I really try not to have favorites but I have to say, Ariana Marinelli is one of them. Ariana has participated in Plush You! every year and each year her work arrives there are gasps of delight from anyone that lays their eyes on her work. It's really a work of art with great attention to detail and the love that goes into each piece seeps out of the seams. Ariana is a true inspiration and I hope you agree. Leave a comment at the end of this interview and one lucky winner will receive two albino hedgehogs. Winner will be chosen on May 7th. At the end of the interview is another added bonus from Ariana.
S- When did you start making plush toys?
AM- I actually remember specifically what introduced me to the online craft/plush world. I was browsing the magazine section at my local library. I was thumbing through Budget Living (I still miss that magazine!) when I saw an article about Jill Bliss and her website blissen. I went straight home and looked up blissen.com, which led me to many other online craft sites. These led to other craft sites, one of which was Loobylu’s Month of Softies.
I made a couple of small plush pieces and something about it just clicked for me. I believe that was sometime around the fall of 2004. Loobylu is how I found out about Plush You. Without the Plush You show I don’t know if I would have taken plush making to the next level. The show definitely inspired me to push myself.
S- A lot of your work are really small detailed pieces, do you mainly hand sew or use a machine?
AM- I would say it is pretty close to half and half. I sew what I can by machine, but I do a lot of hand sewing. I wouldn’t be able to make what I do without all of the handwork. I am actually kind of a hand-sewing evangelist! It might be a little more frustrating at first but it really can’t be beat in terms of the control it gives you over the sewing process. I am always so surprised that more people don’t start with hand sewing and then move on to the machine because it requires so few supplies. It also builds your skills and makes you a more versatile sewer.
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