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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 :)

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!

Maui Highlights 2014

Two years ago we visited Maui and absolutely fell in love with the Hawaiian island and vowed to return!  The amazing scenery, delicious food, laid back atmosphere and friendly people made our first trip very special and memorable.  We decided to return again this year, this time with our little toddler Myla and the rest of my family!

We revisited some of our favourite spots and restaurants but also discovered some new places as well.  Whenever we go on trips, I love doing lots of research to see where to get the best food and what the most popular attractions are!  I thought I would write up a blog post summarizing what we did in case anyone will be traveling or is interested in traveling to Maui!  I always love living vicariously through other people’s travel photos as well ;)

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On our first visit two years ago, we drove up to the Haleakala Crater to watch the sunrise.  This meant waking up around 3 AM and starting to drive at 4 AM to make it in time…however, since there is a couple hours time difference between Maui and where we live, this wasn’t actually too bad since we did this the day after we arrived.  Watching the sunrise was absolutely breathtaking and one of the most beautiful sights that I’ve seen.  We revisited the crater on this trip but during the afternoon.  Your view really depends on the weather and it was quite cloudy when we went.  It was neat driving up through the clouds though!  Also be warned that it is quite chilly up there as you are at over 9700 feet elevation- we wore every single layer that we brought!

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I was very excited to visit the “Maui Swap Meet" which occurs every Saturday morning from 7 AM to 1 PM!  I was delighted to see tons of vendors when we pulled up to the market- however, we ended up getting rained out as vendors started packing up within an hour when we arrived as their products were getting soaked.  I was sad that we did not get to see everything, but we also found a tiny little craft market beside a McDonald’s that we visited that had plenty of jewelry and dresses for a very affordable price.  Myla enjoyed walking around and shopping for herself as you can see in the picture above!

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Whenever I am on vacation, I love collecting bracelets to add to my collection!  I adore these two peach colour bracelets I got- I think the mini tassels and “love” are so cute!  I also really like the bracelet that I bought by "Indies Attic" (my only buy from the Maui Swap Meet) and it’s special because it’s made from recycled paper!  Also, a portion of their proceeds goes to help children in Uganda, and their tagline is "People Before Profit”!  What an amazing company :)

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We also decided to visit the “Maui Ocean Center" because Myla LOVES animals!  It was smaller than we expected but we enjoyed the exhibits and we found the talks by the naturalists working there particularly interesting and educational.  Myla was totally unfazed by the sharks and enjoyed watching them swim around!

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After visiting the Maui Ocean Center, we dropped into the nearby “Hula Cookies” for their famous ice cream sandwiches!  You get to choose which ice cream flavour and which cookies you would like (you can even choose different flavour cookies for each side).  The cookies were so gooey and soft- it was the perfect afternoon snack and we wished we had gone again!

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Our all-time favourite snack/dessert in Maui is from “Ululani’s Shave Ice”!  They have the BEST shave ice as it is pillowy soft and their flavours/syrups are amazing.  My favourite combination is the “Haleakala" as it is made of coconut and leche topped with sweetened condensed milk and cream.  I always add mochi on the top too!  I could not wait to eat this again as I had been missing it from two years ago….we went almost every single day to get shave ice and made good use of their stamp card!

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Some other treats we discovered on this trip were the delicious mochi from “Maui Specialty Chocolates”.  The mochi itself is so soft and chewy and their flavours such as “Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate" and "Dark Chocolate Truffle" are delicious.  I am a big mochi fan so I was very excited to try them and I was not disappointed!  Another popular Hawaiian delicacy is "Spam Musubi" (spam and sushi rice wrapped in seaweed).  It can be found in many little shops and stores (we got ours mostly from the ABC Stores) and it makes a tasty little snack!  I also found a great recipe for it here and I can’t wait to make it at home :)

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Here is a family picture of us outside a popular restaurant called “Mama’s Fish House”!  The ambiance and location are amazing as it gives you the quintessential Hawaiian experience.  The service was wonderful and the fish was fresh although the entrees are pricey!

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We spent some time walking around a hippie surfer town called Paia.  There were some quaint shops and a delicious lunch spot called “Paia Fish Market" which has our favourite seafood pasta.  We also lay on the beach and watched the surfers brave the waves and also got to see some really cute sea turtles!

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Myla really enjoyed playing in the sand with her shovel and sand toys.  Here she is with her Uncle Corey, digging right into the soft sand of Makena Beach!

