Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Little Melody

My best friend and sister, Stefeni, recently gave birth to her first child, and my first niece, Olexa. Growing up, my family and I were avid fans of Sanrio, and we each had our own favorite characters by them. Stefeni's was My Melody, so I decided to turn her baby into a real-life My Melody, as well as give Olexa her own little My Melody. I haven't experimented much with crocheting clothing, nor am I familiar with baby sizing, but I attempted to make a bunny hat for her daughter.





Initially, I wanted to make a baby hoodie poncho with a pocket that could hold her amigurumi inside, but not only do I not know what's appropriate for babies, but I have no clue of how big or small to make everything. So, I decided to just stick with a little hoodie. I formed the hat loosely around a plush Yoshi head for sizing, assuming the baby's head was larger than the doll's...but I was actually wrong! The baby's head was about the same size! It's ok though, now she can wear it for a couple years time : )

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Silly Old Bear

My wonderful college friend, Jon, commissioned me to crochet the beloved Winnie the Pooh. Although, as a child I always adored Tigger, I can't deny that Pooh has a soft spot in heart. His ridiculousness and gluttony is entertaining, but he's adorable when it comes to his friends. I like the idea of my toys being alive and having their own separate adventures, but I rarely go into depth as to the friendships they may have with each other. The dynamic friendship and bond of the characters in the "100 Aker Wood" is what makes the stories of Pooh so sentimental to children and adults.

I always liked the old school Pooh Bear, and other character plush they show during the narration in the beginning of the movies, so I wanted to give mine that sort of dull, nostalgic look.




The skein of yarn I used for him was softer than usual, so it made him extra cuddly, thus extra harder to give away. I'm just glad to have made him, and glad to make someone's Christmas this year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Give Me a Moo

I was given a guideline-less commission to make two cows, with the suggestion of big udders. Naturally, I went with one realistic version:



And a no artificial preservative strawberry milk source with little blushing pink cheeks!




I enjoy replicating characters, but I always have the pressure of honoring the creator and doing the character justice. Especially during the holiday rush, I needed to set my creativity free, so balancing it out by doing my own cow characters was a really great relaxer.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Hug in Sheep's Clothing

Blamo makes wonderful, innovative toys that happen to be my favorite, so I was extremely excited to hear that Toy Art Gallery was curating a Blamo show! I didn't know it was a custom group show until I saw the little HUG sculptures, and was invited to participate in it. I have been meaning to work my yarn into other toys, so not only was this an incredible opportunity to try, but it was an honor that my first custom would be a Blamo piece.

Lately, I've been hooked on wolves and sheep for some reason, and since I knew I wanted to disguise my HUG as something, I thought it would be punny to make him a sheep. I used extra soft yarn like I did for a previous lamb, and built around the HUG's body. It was important to have the HUG visible underneath, so although the outfit is clingy to his body, not sealing it completely makes it possible to remove him if desired.

I struggled with the concept of the sheep fooling solely the viewer, versus, the sheep fooling a companion as well as the viewer. Since it was my first custom show, I didn't want to over or under do it. However, I realized my forte is in storytelling, rather than purely character, so it would make sense for me to do a scene.

I think I was inspired a few months ago when I biked passed a woman walking her sheep on Melrose. It was a bit of her that gave me the idea for a modern day Mary had a Little Lamb. Like all the girly pieces I make, I always give them accessories that I want. In this case, she had to have amazing kicks and a rocking dress. I brushed out her hair like I did with my Blanka, and had fun styling it to perfection.





I'm very happy with the outcome and super thankful to be in this wonderful show! All the artists did a fantastic job, and all the new Blamo pieces completely melted my heart! It's definitely one of my favorite shows to date. Everything will be on display till December 30th, and I highly suggest you check it out if you can : )

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pretty in Pig

So, I was commissioned to make a pig for a pig lover's birthday. I have actually been postponing a fun pig project for months, so I was really happy to have an opportunity to test out some ideas. Other than size, there weren't any guidelines, so I wanted to make it very personalized. I was told the recipient likes to shop, and that tequila was a plus, so I had to make a cute party piggy.

