Your Stuffed Animals Need Not Be Ugly

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This post is not about anything hard-hitting. Are any of my posts? No. Anyway. I just want to talk a bit about ugly, scraggly old stuffed animals. I’ve got kids, so I know toys get loved and need to be cleaned, and often (but not always) sticking them in the washing machine and/or dryer can really give a toy that certain ‘scraggle.’ Some faux furs hold up just fine to washing and playing, and others clump up to no end. Up top here is a before and after of my little guy’s favorite (nope, I surely didn’t make it…isn’t that how it goes). My favorite and cheapest tool to get fur back into shape is a metal lice comb – you can usually find them inexpensively at the drug store or grocery store too.  Just comb it out with the direction of the fur, like you would hair, and the tight metal teeth will make it fluffy once again. Unfortunately, once the faux fur is matted, it’s likely to go back to this state again…but you can use this combing method over and over. This is also what I use to clean and fluff up my sheepskins, and I know that there is wool carding equipment and brushes specifically for this, but this has worked just fine for me.

So, even if your kid could care less, this might make that favorite stuffy just slightly more appealing to you. Keep it cute…

A collaboration with Bamboletta

bamboletta bamboletta (10)bambolettabamboletta (11)bambolettabamboletta (12)bambolettabamboletta (8)bambolettabamboletta (6)If you are a doll-lover, then I am so sure that you already know about Bamboletta Dolls. If this isn’t a name you’ve heard before, then let me tell you about a wonderful company. Bamboletta is located on Vancouver Island (and in Vancouver) and is run by Christina, who employs a whole crew of women to make these dolls. All the dolls are sewn in homes and studios by people who love the process and the product. Of course, the dolls are amazing in quality – made from thick cotton interlock and stuffed with wool, with beautiful wool hair (I’ve caught myself a few times arranging her hair while no one else was around…) and sweet clothes. They are pretty special, and I think the business itself is quite amazing.

So of course, when Christina approached me about creating some sets for them, it was an immediate yes. The sets include a little spirit animal and a matching jacket. I used a range of fabrics for the critters and stuffed them with the same wool that is used in the dolls – the animals also received a little accessory or bit of clothing. Many of the jackets have hoods with animal ears peeking out, and others are collared…all have great buttons 🙂 It was so fun for me to think of animals, decide on fabrics, and see this project come together. I am honored to collaborate with a company with such integrity, and of course, one that loves dolls.

The sets will be available soon, and again in the near future – see the Bamboletta shop if you are interested. And don’t forget to read all about them and see all the dolls – your day will be immediately better.

Thanks Bamboletta!

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I love receiving requests like this – ones where someone would like to gift a doll to Montreal-based illustrator Patrick Doyon. A gnome please. And so I took a look at his fabulous work over here and got to work myself. I knew it would need to be simple, but I did not how much I was going to love this piece when it was finished. Those sneaky eyes and big ears, that mushroom! I have mentioned this before when working with illustrators, but there is something so fun for me about working from the drawings of others and transforming them into fabric-3D. And would you know, too, that Patrick also creates animated shorts, and illustrates for all number of things that I find fascinating. Go see his website, and you’ll want to play the potatoes video game too…(is it just me or could you watch that little guy run all day long?)

I know you’re looking forward to the weekend, have a great one!

Sweet Saturday

A few months ago, the lovely folks behind the musical group Sweet Saturday contacted me about making some custom illustrations for them, to be used as part of their merchandise. They wanted the images to represent the actual instruments that they play and their vintage feel. This was such a fun little project for me (especially that accordion…), I often forget how much I love drawing until I am totally absorbed.

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The illustrations were pretty small watercolors that they turned into these…so charming and tiny!

sweetGo check out Sweet Saturday, like I said, they are lovely!