Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ri-DONKEY-lous

My first collection of patterns are mostly based on animals that I think are super cute. I love donkeys, so it seemed natural to make a plush version. All the real donkeys that I've been around have been really sweet and goofy, I haven't had to deal with their ornery side.

I start out the design process by sketching lots of characters from realistic to simplified cartoon. I choose the look that I'm going for, then I proceed to break it down to simple shapes. Specifically for this project I wanted to make all the patterns fairly easy to use, so that was at the forefront while I was designing. After some sketches I make the scale drawing that I will use for reference in the pattern. 

This is the drawing that I will place the roughs up to as I am working out the pattern pieces. The fabric makes a huge difference in the outcome and does change the shape of the pattern as I create. Even though the finished product will most likely made out of knit fabric (as most faux fur is) I make my rough drafts out of woven. I don't want any extra stretch while I'm making sure all the pieces fit together. You can see in the top photo how different fabrics can change the look and feel of a character.
 
If you want to make a donkey of your very own, check out the pattern in the store.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Store is up!

I've created a brand called Fluff Engine to make patterns for soft toys. Now you can buy those patterns in my store. Check it out, there are several cute animal patterns for you to make. There is even a free download of an adorable owl.
I'm excited about this and have been working hard on making these patterns really awesome and easy to follow. Go buy some or at least download the owl for free and start making toys.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nogard the Dragon

Nogard the Dragon

I made this plush toy of Alec's character Nogard for his Christmas 2009 present. It was fun working from Alec's illustration to create a 3D version of his fanciful dragon.  I had to search all over San Francisco and Oakland to find the right colored fabrics and textures to match the illustration.

Nogard is made out of low pile plush faux fur with a belly made of soft knit fabric. He has wire in his wings so they are flexible and stand out from the body. The glasses are made out of styrene (plastic) that I molded then painted over. Nogard has eyes painted on his glasses and eyes embroidered on the face, so he is a true 4-eyes. That way even if you take off his glasses he still can see.

Nogard is just one of the awesome characters Alec has created that live in the Isle of Elsi.

I put a couple more photos of Nogard in my flickr.

Monday, March 14, 2011

IRL Battle!

A couple years ago I started making this game called IRL Battle. It's a trading card game that keeps growing as I make new friends because I can add them to the game. If you have no clue what I'm talking about click on the IRL battle tab above and it explains what the game is and how to play.

If you want to play the game and be added let me know.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bitty Baby Sweater

 Last year, my co-worker Rob had his first baby, an adorable little girl named Melina. For the occasion I decided to make her a sweater. I'd never made a sweater before, mainly because knitting an adult sweater seemed too time consuming to be worth the effort. A baby sweater on the other hand is cute and tiny and goes relatively quickly.

I used this pattern here, with some changes of course. I made it out of a cotton/acrylic blended yarn so it can stand up to some washings. The pattern calls for the closure to be string ties, but since babies and strings don't go well, I made it a button and loop closure. The second button is just decorative to make it symmetrical.

After the success and ease of making a tiny sweater, I will totally make more baby sweaters and I just might attempt one for an adult. I have a bunch of patterns from the 60's that are very tempting.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sebastian the frog

I am chugging along on several new projects but they're just not ready to share. In the meantime here is an old project from way back in my toy school days. This is the first plush design I made in school. Sebastian is a pouty lipped frog, who is upset about having to go to school. His accessory is a lunchbox (you can check that out on flickr.)  Even though frogs don't have pads on their feet, I added some contrasting pink ones just to make him that much cuter.
Sebastian