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Etsy Affiliate & Round-up

I recently received an e-mail from the Etsy team, inviting me to become an Etsy Canada affiliate!  I am excited to partner with Etsy because I adore browsing all the beautiful handmade items from around the world.  Basically how it works is that I link to Etsy products or shops that I love in my blog posts (which I already have done many times in the past), and if a reader makes a purchase based on that referral, then I will make a small commission.  I wanted to inform you all of this so that you know that all Etsy links found on my site will be affiliate links.  You can find so many creative, artistic people on Etsy who design and sell items that cannot be found in stores.  I thought I would do a round-up of all the Etsy shops that I have previously blogged about in case you haven’t heard of them!

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One of the most frequently asked questions I get is where I purchase my safety eyes for amigurumi.  When I first started crocheting my own stuffies, I excitedly went to my local Michaels to try and look for safety eyes.  I walked away disappointed and had to use beads in place of safety eyes for my first few projects.  I was delighted to find “6060" on Etsy as Clara, the shop owner, specializes in selling safety eyes and noses for amigurumi.  My safety eyes shipped extremely quickly, and I was very pleased with their quality.  I always try and keep 6, 9 and 12 mm safety eyes on hand so that they are ready to be used for any sized amigurumi I crochet.  Shipping to Canada has unfortunately gone up over the past while, but is very reasonable if you live within the US.  Clara has safety eyes in a wide variety of colours and sizes- check out her store HERE!

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I featured Sami and Marissa of “Momomints" in my first ever "Craft Chat" and was so excited to share their polymer clay and amigurumi work with you all!  Their Etsy shop is full of adorable items, including their Meowchi’s pictured above.  They also recently added this “DIY Amigurumi Crochet Sheep Kit" that includes almost all the material you need to make their very popular "Fluffie", including the yarn, safety eyes, stuffing, bell, and pattern (crochet hook and yarn hook not included).    We all know how hard it is to find the exact yarn that the designer used, and sometimes you don’t know what to do with the left-over yarn!  I think this convenient kit would make a really great gift for crafters!  Check out the Momomints store HERE and my Craft Chat with them HERE!

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I discovered Kris and Lorin’s “Two Girls Patterns" shop last fall when I was browsing for crocheted boots.  I was in awe of all their beautiful crocheted footwear designs that could be made for babies, toddlers and adults.  I was very impressed with their detailed, thorough instructions that included many helpful photos, and Kris and Lorin were always available for support through e-mail.  I crocheted these white "Furrylicious/Little Diva" boots for Myla (see step-by-step blog post HERE) and they served her well throughout the winter.  I crocheted the purple ones for Myla’s friend and sprayed them with Plasti Dip to give them more grip (read more about this HERE).  You can check out the Two Girls Patterns shop HERE and see all their great designs for yourself!

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I have been a fan of “Mikaylove" jewelry ever since my good friend Kay started her store a year and a half ago!  Since then, Kay has amassed a large following as people love her stylish, beautiful pieces.  Some of my favourite pieces are my "Cross Weave with Chain" bracelets and my "Braided Bracelet in Pink and Mint Green”.  For every purchase made, a portion is donated to charities that feed hungry children around the world.  Kay is such a devoted mother to her adorable daughter Mikayla (who inspired her to create her jewelry line), and I think it’s amazing how she has been able to channel her artistic skills and eye for design into her jewelry line!  Check out the Mikaylove store HERE and read my full Mikaylove blog post from November 2012 HERE!

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Lastly, I wanted to highlight “Yellow Heart Art" on Etsy, a store full of unique and quirky graphic art prints and cute sillhouette pillows for the home.  Leonora, the graphic designer behind “Yellow Heart Art" is the one who helped me design my logo, header and buttons for my blog redesign, and I’ve always loved her work since she opened her shop in January 2011 (the exact same time I started my blog!).  I love my "I Make Pretty Things All Day" print that I proudly display near my yarn shelf.  Leonora updated this print with a more modern feel in black and gold (check it out HERE).  Her prints are all so unique, humorous and full of beautiful typography and designs.  Check out Yellow Heart Art HERE to add some fun additions to your homes :)

I always enjoy learning about new handmade artisans and their work, so I hope you enjoyed this post too!  I look forward to featuring more Etsy artists in the future and spreading the word about handcrafted goods!

