Update: Congrats to our winner!
Now that you’ve had the weekend to spend contemplating just how much you want those lotion bars from Milk+Honey and planning just how awesome your photo contest entry will be, I have a whole other cool giveaway for you today!
About a year ago, my editor, Caitlin Harpin, mentioned to me that she was working on a book full of Adventure Time-themed crafts. My first thought was how can I suddenly become the author of this book?, but Caitlin assured me that she was working with a very talented crafter who specializes in felt toys. A year later, I have Adventure Time Crafts: Flippin’ Adorable Stuff to Make from the Land of Ooo in my hands, and it’s way cooler than I imagined! And that author was none other than Chelsea Bloxsom of Love & A Sandwich! (Or, more specifically, the book was written by Princess Bonnibel Bubblegum with Chelsea Bloxom.)
If you’re not familiar with Adventure Time, it’s a Cartoon Network show that’s in the genre of “sort of for kids but also really for adults.” Finn the human and Jake the dog get up to wild adventures in their magical land of Ooo, where adorable creatures can take on surreal and psychedelic aspects at any moment. It’s a must-see for anyone who likes cute and strange stuff—like me!
Adventure Time a show that inspires its fans to get creative, so a craft book seems like a no-brainer. And Chelsea does such an excellent job of presenting a wide range of projects using different materials and skill levels that it seems like anyone can find something to make. My favorites are definitely the super cute felt projects!
These crocheted cozies reminded me of the Great Cozy Debate we had here last year. (I think these confirm the “cozies are awesome!” side.)
I am seriously tempted to photograph every page and share the whole thing, but just take my word that it’s all really awesome and cute.
Now for the giveaway! I have an extra copy of Adventure Time Crafts to send out to one lucky person. To enter, please leave one comment to this post telling us your most adventurous crafting story. Everyone worldwide can enter. I’ll choose a winner next Monday, November 17th!
How are your photo (and video) contest entries coming along? Perhaps you need a little motivation to get started? Creativity is its own reward, of course, but I also like to provide motivation in the form of cool prizes that we have in store for the winners. And this year we have a new sponsor: Milk+Honey, makers of beautiful, all-natural lotion bars!
How lovely are these designs?! That’s what first enticed me to try out Milk+Honey’s lotion bars. I actually hadn’t used a lotion bar before trying these, but I was quickly won over by the simplicity of the concept—just massage it in your hands for a few seconds. I’m not a natural products nut, but I like that the ingredients are really simple: beeswax, coconut oil, almond oil, and essential oils.
Plus, it just occurred to me that the lotion bars really are perfect for using while you’re knitting. With the cooling temperatures (and a recent long weekend spent at a hotel for VK LIVE), my hands have been really drying out lately. This has presented a little dilemma before, because if I rub lotion from a bottle onto my hands, they’re suddenly greasy and too slippery for knitting. But with the kind of lotion bar that Milk+Honey makes, my hands take on a more tacky feel, with no slipperiness, so I can use it and keep knitting. (And they smell nice and lemongrass-y too!)
Among other prizes, the first-place winner of our photo contest will receive a Milk+Honey gift bag (containing a lotion bar and lip balm) plus two additional lotion bars—that’s a $40 value! The second-place winner will receive a gift bag and one additional lotion bar, and the third-place winner will receive a gift bag.
Thank you to Milk+Honey for providing these lovely prizes! Now let’s see you all EARN them with your cool photos! See full contest details on how to enter.
The above is an indication of why things have been quiet here this week. I’ve been busy with a secret project! If all goes well, we’ll get to see the results by the end of the year. Hopefully I’ll find my desk by the end of the year too.
Regular posting should resume tomorrow!
Things got a bit wilder than expected at the Mochimochi Halloween party this year…
Made with help from Maureen Boyle!
This past weekend was Vogue Knitting LIVE in Chicago—my eighth VK LIVE! It was a busy four days of teaching, chatting with knitters (lots of new people and familiar faces too!), doing sales in the marketplace, and transporting delicate twigs back and forth across the city.
As usual, I was too busy to remember to take enough photos, but here are a few highlights.
My tiny knitting class Thursday night all showed up in similar outfits, so we just had to take a class photo.
One of my students showed up drunk, so he had to leave early.
But seriously, it was a great group of knitters, and we had a blast knitting tiny gnomes and making weird gnome jokes throughout!
My Friday morning toy design class was so much fun too. Everyone took a turn sketching out their toy, and we all talked about how the design could be executed using various techniques. The toy concepts ranged from a cat pillow to a knitted Audrey II! The classroom wall was full of exciting ideas by the end.