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Another popular area with many oceanfront stores is Lahaina, which used to be a whaling town (one of these times we’d like to go on a whale watching tour)!  Two years ago we went to a highly rated and very popular magic show called “Warren & Annabelle’s" and got to see Warren himself perform his sleight-of-hand magic and comedy.  We absolutely loved it and highly recommend it!  We did not go this time but the rest of my family went and thoroughly enjoyed it (you need to be over 21 to attend because of the liquor laws).

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We also found a delightful restaurant called “Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop" that is famous for their sandwiches and pies!  Here you can see Myla picking out exactly which pie she wanted to try :)  We really liked their "Macnut Chocolate Praline Pie" for dessert as it was divine!

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We visited the “Iao Valley State Park" and soaked in the beautiful views with their very short, easy hike.  For us, it was a warm up for the long hike to come shortly after!

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One of the most memorable things we did from two years ago was “The Road to Hana”.  The Road to Hana is a long, narrow and winding road that takes you through the rain forests of Maui.  Along the way, there are many breath-taking views of the coast, forests and waterfalls.  Ryan and I were hesitant and worried about what it would be like with a toddler but overall it went well and I am so thankful that we were traveling with the rest of my family on this trip as they could entertain her!  We stopped off at “Nahiku" which offers the most stunning views of the coast!

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We also stopped off at the “Black Sand Beach”- the sand is actually made of small, smooth lava pebbles!

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On our last full day in Maui we did the hike that we were most looking forward to out of the whole trip: the “Pipiwai Trail”!  It is an amazing 4 mile hike (2 miles there, 2 miles back) that takes you through some stunning scenery.  I was worried what this hike would be like with a toddler too- I strapped Myla to me in a baby carrier and she was asleep for most of the first half.  It was exhausting and grueling for me though as going uphill seemed so much more difficult with the extra weight I was carrying.  I actually seriously doubted whether I would make it and was contemplating turning back….  

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However, I kept pushing myself and just went slowly, taking frequent water breaks.  I am so glad we persevered as we did not want to miss out on the beautiful sights!  Two years ago we took one of my favourite travel photos sitting atop a gorgeous banyan tree that can be found along the hike.  It was neat seeing it again, and this time I got to take pics with our little (sleeping) Myla too!  

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For those of you wondering, we use the Ergo baby carrier and we love it!  It is very comfortable to use as it has a lot of padding and cushioning with multiple carry positions available (front, back and hip).  We were very glad we used our Ergo on these hikes!

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Myla woke up just as we were entering the beautiful bamboo forest!  This is one of my favourite parts of the hike as it is calmly serene as you can hear the bamboo hitting against each other as the wind blows.  Myla wanted to walk a bit too so we took her out of the carrier and let her walk along the wooden planks!  She got many friendly smiles from fellow travelers who were surprised to see such a young hiker make it that far :)

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At the end of the Pipiwai Trail you are rewarded with this amazing site: the stunning 400 feet Waimoku Falls!  It is breathtaking when you first see it and it makes the whole hike worthwhile.  We took a little snack break here and soaked in the scenery before embarking on the journey back!

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We decided to stay a couple nights in Hana so that we could take our time and not have to rush back to the other side of the island.  We stayed at the “Hana Kai Maui" which is the most beautiful place that we’ve ever stayed in.  I was completely taken aback when I first walked into their flagship unit (the "Ka’ahumanu") as I had never before stayed in a suite with such stunning views and panoramic windows.  You could hear the waves lapping onto the beach since we were so close to the ocean and it was amazing being able to fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the waves.  

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The views from our balconies were spectacular!  

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We were so sad to leave this place and drive back to the airport.  Maui is such a beautiful, family-friendly island with so many things to discover!  We had a great family vacation and we cannot wait to return in the future- we hope you enjoyed seeing our photos and what we did!  I will do a quick summary below in case anyone is planning a visit :)

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Hotel accommodations: 

  • Aston Maui Hill (Kihei): great location, spacious unit with fully-equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, perfect for families
  • Hana Kai Maui (Hana): amazing views, great location; pricey though (anything decent in Hana is quite pricey, but it’s more worth it if you’re staying with a large family)

Attractions:

  • Haleakala Crater: beautiful at sunrise (very cold with extreme winds so be prepared)
  • Maui Ocean Center: great exhibits and talks by naturalists; shark tank and underwater tunnel
  • Iao Valley State Park: easy, short hike with beautiful views
  • Maui Swap Meet: open every Saturday morning 7 AM - 1 PM with many vendors and handcrafted godos
  • Warren & Annabelle’s Magic: great sleight-of-hand magic and comedy show
  • Road to Hana (Nahiku, Black Sand Beach, Venus Pool, Seven Sacred Pools, Pipiwai Trail leading to Waimoku Falls)

