A Crocheted Dog Named Mouse

I’m currently participating in a photo book challenge on Instagram. I love reading and decided to incorporate my crochet into the book prompts. For the most part, I end up using crochet items I’ve already made and try to incorporate them into the theme of the book I’ve chosen. But for one of the prompts, I wanted to make something new.

The prompt called for a book with my favorite familiar or animal companion.

Meet Mouse the dog: A temple dog of Foo origin and Harry’s companion in the Desden Files.

Mouse is one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite book series. I knew I had to try and make him. I haven’t crocheted anything in months, so it was nice to have a goal and a challenge. He is described as being tall, has a broad build, his coat is dark grey, and he’s marked with black on the ear tips, tail, and lower legs. He has a lion-like mane around his face. Mouse seems to possess an extremely high intelligence, able to formulate complex plans, and understands instructions. He is a great fighter and a fast runner. In combat, he will occasionally emit a nimbus of pale blue light. He has supernatural endurance and healing abilities beyond mortal dogs. I love this dog! Continue reading

Crochet Challenges and Progress On My Book

I don’t normally do crochet challenges or crochet alongs because…I don’t know, just because. I like looking at what other people are doing though. One of my best friends/sis-in-law started participating and enjoying some challenges on Instagram. She kept encouraging me to join a crochet one she was doing. She had this crazy notion that I might like it, AND that it would force me to post more regularly on my Instagram account.

The prompts are fun and fully within my purview.

See, I was guilty of going weeks without posting. Before, I was pretty active. I always had something to show, what with making things for and with the kids at work, and my own projects at home. But after the pandemic shut down our school and it not opening back up, I wasn’t crocheting much. Instead, I hyper-focused on finishing my crochet book on dolls that had been brewing for years. After intense work, I finished it and then…nada. I stopped talking about it. My excuse was that I was waiting to get the cover from my husband for the physical book edition…but that had been months already. I’m sure she and other family members were wondering why I wasn’t doing more to get the word out. I think after the big push this summer to finish it, my brain took a break, figuring when the physical book cover was done, I’d focus back in. Instead, I focused on a new account on Instagram all about succulents and my garden. I’m thoroughly enjoying that account by the way, but I became guilty of neglecting my crochet account both here and on Instragram.

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on something different. Sometimes we just need a break from things, but being the good friend that she is, my sis-in-law was getting frustrated that I stopped talking about my book. The book that took me years to finish and that I finally self-published on Amazon and Apple Books as an ebook but wasn’t announcing it from the rooftops.

Uhm, I don’t think that sat well with her. She started mentioning this challenge she was in and I enjoyed her posts on it. She gave me a few nudges here and there about things I could post about but nothing too pushy. I wouldn’t say I was ignoring the hints. It was more that I wasn’t catching them and letting them land. Then, I saw that Eleanora from Coastal Crochet was also doing the challenge and things just clicked. All the nudging paid off, and I decided to join the challenge. When I joined, I had to do a few catch-up posts, but they were fun to do and now I’m all caught up. I even had the courage to start talking about my book and incorporated it as part of the challenge.

I was reminded that just because I’m not necessarily working on a particular crochet project, I still have things to post about. And being more active on my crochet account again jumped started my creative juices, which I suspect was my friend’s evil plan all along. And after my hubby saw me getting motivated again, I think that motivated HIM too to finish my cover (and he was trying to get done by our 27th anniversary, which he did!). He was still very busy with his work so I wasn’t complaining, but I was super happy when he was done with it.

I love it! I love it!

I was able to upload it to Amazon and I’ve ordered a copy to see how it looks. It should arrive in about a week. Hopefully it looks good and I can start yelling from the rooftops. 😉 If not, it’s back to the drawing board to make it look good.

