Basically when I opened the package from Penguin and Fish I let out a large gasp. Her work is amazing. Beautiful in fact. It's silly but classy and tailored like no one's business. I can't wait to meet you!!!!! If you aren't in love with her yet, you will be after this.
S- How long have you been making plush? What was the draw?
P&F- I suppose you could say that I've been making plush since I was around 8 years old. But in reality, I had some really great experiences making plush when I was little, and then I went on a hiatus until about four years ago. I've been making things my whole life but have just changed mediums throughout the years. Recently, I'd been doing a lot of illustration work and was feeling the need to get away from flat work and make something 3D and tangible again. So I started translating the little characters I was drawing into plush. I made a few different things at first, but when I landed on my Kitty design I felt that I finally had a good representation of my drawings. So I went with it.
S- It looks like you just completed your first children's book, congrats! Can you tell us anything about it?
P&F- Eeeee! I'm super excited about this! The book is called No Monster Here and is about two brothers who's game of hide and seek becomes a larger search for the monster that lives on their house. I illustrated it and my mother-in-law, Colleen Thomas, who has been a teacher and storyteller all of her life, wrote it. We were just at the printer last week to review the book and it's looking awesome, we're really happy with how it turned out! They're getting bound right now and I'll have actual books by next week. Yay! We are selling them online at http://nomonsterhere.com. On the website you can also see pics from when we were at the printer and you can read the entire book there as well.
S- You also sell embroidery patterns on etsy. How often do you embroider compared to plush making?
P&F- I think I spend a little more time making plush then I do with the embroidery patterns, but not by much. I spend a lot of my time on the computer doing admin type tasks like emails, inventory and marketing. When I'm not on the computer then I'm doing whatever project needs to get done. Over the summer it was working on finishing up No Monster Here illustrations. Now it's embroidery because I want to get through designing the entire alphabet of my alphabet animal patterns before November. I think I have about six letters to go. But really soon I'm going to have to get going on the plush again full steam.
S- Where are your favorite places to find materials?
P&F- The materials for my plush Kitties, Unicorns and Horses are pretty specific. They are made out of woven wool fabric that I felt so the fabric becomes soft and poofy. I basically google "100% wool fabric" and then experiment with the fabric from several stores. I used to use found and reclaimed materials for fabric, but found that I needed the consistency of purchasing yardage. I do still make a lot of plush out of recycled materials. I make pigeons and teddy bears out of reclaimed sweaters, and I love unravelling sweaters to make yarn. It feels like you're making yarn with magic. So much fun!
S- What is the most exciting thing you did this summer?
P&F- That would definitely be finishing No Monster Here. Illustrating a children's book is so much work and takes a while to do so it's been really rewarding just to have finished such a big project. I'm really excited now to get it out into the world. Woo hoo!