Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Boston's French Library Holiday Craft Fair - Marche de Noel - December 8th

French Cultural Center

Marché de Noël
Holiday Gifts with a French Flair 
On Saturday, December 8th, our annual Marché de Noël is coming back!

The first Marché de Noël took place in Strasbourg in 1570, so this tradition is over 440 years old! Today in France every big city has its own Marché de Noël which brings together artists and artisans selling unique holiday gifts.

The French Cultural Center is thrilled to share this tradition once again with the greater Boston community. 15 artists and French boutiques will set up shop inside our Center to give you the opportunity to find the perfect gifts with a French style for everybody on your list! Enjoy a complimentary glass of mulled wine or hot cider while you stroll among the stands and browse through books, jewelry, home décor items, clothing, toys, and much more! There will also be some French specialties including crêpes, pastries and Liégeois waffles. Once you get in, make sure you sign up for our raffle for a chance to win a multitude of prizes kindly donated by our vendors, including restaurant gift certificates and gift baskets!
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, December 8th at the French Cultural Center for this festive holiday market!

Saturday, December 8, 2012
10am - 5pm 
Members: Free
Non-Members: $3
Free admission for children 10 & under
 I'll be bringing lots of plush goodies from decorations for your tree to the perfect Christmas gift, you name it I have it :)
See you there!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Boston Bazaar Bizarre Winter 2012 prep!

The big Holiday season is just around the corner and I have already been prepping and sewing up a storm... it feels a bit like Santa's workshop in my studio except I don't have elves helping me :( Where are those elves when you need them is what I'm wondering! 

I am doing 2 big shows in Boston this December, one at the French Library on Saturday the 8th (10am-5pm) called "Marche de Noel" and the other one is Boston Bazaar Bizarre on the 16th (11am-6pm) at the Cyclorama in the South End.
I kind of feel like a veteran with the latter as it is the 3rd year in a row I've been selected for it. I'm very happy because I truly love that show and this year I get to do it with my fellow crafters from Boston Handmade!

Since you're always asked to answer a few questions for the Bazaar Bizarre show so they can put it up on their blog to present the vendors, I decided to post that interview on my blog too. That will allow my readers to get to know me a bit better.

I have included some pictures of what I'm currently working on and that I will be bringing to the show. I decided to create some really funny and quirky Christmas tree decorations this year so I hope you'll come and visit me at one of those shows!

Here is the interview:
"What's your name, what's your business name, where are you from, and where are you currently located/crafting?
Anne-Claire Regan aka Hibou (“eeboo”)
I’m from France – Been in the US for 13 years first NYC then Boston
I live in Boston
 Maybe your tree would enjoy some vegetarian decorations this year?

How did you get your start? Please tell us a little bit about how your business went from an idea to what is today.
I have always been making things, but when I opened my Etsy shop I started with greeting cards. I started with one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn designs, which evolved into applying collages and even sewing designs into the cards. One day I bought some felt to incorporate into one of my card designs, and I was hooked. I loved the versatility of the material, and the wide array of colors. It wasn't long before I left the cards behind to concentrate solely on plush making, including toy plush and plush art.
Inspired by my son's love for owls at the time, I began by creating simple owl plushies with vintage buttons as eyes and went on to making complex owl characters with both felt, vintage fabric, buttons, ribbons and lace from France.

As I honed my craft and gained experience working with different tools and decorative accouterments, my designs evolved to include all sorts of animals, creatures, characters, and different presentations including what I call “feltscapes” (framed felt landscapes & plush scenes that are meant to be hung like a painting).

How about Broccoli and his cousin Ninja B.? My son is into ninjas lately and I'm ready to do anything for him to think broccoli is cool!

What inspires you the most to create?
I always have a hard time answering this question because it's never just one thing that inspires me but rather an ensemble of things- but I'm driven to create when I have that feeling of child-like enthusiasm about the world around me.  I like to try and capture the magic of everyday objects (they all turn to plush in my mind ;) but art, children’s books’ illustrations, my son’s vivid imagination, my fellow crafters and friends from The Plushteam, my husband’s mustache, music… can all be a source of inspiration.
What does a leek say to a radish?

