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I was tagged by Kay of “Mikaylove" to show what’s in my bag on Instagram!  I thought I’d use this opportunity to show a sneak peek of a project that I will be blogging about- can you spot the crocheted item?  In this purse I carry my Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet, grapefruit Icebreakers, NYX lip gloss, EOS lip balm, hand sanitizer, hair clippie, iPhone and sashiko kleenex holder (which I blogged about here).  I seem to have an affinity for grey and pink things :)
I managed to snag a “Phillip Lim for Target" mini satchel in taupe, and I have been loving it!  It can hold quite a bit and the cross-body strap allows me to be hands free.  For all you mommies wondering, I carry a separate collapsible bag that has Myla’s diapers, wipes, change of clothes, snacks, change table, nursing cover etc.  It’s a nice change from the big diaper bags I’ve been carrying for most of the year!  
If any of you are interested in this bag, my friend Natalie of “Coquette" is doing a GIVEAWAY of this same bag in black and yellow (only open to US residents, closes on Oct. 7).  Head over to her blog HERE to see how you can enter her giveaway!  And stay tuned for the step-by-step blog post of this newest crochet project :)

I was tagged by Kay of “Mikaylove" to show what’s in my bag on Instagram!  I thought I’d use this opportunity to show a sneak peek of a project that I will be blogging about- can you spot the crocheted item?  In this purse I carry my Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet, grapefruit Icebreakers, NYX lip gloss, EOS lip balm, hand sanitizer, hair clippie, iPhone and sashiko kleenex holder (which I blogged about here).  I seem to have an affinity for grey and pink things :)

I managed to snag a “Phillip Lim for Target" mini satchel in taupe, and I have been loving it!  It can hold quite a bit and the cross-body strap allows me to be hands free.  For all you mommies wondering, I carry a separate collapsible bag that has Myla’s diapers, wipes, change of clothes, snacks, change table, nursing cover etc.  It’s a nice change from the big diaper bags I’ve been carrying for most of the year!  

If any of you are interested in this bag, my friend Natalie of “Coquette" is doing a GIVEAWAY of this same bag in black and yellow (only open to US residents, closes on Oct. 7).  Head over to her blog HERE to see how you can enter her giveaway!  And stay tuned for the step-by-step blog post of this newest crochet project :)

Animethon 2013: Totoro Cosplay

It’s been our tradition over the past few years to attend the Animethon in August during the summer!  The first time I went, I was blown away by everyone’s costumes and enthusiasm!  I vowed to dress up the next year but I was pregnant and in my third trimester when August rolled around.  This year we decided it would be fun to do some sort of group costume, especially since it would be Myla’s first time :)  

We love Miyazaki’s classic “My Neighbor Totoro”, and I thought it would be so cute to dress Myla up as the sweet little girl “Mei”!  However, Myla does not like wearing hats (she rips them off right away) and she does not have much hair.  In addition, I knew it would be difficult finding the pieces necessary for Mei’s costume for a baby.  And so, I decided that I would dress up as Mei and Myla would be Totoro!  This is what Mei looks like in case you have not seen the movie!

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I excitedly began searching for the items in my Mei costume!  I needed a hat with red trim, red cherry ball hair accessories, a puffy white shirt, a red dress, yellow flats and a yellow cross-over bag!  I already had a white shirt and floppy straw hat, and I managed to get the rest of the items within one shopping trip!  Here is the breakdown of my outfit:

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I was the most excited to find the perfect red dress which was only $17 at Forever XXI!  The yellow purse was more expensive than I had hoped, but the shape was perfect and I knew that I would wear it in the future and not just for my costume…same with the flats, which turned out to be super comfortable!  My floppy straw hat from Superstore (Joe Fresh) was the wrong shape, but Ryan helped me cut it to make it more Mei-appropriate!  He also glued the edges to prevent it from fraying.  The hat also needed red trim so I crocheted a long red strip!

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I wanted to dress up as closely to Mei as possible, so we couldn’t forget the cute cherry balls that she wears in her hair!  We found this set of four ball hair ties at the dollar store- unfortunately there was no red, but I knew an easy solution: crochet around it with red yarn!

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I started off with the magic circle and crocheted round by round, measuring the piece to the ball as I continued.  The finished piece looked cylindrical, but it stretched snugly around the ball!

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When I was close to finishing I decreased around the end.

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Here are all the completed cherry balls!

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And here are the crocheted pieces of my costume: the red strip on my hat (which was not visible in the sneak peek so that was tricky!) and the cherry balls!

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For those of you who do not know what Totoro looks like, here is a picture!  His signature accessories are a leaf on his head and a black umbrella!

