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"Quick & Easy Crochet" Magazine Feature

I’ve got another exciting magazine feature to share with you all!  Issue 35 of “Knit Now" magazine based in the UK comes with an exclusive special edition magazine called "Quick & Easy Crochet”!  This bumper issue contains many free patterns and is a great 2 for 1 deal, particularly if you are both a knitter and crocheter :)  

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If you look at the cover of “Quick & Easy Crochet”, you’ll spot the amigurumi Pony that I designed and blogged about for Chinese New Year!

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I am delighted and honoured to have such a beautiful spread in the magazine!  They interviewed me and asked questions such as what it is I love about amigurumi specifically and the biggest lesson I’ve learned about crochet since getting back into it.  This spread includes pictures of Dragon, Snuggles, the Knotted Headband, Sweetheart Bunny and Pony.  Along the right hand side of the feature, you’ll see a little section called “How to perfect kawaii style" in which I give some tips about eyes and nose placement!

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The following pages include my Pony Pattern!  Hopefully some more people will be inspired to begin their amigurumi and crocheting journeys by seeing my pony pattern in this magazine :)

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Thank you to Hugh for interviewing and featuring me in “Quick & Easy Crochet”!  I am so thankful for each and every magazine feature that I get and I see each one as another opportunity to share my love of crochet and amigurumi with new people.  You can purchase the digital copy of “Knit Now 35" HERE and you will also receive the digital copy of “Quick & Easy Crochet" (I’m told the supplement starts after the last page of the main magazine).  You can also find the magazine at Barnes & Noble stores in the US.  I think it’s wonderful how knitters are being introduced to the world of crochet through this supplement, and I’m so happy that I could be a part of it!

I attended my cousin’s wedding over the weekend and made this card for the newly married couple!  I always turn to the free simple heart pattern on “Little Birdie Secrets" found HERE when I want to add a touch of crochet to my cards.  I simply use hot glue to attach the crocheted heart to the cardstock (I used hot glue to attach the lace as well).  There are so many fun free crochet appliques out there (cupcakes, moustaches, snowmen), and I think they add such a beautiful surprise to cards!  Check out this list of free crochet appliques HERE and start dreaming up what kind of handmade birthday, wedding or Christmas cards you can make ❤

I attended my cousin’s wedding over the weekend and made this card for the newly married couple!  I always turn to the free simple heart pattern on “Little Birdie Secrets" found HERE when I want to add a touch of crochet to my cards.  I simply use hot glue to attach the crocheted heart to the cardstock (I used hot glue to attach the lace as well).  There are so many fun free crochet appliques out there (cupcakes, moustaches, snowmen), and I think they add such a beautiful surprise to cards!  Check out this list of free crochet appliques HERE and start dreaming up what kind of handmade birthday, wedding or Christmas cards you can make 

DIY Yarn Storage

Thank you so much for all the love and encouragement you’ve shown us since we announced that our family is growing!  We are truly touched by each and every comment we received through the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, and we are so excited that we can share these special moments with you!

This blog has not only been a portofolio of my crochet projects, but also a journal documenting things that I love and what I’ve experienced.  In addition to my crochet projects, I’ve also blogged about my love of food and travel, and also topics such as maternity and nursing fashion since becoming a mom.  I created a special tab in the navigation bar called “OTHER" to help document these blog posts and to organize them a bit better so that they don’t simply get lost in the Archive!  To access ALL my previous posts, click the "ARCHIVE" tab where they are organized chronologically by month and year.  

The new “OTHER" tab has the following sections:

  • Food: I’ve blogged about some of my favourite recipes I’ve found on-line (e.g. the Red Velvet Cake pictured above) as well as some of our own recipes!  My Lychee Frozen Yogurt and Layered Fingered Jello seem to be pretty popular :)
  • Travel: We love visiting new places, and it’s been fun sharing our favourite restaurants and sites from destinations all over the world (e.g. the Black Sand Beach in Maui above).
  • Maternity/Nursing/Family: On my journey to becoming a mom, I’ve adapted my style to accommodate my growing pregnant belly and need to nurse a baby (e.g. nursing tank above)!
  • Cosplay & Craft Tutorials: We love making our own costumes and blogging about other crafting projects we’ve worked on (e.g. our DIY Yarn Storage).
  • Reviews: I’ve enjoyed blogging about shops and products that I love (e.g. Clover Amour Crochet Hooks) and hosting giveaways as well!

