PMX 2010 and Jang Dong Gun

It was my first time having a booth at PMX, but I’d definitely go again!  Cool Lolita outfits, delicious food trucks, Pocky everywhere, what’s not to like?  Put into the mix that everybody is so friendly (including the great staffers).  I found it to be much more relaxing time for me than Anime Expo.  So I thought I’d share some photos and my stories from the time there.

Ta-dah, here is my booth!  You can see my sister there in the pic.  She was there for all 3 days helping man the booth.  Thanks, sis!

A closeup of the Christmas tree I created for my artist alley booth.  Some lights, presents underneath and we are feeling the holiday mood already!

Amigurumi Christmas tree

Some close-ups of the cute crochet plushies in my booth.

PMX 008

PMX 011

PMX 009

PMX 012

Our next door neighbor was Joanna selling custom doll costumes as well as cool wigs for the Blythe dolls.  She was very obliging and let us try some of the wigs on one of my plushies, Adipose! (Dr. Who fans may know what this is).

Rock on, Addy!

Adipose Funky Wigs

And here are some Totoro Beanies I was selling.  They were a hit!

PMX 006

Let’s talk about the delicious food there.  There was first the Takoyaki truck which I stood one hour in line for!  But it was freshly made.  Next time tho I’ll let my sis stand in line.

Takoyaki

And the dumpling station.  Seriously, these were the best Korean style dumplings I’ve tasted, and I know because I’m Korean!  Too bad, tho that I missed the Goggi truck.  I’ll catch you next time, Goggi!

Dumpling Station

And finally on the last day of our trip, I got to meet the Korean super-star Jang Dong Gun.  He’s a huge star in Korea and is also coming out with a movie in the states called The Warriors’s Way, which I can only describe as Ninjas vs. Cowboys.  Artist Alley ended just in time for me to get into the autograph session in which the producer from Lord of the Rings was also there!

Here I am with the ninja cat plushie and Fortune Cat right before I gave them to Jang Dong Gun.

Ninja Cat and Fortune Cat

When I finally got up to give my crochet friends to Jang Dong Gun, his whole entourage of his photographers and videographers all of a sudden got into a flurry of activity and started filming me as I gave my gifts to him.  It was intense.  I wished him well in his movie and congratulated him on his wedding and recently-born child.  My sis was supposed to take a pic of all this, but she failed.  “EPIC fail” I told her =P!  She was right next to me and was a bit busy talking to the producer and did not want to appear rude.  Well my only hope is that somewhere in Korea there is some footage or photos floating about chronicling this adventure!

The only photo I was able to obtain was this right here.  You can see my crochet friends right there on the table, yay!

Jang Dong Gun @ PMX

And here’s my autographed poster from him and the crew!  He signed it out to my mom because she’s a big fan.  My name is near the bottom of the poster.

Autographed Poster by Jang Dong Gun

Great fun in all.  It was great spending time with my sis again, even though she failed in taking the photos, but I’m only teasing her. ^^

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Knitting with Dog Hair?

I was browsing around my local library and of course I always like to check out the knitting/crochet section. Take a look at this book I came across:

Whaaat? Now before you say “Ewww”, in a way it’s genius! Knitting with dog hair…think about it: How is dog hair/fur any different from the fur of a llama or sheep. All natural fiber comes from an animal after all. No one goes “Ewww” when you see alpaca or wool yarn. And actually, people have used dog hair to spin yarn throughout history and different cultures.

I love how the authors market this book. Check out their hilarious catchphrase. At the right of the book it reads:Knittin with Dog Hair Catchphrase 00

The book is on Amazon and has a new cover now. I guess the book was popular enough to call for a 2nd edition. The new subtitle reads, “Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You’ll Never Meet.” Wise words, wise words, indeed.

