Winners of the 2013 Mochimochi Photo Contest

After hundreds of photos submitted, hundreds of comments on the semifinalists, and hundreds of votes on the finalists, THE RESULTS ARE IN for the 2013 Mochimochi Photo Contest!

But first, we want to thank each of you who participated in our favorite Mochimochi Land tradition. Mochimochi Land wouldn’t be the fun crazy place that it is without the creativity and love that all of you bring to it through your knitting, your photo sharing, and your commenting. You all are the BEST!

Big thanks also go to our sponsors, Knit Picks and Craftsy, for providing great prizes this year! So did my lovely mother-in-law Bonney—thank you, Bonney!

Now let’s celebrate our winners!

We’ll start with our Judge’s Choice Award. This is the photo that didn’t make it into the top three, but that John and I personally think deserves special attention. This year that photo is Snowman Friends by Emily!

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We just love the simple charm of this photo. Nice job, Emily!

In third place is the delightful Best Beard Contest by The Happy Cupcake!

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Yay!! You win a $10 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a 25% Craftsy discount, a $10 gift card to Mochimochi Land, and these goodies from Bonney Teti’s World’s Biggest Yarn Stash in Wilmot, New Hampshire!

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(See more adorable Best Beard Contest photos at The Happy Cupcake’s Flickr page.)

In second place is the cheerful Bird Conga by Bonnie!

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Yippee!! You win a $10 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a 50% Craftsy discount, a $10 gift card to Mochimochi Land, and these goodies from Bonney!

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(See more rainbow penguin antics at Bonnie’s Flickr page!)

And now for our top winner… it’s Giant Squid Love by Jill Watt!

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Woohoo!! And well deserved, Jill! You win a $50 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a free Craftsy class, a $20 gift card to Mochimochi Land, and these goodies from Bonney!

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Congratulations to these very clever knitters! And that wraps up the 2013 Mochimochi Photo Contest—thank you again to all who participated!

Feeling inspired? It’s not too early to enter next year’s contest! All photos added to the Mochimochi Friends Flickr group will automatically be entered in the 2014 Mochimochi Photo Contest. And we’re also bringing back our springtime photo series contest, so keep an eye out for that in a few months.

Safe travels and happy holidays, everyone!

Mochimochi Photo Contest ’13: The Big Vote!

UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners!

It’s finally here: the FINAL VOTE! After much consideration and a lot of help from all of you, we’ve narrowed down the 20 fantastic semifinalist photos to 10 stunning finalists in the 2013 Mochimochi Photo Contest.

Presenting your top 10 photos!

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Which of these, in your opinion, are the cutest, funniest, most original photos of mochimochi toys? Cast your official ballot below! We know that many of the entries have big fan followings (which is great!), so to help make things fair, we’re asking that everyone PLEASE VOTE FOR AT LEAST TWO PHOTOS. But you can vote for even more!

The poll will be open throughout the weekend, and we’ll announce the top three winners on Monday, December 23rd. Be sure to return for the results!

Order by Noon Thursday for Christmas Delivery

It’s been awesome getting all of your comments on our two groups of semifinalist photos. Clearly many of the photos have their fans, but who will make it into the finals? We’ll announce the final round of photos and start the big official vote tomorrow!

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Today I just wanted to make a quick announcement for those of you who may be giving Mochimochi gifts from Christmas this year. If you’re in the US and want delivery on physical goods (books, kits, buttons, etc.) order by noon EST tomorrow (Thursday 12/18) and select Priority shipping.

PDF patterns AND gift cards are always available for instant download, of course!

We’ll also be taking a short shipping break for Christmas: Orders of physical goods placed between December 24th and 29th will be shipped on December 30th.

That’s it for housekeeping! Be sure to check back tomorrow and VOTE!

Semifinalists ’13, Group Two

UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners!

It was awesome to see all the impassioned comments on our last post of semifinalists—thanks, everyone! Let’s keep up the cheering for our next group of semifinalists, which we present to you today.

Like the last group, these are photos that John and I chose for their originality, their storytelling, and their overall cuteness. They are all winners to us, so we need your help narrowing these down for the finals! Take a good look at each, and ROOT FOR YOUR FAVORITES IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS POST.

Here they are, in no particular order, your final batch of semifinalist photos in the 2013 Mochimochi Photo Contest

Rappelling Gnome by Shannon

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Go, go tiny gnome! We love this dramatic close-up.

Teeny Tiny Lolcats by Monica

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Mochi cats plus internet meme equals happy! We love all the different breeds, too.

Knit Nested Birds by Hannah

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The composition is just lovely. And happy wings!

PTA (Painted Turtles of America) Campout by ForeverWrens

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We love how everyone seems to have a job in this busy scene, except maybe for the guy who’s just sitting on a rock. Adorable!

Thor! by Lucy

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Thor indeed! The attention to detail in this very tiny knit is just awesome.

Giant Squid Attack by Amanda

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It seems inevitable that Squidpocalypse would start attacking the other mochis sometime. The water and clouds are a great touch!

Mochi Burger Restaurant by Sarah

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There’s so much going on here, but we especially love the tiny dog who’s getting a melted ice cream treat.

Hens Playing Quidditch by seakame

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Awesome diorama! The 2D/3D combo is very clever.

