amiguruMEI’s first Singapore Meet & Greet

22 Mar Almost there!

It’s been a week since I returned from Singapore, and I miss the place loads! Haji Lane, especially, where I had the honour of holding my debut amiguruMEI Singapore Meet & Greet and first ever amigurumi workshops.

It was my first time visiting Haji Lane and boy did I fall head over heels in love with the place! I was so busy and worried about having my meet and greet and workshops go well that I barely had any time to enjoy the street as it was. But there’s always next time!

And so here are glimpses of the meet & greet! I met so many new friends, some of whom who made me feel like I knew them from way back when :)

Setting up...

Setting up…

Almost there!

Almost there!

And we have the first visitor of the day, Shanny, from Malaysia! I was a bit taken aback when Shanny said she is currently using a picture I took in Hello Kitty Crochet as her desktop wallpaper :') Thank you Shanny for making my day! And I love the Hello Kitty bag!

And we have the first visitor of the day, Shanny, from Malaysia! I was a bit taken aback when Shanny said she is currently using a picture I took in Hello Kitty Crochet as her desktop wallpaper :’) Thank you Shanny for making my day! And I love the Hello Kitty bag!

Ning, who also joined us for our beginners workshop :)

Ning, who also joined us for our beginners workshop :)

Nancy, who often participates in a Taiwan-based crafters group who crochets to cheer up the children at a local hospital. They've made Tuxedo Sams and Little Reds based on amiguruMEI's patterns :)

Nancy, who often participates in a Taiwan-based crafters group who crochets to cheer up the children at a local hospital. They’ve made Tuxedo Sams and Little Reds based on amiguruMEI’s patterns :)

Tian Min of @5ambento and Lin of @maysatch from Instagram who came bearing gifts! What an honour to meet them finally!

Tian Min of @5ambento and Lin of @maysatch from Instagram who came bearing gifts! What an honour to meet them finally!

Scrutinizing the stars of the day!

Scrutinizing the stars of the day!

A crochet monster jar from the sweet Yaney of @bisukiut!

A crochet monster jar from the sweet Yaney of @bisukiut!

Sharon's dress matched the balloons perfectly :)

Sharon’s dress matched the balloons perfectly :)

It's a pity I didn't get to meet Mr Ling's wife, Loretta, who couldn't make it to the meet & greet. My friends told me that they came by again later and waited to see if I had some time to chat, but unfortunately the beginners workshop went on for a tad long and they had to leave! I hope I'll get to meet you one day soon Loretta!

It’s a pity I didn’t get to meet Mr Ling’s wife, Loretta, who couldn’t make it to the meet & greet. My friends told me that they came by again later and waited to see if I had some time to chat, but unfortunately the beginners workshop went on for a tad long and they had to leave! I hope I’ll get to meet you one day soon Loretta!

Chuu I said she was so glad to find my book smiling back at her in Kinokuniya!

Chuu I said she was so glad to find my book smiling back at her in Kinokuniya!

And she brought along her dimsum crew!

And she brought along her dimsum crew!

Special thanks to she who loves Moomins: Wendy of When I Create and Craft Assembly, who first wrote to me over a year ago to ask if I was interested to drop by her zakka store to host a series of workshops! Her superb organisation skills have made everything possible. I look forward to visiting her collection of vintage Kewpie, Moomin and Woodland dolls again!

Special thanks to she who loves Moomins: Wendy of When I Create and Craft Assembly, who first wrote to me over a year ago to ask if I was interested to drop by her zakka store to host a series of workshops! Her superb organisation skills have made everything possible. I look forward to visiting her collection of vintage Kewpie, Moomin and Woodland dolls again!

And a few selfies before we go. My besties Pey (L) and Huey Yi and Fei (below) who surprised me with some Strawberry Shortcake Hello Kitty balloons!

And a few selfies before we go. My besties Pey (L) and Huey Yi and Fei (below) who surprised me with some Strawberry Shortcake Hello Kitty balloons!

Up, up and away we go!

Up, up and away we go!

I was super excited that I got the chance to meet everyone, but I was really dead-tired by the end of the two-hour session. And I still had a beginners workshop to host!

I was also feeling super uncomfortable in my dress, which I thought looked very French-maid-like!

