And all the pipe cleaner animals stood erect-- a fierce wall of nylon and wire defiance--
with one voice they exclaimed, "We shall not be silenced!"

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sweater Brobee

For those of you who have young children, the name "Yo Gabba Gabba" may be a common part of your household vocabulary. I know it is with my brother-in-law and his wife. Their son LOVES Yo Gabba Gabba. His favorite character is Brobee. Brobee is this green striped creature that reminds me a lot of that old McDonald's character Grimace (old skool). For Christmas, I decided to make him a handmade Brobee toy of some type.

My original plan was to make him a Brobee sock toy, since Brobee could easily be made in the same fashion as a sock monkey. But it was virtually impossible to find green/lime green striped socks! I looked online, at Walmart, and Target! No luck. Then I tried to find striped fabric at JoAnns... no such luck (out of the thousands of patterns they have there). So finally I tried Ross, thinking maybe there was something I could use from the kids section. Again no luck.

So I gave up and decided to go shopping for myself. I went to the Juniors section to find a sweater for myself, and lo an behold, what did I find? THIS SWEATER!

It was PERFECT! The right color, and it came with a scarf!! All for $6.99! There were only two on the rack and I bought both of them up. I used one sweater for Brobee's body, and the sleeves from the second sweater for the legs. I also got a green microfiber towel to make his head.

Here are the pictures I took throughout the process:

Being that I'm not the best at sewing, I learned a few things along the way and had to redo the stitching of the arms and legs to the body, but it looked pretty good in the end.

On Christmas, my nephew was one happy boy. His first remarks about his gift were, "Brobee is BIG!"

All the time and hard work I put into it definitely paid off!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pipe Cleaner Riley - The Golden Retriever

My buddy Chris has made it into my blog again!! I just finished a custom order for him that is going to be a Christmas present for his sister, and I think it's one of the sweetest presents ever! He asked me to create a Fuzzy of the family's dog, Riley (who, btw, is a girl dog-- apparently "Riley" is a unisex name... kind of like "Taylor," I guess). Anyhow, here are the pictures of Riley that he sent me:

Isn't she the cutest Retriever you've ever seen??

Oh and then there's this one... EEK!

Don't worry folks-- she's just catching a snowball mid-air!

Chris also requested that the Fuzzy have a pink leash or collar, but given winter is pretty darn cold in Boston, I gave the Fuzzy a pink scarf instead. Here is Fuzzified Riley:

I really love how she came out! She looks like Baby Riley!! Chris also pointed out that the keychain looks like a leash, which I hadn't thought of. I hope his sister likes it! I almost wanted to keep it for myself!! :)

Merry Christmas, Chris' sister!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Teach Me... PLEASE!!!

I went to a friend's house over the weekend and spent the evening with his wife and kids. Since they were cooking, I thought it would be a nice gesture to bring their kids a little something in as a token of thanks. So I made each of them a Fuzzy dog and they loved them when I brought them out. Success!

But that's not it. It turns out his 9-yr old daughter and I both share a passion for crafts, and this little girl is VERY CREATIVE. Well, today, I got the following email from my friend:
"Be prepared that you will receive email from my daughter from now on. She has been hooked into your little gift. She spent most of her time trying to make the same figure that you gave to her. She was frustrated and even cried because she couldnt make it. She asked me to invite you to our house again (very soon, like next weekend) in order to teach her how to do it."
I was flattered that I could make a little girl cry (in a good way). I told my friend that I could offer her some hints and thanked him again for the wonderful evening and dinner.

A couple hours later, I received this email from guess who:
"Hi Ms.Sharon,

Can you please stop by my house for 30 minutes to teach me how to make a dog out of pipe cleaners before CHRISTMAS ?

I have about 150 pipe cleaners.

I was planning to make dogs for my relatives for christmas present. Can you e-mail me back? Please tell me what date and what time you are available."
Wow, this little girl is HARDCORE! How could I say no to that?? So this weekend, I'll be going to their house to spend a couple hours teaching her the tricks of the trade, and some of my "secrets." I should have her sign a non-disclosure agreement so she doesn't take that knowledge and outsell me in the market! =P

Friday, November 20, 2009

I pity the fool who don't think pipe cleaners are cool! - Mr. T

One of my guy friends at work, Chris, is into quirky things. I usually get a good Internet link at least once a week from him that would be categorized as "interesting." He's been a real supporter of my Fuzzington efforts, and he was the one who recommended that I make some mainstream characters, like the mini-Yoda.

He's also a real Mr. T fan. A couple of weeks ago, he found a scanned Mr. T cereal box from the 80s. Do you all remember this?