Fashion has always been important to me, but I haven't designed real clothes in a while, so it was refreshing to design some in crochet form. Dressing up is the best part, so I made the naked pig first and then constructed removable clothes around her. When I was a child, my talented grandma would sew beautiful kimonos, and I would take her scraps and sew clothes for my stuffed animals. This project was definitely reminiscent of those days, so I had a lot of fun doing it.



Everything is meant to be interactive, so the dress comes up from the bottom and ties around her back, the bow is removable, and the tequila cork comes out. So if little piggy is feeling adventurous, she can take a lesson from Tommy Pickles who believes, "Nakie is fun! Nakie is free! Nakie is nakie!"



Friday, October 12, 2012

My Precious

Gollum is my favorite character from Lord of the Rings, so my eyes lit up when my terrific client, Jeff, commissioned me to make one for his girlfriend's birthday. He let me run free with the design, so I was really excited.

To begin, I didn't know what size to make Gollum, but ordering pretty 9mm hand-painted eyes, kindof determined that for me. I wanted his eyes to be the big happy ones, and because the eyes I had were not very large to begin with, the rest of his body proportioned its tiny self accordingly.

I love singing 'Rock and Pool,' so I wanted to accompany him with a fish for some quality Smeagol time. I inserted a magnet in his face, and attached a wire to the fish, so you can play out the scene!


After establishing the head, I spent a ridiculous amount of time getting his loins just right. I ended up splitting yarn and using various stitching techniques around.



I gave him frail fingers so that you could put a ring on it! He comes with a tiny gold loop so you can decide if he's Gollum or Smeagol!


I finally had my first struggle after-touch. After I finished everything, Jeff really wanted me to add a mouth displaying Gollum's "jacked up teeth." I tried several different methods with yarn, but then ended up using felt. I tried to make the mouth magnetized too so that it was removable, but that didn't work, so I had to glue it on. It was a frustrating task because I didn't envision him with a mouth, and as you may have noticed, I don't tend to give my characters mouths. But after all the effort, I realized the big reason was that I didn't want him to have a mouth, because I had grown extremely attached to him. He became my precious.


Of course, the client gets what he wants, so Jeff got his mouth! I'm very happy because he is still adorable with it, and the fish actually ends up covering his mouth when it's on his face.



In addition, Jeff's girlfriend will have the stylized one-off Gollum catered to her, so what can be more special than that? Anyway, I am totally in love with him, and can't wait to order more eyes so I can have my own. For future reference, if I decide to make these available for sale, they will come without a mouth!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Infinity Wolfie

My I Agore You, Wolfie caught the eye of very excellent producer, Infinity, who commissioned me to make one in his likeness. I didn't want to create an identical Wolfie, so I mirrored the original, and used a white eye instead. Per request, I also styled him with a mohawk, glasses, and vest, to match Infinity's photo:




Making accessories is one of my favorite things, so I really enjoy every opportunity I get to make some. I even added a little pocket to the vest, so you could store something tiny inside. Infinity also wanted something relating to music, so I threw in a mini boom box




I had a lot of fun with this project, and am happy with this spooky cool dude!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Zomballs

Earlier this year, I worked a temporary job for a terrible company, but I was fortunate to have made a friend from it. Although it was bound to happen, I believe, the ice broke between me and my new supervisor, Liz, when we caught the elevator up to the office one morning. We didn't know too much about each other, but she did know that I worked as a crochet artist, so she asked what I had been working on. It had been right after I finished Neville, so I told her I was brainstorming monsters, to which she replied that she just started watching The Walking Dead. My excitement to hear this, slaughtered my early morning lethargy, as I encouraged her to hurry watching so she would be ready for the latter half of the second season.

While I have never read the comics, I am a passionate fan, and have been religiously watching The Walking Dead since its premiere. I adore the cinematography, the human vulnerability and nature, the humor, and of course, the zombie excitement. This past season was especially fun, because my friends and I basically created our own unofficial Facebook forums about the show and its characters. During work, Liz and I would also discuss our feelings about it on a regular basis. One particularly slow day, I used some yarn scraps to work on a little piece for her. It was just the head and ears, and I never got around to finishing his body, but soon, we had both ended up leaving that job. So the unfinished piece sat in my apartment for months, and frankly, I wasn't very bothered by it.


