Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On Loan

My poor sewing machine has gotten sick twice in the past two weeks. The first time I took her in, I was able to get her fixed on the spot. No such luck this last time. They think it will take at least 10 days to fix what ails her, so in the meantime I have a loaner:


And much like last time I needed a loaner (more than 2 years ago), I am not a happy camper. It's loud, shakes my whole sewing table while it sews, and it's not at all intuitive (and the instructional manual leaves a lot to be desired).Worst of all, it doesn't have the stitch I use most, the triple straight stitch, which makes me feel like I'm making inferior products.

It's so funny how we can get so attached to our tools, isn't it? My hardworking, over-abused Elna is my most important tool. For some of her faults, being without her just feels wrong. It has me considering investing in a cheaper backup machine. Do any of you have a backup machine? Any brands you'd recommend? What is your most important tool?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy, Merry, Joy!

DSC00672 56 yeti ornaments made this season (and the orders are still coming in!).

DSC00703 8 Christmas zombies (and more orders to go).

DSC00661Plushroom Soup has had an amazing, amazing end of year and holiday season. Thank you all so much for the kind words, the sharing, the buying, the support. However you and your loved ones celebrate the season, I hope it is filled with much joy and laughter.

Monday, December 6, 2010

No Coast Wrap-Up

Plushroom Soup booth at 2010 No Coast Craft-o-Rama, Day 1No Coast was lots of fun again this year, despite a rather slower than usual pace. More shoppers came out Friday than Saturday, or at least the per-sale average was higher on Friday than Saturday. This despite the 8 inches of snow that fell throughout the afternoon and evening!

Plushroom Soup booth at the 2010 No Coast Craft-o-Rama, Day 2 I was in a new area this year; most of section B was tucked into the area formerly known as the Jade Restaurant. It was a slightly tricky space, but I think we all made it work. I had lots of fun hamming it up with my neighbors, most notably Maya from Roxiedoggie.

Maya of Roxiedoggie at the 2010 No Coast Craft-o-Rama Her wooden pet food bowls are AMAZING. Plus, she's super sweet and fun. DSC00601I made a few purchases this year: an awesome Robot T-shirt (with its own origin comic!) from Minty Fresh Monster, a fun red dress from Mary Pass Clothing Design, and two adorable note cards from Happy Go Lucky Creations. I also made a fun trade with my other booth neighbor, Breaksea Upcycle, for the sewing machine T-shirt and hairclip (matches my new red dress!). Breaksea makes awesome mittens out of recycled childrens pants (pockets on the back of the mitten!). 
There were lots and lots of new vendors this year among the old favorites like Adam Turman, Crafty Planet, I Like You, and My Friend Jess. I wish I had taken pictures of the newbies; they were all very sweet and their booths looked awesome!

I Like You at the 2010 No Coast Craft-o-Rama Amy was able to help me out on Saturday this year. I really missed vending with her last year, so even if she wasn't selling anything, it was super fun to have her in the booth with me again!

Amy and Jessica together again at No Coast! Plushroom Soup at the 2010 No Coast Craft-o-Rama And, even if it was a little slow, I completely sold out of yeti ornaments (as has I Like You. Again!). The regular yetis received a lot of love also, and I have only one left (will be listing in my Etsy shop in the next few days). Boris the Strongman was pretty popular as well. He sold Friday night, but the buyer let me display him on Saturday as well, and I think I could have sold four more of him! Mental note: more cirucs "freaks" next year.

Thanks again to everyone who braved the weather to come out! I'll be making more yeti ornaments this week, so don't despair if you missed out! I'll make as many as I possibly can this week and have them back in stock at I Like You by early next week at the latest.

Now on to filling Christmas orders and making my pieces for the Plush Team show at Hot Pop in January! Whew!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Goods, Part Two

Here's another sneaky peek at what I'll have available at No Coast this weekend.

A few dragons, like this guy:

Dragon plushie A funny mustachiod monster; let's call him Harry Handlebar:

Harry Handlebar Monster A few circus "freaks," like Boris the Strongman:

Boris the Strongman Plushie And, of course, my booth wouldn't be complete without an assortment of yetis:

Cotton Candy Yeti Plushies
Plus much more!

Hope to see you at No Coast this weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Goods, Part One

As promised, here's a taste of what this one-woman plush factory will be selling at No Coast this weekend.