He downloaded the high-res file (it was like 50 MB), printed it out, assembled it, and had an exact replica of the cereal box in his cubicle!! I was so envious, I practically begged him to make me a mini one. A week a later, he stopped by my desk while I was on a conference call, and dropped a mini cereal box off at my desk! I was so stoked!! You too can have this awesome box by going to this site:

At any rate, to return the favor, I thought I'd make him a little present. He'd asked me in the past if I could make a Fuzzy Mr. T. So last weekend, I gave it a try, and while it's not my best work, I found the end really made me smile!

Have you bought tickets for the Gun Show?
Look at the guns on this little guy!!

"I pity the fool..."

I got the gold chain from a quarter machine at Frys. Mini Mr. T was able to stand on his own until I put the gold chains on him. Then he kept toppling over because the chains were too heavy. So I had to glue him to a little wooden disc to stabilize him. I now realize why Mr. T was so buff in his heyday-- so he could support all those gold chains on him and not fall over!!

So Mini Mr. T is now sitting in Chris' cube next to the Mr. T cereal box! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Extraordinary Uses for Pipe Cleaners

I've been getting several messages from people about how they have bags of pipe cleaners and don't know what to do with them. Well, fret not my friends! Here is a list of uses for pipe cleaners from the Readers Digest book, Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things.

I hope that this list will give you a few ideas!

Decorate a ponytail
Need a fresh look for your hair? Tired of using plain old ribbons? Once you have your hair in a ponytail, twist a pipe cleaner around the hair band. Twist a couple together for an even brighter effect.

Use as an emergency shoelace
Your shoelace broke and you're about to go out on the court to play that grudge match in basketball. A pipe cleaner is a good stopgap tie-up. Just thread in your shoe as you would a shoelace and twist it up at the top.

Safety pin holder
Safety pins come in so many sizes, it's hard to keep them together and organized. Thread safety pins onto a pipe cleaner, through the bottom loop of each pin, for easy access.

Clean gas burners
Have you noticed that your stovetop burners are not firing on all their jets? Do you see an interrupted circle of blue when you turn a burner on? Poke a pipe cleaner through the little vents. This cleans the burner and allows it to work more efficiently. This works for pressure cooker safety valves, or pressure cookers' too.

Make napkin rings
Colorful pipe cleaners are an easy and fast resource for making napkin rings. Just twist around the napkin and place on the table. If you want to get adventurous, use two, one for the napkin ring, attach the other pipe cleaner to it, shaped into a heart, shamrock, flower, curlicue, or something else.

Use as twist tie
You're ready to close up that smelly bag of kitchen garbage when you discover you are out of twist ties. Grab a pipe cleaner instead.

Use as a travel toy
If you're worried about having a bored, wiggly child on your hands during your next long car or plane ride, throw a bunch of pipe cleaners into your bag. Whip them out when the "Are we there yet?" questions start coming your way. Colorful pipe cleaners can be bent and shaped into fun figures, animals, flowers, or whatever. They even make cool temporary bracelets and necklaces.

Use as a mini-scrubber
Pipe cleaners are great for cleaning in tight spaces. Use one to remove dirt from the wheel of a can opener or to clean the bobbin area of a sewing machine.

Decorate a gift
To give a special touch to a birthday or holiday present, shape a pipe cleaner into a bow or a heart. Poke one end through a hole in the card, and that runs its length. Line the vase with a plastic bag before you fill it with water and add the bouquet, giving fresh life to a treasured heirloom.

And my own little Addendum to this list: Make super cute pipe cleaner animals!! =)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fridge Pidge - Custom Order

I absolutely love custom orders. They give me a way to challenge my pipe cleaner sculpting skills, and really gets my creative juices running! I just wanted to share with everyone one of my latest custom creations.

Christyn from ReclaimTheThrone (see blog entry from 10/16/09) requested a custom Fuzzy of her Sheltie, Pidge. She also requested that the Fuzzy be made as a refrigerator magnet, hence the nickname I coined for this creation, Fridge Pidge! =)

Here is the picture of Pidge that Christyn sent to me. Isn't she adorable?

And here is Pidge fuzzified. Her coloration was the most difficult to achieve.

Here is Fridge Pidge!

You like? Any comments would be lovely!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A New Banner Thanks to a New Etsy Friend!

I got this super-cute, wonderful new banner for my Etsy shop from a fellow Etsian, Christyn, who is owner of ReclaimTheThrone (!! WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK??

Christyn's shop specializes in refurbishing vintage furniture into OOAK, lovely pieces that anyone one would want to have in their home.

In her spare time though, she makes some AWESOME banners, and I really think she should start a business making banners. =) Check out her blog for some of the other banners she's made!!

