Juliana’s Eyebrow Fairy

This funny little animation by Juliana just makes me smile. Her caption reads, “A sad little penguin gets a makeover with the help of his fairy godmother.”

New Eyebrows from Juliana Cusack on Vimeo.

Love it!

Katie’s Tiny Rudolph Rendition

Since our photo contest deadline is always in or near December, we tend to get quite a few holiday-themed entries, which are always fun. This year the holiday spirit was also on display in several of the video entries we got, so I’m going to feature a few of those today!

First up is this sweet stop-motion video starring nine tiny reindeer, which was made by Katie.

Katie’s clever use of text is really what makes this for me. Nicely done!

Katherine’s Dancing Spider

The video fun continues with this exciting stop-motion animation by Katherine!

I love how the spider swings by her thread to get back to the left side of the frame. So fun!

Claire’s Mochis Got Talent

In our next video, made by Claire, the mochis hold a talent competition! You might be surprised at who blows the judges away…

Suzy’s Advice Gnome

Today we’re featuring more video entries from our recent photo + video contest! I’m happy that we added this category—we discovered that many of you are already making really fun videos, and we also heard from several people that it was their first time to make an animation (or any kind of video at all). Yay for trying new things!

We’ll be featuring a few videos today, a few tomorrow, and probably a few between Christmas and the new year. Although these didn’t win in the photo/video contest, we’re nevertheless excited about them and eager to share them here!

Our first video of the day comes with a little explanation from the knitter:

The story behind my video is that I started knitting Teeny Tiny Mochimochi for my daughter who started her first year of college at the University of Vermont – 10 hours away from home in Maryland. I sent her off to school with gnomes wearing UVM colors of green and gold. I made one with a loop at the end of his hat and she carries him with her everyday along with her school ID.

Worried that I hadn’t also sent her off with every important bit of motherly advice for being off on her own, I started texting her. I quickly realized that she wasn’t any more interested in my helpful reminders long distance than she had been in person. That’s when the Advice Gnome arrived on the scene.

Who can resist the sage advice of a tiny Gnome? The Advice Gnome starting sending her regular reminders, words of wisdom and messages of love. While I am sure she hasn’t always heeded his advice, I know that she has at least heard him out.

What a fun way to give practical advice to one you love!

Kally A Conjures a Thwicked

Kally A works some kitchen magic in this cleverly made stop-motion video, which she entered in our just-wrapped photo + video contest.

This was one of our favorite entries in the whole contest! The story continues in Kally A’s Part II video.

2014 Nickelodeon Holiday IDs

In early November I had the pleasure of knitting characters and props for Nickelodeon for the second year in a row! (This is the project that took over my life and my desk for a couple of weeks.) The resulting animated IDs are now airing on the network during commercial breaks, so you’ll probably catch one if you tune in this month.

Here’s a reel of all the new IDs.

Anna Hrachovec for Nickelodeon: Holiday 2014 IDs from Anna Hrachovec on Vimeo.

I didn’t participate in the animating process this time, but of course the Nick promotions team did an excellent job without me.

The guys you see in the first two animations are SwaySway and Buhdeuce from the show Breadwinners, which is about ducks who deliver bread in a flying rocket van. They’re your typical tiny mochi size.

nick2014_1

The biggest challenge among all the little characters and props was the arcade that the Breadwinners play. It had to have structure, some design details, and also a way for the screen to change colors as if it’s switching on. And it had to be pretty small, so that tiny SwaySway and tiny Buhdeuce could walk up to it and play it. It was a little bit helpful that I had designed a knitted arcade earlier this year, so I knew what kind of shaping I wanted to get, but Quarters would be skyscraper-sized to these characters.

My first version was really tiny and was close to the shape I wanted, but it lacked the structure that it needed (since it was just filled with stuffing).

nick2014_3

So for my next version, I started by putting together a styrofoam base that was bigger and more or less arcade-shaped.

nick2014_2

It’s a bit big for tiny SwaySway, but close enough to the right scale for the purposes of a cute stop-motion animation.

Then I did some measuring and swatching, then some more measuring and swatching. Once I had measured and swatched enough, I proceeded to knit the covering flat so that I could seam it onto the styrofoam. An interesting moment was trying to shave down the styrofoam just the right amount while the knitted covering was on so that there would be enough room for the screen to lie flat. It was finished in an evening, because it had to be!

nick2014_4

(I couldn’t stomach the thought of more duplicate stitch for a few days after!)

So that’s a little look into the process that went into my portion of this project.

Since working with Nick two years in a row and also picking up a few other commercial projects in the meantime, I’m happy to find that I indeed love working with someone else’s creative vision and also creating my interpretation of existing characters. I hope I get to do more!

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

If you’d like to see more, you can find last year’s animations (which include more Mochimochi Land creatures) here.

And just in case anyone is wondering, unfortunately I can’t make patterns available for any of the Nick characters or props. (Although you’re welcome to use my versions as inspiration for your own personal-use projects!)

Winners of the 2014 Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest

The results are in! We are so excited to announce the winners of the 8th Annual Mochimochi Photo + Video Contest today! If you entered at all, of course, you’re a winner in the game of life, because you went out of your way to use your creativity to make something beautiful (or cute and silly) and share it with the world. As Mochimochi Land grows and changes, it’s the original ideas that you all put into it that are the single biggest source of inspiration to me. Thank you!

Big thanks are also in order for our sponsors, Knit Picks and Milk+Honey, for providing super prizes this year. And thank you to my lovely mother-in-law, Bonney, for opening up her stash for additional prizes!

Now for the winners of the photo category!

In third place is the adorable Snow Turtle! by ForeverWrens.

pc14_sf9

ForeverWrens wins a $10 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a gift bag from Milk+Honey, a $10 gift card to Mochimochi Land, plus a bag and Howdie Doody knitting kit from Bonney Teti’s World’s Biggest Yarn Stash in Wilmot, New Hampshire!

In second place is the incredible Beauty and the Beast by Knit Mermaid.

pc14_sf15

Knit Mermaid wins a $10 gift certificate to Knit Picks, a gift bag and an additional lotion bar from Milk+Honey, a $10 gift card to Mochimochi Land, plus vintage patterns and kits and more from Bonney!

And our top photo winner is… Fancy Seeing You Here by Molly.

pc14_sf2

Molly wins a Candy Rainbow Yarn Sampler from Knit Picks, a gift bag and two additional lotion bars from Milk+Honey, a $20 gift card to Mochimochi Land, and a whole slew of vintage patterns and kits and more from Bonney!

And finally, we have a video winner to announce. Let me tell you, we were so excited about the video entries we received (and I will be posting more of them here soon). But one video stood out as a clear winner for its story, its originality, and its execution. It’s By a Thread by juleenbean.

Amazing, right? juleenbean wins everyone’s adoration plus 10 tiny mochi kits!

Congratulations to these very clever knitters! And that wraps up the 2014 Mochimochi Photo + Video 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 2015 Mochimochi Photo Contest. And we’ll probably also bring back our springtime photo series contest, so keep an eye out for that in a few months.