Tag Archives: Zoo

Toddler Toys for Sale

New and exciting soft toys in my Etsy store!

First of all, a fun puppet set which is based on the book Cat on the Mat by Brian Wildsmith. My boy loves this set. I made it to him just before his first birthday and he adored it from the beginning. I combine the puppets with the reading of the book, or sing the book’s words to him putting on the puppets one after another as we go. He is fascinated by this and loves to play with the puppets on his own.

The Cat on the Mat Set

Second, these adorable sets, that include each: one felt doll, her beloved teddy, her wardrobe and an easy to carry around case (her bedroom).
The bedroom contains a mirror, a dresser with a pocket where all the cloths can be stored, and a bed, where the doll can get her rest. The case closes easily with a plastic snap, and has handles for easy carrying.
These sets are perfect to bring along to a long car ride, restaurant, or any other place, and will make wonderful entertainment for any child Smile 

Travel Dress Up Doll Sets

The Travel Dress Up Doll Set - Michelle

I also uploaded my first teddy (whom I told you about here) cause why not, really.

 plaid houndstooth teddy

Tom and Yoni’s Quiet Books

Book covers, reading “Tom’s Fabric Book” and “Yonatan’s Fabric Book”.

One of my favorite toys when I was a toddler was a soft book sewn in fabric, which had a different ‘mission’ in each page. I remember one page that had a tree with red apples attached by snaps, and I would “pick” them off and place them in a small pocket that looked like a basket. Another page had an outfit with a real belt that I was supposed to buckle and unbuckle. I don’t remember all its pages but I do know they were all focused on different wardrobe challenges (there were also zipper page, buttoning page and so on).

My mother didn’t remember anything about this book, so I started looking for evidence on the internet that I haven’t imagined this. When searching locally – I found nothing. At first I didn’t find anything even when I expanded my search for international results. This was just about when I’ve decided to use my magic sewing skills to make my kid and my nephew their own books. Then I researched some more and found out that these books are usually called ‘Quiet Books’, and this opened up a shiny new world of inspiration for me. Unfortunately for me, I have this thing where I think copying someone else’s work kinda misses the whole point in being creative, and therefore the more variety I see online, the harder I need to wrack my brain later in inventing new ways to go about it, making sure I can full-heartedly call the final product mine. I think the only page I left completely standard is the shoe-lacing page, as I vividly remember myself learning to tie my own shoes with it as a child.

During my research phase on this toy, I found some extraordinarily complicated and detailed creations that really got my creative juices going, but after some more thought on the subject I decided it was best to keep the book as simple as possible. For older kids complication is good, but I figured that for toddlers, it is best to keep the pages clean and avoid distractions, to help them focus on the assignment of each page.

Even so, I find the final pages I made varies widely in their levels. Tom is seventeen months old and his favorite page is the shape-matching page. He also loves the baby koala but cannot yet open the pocket’s zipper himself to get to it, not to mention much more advanced pages like the shoe laces or the horse’s braid that I haven’t even started showing him yet (he does like to pet the horse’s mane).

The materials I’ve used for the books are miscellaneous fabrics for the pages themselves, and jeans for the cover. I layered the covers with acrylic filling for a softer, puffier, pillow-like fill. most of the details inside the books are sewn from colorful felt, in order to simplify the sewing process (no fraying). I also used parts of old clothes which were headed outside, and therefore saved some fidgeting with buttons, button holes, snaps and pockets. Overall it took me about six months to design, pattern, cut and sew the two books, all in between other projects, of course, when Tom is asleep.

 

braiding and snaping

On the left: braiding page. The horse’s tail can be braided and unbraided, and decorated with hair clips from the basket.
On the right: snaps page. Underneath are family pictures.

zipping and clock reading

On the left: zipper page. Mommy koala has a cub in her pouch.
On the right: clock page. Move the clock’s hands around.

buttoning and Velcro-ing

On the left: buttoning page. Take the tooth-brush bunny out of the pocket, bring it to the mirror and brush it’s teeth.
On the right: Velcro page. Match the shapes to their proper place.

tying and hatching

On the left: shoe lacing page. Tie and untie the shoelace.
On the right: hatching page. Help the chick out of it’s egg.

 

Front and back cover

Front and back cover.

A Fennec Fox Named Jeremiah

Jeremiah Fox

When my husband said jokingly, after watching this video, he wanted a fennec fox for his birthday, I laughed, but made a mental note to find him something cute when the time came. In my discreet online search later on, I found some nice stuff, but nothing that felt exactly right.
I knew what I had to do. I sat down and started the work on his fennec stuffed doll. This took some time, and as it was a surprise I couldn’t work on it when Idan was home. From time to time he would jokingly ask if it was true that I was getting him a fennec fox for his birthday, and I would say stuff about laws against raising wild animals in a private residence and so on. On one of these occasions I casually asked Idan how would he name his fox if he had one, and he replied immediately and without hesitation “Jeremiah”.
I created a pattern, loosely based on the teddy pattern I already had, completely changing the ears, nose and tail.
I recently threw out a big bunch of unused fabrics due to lack of space in my house, so when I didn’t find a suitable fabric for the fennec, I really didn’t want to go out and buy what I already threw out. I settled for a bright yellow fabric I had lying around, but gave it a little extra flair by printing on it in black and white fur pattern I made.

