Guess what’s coming to the shop tomorrow?
Be sure to check back in my store tomorrow at 7pm EDT (OR 9am AEST) to check them out.
Guess what’s coming to the shop tomorrow?
Be sure to check back in my store tomorrow at 7pm EDT (OR 9am AEST) to check them out.
Some people might wonder why some artisans like myself, insist on posting items tracked & insured. Most of the time things get to their destination no worries, so why the added expense? Is this just a cash grab?
Personally, I do it because you never know when things might not go to plan. In March, for the first time, I unfortunately had to address a non-delivery situation, for the first time in years.
I posted these two scrappies to Australia at the start of the month & within a few days, I received a successful delivery notification, which was extremely weird. My heart sank when I realized that they had been marked as successfully delivered to an address in Vandreuil-Dorion, Quebec, not even close to where they needed to go.
Fortunately, because I had tracking, I caught the error within a couple of hours, which allowed me to log a ticket & start the process to get them back into the mail stream ASAP. I hate to think what would have happened to them without that tracking though.
Here is a little screenshot of the journey they took, after the fact. Many of the updates only showed up several days after the dates posted, which was a little stressful, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have arrived at their destination without tracking & my ability to flag them as going missing.
In the end artisans like myself have no say in cost to post/ ship items with insurance & tracking. Posting with tracking & insurance protects you & myself.
I’m grateful that in this instance, I didn’t have to go down the route of making a claim & remaking the scrappies that I created, as each one is unique, so it’s near impossible to recreate them exactly, but if this hadn’t ended well, at least there would have been less than a financial burden for myself & my customers.
In the end you try to plan for the unexpected, because you never know when the tables might turn.
I love making my scrappies, always have, from the first time I was asked to make something unique & the idea was born, to now.
Not only, are the scrappies I make, an expression of myself (anything you make always holds a part of you in it, whether you realize it or not) but, I sometimes get requests for custom makes to reflect their adopted owners as well.
R approached me a little while ago to make a couple for her & her partner F. As with any custom request, I asked for a little bit of information & R responded with a lovely table of information that contained a wealth of info. I then used that list to brainstormed ideas & consulted my bins of scraps, assessing what worked together, until I settled on something I felt matched their personalities.
For F’s scrappie critter I focused on black & white colours (New Zealand pride), the colour blue (fav colour), a love of dogs (the scrap of ribbon I had was just long enough), and rainbows (representing LBGTI+ pride). The two hearts are in reference to the relationship that F & R share.
For R’s scrappie critter I focused on favourite colours (purple, teal & emerald green) and a love of nature. I really loved the flower, that I had to attach. The scrap for the face had a nice shape to it & the flower sits perfectly in that little space.
Both scrappie critters have butterfly loops for ears (or antenna) as a nod to connections to the Deaf community. Butterflies are a symbol of the Deaf community, because they’re deaf. I had enough purple ribbon for both of them, which is more of an obvious link that both scrappies share, just as R&F share an obvious connection.
Thank you to R for the privilege of making these for yourself & F, they really were a lot of fun. I love that the creation of each of these scrappies is a puzzle of sorts. My scrappie critters have a certain style to them, but they are also very unique, which adds to their charm both as the maker & to those who receive one.
If you would like me to make one (or more) of these for you, please let me know.
In August, I saw a post on a local Facebook group, from Melissa, who was looking to have memory items made, as her mother had sadly & unexpectedly passed away. I decided to comment & sent a link to a previous write up about the memory scrappies for Lawrence, I had made, with an offer to create memory scrappies for her.
Melissa, reached out to me describing her mom, Susan as Martha Stewart reincarnated, she could turn anything into a something & Melissa liked the fact that I had “unique craftiness” too. So thus, our creative venture began.
Normally, when I’ve made my memory scrappies, I will have at least one long face-to-face meeting with a loved one & several follow up discussions, in person or online, as I think of new questions, but this time around (Covid) all our conversations were online. Even though it was different, it had it’s benefits, the fact that everything was written down helped a lot. Melissa was wonderful at sharing memories both in words written & pictures shared. The love that Melissa had for her mum was abundantly obvious, it was quite beautiful to be privy to it & to capture it in the scrappies created.
