As we sprint into 2014, I am pausing to reflect on all of the creative people who have placed custom orders with me over the last year or two. THANK YOU for challenging me, and for giving me something exciting to work on. Because of you, I’ve been able to expand my skills so that I can look at a picture that you draw, or a vision that you have, and try to make it a reality for you. I’ve also renewed my appreciation for the vast diversity and awesomeness of people.
2013: The Orange Rhino.
“Can you make me a rhinoceros that is kind of as big as your dog, but also orange, and a rhino?” The about-to-be-a-grandmother was confounded by her daughter’s idea for a nursery, but was dedicated to getting the baby something that fit. You can’t say no to that kind of love!
“Can you make me a Rab-batman, the same size as your Batman bunny, like old-school Batman, only can you make it a sheep?” I decided to make the both the headpiece and cape removable, so that it would be obvious that this was a sheep. I mean, Bat-sheep might not be obvious to everybody. After I sent him the first picture, he asked for the bat-symbol to be added. My crocheting skills such as they are, I had to add the logo in felt. I am particularly proud that Batsheep’s ears poke through the headpiece. I don’t know the story behind this one but I feel that it must be amazing. As someone who once also collected sheep, there was no way I was going to deny this order.
Speaking of sheep:
2013: Golden Ram
“Can you make me a sheep like the sheep you have, only can you make it a ram with big golden horns?” Yes. This being another Etsy custom order, I don’t know the story. I am thinking of instituting a policy that if you make a custom request, you have to tell me why you want it. I have a feeling the stories will all be great.
I don’t generally make toys that look like things owned by companies that will sue me, but I know this requestor – he is an H&L regular – and I couldn’t say no. I also was very challenged by this and wanted to see if I could replicate something just by looking at a picture. I chose the Disney version, not the Milne version, just because it seemed to have more character (and color). I was really proud of Tigger – fifteen pieces later, he looked close enough for me – and for our friend requesting it!
2013: The Bison.
A very lovely mom requested a bison for her young tween son early last year. Apparently he LOVES bisons. I said yes and then immediately did a Google search because I wasn’t exactly sure if a bison was the same or different from a buffalo, and if it was, in what way. I’m still not 100% confident that I know the difference, but I found a picture I thought I could replicate and delivered it – the son and mom approved! A few months later the mom came back with the bison. It has spent every night with her son as he slept, and the bison was looking pretty well-loved. Dr. Hooked and Loopy tucked in some yarn ends that had gone astray and polished him up for continued loving. Those are the best custom orders – the ones where you know you have made a kid happy. That’s why we do it, folks!
2013: Malcolm and Patches
I’ve already written about our friends Malcolm and Patches, but it’s worth another shout-out to V. Kuroji Patrick’s awesome custom request and his incredible characters. Later in the year, we made a giant eggplant, starfruit, rhino, and carrot to tag along with Malcolm and Patrick to teach kids how to eat better, delicious food. They’ve traveled farther than we have this year, I am sad to say!
What custom orders will YOU have this year?