Thursday, 1 June 2017

How to train your plushie dragon?

If this dragon plushie is not scary enough from the outside, it's high time to see its inside!
Don't come any closer!
No matter how scary the dragon is, I loved making it - I felt like an architect or engineer while creating the sewing pattern: which part should go under the other, what to sew first and next, how much to add to the tummy and so on.
First a drawing turned into another drawing, I mean into a sewing pattern

Layers of felt: this is how you can create your own dragon toy
Pretty complicated inside, outside
Ever wanted to turn drawings into soft toys? Think twice :-)
And the result: a tamed custom stuffed dragon

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Hippo plushie remade

Though most of my plushies are custom made animals or dolls, I sometimes get requests to replace a lost soft toy. And I sometimes say yes. This is what happened when I read Arnna's letter: even if I hadn't liked the original hippo, I couldn't have refused to sew this hippo softie because Arnna's email was so heartfelt:)
A lost hippo plushie reborn
Arnna allowed me to quote from her letter (the original hippo was bought from a small back street store in a small town in New Zealand, and the family have searched the world for a replacement...)

"My son was three months old and eldest sister bought him his first Christmas present (all of the age of four).  Hippo was born.  He has painted the fence, been to kindergarten, ridden bikes and never been far from our son.  Hippo left the shores of New Zealand and travelled to the Middle East two years ago.  On a weekend to Dubai, Hippo went on his own adventure and we haven’t been able to find him.  Our son has cried for months and months since.  We have been back to the hotel, every stop we visited at and offered a reward wherever we can think.   He has not been found.  We are one year and two months since Hippo took his own OE and we still have tears.  He is a link to our home country.  We haven’t visited for over two years.  Our son is nine, growing up but a real softie at heart."

Is there anyone among you who would have been able to say no...? ;-)

Thursday, 25 May 2017

My studio, where the softies are born

You know I started workshopping with kids in my studio, and they keep asking me questions about the things they see on my shelves, in the drawers or on my desk. You can't visit me to see the place where my custom plushies are made, but what about some pics of the studio, where your kids' drawings are turned into soft toys? ;-)

On the wall: a mini quilt with fish by me and my nephews' welcome poster among others
Oh yeah, that's me - just making a custom stuffed reindeer
The only plushie I've made for myself - it's not a drawing turned into a soft toy... I just followed my imagination when my favourite cardigan was washed in too hot water... :-)
The yellow-headed mouse relaxing on the top of my beads was sewn by my elder nephew and me
See you soon!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The shoo-in of soft toy markets

What do you think the most popular custom stuffed animal has been during my softiemaker career? Sorry, just a single guess, trust me, that's enough ;-) Yes, the correct answer is CATS!

Cory's Magical Cat softie - Cory is 7, the cat has is eternal
But why do so many kids draw cats, why are cat pics and videos so popular, why do people love the idea of going to a café where they can spend time surrounded by cats? Why...?

All cat owners know the answer: cats are cute, funny, beautiful and it feels so good to stroke their velvety fur... So why should kids resist their cuteness? :-)
There's a café in my street - you can see the big cat in the shopwindow :-)
Well, I admit this cat looks not so cute at first sight... but what if you have one more look at it? :-)
Custom plushies' hard life... not very happy about the photo shooting... luckily Keira, the designer was much more pleased with her drawing turned into a 3D toy
Karina's plushie in a much, much softer mood :-)

Friday, 12 May 2017

FirkaBaba Workshop

A post in Hungarian - still kids' drawings, but something new! I've started workshopping with children: we turn their drawings on textile into soft toys. It's so much fun... :-)
Turning kids' drawings into soft toys at my workshop
2011 óta fordítom le gyerekek rajzait 3D-re. Szeretem. Izgalmas a gyerekrajzokkal dolgozni, annyira különlegesek, színesek, tele vannak ötlettel - néha törhetem is a fejem, hogy megoldást találjak egy-egy részletre.

De szeretem a gyerekrajzokat úgy is, ahogy vannak, és nem akarom "elrontani" a műveket azzal, hogy 3D-ben tökéletesre varrom őket. Egyszercsak jött az ötlet, hogy kipróbáljak valami újat: egy workshopot, ahol a gyerekek egyből textilre rajzolják a művüket, én meg hátlapot varrok hozzá, kitömjük, bevarrjuk, és vihetik is haza a saját firkababájukat, firkaszívüket, firkacicájukat!

