Monsters live here...

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How did you get started doing your crafts?  

It started from working last summer at a craft store.  It got so dull at some points I would brainstorm things I'd want to make while I was stocking shelves.  I only drew/painted every day then, but being around all these other cool mediums made me wanna try new things.  After an ultimate fail at trying to crochet I bought a bunch of felt and took out sewing & embroidery books from the library & made some horribly hideous tiny plushies.  But I loved making them so much & I wanted to take them as far as I could so I just didn't stop making them since then.  I've made (about) one a day, and they just keep getting better!  After awhile, it started to come to the point where I could make a decent living off selling my plush & other things, through my own shop, or consigning or wholesaling.  It happened so fast because I just never stopped.  And I don't really have any intention of stopping ever, either.

super serious super rad by loveandasandwich

What tools and materials do you use for your plushies?

Faux fur & felt are my absolute favorite materials to work with.  Theyre very forgiving.  Felt comes in so many crazy colors & is so cheap you don't feel bad if you decide to toss one color & use another after you've cut it out.  Faux fur just makes them feel soft and (almost) real.   Fur gets pretty pricey, but it's sooo worth it.  I use little black glass beads for eyes for my smaller things like keychains and earrings.  Safety eyes for (a few) of my bigger monsters. I use muslin for the plushies I've painted their faces on, & then extra fine paint pens to draw on.   Sometimes I use cotton fabric but I really don't like it as much.  It's more frustrating, because I handsew everything & it comes out kinda bumpy looking after I've done everything.

What other crafts do you do?

I make keychains and earrings out of shrink plastic &/or fur.  I've done some woodburning, which is fun & smells so good, it just takes a real long time.   I've done a lot of ceramics through high school & college, that was a blast!  I want to invest in my own mini-kiln soon so I can make myself some monster mugs to drink out of. :D  I do a lot of random crafts from time to time with my friends/boyfriend.  Made some cardboard robots, made snowglobes, pinatas, lots of culinary crafts for birthdays.  I just really love making things!

Boy of Bears Woodburnt Plaque by loveandasandwich PANDABEE STICKERSSS by loveandasandwich RABBIT KIDS MEGA KEYCHAINS by loveandasandwich

Where does your inspiration come from?

Lots of things!  80s & 90s music & clothes, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, bright colors, Studio Ghibli movies,  and wasting time looking at fantastic things on sites like woostercollective.com woostercollective.com or etsy.com etsy.com.   A lot of the time I just think of everything I like and how to combine as much of that into one thing.  I figure if I love what I've made, someone somewhere else is bound to like it too.  I keep an idea book on me all the time (which is really just a cheap lined notebook)  and doodle or write down ideas when they come to me.  I have a constant lineup of projects I want to finish written down in there.  I'll be 90 and arthritic one day, trying to finish a "giant full body yeti costume".

Can you give us a short tutorial on making a plushie?

Sure!  First comes the doodling, drawing up ideas, and then different versions of that idea until I come up with one I like.  I'll draw some arrows in on the doodle saying which parts should be what color.   I don't use any patterns so I just follow the original doodle mostly and freehand cut out the shapes of everything.  I lay all the unsewn pieces ontop of the body piece to make sure I like the look of it, and I'll change it or add more to it.  Then I sew on  the face/body pieces on layer by layer.  For some of the really small pieces I use felt glue because it looks a lot better.  If the plush has limbs, when I'm sewing the body pieces together I'll skip the places where the limbs go, so that I can slip them in and sew them to everything easier.  I'm not so good at explaining things, especially with just words.  I hope that made sense.

How difficult was it to make "Pandabee"?  

The pandabee just kind of happened one day when I was doodling on sticker paper.  I don't even remember my train of thought (if there even was one) when I drew him up.  I fell in love & had to make him!  Making something exactly from a drawing is always kind of difficult, only more so when it's someone elses drawing.  I was sort of dissapointed that it didn't come out exactly like my original drawing but I still loved it.  The original plush was about 10 inches from front to stinger, but then I made two more with fur for the stripes & ears and they came out fantastic!  I was a lot faster with sewing & knew how to judge the final sizes of everything a lot more.  They were about 14 inches from front to stinger.

