Jenny Smith Plush Artist

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It’s still summer in SoCal!

Hey there everyone!  I realize that it has been 8 days since my last post and I have been busy, you guessed it, crafting!  I have a few shows coming up, so I am just getting myself organized.

Also, I don’t mean to gloat, but it is really beautiful and sunny here this week.  The temperatures in in the late 7o’s and early 80’s Fahrenheit.  I just took a photo of today’s sunset because it was very picturesque. 

Oh and what else have I been doing?  Well, last weekend was Thanksgiving.  We just stayed at home and had a quaint little dinner.  Although we are mostly vegan, every once and awhile we eat fish or chicken.  I made a lovely little organic roasted chicken and all the other regular festive fare.  The mashed potatoes I made with purple potatoes and because we ate off of blue plates, the potatoes were camoflauge.  Overall, it was a lovely dinner. 

In other news, I have been making many holiday ornaments for my upcoming craft shows and it has been a nice addition to the bears and softies.  I think the snowmen may be my favorite, but I also really like the owls!  They are very rubanesque.  Here is a shot of a mix of all of the ornaments.  Once I start making these, it’s difficult to stop.  Such a fun craft!  I have recently finished some more softies and I am very happy with the way the raccoons in denim overalls came out.  What do you think?

My sister gave me the wooden painted buttons some years ago in my stocking, and I waited until the perfect occasion to use them.  I have been so raccoon-minded lately that I made my first puppet and it is a raccoon also.  I am pleased with the results and I managed to line the inside of him with flannel, so he is quite soft to the puppeteer touch.

He may not ever be for sale because I have grown attached to this one. 

I have also made a black cat.  He is an homage to my pal Reg, my roomate and black cat extraordinaire!  I made a pouty face on him because Reg frequently has one…

I also have made a Yeti, because it’s geekery and that’s cool.  I am attending a cool craft show this Friday at Meldown Comics and it is put on by the League of Extraordinary Ladies and it should be pretty fun.  Maybe I’ll bring a few of my wares to show people.

My new Polar Bear is a bit shaggy also and quite wise looking if you ask me. 

I have heard from pretty much everyone that the Muppet Movie is great, so we are off to see it on Thursday.  I like it when you go to a movie that you know you are going to like.  It makes it seem much more worth it.  We saw Being Elmo a few weeks ago and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.  It is a testament to the act of following your dreams and being true to yourself and Kevin Clash is surprisingly modest about his success as the man behind Elmo.

Thanks for stopping by and I challenge you to do one creative thing after you read this. 

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Happy Mondays

Monday is here again, and after a fun and relaxing Sunday it’s back to the grind…Well, sort of, but not really.  My most pending business of the day today is hitting the gym for a workout, and then meeting up with my Fiancee for an appointment this afternoon.  And maybe hitting the fabric store also.  I am getting all of these photos and stories on Facebook of my friends in Whistler, who are enjoying a fabulous dump of snow and skiing and snowboarding to their heart’s delight.  Although, I am a tiny bit jealous, I am happy with how well I am dealing with a sunny winter.  Let me show you the beautiful view that I see when I wake up in the morning.

It is the most beautiful bamboo with the sun shining through.  It’s definitely a lot different than how I used to wake up in Whistler, with snow all over my car and I am okay with that.  Here is another view from the patio…

It’s a pretty nice life here in Southern California.  I found a new place that I am going to explore this week.  It is called Larchmount Village and it’s not too far from me and full of shops and cafes.  It sounds funky and even has a store owned by Punky Brewster.  I can’t wait.

I have a new addiction right now besides sewing.  It’s sprouts.  I grew my own five days ago and now they are ready to eat and the problem is, I can’t stop munching on them.  And to tell you the truth, I feel better each bite that I take.  They are so healthy!  I grew a mix of clove, fenugreek, arugula and rose radish!  I will be growing some more soon.

Yesterday, it was pouring rain here in Hollywood, which is rare, but Barry had the day off and took me to Amoeba Records, where we have a store credit and so yesterday we spent some of it!  Look at what I got!  Q-Tip is my happy place and I love this Roots album from last year.(Their 12th album!)  

I have been avidly sewing as I have a show in just over two weeks now in Malibu and these albums are very comforting as I sew!  I made a blue bird softie that I am not very fond of, so I didn’t take any photos of it.  I did however, make two raccoons in denim overalls and they are just about finished and quite adorable. 

