Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Features No. 8 -- Featuring Karen's Monsters

Congratulations to Tatjana, who won the $20 gift certificate from Karen Marie Designs. Thank you all for entering, and thank you Karen for participating in Friday Features.

In today's segment, we are featuring another Karen, but with a completely different type of product. Today we are featuring MONSTERS from Karen's Monsters on Etsy.com!!! But don't worry, they are very kid-friendly monsters.



Here's a little more about Karen and her monsters.
TDB: How old were you when you started sewing, and who taught you to sew?
Karen: My mom attempted to teach me to sew when I was 6 or 7 and I hated it. It wasn't until high school and especially college that I really learned to love sewing and then it was all by hand. It was only in the last few years that I started sewing on the sewing machine again and in fact had to relearn everything my mother had taught me about the sewing machine.

TDB: Why monsters?
Karen: One of my roommates became obsessed with Sock Monsters. He started making them like crazy. I was telling my sister about them and she not so casually asked about Bunny Monsters. So I had some fleece and felt lying around and made my sister the first Bunny Monster. Afterwards I made them for friends who encouraged me to sell them.I decided to make more monsters specifically because I think they represent the other. I think we're all attracted to things outside of our own world, and perhaps a little afraid of it too. My monsters are a safe other that helps us broaden our world view. I think it's especially important for children to be exposed to things that they're unfamiliar with, which is why I make all of my monsters kid-safe and friendly. But I find so many people of all ages are attracted to my monsters that it's gratifying to know that I'm not the only adult that loves playing with fascinating toys.

TDB: From where does your inspiration for the monsters come?
Karen: Since I was very very little, I've loved going to the fabric store. All the colors and textures. It was the only place where I was allowed to run my little hands over everything. My inspiration often starts in the store looking at new fabrics and imagining how they'll feel all stuffed with poly-fill. If I'm making monster types that I've made before, I just start pulling out fabric and laying pieces across each other until I find the combinations I like best. I keep a stash of eyes, mustaches, hearts, etc in a drawer that I pull out as I'm cutting fabric.My husband is my best inspiration for new designs. He says at the most unexpected times, what if you made a ... and then I find myself sketching that idea until I have a design that I have to make. I also love hearing suggestions from customers and friends. And custom orders are always fun and often lead to a new design. Inspiration may come at the most random times, but it's always transformed by my sketches and all of my designs are created and recreated in my sketchbook.

TDB: You've been on Etsy for 6 months now. What have you learned?
Karen: Sometimes I feel like I'm learning something new every day. I started selling at local markets about a week before I opened my etsy shop. I love the strength of crafting community both at markets and on etsy and have found such great resources there. I've recently joined the NewNew Street Team, which is amazing. For the nuts and bolts, I think I finally have my shipping prices adjusted correctly and a system worked out so that I don't stress when I need to ship anything. The pictures are so important, but sometimes it takes up an incredible amount of time. I wish that someone had told me in the beginning to get a tripod as it would have saved me so much time in figuring things out. Right now I'm trying to figure out advertising. How much money and time to spend on it and the most effective approach. So far I like Project Wonderful Ads , my blog , and plug boards.

TDB: What's your favorite monster to make?
Karen: Whichever one I'm working on at the moment. Though seriously, I think my frog monsters and shark monsters tie for that honor.

TDB: What do you do when you're not creating monsters?
Karen: I work part-time as an accountant. But the more interesting things: I play capoeira I draw, I read comics and lots and lots of books, and I play with my adorable cat. My husband and I love to eat sushi and we spend a lot of time outdoors when it's warm out. We also travel a lot, mostly to visit family and friends, but last year we went to Chicago, North Carolina, California and Hawaii, so it takes us all over the place exploring. This year we hope to visit England and Portland, OR too.


*****************************************************

Now for the fun. If you want to win "Orion" the Shark Monster (shown here), take a look in Karen's shop, and let us know which monster is your favorite. Please leave only one comment per person, with a valid email address. If we can't get ahold of you, we will draw a new winner.

This giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline to enter is Thursday, April 10th at midnight PST.


Don't forget to scroll down and read the other posts. You can enter to win a $20 gift certificate from Bella Symphony. And you can check out our new promo style on our other blog!

Have a great day!

Angie

128 comments:

Bunny B said...

Piff, Bunny Monster Plush Toy is cute!

MaryLee said...

I really like the Jedd shark monster. They are all adorable.

MLgrandma at yahoo dot com

Eva said...

I like Robo Love monster the best :)

ekrzemin(at)yahoo(dot)com

windycindy said...

Happy Saturday! I like "Gordo",the frog monster. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks.....Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Crystal Adkins said...

Hey gals! My fav is the patricia love monster!!I cal my 21 month old a monster ever day..so this contest is very fitting :)
Hugs, Crystal
adkinsc123@lycos.com

dolls123 said...

