I found the pattern for the first of my first Funky Friends on sale at Joann’s. Little did I know that the $1 Simplicity pattern I bought on a whim would go so far, and make so many friends, both human & stuffed.

Blue Horse, Blue Horse

We needed a blue horse for the Brown Bear, Brown Bear book by Eric Carle to replace the plastic one that had been spray-painted blue and was starting to loose it’s paint. This was the first pattern that I found that didn’t involve fake fur. The fleece does make the animals easier to keep clean which is very important when dealing with the “birth to three” set.

I had some trouble with the assembly of the hooves. I checked out the website that was printed on the envelope and discovered the world of the Funky Friends Factory. I e-mailed the designer, and at no time did she make me feel like the dolt that I was. At some point during assembly I had turned the rear hoof pieces upside down which is why they didn’t want to fit the hoof pad. We continue to correspond via e-mail off and on. She is very sweet, and it looks like her business is really starting to grow.

Em’s Friends

As you can see these pets are really designed to be played with and loved. This is the cast of characters that have managed to stay at our home. They are played with on a regular basis, and although their stuffing has shifted a bit over the years, and whose hasn’t, they are still great playmates. It is about time for them to take a “spa day” though. A bit of a diet, (unstuffing), a nice soak in the tub (washer) and a trip through the sauna (dryer), followed by a nice massage (restuffing) will certainly perk them up a bit.

The latest batch of Funky Friends are for birthday and Christmas gifts for my daughter’s pre-school friends.

Birthday Ponies

Two of these ponies are headed for the twins who have very different personalities and the yellow one will be a Christmas gift.

Crocodile

This guy will be for one of the three boys in the pre-school class. They are horribly out numbered in there by the girls, but they are holding their own. I imagine this crocodile will find hours of enjoyment as a side kick to a infamous pirate captain or a daring explorer. The croc has already attempted some marvelous feats of tail-hanging from my cutting table. It was a good thing he was boxed and wrapped last night. Who knows what adventures he would have found overnight!

Reyna’s Giraffe

This sweetie of a giraffe is for Fabian’s little sister. He has been “frenemies” with Em for a couple of years now. We are never sure what the status of their friendship is from hour to hour. Such is the life of pre-schoolers. His little sister is just about the cutest thing and she is a firecracker! I have already had a request for another giraffe. It may just show up under the Christmas tree.

If you are looking for some great & easy gifts that will be loved and played with, check out these patterns. You can even download them directly to your computer so you don’t have to wait for them to be shipped! I even have a few more on my Christmas list. I am really digging the new anteater pattern and hope it shows up in my stocking!

Back to the sewing machine!

Update: 12/2/2010
The kids were thrilled with their new friends! Apparently the ponies were a huge hit. They were not turned loose all evening and went to bed with the girls. This morning they were seen around the breakfast table helping themselves to the girls’ cereal. Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a good side-kick. The red one has been named “Strawberry Ice Cream” and the other “Rainbow Dots”.

The crocodile was also a hit, but since his new owner is a bit shy, I did not get the full run down of all of his activities since arriving at his new home. It did sound as if there were some pirate capers involved ala “Peter Pan”.

Thanks Pauline for designing such great friends for our kids! I love giving them, as they inspire such imagination in the kids who receive them.

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