Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My first embroidery felt art, and a new monster face.

It's Tuesday, the day after Boxing day here in Canada. I made my coffee, fed the cats, and the first thing I see in my inbox from the news is that 3 people got pepper sprayed in a Winnipeg mall while shopping for Boxing day. They didn't say why they were pepper sprayed, but my assumption would be that there was say 1 television left on sale, and 3 people wanted it. Wow. I don't buy into the sales after xmas. I thought about it, so I checked out the online flyer, and to be honest, most of the TVs on sale were perhaps $10-30 cheaper than they would be if it weren't Boxing day. Why the pepper spray then?

Anyway, moving on to more exciting things....

So as promised, I finished my embroidery felt hoop art and photographed it for you. I modeled it after a sketch I did a few years ago while I was planning my trip to Japan. In the sketch I originally embroidered my name in Japanese like this メラニー but I thought it might be nice without it. 

You can see the glue stains around the edges. This is my first, but I'm keeping it, so it's all right then. :)

When I sketched the cat, I was thinking of the cat in Alice In Wonderland.

On top of that, I also took a photo of a new monster I made with a new facial expression. I really like it and I think I can work with it.

I think I'll name it Olive. Should it b a girl or a boy monster?

Do you love his/her happy expression?? :)

I've been thinking about my business, what's selling really well and what's not. After months of craft fairs and sales on Etsy, I've noticed my furry monsters are selling the best, and the rest sell here and there, but not very often. I wonder... Should I just focus on making the furry monsters, or should I continue to make my other guys too (bears, foxes, bunnies)? I know the bunnies get a lot of positive feedback, as well as my foxes made out of recycled shirts. I don't want to limit myself to just monsters though, but I am calling myself the 'Monster Creator' on my business card which everyone seems to love. :-)  Any thoughts on this?  What would you like to see more of, and less of??

Have a great Tuesday and I look forward to your comments!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I want to make sure everyone had a great holiday weekend this year.

I spent the weekend with my mom. She came to visit me from Brampton, Ontario (near Toronto), and we sat in my living room all day watching movies, knitting (or crocheting), chatting and having a great time. I missed my bed for those two nights, but it was worth it. I own and sleep on a queen size bed, and for 2 nights me and my 2 cats tried to sleep comfortably on a single size mattress (or twin I suppose). Just big enough for one person. Haha.

I was also surfing the web (ok, Facebook), and I found this on a friend's page. She had bought 3 monsters from me for her friends, and I believe this was one of her friends! I love these shots of humans and monsters together.  I think Wooky's reading this guy's mind, or something, because the guy looks a little scared, doesn't he? Great photo!

Happy Christmas! xoxo

P.S. I'm working on an embroidery felt hoop art piece for my apartment, and when it's done I'll show it to you all. :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Purple Monster Eater!!

One of my (soon to be regular) customers on Etsy ordered a monster for me during my Christmas rush Etsy 'vacation' last week. She had bought one of the few last Wookies I was ever going to make (in the fur colour - don't worry, I'll make more!) and had it in the stocking ready for Christmas.

This is Wooky with customized hot pink horns!

Her little sister saw this monster and loved it so much she wanted one for herself. So my customer asked me if I could make one for her, but a customized one? I agreed (who can say no to pleasing someone?), and this is what I made!

I have to say that taking this fur colour, adding the pattern with the arms, and yellow curly horns really makes this an awesome monster! I hope her little sister loves it!

If you were to ask for a custom monster, what features would you want it, and what colours would it be?

Holiday Cat Hats

I'm really feeling the holidays are here (now that my business classes are stopped for a few weeks), and I needed to share this feeling with my kitties. So what did I do today? I made them hats!! Yeah I did! Ok so they're not fancy hats, and they only took me 5 minutes each, but gosh darn it they look cute on my babies.

This is Squeak (also known as Mr. Spook, Squeaker, Little Squeak and Boob). He's not impressed I got his hat back on his head for this shot. He's sporting pink fleece with pink fur.

This is Littleone (also known as Mr. One, Little Guy, and Boob as well). He really hated his hat, but thankfully stopped moving long enough for my camera to catch this really nice profile shot. He's sporting pink fleece with purple fur.

So that's it! That's my cat hats! My mom's coming to town on Saturday for Christmas eve, and before she shows up I'll put the hats back on the cats. By that point they'll be fancy collars since they don't seem to stay around the ears. Oh well.

Has anyone ever dressed up their cat (or even your dog)? I'd love to know what outfits you dress your furry little friends in! :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Is that a survey!?

Well it's that time of year. The time to be working like a hard ass on my business plan. I got so busy with Christmas orders, my homework got put aside, and now I asked for an extension to hand it in after the Christmas holiday. In the meantime, I have a survey I'd like all of my readers to answer (if you haven't already received an email with a survey in your inbox).

