Headers-services
sewmonkey

Creature Ordering FAQ

How do I place an order for a custom sock monster?
Keep reading this page and find out. First, you’ll need an order form.

order-form-icon
Click the order form icon to the left and allow your computer to download the order form for a custom sock creature. Print the form, fill it out, and mail it to me (find my studio’s address both on the form and on the contact page of this site). Then wait for the magic to happen.

Define “magic.”
When something goes “poof,” and then things are different. Usually in a good way, otherwise it’s called “disaster.”

What happens if I can’t download the order form?
One of two things happen. You can mail me a self addressed, stamped envelope, and I’ll send it back with an order form inside of it. Otherwise, we’ll make a phone appointment and I’ll walk you through the ordering process, and fill out a form on your behalf.

Gordon
So I noticed you’ve reduced your price. What’s going on with that?
Yes, yes. What I’ve done there is offer a basic stupid creature with a simple range of features. If extra features are desired, they can be ordered at an extra cost. This way, nobody feels they’re paying too much if all they want is a Syd or a Wronky™, and I don’t feel I’m working too much if someone wants a Christinabelle. We all walk away satisfied.

Please explain your new pricing structure.
Okay. Creatures now cost only $45 (before sales tax and shipping). They include the following features:
  • A body
  • 4 limbs, arranged either standing up like a person or on all fours like an animal as you specify.
  • A head
  • Up to 3 eyes, either child safe or buttons as you specify
  • 2 cranial protrusions (ear/horn thingies)
  • A mouth of some sort
  • Your choice of two buck teeth, a protruding tongue or nothing at all coming out of its mouth.
Extra features like more arms, a tail or a handbag, may be chosen from the menu provided on the order form. They are priced per item and will adjust the total cost of your creature. Creatures like Wronky, Owlsley, Pepick, Francine and Jordan all fall within the basic creature package. Creatures like Christinabelle are pricier because of all the extra limbs, the purse, the nose and the skirt.

gang
How specific can I be when telling you what I want my creature to look like?
The order form will tell me exactly what I need to know to get going on your order. Sometimes people have submitted a sketch of what they want for their creature. That’s fine, in fact it’s welcome, though I caution you; the more specific a picture you get in your head, the less likely I am humanly able to make your dreams come true. The fun thing about socks (which many of the book users are now finding out) and fabrics in general, is that they tend to stretch and fill out when stuffed, so it’s very much near impossible to predict what you’re going to get until you get it. It’s similar in that way to having babies. You have expectations, but then learn to love what you get more than you ever thought possible. Thus, ordering a Stupid Creature™ involves a measure of trust on the customer’s part.

Can you work from a drawing?
Sort of. Once again, if you get too specific with your wishes (like dictating measurements, dimensions, poses, facial expressions and precise colors), we might be getting into the realm of prototype design, which is a substantially pricier request. If you send an original drawing, all I can guarantee is the creature’s basic anatomy for this kind of work at this kind of price.

Frapp-over-oakland
Can you do a human likeness or a creature version of pets?
Not at the price or time frame I’m asking for this service. Usually doing plushes of people or pets involves shopping for just the right fabric (which may not even exist), and implementing a much more complex process, involving trial versions, customer approvals and thus a price that fits the job.

I’ve done people’s pets before, but the features are invariably simplified, and the general mood of the pet is attempted. Pet owners who expect a replica of their beloved animal are not ideal candidates for this service. Though, dog lovers, for example, who want a fun and unique looking dog creature may certainly specify their wishes to have a dog-like creature made under my basic terms. I’m more than happy to do that. Similarly, if someone wishing to honor a chubby friend wants a chubby creature, I can do that too within the terms of this service. All things worth doing are possible, though. Never hesitate to contact me and ask if a job can be done.

hlab-over-oakland
Can you make me something like I’ve seen on TV or in stores?
Oh, please. If you see something you like on TV, chances are it’s already in a store, and priced cheaper than I could do it for you (because it’s made in a toxic sweatshop overseas). Hire me to do something original that nobody else in the world will have (and won’t get me sued for copyright infringement)!

I want an exact copy of one of your creatures. Can you do that?
No. I can guarantee that its basic anatomy will be imitated, as will the basic method I used to construct the creature you like. I may change the construction method if in time I have encountered better techniques. Dimensions, poses, proportions, colors, patterns, textures and facial expressions (which are serendipitous at best) cannot be exactly duplicated because the fabrics which allow those features come from limited, chance-encountered, reclaimed sources and their equal is very likely never to be seen again. These creatures are as unique as you and me.