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And here is Myla and I cosplaying together as Mei and baby Totoro! There are two other handmade pieces in the picture below!  Ryan made Myla’s leaf headband out of felt last minute as we thought she needed some sort of accessory too.  He also cut and glued some plastic leaves together to make this massive Totoro leaf that was easily visible wherever we went!

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Here is our group costume together!  Ryan, my brother Corey and Myla are all Totoro’s!  At first we were going to make their Totoro t-shirts by adding felt to grey t-shirts, but we ended up buying them from a site called “Redbubble”- they have some great designs.  You can find Myla’s Totoro onesie here and the adult t-shirt here.  Be warned that if you order from Canada it can take quite a while for delivery though- I had ordered these pieces a month in advance and was worried they were not going to make it in time!  They took about 3 weeks to come in!

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Myla loved looking up at the big leaf!  Isn’t she a cute baby Totoro?

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Our Totoro family photo while taking a break for lunch!  You can see my cherry ball hair accessories well here too :)

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It was neat seeing everyone’s costumes and how much effort they put into them!  

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Master Chief was standing in front of us in line as we were registering. Myla was very intrigued by his costume.

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Walking around the vendor’s hall we came across some Naruto cosplayers.  I looove Naruto although I am quite behind in the anime- the storylines and characters are so amazing!

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Legend of Zelda cosplayers!  ”Ocarina of Time” is still my favourite video game, and Link will always be dear to my heart :)

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Ryan and I are also watching “Attack on Titan” as we heard so many good things about it.  It’s always special seeing people dress up from an anime that you recognize or are currently watching!  The maneuver gear looks so cool and the Titan looks pretty scary o_0

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Here we are lining up to see the cosplay contest!  There was so much for Myla to look at!

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Myla was getting tired so we took her to a quieter location for some peace.  She ended up taking a nap in her stroller during the actual contest!

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Everyone loved Myla’s costume and it was cute seeing people recognize who we were when they looked first at Myla or at me.  We had a fun time and we can’t wait for next year!  Our dream is to go to Comic-Con in San Diego one year or the Anime Expo in Los Angeles :)  It would be awesome participating in something like our Animethon but on a bigger scale!  Have any of you ever been?  What is your favourite anime? 

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Hope you enjoyed reading about our Animethon experience and how we put together our costumes and added some touches of crochet!  And thank you to our friend Herman who came with us to the Animethon and took some of the photos in this blog post (the ones with Ryan!) :D

Crochet Mesh Bag

A year ago as I was browsing through the beautiful images of Craftgawker, I came across a gorgeous crocheted ombre bag by Maize Hutton HERE.  She had made some modifications to a free “Knit-O-Matic” grocery bag by Haley Waxberg (free pattern can be found on Ravelry HERE) and I was super excited to make my very own when I was pregnant!  It’s taken me a year to blog about it, but better late than never, right?

I had A LOT of fun working on this bag pattern as it was unlike anything I had previously crocheted.  Working in the chain spaces round by round went by very quickly, and keeping track of the beginning of each round was a must!

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This pattern called for DK/Light (3) cotton yarn, so I opted to use my favourite Patons Grace mercerized cotton (which is actually a Sport/Fine (2) yarn) in grey.  This is the same yarn that I used to make Dragon, the Teddy Ornaments and my Ruffled Crochet Bib Necklace.  If it isn’t evident enough, I really like this yarn :)  I still used a 4 mm crochet hook as stated in the pattern.

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I had read some Ravelry comments stating that the bag had turned out smaller than they had expected.  Thus, I made some modifications to the original pattern since I wanted my bag to be larger (and also because I was using a thinner yarn).  The bag was starting to look like a giant flower!  I was a little nervous that this project was not looking very bag-like at this point since it was so large and flat…

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…but it did start looking like a bag as I progressed further thankfully!

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Instead of making my bag a uniform colour like the bags I had originally seen, I decided that I wanted to make the last rounds and straps a contrasting colour!

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I decided to use pink since I absolutely LOVE pink and grey together :) 

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Isn’t it a beautiful combo?

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I decided to modify the edging by making it thicker and a bit more decorative with some spacing in between the stitches :)

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Here is a close-up!

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I also made the straps a bit wider!