Check out this “OTHER" tab in my navigation bar to see some previous posts that you may have missed before!

Yarn Ball & Crochet Hook Pin

During our California Blog Meet Up (read all about it HERE), we had a delightful pin exchange in which we prepared crafty pins ahead of time for each other!  As soon as fellow amigurumi artist Jo suggested that we do a pin exchange, I knew exactly what type of pin I wanted to make!

I love perusing Craftgawker, and there was a particular project that had caught my eye from December of last year.  Francesca of “Fall for DIY" had made some beautiful "DIY Monkey Fist Knot Earrings”, and I absolutely loved how they looked like little yarn balls!  For our pins, I thought it would be so cute to make a little yarn ball with a crochet hook similar to the one pictured in my blog logo!  In Francesca’s blog post on how to make her earrings HERE, she includes step-by-step instructions, and she also filmed an extremely helpful video entitled “How to Tie a Monkey Knot” HERE (I’ll embed the video at the end of this blog post too!).  Rather than reiterate her instructions, we recommend that you visit her blog post and watch the video to see how it’s made!  

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We searched for the perfect pink yarn, and we ended up going with Lion Brand Yarn’s “Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend in Gerbera Daisy”.  Ryan is actually the one who mastered the monkey fist knot, and to keep the yarn balls consistent and similar-sized, he made them all!  It was such a whirlwind leading up to our California trip since we were making our costumes for Anime Expo as well, and I am so thankful that I have such a supportive husband who helped me make these pins!  Here are some step-by-step photos showing how Ryan made our little yarn balls and crochet hooks :)

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We bought some brass jewelry pins from Michaels (came in a set of 10) and hot glued the little crochet balls onto the pins after tying the ends of yarn into a knot.  To make the crochet hooks, we used these ornament hooks that we purchased from Walmart a couple years ago (we have a large stash of these since we use them to hang the baubles from our white Christmas tree every year)!

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Ryan used pliers to shape the ends of the ornament hooks to resemble crochet hooks!  You may recall that we made a similar crochet hook for Mochi our Fluff Bear to hold (read about the making of our amigurumi Fluff Bears HERE)!

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Ryan placed the crochet hook through the yarn ball so that the yarn ball was at the bottom of the hook.  He then added some hot glue to the middle of the crochet hook and then slid the yarn ball upwards into the glue in order to secure the hook in place.  After each pin was complete, we mounted them on cardboard and were so excited to give these out at the meet up!

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To see the making of a monkey knot in action, please see this wonderful video below filmed by Francesca of “Fall For DIY”!  We paused this video many times as we followed along to learn how to make this special knot!

Here are some notes about making your own yarn ball:

- Instead of wrapping the yarn around the hand three times, we did it four times to make a bigger yarn ball (depends on thickness of yarn).

- Towards the end, try and pull each strand of yarn evenly and with consistent tension to make a uniform yarn ball.

- Don’t pull the strands of yarn too tight or else the yarn ball will be squished.

- Ryan made many “failed” monkey knots/yarn balls before getting the hang of it and achieving the right look, so just keep trying and practicing and don’t be discouraged!

These little yarn balls are so cute, and once you’ve mastered how to tie this special knot, they are inexpensive and relatively quick to make!  Wouldn’t yarn ball earrings or a yarn ball necklace pendant be the perfect gift for us yarn lovers?  The addition of the little crochet hook helps us proudly display the love of our craft too!  I hope you enjoyed reading about the making of our “Yarn Ball & Crochet Hook Pin" and I want to extend a big thank you to Francesca for inspiring this idea!  We are giving away one of these pins on my Instagram page (@AllAboutAmi) since we reached 5000 followers recently- if you would like to win one, just follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on the picture of the pin to enter!  Happy monkey knot and yarn ball making :)

Homespun Cover Siu Mai Amigurumi Feature

Remember the amigurumi siu mai I crocheted three years ago?  Recently they were featured in the July issue of “Homespun Magazine”, Australia’s leading monthly craft title!  Click on each pic above to get a closer look at each page :)  It’s neat how my little pork dumplings are getting some time to shine in the Land Down Under- have any of my Australian readers checked out “Homespun” before?  If you want to crochet your own expressive siu mai, be sure to visit the step-by-step blog post HERE and the very easy free pattern HERE!

California Blog Meet Up

We are back from our wonderful vacation in California!  We had so much fun attending the Anime Expo, going to Disneyland, and stuffing ourselves with delicious food.  One of the highlights of this trip was the blog meet-up that my fellow amigurumi artist Jo (of “A Morning Cup of Jo Creations”) and I organized to meet other crochet enthusiasts!  