As with all my scrappies, every creative decision made, happened for a reason. All of the fabrics used were Susan’s. I did use some interfacing & new polyfil, but everything that you see, carries memories of Susan. One continuing theme on each, were the eyes, all made from the same fabrics. They are green & brown, as I was told that Susan’s eye colour was green/brown.
Now, to talk about other features of each scrappie. The first scrappie, was nautical themed, the red striped shirt I later discovered, Melissa had given to her mom. I picked it because I wanted to capture Susan’s love of the ocean & it had a lovely boat anchor on it, which I wanted to feature. There was a blue shirt, that reminded me of the water, so I used that for the face on this one. The brown striped arm was my little nod to gardening as was the yellow (flowers, the sun) and then there was a green top (her favourite colour was green) that had a pattern on it that made me think of vines. The other leg, a mosaic pattern, was a nod both to artistic talents and to the way the water catches the light sometimes.
The next scrappie, made use of a star shirt, as the main fabric. Not only was Susan, one of a kind, just like the stars, but she was incredibly special to her family, who loved her very much, so, of course stars had to be included. This one features the mosaic fabric again, this time I used it to create a pocket. It isn’t easy to see, but the pocket features a puzzle piece, cut from the same fabric I used for the legs, in recognition of time spent making puzzles. The legs (& puzzle piece) are made from a gorgeous quilted jacket that made me think of a painting or beautiful garden, which had to be recognised. I also used a part of that jacket for all of the brown pupils within the eyes of each scrappie. There was a green top with zippered pockets on it that I decided to use for the backing fabric, incorporating the zipper into the design, because lets be honest, zippered pockets are awesome. Green being recognised as her favourite colour, again.
The third scrappie featured another pocket, this time only one though. The pocket was taken directly from the same jacket that I used in the previous scrappie for the legs (with nods to gardening & artistic talents) & I used a couple of other pieces of clothing to create a little heart & spade icon to recognise time spent playing cards, including Go Fish with one of her grandkids. It seemed apt to use a shirt that repeated the words je t’aime (I love you) in a heart shape on the back too. The red striped fabric from the nautical themed shirt of course tied in a love of the water & the yellow used, linked back to creativity, sunshine & time spent in the garden.
Melissa had actually only asked me to make 3 scrappies for each of her mom’s grandkids, but I really wanted to give her something a little extra, so I made her a little travel sized scrappie of her own, one that she could always take with her. I went back to my winking style for this one, because I wanted to capture some of her mums cheekiness. The heart shaped mosaic fabric was a purposeful little message of love, to symbolise the love that they both share for each other.
Here they are complete, together.
They’re a pretty cute little bunch, aren’t they?
Thank you for asking me to make these scrappies for your family Melissa. I hope that they bring lots of reminders of the wonderful memories you all have with your mom.
EXTRA Artist notes:
Each of my scrappie critters are made to be uniquely imperfect, just as all of us are. Some will have more noticeable stitching in places, in this case the nautical one does. They’re not symmetrical, appendages are not exactly the same in size or number on each. This is all done on purpose, our differences & imperfects are what make us who we are after all.
Last fall I was given some clothing from a friend & asked if I could make some memory scrappie critters. To be honest I was blown away, a privilege that I didn’t take lightly.
I met with Debra & her sister in law, Denise, to discuss which pieces of clothing had special meaning to whom & we took notes. It was a lovely chat, a necessary one to get to know Lawrence more too. I was given permission to use other materials if I so desired, to compliment the clothing I was given, but after much thought, (after our meeting), I felt it would mean more to limit bringing other materials into the picture.
Having made that decision, I still spent an inordinate amount of time planning out how to create the scrappies I was entrusted to. This is fairly typical for me, but I do admit a greater level of responsibility felt, means more time I spend in ensuring execution goes as smoothly as possible. I spent a while pulling out Lawrence’s clothes & packing them up again, not quite ready to cut them. Playing with scraps of random fabrics from other projects is one thing, but as with any memory items I’ve made in the past, when you are working with items of clothing that someone has held onto, you MUST respect the treasured memories they hold. I familiarized myself with Lawrence’s clothing, grouping different clothes together (cross referencing a list that I had) and spent a lot of time checking out images that Debra shared on Facebook of Lawrence & asked questions as they cropped up, before I was ready to cut.