THANK YOU CHRISTYN FOR "refurbishing" my shop!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Custom Fuzzy: Ichabod

It's a little early for spooky Halloween stuff, but given that stores are starting to display Halloween goodies, I thought I'd show off my latest custom creation: Ichabod, the tuxedo cat. Ichabod is mostly my sister's cat. She and her boyfriend named him Ichabod, after Ichabod Crane from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

As a challenge, my sister's boyfriend requested a custom Fuzzy of Ichabod. I made him during a two-hour car ride from memory, and I must say, he came out pretty close! Guess all those times I played with Ichabod paid off!

The cat eyes are part of a new design that I'm experimenting with. They're made with a thin yellow pipe cleaner with two beads. I'm thinking I need to show a little more separation between the eyes. I also would like to add some whiskers. And the ears could be a little smaller.

Overall though, I'm really happy with how he came out. My sis and her b-friend seemed to really like him as well. At least this version of Ichabod won't scratch her boyfriend up! =)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Naughty Dog Series

The last few days have been stinkin' hot, and to our alarm, we found FLEAS on our adorable little Maggie! Yuck-O! I've never done so much research on fleas in my life.

And maybe it's the fleas getting to my head, but they inspired me to create a naughty dog series (and by no means am I saying that Maggie is naughty for getting fleas, but those fleas sure are)! They each come with their own little polymer clay bone, fire hydrant, and pee spot!

This one looks like our little Maggie (except it's a boy). He looks like he's saying, "Yay! I'm peeing! Care to join me?"

And this grumpy little beagle appears to be saying, "Don't bother me. I'm peeing."

I've also developed some new packaging for my items! What do you think??

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fuzzy Butterfly Garden

One of my friends at work was recently let go, and we were all very sad about it. This lady loves anything crafty, and loves all things Victorian. Think roses, tea parties, paper dolls... So on her last day, I gave her something that I thought would make her smile: a Fuzzy Butterfly Garden.

In the garden are three butterflies, a caterpillar, and a moth. The three butterflies can be hung like ornaments, and the caterpillar and moth are refrigerator magnets.

I didn't get to see her open it, but she did send me this thank you note:
"Let me just say that your gift was sublime. From the very get go of the creative gift wrapping, to the lovely note and to crescendo with the opening of the tissue to find my very own butterfly garden, hand made by you! It made me laugh and grin and cheer you on mightily! Well done Sharon! I love their size, colors and bright cheer they exude."
I'm so glad I was able to make her smile!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Alchemy Request - Hannah the Doxie

Here is my latest Alchemy creation, Hannah the Doxie!! Hannah is an adorable little Doxie that loves to chase her little blue ball, and belongs to the lovely LaughingFridge ( Here is a picture of Hannah in real life:

And here she is after she was Fuzzingtized:

Hannah is made completely out of brown pipe cleaners and glass beads, primarily using traditional wire-wrapping techniques. The only glue used was for her little pink felt tongue. Hannah loves her little blue ball, which is made of polymer clay. I hope the owner loves pipe cleaner Hannah almost as much as the real one!! =)

Friday, August 21, 2009

YAY!! 100 Fans on Facebook! Now What??


I finally got 100 Facebook Fans on my Fuzzington Fan Page!! I now have the power to add a username to my facebook url and make it easy to type in! My link is now It was a bit of a bummer because "Fuzzington" had already been taken as a user name (booooooooo...) but this name is fine.

I do have to admit, however, that setting up your user name is not an intuitive process. I had to look it up in the Etsy forums, and I found this SUPER helpful thread by StarGlowStudio:

From her thread:
Congrats on getting your 100 fans!
I've had a few people emailing asking if I know where to go to get a custom URL. Here's the link...
Below the blue box, click on "Set a username for your Pages."
Remember, choose your name carefully - you can't change it later. Make sure it's spelled correctly!
Super helpful, right?? By the way, StarGlowStudio makes some amazing pet portraits, so make sure you check out thier shop ( This one reminds me of my little Maggie when she has hair:

Thanks to everyone who helped me get to 100 Fans! I'd especially like to mention my 100th Fan, chrissymaciel, a talented young artist that just started her shop not too long ago. She's got some really trendy knitted hats and scarves that are just wonderful!

Give Chrissy's shop some love (! Chrissy, we can't wait to see more of those stylish items!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Have the Best Husband in the World

A few weeks ago, I was tasked with creating favors for my best friend's bridal shower, and since the theme of the shower was Hello Kitty, I decided to make some cute beaded Hello Kitty bracelets. They're made of glass beads and Swarovski crystals, with a little Hello Kitty charm. I bought the charms on Etsy. Here's mine.. isn't it cute?
However, I only had two evenings to put together TWENTY of these babies and I had no idea how I was going to crimp, tread, and bead all twenty in time for the shower. Luckily for me, I have the best husband in the world!! Now let me preempt this by saying that my husband is definitely NOT INTO CRAFTS. He thinks it's cool that I like them, but his idea of fun is sitting on the couch watching sports all day with a few beers. This same guy offered to help me bead the bracelets, so all I had to do was start them off, and he beaded more than half of the bracelets!! So sweet!!

