Totoro Crossing!

Suddenly I have all sorts of ideas for knitted and crocheted holiday gifts, but, well, pretty limited time to get things done!  I have a few geeky gifts finished, which I’ll show you after the holidays, and purchased yarn for a few more yesterday.  I’m pretty excited about ALL OF THEM!!!!

In the meantime, here’s a shot of a design I just finished for my Threadless shop.  It’s a parody of an animal crossing sign, but instead of a deer or ducks, etc., it’s a trio of Totoros and a couple of Susuwatari– soot sprites.  I need to order myself a sample!

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I’ve been very busy lately working on designs for my artist shop.  If I’m not subbing at a school, I’m at my dining table, drawing and scheming.  OH!  We tested out some Xp-pen tablets at Kumoricon and almost immediately bought one.  It has upped my design game, as it was hard to draw and color on paper and have the designs transfer nicely/bright enough once I scanned them into my computer.  I suppose I’m slow to the game, but creating digitally is a game-changer.

Anyway, check out my shop!  https://henryx4.threadless.com/ .  Happy knitting, drawing, etc!!

Halloween part 3

We usually attend the Halloween festivities in San Francisco’s Japantown- it’s very family friendly, all the activities are free, and we usually run into friends there. Today started out very rainy but the weather cleared up just in time.

The kids chose different outfits today- the Wee Boy was a pirate (cobbled together from things we had around the house), and the Girl was Kiki from the movie Kiki’s  Delivery Service. I made the dress and cat (Jiji) for her four years ago, but they’re still serviceable! I wore my Dalek outfit again.

It was super sunny and bright after the rain!
This is exactly why I don’t mind spending the time to make our costumes; they still get so much love ❤️ even years later. 

Three down, one to go! 

Magnum Opus

Today I present to you what is my Magnum Opus thus far in my crafting career: my Totoro Quiet Book and pattern.  I worked on this project over several months, coming up with ideas, sketching them out, creating them in felt, and finally putting the pattern together and getting it up for sale on Etsy!

Is the word “Totoro” new to you? If you haven’t seen the Studio Ghibli movie “My Neighbor Totoro,” get it now!  You’ll love it!  It’s a sweet anime written and directed by the amazing Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.  In recent years, his films have become big in the United States and other international markets, not just Japan.  You might know of Ponyo or Spirited Away, but if you haven’t met Totoro yet, you are missing out!

Without further ado, here are some shots of my Quiet Book!

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There are pages of quiet activities for your little one, starting with..

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Finger puppets!  The main cast members are here, including Mei, Satsuki, Big Totoro, Chu Totoro, Chibi Totoro, Catbus, and a Soot Sprite/Gremlin!

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Make Satsuki’s lunch!

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You, I mean, the child gets to make Satsuki’s bento lunch, just as she made it in the movie!

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Help Totoro use Dad’s umbrella!  The umbrella snaps into place as you teach Totoro how to use the umbrella instead of a leaf to protect him from the rain.

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Untie the present that Totoro gave to Satsuki and Mei to find…

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Nuts and acorns!  They velcro on and off so the kids can play with them.

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Next, wait with Mei to see when the seeds and acorns will sprout into…

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Plants!

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Next, you get to pick vegetables off the plants and place them in the basket, just like Satsuki and Mei do with Granny!

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What a harvest!

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Help Catbus find poor, lost Mei, who was just trying to take her corn to Mom in the hospital.

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Poor, tired Mei.

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Unsnap the ocarina flutes and match them to the correct Totoro!

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Definitely an optional page, you can practice spelling TOTORO in English and Japanese, and store the letters/characters in the cute pouch when not in use!

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And…. The End/Oshimai!

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Featuring Soot Sprites!

If you are interested in the pattern to make your own Totoro Quiet Book, including detailed instructions, list of materials, helpful hints and shortcuts, check out the listing on my Etsy page!  The pattern is available as an instant PDF download which includes instructions, pattern drawings, and plenty of photos as well.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/174363863/totoro-quiet-book-pattern?