival for a few years now, at first as a ‘lowly’ gopher, just working the jobs they gave me. Then, I went on to work with Gopherplanning, giving other volunteers their shifts. Last year, I was asked if I wanted to join the staff as the person responsible for the cloak&bag room. I happily agreed, not realising how stressful it would be to set up a cloak&bag room in an entirely new location for about 3500-4000 visitors! So I’be been a little jittery for the past week.

Today we will start building up and from Friday till Sunday it’s game on! It will be loads of fun as well, of course, meeting up with people I hardly get to see over the year, following workshops, watching anime, looking at amazing cosplays, browsing through the dealerroom…

I just hope I don’t get any withdrawal symptoms from not being able to crochet all weekend…

Cheers, Lydia

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I need this!

I need dis

Couldn’t resist, I love this little guy ^_^

Have you ever come across something you didn’t even know existed and all of a sudden you realise you can’t live without it any longer?
A while ago I was just clicking around on PlanetJune and I came across this handy, little gadget:

Stuffing tool

Detail stuffing tool

Now, I have tried stuffing small parts with pretty much anything: the back of my crochet hook, scissors, pens, needles, my own pinky. But it can be ever so hard to get the stuffing in properly. I manage, that’s not the problem, but ever since I learned about this tool I’ve noticed that it should be so much easier.

The same kind of goes for stitch markers. I usually just count out every round, or I put a small safety pin of a bit of yarn at the beginning of a row. But lately I’ve realised that it would be easier to use something that’s actually made for it.

Stitch markers

Stitch markers

Plus, I think I really want June Gilbank’s book: ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi’. Because after working on her ‘mop top mascots’ pattern (they became my Lemmings set), I really think I could learn a lot from her.

Now all I need to do is either win the lottery, or be a bit careful with my spendings for a month and I’ll be able to order some of this stuff ^_^”

Is there anything you can’t live without to work on your crafts?
Cheers, Lydia

Animal Cupcakes complete ^_^

Of course, after my post last friday, my order came in the mail that afternoon. So this weekend I was able to finish all the cupcakes I had been working on 🙂
Here’s the result:

Underwater set

All together tucked in their little box

Farm set

It’s a tight fit!

Peeking out of the window ^_^

I’m surprised at myself for liking the ‘Farm animals’ set better than the ‘Underwater animals’. Seeing how I have three fish tanks and zero cows. But I guess when you put them together the farm set just works a little better. Either way, I hope the people I have in mind for these like them as well!

I made one extra cupcake, a now very lonely little elephant:

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So lonely 😦

I wonder, should I make complete ‘Zoo set’, or just give this little guy away on its own?

Cheers, Lydia

I’m not addicted, really…

In case you wonder what I’ve been up to this past week, here’s a work-in-progress picture:

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I desperately need my order of safety-eyes to come in so I can finish these animal cupcakes ^_^

I owe a few of my friends a small gift and these were just too much fun to pass up on. I got some cupcake giftboxes to put them in, all together it just looks too cute.

Here’s the one cupcake I could finish before running out of the right size eyes and the box they’ll go in:

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All right, back to work!

Cheers, Lydia

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

When I first started to crochet, I never imagined how much I would like it. I figured I didn’t need much when it came to materials, just some yarn, filling and a single size hook. I have never been so wrong…

The first thing I started desperately needed was: eyes. I figured I could sew the eyes onto my little amigurumi’s and it would still look adorable. Error number two, they look right out freaky.
People’s exibit A:

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See, it haunts you in your sleep -_-“

Then again, sometimes it doesn’t look too awful, but because my embroidery skills are below zero, it turns into something like this:

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I have to admit that I have gotten better at it, but still, it’s not the look I’m going for.

So the search was on to find some decent safety eyes. Apparently, no one uses them in the Netherlands. When I did finally found some, they were expensive, one size and still not really what I was looking for. They have these little loops on the backs of them that you need to sew through a million times before they’re secured. I still don’t like using them for baby gifts because I can never be sure how well they are attatched. Sometimes, they seem to pop out of the face, making it look like I made some animal with googly eyes.