I hope you don’t mind that I take this opportunity to say a few words to everyone who has made a difference to my Singapore stay…

To Serene of Ponde & Donut: Thank you for taking the time to bring me around all the kawaii stores in Orchard! I’m so glad I’ve found a friend in you and I look forward to many more amigurumi + cute-as-polar-bear exchanges soon :)

Shanny, Yaney, Min, Nancy, Yan, Tian Min, Chuu I, Siew Fong, Lin, Vivian, Carissa, Mr Ling, Ning and Sharon: Thank you so much for coming by and dropping me a line in my haphazard Shinzi Katoh guestbook. I really hope to be able to meet everyone again the next time I head to Singapore!

To my dear friends Huey Yi, Amanda, Alycia, Teen Nah and Roshini: Thank you for coming by just to catch a glimpse of your ol’ friend! I’m really touched by your kind love and support :)

To my besties Pey and Fei: Thank you so much for flying in to Singapore with me and making the trip a truly memorable one! Love you girls!

To my hubs, James: Thank you for always being there for me, and flying in for just one day so you could be a part of my first ever workshops! XOXO Love you lots!

P/S Special thanks to Pey for being my photographer of the day!

amiguruMEI as guest crafter at Spotlight

22 Mar

The last two weeks were incredibly busy weeks for me! Apart from my Singapore trip, which I will write about in the next post, I also had the great honour of being invited as a guest crafter to officiate the new outlet opening for Spotlight, a mega craft store from Australia. What a dream come true!

I loved Spotlight ever since I first stepped into one and it was their outlet in Singapore. It’s just too bad that I didn’t have any crafty sense back when I was studying in Perth (over 10 years ago!), otherwise I would’ve gotten acquainted with the store way earlier and would’ve possibly started my amigurumi adventure then!

Spotlight_Photo6

I got to meet fellow crafter Joanne of Craft Passion again and also Samantha of Stuff and More Crafts, and the three of us were thrilled to be one of the first few to see Spotlight’s new store at IPC Shopping Centre (formerly known as Ikano Power Centre).

The new store is snugly fitted next to Popular Bookstore, and it’s basically right next door to our favourite Swedish brand, IKEA. What we love about Spotlight first and foremost is that it has aisles and aisles of yarn! Show it to us, Jono!

Jono Gelfand, Spotlight's General Manager of Marketing.

Jono Gelfand, Spotlight’s General Manager of Marketing.

I had good fun hosting a crafting session in-store — but instead of an amigurumi workshop, we dabbled in some needle-felting, which I’ve always felt to be a great starter craft for self-proclaimed crafting noobs :) Needle felting is fun and a great stress-reliever; perfect for members of the media and bloggers who joined us for the day. Spotlight_Photo8 Spotlight_Photo9 Spotlight_Photo10

Oh and I made a mini Hello Kitty x Haruka-chan for Jono as a gift of congratulations to Spotlight. I hope that you’ll get to see her and my book in one of the Spotlight stores soon, unless Jono have kidnapped the two back to Australia :) Spotlight_Photo7

I had loads of fun and it was really great meeting new friends! Managed to see Joanne off to the airport before I drove all the way home and crashed in bed. Who knew that a day of just crafting could be so tiring? A big thank you to Spotlight for inviting me over for a spin!

P/S I just visited Spotlight this weekend and came home with a bunch of Marvel yarn in all shades of pink! Everything was at 30% off :)

Amigurumei Singapore Meet & Greet and amigurumi workshop

6 Mar

I’ll be going to Singapore for my maiden amigurumi meet & greet workshop next week. Yay!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Wendy of When I Create and Craft Assembly for agreeing to host me for the event. I’ve never met Wendy but I think it was about two years ago when she first dropped me a mail to invite me over to tour her When I Create zakka store.

Needless to say, I’m super excited to meet her for the very first time, and also to meet other fellow crafters in the field!

Here are the details of my Singapore visit:

AMIGURUMEI MEET & GREET

Date: March 14

Time: 2pm to 4pm

Venue: Craft Assembly, 49 Haji Lane, Singapore.

What to expect: I’d love to meet you! Bring along your fibre-stuffed friends and we can take we-fies, amigurumi groufies, anything! And if you have a copy of Hello Kitty Crochet with you, bring it along too and I’ll promise to pen down my best wishes for you. If my dolls agree, they will be up on display in-store. It’ll be their first trip to Singapore, so I hope everyone will be nice and accommodating!

crochet amigurumi

Date: March 14

Time: 5pm to 7pm

Venue: Craft Assembly, 49 Haji Lane, Singapore.