What if the order form’s menu of extra features doesn’t have what I want?
That may happen from time to time, as the order form is pretty general. Drop me an email first and we can discuss what you want, and I can set a price for it. We in no way have to be stark about this. You the customer and I the artist are embarking on something fun and enjoyable, so talk to me, ask me things, and we’ll come to a solution.

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Why have you created a spot on the order form for the recipient’s address?
Often these creatures are gifts meant for other people, and in case redundant shippings are not desired, I can mail the creature directly to the recipient for you.

I notice there’s no longer an option for a rush order.
Yes. I’m eliminating that feature so that I may treat every order like a priority, and have it out the door within 2 weeks of its arrival. Though if people need their order processed faster than that, I will have to implement a suitable charge for quickness. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

What’s a Stu-Pon?
Those are little thank you tokens I give to anyone who’s ever placed a custom order. They arrive with your creature on a thank you note. You can keep one for yourself and give one away. They can be applied for a 10% discount on your next Stupid Creatures™ custom job. They don’t work for stuff bought on my Etsy page or in my studio, or at shows or other sales events. Just custom work.

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So how long does it take you to make a sock creature?
Oh, all told, several hours. I sometimes while away a lot of time agonizing over design ideas, but I’m going to stop doing that.

How long should I expect to wait before seeing my creature?
Ideally, you should expect to wait 2 weeks for one creature, and a little longer (unsure yet) for multiple creatures. I’ll let you know if extra time is required. Though from time to time my plate may fill up with other jobs like writing a book or developing a prototype or getting ready for a show. I’ll do my best to let you know if it looks like your order will take a tad longer than usual. You can look at the calendar page of this website and get an inkling of what my availability is, though you should never feel discouraged to place an order any day of the year.

If I have a dated event such as a birthday or holiday, how far in advance should I place my order?
For most birthdays or non-holiday events, get your order in the mail to me 3 weeks in advance of your due date. This allows for shipping to me, processing at the studio, then shipping back to you. Dates such as Valentine’s Day or the Christmas Season will require some extra planning. Plan for a month to two months in advance of those popular gift giving holidays. Many customers begin sending me their Christmas orders by late summer. The queue gets quite long roundabout Thanksgiving. I’ve often had to raise my prices just to stem the flow, so plan plan plan. Christmas orders that arrive to my studio by late November or early December receive no guarantee of timely shipping, especially if my queue is long. My final ship-out day for Christmas season orders is December 15. After that date, I must get cracking on gifts for my own friends and family, and I won’t process new orders till the New Year. Incidentally, the New Year is a great time to send me Valentine’s Day orders.

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Do I give you the materials for my creature?
Yes, that’s the best way to do it. I stock no regular fabrics, and only ever work with donated clothing or fabric with post consumer fiber content. If you want a creature with an appealing texture or pattern, it’s best you supply me with the materials. You can, of course, opt to be surprised and let me choose materials for you.

How much material should I give you for my order?
Typically, I can make a creature with no less than 2 calf-length socks. But if I feel the order requires more fabric, for instance if you send just one sock, baby socks, an ankle sock, or one that’s so riddled with holes and wear that it’s yield is low, I’ll choose it from my stores as best suits the texture, pattern and color of the items you sent.

Can I send other material than socks?
Absolutely. This is an artistic, sculptural process after all. Typically, I prefer to make a creature from materials that can all survive together in the wash without shrinking or warping differently from each other. If your materials are not suited to a standard wash cycle, I can usually still make a creature out of them, but you assume the risk of cleaning it.

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So what kind of materials are best suited for this kind of a job?
Socks of most kinds. Most T-shirts work well. Denim is good. Wool sweaters are great, though I may take some extra time to shrink them for durability. Cotton or cotton/polyester blends are fine too. Pajamas make amazing creatures since they’re already by virtue snuggly. Baby clothes are great, great materials. Consider the weight, fiber content and stretch of the fabrics you send in. Thick, unyielding denim combined with thin, stretchy T-shirt material may cause problems when it’s time to stuff, play with, or wash the creature. Try to see that the fabrics are compatible.

What kind of materials should I avoid?
Sheer, thin, gauzy stuff like pantyhose and its ilk is wretched for this kind of work. So are thick, durable, sturdy things like knobbly or coated upholstery, burlap and leather (as yet). Avoid also crocheted items like afghans and other things woven loosely. Avoid fabric with a tendency to unravel.

And absolutely avoid any fabric that smells of smoke, feet, armpits, butt, pets, incontinence, is moldy or in any unsanitary state. I will promptly burn any such material and send your order form back to you unfilled.