Quick raccoon story…  When I was living in Whistler, I had a two bedroom suite and was between roomates.  I came home one night, from a night out with the girls and my apartment was completely trashed.  There was food anywhere and everywhere and my toilet was full of granola bar wrappers.  I had just read about a bear who got into someone’s house and attacked them, so I called 911.  It was at least 2am in the morning, so I called my landlord and good friend Kelli from upstairs.  Although it was very late to wake her, I thought it would be better than her getting woken up to a police car pulling up in her driveway.  She came down in her robe and we waited outside as instructed by the police. Four police arrived with handguns and shotguns and after investigating the entire apartment, declared it safe.  The conservation officer then showed up and announced that my suite had been invaded by a family of raccoons.  We discovered a hole in my bedroom screen where a clever raccoon had inserted his claw and ripped open.  There were paw prints all over the walls, apple peels ground into the tiled floors and crumbs in my bed and all over my favorite chair!  The raccoons totally got me and the cleanup took hours.  Nevertheless, I still find them to be the most adorable creatures which inspired me to make them into softies.

Here is a banner that I just made to use for my craft shows.  It will be strung across the front of my table. 

It is difficult to tell from the photo, but all of the letters are stuffed.  It was a labor of love.

I am off to the gym and then Santa Monica on this beautiful, autumn day and I leave you with a photo of my patio, which still has plants and flowers!  It’s very foreign to me that they are still growing as I hail from a winter wonderland, but I’ll take it!   

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Sunny Autumn Days

Well, even though my week started off a little blue, things are most definitely looking up!  It is a challenge to to be an artist and to promote yourself, so I have been listening to podcasts that are specifically for artists, trying to market themselves and their craft.  I am learning a lot and having fun listening also.  And don’t worry, for those of you who believe in me, I am not giving up anytime soon.

One thing that has been helping me to craft is our new juicer!  It is amazing to prepare myself fresh juice that is not only refreshing, but superbly healthy!  Apple,lime,ginger and spearmint is my favorite anytime juice.  After a gym workout, I have a veggie juice which is usually beet/celery/tomato/kale and carrot.  It tastes much like a V-8, only much less salty.  Yesterday morning I made grapefruit/strawberry and that was a great wake-me-up juice.  I love the foam too! 

Another project that I have taken on is growing my own sprouts.  It is very easy!  I ordered some seed mix from an organic farm.  Just take a tablespoon of seeds and put them in a jar and soak in water for about 8 hours.  Cover the top of the jar with cheese cloth or mesh.  I have used burlap because that’s what I had lying around.  Then rinse the seeds twice a day and drain them.  Excess drips can be drained by leaving the jar on a 45 degree angle.  They still have 4 days left, but they are growing very heartily and I cannot wait to add them to a salad!

My compulsion to craft has led me to the most wonderful creation and my favorite so far of all of my softies! Raccoons! 

I just love their little faces so much!  If you look closely, you can see that Reg the cat tried to get into the photo.  He was coming in for a pet when I took this.  I have made some foxes also.  They are awesome and I just love the color of the fur, which is very fox-like. 

It is sunny and warm today and I took advantage of our sunny Los Angeles rooftop to take some photos of the new softies.  The softies got to horsing around and ended up in this tree! 

Reg the raccoon(dressed in plaid) is most definitely the ring leader of mischief and got himself into another tree a few minutes later. 

Well, it’s time to go.  Barry is taking me to see “Being Elmo” today.  I have been hinting at it for weeks and we will be going to an afternoon show.  Kevin Clash, the puppeteer of Elmo is the subject and apparently it’s a very feel-good, motivational film.  Here is the trailer if you are interested…            http://beingelmo.com/trailer.html

Okay, I am off to list my new raccoons and fleet of foxes.  I hope it’s sunny where you are!

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Hanging in there!

There are ups and downs in every person’s life, and I am not immune to this.  I had a craft show that was supposed to happen on the weekend, but it got cancelled due to rain.  They actually cancelled it a few days before it happened, and I just kept thinking that they might call me at the last minute and tell me that it was back on.  Unfortunately that didn’t happen.  At first, after the disappointment, I was a bit confused because it was an outdoor market and those happen rain or shine in Canada, where I come from.  The day of the supposed Fair did turn out to be grey and yucky and I was glad that I didn’t have to attend.  Then I realized that the cancellation was actually a favor to the vendors because we wouldn’t have had much of a turnout.  People that live here, stay inside when it’s cold and grey.  Or they go and hang out in cozy, chic restaurants until it’s over.   It was just a bit of a culture shock, but I’m over it now.  I have two craft shows(possibly three) in December, so now I’m gearing up for those.

My Fiancee and I attended the Melrose Trading Post Flea Market on Sunday and we found a few great items.  He got some old vinyls that he had been looking for, including a Crosby,Stills, Nash and Young vinyl called Deja Vu, and I got this amazing old piece of luggage to use for my craft table display.  I think it’s from the forties and it’s full of character!

It’s very cool and in great shape.  It even has a mirror inside.  If this luggage could tell stories, I bet it would have some good ones! 

