Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fast Forward Just a Little Bit...

For a little while, I only made amigurumis for birthday and Christmas gifts. Since the gifting events were pretty sporadic, I wanted to condense them down a bit so that I can show you what I did during that time. Get ready for some time jumping and amigurumi evolution!

(December 2008)
My sister-in-law's birthday was coming up. Since she’s from Hawaii, I wanted to make her a pineapple. I already made an apple and a pear, so a pineapple wasn’t that far off the fruit scale. I looked online for a pattern, but I couldn’t find one I really liked, so I made one up. This was my first pattern.

Before her birthday brunch, I gave Christie her present. When she opened up the gift, she looked very confused. I don’t think she had ever seen an amigurumi before. I explained to her that it was a crocheted pineapple and that I had made it. At first I thought she didn’t like her gift, but it turned out once she realized what it was, she loved it! It was the first time I had given one of my crochet toys to anyone and it wasn’t the reaction I was expecting, but in the end it was all good. Her pineapple still sits on her shelf, smiling.

(December 2008)
My niece, Chloe, also has a December birthday. I wanted to make her something short and sweet, just like her. From Amigurumi World by Ana Paula Rimoli, I found this pattern for a cupcake. The only thing I changed was the pattern called for beads for the “sprinkles” but I change them to different color yarn. My niece was only 2-years old and I didn’t wanted her to accidentally pick off the beads and swallow them.
When Chloe opened up her present and saw the cupcake, she was so happy. Seeing her reaction was one of the reasons why I love to make amigurumis so much. Something I made was making someone happy, which makes me even more happy.

(December 2009)
For my niece and nephews Christmas presents, I wanted to make them something special. I had been making simple toys so far and I wanted to challenge myself. They had recently moved and now had their own bedrooms, so I wanted to make them gifts that suited their personalities.
By this time, Ana Paula Rimoli had come out with a second book, Amigurumi Two! In the book was a pattern for a hot air balloon with a teddy bear. Max always loved flying machines, so I thought a hot air balloon would be perfect to hang in his room.

Another pattern found in Amigurumi Two! was a mobile with little birds. Chloe’s room was pink with a princess themed bed. The little birds were very fitting for her room because even Cinderella and Snow White had little bird friends watching over them.

                The kids loved their mobiles. Max immediately started spinning circles to make the hot air balloon take flight. Chloe, wanting to be like her older brother, did the same. Her little birds flew up in the air, making her giggle. This beats any store-bought toys I’ve ever gotten for them.

                So we haven’t caught up to my current projects yet, but I hope you’re enjoying my trip through memory lane. I’m amazed I’ve come so far in my toy-making. I also love remembering how happy I’ve made people who’ve received my gifts. Thanks for joining me again. Until next week…

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In the beginning...

                Two years ago, after another stressful day at work, I wandered into Barnes & Nobles hoping to relax by browsing magazines. This usually worked pretty well, but it didn’t on that day. I was about to give up and head home when I passed by a table featuring crafting books. One book in particular caught my eye, Amigurumi World by Ana Paula Rimoli. Something about the crocheted animals really piqued my curiosity. I immediately bought the book and headed to the craft store to buy some yarn and a crochet hook.
                Of course, it wasn’t as easy as I thought. After 3 days, countless how-to websites, and numerous youtube videos later, I made my first amigurumi, an apple. It wasn’t the stress relieving hobby I was hoping for, but I was hooked, pardon the pun. I was so proud of myself. It had been a long time since I felt so determined to learn something new and actually sit down to do it. I was also in awe of the fact that I was able to take something as simple as yarn and hook and create something tangible and so cute.
                My next amigurumi, a pear, took considerably less time to make, but the result was no less surprising to me. After finishing the toy, I held it up and giggled with joy, not only because it was so cute but because I made it with my own hands. Two years later, after making so many toys, I still do the same thing every time I finish a toy. I think that’s why I love making amigurumis. They make me happy!

                For the longest time I was looking for something I could feel passionate about and this is it! I’m grateful that I was able to find a craft that I love and that I can learn to improve on. This blog is not only a record of all the amigurumis I’ve made and will make in the future, but also my journal for each project. Eventually I’ll include some insight for the home business I plan to start, Comfort Creatures, and my own how-to instructions. This is my amigurumi adventure. Enjoy!