Orange and Blue, aren't you?
Last year after I discovered crochet and went nutso making stuff, I searched for an outlet for all of it, and came across swap-bot.

Swap-bot is an online service that organizes group swaps and a community of creative individuals. Swap-bot takes the hassle out of participating in group swaps by organizing all of the participant information and doing all of the partner assignments. On Swap-bot, you can host swaps, join swaps, and chat with other swappers from all over the world. Give it a try!

I made lots of stuff, and sent it off. Got lots of really cute stuff in return, a couple of less-than-cute things, but in general it was a good experience. I got a good rating, but eventually I just got bored with it and preferred making things for friends.
However, I did get something pretty amazing out of this: my crocheted starfish. I participated in the Octopus Amigurumi swap sponsored by Octopus Revolution. The idea was for everyone to start with a really basic pattern, and give it their own twist. The octopus I received was a super-cute Japanese geisha-octopus with little origami paper crane buddies. It was also stuffed so tightly, I don’t know how people do this and crochet the toys closed! I guess it might be the type of yarn because I always use natural fibers which stretch more than acrylic.
So the octopus I made was green, made with Cascades Pastaza llama yarn, and I designed a little starfish buddy for it.
octopus & starfish buddy
Everyone who saw this loved it, and I was asked where I got the pattern and if I could make more. So this is what inspired me to make starfish in a whole bunch of colors and to make more octopi, but with longer legs.

Here’s a photo Karyn took of me selling my wares in my very first craft fair, ever! I sold about half of my “stock” that day at the Kid’s Trunk Show at the Workroom. You can now get your own starfish in one of 8 colors, at my etsy shop, thanks again to the Workroom and City of Craft for giving me my start!
Trunk full of Starfish - photo by Karyn of the Workroom.
(looking at this photo reminds me that I really should make more of the albino starfish!)

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