Friday, October 31, 2014

Crochet 5: Mini Kuriboh

Mini Kuriboh Amigurumi
Size: 9ish inches high
Materials: Brown, Green, Light Yellow 4 ply acrylic yarn, crochet hook, yarn needle, crafting felt,    
        super glue (for eyes)
Time: A while (working just a little bit at a time)
Pattern: here!

About the Project: This was another Super belated birthday present for a friend of mine. I really wanted to crochet a Kuriboh since he was such a simple concept: just a ball body and 4 limbs. Plus I was really excited to crochet something quick and easy while also using (mostly) my own pattern (more details about pattern to be posted soon).

First thing first: I never want to latch hook/crochet fuzzy yarn on a project ever again. I know I said as much after doing the Haku dragon, but I could not resist trying it again since Kuriboh is just so darn fuzzy (Although if I ever crochet Flareon [Pokemon] or Ikkakumon [Digimon] then yes, bring on the fuzz! ). I think the effect is far superior to just using fuzzy yarn (mainly just because it's a fuller type of fuzzy plus you can control the amount of fuzz you want, but I'm sure there are probably some awesome fuzzy yarns that can achieve a similar effect). Plus it can look super professional if you brush it out a bunch with a wire brush, or you can brush it out less (which I do since I mostly use my hair brush or my fingers) which gives it more of a homemade feel (which I thought would look especially good for Kuriboh since he has crazy animation hair). However, the process of actually putting all of the yarn on takes FOREVER, and it is not nearly as kindly on the hands as simply knitting or crocheting is, especially it you are trying to do it as fast as humanly possible to get it over with. This is the reason I made a "mini" Kuriboh rather than a decent sized one. Actually crocheting Kuriboh probably took a couple hours at most. Adding all of the fuzz took days and weeks and days upon weeks and weeks upon days [plus being a college student, so really it probably did not take as long as I think it did].

My other main problem with Kuriboh was his eyes. I wanted him to have those big ol' anime eyes, but I knew if I tried to replicate that with yarn then it would probably end up looking too messy. Ideally I would have found a way to embroider eyes for him on one of those fancy sewing machines like one of my grandmas has. I also looked into painting eyes for him, but I had no idea where to find pieces of wood, plastic, or flat buttons that would be the exact right size to paint on. I have recently seen a lot of people use needle felting in their projects and I have concluded that this is definitely something I need to learn how to do, but for now I opted to just use cheap craft felt. Since this was such a simple project and I was kind of going for the 'homemade' look more than the 'professional' look anyways I think the craft felt eyes worked out 'well enough.' They are a little lopsided, a little mis-sized, a little bit of everything slightly goofy, but it just gives Kuriboh some character :) . 

Overall, this project was super fun to do because it is simple, easy. and (besides for the fuzz) quick. I was able to see the project progress very quickly even when I was not doing a lot of work on it (which was nice for a change - small amigurumi projects are so nice :D - I have sooo many ideas for Christmas :D :D :D). I will soon be posting the pattern for this project (which basically just consists of his limbs and a basic ball design).

Side note: Kuriboh is happily chilling out the rest of his life with his pal, a winged Kuriboh plush.

Side side note: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

[I'm a crocheter for Halloween this year... Just kidding, I'm a Trekkie... or at least a Trekkie crocheter]

And now a thousand and ten pictures of a ball growing fuzz:

Work in Progress:

The first strands of fuzz growth have begun. 

At this point Kuriboh very much represents the plant seen behind him [not intentional I swear]. He also looks a bit like a pineapple (not really) or an Oddish (also not really). 

Laying out the goofy cheap felt eyes. I ended up cutting out holes for the top shapes into the bottom shapes so that the entire eye was on level. Then I (somehow, kind of, magically) super-glued the felt together to create one solid (kind of) felt eye (well actually 2 felt eyes...).

Kuriboh now has a mullet. At this point he looked scarily like a goofy cartoon human head or something. You can tell by the squiggliness of the white part of his eyes that I sewed them on (very carefully and rather poorly since the super glue was not holding the eyes together very well. I super-glued each eye together, but I sewed the eyes to the body (for some reason it seems "sacri-crochet-gious" to use super glue at all so I try to minimize my use). 