A little background info for my readers. I am a self-employed entrepreneur, and my only job is making plush monsters. I am trying to start my business (and have been for the past few months). I am all alone in this endeavor (no boyfriend/husband to help support me). Which means that I need to do a lot of work to understand the handmade toy industry, and the customers who buy handmade. That's why I have a survey!

This survey will help me to learn about my customers, who are my target customers, and what their spending habits are. I would really appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes to fill out this survey! All the answers will be confidential and will help me in developing a successful business! Once you push submit, your answers are sent me to me, and the form will be blank again for the next reader. No one will be able to read your answers, so no worries. :) (I know this because I filled it out myself to see what would happen, and once I submitted my answers I refreshed the page, and a blank survey came up).

Thank you for your help and happy surveying! Oh, try to be as honest as you can in your answers! I appreciate it. :-)

One last thing, no answers will be posted on my blog, I assure you! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

I've updated my blog...

Happy Friday!

I have news! Do you notice anything different about my blog? Well for one I went back to my regular header (it's good to stay consistent), and secondly I now have pages (the thin bar right below my header)!!! I have one for my plush collection, one all about me, a page for my press, and finally a store page. Now the store page isn't really a store, but it links the big image to my Etsy shop. Until I add a store on that page, I think it's best to have a link. Essentially I'm trying to make my blog look more like a website than a blog, right? The more professional it looks, the better. I think it goes well with the bought URL I have as well. Nice and professional. :-)

I'd love to hear any feedback or comments you might have regarding my site. 

PS: For those reading my blog in their email (like my mom, my friend Heather or Ryan), click on this link to see my blog/website live on the internet:  http://www.curiouslittlebird.ca

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

♫♫ On the 11th day of Christmas ♫♫

♫ ♫ On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 11 plush monsters and a partridge in a pear tree!  ♫ ♫

When I was trying to think of a really interesting blog title today, the holiday song Twelve Days of Christmas came to mind. Now, we're not really on the 11th day of Christmas, but there are 11 days UNTIL Christmas, so I'm close! :-)

I decided to open my shop early, since I managed to finish all of my Christmas orders. I'm very excited about that. I hope there will be lots of happy girls and boys who will be getting monsters! I'm encouraging a few sales, but the deadline for buying is December 18th. I know it's still a week away from Christmas, but I need a few days to make the suckers and put them in the post. Since the deadline is the 21st, and my furry guys are all made to order, my customers must know that I can't make these guys last minute, unfortunately. Last minute shopping when it comes to border shipping is quite difficult. That's why I am writing this blog! There are 3, yes 3 stores in Montreal you can buy a cute monster for Christmas!! They're all ready to be adopted and taken home.

Here are the details:

1. Minizabies: (open until Dec 23rd) 

1991 Beaubien est, Montreal, QC
Tue - Wed:11:00 am-5:00 pm
Thu - Fri:11:00 am-6:00 pm
Sat:11:00 am-5:00 pm
Minizabies, friperie pour enfants dans Rosemont! Voilà une boutique qui regorge de trésors! De quoi habiller les petits avec goût sans y laisser son portefeuille. Vous y trouverez de la fripe de bonne qualité ainsi que des créations québecoises (Éco design)
Public Transit
Metro Beaubien autobus 18 direction Est ou la 45 Papineau
2. Perfide:  
4217 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC H4C1R4
Perfide is a small independently owned boutique located in the Saint-Henri area of Montréal. We stock clothing, art, accessories and more from local artists, the quirkier the better! We're only a few steps away from Saint-Henri metro station so stop in and see us if you're in the area :)
I also have my own clothing line called SweetMeat, and I sell on etsy under the name sweetmeatclothing. To check it out click on the Etsy tab on the left or follow the link below.

Tue - Fri:11:00 am-6:00 pm
Sat - Sun:12:00 pm-5:00 pm
3. Tah-Dah! :
56, rue Jean-Talon Est, Montreal, QC H2R 1S7

Tue - Wed:11:00 am-6:00 pm
Thu - Fri:11:00 am-8:00 pm
Sat - Sun:11:00 am-5:00 pm
Une surprise vous y attend!
Public Transit
Métro Jean-Talon
 Here's a link to my Etsy boutique: http://www.curiouslittlebird.etsy.com  Stop by, take a browse, think about future gifts for yourself, your husband or boyfriend, or even your kids! There's something for everyone. :-)

Friday, December 09, 2011

New Additions to the Plush Family

Happy Friday!

I have some new additions to my plush family, let's meet them, shall we?

These guys are squishy, really soft, made of cream coloured fleece, and have medical symbols on their bellies. Their mouth has been sewn shut, which means they're silent monster medics. They come in a family of 3. Adult size, teenager size and kid size. :)

I'm going to test them out at the upcoming craft fair I'm attending tomorrow, incidentally the last one for the holiday season (so if you are in Montreal, and haven't finished your shopping, come and see me!) These cute guys will be for sale in my Etsy shop later on next week if I don't sell them this weekend.

