Feel the Love and Savings

Hallo, everybody!

I thought I’d let my handful of readers know about a discount code I’ve got active in the Etsy shop right now: ZVCTHANKS shaves off 10% of any purchase in the shop, be it crochet or photography items.

My shop is three years old and so I am passing on the love–and savings–to those who have lurked and waited for the right time to buy something.

This code is good through February 16! Happy shopping!

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Big Red Fox

img_9645I’ve been making efforts to make projects that I like and would get enjoyment out of, even if there is no intended buyer (or person to give the item to just yet). Working a full-time job means I crochet in my spare time. I’ve discovered that if I start something and put it down, even for a little while, it will easily turn into months before I pick it up again or find the motivation to finish it.

(Case in point: Sepp the Seahorse, my first Lalylala doll, has been a work-in-progress since June of 2016 — yeesh!)

I bought this red fox pattern a couple of months ago and finally got around to making it. I tracked my progress on Ravelry and was surprised I finished it in five days. That is pretty quick for me, but I also realized afterwards that I prioritized it over other projects. I’m glad I did, though, because it kept the momentum going, and this handsome fella came out of it!

This pattern from Kristi Tullus calls for using joints, which I did not use. I labeled it as easy or medium-easy on Ravelry, but I would say that this pattern is definitely meant for an experienced crocheter and/or amigurumi-maker. I had to do some very careful sewing since I wasn’t using joints, and I made some mental notes about what to do for future foxes.

I do love the long limbs, and using Vanna’s Choice yarn was a great “choice,” since it yielded a bigger doll, even using a 4mm hook. Plus I just love that rich orange color, don’t you? The colorway is called Terracotta, for anyone who wants to use that. The pattern calls for using a dark brown but instead I used a Lion Brand yarn, colorway Smoky Mountains, which is dark gray and wisps of silver. I thought it gave the paws and accents a bit more depth.

All told, Big Red is 15″ from the top of his head to his tippy toes.

As much as I love the fox, I decided to list him in the Etsy shop because I feel like he could make a kid (or collector, whoever) very happy. So he is officially for sale! And I threw in free shipping, just ’cause.

Here are some photos for your enjoyment! And if you have any questions about the making of the fox, please do comment below or send me a note at zavvycreations {at} gmail dot com.

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Flash Photo Sale for Fall!

Hi, folks!

Some of you may have seen on the social medias that I moved over the summer. After a month or so of settling in, I’m happy to be back to creating with yarn and photos.

Speaking of photos! I’m currently holding a photo promotion in the shop for 10% off ANY photo listing through Sunday, October 16! Use the promo code PHOTOSALE16. It’s good for prints, canvasses, or custom orders!

Feel free to message me through this site or on Etsy with any questions. 😀

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Shop on Vacay!

Vacay

I wish I really were at some tropical location where I was enjoying views of the water and sand with nothing more to do other than relax, crochet, stream shows on Netflix, nap (and repeat), but alas, I had to put the shop on vacation for a completely humdrum (but exciting in its own way) reason: I’m moving!

Moving is one of those sucky parts of adulthood where the process of it totally sucks but the end result feels amazing. I’m actually going to have a dedicated space for my desk and craft things and I’m completely over-the-moon thrilled about it.

That means I put a halt on fulfilling any orders for the rest of the month, but I’ll be back in action in just a couple of short weeks.

Hope the handful of folks out there who read this are having a lovely summer. Only one more month before it’s officially autumn–eep!

 

Valentine’s Easter-Spring-Summer

Have you noticed how Valentine’s and Easter seem to blend together in the subdued gray, winter-into-spring months? Valentine’s Day is not that big of a “crochet” holiday, but if you plan ahead, you can make some cute things for it. Usually February creeps up on me too quickly to make anything, but I did manage to whip up a couple of luxury spa cloths. Here’s one:

Basketweave Luxury Washcloth

A surprise valentine for a friend: a luxe facial cloth!

I like February, generally, because it’s got a few fun days in there: Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day. Some people are off work for President’s Day, extending the three-day weekend trend for one more month. And it’s a short month, too, so then March is upon us quickly.

Shortly after March 1, however, things seem to snowball into springtime and Easter, with fashion trends for swimsuits and sandals quickly following suit. (IMO: too much too soon.)

In an attempt to get ahead of spring fever this year, I decided to get the Easter listings out ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute. Fun!

 

Celebration! zavvy creations is Two!

My little Etsy shop has been open for two whole years. Wow!