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But, the internet is your friend and after some searching, I ended up at a site I hadn’t been to in a long while: Etsy. I knew it’s a community site where you can buy and sell all sorts of handmade products. But it never occured to me that I could find materials there as well. Now, my favorite shop there is 6060. Here you can find pretty much any size, shape and colour when it comes to eyes, but also a lot of other stuff like noses, eye lashes, joints, beads.. I could go on forever.

What I mostly get from this store are the simple black safety eyes with washers. They’re easy to fasten (mostly) and look good on pretty much any project.

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DSC03140There are two kinds of washers: plastic and metal. I don’t really have a preferance for either one, but when it comes to small eyes, I think I like the metal ones better. They are a bit easier to press on, so you don’t have to endlessly fidget to get the washer on.
When you do have small eyes with plastic washers, here’s a trick that saved me while making the Lemmings set a while back. Just take something with a hole that’s small enough to fit onto the washer, to give you some leverage. I used the back bit of a clicky-pen:

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You just put the eye in place, put the washer on top and fit the hole of whatever you’re using onto the washer and push. Do make sure you’ve got a sturdy underground, I could have easily made a nice couple dents in our coffeetable if I hadn’t used a coaster underneath.

Every once in a while, a project just calls for a little colour in the eyes. Luckily, now that I know where to look, it’s easy to get them in all sorts of colours, with washers ^_^

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Simple, round coloured eyes

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Cat eyes, perfect for all your feline amigurumi (or dragons!)

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Of course, there are always other ways to make eyes. Like using felt, I did this when I made the My Little Ponies, some of my pokémon patterns (Vulpix and Charmander) and of course for my Kyubey pattern:

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Or using iron-on cloth and painting the eyes:

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I have also read about making eyes out of some sort of clay, but I have never tried it myself. Could be a lot of work to make them, but on the other hand, you’ll always have the right size ^_^

I guess it all depends on what kind of look you want your eyes to have. Can they be simple, or do they need a lot of detail?
What kind of eyes do you guys like to use?

Cheers, Lydia

Today I went to a newly opened craftshop in my home town. I got to talking with the owner, a sweet little lady, and we got to the subject of safety eyes. She told me she’d made a monkey pattern and the book called for 9 mm eyes, but she hadn’t been able to find them anywhere and was actually told by someone that they didn’t exist. So once again, I got to share a bit of my ‘crocheting wisdom’ and told her where she could get them. It’s so important to know where to look for things and to not be afraid to think outside of the box 🙂

Happy Mothers Day!

My moms pot-holders have been looking awefully raggy lately. And I just happened to have the cutest pattern for a set! So I couldn’t resist making them as a Mothers Day gift ^_^

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When my mother-in-law saw them, she said she’d like a set as well. But since I don’t really like making the exact same pattern twice, I decided to make this second set with different animal heads: cats!DSC03187 DSC03186 DSC03185

I hope they’ll like them…

The pattern for the sheep and chicken heads and the pot-holder itself is from Christel Krukkert. For the cat-heads, I improvised ^_^

Cheers, Lydia

Welcome into the world!

My cousin and his girlfriend had a wonderful little baby boy last weekend. Normally, I have a little stash of baby-gifts laying around, but I have to admit that this time, I wasn’t prepared. Lucky for me, I have quite the collection of pattern books by now and as usual Ana Paula Rimoli helped me out.

I really love how this pattern came out, the colours give me a little bit of a retro-feel and the tiny bear is just too cute! I added a scarf for him, so he won’t catch a cold up there in the sky (like I did last Queens Day -_-” my throat still hurts…)

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Taking his balloon for a test-drive inside, safety first!

Taking his balloon for a test-drive inside, safety first!

Going out into the real world, safe travels little one!

Going out into the real world, safe travels little one!

Don’t worry, he was safely hooked onto my balcony. I just realised a bit too late that I’d have to take him down from there as well. A bit of acrobatics later and we’re both safe and sound back inside. But I just couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to make such an awesome picture (if I may say so myself…)

Cheers, Lydia

PS: This also became an entry for the Martingale Crochet-A-Long.