Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pattern Test

During March Meet the Maker, I received a request from one of my most favorite fellow crocheters to test two of her patterns.

Her name is Vivika Vania and she is the amazing creator behind The Wandering Deer. You can check out her Etsy store here:

If you plan to sell you crochet patterns, I think getting someone to test out your pattern before you put it up for sale is a good idea. Sometimes, the things that make sense to you, won't make sense to someone else. Or you could just miss something entirely. A second set of eyes is always good!

I love pattern testing too! I must admit, I'm a bit obsessed with seeing how crocheters write out their patterns, there are a few distinct ways of writing and I certainly have my own preferences.

The Wandering Deer's patterns are right up my alley however, and I certainly recommend them to anyone who is beginning or just loves to crochet!

The first pattern I tested was a little Onigiri. I went to school for a little while in Kyoto when I thought I wanted to work as a translator, so this little guy was super nice for me to test-it made me feel all nostalgic!

Then naturally, I just had to go out for sushi when I was finished so we could have a little photoshoot together. 🍙  🍣  😍

Here is the link to this pattern if you would like to buy it and test it for yourself!

The next amigurumi she asked me to try was a pineapple! Now I was feeling pretty smug with myself because I finally came up with a miniature critter pattern for a pineapple in the beginning of the new year, but her pineapple buddies are soooo darn cute!

I was using a gold color to make my mini pineapples, but I love that she uses a bright yellow for hers. It makes them so much more cheerier and ties in well with a spring feeling.

So when I finished testing it, I wanted to make a little baby to go along with him! I used my pattern, but he had to be yellow too-naturally of course!🍍

Here is the pattern for The Wandering Deer's pattern:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

March Meet the Maker Wrap Up

The remaining weeks of March and beginning weeks of April were filled with big deadlines and events! I can't talk about some of the projects I'm working on in the children's book world, but I will update the events section.

Needless to say, my poor blog was neglected for a bit. However, I hope to get it up to speed this week because an outdated blog is a sad blog, and I would like for mine to be happy!

So today, I am going wrap up March Meet the Maker, starting from the last day and working my way down to the day I left off at, including some final thoughts here:

This was my first year participating in March Meet the Maker and it was a great experience. Not only do you learn about yourself and your creative business, but you become more connected with others makers within this great big creative world.

I also made it to 1,000 followers on Instagram, which I know is small-fry, but it was a big deal for me to have gained some pretty amazing supporters for Ria Art World. I'm not so sure this would have happened if it were not for March Meet the Maker. I hope to do some sort of a give-away soon as a thank you!

It was so much fun and inspirational to see how other makers would go about sharing each topic. I found myself making a few notes during each topic with little tips on how I should go about doing things for my own business.

It was a little sad when it ended, but I'm so excited for next year's Maker Meet!

So without further ado...the rest of March Meet the Maker!

Day 31: Customers

I was at Wondercon during this prompt, so I was interacting with customers all day, which is always a good experience. It's nice being able to meet customers face to face. So I made a boomerang of my friends who owns a few of my plushies now.

She is actually a comic book artist and was my table mate at this event. Check her out at @heyjoiecomics

Her little *squee* dance was too good to pass up capturing! You can view it here:

Day 30: Top Tip

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

"Don't compare yourselves!" Said Sweet Peg. "Each of you are special in your own way." 

Comparison can ruin your joy & this is something I wish I would have understood long ago & still need to do more of! 🤔  so my top tip is to not let comparison hold you back! Keep going & enjoy your own pace in life 😊  🎉

Day 29: Can't Live Without

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

Sooo I can't live without coffee ☕️  my hands 🙌  and of course being creative every single day! 🎨

What can't you live without?

Day 28: Organize

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

Honestly, my studio looks like a bomb went off most of the time! 💣 🙈  my drawing stuff is way easier to keep under control, but my crochet world has become infinitely more manageable with the addition of peg boards!! 🐙  my octopi keychains love to dangle up high too. 💓

Day 27: Goals

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

This could very easily be a long list for me, but in short, I just want to keep going! I always say that in most creative businesses, you're a turtle! Small steps that take time, but with tenacity, you will succeed. 🐢 🏆

Day 26: Why I Do This

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

That's an easy answer! When I'm creating, it's when I feel then most complete! I've been creative ever since I can remember & it's not going to change!❤️

Day 25: Packaging

I made a stop motion video to demonstrate how I package my crochet creations when I receive Etsy orders. 

I feel like packaging can be especially important for customers who order online because they have to pay for shipping and they are taking a chance on my store. So I want their shipment to come to them in an extra special way!

