Plush Toys

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Summer has well and truly landed here in Vancouver BC, the weather is hot and the lawns are already yellow and dry.
I am wondering what kind of things everyone has planned for the Summer, I won’t be going on vacation but the weather is beautiful and I look forward to enjoying the fruits of my labour in the garden.
Despite having grown up in beautiful Bournemouth, UK which has the most lovely beaches I am really not one for the beach, I just love these beach themed plushes though.
These bathers are made by Cromanticamente in Spain, there are several to choose from. Some are wall hangings and there are also door stops, I do love a practical plush.

 

Retro Bathers by Cromanticamente
Killin Me Softly is probably best known for her Halloween and horror movie themed plush but be sure to check out her mermaids too.

 

Mermaids by KillinMeSoftly
If camping is your thing here are some fun softies for you. You can recreate the fun of grilling up your food outdoorsy style even with a fire ban in effect. You can find this camping cookout kit in LiveDreamCreate1‘s Etsy store.

 

Camping Cookout Kit by LiveDreamCreate1
In the interest of including something for everyone and also because they are so cute take a look at these bear cub cat toys by Misohandmade. Adorable and and your cat can keep you safe from these bears.

 

bear cub cat toys by Misohandmade
Now if I was taking a trip I would like to go sight seeing and explore some parts of this continent that I have seen so little of.
I love this tourist bunny by LoveLingZ, it’s tiny enough to join you on you travels and would make an excellent subject for photos.

 

Tourist Bunny by LoveLingZ
Here’s a DIY idea for perfect take along plush, you could get the downloadable pattern for these Travel Wees and be snapping photos of them on all your Summer adventures in no time.

 

Travel Wees pattern by Larissa Holland
Whatever your plans, wear sunscreen and have fun!

 

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Becky Gould is the big kid behind Scrumptious Delight. Working from her home in Vancouver, BC she makes plush toys and soft sculptures that combine a love of food, all things furry and an unnatural appreciation of small appliances.

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As activities go plush making is pretty safe or is it? Duh, duh, dahhhh! (That was the scary music).

 

Monster with removable brain by sausage dog
Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic with the scary music but like anything plush making isn’t exactly health hazard free.
So lets take a look at some of the potential dangers shall we?
1. Back ache and other aches and pains associated with being sedentary.
Obviously this isn’t exclusive to plush making and is epidemic due to our lifestyles that are less and less active these days. There are plenty of things you can do to reduce this problem.
Make sure you have a comfortable chair and arrange your work space with this in mind.
After each 25 minutes of work you should spend five minutes doing something different, it’s called the pomodoro technique and is supposed to increase productivity. I would recommend some stretches during those 5 minutes or at the very least get up and walk around.

 

Panda Bear Plush Chair by Fernando and Humberto Campana
2. Stab wounds
Sometimes on long car journeys I like to knit. I have this fear that the car will swerve or hit something and I will end up impaled on a knitting needle. I doubt this has happened, like ever in history but once the thought was there it was impossible to unthink it!
Smaller stab wounds do happen though and I think any needle felter must have the scars to prove it. Once I accidentally stab myself with a particularly large needle right into a vein, not much fun.

 

unicorn by Patricia Waller
I am stating the obvious here but thimbles and caution are the way to go. If you are a needle felter there are finger protectors out there just for this purpose.

3. Fluff lung
Fluff lung is how plush makers refer to working with certain materials that release fibres into the air when cut that get inhaled and a little when sewn too. Cotton workers can suffer from lung disease as a direct result of breathing in cotton fibres. While most of us probably don’t inhale enough fibres to cause lung disease, fluff lung is best avoided.

Not the same but related I often find my dust allergies playing up when I go into a fabric store and fluffy fabrics seem to be the worst…or maybe I just have more exposure to them.

 

loud lungs by I heart guts

 
When cutting fluffy fabrics you should always aim to cut just the backing fabric, this is easy enough to do with regular faux fur. With certain fabric like minky it’s impossible not to have fluff flying everywhere, you might consider wearing a cheap dust mask for this.

Me and Arlo cutting out Minky
4. Fluff eye
Well I’m not sure if it’s called fluff eye but when you are cutting that dreaded minky you may find fibres going into your eyes. I think you can work out your own ideas for avoiding this, we all know that feeling of having something stuck in your eye for three days and, yeah…nuff said.

