a simple crochet guide for beginners

I remember I told everyone that I learn crochet just around 7 months ago, and now I can proudly say that I am already able to create few simple designs. Crochet is also a simple math, combined with various types of knots. Though yeah, sometimes you can just wing it, if you´re more of a ´go with the flow´ type. However, of course to break some rules you need to learn it first.

I started crafting with sewing, so you can say that I am basically a seamstress :D I somehow found crocheting a lot like sewing. There are a lot of type of stitches and each creations might need one or more stitches or techniques to get the right shape – but there´s no fixed rules. The difference is, crochet is a little more bound to math. If sewing needs accuracy in pattern shape and sizes, crochet is more like how you make the counts of the stitches.

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Regarding Plush Designing

Honestly, I´m a beginner in plush designing. I started a few years ago but stopped only after a few months after because I didn´t have the time anymore. I restarted again in mid 2013, so you can say this is only my second year. My words might be a word of a beginner but I can assure you I´m a beginner who tries to learn as much as I can whenever I have free time in between my study. :)

Many people actually don´t have much idea how plushies are made. They asked me how plushies are made and why handmade plushies are so expensive. First of all, handmade plushies cannot be compared to factory made ones. One basic reason is of course, massive produced items costs much less than creating just one or two. But that´s definitely not the only cause.

Okay, so as you know plushies are 3D shaped soft sculptures. At this matter please disregard those flat 2D ones, like the ones made from felt. So imagine you are going to create a 3D item using a piece of paper, pencil, scissors, some fabric and needle+thread. Technically, you need to know exactly the shape you want to make and you need to cut out shapes from a 2D object, which is a sheet of paper and assemble it together. Sounds more complicated now? Well, there are actually some people who use their own software to create their patterns. But most of us designers don´t do that. For a more complicated shape we normally sculpt a piece of foam, or any other medium to help create the pattern. Afterwards we need to sew them piece to piece until its a whole item. Pretty much like a puzzle.

As for the fabric, handmade plushies nowadays mostly uses minky or faux fur, which is expensive. Fleece ones are not as expensive as the ones made of minky or faux fur, but kindly let me explain first. :)

There are a lot of factors that could influence the result of this whole process. The pattern obviously, but do you know even how you snip the pieces before you turn them inside out and the way you stuff also could make things look completely different? But wait, there is more… :D Lots of design nowadays uses embroidery appliques. These embroidery require separate designing process, which uses certain softwares like embird. I personally don´t use much embroidery on my designs because I have no machines so I have to do the whole process by hand.

On top of that, many supplies are actually not available in local stores so we have to import them. Trust me importing fabric is expensive, if you count the shipping and the tax – not to mention the other materials. So in the end, if you calculate this cost plus the hours we spend for designing and creating a plush, we plush doll designers are paid around same hourly salary as a McDonald´s employee. Although of course there is always someone who way overcharges. Nevertheless, I do feel thankful because my pay indeed helps me to pay my bill especially the past few months. I have a few clients with interesting projects they have for the designs I made for them, and its honestly very exciting. You can see one of them right HERE

I hope that answers, and if not kindly leave a comment below and I´ll get back to you as soon as I can ^^

Meanwhile if you want faster updates, kindly follow me in instagram @judithchenartworks since I mostly post my newest works there now.

Reflection, and Giveaway Announcement


I’ve been creating more stuffs lately. Inspired by other artist works, who share their their technique, I tried my best to do everything and in my own style. There are really lots of great artists out there especially those specializing in clay sculptures and art dolls – I cried a little inside every time I was so amazed with their work. But then, I remind myself again that although I practically have been crafting my whole life but I had too much continuous vacuum due to study and the circumstances, so in the end I have never done it seriously until last year. So I consider myself a rookie now and with such advances it made me happier.

Despite of everything else going on which made me up and down I got a really flattering offer to design three plushies for an author’s children book. I’m very excited and can’t wait to start the project, which I have and its fun :)

I think I’ve been doing a little too much type of crafts at once so now I’m going to focus more on artist dolls and sculptures – well there isn’t much difference in the techniques except the soft plush part in art doll which those fluffy sculptures don’t have. I will also still be doing regular plushies and sometimes regular clay figurines but those will have to wait.

