November 22, 2013

Phew! Where did the time go?

It's hard to believe it's been over a month since I last blogged. There has been a lot going on in the past month, that's for sure!

I'll share some of the highlights with you, one of which was the trip out to Cincinnati in mid-October with some of my Plush Team peeps for Cincinnati's first ever Maker Faire, and there was Halloween plush, and Wizard of Oz themed plush made somewhere in there, AND a trip to LA for the opening of Ben's solo art show as well. Hmmmm... I think I'll restrict the size of this post by limiting it to the events of Maker Faire weekend in order to spare your eyeballs. ;D

The trip to Cincy was a blast, and even though the weather was uncooperative (cold and rainy), we had a great day of sales, classes, and promoting hand made. A HUGE thanks to Abby of Abbydid for being our Team plush wrangler and supply depot, and for being our tour guide. I'd also like to thank AC of Hibou Designs, Diane of Cutesy But Not Cutesy, Zazu of zfla, and Stephanie of Little Critters for traveling out to Cincinnati to help run the booth and teach classes. You ladies ROCK! :D
Here are a few of the images from the weekend:

Washington Park the day before.

Washington Park on the actual day of Maker Faire. Of COURSE it had to rain.

Doing prep-work the night before the big day (Friday October 18th):

From left to right: Zfla, Abbydid, Hibou Designs, Cutesy but not Cutesy, and Little Critters.

Plush Team booth set-up happened on Saturday at a very windy, rainy and chilly 8:30 am on October 19th- we were cold and wet, but got everything set up just in time:

Here's our booth all finished and ready to go, and filled with all sorts of plush created by 20 different members of the Plush Team from around the globe:

The Art Gallery and classroom side of the Team's booth:

These are art pieces created by various Plush Team members, which are created for Team Challenges, or for gallery shows, and show the wonderful skills of the members of the Team.

This is the quilted world map showing where all our Plush Team members are currently living and creating their plush; which hung above the very busy "make your own upcycled stuffed animal class" table. Classes that went all day long, and were taught by Zazu of zfla, shown here in her bright blue coat amongst all her students:

It was a whirlwind weekend in Cincinnati, but we had a great time and the people we met were really great and made the day a good one. Thanks Cincinnati! 

I also had the good fortune to stay a few days longer to do a bit of sight-seeing, and to step inside one of the icons of my childhood, which was the Hall of Justice from the Super Friends cartoon (OMG!!), which in reality is the amazing Art-Deco designed Union Terminal in Cincinnati. I was like a little kid clapping my hands with glee as we walked around the building! It was amazing, and photos don't really do it justice (pun intended ;D), but here are a few anyway:

The terminal now houses a bunch of different museums, as well as Amtrak, making it a must-see if you are ever in the Cincinnati area. Abby was kind enough to show me around this amazing building, and I have to say it was one of the highlights of any trip I've taken so far. :D

That's all for now, and I hope that you all had a great Halloween, and a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday to come if you are American. Hopefully it won't be another month before I post again... See you soon!

October 11, 2013

PlushYou! show opens tonight!

It's that time of year again! Hooray for the annual plush art show curated and hosted by the awesome Kristen of Schmancy Toys in Seattle.

Here are the pieces that I created for the show- inspired by the beautiful flower gardens in the neighborhood were I walk the dog every day. These two girls are Flower Sprites- those beings responsible for making your garden blossom and bloom into something wonderful.

Bloom and Blossom
 Bloom is more excitable than her sister, Blossom. She really gets into her job turning the small blossoms into full-fledged and beautiful flowers.

I wanted the forms and clothing to evoke the organic shapes of flowers and buds. Blossom is made from fleece, with felt facial features and flower in her hair. Her clothing is made from patterned cottons, and she has felt leaves growing from her arms and legs.

 Bloom's skirt is not only removable, it's reversible, too. :D

Blossom is definitely more "zen" than her sister, and her color palette was chosen to reflect that difference.

Blossom is also made from fleece, felt, and cottons. Flowers are blossoming on her, and she also has leaves sprouting on her arms and legs.

I will be at the opening of the show tonight (5-9pm at Schmancy Toys) and I will take tons of photos of all the amazing work created for the show, promise. :D

October 1, 2013

Works in Progress, and Mini Maker Faire happening soon!

I've been a busy bee the past few weeks trying to get all my plush done for all the Fall happenings going on, and I'm only going to give you a tease, since I'm not done with them all yet, and I shouldn't be on the computer when I need to be sewing. ;D The first couple of images are pretty self-explanatory:

This year I am in a ghastly, I mean ghostly mood! Getting my Halloween on has been fun, but I am also getting plush done for the most fun plush show of the year: PlushYou! at the awesome Schmancy Toys in Seattle! The show opens Friday, October 11th, and I'm lucky enough to be going this year. I promise to take tons of photos, and do a post here to show all the great pieces created for the show. There are a ton of great artists in this show, and you will find interviews with many of them up on the PlushYou! blog.
Okay- here's a sneak peek of my pieces- I will do a blog post next week closer to the opening to reveal the finished product. 

