Saturday, December 20, 2008

In which Menticia and I spend three weeks making "Ugly Dolls."

I've known my 13-year-old friend Menticia for four years now, we met when she was in fourth grade. Every December I've been trying HARD to convince her that she should MAKE her Christmas presents. She has, until this year, preferred to buy c%$#p at Walmart, though she's enjoyed the crafts projects I inveigled her into. We've made books, wrapping paper, paper-maché candelabra with golden leaves and green vines, paintings, Sculpey jewelry, wall plaques...

... but this year was the first year she came up with her own craft project. She wanted to make "ugly dolls" for everybody in the family. (These two pictures show the "official" commercial versions.)

I'd never heard of "ugly dolls" before, we looked them up online and discovered:
The limited edition plush collectables emerged from the minds of two star crossed artists Sun-Min Kim and David Horvath who met at Parsons School of Design in New York City and based on the doodles David drew at the end of their love letters.

That Christmas, after moving back home to Korea. Sun-Min suprised David with a plush, hand sewn version of the first character he drew, Wage. He showed it to his friend Eric Nakamura who owns Giant Robot in LA. Eric thought he was pitching a product and promptly ordered 20. The rest, as they say is history.
You can see the official website here, the splash screen is very cute.

They are very expensive, but luckily, they are easy to make.

We bought sheets of felt, two of each color. Menticia drew her own designs for dolls, cut them out (with 1/4" of clearance for sewing), and then we gave them faces with scraps of fabric, embroidery thread, buttons, and a glue-gun. We sewed the backs to the front (leaving a couple inches open), clipped the seams, turned them inside out, stuffed them, and sewed them closed.

How I wish I'd taken a picture of the cute little family she created before it left the house yesterday! Getting them all finished was such a whirlwind, I forgot to get out the camera.


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