My tiny critters get candy packaging because they are just so sweet & my little plushies get handmade drawstring pouches ❤️

Day 24: Milestone

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

Just this past year, two of the children's books I illustrated were published! 

To me this is a big accomplishment-I learned a lot & I am excited for what is coming next! Arty Heart & Mr. Orange agree 😊  ❤️  🍊

Day 23: Recent Make

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

So here is a cute plump little owl that was a custom order from my friend ❤️  Such a great request!💓  I want to make all sorts of cute colored owls now!

Day 22: Close Up

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

"We're ready for our close-up now!" Shouted the little octopi!!🐙 ❤️ 💜

 Even though I do this quite often since critters are so small, they still love having their picture taken. 😊  📸

Day 21: Inspiration

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

While there are many things & people who inspire me, it's all about the little things for me usually. 

Minimal is not in my vocabulary, I like to be surrounded by my small treasures while I work❤️

Day 20: Sketchbook

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

"Hey! You need to get to work this month!" Said the little piggy 🐷 ❤️  I use at least 2; one for drawing & one for crochet, but none of it would get done if it were not for my giant agenda sketchbook telling me what to do & when!

Day 19: Helper

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World Children's Books Crochet Amigurumi Handmade Etsy

Here is my little helper, Burmew the cat, with her mouse-one of the first things I ever successfully crocheted!

Day 18: Hyperlapse

This is another video (obviously) so you can view it here! It's super cute, so you won't want to miss it!

It is a drawing of a Shiba Inu sending you some Saturday ❤️  I love how they look like plump foxes. This will definitely need to be the next crochet plushie addition! 🐶

Day 17: Feedback

This has been my most heart warming review so far❤️  I'm so very grateful to all of my supporters, without you, the critters would have no homes! 🏡  😊  💓

You can see all of my ratings in my Etsy shop:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Day 15 & 16

Day 16 of March Meet the Maker is Time to Relax.

So we have Inky and Jinky down here showing Arty Heart and Mr. Orange what I like to do when it's time to relax.

There is nothing better than a glass of wine and crochet after a long day, and if there is cheese and/or cake too-even better! I also love listening to audiobooks while I crochet (so I guess the book is more symbolic).  I certainly enjoy the sound of a great audiobook reader's voice. Two of my favorites are Emma Galvin and Justine Eyre.

I've really enjoyed the Arcana Chronicles (read by Emma) and The Winner's Curse series (read by Justine). These two ladies made those books so enjoyable for me!

Alexandria Gold Illustration Crochet Ria Art World Critters

Day 15 of March Meet the Maker is Business Clothes.

On Wednesdays I teach a class at The Academy of Art, so I'm a little extra fancy when I go there, but typically I love wearing dresses and skirts!

I adore the vintage inspired clothing from Modcloth too, so if I could wear a Modcloth dress everyday, I would be so happy! I usually wear a dress even if I'm just alone in my studio all day because it helps me feel more put together and ready for the day.

I think it is true that you dress for the job you want to have, and I want to be professional too, so a dress it is!

Alexandria Gold Illustration Ria Art World

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day 13 & 14

Meet The Maker March:

Day 13


Say Cheese Everyone! Here we go! The critters have all gathered for a triple shoot, they have their camera, my camera and my phone's camera to capture the whole behind the scene event!

Alexandria Gold Illustration Crochet Ria Art World

Day 14

Creative Friends

Instagram is an amazing place to follow so many creative people, so I'm surrounded by inspiration everyday! I wanted to take this subject to introduce a creative friend that is a photographer. While I like to take pictures of tiny crochet cuties in my photo tent, inside my studio, she is out in the world, hiking and traveling to capture the most scenic places!

Alexandria Gold Illustration Crochet Ria Art World
Naturally, Arty Heart took Mr. Orange to the photography gallery where Michelle Jacquement's photo's are up for display!

If you're on instagram, check out her gallery for all of her photos! Her handle is @michellejacquement

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 8-12

Day 8 of March Meet the Maker is:


Though my heart will always be in PDX, Ria Art World is based out of San Francisco, California by the beach!

Alexandria Gold Crochet Ria Art World Critters Etsy Illustration Art

I must admit, it is not the prettiest beach, but Inky and Jinky don't seem to mind.

Day 9:

Work in Progress

I bought this super soft, multi-colored pastel yarn and then drew this sketch with the intention of making jelly fish so very long ago.

This poor little guy always seems to end up being a perpetual wip because other deadlines always seem to sneak up and take priority.

Seeing this little guy is making me want to make some actual time to not only finish this jelly fish, but make some jelly fish buddies that he can play with.