Okay- back to the sewing machine I go!

Oh yeah- one more thing! The Plush Team is having its own booth at the first ever Mini-Maker Faire in Cincinnati, Ohio in a few weeks! If you are in the area, come on by and say hello on October 19th at Washington Park! I'll be there helping to run the booth with a few other of our Team members, and we will have various plush activities going on all day, as well as a bunch of plush awesomeness to see and buy from our members from around the globe. It's going to be a great day. :D

September 17, 2013

Wearable plush!

My first foray into wearable plush is for the Plush Team's "Wearable Plush" project, over in the Team's etsy shop.
I decided that since it's the start of the Fall season, that my plush should be something that incorporates a fun fall element into it. The result was my first ever mini plush Jack O'Lantern headband:

The plush pumpkin is made from fleece, with sparkly felt facial details. I also decided to add some wool felt pumpkin leaves with machine stitched veining in fall colors, to add more fun to the headband. The headband is one that I picked up at my local Michael's store, and it will fit babies up to 6-8 months or so. Since I didn't have any babies on hand to model it for me, I was lucky that the gracious Peas in a Pod volunteered to be my model for the photo shoot. ;D

You can find my headband, as well as a variety of fantastic wearable plush, in the Plush Team's etsy shop. Here are just a few examples of some of the other pieces made by the talented members of the  Team:

Octopod brooch by oopisnein

Owl brooch by Vagabond Artistry

Amigurumi Pencil brooch by Moons Creations.

Oh- and if you are in the mood for some "Back to School" themed plush, the Team has a section of the shop devoted to that as well. :D

I am busy as a bee getting ready for a bunch of art shows, as well as creating a bunch of plush for the Plush Team's booth at Maker Faire Cincinnati next month, as well as trying to get some fall/halloween plush into my shop, so there will be more to come soon! :D

August 20, 2013

"Everybody's A Somebody" art show

I can't say enough how much fun it was to re-create plush versions of some of my favorite characters from Roger Hargreaves books on the "Mr. Men" and "Little Misses." I have such fond memories of these books from my childhood!

After flipping through all the books, I decided to make plush of the awesome Mr. Funny, and the nose-in-the-air Little Miss Splendid. In order to make them more than just an exact re-creation of the character, I used different textured and patterned fabrics to add some flair to their already larger than life personalities.

Meet Mr. Funny:

I used a super soft and "funny" checkered, lime green minky fabric for his body, and a swirly yellow flannel for his gloves, with a fun patterned red and green cotton for his shoes.  His hat is made from bright yellow felt, with a blue cotton band. He wouldn't be complete without the flower in his hat band, which is made from felt, with a green pipe cleaner as the "stem."

Here she is in all her snootiness; Little Mis Splendid:

I stayed true to her color scheme from the books, just added in some coral patterned and solid cottons to inject some more panache and style into her wardrobe, along with a more sophisticated blue for her hat band and purse closure. I think that she would approve. :) Her body and hair are made from yellow fleeces, which make her pretty cuddly. Although I'm not sure she's the cuddling type... ;)

If you are in the LA area, and a fan of these books, you won't want to miss this show! The iam8bit gallery  on Sunset will be transformed into scenes from Roger Hargreaves world, and there are all sorts of fun activities planned. I really wish that I could go to the opening! There is going to be some amazing art on display. :D The show opens on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 and runs for a few weeks.

July 5, 2013

What happens in Mexico...

For the May/June Challenge, members of the Plush Team were asked to create plush pieces that illustrated a vacation nightmare. At first, I had NO idea what to make, and then I started thinking back to my family vacations, and volia! I had my idea.

These plush are based on a true event that happened to my family as we were playing poolside on Christmas morning, 1982 in CanCun, Mexico.

My sister (4yrs old) and I (8yrs old) watched in horror, alongside a bunch of other families next to the pool as a group of "orderlies" headed up by a truly ugly "Nurse" (on closer inspection we realized that the "she" was actually a "he" in full drag, with seriously hairy legs and stubble and chest hair) carried on a stretcher a sprawled out Santa towards the edge of the pool. 

Santa seemed to be drinking blood (THE HORROR!) out of an IV Bag on the stretcher. All the orderlies and the nurse were laughing their butts off, and were clearly drunk themselves. 

