Yes I know that you are all eager to see what Stevie-boy and I made for our daughters Christmas presents (and some of you have already scrolled down to see…sigh…) but first, I would like to share what some enterprising camera phone person managed to capture of the concert that our daughter Bethany and I were part of on Wednesday night. Ben Folds is an amazing performer and so is the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Combined they made for a magic night that I will remember for a very long time. As an audience you tend to be spectators only but we were all part of this awesome conglomeration of sound and in this small captured part of this wonderful night you get to hear the moment when an audience becomes proactive in a performance. I was one of the choir ;)…
Now where were we? OH that’s right…you wanted to know what Stevie-boy and I made for our daughters gifts (To my dear constant readers who just couldn’t wait…hang your heads in shame!)
We removed most of the dead and dying photinias that blocked our chooks view of the river. Merry Christmas chooks!
Now the little mulberry and mandarin trees (that you can see at the bottom of this image) can get full sun as well as this lovely view 🙂
Not sure if this tangled mass is a real passionfruit vine but down on the junction between the outside chook coop netting and the rock wall there are 2 nests. The chooks don’t know that I know that they are there 😉
Certainly looks like a real passionfruit flower to me and that bee is certainly making the most of it
Well firstly, neither Steve nor I won the booze voucher. It seems we got the brief wrong but as I learned so much about the process of making amigurumi dolls I am counting that my reward and Steve just painted a friends front room and got given a carton of beer so he is counting that as “his” reward so we are square :). As I just revealed, my gift to my daughter involved me learning how to single crochet, how to follow a pattern, how to freestyle on said patterns and how to make a set of Korean K-Pop band members from one of Madeline’s favourite bands, Big Bang. I shared this video with you a while ago and it’s from this video that I took my clothing challenge. No small challenge indeed. I will let you refresh yourselves with what I set myself up for…
My amigurumi interpretation of Big Bang
Bethany’s lovely lacquered box. The Korean letters in the top right hand corner of the lid say “Beth”
The box is perfectly straight, the lines in the wood give an optical illusion of wonkiness ;).
Handmade Blackwood chop sticks and an insert that separates the box into 2 sections along with a hand wood burned “Noodle box” and “Rice box” plaque and the pretty little padlock that we found online.
Food contents of the box before wrapping
Now before I started this challenge, I could crochet a UK treble (U.S. double) crochet stitch and that was it. I created granny squares and lines of straight treble crochet and that was IT. This challenge saw me hovering around the crochet tutorials from various wondrous crochet sites and learning a lot of things from scratch. If you are determined, you can find what you are looking for online and my determination was rewarded with some really excellent basic patterns that allowed me to do what I wanted to do. I wanted proper hands on the dolls because the band members wear a lot of rings etc. and I wanted to be as authentic to the original band (in the above music clip) as I could so I found a wonderful pattern for a “human amigurumi” doll here…
This doll was pretty much what I was after in a body but I wanted hands and this led me to this awesome pattern…
Once I had made the dolls I needed to dress the dolls and I needed suits. I found this overcoat pattern that I adjusted to my needs and this “dolls jeans” pattern that worked wonderfully for pants with a bit of juggling.
(Scroll down to “Basic jeans” pattern and right click on the link that will open a download box)
I was just hunting for the jeans pattern (retrospectively) to share with you and found this excellent downloadable pdf that includes straight leg jeans. I wish I had found this a few months ago!
Although I got the order wrong, here are the parts of the dolls crocheted separately and then put together ready to be turned into whoever or whatever you like
Time to give them all hair
I had to work out how to represent a mohawk or three when making the dolls. I ended up sewing on the shaved part and hand hooking the rest. I think it worked out pretty well. I used the video of “Fantastic Baby” to make sure I got all of the tiny details correct. Here you can see the back of Taeyang’s head (on the laptop)
This is the start of Daesung’s hair. He was the only band member without some form of mohawk and I hand knotted his entire head of hair so that I could attempt to make his hair style. I am NOT a hairdresser so it is lucky that he looked anything like he was supposed to 😉
I think he looks pretty good with a full head of hair but that wouldn’t be representative of his hair in the video so I had to cut it (cut version further down in this post)
I made ties and bow ties from cobbling other patterns together and jewellery from a selection of costume jewellery, brads and jewellery fixings that I bought for 10c a packet from Spotlight about 5 months ago. One of the dolls needed an interesting selection of arm armour and I was having trouble working out how to make it until I found a large empty can that once contained German non-alcoholic beer on the side of the road on a recent walk with Earl and knew that it’s very thin sides would be perfect for moulding into this armour. I learned HEAPS from this project including how to suck up defeat and move on ;).
