Saturday, May 30, 2009

Weekend Features #1

There are so many cute, lovely, fun, whimsical, intriguing items I come across on my regular travels, I'd like to share them and give the artists a bit of love. In my first installment of Weekend Features (named as such until I can think of a better name) I'd like to showcase some crafts that share the same theme...

Guinea pigs!

Just look at this sweet little guinea pig figurine! The artist has several other cute clay polymer creations as well. Available at Joojoo's Etsy Shop .

These glass pendants are made with prints of original paintings of some sleepy guineas. The artist also has some cute prints and cards. Available at SuzannesGallery.

This guinea pig is the "King of the Castle", and who wouldn't want to see this friendly little face whenever you open up your book. Available at SavageArtworks.
Check out this cool art print! From a distance it's a cute cavy, but up close... it's a lot of cute cavies! In a limited run of prints, it'll look great on the wall of your caviary. Available from ArtBarkers.

At last, a greeting card that expresses what you need to say in just the manner that your guinea pig would say it. You can get this one from AfricanGrey.

Now this magnet had to be featured, not just because it's adorable but because this guinea looks a lot like my Kokiri, who has similar colors and always sticks his piggy nose up in the air. Available at Vozamer's Etsy Shop.

Thanks for checking out these lovely items, hope you're all having a great weekend!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Thirsty Parrot and a Rex Guinea Pig

I went to the Oregon Zoo for the second time this last week. It is a really nice zoo, not only do they have an interesting variety of animals but the zoo itself is very pleasant and full of greenery. It's quite different from the LA Zoo, which is small, hot and dusty. Here am I feeding a lorikeet, which I simply must do each time I go. For those of you who who are unfamiliar, they are colorful parrots from Australia and south-eastern Asia who have specialized tufted tongues that are used to collect nectar from flowers. At the zoo you can purchase a little paper cup full of nectar, and when you enter the enclosure the lorikeets will fly over and perch on your hand to drink up the nectar. The little guy who took up my offer of this sweet flowery beverage had some spots of sparse greyish feathers and he was shaking, I got the impresion he was picked on by the other birds. Poor guy. I took a lot of nice clear photos that make excellent reference material for drawings, especially of the otter, the beautiful fluffy wolf, the zebras, and the eagles. The tiger wasn't out due to construction. :(

I'm currently working on a skinny pig plushie (a skinny pig is a hairless guinea pig). I'm ironing out some details and should have it done and have some pics up pretty soon, but in the meantime check out this red and white rex baby guinea pig.

He's available in both my Artfire and Etsy shops.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pinkie says "Hello!" to the Sew What Guild Members

Pinkie says, "Hello!" and welcomes you all to my blog. She's got enough watermelon and apple slices to go around, so sit a spell and enjoy your visit.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Rat Plushie and His Mousie Buddy

Having created a sewing pattern for guinea pigs in 2 sizes and mouse plushies, not too long ago I set upon making a pattern for a rat plushie. To be honest, I'm not completely satisfied with the way he came out. He's really fat, and the hind legs are a bit too forward. The obesity of the plushie can be remedied easily enough but the limbs are another story. I'm going to work on a pattern for a rat that's sitting up on its hind legs, and see if that one feels more satisfactory to me. I tend to be a perfectionist, so if I don't feel that my work is as accurate as I want it to be, I won't make that type of plushie available for sale or commissions. But, he is kinda cute in his own chubby way, so he'll live with me and Gunther, a mouse plushie that came out too fat as well. They have a nice easy life, hanging out with the other plushies I make til they get sent to their homes, munching on snacks all day.

...Or is that the reason why they got so fat in the first place? By the looks of the following photos I'm starting to wonder.

Nomming on a donut

You can see the impatience on his face as his poses for this photo.

He couldn't resist the strawberry cake any longer

Chubby Buddies

Gunther amidst a plentiful bounty

Gunther claims the chocolate cake

...and now he's eating it.