The first piece of clothing that I deconstructed, was an Ottawa Senators hat (pictured above). I needed to make a scrappie with the Sen’s logo on it for Lawrence’s brother, Alan. They both spent many hours together, watching different sports games. Lawrence was a Habs & Sens fan, so I felt the need to incorporate colours for both teams. The appendages were made of appropriately coloured materials, which included a t-shirt, some collared shirts and a tie. The hat was actually part of the brim of a hat on a raincoat. I’d never made a scrappie with a hat before, so it was especially fun to do. The main material on the front was a light coloured pair of pants & the back a redish coloured shirt.
The Sen’s hat was actually an integral piece, it openly tied all the scrappies together in so many ways. Something that I hadn’t really expected until I got into the thick of it.
The hat had a nice black fabric on the brim that I used for the pupils in each scrappie. Lawrence had brown eyes, so I used a brown pair of corduroy pants for the iris on each too. This wasn’t the only way that they were all tied together though, a less obvious addition was an old favourite cut up t-shirt, that I was asked to include a little of, within each scrappie.
The Sens hat also had a beautifully weighted red fabric too. It was the perfect fabric to use in creating little applique hearts on a couple of the scrappies, but the hat also contained an unexpected treasure, a little St Perigrine. It was small enough, that even Debra didn’t know it existed, until I mentioned it. Lawrence was always full of nice little surprises apparently & when I asked who might appreciate it most, she told me to attach it to the scrappie for Denise, as it would have the most meaning to her.
The next Scrappie that I made after Alan’s was Debra’s. This one had to incorporate one of the Scout leader badges that Lawrence had on his shirt. Lawrence had actually joined the Scouts so that his son could be a part of it. I have never unpicked badges with such care. I had asked Debra if any of them had any particular meaning & knew that the beaver ones (not Tic Tac) had to go onto scrappies for her & her daughter. They came from the shoulder loops on the shirt that Lawrence had, so I knew they had to go on arms.
The one for Debra’s was attached to an arm that was made from a leather glove (see picture below) that I cleaned up, cut & then sewed together again. I wanted Debra to have the leather glove on her’s specifically, because I felt that it would be as if his hand was touching hers when she touched it.
It was whilst I was creating Debra’s scrappie that she mentioned it would mean a lot if I could tie in some Star Wars, specifically a Boba Fett reference, into the ones for her & their kids. They had many wonderful family memories that focused around Star Wars, so it would mean a lot if I could. Fortunately, I have a bit of stash of fabrics (one which I am working to reduce) & had a Star War’s material with an actual image of Boba Fett on it. I offered to make a patch, I make them for my kids clothes, so why not this? I had all the supplies; material, medium weight interfacing, bo-nash (a powdered fabric glue, often used for patches) & a sewing machine to do some some zig-zag stitching around the edge. As you can see in the pictures they turned out not too badly either.
In the past I’ve gravitated to only using certain fabrics for my scrappies, staying away from stretchy fabrics, where I don’t want stretch to happen, because it was just easier, but when you’re working with items of clothing that hold memories within them, like a Rashie, T-shirts, Silk Ties and more, you work with it. I reinforced many of the materials with interfacing & others I stitched a piece of non-stretchy material behind, from another item of Lawrence’s clothing. I realise it might not be noticed, but I felt better about it, as I was limiting the amount of materials that were not his, into these creations.
Debra asked me at one stage if I could incorporate a pair of goggles onto hers or Kate’s, because Lawrence wore them, when swimming. The goggles, which probably look a little like a superhero mask, were actually inspired by a couple of rubber holders we had from buying a couple of bottles that came with a small sample, on each. I used some denim from a pair Lawrence’s jeans to create the goggles.
The critters for Debra, Kate & Alex all had ears, which tied them together as well as, the Star Wars badges. Alex had ears that were made from the ties on a favourite pair of pj pants, Kate had ribbon that I carefully unpicked from a football (soccer) hat & Debra had belt loops from the jeans that I used for the goggles. As mentioned before, I used the beaver patches for both Debra & Kate’s scrappies, I purposefully positioned them so that when they sat next to each other, they were almost joined.