On that note, I already have a bunch of posts I want to write about here on my blog about the trials, tribulations, and frustrations I went through to upload and self-publish my book. I also have some ideas for posts unrelated to the book but are all very yarny. I might use some of my favorite prompts from the crochet challenge as inspiration for blog posts. I want to use different images than the ones I use there so followers to both will see something different. As for Instagram, I plan to continue with the challenge as it’s been super fun.

A big thanks to my sis-in-law/friend that her evil plan worked! If not for her, I would probably still be in my garden with my head in the sand saying, “What book?” LOL


Crochet Coco From Animal Crossings

My niece asked ever so kindly if I would make her Coco from the video game Animal Crossings. I have some knowledge of the game since my daughter loves it and told me all about it when it came out. But I had no idea what Coco looked like. I did a little internet research and knew I could reproduce her in crochet.

She’s cute!

I used other images as well for reference to get a well rounded idea of her. I immediately knew I had the perfect yarn for the skin tone. I had a little ball tucked away in a drawer somewhere. It would be just enough to make the entire doll if I planned it right.

I think I did a pretty good job. 😊

Heatwave! In Southern California

It gets hot in the summer around here but the digits have risen higher than I’ve ever experienced in my neck of the woods. I used to cry foul when we hit 105. This week, we reached 115 more than once and and 109 seems to have become the norm!

Other places are hotter so why am I whining? Because not only am I not used to this extreme heat, my plants aren’t doing very well. They’re succulents so you’d think they could handle it but noooo, they can’t.

My garden suffers every summer but bounces back when cooler weather comes around, but this extreme heat might kill some of my succulents permanently. My plants I’m most worried about are my plumerias. I have two from cuttings that finally had beautiful leaves. One still looks fine but my other one looks like this!

I’m melting!
This is what it looked like the day before.

I’m hoping it will bounce back. I moved it to the shade and gave it water. I have my fingers crossed!

Crochet Baby Yodas at Yosemite

Friends or enemies?!

I was fortunate enough to visit Yosemite National park with my siblings and sibling-in-law on a camping trip. My brother was able to snag reservations to Zion, Mesa Verde, and Yosemite, all before the pandemic. Apparently, Yosemite was super hard to get. Reservations would sell out within seconds of opening. He kept trying and timed the system just right and managed to grab one for this past weekend.

As the pandemic hit, the reservations were canceled with first Zion and then Mesa Verde. We were crossing our fingers that Yosemite would happen. As the date got closer, they did close most of Yosemite down, but our reservation at Upper Pines remained active. Then, they canceled half of the Upper Pines reservations. Ours was one of the lucky few that did not get canceled, but we kept watch to see what would happen. The week before we were set to go, Yosemite started slowly opening back up–with many restrictions–but opening nonetheless. That was such good news because it meant that our reservation would probably hold–and it did!

I took so many pictures of our adventures, but I almost didn’t take any pics of the Baby Yodas. Months ago, I had made a Darth Maul/Baby Yoda hybrid for my brother and my sis-in-law had crocheted him a Baby Yoda. He carries them in his car, and they went on the trip. It was on the last day that my sis-in-law said I should take pics of the dolls (action figures!) before we left, and I mean literally before we left! We were packing up to leave! I thought it was a great idea.

They didn’t do any hiking, being snug and forgotten in the car, but they were there with us and deserved their own photoshoot. 🙂 If you’d like to see more, check out my Instagram account at @yochetcrochet.

I see you!
I think they’re friends.

I loved being at Yosemite! Can’t wait to go back someday!

I’ll post another entry of my adventures with my siblings but if you’d like to check out pics now, head over to my Instagram @yolihikingandoutdoors.

Baby Yoda Crochet Mask – We Won!

I was asked to share how the Baby Yoda crochet mask did in the contest at my sister’s work. We won! Sadly, and for reasons unknown, they didn’t post the doll sporting the mask. But still, my sister won anyway, although I’m convinced that if they had used the right picture, we would have had a bigger lead! But I digress, we won!!!!

