Today is the last day of 2013 and out of curiosity, I checked my Google Stats to see which were my most popular blog posts this past year! I thought I would share the top 5 with you all in case some of you are new to my blog or are curious too!
We had over 1 million visits and over 2.5 million pageviews in the year 2013! Thank you for reading and supporting my blog from around the world, and we look forward to 2014! What designs and patterns are you looking forward to in the new year? Let me know in the comments below! HAPPY NEW YEAR, my fellow crafty and amigurumi friends!
Every first Friday of the month is “Bring Your Amigurumi To Work Friday" (BYATWF), a fun initiative started by Dennis, a graphic designer and amigurumi artist from the Netherlands (check out his work here)! I participated in the first one on Instagram (@AllAboutAmi) by photographing my little Dragon while playing with Myla since I have the best job in the world as her Mama :)
This Friday is the third “BYATWF”, so choose a special amigurumi, have him/her follow you around for the day, snap a photo and upload it onto your blog, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtag “#BYATWF" so we can all see! It’s fun seeing other people’s creations and what environments they’re in! And don’t worry if you don’t work on Fridays- you can snap your work photo on another day and upload it on Friday OR your amigurumi can tag along with you as you go grocery shopping, to the library, to the gym and so forth! What a great way to bring the amigurumi community together :) Can’t wait to see what all our little crocheted friends around the world will be doing and where they’ll be going this Friday!
I have some very exciting news to share with you all! I was featured in the June 2013 issue of Malaysia’s “Home & Décor” Magazine! This is the beautiful cover…
Mei of Meimoirs, a fellow amigurumi artist who is extremely talented and creative, first contacted me in March and told me that she was doing a story about the “Global Handmade Movement" for the magazine. I was so honoured that she wanted to feature me! Mei did a wonderful job with the story as she talks about the rising popularity of handmade items, Pinterest, DIY tutorials and Etsy, as well as how social media has really helped spread the popularity of crafting. Handmade items are definitely a breath of fresh air in a world of mass consumerism and big-box stores!
The story features five artists from around the world, including Canada (me), France, Australia and Malaysia! I really enjoyed reading about the other artists and seeing their work :) It is definitely neat to see and hear about what is going on around the crafting world!
Here is my feature in the magazine! Give it a read…perhaps you’ll learn something new about me!
Thank you to Malaysia’s Home & Décor Magazine for the lovely feature, and thank you so very much to Mei for writing up such a great story and including me! Check out Mei’s amigurumi work on her blog HERE!
[All photos in this blog post courtesy of Mei!]
As some of you know, I was recently featured in a beautiful new crochet magazine called “Simply Crochet”! I was thrilled when Debora, the editor-in-chief of “Simply Crochet" first contacted me in early November about being involved with a secret new magazine they were launching in the new year. The magazine sounded very promising and interesting, and I jumped at the chance to be a part of it!
The first issue of “Simply Crochet" came out in the UK and on Apple Newsstand in January 2013, and we immediately bought a digital copy of it on our iPad. I was very impressed by the beautiful lay-outs, pretty patterns and picture guides for those who were new to crochet. I absolutely couldn’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy of it so I could share my magazine feature with you all!
I wasn’t able to find a copy of the first issue of “Simply Crochet" at my local bookstore until last week! Chapters Indigo was kind enough to call me as soon as they received copies of the magazine. Since it is from the UK, it took a while for it to come to Canada. I know the US got it earlier at Barnes & Noble- thank you for your tweets, Facebook and Instagram messages letting me know that you had spotted me in the magazine! That was very sweet :) I was so incredibly excited to see the magazine in person!
It’s surreal picking up a magazine and seeing your work and picture in it! I never in a million years thought that I would be featured in a magazine. Haha, part of me wanted to go around the store and say, “Look…that’s me!” (I didn’t end up doing this :P).
Here is Simply Crochet’s youngest reader, five and a half month old Myla! I think she spotted some familiar faces…
Myla was only 5 weeks old in our family photo in the magazine. How time flies…
This is the front cover of the first issue of “Simply Crochet”! It’s such an honour that my amigurumi Dragon was featured on the cover and in the top right corner! This makes him very visible when the magazine is stacked behind other magazines.
The first issue also came with two crochet hooks: a pink 4 mm crochet hook and a bright yellow 6 mm crochet hook. This gives the magazine a little more value since it is pricey at $13.99 CAD (£4.99 in the UK).
Here you can see a picture of me holding Dragon in the Table of Contents!
I was very honoured that they listed me as one of the “Contributors” for this issue!
They included an article entitled, “What is Amigurumi?" to introduce people to the Japanese art of crocheting stuffed animals in case they had never seen it before…
And on the next page there was a big picture of my Dragon! Doesn’t he look so sweet?