So, with a full inventory of bears and softies, and some extra time to kill, I have been working on my idea for hipster woodland animals.  So far I have a very tall, very sly, very cool fox…

And a very hip and furry bluebird…

I love their jeans!  These animals most definitely think that they are too cool!

Check out their low riding hipsta jeans bums…

I am also working on an otter.  Otters are one of my favorite animals of all time. This one is a girl.

So, with a lot of time on my hands this week, I am making a committed effort to go to the gym everyday this week, which can be a very interesting experience with all of the celebrities that work out there.  My other goal that I am working on is to design and start making holiday ornaments for my shows in December.  I have some good ideas up my sleeve.

I hope you are all having a productive and creative week!  I am off to get my cardio sweat on and pump some iron.

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A Good Little Sunday

What a great Sunday I am having!  I had breakfast in my home.  Not just any breakfast mind you, but one made by my wonderful fiancée who used to have his own cafe, which makes him pretty schooled in culinary arts.  I affectionately refer to his breakfasts as Barry’s Coffee Shop and we have a little kitchen nook which makes it quite a fun experience. 

After the organic eggs, organic bodum coffee and vegan bacon and english muffins, I feel great and am excited for a creative day!

It’s less than a week away until the Silverlake Art/Craft/Vintage show and I am very busy making softies.  I will also be selling some comics and some vinyl as well.  The softies are quickly taking over the apartment and it will be nice to let some of them go to make room in our living space. 

I am equally in love with the monkeys, cats and Sasquatchos.  I guess if I had to pick one favorite it would be Copernicus, the orange alley cat.  The french faux fur is extremely difficult to come by and is made in France.  It is meant for the fashion industry.  I have a secret Vancouver hookup, but she is quickly running out of this great fur. 

The monkeys were inspired by a couple costume that I saw at the KCRW Halloween Masquerade which was the cutest organ grinder and monkey. 

The Sasquatchos hail from Mexico and are named Guillermo and Bernardita.  Okay, so I made up the word Sasquatcho, but it sounds authentically Spanish.

True Sasquatch story… A few years ago, I was in the hospital for surgery and while I was recovering I shared a room with an elderly Aboriginal(Native) Canadian woman.  Someone had brought us a newspaper and on the cover was the 2010 Winter Olympics mascot Quatchi who happens to be a Sasquatch.  In a morphine stupor and because I was bored to death, I asked the women about her views on Bigfoot.  She said that she totally believed that the Sasquatch existed.  She said that she had heard their mating calls and loud screeches and growls often on the Reservation where she lived and that friends and neighbors of hers, claimed to have seen the Bigfoot.  My drug induced, nauseated self found this quite an interesting perspective.  I’m not sure what I think, but I do think Sasquatchos Rock!!!

Bernardita is my favorite of the two and I like the way my embroidery on the teeth resembles orthodontia. 

The weather here has been autumnal and less than sunny for Southern California.  I like this because it reminds me of home in British Columbia and I get to wear my toque(Canadian for beanie, hat, ski cap) and not sweat my face off.  Yesterday alternated between sun and clouds, but the view of downtown LA from my fire escape was unusually clear.

Okay, I am off to craft now and then craft some more.  Although this may sound exhausting, fortunately for me, crafting is life!

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Tuesday in Teddy Bear Republic


I hope that everyone had a wonderful and fun Hallowe’en.

I certainly did.  My goal for next year is to design and sew a fun costume for roaming around West Hollywood.  There were some pretty wonderful and creative costumes there.
Before I get into the new sewing projects that I have been working on, I wanted to share with you a few of my recent adventures.  I had a friend staying with me and here are some of the highlights of the trip! 

This is my neighborhood. (above)

Venice Beach was a bit chilly, but still very beautiful.  Here is a before and after dinner at a very find Macrobiotic restaurant called Seed.  (below)

And later after a wonderful meal.

At my new library, a wall mural.(above)

And below, a few Hollywood Stars…

The Muppets are a huge influence on my love to design stuffed animals!  And who doesn’t love a little M.J.?

And finally, a great hike that I enjoy above my apartment and into the Hollywood Hills.  This private house’s garden, takes me to serenity whenever I view it! 

My creativity is coming along nicely this week!  I have finished some new softies and will be posting them to my store soon. I have a show coming up soon at the Silverlake Art/Craft/Vintage fair in November. You can expect to see my softies, my traditional jointed bears, and some holiday decorations as well.  Because the show is vintage, you will find a nice surprise on my table.  Collectible comic books!  Oooh, it is going to be so much fun!  I can’t wait!  I hope to see you there! 

Here is the link to the Silverlake show.  I sure do love Silverlake.


Okay,   I hope you have a great Tuesday!  I am off to my West Hollywood Women’s Book Club to discuss “The Hunger Games”