Why I am Just Bananas Over Soft Toys

Being “Just Bananas” is more a state of ‘being’ than a ‘name’ for a hobby/business!

If you were following the 5 Day Art Challenge that I participated in during January 2015 via Facebook you would have had the opportunity to see some of the images that I have included on my Permanent Blog Pages Youth Hobbies. All of these artistic endeavours had a certain amount of satisfaction attached to them but on their own individually they weren’t enough to keep my attention.

Here’s a quick recap of the images I chose for the Challenge.

Remember more information and other examples of my artistic endeavours are included in the Permanent Blog Pages….just click the red text to follow the links.

Day 1 of the Art Challenge:

Wildfire Painting Facbook Challenge  Closeup Wildfire Hobbytex  Wildfire Papier Mache

Day 2 of the Art Challenge:

Inspiration and Imitation Running Horse  Inspiration and Imitation Arab Horse   Inspiration and Imitation Hawk on Branch

Day 3 of the Art Challenge:

Wildfire Papier Mache

Flicka Papier Mache

Painting Flicka and Jubilee

Day 4 of the Art Challenge:

Darcy Painting and Ceramic

Giraffe Antelope Ceramic

Billy Ceramic

With so much early creativity in a variety of mediums ranging from Painting, Drawing, Papier Mâché and Ceramics you may be wondering why I am “Just Bananas Over Soft Toys.”

The beginning of my interest in making Soft Toys was visually portrayed on Day 5 of the Art Challenge… Reading two horse books written by Monica Edwards “Wish for a Pony” and “The Midnight Horse” were the starting point. “Wish for a Pony” inspired me to draw horses and “The Midnight Horse” inspired me to create horses using fabric and other materials (see Toy Making).

Day 5 of the Art Challenge:

Inspiration and Imitation - Page from “The Midnight Horse” written by Monica Edwards & Toy Horse on Hand

Inspiration and Imitation - Newspaper clipping and toy Gundy Gay

Inspiration and Imitation - Phar Lap

I feel like I am “Just Bananas” because I am so passionate & borderline ‘crazy’ (i.e. bananas = crazy) about designing Soft Toys. I love to look at fabric creations and try to figure out how they are made & how to apply the techniques or methods to what I am aiming to create. I strive to learn and improve all the time. When making Soft Toys I aim for realism and prefer to refer to real live living creatures or good photos whenever possible.

I enjoy the design process, the drawing & cutting out of paper & fabric shapes. Sometimes I find the sewing a little tedious because I am such a perfectionist it can take many, many attempts and tiny revisions to get the shape just right! I am currently learning a digital drawing program & enjoying using it to make my Pattern shapes neat. Plus it is always fun to work with photos and create what I hope are clear step by step instructions. Then there is a new creative outlet that combines even more of the artistic skills that I gained as I grew up, namely Custom Fabric Design made possible by Spoonflower.com which is a dream come true! Perfect for all those occasions where I can’t find just the right fabric! If only I had more time I have so many ideas!

But that is not the full explanation as to ‘why’ I am “Just Bananas Over Soft Toys”… it’s not just about “me” being able to create the things I do it is about encouraging & supporting other people (e.g. other toymakers & designers) and about enabling others to create also (e.g. by creating Sewing Pattern PDFs).

When I heard about the Sewmamasew 6 weeks of Softies Competition I spent a lot of time thinking about whether to enter or not. I was keen to see all the fabric creations and hoped to see people who needed a little confidence boost or encouragement by way of positive feedback or winning a prize benefit from the participation. I felt the need to continue to work on my current PDF and wondered if I could spare the time to sew something(s) to enter.

My main motivation for entering is not based on a desire to win a prize. Even though I have been designing and making Soft Toys (off and on) since I was 12 years old I have only had an Online Internet presence for just over a year (Etsy & Craftsy shops, Facebook Page, Spoonflower shop and this WordPress Blog). By participating in the competition I hope to show a wider audience what I make. The best ‘prize’ I could ever receive would be to fuel and assist other people’s creativity!

Designing Soft Toys is my (almost all consuming) passion! Why have I pursued Toy designing instead of drawing, painting or ceramics? The main reason is repeatability…..

I could show you my drawings or paintings & provide you with some art supplies but would that empower you to recreate the images that I have created?

I could give you some clay and show you techniques and guide your hands but could you replicate what I have made?

I could create realistic Textile Art animals and birds etc using a freehand/organic non repeatable method but that doesn’t enable anyone else does it? However “if” I create a design for a Soft Toy and turn that into a PDF and/or Custom Fabric design I can take things one step further. This is where repeatability is the ‘star’.

Cut n Sew Fish with Fabric

Made using Spoonflower Cut n Sew Sateen fabric and Finger Pocket Fish 1 “This Little Fishy” Sewing Pattern PDF

Bay Cut n Sew plus Horse

Made using Spoonflower Cut n Sew Faux Suede fabric and “Wish for a Pony” Hobby Horse Sewing Pattern PDF

Chestnut Cut n Sew plus Horse

Made using Spoonflower Cut n Sew Faux Suede fabric and “Wish for a Pony” Hobby Horse Sewing Pattern PDF

Buckskin Cut n Sew plus Horse

Made using Spoonflower Cut n Sew Faux Suede fabric and “Wish for a Pony” Hobby Horse Sewing Pattern PDF

BTW If you want to know more about the Cut n Sew Fabric look here!

My aim is to give others the potential to achieve a close if not identical result as I have. As soon as a Soft Toy has been successfully created by someone who purchases a PDF then the imagination and creativity of the maker can be added to the base I have provided. I am longing to see the starting point I can provide become a unique and personal expression of someone else’s creativity.

Does it make sense now? Now do you understand why I say I am “Just Bananas Over Soft Toys”?

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2 thoughts on “Why I am Just Bananas Over Soft Toys

  1. Pingback: I was Hooked by This Little Fishy | Just Bananas Over Soft Toys

  2. Pingback: Wish for a Pony Fabric Dream | Just Bananas Over Soft Toys

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