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.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Too much apetite for toys

I want to spend more time with my baby, I want to improve my lectures, I want to write TWO articles, I want to be prepared for the anthropological conference in December, I want to make editing job for a book, I want to have some sleep and rest, I want to make more softies - I have so many ideas that blow my head.... Too much apetite for all these things makes me frustrated almost, ehm. And, oh yes, I want to have more toys in my etsy shop and beautiful, eyecatching banner (that's the newest version, and I've changed my avatar also) and I want my shop to be popular (thank you all dear souls who add my to your "favourite shop" selection :) ). But all these things need time, and commintment and hard work. OMG, so much work! I should quit university! But I won't.

Ok, stop complaining: Ada and work are my priorities :) the rest has to wait.

So, during my last travel North (which is my only time I can spend on sewing without any remorse) I've made another plushie: Hermione, the puppeter.
And her puppet - the dragon, and her toy - panda. Panda's name is Arnold, because he's rather chubby and looks strong enough to fight anybody - just like Arnold S. :) For humans, the puppet is rather finger puppet. Don't understimate his power - he just looks shy and silly, but watch carefully his big nostrils - any moment can blow fire, and fangs... Do I have to remind you what dragon fangs are for? Of course, drawstring bag needed an improvement also (am I perfectionist?) - I changed red ribbon into decorating black string and it looks much better, and classy. Embroidery with a black cotton thread, chain stitch.
More sheeps are to come soon.
I baught safety eyes recently, because I've noticed that some toys need to have their eyes opened and blinking some intelligence. And you know what - I found only one- O N E safety eyes producer! For now I'll make softies in two versions: with eyes embroidered - for the small people, and with safety eyes - for grownups.
And, yoohooo, I can't wait for the parcel from superbuzzy ! I bought some wonderful fabrics to trim my softies ears and drawstring bags, and I pitty this cute shoppe with adorable Japanese fabrics, accessories and fun stuff is located in USA which means far from here and extremely expensive shippment :(
They should have their shop in Europe, too! :)

Monday, 8 October 2007

new stock in the shop

Stas is a new addition to the Cuddly Flock ("new stock in cuddly flock sounds like rhyme, doesn't it?)
Stas is black, as well as his teddy bear Fritz (the pink background makes it a bit brownish). Made of fleece, wool shawl knitted by me. Toy's toys are made of felt, both app. 5 cm tall.

Stas is a young ram, who wants to study computer sciences, but so far works for a living as a baby-sitter: this time The Gingerbreads hired him to take care of their son. Wool shawl can be used as sling - very nice and compfortable way to carry little ones. Even for sheeps. Fritz, Stas' teddy bear helps him a lot in this task.

To pack my toys I've made cotton drawstring bags, nicely embroidered with a sheep. Two strings make a bag portable.
Stas is available in my shop together with other sheeps.