Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mimi the Mouse

There's a mouse in the house!!

Mimi is the latest in my Wee Ones collection. Thank goodness Esmeralda is on her way to New York City. I think there might be a bit of scurry if she was around.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hello New York!!!!

You just never know what The Universe is going to send your way, so more than ever I am keeping my eyes open and practicing saying "yes." There's a lot to be gained and very little to lose by nodding your head and taking a chance.

The timing of my latest nod couldn't have been more perfect. In the last month I (as "freckles") have decided to develop a line of my own original "friends." The Wee Ones are now original concepts and designs ~ and let me tell ya' ~ the ideas never stop. (Especially when my friends start chiming in! ha!) The six developed so far you see here ~ Esmeralda the Cat, Randy Dawg, Honey Bear, Georgette the Monkey, Simon Owl and Pipin the Bunny.

At about the same time these guys were being created, I came to know wonderful Stephanie of Stoopher & Boots. Stephanie is opening a gift shop in New York City on May 1 and has invited a few of my Wee Ones (as well as some photographs but that is a story for another blog *wink*) to join her shop! I'm so excited and extremely grateful for the opportunity!

This week will be a busy one, running final designs and thoughts past Stephanie and getting them all ready to ship off to the Big Apple!

Thinking back a few months to the beginning of the year, I had an undeniable feeling - a very strong feeling - that 2010 was going to be a very, very good year. I'm here to say ~ trust your intuition!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coming Soon...

to an exciting, awesome, crazy cool new shop - a real live brick 'n mortar store...

Simon Owl, E (Esmeralda) and Randy Dawg! Along with a couple of their friends.

That's all I'm sayin'. :) Stay tuned because this is pretty exciting!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Cool Chicks...

are off for an adventure of a lifetime!

Thank you Preethu ~ I know they will love India!

Preethu has been making my sew in labels from Day #1 and I so appreciate the class she adds to my little guys!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Listen to the Universe. Be an Original.

The Universe has been tapping me on the shoulder a lot lately. Whispering in my ear. Now it has begun to throw bricks at my head (not real ones, the soft foam ones). I do believe it is trying to get my attention.

Because by some miracle - whether it be luck or hard word - my friends and I are beginning to gain more exposure out there in the real world (you know, beyond the four walls of my studio and the pages of Etsy). A couple of my bunnies auditioned for a television commercial in Hollywood a few weeks ago. Now I'm working on a consignment contract for a shop opening on the Upper West side of Manhattan in a few weeks.

The message I am getting is to be original. When my friends venture out into that big wide world, I want them to be truly of my creation ~ not a tweaked version of someone else's. So I have begun to design my own patterns and make my own very original Wee Ones.

I am specializing in Wee Ones for a couple of reasons:
  • Smaller seems more manageable and easier to work with for now. I'll work up to larger guys later. Maybe. Or not.

  • I can make good use of the endless supply of remnant fabric I have ~ thus saving the environment (by not tossing out these small pieces of fabric to end up forever in a landfill); and saving myself some cash (by using every bit of the fabric I buy); and saving my customers money (because if I save money, I can keep my prices reasonable). Win-win!

  • Wee Ones can find a home anywhere ~ from babies who can hold them in their tiny hands to an office worker who can keep one on their desk and make them smile thru a boring day in cubicle-land. (I've been there and I know whereof I speak.)

  • I just think they're cuter! :)

Now that I'm paying atention, I find inspiration at every turn - movies, cartoons, books, magazines, online, catalogs (for some reason I really dig catalogs...). It is so rewarding to sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil and start sketching. I look around my studio for things to help me trace perfect circles and ovals and squares. It is a challenge, but oh when I see it start coming together ~ it's just too much fun.

Simon Owl came to life yesterday. He started as a pencil drawing and 2.5 hours later became what you see pictured here. Be looking for his compadres in all sorts of variations ~ I see dogs and cats and mice and bunnies and all sorts of Wee round ones appearing soon. Keep an eye on the shop and see who's new in town! :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One Year Ago Today...

Henry is the second little bear I created and my first sale on Etsy. That was one year ago today - April 10, 2009. I was particularly pleased because he was adopted by a dear and talented friend who has her own shop. He has a lovely home with her. :)

It was the beginning of a journey I never expected to find myself on. As I said in my previous post, I started my shop with an eclectic collection and quickly narrowed it down to what I really loved to do ~ create these little critters.

Thank you to all my customers for their ongoing support and the wonderful reception my whimsical world enjoys daily. My little guys have opened up doors I never even knew existed.

And it just keeps getting better... :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Looking Back on a Year.

I just happened upon this while opening my photo archives tonight - one year ago today I made my first stuffed plushie/stuffie. Dotty was sent to a dear friend in San Francisco for her daughter (then about 9-10 months old) to "baby test." Fortunately Dotty passed the test and the little one adopted her with hugs (as well as Dotty standing up to a washing and drying!).

When I originally opened my Etsy shop a year ago I tried offering an eclectic mix of things I love to do - photography, knitting, stuffies. Eclectic - yes; but more so, I had begun to feel, confusing. During a trip to Berkeley/San Francisco in June of last year I spent one very early cool morning walking along the East Bay thinking about what direction I should take. I made a decision. I returned home, reorganized my shop and dedicated it to stuffies exclusively.

Over the past year I have been so grateful to see my customer base grow ~ and wow, what a banner month in March! I think I made the right decision. I woke up Easter morning and - with no little ones in my house any longer - told my husband, "Oh! There are children across the country waking up to my bunnies this morning!" The only thing that would make me happier would be seeing their faces. :)

I know I'm having fun and I've been fortunate to receive encouraging feedback; I've made good sales and am more excited than ever about what I am doing. I am now migrating into my own original designs ~ finding that challenging, but oh so fun.

So thank you Joo and Lena for being there at the beginning ~ and to all of my wonderful, beautiful, generous friends and customers on Etsy who have followed. You make me smile every day.