Alexandria Gold Crochet Ria Art World Critters Etsy Illustration Art

Day 10:

Recommend a Maker

I like to keep the work of some of my favorite crochet artists near my work space (I do the same thing for illustrators too). 

These two little guys are being introduced by Foxel and Bunny Rose and they are just two of the many amazing creators I follow online.

The Penguin can be found in The Wandering Deer's Shop:

The Dino can be found in Mohu Store:

Alexandria Gold Crochet Ria Art World Critters Etsy Illustration Art

Day 11: Post/Mail

I made a cute stop motion video that demonstrates my packaging process for my Etsy orders.

I have found that on certain servers, my videos cannot be viewed on my blog, or they take forever to load! So I will include a link to it on instagram here, but I also posted it to Twitter and Facebook, which you can navigate to by clicking on the links to the right.

Day 12: Brand Image

My brand image primarily revolves around my two mascots, Arty Heart and Mr. Orange (who always seems to turn into a pumpkin around Halloween time!).

Arty Heart is very enthusiastic and loves to be the center of attention, and it is always up to Mr. Orange to be the level-headed one and keep everyone in check-including myself!

So it is no wonder that these little guys would make an appearance not only on my business cards, but on all of my sites!

Alexandria Gold Crochet Ria Art World Critters Etsy Illustration Art

That's it for now! I'm gearing up for the next week of March Meet the Maker and I'm super excited to share!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Day 7

It's Day 7 of March Meet the Maker, and today's prompt is 'Where'🌎

Even though I'm from Portland, Oregon, and my heart will always be there, Ria Art World is currently working out of San Francisco, California by the beach!

I must admit, the beach here is not the prettiest, but my little critters, Inky and Jinky don't seem to mind! 😊🐙🐙🌊

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March Meet the Maker

At the start of this month, I decided it would be a great way to share more about my business by participating in the #marchmeetthemaker challenge on Instagram.

So far...

Day 1. You

This is me! Alexandria, the creator behind Ria Art World and of course, the drawing me too.

Day 2. Favorite to Make

While drawing will always be my first love, my favorite thing to make just has to be these teeny tiny crochet octopi I make! They are a favorite of my customers and I just love finding new and exciting colors to make them in so the pattern never gets old to me. 💙

Day 3. Studio

Here is a video tour of my home studio or mad scientist lair as I like to call it!


Day 4. Tools

My two worlds meet in the middle over me : Crochet + Illustration

At the top: Several sizes of crochet hooks, my favorite embroidery thread colors, stuffing, magnets, a stuffing stick, small gold safety pin for stitch marking and a keychain ring.

At the Bottom: My favorite rainbow colors of ball point pens, a cute Daiso multi-color pen that has a finer tip for writing, my cintiq pen (super important for coloring my illustrations!), red lead for sketch ideas, gray lead for finalizing sketches, and a small paint brush which I use for creating soft textures with the graphite in my illustrations.

There is also a sturdy white eraser that I pretty much just use while sketching and a gum eraser that I use for sketching and in my final illustration process.

Day 5. Boomerang


Just a little sneaky shy raccoon popping up to say hi!

Day 6. Raw Materials

We have my sketchbook, without it, none of my illustrations or crochet patterns would ever take shape since it is where all of my ideas begin and get worked out.

 I also have a rainbow of colors for embroidery thread and yarn. I use the embroidery thread to make my tiny critters and the yarn to crochet my slightly larger plushies.

Day 7. How it's Made

This is the latest one, and I'm using it to promote my newest YouTube video which is a tutorial on how to crochet a teeny tiny Hello Kitty face and then turn it into an earring! The pattern is available here too, just click on the 'Crochet Patterns' tab above.

I also have speed lapse videos of some of my illustrations so you can check out the process if you want too!

That's it for now! I'll be sure to continue sharing as the month continues on, hopefully every day!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday, Monday

Monday is in full swing! These critters hope your coffee is strong and your Monday is short!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Angel Doggy

I just completed the sweetest custom order for a dear follower of mine on Instagram, so I had to share the pictures.

She wanted a Hand-sewn felt Christmas ornament made in the likeness of her dog, Peanut Butter. She wanted Peanut Butter to be a little angel pup because even though he is no longer with the family, he is still in their hearts.

This request was so special for me and it showed me how much I really appreciate custom orders! I had a chance to work larger than I normally do, use materials I don't use that often and it got me out of the usual zone that I'm always working in.

I really enjoyed how sweet little Peanut Butter turned out and I'm excited for him to go off to his new home.