The post is part of an occasional series called "Awesome Handmade
Toys." These posts feature toy makers whose work I think is
particularly fresh and inventive. You can see previous posts in the series here. I also pin toys to my Inspiring Softies pinboard on a regular basis if you're looking for more inspiration.
Zacharczenko is a graduate student in entemology and evoltunionary
biology and I think it's safe to say that Brigette loves creepy, crawly things. Brigette terms herself the Weird Bug Lady.
always looking for wildlife, and will go after and catch just about
anything, with insects and reptiles being my favorite."
has another passion, too. She makes plush. How do these two interests come together? She says, "I've always been
frustrated by not being able to find plush toys of my favorite animals
that were anatomically correct. So I set out to make my own!"
Specializing in what she calls "the creatures most often overlooked," Brigette makes insects and other invertebrates that I guarantee you've never seen at a regular toy store.
She caters to customers who are looking for very particular creatures made in plush form. Graduate
students, professors, and nature enthusiasts seeking softies of their favorite unusual animal commission Brigette to create toys for them.
Creating unusual animals in fleece requires the in-depth knowledge of an animal's physical characteristics that only an entomologist could possess plus the sewing and construction skills of an expert toy maker. Brigette's got both.
I see some design similarities here to imaginary monsters made from fleece, but the phrase
"truth is better than fiction" comes to mind. Some of these color
combinations, legs, spots, and body shapes are things you just couldn't
make up. Plus, in real life some of these guys are actually microscopic.
This is the only Etsy shop I've seen in which customers are encouraged to browse by Phylum. Are you looking for an amoebozoan? a chordate? or perhaps a Platyhelminthes?
Got a particular unusual insect or invertebrate in mind? The Weird Bug Lady takes custom orders. Check out her shop to get in touch.