Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cutting Frenzy

I finally reached the point where I had finished making everything I owed to customers or to folks I was trading with, and I had gone through all of the precut critters I had stowed away, and my fingers were itching to wrap around those scissors and dive into my hoard of fur.  So, for the past few days I have been busy cutting - stockpiling monsters and animals and even fleece sugar cookies that will accompany them as snacks - all ready to be sewn and assembled when the time comes.

I have 4 big craft shows coming up in the next few months (more on that another day) and this is the first step in preparing.  As each month goes by, abbydid seems to creep closer and closer towards a full time job, and my aspirations for what I can produce before these shows creep up may be a bit too high.  But, worst case scenario, I'll have these "critter kits" ready to go after the shows to restock the shop as needed.

Fleece and faux fur are my primary materials.  Fleece is easy and forgiving.  Faux fur - especially the shaggy, long pile variety - prevents it's own set of challenges.  I vacuum constantly.  I vacuum each cut piece of a pattern before I bag it, and then vacuum the entire cutting area in between each variety of fur I use to avoid "cross contamination."  And inevitably I am covered in the stuff.  I laugh at lint rollers.  I have to vacuum myself before heading out the door.  The UPS man will attest to the fact that whenever I open the door for a package I'm covered in some new color of hair.  He must think I have some strange-looking pets (speaking of, that's my dog Kismet).

Once critters are cut, with all their contrasting or accenting pieces accompanying them, I bag them up and get them out of the way.  It's fun to go back to these bags and pull out a creature to begin working on it, only to be surprised by what color combinations I was dreaming up the day he was cut out.  Admittedly, there have been a couple of instances of "what was I thinking," in which case I may switch out some claws or limbs.  

Meanwhile, while I am sequestered in my dining room (aka The Work Space), Roomba is next door tidying up the living room.  I found this guy on clearance for half off.  While he is just a glorified dustbuster on wheels, Roomba is better than nothing, and I love that he merrily rolls along while I make fuschia monkeys and stripey Wibbly Woos a reality.  This is my view through the windows of the dining room.  See Roomba?  Way to go, Roomba!  Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Schmancy Olympic Challenge

Towards the end of January Plush You!, the annual plush exhibition put on by Schmancy, put out a challenge to the plush world: make a plush in one of 4 categories reflecting the Winter Olympic Games.  Well, I do love a good challenge!  I signed up immediately.  My assigned category was Opening Ceremonies.  

What resulted was a torch with mischievous little flames, each light up, and they even have their own Olympic torch in which to do their impish dance.  

I would have gotten more outdoor shots but my reluctant model needed to pee.

The battery-operated "tea lights" are surrounded in sheer fabrics and "stuffed" with bubble wrap.  The little smirking faces are embroidered on using red, metallic thread and iridecent beads for eyes.

The completely hand-stitched torch is made of stiff interfacing and fleece, with a felt Olympic rings emblem adhered to it with fabric glue. 

 With the Olympics just coming to a close and the Paralympics about to begin, I know we all feel the warmth of the pride and emotion of the games.  I will be submitting this piece to Plush You! for judging, so wish me luck!  The torch and it's 6 merry flames are available in my shop.