It was neat seeing my Dragon pattern typed up nicely in a magazine. They did a great job with the lay-out as the steps coincided with the pictures along the bottom. At first when I read the pattern I was a little taken aback as I saw all the double crochets. I momentarily forgot that single crochets are double crochets in UK crochet terminology!
On the following pages was the feature of our family! I was very flattered by the title of the article: “An Amigurumi Sensation: Creating adorable amigurumi while caring for an equally cute newborn? It’s all in a day’s work for crochet devotee Stephanie Lau”. A colleage of Debora’s named Judy sent me about a dozen interview questions to answer back in November. Myla was less than a month old and I was very sleep-deprived and recovering from labour. I slowly chipped away at those questions when I felt like I had a little energy and was somewhat coherent, but it felt like an eternity before I finally finished answering all of their questions to the best of my ability. I think Judy did a wonderful job writing up the article based on my answers! Some of you said that you learned some new things about me (e.g. my husband Ryan takes all of the lovely photos for the blog!) and that you enjoyed the feature too :)
It still astounds me how popular Dragon is! He is definitely my most popular amigurumi and I’ve really enjoyed seeing your versions and hearing your lovely feedback about the pattern. Some of you have stated that it’s your favourite amigurumi pattern and that you’ve been inspired to learn how to crochet just to make him!
“Simply Crochet" introduced some new readers to my blog and I am so thankful to have been a part of the launch of such a beautiful new crochet magazine. The bright images, aesthetic lay-outs and great project ideas (jewelry, items for the home, fashion) make this a very modern magazine that makes crocheting appealing to all generations…no longer is crocheting just a "grandma’s hobby" anyore! (Side note: I remember teaching my classmate in Grade 6 how to crochet and a boy laughed at us and called us old ladies when he saw what we were doing!). “Simply Crochet" also has a very lovely blog that you can keep up with here!
Thank you so much to the staff of “Simply Crochet" for featuring me and for letting me be a part of your magazine! And thank you to all our readers for continuing to support, encourage and help inspire us to keep being creative- Ryan and I cannot thank you enough! We have more new projects coming up (including a new amigurumi that we will be unveiling next week!), and we can’t wait to share them with you :D
Two years ago on this day, I wrote my very first blog post! I still remember how excited I was to finally start a blog and share my brand new hobby with the world :) I never in my wildest dreams imagined how far we would come in this amigurumi-making and blogging journey! We feel so blessed and thankful to God that we can share our passion and creativity with you all through “All About Ami”. Thank you to all our readers who have been with us since the very beginning and to those who have recently found out about our work, in large part due to Pinterest, Craftgawker and Ravelry! It is always such a joy reading your thoughtful, encouraging comments and even getting ideas of what to do on our travels (e.g. Paris & Tokyo)!
I spent the vast majority of this past year pregnant, so my crochet blog took somewhat of a turn with many baby-related projects! “All About Ami" has been such a wonderful way for us to chronicle where we are on our life journey, from being a newly married couple, to expecting a baby, and now as new parents! Thanks for coming along this journey with us and uplifting us in your prayers, thoughts and messages! God has blessed us with such a precious gift in baby Myla this past year and we are so thankful to be given the opportunity to be parents. She is growing up so quickly before our eyes as she is almost 3 months old!!!
253 posts, 3700 Facebook fans, 599 Twitter followers, 633 Instagram followers and 5649 Tumblr followers later, here we are. I’ve blogged about 15 original amigurumi designs and on my Facebook page I asked which ones you thought were my most popular! Many of you guessed correctly: the ones pictured above are my most popular amigurumi, namely Dragon, the Spring Bunnies & the Teddy Ornaments! Which one of our designs is your favourite? Surprisingly, our most popular blog post is not an amigurumi! Can anyone guess which crochet project garnered the most views?
Thanks again for all your support, and we pray that “All About Ami" will continue to inspire you to take up a new hobby, try out new projects and go beyond what you think you can do! Let’s continue to use our God-given talents and passions to love and connect with others! We hope that we can continue to bring smiles to your faces and help bring some positivity and love into your lives, especially on those days when you need it most! God bless :)
~ Stephanie, Ryan & Myla
I am super excited to share the cover of a new magazine called “Simply Crochet" that will be launching soon! "Simply Crochet" is "a celebration of all things crochet, and is packed with inspiring patterns, gorgeous photos and helpful advice for those who love or would love to learn to crochet”. Do you spot someone familiar on the cover?
The first issue will contain my Dragon pattern as well as a feature of my blog and I! “Simply Crochet" launches in England on January 10 and will be available in the US and Canada in February. According to their website, you’ll be able to find “Simply Crochet" at Indigo in Canada and at Jo-Ann’s and Barnes and Noble in the US. It will also be available for purchase from the Apple Newsstand on January 10 as well!
