Let it snow (in blue)!

December 22, 2006 at 9:46 pm | Posted in All Finished Crafts, Craft - How-to's, Craft - Websites | 3 Comments

blue snowflakesIt’s said we are going to have a little snow after Xmas. In other words, it’s hardly possible for us to have a white Xmas this year. Actually, I dont really care as I have already had all Xmas’s in white in last few years. Believe it or not, I even had a white Xmas in Shanghai once.

Having experirenced quite a few snowstorms, I am no longer a big fan of snow as I was a kid. Even though, snowflake patterns are still among my favorites. Speaking of patterns, I am quite conservative about the shape of snowflakes. It must consist 6 points from my point of view. I cannot bear seeing so-called “5-point snowflake”, which is absolutely unnatural!

My Xmas break finally starts after the colloquim. Crocheting some snowflakes is the first thing that came to my mind. There are so many snowflake crochet patterns all around. I simply picked 3 that I like best.

From left to right:

Lacy snowflake by Julie A. Bolduc , Picot snowflake by Priscilla Hewitt and Triple crochet snowflake (my favorite among the 3)

I still have some white cotton threads left, but I chose blue ones so as to be consistent with the previous paper snowflake. To make my Xmas even “bluer“, I also made myself a small doily with the same thread although I have no idea what to do with it. 😛


Xmas party countdown

December 14, 2006 at 4:17 pm | Posted in All Finished Crafts, Craft - Blogs, Craft - How-to's, Craft - People, Craft - Websites | 2 Comments

Hubby finally agrees to come with me to the Xmas party at “Noam’s cabin”, thus this new little bear is officially the present I will bring for the gift exchange now. I just finished assembling him this morning.

Instead of an amigurumi, I would rather call him a thready teddy since it’s not in a typical Japanese style of crocheted creature. In fact, I adapt parts of a pattern, mainly the head and legs, in Teddy Bears and Friends (Feb 2004) by Berta Hesen-Minten from ThReAdTeDs. Her patterns work in such a different way compared to Japanese ones. The most obvious difference is the bear head in this pattern is made in one piece. Usually, bear noses are crocheted seperatedly or cut from felt, and then stitched onto the face. Besides, Japanese amigurumis’ heads are usually worked from top to bottom or vice versa. The one I just made was from the front (nose) to the back.

Another difference is that my bear have not only legs but also big feet! I felt like making a pair of little boots when crocheting the legs. It’s such a funny way to achieve the shapes. Berta Hesen-Minten uses increasing stitches, decreasing stitches as well as slip stitches, for example the round between the nose and the face. Slip stiches are relatively rare in Japanese patterns. Although I was not able to follow the whole pattern, I tried out nevertheless all the special approaches I never knew before.

The parts turned out to be very traditional in terms of teddy bears. It’s even possible to install plastic joints, which I don’t have and I am also too lazy to make. 😛 In other words, everything after crocheting the parts is exactly the same as making a sewn bear, e.g. stuffing, joining, stitching nose and mouth and putting on ears and eyes. As many other bears, he can stand by himself in certain positions. 🙂

My favorite part of this bear is his little brushy tail. My roommate in undergrad used to say a teddy bear without a nice tail is not a real teddy. I quite agree with her of this point. I always forgot the tails to avoid more work when making bears, but not any more! I used the yarn cut from the parts to make a mini pompom for the tail. The pompom is smaller than 1cm^3 thanks to Tatalina’s nice tutorial, which uses fork to make pompoms.

hmm….I hope someone in the party would like him and take him home happily. 🙂

BTW: One of the reasons using this yarn is Melanie’s amineko. Another reason is ….it’s left-over from my blanket project.

Crafters are all around

December 12, 2006 at 10:11 pm | Posted in Craft - Blogs, Craft - Books, Craft - People, Craft - Websites, Misc. | 1 Comment

I was a little surprised this afternoon when I walked into the foyer and saw Rebecca, one of my classmates, sitting there knitting. It has been at least 6 years that I can’t find anyone (geographically) *around* me doing any crafting. I was quite excited as if I found the new continent.

Even though I dont knit, there are still lots of common topics we can talked about other than schoolwork. 😀 For example, we talked about the different pattern notion systems in Japan and in the West, as well as Japanese books! She was making the gloves showed above(I dunno why I can’t remember this word at the moment I talked to her-.-) from the book 北欧のニットこものたち(ISBN4529041409), which is about Nordic knitting. Rebecca had the book with her, so I gotta take a look. There are many beautiful patterns in the book. However, those patterns are way too complicated for me, who only knows the basic stitches.

We also found out Shimada Toshiyuki(嶋田俊之), the author of the book, is a guy. I am not so surprised as I knew Hirose Mitsuharu(広瀬光治) was very famous for knitting. I thought Hirose Mitsuharu, namely “knitting prince”, might be very special in Japan. Now, it seems to me knitting is quite common for Japanese guy. ping used to introduce a crafting group of men. They are much more interesting than Hirose Mitsuharu from my point of view. Their blogs gave me a whole afternoon of laughing. 😀

Recent inspirations

December 3, 2006 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Craft - Blogs, Craft - People, Craft - Websites | Leave a comment

Most people (except me, obviously:() are in crafting or decoration mood when Xmas is coming. A lot of gorgerous works are all around.