 It's a limb! By my very own design! It's all of an inch and a half big! Took me fifteen hours (minutes) of painstakingly cautious (messy and impulsive) crocheting to develop this super complicated ( pattern. [but it will take me that long to finally post said pattern :P ]

 Kuriboh has Arms and Legs!!!!!!!! Or maybe just hand and feet... If he didn't already, this is when he starts to look super cute. :D

 Action pose to show off those giant claws!!!

 Kuriboh has a widow's peak! And a Frankenstein ('s monster) like hairstyle.

The fuzz growth has increased rapidly!!! Now he resembles a Seedot (Pokemon). Notice the fuzz on the top is already brushed out and wavy, and the fuzz around his eyes and nose is still in 'yarn form.' I debated possibly leaving his hair in total yarn form to mimic the anime style of Kuriboh's hair, but ultimately I decided I just wanted him to be fuzzy!

Yay!!! All of the fuzz has finally come in! Now he just needs a thorough brushing and Kuriboh will have the foofy flowing locks we love him for! [as seen below ;) ]


Monday, July 7, 2014

Crochet Pattern 1: Mini Pokeball / Pokeball Shift Knob Cover

About this Pattern: Pokeball Shift Knob Cover
Size: ~2 in. in diameter
Materials: Red, Black, and White 4 ply acrylic yarn; crochet hook and yarn needle
Time: ~1 hr.
Car pictured: 2012 Honda Civic Si
Basic Sphere Pattern: Crochet Spheres (Note: following pattern is based off of 12 Row Sphere but can be adjusted for larger sizes)
This pattern is crocheted in the round. Also I prefer the "wrong-side-out" look for the pokeball, but the pattern can be adjusted for "right-side-out" by changing front loop crochet stitches to back post stitches.
For a mini pokeball, stuff ball as you crochet. Shift Knob Cover requires no stuffing.
ch - chain
FL - front loop
inc - 2 single crochet into next stitch
sc - single crochet
sc2tog - single crochet 2 stitches together
sc3tog - single crochet 3 stitches together
st - stitch
Mini Pokeball
Start with Red yarn:
Row 1: Ch 2; 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6)
Row 2: 2 sc in each st around. (12)
Row 3: [1 sc, inc, 2 sc, inc] Repeat. 1 sc, inc. (17)
Row 4: 2 sc, inc, 3 sc, inc, 3 sc, inc, 3 sc, inc, 2 sc. (21)
Row 5: 3 sc, inc, 6 sc, inc, 6 sc, inc, 3 sc. (24)
Row 6: 10 sc, inc, 10 sc. Change to White sc. 1 sc. Change to Black sc. (25)
Row 7: 22 sc into FL of st, Change to White sc into FL of st, 2 sc. (25)
Row 8: 13 sc into FL of st, sc2tog into FL of st, 8 sc into FL of st, 2 sc. (24)
Row 9: 3 sc, sc2tog, 6 sc, sc2tog, 6 sc, sc2tog, 3 sc. (21)
Row 10: 2 sc, sc2tog, [3 sc, sc2tog]x3, 2 sc. (17)
Row 11: [sc2tog, 1 sc, sc2tog, 2 sc] Repeat. sc2tog, 1 sc. (12)
Row 12: [sc3tog]x4. Fasten off. Weave end through each stitch and pull tightly to close.
Using Yarn Needle and black yarn stitch black circle for pokeball opening button.
Shift Knob Cover Variation
Row 1-10 as is.
Row 11: sc in each st around (17)
Fasten off. Weave in loose ends.
Using Yarn Needle and black yarn stitch black circle for pokeball opening button.
Complete pokeball before yarn needle stitching.
Complete pokeball after yarn needle stitching. [but before ends tucked in...]