Here's my cute husband in action.

I think it's so cute how he laid out all the beads before stringing them. I should have gotten him a beading board. =)

He was a real trooper and we finished all of them in one night (even if it took us until 1am)!! He even admitted that he had fun doing it!! What a great guy!!

Friday, August 7, 2009


We are very blessed here in Southern California to have a lot of things that many people in the rest of the country wish they had: palm trees, beaches, beautiful weather all year round... but there is one thing that we do not have: Hobby Lobby.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was in Schaumburg this week for meetings, but in a perceived
act of divine intervention, my meetings for Thursday were canceled, and since I had a late flight and a rental car, I had the perfect opportunity to pursue what I consider to be a crafter's paradise. Oh, how happy I was to be in this store!!! I memorialized the visit with pics on my cell phone.

Why do I love Hobby Lobby so much? Well right off the bat, the sheer size of the place is astounding to me. Just look at it! It's huge! If you took a Michaels, JoAnns, and Aaron Brothers, and mashed them all together into the same store, you'd get Hobby Lobby!

And the selection-- Oh, the selection!! And the great prices!! Imagine a Wal-Mart that only sold crafts!

There is a whole half of an aisle dedicated to PIPE CLEANERS! Folks, I present to you the birthplace of Fuzzington:

There are thin pipe cleaners, thick ones, feathery, striped... even JUMBO sized pipe cleaners (in the left portion of the picture above). I didn't get those jumbo ones because I wasn't sure what I could make with them. Needless to say, I stocked up...

On top of that, I got some great deals on postage stamp collecting supplies, as well as animal eyes for my sock monkeys, and some great jewelry findings. Somehow I was able to stash it all in my suitcase, and airport security did not give me any trouble for bringing a bunch of craft supplies home.

When I got back to San Diego in the evening, my husband and I went to Trader Joes to stock up on groceries. As we were checking out, I joked about how the many items we were ringing up at Trader's reminded me of my purchase that morning at Hobby Lobby. The cashier overheard me and asked excitedly, "They opened a Hobby Lobby here in San Diego??" Unfortunately I had to break the news to her that this wasn't the case, and she looked disappointed. She had moved out here from Tennessee and said she really missed the store.

So for those of you who are fortunate enough to have this great store in your community, and are amused by how I revere this store-- I think you're really taking Hobby Lobby for granted!! Please, let this be a reminder to not take Hobby Lobby for granted! Perhaps one day, I can "lobby" to bring Hobby Lobby to the west coast. Until then, I'll just have to wait for my business trips to Schaumburg and hope for canceled meetings...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Customizing Your Facebook Widget

I put my Facebook Fan Box widget on my blog a couple of days ago (see right hand column and scroll down), and I love how it looks! Rather than the text link to my Facebook fan page that I have under the "Important Links" section, I now have an attractive Fan Box that shows my fans on facebook, and hopefully entices others to click and join! Have you gotten yours yet?

Of course, as I did with the Etsy Minis on my blog, the code for the Facebook Fan Box had to be modified a little to make it fit correctly. If you have a blog on blogspot, the Fan Box may be too big initially.

Here is how I got the code for my Fan Box from Facebook, and how I implemented it to fit correctly in my blog:

1) Go to your fan page in facebook.

2) Click on Add Fan Box to your site

3) This will take you to a page where you can set up your widget. I chose to check "Include Fans" only. The streaming version takes up too much room in my opinion, but you can check it if you like.

4) Copy the code generated and add it to your blog layout (this would be a gadget in blogspot).

Now take a close look at the default widget that is produced in Step 3 (sorry for the bad resolution). Do you see how it is wider and has more fans listed than the widget that is in my blog? There are a couple of parameters that you can change in the code to get the same results as mine. Or you can play around with the numbers and see what suits your blog best.

In the code that is generated, the default number of fans listed is 10, and the width of the box is 300 pixels. I changed these two parameters to make my widget fit better:

- To change the number of fans, look for the text in the code that says connections="10" Simply change the number 10 to the number of fans you want to display. In my case, I changed it from 10 to 6.

- To change the width of the widget, find the text in the code that says width="300" (which should be right next to the "connections" text) and change the 300 to a smaller number to make the box narrower, or a larger number to make the box wider. In my case, I changed the number to 200. Depending on your blog layout, this number can vary.

And there you go! I hope this helps you all put a nice Facebook Fan Box on your blog!! Good luck, and convo me if you need help!