The first I was so in love with is the sobbing chester from Evon. I’ve eaten so many chesternuts this in Oct, but I never thought about how the nuts would feel. Evon cares, so she made such a cute little felt chesternut, who is sobbing, not crying though. Maybe I will give such pitiful eyes to my next softie.

sobbing chester

Myra finished two amazing projects with walnut shells, a sleeping mouse and a driving one. She also kindly gave out the website that inspired her. In my opinion, Myra’s approaches are even better than those Japanese ones. This is also something I must try someday.:)

DIY Obasan carved a lot stamps recently. All of them are cute and nice! The lines are really neat. I especially like the “cynical cow” (that’s how I called him) she carved. It’s also great to see how people progress in just 2 months.

Cornflakegirl‘s recent pregenant doll is beautiful too. However, I prefer the way it was naked, especially the side vew. 😛

BTW, I foundArtistry in Pattern and Quiltkrazy kind of useful for reference for Quilting.

It’s Peter Callesen!

November 6, 2006 at 3:46 pm | Posted in Craft - People, Craft - Websites | Leave a comment

Snowballs, 2005



I’ve seen such kind of paper crafts from various resources in different languages, e.g. forums of different purposes, maillist, blogs of a lot people, etc. Due to the “transmission lost” of information over the internet, it took me a long time to find the origin: Peter Callesen.


I would call his work “2.5D papercut” as it combined 2D with 3D. They usually consist two parts: a piece of papercut and 3D items made of piece cut out from the same piece of paper. As Peter said, it’s obvious magic. I can’t find any other word better than that. Many if his works is based on beautiful fairytales. They actually reminded me a lot of joyful memories. Maybe Denmark is indeed the country of fairytales. 🙂


Cold winter and warm books

November 2, 2006 at 11:15 pm | Posted in Craft - Blogs, Craft - Books, Craft - People, Craft - Websites, Misc. | 4 Comments

It’s freezing cold. Yesterday we stayed at our highly heated apartment during the whole day, thereby the low temperature this morning is absolutely a surpise for me. It is torturing while waiting for bus this morning. 😦 Shivering in the wind, I tried distracting myself by thinking something warm. And a scarf is what I needed! I am working on a crochet project using my leftover yarns recently. If the yarns are not enough for my original plan, I might make it a scarf.

There was another thing in my mind: knitting. Although I have been struggling with the idea for a while, it is just not easy to pick up something that were given up 10 years ago. The idea became even more tempting after I accidently read two wonderful knitting books from Nicky Epstein.

Knitting on the edge Knitting over the edge

It’s the first time I realize that knitting can be so diverse and so interesting. Especially the second book introduced many unusual lovely embellishment designs. Except the roses on the cover, my favorite design is the cute blue scarf. It must be my first project, if I start knitting again.
cord scraf

Sable stasher has posted a few excerpt pages of Knitting over the edge.

The interesting thing is Nicky Epstein has a new book coming out at the end of this month and the title is Knitting beyond the edge. on->over->beyond->….what will be the next?:-D

Colorful stamps

October 22, 2006 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Craft - Books, Craft - Websites | 2 Comments

© AKKYUN; all rights reserved.
Although I had actually planned two projects for this halloween since July (as I was quite free at that moment), I only managed to make the little ghost so far. There are still a few days, but I dont think it’s possible for me to start&finish another project in 1 week. 😦 However, I am sort of compensated by the above picture from Akkyun. The purple gown is just perfect for such a lovely witch. :-)I love purple, and I love witch. That’s why I love this stamp so much.

The most popular craftbooks of rubber stamps from Japan, such Hankoya Shokado‘s and komagomaya‘s, are usually showing monochromical patterns. In that case, readers and authors may focus more on carving techniques than on colors/inks. In fact, there is another “style”. Yamada Yasuyuk is typically working in this way.

He has two books (ISBN4331510727 and 4837306284 respectively) published by some “not-so-famous” publishers, which is the reason I think he is not as popular as Hankoya Shokado and Komagomaya. I especially love the cover of latter one(Rubber stamping of four seasons). He used close colors to produce layers with simple stamps. The results are amazing! I would rather call it painting instead of stamp carving. Check his photo albums on livedoor for more of his stamped pictures. I really want to have some of his (fake) post-stamps.

BTW: Cuebee have produce probably the cutest stamp bookplates(Ex Libris) I’ve ever seen. Dont miss her/his (post)stamps there either!


