18 November 2010

Monsters: cute vs. fugly

Some food for thought from Etsy's storque... why the fascination with plush monsters? 

Jeffrey Kastner from Cabinet magazine writes a nice little think piece on how and why we are fascinated and drawn to ugly toys - both as children and grown-ups.

Read the article here.

Some of my favourite ugly-cute little guys: 

15 November 2010

Handmade Christmas Part 5: They're coming... for your underpants

Here's a sweet and simple pressie to suit almost anyone - funked up lavender sachets for your drawers, in the shape of wee monsters. Why have a boring little bag when you can have a smelly monster?

I made a handful of these for my best friend Christine last year and thought I would do a set each for my parents this Christmas. Chrissy's undie monsters were made from blue and yellow felts with contrasting button eyes. This time I've got tweedy blokey kind of felts for my stepdad in red, olive and mustard, and for my mum there's vintage linen, new oatmeal coloured linen and white minky fleece, and I have added pink button eyes & noses to hers so they look like little white pigs.

As you can see in the pic above, I used a pattern that I already had on hand (which is part of my pocket monster dress) but these are super easy. Cut desired monster shape - stitch button eyes and/or noses - pin wrong sides together and hem - turn right way out and stuff with fibrefill and a spoonful of dried lavender buds - machine finish the bottom and zig zag cut the raw edge with pinking shears.

Easy as, bro. Now your undies will smell nice. Not that they don't smell nice now. I'm not saying you have hygiene issues or anything. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Yeah. Umm... ok.

*Momentary hiatus from writing - I share an office with two snakes and my big girl has just pooped. OMG I haven't heard her poop before. That was like an extremely long wet fart. GROSS. I wouldn't have thought they would make any noise? They do everything else silently...*

ANYWAY, you can make these as classy or as funky as you wish - you could use a similar shape to mine and make yours a kitty cat, with pearl button eyes and an embroidered pink nose. Or at the other end of the spectrum, go for fluro green felt with applique monster fangs and mismatched crazy monster eyes. Or, you can even add a ribbon when stitching the two sides together so you can hang them from your Christmas tree.

Next Handmade Christmas post: Illustrating a childrens book - harder than it sounds!

Probably not *actually* going to get done in time for Christmas!

Why? I'm moving house!

Both my madeit and etsy shops are in vacation mode at the moment whilst we try and organise sale of one house and purchase of another, all happening the week before Christmas of course. 

So, if I am off the radar a little over the next few weeks, you know why. I'm looking forward to a shiny new crafting space that is bigger than the closet I have currently. Yay!

08 November 2010

Handmade Christmas Part 4: Kitty pencilcase (I can has pencils?)

Inspired by tokyoinspired's cat pencil cases, I have whipped up my own version of a kitty pencil case for my niece.

I drew a simple pattern on paper and cut it so the finished product would be roughly 30cm long. I used a lovely scratchy (pun intended) wool blend fabric and cut the front piece all the way across where the mouth was to go, then pinned it all wrong sides together. Then I ran all the way around the edges with a straight stitch - no need to leave an opening as I could turn him right way out through his mouth (oh it's wonderful not to have to hand-finish seams).

Three cute blue buttons and a red 13cm zipper (which was the smallest I could find at Lincraft) complete his kooky little face. I didn't bother with a zipper foot, the regular machine foot worked fine. He was easy, super fast, and I'm really happy with how he turned out!

Next handmade Christmas installment: Undie monsters! RAWWRRRRRR!