Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Panda Express Fortune Cookies:


I know with fortunes and horoscopes one usually just takes what's relevant, but seriously, every single time I eat a panda express fortune, they always apply to that time in my life.

  • December 22: "Your present plans are going to succeed"
The past month I have been contemplating a lot on the direction of my creations and business. On December 20th, I officially opened up leesasaur.etsy.com, then on December 21st jsalvadordesign offered my recruitment to his gallery to sell my gamer merchandise. So I thought this was perfect to begin the transition of marketing foma as cartoon/nintendo inspired amigurumi only by leesasaur, then having leesasaur.etsy.com as my original work and characters. I am excited for this change and will probably be doing specials and giveaways!

  • December 24: "You will soon change your present line of work"
I took this in regards to foma/leesasaur, because I also wanted to cut down my hours at my current job so I could focus on my work. But now I just received a call from a business that I left my contact info to in July.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa's Little Dogs

The holidays always have a way of sneaking up on people, but this year, they really snuck up on me quickly due to all the foma labor! I didn't realize till about a week or so prior, that I needed to get presents for my sister and her boyfriend ASAP! I had some things to buy in mind, but the core of my gifts were items hidden in my drawer of unfinished projects.

Earlier this year I had this great idea to do replicas of my sister's dogs in amigurumi form. I ended up crocheting their heads and one body, but I never got around to finishing them. Since then, they bought a puppy, but because she is still changing, I decided to wait till she's fully grown before I crochet her. I knew gifting these would be such a treat and I was determined to finish them on time. Two of the dogs have varying colors of fur, so it was tricky to match up. The interchanging of the yarn colors causes their bodies to twist, but I thought the angles it made them mode into were a bit endearing. I did run into the obstacle of using up all my black yarn, and after nagging my sister that I needed to get more, a couple nights till christmas, she pushed a wrapped box in my hands and said, "Here! Since you wanted it so bad!" She had bought me black yarn as part of my christmas gift! Little (or maybe a little more since she peeked) did she know, the black yarn was benefiting the both of us!

Rather than wrapping the dogs, I decided to exhibit them in the glass case shelfing where her boyfriend puts some of his figurines in. The best christmas moment of my life was when I finally finished at 5am and while standing atop the couch stretching to place the dogs behind the glass, my sister comes out with eyes half open, "Santa, is that you?"

"You're dreaming, go back to bed!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Last Stitch

2010 is coming to its demise and so are my final sweatshop days for now. After all the enduring nights and spare time of finishing custom and holiday orders, Stitch was the last request I crocheted (it was to be an xmas present for a friend's mom, so I of course had a heart to do it).

I knew Stitch's details would be tough, but switching colors into the shapes I wanted was the tricky part. Although I don't like to use felt too much, I ended up using more than I planned, and luckily I had the matching colors for them. Initiating him was a hassle and then the more daunting task was figuring out his ears. His ears took too many attempts to not realize felt was not only an easier, but better option.

Rather than embroidering the dark patches on his back like I did with Sully, I decided to use felt as well!

Due to the malleable characteristic of yarn, Stitch's legs can be easily manipulated into sitting or standing position.

He turned into an adorable alien and cute end to this year's project requests. Now I can finally focus on my projects :D !

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Zelda Warrior

After two requests on my facebook to crochet Link, I finally decided to do it. I was reluctant at first because I don't usually make human forms, but I also didn't want to pass up at least trying. At first I was just going to make him only, but after finishing, I realized he didn't make sense without his sword and shield! I personally only ever played A Link to the Past on Super Nintendo but that is all well enough to make me fall in love with the Legend of Zelda. In fact, when the emulator version on my laptop wasn't doing it for me in college, I had to bring up the SNES the next time I went home, which was one of my best decisions. Regardless, the second person who dished me the request sent me a photo of a Link doll from the Phantom Hourglass version. I quickly noticed that the Wind Waker version was similar because they both use the "Toon Link" character, so this gave me a variety of images to work from.

In the end, I came out with a simplified, yet elaborate, Link, that I am very proud of.