Rancor Fink by Spooky Daddy

That wraps up this June post if you want to check out more work from the fabulous artists featured they are as follows:

Anyway, do drop me a line if you know of anyone who was impaled on a knitting needle during a car accident…I would love to prove to my husband that I’m not totally paranoid!

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Becky Gould is the big kid behind Scrumptious Delight. Working from her home in Vancouver, BC she makes plush toys and soft sculptures that combine a love of food, all things furry and an unnatural appreciation of small appliances.

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I can picture myself as a child dragging this little fox doll with me all over New York City. He would be adored.

Handmade stuffed dolls by Blita.

Handmade stuffed dolls by Blita.

Portuguese artist Anabela Félix (a.k.a. Blita) creates wonderfully adorable stuffed plush dolls. And she can personalize them. For more of her work, visit her etsy shop and flickr streams.

Too Cute Tuesdays are brought to you in association with our friends over at Feeling Stitchy!

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Nuido It Yourself - Japanese Embroidery with Madeline Scharpf

 

 

Mataro Kimekomi Doll and Temari

Mataro Kimekomi Doll and Temari

 

 

Here at Mr. X, we love our balls. He even gave us another Temari Tuesday shout out on Facebook to beautiful balls everywhere. If you’re on Pinterest then be sure to peek at our Temari board dedicated to balls you can play with, hold and caress, even in public!

 

All the balls!

All the balls!

 

‘Every ball is sacred. Every ball is good. Every ball is needed, in your neighborhood.’

Let’s move along to Kimekomi. That’s right, more balls. Kimekomi is different from Temari because the base is solid and Temari usually have bells or other sound-makers inside. Kimekomi can be made from wood composite or sturdy foam. We see them used as ornaments, mostly. The other difference is, Kimekomi uses fabric inlays instead of stitched thread.

 

Makin' it happen

Makin’ it happen

 

The complexity of your Kimekomi ball depends entirely on the artist. They can be traditional and delicate or you can make a hundred as Christmas decorations. To make one you need a wood composite, Dylite or Styrofoam ball. Mark the lines. Carve them in. Cut fabric pieces. Tuck fabric into grooves. Glue trim over joints. You can find a more detailed tutorial here.

 

darkrosetreasures.blogspot.com

darkrosetreasures.blogspot.com

 

uber traditional

uber traditional

 

It is believed that the first Kimekomi doll was made by Tadashige Takahashi who served at the Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto, Japan in the early 1700’s. Near the Kamo rivier, he dug some shallow lines in a piece of willow tree and inlayed the cloth to create his first doll. After which, he mastered the technique and passed the art-form down to his grandson who created Daihachi dolls.

 

Classic Kimekomi doll

Classic Kimekomi doll

 

Kimekomi dolls come in many varieties, each with their specific use. Hina dolls often depict the Imperial court and are given to girls and displayed on “Girls Day”, March 3rd. Also called Hinamatsuri, it is a celebration for girls to have a healthy life and happy marriage. The dolls are charms agains evil but their protection finishes when the girl becomes an adult. Similarly, there is “Boy’s Day” which falls on May 5th. Although the Japanese government re-named the festival, “Children’s Day”, “Girls Day” still maintains it’s own, unique rituals.

 

Gogatsu Doll

Gogatsu Doll

 

Other common Kimekomi dolls are in the shape of animals, often from the Chinese Zodiac.

 

kimekomi05

 

kimekomi07

 

kimekomi10

 

Feel like making your own Kimekomi doll? We’ll you’re in luck. World renowned Master Mataro has kits available on his website. The equally fabulous Juho Tougei has a huge variety of kits, fabric, tools and tutorials on his website. He warns you not to pop in at his physical location in Japan unless you speak Japanese because his staff doesn’t speak English. Any questions, he’s happy if you e-mail him directly.

 

See these great balls on Pinterest.

See these great balls on Pinterest.

 

Don’t forget to check out our Kimekomi board on Pinterest too!

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Madeline Scharpf

When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things and staying sunny in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. You can keep up with Madeline’s endless fiber projects and find her travel blog at www.madelinewonderland.com

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