First off, a little backstory. Who are you? What do you make?
Hi! I'm Jessica, the creature creator behind Plushroom Soup, and I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Yes, it's cold here, and it snows a lot (especially this winter! 35 F and counting), but it also gets unbearably hot in the summer. So hot that I often fantasize about moving to Alaska, or Iceland, or northern Finland. Am I crazy? Probably.
Anyway, in this land of ice and snow and mosquitoes, I make strange little softies, ala zombies, dragons, yetis, fractured fairy tale characters. If it's bizarre, I want to put it in plush form. I like challenging popular notions that plush needs to be cute, or that it's only for children. Embrace the quirky, because we're all a bit odd in our own way!
What projects are you in the middle of right now that you should probably be working on instead of doing this?
Oh, so many. I have several outstanding custom zombie orders; I need to put the finishing touches on my pieces for Candyland, the Plush Team group show at Hot*Pop; I should get around to putting some V-Day themed items in the shop if I'm going to do it all. Oh, and unrelated to plush, I should also be ironing out the final details for my upcoming wedding reception, like ordering the keg or making sure there are enough chairs. . . .
Where do you primarily create?
I am lucky enough to have a dedicated craft room. This is a blessing (space! for fabric! and yarn! messes that I can close the door on instead of cleaning up!) and a curse (extra space means I can buy more fabric! and yarn! messes that I never clean up because I can just close the door!). All of my scheming, cutting out, and machine sewing takes place in this room. Most of my stuffing and hand finishing, however, takes place in front of the television. But I'm not rotting my brain on all that TV, because I'm still being productive. Right?
Where do you find inspiration?
Pretty much anywhere. I studied mythology and fairy tales in college, and both are continuous source of inspiration. I'm also inspired by nature, bits of conversation with friends, pop culture. Some of my ideas also come out of custom orders. My customers have awesome ideas for their custom orders (a unicorn horn on a zombie giraffe, for instance), and some of these details become regulars in my designs, or form the seeds for larger ideas.
Do you have a favorite book/blog/movie/etc you'd like to recommend?
This is a hard question to answer, because I have soooo many favorites. I'm a huge book nerd. HUGE. (No, like epic. I'm suge a huge book nerd that when I was younger, my parents punished me by taking away my books, because having my Barbies taken away wasn't really effective punishment.) So, for book recommendations, I'd say check me out on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/691384). For blogs, all the usual crafty suspects, plus right now I'm really digging everything Paul Overton is writing on Every Day Is Awesome (http://www.everydayisawesome.com). Very deep food for thought.
Where can readers see more of your work?
And if you're the knitterly sort, I'm also on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/Pucky
I love the above photo so much. It's not often that we get to see the middle of the process of making plush art. It's messy and fabulous! (And yes, of course there is coffee involved.)
Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your crafty life with us, Jessica!
★☆★☆★☆Pssst! There's still time! Be sure to leave a comment on the Pug Pattern giveaway post: http://www.absolutelysmall.com/blog/2011/05/12/pug-pattern-and-giveaway/ ★☆★☆★☆