This has been quite the experience ever since I picked up a hook again in late 2013: lots of trial and error, consuming books and patterns galore, connecting with new friends, and filling the spaces of my home with lots…and lots…..of yarn and fiber. Mmm.

I have completed dozens of orders through word-of-mouth and the shop itself, on top of experimenting with countless different projects and giving things away. I’m so excited to see what I will accomplish in 2016.

In honor of the anniversary, I am holding a special where any order of $12 or more will receive free shipping** through January 16, 2016! This includes crochet and photography items. Free shipping provides a sliding scale discount–the bigger the item is, the more you’ll save!

Just use the code TWOYEARS in the shop on any qualifying purchase. Can be used on custom orders, as well! Simply click the button on the home page of the shop that looks like this:Request

I hope to hear from some of you!

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** I have recently been made aware that international shipping is exceedingly expensive. As in, it doesn’t make sense for me to ship my creations abroad when the shipping will cost as much or more than the item itself. Of course, if there is an item someone is dying to have that they can’t get in their own region, a custom order could be created with agreed-upon shipping.

 

Irregulars (Misfit Toys)

Sometimes I whip up an amigurumi just for fun with no other purpose than to just hang out in my home until I can give it away or sell it.  (And sometimes I end up keeping them. I have a baby whale and a finished cupcake that adorn my home office that are too sweet to give up!)

Then sometimes there are those toys or items that are complete but are just a little….off. Sometimes the “offness” is only noticeable to me but sometimes it’s more noticeable.

(And other times, I make something and for whatever reason, maybe that crochet is an insanely competitive market? it doesn’t sell.)

Take, for example, this cutie patootie baby owl.

Irregular Baby Owl Amigurumi
Designed by one of my favorite designers, Little Muggles, I had to try it. Even though there were nine separate parts to crochet, I liked how the soft pastel yarn looked with the baby yellow yarn. And those eyes!

Sadly, my inspired idea to give him blue eyes didn’t work out too well because the backs to the eyes took some extra oomph to fit. My husband had to use pliers and a lot of strength I do not possess to force the eye into the backing. Unfortunately, both eyes were scratched in the process. (Note to self: will not be purchasing from that supplier again.)

This little guy has sat in my little pile of growing “misfit toys” for a few months, waiting to be played with. He now bears the Irregular label and is sitting in my shop, waiting to see if someone wants to take him home.

Another example is this lop-eared baby bunny. It’s actually executed perfectly. Nothing is “wrong” with it except that the weight of the bunny is not evenly distributed, which happens, and so one of the hind legs comes up as the bunny rests on its front paws. It kind of looks like it’s in mid-jump. But since it doesn’t sit nicely, in it goes to the Misfit Toys bin.

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The point is, because of these small irregularities, they shouldn’t render the toy homeless useless. But to help entice others to adopt these little misfit creatures, I went ahead and created an Irregular section of my shop so I can pass on the savings and keep my closet from filling up with perfectly lovely adoptable creatures!

I’m a little giddy about this new section of my shop–I hope others are, too!

Farewell to Summer and a Few Amigurumi

Happy post Labor Day weekend! I hope it was relaxing and a bit cooler than ours was in the middle states. Summer is still going strong but thankfully, cooler weather is on the way, so it won’t feel quite so ridiculous to be focusing on hats and blankets and scarves and other cozy items.

The weekend saw me  whipping out amigurumi orders, one after another–pictures below in a bit. On a whim, I listed this gorgeous blanket on Sunday and it ended up selling right away, which was a terrific feeling. It really is a beautiful blanket and I hope the new owner falls in love with it like I did when it was finished.

Corner to Corner Jewel Toned Blanket - Folded
Just before Labor Day when All the Toy-Making was happening, we had friends in town and the only thing I had out was some Chroma Worsted yarn from Knit Picks and a Tunisian crochet hook. By the end of the weekend, I had whipped up this ribbed hat :

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For what it’s worth, I do like the pattern, and the variance of knit and purl stitches keeps the hat from curling, which is really nice, since Tunisian loves to curl up on itself. My only gripe with it is that the top is a little bit holey when it’s all said and done. I think that’s why it’s pretty critical to put a pom on top–something I have yet to try. If you’ve made this hat and have comments, I’d love to hear!

Now on to the amigurumi. I’m currently coasting into the final toy of the final order I’ve received since late August, which is a cow. But over the weekend, I ended up producing:

  • One whale
  • One baby bunny (and a practice bunny)
  • One cornflower blue hippo
  • One chocolate brown elephant

It may not seem like a lot but trust me when I say making four (technically five) animals  is quite a bit from Friday to Monday, not including eating, sleeping, going to Zumba, Netflix, etc. Here are a few photos, some of which are not the best, admittedly. I’ll have more when I’ve finished the cow and I can take some ultra cute pictures of the finished trio.