The eyes are also custom made, as I wasn’t satisfied with the snap-on ones I got.

For the finishing touch I went to the pet shop and got a small collar, and a cute heart shaped dog tag that I had engraved with “Idan Mazal Tov” on one side, and on the other, “Jeremiah” ♥.

Jeremiah Fox DrinksJeremiah Fox and Crane

When King Kong Took Over Purim

When King Kong Took Over Purim 

In Purim 2013 Idan and I were invited to a costume party with a Monsters theme ( Monster Mash!) and that is how I came up with this costume idea.

 King Kong

I was King Kong. Idan was the Empire State Building. For all of Purim I randomly climbed on the poor man’s roof top, punched my chest and roared. It was hilarious!

When King Kong Took Over Purim 2When King Kong Took Over Purim 3

The Making

I do not intend to give an elaborate tutorial on how I made the costume. It was two years ago and I didn’t take enough pictures during the process anyway, but I will give a brief glance.

The empire state building

The Empire State Building is made of two parts: the hat and the gown. The hat was made from a dissected shoe box. I shaped it as the top of the building (more or less) while trying to make it fit not horribly uncomfortably on Idan’s head, coloured it and glued the little blond doll on it.

 

 

WindowsThe gown is a very simple, strait shaped, long piece. I used a grey,cheap, stained knit I had. I represented windows by printing rows of squares on the front, using a template I made for this. The gown was easily put on top of regular cloths. 

 

 

 

For King Kong I could have bought a full body gorilla suit, but this would have been no fun. Also, knowing myself well, I had to make something light because I am always hot. I decided to buy only a pair of gorilla feet, and made a partially furry leotard  for myself. The sleeves, back and hood were of a relatively light and short-haired faux fur. the front was regular black Lycra. I also wore black (looks more like grey…) leggings underneath.

mask making

mask painting

The mask was the most fun to make. I hate masks that cover everything and make it hard to breath, so I knew I wanted to keep the mouth free. I also left big nostrils’ holes. I shaped the mask from White Club to fit well on my face and most important – keep it lightweight. I coloured it with acrylics. Underneath the mask I coloured my face black, taking special care around the eyes.

The empire state building 4The empire state building 5

And, apart from paying the medical bills to fix Idan’s broken back after Purim was over – that was it!

My First Teddy

First Teddy  

When I was about ten or eleven, I had a good friend who, like me, enjoyed making things by herself. We made tiny doll furniture and outfits and that sort of stuff. Her mother had a sewing machine and she taught her how to use it. In one of my visits, this friend suggested that we would sew our own teddy bears. I was thrilled by the idea, and we both started working on copying and cutting all the parts. As for the sewing – we started with the ears, and that’s the only thing we managed to do before it was very late and I had to return home. During the next few weeks we intended to continue the work, but somehow it was never the right time. There were other creations and adventures to go on about, and eventually it was forgotten. Once in a while I would find the bag with all the teddy pieces, ponder on how I have to finish it, and forget about it all over again. I clung to it for years, finally throwing the bag out just a couple of years ago in one of my apartment moving.

Now that I have my own sewing machine (I actually have two!), and even an access to the world wide web with all the information in the world, I’ve decided to finally make a teddy of my own. After a bit of exploring I got a pattern, ordered a few accessories on-line,  and even got a few ideas on how to make cool prints so the teddy would be desirable enough for others to want to pay for it as well, but as a first step decided to create a sample to test the pattern and making.

Attaching the joints

It was a lot of work!

Stuffing

I suspect that the smaller the teddy, the harder the work (and I have an even smaller pattern awaiting my attention), but it did came out pretty and looks very professional. I made a fully jointed, squeaking miniature teddy all by my own.

So my first teddy is a success, but I still need to figure out how to translate it to something sellable. In its current format, it takes way too much work, so to make it worth my time I would have to charge more than any sane person would pay. Anyway, I’ve put this project on hold until I figure out what changes should I do to keep it fun and special but also profitable.

First Teddy Heart

07/04/16  Update: This teddy is now available for sale at my Etsy store!

Summer’s End Embroidery

 

Falling Leaves

My friend Einav did some house cleaning, and gave me some pretty nice clothes. Among them was this pretty pink dress. It was nice by itself, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation to add embroidery on it. I had to pick something at least as sweet as the dress itself.

Embroidery time!

 

Falling Leaves on the seaside

Me-Made-May’12: Cat Playing with Yarn Shirt

Yesterday’s shirt was created as part of Knits Class in college. My inspiration came from cats playing with yarn, and the shirt was not part of the final collection, but a side assignment in which I was required to create a unique T-shirt that really communicates the inspiration.

The shirt itself is built  from spiral panels that gathers into a ball on the stomach, and is meant to resemble a ball of yarn that the cat is playing with.  The cat application is a quick cat drawing I did with Tulip fabric paint on a piece of fabric, cut it out, and attached to the shirt with needlework.
On the back  of the shirt the panels meet again in a whirl. The exposed skin of the back is a way to show how the cat scratched and tore the fabric.

Cat Playing with Yarn Shirt - front

Cat Playing with Yarn Shirt - dedail

Cat Playing with Yarn Shirt - back