Congratulations to Dominique who is the big WINNER of my 3 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!  Thank you so much to everyone who scoured the archives of my blog and participated- it’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the hunt, read some of my old posts, and discovered some new projects and pages along the way!  I really appreciate everyone’s kind e-mails filled with so much encouragement and support :)  
In case you were wondering, here are the answers to the giveaway questions:
1) What was my very first original amigurumi design? Chinese New Year Doll (“Jigglypuff" was the first amigurumi I blogged about it, but I was following Wolfdreamer’s pattern.  "Cupcake Bear" was modeled after "Amigurumi Kingdom’s" work and I never blogged about the pattern.  "Chinese New Year Doll" was the first amigurumi we designed from scratch as we made a sketch of her, figured out her parts and wrote and released the full pattern for her.  It’s listed as my first original amigurumi creation under my "Patterns" page!)
(2) What was the title of my very first blog post? "And so it begins…"
(3) About how old was I when I first started crocheting? 10 years old
(4) What size crochet hook do I like to use for most of my amigurumi? 2 mm
(5) In the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory” that I compiled, how many blogs are from South America? Seven
BONUS: What is my favourite video game?  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (I loved making my “Link” amigurumi and designing his Hylian shield, and I stated that this was my favourite game in the “Animethon 2013” post!)
Many people answered all of the above questions correctly including the bonus- thank you so much for following and supporting my blog, and for being so attentive!  Congrats again to Dominique and stay tuned this week for another giveaway and a project that I had a lot of fun working on!

Congratulations to Dominique who is the big WINNER of my 3 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!  Thank you so much to everyone who scoured the archives of my blog and participated- it’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the hunt, read some of my old posts, and discovered some new projects and pages along the way!  I really appreciate everyone’s kind e-mails filled with so much encouragement and support :)  

In case you were wondering, here are the answers to the giveaway questions:

1) What was my very first original amigurumi design? Chinese New Year Doll (“Jigglypuff" was the first amigurumi I blogged about it, but I was following Wolfdreamer’s pattern.  "Cupcake Bear" was modeled after "Amigurumi Kingdom’s" work and I never blogged about the pattern.  "Chinese New Year Doll" was the first amigurumi we designed from scratch as we made a sketch of her, figured out her parts and wrote and released the full pattern for her.  It’s listed as my first original amigurumi creation under my "Patterns" page!)

(2) What was the title of my very first blog post? "And so it begins…"

(3) About how old was I when I first started crocheting? 10 years old

(4) What size crochet hook do I like to use for most of my amigurumi? 2 mm

(5) In the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory” that I compiled, how many blogs are from South America? Seven

BONUS: What is my favourite video game?  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (I loved making my “Link” amigurumi and designing his Hylian shield, and I stated that this was my favourite game in the “Animethon 2013” post!)

Many people answered all of the above questions correctly including the bonus- thank you so much for following and supporting my blog, and for being so attentive!  Congrats again to Dominique and stay tuned this week for another giveaway and a project that I had a lot of fun working on!

3 Year Blogiversary & GIVEAWAY [CLOSED}

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This week I am celebrating my 3 Year Blogiversary!  I can’t believe it’s been three years since I wrote my first blog post, and as each year goes by, it continues to amaze me that I have this outlet to share my creativity and crochet projects with you all!  Some of the highlights from this past year include being featured in the premiere issue of "Simply Crochet" magazine, and winning 1st place in the “Design/Home/DIY/Craft” category of the Canadian "2013 Made in Blog Awards"!  I also really enjoyed putting together the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory" where I learned about so many fellow crochet artists around the world!  

Thank you to my readers who have followed and supported me throughout the years, and welcome to my new readers as well!  It always warms my heart and brings a smile to my face every time I receive an encouraging comment or e-mail, and it is my honour that I have provided some inspiration on your crocheting and crafting journeys!  

330 posts, 7780 Facebook fans, 970 Twitter followers, 2804 Instagram followers and 10 780 Tumblr followers later, here we are!  To thank all of you for your support, we are hosting a BIG GIVEAWAY!  I have been collecting items throughout the year that I have loved, and one lucky person will WIN THEM ALL!  I purchased all of the items in this BIG PRIZE which include:

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(1) Mikaylove Double Wrap Bracelet in Olive (read about my Mikaylove jewelry here)

(2) “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” pendant and necklace by “Pieces of Me Pendants" (read about it here)

(3) 2.75 mm Clover Amour Crochet Hook (read about my hooks here)

(4) Big Dark Brown Wood Button by AnnyMayCraftSupplies [2” or 50 mm] (perfect for crocheted cowls and similar to the one I used here)

(5) Clover Stitch Markers (see mine here)

In order to win this big prize, you will need to answer the questions below correctly by going through the Archive and different pages of my blog!  I will make a list of people who have answered all the questions correctly and randomly draw a winner from that list.  Below are the questions:

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(1) What was my very first original amigurumi design?

