Bromeliad Mini-Location Shoot

One bromeliad terrarium creates photoshoots for four different types of movies.

The shop Bromeliads in Okusawa opened last year. It’s a cute shop selling bromeliads (mainly airplants) and terrarium items such as glass containers, dishes, bits of wood, sand and other emphermera. An airplant doesn’t have a significant root system. It gets moisture and nutrients from it’s leaves.

I’d been popping in since Bromeliads opened and trying to decide what I wanted to get. Today I bought a few things, a glass container, sand, wood and two airplants. I got a butzii, which rather looks like a squid, and a tillandsia which is spiky looking but not really sharp.

It was fun to set up and once I had it all arranged, it really reminded me of a desert for a photo shoot or a movie set. So I went to my little rummage box (or as I will call it from now on my omnium-gatherum) and grabbed some lego minifigures, and other little plastic toys. Finally! My obscure toy-hoarding reaps some rewards. I ended up with the fixings for five different movie genres: Shakespearean drama, zombie-post apocalypse, aliens, creature feature and dragon fantasy.  Check them out below.

I particularly like the salary man alien. I have no idea where I picked it up. If you have other suggestions for mini-photoshoot sets, please comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

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CODENAMES: ARGYLE & ALBION. Or Argie and Albie.

argievsalbie_sketchI had several glorious pairs of pure wool socks. Eventually, they stretched and lost their ability to stay on my feet, plus got quite worn in the heel. Their lives as socks were over. But I loved their color and pattern. How to save them?

I like sock monkeys but I already made one and these socks just didn’t strike me as monkey material. I went to my trusty sketchbook and tried out a couple designs.

20140621-101733-37053833.jpgArgie was pretty easy. Inspired by a pair of dragon earrings by Clio Blue and Dr. Seuss, he’s fun but has a kind of elegance. He’s two flat pieces sewn together. The stuffing gives him the volume. The wings were a bit tougher to make. Stitching along the seam once I turned them right-side flattened them and gave them a bit more structure. The necklace and key charm were fun to add. Argie has the key to your heart. It took a long time to decide on the eye style. I thought about simple button eyes but ever since the movie Coraline, I feel a little creeped out by the four-hole button style. I needle-felted the eyes. I like them but maybe he needs eyelashes. Maybe someday but he is done for now.

20140621-101723-37043163.jpgAlbie was a lot tougher since I wanted to try a more 3-D style. I had a paper mockup but decided to YOLO halfway through. It was challenging to fit my pattern within the limited fabric amount. In the end I compromised by using some felt that I had in the house. I considered needle-felting the mouth parts but decided that was too much work. For the eyes, I played with a lot of buttons I had. I like the pink flower buttons because they balance reptilian aura of the blue yarn slash with cute, pink flowers.

Materials
Argie Albie
2 pairs old socks
Polyfil
Plastic beads
Thread
Felting wool: black and white
Ribbon
Key charm
Clasp
2 pair socks
Poly fill
Plastic beads
Thread
2 pink flower buttons
Navy yarn
Felt: red, blue, white

INFLUENCES  for Argie and Albie
Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton: I love their sense of whimsy and curly design elements.
20140621-204325-74605511.jpgClio Blue: these are my favorite earrings. Also, they have that curly thing.
Ikamura: a previous plushy I made using similar curly style and sewing method for Argie
Godzilla, Pacific Rim: The movies inspired the post name and naming style.

Doubty Dragon: With or Without Wings?

This is my newest plushy creation, Doubty Dragon. His real name is Doubtful Dragon, both because when i started out to make this, I doubted it would look like anything, and because I was using crochet for stress management when thinking about some problems. My husband started calling him Doubty and it stuck. This was my second crochet project so I hadn’t got the crochet technique down yet. When i started, i didn’t have any pattern, just freeform crochet with no purpose. Gradually the idea of a dragon emerged while doing the main body– a dragon or a blue lightbulb. I started in November but Doubty languished for a while at the sewing up stage.

The texture seems odd but I find it interesting despite the error in technique. I ended up doing the spine and the whites of the eyes a couple of times because I didn’t get an effect I liked. It was really hard for me to get the triangle string for a spine. I never found a pattern for it so had to make it up. More experienced crochet people probably find it easy, but it was really challenging for me. I didn’t realize until I sewed the spine on that I should have starched and ironed it first.

The only sticking point for me now is if I should put wings on or not. I’m not a fan of these wings. They seem too small and the shape is blah. I used a leaf pattern. Rather ironic considering his name.

So should I leave the wings off, add them, or try to design new wings?

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