Friday night and for the rest of the weekend, I could be found hanging out with my artwork in the marketplace. Here’s how we ended up displaying the twig sculptures.
My table (which I forgot to take a picture of, of course) was right next to this, so I got a kick out of hearing the attendees’ reactions to my twigs and their inhabitants—there were lots of squeals of “cute!,” and every once in a while someone would react with shock to the twiggin who’s getting eaten on my new piece.
(I’ll show more photos of the biggest twig soon for those who didn’t see it in person!)
There were so many cool things to see in the marketplace (including lots of other amazing fiber art), but one highlight that I actually photographed was getting my portrait illustrated by Jana Kinsman!
Jana was right across the room for me, doing everyone’s portrait for free! I love the concept of her Doodle Booth, and I love that the VK LIVE people thought to bring her in.
And lastly, the Great Tiny Pumpkin Hunt on Sunday was a success! Nine out of ten tiny pumpkins were found within the first two hours, and the last one came in at the end of the day, brought by the vendor whose booth it was at. Apparently people had been walking by the little pumpkin all day and just not seeing it! I tried to get every pumpkin finder’s picture, but somehow ended up with just seven.
They all seemed pretty happy to keep their pumpkins and get a copy of Huge & Huggable Mochimochi.
Oh, and maybe 50 people told me that they saw the interview in the Tribune! And several even said that it was the way they found out about VK LIVE! That was awesome to hear.
Thank you to the VK LIVE team and all the knitters who came out for an excellent weekend of fun and inspiration!
UPDATE: We just hit 1,000 Boos on Ravelry!
It’s become a sort of tradition here this time of year to compile the best of the Boos (made from my pattern for Boo the Bat) that have appeared on Ravelry in the past 12 months. Here are some of my favorites from the project page!
I originally designed Boo all the way back in 2008, and it continues to be my most popular pattern to this day. As of this posting, there are 998 Boos posted to Ravelry—just two away from 1,000! I think there’s just something about a little bat all wrapped up in his wings that’s irresistible, and it’s also a pattern that allows for plenty of personalization, as you can see!
Halloween is approaching fast, but you only need a few hours to make a Boo! Find the pattern in the Mochimochi Shop.
Excited about our photo contest announcement but not sure where to start? Let’s get inspired by the winners of last year’s contest!
Last year our Judges’ Choice award went to Snowman Friends by Emily.
See, it doesn’t take a fancy set or exotic location to take a great photo of your mochis! I think this photo really works for its simple concept that was executed with care.
Our other winners were chosen by popular vote—it’s easy to see why they were big crowd pleasers! In third place we had Best Beard Contest by The Happy Cupcake.
This photo is made by its delightfully silly premise, and the sight of gnomes knitting their own beards. The gnomes are so colorful against the more neutral background that I didn’t even notice the rocks propping them up at first!
In second place was Bird Conga by Bonnie.
This photo is all about color and composition. The shallow focus also lends an artful effect. There’s no denying that multiple tiny mochis are very photogenic!
And finally, our top winner was Giant Squid Love by Jill Watt!
Of course, it’s easy to see why Jill’s photo won everyone over. What a striking work of art! It’s also a very unexpected use of a toy, and a really big toy at that. The colors are also fantastic and really pop against the everyday background.
I love how each of these photos is doing something totally different artistically, and they’re all really effective in the things we care about: cuteness and cleverness! So whether you photograph one mochi with a prop or two, or whether you construct an entire elaborate set and knit a cast of characters, you can make an eye-catching image. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Vogue Knitting LIVE is this weekend in Chicago! I’m kicking off my VK LIVE weekend early by teaching a tiny toy kitting class tonight and a toy design class tomorrow morning. The marketplace opens tomorrow night, and for the rest of the weekend that’s where I can be found. These guys will be there too!
This is a detail from the new Wooly Woods sculpture I’m unveiling this weekend. I worked on it all summer long, and I’m excited to finally show it to everyone! I’ll also be showing pieces from the original Wooly Woods exhibition in Berlin last year.
Plus! I’ll be signing books and offering my tiny kits at a special discount!
Plus! On Sunday we’ll have the tiny pumpkin hunt in the marketplace!
Come early and keep your eyes peeled—the ten people who find pumpkins will win a free copy of Huge & Huggable Mochimochi!
I’m so looking forward to seeing some of your lovely faces this weekend!