Wednesday, 21 November 2007

new friends of ours - Zuleikha and Important-things Pouch

Zuleikha in her dress
Originally uploaded by lalootka.
Zuleikha - brand new bunny, in her brand new dress. Knitwear, actually, very modern.
She's a prototype of my new type of bunnies, and I think her flexible legs and arms can be even better that those short for chubby and small ones. She's large, about 30 cm tall (including ears).
All made of polarfleece in trendy grey :) but the insides of ears are made of soft and beautiful Japanese cotton bought in superbuzzy
(expencive shippment but fabrics are sooo worth it).
I made her eyes of 7mm safety eyes, smaller than usually my recent toys have, but I like this look. Or maybe I like HER look because her eyes sparkle with intelligence :)
She loves to chat - I don't mean "small talk", I mean nice conversation and friendly company - her arms suggest that she protects against something, or someone, but it's just a pose - maybe she was a bit shy of posing a photo... She also likes sports - yoga and hanging head down. And skipping - but that's quite ordinary with bunnies. Yesterday - when I finished her - they were jumping and skipping together with Ada and I hardly persuaded them for bath.
Well, Zuleikha sais that hanging body down stimulates the brain . But to what? I will have to observe her and her achievements and then I will find out. As a prototype she goes to Ada, but I must say, I'd love to kidnap this toy to Torun today - she looks so cute! (Maybe I should be constantly unsatisfied with my sewing abilities and skills of making softies, but I like my plushies! Very much!)

Soon I will have new sheep and new drawstring bags to present. The Day of Hadmade Fair in Poznan is coming closer and closer. I do not know if I'd be ready. Maybe if I don't sleep - at all!

I have to make some more photos of Zuleikha in her beautiful knitted dress in the snow - we have lovely snowy here. And to make a bag for her, too.


AAAA, I've got a mail today: parcel with a "thank you" - in POLISH! How sweet and touching! From Xin and Enqi from Maki Squarepatch. Thank you, girls.
I bought their Important-things Pouch and I simple love it. It's even more sweet and lovely "in person" then at the photo. It's a good lesson of merchendising also, for they add some postcards made especially for Christmas, with their softies displayed (this time"xmas hoho brothers" series of seasonal Maki Squarepatch softies). Everything so nice and thoughful - they are both gifted artists.
My only worry is that this Important-things Pouch won't be mine - my Very Important Person is very interested in having this beautiful "doll" as she calls is.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

b-day and travelling with sheep

November 7 was my b-day. I turned 34! Amazing. And it was my b - like busy-day, as every Wednesday during the academic year. day of leaving home to travel Torun. Fortunately I had few minutes to upload new photos :) and to add new plushies to my shop : Hania and Hyacinth. Hyacinth is a girl who loves to dress up. She believes herself to be the best dressed sheep ever lived, well - you decide if she's right. And she tells everybody to clean their shoes before entering the house. She loves to keep all the house clean and tidy - perfect housewife, I suppose. But exept this little idiosyncrasy she's very nice and friendly creature. All she needs is ten compliments a day (at least!), some delicious hay and piece of salt once a week, and strong tea each morning and afternoon.
Her best friend is teddy bear named Lizette.
Hania was another sheep added this day. She's not completely newbie here for I posted photos of her in a witch dress . She is fine artist, her field is painting and graphics. As many artist she loves to wear black - this colour helps to concentrate and to focus on your goals. But her everyday suit is rather casual - like this white shawl - handmade by her. Hania's goal is to have a one-man show in MOMA and to have as large family as possible - she can adopt you too!
She's a master cook: you have to taste her leek soup, or tomato sause, or apple pie.... wonderful!
Together they look lovely, too. This time I took sheep with me for Kasia aka stasinina to chose one of them. Luckily, the tram was not crouded and they had a bench for themselves. Almost - our companion was travelling to Torun too, to join the army and sheep were listening his story with astonishment - they wouldn't join army for any reason!To make our long trip shorter, we chatted with co-traveller, and girls were posing me - instead of getting bored :) it gave us some occupation for a while. They were very sweet while travelling all night long: Hyacinth , Biba , Hermione , Fanny and Hania

I couldn't take them for lectures, unfortunately - I think my students would think that I'm crazy and it's not the communicate I'd like. So they were spending their time together in hotel at first, but in the evening we went out - to meet my friends. They liked the company very much, but didn't want me to photograph them in a venue decorated with a sheep head (sic!) and other animal heads... Friday afternoon, after two days of work, we had some time to chat and to have fun together (well, maybe it was not the greatest fun they had, but the only fun possible in university study :) ). Biba was quite interested how my students are working and she was checking one student's book. But she won't say a word about it - I'm confident about her discretion.
For having some spare time before leaving Torun, we decided to look how are our favourite bloggers and what's new at blogs. And we've found a touching, based on true incident, story about lost Little Cotton Rabbit . All sheep were moved to tears - they were sniffing and sobbing quietly actually - I haven't known they have so soft hearts! At first they cryed for scare that the same could happen to them, but at the end - for the happy ending!
In the end they declared they want to be heroines of a book and they want me to write it. Sooon! Hm... I have to think about it - I said, but they said - beeeeh, beeeh, do not think - act!