Food:

  • Ululuani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice: soft, fluffy ice with incredible syrups and flavours
  • Hula Cookies: make your own ice cream sandwiches
  • Maui Specialty Chocolates: delicious peanut butter milk chocolate and dark chocolate truffle mochi
  • Spam Musubi: tasty Hawaiian delicacy that can be found in many shops
  • Mama’s Fish House: wonderful Hawaiian ambiance, great service, fresh fish but pricey entrees
  • Sansei Restaurant: great panko-crusted ahi tuna rolls, shrimp dynamite; get 25% off bill if you arrive before 6 PM at Kihei location
  • Koiso: deliciously fresh sushi; only sits 14 people so you need to make a reservation; the omakase offers a great variety
  • Kihei Cafe: great breakfast place 
  • Paia Fish Market: the best seafood pasta and delicious fish and chips
  • 808 Deli: great sandwiches and potato mac salad
  • Da Kitchen: Hawaiian-style home cooking with very big dishes; Kalbi ribs and shredded pork were delicious
  • McDonald’s: don’t laugh!  They have special local deluxe breakfasts consisting of Portuguese sausages, spam, eggs and rice!  They also have taro pies which are very unique!
  • Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop: sweet and savoury pies; macnut chocolate praline pie was awesome
  • Thai Food by Pranee (Hana): amazingly delicious Thai food with very good prices (limited opening hours so check ahead); a great place to eat after the long Pipiwai Trail Hike (there are very limited food options in Hana)

Maui Revealed" is a wonderful guidebook for the island as it details many stops along the "Road to Hana" and gives very useful information in a humorous tone!  You can pick this book up at a great price at the Costco in Maui (also a great place to stock up on snacks, groceries, water gear and ahi tuna!).

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Please let me know if you’ve been to Maui and if you have any recommendations for us during our next trip there!  I love sharing experiences and swapping stories!  Mahalo and Aloha :)

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!

[GIVEAWAY CLOSED: Congrats to the winner, Anna S. of “Spool of Sunshine”!]

Hey everyone!  I ordered this super cute “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn" pendant on Etsy recently and had to share it with you since I know we are all yarn lovers!!!  Click on the pictures to get a better view of it- there’s a ball of yarn on top and it’s a beautiful fuscia colour!  I ordered it from a fellow Canadian named Lisa who makes many different pendants using wooden Scrabble tiles in her shop called "Pieces of Me Pendants”.  I thought this pendant was really cute since the “Keep Calm” meme is so popular these days and the “Carry Yarn” is a clever take on the “Carry On”!

The good news is that Lisa offered to do a GIVEAWAY for my readers too!  She is allowing the winner to choose any pendant and any chain from her shop (I am wearing the snake chain for those of you interested)!!!  

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada and I wanted to share how thankful I am to God for my family, my friends, my church family and the opportunity and blessing to be a wife and a mother.  Our little girl is turning 1 this week and the year has absolutely flown by!  I am so very thankful that I was able to pursue my creative and crafty side after putting it on the back burner for so many years when I was super busy with school.  Sometimes it is still surreal to me that I have a blog and that I’m crocheting little stuffed animals and sharing my work with the world (stay tuned for some new amigurumi coming your way soon)!  I am so incredibly thankful to you, my readers, for always expressing how appreciative you are and giving us so much feedback about our work. It really does spur us on and we love reading all your comments and seeing your work!  I have made many good friends along the way (you know who you are :D) and it’s been amazing connecting with people with similar passions and interests!   I have so many loyal readers who have followed me throughout the years and have seen my style and blogging progress.  Every time I hit a milestone on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram I’m always itching to do a giveaway to thank my followers, so here we go!

To enter the GIVEAWAY [NOW CLOSED]:

(1) Leave a comment below (through Disqus comments) saying what YOU are THANKFUL for!  I can’t wait to read the entries and share the love :)

(2) Visit Lisa’s “Pieces of Me Pendants" shop on Etsy HERE and take a look at her different pendants and chains (snake, ball or box chains) available.  In the same comment above state what pendant and chain you would choose if you are the winner!

This contest is open worldwide and will close on Sunday, October 20th at 8 PM, MST.  If you are under 18, please ask your parents’ permission before entering.  I will randomly choose a winner!  Thank you so much to Lisa for partnering with me in this giveaway!