A firkababák születése is rajzolással kezdődik
A firkababa mellé mindenki kap egy névcímkét is, amit belevarrunk a firkababa oldalába:
A megfelelő névcímke megtalálása időt igényel:)
Akinek kedve tartja, dekorálhatja a rajzát színes, vasalható strasszal, pici pompommal, masnival, de vasalhatunk a jószágoknak csillogó fekete szemeket is!
Válogatunk, vágunk, varrunk - készülnek a firkababák
A végeredmény egy puha firkababa, amivel már aznap lehet játszani, vagy este aludni! :-)

Jönnél te is? Ezen az email címen érdeklődhetsz a workshopok időpontjairól:
Egy boldog firkababa tulajdonos
Indulás haza a művekkel - viszlát legközelebb! :-)

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Hard as snails

"What rhymes with snail?"

First steps first

Yes, you can find an answer to this question on the web... carefully listed words with one, two or three syllables or even rhyming phrases for snail! These are my favourite ones, but it would take time for me to write a poem using them:

Still a drawing - but not for long

snail - like a beached whale
snail - coffin nail

Snail longing for spring

But let's get back to my snail, drawn by Daniella - the most colourful snail I've ever been mailed (did you notice the rhyme...?):

Slim soft snail sitting on a sofa

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Adventures of a plushie

I would be so curious to know about the life of the stuffed creatures I have made so far! Are they loved, are they played with, do the kids sleep with their soft toys or are they neglected after a while...?

Anyway, there is a plush cat I have info about: Marcell, my elder nephew's drawing sewn into a stripey softie. The life of Rainbow Cat II (you know, there is a Rainbow Cat I, the drawing was also made by Marcell) is pretty exciting, as you can see ;-)

First chapter from the adventures of a plush cat

A cat's dreams come true: first time on the beach

Getting across Oresund bridge
Brave guy

Training for a circus show in Vaxholm
Rainbow Cats
And last but not least, it seems Marcell created this toy not only for himself but for his mom, too... :-)

Flower Power Plush Cat

Have you got photos of a custom plushie I made for you? Why don't you send them to me? We would be so happy to see them here! Come on, don't be shy! :-)

Friday, 28 April 2017

Vintage Ride of an Austin

This time not a drawing but an already existing object turned into a plushie. I've already created different vehicles, but always from kids' drawings. Now I couldn't resist Kate's, my returning customer's request to sew an Austin A30 car for her beloved neighbors in Tasmania.

custom car plushie: an Austin A30

The two guys own a vintage Austin car that was turning 60 years old last year and Kate thought it would be fun to make a stuffed caricature toy of the two of them in this car.

Here are some of my rare werk photos taken while I was turning the Austin into a stuffy version - I felt like a plushie body ironer at work:

how to get inside a stuffed plushie car?!

stuffed passangers waiting patiently

they made it! happy owners looking forward to the first journey in their own toy car

Egy vintage Austin A30, két cuki utas - ez volt Kate meglepetése a szomszédainak, akik imádják meglepni a körülöttük élőket. A fazékkék autó (egykori járművezetés oktatóm megnevezése erre a színre, én ilyen színű Trabantban tanultam vezetni) tavaly ünnepelte a 60. szülinapját - ezért volt fontos a rendszámtábla is:)

see you soon!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

"Where do the Mermaids stand?"

Robert Fulghum’s "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" used to be my favourite bedtime reading. It gave me comfort and joy when I needed it so much. These mermaid softies make me think of this story from the book again... Dear mermaids everywhere in the world, be brave enough to be different! ;-)

Quinn's drawing turned into a plushie mermaid

Maja and me created her own toys

Marina's mermaid surrounded by her own custom stuffed sea creatures

Giants, wizards and dwarfs was the game to play.
Being left in charge of about eighty children seven to ten years old, while their parents were off doing parenty things, I mustered my troops in the church social hall and explained the game.  It’s a large-scale version of Rock, Paper, and Scissors, and involves some intellectual decision making.  But the real purpose of the game is to make a lot of noise and run around chasing people until nobody knows which side you are on or who won.
Organizing a roomful of wired-up gradeschoolers into two teams, explaining the rudiments of the game, achieving consensus on group identity–all this is no mean accomplishment, but we did it with a right good will and were ready to go.
The excitement of the chase had reached a critical mass.  I yelled out:  “You have to decide now which you are–a GIANT, a WIZARD, or a DWARF!”
While the groups huddled in frenzied, whispered consultation, a tug came at my pants leg.  A small child stands there looking up, and asks in a small, concerned voice, “Where do the Mermaids stand?”
Where do the Mermaids stand?
A long pause.  A very long pause.  “Where do the Mermaids stand?” says I.
“Yes.  You see, I am a Mermaid.”
“There are no such thing as Mermaids.”
“Oh, yes, I am one!”
She did not relate to being a Giant, a Wizard, or a Dwarf.  She knew her category.  Mermaid.  And was not about to leave the game and go over and stand against the wall where a loser would stand.  She intended to participate, wherever Mermaids fit into the scheme of things.  Without giving up dignity or identity.  She took it for granted that there was a place for Mermaids and that I would know just where.
Well, where DO the Mermaids stand?  All the “Mermaids”–all those who are different, who do not fit the norm and who do not accept the available boxes and pigeonholes?
Answer that question and you can build a school, a nation, or a world on it.
What was my answer at the moment?  Every once in a while I say the right thing.  “The Mermaid stands right here by the King of the Sea!” says I.  (Yes, right here by the King’s Fool, I thought to myself.)
So we stood there hand in hand, reviewing the troops of Wizards and Giants and Dwarfs as they roiled by in wild disarray.
It is not true, by the way, that Mermaids do not exist.  I know at least one personally.  I have held her hand.”

