Monday, April 7, 2008

I've been quite absent, I know!

I swear I have a good excuse! I have been in "the zone" designing new products. My poor little Etsy shop has been totally ignored for the past few weeks, and I've been buried in bits of fleece and poly-pellets for days! Thanks for my wonderful husband, who kept the kids out of my hair long enough to develop some WONDERFUL new designs!

I began by thinking of different groups that I would like to see developed. Some ideas I had were sea-life, space, farm animals, wild animals, aviary, and insects. I started in aviary, and thought about how I could further develop my chick and to come up with some other birds. My mom found me some perfect yellow fleece to create a duck, and I thought I could simply make my chick in red with a black beak and call it a cardinal. Of course, I've already made it in blue, but I (duh) never thought to call it a bluebird! It didn't hit me until a customer requested a bluebird - then I was like... hmmm... I could have a whole line of birds!

Then like magic, I went to my mom's in Indiana for Easter, and while there I received an email from Real Simple Magazine. It's like they were reading my mind - or at least on the same wavelength! She said she was interested in my chick, and could I send her a sample for their editorial review, where they would consider it for inclusion in their special issue gift guide! I emailed her back and let her know that the chick was part of my aviary series, and I was also working on these other series... She emailed back that they were interested to see what I had in space and sea-life.

So I got to work developing those lines. First, space. I already made a simple spaceship. Mostly, it was born of the love of the space fleece and desire to do something other than the norm with it. Unfortunately, my supply of the space fabric was dwindling, so I needed to think outside the box. I redesigned the ship. Prototype #1 turned out looking like one of those water beetles that I hated seeing in the pool as a kid. Failure. Prototype #2 got stuck in my machine and was ruined as I cut it out. I invested in some stabilizer. My final design was almost perfect, and my good friend and neighbor suggested some flames coming out the back... so here it is:

The wings and the flames are made from felt, and the stripes are embroidered on with my fancy schmancy new sewing machine. I think it turned out quite cute!

I also created a flying saucer. This was a bit more difficult to develop - I had to figure out some kind of legs, and make sure it didn't look too much like a hat. My first prototype, which is now in my sale section on Etsy, looks a bit weird - kind of like some crazy space monster. The legs turned out looking like teeth or something! A few prototypes later, I ended up with this:

I think this one is especially cute! I photographed it on a piece of sky poster board that I found here. It was a lot of fun to make, and I love how the antenna came out crooked.

I also made a round bag with a moon shaped window, which was okay. My mom really liked it, but I don't know. It sold already, though, so I guess it was good enough. I'll make more. Someday! I tried making a shooting star, which was a failed attempt - maybe I can expand on my space collection another time.

Next, I got to work on my sea-life collection. This was a really fun genre! I drew up plans for a jellyfish, seahorse, starfish, shell, shark, whale, and octopus. I really tried to make the jellyfish work, but something just wasn't right. Here are my attempts:

I'll be selling them in my sale section soon!

Oh, baby is crying, so I will post more later!

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