PANDABEE by loveandasandwich

How do you go about creating "Yeti For Sleepin On"?

Pillows are so easy!  All you have to do is cut out circles for the front & back, sew the face pieces on, & pop in the safety eyes.  They're monumentally easier than making a plush because there's no antlers, arms or legs involved, and everythings sewn directly on the face.   It usually takes a good amount more stuffing to make it pillow-worthy though.

YETI FOR SLEEPIN ON by loveandasandwich

   How difficult was it to make a piece like "Custom Pup Commission"?  

That one drove me nuts.  I was kind of worried how the girl would react to it because her only guidelines were to "make it in my style" & to make it look like her dog, which was a Lhasa apso.  I never usually make anything with legs.  They are usually just chubby blobs with arms or no limbs at all.  And I had to make this dog with four legs that would stand up on his own!  I researched & looked through tutorials & plushies of how other people made four legged creatures.  There's a lot more involved in it than it looks like.  After a lot of wasted fur & a lot of hours, I was pretty happy with the outcome.  He wasn't as bright colored & fun as my other creations but he stood up and he looked like the dog, & that was all that mattered, really.

Custom Pup Commission by loveandasandwich

What techniques were used to create "Mini Monster + Yeti Keychains"?

Just sewing.  It's not really any much different than sewing plushies, just a lot smaller and a lot less material.

MINI MONSTER + YETI KEYCHAINS by loveandasandwich

Do you take your own photos?

I sure do!  I've learned a lot in the past months on how to take a picture that'll make people want to click it.  When I first started I was just taking my plush into the bathroom, (because it had the best lighting) & just taking pictures against the white wall next to the sink, haha.  Then I made my own lightbox out of foamboard and duct tape which helped monumentally!  And learned how to edit my photos to make them more vibrant/sharp looking, using the "Selective Color" and "Saturation" options on Photoshop.

Do you participate in any shows or exhibitions?

I've been in two large toy shows so far, and they've been great successes!  Mostly just fun, to see the pictures and everything.  The first show was last winter, and I sold almost everything immediately, and got to send them six more things!  That was pretty great, and gave me an extra confidence boost to keep working at it.  The second one's going on right now in St Louis, called Crammed Organisms.  They're putting out a book that stars everyone that was in it, and that in itself is exciting!  I really want to do some craft shows, but they're hard to find & to commit to because I like to move a lot.

  Do you market your creations?

Ohhh yeah.  I'm on so many websites.  I have an etsy shop (loveandasandwich.etsy.com) where I sell everything, I'm on deviantart (obviously), craftster, livejournal, myspace, flickr, conceptart, indiepublic, & some others.  I send things to stores on wholesale or consignment, which doesn't really help getting me more publicity that much, just gets me some extra $$!

Do you belong to any organizations and what benefits are there?

The only real organization I'm a part of right now is the Plush Team on etsy.com  I just joined last month and they all seem pretty awesome.  They have challenges, events and giveaways.  I've only started being involved with them but it seems awesome!

loveandasandwich
:iconloveandasandwich:

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Deviant since Oct 18, 2005, 9:14 PM
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who did this to you???? by loveandasandwich Ruby by loveandasandwich My Little Monster: Waka by loveandasandwich Hot Fudge Sundae Drizzle by loveandasandwich cake by loveandasandwich More custom love + sandwiches by loveandasandwich YETIS FO YO EARS by loveandasandwich Matilda monster for iliketoast by loveandasandwich THE BUNWICH by loveandasandwich New Weeko and Meee by loveandasandwich Grin the Grizzly Bear Kid by loveandasandwich PILE O MONSTER BABIES by loveandasandwich

Make sure to visit :iconloveandasandwich:'s cool gallery and leave some comments and faves!

//cl2007

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Alondra-chui's avatar
Nice article. Can you tell me where to buy Faux fur? I've been wanting to try making plushies but I can't find it anywhere.