Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Plushies Made

Hey.  How were your holidays?  Mine were a cocktail of quietly happy moments (fireside reading in my fave faux-fur beanbag, mad games of Clue with Beeper, and listening to lots of new vinyl...) and random incidents of crazy frustration (water dripping from above in the dining room and subsequent tear down of half of the ceiling to get at a pipe failure, usual extended-family dramatics, last minute pre-Christmas biz trip to Brazil for my day job...).

I did still manage to whip up a couple of handmade items (and bought  a butt load of handmade from Etsy...maybe will share some of that later because there was so much goodness to give and you may want to know about it)--like the Clothtopus, above.  I actually refer to him as the Magic Rainbow Coloctopus in homage to his color-wheel legs, but Fiona calls him a Clothtopus in her book, Hop Skip Jump: 20 Eco-Friendly Toys to Sew.  I blogged about the book some time ago--here--and today, I would have to name it my all-time favorite plushie-making book.  Really.  I pretty much want to make every toy in there and plan to keep finding children to who I can give these things so I have a reason.

Anyway, I made the octopus for our friend's daughter, Zoey.  She is a curious child and I thought she deserved a little something as interesting as she is.   I used Robert Kaufman's Quilter's Linen, which I love for the color-pop selection and the linen look without all the stringiness of actual linen (am planning to make a couple of sets of my counting beanbags from this same fabric soon--watch my shop for those).
I also have been wanting to make a black cat plushie for Beeper for a couple of years now.  You see, we have a black cat--Socrates--and Beeper is mad-adoring of him so, I thought I would make him a plush Socrates who could travel with him whenever we are away from home since he always misses Socrates like he is his actual blood-brother or something.  
It is a very rustic and simple design--it came from the book, Make Your Own Toys by Sue Havens.  The book focuses on using reclaimed materials to make colorful, mismatched-patchworky-plush--all of the designs are far more colorful than my black cat plush above--which complements the simplicity of the designs.  I really like this book--it actually reminds me quite a bit of my earliest plush designs--but she uses all manner of fabrics (sweaters, tees, shirts) and designs (plaids, stripes, prints) in combinations I never would have thought to.  The effect is very clever and fetching.  I would recommend this book if you are new to plushie-making or want to begin working with reclaimed materials--the designs are simple enough and the instructions are clear with good illustrations.  

 Here's to a new year of inspiring, creating, making, and finding new ways to incorporate a rainbow of color into your life...


Nancy said...

Happy New Year Holly! You make the best plushies, they all have so much character! Hope you are keeping warm, WI made our news yesterday bc of the packer game breaking records for coldest temps yet for a playoff game (I'm originally from wi now living in Australia). I know you are in mn and its probably even colder!

Syntax and Salt said...

I made the little octopus as a gift as well! I freaking LOVE that whole book.

Silvia LGD (Little Green Doll) said...

Happy New Year!! The octopus softie is lovely! :)