Of course I can't just take photos of my plushies. I have to capture them in their natural environments, going about their daily lives. Sometimes I'm lucky to have a bit of their quirky personalities show through. In case you're wondering, I did spend way longer than I anticipated with all those plushie snacks. I'm not done yet either, I'm going to make all sorts of cookies in a bunch of varieties.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shop Update: Longhaired Guinea Pig Plushies

I've done a couple of guinea pig plushie commissions with long hair, and they came out extremely cute, so I decided to make some longhaired plushies as regular additions to my shops.

You may not be able to see their feet, but trust me they're there! Now available in both my Artfire and Etsy shops.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shop Update - Roan, Agouti, and Silver Guinea Pigs

I've got some new guinea pig plushies available in my shops, here they are:

Black Roan Guinea Pig - Adult-Sized

Brown Agouti Guinea Pig - Adult-Sized

Brown Agouti & White Guinea Pig - Adult-Sized

Silver Guinea Pig - Adult-Sized

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"There's an Intruder in My Parsley!" said the Guinea Pig

This morning an intruder was detected in one of the most dangerous places someone or something could unwittingly find themselves... a guinea pig's parsley! Most times this would result in death by unrelenting munching, but the stowaway was thankfully found before the parsley made it to the feeding dishes. The culprit? A ladybug! Exactly how long she (am I the only one who refers to ladybugs as a "she"?) had been hidden in there is unknown, but the parsley was purchased just yesterday and sat in the fridge from then til this morning. It's also fortunate that she was discovered as it was being washed, before accidently being rinsed away down the sink and possibly coming in contact with the garbage disposal.

I have to admit though, it would have been incredibly cute to see Miso with a ladybug on his nose as he nibbled his breakfast. Perhaps that'll make it into my Ideas for Drawings list.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My New Mascot Will Show You What I've Got

I have a new mascot, a little guinea pig hugging one of my guinea pig plushies. (He's right up there in my banner at the top of the page, in case you missed him). Right now he's got a couple of other plushies with him, an adult-sized guinea pig and a mouse. As I make more types of plushies I'll add them to the banner. I have a rat plushie done... sorta. He's really fat. I'm not completely satisfied with the pattern, so I won't have any ratties for sale quite yet. For now he's hanging out with my fat mouse plushie Gunther, stuffing themselves with all sorts of snacks.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Custom Plushie Update! Ruby & Rupert, Hamtaro, and Gipsy, Luna, & Mocha

I enjoy making plushies, especially when I'm creating one that captures the look and character of someone's beloved pet. That's part of the reason why I started making plushies in the first place. Here are the latest of my custom projects:

This cute little piggy duo are a couple of abbyssinians (a breed characterized by the rosettes all over their bodies that cause their fur to stick out in different directions). The Ruby plushie is a little smaller due to how dainty she is compared to her buddy.

Hamtaro is a cute little guy who unfortunately passed away. I love his green hat. Pocky let me borrow hers for the photo.

This is my first cross species commission. Gipsy is an agouti grey guinea pig with a cute pink spot on her lip. Her two mouse buddies are Luna, white with a bit of silver on her bum, and Mocha, a rich shade of brown.
I'm available for commissions on plushies of guinea pigs and mice (and soon other critters, like hamsters and rats). For a full gallery of my custom plushies see here:

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Before I ever sewed my first stitch, drawing was my main passion. My subjects were always animals, I found them infinitely more interesting than people. Throughout my childhood dogs were what I drew the most, with a sprinkling of unicorns (thanks to My Little Ponies for that) and some Nintendo fanart (those illustrations of Link and Mario in the game instruction booklets were too cool to not emulate). Later on I found a fondness for dragons. Now many of my recent artworks involve, you guessed it, guinea pigs. Here are a few of my latest and best artworks, all hand-drawn, hand-inked, and hand-colored.

"Mother's Love"

Mochi the mommy pig with her babies. Done with pen and ink, I really enjoy doing these detailed, realistic renderings. The pointalism background took a bit of time, but was well worth the effort.