Gordo, Frog Monster

dolls123[at]gmail[dot]com

PamperingBeki said...

Oh I love the frog monster!!!

laura said...

Too, too cute! I really like the orange squishy with green heart monster.

laurachilton [at] hotmail [dot] com

Amber said...

My favorite is Lynn, Bini Monster - but I love Orion as well! I would be so thrilled to win =)

Melissa Aubrey said...

Great interview!

Steph said...

Bartholomew, Shark Monster was my favorite, but I really liked them all.

mar said...

my favorite is Larry Zap monster - thank you

vmkids said...

robo love

mverno said...

gordo frog monster

Shannon said...

Babette, the bunny monster

fangirl said...

Bartholomew, Shark Monster Plush Toy is toooo cute.

naynays1 said...

The Patricia Love Monster is cute.

sally said...

love Babbette the bunny monster

ElegantSnobbery said...

How cute!! And what a great feature! I'm particularly fond of Lynn, the Bini monster. Toooooo cute!!

lisacna said...

love jedd the shark monster

Toasters said...

Gary Zap Monster

agordon10 said...

If I know my kids, they will love the frog monster best.

subu said...

i heart lynn, the bini monster.

[suburose (at) gmail (dot) com]

Meredith said...

I like Patricia the purple Love Monster!

Rebecca said...

Spotted Squishie with Red Heart is my fav..its so cute

kwinger said...

I love them all but would like to win Mel.

bison61 said...

very cute! I'll pick Jedd, Shark Monster

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

sillelin said...

Gordo, Frog Monster

stomper666 said...

Gordo

Marissa said...

Patricia Love Monster is my fav... super cute designs.
Thanks for a fun giveaway,
Marissa :)
md-sweeps (at) hotmail (d0t) com

jenny said...

oh wow no you know they are all so cute but well i'm going to go with my name sake so here it is :jenny ,bunny moster maybe it will bring me some luck lol thanks jenny9675309@yahoo.com

LINDALSHOT said...

Love the frog monster.

Patty said...

Patricia The Love Monster!!

smithpatty at comcast dot net

pjhansen65 said...

patricia the love monster would be my choice

chromiumman said...

gordo the frog monster

paintedwhiterose said...

Yellow Squishie with Hot Pink Heart is totally me!

Paintedwhiterose@yahoo.com

Jenn said...

RoboLove,Love Monster is adorable in a devilish sort of way!!

Haffner Home said...

Bartholomew, Shark Monster Plush Toy is very fun!! My little guy loves stuffed animals these days! Thanks for doing the giveaway!

mhill said...

I really like Bonnie, the Bunny Girl. Sure hope I win.
mhill66@charter.net

kitnlov said...

I like Robo love.

gunzie said...

We like bebe, love monster, really cute.
Thanks for the great give away. I hope I win, Orion would be getting a lovely new home with 3 kids in the family.

Jessica said...

I like Bonnie, Bunny girl best! Very cute!

Anonymous said...

Well, I looked at all of them and must say that "Bonnie Bunny Girl" is tres special!! She is full of personality and great character!!

annest@telus.net

SeahorseLady said...

I really like Benson, the Zap monster. They are all so cute and lovable.

danosor said...

Robo love monster is my fave.

krystal said...

Spotted Squishie with Red Heart, Plush Monster Toy is my favorite.

krystald88@hotmail.com

Aly said...

Such a hard decision!!

Bebe, has to be my favorite.. at the moment anyway!

aly said...

my email is moonpi11@yahoo.com

Kimberly B. said...

I want to take them all home! But if I have to pick one, I pick Robolove the love monster.

Jessie R. said...

I like the Lynn, Bini Monster Plush Toy! Darling! Thanks!

bwoz said...

Sir Snuggles, Love Monster Plush Toy

123connie said...

Oh I love the frog monster!!!

LaughNLove said...

the frog monster lol RAWR! hehe

Terri B said...

The Frog Monster. Thanks.
txterri[at]aol[dot]com

Grateful Gramma said...

Spotted Squishie with Red Heart

Thanks!

Kari said...

Robo love monster is SO cute!!

David said...

I like Robolove, he likes cartoons like me!

misternat1 said...

plug me in for the zebra striped squishee

nat
misternat1@cox.net

Margaret said...

Bini Monster

PAIGE said...

Frog Monster Rocks!

diesel51 said...

Lynn is so cute.

vboackle said...

i like piff the bunny monster.

Ludmilochka said...

Purple and Green Meeba Monster Plush Toy is a mysterious toy!

Carrie said...

We are having quite a discussion over here about which one is our favorite. Mine is: Bartholomew, Shark Monster Plush Toy

But the kids all vary. Cute idea!

Carrie
mountainrailway at gmail dot com

Mama Zen said...

