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.
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.
When the zoo closes and all the people go home, the animals clock out from their jobs as species ambassadors and diplomats. Some like to unwind at Furry McMurray’s, an all-animal pub on the north side of the zoo. It is a very chill place.
The sloth arrived 45 minutes ago and has just made her way to the bar. She would like to order a sloe gin fizz please. No rush though—take your time.
And this is what I’ve been working on since my last post, when I wasn’t randomly visiting goat farms, making cheese* or working as an ambassador for my species. I’ve been doodling animals with beverages and animals doing people things for quite a while now, and there’s a bit of a backstory developing. There’s an air hockey table that the otters especially enjoy…
All the random little drawings in my sketchbooks are coalescing into a cohesive Thing. This could be a goal, even… more on that story as it unfolds.
*YASSS, I have acquired the ability to make cheese in my kitchen. #lifechanging Also more on that—and the goats—later, I’m sure.
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.
This is Claude, the three-toed sloth, and his buddy, Toby. (You may remember meeting Toby briefly and randomly a few weeks ago, if you’ve been following along. Toby is a regular two-toed sloth, if you’re counting.) Claude is now chilling in my Etsy shop, where he will soon be joined by Toby and various other friends looking for new homes.
I would like to draw attention to the toes, as I’m really proud of what I did there.
This is a thing now, I make plushie animals and I sell them in my Etsy shop. And that’s another of my 2014 resolution/goals, squeaking in just before the ball drops. Pop pop!
I’m currently working on an otter. Still drawing cats.
Since I started the Rocked that Look illustration challenge to work on human action poses and movement, I’ve noticed the unintended effect it’s had on the amount of care I put into choosing my outfit each day. “Could I totally rock out in this outfit?” I ask myself. “Can I play air guitar in this?” And most importantly, “Is this outfit going to be fun to draw?” These are two of my favorite looks from last week.
In other news, I’ve also been sewing plushies lately. I mentioned an iguana recently in another post, but I’ve decided that he’s not ready for the public yet. Inigo’s going back under the knife for a little redesign surgery.
We do, however, have the pleasure of introducing Toby, the adorable sloth baby. He, or someone very much like him, will be appearing in my Etsy shop shortly. Toby incorporates scraps from my Sherlock Halloween/cosplay dress and a bit of the wool plaid skirt I’m currently frankenstyling into a wrap-around.