(2) What was the title of my very first blog post?

(3) About how old was I when I first started crocheting?

(4) What size crochet hook do I like to use for most of my amigurumi?

(5) In the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory” that I compiled, how many blogs are from South America?

BONUS: What is my favourite video game?  [Your name will be entered twice if you get all of the above questions correct as well as the bonus!]

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Please E-MAIL me your answers by sending an e-mail to {all_about_ami@hotmail.com} with the subject heading “3 Year Giveaway Answers”.  Do NOT write your answers in the comments below since everyone will be able to see them!  If you would like, you can leave a comment below saying that you have entered the contest after you send your e-mail so that I can verify that I have received your response in case some e-mails end up in my junk folder!

This contest is open worldwide and will close on Sunday, January 19th at 8 PM, MST.  If you are under 18, please ask your parents’ permission before entering.  Check back on Monday, January 20th to see who the winner is and what the correct answers are!  Good luck, and I can’t wait to receive your responses and choose a winner!

[NOTE: This giveaway is now CLOSED!  Congrats to Dominique who is our big winner!]

Thanks for participating in our giveaway, everyone :)  It’s been wonderful seeing the warm response to Kay’s beautiful pieces, and it’s neat that many of you have placed Mikaylove orders too!  I’m happy to hear that you all enjoyed reading our story, and I really appreciate the encouraging and supportive comments that many of you left!  Without further ado, here are the winners!
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Blog comments: Alycia of “The Curious Pug" will be winning a Chevron Bracelet in Cream
Facebook: Amanda Girão will be winning an Ethereal Bracelet in Mulberry Petite
Tumblr: “Lovableelesliee" will be winning a Chevron Bracelet in Mint Green
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I will get into contact with each of you, but if for some reason you do not get my messages, please e-mail me at all_about_ami@hotmail.com so we can arrange for you to receive your jewelry!  Once again, I want to thank Kay for her generousity and for partnering with me in this awesome giveaway!  Visit the Mikaylove store HERE and follow Mikaylove on instagram (@Mikayloveinc) to see sneak peeks of future collections that Kay is dreaming up :)

Thanks for participating in our giveaway, everyone :)  It’s been wonderful seeing the warm response to Kay’s beautiful pieces, and it’s neat that many of you have placed Mikaylove orders too!  I’m happy to hear that you all enjoyed reading our story, and I really appreciate the encouraging and supportive comments that many of you left!  Without further ado, here are the winners!

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Blog comments: Alycia of “The Curious Pug" will be winning a Chevron Bracelet in Cream

Facebook: Amanda Girão will be winning an Ethereal Bracelet in Mulberry Petite

Tumblr: “Lovableelesliee" will be winning a Chevron Bracelet in Mint Green

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I will get into contact with each of you, but if for some reason you do not get my messages, please e-mail me at all_about_ami@hotmail.com so we can arrange for you to receive your jewelry!  Once again, I want to thank Kay for her generousity and for partnering with me in this awesome giveaway!  Visit the Mikaylove store HERE and follow Mikaylove on instagram (@Mikayloveinc) to see sneak peeks of future collections that Kay is dreaming up :)

Mikaylove Giveaway! [CLOSED]

I still very vividly remember back in March 2011 when I received an e-mail from a blog reader named Kay.  I had just started my blog two months prior in January and not very many people knew about my work.  Kay said that she had found my Valentine Teddy pattern and had made her very own!  This was the very first time someone had sent me pictures of their work using my pattern, and I was so incredibly excited.  I had spent hours writing up my patterns (there were only two at the time) and figuring out my designs, so to know that someone was using it somewhere in the world was incredibly special!  You can see Kay’s Valentine Teddy here.

