Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Many thanks to those who purchased a handmade toy from us in 2010. It's because of you that we can continue to work full time as artists/toymakers. We're excited to share what new things we've cooked up for 2011... Starting with a pretty tough New Year's Resolution: We're planning on launching a new free download/activity every week on!

Our first is part of a monthly series of desktop wallpaper calendars - January showcases penguins playing in the snow! You can download it in 800x600 or 1440x900 format on's free stuff page.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Squids w/ Masks - Fool's Mansion Halloween Art Show

I originally wanted to make a squid wearing a ghost costume for this year's annual Halloween Art Show at the Fool's Mansion in Salem, MA. A good idea in theory, but in reality, covering up your hard work in a white sheet with eye holes doesn't really do it justice. So, I opted for making a mask. Then, I loved it so much that I had to make three. :)

Squids without masks, waiting patiently for Halloween to finally come.

The squids are really happy to have their masks and their "trick or treat" bags.

A better view of the details and hand embroidered bag.

The Halloween Art Show at the Fool's Mansion in Salem, MA opens on Saturday, Oct. 2. There will be an opening party that evening. Come check out some amazing local artists!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Plush You - Zooguu Angler Fish

This two-foot plush angler fish is heading out to Seattle to be part of this year's annual Plush You gallery show. This plush is particularly interesting because I tried a new technique, making my own pattern for the fabric. The body is made up of two pieces of fabric. The top layer is all free form drawn and hand cut, then appliqued on top of the lower layer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chicago - Renegade Craft Fair

Gubicza and I just got back from Chicago, a short 16-hour drive away. It's nice to take some time out and do a weekend show in another city. Since we had friends coming in from all over to do the show, we were able to relax, hang out, be tourists and eat some great food together.

Saturday started out with rain (we were booth 171):

Here's part of our setup:

The ornament display I built last week:

Friday night in Millenium Park:

Deep Dish Pizza:

And us at "the bean" (Cloud Gate):

Thanks, Chicago, for another great year. Even with the rainy start to the event, we ended up having an even better show than last year! We met some wonderful new people, saw familiar faces and had a great time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Theme #2 - Fire

Gubicza and I are trying to introduce a theme project every week to help us be more creative and break away from our regular production schedule. Every Friday, the new theme is announced (Gubicza chose "spiders" as the first theme) and we have until the next Friday to create a piece based on that theme.

This week's theme is Fire. Gubicza did a piece for his new series of prints. The first three of this series will debut this Sunday at the SOWA market. I chose to create a plush dragon. A large one. This dragon is 13" tall and 28" long. I used fabrics that I've had for a long time, but don't normally use for my plush. The corduroy remnant adds a nice texture to the underside. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Space Station Conference Room for Etsy

Here's the final room in our series for's corporate offices: The Space Station Conference Room!

This particular room has large windows on every wall that look into other rooms and into the main entryway. To complete the outer space look, and to create a "handmade" space station, I commissioned "space quilts" from other artists to hang in the windows: Katherine Rasmussen of Reiter8, Desira Pesta, Alissa Haight Carlton of Handmade by Alissa, Briana Taylor of BTaylor Quilts, Chanel Kennebrew of Junkprints, and Kristy Reichert of Beacon Bookmarks. I also had help from Jon Reichert of Box Designs with building custom archways and installing ceiling panels. Katherine Rasmussen not only created one of the quilts, but also upholstered all of the padded, grey panels for the ceiling and archways. RHLS even helped with painting the walls and ceiling.

Now, on to the show:

An overview of the room showing an archway, the wall treatments, the table and rug.

One of the doorways to the room. Quilts by Katherine Rasmussen & Kristy Reichert.

The front of the room has a projector screen that is framed in like a sci-fi view screen. Fake electrical panels along the wall add humor and color. This one monitors moustaches. Others track resellers, alert that a forum flame war is taking place, monitor treasury activity and track cephalopod production. :)

The other doorway. Quilts by Briana Taylor and Desira Pesta.

