Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Twenty Eighteen

These days I'm not much of a fan of New Year's Resolutions. Back in the day when I used to write those lists my resolve was bound to backfire. Looking back, I now understand my resolutions did not come with action plans or came with too high an expectation.

2018 is nearing completion, and no, I am not going to write a NYR. Instead I intend on using the next few weeks to rest, and take mental stock.

Doing the mental stock thing, I am following the recommendations of Marie Forleo. Marie is pure rocket fuel for my brain. Watching her videos really makes me think. And I do not mind revisiting her old videos, because, you know what? It's easy to forget, and travel off course. You are The Captain of your journey, but every good Captain refers to their Navigator. Yes, Marie is a Navigator of sorts.

With those brain farts out of my system, I want to share with you, my 2018 in review.

Let it begin:

Leonard Street (Australian indie fashion label) invited me to showcase my sloth doll designs in their Fitzroy store. The sloths are handmade armature (meaning, the limbs can move) felt dolls. Their clothes were made from the offcuts of Leonard Street fabric. Such an amazing project.

I am a regular contributor for the craft arm of My Poppet. My content has ranged from felt to paper projects. An exciting highlight was attending PAX as a media representative for My Poppet. Reporting my experience of this colossal event for My Poppet Living.

I have been a regular craft design contributor for the Australian magazine, Handmade.

I produced a downloadable ebook – a tutorial for making a simpler version of my Leonard St sloth designs.

I received a commission to make classroom finger puppets. The puppets were intended as a classroom tool, for students to express their feelings, in their transition to high school. These finger puppets have armature in the arms.

Although not craft design orientated, it is a worthwhile point to mention, I was hired as a photographer for a Fortieth Birthday celebration. It was both a highlight of my year and a creative job, therefore worth mentioning.

Worthy mention:

I handcrafted a felt furniture set. The bed and couch were designed to suit the dimensions of an LOL doll...
... and it was well received.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Gameboy + Pac Man + Fish Girl + Fast Food

I'm busy. You're busy. Everyone's busy. It's that time of year. We're all rushing to get things done, as if Christmas and New Year is this unspoken cut off period. We all know it's drawing near. In fact, we've had a whole year to brace for the festive season. And yet, here we are, losing our sanity, collectively.

Oh well.

The past week I have been hand making presents for family and friends. Nothing says friendship appreciation like a felt crafted Nintendo Gameboy and a tray of fast food.

As of tomorrow, I will try listening to my own inner voice, and stop... Maybe.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Go Ahead! Make Your Own Sloth

© Melissa Gaggiano
How could I not be excited? Today I am launching my first craft tutorial ebook, and it's all about the sloth.

This book has been quite a few weeks in the making. There were times I wasn't sure this would actually come together. But a combination of perseverance and getting some sleep, made it possible.

And now, I present to you "Sloth – Felt Design Tutorial", available on my Etsy store.

This PDF download provides you with all the information you would need to make one of my cute sloth designs. It includes:
- material and tool listing
- simple, step by step instructions with matching photographs
- pattern pieces template page

The dimensions of the doll presented in the tutorial are as follows:
Height – 17 cm
Width – 6.5 cm

A little background story...
This sloth originally emerged as a much larger doll that has showcased in a Leonard St clothing boutique in Melbourne. The original sloths wore doll size clothes, replicating Leonard St fashion. For more information about this – Leonard St Sloth.

I then decided to product a smaller scale of the sloth (without clothes), and make it available as a tutorial, for you. Which is where this book comes in.

Visit my Etsy store and buy your own copy of "Sloth – Felt Design Tutorial".

© Melissa Gaggiano

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Angel Baby

{My Poppet link}

"Who is the dream who starts me dreaming
Angel baby
Then keeps me worrying and schemeing
You, angel baby, you"

The year is drawing to a close at a pace that I can hardly believe. Time doesn't stand still, and neither do we. There is always something to work toward, and always a time to rest. The planet rests. Flowers rest. Animals rest. Humans are animals, and we too need our rest, as much as we need good work to thrive.

On that note I'd like to take you to My Poppet to access my latest DIY. It is an easy as paper angel project. This decorative piece makes a lovely time out project. So head on over to My Poppet, and get into it!

Friday, 23 November 2018

Rubik's + Gameboy

Felt crafted Rubik's cube
by Melissa Gaggiano
This week might have been a lost week, if not for the impromptu sewing projects, which are photographed here.

The week began, with my finishing a major project (which at the mo' is still hush-hush). The project is now in the hands of others, as I  await feedback. That left me with time, to contemplate my existential navel, and tweak an updated business plan. I'd tell you that I'm at a cross-road. But let's be clear – every week is a cross-road for me. Even with a business plan, I still have this feeling that I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. It means I'm using instinct.

I have discovered, when between major projects, it is healthy to take on smaller projects. As it turns out, I always need to create something. So...

Two pieces, that I made this week, had a retro eighties vibe – a Rubik's Cube (with my own color choices), and a Nintendo Gameboy (intended as a birthday present). A part of me truly never left the eighties, and this sometimes bleeds through into my concept work.

Keep on! Keep on!
Felt crafted Nintendo Gameboy
by Melissa Gaggiano

Friday, 16 November 2018

Whoosh + Rocket + My Poppet

{doll box}
“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams
This week has seen a massive surge of productivity. What a difference it makes when you put things to paper and set yourself actual deadlines.

Pocket Rocket Moment
I received an uplifting note, in regard to the doll box that I recently made. Little things like that become huge motivators for me.