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Finally, the bag was finished!  The pattern recommends placing 3 or 4 big cans of food in the bag to help stretch it out.  This bag can stretch a lot, so if your finished product seems smaller than you had hoped, have no fear!  It will get larger :)

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These are the modifications I made to the original pattern:

  • I repeated the “Increase Round” with 36 spaces an additional four times (i.e. in total it was repeated 12 times)
  • I added another Increase Round as follows: *{[Ch5, make 1 sc] twice into same ch5 space, [ch5, make 1 sc into next ch5 space]}; repeat from * to end of round (54 spaces).  *(Ch5, make 1 sc into next ch5 space); repeat from * to end of round (54 spaces). Repeat this round 2 more times.
  • I followed the decrease rounds as stated, except I had 54 spaces instead of 36 spaces.  I also followed the “*make 1 sc into next sc, make 2 sc into next ch2 space; repeat from * to end of round” as written (resulting in more than 108 sc- I didn’t count how many single crochets I ended up having).  This was my last round of grey.
  • For the decorative pink edging I did 2 rounds of single crochets, 1 round consisting of *Dc 1, Sk 1, Ch 1* around, and then 2 more rounds of single crochets (5 rounds in total).
  • Instead of chaining 38 for the handles, I chained 60.  I also made four rows of single crochets to make the handles thicker.

Here I am with my beautiful crochet mesh bag!  Isn’t it gorgeous?

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I love the overall look of the mesh and how you can see the contents of the bag.  It gives such a light, airy and modern feel!

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You can always add charms, lace, beads or anything you want to glam up your bag!  You could also add your own lining (like this beautiful sequin lining here) if you don’t want your bag to stretch as much or if you don’t want your bag to be as open.  I attached my cute amigurumi teddy keychain to my bag here :)

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What a great way to carry your yarn when yarn shopping!  Obviously this bag would not be so great for holding your hooks though…

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Part of what makes this bag so special is how portable it is!  Look how small it becomes when you scrunch it all up :)  It takes up such little space in your regular bag or in your car and can be pulled out whenever you need it.  It’s perfect for grocery shopping or when visiting a farmer’s market!  Thanks to those of you who tried to guess what this was based on the picture below- we loved reading all of your guesses, from scarves, bath scrubbies to sea anemones!

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This would be such a great summer bag to bring to the beach too!  Throw on a pair of shades, your favourite flip flops and your newly crocheted bag and you’re ready to go!  The bag could hold your swimsuit and sunscreen too, and you wouldn’t have to worry about sand getting stuck in it ;)

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Find the free pattern for this beautiful bag on Ravelry HERE!  Who else is going to give this bag a try?  I love sharing the crochet projects I have made on my blog, and I thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support of my work! 

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: It’s a Crochet Mesh Bag!  
Thanks for guessing, everyone :)  Full blog post with step-by-step pictures coming soon!  

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: It’s a Crochet Mesh Bag!  

Thanks for guessing, everyone :)  Full blog post with step-by-step pictures coming soon!  

I have been loving my new crochet hook case that I picked up in Tokyo!  It’s the perfect size with vibrant colours and a zipper that slides like a dream ;)  I picked it up at Tokyu Hands in Shibuya, and it’s by a company called United Bees Japan.
I would also be delighted if you checked out this lovely interview and feature of me by Sunny of Oh So Sunny HERE.  Her post made me smile from ear to ear and I felt so humbled and blessed to have such loyal and kind readers.  Sunny hails from Valencia, Spain where she is part of a group called “Knit and Fun” that promotes crafty living. They organize free weekly gatherings in different cozy cafes in Valencia where crafty people can gather to chat and exchange knowledge while enjoying drinks and cupcakes! They also organize workshops with local artists to promote various crafts such as creative sewing, amigurumi, ceramics, and more.
I’ve always wanted to visit Spain, and Sunny graciously offered to give us an amazing tour of her city should we ever visit!  What “Knit and Fun” is doing sounds absolutely wonderful, and I hope I can join them someday!  Once again, please check out my feature HERE (there is also English translation for the non-Spanish speakers!). Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words and support, Sunny!

I have been loving my new crochet hook case that I picked up in Tokyo!  It’s the perfect size with vibrant colours and a zipper that slides like a dream ;)  I picked it up at Tokyu Hands in Shibuya, and it’s by a company called United Bees Japan.

I would also be delighted if you checked out this lovely interview and feature of me by Sunny of Oh So Sunny HERE.  Her post made me smile from ear to ear and I felt so humbled and blessed to have such loyal and kind readers.  Sunny hails from Valencia, Spain where she is part of a group called “Knit and Fun” that promotes crafty living. They organize free weekly gatherings in different cozy cafes in Valencia where crafty people can gather to chat and exchange knowledge while enjoying drinks and cupcakes! They also organize workshops with local artists to promote various crafts such as creative sewing, amigurumi, ceramics, and more.

I’ve always wanted to visit Spain, and Sunny graciously offered to give us an amazing tour of her city should we ever visit!  What “Knit and Fun” is doing sounds absolutely wonderful, and I hope I can join them someday!  Once again, please check out my feature HERE (there is also English translation for the non-Spanish speakers!). Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words and support, Sunny!

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