What are your favorite materials to work with?
Wool blend felt, DMC thread and vintage fabrics and buttons that I get from France.

Do you have a favorite color palette?
I love all bright colors and felt comes in such a wide variety of colors that I’m like a kid in candy store!
Wait there's a crazy banana too! Yep, I made veggies AND fruits for your tree. To hell with boring decorations!

Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?
In 3 different mediums here are a few of my many favorites (it would be too long to cite them all!). I love their work because they retain that childlike enthusiasm, and are whimsical, colorful and playful.
I like their work because it really inspires in me a strong desire to possess a piece of their magic. It also sparks my own need to create and push the boundaries of my craft.
The Felt Mistress (http://www.feltmistress.com/)
Cart Before The Horse (http://thecartbeforethehorse.blogspot.com/)
Roadside Projects (http://www.roadsideprojects.com/)

Hello Mr. Orange! I can never resist googly eyes... and a mustache :)

Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business? (Nothing TOP-SECRET, of course!)
I will be published again in Stuffed magazine for their upcoming issue (Winter 2013 – coming out on January 1st) and it will show 3 of my newest designs, all plush scenes that tell a story centered around a theme of water (at sea or inland)….
Here is a sneak peak at one of the pieces that will be published in the Winter 2013 issue of "Stuffed: The Crafting of Softies" magazine.

What are some other things you like to do when you are not busy making awesome stuff?
Spend time with my husband and son, and eat cheese like a true French person!

When am I not making something really? If I'm not making something I'm probably thinking of making something.... like this mustachioed lemon for example.

What are the top 3 reasons someone shopping at the BBB 2012 should be sure to stop by your table?
1.    Because they should cultivate their inner child.
2.    Because everyone should own unique, hand-sewn objects to enjoy year round.
3.    I'll have a bunch of one-of-a-kind, spoofy, and goofy creations to help people in their struggle to break free from the shackles of tradition holiday decorations! 
 I also made some pretty and sparkly birds in all colors. Some will be listed in my shop soon.

What is your favorite background noise to listen to while working?
I listen to my two favorite French radio stations, France Culture and Radio Nova.

Where do you (craft) work?
At home in our spare bedroom, which is also my workspace.

What is your favorite mythical beast and what do you think their favorite crafty past time is?
My favorite mythical creature would be the Cheshire Cat and he would have, hidden in his forest, an Angora cat farm. He would use its long soft hair to knit sweaters for winter. (That story actually comes from a joke my dad and I still laugh about… when I was a kid, he had me believe you could make sweaters out of cat hair… he was always very good at inventing stories!).

Here are some animals, sheep, hedgehog, owl, cat... etc

What advice would you give to a new vendor selling at the BBB for the first time?
Take all the inventory you have, you never know how much you might sell and what people will be interested in. Also, pack some snacks because it can get really busy and you probably won’t have time to sit down and eat."
Yep these are decorations too!

I hope this will make you want to come over to the shows or stop by my shop on Etsy! Now back to my needles got some more work to do.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Plush You! 2012 with HibouDesigns - Schmancy, Seattle

It's this time of the year again!
The infamous Plush You! show has opened on Friday October 12th at Kristen Rask's amazing store, Schmancy in Seattle.
Sadly I wasn't at the opening but two of my plush were there to represent me.... and apparently they and everybody else had a blast!
For those of you who can go, please do, it's well worth a visit as it is the biggest Plush art show in the States with so many talented artists' work that you will want to get everything (I had tried to devise a plan to do just that the first year I went to the opening... didn't work but my list of artists' work to get got a few miles longer ;). 
For those of you who can't visit here are a few pictures of the plush I submitted. I hope I will be able to give some more links soon with pictures of the opening.