My Poppet
I have illustrated a printable coloring advent calendar for My Poppet. Head on over to My Poppet to get your own calendar and find other wonderful inspirations in the lead up to the festive season.

{My Poppet}

Sunday, 11 November 2018

The Doll Box

One of my recent design creations has been to make a box home. It was for a little girl who loves LOL dolls. The furnishings have been designed to perfectly fit the dimensions of an LOL doll. The box doubles as both gift packaging and an actual doll room.

The furnishings of this box doll room include:

  • bed
  • pillow
  • double sided quilt
  • bunting
  • pot plant
  • book shelf
  • books x2
  • couch
  • couch cushions x2
  • chest

Materials I worked with include:

  • felt
  • print fabric
  • thread
  • hobby fill
  • wire
  • foam board
Send me an email if you wish to commission me to make this doll box.


Tuesday, 30 October 2018

DIY Legend of Zelda Cosplay

{My Poppet link}
For the average ghosty it is that time of year – Halloween! But for some it's Halloween all year round. That's right! I'm talking about cosplayers. And for all you cosplayer wannabes I've written an article tailor made just for you. So head on over to My Poppet and read about my design journey when I made a Linkle cosplay outfit.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

DIY LoZ Korok Mask

My Poppet Makes

Ding dong!
Halloween is around the bend.
Masks on!
Mischief is in the air.

My latest craft tutorial is now live at My Poppet. It is the perfect project for all you Legend of Zelda enthusiasts. And even if you don't know about LoZ, head on over anyway, to find out what Koroks are all about, and how to make this mask for the lil' Korok in your life.

Monday, 1 October 2018

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

{My Poppet}
I just discovered that a group of butterflies is known as a kaleidoscope. How neat is that? I can picture it, being inside a kaleidoscope filled with butterflies. In fact that give me an idea for another project, but that's for another time. Right now, I want you, to check out my latest butterfly craft project, over at My Poppet.

And if you cannot get enough of butterfly craft, My Poppet also has this butterfly lantern, for you to try.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Sloths, Sloths + More Sloths

© Melissa Gaggiano

Total Sloth update!

© Melissa Gaggiano

It's the year of the sloth, here. I recently made a handful of 15 CM sloths for indie Australian fashion label Leonard St, in their Fitzroy boutique. Earlier in the year I made a couple of larger (fully dressed) sloths for them, and now the newly made, smaller sloths will join their remaining sister in the Leonard St store.

© Melissa Gaggiano

In addition to that, I have just finished another run of these sloths for my own doll store.
© Melissa Gaggiano

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Chopstick Hairy Accessory

© Melissa Gaggiano
This just in! My latest craft tutorial for My Poppet is now live. Mosey on over to My Poppet and learn how to make this 'sparkly as a star' hair accessory.

© Melissa Gaggiano

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Finger Puppets + Other Things

Commissioned finger puppets,
made by Melissa Gaggiano.

I was recently commissioned to make finger puppets, to be used as classroom tools. The purpose of the puppets is to act as a prop, through which children can express their thoughts and feelings. Such a wonderful thing, and I couldn't have been more thrilled to create something that could be beautiful and useful.

I have also been making accessories to go with this sloth doll. I made a book and pencil out of felt and thread. I've made felt books before, but this was the first time I crafted an actual felt pencil. That was different. I can hardly wait to get this off to the intended birthday kid.

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Ladybug Loveliness


And now for the latest and greatest in news. I have produced a lovely ladybug tutorial for My Poppet. It is the perfect thing to make for yourself, or your favorite bugaboo. So, head on over to My Poppet and find out how you can make this cute little bug.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Time to Think + Reset

I am entering a new phase, I think. Let's see what happens next.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

My Goodness, My Poppet

My latest project for My Poppet has now gone live. How gorgeous is this paper butterfly lantern. To find out how to make this project, head on over to My Poppet.

I've made one of these My Poppet toadstool pin cushions for myself. It was so good, my youngest asked me to make her one. So I did, with just one lil' tweak - needle felting the spots on. It was so effective. Visit My Poppet, and give this super easy project a whirl. You will not be disappointed by it's cuteness.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Loveo the Roller Derby Pirate

© Melissa Gaggiano

Meet Loveo! This Loveo design has an unusual story. She started out as a fabric pattern test (hence the lack of skin tone colouring and only making one arm and one leg). Afterwards, one of my kids asked if I was going to keep the doll. I told her that I would very likely recycle the doll filler for future projects. My daughter then said I should keep the doll, and because of that the doll is still here.

The doll was developed into a pirate themed roller derby athlete. With a very simple, obvious twist. Inspired by the fact that the doll was already without an arm and leg, the doll became what she always was, an amputee. I made a detachable peg leg (pirate theme), and for the amputated arm I used fabric that looked like a floral tattoo. Check out that knee-high quad skate. Don't you wish you had skates like that?

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

Friday, 29 June 2018

Oh Yeah! And...

... it's my birthday.

Tuxedo Mask, Mermaid + Other Cuties

This has been a week of announcements and other fun things.

Firstly, there is this finger puppet tutorial that I created for If you're a fan of Sailor Moon and making crafty things, then this project is for you.

My Poppet Project

In Handmade magazine, issue 37-3 you will find my Lambie doll design. Lambie is as soft as a pillow, if not, softer. You will want to make this fellow and tote him around for cuddles.

I was commissioned to make "Mirabella", a cloth mermaid doll. She was constructed using a variety of techniques:
- She is machine and hand stitched.
- Her facial and body details have been painted and drawn.
- Her hair is partially needle felted.
- Her body has internal armature.

In other things I have been constructing miniatures. Miniature food...

... and miniature sloths.