I asked my sister to take another pic of the doll wearing the mask after the win. I think the doll looks pretty happy, even though she didn’t get to make her debut. 🙂

Another Creepy Crochet Doll

I was inspired by my daughter’s creepy crochet doll to make one at work. I had some yarn I wanted to use up and I thought some of the kids would like it. I got the expected responses ranging from creepy to cute. My goal is always to get creepy AND cute. Based on the responses, I succeeded. As always, the kids helped me finish her by suggesting (insisting) what colors to use for the hair and outfit. As you can see, they wanted all kinds of hair color! They picked the eyes out as well, albeit with a little help from me.

Since we had to close down the program so abruptly, I didn’t get a chance to finish the doll at work, but I brought all my materials home and was able to finish it here. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to put her in the prize-box soon.

And here she is!

WA Crochet Creepy Doll 3.JPG

WA Crochet Creepy Doll 2.JPG

WA Crochet Creepy Doll.JPG

What do you think? Did I succeed at creepy AND cute?

Life-size Crochet Doll Pranks

After our school shut down due to the coronavirus and we had to close down our after-school program, I brought home the large doll I crocheted for the kids. I didn’t want to leave her there all alone. My hubby always complains that when she’s in the house, she scares him when he least expects it. This was no exception.

I had her on the couch–and predictably–she spooked him a few times. Success!

Large doll on couch.JPG

Poor thing looked pooped after playing with school kids for a few years!

I decided to be a good sport and move her…into his office…when he wasn’t looking. Obviously I was trying to spook him. But to my chagrin, he didn’t even notice her. She was propped up in his armchair right next to his computer! It’s the first thing you see when you walk into his office! Needless to say, after he didn’t notice her for awhile, I pointed her out while he was sitting at his desk–two feet from his head. 😂

We decided that that would be her new home…until I walked into my office–and didn’t notice her either. I basically walked right past her to get to my desk and didn’t see her. But when I turned around…Bam! She spooked me!

Large doll desk


Continue reading

Another Day in the Life of Sheltering at Home

Yesterday, I had nothing to do on my crochet book. It’s currently at the editor’s and will be back in a week. In the meantime, I spent a few hours researching how to submit a book to Amazon. Turns out, it wasn’t such an easy task. One article (that was very useful) suggested NOT to try to format a book ourselves but to hire someone to do it because it’s quite complicated. Well  now, I figured, I do have a lot of time on my hands right now. Let me see.

Hours later, I was going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of information. One link lead to another link to another link… and soon I couldn’t remember how to get back to an important link I had navigated away from three links ago! Repeat process with videos. There were a lot of equations and formulas for formatting and so much blah blah blah on the correct way to do a cover. I’m still not clear on whether I can use the same file to create both an ebook and a physical on-demand book. I might have to recreate my book for that! Continue reading

Crochet Doll Book News

It’s been brought to my attention by a great horde of people (two to be exact), that although I titled my last post Finished My Book Amidst Pandemic, I actually didn’t talk much about my book…at all. It was suggested gently (not so gently) that I actually talk about, you know, the book!

The book: What’s my book about? It’s a tutorial on how to create your own simple dolls (that don’t look simple), as if explained to you by a friend. It’s picture heavy as it’s more about inspiration on how to create your own dolls than about patterns. However, I did include three patterns to illustrate what the end product could look like.

Here’s the cover:

book cover

I might still change the subtitle. 

To start off, I thought I was done with the book after a few tweeks. I had my friends and family read it to see if there was anything majorly wrong with it. A few edits and suggestions came in, and the more I went in, the more I changed.

First off, it’s taken me a few years to get this project done. Unfortunately, the more I waited to get back to it, the more things changed. Things like software and app changes, which forced me to relearn how to use them again. Or say I was happy with pictures years ago, now they looked dated or not as good as what I can do now. So what I’m basically saying is that I drastically started fiddling with the book and moved away from the finish line, AGAIN. Continue reading