But I’m offended by this book! How dare they try and knit with dog hair? That is disgusting! It’s disgusting because… what about us crocheters? Didn’t the authors think that crocheters may want to crochet with dog hair as well too? Crocheters are dying to crochet with dog hair too! This is a travesty that must be fixed! Thus, I give to you the brand spanking new cover of the book:
Crochet with Dog Hair

Now all jesting aside, by reading my past blogs, some of you might know that I have a pet dog, a great big brute of a dog in size but a bunny in temperament. He is an Alaskan Malamute. He sheds tons. Here he is:
Thor with Old Snake Sackboy
At the end of the book, they have a section where they discuss the merits of spinning yarn from various dog breeds. Here’s what they have to say about Alaskan Malamutes:

“If you ever wondered what keeps these babies warm during sled expeditions to the Artic (besides, of course, ferocious quantities of aerobic exercise) simply grab a comb and strip out some of their thick, downy undercoat. This stuff will keep you toasty.”

So my amigurumi brain got to thinking, “Hmmm wouldn’t it be cool if I created an amigurumi of him using yarn made from his own fur?” Of course it would be just for myself. I don’t really see many people lining up to buy things made from dog hair as of right now. But I want to do it for the novelty and fun factor. So I’ve decided that this will be an ongoing project for myself. I will collect his dog hair, find myself a spinner to create the yarn for me, and then create an amigurumi version of an Alaskan Malamute. It might take awhile, but once I do have it finished, I will post of my results!

So if anyone has some extra dog hairs lying around, please send them to me. Just Kidding! =P

So let me know, is this gross or genius? Have you ever crocheted or knit a project made from dog or cat hair? Would you even do it in the first place? Share your thoughts and stories!



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Catch me at PMX 2010!

PMX Logo I have a table for Artist Alley at PMX. I’ll be there all 3 days. It’s on Veterans Day weekend from Friday til Saturday, November 12 – 14, 2010 at the Pasadena Hilton in CA. What is PMX? It’s the Pacific Media Expo, the first major trade show dedicated to Asian-Pacific popular culture and entertainment media. If you’re interested in all things Asian media such as anime, k-dramas, and cinema, you should go. Fans of Lolita fashion will also have much to see. They’ll be having music, screenings, cosplays, fashion shows, and panels, and autographs.

I’ll be in artist alley with a table along with 41 other artists. It’s also going to be my Holiday show, unless I find something else for the month of December. So be sure to stop by to do your holiday shopping there! You’ll get to see some new cool amigurumi products along with my signature crochet plushies. I’m working hard right now to stock up on my inventory as well as making a cool craft display. Stay tuned!

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Patrick Star Mini Plush

This Patrick Star can boast of being one of the smallest amigurumi I’ve made thus far. He’s 3.5 inches tall and created from fingering yarn. Normally I don’t like creating smaller items with thinner yarn because for the same amount of labor you’ll get a much smaller item, but that’s me being practical. Miniature sized things do have their moments of cuteness! So here he is. He has a string from which he can hang from. Maybe I’ll need to create SpongeBob Squarepants to accompany him in the future!

Patrick Star Front
Patrick Star Back
Patrick Starfish

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Kratos Sackboy Doll

I’m excited to show you a Kratos Sackboy doll that I’ve created. I’ve been wanting to make him but could never find the time, so when I received a commission for him through an order I received through my ETSY shop, it was the perfect push for me to create him.

The client was very specific in her details and wanted specifically a Medusa Head, and 2 swords for him as well as chain links for his shoulders and wrists. Whenever I approach a project, I see it as problem solving for myself. I ask myself, “How am I going to acheive this?” I knew I would have to try something new which I’ve never done before. To get the rigidity of the sword, crochet and yarn would never do. Can you imagine a limp sword made of yarn? Kratos’ enemies would laugh at him!

So yes, the swords would be created from polymer clay… except the problem was I had never tried working with it before. So it shouldn’t be too hard, right? It actually turned out to be quite fun although a bit time-consuming (hah, and I say this as someone who crochets!). I created a sketch of the sword first and then got around to molding the sword with some Sculpey clay. Then afterwards I got to bake them in the oven.

Kratos-Sackboy-Swords

KratosSackboy 011 The Medusa Head was fun to work with too. I wanted her hair to look like snakes so I had some jeweled beads lying around so I glued them onto each head, hoping to simulate the look of eyes. I love it when I have things lying around that can work for me. I have my craft shopaholic tendencies, the “hmmm…. I think I might need this,” to thank for! And of course because her head has been ripped off, it needed a little blood around the edges, so I gave the edge of her head a little trim of red yarn.

