Sackboy and beyond

So the day started out with Strata wanting to find a Sackboy plush on eBay. It's a character from Little Big Planet, an extremely fun and creative game for the PS3. The kids recently sold a bunch of video games to buy new things. They did pretty well, too. Nathan bought Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (for $4!) and still has $20-something to spare. Strata sold one game, so she only has around $10 to spend. You'd think that would be enough, at least for a mini. Close, but no cigar.

There are artisans making their own sackboys and selling them for $40 - $50, and official toys from Japan (that are very small) going for $20+. Plus shipping. Ouch. Thanks to one shiesterly seller, we found out about an Alan Dart knitting pattern, free online in PDF, but this person is selling it as a "rare" item for a whopping $29-and-change, plus money for shipping. (And it really is free online. You won't go to prison for downloading it or anything.)

Oh, and here is another free Sackboy pattern, with photos, from Moon's Creations.

Further searching lead to Sunny Shine Creations on ArtFire, who has an even better pattern and is also selling custom-made dolls. She mentioned it's very easy to follow if you've used other amigurumi patterns. At first I thought that was a company name, but amigurumi turned out to be another name for knitted or crocheted dolls in Japanese.

Fifteen minutes and many adorable amigurumis later, we stumbled upon a page I'd seen before on kyaraben (or kayarakuta bento or kyara-ben ... aka character bento). Little lunches made to look like popular characters. It's been a trend in Japan for about ten years, but now they're starting to host contests and things for people who've perfected the art. Even if cooking isn't your thing, it's pretty cool.

And speaking of Sackboy, Strat found a Little Big Planet generator where you can make your own. Here is Lian's mister awesome and here is Strata's sackgirl, sacky.

We did a little knitting last year, but the kids didn't really get into it. They liked having items made just for them, and they enjoyed the finished product, but the doing, eh, not so much. This has excited them about knitting all over again. Just goes to show, you can motivate kids to learn anything if you manage to tap into one of their interests. But more on that later. :)