Like a mad scientist..

I've been experimenting with some fun new concepts and designs.

This is a zebra named Reezba that I made for my oldest.

While being made almost entirely of cotton and wool, I would hardly call him "plush". His basic structure was made by wrapping a wire armature tightly with long strips fabric (mummy style), then stitching a white felt "skin" directly onto the wrappings. To give him texture, I raided my stash of embroidery floss and went to town winding him with a wide array of off-white tones, with blue and blue-gray stripes finishing off his stripes.

My favorite thing about him is his posability.

There is a giraffe in the works for her sister. Sadly, it has been in the works for over a month without actually being worked on. I hope to remedy this soon.

I've also been inspired by all the lovely felted wool playscapes available through Etsy and similar, as well as the topographical work of Crafterall (which might have something to do with the retro poppies which are displayed over my desk- a.k.a. the corner of creative chaos)

These two concepts have married and resulted in a new quilted appliqué playscape for my girls...
...which I believe will always be under construction. It's full of fun textures. Future phases of the project include trees, a cave, bushes, maybe a tent, and any number of other related items and ideas which haunt me when I lay sleepless in bed. I might actually make a few of these for my shop, as well, but it will have to wait until I get out from under the recent rush of Scavenger orders. Not that I'm complaining.

There's more.. always... but it will have to wait for another day.

One of these days, I'd really like to try posting a tutorial. :~)


What's Brewin'?

I just thought I'd pop in and share some photos I've taken of a few of the latest felt patterning squares I've made for Mischief and Scribbles pieces.

While I love the pieces that result, it always seems a bit of a shame that few people ever get to see the original patterns involved.

I love color. :~)


Blogging in.

It's odd that I haven't taken the time to post on my personal blog about the issue that has most consumed me for the last several weeks. In honor of the nation-wide CPSIA blog in, I'm going to remedy that byt addressing the effects on me, personally.

My first response was disbelief, quickly followed by a frantic search for some iota of information to debunk this crazy new e-myth. I'm still searching, and still empty handed. Turns out it is entirely true; the CPSIA may very well mean the end of my business.

For the time being, my shop will remain open and undergo a positive set of changes. I am researching like mad, and grabbing at the information resources that are finally surfacing after years of obscurity. I'm looking into testing options, contacting the manufacturers of my materials, exchanging insights with others, and doing my best to formulate a new product safety plan that will give both me and my customers peace of mind.

The process and desire have been a very healthy experience. I want my toys to be as safe as I can manage. The requirements of February aren't too far off the mark, and could be very legally livable in the long term, if certain allowances are made (such as the use of material certifications from manufacturers).

We have some details to work out, but I can work things out with the basic set-up of the GCCs.

But in August, legal operation will become impossible.

I wish I could stay open.
I wish to have options for my children.
I wish for the continuted encouragement of culteral expression through handmade toys.
I wish regulators and businesses were working together, rather than against each other.
I wish for a thoughtful, diverse, and kind nation for my children to grow up in.

Best wishes,