Posts Tagged: plush

featured artist :: the rice babies

from the archives: 3.15.11

name: Kellie
company: The Rice Babies
links: web | etsy | twitter | facebook

What do you make?
Pretty dolls and lovely crowns that inspire the imagination.

What or who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from my children and the children I teach through my art classes. I also love children’s literature and have a wild imagination.

How did you get started?
I picked up a camera when I was in high school, from them on art has been wooing me. It’s been a long time love affair.

What are your favourite materials to work with?
Currently, I love to sew, so fabrics with textures and great designs coupled with embroidery.

What is the hardest and your most favourite part of crafting?
The hardest part is finding time with three little ones. My favourite part is seeing people enjoying what I have made.

Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
If you love it, just keep trying, and if you love making it, you will find the time.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
I have an art degree, so I am inclined to say artist. When I set out, I hoped to be an artist, the word crafter didn’t enter my world until I opened an Etsy shop. I suppose the word craft comes from hand crafted, so I would think handmade would also then become craft, so I guess both.

all images via [stu-di-o] by jeanie except image one via Blue Olive Photography

featured artist :: cutesypoo

from the archives: 15.3.11

name: Jocelan + Jason
company: cutesypoo toys
links: website | blog | shop | twitter

What do you make?
My husband and I make cartoons for a living and formed this company out of our love of toys. I just wanted to recreate the kind of toys that inspire kids, instead of the toys you just get from the toy store that are made in china, why not make one of a kind of toys that kids really fall in love with? Plus we always wanted to make our cartoons come to life and animating them is ok..but when a kid can hold and touch and hug a toy…then that is really something!! Most of the toys we make are custom printed with ecofriendly inks such as the cone gnomes, but recently we are making embroidered toys with our new embroidery machine such as our cutesypoo pillows and plush kitties. Of course, we always try to make out toys ultra cute!!

What or who inspires you?
Kawaii culture like Hello Kitty, I worked on the Pucca tv show and that was an influence, japanese zakka style magazines, friends,! I think of food when i make toys the colours i will ask myself …does it look yummy enough to eat??

photo credit: studio jeanie

How did you get started?
I have been to japan twice and after i got back from the first trip there i started to try to sew my own toy bunny from a japanese felt book and when i did i was hooked! Funny thing is I tried hard not to create my own stuff because i am so creative at work I wanted to do a “mindless thing ” while i relaxed in front of the tv at night ..but eventually I couldn’t help myself when i started to draw something in my sketchbook i just HAD to make it!! The first thing i made was a plush coconut bun and i still have it.

What are your favourite materials to work with?
Cotton canvas, vintage scraps of fabric because it looks good and fleece and minky because it is easy to sew.

What is the hardest and your most favourite part of crafting?
Easy! My favourite is drawing up the ideas and also the satifaction of a completed project and my hardest is the whole part between that!!

Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
I know everyone says this but it’s true! Stay true to what you are and what you want to create but also be realistic with your products and see what sells and do research by doing craft shows to see what people think of your stuff. In other words..don’t just ask family and friends…

i love :: handmade romance

Handmade Romance by Evie B. is just too cute. I love the detail she puts into making each bearded boy badge and plush doll. Just in time for Valentine’s Day? Just kidding! Here is her story in her own words (from her etsy profile) …

To this day I carry a permanent indent on my index finger from hours spent clutching pencils while drawing as a child. During these years I spent equal time in both the city and the country. Currently I live in the city of Melbourne, Australia.

During the time I lived in the country (which was well before the wonders of the internet — yep, I’m that old) I had very limited access to the latest clothing stores and outside inspiration. I would dream up outfits to wear to the end of year school dances, and along with the help of my mum we’d create something individual, unique and handmade. It was during this time I also learned the basics of knitting, sewing and crocheting. Thus my romance with all things handmade begun.

Find her here: etsy | blog | facebook | flickr

featured artist :: smidgebox designs

from the archives: 22.02.10

name: Lesley Stenning
company: smidgebox designs
links: blog | flickr | shop

What do you make?
I sew handmade this + that. I know that sounds like a pretty broad term, but that’s the best way for me to sum up what I make!!

I make fun tote bags and fabric buckets for adults and for children. I make many different accessories for babies + tots, including cloth play blocks, wee chef apron sets, and cozy blankets. Many of my items can be personalized with a child’s name or initials. I am also planning a line of housewares which I hope to introduce fairly early in the new year.

What or who inspires you?
I am inspired by so many things. We’re pretty lucky to be surrounded by some amazing scenery here in Vancouver, and I find the colours of the seasons very inspiring. My family is a great source of inspiration. My two kids are super fun and energetic, and watching them learn and grow inspires me to make new, fun things for children. My husband is an incredible artist, and i love seeing the new art that he produces, kind of keeps me on my toes! Finally, I’m inspired by the amazing fabrics that I choose. The vast array of colours + designs are amazing, and I love mixing patterns in different and unexpected ways.

How did you get started?
Well, I’ve always been a creative person. I’ve loved drawing for as long as I can remember, and my mom taught me to sew when I was quite young. I always took art class in school, and also loved woodwork and pottery. Working with my hands is essential. After a few false starts in my post secondary education, I ended up taking an architectural drafting program at BCIT, and fell in love with the detailed and technical side of art. I worked in the industry for a couple years before I had children. When my son was born almost 5 years ago, I stopped working for others and turned my creativity back to myself. I started off making greeting cards and tags out of cut paper, combining collage and paper quilling. i loved doing that, but it was rather time intensive. I bought my first sewing machine when my son was about 1, and I haven’t looked back. Someday I hope to introduce a stationery + paper goods division to smidgebox designs, but for now, sewing is keeping me very busy!!

What are your favourite materials to work with?
I am a self-professed fabric addict. I can still remember when I first discovered the world of designer cottons online, and I was instantly hooked. I have a pretty healthy stash going on, and it’s all I can do not to buy more and more. I love mixing fun designer cottons + japanese import fabrics with denim + wool felt.

What is the hardest and favourite part of crafting?
The hardest part for me at the moment is that I have way too many ideas and designs floating in my head, and yet I haven’t even got a fraction of the time I’d need to pump it all out. I love being able to be at home with my kids, and am trying to enjoy every moment of that before they are both off to school. Time sure flies. My favourite part of the crafting process is seeing a final product realized in my hands. But the best feeling has got to be getting wonderful feedback from a super happy customer, or seeing people’s faces light up when they receive one of my items as a gift for their baby or for themselves. That is pretty great.