We ended up holding this get-together in the very peaceful and beautiful Schabarum Park in Rowland Heights.  Some people who were interested in coming to the meet-up ended up not being able to make it since it was during the very busy Independence Day long weekend.  Others were attending the last day of Anime Expo or the location was a little too far out of Los Angeles for them.  We ended up with a smaller group, but this made the meet-up more intimate and personal which I really enjoyed!

Jo had the brilliant idea of having a handmade pin exchange so that we crafters could prepare something for the meet-up and come away with a variety of pins!  It was a lot of fun seeing what everybody made, from hand-stitched pins to cute crocheted stars!  Can you guess which one Jo made (it’s very reflective of her company name)?

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For our pin, Ryan and I ended up making this little yarn ball and crochet hook that resembles my logo!  I’ll do a full step-by-step blog post on the making of this pin so that you can make one for yourself if you’re interested!

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It was great meeting in the park because Myla could run around and be free!  She also really enjoyed looking at all the handmade pins and examining each of them!

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Being naturally introverted, I was both nervous and excited for the meet-up.  I enjoy talking with people one-on-one and was unsure how the larger group setting would be like.  Jo actually brought some board games and yarn, but we ended up just chatting for most of the time!  It felt very casual and relaxed as we talked about when we all started to crochet, how we got started, and traveling in general. Ryan is very extroverted so he really enjoyed the large group setting and getting to know everyone!

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It’s rare that we get to really sit down and talk with people when we travel (besides just chatting with people in passing), so it was wonderful being able to get to know some new people as well as meeting on-line friends in real life!  Despite our geographical differences, I thought it was so neat how our love of crochet and crafting united us all together.  We all came from different occupations, backgrounds and experiences, but our passion for crochet was such a unifying factor that helped lead us into other topics of conversation easily.  We had a good laugh about how there is no need for chunky cowls, hats and scarves in California since it’s always so sunny and beautiful there (as opposed to the frigid Canadian winters we experience).  

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Here are all the people who took time out of their busy schedules to meet up with Jo and I!  Love all the big smiles :)  We want to thank each and every person who came!  You made our trip to California very memorable, and it was so surreal meeting people who read my blog!  I know there were some of you who really wanted to come but were unable to for various reasons- we apologize that the timing couldn’t work out, but we hope we can meet you in the future!

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Besides Jo and I, there were two other crafters who have blogs!  Check out Amanda's “Crystal Panda" HERE (and photo credit to her for the last two photos of the collage below) and Peng's “Yarn Treasures" HERE!  I also want to give a shout-out to my brother Corey who came along with us on this trip (he’s a big Anime fan) and helped us take care of Myla so much, including at this meet up!

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Jo is such a talented artist who is also very passionate about her education and teaching!  She is very inspiring, and I am so happy that I could finally meet her in person after connecting with her for the past few years.  Thank you for helping me organize this meet-up, Jo!

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I am excited to share more about our trip to California, especially the Anime Expo!  We took a lot of photos of our cosplaying, and I can’t wait to show you what our experience was like!  Thanks again to those who came to the meet-up, and I really hope I can meet more of you in the future!

Today I am being featured over on “Little Things Blogged”, a wonderful crochet blog by Tanya from Greece!  Tanya’s blog is full of beautiful photos and free patterns, and she has regular posts such as “The Yarn Over List”, in which she shares links to lovely crochet projects that she’s found.  I love perusing her blog for inspiration!  I am featured in her series called “Untangling Yarn with…”, in which she gets to know fellow yarn crafters!  Head on over to her blog to read my feature HERE and learn a little bit more about me!  Thanks, Tanya!

Today I am being featured over on “Little Things Blogged”, a wonderful crochet blog by Tanya from Greece!  Tanya’s blog is full of beautiful photos and free patterns, and she has regular posts such as “The Yarn Over List”, in which she shares links to lovely crochet projects that she’s found.  I love perusing her blog for inspiration!  I am featured in her series called “Untangling Yarn with…”, in which she gets to know fellow yarn crafters!  Head on over to her blog to read my feature HERE and learn a little bit more about me!  Thanks, Tanya!

Owl Keychain

We know a little girl who absolutely ADORES owls: her bedroom is full of owl pillows, owl decals and owl stuffies, and she even wears owl hats as well!  I knew I wanted to crochet her an owl (I love it when little kids have such an absolute favourite animal), and I had the perfect pattern that I had always wanted to try out!

