Whiskers are hand knotted
in on creatures that have whiskers, the actual thing I use is 8
pound test fishing line in clear or gray, bought from any sporting
Eyes are either black wood
or plastic beads, flat backed acrylic jewel rhinestones or plastic
cat/owl eye safety lock craft eyes. The best glue I've found that
works with rhinestones is Gem Tac made by Beacon, or Aleene's Jewel-It
by Duncan Enterprises. Both can be found online.
Stuffing is Fiberfill--grade
A, purchased from Monterey Mills in Beloit, WI. They do bulk orders
and will ship, though it's cheaper to go down & get it in person
if you're close enough to do the trip.
Paints used on some of the
items is just the standard acrylic craft paint you can find at any
that carries craft supplies. Once dry it does NOT come off. Guaranteed.
I ruined a few pairs of jeans that way.
Any item that is wired has
14 gauge plastic coated electrical wire inside it. This is purchased from a hardware
store, they sell rolls of 500' for very low cost. The plastic
coating keeps the wire from 'rusting'. Ends of the wire are
looped back on themselves with a needle nose pliers so they won't
poke through the fabric.
The plastic stiffener I use
in the bird tails is Kydex plastic which is purchased from the local
plastics manufacturer (thank you Yellow Pages--even big industrial
businesses have a small store section where the local public can come in
Wood dowels are 3/16th inch,
purchased from the hardware store nearest me. Their prices beat all
Very good sewable 'teeth'
that can be hand sewn in can be found at Walgreens, in the cosmetic
department. Fake fingernails are wonderful, easily cut and
shaped with a scissors, and look realistic when attached.
Leather thin enough to be
able to be sewn with a standard sewing machine can be found occasionally.
Deer skin is the best. Kangaroo is next best - if you
can find it (I've heard falconers prefer kangaroo over deer for
their hoods). Leather from pig, cow, sheep, goat or impala is too thick
and inflexible. Snakeskin is too fragile and small. A
local shoe repair store is where I find scraps that are large enough to
cut up for falcon hoods and jesses for my soft sculpture birds.
Do I mind competition?
and to prove it, I've included links to soft sculpture sites that
have original work on them. Go look & see, I can tell
you not many people are doing their own original designs so it's
a good thing to find a few of these.
Why do I make stuffed toys that
aren't technically childsafe? Because I made them originally
for me, then to sell at science fiction conventions where adults
were buying them for themselves, THEN for SCA events, where 90%
(if not more) of what I sold was going to adults or older teens.
I never went into the baby/young child market and feel that
there's enough stuffed toys available for the younger generation
already being sold -- I prefer to stick with doing originals that
are aimed at adults.