What to expect: If you have always wanted to make cute little amigurumi by hook and yarn, but have always had trouble understanding how to start, this workshop would be perfect for you. And no pressure! Even if you can’t finish making the doll by the end of the class, you can always finish up at home — I promise to make a video to further supplement your home learning (but do give me some time, ok?). The idea is to have fun, and find your calling, if crochet is indeed your calling :) Oh and we’ll be making a mini Piyoko. The pattern should get you off to a good start to make other cute critters :)

AMIGURUMEI BEGINNERS WORKSHOP #2

Date: March 15

Time: 10am to 12pm

Venue: Craft Assembly, 49 Haji Lane, Singapore.

What to expect: The same as above, but on a more relaxing Sunday morning :)

crochet amigurumei

AMIGURUMEI INTERMEDIATE WORKSHOP 

Date: March 15

Time: 3pm to 5pm

Venue: Craft Assembly, 49 Haji Lane, Singapore.

What to expect: If you’ve already been making amigurumi on your own, but would love to chat a bit about how to make your dolls cuter, slimmer, longer or prettier, then this would be THE workshop for you. We’ll be attempting to make Keiko-chan, who is currently ranked as the world’s cutest (and tiniest) Hello Kitty fan. I suppose two hours would not be enough for everyone to finish the doll but no worries! What’s most important is that we all have a great time crafting together and enjoying everyone’s company. If you have any tips and tricks you would like to share, please feel free to do so! Bring along your favourite handmade amigurumi and we can take some fun pictures together!

So counting down, it’s about 7 days till I head over to Singapore!

Please e-mail craftassembly@hotmail.com for more information on the workshops. Fees is SGD$65 per person. We are keeping the classes a small and comfortable size of 10 crafters, so do sign on quick :)

I hope to share more photos when I’m back! Wish me luck! 

Hello Kitty Crochet wins 2015 Family Choice Awards

5 Feb

It’s been too long everyone…Happy New Year! How has everyone been??

I’ve been really looking forward to 2015, hoping that it will bring about some fun changes to my personal life. Work has been busier than usual, so I do apologise for my absence here!

I hope to be able to share more patterns and videos this year. In the next couple of weeks, I hope to share more information on an upcoming workshop as well! Please stay tuned :)

Hello Kitty Crochet spotted in Kinokuniya, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles!

Hello Kitty Crochet spotted in Kinokuniya, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles!

In the mean time, I’d like to share some great news: my book, Hello Kitty Crochet, has just won the 2015 Family Choice Awards! やった!

Here’s my shameless snapshot of the win!

hello kitty crochet wins the 2015 Family Choice Award

Now, the Family Choice Awards recognise the best in children’s and parenting products. Now in its 19th year, the awards programme is one of the most coveted, family-friendly consumer award programs in the United States! What’s more, bestselling author Nicholas Sparks won in 2013…to be put alongside the ranks of Nicholas Sparks…(I suppose I can daydream a little, can’t I?)…I can’t help but say what a great honour that is.

If you had asked me three years ago, I would’ve had no idea that I would be publishing a book, much less winning an award for it! Thank you, thank you to everyone who have supported me thus far and for those who have been relentless in giving me your love!

I hope to be able to do more to share the amigurumi love. Please wait for more great things to come!

Click here to read more about Hello Kitty Crochet and the 2015 Family Choice Awards. 

Thank you to all who came for my book signing!

14 Nov

Yay! My Hello Kitty Crochet Author Showcase and Signing appearance at Kinokuniya, Suria KLCC was a tremendous success! My books were all sold out that day, and I got to meet so many new friends, and also had a mini reunion with some of my relatives, ex-colleagues and high school mates (and even my bosses from work)!