Josephine of “A Morning Cup of Jo Creations" designed a super cute FREE "Baby Owl Ornaments" pattern a year and a half ago.  I downloaded the free pattern on Ravelry (find it HERE) and was amazed by just how quick and easy this pattern is.  I love how pinching and closing up the top gives the curved look of the owl- so clever and simple!  Instead of making this owl an ornament, we attached it to a keychain so that the little girl could take it wherever she wanted by hanging it on her backpack or little purse!

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The details are so incredibly cute with the big white eyes and cute dainty yellow beak.  The placement of the eyes and beak is key to giving this owl its kawaii look, and I tried to make mine look as similar to Jo’s as possible- she provides great, detailed instructions!

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I think this owl keychain is so sweet, but you could be a super keener and start working on your Christmas ornaments too…December is half a year away!

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Just as Josephine says, once you’ve made one, it’s tempting to make more since they’re so cute and easy!  These are the baby owls that Josephine made in a rainbow of colours:

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Jo also offers a pattern for a bigger, palm-sized “Travel Owl Plush" that you can find for free HERE!

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I was so pleased with this owl keychain and how quickly we could whip it up, and I hope that the little girl will like it too!  Check out Jo’s Etsy store HERE to see more of her amazing designs.  ***ALSO, if you live in the Los Angeles area, Jo and I will be hosting a meet-up with other amigurumi and crochet enthusiasts in early July!  Read all about it HERE and RSVP using the Google form in that blog post.  Happy owl making!

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 "Double Wrap Bracelets”.  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!

With summer approaching, we are excited to be vacationing in sunny California in a couple of weeks (Los Angeles and Anaheim to be exact)!  We wanted to take the opportunity to attend the “Anime Expo”, the largest anime, manga and Japanese culture convention in North America!  Of course, as big Disney fans, we couldn’t pass up the chance to visit Disneyland while we’re there too!
I’ve loved connecting with other crochet and amigurumi enthusiasts since starting my blog, and one person whom I greatly admire and have loved getting to know is Josephine of “A Morning Cup of Jo Creations”!  She lives in the Los Angeles area, and I thought it would be neat to finally meet her in person!  We thought it would be a great opportunity to host a meet up while we’re both in Los Angeles in case others would be interested in joining us too :)
And so, if you live in the Los Angeles area or will be visiting Los Angeles on Sunday, July 6th, we would love to meet you!  Please fill out the google form HERE so we can gauge how many people are interested.  Once we know our numbers, we will pick an exact time and location and e-mail the details to the people who have filled out the form.  Since we’re all crafters, we were thinking of making pins that we could exchange with one another at the event- sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
If you have any suggestions of places to visit and eat I would greatly appreciate it too (you can leave a comment below or e-mail me at all_about_ami@hotmail.com)!  I’ve been so busy with the blog redesign that I really need to sit down and research what to do and where to go on our California vacation :)
I hope to be able to meet some of you in person next month!  We are really looking forward to it!

With summer approaching, we are excited to be vacationing in sunny California in a couple of weeks (Los Angeles and Anaheim to be exact)!  We wanted to take the opportunity to attend the “Anime Expo”, the largest anime, manga and Japanese culture convention in North America!  Of course, as big Disney fans, we couldn’t pass up the chance to visit Disneyland while we’re there too!

I’ve loved connecting with other crochet and amigurumi enthusiasts since starting my blog, and one person whom I greatly admire and have loved getting to know is Josephine of “A Morning Cup of Jo Creations”!  She lives in the Los Angeles area, and I thought it would be neat to finally meet her in person!  We thought it would be a great opportunity to host a meet up while we’re both in Los Angeles in case others would be interested in joining us too :)

And so, if you live in the Los Angeles area or will be visiting Los Angeles on Sunday, July 6th, we would love to meet you!  Please fill out the google form HERE so we can gauge how many people are interested.  Once we know our numbers, we will pick an exact time and location and e-mail the details to the people who have filled out the form.  Since we’re all crafters, we were thinking of making pins that we could exchange with one another at the event- sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

If you have any suggestions of places to visit and eat I would greatly appreciate it too (you can leave a comment below or e-mail me at all_about_ami@hotmail.com)!  I’ve been so busy with the blog redesign that I really need to sit down and research what to do and where to go on our California vacation :)

I hope to be able to meet some of you in person next month!  We are really looking forward to it!

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