Arigurumi is really the Japanese art of small knitted or crochet toys.  But I like to think the term could also apply to small beaded objects such as those designed by Ukrainian bead artist, Alina of BeadingWithSmile.

Alina was introduced to beads when she was just 8 years old. Back then, she made little crocodiles and lots of multi-colored bracelets which she wore and also gave away to friends.

She discovered right angle weaving much later on. Now she creates adorable little dolls for all occasions and cute creatures which can be used as key chain charms or simply as a toy for older children. I also love her beaded flower and leaf earrings!

I asked Alina how she got started.

She explained : "Once I saw a picture of a big-headed beaded doll. I really wanted to make the same. It was a doll in a red hat, with curly hair and a small handbag, very beautiful. I was surprised that beads can be made not only into jewelry. 

A few months later, I found a scheme to weave this doll. It was a completely new technique for me to weave beads. Lots of numbers, colored lines, arrows, and all the description was in Chinese. I didn't know what to do, where to start. When I carefully studied the scheme - everything fell into place, and I made my first doll. Then I made new dolls and animals, but at some point I wanted to create my own unique toy. I did it. I learned to draw diagrams, and made my first tutorial, then another..."

No wonder her shop name is such as it is.  You cannot but smile when you see her adorable beaded arigurumi-style tutorials!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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