I actually had this post created on November 11th at 11am, but got distracted because while I was writing it, I checked my shop and the hits were coming in nonstop. Usually when I post an item I get around 50 views after a couple days, but every time I refreshed this listing, there were 10-25 more views. Here's a documentation via tweets:
whoa... did someone repost my link or is he really that popular? i got 175 views in an hour..
11:45 AM Nov 11th via web

ok, now 225 views? either someone is fucking with me or this link should be sold soon...
11:58 AM Nov 11th via web

at this point, i think i might be scammed cause every time i refresh there's 10 more views, it's already at 500 and not even any hearts...
12:33 PM Nov 11th via web
For the fact that there were no "hearts" I ruled out that these people were from etsy, so I figured they had to be from some geeky community. Instinctively, I checked reddit searching "zelda" because I thought "link" wouldn't work. When I didn't come across my etsy listing there, I went onto an etsy chat room and asked other members if something could be wrong. The only person who listened wrote me, "congratulations, YOU HAVE A WINNER!" I didn't believe her, so I instead gave up and decided to take a nap before I had to leave for work. When I awoke, my friends on my facebook commented:
"I put a link on reddit for you. I'm not sure if that's why you're getting more traffic. It's gotten 30 upvotes so far."
November 11 at 1:23pm

"Hey Lisa! I signed on to tell you I saw a link to this on reddit! haha! Hope you get a lot of sales! :)"
November 11 at 2:03pm
I managed to check the listing right before it sold, and the total views were:

Pretty unbelievable. I generated five sales of my other shop items (all of which I had only partially completed) after Link sold out that day and six requests to make more Links. I made 23 sales this month and that's only because I don't have enough time to finish everyone's requests yet. I write now because after that and my holiday rush, I have finally caught a breather. I'm glad I was able to create something that became high in demand, but making the same thing over and over again is torturous.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Squidbillified Christmas.

I was commissioned to turn some 2d hillbilly squids into amigurumi christmas ornaments! Last year, the buyer wrote me:

"We are huge fans of the show and wanted to get an ornament(s) for our first tree together. These are awesome! We found your shop by Google'ing "Aqua Teen Hunger Force ornaments. Yours are by far the best. :)"
This year, she wrote:
"We really loved the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" ornaments we bought from you last year. I was just wondering if you think you could make us a set of "Squidbillies" for this year?"

With a sweet and doable-looking request like that, I gladly accepted. I figured the Squidbillies could be my new ATHF ornaments, but as of now, I'm not sure I have the amibition to tackle another set. I'm not gonna lie, I thought this was going to be a fairly easy project but it required a lot more trial and error improvisions than I imagined. There's always a struggle with a new project for me since I create every pattern on my own, but sometimes, like in this case, I initially neglect parts. There are always more details I want to incorporate when I begin construction on anything. With the Squidbillies, each character had their own tricky feature - Early's trucker hat, Granny's walker, Rusty's mullet - but I managed to complete each challenge and I think they turned out quite well!

I love being given the oportunity to create new things that I sometimes wouldn't have thought to make on my own, or hadn't the motivation or obligation to do before. But my favorite part of this project is that I get to contribute and be apart of someone's christmas tradition, or life, rather! It makes me very happy and proud of my work.


I just received feedback accompanied with a lovely photograph of their christmas tree!

"So impressed with the detail in these! Fans of the show and fans of foma! Thanks again! :)"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dog Delight

After the initial rinse in a steamy hot shower, the last thing I expected to see when I opened my eyes was a canine peeping at the corner of the curtain. Amused, I cupped a handful of water for her to drink. She happily slurped it up so I continued to feed her more. When I had to turn her away so I could shampoo my hair, she defeatedly slumped onto the bathmat and rested. Pondering this curious behavior, it struck me that all dogs ever drink is usually room-temperature water, so hot water is a substantial change in beverage to them. She lit up when I later called her back for a heavy dosage (post-shower reenactment):

Whether it be delightful tea or coffee, whatever derived from those laps of water must have been pretty glorious to her, cause it's been two hours since and she's still following me around like I am her messiah!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Damaged Giraffe

Keeping up with my "Damaged Goods" line, I present the newest addition, Damaged Goods Giraffe:

I had a lot of fun making this guy because every detail i added made him that much cuter and I just knew the outcome would be super adorable. He doesn't sit flat quite right, so his front hooves stick up, but I think that makes him sweet. I think next in the Damaged Goods line I'll do a whale, but that is not definite. I guess we'll see what ends up inspiring me!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gizmo in WeHo

