Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


Miniature Crochet: Robot on Vacation

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my friends and I have started a new charm exchange. In a charm exchange, each participant picks a different theme for their necklace and then makes the first charm to go on it. At the first meeting, we share with each other the theme we have chosen.

The theme for my necklace is “Robot on Vacation.” The idea is that my tiny robot friend, Zero, would like to go on vacation. But where does a robot go for holiday? He will require the help of my friends to show him a good time.


I crocheted Zero using Perle 8 cotton and a 1.00 mm crochet hook. I sewed two tiny washers on with perle cotton thread for eyes and embroidered a little mouth. His arms are made out of these cool beads I found. And of course, he needed a matching heart. I attached him to this really cool necklace I found at Nomad Beads in Boulder. It looks very industrial, I guess. I also found some sprocket and gear charms there that I added to set the “mood” of the piece. Zero is approximately 1.5” tall.


Then I made a suitcase for Zero to travel with. For this I took a plain old cardboard box and covered the outside with felt and the inside with some neat fabric that my friend Annie had in her studio. She has everything in her studio. I always joke that I love to go shopping down there. It’s a full service store! In fact, I was working on this suitcase in her studio when I asked, “What if I lined the top of the box with metal?” She immediately said, “I think I have some metal you can use!” And sure enough she did. What a great and generous friend!


To complete the box and really make it look like a suitcase, I added a handle made out of nuts and bolts and some silver beads I had from a previous project. Then I found these awesome luggage labels from Luckies of London. (They can also be found on Amazon.)


This set even included a luggage tag that I affixed to the inside of Zero’s suitcase.


Finally I made Zero a journal to document his travels in.


On the inside it says:

6 October 2016

Hi, my name is Zero and I’m a friendly little robot who works in data processing for The Number Factory. I have finally accrued enough paid time off to take a vacation! I’m leaving the monotony of number crunching behind for some much-needed R&R. But where does a robot go on vacation?

I’ve never been on holiday before. My boss suggested that I just power down for a week; you know, give my motors a break. But that sounds like absolutely no fun. After running numbers day in and day out for years, it’s time for this robot to live!

After some pondering (imagine me with my wee robotic limb pressed to my chin while staring blankly at the sky), I’ve decided to leave it up to the nice people of the world to show me a good time. My friend Jennifer Olivarez of Denver, Colorado, has agreed to host me first and provide a proper send-off. Jennifer says she knows a few people in Colorado who would be happy to put me up for a bit. Eventually I hope to travel the world!

If I am lucky enough to meet you and you are nice enough to let me crash on your couch for a night or two, would you mind signing this travel journal? It will make a nice memento of this special journey. (Sadly I don’t have enough memory to store memories—just enough to process data.) Would you say a little something to help me remember my stay with you? You might include a photo of us together or of one of the places we visited, or perhaps a little doodle or quote to capture the experience. I’ve also included a charm necklace on which I hope to collect a charm from each destination. Can you help me with that too?

Most of all I want to thank you for taking the time to show me around, for making my vacation memorable, and for being my friend. I hope we can meet again someday.




I hope that my fellow charmies enjoy their guest and that he comes home with lots of fun tales to tell!

This month I get to make a charm for Annie’s necklace and her theme is clowns. I think I will probably make a cute clown (as opposed to the scary kind), but we’ll see what I come up with. I’m hoping that whatever I do, I will remember to snap some progress shots so I can share with you more tips and tricks for micro crochet.

Until then,

Happy crocheting!



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


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