What’s New In Luvvies – 7/16/18

I told y’all for someone whose first professional job after college was as a reporter, I am a terrible blogger. And, it’s not because I don’t have a lot to share with you all (because I do), it’s because I don’t have enough hours in my day (lol).

Probably the biggest announcement since the last time we chatted is that I have been approved as a vendor at Rhode Island Comic Con in November 2018. This will be only the second convention that I have attended, and it will definitely be the largest. I am so excited to be able to share my Luvvies with a wider audience, but terrified at the implication of interacting with that many people at once (and having enough supplies on hand).

Other than that, I have been having a blast exploring new patterns on Etsy – the ones I’m finding from One and Two Company, Yarn Society, and Storyland Amis are quickly becoming my favorites. They are so cute, and while most of them are using the same techniques that I’ve become familiar with, there are others that are testing my skills, and I’m having a blast.

 

One of the things I’ve been proudest of is my “mock” Mickey Mouse that I was able to get looking pretty darn close to the original. There still is room for improvement, but he is one of the most complicated pieces I’ve ever worked on, so I’m glad he is as cute as he is.

 

Thanks to the lovely ladies at 3amgracedesigns, I was able to make this awesome Awareness Ribbon Cuddler. The one above was my first attempt at the project, and I think it turned out pretty well (except I didn’t realize quite how large this was going to be and I ran out of yarn in the main color and had to stitch together in an accent color.

For my first one, I had to do green as it is for Organ Donor Awareness. When I was 9 (my daughter’s age now), my mother was diagnosed with chronic active hepatitis. By the time I was in high school, she was on the liver transplant list with a chance of six months survival. Thankfully the odds were in her favor and on February 1, 1995, she received a liver transplant, which kept her with us for an additional 21 years.

I have always been so grateful to the family who donated their loved one’s organs so that other people – including my mother – were able to live. I have been a very strong advocate of organ donation ever since, so it was only fitting that the Organ Donor awareness cuddler was my first.

 

I also worked to update my Hello Kitty pattern to make sure she is ship shape for Steel City Con. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to smuggle her away from my baby bear, but she is safely tucked away and ready for the convention. I still need to work on getting the whiskers a little more prominent and even, so I am 98% happy with her.

 

My track record with dolls has not been the best. My experiment with Belle from Beauty and the Beast is one that I would care not to relive, and somewhere in my living room is an abandoned human Ariel from the Little Mermaid who still needs a second arm. But this pattern from One and Two Company was so sweet that I had to try to make it. Overall, I think she turned out rather good. Her little skirt turned out absolutely adorable – it is so fluffy.

Which leads me to my most recently completed project. I absolutely fell in love with this little gingerbread boy from Storyland Amis. From his overstuffed little head, to the cute little gumdrop buttons, I loved making this sweetheart.

I worried for a bit when I started making it that I wasn’t going to have enough of the color that I started with. I used Vanna’s Choice in Honey: It was a new skein when I started, but after the head was done, I started to get a tad worried. However, it all worked out, and I had some yarn to spare. I’ve made a gingerbread person before (with a different pattern), but there was something about this one that I just fell in love with. I think I need to make his sister soon.

Now, the $64,000 question is what am I going to start on next. With T-minus 24 days until Steel City Con, I do need to make some more items for stock, but what type? Do I make more generic Luvvies (like my little gingerbread boy and my hula girl)? Do I work to focus more on the superhero genre? Somewhere in the middle?

Hopefully by the time I get home from work tonight, I’ll be able to settle on one project or another. The time is drawing close and I want to make a good premiere showing.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

Buying handmade in the era of Amazon Prime

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There is a lot of serious issues we are faced with every day when it comes to the news and what is happening, perhaps, in our own families. One of the things I try to do with this blog is to keep things light – I am talking about (and hopefully trying to sell) stuffed animals, it isn’t on the same level with finding the cure for cancer, and I hope my tone usually reflects that.

However, this is going to be one of those rare occasions when I have something a little weightier to say. That alone is a terrifying concept for me, because I do not like confrontation and try to avoid it like the plague; but, this is something that I have not been able to shake, and it needs to be said.

Read More…

Luvvies or Loveys? – You Tell Me

There is an interesting fact that I was not aware of when I started Lil’ Luvvies and the name: The name lovey already was commonly in use, but had a more specific meaning.

I spent a month in England during my junior year of undergraduate education, and I picked up more than a few “British-isms” when I returned. One of which was the name (and spelling) of luvvie, a term of endearment or affection that you show to someone.

When my daughter was born in 2008, that endearment was transferred to her…and then to her stuffies – her stuffed animals. The funny thing is, even now that I have Lil’ Luvvies up and running, I still call Desi luvvie and it sometimes confuses her because she is not quite sure what I am referring to.

However, it wasn’t until about a month after I had decided on the name, started working on the Web site and was almost ready to launch everything that I realized there was another, similar term in use in the crochet community.

Turns out a lovey is the commonly referred to term for a mini-blanket with a plush head and arms: This also is what (my generation) probably would have referred to as a security blanket. It is a mixture of stuffed animal and blanket.

Herein lies the problem….I make both and I have no clue how to make a good distinction.

To me, all of these cuties above are Luvvies. I put my heart (and sometimes strands of my hair, by accident) into each and every one of them. But, with as much joy as I get out of making these adorable babies, I also love to make the security blankets.

And these security blankets are some of the items that I really am proudest of.