© 1986, 1988 by Robert L. Fulghum

Worth reading all the other stories as well! :-)

Friday, 21 April 2017

Post-Easter Plushie Post

Quite frankly, it happened all by accident I was sewing a bunny right before Easter: March 25th was the 19th birthday of a boy, whose mom I love very much. We haven't known each other for a long time but I was so grateful to her that I wanted to give her a special gift. And what am I good at? Well, yes, turning kids' drawings into stuffed animals. I was a bit excited when she showed me her son's drawing - what if I didn't like it...? But tell me, is there anyone, who could not love this bunny?! (By the way, this toy & drawing won the Bunny World Beauty Contest on my Facebook page - nobody's surprised, I suppose.)

I received some photos of Krisztina's son when opening his birthday present - the smile on his face is priceless. He had no idea it was possible to make your drawings come alive, and even if you're a 19-year-old boy, you're touched by seeing the bunny drawn at the age of 6 turned into a plushie.

I am pretty sure when kids draw something, they are copying something that exist in 3D in their mind. They create their own toys in their mind, and all I have to do is to translate their ideas into 3D - to create custom stuffed animals and dolls tailored as close to dreams as possible. An important job, I think...

Next year I'll try to create a pre-Easter post with bunnies, I promise!

when your childhood drawing is made into your own stuffed bunny

Olyan régóta nem írtam már a posztok végére magyarul, de ezentúl igyekszem :-)

A foltos nyulat egy fantasztikus masszőrnő fiának varrtam, és imádtam. Gondosan kipöttyöztem mindkét oldalát, bár a 19 éves gazdája valószínűleg nem játszani fog vele, hanem csak álldogál majd a nyúl egy polcon. De pöttyök kellenek akkor is mindenhova, anélkül felemás lenne szegény jószág! És tessék egy bónusz kép a karcsú nyusziról:

stuffed bunny plushie with spots on both side - she deserves them!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

International Women's Day

I know I'm a bit late with this post but yesterday I was busy celebrating... ;-)
Here come some girls and women from all around the world - first of all Beida's pink plush girl, who has flown to Florida:

Beida's custom stuffed doll in pink

And then four and a half year old Maude's birthday plushie to Germany: a little Indian girl with fairy wings - perfect mix, isn't it?

handmade by Maude and me

I like working with kids' drawings, but don't mind at all turning an adult's drawing into a plushie: this time an Asian girl to Singapore with some instructions from the artist: black hair, beige skin, a small body, an orange T-shirt, a pair of shorts and a pair of thongs - softie list ticked off!

this is how you can turn your self-portrait into a custom plushie

Please meet Lidi, a Hungarian girl through her younger sister's eyes - when I saw Lola's drawing, my very first idea was she had drawn a fairy: the girl definitely seems to be flying, don't you agree?!

plush sister coming to life from a drawing

As you can see, Janea's twin girls in Canada are committed Halloween fans. They were longing for two animatronic figures, but their mom thought that two plushies would suit more her 6 year olds. She had hundreds of drawings to choose from :-) So Eamma, the grave watcher and Nursey, the convulsive nurse have been together with the girls since last autumn.

the winner drawings turned into softies

Arlen from Australia is 5 1/2 years old, and she does tons of drawings, but this is her latest and her mom just loves it! She wasn't sure whether the animal was a dog or a cat - in my mind there is no doubt that it is a doggie. Or a cat on a leash... not absolutely impossible... Anyway, it made a pretty custom stuffed animal, no matter what you call it :-)

  See you next Women's Day! Oh no, hopefully much, much sooner! :-)