Thursday, 30 August 2007

World of toys and blogging

For few days I'm in a strange mood - trying to make supply for an my etsy shop and having so little time to do it. So it's still empty! I regret I'm rather a lausy graphic designer to make a simple and beautiful banner. And when I'm sleepless at night I'm looking for something new among my favourite blogs to cheer me up (take a look at my blogroll). The more I search the more I find interesting finds and the more I think that blogs of crafting people are the world themselseves. And lots of crafters love to describe their lifes - so I like reading those blogs more than any others: they are frankly without too much effusiveness, they are sweet without too much sweetness and they are - just about life! Great! Well, maybe it's not a very profound thought, but I like blogs and bloggin' more each day.
So this funny toy I found at Rosa Pomar's site and she did find it at This Next site. I'm all for slings, (those made by Rosa herself are beautiful), but not for the bottle - breastfeeding rules :) . On the other hand, I can not imagine breastfeeding toy... This toy is fashionista, I must say - slings are so in fashion now! When Ada was smaller I carrier her in a sling myself and still remember a funny situation - an old lady in the park seeing me with a newborn in a sling, offered to buy me a prom! I'm sure she had though miserable of me, hahahah. To end advertising slings - it's a perfect for breastfeeding also.
So, that's it. Let's back to toys.
But innovative toys are perfect for children of any age, and I found this "Let's Play Mail" at I'm Still Me site, while searching exhibitors of Bubble Press (I used to like it more, currently there is no so many toy makers exhibiting there). As authors describe this toy: "Provides hours of pretend play which encourages self-expression, and reading and writing readiness. Send pretend mail, postcards or parcels to Mom, Dad, kitty, doggie, boy/girl/brother/sister. Stamps, messages, etc. stick to mail pieces with easy to use Velcro for years of fun and learning".

Toys have their independent life, I suppose looking at the photos that softies makers do. We all know they do have. Like littlecottonrabbits rabbits, for instance.
Or monstrous monsters you can see among nifty stuff handmade by vozz - which means fishcakes . Monsters seem to be favorites of her creativity and creations: in this cozies
some small decorations
or even they can be a theme of bento box for her prescholer:
On her site you can see more monsters - I like the features of this monster - grumpy face, rosy cheaks and these beautiful horns make him very special.

Jennifer Murphy Bears moved her shop to ebay now, but she still makes gorgeous jointed bears in precise outfits. They are not children toys for sure for their safety eyes, tiny pieces, mohair furs and joints, but who wouldn't want such a sweet face?
And I like some banners - actually I could not choose which one is my favourite. They are all very special. Most of them are saved in .gif propably so I could not upload them here, but some - lucky for me - were not.
I like Marisa Maia's for showing the content of her blog and her sweet toys all at once
So Marylin Patrizio - her crochet creatures are great and I like her stuff very much. I hope she won't mind me mentioning about her here.
Or Claire Robertson with her sweet toys and illustrations. I don't know what I like more - the illustrations or the toys.
I've noticed I love banners with an sketch of the author and his (or rather her) creations. Like those girls above. On one of my previous blog banners (I had few already: banners, not blogs) I put this
But I decided to put my little girl among the softies - instead of me. And even now it's changed. Of course, some day I will improve my little banner here, but - just some day! Being full-time mother is more than full-time job!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Finished at last

Lady of the Lake
Originally uploaded by lalootka.
When I made this doll A YEAR AGO for my friend's daughter I made her dress of embroidered (by myself) silk cloth.
But it was yellow and actually, this colour doesnt' look good on me. So it did not on this doll. She was somehow incomplete, with no soul. She dusted in the attic, not forgotten but useless. And I was lucky to meet Trinlayk who asked me for a Japanese outfit for a kitty . And Japanese outfit that was it!
I made her proper slippers of black and grey felt - then she was bearfoot. And it looked ugly.
And now her magic moon of the forehead shines brighter. But it is my longest time made doll ever.

Another doll was waiting for her moment also. At first I wanted her to be dreadlocked, rasta - style girl. But she was not this kind of girl, I believe so she didn't want me to make her untrue. I liked this big green cap - it looked like a sack for potatoes and was funny. I still keep an orange screenprinted orange cloth to make her dress but maybe another doll will wear it.
She prefers to wear black turtlenecks, leggins and loves skirts. And ribbons. And dancing - look at her slippers.

With her arms open wide Georgie would become a perfect friend for any girl - self confident, not too talkative, openminded and wit.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

cute, frightening and others - but soft!

I've made a real search and found lots of fantastic sites and designers of softies and what's the use to keep them for myself? I'll better share.
At first seniorita polyester's creation. She makes cute but macabre characters and propably this innocently looking softie also has some dark and cruel thoughts in its mind... Pitty it was made as the only one object. She should make some more.
Spooky Daddy - as he describes himself - is "a stay at home dad and am now devoting all of my energy to being the best dad and plush mad scientist i can be.i spend most of my time crafting the cutest and creepiest little creatures that as days go on take up more of my house lol.but i don't make them for me i make them for the world". His softies seem to want to conquer the world right now - for all cost, like this very determined toothie one.
Haasbroek - a young artist from the South Africa seems to be dedicated to the art for children, painting funny pictures like this one - going together with a squareshaped softie
or making Happy Products like this Popsicle Pete . The variety of colours presented also.