I bought a string of spiked studs to make Taeyang’s arm armour and the piece of metal that I am working with here came from an aluminium can. I made holes in the metal and carefully pushed the studs into it
The first part of the armour (see the finished results further down in this post). I used small silver brads to hold most of this armour together.
G-Dragon needed a cane and so Steve cut me a length of metal from a bbq fork that he was taking to the tip. I used a length of old costume jewellery “chain” to wrap around it and used jewellery findings that I bought from Spotlight to make the top and bottom of the cane.
Stevie-boy stuck with what he is good at and made our youngest daughter Bethany a lovely lacquered wooden box from dressed pine. He put a lot of effort in to making sure the finish was perfect and sanded and recoated the box many times in order to get this finish. I wood burned “Beth” into the inside top right hand corner in Korean and he made a pair of Blackwood chopsticks to add. He then bought several packets of Korean ramen and specialty sticky rice and Forbidden black rice to add to the box. It was topped off with a lovely gold-tone padlock and pretty key that we sourced online.
This is Seungri. His hair was quite difficult to make but he didn’t need a shirt so he was one of the easier dolls to finish
My attempt to add earrings using thin Jewellery findings and Steve’s clever idea to use earring backs for a dual piercing.
Not exactly the same as the rings that Seungri wears in the Fantastic Baby video but sometimes you have to wing it with what you have. Each ring was made from silver pen inserts (none of our pens work now 😉 ) and costume jewellery and silver brads
T.O.P. with his overcoat open to show his black shirt and jeans along with his knee high boots
This hat took me quite a long time to get right. I am still not entirely happy with it but it looks pretty much like the hat in the video so there comes a time when you have to say “that’ll do!”
Daesung with his hair cut (take note, don’t ask me to cut your hair…EVER! 😉 )
Daesung from the back to show the detail on the suit
Steve made me a throne for G-Dragon. I think he deserved it after having to put up with me hand hooking all of that hair onto his head. His outfit took me a long time to make and involved more of that foreign “sewing” (sewed black lines onto a white suit) and adding star brads to make it more like the costume in the video. He has pointy shoes as well as a belt and a necklace. You can get an idea of how big the dolls ended up being by using Stevie-boys hands for scale.
I have been working on these dolls for so long now I miss them and think I might just have to make some more for a future give away for the blog. I thought about making a Christmas Elf to give away but then time got away from me and as many of you live far FAR away, it wouldn’t have panned out. At least I have something that I can make now to give Stevie-boy a bit of a rest from all of that spoon making 😉
He has the word (Album title) “Alive” shaved into the back of his hair. I can’t sew so it is amazing that I was able to replicate this. A lot of determination (and swearing) went into this part 😉
I used Jewellery findings to make earrings. I didn’t add mouths to my dolls because I wasn’t confident that I would be able to make them look good.
I love Kim Lapsley’s pattern for hands. It took me a while to work it out but once I had made a few I loved how they personalised the dolls. Kim is an Aussie and I am VERY grateful for her generosity in sharing this awesome pattern with us all 🙂
I made Taeyang’s belt and finished it off with an earring that I found. I have NO idea what those characters say so if it’s rude, and you can read it, please PM me! 😉
The finished arm armour. This part of Taeyang’s costume took me a long time to accomplish as until I worked out how to hold it together with brads, it kept springing open.
I adapted a pattern for shoes that I found online and kept crocheting till they turned into boots. I then sewed laces onto the front. I think they worked pretty well. All of the clothes on all of the dolls are removable and were made separately.
Today’s blog post is going to be short in words but long in images. If anyone wants to know anything about how I went about making these dolls or how Steve went about making his beautiful wooden box, please feel free to ask in the comments section below and hopefully we can point you in the right direction for how to get similar results. There was a fair bit of “winging it” involved on my behalf. The next blog post is for the day before Christmas, a special time for Scandinavian people and small children. We should have finished making our annual pork pies and this year’s new addition to the Serendipity Farm Christmas table, a great big Rum baba with homemade mascarpone cheese. See you next week and here’s hoping that all of your Christmas preparations go smoothly, cheaply and easily (HA!) ;).
Cinnamon salt dough prior to cutting out
Bits and pieces of recycled (those cane balls were free) bits and bobs to be turned into Christmas decorations extraordinaire!
Ready to go into the dehydrator. We remembered to add holes at the last minute 😉
Some oca sprouting that the plant lady up the road swapped with me for some cucamelon babies. I had 19 babies so I didn’t mind 🙂
Lastly, one of our resident black cockatoo’s on guard in a Blackwood wattle that Steve was lucky enough to catch before he winged his way off to the back block.