Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wee Clones

Meet a special English Sheepdog, Black Cat and Grey Tabby Cat.  Or at least my impressionist versions of the real things.

If you're new to my world, let me give you some background.  I design Wee Ones - little stuffed animals - all kinds of species - all my own designs.  About a year ago I began getting requests to make Wee "Clones" of people's pets (just dogs and cats to this point).  It is always a challenge because I really want to please my customers ~ and designing something as special as a version of their beloved pets ~ well... it's a challenge. :)

The designs (like I said so far just cats and dogs) are in place, but the biggest challenge of a personalized Wee One?  Finding fabric that will replicate the real deal.  That was my dilemma this week and I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping  I did ok.  
They are shipping off tomorrow, so I'll know soon... :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

He's Baaaaack!

It is the return of Rupert the Thanksgiving Turkey!  He's all refreshed (ok he had a wee face lift...) and ready for the 2011 Thanksgiving season! 

Rupert would like to remind you a bit about himself.  His favorite things ~ he is a vegetarian and (hint) loves to hang out with fellow vegetarians. His favorite foods are mashed potatoes and gravy, blueberry pancakes and chocolate cheesecake. He enjoys long walks, playing Bingo and square dancing.
So this Thanksgiving, eat your vegetables and adopt a turkey as your buddy. :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why I Love What I Do!

All of my customers are special to me, but once in awhile an order comes thru that stands out.  I just never know where my critters may end up and what their stories will be. And, in the end, that is why I love what I do. A request for Rudy and Toby (the ram and dinosaur pictured here) was one such order.

A few months ago I had a note from Haleigh ~ she was excited to see the addition of Rudy the Ram in my Etsy shop, because one of her two sons carries the nickname of "Ram." As the mother of two boys myself, I remember well ~ if you buy one critter you must by another ~ so Rudy and Toby were on their way to Haleigh's two little boys.

What I didn't know until just recently is that they were surprise gifts for the boys from Mommy and Daddy to let them know that their Daddy was thinking of them.  Because, you see, Daddy is a Sargent in the United States Marines and as a member of the 26th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) was deployed to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Italy, Africa and Greece (with a lot of time spent on a ship in those areas) for almost 9 months.  Scary stuff.

Haleigh provided the image you see here ~ the top and bottom photos are the boys saying (as she so sweetly put it) their "see you laters" and the center photo is Dad returning home safely and embracing his precious little boys.

I was so touched by Haleigh's story ~ honored that she chose Rudy and Toby for such meaningful gifts at such an important time in her children's lives and honored that she shared it with me.  Thank you seems inadequate, but thank you Sgt. Johnson for your service and to Haleigh and the boys, thank you for your sacrifice and your service as well.

I can't say it enough ~ stories like Haleigh's are why I love what I do.  It brings wonderful people like Haleigh and her family into my life.  And I am grateful for that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The second gift shop I signed with - can it be almost 18 months ago? - was Modern Mouse in lovely Alameda, California which sits across the Bay from the equally lovely San Francisco.  The owner, Eleen, (lovely herself) and I struck up a cyberspace friendship immediately.  Since then her brick 'n mortar store has grown by leaps and bounds, as has her ever-so-friendly and hard-working staff.  I'm thrilled to be a part of their beautiful shop!

Happiness has been a recurring theme in my life.  It has popped up when I least expect it; I've used the word happy so many times in business and in life it is practically my middle name.  I even have a tattoo with the Chinese symbol for happiness.

So, no surprise that Modern Mouse, Eleen and I would eventually join forces.  Eleen is all about delivering happiness (inspired by Zappos Founder, Tony Hsieh) and that is completely reflected in how she goes about her business and how she goes about her life.  And you know what they say about happiness ~~ it is contagious.  Take a peek at her online shop and you will see what I mean!  Happiness everywhere!

It was such fun to see my Wee Ones featured not once, but twice in Modern Mouse's October newsletter!  Drake-ula is proud to be a part of the Halloween Gift Guide!

And the other Big Deal in October is always (for me, anyway) Breast Cancer Awareness.  Modern Mouse partners with me in this cause and is featuring these BC Buddies in their shop!

And if you're just looking for a Wee One in general, a special selection can be found on Modern Mouse's shopping site.

One of these days I'm going to surprise those kids at Modern Mouse and pop by to say hi!  Thank you Eleen and crew for all you do.   Happiness all around!  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Booga Booga!

Holidays.  Dreams and nightmares.

Since I've been creating little critters the holidays have proven to be both challenging and delightful.  Some seasonal ideas really hit the mark; some don't quite make the cut and are delegated to the "donation" shelf. Because even if a plushie isn't exactly what I had in mind, it still can bring a smile to a child's face.  I'm big on Toys for Tots!  And however frustrating it is to spend time on a prototype (or two) and realize the idea just isn't going to fly; it is all part of the game.

But then there are the ones that do.  I just know in my gut when an idea is going to work ~ like my friend here ~ Stinky the Dead Cat. Some holidays bring out the more creative side of me than others.  Halloween is one such holiday.  Last year was my first year creating Wee Monsters, et al, and not only was I surprised by how much fun I had bringing them to life ~ I was equally surprised by how popular they were!  And then ~ blow me over with a feather ~ people started requesting them all year long.  (You guys are warped.  But in a good way! *wink*)

So this year I knew to start early with the current designs and take an hour here and there to work on some new ones.  I gave it considerable thought before entering into the Dead Zone ~ not knowing if that would be too sensitive or not.  Then I remembered that Halloween is closely associated with Day of the Dead (November 1 and 2) ~ so why not?

Enter Dead Seymour the Wee Monkey.

There are more dead creatures hanging out in my head.  I just hope I have time to create them all...  Holy cow!  It's October 1st already!