But soon we had to hug and kiss for goodbye. The girls knew why I took them to Torun - that one of them will go for adoption. And I shed a tear actually, thinking about separating with any one them. I though that Hyacinth would be the one. And she was! Knowing she has great fun with a new little girl who adopted her doesn't change a thing that I miss her. Good bye and take care, darling!

I had too many things in my tote bag - books, notebooks, and this small flock. But I knew there will be less sheep in my tote very soon...

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

My countrymen

After the Parliament voting I fell so much warmer feelings for my countrymen than before and proud of my countrymen again. And that reminds me that I haven't dedicate any room here for my flickr friends yet! And some Polish Etsyians too! So let's start - today few samples of talents from Poland . They are mostly involved in soft toys making, and other applied arts.
As for the voting - Maciek Blaźniak alias lowekrowe - have made a great banner advertising citizen's duty to vote. The motto is: "it's cool to have a voice"
Maciek's illustrations, inspired - according to his very own words - by Czech and Slovak old school pictures and old American children magazines, show very special sence of humour, like in this one - the clue is (information for foreigners only) that "Mr Kitty was sick" is an illustration to old fashioned Polish nursery rhyme...or this one - with a carrot monster. I hope more such illustrations would be edited in books for children currently! Ania Jedrzychowska aka mumka is on of my favourite soft pals makers. And this is Guillermo,
one of mumka's most recent creations. Ania is one of my countrymen (countrygirl?), very tallented, young teddy bear artist. I think her works stand any comparison with decided fames among teddy bears artists.
This cute teddy bear named Sprinkle in obviously Christmas outfit is her entry for 2007 Holiday Softie Awards and you can vote for it in Top 5 Animals Dressed for Holidays category More of her works you can find here .
Olga Kost and Krakart though she's not a toy maker she creates fairlytale paintings, like this fish and many others.
Asia Gromek aka tofu.girl is crochet toys artist from the Baltic coast. Her works are funny, witty,
little bit contrary, and ironic
but most of all - they are good craft toys. I can not decide which one of her critters I like the most - they all have very unique personalities.

Ania Polaczek aka Ida Borejko makes jewellery that is available at her here - I love turqoise! so I picked these earrings
Pasiasty Ludz - another flickr friend, is a girl who makes sweet and lovely ATC cards - some of them are still available ! My random selection are these:
and beautiful goodies like this notecard that she makes
Although we have a November, we can expect snow anytime - actually, snow in November is very common and does not mean it's gonna stay whole winter. For I LOVE White Christmas, I hope to put the spell on the weather to be like this on Janusz Leszczyński's photograph of winter What would advertise Poland better than nature, landscapes and Baltic gold! Amber is not just beautiful, it's very unique, healthy and has some magic inside (and I do not mean inclusions). Keram is an Etsy art gallery specialized in amber and tiffany stained glass. This necklase looks gorgeous - especially for those loving bold neck decoration . For those who love more traditionally looking jewellery this amber pendant would be even better.And to finish Polish post with international accent - I've found funny, simple and intriguing piece of paper art (one of my favourite subjects during my cooperation with World Crafts Council Polska) that shows Cracow Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) scuplted in 10 zloty -Polish bill - by nickolya . The author is not Polish unfortunately, but this item corresponds with my today post theme well. Does it look like beautiful adverstisement? For me it does.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Halloween and All Saints Day

Usually I do not celebrate Halloween - I like this old feast, of Celtic origin, to honour our deceased beloved ones. And to celebrate the begginning of New Year. I like the idea of masquerade, though the mask is a visualisation of our faults. and used to be burn in the evening. To start anew. And I like similiar Polish, or even more - Slavian tradition - to burn the lights on the graves, to visit the cementaries, to make a feast for the dead. All this is very important for the community - to remember ancestors and to honour them, to burn our faults in the fire: greed, hatress, revange, envy, guilt.

But today I want to present SOFT version of such celebrations: my cuddly flock members in Halloween costumes. They belong to Nightmares before Christmas pool - as my entries in the 2007 Holiday Softie Awards .

The witch sheep is Hania is fine artist, her fields are painting and graphics. She loves to cook - today she cooks some magic poisions, of course, for all those who need a big change in their lives.
As many artist she loves to wear black so today she's very happy - this colour helps to concentrate and to focus on your goals. (Actually, it's not just a costume, what she 's wearing today - she's initiated witch, and she has the right to wear her cone of power). Hania's goal is to have a one-man show in MOMA in next two years, and to have as large family as possible - she can adopt you too!
She's a master cook: you have to taste her leek soup, or tomato sause, or apple pie.... yummy, wonderful!

