Happy Birthday CAVEY Giveaway

Remember the feature I did on Holly recently? As I said we’re planning a special Cavey Giveaway especially for you ladies of Miseducated to celebrate the exciting birthday of Cavey! These plushes are so very covetable I wish I could enter in the giveaway! I wish each of you the best of luck!

The Prize

How to Enter

Follow @heycavey and retweet the following before May 26, 2011:

“Happy birthday Cavey! follow @heycavey and RT to win a Cavey plush at Miseducated! #caveycomp http://www.miseducated.net/?p=11508”

Send Cavey a Birthday Card

Also, for some extra fun why not make Cavey an extra-special birthday card? Holly will be displaying all birthday cards and Cavey artworks at the birthday party! Send to: Cavey, Po Box 2384, Watford, WD18 1RP, UK by May 26th 2011.

Getting Plush With Holly Stanway

Holly is a remarkable artist. She and I were friends back in the old school days of Miseducated through LiveJournal. Because of this I’ve had the privilege of watching her work blossom from something beautifully eerie into something absolutely drop-dead stunning and magical. I had to feature her both because of her A Litte Stranger creations and because of the cutie Hey Cavey which is taking the plush scene by storm.

In fact we’re so smitten by Holly’s work and by her Cavey creature that we’re planning another giveaway this month especially for Cavey’s birthday! Stay tuned for the details!

Hello, Holly! First, let me ask you what is your passion?
Creating. I love learning new crafts and ways of creating things, and i’m always looking to find a new way to do something. I love the feeling of starting out a project not really knowing how its going to loo and seeing it evolve and morph into something I can be proud of.

How long have you been making toys and plushies?
I’ve been making stuff forever, but in a professional capacity for about 8 years.

When did you decide that this was your calling?
I kind of stumbled into the plush thing by accident, I studied model making at University, and took a job prototyping toys after I graduated. I’d always done sewing and made little toys in my spare time and run a small webshop selling plushes and doll clothes while I was at Uni. We did a lot of work on action men while I worked prototyping clothes and I convinced my boss to let me do the clothes and little parachutes and stuff and it all went from there. I’ve always just kind of made opportunities, and even now I don’t really know what’s around the corner, I just take things as they come. 🙂

When did Cavey come into play?
Just over a year ago, the idea came about all of a sudden and i started making these little prototypes out of scraps. I tried him long, thin, fat, with feet, paws, a tail etc eventually deciding he looked best super simple with just a little face.

What makes Cavey special? How is he different from other characters?
The idea behind Cavey was always that he appearance of the character was very simple, and was very personality driven. I like to keep him ambiguous, Cavey is neither a boy or a girl and he’s always called Cavey to let his new owner find a name for him if they choose.

Do you have creativity blocks?
Occasionally. (but thankfully not too often :))

If you don’t mind my asking, how do you remedy your creative blocks?
I’m a bit of a workaholic so when i’m struggling to see the woods for the trees, so to speak, I try and take a bit of time out and do something completely different for a while; go for a run, go out to eat with a friend, once I’m not so deeply into something I’m usually good to go again 😀

What inspires you most?
I’d have to say animals and pets. Fantasy films have always been a big influence on me, and the magical characters in them. And anything Jim Henson.

Holly’s Creations

The Forest Sprite

Custom plush, Melek

Space Dragon



Single Tentacle necklaces

New blue sleepy monster

Finished Octopus necklace

Should You Felt Your Knitted Projects?

Working with wool has become one of my favorite creative endeavors. I love the unique way each article of clothing comes out just a bit differently than another. I use any used or new sweaters and am always on the hunt for vintage wool skirts or jackets to use in my projects. I love to use them to make baby clothes or toys. Little stuffed woolies are lots of fun to make. Using wool makes me feel happy to be able to put to use something someone else believes to be un-useful (is that a word???). No two items I make are alike. I don’t use patterns because I find it easier to ‘eyeball’ the felted sweater and let the colors and textures dictate what will come of it. If you are a ‘pattern person’ (what a title!), you most certainly could use patterns with this kind of felted fabric.


1. Find a beautiful 100% wool sweater that is in good condition. Be sure to check the label carefully. Do not purchase or use one that says it’s okay to ‘Machine Wash’ it. Some wool sweaters have been treated for easier care and do not require dry cleaning… the process they use will prevent it from felting-the desired effect! Use only one that recommends dry cleaning or hand washing.

2. Machine wash in warm water with 1Tbsp. soap or detergent. Wool fibers have little barbs on them and the agitation of a machine wash cycle binds the fibers together. When felted, a garment will shrink and become thick, dense and will not unravel when cut. After washing, check to see if the sweater is now ‘felted’ enough for what you desire to make. If not, either rewash or for further felting, dry it in a warm dryer. If it is rumpley after washing, iron with an iron using the ‘wool’ setting. Wool is a very durable product and responds well to misting and ironing.

3. Once your item is dry and smoothed out with an iron, you may begin to design and construct your item. If making a dress for baby, you can use the neckline or collar area of the sweater for the neckline of your new dress. Sometimes you will need to put darts in the back of the neck or cut it in the back and re-seam it to reduce the size of the neck. Because properly felted wool does not unravel, you will probably not have to hem or bind your hem or sleeves but sometimes I do anyway. A sweet cotton fabric can add a lot for extra detail. The sleeves of the sweater can be used to make leg warmers to match or save them for a pair of hand warmers for yourself or a friend!

4. After your pieces are cut out, sew them together with a machine using either a regular straight stitch or serger. Appliquéing a unique design on your dress or romper will personalize it and add whimsy and interest, but be sure to do the appliqué or embroidery work before you sew front to back; it’s just easier. Above all, have fun! This example is just one of many ways to use wool sweaters. Get creative and enjoy!