I am incredibly excited to get my hands on a copy and see what the first issue of “Simply Crochet" looks like since little Dragon and I are being featured and since I love all things crochet :) I will blog about it once I do! In the meantime, you can check out a sneak peek of the magazine HERE to get an idea of what projects and patterns will be featured, as well as a special offer where you can get the first 3 issues for £5 if you live in the UK and $10 if you live in the US or Canada! You can also check out the beautiful "Simply Crochet" blog HERE and follow them on facebook and twitter for their updates! Can’t wait!
The blog will be quiet for a while as we travel to Tokyo, Japan! Thank you so much to everyone who gave such thoughtful tips and recommendations for our trip! Hopefully we’ll be able to get lots of inspiration for future projects, and we can’t wait to share our adventures with you when we get back :)
Hey everyone! Guess where our travels are taking us next? To JAPAN, the Land of the Rising Sun and where amigurumi originated! We are incredibly excited as we will be leaving soon! We will spend most of our time in Tokyo :) Does anyone have recommendations on good places to eat and visit? I would LOVE to get some tips from you and hear about some of your favourite places! I would greatly appreciate it if you left a comment here, tweeted me or sent me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thank you so much :)
Hmmm…what are Ryan and I reading?
Some super awesome magazines we’ve been featured in! I was thrilled when Anna M. Park, the editor-in-chief of Audrey Magazine contacted me, saying that she loved my crochet designs and wanted to include some of them in their upcoming spring issue! Audrey is the “Asian American Women’s Lifestyle Magazine”, and I was so excited when my hard copies came in the mail. Growing up, I used to read magazines such as “Cosmo Girl”, “Seventeen" and "Teen Vogue”, and I would get very excited whenever I saw an Asian face on a page, which of course was rare. Audrey highlights Asian-Americans in entertainment, sports, and pop culture in general, and they also feature Asian-American models in their beauty and fashion sections. I think it’s exciting where the Asian-American community is headed as the cultural landscape diversifies and more Asian-Americans are visible in the media!
Hannah Simone, of Indian and German-Italian-Greek-Cypriot descent and co-star of New Girl is on the cover of the Spring issue! Previous stars who have graced the cover of Audrey include Jenna Ushkowitz of Glee, Jamie Chung, Freida Pinto, Tia Carrere, Mindy Kaling and Olivia Munn :)
My feature is on the very last page! They included a large picture of my Dragon as well as a picture of my Spring Bunnies in the corner. The feature also includes a little bit about me, including my inspiration, my blog name and how I got started in crocheting. I am so thrilled and honoured to be featured in this great pioneering magazine!
My brother Corey is a big Nintendo fan (I’ve crocheted a Bob-omb and Luigi amiguurmi for him as well as a Pokemon cell phone cozy) and he’s always loved reading Nintendo Power. I used to flip through his magazines as we played our fair share of Nintendo games together growing up (e.g. Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Luigi’s Mansion, etc). Corey told me about the “Community" section at the back of every issue of the magazine which features fanwork from all around the world. I thought I would submit the amiugurumi Link I made since I was so proud of how my Hylian shield and accessories turned out! I was thrilled when I heard back from Nintendo Power as they were very interested in my amigurumi! Freelance writer and game journalist Nathan Meunier asked me some questions and began writing his article.
I quickly went out to the store and bought myself a hard copy! I love the title of our feature: “Lover’s Link" with the description, "This Zelda-inspired amigurumi makes for matrimonial harmony”. The article highlights how we work as a great husband and wife team and how we wanted to create our own accessories after following Japanese artist Becchin’s original design. It’s so exciting being featured in a magazine that we used to read growing up!
Lastly, I was contacted by the wonderful people over at Craftgawker. Craftgawker was being featured in a crafts magazine in the UK called “Crafts Beautiful Magazine" (haha I’ve probably never used the word "crafts" so many times in one sentence before :P). This magazine wanted to use some images from Craftgawker, so Craftgawker asked if they could have my permission to send them the photo of my amigurumi Dragon! Of course, I happily obliged and was excited that such an awesome site with so many beautiful images wanted to use one of mine! Craftgawker has been very instrumental in introducing people to my blog, and I highly recommend you check out their site if you haven’t so already: there are so many gorgeous images of inspiration for free tutorials and wonderful craft ideas. You can see my Dragon featured on the page that appeared in the magazine!
We are so thankful to be featured in these wonderful magazines, particularly since Nintendo Power and Audrey Magazine are not targeted towards craft or crochet audiences. They are mainstream magazines that can be bought in stores! Hopefully some new people will be introduced to the wonderful world of amigurumi and crochet! Thank you so much for all your continued support, everyone :)
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