This black creature is a RAVEN (thank you Sari for your observation and a hint!!!!) - it's not a cousin of Phantom of Opera, for sure.
This little raven is addition to my cuddly flock, too. My first attempt to make a birdie - I love corvids ingeneral, despite their bad opinion. They are brightly intelligent, as for animals. And magical :) His name is Herbert - that's the name that raven can pronounce easily. Herbert is a school teacher, very innovative and fun-looking guy. He loves cheese.
He has safety eyes that sparkle intelligence above the masque - and his jack'o'lantern smile is "painted", which means - appliqued felt. Young age of that crow one can recognize by the size of his beak.

P.S. Take a peek at 2007 Holiday Softie Awards to see all the creatures that are part of this contest - they are really great!
p.p.s. we had fun in the eavning cutting our pumpkin - bit blurry photo, unfortunately

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Custom Order - Uma Meditating Toy Sheep

I decided to make some improvements in the drawstring bags - to add a "lalootka" label. As usual, even the label is handmade - drawn with a laundry marker.
But I also had to make Uma - Meditating Sheep Toy. It was a custom order from my old friend, Kasia, who was my classmate in secondary school and now, absolutely coincidently, lives and works in Torun (!), preparing her PhD dissertation. She wanted a special birthday gift for a special young lady, her children's friend. We discussed about New Age type of a sheep, then I've made Uma -
But Uma is nice and warm sheep - typical child of the Age of Aquarius. She wants everyone to be happy and to search inner self. For this she meditates (so far, the beginner) together with her bunny, Ferdinand. I've made a pillow for her, using my newest Japanese fabric with a sheepherder. Pillow is very useful for the beginners in meditating, to sit on, or to take a nap afterwords. She's a rentier - inherited lots of money - so she's not interested in job, so far.
For Uma is also interested in New Age religions, she's became an apprentice in Wicca . Pentagram and the shower of blessings above the embroidered sheep is for that reason.Kasia, who seems to like things hanmade (she's art historian) and connected with feminine power also, decided to buy my toy . And she did! Thank you, my second customer :)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

thank you, flickr friends, for suggestions :)

Following some advise and suggestions from my flickr friends I've made some (according to me) improvements into my my shop banner and promotional square banner. I just changed the font and the size for more visible, I hope. For me it looks much better now - so thank you, all supportive gals :)
When it has the word "toys" writen in simple, and modern look (no sherifs) it's much, much better.
And when I develop myself in this businness - I'll change the banner each month, hahah, joking.
But I'm still wainting Indie Designer Labels to publish my banner - they say it can take a month. If I made it all right - I mean the size of a banner, I should be there in November, I hope! Among MaharDry Goods , Fluffels and But We Love You toys.

my first etsy sell!

I am so happy recently - I've been voting, and for the party who won, and I have my first item at Etsy sold! It tastes great, I must say. Thank you Beeper Bebe who makes wonderful toys herself - look at this chicken in a toque.

I hope her lil boy will like Stas! And his companions also.
For Stas is the lucky one to be the first of my Etsy adopted toys.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

lalootka promo

For some occasions, which means some promotion, I need a square banner, so I took a challenge, and made an orange version that corresponds with my my shop and handmade revolution in general, and that's the result. I love orange - it's so vibrant , young, and warm colour. It matches perfectly with the colour of my hair :) and I use it for the lalootka tags and - together with blue - trim of gift wrapped toys. (I'vejust realized I have to make a new photograph of the tags - for now my logo looks more like a peacock feather than a flower, like it used to look) But please remember I am not a graphic designer! I just wanted to make as funny and bright banner as possible for me in these circumstances (I don't have a tablet, for instance and I made few of the characters above with a mouse in my hand...) to present lalootka softies - did I succeed? This black "something" that looks like a chandelier is not just a decoration - it reflects my folk inpirations, heheh :) But version with a chandelier is fine, too :) OK, it can stand for the draft, I agree :(

When few months ago I was discussing with my mother (who has been the dean of graphic department at private academy then) which graphic designer we know would make a banner for me, logo, business cards and so on, and she'd said that I could make it all by myself for sure. Well, it seems that parents are always right :P

And, what is even more important than the former conclusion: propably I'll need some promotional materials and SOFTIES soon. Adam, my
kazawaproject husband in spe asked me to participate in December Craft Fair, in Poznan. And to take my toys and his ear-rings, of course. I have to think about it - opportunity to promote my stuff is perfect, but will I have enough supply? Well, today is Tuesday already, and in the early evening I will go to Lodz by train - which means few hours of undisturbed (apart from missing Ada) bliss of sewing, let's hope. And I'll think about it.