With Kate’s I didn’t have any more embroidered sports related patches, so I used part of a football hat that had an image on it, to create a patch of sorts. The hat was made with different coloured pieces connected to look like a soccer ball, they weren’t very symmetrical when you pulled it apart though. I had thought of trying to correct it, but decided to keep the rather wonky shape when dismantled (as it was going from a curved shaped item to a flatter surface), because that was more in keeping with the original item it came from.
Alex’s scrappie received the majority of the Scouts Badges, because they had more meaning to him than anyone else. I didn’t originally intend to cut up Lawrence’s Scout’s shirt, but in the end it seemed appropriate that if I was going to use so many Scout’s badges on his scrappie that it also incorporate part of the Scout shirt that they came from.
After I made those 4 Debra collected them, as they were an Easter weekend gift & Then I set about making the next 3, which actually turned into another 5.
Denise wanted a couple of scrappies, a little one potentially for a child & another one for herself. These two I really liked because they were different again to the last 4 & they tied together nicely. The little travel sized scrappies are a favourite, because they really can go anywhere with you & I loved the little heart (Sen’s hat) & the pants I used for the back (blue tartan) as shown on the arm of the bigger scrappie, was cute too. The bigger scrappie incorporated a tiny little pocket from the same pair of shorts that I used for main body, which I embellished with a little heart to hold the little St Peregrine that I had discovered (hopefully you can see this detail in the pictures)
I had a couple more to make, one for Lawrence’s mum, and another as a surprise for a niece. I used a yellow & red raincoat for their scrappies, which I alternated colours for both on each & the backs were made up of the same t-shirt, split in two, which I really liked. They were embellished with more Soccer related items, with one (Maria’s) receiving the last Scout’s badge.
The last scrappie I made was, actually a little gift, it was a little travel scrappie to go with the one that I made for Denise. This one had ears that were made from the corners of a couple of Lawrence’s shirt & some of the ScoobyDoo pj pants fabric that I used on the backs of Alex & Kate’s larger scrappies. They looked really cute together don’t you think?
This really was a family of scrappies that I throughly enjoyed having the honour to make. There were a few challenges along the way, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome & the solutions for each just add to their connected & yet unique charm.
I have to finish, on this wonderful picture that Debra sent me, taken just before many of them made their journey’s onto other family members to remind them of moments shared with Lawrence.
Aren’t they incredibly cute?
For those that have read the About link, which gives a bit of background about myself, you would have read about how I like to ensure that materials are not wasted.
Here is where I want to introduce you to one of my creations that came about because of my desire not to waste perfectly good materials.
Scrappy monsters were the result of an experiment. I was looking for a way to use many of my scraps of fabric (or even reclaimed or gifted pieces of fabric) that were not quite useful for big projects, but didn’t deserve to be shredded for stuffing.
These little guys are created to be imperfectly unique, a general comment on society. However, with these guys, their differences are celebrated.
Some will have one open eye the other squinty, others will have 2 open eyes. There might be 2 appendages (most commonly just a couple of legs) or there might be 4 or 6. Normally appendages are not even the same size & then there are times you might even find that there are none. It really depends on how I feel at the time. I spend a great deal of time hand picking each scrap, playing around with different pieces, until I find the combination I like.
Since I started making these in 2016, I have made several as custom orders for different people, which has been both an honour & a privilege to do. I’ll do a post about some of those past creations & new ones that I am currently working on, for you to read, soon. These guys are just too cute, not to document.
All filling within each is of new material (polyfill). Whilst some scrappy’s might have similarities to other ones that I have made or might make in future, there are no exact copies & this adds to their charm.
As a quirky bit of information, you may find that some have a zebra print on them. The zebra relates to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, as I have EDS Hypermobility type. The hearts that adorn some of them, relate to my daughter, who was born with 2 holes in her heart. One has since closed, but we still have regular check-ups about her heart. So, really, I am no different to any other artist, influenced by things around me. 🙂