This is "Azteca" The Double-Headed Serpent - 2012 - Hand sewn, wool blend felt and cotton thread

 "Azteca" - detail head
 "Azteca" - detail scales

 It was not that easy to take good pictures of a piece that big but thankfully I had help from my friend Laura (she is a talented photographer and writer ;)
 And this is "The Angry Gouda" or "I got Framed" - a feltscape (I call "feltscapes" my framed felt landscapes) with a twist! All hand sewn, hand painted and drawn - wool blend felt, acrylic paint, indian ink, cotton thread.
This piece started with a joke that was made during a "plush retreat" with my friends from the PlushTeam last May in Lititz PA. I actually started to make the angry piece of cheese there... then life and other plush happened and I picked it up again this Summer to submit it to Plush You!
To me this is a great homage to the magic that can happen when you put a bunch of creative and crazy people in the same room, in pjs (yep we pretty much stayed in our pjs the entire time... about 4 days!), with needles, crochets, scissors and a whole pile of fabric! Thanks to this amazing group of plush artists that I'm proud to call my friends I always get my creative brain going :)
... and yes this is one angry piece of cheese. They call him Big Stinky C. A French food lover and big time dough maker... He was a big deal in his native Boston before he got framed. He still has big stories to tell though so if you ever want to adopt him, give Schmancy a call!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stuffed Summer 2012 - Volume 5 Issue 2

The new issue of "Stuffed - The Crafting of Softies" magazine is coming out on July 1st online and in bookstores.
I just got my copy and what a great issue it is! As usual it is packed with many talented artists' plushies and dolls. I am not done reading it but I have just been enjoying browsing through it and I will admit I was very happy to see my own dolls featured across 5 pages this time around :)
I also greatly appreciated Amber Demien's "Editor's Letter". I always take pleasure in discovering what topic she chose to write on and this time I was hooked on the first sentence as I feel I can really relate to this issue. Here it is:
"Have any of you ever felt like there is a general misconception regarding the world of stuffed dolls?" 
I found myself saying out loud: "Yep, spot on! I feel often misunderstood as a plush maker..." (Ok I may not have said it in such a politically correct way!).
But now (even if I know you will run to get your own copy soon ;) I feel compelled to give you the whole first two paragraphs so you can understand what I'm talking about.

"Have any of you ever felt like there is a general misconception regarding the world of stuffed dolls? It seems as though many people view plush art as mere toys; or, they admire and appreciate the dolls, but regard them as pure fun, no substance. What these people are missing is that, like all art, stuffed creations have meaning, oftentimes a message, and always a purpose.
First of all, there is nothing simple about a toy. Toys bring happiness to children, nurture their imaginations, and teach them the fundamental of life - not mere feats by any measure. For the stuffed creations not meant to be played with but instead displayed, they serve as a source of enjoyment, they provoke thought and inquiry, they inspire, they communicate and they can even unsettle, disturb, and frighten - all reactions that only a true piece of art can arouse. So, my hat's off to every artist whose work graces the pages of this magazine, and to all of you who bring fabric and stuffing to life - you keep me constantly amazed and impressed and inspired."[...]
Amber Demien

As a plush artist I find it very nice to have this issue brought up to light as it is a sensitive one... No one likes to have its creations looked down upon and regarded as frivolous and useless when it was all created out of love and passion.
It's always nice to know that someone understands what we are doing as plush artists, and to be given such a great homage is truly heart warming so for that, Amber, I thank you!

.... Do you feel teary already? 
Ok then, enough with the grand sentiments and on to a few pictures!
The Amazing French Hercules
The Bearded Lady Madame Clofullia  - "La Goulue" the French Cancan dancer
Cristal Bazoom, The Vegas Showgirl

Find out more about these plush and many more by getting your copy of Stuffed (Summer 2012 Volume 5 Issue 2) either online on the Stampington website or in your local bookstore.
If you wish to see more detail pictures of these dolls, you can go to my flickr page and see my portfolio.

Thanks to all of you out there for supporting crafters/artists like me and for making the world a better place one handmade plush at a time :)

Anne-Claire aka Hibou

Monday, June 18, 2012

Union Made a Bazaar Bizarre craft fair in Somerville MA

Well that's it, it's coming, it's just around the corner.... the new edition of Boston Bazaar Bizarre's summer show called Union Made.

It will take place in Somerville, in Union Square on June 24th (this Sunday) from noon to 6pm. 
There will be amazing craft, music and workshops, enough for everybody to enjoy themselves! 