Herein lies the problem (for me, at least): What do I call these blankets? I don’t want to call them security blankets, but I think their uses far surpass the stigma of a traditional security blanket. I think these could definitely be emotional support objects for older children (and even adults, I know I still have plushies and small comfort items to help me when my anxiety is bad).

I know the name lovey is probably the most widely known, but I wonder if that is too redundant and confusing to call them a Luvvies Lovey?

I’ve experimented with calling them Comfy Blankies, Soothing Blankies, Blankie Luvvies, and other variants, but nothing seems quite right: Those names just don’t seem to fit their personalities. And I do worry straying too far from the commonly accepted name could mean people don’t find my work and don’t consider it an option. Or they think they are looking at a plushie/doll-type Luvvie and are disappointed to find the blanket version instead.

Basically, I’ve reached an impasse. I have experimented with and taken down so many different variants of the name that it really is crazy. So, I’m turning to all of you: What do you think a good name would be? Let me know, and if I pick your response you will win either a Pikachu or an elephant blanket luvvie of your choice of colors. (All answers need to be received by August 1, 2018, winner will be announced August 12th).

I’m excited to see what everyone has to say and thank you for helping me to make this important decision.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

What’s New in Luvvies? 7/3/18

At my day job, we are involved in a major project implementation, and part of my role in that is to design a weekly newsletter that gives everyone a snapshot of what has happened in the previous week. Since I’m not the world’s greatest blogger (which is so funny because I started my professional career as a journalist), I thought maybe I would be able to use the same technique to keep everyone up-to-date with what is new in the world of Luvvies, since there always seems to be something happening.

New Designs

I have been experimenting with a lot of different designs, and revisiting some old standbys, to mixed results. I aim for consistency, but it seems like I can never replicate a pattern the same way twice. In a way I guess that’s a good thing because it makes the item more unique with its own personality, and reflects that it isn’t a mass produced piece. At the same time, is it so annoying that I can’t make it perfect every time.

In addition to making Luvvies, I have been adding some novelty scarves and hats to my stash for the upcoming Steel City con. Desi was so excited by the pencil scarf that she wanted to make it into a smiley face.

When I first told one of my besties that I was making a pencil scarf, she didn’t think it literally would look like a pencil. I said that is the absolute beauty of it.

I also branched out a little to try to make a more iconic figure. His nose is a little more rounded than I wanted and his eyes aren’t perfect, but I thought he turned out to be a pretty good facsimile of our favorite animated mouse.

I think that he will be a good addition to my stock for the convention. I am going to try to replicate him again for a custom order, but try to crochet the eyes and buttons instead of having the felt.

Clean up, Clean up, Everybody Clean up

My husband has been rather accepting of the copious amount of yarn that are in our living room – which doubles as my work room – however it was getting to the point where you could barely walk in our living room without stepping on a ball of yarn.

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It was a little chaotic and disorganized. So a trip to Target and two big storage containers later, it was at least slightly less hoarders-esque.

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The sad thing is those two big containers still didn’t fit all the yarn that I had in the living room – and that’s not taking into consideration the shipment that I have coming in this week….it was a good sale, and I had a coupon, and I needed to make stock for the stores….nope, I just wanted more yarn to play with.

On the Horizon

In the upcoming week, I just plan to keep working on designs and making sure I’m in a good place for the stores and for the convention. Probably the end of July/beginning of August, both stores will be going on a slight vacation while I go to the convention and then recover. I’m sure there will be lots of interesting tales of how that turns out.

Until then, happy Independence Day to all my American friends – have a safe and happy July 4th!

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

Have a Little Help From My Friends

I have a tendency when I get passionate about something that I don’t do things in half measures. I go from mildly interested to complete and total obsession in about 1.7 seconds. It’s been a hallmark of my personality for years. At times it can be an adorable eccentricity that is easy to overlook; at other times, it becomes all consuming.

I’m not quite sure where my amigurumi love is falling right now. I hope it is still in adorable eccentricity, although I think it is crossing the line. I’m fine with that…my family not so much, especially as I get closer to Steel City Con. Now, it’s a matter of what do I make? How many will I make? Will people think my Luvvies are cute enough? I’m sure that many a friend and family member wants to smack me across the face if they have to hear this lamentation one more time.

But, I am ultimately blessed. I do not have a large circle of friends, but the friends I have are loyal to a fault. They are supportive and they don’t call attention to the fact that they have heard me whine about the same topic 500 times already. I’m also lucky that my family supports my endeavors as much as they do…even if there is some yarn that had to be hidden so my husband wouldn’t know quite how much I spent – but I need options.

My friends have especially been a blessing in helping to get the business off the ground. I am an accountant by trade – that is my day job, and ultimately how I earn my living. I may take great joy in making stuffed animals and may want it to be my primary vocation, but 50 hours a week I am at my desk as an accountant. And I enjoy my job…I just enjoy making Luvvies a little more.

As I try to bring the Luvvies more to the center and make a go of an actual business, it becomes harder to maintain that balance.

My friends and family have been very helpful at keeping me grounded. They give me suggestions on what is working and what is not and help me think about different ways to try things.

I have friends jumping in to help during the convention so I don’t go (more) crazy than usual by sitting at the table. One of my besties has had to listen a million times to the concern: What if no one shows up? What if they don’t like what I’ve made? —– Or the now daily refrain, “What if I don’t have anything to sell?”

I’ve been worried about getting out here with a business again – my first experience was not pleasant. But, I think I have a better product; something I definitely love more; and I have infinitely more support behind me.

Now if I can just make it through the next 39 days without driving everyone insane – or making them raging alcoholics – we’ll be good.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha