Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sneak Peek...

Remember how I just said I was inspired to make a mermaid? Well today was a lazy Sunday and I spent all day working on the first of what I hope will be a series of mermaids. She came out so cute that I am thinking I might send them in to Stuffed. I'm not ready to share her completely yet because I want to get the others done first and also set up a scene for photos, however, here are a couple sneak peeks.

Her tail is made of this gorgeous blue brocade fabric. It took me a couple of times to get the pattern right because I have never used brocade fabric and it frays a lot and quick.

I had a bunch of shells which I put in her hair and used for her bikini top. She measures about 15 inches tall.

When I was at the fabric store I didn't see any other brocade that I liked but I am going to go back and look again because I think it is perfect for the tail. I wish they would have had this one. Green is so pretty!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


It is really fun to receive custom orders or suggestions for a BeBe that I have never made before. Sometimes, of course, it can be a little daunting if I am not sure where to begin. Then how do I begin you might ask. Well usually I begin by looking up images on Google. In this case I looked up pictures of manatees and printed out a couple from each angle of the animal. Like this one and this one.

Then I draw a pattern which can include enlarging, changing and tweaking until I think it is right. The first attempt does not always turn out but it is easier to tell after sewing the first one what might need to be changed on the pattern to receive my desired result. In the case of this manatee I only had to resew one time and it wasn't because the pattern was flawed it was because I wasn't paying attention to the direction of the stretch in the fabric. I wasn't so sure if she turned out good but the customer loved her. What do you think?

I added buttons for eyes which I think was a nice touch.

The pattern actually looked a bit like a mermaid which gave me an inspiration to make one. It's funny how that can happen while working on something new or different, and I love when it does. Look for a mermaid coming soon!

Friday, July 1, 2011

You've been Published! (sort of)

I'm not sure if you all are familiar with a wonderful magazine called Stuffed: The Crafting of Softies but it is a high quality, beautiful magazine put out by Stampington and Company. The magazine does their own photo shoots of each artists' work which leads to amazing visual concepts. The magazine is like plush eye candy! Just look at this issue's cover.

Even though the quality of the magazine is very high their submission guidelines are a little daunting. First they highly recommend that you actually mail your plush to them, even before you know if you will be selected to be in the magazine. You must provide a check or money order inside your package for the shipping of the plush back to you, again whether or not you are included in the magazine. When the magazine first began a couple years ago Plush Team members, including myself, eagerly sent off our finest work for a chance to be included. Unfortunately for several people, again including myself, we were rejected. Those of us in the art/crafting business know to not let the sting of rejection get under our skin and instead be positive and try again the next time.

In fact I did try again the next time, and was again rejected. I have to admit at that point I was a little sour on the whole thing, not only because of the rejection, but mostly because it was costing between $20-$40 to mail my work back and forth with no benefit. At that point I stopped submitting because I reasoned it was too expensive for me. Besides, sometimes things like this are more about it being cool to see myself in print and less about it translating into sales, which I suppose truly is the bottom line.

Well then the fabulous Plush Team did a challenge that was selected to grace the pages of the magazine. It was a challenge called Frankenplush Scrapenstein and fortunately I had participated. I contributed the arms and legs to this guy. I thought he came out awesome if I do say so myself. The article itself did not focus on my group's piece but did take a group photo where you can kind of see him (far left hand side).

This week I received my complimentary copy for my meager contribution which I think is pretty darn generous of the magazine (the magazine itself is a bit spendy at $14.99 retail). My name is even printed it it! Woot!

Instead of being satisfied that I am finally printed somewhere in this particular publication I now once again want to try for my own spread. The next submission deadline is Aug 15. But what the heck should I send!? The first time I submitted, I sent a one of a kind set of BeBe Pets that were modeled after the Fox and the Hound. I still even have they are!

I still think the fox is pretty good but the hound is a mess. He's all floppy and just so rudimentary compared to my work now. It's funny because I can totally see why they did not select these two to be printed. The second time I just sent a selection of regular BeBe pets but when I see my work from that time period I can again see why they did not pick me.

So the question now is... 1. Should I try again? and 2. If I do what the heck should I send? These are the things I am contemplating today. If you have a suggestion please leave a comment!