This Halloween I designed my own Gizmo costume based on Rambo style in Gremlins 2. I literally thought, what am I going to be for Halloween, then looked around my room and saw the singing Gizmo doll my brother bought for me. I used the same basic pattern as my Yoshi costume, except I wanted to make this year's more of a dress form. It was, however, more difficult to construct because I needed to make all different parts of the fur into different shapes and pieces, as well as have the hood break into three separate panels. I was worried mostly about getting the ears to stick and stay out, but that was all solved with stiff fabric spray (amazing)!
I wanted to have the full Rambo Gizmo attire, but I knew I'd be walking around and didn't feel like carrying a bow everywhere, so instead I just got a giant pencil from the dollar store and fastened it onto a crochet rope. In the end, some quick in-seaming of the bottom sides of my costume completely shortened my costume to show off butt-cleavage, but after a few drinks, I gave into the Halloween-is-the-only-day-it's-OK-to-look-slutty appeal. Plus some cropping makes it all better!
Gizmo and Shredder

Gizmo adopted by Cinderella and Prince Charming

Rufio, Gizmo, and back-up dancer from Alejandro video.
So, no one identified me as Gizmo, until I gave them hints like, "I turn evil if you feed me after midnight," but it was still a very fun and cute costume. I'll probably dress up and take a full body shot sometime to post when I'm not lazy (or drunk). Thank you to my best friend, Reyn, for hosting me all week and taking me out for Halloween. Also thank you for stealing my gallon water to prevent me from turning into a gremlin!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cocaine Baby

My penpal of six years, Robert Zinni, sent me a claymation that he and his friends collaborated on. Since it was Robert's birthday and I dug the animation, I decided to crochet my favorite character from it, for him. Thus, my adaptation of cocaine baby:

I incorporated my new/old idea of attaching the amigurumi to a suction cup as well as inserting a wire through the umbilical cord. I have been meaning to produce this concept for a while now, but as usual, I have been sidetracked. I'm really glad I made this doll. It made the both of us smile and laugh a lot.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Koalaty Sisters

One of my first original items I crocheted and sold on my shop was my koala bear with a rose (sometimes bouquet of flowers depending on my supplies) who I dubbed, "koalaty time amigurumi." My sister makes cards and a few months ago I came across her "let's spend some koalaty time together" card featuring a male and female koala. Even though she totally stole my play on words, I couldn't deny the cuteness and decided to collaborate my koalaty time with hers. Thus, the koalaty sisters produced this listing today:

My sister just started posting her cards for sale and I hope this listing will help her out! Now I just have to push myself more to complete the other collaborations we have in the makings!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life of a Sea Otter.

I took this questionaire years ago that, whether true or convenient, had some of the most self-enlightening results. Here is the copy of it (if you want to do this questionaire I suggest you answer the questions alongside your read before you scroll down!):

1) Name your favorite animal. Why is it your favorite?Lovebird; they can be loving and nurturing, as well as vicious. They make good companions when you treat them well, and are really cute.

2) Second favorite? Why?Otter; they are happy and have fun, living life relaxing, floating peacefully on their backs, basking in the sun. I imagine they feel really warm and good.

3) You are standing in front of a brick wall. What are you thinking?I'm thinking about how massive and sturdy it is, and how terrifying it would be if it were to
crumble and fall on me.

4) You are standing outside, facing the ocean. It is perfectly clear, not a cloud in sight, and the water is completely calm. What are you thinking?I'm thinking how soothing and perfect things seem, and wondering how long it'll stay like this.

5) Choose one: Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Explain your choice.
Coffee; it always satisfies me and makes me feel stable and happy.

Ready? Scroll down.

1) This is reflective of how you see yourself.
2) This is what you wish you could be.
3) This is your attitude towards life.
4) This is your attitude towards death.
5) This is your attitude towards sex!

Interesting, huh?