The difficult part for me was working the chain links for the clothing. In addition to working as a sculptor, now I got to work as a jeweler. Again, a new craft for me! I had to get some jewelry tools to work with so that I could open and close the links to get the length I wanted. I probably used the wrong tools, there’s so many of them: some flat pliers, long pointy ones, that I’m hopelessly confused! But at least, I got it to work for me, and tah-dah, the Kratos Sackboy has chain links he can be proud of.
KratosSackboy 020

Overall, I’m very happy with how Kratos came out. I love it when a project comes together like this, all the colors in perfect harmony, the accessories, the clothing, and the expression all coming together in a beautiful crafty yarn symphony. I had fun with the photo shoot as well. Check out my favorite photo. Doesn’t Kratos look so badass? Poor Medusa, she really had no idea what was coming.

KratosSackboy 021

The Medusa Head is sewn to his hand. His two swords can be strapped to his back. He can also hold one in his hand as well. And of course his zipper is fully functional! Well, let me know what you think! And of course if you’re interested in owning your own head-slashing Kratos Sackboy doll, you can contact me through my Etsy shop.

KratosSackboy 040
KratosSackboy 037
KratosSackboy 049
KratosSackboy 009

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Craft My Pet Swap

I love doing craft swaps! Usually I’ll sign up on them through Craftster. So this was actually my second craft swap. I’ll have to show you guys the first one later (it was a Miyazaki theme one!). Rikaheart was my partner and she really outdid herself! She sent me so much loot and so much crafty goodness.

RikaHeart has a chiweenie named Tucker and a mini-dachshund named Jocko. I decided to make amigurumi versions of them because honestly crochet is the only craft I can do.

Jocko likes to play Dead sometimes.

Mini-Dachshund-Collage

Here they are with their respective owners too. Photos courtesy of RikaHeart.
TuckerCrochet JockoCrotchet

I have 3 pets but I wanted crafts of Thor who is an Alaskan Malamute. Here is my absolute favorite of the crafts she sent. Here are pillows with photos of Thor on them using iron on prints! It matches perfectly with my sofa.

Here’s actual Thor sniffing the pillows:
Thor sniffing Pillow

She also sent 2 cat toys for my cats. Unfortunately one of them just died this weekend, hit by a car. RIP Booty. We loved you.
Fish Bone Cat Toy

But here you can see Mikey playing with his new toy! He really has a lot of fun with them and gets tons of exercise!
Mikey with Fish Toy

Thor also got a toy!
Thor with stuffed dog

He also got some delicious things to eat. The Gravy train and homemade doggy treats! I didn’t see the note she sent (nor that it said doggy treat on the bag!) and I tried it out and I thought to myself “Ugh… these are not cookies!”
Gravy Train and Homemade Doggy Treats

She also sent me an iron print of Thor which I can put onto a T-shirt and photo print of Thor created to look like an oil painting. I’ve placed it on my whiteboard in my crochet room for now.
Portrait of Thor

And finally, a light switch of Thor which is already installed in our master bedroom.
Thor Light Switch

Thanks RikaHeart for being an awesome swap partner!

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Ami Giveaway #1 – Caption this!

Hey guys, I’m trying something new here! I’m occasionally going to do Ami Giveaways and I thought it’d be fun to make it interactive and play some sort of Game.

The PRIZE:

An adorable Mario Mushroom Crochet Plush!Ami Giveaway #1 - Mushroom

The NAME OF THE GAME:

Read on for the rules.Create a funny caption for this Photo. The person with the winning caption will receive a free amigurumi Mario Mushroom that will give you special powers and energy! Just place your caption in the comments section. The deadline to submit captions is until Monday August 23, 2010. The winner will be contacted by email and the winning caption will be featured in the next Ami Amour newsletter! There’s a limit of 5 captions per person. Have fun!

Contest Update:

The winner of the Ami Giveaway #1 is Jeremy! Thank you all for playing.
Piranha Plant Caption



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Piranha Plant Showdown!

It’s the first ever Piranha Plant Showdown! I crocheted myself 2 different amigurumi versions of the Piranha Plant as I was playing around with shape and size. Now I can’t decide which plant I like better. So I’m letting you guys decide. Which plant is more superior? Let’s take a look at their stats.