First up, back by (very) popular demand: yeti ornaments! In colors too! I wasn't able to keep these in stock for long at last year's show, and they've sold out twice at I Like You already this season. So get to the show early if you're hoping for one of these fellas, as they're sure to go fast!

yeti ornaments
I'll also have owl and frog ornaments, and a newcomer this year: alpaca ornaments!

And your last sneak peek of the day: wee horned imps!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a final No Coast sneak peek!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Plush Factory

critters await their stuffing
I'm chained to my sewing machine this week. My craft room looks like a cyclone came through. Twice, maybe even thrice. Cut out critters are everywhere, as well as machine-sewn critters awaiting faces and stuffing. Piles of fabric are haphazardly strewn about. The floor is littered with scraps. All this can mean only one thing—No Coast is but a few short days away!

Am I ready? (Don't answer that.)

As usual when on a self-imposed deadline, inspiration keeps hitting. I keep thinking up fabulous new twists on critters, and I must admit, I crack myself up sometimes. Whether I'll actually have time to bring these ideas to fruition before Friday is another matter. Back to the sewing machine with me, where this small pile of owls awaits sewing.

critters await sewing
I'll be back tomorrow with some sneaky peeks of what I'm bringing to No Coast on Friday and Saturday.


Monday, November 15, 2010


I spent all weekend making ornaments. Cut, sew, turn, hand-stitch; rinse and repeat. Ad nauseum. And I'm not finished yet! Many more have been added to the pile since I took this shot:

Plushroom Soup ornaments

You may notice this year's newcomer: the tiny alpaca. It's such a pain in the butt to cut and sew an alpaca that small, but I think it's well worth it!

A good portion of this batch was dropped off at I Like You for their annual ornament show, which opens on November 20. The rest will be at No Coast!

Speaking of, I'm in booth B-19 this year. This year promises to be better than ever, with more new vendors than I've ever seen! Don't miss out!

2010 No Coast Craft-o-Rama poster

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I have sadly not dressed up the last few years. But I did flip through some old photo albums and relived some of my favorite costumes.

Raggedy Anne Halloween costume Raggedy Anne, circa 1982.

Annie Annie, circa 1983.

Strawberry Shortcake Strawberry Shortcake, circa 1985.

Alien Alien, 2001.

Little dead Little Dead Riding Hood, 2003.

Fairie Faerie, 2004.

I hope you've enjoyed this mini photo feature. What is your all-time favorite costume? Post pictures and stories over on the Plushroom Soup Facebook page if you're so inclined!

In other news, I had the extreme good fortune of having my shop linked to from an online Newsweek article (check the slideshow for my zombie yeti), and since then I have been pleasantly inundated with custom zombie orders. Hooray!

Between that and the day job, I've been too busy to even take pictures of the zombie awesomness being churned out in the studio. But it has been so fun to work on so many zombies. I really gets me in the Halloween spirit, since I'm not dressing up this year.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Plush You! Seattle

The 6th annual Plush You! show opens tomorrow night at Schmancy in Seattle. I'm super stoked to be attending the show for the second time (though it's my first time representing Plushroom Soup). I can't wait to meet many of my fellow Plush Team members in person, as well as many other plush superstars.

This year, I decided to send a fractured fairy tale: my own twisted version of Little Red Riding Hood.

Little Dead Riding Hood, the Huntsman, and Big Bad Werequatch plushies
Little Dead Riding Hood, the Woodsman, and the Big Bad Werequatch (or Werefoot, if you prefer).

Little Dead Riding Hood plushie
Little Dead sports the epitome of zombie girl fashion: a completely removable cloak made of soft buttersuede and lined with cotton canvas, a skirt featuring creepy spiders and spiderwebs, striped tights, black boots, and fashionable little pigtails held in place with coordinating ribbons.

Little Dead Riding Hood's basket of moldy goodies
Little Dead carries a basket of moldy bread and rolls, with a stow-away black rat. Eeeww!

Little Dead keeps some pretty questionable company, in the form of a Werequatch. The werewolf that encountered this bigfoot definitely bit off more than he could chew, and never lived to tell the tale.

Huntsman plushie
The Woodsman sure has his work cut out for him with this pair! Fortunately, his wool pants, hiking boots, flannel shirt, and knit cap keep him toasty while hunting, and he's very well-armed. In addition to the traditional hatchet, he carries a special double-headed axe and a special rifle as well.

