Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Tree Card
This is a card some people have gotten to match their tree softies! Hope everyone out there is enjoying the holidays! Christmas was just another day for us, but tomorrow we're off to China and then Vietnam. I think I'll have internet at least some times during the trip so I might even be able to post a couple times in the next few weeks. We're all packed and I've checked the rules about knitting needles on the plane. Now just keep your fingers crossed that we don't get any blizzards or blackouts tomorrow! (Yes both of those have happened to me.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mini Sweater

Mini Sweater Ornament
I'm obsessed with this mini sweater and mini hanger. I made it from this Berroco pattern which you should really look at because they have a little tree covered in sweaters! Since I don't have a tree my plan is to make a bunch of these into a sweater garland. But since it took me months to get around to making just one, that may not happen for a while.

I think it's pretty obvious why this cozy little sweater is so cute: It's MINI! One of the most elementary rules of life is that anything in miniature is cute. Think of the smart car, mini erasers, toy poodles, etc. All mini, and all generally accepted to be cute. Granted, those tiny dogs can go either way, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Perching Owls

These are some of the owls I made for last week's fair. The blue and pink one is sad because he didn't get adopted. But he's doing okay, thanks for asking.

Onto the business at hand: What makes these guys so cute? Well, there are many cute forces at work here. But in this case I'd like to focus on the main feature of this picture: Location Location Location! Where a critter is sitting, or in this case perching, has everything to do with its apparent cuteness. The juxtaposition of the whimsical against the realistic is what makes a photo like this pop. It might not work so well for, say, a knitted fish, but you get the idea.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mini Craft Fair

Friday was the craft fair at work - just during lunch hour in the lobby, so a good one to try out. Here's what my setup looked like. Does it make you want to adopt animalicules? It went really well, I ended up selling most of the critters you see here. Which is why my etsy shop is almost empty now. I'm not sure I could do a real craft fair because I'd have to make so much stuff to get ready. The really interesting thing was that all but 3 of the people that bought stuff were people I already knew, mainly from my department. So it sort of seems like it wouldn't be a very sustainable business because once everyone I know has all the softies they need, that'll be it. Or maybe it means people only want to buy critters once they are already familiar with them. If it's all about brand awareness, that means I'll need a marketing department. Hmm...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Measuring Ducks

These ceramic duck measuring cups are incredibly cute, aren't they? You too can find them, at Anthropologie. I've seen them and yearned for them the past million times I've been in. But, I feel that I would need a spot worthy of displaying them and in my small kitchen, there is no proper spot. They would be so sad to be hidden away in a drawer, so in the store they must stay.

But why are they so cute? Why do they call out to me in their silent cuteness? It's partially the Property of Multiples, yes. Four ducks in a set, each one smaller than the last. But it's not only that - it's also the fact that they NEST into each other. This is called Nesting Theory - when things fit together snugly, their cuteness factor is automatically upped. It's hard to resist the nesters, but resist we must.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Camouflage

Trees on the Tree
These trees are just hanging around for the holidays. They camouflage pretty well with Christmas trees and other pine varieties, although their button eyes and bright lights do kind of give them away. They love watching the holiday festivities from their perch high up on the Christmas tree. And, they're in the shop now!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blog Features

If you hang around in the forums on Etsy, you can meet lots of other sellers and learn a lot from them. Two of them recently were nice enough to feature me and the animalicules on their blogs!
Check me out here, on Dragonfly Fine Designs, where you can get washcloths that look like lollipops. (Cute!)
And here, on wEtsy Behind the Ears (Cute name!), where you can get cool buttons and become a buttonaire!
I can tell you the animalicules are loving the attention.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Tomorrow's December so it's okay to really enjoy Christmastime now:

These nutcrackers are cute partly because of the Property of Cute Multiples. This property states that cute things are exponentially cuter when there are more than one of them. This explains the attraction of twins, triplets, and litters of puppies. Plus the nutcrackers' teeth are also really cute the way they're rounded and bared like that.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Tree Family

I know I posted these last year, but this is actually a new generation - new and improved! They are now stuffed and closed up at the bottom, and available in the shop, ready to be adopted.

Tree Family

So what makes these little guys cute? It's mainly due to the faces. It's a well documented fact that adding faces to things that don't normally have faces immediately ups the level of cuteness. The exact percentage of cuteness added varies, but it is usually a significant difference.

This leaves us with the question of why the addition of a face makes things cute. Perhaps as humans we can identify with other beings that have personalities and facial expressions. Or maybe it's because we can imagine them watching us and talking to us. Regardless, who wouldn't want a set of these brightening up their home for the holidays, right?!