I’m a person who get discouraged easily sometimes, so big thanks to my biggest supporters: Suzanne, Katerina, Vivi and of course my boyfriend :) As a matter of fact, thanks to you too so here is my gift to you:

I’m hosting a giveaway for this cute baby santa earmuff. Kindly go to my facebook page to join or you can also join in instagram (name/handle: judithchenartworks) Good luck! :3

Fennec-Teddy Art Doll

She’s a long overdue project. I’ve made the head long way in August and just finished him in around mid-end October. I wasn’t sure what I was planning to do with the rest of the body or how it would be designed. Other artists normally plan ahead of what they wanted to make, plan the design in advance, etc. But not for me. Sometimes I prepared only until half-way or even just partial body then follow my guts for the rest. This is exactly what I did for this piece.


It honestly took me awhile to get my crafting mojo back, I think in between those time I didn’t really make anything except a few custom order. No new items. Generally I don’t like making the same things over and over again, so I normally always try something new or skip my crafting from one type to another. For instance after making an art doll, I’ll go to just sculpting, baking or cooking then embroider something. just like that. I take my time learning from other artists, either browsing DA tutorials or youtube videos. I look mostly on ideas to get inspiration, or crafting tips like how to attach furs to art dolls. I found it very amusing. Many people asked me the exact same question: how can you craft while doing your master thesis? Well simple answer: its not something like a routine I do in between. its an art therapy, it something I need to keep me sane.

So back to the bear again, I think I’m only gonna make one more of these in grey, baby yellow or blue. maybe purple. still not sure yet. She is wire supported on the body and head, so even though the head is needle sculpted its firm. Maybe I’ll make the next one fully pose-able. This little bear is looking for someone to adopt her, so I hope she finds a loving home soon. I’m currently doing more sculpting (without plushie or other soft parts) and I will talk about it more in the next post :)

August Update

hey hey…sorry I’m just always absent somewhere but things just went crazy again. I suddenly have stuff I really like to make like phone plugs and flower hairpin, but they’re apparently on hold now cause the supplies haven’t arrived yet. On the other hand the table is turning right now so life is apparently getting better. I hope I can land a job before I finish my master degree, so wish me luck :) Here are some things I’ve made, and after I settle a bit with my thesis I’ll be making much more. Flower hairpins is an absolute must cause my best friend is getting married soon so I want to contribute something to it <3

If you are interested in ordering something just kindly hover to my etsy. The button is on the right side of the page, otherwise email me : judithchen@live.com

Until then…see ya^^





Kitties and Sweets

Who doesn’t love kitties? Those fluffy little felines sure are adorable. But being in combo with flowers or sweets sure makes them a deadly combo x3 The first kitty pictured is my first needle-felted cat and the second critter I made with needle felting technique. I never knew needle felting requires such patience, but I start to really like it! From the wool leftovers I made a second identical cat and put him on a carpet with the little lamb I made. The lamb was made from the last scraps of the two cats :)

The first cat was named Siobhan, after my best friend’s cat. I made this cat especially for her. Siobhan is now on his way to Belgium! I hope she will love him. Siobhan is complemented with a bucket of roses. The rose bucket is especially designed for the cat, and is carefully sculpted by hands without molds. I only use needles and toothpicks as usual^^


DSC03819 DSC03840

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Indonesian style – Shephard Pie

I think this is the first time I ever posted a recipe here, without writing it in an external site. Lets see if it works better, since I am not active in that site anymore. Maybe its better to write it here, also to maintain this blog because maintaining two blogs (the other with general articles) is hard >_<

Shephard pie is one of my personal favorite, but I always think the taste could get a little spiced up. So I made an experiment of this pie awhile ago and my friends loved it. Actually I’m writing this down here also to fulfill my promise sharing the recipe with them. I don’t know what a chef would think, but this recipe is something I made up to make use of the limited resources I have here. I also tried to make adjustment in the taste. The meat uses a heap of spices so instead of milk or heavy cream I used sour cream for the mash potatoes to balance the taste. I hope you like it! :)



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