Here’s a snapshot of my mom, sis and little niece before the people started streaming in! The event was supposed to start at 2pm, but when I began setting up at 12.45pm, I suddenly had Hello Kitty enthusiasts coming up to the table to enquire about the book! (some tiny fans even took to “re-arranging” my dolls for me!)

hello kitty crochet book signing

A big thank you to Kinokuniya for allowing me to run the show, and even put up a TV to play my stop-motion animation on loop! I got my good friend Kenneth to help with “hosting” the session to make things more interesting from a non-crafter point of view :)

hello kitty crochet book signing at kinokuniya

hello kitty crochet book signing at kinokuniya

A friend also came in full Hello Kitty gear (aprons, bows and stuff) and everyone thought she was the “mascot”! Thank you so much to Joyce for spicing things up for all those who came!

hello kitty crochet book signing

hello kitty crochet book signing at kinokuniya

I really didn’t expect that so many people would show up! It really made me feel like a celebrity for the day, and I even received a small gift (a sweet needle-felted bunny) from a fellow crafter!

hello kitty crochet book signing at kinokuniya

I only wished I had more time to speak to everyone. The line was really long (a good thing that is!) during the book signing so it was all I could do to speed things along. Hopefully, I managed to spend an equal amount of time with everyone. Send me a mail if you want to continue talking! :)

hello kitty crochet book signing at kinokuniya

hello kitty crochet book signing at kinokuniya

amigurumei

To those who took the time to come meet me on this special day, thank you so much! I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did :)

hello kitty crochet book signing at kinokuniya

hello kitty crochet book signing at kinokuniya

It’s been a dream come true for so many people around the world to own a piece of my work. My book is now Number 1 on Kinokuniya’s Bestseller list, so technically, I’m a bestselling author!

やった! Here’s to greater things to come!

amigurumei

P/S These pictures were generously taken by my friends Raymond Ooi, Evonne Loh and my hubby too :)

 

Hello Kitty Crochet stop-motion animation!

9 Nov

Today is the day!

As I pack up now for my first Hello Kitty Crochet Author Showcase and Signing appearance at Kinokuniya, Suria KLCC, I would like to share an exciting stop-motion animation featuring the stars of my first book.

Do enjoy!

Hello Kitty Crochet Showcase and Signing appearance at Kinokuniya, Suria KLCC

8 Nov

Konnichiwa!

My Hello Kitty Crochet Showcase and Signing appearance will be happening tomorrow!

Venue: Main Entrance, Kinokuniya Bookstores, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

Date: Sunday, Nov 9

Time: 2pm

Description: I’ll be sharing an amigurumi demo at 2pm, and then proceed on with the book signing and some photo opportunities if time permits!

Psst: Come in your Hello Kitty gear or bring along your amigurumi softies and we’ll take a few selfies together!

It’s been a fun and at times, crazy, adventure prepping for this day. I spent a lot of time remaking some of the Sanrio pals and also a 7-inch tall Hello Kitty so that everyone can take a selfie with it! :)

Hello Kitty by amigurumei

So many people have been asking about where they can buy my book, so I’ll be addressing that here:

WHERE TO BUY MY BOOK:

1) In the US & European regions, my book can be found in all major bookstores.

2) For the rest of the world, you can purchase via Amazon.com, or at any Kinokuniya bookstore in your country (and yes, that includes Malaysia).

Here’s a glimpse of my book and amigurumi on display at Kinokuniya, Suria KLCC, for those who haven’t been to visit yet :) It was a hurried picture taken after the guard (not a Hello Kitty fan for sure!) said “No photos! And no moving the books!”, after my husband attempted to “organise” some books that were blocking my dolls, haha!

amigurumei at kinokuniya

And here’s a closer look:

amigurumei at kinokuniya

 

My kind editor also did a full-page write-up of my amigurumi adventures in our national newspaper (I work there as a features journalist). You can read the full article here: Malaysian crafter crochets her way into the pages of Hello Kitty

lee mei li hello kitty crochet

 

And then there’s the super-sweet feature in SuperCuteKawaii.com! Now I’m officially a Super Cute Creator! Read more here.

amigurumei on super cute kawaii

 

Come find me tomorrow at Kinokuniya, Suria KLCC (2pm) and we’ll chat more! I can’t wait!

 

 

Hello Kitty Crochet Author Showcase & Signing

21 Oct

It’s finally happening!

Here are the details of my Hello Kitty Crochet Author Showcase and Signing event!

amigurumei mei li lee

If you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur Nov 9, stop by the Kinokuniya Bookstore at 2pm to catch me in action – I’ll be doing a light and breezy tutorial, and there’ll be photo taking opportunities too!

