Finally finished with the display plush for Noah's Ark! Along with Haven House and Demelza, Noah's Ark Children's Hospice provides end of life care for children in London. To find out more about the important services they provide, have a look at their website.
It's taken awhile. The base is high density foam covered in felted wool.It was my first time wet felting and I think I may have been too timid with the soap water mixture. Next time, I will use hotter water and also put in more soap. I put 2tsp of wool soap shavings in 1.5L of warm water. It wasn't a complete disaster; the wool did lock in place enough that it stayed on the foam but I think there is room for improvement.
I made the boat out of wool felt, and put in a cardboard piece in the base to stabilise the shape. The sides were filled with polyester toy filling, and the boy, girl, and the giraffe house I've shared before.
This project turned out more similar to the logo than Henry the hound for Haven House, so I'm happy about that!
My next project is a logo plush for Noah's Ark Children's Hospice. Their logo has a boy, girl, a house with two giraffes sticking out from the roof, all on a boat. I decided to go with wool felt to allow sufficient detail in 3D. To make the 2D logo into a 3D plush, I added curves to places to create shape and lengthened measurements to accommodate the curves without losing size. I want to share the pattern I designed to turn this lovely 2D logo into a 3D plush.
Here is the original logo I started with.
First is the pattern of the house. On the top right corner, you can see a picture of the finished house with the giraffe heads.
I think I missed one piece, for the other side of the house. This is a simple rectangle made by the smaller side of the roof side triangle and the smaller side of the house side rectangle- simple!
I cut out two roof pieces, one to sew onto the rest of the house and giraffes, and another to glue on top to achieve a clean finish. The window can be cut out from white wool felt from the outline of the window pane pattern. To get the house base sturdy, I added a rectangular cardboard cutout the same size as the house bottom piece at the bottom of the sewn base, filled it with polyester toy filling, and topped with another cardboard cutout of the same size before sewing on the roof. Cereal boxes are handy for this.
I came to learn about Haven House while reading about various hospice care facilities available to children in London. Haven House offers a wide range of services to families of children with life limiting conditions, including respite care, music therapy, physiotherapy, a toy loan service, to name just a few. Their Community Fundraiser, Matt Charlton, was kind enough to show me around the hospice last month.
The facility is based in The White House, a manor house with expansive grounds. The White House has a rich history prior to being leased to the Haven House Foundation. There are even trees planted by Sir Winston Churchill and Mrs Margaret Thatcher. Since refurbishment, there are five beds, a craft room, a sensory room, a special outdoor play area, etc to cater to children and their families. They have a clubhouse specifically for siblings, a wheelchair swing, as well as a trampoline that is built into the ground (which I was very much tempted to have a wee jump on!).
I was happy to get involved with Haven House Children's Hospice to make a plush of their mascot, Henry the Hound. They have a fur suit version you can see below the images of the plush I made out of mohair and ultrasuede. In the end, it turned out to be more of an artist bear project rather than a plush. It's fully jointed with cotter pins and filled with woodwool excelsior and polyester toy filling. The eyes were kindly provided by irideEyes, which offers a wide selection of eyes and noses for teddy bears and soft toys . The t-shirt is made out of wool felt.
I was a bit too keen to try using the traditional way of making teddy bears on Henry, which distracted me from keeping aesthetically in line with the original. I think regular polyester plush fabric would have turned out more similar to the fur suit.
If you want to find out more about Haven House or want to get involved, click here!
I made this display plush for the National Autistic Society based on their logo. Two figures in embrace slot into the larger plush. I used 100% wool felt.
In my last post, I shared the display plush I made for the nonprofit, Spoonie Survival Kits, that puts together gift bags for people with chronic illness.
In addition to the display plush, I made a few bookmarks for them to include in their bags.
In the era of preppers building bunkers and storing endless amounts of dried food and Heinz soup cans, Spoonie Survival Kits may sound like something out of a prepper catalogue. But not so!
Spoonie refers to a person who suffers from chronic illness, based on the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. The lovely girls at Spoonie Survival Kits (SSK) led by Pippa put together kits for spoonies to be sold online to raise funds for chronic illness charities, current one being Action for M.E.. M.E. stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis and is more commonly referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome.
The benefits are two fold; chronic illness warriors are able to purchase something tailored for them to brighten their day, and SSK can raise funds for chronic illness charities. What more can you ask for?!
The display plush I made is shown below, along with the SSK logo.
Following my Dotty project for Demelza Hospice for Children, I was excited to get started on to my next project, an elephant plush for Friends of Age Exchange.
Age Exchange is a charity that provides training of an innovative form of art therapy called Reminiscence Arts, involving music, drama, dance, crafts, etc., to engage people with dementia and trigger long term memory. You can read more about reminiscence arts here.
Friends of Age Exchange supports and raises funds for Age Exchange. They act as a community hub in Blackheath Village by running a cafe/library and they hold the well attended Christmas Fair.
This Elephant plush is to be used as a mascot of Friends of Age Exchange! It was based on the elephant on their Christmas fair poster.
Here are some pictures of the elephant that Marion of Friends of Age Exchange was kind enough to share! In order from left to right: Sunday Art & Craft Sale (earlier in 2016), Christmas Fair (December, 2016), Santa's Grotto (December, 2016, last two).
Demelza Hospice Care for Children provides tremendously valuable services for children with degenerative illness and their families. They provide a space for family bonding as well as mourning and I am grateful that such organisations exist today. I first learned about this organisation when looking for volunteering opportunities in London. Following my experience volunteering with a hospice in Toronto, I came to believe strongly in palliative care.
I made a display plush of their beloved mascot, Dotty, so they could use it for fundraising or display purposes. The first image is the display plush I made and the other two images are of their mascot. I hope you like it!
If you would like to find out more about Demelza or are interested in volunteering or giving to the organisation, please visit their website.
Here are photos of Dotty in action!
I've been looking for EN71-3 compliant fabric that meet EU and UK toy chemical safety standards to use in my display plushes. Here are some sources I found:
Plush Addict Microfleece
Plush Addict Polar Fleece
Plush Addict Cuddlesoft
FabricUK Printed Animal Fur
FabricUK Rainbow Fur
Fred Aldous Short Pile Fur
Fred Aldous Long Pile Fur
Fred Aldous Bobbly Cream Fur
Textile Express Fleece - Type in search box: EN71