Tagged: handmade

prehistoric plush: dunkleosteus

Theodore Roosevelt summed it up best with this quote:
“whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘certainly i can!’ then get busy and find out how to do it.”

a dunkleosteus rendering (source: wikipedia)

Dunkleosteus: a big, old fish.

I think, barring anything incredibly complex, it’s a great philosophy. So when one of my photography friends said, “hey sam, can you make a plush dunkleosteus?” I said, “sure!”

(well, first i said “what is that?!” and he told me it was a giant dinosaur fish thing.)

At first, I was worried. Those teeth, all the layers of bone, all the details and hard edges… what if I couldn’t do it? But it was one of those moments where, as soon as I stopped thinking about it, I could see it perfectly in my head. It’s a plush, right? I can do plush. At that point I gave myself a pep talk, rushed to Joann’s, snagged a ton of gray fleece, and got to work.

This was one of the most complex plush I’ve ever made: he’s got side flippers, a top fin, little tail fins. With all the “bone”/exoskeleton layers, the back of his body is three layers of fleece. And then there are those teeth! Man, those were tricky. Symmetry is always a challenge.

He took longer than expected, because there was a lot of pattern drafting to be done. But I think he was worth the wait. Wanna see?

dunkleosteus (prehistoric fish) handmade plush

dunkleosteus (prehistoric fish) handmade plush, goofy smile and all

dunkleosteus (prehistoric fish) handmade plush

I just love his goofy smile, and the fleece, as always, is just so soft. I also finally broke into the ultimate safety eye stash that I’ve been hoarding for a few years now – it sure is handy to have some of every safety eye lying around!

I just love doing custom plush. It’s always a scary challenge, but they usually come out alright, and that just feels so good! Do you like it?

something i made: orange pleated handbag

me and my new handmade orange purse (day 10 of the 30 day photo challenge: something i made)

Today’s photo challenge, “Something I Made”, is only difficult for me because there are so many things to choose from! I made some peach jam yesterday, and while my sample toast this morning was perfect, it doesn’t make for a particularly captivating photograph. Then I saw my orange purse, and realized: I still haven’t shown you my purse!

my new handmade orange purse, modeled by a post

I made this purse in the middle of June due to sheer necessity. I had been carrying around my darling bicycle tote for quite some time, and although I love it, it’s not always up to Purse Standards. It’s got pockets, and it’s the best tote ever, but it’s not a purse.

This guy, with its magnetic snap, pleats, adjustable strap, and 10 pockets (!!), is much closer to Purse Standards.

handmade orange purse with blue & white striped interior... and 10 pockets!

The only things blocking it from true Purse Standards are its bright orange hue and utilitarian canvas exterior – which I wouldn’t trade for the world. Cameras aren’t good with orange, though; my apologies. The color is as accurately represented as my camera will allow: in real life it’s an incredibly saturated shade of orange.

It’s lined in a contrasting cobalt blue-and-white stripe. As you can see, there are pockets on each side of the purse – some are sized to fit gum, my little wallet, my phone, a notepad, and pens. There’s also a small zipper pocket – and the zipper is yellow. The pocket lining is a surprise yellow floral. I love making zipper pockets with surprisingly fun linings! And I absolutely adore having a plethora of pockets!

handmade orange purse with blue & white striped interior... and 10 pockets!

This bag was modeled after an awesome moop bag, which I considered purchasing but theirs was too big for me and – let’s face it – not bright orange with a blue-and-white striped lining. But if you like this style, I’ve heard great things about their quality, and it’s all handmade, so go moop!

In other news, I listed a few things on ebay today… I’ve got some 5-Tee bulk lots of American Apparel solid color tees that would be perfect for tie-dying or screen printing, plus a retired Alexander Henry “Bobby Sock Rock” fabric… I’m clearing out my stash and hopefully some crafty types will benefit from it!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Wednesday!

oh! p.s. the photo of me was taken by my 13-year-old brother, thanks Andy!

This photo is part of oh so lovely’s 30 Day Photo Challenge. Today is Day 10: Something I Made.

narwhals 2.0!

New Narwhal Plush - Gray!

Here is the result of all my scheming and assembly line work: the brand new, re-imagined Plush Narwhals 2.0!

The little guys are made from the softest gray fleece in the world. I don’t know what it is about heather gray, but it even looks softer than all the other fleece colors. I love working with it, and I love how the little guys are coming out.

But my favorite part of the new narwhals, by far, is the striped tusk. Could it be any cuter? I’m in doubt.

stuffed narwhal buddies!

Redesigning the narwhals has been a fun process for me. They’ve been the same for so long, and I was never quite thrilled with them, because I didn’t feel they conveyed my personality. As a maker of things, I like my things to reflect who I am… and the tan & cream just wasn’t doing it for me. I think they’re cute, yes, but I knew that they could be better. And that was the hardest hurdle to get over – why change your best-selling product? Why risk ruining a good thing? But I finally took the challenge, and now I feel I’ve perfected the stuffed narwhal, and it makes me very happy.

I know I built up a lot of suspense, and I apologize for not having this be a completely earth-shattering new creation :) But I think they’re pretty cute! And I’m excited to make lots of them now.