"Koalphin Ahoy"

This was a birthday gift for my boyfriend's mom. She's a really sweet and supportive person. Dolphins and koalas are some of her favorite animals.

"Shoyu's Refuge"

A tribute for Shoyu, one of Ponzu and Mochi's kids. Passing away at a little more than one year of age, he hadn't showed any signs of anything being wrong so we're not sure why. RIP, little buddy.

"A Solitary Traveller"

This drawing was done a few years before any of the others shown here, but it's still one of my favorites. I worked on it on and off over the course of several months, til I'd had it completed to my liking. I love wolfies.

"Grapes are Fun"

This drawing began as a little doodle in my sketchbook. Little Pocky and her big brother Miso are enjoying a snack together while their dearly departed dad and brother look on.

"Happy Birthday!"

It began as a little birthday drawing for a friend on DeviantArt, but the idea grew and grew and I just went with it. Her guinea pig Minni dances on the cake as my little P climbs on. Mochi sneaks a pawful of frosting for herself.

"Chillin' Guinea Pig"

P loved that little couch. The day I got it, however, she kept moving around and around and constantly repositioned herself on it. I was able to do this drawing during the short moments when she came back to this pose.

"Autumn Falls"

Inspired by the loveliness of the season, this drawing was to have another to go with it featuring oak leaves. Maybe next fall...


This proud pooch is a borzoi, drawn mainly for the sake of experimenting with some new multiliner pens I'd recently purchased.

There are a bunch of other drawings and sketches that I've got tucked away, some dating back to my teen years. Perhaps I'll dig those out another day.

(All of these and more are in my DeviantArt gallery:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It Started with a P

Guinea pigs. They're funny, fuzzy, squeaky, and to those of us who've welcomed them into our lives they're some of the most charming rodents we've ever met. Five of these little characters share my home right now (at one point I had seven) and I couldn't imagine living without them. I haven't always had such an affinity for guinea pigs. They've nibbled their way into my heart a few years ago...

My first pet was a dog, a cairn terrier named Sugar, and following her was a scotty dog named Beverly. I loved them both dearly, and it was tough leaving Beverly behind when I went off to college. In the subsequent years I owned several mice and a small iguana, but I didn't feel I had the proper amount of space or time to devote to a dog.

It was when I was working at a pet store that I was introduced to guinea pigs. They were little skittish bundles of fur that dashed away every time I or anyone else reached to pet them. What terrible pets, I thought. Then this little piggy showed up one day. She'd been abandoned by her owner, and his roommate brought her into the store. She was the sweetest little thing, welcoming any attention that came her way. Luckily at the time I was about to move into an apartment that allowed pets so I quickly claimed her and was so excited to have my new little friend. I played with her every day at work til the move was finalized and then I went to work to take her home...

She died. The day before I came to bring her to her new home she passed away. Before I even had a chance to name her. I didn't understand guinea pig health at the time, so I didn't realize that she was underweight and sick. I was horribly heartbroken. One of my fellow employees told me that the other store in Westwood had a guinea pig available, so I should go there and take a look. Sigh, why not. That store wasn't far away. Upon my arrival, there indeed was a guinea pig. She sat there, a little black and yellow ball of fluff munching on hay, so little she was dwarfed by the rabbit who shared the pen. A surprised little squeak emanated from this furball when I scooped her up into my hands, then silence. She offered just an inquisitive look as those beady eyes stared boldly at me. They told me that someone had previously bought but returned her, citing an "ear fungus" as the reason. They treated her with some ear powder but even I could tell her ears were just fine (I have my own theories on why they really brought her back...).

