Jess Hutch.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Here is my submission for the February Month of Softies project - the theme is Alice in Wonderland. She's a sort of 1930s Alice, don't you think? She's embroidered on muslin with DMC floss from a drawing I did (transferred with my very high tech light box - I taped it to the window). I wanted to give her a pose, so rather than making a neutral Alice doll I simply embroidered her, cut her out, and sewed a backing on. Is there a name for this sort of doll? A pillow doll? A dillow?

Embroidery was my first crafting love, so it's fun to get back to it after all the knitting I've been doing lately. I also really enjoyed finding photos of old iron-on embroidery transfers from the 30s, 40s, and 50s for reference.

I also kind of like the whole pillow doll thing... I recently saw these at a gift show and thought they were the niftiest. I'm trying to think of subjects that would work well in this format... let me know if you can come up with any.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Crafty Comics

I'm still thinking about alternative ways of doing comics - outside of the traditional paper/ink format. For Christmas 2003 my sister Kate made me a quilt celebrating (or poking fun at, whatevs) my inability to find the perfect red lip gloss and the ideal pair of black oxfords. I used to whine about this all the damn time, and she embroidered five squares depicting this fruitless search... although they're not sequential, they still tell a story (and a sad one at that).

For a larger version, go here.

It's an amazing quilt - not only because of the quality of the embroidery and the choice of fabrics (pink cotton for the embroidery, red flannel for borders on the smaller squares, a heavy grey fabric to surround the squares, and a pink gingham flannel for the backing), but because Kate used a traditional craft to make a comic strip. It's super neat. It's inspirational, even.

Anyway, the search for the perfect black oxford has been called off, my black Converse All Stars are just going to have to do... but I've actually found two great red lip glosses in the meantime: Anna Sui Gloss Lip Stick #400, and Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Raisin. Whew!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Wonderful Wondercon

I spent Saturday among My People at Wondercon 2005, San Francisco's very own comic book convention. I've always been fascinated with geek subcultures, and conventions are always the best people-watching opportunities. I took many photos (best ones: me and Mr. Joss Whedon, me and two women dressed as Easterlings from LOTR, and a dude dressed as a stormtrooper chatting about costumes with a dude dressed as Boba Fett), sat through a couple of question-and-answer periods, and strolled the aisles, looking for stuff to buy, and just looking.

My purchases:
* a mini comic book from the gal, Hae Eun Park... she created these odd characters, makes stuffed versions of them, and puts out comic books about them in collaboration with another artist, Ben Seto. I loved her little stuffed fellows, check them out here.

* a great book about paper dolls from 40s/50s/60s comic strips from Trina Robbins, one of the coolest dames ever. She has written so much about women & comics & pop culture, and is nearsighted, redheaded, and wears vintage beaded sweaters, just like me. Apparently, newspapers used to publish paper dolls of popular characters in the comics section; readers would often send in fashion designs for these characters to wear. Ms. Robbins collected lots of these in a book, and I bought it, and they are fab, fab, fab. I'd provide a link to the book but I think the only available copies are from Trina herself, so go to her site and see what's available!

* I'd love to do a small comic book using photos of my knitted creatures. Gotta get on that. I am inspired by some books I picked up in Japantown by Aranzi Aronzo, a Japanese company that has created a variety of strange and adorable characters, and publishes books and sells merchandise based on these fellows. That's where today's image comes from... it's a little comic about Warumono ("bad man"). Aranzi Aronzo's characters are often featured in photo comics, and although I can't read the Japanese I still find them goofy and hilarious.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Krazy Kids' Food!

Is anything cooler than vintage kids' food packaging? Jeff got me the Krazy Kids' Food book from the amazing Taschen Icons series, and I can't stop looking at all the amazing illustrations and colors used in the production of this stuff. Since V-day is coming up, here's a sweet image from the book:

The guys who edited the book, Dan Goodsell and Steve Roden, run one of my all-time fave sites, The Imaginary World. It's got more than just kids' food packaging... it's chock-full of all kinds of vintage weird goodies (a vintage dark ride catalog? Could I love this more?) Please visit and love.

The other books in the Icon series that I recommend are:
California, Here I Come: Vintage California Graphics
Las Vegas: Vintage Graphics from Sin City
India Bazaar: Vintage Indian Graphics
Eccentric Style, which I haven't seen yet but know I will love.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Lonely Doll

I am loving the Lonely Doll series by Dare Wright.

These are children's books, written in the sixties, featuring a doll named Edith and a few of her teddy bear friends. The pictures in the books are posed dolls and bears, so anyone fascinated (as I am) with pics of posed dolls, check these out. Apparently, a book just came out about Dare Wright and her life, and I'm planning to read that too.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


doublefine baby
Originally uploaded by Jess Hutch.
It's finished! Tim at Double Fine Productions ( asked me to make a knitted version of his company's mascot a while ago. We were riding dinosaurs, that's all I can remember. Anyway, the holidays came along, gifts were made, and unfortunately, two-headed babies had to be set aside. But now it's February, and now it's done!

This little guy is made from Lamb's Pride Worsted by Brown Sheep, on size 8 double pointed needles. He is quite squishy.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

ebay kitten

Originally uploaded by Jess Hutch.
I got this lovely old knitted kitten doll on ebay. With the whole Month of Softies thing it seemed particularly appropriate. This doll's condition hovers somewhere between "well-loved" and "gross", which of course is the best possible A+ condition.

this here thing.

I'd like to make this the place where I talk about new stuff I'm working on... or sites I love... or things I'm interested in or excited about...

For example, please check out the Month of Softies at lots of lovely cats this month, made by crafters from everywhere, including me! I'm so excited to be a part of such an amazing project.

I love to make stuff, and I love that the internet provides similar-minded folks with the opportunity to share the joy. Good times.