Without any warning, the orderlies heaved Santa into the pool, and then they all jumped in after him. Needless to say, my sister was HORRIFIED that they'd tried to drown Santa, and it took my parents a loooooong time to calm her down enough to where she could listen and understand that it was someone else dressed in a very tight and too-small Santa suit pretending to be Santa, and that he wasn't drinking actual blood, it was an alcoholic drink called a Bloody Mary. 

I will spare you all the visual of what the tight, white uniformed "nurse" looked like getting out of the pool, but I did make sure to add on to my Santa plush the butt-crack that we all saw as he was helped out of the pool:

You can imagine how many complaints the hotel management got from all the other parents with small children who were traumatized that morning by seeing this crazy stunt. 0_o  
We got over the shock and enjoyed the rest of our vacation; had some great times and saw some amazing things that trip, so it all balanced out in the end. :) 

If you'd like to see the other entries into the Plush Team's Vacation Nightmare Challenge, you can find them in the Plush Team's etsy shop. There are some great plush by the Raggy Rat and KittyKitty Crafts depicting their own ideas of vacation nightmares. 

June 5, 2013

FrankenSquirrel and a new Buckaroo

Well it's been a hectic few months of settling into the new studio- which is mostly organized- at least enough to get me sewing again. ;D Between unpacking/organizing and the visits of family and friends, it's been tough to get time to blog, but here I am, finally getting caught up.

First off is the plush that I created as part of a thank you for the awesome JMonster of I Only Like Monsters fame- she was the judge of the Plush Team's last Challenge, which was fairy-tale themed.
I decided to make JMonster a FrankenSquirrel, which is the first one that I've made, and appropriate for someone who loves monsters, don't you think?

Next: I am very excited to announce that I was invited to take part in Ugly Doll's art show, UglyCon, at Giant Robot Gallery in Los Angeles that opens June 15th. Tons of awesome plush-makers were invited to do their own interpretation of the Ugly Doll character, Babo.
It took me some time to figure out what I wanted to do with Babo, but after doing some thinking and sketching, I decided to do an homage to the summers in my hometown. Every July, Calgary puts on a HUGE outdoor rodeo called the Calgary Stampede and Exhibition. Everyone in the city, and a ton of people from all over the world get dressed in their best cowboy gear and come downtown to see the parade, have pancake breakfasts, and watch the rodeo events. Not to mention play games and ride rides on the midway, as well as eat all sorts of carnival-type food (i.e. mini donuts, cotton candy, candy apples etc), go to concerts, (if you're an adult- you get to drink LOTS of adult beverages and for 10 days your employers will mostly forgive you if you take off early or come in late ;D) and look at all the stuff on exhibit and for sale in the various outbuildings. As a kid, it was one of the best parts of summer. So, after that long preamble, here is my Buckaroo Babo:

                                                                        Howdy Y'all!

It was a ton of fun getting Babo's cowboy on: his jeans are made from actual jeans, his shirt is made from bandanna material, and his chaps (pronounced "shaps") are made from faux-leather with a faux-suede fringe. His belt buckle and cowboy hat are made from felt. Black cowboy hats are usually worn by those considering themselves tough, and this Babo is one of the toughest cookie rustlers in the Wild West. (Babo loves cookies.) If you are in the LA area next weekend, head on over to Giant Robot for all the UglyCon festivities- it looks like they've got some great fun planned. :)

April 10, 2013

The "Stitched" show is coming up this weekend!

I'm really excited to say that I was invited to be a part of this awesome show of amazing plush artists and soft sculptors that takes place in Beacon, NY from April 13th to May 4th. The show is curated by the awesome Lana "Plushinator" Crooks, and hosted by Clutter Magazine in their Gallery.

It was tough deciding what I wanted to make for the show, and it took me some time to get my new studio space to the point where I could actually do some sewing, as you can see from this photo:

After some frantic unpacking, I found enough of my supplies, and got to work creating this guy: Captain Archibald Jones, retired Navy officer who now spends his days sailing his sloop, the Amelia, through the waters of the Puget Sound.

Captain Jones is wearing a very soft navy wool pea coat and hat, with wool trousers. He wears a nautical striped shirt and has a nautical themed belt buckle on his faux-leather belt. The Captain has a peg-leg, which he doesn't like to talk about, but uses very well, thank you very much. He doesn't go anywhere without his pipe, which is made from cork. Since he retired from the Navy, he let his hair grow, and now he resembles the Old Man of the Sea, which is the way he likes it.

If you are interested in seeing or purchasing the pieces for the show, you can sign up for the preview list by clicking here.

Ahoy maties! I'm off to unpack and organize my studio properly, which should only take the rest of the week. ;D
More plush will be coming soon, so stay tuned.