For the first time ever, the original dolls from Hello Kitty Crochet will be displayed at Kinokuniya alongside my books in conjunction with Hello Kitty Reading Day this Saturday, Oct 25. Come by to grab a photo with them! They will be at the bookstore till Nov 14 :)

Do drop me a line if you’re planning to stop by; I’d love to look out for you!

I’d really like to thank everyone for being so supportive of my book and I really do love seeing your photos of Hello Kitty and the rest of her amigurumi pals. Keep ’em coming!

XOXOXO

Mei :)

P/S The post has been updated as I’m no longer making an appearance at Hello Kitty Town, Johor Bahru. Instead, I’ll be heading to Singapore at a later date! Stay tuned for more updates!

Exclusive Hello Kitty Crochet Tip#2: It’s in the eyes, nose and whiskers

27 Sep

Hello again!

I hope you found the last post, where we talked about the unique Sanrio head-molding exercise, helpful!

Today, we’ll be bringing out the sewing kit, for we will be learning how to sew, or much rather, embroider on the face of sweet Miss Kitty White!

You will find that this technique is used for some other Sanrio characters as well, like the Little Twin Stars, Tuxedosam, The Sugarbunnies and of course My Melody and her goth but cherry-loving rival, Kuromi.

Let’s get started!

Exclusive Hello Kitty Crochet Tip#2: It’s in the eyes, nose and whiskers

Hello Kitty Crochet by amigurumei

As mentioned in “Basic Body Parts” (pg 93), you simply have to sew on the facial details using embroidery floss and a series of vertical or horizontal backstitches. Some of the patterns include specific instructions on where to sew the nose/eyes, and also how many stitches are needed.

Hello Kitty and her daffodil-coloured nose:

Step 1: Hold the head piece so that the flattened part of the face faces you.

Step 2: Count to Round 12.

Step 3: Start sewing directly below this round. The idea is for the nose to run from the start of Round 13. You can add on more or less stitches — mine usually consists of about six to eight horizontal backstitches.

Psst: You will find that the positioning of the nose/eyes can drastically change the look of your Hello Kitty. The best way to go about it is to ensure that the line of the nose falls directly below the eyes :)

...

Back and forth…back and forth…

Hello Kitty and her brownie fudge eyes:

Step 1: Visually zone in on the third stitch away from the left/right hand side of the nose.

Step 2: Move this point two rows above to Round 11. This is where you should start sewing on the eyes.

Step 3: Simply embroider from Round 11 to Round 12 using vertical backstitches. I used 12 backstitches for each eye.

Step 4. After knotting off the ends at the bottom of the head, give the embroidered eyes a light pinch to make them slimmer and more oval-shaped.

Step 5: You can also gently press the eyes in to create a 3-dimensional kawaii look.

...

Up and down…

...

Just a pinch…

...

It’s a pressing matter I tell you…

Do note that My Melody, and also Kuromi, have bigger winks than the rest of the gang :)

...

My…what big eyes you have!

Hello Kitty and her chocolate-straw whiskers:

Step 1: Zone in on Round 11, on the third stitch away from each eye.

Step 2: Make a horizontal backstitch, which is two-stitches long.

Step 3: Repeat process to make the top and bottom whiskers, which should fall below Round 10 and Round 12.

...

Easy…

...

…peasy!

And there you have it. Enjoy!

P/S Up next, we’ll talk about jazzing up the basic hood :)

Tuxedosam and his tiny hat!

25 Sep

Happy Thursday!

Have you started on making your own Tuxedosam from our all-new pattern in Hello Kitty Crochet?

Tell me how you like the updated design!

...

If you’re finding it a tad challenging to make the tubby guy’s hat, please do refer to this pattern instead:

 

Tuxedosam’s hat:

With white yarn:

Round 1: 5 sc in magic circle {5}.

Round 2: Inc each sc around {10}.

Round 3: *2 sc, sc in next sc*, repeat 5 times {15}.

Round 4 – 6: Sc in each sc around {15}.

Round 7: Inc in each sc around {30}.

Round 8: Inv dec all around {15}.

Change yarn colour to navy. Leave a long white yarn end for sewing later.

Round 8: Inc in each sc around {30}.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Tuxedosam by amiguruMEI

Yay!

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