If I can tell that a fabric is simply discolored or bears a treated stain and is otherwise clean and safe, I’ll work with it. Otherwise, please consider that my studio, while small, is a hub of international commerce. Do not turn me into a dealer of plague.

What do you stuff your creatures with?
I use grade 2 polyester fiber fill, which is entirely post-consumer.

IMG_7236
Can I sell the creatures you make for me?
No. And why would you want to? You’ve hired me for a custom job with your hard-earned money. Anyway, the creatures I make for you are my copyrighted designs. You own the creature, but not its likeness. If you want to sell original creatures, I’ve written a book that tells you exactly how to sew them (see the Books page on this website). Though, you have to do the work yourself. You may not outsource a manufacturer to employ a sweatshop to work directly from my book and sell the product in great masses. My expressed, written consent does not cover that course of action.

I still have questions.
I still have answers. Contact me and ask.
FAQ for Plush Jobs

IMG_6539
First off, let’s explain what a Plush Job is from a Custom Sock Creature. In general, it’s still me taking your material, mine, or a combination of both, to make for you a one-of-a-kind, original, handmade soft sculpture. But these tend to be bigger than sock creatures, and because we’re not limited to the structural features of socks, we can go a bit more complex with detail, shape and anatomy. These plush jobs, though made to be durable and withstand handling, are not intended to be children’s playthings or to ever go in the wash. They are soft sculptures meant for display and holding.

How do I place an order for a custom plush job?
Drop me an email and get a discussion going. The format for this is pretty loose as yet, so hashing out the specifics of what you want will be pretty interactive.

What’s the price range for this service?
It starts at $50 for labor, and gets pricier based on the level of detail and complexity. Extra charges apply if I must buy special fabric, like fur that matches your dog, if neither of us have anything suitable. In all honesty, if you want something smaller and cheaper, you’re best off not hiring an artist. There are loads and loads of great toys already in shops.

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How specific can I be when telling you what I want my creature to look like?
Sometimes people have submitted a sketch of what they want for their creature. That’s fine, in fact it’s welcome. With fabrics other than socks, we can get a bit more specific and dynamic with the detail and anatomy. Ordering a Stupid Creature™ still involves a measure of trust on the customer’s part.

Can you work from a drawing?
Yes. Of course, I’ll need to see the drawing and ask if you want an exact duplicate or something similar.

Can you do a human likeness or a creature version of pets?
To a greater extent than I can with sock creatures. It’s still best we keep things general and simplified. I haven’t tried yet becoming the fabric version of Madame Tusseaud’s just yet, and it’s not likely that I ever shall. I’ve done people’s pets before, but the features are invariably simplified, and the general mood of the pet is attempted. Pet owners who expect a replica of their beloved animal are not ideal candidates for this service. All things worth doing are possible, though. Never hesitate to contact me and ask if a job can be done.

IMG_6440
Can you make me something like I’ve seen on TV or in stores?
Oh, please. If you see something you like on TV, chances are it’s already in a store, and priced cheaper than I could do it for you (because it’s made in a toxic sweatshop overseas). Hire me to do something original that nobody else in the world will have (and won’t get me sued for copyright infringement)!

I want an exact copy of one of your creatures. Can you do that?
No. I can guarantee that its basic anatomy will be imitated, as will the basic method I used to construct the creature you like. I may change the construction method if in time I have encountered better techniques. Dimensions, poses, proportions, colors, patterns, textures and facial expressions (which are serendipitous at best) cannot be exactly duplicated because the fabrics which allow those features come from limited, chance-encountered, reclaimed sources and their equal is very likely never to be seen again. These creatures are as unique as you and me.

So how long does it take you to do a plush job?
Oh, all told, many hours. Expect to wait a good month or so while we discuss back and forth, and as I often have many plates spinning during any given job.

IMG_6970
How long should I expect to wait before seeing my creature?
Ideally, you should expect to wait several weeks to a month for one creature, and a little longer (unsure yet) for multiple creatures. I’ll let you know if extra time is required. Though from time to time my plate may fill up with other jobs like writing a book or developing a prototype or getting ready for a show. I’ll do my best to let you know if it looks like your order will take a tad longer than usual. You can look at the calendar page of this website and get an inkling of what my availability is, though you should never feel discouraged to place an order any day of the year.

If I have a dated event such as a birthday or holiday, how far in advance should I place my order?
For most birthdays or non-holiday events, get your order in the mail to me 3 months in advance of your due date. This allows for shipping to me, processing at the studio, then shipping back to you. Dates such as Valentine’s Day or the Christmas Season will require some extra planning. Many customers begin sending me their Christmas orders by late summer. The queue gets quite long roundabout Thanksgiving. I’ve often had to raise my prices just to stem the flow, so plan plan plan. Christmas orders that arrive to my studio by late November or early December receive no guarantee of timely shipping, especially if my queue is long. My final ship-out day for Christmas season orders is December 15. After that date, I must get cracking on gifts for my own friends and family, and I won’t process new orders till the New Year. Incidentally, the New Year is a great time to send me Valentine’s Day orders.