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Crochet 4: Pokeball Shift Knob Cover

Pokeball Shift Knob Cover
Size: ~2 in. in diameter
Materials: Red, Black, and White 4 ply acrylic yarn; crochet hook and yarn needle
Time: ~1 hr.
Car: 2012 Honda Civic Si
Pattern influences: Ideal Crochet Sphere Patterns (by Ms Premise-Conclusion)
                            Ms Premise-Conclusion's info on spheres

About the Project: My brother has recently been making a lot of small improvements to his car, and he came to me with a great idea of a pokeball cover for his shift knob. At work, his car would sit in the sun all day, and thus the knob would burn his hand when he drove home. He saw some ideas of knitted and crocheted knob covers online and instantly took it a notch further and came up with the pokeball knob cover idea.
I was super excited about this project because I love pokemon, and I also love short, quick projects that are useful and make people happy. I modified a basic sphere pattern (see pattern influences) mainly just by leaving the bottom open (so that it fits over a shift knob) and incorporating back loop single crochet stitching to achieve a nice, straight looking black line on the pokeball.
This project was super quick and easy (I made 2 in one 2 hr. car ride), and it has spawned a whole slew of pokemon related ideas that I am dieing to try (one being a pokemon themed Christmas tree with amigurumi pokemon and pokeballs decorating it).

Note: I have a habit of crocheting 3D projects wrong-side out but for this project I did it on purpose so that the black line (where the ball would open) has a better (straighter) effect from stitching into the back half of the stitch. Otherwise I would have had to stitch into the back of the stitch and I did not like that effect as much. Plus I kind of like the wrong side of crochet better than the right side...

Work in Progress:
Finished crochet ball before the black stitching was added. I put a golf ball inside the pokeball to better see the shape and also to test for size for the shift knob in my brother's car.

Finished pokeball with stitching. I just needed to finish off the stitching, tuck all the yarn ends in, and put it on the shift knob in my brother's car. 

Previous pokeball prototype with final. First prototype was slightly bigger than final. Also I tried using crochet slip-stitching for the pokeball button instead of just sew-stitching (running stitch-like) with a yarn needle. For a bigger pokeball I think the slip-stitch method could be really effective and look super cool, but on this small of a pokeball just using a yarn needle looks much better.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Other Art 4: Melted Crayon Art

1: Blue and Yellow
Size: 8in x 12in
Melted Crayon (Crayola) on canvas
Colors: Blue, Yellow, Black, White

2: Placid Water
Size: 8in x 12in
Melted Crayon (Crayola) on canvas
Colors: Blue Green, Black, White

3: Storm
Size: 8in x 12in
Melted Crayon (Crayola) on canvas
Colors: Blue Violet, Black, White

4: Ocean
Size: 8in x 12in
Melted Crayon (Crayola) on canvas
Colors: Blue, Blue Green, Blue Violet, Black, White

These were my first attempts (in order) at melted crayon art. Melted crayon art is super easy and fun to do, but it does make a mess (well only if you do it how I did :D - I still am speckled with blue and yellow crayon). It's also really quick; I made all of these in one evening. All you need are some old crayons, and canvas, and a hair dryer. There are tons of demos on youtube of how to do a rainbow melted crayon art or you can just go freestyle like I did.

Blue and Yellow: The concept for this one was that my favorite combination of two colors is blue and yellow because they are really vibrant and I really like their contrast (think blue and yellow Macaw [it is also one of my life goals to do a series of paintings only using blue and yellow]). This piece took me the longest because I did not know what I was doing at all, and it is also the piece I am least happy with. My main problem was that I kept getting a big glob of icky greenish color in the middle of the piece since the melted crayons did not mix into a nice vibrant green like paints do. I ended up scraping most of it off and redoing it until it got to a point where it was okay. I wish there was a little bit more interaction between the yellow and blue sides of the painting. In retrospect I should have tried to also use the green crayon to get the ideal green color in the middle.

Placid Water: For this piece I took a blue green crayon and melted it until it covered the entire canvas (not smoothly but in blotches similar to the final). Then I went in and melted a little bit of white in the top right corner and some black in the bottom left corner. The concept for this piece was that the blue green color looked really pretty and I was still recovering from my first piece so I only wanted to use one main color since blending the yellow and blue was so difficult. I decided then to due a turquoise piece with dramatic black shadows and white highlights. As I started making the piece however, it looked a lot like water so I changed my initial concept and went for more subtle uses of black and white. My main problem with this one was that I ended up with a huge blob of black in the bottom left corner where I wanted dark turquoise mixed with black. So I went back in to try to add more blue on top of the black and it just turned into a mess. Eventually I finagled it enough to where I was happy with it.