Ruffled Crochet Bib Necklace

While looking for a good bib pattern on Ravelry (see the ones I ended up crocheting for Myla here), I stumbled upon a free pattern for a beautiful ruffled crochet bib necklace by Stefanie of “A Common Thread”.  I absolutely love jewelry and all things ruffly, delicate and dainty, so I was thrilled by the idea of crocheting my own necklace!  I love using Patons Grace yarn as the soft mercerized cotton gives a very lustrous finish- I’ve built up quite the collection of colours :)  I opted for this cream colour since I wanted my layers to look like delicate lace!

First I crocheted a series of chain stitches.  Since I was using thinner yarn, I used my trusty 2 mm crochet hook!

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Then a row of double crochets!  

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Next up it was time to start making the loops!

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Then more loops were added!  I love the look of these ladylike ruffles :)

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Here are the three crocheted layers, each with a varying amount of beginning stitches so that they are all different sizes!

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Once they are all complete, it is time to layer them ontop of each other! The loops are staggered to give this beautiful textured look :)

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After securing the layers together, this is how the back looks:

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Next up, hardware time!  I went to Michaels to pick up these rose gold chains, clasps and jumprings!

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Attaching the jump rings to the crocheted piece!  In total, I used four jump rings- two to attach the crocheted piece to the chain and two to attach the chain to the clasp.

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Here is the finished necklace!  Isn’t it beautiful?

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I was very excited to try on my very first crocheted necklace :)

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This statement necklace adds so much interest to a simple t-shirt and outfit!

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Here I am wearing my Ruffled Crochet Bib Necklace out and about along with my matching Rose Gold Chain Bracelet by Mikaylove :)  I love rose gold!

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I am so happy with how my necklace turned out, and I can’t wait to pair it with more outfits!  If you would like to make your own beautiful Ruffled Crochet Bib Necklace, check out the free pattern on “A Common Thread" HERE!  Have you ever tried crocheting your own jewelry before?  It’s so special being able to wear crocheted pieces that you’ve made yourself (e.g. hats, scarves, and now jewelry!), and I am excited to crochet more jewelry pieces in the future!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: “Ruffled Crochet Bib Necklace" by A Common Thread

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: “Ruffled Crochet Bib Necklace" by A Common Thread

Over the course of my blogging journey, I’ve had the privilege of connecting with many of you from different countries.  Some of you have offered to give us tours of your hometowns should we ever visit, and we hope one day to take you up on your offers!  As I blogged about here, Kay is one of these dear friends who I have been able to connect with.  She is a fellow crafter, crocheter, mama and sister in Christ, and her Etsy store “Mikaylove" has really taken off.  I was so honoured when Kay said she wanted to name one of her pieces after me.  She saw that I loved wearing my mint green and peach bracelets together, so she decided to use my favourite colour combo for this necklace and named it “The Stephanie Necklace”!
I teared up when I saw Kay posted this beautiful necklace named after me on Instagram.  I believe in God’s perfect timing, and I felt so encouraged as I saw this at the beginning of a very long, rough night last week in which I barely slept at all (I’m sure other mamas out there can relate!).  Thank you, Kay, for your incredibly kind and encouraging words, and I am so thankful for your friendship!  You can read more about “The Stephanie Necklace" here in the Mikaylove shop!  Kay is very active on Instagram (@Mikayloveinc), and if you follow her, you’ll get the inside scoop on her promotions and coupon codes and see how different people style their Mikaylove pieces.  I appreciate everyone’s support and prayers so much :)  We are truly grateful for the friends we’ve made around the world through this blog!

Over the course of my blogging journey, I’ve had the privilege of connecting with many of you from different countries.  Some of you have offered to give us tours of your hometowns should we ever visit, and we hope one day to take you up on your offers!  As I blogged about here, Kay is one of these dear friends who I have been able to connect with.  She is a fellow crafter, crocheter, mama and sister in Christ, and her Etsy store “Mikaylove" has really taken off.  I was so honoured when Kay said she wanted to name one of her pieces after me.  She saw that I loved wearing my mint green and peach bracelets together, so she decided to use my favourite colour combo for this necklace and named it “The Stephanie Necklace”!

I teared up when I saw Kay posted this beautiful necklace named after me on Instagram.  I believe in God’s perfect timing, and I felt so encouraged as I saw this at the beginning of a very long, rough night last week in which I barely slept at all (I’m sure other mamas out there can relate!).  Thank you, Kay, for your incredibly kind and encouraging words, and I am so thankful for your friendship!  You can read more about “The Stephanie Necklace" here in the Mikaylove shop!  Kay is very active on Instagram (@Mikayloveinc), and if you follow her, you’ll get the inside scoop on her promotions and coupon codes and see how different people style their Mikaylove pieces.  I appreciate everyone’s support and prayers so much :)  We are truly grateful for the friends we’ve made around the world through this blog!

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.

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