I had never participated in an art trade before, but I jumped at the opportunity to work with Kim Rountree of Oborocharms when she suggested that we do one (read about how I got to know Kim here). I had a difficult time choosing what I wanted to ask Kim to make as her shop was full of adorable charms and stuffies. What stood out to me in particular were her custom charms that were incredibly detailed. I thought it would be so special to have little custom charms made based on my original amigurumi designs. I e-mailed Kim, listing some suggestions of custom charms I would love to have, including Chinese New Year Doll, Valentine Teddy, Sweetheart Bunny, and Dragon. I also told Kim that I completely didn’t mind choosing items that were already in her shop (non-custom) if it was too much trouble. Kim was so gracious and generous as she immediately replied, saying she wanted to make ALL of them! I knew it would be a challenge, but there is nothing that Kim can’t handle!
As I excitedly began to work on Snuggles the Penguin for Kim based on one of her charms, I was treated to “sneak peeks” of my charms through Kim’s facebook page. Kim periodically posted photos of all her work in progress, and Ryan and I had a blast seeing our charms being made along the way and trying to figure out which ones were for us! Can you identify any of my amigurumi designs in the photo below? The next series of photos are all courtesy of Kim from her facebook page!
I thought I’d point them out to you just in case you couldn’t see them all! From left to right, we have Dragon, Sweetheart Bunny, Valentine Teddy and Chinese New Year Doll. Haha, I don’t blame you for not being able to identify Chinese New Year Doll since she’s flopped over! You can see the bun in her hair ;)
Next, Kim posted a photo of her charms drying after she had painted them! Kim does such fine detailed work, and her painting is impeccable. Here you can spot Dragon, Sweetheart Bunny, Valentine Teddy and Chinese New Year Doll too!
I was so excited when Kim posted this photo of the Dragon charm, as was everyone else on her page! Kim had yet to add some more detail, but he was looking super cute already!
Here is the Dragon charm all finished, complete with his scaled body and tiny fang!
Kim drew a sketch of this baby dragon six years ago, and now he’s an amigurumi AND an adorable charm :) This charm seems to be very popular as Kim has been making so many of them! I love how you can have them in any colour you want too- check out that blue dragon! You can order your own Dragon charm by clicking here.
Kim also posted a photo of the finished Valentine Teddy charm! Look how tiny he is compared to a penny!
When Kim posted this picture of all four of my completed charms, I absolutely could not stop smiling and staring at the screen! They were all SO CUTE and accurate, and I was so thankful that Kim had made all four for me :) I asked her if she would attach them onto a bracelet for me as she had recently added a custom charm bracelet option to her shop. Kim happily obliged and attached them onto the bracelet in the order in which I had designed and created them. I was so excited when Kim told me that she had officially sent the bracelet off in the mail!
Kim also has a youtube channel here, and in this video she took the time to describe some new charms she had finished. Kim talks about the charms she made for me between 0:43 - 1:34, and you can see what they look like from all different angles (Sweetheart Bunny and Valentine Teddy both have cute little tails and Dragon has some horns along his back). I loved being able to see them “in action”, which of course got me even MORE excited for my bracelet to come in the mail!
I excitedly checked the mail everyday and practically squealed with joy when I saw that my package from California had arrived! I waited for Ryan to come home so we could open it together! Inside the package was this adorable litttle box that contained my charm bracelet PLUS some cute pinback buttons that Kim had thrown in as an added bonus :) Her strawberry octofruit, owl and baby narwhal are all popular items in her shop! Don’t my charms look absolutely adorable all huddled together in their little box?
I immediately took out the bracelet and examined each charm carefully one-by-one. I could not believe how tiny and detailed they were!
Here is the order in which we designed and created these little guys: Chinese New Year Doll, Valentine Teddy, Sweetheart Bunny, and Dragon!
I thought I would show you what each charm looks like compared to my amigurumi creation in case you’ve never seen them! For the Chinese New Year Doll, I was really impressed that Kim even included the tiny chopsticks in the charm’s hair, complete with the yellow and grey decorative balls. Her little bun, side part, rosy cheeks and winged lashes are all perfect!
Valentine Teddy has his dapper little red bow and the stitching on his feet too!
Kim did such a great job with the Sweetheart Bunny, from her detailed floral bow to her pretty pink jumper and her perfect little heart!
And of course, here are the two Dragons based on Kim’s drawing from 6 years ago! They both have their little wings, rosy cheeks, scaled bodies and sweet little fangs!
Here are all four of the charms that Kim made for me with their crocheted counterparts! They’re all so sweet!
After examining each of the charms, I immediately asked Ryan to help me put the bracelet on! Kim spaced each charm out perfectly so that I had a lot of slack left-over…I don’t like bracelets that are too big since they always feel like they’re going to fall off!
I absolutely love my one-of-a-kind charm bracelet, and it’s neat to think that I’m the only one in the whole wide world who has it! I wore it out already, and I couldn’t help but smile when looking at it. This bracelet reminds me of all the hard work we’ve put into our amigurumi creations, how people all over the world have crocheted their own versions, and how much fun my collaboration with the talented Kim of Oborocharms has been.
Even though we sent off our packages on different days, would you believe that Kim and I both ended up receiving each other’s art trade items on the exact same day? Kim posted this picture of the crocheted Snuggles I made for her with the little charm Snuggles sitting atop his head! Snuggles looks right at home at Kim’s place, and I’m so happy that he made it there safely!