Jess Hutch. made a new addition to her amazing collection of sweet and modestly looking down creatures. This time she made residents for the doll house - of course the doll house was remodelled and painted in her own unique style.
Among her older works I cherish dolls made of screenprinted fabric - taking a closer look shows all the details of her sketches.
and this beautiful knitted work called simply "Landscape" - witty and cute.
Maki Squarepatch is a duo of superbly tallented sisters who make wonderfully fresh and funny softies and accessories of pre-loved fabrics and clothes.
MaharDrygoods is full of beautifull creatures for small and big people. Like this Ludic of Woollyhoodwinks . I love his ears, I must say!
The site is after re-construction now, and if you want you can hear these creatures very own theme song and watch cartoon . Junco, Ludic, Reddy, Ozard and Fluke are handcrafted from high quality, vintage-inspired wool fabrics, detailed with sweet embroidered faces and bright plastic safety eyes. When baught in MaharDrygoods they can be girfwrapped in such a lovely green case.
I am a great admirer of woodcrafted toys, and those of Peter Dziulak's Blocksmith are amazing. All those arches, castles, towers, and fortifications make me wanting to be 6 again. Any Waldorf doll would suit to such a castles, actually - any doll would love to live here .

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Fresh finds

Originally uploaded by lalootka.
Kidsonroof mobile home - play house by modernmini . Gorgeous blue house with a dashing red inside - I love cardboard. For it's texture, flexibility, modest look and enviromental friendliness. And mapleboard - like this, found on KidO when one can find smart and beautiful things for children of various age, all inspired by Maria Montessori or Reggion Emila's educational philosophy, ecologically aware, stylish and beautiful.

When you have such beautiful doll houses you can not leave them empty - settle a doll by hopskipjump
or a bunny by hopskipjump
or such a bunny by Julie of little cotton rabbits to play with. Each softie is unique, made of new and high quality materials, cuddly. And - what's most important - handmade.
And I found few other interesting things - blogs, stores and craftsmen. Like MyMy art + craft with a nice template and great things to buy - toys among them.

and Sion called Ubiki , an artist who makes funny modern looking and simple prints of wonderful monsters for nursery (this one below is my favourite, escadr of bird-U-boots :) )
and, what also important the same person founded and is running still growing Indiepublic large site for bloggers, designers, shoppers interested in things indie.

At babygeared I found this lovely piece of Fine Art for Children by Alison Jay, called Circus Parade and though the subject is rather not pleasing to me, I must say, the picture IS lovely and friendly looking. And for sure it would decorat the nursery beautifully.
Candy Factory Wall Stickers from modernnursery are trendy and funny, as wall stickers in general are now. Not just for children actually. Each kit contains 18 feet of lush green lawn to plant your 12 lollipops wherever you like. There are also 12 deluctable peppermint roses, 24 gumdrop bushes and 68 decorating gumballs!

Serching MILK - one of the best European magazines dedicated to design for children - I found many cute things for toddlers (like my Ada). Like this tableware decorated in pink with pink and orange girl sketch. Stylish and cool. Made by Made by oots! . Nice find.

When your baby has its room decorated, some wonderful toys to play with, then it should be dressed nicely - for girls we suggest today a picnic dress in SPRING BIRDS .
Its a small size version of women picnic dress made by Winter Water Factory . Spring Birds is one of their most popular prints.
For boys tees like this by Dandy , Cornwall clothing company specialized in t-shirts, run by Charlotte Day and Rose Bamford who produces a range of tees for babies, kids and ladies. or with a pattern like this - it's made by Droopy Knickers , modern design New York company with interesting approach to American design heritage. I like this oldfashioned Western nursery and funny look of their t-shirt print.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Softies in Poland and everything inspiring

Latex For Fun (THE BOOK)
Originally uploaded by ☁ Maybe ☁.
I found it on my unreplaceable flickr - and have to read about Latex For Fun (THE BOOK) project - looks quite inspiring for me actually, especially now. I love any projects connected with toys designing and exhibiting, and though I know some amazing initiatives like Month of Softies or Plush You, but anything new can that would help me in organizing my event would be appreciated.

Well, then it's official - I'm working on organizing an exhibition. Almost all participants invited, almost all accepted my invitation. But the term will be not September 2007, as I was suggested to make, but 15 May 2008, as I had planned. I hope they'll like it! There is plenty of thisng to organize. Fortunately I have wonderful venues and almost everything completed to organize it. Though I know I should be writing some articles about Medical Anthropology or anything connected with my field but I'll better make something to make me happy - an exhibition to present in Poland my flickr friends and their wonderful creations. And, actually -not just flickr friends because some Polish artist want me to participate in this project also! And I love their works!!!!

The key for choise of the participants is their artistic activity: I wanted them to be artists of various fields AND softies makers.

P.S. I wanted to make a button - kind of preview of the banner I'm working at, and I made a button in Button Maker at first and I was really happy how it looked (though it was very small) but then I found CoolText and I think it's even more usefull tool. Lots of free fonts to downloads - some of them are great. So far no button yet - I want to make it real good (unitl Greek calendas, propably...)

Friday, 10 August 2007

indie emporium

Being home again (and having some time while Ada and Adam were visiting greatgrandmother, I've started to search internet in everything connected with indie: design, enterpreneuship, craft, blogging. And I found this - advertising one Fall craft event in Tulsa, OK. Pitty, there is no such event in Poland. Yet. I like this banner (on the website Indie Emporium one can find more banners to doanload.

I also like Fishcake Nifty Stuff Made by Vozz and though I still can not install its banner, I have it on my site roll among "Sites I like" :)

Generally, I've noticed I prefer indie designers, and women bloggers and crafters - if I think about the reasons I find the girl power the most appropriate and interesting. And, to tell the truth - in the field of softies making men are in minority.

I find it pitty that in Poland tradition of handcrafting is dying and just few young people craft - even in social anthropology or evern ethnography my collegues scholars seem to avoid the subject - maybe it's too oldfashioned for them? But I'vwe learned that such movement - worldwide movement - like softies making is really interesting and important to survey - that's us, in the first decade of new millenium!