Friday, November 22, 2013

Critter Love! Holiday Gift Idea.

In this day and age of technology, we find ourselves searching, researching and spending an enormous amount of time on our computer.  Not a bad thing.  Not at all.  

It's also a great way to meet people.  People who share common interests.  Every once in a while you meet someone you click with.  Cindy Friend is one of those people for me. We met over a year ago via Facebook and Etsy.  She is a great person, kind, funny and has a heart of gold!  I am thrilled to have a friend like her!

Today, I wanted to give her and her Etsy shop: HANDMADE BY COSMO a little blog love! I asked her a few questions about her art/craft and thought what better time of the year to share some unique gift ideas!

Christmas Reindeer
This little guy has always been one of my favorites!  The ears (oh my), the sweet little face (so kissable) and the attention to detail amazes me!

How did you get started creating your Critters?

I love working with my hands.  My hands have generations of talent in them.  I can't draw, but I can stitch.  When I was a kid, my favorite toys were firmly stuffed plush toys. Sometimes an idea hits you right in the middle of the brain and there's not much you can do but act on it! Most times it turns out to be the right move.

How do you decide what Critters you are going to make?

This is the best part of it.  Well, one of the best parts!  What I really like is working with the patterned or textured felt.  I love to make a giraffe with cow spots, or a horse in a pink cheetah print.  A flying zebra pig, you bet.  How about a giraffe print alpaca, or a painted pony pig?  That's what I like.  And the custom orders!  Making a Critter in someones favorite colors...I love the personal touch!  

A few adorable Critters in her shop!
Why do you do it?

I do it because I love it.  I love tracing the pattern, I love cutting it out.  I love making my stitches so precise.  I love stuffing it, as it comes 'alive' and I can see the personality coming through.  The best part is sewing on the eyes, which I do last.  Each of my Critters, while made from the same patterns, come out with a somewhat different look, every time.  Each one becomes a one-of-a-kind creation.
Check out the stitching!
Tips and advice for selling on Etsy?

Honestly, I have put my personal life in front of my sales and creating this year.  My daughter and granddaughter are staying with us while our son-in-law is deployed.  In April they will be going to Germany for a few years.  Right now I'm soaking up all the girl time I can.

Last year my shop was very successful.  You have to work it and work at it.  Promoting, connections, treasuries, facebook and blogging.  You have to get yourself out there.  Get business cards and pass them out...everywhere!

Lastly, believe in yourself.  What you are doing, what you love to do!  Your spirit is singing when you are doing something you love!

Last year Cindy made me a special Unicorn.  It was adorable!  Mary...the dog thought so too! She got a hold of it and chewed its horn, ears and mane to pieces!  I now call it my 'punk' unicorn!  

Cindy's Critters are amazing!  Seriously some mad skills here!  She is always coming up with some incredible combinations!


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