September 28, 2006 at 9:20 pm | Posted in All Finished Crafts, Craft - Books, Craft - Inspirations, Craft - Websites | 2 Comments

I was quite surprised that I found something from a Brazilian blog. My name was not stated in the magazine, thereby some people thought it was by a Japanese. I actually start wondering if it’s really my work….kind of weired feelings…:D

Come on, the coins in the picture are all Canadian….how can it be from Japan, even it’s inspired by some Japanese traditional crafts? The inspiration was from a online excerpt of some Japanese book about traditional crafts using Kimono fabrics, but not from the website introduced in the magazine. Honestly, how a craft is inspired is what most Chinese readers of that magazine don’t care about. Anyway, the excerpt is from the book “traditional crafts from silk crepe“, ISBN 4-7662-0271-6. It’s clear enough to disclose the secret of roses. Check the website by Japan Toy Museum for more traditional Japanese crafts. I wish there could be more improved Chinese traditional crafts out there.

I drew detailed sketches on paper and the person who appears on the page transfer the sketches to vector pictures. It’s really strange seeing people following my instructions so precisely to make such a rose pouch. As a matter of fact, the size were all measured after the pouch is finished and the pieces of petals were counted at the same time. The size of the pouch is same as lid of 1-kg peanut butter bottle from Kraft. And the bias tape was as wide as my ruler. You know, it’s always my way to do crafting. The petals are ready-cut 2″ cotton squares from a set I got from ebay. It’s possible to use any shapes of scraps for the petals and I just happened to have some squares of such size. And, as a result of the fixed size of those squares and the amount of squares I have (I only have 7 squares of the last kind at that moment), I put those numbers of petals on each layer.Moreover, I made a tape for holding keys, because I was also considering a key pouch project when I made this rose pouch.

That is how it looks like before I sew the zip on, almost 3 weeks before I started my key pouch.

Aw, it has been almost 2 years…..I always took only a few coins and my keys with me to “shop” in the grocerystore on du Fort at that time. It would be very convenient to have something for both of them. That’s why the pouch ended up to have these functions even though I didn’t make it for myself (freak logic:-P). There is something even more weird. The color theme of this pouch is determined by the fabrics I used for bias tape, but not by the petal squares. It was from an abandoned pajama. I spent a few hours making a long bias-tape with my roommate’s iron and I had to use it somewhere.

It’s definitely not my style, so pink and so girly. It’s one of the reasons I request my name not to appear. Another reason is I dont think it’s original enough. I didn’t keep the pouch. Instead, I gave it to my lovely little niece who is crazy about pink, flowers and being princess. Happy ending for everyone! 🙂

Taiwan “Campo”

August 30, 2006 at 4:13 pm | Posted in Craft - Blogs, Craft - Websites | Leave a comment

I seldom talked about Chinese craftsters, especially those from Taiwan. As a matter of fact, I dont really know much about Taiwan crafts. My old-time impressions about Taiwan craftsters are the “patchworkers” (most of them are not making quilts) like Ann(I still think she is one of the best patchworker in Taiwan:)) and the soft toy makers like Jarlin.

Taiwan crafts are definitely much more than that, but I just never knew! I might have spent too much time exploring the websites in languages I dont know. What a pity I am! It’s not too late to start the new exploration now though. My spare time in the last few days is all about Taiwan! 😛

Above all, I want to introduce the sweet softies by Amy. My favorites of her creations are the amigurumi bee and the sock snowman. It’s exactly what people call “unbearable cuteness”. ^^

Art markets are regularly organized in Taiwan. They called it “创意市集”(Market of ideas) and refered it as a Campo in English, I guess. Such a “market” is actually a collection of arts, including crafts, photographs, illustrations and many other types (even dramas!). Check out the links under the word “創作” from campolive, and you can find websites/blogs of fabulous creations.

StreetVoice and another blog have got links to some other craftsters. It’s a little tricky to figure that way out. If you dont read Chinese, just test any links randomly and you’ll get SURPRISE.

Please dont blame if you cannot afford this much new links in one single day, and good luck!:-D

Crafting free week?!

August 29, 2006 at 11:23 am | Posted in Craft - Blogs, Craft - Books, Craft - Websites, Misc. | 1 Comment

My craft-related stuffs are in this 30x30x50cm box. My fabrics (including all scraps and the old clothes I got from the laundry room:-P), my sewing notions/tools (including my iron), my yarns, the colored pencils and the sketch books are ALL in it. Although we are not yet ready to go, I can’t do any crafting before the moving is done.>_
So….will I be crafting-free this week? Of coz, NOT! I can still check out a lot of craft projects available online and read the craftbooks I haven’t read after I downloaded….Fortunately, my laptop wont be packed. 😀

Crafé 2006 (Originally, Handmade Nuno) Autumn is out! The content table is available online, however in Japanese. The publisher has announced the name change of this magazine.

The monkey on the cover reminds me of gnip‘s WAWAs, as it’s also made of kimono. There will be a special edition of animal patchworks. See the fabric picture book on the monkey’s hand? There are more than one such projects in the magazine. How cute are they! 🙂

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