"You know, he was always like a fish out of water around her...poor Lumpers, never mind, I says, plenty more fish in the sea, plenty more."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mutant sheep

by Sophie, age 9

This is X-sheep, the little-known mutant ungulate that liked to graze in the field surrounding a nuclear power plant.

"nice, little sheep."

The wolves stay well away from X-sheep.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I was up until midnight last night answering e-mails. This morning, I turned on the computer and there were 50 more. My quota was reached a couple of days ago, but I didn't have the heart to announce it. Especially because lots of people are just finding out about Child's Own Studio now, and sending in their drawings, and their children's drawings are so darn cute!

But if I don't say "stop", things will get very messy later on, and someone is going to be very hurt or annoyed or angry that their order didn't make it in time for Christmas. And the customer is going to be upset too. Seriously, I need to make the boundaries, so here it is:


(this is a line, I know, but someone has to draw it.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Days

"Are you going to be working like this from now on?" asked my husband, the other day.

"What?" I asked, not looking up from my sewing. But I heard him. My glasses are perched on top of my head because lately, I can't focus on near objects with them, things like needlework. I don't have the time (or truth be told, the inclination) to go get a prescription for some needed bi-focals. In front of me on the table are littered scraps of fabric, thread, and wisps of fibrefill. I, too, am covered with scraps of fabric, thread, and wisps of fibrefill. They cling to my clothes, like cat hair.

Behind me, my husband continues to stand there, watching me work.

I look up.

"Well, um, yeah, I guess so, probably-definitely until December."

"Working like this" means right after dropping my son at school, I head home to my "studio" to work on softies, which may include walking to the nearby store to buy fabric, answering e-mails, taking photographs of toys, writing out receipts, wrapping up toys, labelling parcels, and blogging-all day, every day including the week-end. It's been non-stop softie-making for the last couple of months. Sometimes, when I finish an order, I relax a bit and revel in the feeling of a job done before I start looking at the next child's drawing.

But I like it. Every aspect of it. I like working at home, alone, while listening to the radio. I like the projects, each one different, each one with a beginning and an end. I like interacting with people from around the world via e-mail and the Internet. I like looking at the drawings, figuring out how to execute certain details and watching the soft toys take shape. I like making customers happy and I like feeling that I've brought some joy to them. And although I may not like as much softie flops and less-than-satisfied customers, I have come to appreciate these as valuable learning experiences. I like seeing my handiwork get better and faster over the years. I like it all.

My family, on the other hand, is a little concerned. My son worries that I'll get stressed by too many projects or that I'll forget about him. He is right to be worried, because I have forgotten to pick him up from school, a couple of times. But now I set an alarm. Because the day flies by and suddenly it's time for me to go and pick up this smiling boy from school. We chat about our day over a snack or while he works on his homework. And when he goes off to play with his friends, I head back to my studio to resume my softiemaking.

robot and cat drawing by James G.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

If you know Eleanor, don't tell her mother about her Christmas gift.

by Eleanor, age 5

When Eleanor sent me her drawing, one that she did over twenty years ago, I commented on how nice the family looked with their colourful ear muffs. She then replied that they were not earmuffs, but actually ears! She went on to explain that the set of dolls would be a gift for her mother who has always loved this drawing, especially the detail of one of Eleanor's father's leg being shorter than the other, following surgery for an injury during the war. Finally she added that whenever her mother used to comment about the lack of arms, Eleanor would reply that they were behind their backs.

So, I had a great time making these dolls, with the ears, shortened leg, and arms behind their backs. Her father who had passed away, used to be "a demon for polishing (his shoes) all the time." So I made his shoes with black shiny satin.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dinosaurs Are For Girls Too

Even as a tomboy, I never really cared for dinosaurs when I was a kid. My nephew, for a while, was really into dinosaurs and he had clothes, pajamas and bedsheets covered in the dinosaur theme. He'd pretend he was a Tyrannosaurus Rex as he chased his little sister around. After our summer trip to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller and the Dinosaur Provincial Park, I realized I was being a dinosaur myself for thinking that dinosaurs were just for boys. Charlotte sent me a dinosaur drawing, and now here's another girl's drawing:

I called her Gloria.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Inebriated Giraffe

by Charlotte, age 7

Charlotte likes to draw. And she drew some very fine animals which she showed her mother, explaining that she wanted these for Christmas. "She had even offered a few ideas about how these animals could come to be, hoping at first that they might be found in a store and then suggesting that a relative or I could sew them." (Caroline, mom)

Her mother found me...

They all came out nicely, except the giraffe. Because of its long body and thin legs, it had a tendency to swoon or slip down into the splits, like it was sloshed. (Maybe that's why the animals are smirking) I didn't think Charlotte would appreciate an unsteady giraffe, so I undid the stitches and reinforced the legs with some wire, and now the giraffe is firm on her feet.

Don't they look like characters in a story?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chicken Little

by Naomi, age 5

Isn't this a cute drawing? This is the kind of drawing that I get excited about.

Until I had to figure out how to make the legs support the chick's bodies...hmmm.

Wire? Reinforced fabric piping? No, wood. I took a clothes pin, snapped it apart, drilled 5/32 holes and glued the hardwood dowels into them. Then I connected the top of the two legs with another small piece of wood (taken from an old yardstick.) The top little chick's legs are made of paper-wrapped floral wire.

Happy Birthday Naomi!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Christmas orders


That's the (lucky) number of orders I have on my plate now.  In the last couple of months, through facebook and other social networking services and blogs, lots of people have been finding out about Child's Own Studio. And since I'm a one-person enterprise, I need to let everyone know when I can't take any more orders in time for Christmas. There's no last order date, but a last order number. So, without further ado, here is The Child's Own Studio Christmas Orders Counter (over there, top of the right side bar). When it reaches the number 50, then that's it, the elf will not be taking any more orders for Christmas.  If it doesn't need to be ready for Christmas, then please contact me in January 2012 and I'll be very happy to look at your drawing then.

Thanks very much to everyone who has visited my website, blog and facebook page, and sent me your kind comments and enquiries.  Thank you!  Although it may take a while, I do reply to all the e-mails I get.    

*Update* Just realized that some people might be checking the number on this post as the Christmas orders counter. So, I'll keep updating it too.

***LATEST UPDATE*** I have just reached the quota. Please come back in January with your orders. Things will be quiet and calm, and it'll be a fresh start, and I will be sooo much more relaxed and nicer to deal with :)