5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About Created by Jess

There is a great little series going on over at Craftzine. It’s called 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About… There are five questions to answer to get to know you and learn about what makes you who you are as a crafter. You can read other peoples responses that have been posted too! Here goes…

One Project You Are Particularly Proud Of

1. I make plush toys and primarily work in fleece fabric. Last year for Halloween my boyfriend used fake fur for part of his costume. Since he only needed a small amount we had a lot of extra fake fur. I decided to make a plush with the fur. I used a pattern I had made and used with fleece before. It was pretty tricky to sew such thick fake fur, I managed to use my machine for most of it. Sewing  by hand was tricky too because it’s hard to see the base fabric through all the fur! Long story short, the finished plush was awesome! I named him Norris (the costume was Chuck Norris). I ended up selling him on Etsy to someone in Norway! The geek in me thought it was awesome that Norris went to Norway. Not only was the name a fit, but being furry couldn’t hurt either.

Norris the furry monster

Two Mistakes You’ve Made in the Past

1. A mistake I still make sometimes is pricing work too low. I’ve gotten better at it, but occasionally I price things to sell instead of pricing them to include the time it takes to make them. Creating handmade goods is a labor of love. I know I can’t compete with prices on things made in China. Most customers are aware of the quality and time it takes to make handmade goods and I’ve learned my pricing can reflect those things and still be attractive. Not underestimating your work is important!

2. Another mistake I’ve made is taking bad pictures. I’ve read a lot of tutorials and articles about taking better pictures. I now take clearer and cleaner looking photos and am pleased with how a little more effort makes a big difference! You shouldn’t have a great product with bad pictures to show it off.

Three Things That Make Your Work Unique

1. I use plastic safety eyes for a lot of my plush, I’ve recently started painting my own for certain creations. I’ve got several plush with Glow in the Dark eyes now.

2. I make up all of my own patterns for my plush creations.

3. My creations are not uniform. I make some things that are cute, some are weird, others are crazy! Variety is important to me. I like having something for everyone.

A rainbow of one eyed monsters

Four Tools You Love to Use

1. Cutter Bee Retractable Knife – an x-acto type cutting tool. This one has a wider body and cushy grip, easier on my carpal tunnel.

2. Sewing Machine – Mine is a Singer that I got on Craigslist for $50. Had it for a few years now, still happy with it.

3. Fiskars Paper Trimmer – I’ve had this one over 10 years, it’s simple and cuts straight lines, pop out blade changing. Great for cardmaking!

4. Glue – I use lots of different glues, for card making I use glue sticks and a glue pen like the Martha Stewart Crafts fine-tip glue pen. These pens are very helpful in tacking down corners or small pieces of paper and embellishments. When I’m sewing or doing fabric crafts I love to use FABRI-TAC by Beacon Adhesives.

Holiday Cards 2011

Five Inspirations

1. Stuffed toys of all kinds! Growing up I had a huge stuffed animal collection. I try to keep it small now that I’m older and don’t have the space. I love looking at stuffed toys everywhere I find them. I look at them online, in catalogs, and in books too.

2. Materials. I like to look at fabrics and patterned paper and let ideas pop out at me. Sometimes it’s easier to pick out the material and then decide what to do with it rather than try to find exactly the right piece to match a specific idea.

3. My cats are an inspiration when making cat toys. I like to watch how they play and hold toys to get ideas of what looks funny. An example is the beer bottle cat toy I make, my cat lays on his back with the bottle between his front paws and rubs it on his face, it looks like he’s drinking a beer. That same cat is the basis for my black cat plush toy. My other cat bats things around and tosses them into the air to chase after them.

4. My twin sister Jen. We craft together sometimes and always have each other to bounce ideas around with. Whenever we go to the craft store it becomes a half day event. It’s nice to have someone close to exchange ideas with. We also do craft shows together so we get to hang out all day and observe other crafters and handmade goods and talk about what we like.

5. I like to look at magazines and blogs. I love the Craftgawker app on my phone, they put up new pictures almost everyday and you can save your favorites as well as search categories.

Thanks for reading about me and Created by Jess. If you check out the button below you can read other peoples 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 things. If you write your own then leave me a link in the comments, I’d love to get to know you! things about...


The Yeti

The Yeti

Lately I’ve been wondering if it’s going to snow here because it’s been pretty chilly out. I was looking at some old pictures of past snow days and thought I’d share these. A few years ago I made this little movie using my plush Yeti. This particular handsome Yeti came from The Matterhorn gift shop at Disneyland. Enjoy!

Me taking photos for my first movie attempt

Multnomah Art Center Craft Show

The last show before Christmas was yesterday. I was hoping to see a lot of last minute shoppers but the turnout was kind of small. Oh well, we had a good day anyway. Lot’s of neat stuff from other vendors, good coffee, some terrible Christmas music on the radio and a cool breeze every time the door opened. It was a beautiful day in Portland and I’m sure people were enjoying it wherever they were! I sold a lot of catnip toys to fill kitty stockings all over, that makes it worth it.