It gave me a deeper gratification for the life of an otter, or at least how I see them via photographs and zoo trips. I made these little sea otters on their backs with shells. Originally I had plan to sell them, but I became so in love with them that I can't bring myself to give them away:
I could literally spend hours watching them. This past July I went to the Seattle Aquarium (which was a shocking $17 entry!) and captured some of the best sea otter photos during feeding time:
I truly wish I was an otter for a day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Toasty Trio

Inspired by my previous food product amigurumi, I wanted to do a collection of toasts. Long ago when I first opened shop on etsy, I hand sewed a felt plushie "buttered toast." He had a slab of butter on his forehead and toasted cheeks. I decided to recreate this in crochet form, as well as incorporate my damaged toast, and the ingenious, politically incorrect "french toast."
All the compliments have been geared towards the french toast, so I decided that this breakfast delight would be so fun in travel-size as well!

They make me so happy when I look at them. They've also already gotten me some really cute fan appreciation photos:
The support is amazing! Be sure to send me your photos if you get your hands on your own! : )

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bread for Tina

I love my friend, Christina. She has been an awesome support throughout my life. It's difficult maintaining friendships through long distance and time, but friends like Tina and I, can pick up without any lapses of misjudgement or awkward silences. I'm thankful we connect on the same and various levels. I noticed her sudden interest in baking, as she started posting photos of baked goods in an album entitled, "Bread by Tina." So, I decided to make her a slice of cherry pie for her birthday!

I want to thank her for being such a refreshing delight in my world.

The Heart Butt Cup

I know I make cute things, but my coworker really pushed me when he wanted a big sappy heart-shaped wedding pillow featuring the name of him and his bride. He also wanted an anime-like boy and girl on the backside of it. It pushed me because it's something I can do, but it's not quite my style nor something that I prefer to do. It did however, take me some time to make because I had to create my own pattern for the heart and figure out the size proportions, and let's just say, math is not my favorite subject. For a long time, along with countless half-stitching and un-crocheting, the pillow resembled, what I will refer to as a "butt cup." It wasn't flattering and it was also difficult to determine where it was all going, and if it would even get there. After I was done with the heart, I completely improvised on the rest of the design. I don't usually do flat pieces, nor human, nor writing in yarn, so it was all trial and error. The product actually turned out well and my coworker really liked it:

My only hope now is that I will never receive a request like this again. I guess it's good to show diversity in my work, but I don't want to be known for doing heart butt cups.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Little Terrorizer

It is really not easy being a crafter in a house full of dogs. The constant fur has been one problem, but now I have a 12 pound problem even harder to fight off: Puppy. At first it was kindof cute when she would steal my dolls that were as big as her head, because she would carry them lightly like a little girl with her doll, parading around the room. It was even funny to find one laying somewhere random from where I placed it. However, soon, because I wasn't scolding her for doing it, it started to become an annoyance. She started stealing my dolls more frequently and I began to worry what might happen to them if left out long enough fending for themselves. Then, trouble increased when I started crocheting her things to play with instead of my dolls. She then felt like she was invited to anything yarn-formed:

Luckily I was only at the beginning of this project, so I just let her have it for herself. It was however, her last big hurrah because I don't let her get near my projects anymore. Now, the little terrorizer is back to squeaky toys (and anything else she decides to thieve)!

Although, this photo looks more like an evil plot to steal again is in her head! "Till next time!"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ewoks: Hunters by Day, Lovers by Night.

Through the magical workings of twitter, I was able to meet an amazing couple, @Eshcii and @CALiz3. Contrary to unfortunate internet-to-real-life experiences I've had in the past, the experience of first meeting these two was pretty awesome. We met at the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park and I had a great time:

The thing about twitter, for those who genuinely use it, is that it's unfiltered, so a lot of real thought goes into it. People I tweet to on twitter know more about my life than probably all the "friends" I have on facebook (that is, if they choose to read my tweets!). So I guess it's kindof hard to not be who you are on twitter, or at least easy to see who's not who they are on twitter. That being said, I'm glad they both turned out to be real, genuine people. I was also very glad to hear of their engagement earlier this year, so glad that I wanted to make something for them. Liz had expressed her interest in Star Wars previously, and I had just enough yarn to make two mini ewoks. I thought, why not have an ewok matrimony, and that's exactly what I did:

The great thing about these ewoks, other than the obvious cute factor, is that their hoods are removable so you can interchange their looks! Happy engagement!

