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.
Thanks for stopping by!
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.
So this is Wendell, a scrappy little owl currently living in my Etsy shop while waiting to be adopted. My friend Kelly, who has a nice camera (and is pretty darn good with it) gave Mr. Wendell his very own photoshoot in her backyard, where I have seen an actual owl hanging out.
That’s what inspired me to make Wendell— I met a barred owl while gardening at Kelly’s house. I heard him hooting from across the yard and went looking for him, finally spotting him from about 10 meters away. It was the closest I’d ever been to an owl in the wild, and I was instantly smitten.
Wendell was made using a pair of vintage velvet gloves for his wings, tail, and beak. I’m rather proud of myself for that bit o’ cleverness.
In related news, another sloth has come and gone, having only spent one night in the shop. Eugene (below) went to join Imogene in Chicago, where they will live happily ever after with an amazing person, a repeat buyer! And right on the heels of my first international sale— Arturo the otter went to live in London last month.
Extra special thanks to Kelly for the awesome pics!
Happy Holidays E’rbody!
We had a bit of fun this weekend, styling some environmental shots with a few of the animals from my Etsy shop, creating little vignettes with props and accoutrements from around ze house. Not uncoincidentally, I also got a lot of dusting done in the process.
This photo set includes a couple of animals from my new series featuring hand-dyed canvas faces. I’m pretty excited about this batch, as I’m finally at a point where I’m bringing together everything I’ve been incubating for the past several years.
Hop over to my shop if you have a minute, and check out the new merch. More owls and sloths coming soon, and then I may make another cat.These are such exciting times we’re living in.
This is Clawdine, a sassy little 3-toed sloth currently residing in my Etsy shop. I made Clawdine after watching a documentary about sloths, in which I learned many fascinating things. For example, the fur on a sloth’s arms grows away from the hands/feet, unlike every other mammal on Earth. It’s an evolutionary adaptation—sloths spend so much of their time hanging upside down, they’re better protected from the rain by downward-growing fur.
Don’t even get me started on the whole moth situation. That’s another post for another day/another sloth.
But notice, if you will, the anatomical correctness of Clawdine’s fur… This is one of her major selling points, don’tcha know.
Clawdine is looking for somewhere new to hang out. See more photos on her Etsy profile.
This is Imogene. Lest she be forgotten—for alas, we hardly knew ya—this post is a loving tribute to the cutest sloth I’ve made so far. Barely 2 months old at the time of her adoption, she’d only been in the Etsy shop for a few weeks. I shipped her out to Chicago yesterday. *a single tear*
Imogene is sewn from upholstery fabric found in the remnant bin at the craft store and a bathrobe bought on clearance and worn once to a costume party. So… ahem. This sloth is made from couch and bathrobe—literally made of lazy.
Imogene’s pattern is of my own design—I’m sort of making up these critters up as I go along, letting the patterns evolve through trial and error. I’m currently working on an otter, because otters are cool. I’ll probably also start another sloth this weekend, as I only have one left in the shop and they’re pretty popular right now.
I paid off my car three weeks ago, which means that, precisely two weeks ago, every scary warning light on my dashboard started lighting up like a pinball machine. I dropped the car off Friday, and the mechanic pronounced it totally unsafe to drive.
Somehow though, the planets aligned with the Julian calendar and my work schedule to allow me a four day weekend with no car, no obligations, and no Valentine. These being the perfect conditions for a creative storm of making and sewing, I took full advantage of the solitude.
I made a new cat– Snickers, designed and made a new sloth (sloth 2.0)– Moe, made a faux leather pillow for my couch– BlackStar, and started a David Bowie doll with his own little leather jacket made from scraps. Snickers and Moe are available in my etsy shop. The Bowie stuff is MINE.
Look at this wiener dog, ha! I rather like the way the ears turned out, and I love the fabrics—the print on the front totally looks like wagging, right?
As the first non-feline critter I’ve designed for my new line of stuffies, I think this wiener dog turned out rather well. I want to make other animals too— otters and bears and badgers and such… and also I’ve started to think about making clothes for them… woodland fashion, YASSS
Right now I’m developing a pattern for a large-bodied superfluffy variety of cat— your Maine Coons, Himalayans, Ragdolls and other whatnots. Keep an eye on my Etsy shop— the holidays are coming, eh?