Double-headed axe "double tap"
His axe serves him well when fighting zombies, as long as he remembers the cardinal double-tap rule (kudos to the readers who get this fairly nerdy reference).

silver bullet rifle
The Woodsman's rifle is loaded with special silver bullets, the only weapon known to effectively dispatch Weres.

I had so much fun crafting this trio, despite a couple of challenges while doing so! Clay is not really my forte, so the weapons and Little Dead's basket gave me a few fits and aren't 100 percent the way I wanted them to look. But I'm proud of myself for continuing to refine my people-making skills, as I've been wanting to do fractured fairy tales for a very long time. I hope this bunch enjoys their time in Seattle and can hold their own next to all the amazing plush talent that will be present.

If you're in or near Seattle, go see the show! It's on display until November 8 at Schmancy, Fancy, and Nancy. But if you can't make it, don't fret. I'll be sure to post a recap of the show when I return from Seattle!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Shop Update!

I've been getting into the Halloween spirit this past week, using fun seasonal prints on my latest creations, all for sale in the shop.

frog plushie with dancing skeleton print fabric
How fun are these dancing skeletons? This is Pablo, and he likes to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in addition to Halloween. 

owl plushies on a tree branch
These owls aren't quite as obvious for the season, but I liked the subtle dark theme of their wing prints. I've recently made a small change to all my owl creations, thanks to a savvy customer: each bottom now has thick recycled cardboard inside, to help the owls stand up all by themselves.

spooky giraffe plushies
And last but not least, I give you giraffelets! They're 30 percent smaller than my usual giraffes, but 110 percent cuter!

And for even more seasonal awesomeness, check out all the fantastic Halloween creations from my fellow Plush Teamers in the Plush Team shop!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Unearthed: Two New Zombie Designs

Autumn is here and Halloween is right around the corner, which means it's once again time for the undead hordes to descend on Plushroom Soup headquarters! This year, I'm pleased to announce two new zombie critter designs: owl and alpaca.

Zombie alpaca plushie

zombie owl plushie
These two creepy critters have landed in the Plush Team shop for Halloween.

But you can still get classic Plushroom Soup zombies too. If you order a custom zombie by October 1, I can guarantee Halloween delivery.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Plush You! LA Revealed

Today is the opening of Plush You! LA at Munky King Gallery in LA. I really wish I could be there! If you go, please take lots of pictures to share!

The three pieces I sent were inspired by carnivals, circuses, and fairs, if you haven't guessed already.

We've got Boris the Strong Man, with his handlebar mustache, old-timey uniform, and nautical tattoos:



Bartholomew the Juggler, with his bald head, chevron 'stash, and dapper vest:

And Beatrice the Bearded Lady / Trapeze Artist, with her curly locks, pencil 'stash, and dainty heels.


When I first settled on my theme, I knew I wanted it to involve mustaches. Originally, I was just going to make little imps with 'stashes, but then I started thinking about the State Fair coming up, which made me think of kitschy carnival and circus stuff, which led to these guys. I was a bit daunted by my idea, since the only "people" I had made before were Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and a tiny Alice, but I knew I just had to do it.

I'm happiest with the strong man. He came out the closest to what I had envisioned, and I had so much fun sewing on his facial and chest hair, shaping his muscles, and painting his tattoos. Bartholomew's juggling was a challenge. I was ecstatic when I found his vintage bowling pins and balls on Etsy, and I knew I wanted to string them in an arc to make it look more like he was juggling. But I didn't have the correct wire gauge on hand, and had no time to run out for the right stuff. So it's flimsier than I would like.

Beatrice, oh Beatrice. Her bosom was a huge problem. I thought just doing shaping darts would take care of it, but the stuffing just did not want to stay. I ended up having to gently needle-felt some ball shapes to fill out her bustier, but even those didn't quite do the trick. And saddest of all: I had the perfect little feather boa made for her, but forgot to drape her in it before I snapped pictures and sent her off to LA!

Ah well. I'm glad I took on my own little challenge, as I already have valuable lessons for the next set of carnies. . . .

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sneak Peek

I just put the finishing touches on my Plush You! LA pieces. Whew! Here's a sneak peek. Can you guess what they are?

Boris sneak

Beatrice sneak

Bartholomew sneak