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Damaged Turtle

I talked about expanding my damaged goods line to animals in my previous blog, and after pitching the idea to my friend, Bre, in Washington, she asked me to make her a turtle with a band-aid in replace of one eye for her birthday:

Idealistically I was planning on leaving both eyes intact and attaching a band-aid to the animals some place else, but this idea was cute too. Not sure what I will do yet, but I suppose this is a little taste of what's to come!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons

Blonde Redhead has, for years now, been my favorite band. Their melodies are beautifully haunting, and their lyrics are so stunning and raw. The lead singer is from Japan and sings in a soprano voice, alongside her band mates (one of whom she is married to) who are twin brothers from Italy. The words are sang in accents and a sort of broken English, all working very well. They rarely play in the US so I was pleased to find they had a show lined-up in Seattle, a city, and state, that I had college friends in. So I booked the trip.

I wanted to create something for them to express my love, gratitude, and devotion over the years. I returned to the first album I purchased where the song "For the Damaged" captured me with what I felt was the perfect depiction of my life. I was that damaged lemon, but I was not sad. This is what I wanted to show them, but even after I created what I thought might suffice, my confidence got the best of me, and I purposely left it at home. When I spoke to my friends about what I had done, they instilled confidence in it and me, and so I was fueled to recreate. This proved somewhat difficult because Seattle had only one art shop which was pretty expensive, but I managed to collect all the supplies I needed, to make this:
What I wish I could say now, is that I went to the concert, threw my damaged lemon on stage, with love note, and Blonde Redhead cheerfully accepted it and later contacted me. But, just my luck, I was greeted with this truly devastating notice at will-call:
All i felt was sadness. I had spent a total of $365 only to have my heart broken. But, as Vonnegut would say, so it goes. And as it happened, upon returning home, I found that Blonde Redhead had extended their tour to the US and would be playing in my city. Yes, this is how the world likes to work for me. In any event, I have taken what I have created and used it to inspire future creations. Enter, my new "Damaged Goods" line:
Lemon, Strawberry and Tangerine.
Cupcake and Mocha Mug.
So far, just damaged food products, but I plan to divulge into damaged animals as well. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

This afternoon I was alerted by a loud clunking noise in my bedroom. I turned to the aquarium tank and was baffled by what I saw. I said aloud, "What the... Pluto! How... You are really caught between a rock and a hard place, huh!?"I'm sorry to my lovely turtle who had to endure being trapped like this while i snapped a couple keepsake photos, but I just needed this moment documented. If ever you feel "caught between a rock and a hard place," please refer to my darling Pluto, because you really know nothing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vamos Argentina

I'm really not a sports fan. I played many seasons of basketball, soccer, and volleyball, growing up, but watching sports was never my thing. Although recently, soccer has become something I actually enjoy watching. My ex was a fanatic but would only talk about it to me, never having me watch games with him. Then I started dating someone else and coincidentally, he was a big soccer fanatic as well! One day we watched an FC Barcelona game and I immediately fell in love. The fluidity of the team, the magic that is Lionel Messi (who I established as my favorite player), and the overall entertainment of the way they play the game, captured me completely.

Just in time for the world cup 2010, I was ready to root for Argentina. Not only do they have players from FC Barcelona, but their overall cheerful and humble team attitude won them my dedication. I don't have a car, but I purchased a Jack in the Box antenna ball so I could put the Argentina sticker on and root:

My friend, James, from high school has actually been living in Argentina for the past year and a half, so we had fun cheering and praising together. I wanted to make dolls in support of the quarter-final Argentina vs Germany match. He told me he wanted a lion, and I decided I wanted a turtle, so I created them and adorned them in Argentina colors:

I really wish I could have seen the same magic they used to defeat Greece, South Korea, and Mexico, but their defense was penetrated by the Germans. Logically, Germany has an unfair advantage for having all their players from the same league, so they ultimately train together all year round! Not to mention, poor Messi didn't even get one world cup goal because he constantly had four+ defenders on him in every match. Not even my supporting amigurumi could do justice for my #10:

So this world cup was all very upsetting to watch, but at least Spain, who also has many FC Barcelona players, won. And even sadder news on a personal level, the little lion didn't make it to my friend in Argentina! Not sure what happened!