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting an inside look into our art trade! The whole process has been so much fun, and it’s a little sad that it’s over. We’ll definitely try and do another one in the future though :) You can crochet your own Snuggles by following the pattern here or crochet your own Dragon by following the pattern here. You can also purchase a Snuggles charm here or a Dragon charm here. If you have any custom charms that you would like made (e.g. your pets, favourite foods, favourite animals, etc.), be sure to contact Kim! Her custom charms would make very meaningful gifts either for yourself or for your loved ones! Thank you so much again for my personalized, beautifully-crafted charm bracelet, Kim :D
To tell you the truth, I was hesitant about making a dragon. Life got really busy as soon as we came back from our Christmas holidays, and Chinese New Year was fast approaching. I didn’t think we’d have the time, and it seemed challenging to make a cute dragon since I was so used to making my cute bears and bunnies. Ryan, who is always up for a challenge, strongly encouraged me to give it a try, saying that we’d have enough time and that it would be really special since it was Chinese New Year. It had been exactly a year ago since we had created our first original design and pattern: the Chinese New Year Doll. With his support and encouragement, we began brainstorming ideas of what our dragon would look like. The only dragons that came to mind were “Mushu” from Mulan, “Toothless” from “How to Train Your Dragon”, “Puff the Magic Dragon”, and the Dragon from Shrek. We looked for images of inspiration on-line by googling “cute dragon” and this adorable picture immediately jumped out:
We thought this little green dragon was so sweet! We initially had difficulty trying to find the artist who drew this picture as no one who used this image was able to locate the source. However, an astute tumblr reader informed me that the artist is actually Kim Rountree of Oborocharms (check out more of her kawaii art here). We based our amigurumi dragon on this image since he was so unbelievably adorable!
This Dragon’s head is different than all the other amigurumi I’ve made since it is not spherical or ball-shaped. Rather than starting off with the magic circle, I crocheted around a series of chain stitches to create an oval shape.
As you can see, I then started widening the head and then sharply decreasing. Ryan added the eyes and then stitched this cute mouth with a little fang!
Ryan then excitedly began working on the wings. He cut out two pieces of beige felt shaped like isosceles triangles. Next, he cut pieces of the same green yarn that I used to crochet his head and splayed them outwards from the tip of the triangle. Using fabric glue, he secured the yarn in place. He then trimmed the felt cutting from one piece of yarn to the next and then scalloped the edges between the yarn pieces. Ryan secured the wings onto the Dragon’s head using a glue gun. He did all this as I was checking my e-mail since he wanted to keep it a surprise…I squealed with delight when I saw how awesome his wings looked!
Next I worked on Dragon’s legs/body. I crocheted two circles and then joined them together. I then continued crocheting around these two joined circles, similar to how I made the baby P.J. Teddy's legs.
I continued for a few rows until the cute little body was complete!
Ryan then worked on the four horns for our little Dragon. He cut out these pieces from dark brown felt, applied glue with a glue gun, and then rolled them into cone shapes.
I was so happy with how Dragon was turning out since he had so many cute details! After adding the horns, the pink cheeks and the body, I crocheted two small arms and attached them to the sides. On a completely unrelated note, Dragon matches perfectly with the pattern of my armchair!
Ryan then used felt and embroidery floss to add this scaled detailing to his body. Ryan is so adept at using felt :) I then crocheted a little tail and attached it angling a little higher up than normal so that it appears that Dragon is leaning back (visible in upcoming pictures). This tail also gives him balance so he can stand all by himself!
And now, may we present to you our finished little Dragon!
In the Chinese culture, dragons are symbols of power, strength and good luck. Because of this, the Year of the Dragon is very popular!
With his tail positioning, our little Dragon is leaning back…doesn’t it look like he’s about to let out a puff of fire? As you can see here, we also added a little spike to the tip of his tail!
We are so thrilled with how he turned out, particularly with all the details that Ryan added…
Here is a close-up of Dragon’s face: I love the shape of his head and his cute expression :)
And here is a really close-up view of his mouth. Haha, the little fang could also look like some drool coming down from this little guy’s mouth…
The four felted conical horns: the two in the front are smaller than the two in the back.
Another close-up view of his wing:
And another close-up view of his scaled body:
Isn’t he precious? I am sooo happy that Ryan encouraged me to make him. He brings a smile to my face whenever I see him…
I can’t believe it’s been a year since we made our first original design. We’ve come so far and made so many amigurumi since then, but Chinese New Year Doll is still very unique and will always hold a special place in my heart. They make a cute pair, don’t they?
Chinese New Year Doll has a new ami to chat up…will she get a new friend every year? We’ll have to see…
So now you have two ways to celebrate Chinese New Year! The Dragon would be a great gift for any babies who are born this year or for anybody who is the Year of the Dragon :)
I was trying to think of different ways to photograph our new Dragon, and I thought it’d be special to whip out my Chinese dress (cheongsam or qipao) that I bought in Hong Kong. I actually wore this dress during the tea ceremony of our wedding where we received a lot of red pocket money and jewelry. I love the detailing and pinkness of my dress since it is different than the traditional red ones!
As Ryan and I were working on Dragon at night, we noticed the scary shadow that he was casting… Wouldn’t it be funny if you saw this ominous shadow at night but then turned the corner to find this little cutie?
“Gung Hei Fat Choy” or Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! I hope you like the Dragon we made, and thank you for the wonderful response to him so far :) Ryan and I really enjoy reading all your comments on the blog, facebook and on tumblr, and it’s so rewarding being able to share our love of crafting with you all! I always enjoy working through the whole amigurumi process with Ryan, and I feel very blessed and fortunate that I have such a supportive, creative, crafty and encouraging hubby! The pattern for this little dragon can be found HERE while the pattern for the Chinese New Year Doll can be found here. Don’t forget to send me photos of your finished products through e-mail, facebook or twitter! Let me know what you think of him! Our dragon is also in desperate need of a name…any ideas?
[Note: People have been sending me photos of their baby Dragons, and I’ve compiled them into a Crochet Corner post here!]