The best part of making my stuffed animal art dolls is creating the face. That’s where the personality is, and that’s when they tell me their names. I love that the slightest change in eye position can alter the entire mood, and the right nose can really bring them to life. Look at these three otters for example– all using the same pattern, but all with very different characters. (Of course the fabric choice also plays a big part in that, if you want to get scientifical about it.)
Brimley (named after a certain Wilford due to his mustachioed appearance) is a bit mischievous, while orange Clementine is curious and bold, and sweet Florence is maybe a bit shy, but will open up once you get to know her.
I really enjoy doing photo shoots with these guys. I took them on a field trip to a botanical garden/zoo and we all had a great time with the statuary at the otter exhibit. I love otters. They’re the best.
It’s Spooky Season, y’all! Halloween is almost upon us again and people are already starting to haul out the decorations and the pumpkin spice. So it might be a great time to feature my owls, yah?
As of this writing, only two of these owls are still available in the shop— Mr. Widdershins, the tan and denim fella, and Maisie, the black and white lady. Go check out their pages on Etsy for more photos!
In honor of my nighttime patio guests, I have made several opossums this summer. The first was Virginia, which I thought was pretty clever because the scientific name for the local species is Didelphis virginiana. She was the prototype, and I was especially proud of her prototypical peoplehands. Behold the digitations, my friends!
The next opossum was Carolina June. Nice floral pattern, interesting fabrics, much personality, really cute face, mouth that screms AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. These first two barely spent a night in the shop before they were snapped up by other marsupial aficionados.
For my third opossum, the Deluxe Edition… Ms. Georgia Mae— I made three magnetic babies, Cricket, JuneBug, and Katydid. I sewed magnets into mama’s back and into the babies’ bellies. Am pretty proud of myself about this, actually. Georgia Mae +3 are still in the shop, as of this writing.
Georgia Mae’s photoshoot was glorious, one of my best so far. Do yourself a favor and go check that out on her shop page. All of these opossums were made from fabrics that might’ve otherwise ended up in a landfill. Thanks for stopping by and taking an interest in my handmade, upcycled critters.
And by the way, if you have a possum that visits your patio, please post photos and/or anecdotes in the comments. It’s required. 🙂
Not sure if anyone is still subscribed to this blog, but I’m still here, and still making animals! I have also fallen deeply in love with horticulture (that’s where I’ve been since 2018– in my garden, in case you were wondering.) I have, however, picked up sewing again this summer– and the shop has seen rather steady traffic in these Quarantimes, with new animals being posted, getting adopted, and shipping out at record speed. I guess people are needing hugs and a smol bit of joy in these dark and uncertain times, and I’m happy to provide that in the form of eco-friendly one-of-a-kind stuffed animals.
So yeah, I’ve decided to try to pick up this blog again, and talk about my animals a bit more and maybe show off the garden and its wildlife visitors a bit too.
Over the past three years, I’ve been putting an increasing amount of time into creating stuffed animals from recycled fabrics. At this time of year, after the frenzy of the holidays has passed, I like to look back at my progress and celebrate how far I’ve come and what I’ve accomplished.
A few animals stayed in the shop long enough for my style and techniques to move so far past them that they no longer fit in with the new stuff I’m making. I decided to give them makeovers. Two animals—a hedgehog and a sloth—got new faces and names, and the hedgehog sold soon afterward, so I’d say the operation was successful.
The before and after pics, tho—what a great way to demonstrate my development in the past year! 2016 Persephone became 2017 Pinklepoke, and she now lives in Pennsylvania.
And 2016 Nezbert has been rechristened as 2018 Neville. This is your year, Neville. Someone will fall in love with your delightful face, with its hand dyed and embroidered details soon enough, I’m sure…
There are a few more upgrades I’d like to do on some of my earlier creations. I’m ’bout to go all Dr. Frankenstein up in here, y’all—watch out.
