Sunday, January 11, 2009

A break from serious stuff

After spending the better part of my time for 3 1/2 months trying to get pieces done for various gallery show submissions, I decided to spend December on less serious work (also proto-types and experiments for a possible Etsy shop in the new year!)

My first project was personalized cat toys for several cat friends. KC and Faith-Boo are two tortie cats, sisters of different mothers. Faith-Boo's has a draw-string on the bottom, and is filled with a draw-string baggie with catnip (for easier washing). KC is stuffed with mylar ribbons from a child's cheerleading pompom, for crinklies.

Linen, scrap embroidery floss, embroidery based on markings and eye colours of the original cats. Faith is rather diffused in her colouring, and since it's a catnip filled toy and she's called the Tiny Texas Tortie Tornado for a reason, I went easy on the embroidery on her. :) I couldn't resist going overboard on KC, though.

Missy's is also a draw-string-closed catnip toy. The tube is made of several sandwiched layers of cotton twill covered with beige striped linen, with a catnip baggie inside. The head is stuffed with sewing scraps. Her nose really looks like that, pink outlined in black.  It's adorable!

Smokey and BJ are two grey littermates, who, frankly, I can't tell apart in pictures. So they could tell who was who, Smokey has his beloved Mr Snail appliqued on, and I replaced BJ's tail with his Snakie toy. Both are made of linen, and the snail and snake are cotton and embroidery floss. BJ and Smokey's head are stuffed with sewing scraps, and there's a jingly ball in the bottom part of BJ. 

Sol is Smokey and BJ's litter-brother, pure black with a white 'milk-moustache'. I put a spring in his tail, 'cause he apparently likes them. Cotton twill, embroidery floss, stuffed with sewing scraps.

Batman is another black kitty (no relation). Cotton twill, and like the KC doll from the same pattern, stuffed with mylar ribbons.

Abigail is Batman's littermate (as are Reggie and Riley below). She's a calico, with a mostly black back and hood and white belly and paws. Cotton twill, embroidery floss, based on the same design as the Faith-Boo toy, without the giant floofy tail.

Reggie's a brown tabby, linen, embroidery floss, stuffed with sewing scraps, an extra long tail, I'm hoping he and BJ will like grabbing the long limbs and tails and drag the toys around.

Riley's also a brown tabby, but with a white belly, which you can sort of see here. Linen, cotton twill, with a jingly ball and sewing scraps inside. He's a bigger cube-cat than Sol, because I needed to get the ball inside.

Jack is actually my own cat. I have an idea for a Persephone toy as well, but didn't think of it in time to alter the toy I had already made her before I thought of personalized toys.

Cotton twill, embroidery floss, feathers, jingly ball. He's actually the same size as Sol, as I had figured out how to get the ball in with two sides open (mostly I sewed him as six separate pieces of cloth with the legs moved to the side, instead of front and back, which left me with two seams that met that I could leave open, that didn't need a limb or ears sewn in). The feathers are an experiment in how to secure them firmly in a toy, before I'm willing to make cat toys for sale that have feathers.

Or it would be, if I could get either of the little rotters to actually play with it!

The nice thing is, all these toys were made with nothing more than some small scraps of fabric I keep a bin of (most pieces are irregular and under 30cm square and are left over from other projects), some scrap bits of embroidery floss that were too small to wind on a bobbin, but too long to throw out, and the scraps from cutting out the toys themselves (plus a three-pack of jingly balls).

Several of these were reverse engineered from things I saw elsewhere. A few are so close to the original that I won't make them as anything but gifts, unless I find out they weren't original designs, others are changed so much I don't think they're even recognizable to their original inspiration.


ML said...

So talented.
That's the only thing I didn't get... Sol's "springy" tail.
All of them are just gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Very cool idea! And cute too!