White panels on white walls add a nice texture and space-y feel to the walls. Two more electrical panels.

The back of the room has another white board that is framed in like a view screen.

Two wearable jet packs are hung on the walls by doorway 01 along with two electrical panels. Quilt by Alissa Haight Carlton.

The ceiling and the undersides of the archways feature rows of upholstered panels.

A large, orange E for Etsy is showcased in the center of the rug.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Venusta Orchard Spider Plush

We've been in production mode for the last few days, building up our stock for future fairs, new stores and yes, the holiday season. In the spirit of keeping creative, I decided to take some time to create something new and different. We've been spotting lots of interesting looking spiders around our new home, and I decided to make a (much larger) plush version of one of the prettiest we've seen. It's a Venusta Orchard Spider, and it's got amazing green and yellow coloring with brilliant orange markings. It's completey harmless, and we're glad it's around to eat insects. For a sense of scale, the front legs are 14" long, and he seems pretty comfortable hanging out in a tree. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Octopus Clock @ The Fool's Mansion

On display at The Fool's Mansion in Salem, MA is a new piece I created for their themed "From the Depths" art show. It is a plush octopus that is clutching an antique clock face. I outfitted the clock face with a new, working mechanism. After creating the giant, plush cuckoo clock for Etsy I have wanted to play with more functional pieces. The whole thing is about 18"x18", so a pretty good size. Gubicza has also provided an original wood cut for the show of a sea captain. The gallery opening party is tonight from 8-10pm.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Giant Plush Office @ Etsy

It's finished!! The 9 week long project that Brian and I have been working on is coming to a close. We've been planning, cutting, designing, painting, sourcing materials, hammering and learning new skills. When Etsy asked us to spruce up some small rooms in their corporate office space, we jumped at the chance. The rooms are tiny (5' x 7') and are used by staff to make private phone calls. When we arrived, they were bare and uninviting. Now, they each feel like a unique universe.

Brian chose to design an amazing Evil Villain's Lair (see below). Since the space was already small, I wanted to play with scale even more. What if everything in the office was larger than life? My specialty is plush, so I set to work on making giant plush office supplies. Here are some more detailed shots:

Vintage Royal Typewriter

Red Swingline Stapler & Vintage Black Telephone

Red Swingline Stapler

Vintage Black Telephone

Etsy Coffee Mug

Plush Cuckoo Clock

Cork Board & Thumbtacks

Many thanks go to:
Rob Kalin
Sarah Starpoli
Brian Gubicza
All of my studio mates for looking at everything along the way, whether they wanted to or not. :)

Next up - the photos of the third room to come this weekend!

Villain's Lair @ Etsy

The first of three rooms that Brian and I are creating for Etsy is complete! Enjoy the Villain's Lair!

More photos and full description over at Brian's blog:

Monday, March 08, 2010

New Exhibit - Collaboration with Bren Bataclan

"Baha", a new exhibit featuring paintings from artist Bren Bataclan (, will have its opening this week. In addition to Bataclan's paintings (many depicting the heroism, resilience and compassion of the Filipino people during the recent floods), 15 plush pieces based Bataclan's regular, whimsical characters will make their debut. Bataclan asked Zooguu to create the first 3D plush versions of his characters, and we were delighted to have the opportunity (and the challenge) of interpreting his work.

Join us for the celebration:

Thursday, March 11, 5:00PM to 9:00PM

The Harbor Art Gallery @ UMass Boston (in the McCormick Building on the First floor)
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125 US

Friday, March 05, 2010

Documentary - Tuttle 2 Texas

Gubicza and I were interviewed today by documentary filmmakers! Heather & Michelle were here from London, traveling from Boston > Austin interviewing people about how the internet has changed culture, community and business. We had a great time talking about how we use the internet for our business, how a lot of our real-life friends were internet friends first, and we even showed them how we make animals! We wish them luck on the rest of their travels, and thank them for including us in their journey.