Other projects currently in the works:
Custom Moogle (a winged cat from a video game, v cute)
Fiona the Hippopotamus
(to be determined—might be a goblin idk)
Also, I’ve opened a second Etsy shop for art on paper and canvas and other crafts. I’m still getting it stocked, but if you want to be one of the first to peep it, here’s the link: Galactic Gift & Trading Co.
Astrid the Astronotter was in the shop for less than a month when one of my friends bought her for his girlfriend, M. Ever since, they’ve been sending me shots like the one above—Astrid in the new scarf M made for her (omg ❤ right?!) Astrid chasing ducks in the park, Astrid building a snow otter. This really is the best possible outcome—it’s almost like selling my otter and keeping it too—and I wish all of my customers would send me pics like this. (hint, hint for any of you reading 🙂
I also did three custom orders in a span of a few weeks, and they were all fantastic learning experiences. I love custom orders, they always make me stretch in unexpected directions and that’s good fun. I made a fox, a dragonfly, and a goblin.
But that goblin tho…
He’s one of the best things I made in 2017, along with Astrid the Astronotter. I’ve been sewing like mad to replace stock in the shop for 2018, and four new faces now grace the shelves, with more to come.
Big plans for 2018, more about that in another post.
Otters are probably some of the cutest animals on the planet right now. I’ve been obsessed with them for a while, and the more otters I see, the more I love them. I love their little kitteh-pupper faces and their little t-rex arms and their little busy people-hands. I love that they collect pebbles and enjoy juggling them. And I absolutely love that *they have pockets* hidden in their baggy-skinned armpits where they sometimes keep their favorite rock.
I bring all of this up because I’ve just created a new otter stuffie pattern and have already made three of them and I’m definitely keeping one for myself because omg lookit these guys:
One of these brown tweed fellas is named Maynard and is in the Etsy shop. And then there’s Astrid the Astronott, who’s going to Otter Space. She has a papier mache space gear and is ready for lift-off:
I’m pretty sure these are the cutest guys I’ve ever made. I want to keep them all, but I CANNOT.
I’ve made a lot of sloths this year—they’ve been popular in the shop. Somehow each sloth I make becomes more and more elaborate—the latest one, Magenta—even has eyelids.
I like figuring out how make the little fiddly details like sloth lips and octopus eyes. That’s when the magic happens. I also have a deep interest in creating textiles—developing visual textures with embroidery, appliqué, quilting, dye and bleach, etc.
Here’s a group shot of everyone in the Etsy shop right now. My beautiful upcycled, eco-conscious fam.
I aim to run a low-to-no waste shop. But that’s another post, for another day.
A few months ago, I went to Universal Studios Florida with some friends—mainly to visit Hogwarts. (These are the same friends that I made the Yule Ball costumes for last year. We do love us some HP.) We had an amazing time, as expected, and so I have memorialized some of my favorite parts of our trip in a cut-paper diorama, as expected.
Featured scenes include the Jurassic Park water ride, chasing the Lorax through Suessland for a photo op, the guys getting stuck on the broken E.T. ride for 20 minutes, the Red Rip Ride Rocket or whatever it’s called (by far the Best Rollercoaster Ever Made), and—of course—Hogwarts, Weasleys’ joke shop & Gringott’s Bank), as well as the Hogwarts Express that connected Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
The green Hulk rollercoaster is attached to the bottom of the box. It’s also a great rollercoaster, but the inside of the box was too crowded for a second one. I really needed a bigger box tbh, but I wanted to incorporate this particular box, because it came from the St. Augustine Distillery, where we stopped for a tour and some samples en route to Hogwarts. I highly recommend you pop in there if you enjoy adult beverages and are in that part of Florida.
I am proud to say that I have recently increased my moose knowledge by about 98% due to an almost-direct encounter with moose-kind. While visiting Lake Massasecum in New Hampshire last month, I witnessed a moose swimming across the 409-acre lake. Said moose seemed to be criss-crossing randomly, but moving at a rather determined pace. While watching breathlessly through binoculars, I began to question the moose’s motives. And then, being a worrier, I began to worry about the moose.