Hoping to be able to work on some more wearables and holiday items now that we’re in the last few months of 2015 (where has it gone?!). More to come!

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Calm Before the Amigurumi Storm

I’ve had several posts up my sleeve this week but none of them really panned out, i.e., I didn’t have make time to sit down and really flesh out what I wanted to say on those pesky drafts waiting to be written.

After finishing the Tunisian ripple scarf, I felt free and ready to tackle the next project. I have so much yarn ready and waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. For example, I have four bright and beautiful colors of Shine Sport from Knit Picks ready to be made into something. But what? A spa cloth? Something new and totally different? I had great results using it in Tunisian crochet previously, so maybe I should stick with that. But…but…but….my mind swirls in circles trying to come up with the “perfect” project, whatever that means.

I also have in my possession a skein of gorgeous alpaca and silk in a color called Envy – it is a lovely dark emerald color. Since it is so soft, I keep thinking about making something to go against my neck. Perhaps a small cowl in crocodile stitch? I’ve taken it out of its little bag and stared at it and handled it until I just sit in a daze, staring off into space, waiting for inspiration. Then I put it back.

I have a personal amigurumi project, for which the yarn has sat on my couch for a week, that I still haven’t picked up and started.

Then I began a personal project for someone that will be a thank-you and surprise wrapped up in one.

In the middle of that personal project, I decided to make an amigurumi I hadn’t tried yet of the bunny variety. I’ve gotten the head, arms, and body worked up, with the ears, tail, and sewing yet to complete.

(Are we seeing a pattern of Crochet ADHD here or what?)

And as soon as I began on that one amigurumi, I received several inquiries for more, two from people I know and one through the shop. I started to see the queue stretch out before me into mid to late August. I think there is something about summertime that gets people itchy to shop. Maybe it’s people planning ahead for Christmas. Maybe it’s that it’s so easy to shop online in the cool, air-conditioned indoors when it’s so disgustingly hot out. Don’t forget all the babies that will be born come the fall! (I have succumbed to the lure of shopping on Etsy for cute baby things, so I understand the pull.)

Whatever the case, I have a little amigurumi cloud raining down toy orders, thus I will be in my workshop on my couch crocheting away when I can. And if you follow me on Instagram, you know how I love to post the progress of all the cute creatures as I go.

With that in mind, please enjoy this bevy of amigurumi from Planet June, who is a fabulous designer and teacher. Catch you on the flippity flip!

Weekend Showcase

Usually weekends are a busy time for me, crochet wise. If I’m not making something, I’m researching what I want to make next, poring through patterns and ideas online with Pinterest, Ravelry, Etsy shops, crochet blogs, or going through my books for ideas.

By and large, the weekend is my time to be able to sit and quietly work on things without the stress of a work day looming.

My real accomplishment for this past weekend was this sweet little thing:

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The pattern for this lamb can be found on Etsy through a shop called Bowtykes. My previous lamb pattern yielded something very small, soft, and cute, but not quiiiiiite what I was looking for with the end result. Plus, I had to tweak it too much for my liking:

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Kinda looks like a guinea pig with horns.

What I love about the Bowtykes pattern is that you can easily change the size of the animal by adjusting your hook size. In this case, I used worsted weight yarn and an E/3.5mm hook, yielding a solid stuffed animal that you can hold in one hand, but it’s not tiny. Perfect for cuddling if you’re a kid.

If I were to have used a 4mm or a 7 hook (4.5mm), it would have turned out even larger. Changing one’s hook doesn’t always easily make for a larger item but in this case, it does. Plus, the designer did a great job in writing out her pattern so that no matter what yarn you use, you’ll get the little fluffy clouds on the body that represent the wool.

I used an extra fluffy yarn in two colors. I could have brushed the body if I wanted it to be fluff on crack, but I opted to leave it alone since it looks cute without having to brush. I also used weighted filler to help steady the doll since otherwise the head can become too heavy and pull the body forward.

I tried putting in black plastic eyes instead of embroidering them, as the pattern suggests, but it really does look better with the “sleepy” eyes and sweet embroidered nose. And voila!

Lamb 2

I feel confident that this sweet amigurumi will make a perfect addition to a nursery or brighten someone’s day. It did for me when it was just sitting in my living room!