Piranha Plant #1 Attacks

PIRANHA PLANT #1
Height: 8 inches
Width of Bulb: 3.5 inches
Snaps per Minute: 5 SpM
Description:
Introducing PIRANHA PLANT #1. It grows to be a height of 8 inches tall and has a sizeable breadth to its red bulb at 3.5 inches wide. Its favorite snack is Mario and its large jaw is capable of swallowing Mario or Luigi in one big gulp. Its big head makes it a slow mover, but when it does take a bite, you better watch out or you’ll be dinner!

___________________________________________________________________

Piranha Plant #2 Attacks
PIRANHA PLANT #2
Height: 7 inches
Width of Bulb: 2.5 inches
Snaps Per Minute: 100
Description:
Next up, we have PIRANHA PLANT #2. A fine specimen indeed. This one’s a baby and is still growing, but don’t underestimate it. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up in viciousness and appetite. Its jaws snap at a feverish pace and can set a record of 100 SpM (Snaps per Minute). A couple of those snaps will surely shrink you down in size!

So who will win this match? Which plant is superior? Piranha Plant #1 or Piranha Plant #2? Only one can be victorious. Who will be left standing? Cast your votes today!

Piranha Plant Showdown

Piranha Plant #1

Piranha Plant #2

Attack of the Piranha Plants



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Hobbes – Your imaginary friend

Growing up, I loved reading the Sunday funny comic strips. I loved reading them all, but the one that I held and still hold most dear in my heart is Calvin and Hobbes.

So when someone wanted me to bring Hobbes to crochet life, I jumped at the chance! I wanted to make Hobbes the stuffed animal version. This way it’s up to the person to truly imagine Hobbes. I did an exhaustive search online for Hobbes as well as searching through my own anthologies to use for my blueprint. There weren’t that many comic strips with Hobbes as the “stuffed animal” but it was enough to do the job!

Calvin and HObbes Racoon p2

Calvin and Hobbes Racoon p3

The hardest part in creating Hobbes was doing all those color changes back and forth. However, now I’m an expert at changing colors! Thanks Hobbes!

So here it is! This is Ami Hobbes and you can use your imagination to make him come alive, and when he does, he’ll take care of you, make insightful and hilarious reflections, and you’ll have an awesome adventure with him!

So let me know what you think? Any other Calvin and Hobbes fans out there?

Welcome says Hobbes Hobbes01 Hobbes02 Hobbes - Side Profile

dancingCalvinandHobbes



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175 Amigurumis

Well Anime Expo has come and gone. It was a terrific year and I was very hectic with all the preparations leading up to my Artist Alley. So hectic in fact that I haven’t been very good at updating my website. But never fear, I am back now and you’ll be seeing loads of new content from me. Before I get to the new stuff I’ve been working on I wanted to show you guys photos for all the amigurumis I created for Anime Expo this year.

It’s the most I’ve ever made, like EVER! Count them all, 175 in all! I reached a little short of my 200 goal, but nevertheless it still made me proud to see them all together in one sitting. I started crocheting them beginning January, but most of them were done from about March till end of June.

Now most of them have found homes with some wonderful owners! It was great seeing new and old faces again.

Here are the 175 Amigurumis all spread out over my dining/craft table.
175 Amigurumis

The Left Close up of the Amigurumis
175 Amigurumis

The Right Closeup of the Amigurumis
175 Amigurumis

Mushrooms and Gromit
175 Amigurumis

ZBs: Pirate, Scarf, Starfish, and Pollie
ZBs - Starfish, Pollie, and Pirate

Gray, Blue, and White Totoros. Kodamas and Porings.
Totoros, Kodamas, and Slimes

Kawaii Kitties: Cornflake, Peaches, and Skye
Kawaii Kitties

Moogles
Moogles

Cheese-kun – Mascot of Pizza Hut in Japan!
Cheese-kun

Fortune Kitties
Fortune Cats

Prinny and Kero-chan
Prinny, ZBs, Kero

And finally Sackboys and Eggies!
Sackboys and Eggies

After AX I was definitely burnt out from crocheting and had to take a 2 week hiatus from crocheting. Now I’m all rested up and currently working on commissions. I was also involved in a Miyazaki craft swap and I have some new Studio Ghibli goodies to show you guys soon!



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