IMG_6437
Do I give you the materials for my creature?
Yes, that’s the best way to do it. I stock no regular fabrics, and only ever work with donated clothing or fabric with post consumer fiber content. If you want a creature with an appealing texture or pattern, it’s best you supply me with the materials. You can, of course, opt to be surprised and let me choose materials for you. If we’re doing a pet with specific fur, I’ll have to do some research to find suitable fabrics. We’ll discuss cost options and either go with what we have or I’ll need to go shopping. In such cases, a charge for specially ordered fabric will be applied to the cost of your creature.

How much material should I give you for my order?
That’s really hard to say. Contribute what you can, be it a garment, a remnant or swatch. If I feel the order requires more fabric, I’ll choose it from my stores as best suits the texture, pattern and color of the items you sent.

Can I send other material than socks?
Absolutely. This is an artistic, sculptural process after all.

So what kind of materials are best suited for this kind of a job?
Socks of most kinds. Most T-shirts work well. Denim is good. Wool sweaters are great, though I may take some extra time to shrink them for durability. Cotton or cotton/polyester blends are fine too. Pajamas make amazing creatures since they’re already by virtue snuggly. Baby clothes are great, great materials. Consider the weight, fiber content and stretch of the fabrics you send in. Thick, unyielding denim combined with thin, stretchy T-shirt material may cause problems when it’s time to stuff, play with, or wash the creature. Try to see that the fabrics are compatible.

IMG_6979
What kind of materials should I avoid?
Sheer, thin, gauzy stuff like pantyhose and its ilk is wretched for this kind of work. So are thick, durable, sturdy things like knobbly or coated upholstery, burlap and leather (as yet). Avoid also crocheted items like afghans and other things woven loosely. Avoid fabric with a tendency to unravel.

And absolutely avoid any fabric that smells of smoke, feet, armpits, butt, pets, incontinence, is moldy or in any unsanitary state. I will promptly burn any such material and send your order form back to you unfilled.

If I can tell that a fabric is simply discolored or bears a treated stain and is otherwise clean and safe, I’ll work with it. Otherwise, please consider that my studio, while small, is a hub of international commerce. Do not turn me into a dealer of plague.

What do you stuff your creatures with?
I use grade 2 polyester fiber fill, which is entirely post-consumer.

IMG_6947
Can I sell the creatures you make for me?
No. And why would you want to? You’ve hired me for a custom job with your hard-earned money. Anyway, the creatures I make for you are my copyrighted designs. You own the creature, but not its likeness. If you want to sell original creatures, I’ve written a book that tells you exactly how to sew them (see the Books page on this website). Though, you have to do the work yourself. You may not outsource a manufacturer to employ a sweatshop to work directly from my book and sell the product in great masses. My expressed, written consent does not cover that course of action.

I still have questions.
I still have answers. Contact me and ask.
SAMPLE ILLUSTRATIONS

Magazine Illustrations

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Event Promotions

v2-recomp-for-web


Posters

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Instructional diagrams

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Ever since my book came out in 2005 I’ve been teaching classes as often as I can. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I can work with people of most ages and varying skill levels. And you’d be surprised at the number of guys who turn up. These classes are for everyone. There’s always something someone can learn, whether he’s just picked up a needle for the first time, or whether she’s a master quilter. We cut, we sew, we laugh and are always incredibly pleased with our results.

Check out some of the galleries of classes I’ve offered:

lessons-for-grownups
Lessons for Grownups

Lessons-for-kids-teens
Lessons for Kids and Teens

lessons-for-pros
Lessons for Professionals




You Need To Hire Me If...
  • You’re looking for an intensive, in-depth, week-long workshop or just something to pass the time on a Saturday
  • Your kid hates clowns and wants something better to do at his birthday party
  • You want your kid to develop other things to do with his or her hands and eyes than play video games
  • Your corporate board of executives needs something else to stimulate mind and body during a long convention weekend
  • You want a great way to sharpen your visual/tactile acuity and problem solving skills
  • Your planet’s resources are being badly misused and you want to learn a more sustainable means for entertainment and enterprise.

Visit my contact page and drop me a line or phone me to tell me you’re interested. We’ll discuss rates and arrangements then. In the meantime, enjoy these galleries which serve as testament to my lessons.