I realized, I really liked it as it was, and that I would enjoy making more, "Zomballs," in different colors. These ones would actually be "Zombuns" because they're all bunnies, but I don't want to limit the design, so Zomballs they are!



 

!!! ZOMBALL GIVEAWAY !!!

So, with the third season of The Walking Dead coming up this October 14th, I decided to do a giveaway leading up to the premiere! Yes, I'm really excited about it, and whether you're a fan or not of the show, you can still enjoy a baby Zomball of your own! Every week I'll post a question to those who 'like' my Facebook, or follow me on Twitter, and all you'll have to do is respond to be entered! The questions won't pertain to the show, because really, I think it'd be fun to grab some insight about my fans. If you're interested, get ready!


To be valid, you must either like me on Facebook and respond to my posts, and/or follow me on Twitter and tweet me back! All entrees will be put through a random number generator to determine the lucky recipient(s).

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Agore You, Wolfie

Last September I attended the opening show of Toy Art Gallery's new location on Melrose. Before that, I had been to a couple shops in Hawaii that catered to the toy art world, but none of them compared to this place. It was exciting and beautiful and I was so grateful for its existence. During my year in Los Angeles, I have been so thankful and honored to not only have my pieces sold in TAG, but to also have the opportunity to work there. It has been an amazing and educational experience!

I was invited to be in the anniversary show, and I couldn't have been more nervous. My work was going to be surrounded by all these wonderful established artists, and I honestly didn't know what to expect. I had to make sure what I produced was the best I had done. I wanted to utilize every technique I had learned over the years, from color changing, to brushing, as well as, incorporate concepts, like evolving my I Agore You line.

It took me well over fifteen hours, but, I absolutely fell in love with my piece, even though my hand nearly broke from having to brush him out so much:


At first, Wolfie was going to sit alone, but I imagined myself as him, and what I would do in his situation. Although it is a very depressing physical state, I would try to enjoy the bit of life I had left. So, although it completely changes the presentation of solo-Wolfie, I included a drink accessory for him to relax with.





I really wanted to have a mini stop animation of him, and luckily, JSalvador had time to help me film one. Here's Wolfie on his last whim, enjoying a chill beverage in a rather somber setting (I made sure it was a twist-off cap so it wouldn't necessarily promote alcohol):

 

And yes, I really do love howling.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A MiniTiger BerryLove Story

This past March, I was finally able to see Miniature Tigers when they were on tour promoting their newest album, Mia Pharaoh. The show was a day before the album release, so I was excited to hear all their new songs. Mia Pharaoh features a strawberry on the cover, so I was going to bring a Damaged Goods Strawberry to them, but I wasn't very confident about it. During the show, I was so overwhelmed with their performance that I decided I wanted to make a strawberry for each band member. After the show, JSalamander and I spoke with the talented lead singer/guitarist, Charlie. He was incredibly sweet, and also excited about the strawberries, promising to send me contact info later.


When I threw in their cd for the first time, I was brainstorming on strawberry production. Then the song, "Cleopatra" came on. It was only the second time I had heard it, and I instantly fell back into the time they played it at the show. I remember turning to J and telling him, "Even though I am getting their album, for sure, if for some reason I wasn't going to, THIS SONG would be the reason I buy it." So I began sketching character strawberries and storyboarding:






Although it was frustrating at times, I couldn't settle for using computer graphics to solve problems, so it took us a few days to film and edit. But it was a very exciting learning process, and I love all the experience I have gained from it. I'm very thankful to have J's technical knowledge and insight, as well as patience with my requests! As every artist should, I like to challenge myself with every project, so working with J to figure out shots and methods was a collaboration bonus. I hope this video brings many smiles and cheers with its angsty yet adorable content. I don't know if or when it will be pulled down due to copyright issues, but I couldn't help riding the inspiration seesaw again. Thank you, Miniature Tigers, for inspiring creation.

Please be advised that this video does contain mature language.