Here's the info again:

105 St. Viateur St West, corner of St-Urbain

The other new additions I have to my happy home are some really cute bears! They're wearing sweaters that are adorned with cutesy buttons from my stash, and removable fleece scarves. Although I think they look so cute in their scarves! Plus, I wouldn't want to be mean and remove them, because then my bears would get cold.

The light coloured bears are made of fine corduroy, and the darker bears are made with a found fabric that's sort of velvety.

Wearing brown tweed, and sporting some fancy buttons and a matching brown scarf.

He went out and got a tattoo behind my back, and on his forehead to boot!! Sporting dark blue fabric (can't remember the name of this pattern), and some cute silver buttons, and a cream coloured scarf.

Sporting a fancy green patterned shirt, yellow/green buttons and an olive coloured fleece scarf.

Velvety brown bear in purple & green plaid shirt, shimmery opaque buttons, and a blue scarf.

Pink shirt bear with purple buttons, and a fancy smokey grey scarf. Very fashionable.

Wearing red plaid shirt, red buttons and a white fleece scarf.

So there you have it! All of these adorable guys and gals will be available at this weekend's fair. I will put those who haven't been adopted up on my Etsy shop next week between Monday and Friday. I can't decide which I like better, the dark brown fabric, or the corduroy?  Both are pretty cuddly, filled with squishy fiberfill, and big enough to hug!

Cheers, and happy weekend!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Catty Holidays!

When I hear bells jingle, and harks harking I think of the holidays. And when I hear of the holidays I think about cats. Don't you?

I was perusing the internet (well Facebook anyway), and stumbled upon this fantastic book that features crafting with kitties. Ok not using kitties, but the fur they shed.  Since this post is all about cats, I thought I'd include some similar items made from kitty fur. ;)

For the quirky crafter on your list, it really doesn't get much stranger than this. But, I can tell you from experience, once you get over the initial aversion to working with cat hair, the projects in the book are fun to make and totally adorable!


What about kitty hats?? Everyone with a cat MUST buy this! :) I would, except I think it'd be a complete waste of money since I know my two kitties hate anything on their head.

This hat was made by Scooter Knits, and is available, and for sale on Etsy for $18.

Maybe you're in the market for a handmade cat hair necklace??

This was made by Flora Davis on Etsy. This necklace is selling for $130. I think it's fairly reasonable considering I have two cats myself, and I find felting balls out of cat hair a very long, and time consuming project. This necklace can't be made overnight (unless you've been saving bags and bags of cat hair - and if you're doing that you might be a little crazy cat lady). :-) 

Here's a link to do it yourself if you want to try. It's fun to do when you brush your kitties. Instead of throwing the hair in the trash, just start rolling it in your hands till you get a ball. Add some warm water and a bit of dish soap, keep rolling... you can check out detailed instructions in the link. http://www.instructables.com/id/Felted-Pet-Hair-Beads/

Well there you have it! Happy catty holidays everyone and happy crafting!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

More monsters!!

Before I get to the point of this post, did I mention in any of my earlier posts how hard it is to start your own business? It's not just about production, but there's the whole aspect of writing a good business plan, taking courses to learn how to study the market (who's your target market etc.), and lastly (for me anyway) is trying to incorporate classes, homework, producing dolls for the upcoming fairs. I have to say that my homework's been put on the back burner for the moment. I have one more week to go, then it's my last holiday fair this coming weekend.

Speaking of this fair, it's the 2nd part of the Winter Fairs of the Artisan Elves.

Dec. 10th- 11th, 2011
11:00 – 18:00
105 St.Viateur W. (corner St.Urbain)
St.Michael's Church
Free Entrance

Old Skool Craft Fair Poster 

This fair is one of the few last fairs of the holiday season, ending the handmade movement for 2011. If you live in Montreal, or nearby, and you appreciate handmade items, then I think you should come to this. I'll be there with my booth, with new monsters (which I am now going to talk about).

So I have some new monsters to show you! They're not all made from the funky furs I bought last month, but they're super cute and will be available to buy Dec 10th and 11th from me, or on Etsy as a made to order item (until Dec 11th) and then it'll be changed to 'ready to ship.' There will still be some time to order monsters for Christmas (although you might have to email me if you want it early as I know the post office will be inundated with packages quite soon).

Without further ado, here are my new monsters!

Zeti the Yeti

Kat the unicorn monster

Margie the orange monster

Bitt the monster engineer

Drew the superior intelligent monster

 Stay tuned for future posts! I have some better photos of my key chain monsters, and my bunnies. I'll be blogging about them next week, once the fair is over.

Have a great rest of the weekend! xx