Bird Conga by Bonnie

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They’re rainbow penguins and they’re marching in formation! Enough said.

Luvbot Mending Broken Hearts by FatalsAttraction

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There’s something irresistible about this photo. I think it’s how seriously Luvbot is taking his task.

Aren’t these all just the tops? Congrats to these witty knitters!

Don’t forget to leave a comment telling us which of these photos (it can be multiples!) you want to see in the finals. We’ll be taking all of your comments into consideration for the big final vote. The poll will open later this week, so don’t forget to check back and cast your vote!

Semifinalists ’13, Group One

UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners!

It’s semifinalist time in the 2013 Mochimochi Photo Contest!

Today we present to you the first batch of ten semifinalist photos. It’s always really difficult to narrow the entries down, but John and I selected photos of mochis that were unexpected, that told stories, and that showed lots of originality. And cuteness, of course! We also decided not to have more than one photo by the same person in the semifinals this year.

And we need your input to help narrow the semifinals down to the ten finalists! So take a close look at these awesome photos and ROOT FOR YOUR FAVORITES in the comments to this post. Just leave a comment saying which photo or photos you would really like to see make it to the big final vote. Your feedback will really help us out!

Here they are, in no particular order, your first batch of semifinalist photos…

Stormtroopers Knit Droids by Taylor

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We love how seriously these little guys take knitting!

Giant Squid Love by Jill

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Just wow! Some amazing engineering going on here.

Sty Guys by Elly

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Who knew there were so many varieties of Pigs with Wigs? Each really seems to have its own personality!

Poseidon by Shanna

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Lovely scene and a great mod!

Tortoise and Hare: The Deleted Scene by Ilana

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All those tiny shoes! (And that tiny foot measurer!) Awesome.

Snowman Friends by Emily F.

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This one is so charming in its simplicity!

Herding Chicks by Emily

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We didn’t know that tiny armadillos were good herders, but now it just seems obvious!

Polar Bear Plunge by juleenbean

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Such a cute wintry scene! We love the set and the tiny mug!

It Looks Like a Purple People Eater to Me by wooly brain

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Watch out, little guy! We love the composition and colors in this dramatic scene.

Best Beard Contest by The Happy Cupcake

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It’s about time that someone featured one of the big gnome events of the year!

Aren’t these photos just super? Congrats to these clever knitters!

Now we need your help to narrow these down to the finalists. Don’t be shy—let us know which of these especially tickles you in the comments! And be sure to check back on Monday for the next batch of semifinalist photos!

Photo Contest ’13: Honorable Mentions

Thank you to everyone who entered the 2013 Mochimochi Photo Contest! It’s hard to believe that is the seventh year we’ve been holding this contest, but there seems to be no end to the creativity of mochi-makers: once again this year we received HUNDREDS of funny, creative, beautiful entries!

Yesterday John and I spent several hours carefully looking through all the entries in the Mochimochi Friends Flickr group, and after much debate we managed to sort out 10 honorable mentions and 20 semifinalists.

So without further ado, we present the honorable mentions, photos that tickled us and deserve special recognition. See them all—in no particular order—after the jump!

More >

Mochimochi on Nickelodeon

I’ve been getting emails all month from knitters who think they’ve spotted knitted gnomes, snowmen, and other Mochimochi Land creatures on TV. If you’ve been watching Nickelodeon, you’re eyes are not deceiving you! Last month I had the opportunity to work with Nick on a series of animated holiday IDs featuring a variety of wintry mochis making mischief in the snow. If you tune in right now, you’ll probably see them airing between commercials!

I’m excited to share the full animations here.

Like with the other stop-motion videos and GIFs that I’ve made, the animations were created by moving the creatures a fraction of an inch and taking a photograph, and repeating that again and again until we had a series of hundreds of photos that could be put together to make one action happen. Then repeat. And repeat. Making a 10-second animation could take up to four hours, and that’s pretty good time for stop-motion!

I worked together with the Nick promotions team to concept and animate the first six IDs, with all the post-production work, including the sound and the flat animations, handled by Nick. The last four animations starring mochi-fied Nick characters were done by the Nick team themselves using materials I had made.

It was an incredible experience to get to work on these ambitiously-conceived animations with such a talented and enthusiastic team. I had a blast with this project, and I learned so much! The project has made me more excited about all the possibilities for mochis in motion.

Big thank-yous go to Matthew Duntemann at Nick and to my agent Koko for making this happen!

Last Day for Your Photos!

UPDATE: The contest is now closed for entries. Thank you for your photos, and please check back soon for honorable mentions and semifinalists for YOU to vote on!

tinyelephant_brandiPhoto by Brandi Simons

Don’t forget! Today (Monday 12/9) is the last day to enter your photos in the 2013 Mochimochi Photo Contest—photos added to our Flickr group after midnight (Pacific time) won’t be eligible for the contest. But if you just can’t help being late, don’t fret! All photos added after midnight automatically will be entered in next year’s contest.

Once all your photos are in, John and I will carefully look over all the entries, and do the difficult task of selecting honorable mentions, and then our semifinalists, which we will ask you to give us your input on. And next week we’ll have the final vote for everyone to participate in. So be sure to check back here for all the photo fun!