Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fancy Quail Dinner

A while ago, I went out to our local 99 Ranch Market and stumbled across a frozen packet of 6 quails. They hid dormant in our freezer until this past weekend when my boyfriend, Omar, dug them out and insisted we make them immediately.

He went online and found this site (warning: quail bodies) with instructions on how to de-bone them. The whole process took hours and we ended up eating around 9:30PM, but as it was Saturday, I didn't mind so much. This is how it turned out:

Blurry, I know. But we were hungry!

Weekly Newbie Swap#5

I'm so late in posting this, but my camera and internet are both not really working.

I just recently decided to join Swap-Bot, an online swapping-community-dealy. This here is what I got in my first package!

Thanks so much to GollyG! If you have time, take a look at her Etsy shop.

Another Feltie

It's Terry, from The Cute Book!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Meet Pimmy

Pimmy is my bear. Pimmy likes to wear skinny jeans. She is a fashion-conscious bear.. Pimmy doesn't like coffee or other things that could possibly stain her lovely cream-colored fur. She is very sweet, but will turn down homemade cookies over Hostess Zingers.

Here is a picture of us to gauge her actual size (so small!):

I used Bernat Bamboo yarn for her head and torso, Senso wool cotton crochet thread for her arms, legs and ears, and some mysterious stash yarn for her muzzle.


The worm Julie requested. What's his name, Jules?

I made my own pattern, and he's cute, but I still think I have a long way to go...

His little scarf is braided embroidery floss. He has felt eyes with triple french knot pupils and a split-stitch mouth (which was mostly by accident).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pimmy? Pimmy?

Pimmy is incredibly shy. She just does not like to have her picture taken. I was only able to take these before she disappeared into a cupboard. I'm sure she'd be a very photogenic little creature if she would just stay still for a minute!

I did manage to take a snapshot of the clothing I made for her:

She asked me for some skinny jeans, as that's the fashion nowadays.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Get Ready for Beans!

Japanese Crafting in English

I do have to voice my opinions on something. I'm a little annoyed at some of the titles of these books. It's as though the publishers thought they had to put together a string of over-excited exclamations to announce the book just because it has some Japanese content. And DO NOT get me started on that "Kyuuto!" business. Is it not cute enough to just call the series "Cute" and get on with it? If they wanted a Japanese touch, why not go with the arguably more recognizable "Kawaii" - the actual Japanese word for cute?

Whatever, I will get off my high horse. I just get kind of cranky that these things have to get dumbed down to become supposedly more digestible to an American audience. Lucky that they are in English now, though! I thought I would make a convenient list of the Japanese craft books I know of that are printed in English. I've linked the books to their amazon.com page so you can easily get all their info, even a picture of the cover. Makes things a lot easier to find.

Let's Craft!

Available Now

The Cute Book - Aranzi Aronzo (Felt mascots)

The Bad Book - Aranzi Aronzo (no crafts, but quite literally wicked cute)

Aranzi Machine Gun vol. 1 - Aranzi Aronzo (mostly comics, a couple of applique patterns)

Aranzi Machine Gun vol. 2
- Aranzi Aronzo

Sock and Glove: Creating Charming Softy Friends from Cast-off Socks and Gloves - Miyako Kanamori (stuffed animals)

Fleece Dog: A Little Bit of Magic Created With Raw Wool and a Special Needle - Nobuko Nagakubo (needle-felted doggies)

Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful
- Narumi Ogawa (amigurumi and some hat and scarf projects)

Amigurumi: Super Happy Crochet Cute
- Elisabeth Doherty (amigurumi - really inventive and unusual designs. This and the one above are actually American publications originally. It's a shame they both went with those obnoxious titles)

Coming Soon

Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Lacy Crochet - ? (looks like small household items, Sept. 1 - it also looks like these "Kyuuto!" books don't have a listed author, anyone know who wrote this one?)

Aranzi Machine Gun vol. 3
- Aranzi Aronzo (available Sept. 25)

Cute Dolls - Aranzi Aronzo (stuffed animal versions of their felt mascot characters, available Nov. 20)

Fun Dolls - Aranzi Aronzo (more stuffies, available Nov. 20)

Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Amigurumi - written by Tomoko Takamori, although I have not been able to find her name on any English site (amigurumi with a lame title, available Dec. 6)

Aranzi Cute Stuff
- Aranzi Aronzo (accessories and other cute things featuring your faves from the Cute Book, available Mar. 11, 2008)

If you know of any others, let me know.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


I made Kidnapper (another from The Cute Book) for my Uncle Tim for his birthday. Let me tell you, it is pretty hard to make tiny stitches with black thread in black fabric. And for some reason I could not get the straight line of a mouth I was aiming for. He can't help from smiling. I guess he loves his work.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Felt Mascots

Making felt mascots is probably the cheapest hobby I have ever had. Not to mention satisfying. It took me a couple of days to get Chichito right, ripping out stitches and re-doing whole sections. I finished three whole legs before I realized they were too small. I started on a new project, an Amineko, but got frustrated when I had to re-do the ears three times (I am new to this crochet business). I finally decided I needed to take a break and try something different.

This is when felt mascots came to mind.

I had purchased The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo at the book store a few days previous after an exhaustive internet search for Japanese craft books revealed that a few of the more popular volumes were available in English. I was immediately taken with Bad Guy/Warumono. He is after my own heart with that pointy little head of his. But I thought I should try something a bit more basic first. White Rabbit was on the menu, but my version turned out a little off. I need to remember to read the directions thoroughly before I condemn my results.... (Note: sew edges together with one strand from your embroidery thread, not all six).

My second attempt proved much more successful. Witness my skill in making Bird, a gift for a vacationing co-worker.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend the book to start you off in the world of felt-mascotry. It is simple, easy to understand, and painfully cute. Just remember to read all the directions!


More to come.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Just Testing Out the New Blog

The first post is always the worst, so I might as well get it over with.

I have been trying to get this thing started for over a month now, but the world has conspired against me and so much has come up that I haven't got around to it until now. And I'm only starting now because I have given up on anything going my way anymore when it comes to electronics.

I had planned to put up beautiful pictures of my garden, photos of my craft progress- as it happened, snapshots of my cooking and baking ventures, and so on. And then my digital camera stopped working. And then we could not for the life of us get my computer to go online (FYI, Apple does not make the part I need to go online wirelessly anymore and they cannot order it. I bought my computer less than two years ago, a G5).

So I am sneaking some time in right now to type up this first entry on another computer.

Please enjoy some shots of Chichito, the tiny Chihuahua. He (yes, he) is my first attempt at Amigurumi. I got the translated pattern here. Be amazed and impressed by his tiny hand-sewn kerchief.

There will be others.