Kay started her own blog called “I’m Hooked" and I loved perusing it as she posted adorable pics of her popsicle keychains, mini wallets/pouches, and all the lovely items she made for her baby girl (what a shoe collection!).  What really caught my eye was her cute amigurumi penguin pattern that she had translated HERE.  It was my first time crocheting with two colours at the same time, and I absolutely loved how this cutie turned out!  You can read Penguin’s step-by-step blog post here.  I think this little penguin would make an adorable Christmas ornament, don’t you?

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Kay and I kept in touch, and I am so thankful for her love, support and prayers for our family.  We are now both moms to beautiful baby girls!  She even sent us a package full of goodies for baby Myla- this really brightened up my day and lifted my spirits as the first few weeks coming home from the hospital were challenging at times.  Her thoughtfulness and generosity blew me away! 

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As we were messaging each other, Kay revealed how she had started her blog when she was pregnant and a bit lonesome.  Kay wrote,

"It was your pattern that got people to even look at my page and from there I gained an audience that was interested in my work and most importantly, me. And even though I no longer blog, I will be forever grateful of the amigurumi bear pattern that changed my life.  So, thank you!" 

This brought me to tears, knowing how much of an impact my blog could have on someone.  I’ve received at least a half dozen e-mails from people all stating that they’ve been inspired to start their own blogs after seeing “All About Ami”, and I’m always so overjoyed to hear this.  God has given me this platform to express and share my creativity and love of crochet with others, and I am so happy to hear that it has impacted others in such a positive way!

Even though Kay no longer blogs, she too has found a way to do what she loves and share it with others through her Etsy store called “Mikaylove" that she has just launched.  Mikaylove is derived from her daughter’s name “Mikayla”, and as a stay at home mom, Kay was inspired by her love for her baby girl to create a handcrafted jewelry line that would appeal and be affordable to all audiences.  Kay sent me some of her pieces and I immediately fell in love with their elegant and classy designs.  I liked them so much that I ordered some more for myself and my family! 

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Kay sent me the “Cross Weave Bracelet in Peach" (LOVE this) and the "Double Wrap Bracelet in Maroon" (maroon/burgundy or ‘oxblood’ is such a trendy colour right now for the fall!).

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Kay’s classic designs go well with any outfit and you can definitely dress them up or dress them down!  I looove stacking bracelets to add interest to my outfits….can you ever have enough bracelets?

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I ordered the stunning “Mikaylove Original Design Necklace in Turquoise & Grey" for myself since I love the colour combo and bib necklaces are so popular right now!  Isn’t it gorgeous?

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I also ordered the “Double Wrap Bracelet in Mint Green" since I love this colour.  I think peach and mint green go so well together! 

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The little “Mikaylove” tag of authenticity on each piece is very cute too :)

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I think that all of the Mikaylove pieces are affordable, with prices comparable to those found in retail chain stores, except these pieces are all handmade!  I am all for supporting handmade artisans and moms who are working from home.  Kay has many different pieces available in a vast array of colours (see pic below for more of her designs).  Please check out her store HERE to see her collections!  You can also find Mikaylove on instagram too (@Mikayloveinc). 

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Kay has been generous enough to offer THREE GIVEAWAYS for my readers!  In order to enter, please visit the Mikaylove Etsy store HERE and select your FAVOURITE PIECE.  There are three ways to enter (one winner will receive their selected favourite piece from each of the following groups):

(1) Blog comments: Leave a comment on this blog post, stating your favourite piece (e.g. “I love the Cross Weave Bracelet in Cream”).  One comment per person please.

(2) Facebook: Leave a comment on the Facebook link to this post stating your favourite piece (click HERE to access the “All About Ami” Facebook page).  Like and Share the post (be sure to change the share settings to “Public” so I can see it) for additional entries.

(3) Tumblr: "Like" this post and reply with what your favourite piece is.  Reblog this post for an additional entry (only once please).  Tumblr winner must be a follower of BOTH “All About Ami" and "MIKAYLOVEINC" on tumblr HERE

You may enter all three ways!   If you are under 18, please ask your parents’ permission before entering.  The contest is open worldwide and will run until Wednesday, December 5 at 9 PM, MST.  Winners will be announced on Friday, December 7.

Oborocharms Bracelet

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

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Charm bracelet made by Kim of Oborocharms for our art trade, featuring Chinese New Year Doll, Valentine Teddy, Sweetheart Bunny & Dragon!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Charm bracelet made by Kim of Oborocharms for our art trade, featuring Chinese New Year Doll, Valentine Teddy, Sweetheart Bunny & Dragon!

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