So pass the word around and come see my table (Hibou Designs) there. I will have lots of plush goodies for you to marvel at ;)

"I am Hammer, Hear me Bang!" plush hammer made by me for a Plushteam challenge ("Make it Manly" June 2012 challenge) - See it in person at Union Made :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

I'll Eat You Up! At the Union Made show on June 24th in Somerville MA

With the beautiful weather coming back I've been in a mood for salads lately.... 
Here is a new felt scene I have been working on, it is called "I'll Eat You Up!"
A table!

You will probably find this "feltscape" and many more felt creations at the Boston Bazaar Bizarre Union Made show on June 24th in Somerville MA.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Plushteam Spring Challenge by Plushgoodness and HibouDesigns

Spring has sprung and so has a new challenge from the Plushteam!
Leeanna of PlushGoodness and Anne-Claire of HibouDesigns have been listening to their team members' desire to embrace their "artistic side" and came up with this idea for a challenge. It is titled:
"The Artful Stitch: Plush Art"
The members' guidelines were to create either A) a plush self portrait or B) a plush still life. The end result could be as literal or fantastical as they liked. The piece had to be made either as a 2D framed piece or as a 3D soft sculpture.

After lots of head scratching and hard work here are the entries submitted in both categories:
-Self Portrait category-

-Still life-
From top left to bottom right: Treacher CreaturesPrim and PlushPlush Goodness*MightRaggy Rat, and Out of the Frame.

All the entries are pretty amazing (Find them in our Plushteam Etsy shop). Everybody really pushed the boundaries of plush making to explore the more uncharted territories of Plush Art. Mission accomplished!
We submitted these for a vote with our Plushteam members (since Leeanna and I organized the challenge we decided our pieces could not be voted on but we were very happy to make our own). The vote closed yesterday at midnight...

And now without further ado here are the winners....... drum rolls!

Self portrait category: Fur Will Fly

Still life category: *Might 

Congratulations to our winners!!!!!!!
They will both receive a signed copy of Mr. X Stitch's (Jamie Chalmers) fabulous book "Push: Stitchery"!

This was truly a great challenge! Leeanna and I thank you for participating and we are looking forward to many more challenges to come.
Go Plushteam!

Anne-Claire aka Hibou

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has sprung and with it a brand new batch of voodoo dolls in very fashionable and fresh colors has appeared! Who said voodoo dolls couldn't follow fashion trends?
They even got carried away during the photo shoot ;)
... and sometimes they get sentimental.
But don't be fooled by their cheery colors, their magic powers are real! Curses, black magic and love spells it's up to you, just add your own voodoo... 

Happy stabbing!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring is in the air...

It's beautiful here in Boston today and it definitely feels like spring is in the air! Here are a few things that the weather inspired me to make :)
"You are the apple of my eye - Say it with a Plush"

A fresh bouquet of plush scissors!

"You are the apple of my eye - Say it with a Plush"

Happy Plushin'

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Button Mashers at OhNo!Doom

I'm happy to announce that my fellow Plushteamers and I are participating to the amazing gallery OhNo!Doom's new show: Super Button Mashers - opening on February 11th - 6-10pm.
Super Button Mashers is a group show tribute to the gamers in all of us. We came up with some plush versions of our favorite game characters and from what I've seen so far it's going to be worth going to chicago for!

....and book the date to come see it in person if you can.
In the meantime here is a sneak peak at what I came up with!
"Original Frogger with its log" -all hand sewn- felt & cotton thread - Hibou Designs

"Original Pong Arcade" -all hand sewn- felt & cotton thread - Hibou Designs

More details and pics soon... in the meantime you can check OhNo!Doom's Facebook page for updates.
Your Pong lover, Hibou

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stuffed Magazine Winter 2012 - The new issue is out!

Check out the new issue of Stuffed magazine! You can get your copy online right now! 
For those of you who don't know this magazine yet it is "THE" magazine to read if you are looking for information on the crafting of "softies" also called "plush". It is packed with fun and amazing creations from some of the best plush artists around.
Well they did it again... Look at this cool cover! this is another great issue packed with lots of dolls and plushy goodness.
So it comes as no surprise that I am really proud to be part of it and even more so because I got a 3 page feature this time on my "Let Them Eat Cake" owl king and queen of France plush. Check it out :)

So hurry up to get your copy and pass the word around :)