Inspiring People: Marathon 1981

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A few years ago, Kami (the lovely lady behind Marathon 1981) and I both had dolls in the same Plush You show in Seattle. While scrolling through the list of artists involved in the show, I came across her work, discovered she was from the prairies (Shock! There are so few plush makers out here that I know about), and immediately contacted her. We made the best kind of trade – I sent one of my horses her way, and I received one of her ‘furmaids’ who still watches over my studio. There are so many reasons why I think these creatures are amazing – I find that I tend to take my dolls to the cute cute side, so I love it when others are able to take the plush form and give it an edge (especially these two in the last photo from her solo show Cute and Awful). The use of vintage fabrics, visible hand stitches, and slight wonkiness (in the best possible way), make sure you know that these have been handmade and are one of a kind. I love ’em.

You can find Kami and her creatures in her shop, on her blog, and facebook page. Thanks so much Kami! (plus, we need to have tea someday…)

Inspiring People : Sara Carr

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If you love plush, and you’ve been around Etsy for any length of time, it’s likely that you have already come across the oh-so-lovely work of Sara Carr…but today is your day to be reminded of it! Sara is a maker and mama in the UK, where she creates these beautiful knits – I remember that fox being one of my early Etsy favorites, and I still think the simplicity of it is so likeable. I am especially drawn to it because of the knit aspect, it gives such a cozy feeling – plus, I am not a knitter or knitting machine user, so I am extra curious about the process (and would likely become veerry addicted). Her bold jewel colors are so happy, and even though her work is inspired by kid-friendly colors and shapes, it’s not like you need to have kids around to think it’s great – I am always loving plush that doubles as a design element in your home, kids or no. Do you want that Donkey on your couch as much as I do?

The Sara Carr Etsy shop is here – go check out all the plush goodness. Thank you Sara!

Inspiring People: Dana of Big Stuffed

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This is the work of Dana, a textile artist originally from Israel who now lives and works in France. Her Big Stuffed creatures are so appealing to me, partly in their simplicity, and most obviously because of their scale. I mean, do you not just want to jump into a big pile of these? From the first photo I saw of her work (it was surely one of the big whales) I knew this was something good. I love that this work feels like a true collection – in the theme and relationships of the fabric. What I also love is that they are not quite toy, not quite pillow, but both at the same time…big and squishy, but modern-playful, and as she says ‘for all ages, genders, and types.’ I am doing a big, fat swoon over here.

Big Stuffed is on Facebook, and you can see Dana’s Etsy shop here. Thanks for letting me share your work!

A Creative Assignment From Elsie Marley

For years I have occasionally popped in on Meg’s blog Elsie Marley – there is a lot of great, real stuff happening over there. I think Meg is one of the most honest bloggers I have come across, posting the hits and the misses, and the not so glamorous truth about making (especially with kids around).

Every once in a while there is a creative assignment on Elsie Marley – the most recent was a Twofer, in which participants each gave a word and everyone was matched randomly with two of those words. I got Alligator + Sea, and with the short time line to make something out of those two words, yesterday I came up with this guy…

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Let’s call him Crispy. Just workin’ his vintage-nautical inspired maillot de bain…

I could have made anything with this assignment, but honestly, I am in crazy doll making mode right now preparing for upcoming fall sales. When things are busy for me, this is where all my creative energy goes. I briefly thought about making pickles, because pickles to me kind of look like alligator tails, but I don’t even like pickles…

I’ve been working on a few smaller dolls to give myself something new, and I have only made one other crocodile/alligator creature years ago – so even though the words seemed somewhat related, this was a good challenge after all. I had to really think about how I wanted the head shaped and that bumpy tail. I wanted him to be a jaunty sailor, but the hat turned out a little more like a strange tam, which was just big enough to tip over his one freaky eye! (these reptile eyes are new to me, super freaky) It’s always good to get out of a production head space, and back into a creative one.

Thanks for the challenge Meg!