Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Cute Plushies!

Yesterday I found a few more cute plushy pictures on my computer while I was learning how to use Picasa to edit photos.

She's a cute little one, huh? I guess mice eat more than cheese, right? This is how we found her, hanging out in the collard greens. But once she spent some time at our place for a while, she got a taste for cakes and icecream cones--yumm!

And now for some kitty plushy photos that I'd forgotten about:

Here's Tomcat plushy again, with flowers, although this time he's on his own, not yet having presented the flowers to Plushpussycat at their picnic date. And here's Plushpussycat just before that fateful first date:

She's just a doll, huh?! No wonder Tomcat's whiskers get all jumbled up when he thinks about her (see above)!

OK, now I have some news. :-) I'm working on some bunny plushies to share with you soon. So stay tuned here for my next installment: Cute Bunny Plushies! Until then.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Graphics for Plushy Shop

A few weeks back, I mentioned on my Plushpussycat Facebook page and on Twitter that Christine Blystone at Flapper Girl Creations was holding a contest. The prize: a free pre-made Etsy shop banner set (to use to decorate your own Etsy shop). Well, miraculously, I was one of three winners! Yay! So Christine and I negotiated a deal for her to make me a custom Etsy shop banner set, and boy, am I thrilled with the results! Check it out! The banners (one regular, one for vacation mode, and one for sale mode) feature my own plushies. This one is for when my shop is having a sale:

Isn't that sweet?And here's a cute graphic that I just added to my blog's sidebar, announcing my Etsy shop:

Aren't they darling?! Christine was a doll to work with, and as I said before, I'm thrilled with the results. You can check out her Etsy shop here.

Speaking of Etsy shops, I plan to open mine in late April! Stay tuned here for the latest on the grand opening date! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dad's Dollhouse

Hi! I thought I'd share a little about what has led me to my interest in handcrafting cute small plushies. One of my inspirations has been my dad's dollhouse. When I was eight or nine years old, my dad took me aside and showed me some plans for a dollhouse that were published in the then-latest issue of Sunset magazine. He asked me what I thought about him building me the dollhouse for my birthday. Of course I was thrilled! A dollhouse of my own!

So my dad lovingly built me the dollhouse, and I picked out the color (I wanted wedgewood blue for the outside). Both my parents helped with paint, wallpaper, and carpet for the inside. The kitchen, livingroom, and master bedroom wallpapers were from the same rooms in our real house! And the attic wallpaper was from my grandparents' bedroom.

Mom took me to a miniatures shop, where I purchased my first dollhouse chair. It was a Victorian spring rocker with maroon velvet upholstery. I was hooked! After that, I dreamed about dollhouses, I read dollhouse books, visited dollhouse shops, and purchased furniture and other household items for my dollhouse whenever I had birthday or Christmas money.

My interest in dollhouses and miniatures kept on for several years, and even after I had moved on to other diversions, miniatures always had a special place in my heart. I kept Dad's dollhouse, with the miniatures inside, even when I thought I was beyond ever using it again. It moved with me several times--not easy, as it is very heavy, made from thick, solid wood.

Most recently, it was stored in my basement in a nook next to the laundry area. I had started making plushies and wanted a low-cost way to display them with props. Then suddenly it came to me: Dad's dollhouse! I'll pull out the miniatures and set up little vignettes (more here and more here) with them!

Now this is what I do. I make cute plushies from recycled soft wool and other fibers, I make vignettes for photographing them in my lightbox, and I blog about what I do. And I love it! :-) xoxo Jennifer

P.S. If it isn't obvious already, I really treasure this dollhouse, for so many reasons. First, because my dad lovingly made it for me by hand, and also because it is a family heirloom now, a solid record of places and people from my past. xoxo

Update: Check out Dad's Dollhouse: An Update for more recent pictures of the house.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Raccoon and Spot's Excellent Adventure!

Remember last time, when I told you how Raccoon and Spot had some adventures in Arizona? OK, now I'll give you the rest of the story.

Raccoon decided it was time to take a trip to Arizona (actually, I decided that for him, but that's a small matter). Raccoon took a cramped and dark trip on an airplane from Portland and found himself in sunny Arizona, in the Sonoran desert to be exact. What a change from Portland! The sunshine put the adventurous spirit in him, so he decided to do some trekking through the desert. That's where he met Spot. The two of them had just come out from a cactus forest at the same time:

They looked each other in the eyes and realized they would be life-long friends. It was friendship at first sight! They immediately made plans to go on a spiritual pilgrimage. Both wanted to trek to an old desert mission AND see some natural wonders along the way. So off they went together. Here's a photo of the two of them in front of a giant redwood cactus, one of the last living giant redwood cacti around today (due to overlogging):

They met a few fellow pilgrims along the way:

And here's a photo of the two of them in front of the old dessert mission. It was a spiritual experience for both of them:

After Raccoon and Spot's excellent adventure, they endured a dark and cramped airplane ride back to Portland. And here we are. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cute New Puppy Plushy!

There's a new cute puppy plushy in our home. He traveled all the way from Phoenix, Arizona to Portland, Oregon! Actually, I was on a trip to Arizona this last week, and I took one of those cute felt plushy kits with me, the same brand of kit I used to make Raccoon. I made this puppy over a few days in fits and spurts when I had free time. Ta-da!