Storm: My concept for this one was to due the same thing I did with Placid Water except for with blue violet and using more white than black. However it turned out quite differently which was a pleasant surprise, and it actually looks like rainclouds. Technique-wise I started by melting the black in the corner. Next I melted the purple in the middle and fading into the black, and lastly the white in the upper corner. Some of the white spattered down into the black which at first I wasn't too happy about but now I think is really cool because it looks like it's raining. This one took me the shortest amount of time and I am generally happy with it.

Ocean: The concept for this one was actually a bag that I have that has a castle surrounded by a deep purple fading to turquoise sky. Well, it was supposed to be a sky until the white at the top gave it the perfect ocean wave effect that I wish I could replicate with acrylics. Anyways I did this one much the same as Storm only with more colors. First I did the white corner, then turquoise, blue, purple, black. Afterwards I went back to add more white at the top and more blue to blend the colors a little bit better.

Overall I had a ton of fun. This was especially fun because I have recently been thinking about experimenting with a couple abstract designs with acrylics, so this gave me a lot of ideas. :D

Monday, February 24, 2014

Other Art 3: Discover Drawing

Size: Small... approx. 6ish x 10ish in.
Material: Prismacolor Colored Pencils and Computer [ program (love it btw)]
Time: < 1 week

So, this was a lot of fun. I made this picture for a t-shirt contest [didn't win, but I didn't expect to; it would make one expensive t-shirt! {congrats to whoever the winner was}]. The theme was DISCOVER, so I created a picture in which you can discover the word 'discover' inside discoveries... or something like that. Anyways, I thought my concept was pretty cool, so I made it, choosing to work on the picture as a picture rather than a t-shirt design. I put it together really quickly so it isn't that great; my colored pencil technique is especially bad but I really wanted to see my concept take shape. Initially I thought that I would draw it out and then color it on the computer and make it look super professional, but I am not very skilled with that yet, so instead I just unleashed my messy colored pencil skills on it and used the computer to make it a little more... neater? [Basically I just increased the contrast and decreased the noise]. Overall, I had a lot of fun with it, and I would love to go back some day and make a better, more detailed drawing/painting of this or a similar concept.

Developing the concept: It started when I asked my brothers what they thought of when they heard the word 'discover.' One replied 'Columbus,' and the other, 'Finding something new.' So I immediately thought of some sort of multi-terrained area that included a Columbuslike figure [originally he was Columbus, but I changed that when I had to turn him red and make him into a 'D'] and finding the letters of discover in famous discoveries. Originally it was going to be water with Columbus in a boat, the shore with a clam, 'C,' and then land and a volcano. Later this changed into mostly a water scene. The first letter I decided on was the telescope aimed at the moon for the 'I.' I wanted the other letters to represent other discoveries. A sunken ship became a 'V.' Electricity inspired 'S' [though S was one of the last letters I decided upon]. The tree 'E' and dolphin 'O' represent different facets of life sciences, just as the 'S' represents both the discovery of electricity and the study of everything derived from that discovery. Similarly the volcano is both a discovery that 'that mountain is not a mountain after all' as well as the science of geology and similar fields. The 'C' cave was initially supposed to have a shining jewel inside it, but I decided that caves themselves had enough to discover inside of them. That's pretty much it...

Side note: It's really interesting to see at what point people discover 'discover.' It took my roommate forever, but she watched me from the beginning, so it makes sense that she wouldn't see it since she saw it mainly in parts. Took my brother a while to notice too ;) Other people notice it immediately. [shrug - it's fun to watch].

Alternate Work:

 This is the exact design I submitted with the title. I think the noise level was slightly different...

This is the picture with a 'pen ink' filter. I thought it looked kinda cool :D

Concept Art:
 Early sketches... Originally the 'C' was going to be a clam, then I thought of a cave with a jewel, and later I got rid of the jewel to just have a lighted up cave. Notice I was spelling 'Discover' wrong in the dolphin pic...

Method in this madness??? Highly debatable. 

 The weird plant/berry thing was an idea for the 'O.' Also, I was trying to put in a windmill for either the 'D' or the 'S' [with swooshy wind forming the letter], but I decided against it.

 Final Placement and sketch.

 Begin coloring. :)

Final, unaltered picture. Note: this is a picture of the picture whereas I altered a scan of the picture, so in reality, the altered picture isn't really that altered, just that the blacks are a little blacker pretty much.

And we come full circle :)