Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Give Thanks for Every Little Thing

Thanksgiving Wall Paper from Squirrel PicnicAs you may know, the last few weeks have been very busy around the picnic. I’ve finished crocheting all the little details for the story section of The Big Acorn Race, and now I’m getting ready to start photographing all the dioramas later this week. Yep, that’s how I’ll be spending Thanksgiving. But don’t feel too bad for me — you know I’ll be having fun! And I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to create this book. I’m thankful for Hodge and Podge and all their friends. I’m thankful for my own imagination and creativity, which keeps me entertained and active every day. I’m thankful for my husband and family and friends, who have listened to me, supported me, and given me valuable direction over the years. I am also very, very thankful for each of you. There really wouldn’t be a Squirrel Picnic without you. Thank you all for stopping by, offering your ideas, suggestions, and encouragement, and inspiring me to design fun and playful things for us all to share.

Speaking of designing fun things. I wanted to give you a present to help you celebrate Thanksgiving. Even if you are not in the U.S. you can use this as a reminder to be grateful for all the big and little blessings in your life. It’s an image of crocheted acorns that you can save as your wall paper on your desktop or mobile phone. I crocheted each of these acorns on my commute to and from work over the past few weeks. They are so fun and easy to make. 

These acorns will be part of a big giveaway with The Big Acorn Race when it is released in March. I’ll keep you posted on this as we get closer to the date, of course. In the meantime, grab a thankful acorn image for yourself and take time this holiday season to remember everything you have to be grateful for. Continue reading

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A Look Behind the Scenes at My Craft HQ and Travel Studio

Squirrel Picnic's Craft HQ

Squirrel Picnic’s Craft HQ

Just last week, I showed you a book by Cut Out + Keep and wouldn’t you know, this week they’re returning the favor by featuring my Craft Headquarters and Travel Studio on their special feature, Craft Room Tours.

I have to be honest, when Cat, CO+K’s founder, first approached me to participate in this feature, I thought “Why in the world would anyone want to see my “craft space?”

I’m sure you too have seen those glowing photos of pristine craft rooms with sparkling white cabinetry, appliances, and lighting. They are usually decorated with functional and fashionable decor that any crafter would envy. I swoon over those pictures… and then look over at my messy apartment bedroom/craft space in dismay.

My compact travel kit makes it possible to take my crochet with me everywhere I go.

My compact travel kit makes it possible to take my crochet with me everywhere I go.

Lucky for me this experience has changed my attitude. The best part about participating in this interview is that it helped me to rethink what a craft space is and what one really needs to practice their craft. It made me question whether a studio has to be confined to any one place. Why can’t my craft space be anywhere and everywhere I take my crochet? But most importantly it inspired me to be grateful for what I have.

So head on over to my interview to see more photos, learn what I keep in my travel studio and where I go for inspiration, read my tips on how to organize your supplies, and see where Hodge and Podge live when they’re not on the road with me. I hope you enjoy this little sneak peak into the world behind the picnic.


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You Made This!

It’s so cool to see projects from people all over the world. Thank you all for choosing my patterns and for taking the time to share your finished projects with me.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to these awesome folks, whose projects are featured below: Virginie Homemade, Marta of Hama Style & Amigurumi, Flo, Astrid Der Kinderen, Amanda Thorpe, Jenny McCoy, Sarah Fuller, Beth Turner, Elsa, Theresa Pearson, Anne Hanson, Heike Röhserxxcatalopexxregenbogengarne, Linh Do Khanh, Marina Walker, KleinDari, Louna, alovelygorilla, CowSaysMoo, and curlyfro.

If you’ve made something awesome with one of my patterns, I’d love to include you in a future installment of You Made This! And if there’s anyone I missed, I’m terribly sorry. Let me know and I’ll include you in the next edition. Please send a photo of your project to squirrelpicnic{at}gmail{dot}com. Continue reading


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Charm Exchange Part 5: The Big Finale

Jennifer's Kokeshi Doll CharmsCharm exchanges are a blast! I had never even heard of a charm exchange before Sylvie approached me to be a part of hers. And I’m so glad that she did. It introduced me to a whole new world: I got to try mini-crochet for the first time, expand my jewelry-making skills, and meet a bunch of really great artists whom I can now call my friends.

Erikia's Coral CharmThis being the charm exchange finale, I thought we might accomplish two things: (1) show off our final jewelry pieces to the world and (2) answer all your questions and provide advice on how you can start an exchange of your own, because seriously, you really should try this! Continue reading


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Charm Exchange: Final Thoughts on Mini-Crochet

You Adore You Necklace Charms Materials (504x504)It has been quite an honor to be a part of a charm exchange with such talented artists. I have learned a lot about both small-scale crochet and about jewelry making. Most of all I learned that practice does make perfect. If there’s a skill you want to improve, there is one well-trodden path to success — you simply must keep doing it… over and over again. It’s the same as when we were little and our parents nagged us about practicing our musical instruments or our times tables.

With jewelry making, I have had to learn how to make wrapped loops over a dozen times, because I will learn it one day and then not even pick up my pliers for months. Having this charm exchange has given me an excuse to practice and I really think I may have gotten it this time!

The same is true for tiny crochet. I had to really practice and practice. It takes time and patience, but in the end I was rewarded with a new skill and a broader understanding of crochet. If you are interested in taking up mini-crochet, I’d like to help get you started. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how far I’ve come, while I share with you what I have learned. Continue reading


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Charm Exchange Part 4: Community

Our bracelets and necklaces are nearing completion as my friends and I met for another round of the charm exchange. I really admire how each artist has chosen to address the different themes, and it’s been really interesting to see how the variety of mediums used work together in each collection.

One of the things I have enjoyed most about this experience is the sense of community. Most artists spend a lot of time working on their craft alone in their studio or workshop or craft space. Collaborations like a charm exchange allow us to meet up with other artists, share our talents and expertise, learn about new mediums and techniques, and be inspired by the work of others… in addition to chatting about life and enjoying a good meal together.

Have you started a charm exchange like ours? Do you get together regularly with friends for craft nights? Let me know how you have developed a community around your craft and I’ll share your experience next time when we wrap up this series with our final charm exchange. Stay tuned for photos of our completed jewelry pieces and more information about how to start an exchange of your own. Until then, here are the newest additions to our charm bracelets and necklaces. Continue reading


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Patterns, Plans, Polls, and Smiles

If you’ve visited the picnic over the last month or so, you’ve probably noticed a poll I installed in my sidebar to gauge what readers enjoy most about this blog. I admit, I put it up out of sheer curiosity and to make sure you all are still having a good time. Here were the final poll results (gathered by PollDaddy.com). Continue reading