I like Perry, the Zap monster!

kelli (at) pfrog (dot) net

Christine said...

I absolutely love Lynn, Bini Monster; she looks like she needs a good home.

Ginny said...

The Zoo, Bunny Monster Plush Toy is cute.

Anonymous said...

I really love the Jedd Shark Monster. The Lock Love Monster is also adorable but there are more i liked too.

littlelatina
edq143 at yahoo dot com

supermommi81 said...

Jedd, shark monster is my fav but they are all great!

mogrill said...

I LOVE the Frog Monster!

michelena2000 said...

Gordo, Frog Monster

Anonymous said...

Piff, Bunny Monster Plush HE IS a cutie!

angelaandconnor at gmail.com said...

I love the Zap Monsters!!

I added your contest to prizeatron!
http://www.prizeatron.com

Shelly said...

I like Lynn, Bini Monster

Becky said...

Benson, Zap Monster is my favorite!

Karen said...

Great Contest !!

Christine Groce said...

Lynn is my favorie monster toy. Please count me in. Thanks!

Miranda said...

GORDO

Lori said...

Patricia (aka Patty) is cute. My 23 month old granddaughter would love this one. The long arms on it are great for cuddling

Mike said...

Bartholomew, Shark Monster Plush Toy

melonkelli said...

I like Bibly the Frog Monster. Sadly he's only on a card right now.

soha said...

I love Barthalameow

cltgrace said...

How cute! I like the Bebe love monster!

EdNemo said...

I like the Zebra Striped Squishie with Red Heart Plush Toy

JaniceJ said...

I like Benson, Zap Monster Plush Toy.

wildflower00 said...

I like the Patricia, Love Monster Plush Toy the best but they are all lovable monsters

kal50 said...

My favorite is RoboLove, Love Monster plush toy. Thanks for the giveaway.

Kathy L.
jnl930@yahoo.com

sachidewey said...

Mel the Zap monster is too cute!

Anonymous said...

My fave is the Spotted Squishie with Red Heart, Plush Monster Toy.
partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

Phillip said...

I like Jedd!!! His colors are great!

pjfront@gmail.com

Terri said...

I like Bart the shark monster, cool color!

blueviolet said...

Yellow Squishie with Hot Pink Heart Plush Toy--amazingly cute!
doot65{at}comcast{dot}net
Elizabeth

jodene said...

I like the Lynn, Bini

rosidentevil said...

thank you for the great contest

enter me please

pethof (at) gmail (dot) com

Bartholomew the Shark Monster is my favorite

supermax said...

robo love

Teri said...

I'm lovin' Jenny the Bunny Monster. Can Chew Chew be a monster? I adore that one!

maggie0352 said...

RoboLove is my favorite.

Sue Farrell said...

I really like Benson, Zap monster

Anonymous said...

The Frog Monster

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

jennmalan said...

my favorite is the Zap monster

janetfaye said...

Piff Bunny Monster is my favorite

AspergersKitty said...

I love "Lynn", it's so cute!

jaydonco1 said...

Gary Zap Monster!

Jinxy & Me said...

Babette the Bunny Monster!

Leslie said...

Zoo bunny monster is my favorite but they are all cute. :)

Suzie G. said...

I like Bebe the love monster. I wanted to see what the frog monster looked like but only saw the note card. They must have been bought already. They look cute though!

Samantha P said...

Bonnie, Bunny Girl Plush Toy is really cute!

Sylvia P said...

i really like the Henrietta, Pillow Case Monster!

USMCWife said...

I am seriously digging RoboLove! He is so cute! LOL

julie said...

I love the frog monster!

orchidfae said...

Babette, the bunny monster

klp1965 said...

jedd is adorable :)

demmi said...

the frog monster for me

carissaad said...

Jedd, Shark Monster is so cute.

Raquel said...

Oh my daughter would love Bebe love monster.

Starshine3 said...

How cute and creative! I am rather fond of RoboLove, Love Monster :)

InMyHeart01 said...

I like robolove

Mary said...

Casi the Bunny Monster is the cutest thing I have seen. My son would love this and it would make a nice take along toy for trips.
fireicerainychevy@yahoo.com

JOYVEN said...

Robo Love

Sandy M said...

Hard choice- I like Lynn and Robolove.

jmahurin40 said...

Bebe, Love Monster Plush Toy is cute and colorful!

theolotto said...

i like Robolove.very cute

silverbele said...

The frog monster is my favorite.

purango said...

RoboLove is my favorite monster

kerri69 said...

all of them are really cute and fun but my fav is patricia the love monster
kerri69@gmail.com

Swtlilchick said...

I like the Patricia Love Monster,
They are all so adorable.I
would adopt them all

donna444444 said...

I like Bonnie, Bunny Girl Plush Toy.

lilyk said...

My favorite monster is Bonnie.