Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Focus: Olka Novitskaya for AradiyaToys

Holy cow, is it really the end of May already? Good grief. The time has just flown by! It's the last Friday of the month. Do you know what that means? It's time for the Friday Focus! I told you it was here to stay in addition to Remix Friday.

I'm really excited to have our featured designer with us today to share her amazing work. Olka's toys are so very detailed and crisp. They look as if they could come alive at any moment! In light of Stacey Trock's important reminder about copyright, I want to tell you something super cool... the game-themed toy designs depicting Plants vs. Zombies characters that are featured in today's post have totally been ok'ed by the game developers. Sweet! Alright, Olka, take it away!

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it? 
Internet. Everything I know and everything I do was found on the internet. I watched tons of YouTube videos, how-to pictures and then practiced a lot. I don’t have any heartbreaking story behind this :) But to be true, watching videos and surfing pictures of crocheting is only 5-10% of all you need to do. Other 90-95% is practice. I made many different toys before I found my style and learned how to pay attention to the details, that was the hardest thing. I started crocheting at April 2013 and I liked it very much, because I wanted to make toys, but could not choose the right way of doing it, crocheting is the most comfortable for me.

Why do you crochet?
I tried different kinds of handiwork and liked crocheting the most. Before that I did cross-stitching, made flowers and trees from beads, etc. But as I mentioned before, I always wanted to make toys and once I tried crocheting I just could not stop. The other reason is that I like monsters and other strange creatures. I never liked all those crochet glamour dolls or cute puppies :) Also I like playing weird games such as “The Binding of Isaac”. My taste is a little different than other crochet masters have and I’m trying to express my tastes in my toys, for example PvZ ones :) I feel happy when I crochet, maybe that is the main reason why I do this.

Crochet Favorites
My favorite hook is 1.25 mm, I like it because it is small enough to make tiny details on my toys and it is big enough to replace 2.00 mm hook, for example. But usually I work with 0.75-2.00 mm hooks, they do all I need and even more! Talking about yarn, I really love 100% cotton yarn by Kirov Yarn Mills, I love everything about it. But most of all I like its color scheme. That is the most important thing I care about. I love matching colors, maybe that is one more reason why I love crocheting so much.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I have few parallel projects: a toy for my boyfriend’s game, a few mushrooms for my PvZ collection, and an as yet nameless bear of my original design. I’m always trying to make a few projects at the same time, because I spend so much time making every toy, that’s why sometimes I get bored (when I make ten versions of the same toy, until I get the perfect result) and need to shift attention to another toy. That helps me a lot not to give up big projects.  

A few finished objects...
Chomper by AradiyaToys (Plants vs. Zombies)


Peashooter and Snow Pea by AradiyaToys (Plants vs. Zombies)


Monkey Elnino by AradiyaToys (AradiyaToys Design)


See what I mean? Olka's designs are so crisp and the shapes are spot-on. Amazing! Elnino is such a cute little monkey. It will be great to see what original designs Olka comes up with in the future. If you want to learn more about Aradiya Toys you can visit her Etsy, Ravelry, Craftsy, Facebook, and Instagram. Thank you so very much for joining us today, Olka!

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