Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beeper Bebe Interview and Giveaway!

I really like the work by Beeper Bébé. It's really cool to think that this woman has only been making toys for three years now! Her work is really amazing. It's my great pleasure to interview Holly this week. Leave a comment here for your chance to win your own Woodland Baby Beasts, Your choice of which animal you would like too! Leave a comment along with your contact info.

S- How long have you been making plush?

BB- I’ve been making plush since my son was about 1 year old—which is the marker in my mind because his birth really gave birth to my interest in making toys. I have always been crazy about toys—although it was largely in secret from my friends and family because I felt it was kind of weird to be an adult and still love plush toys so much. Then, I had a friend who offered me the opportunity to participate in tandem with her in a neighborhood art crawl so I thought I would finally give it a try and make some patterns for some plushies. And they sold really well, and it all evolved from there. So, all said, I guess I have making toys for about 3 years now.

S- It seems like you use a lot of recycled materials. Where do you get most of your supplies?

BB- I do use a lot of recycled materials. I have utterly fantastic thrift shops in my neighborhood in south Minneapolis and I buy almost all of my stuff from one in particular—Savers. Although, I do have friends who offload their old sweaters and crafting miscellany to me knowing I will find a use. But I buy loads of wool and cashmere sweaters at my local thrift store, and unused fabric that they always seem to have in unreasonably large pieces (especially fleece), wool tweed suit coats, and then anything extra I might be looking for to make a particular piece. And I find a way to use most of the items I thrift—for instance, with a cashmere sweater, I will save the cuffs and make little scarves and cardigans and hats for my smaller plush, then I make little cashmere hats for babies from the bottom portions of the sweater with the ribbing, and will make larger plush from the body and arms of the sweater—and scraps that are smaller are made into smaller plush like my Beddy Bye Beasts, or if they are too small to use, I toss them in a sack and use some of these in combo with fiberfill to stuff my plush. So it is really like the native American philosophy of using the whole animal and wasting as little as possible.

S- You have been making those adorably small bitty bebe's a lot more. Is a lot different making items that small? Why did you choose to go so small?

BB- I chose to go small because I personally love bitty things and think when things are smaller, they are somehow more adorable. And I had this image in my mind of a little hand sized doll I had when I was 6 years old and her little clothes and how easy it was to carry her around in my little purse and always have her with me— I always found having to my toys with me to be comforting. So I wanted to create something that could create that experience for other kids.

Certainly, working smaller has its challenges. It required a whole new set of tools to be able to turn out all those little corners smoothly and firmly stuff the doll. And I also had to trace my patterns onto the fabric (rather than pin them on as I usually would) because such little pieces require much more accuracy in shape or you end up with blobby, instead of bitty, baby parts.

Read full interview here


Leeanna Butcher said...

Love Beeper Bebe! I really enjoy all her work on flickr and the Needle blog. Great interview. I am in awe on anyone working that small- it's something I can't manage myself! :D

Barbara Prime said...

Everything she makes is so adorable!

sarah said...

So cute!


Lyn said...

Beeper Bebe is awesome! I checked out her Etsy, and everything is simply lovely!
My choice of animal? Everything!! Lol. They are all so adorable! There's Plaid Bear (love the heart on the bears' tummies);Spotty Fleece; White Shaggy... Too precious! And it's awesome how recycled materials can be used to make these adorable-ies.
Thanks for doing the interview! And I hope Holly achieves her dream of becoming a cowgirl soon! =D
zlyn88 (at) gmail (dot) com

quitecontrary1977 said...

the woodland raccoon makes me smile!

Kim said...

Oh Dear..I seriously need to learn to sew..not that my things would be as cute as Beepers!! awesome... sweet ... stuff!

Bunny B said...

So cute!! I'd love to win!

bunnybx at gmail . com

Kitty Vane said...

Yay! What a lovely interview!
I'm a big fan of Beeper Bebe's work and it's great to learn more about her and her cute plushies.


Kimberly Pye said...

What adorable creations!

I would LOVE one of those little babies!

KimberlyPye {at} gmail {dot} com

Anonymous said...

I like the Pink Plaid Bear


amberleahorsefly said...

What cute plushes! I love love love Evelina the Sock Monkey...Sock Monkeys make me smile and are very special to me!


micaela6955 said...

I really think the Woodland Baby Beast Brown Spotty Fleece Bunny was so cute! My daughter would just love it!

micaela6955 at msn dot com

Ali said...

Oh! how gorgeous are they?! And I love the fact a lot of the materials are 'upcycled' too. The little deer with the antlers is just so sweet! Thanks for showing me these gorgeous things - I hadn't heard of Beeper Bebe before.

Kimberland Designs said...

Beeper Bebe's work is adorable. She is so creative in her designs. My favourites are her baby beast dolls - especially the racoon. They are all so cute and I love the extra details she has added to them to make them special (and unique).

Kim =)

Paige said...

Oh, for cute! I like the Woodland Baby Beast Black Faux Fur Raccoon.

misty said...

Too cute, I love them all. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

planetmisty at gmail dot com

Secondhand Nation said...

Beeper Bebe is so rad. I'm very proud of you!

Anonymous said...

I love the Woodland Baby Beast White Shaggy Faux Fur Bird. That is way too cute!

Anonymous said...

^^ they're adorable!!! i think the one with antlers is my favorite <3