Official Opening

Now that I've got my Animalicules etsy shop, I've decided it's time to move over to the Animalicules blog as well. So this is the Official Grand Opening of my new blog! I'll still be posting mostly the same stuff I was posting at Ye-Xiao but hopefully more often, and with more variety. The theme of this blog is of course, cuteness! The main questions I want to explore are:
  • What makes things cute?
  • Why are we attracted to cuteness (some of us more than others)?
  • Where is all the cute stuff hiding?
Join me on my journey to discover the essence of cute and spread cuteness to all ends of the earth!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Critters for sale!

As I've told some of you, I've decided to try selling my softies! People sometimes tell me I should and I figure it's a good way to spread the cuteness. So I've opened up my etsy shop - it's called Animalicules. I just put up a few things to start with, some sheep and a pig. But there will be more stuff added as I go along. So check it out! And keep it in mind if you or someone you know is ever looking for a baby gift (or just something cute).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mouse in the House

Looks like we have a rodent infestation. Hanging out like he owns the place!


Whatever we tried, nothing seemed to intimidate him.


We finally convinced him to leave our house by promising to take him to a party. Little did he know it was a baby shower and he'd be going home with the baby! Heh heh.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Here's the pumpkin LZ and I carved together, isn't it great? It says ghost!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sculpture Park

Yesterday Oscar made an enriching visit to the DeCordova sculpture park. Not everyone knows this but he is a sophisticated dog and an art connoisseur. Unfortunately museums do not appreciate this so he has to get his culture in outdoor venues. He hopes you will enjoy this slideshow of the installations he found most thought-provoking.

If you're reading this in an email, you may not be able to see the slideshow. Go check it out on the actual blog or see it here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sweat Rag

When you go hiking on the AT, what you really need is a good sweat rag. And if it happens to have a picture of your trail name embroidered onto it, all the better!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cozy Bunny

Ahh, much better. So cozy!
Cozy Sleeping Bunny


Quiet, the bunny is sleeping!
But doesn't she look a little cold?
Sleeping Bunny

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Here she is, the proud owner of the tiny carrot:
Frolicking in the garden among the fresh herbs, this was taken on her last day here with us before she made the long journey to Atlanta to be with her new best friend.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Carrotus Minimus

This is a very rare species of carrot. It grows in the wild and it's incredibly difficult to find because it's so tiny.


But who does it belong to? Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 6, 2008


One more look at the softie posse...

This isn't all of them, just the ones that could make it to the photo shoot.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Name That Softie

At work we have an exhibit board where someone displays anything they want each month. Last month was me so naturally I did a softies board. The idea was that everyone named the softies and posted them on the board (that's those little white slips). Lots of people participated and it was a big hit! I haven't had time for much crafting lately but this is a good summary of the best stuff I've made so far. You can click on the picture to see it a bit bigger.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Strawberry Banana

This guy is just trying to blend in with his fruity friends. Watch out or they might get blended together. Smoothie, anyone?
Strawberry Banana

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wiener Dog Boot Scraper

Isn't this an awesome wiener dog boot scraper? It's probably the coolest one I've ever seen. Too bad it's in Philadelphia or I would scrape my boots on it every day. It also has the honor of being the only thing I took a picture of on the whole trip. Why did I cart my camera around the whole time? Precisely for moments like this.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tea Towel

Here are a tea towel and potholder to mark the start of my embroidery career. They might be a gift or they might not, depending on where the apple falls.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My First Pig

My First PigMy first attempt at sewing a softie! He came out a bit deformed but I tried to photograph his good side. Not so bad for my first try but it will definitely take some practice before I can make the whole farm.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More Sheep

More Sheep
A pair of sheep contemplating a rainy day.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Soft Card

Valentine's Day Card
Happy Valentine's Day!
The card was done on time, I'm just late posting it. This is a safety card, so you never have to worry about paper cuts again. The best Valentine's gift ever, right?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Egg Cup Critter

Egg Cup Critter

I found this cute little egg cup on the free table at work and I knew there must be someone who would like to inhabit it. So I put up a vacancy sign and sure enough, this little critter moved right in. He's still getting adjusted but so far he's very happy there.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008


This is my new sewing machine. (Thanks, mom!) Since it lives in our very dusty apartment, the first thing it needed was:

A new outfit! So the first project I made on it was a sewing machine cover. Then I got a little carried away and it ended up:

A reversible sewing machine cover! Two (very different) looks for the price of one. Stylish and dust free.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


As part of Boston's First Night events we went to a bunch of free museums including two -ariums. At the aquarium we found these amazing jellyfish. At the mapparium we went inside a huge globe. So cool.