Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fantastic book find : The Blackberry Hollow Cuddly Toy Book

A while back my husband brought me home a book he found in our local library's discard shelf waiting to be taken home. The Blackberry Hollow Cuddly Toy Book by Valarie Janich (circa 1989) became an instant favorite.

Not only is the book chock full of full size patterns and step by step instructions guiding you through creating all the characters in the stories that appear throughout but the author has given permission for you to recreate her whimsical toys to sell, in small handmade quantities of course. The storybook style and full page color photographs are amusing and helpful to the process. The stories have names like "Harriet Hemlock's Book of Spells" and "The Harvest Mice go on Holiday".

Each adorable creature is represented in a smaller baby size and they have costumes that accompany the stories. I have made hedgehogs and mice so far and plan on doing owls and moles next. There are also squirrels, rabbits and the tiny pixies...they remind me of fairies without wings. I found the patterns incredibly easy to follow and even easier to customize. I used an old wool coat that had fallen victim to a stain for these little mice I also made a couple sets from craft felt and cotton for my nieces, these patterns are suited for all types of fabric.

I made Mama mouse a circle skirt and added a bit of bead trim. Baby mouse is wearing a tutu and both have blush tinted cheeks and ears and tiny roses behind each ear. I have given my previous creations away too quickly to even snap a photo but once I have enough to stage a blackberry hollow costume party I will post photos.

Currently there are 20 available on, starting for under 1 dollar. I highly recommend adding this treasure to your library.

I am addicted to these easy to make toys and plan on creating a couple a dropping them toy society style... Maybe around the library.

Currently there are 20 for sale on amazon - used copies starting at .82 cents

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