Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


Petals to Picots Reviews The Big Acorn Race

Kara from Petals to Picots reviewed The Big Acorn Race on her blog today!

In her review, she mentions that she and her son are enjoying the book together. It really touches my heart to hear this and it reminds me of how my mom and I loved to read stories together when I was a kid.

It seems the best part about The Big Acorn Race is that it includes instructions to make the characters as well as many of the props and outfits so that you can continue their journey even after you’ve closed the book. I can imagine Kara and her son having many adventures together with their new squirrel friends.

But the patterns in the book aren’t just for the squirrels! You’ll also find home decor and fashion accessory patterns to make items inspired by the story for you and your kiddos. Do you remember the Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower from the book? Kara chose some really cool colors for the one she made. You’ll have to hop on over to Petals to Picots and see for yourself!

squirrel-picnic-thanks-petals-to-picots

 

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Free Halloween Crochet Patterns from gentlestitches

Thanks to everyone who is using my sugar candy skull patterns to celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. I’m thrilled to show you that Sharon from gentlestitches.com used my patterns to help her bring Day of the Dead to Australia! Thank you, Sharon, for spreading the word about this celebration with your friends down under. If you want to share photos of your skulls, send them to squirrelpicnic@gmail.com. I’d love to see them!

gentlestitches

gentlestitches Halloween Picnic

Join me today at the Gothic “not for profit” Montsalvat. Have a look around, join me in a picnic and a quiet read. Help yourself to a free amigurumi pattern and enjoy the visual and peaceful treat which is Monsalvat before you go. Take some deep breaths under the gum trees and enjoy the art and hand crafted items on display. Take 5 minutes of delicious “you time” ❤

amigurumi crochet spiders and candy skull gentlestitches.com
First up our the famous Australian red backed spiders.

crochet melbourne fruit bat gentlestitches.com
Beware of flying Bats (not this one though, it is friendly and cuddly) 😀

crochet zombie bunnies on spiral staircase

Grab yourself a free zombie bunny pattern before they grab you.

crochet large and small sugar skull masks
Just in time for día de los muertos, a large or small sugar skull from Jennifer at squirrel picnic. Pattern here.

shane playing music for us to leave by gentlestitches.com

Happy Halloween everyone! Enjoy the music as Shane pipes you out.

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Itty Bitty, Teeny Weeny Crochet

A recent invitation to participate in a charm exchange has brought me the opportunity to explore the wonderful world of miniature amigurumi. An exchange like this brings artists together to collaborate in the making of each other’s charm necklace or bracelet. Our group includes artists in a variety of mediums: ceramic, mixed media, felt, beads, metal, and found objects. And I get to contribute crochet to the mix! Each of us gets to pick a theme for our jewelry piece, and I chose coral reefs. Imagine all the colorful things we could do with that! But first I have to make a charm myself to get my bracelet started. What reef creature could I make?

crochet-picnic-basket1First things first, I’ve never crocheted anything this small. I think the smallest piece I’ve done is the picnic basket that is about 2” tall. Just to practice, I tried making an urchin, thinking it was a simple shape… but it was too simple and it just looked like a ball. After trying a few more sea creatures, I decided to make a starfish. First I attempted to convert a life-sized starfish pattern to this scale by using DMC floss and the smallest size hook I could find. But no matter what I tried I couldn’t get it small enough. It made me realize that miniature crochet has its own tricks and rules! I do have a lot to learn.

I needed extra-small materials and extra-small patterns. I went to my local craft store with all my crochet hooks in hand to try to complete my set of steel hooks. I love how inexpensive steel hooks are! For under $20 I was able to get all the hooks I needed, from size 00 to size 14. I was also able to find crochet thread and 100% Pearl Cotton Thread in Size 5. My friend Annie let me borrow her Size 8 thread to try. Now I feel sufficiently equipped for this challenge.

Itty Bitty Crocheted Critters by Erin ClarkMini Amigurumi  by Sara ScalesI also found some books about miniature crochet that are bound to help. Mini Amigurumi by Sara Scales includes patterns for a wide variety of cute little gems from birds to babies to fruits and vegetables. Some are as small as 1/2”! Itty Bitty Crocheted Critters by Erin Clark includes patterns for some really interesting creatures like a flamingo, gecko, and crocodile. I’ve seen works from fellow crocheters done from these patterns and I can’t wait to try them out too.

We’ll be making charms for this exchange and meeting every other month over the next year. It will be exciting to see if I can improve my skills over this time. And I can’t wait to see what everyone else makes too!

I’ll share with you more in the coming week about how the charm exchange works. Until then, here’s the crochet pattern for the starfish I made for my own bracelet. I’m wondering if any of you have tried miniature amigurumi. What’s the smallest thing you’ve ever crocheted?

Starfish Charm

Starfish Charm Crochet Pattern

(Inspired by the work of Julia Kolbaskina)

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The Most Fun We Had at the Picnic in 2013

The year can’t end without taking a look at all the fun we had in 2013.
Wow! I can’t believe that our smiles didn’t explode!

2103 Year in Review

You challenged me to make a lot of interesting things in 2013. Two of my favorites were the Batman mask for Justin and the Bowser Sweater for Myrtle. The Bowser Sweater even went viral in June, landing Myrtle his very own Cheezburger meme. I also had the honor of bringing Rainbow Donkey (from Bill Brown’s Evil Squirrel’s Nest) into the 3-dimensional world. The Make It! Challenge series will continue in 2014… and it will be fantastic.

We added two new characters to the Squirrel Picnic cast: Eric, the diabolical scientist who’s seeking to bioengineer the largest acorn on the planet and his cute and cuddly robot sidekick MEAP… who would much rather be at the picnic than in the lab.

And I’ll never forget putting croshades on all the statues on Pearl Street in Boulder. What fun!

Champagne Pattern by Squirrel PicnicI can’t wait to tell you about the crochet wildness I’m already dreaming up for the new year, but we’ve still got a few days left in 2013, so let’s send it out with a bang first. Will you be showing off your crocheted M. and Mme. Champagne tomorrow night? I’ll be taking mine with me and taking lots of pictures too. Don’t forget to share your photos on our Facebook page or on Twitter @SquirrelPicnic.

All my best to you!

Jennifer