Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


In a Nutshell: News from the Picnic

The Big Acorn RaceWhat a wild a crazy month March was! The Big Acorn Race is doing well on Amazon. Twelve people give it 5 stars! If you’ve purchased a copy, thank you so very much! If you have a moment and you feel so inclined, would you mind dropping by Amazon to leave a customer review? It would help the book a lot.

Sorry for the self-promotion. Since the release, I’ve been in full-on marketing mode, which is totally not my cup of tea.

One last note about the book: I’m pleased to announce that The Big Acorn Race is now available in all four branches of the Boulder Public Library! If you’d like to check it out from your local library, give your friendly librarians a call or go online and fill out their “Suggest a Title” or similar acquisition form. You never know, they might just decide to carry a copy.

Year of the Sock FB Group BannerYear of the Sock

I’ve just begun working on my socks for April. I got a bunch of crochet sock pattern books from the library and now I can’t decide which pattern to try! I’m excited that so many of you are now interested in crocheting socks. I set up a Facebook group and anyone interested in sock crochet is welcome to join. Whether you are new to crocheted socks or a seasoned veteran, we’d love to have you. You don’t even need to be working on a pair to participate. I’m really interested in hearing your tips and tricks, what types of heel construction you have tried, what your favorite patterns are, and what sock yarn you like best. Together we’ll become crochet sock experts!

Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower Pillow Crochet Along

If you’re following The Big Acorn Race blog, you probably noticed my post this past week inviting crocheters to join the Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower Pillow Crochet Along. This pattern is just one of 15 super cute crochet patterns you’ll find in Squirrel Picnic’s very own The Big Acorn RaceThe pattern is a lot easier than it looks and extraordinarily entertaining. Each round takes you on an adventure! And I can’t wait to show you the way.

Tall n Fast Flower Facebook Group Banner

Starting April 19, follow along as we crochet this unique pillow over the course of 6 weeks. Each week you’ll receive a pdf newsletter right to your inbox with tips and tricks and detailed tutorial photos to guide you step by step.

In addition, when you sign up, you’ll be registered to win 1 of 2 yarn-filled prize bags, each containing over 1000 yards of yarn, which will be given through a random drawing of participants at the end of the 6 weeks. And best of all, you’ll get a personal email from Hodge and Podge, thanking you for your participation.

Sign up by emailing me at squirrelpicnic{at}gmail{dot}com with the words Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower CAL in the subject line. It’s as easy as that!

Then join the Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower Facebook group to share your experiences with the pattern and photos of your progress.

The Big Acorn Race Tea Party

Finally, on April 16 I will be hosting a tea party at Beatrice & Woodsley in Denver to celebrate the release of the book and to thank all the people that helped make it possible. This venue is so perfect for Squirrel Picnic. The décor inside is very woodsy and whimsical. It’s filled with aspen trees and moss-covered walls. The perfect hangout for some squirrel friends. I wish that I could invite you all, but it’s a pretty small space. I’ll be sure to take lots of photos and share them with you here later this month.

Thanks again for all your support. It means so much to me!

Love and hugs,




Big Acorn Race Update: Picnic Photo Shoot with Your Favorite Squirrel Friends

Final Photoshoot Sketches_Squirrel Picnic

Before heading out to the mountains for the photo shoot, I took some time to sketch out a general layout. I love drawing Hodge, Podge, and Eric.

This past week I took the final photographs for the book. These full-page color photos are the “beauty shots” that will divide the patterns into sections.

Hodge, Podge, Eric, and I decided to make an adventure out of it and head up to the mountains with all of our props. We went to one of our favorite places: White Ranch Open Space Park. It was a beautiful, blue-sky day (it didn’t even feel like winter), but it was also really, really windy. We were determined not to let the wind spoil our fun, so we carried our baskets of Big Acorn Race goodies over the mud and snow until we came upon some picnic tables in the sun.

I had sketched out my ideas on how to lay out each scene before we got there, but I hadn’t really prepared for the wind. I set everything up, taping some things down and holding others down with rocks! Then I waited patiently for the wind to die down and tried to snap as many photos as I could in between gusts.

The Big Acorn Race by crochet artist and writer Jennifer Olivarez is a whimsical storybook and crochet pattern book in one!

Hodge and Podge and Eric got to model their accessories in the first photo. The first group of patterns you will find in the book include instructions to make the squirrels plus their accessories and inventions. The new and improved squirrel amigurumi pattern comes complete with photo tutorials and detailed instructions on how to embroider their faces, how to create their eyes, and how to sew their tails. I think you will appreciate finally being able to find all this information in one place! There are also patterns to make Podge’s apron, Hodge’s baseball cap, and Eric’s jet pack.

Oak Leaves and Acorns Patterns to Crochet from The Big Acorn Race by Jennifer Olivarez_Squirrel Picnic

Next we used the picnic scene to display the Oak Leaf and Acorn Garland, Acorns in Six Sizes, and Oak Leaf Clutch. I have had the garland hanging in my bedroom for a few months now, and I love the way it adds a pinch of woodsy charm to my room. I had a lot of fun making the Oak Leaf Clutch in particular. In addition to the instructions to crochet the clutch, I show you how to add a lining and a zipper.

Tall n Fast Flower Crochet Patterns from The Big Acorn Race by Jennifer Olivarez_Squirrel Picnic

Eventually we couldn’t compete with the wind any longer. I really had to fight against the wind to get back to the car, so I had to admit that we weren’t going to be able to take any more photos on the mountain. We packed it up and headed back down to one of my favorite parks in Arvada. Here, I set up the scene for the flower section, which includes patterns to make accessories for you and your home inspired by Podge’s solution to the Big Acorn Race challenge… the Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower!

#1 Award Medal for You and Your Squirrel Friend crochet pattern from The Big Acorn Race by Jennifer Olivarez

Next was the photo for one of my favorite accessories. The book also includes patterns to make an award medal for you and your squirrel friend! Aren’t they darling? Danielle Duncan teamed up with Podge to gracefully model their award medals. Thank you, Danielle! You are a natural. You and Podge will make everyone want medals of their own.

Now that the photos are taken care of and amazing artist Sylvie is finishing things up (bless her heart, she is more than amazing!), I get to start working on promotional things… like giveaways! I’m hoping to have several throughout the month of March, so keep a lookout—the details on how you can win a copy of The Big Acorn Race are coming your way! (If you’re looking to purchase a copy, I promise it’s almost here. Friends of the picnic will be the first to know, so be sure to pay attention to your email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in the week ahead.)


The Big Acorn Race Update: Tall ‘n’ Fast Flowers

The past six weeks have been all about flowers – well, one flower in particular. The Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower is a very special one that is native to Squirrel Picnic. In “The Big Acorn Race” story, Podge has to grow a flower, fast. Luckily she has a packet of seeds that will do the trick. Sure enough, her Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower grows both tall and fast. You’ll have to excuse my cryptic description there – I just don’t want to spoil the story.

What I can tell you is that just like many of the items in the story, there will be patterns to make your own Tall ‘n’ Fast Flowers. This month I designed a Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower barrette, wall hanging, and 14” round pillow. I even designed a seed packet phone case! So far these are my favorite patterns from the book. I hope you enjoy these photos of them… Continue reading