I don’t often take commissions. In fact I said the other day that I don’t ever. Why? Well it is difficult to explain and there are many reasons. I think the joy of making for me is about the joy of giving. My very best design ideas and projects tend to come from little conversations, small asides. Little seeds of inspiration grow in my brain and often the people who have inspired them have no idea they were a participant.
One such conversation happened over the Easter break. We were away, having a sunny break by the seaside with many families. Good friends of mine have the most delightful 6 year old son. Spud and I get along. Indeed I get on very well with both Spud and his sister Eve. (I made Frank the sausage dog for Eve). Although many decades separate us in age, we all like fun, whimsy, creating and collecting. Now Spud is a collector of a specific toy, the Tsum Tsum. This is a small beanie plush toy which Disney have created. They have taken their iconic characters and created stackable soft toys with a Japanese aesthetic. They are really rather cute, quite affordable and therefore deeply collectible.
Spud brought many of his Tsum Tsum toys on holiday and promised to give me the full tour. The only problem was, on a busy holiday, I was rather elusive. The photo above his Spud in hot pursuit to detect that wayward Emma Varnam. When we did eventually make a date we set aside MUCH time to survey his most treasured artifacts. The conversation was delightful. On full inspection I realised that it would be very easy to make a replica out of crochet. Perhaps it is because amigurumi has its origin in Japanese design but the link was obvious. I asked Spud which character he was missing and he told me with a slight hint of sadness; Pooh Bear….Bingo!
Back from our holiday and washing, spring cleaning and chores completed, I scrattled around in my yarn stash to find the correct colours. I had a quick look at Pinterest, knowing full well that if I had made the creative connection, others would have got there before me.
The design is oh-so simple. There are plenty of designs available to purchase on Etsy and Ravelry if you fancy a go. Annoying though it might be, I am able to freehand this kind of design and so by the end of the evening my Pooh Bear Tsum Tsum was complete. I was almost giddy with excitement to see Spud.
Handing it over to him, to see his face, to see the excitement of his sister Eve and the anticipation of my son, is the stuff of dreams. I love writing books, I love designing for magazines. To see your work in print is a real buzz. But to see something you make lighten up a face, to see that enchantment and for you to feel that love too. That my friend is the magic of making and what a gift it is both to the recipient but mostly to the maker.