And that is how my P-Chan came into my life. She was a fiesty one. By fiesty, I mean bitey. It took me a bit of time to realize that she didn't like her feet, chest, or tummy being touched and she was quick to let you know about it (and there we have the real reason she was returned to the pet store). We soon became fast friends, I doted on her and came to love this little cavy so very much.
Baby P

A couple of years later a neighbor came knocking on my door late one night, in her hands a cage. One of the other tenants told her that I had a guinea pig and she didn't want hers anymore. She was pretty much about to throw him away, if I didn't take him she'd either give him to someone who had a snake or take him to Petco, leaving him outside the store if it was closed. Of course, I took him. The poor guy was in a cramped cage with a wire bottom, and the tray had fur caked on top of what appeared to be a layer of bedding that had fossilized from lack of proper cleaning. I set about taking off that wire bottom (stabbing my finger open with a screwdriver in the process) and scraping the tray clean. When I offered him a bit of lettuce it was sadly apparent that he'd never had fresh veggies before. At first he seemed sad and confused, not knowing what was going on. I gave him a pigloo and litter tray, and replaced the ugly, cracked olive green bowl with a nice new one filled with fresh food (it smelled bad, too). Soon after he looked more relaxed and happy. Mr. Ponzu had come home.

A happy Mr. Ponzu with his son, Miso.

More squeakies came into my life shortly thereafter.

Sora was my birthday guinea pig, a beautiful little guy with a long red and white coat that shimmered (known as a satin). He became Ponzu's cagemate, and well, he was a bit of a scamp. Quick to run from you when he was in his cage, as soon as he came out he was so incredibly affable.

Tiramisu was a tiny black and white sweetie, a little runt who after several months never grew larger than the size you see here.

Next to join the fold was Mochi, a perky guinea who I nicknamed Crazy Legs due to her exploratory nature that simply wouldn't allow her to stay still. It wasn't long before she and Ponzu decided to have a family. Three precious piggy nuggets were born: two boys named Miso and Shoyu, and their little sister Pocky.

A quirky little cavy, Kokiri is a really friendly guy with one ear that sticks up while the other flops downward.

Lastly, Archie was a present last Christmas for my boyfriend (of course, he'd never have known the joys of guinea pigs if I hadn't introduced him to it).

Some are still with me, some have passed on, all of them have left thier mark on me. I'm sure there will be many more guinea pigs to come.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Humble Beginnings of a Plushie Artist

I believe in bringing an element of beauty to everything that I do.

Throughout my life, I've had 2 passions. Before I could even remember I've had crayons in one hand and a plush dog in the other. I maintained my enthusiasm for drawing as I grew older, often foresaking recess, playtime, and other activities so I could have a little quiet time to draw. I was fascinated by animals and studied them at great lengths to learn how to properly express their anatomical features and personalities. As for the stuffed dogs, there were quite a few. I had a great many plushies growing up, and read countless stories about animals (and often wondered what the world was like when you were an adventurous mouse) . I learned to sew at a young age, but plushies of my own creation didn't come about til much later.

My journey through life lead me along several paths. I left my New England home to study illustration at an art school in southern California. Unfortunately I did not graduate, and that is something I would still like to finish provided the opportunity rises. A variety of jobs came and went. I worked as a dog groomer and enjoyed the daily interaction with my beloved canines til my back began to ache . Video game testing was another fun venture, yet it still wasn't quite the right fit (despite the fact that I'd been an avid gamer since the NES came out... ah well). It wasn't til I ended a bad relationship and began to truly listen to my inner voice that I found a place and a calling that made me happy.

I live in Oregon now with my loving and supportive boyfriend and 5 guinea pigs, away from the obnoxiously sunny weather of Southern California. The grey chilly days are lovely, as is listening to the rain's patter on the greenery that is so abundent here. After growing up with 2 terriers I'm ready for another dog in my life (though perhaps I'll pick a breed without a strong prey drive for small animals!) My creative energies are focused on making life-like plushies of guinea pigs, mice, rats, and all the other little critters who you can never find any plushies of. With this blog I'll be sharing my work, from new types of plushies (and I am ever branching out to more animals), to my drawings and traditional artwork, and also a bit of my love and gained wisdom about my furry friends.