He's a pretty cute little guy, huh? I changed the belly fabric on this plushy, just like I did on Raccoon. The belly fabric that came with the kit looked a little cheap, IMHO! And here's his behind:

Raccoon really took to this new cute puppy (by the way, his name is Spot!). Raccoon and Spot had some adventures together in Arizona, including a "spiritual experience." Oh, maybe now I've told too much! Keep your eyes posted for the next installment of the story! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vintage Plushies!

Here's something fun for you to enjoy. This video is so cute:

Notice the vintage 1970s costumes! Enjoy the fun song (from my youth!)! Let me know what you think. I'd love to see your comments. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Friday, March 11, 2011

Plushy Photo Lightbox!

Hello there. Today I thought I'd share a little bit about my process--my process for taking photographs of my plushies, that is. I use the Kodak EasyShare M530 to take my plushy photos for this blog. It is inexpensive (around $100), and it is easy to use (after a little practice)! Whew! What a relief! :-)

But the other gadget I use for taking photos, at least photos of my plushies, is the photo lightbox that my loving hubby put together for me from scraps and other items we had around the house. Ta-da!

You can even see some of the props I was using in a recent photoshoot. :-) I got the idea for this lightbox from this article: I showed it to my Sweetie, and he took it from there.

The tripod that we got at a garage sale (for a song!) is in front of the lightbox. Then the base of the lightbox is an old card table covered with a tablecloth we weren't using. The box is a frame made out of recycled PVC pipe and covered with an old (torn) white fitted bed sheet. Then around the sides and top of the lightbox is a floor stand, again made from recycled PVC pipe.

Clipped to the floor stand are three "brooder" lights (sold at hardware stores) with protective metal screens. Those screens are crucial for keeping the lightbulbs from touching the bed sheet (which could otherwise cause a fire). And if the brooder lights were to fall to the floor while turned on (for some odd reason), the metal screens on the lights would keep the carpet from catching on fire (yikes!). The brooder lights are fitted with GE Reveal lightbulbs, which provide a very natural colored light. All three brooder lights are plugged into a power strip--that way, it only takes one flip of the switch to turn on all three of the lights. Pretty nifty, huh?

One of the things I love about this lightbox is that it is almost completely made from recycled articles we had around the house. That makes for a soft and gentle footprint on planet earth! I would love to hear comments from my readers. Have any of you made a lightbox? If so, what materials did you use to make it? Questions? Please ask! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, March 7, 2011

Conclusion: Houndstooth Puppy and Raccoon

Why did Raccoon steal Houndstooth Pup's bicycle? And where did he take it? These are a couple of the unanswered questions from my previous post, New Puppy! Here's what really happened. Raccoon thought he was just borrowing the bicycle for a little joyride. He hopped on Houndstooth Pup's bicycle and rode around and around the park. What fun! He didn't have a bicycle of his own. He felt so free!

After a few minutes, though, he started riding back toward his new friend Houndstooth Pup. His new friend looked so sad. Why was he so sad? Raccoon wondered. He stopped right in front of Houndstooth Pup, jumped off the bike, and said, "That was great! Thanks for loaning me your bicycle, Houndstooth!"

At that moment, Houndstooth and Racoon were happy, feeling that everything was OK between them again.

Here's a photograph showing the two friends arm in arm:

How lucky they feel to have made friends. Now off they go to make some mischief. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Who Is Raccoon?

In a previous posting, you, dear reader, were partially introduced to a new character, Raccoon. He had run off with Houndstooth Pup's bicycle. He rode off so fast that we only saw a partial view of him! Now it's time for a full introduction of Raccoon. Raccoon was made from a felt plushy kit that my husband bought for me for Christmas:

The kit is officially a keyring kit by The Little Experience, which is headquartered in England, although my husband bought it locally at New Seasons Market here in Portland, Oregon. The company web site is They have several very cute animal keyring kits. The kit was designed for children ages 6-12, but it was so cute that I enjoyed making it as an adult. In fact, I would recommend it for teens and above, personally, as it required several hours and lots of teeny tiny stitches. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed making Raccoon. I even played around with the gingham fabric on Raccoon's belly and decided on my own vintage lavender and white gingham instead of the black and white that was included in the kit. Here's my finished product:

Pretty cute, huh? I thought this might interest you! The kits retail for $6.99 at New Seasons, and everything is included, even stuffing and a needle!

Next time, we'll see what happened between Houndstooth Puppy and Raccoon. Why did Raccoon steal Houndstooth Puppy's bicycle, and where did he take it? Stayed tuned to this blog to find out the answers to these questions and more! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Bear!

My newest creation is a cute bear plushy:

Here's a rear view of the little cuddly guy:

He is made from a felted lambswool and angora sweater for his body, soft felted wool for his snout, soft wool for his scarf, embroidery floss, and ecological bamboo fiberfill. He measures approximately 6 inches tall and 4 inches wide. He is soooo soft and cuddly! I call him Papa Bear, and he has a little toddler bear under his care that I call Baby Bear.

Before a full afternoon of play, Baby Bear needed to go to the bathroom. Baby Bear is just a toddler, so Papa Bear coaches him on how to use the toilet. "Good job, Baby Bear! Now we can go outside and play!"

After using the bathroom, Papa Bear and Baby Bear spent all day playing together. There was lots of snow, so they built a snowbear together and had a snowball fight. It was the best day ever!

Hope you've been having fun with my silly stories and vignettes. I've been having a ball putting them together! In my next post, I'll begin where we left off with Houndstooth Puppy and Raccoon. Until then.... xoxo Jennifer