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1  Giant Diving Beetle Larva (Biology) in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by FurGots on: November 05, 2008 08:19:10 PM
I work at an Environmental Interpretive Center in Dearborn, and in the summer, lead outdoor programs for children. One of my favorite programs is the "Pond Study", where we scoop for insects and then classify and categorize them.

Anyway, I this my favorite bug a few months ago: He is a giant-sized "Great Diving Beetle" larva (Dysticus Marginalis) and the kids (and coordinators) loved him so much, that he lives at the center now! 

The kids love to play with him (especially if they were lucky enough catch the real one). He is anatomically correct, complete with 6 legs, mandibles, and little gills (at the tip of his tail). He is made with fur, stuffing, buttons, and pipe cleaners. He was my first real "toy" project.

The Real One:

Now, the plush one!

In front of his new home:

I love GIANT-SIZED things - especially if let you appreciate some of the characteristics of something from a different perspective!! Or even better yet, make you feel like the poor little tadpole he is about to "prey" on...

Anyway, there are definitely more on the way... but so far, it's been hard to beat the coolness of him (that's what you get when you make your favorite one right off the bat!) Thanks for looking!
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2  ~Bjork Swan Dress~ (Pictures and Instructions) in Costumes: Completed Projects by FurGots on: November 05, 2008 08:31:41 AM
I am fairly new to costuming. While I was deliberating over what to be, I considered my speciality: stuffed animals. Smiley After doing some browsing, it suddenly dawned on me: Bjork's Dress would be both easy and fun for me to make!  So I went ahead and tried it. Here is how it came out.

(Right click & "view full size" to see bigger picture)

(Sorry for the bad pictures.... I will add more "up close" shots when I get my dressform back).  Kiss

Time: About 9 hours

1. White fabric for base dress (I used polar fleece for the base, just for warmth)
2. ~10 yards of tulle (a mix of stiff tulle for volume, and soft/shiny for look)
3. About 1 yard of White fur (for swan's neck).
4. 1 small Scrap of leather for swan's face. 
5. Orange fabric (swan's beak).
6. Black button (swan's eye).
7. Maribou feather boa (for accents)

1. Make a basic dress in the basic shape of the costume. This is what the tulle (the netting) will attach to. Leave the back scooping low. You might want to leave a flap on one side (for a button or zip).

I drew a picture of what MY basic dress pattern looked like:

2. Buy at least 10 yards of tulle. I used both stiff and soft. Cut it into strips (I doubled each strip up for fullness), and pleat each strip

3. When you have enough pleated strips, sew them onto the base.

4. Make the swan neck (this should be easy - it's just a fur tube with a rounded head; but if you need help with this part, let me know). Stitch on the black patch (face). Hand-stitch beak (just a felt cone). (If you don't want to sew a swan neck/head, you can always attach a premade swan stuffed animal from the store.)

5. Add some feathers if you want (at your liberty). Her actual dress doesn't have a lot of feathers. I used a strip of maribou feathers along the top and bottom edges of the dress.

6. Make any minor adjustments (to taste), and voila! You are done. ^_^

Thank you for reading. As always, everyone on these forums are always inspiring!! I hoped you like my post! Any questions or comments, feel free to ask!!!
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3  Re: Giant Plush Great Diving Beetle Larva - Huge, Loveable, TERRIFYING!! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by FurGots on: June 12, 2008 10:59:31 AM
Pruna: I am an ex-Biology major (turned Education major) but still love Biology, and am so happy to hear the compliments of others with similar sensibilities.

thelotetree: Your dad's job rocks. HAHA.  I brought him to the nature center today, and everybody loved him.  They are building a children's room in the coming years, and I would love to make that his permanent home. Sharing him with others definitely sounds like a good fate for him Smiley

emkay: That is really funny - I hope it was a nice surprise!! Honestly, I didn't know what they were before I worked at the pond. They are so cool... and I am obsessed with them now.

More pictures (they are huge):

And for good measure... Here is a picture I took today of the inspiration himself.  Kiss

In front of the Interpretive Center (at U of M Dearborn, where you can find him):

If you want to see a larger version of these, just open the picture's URL in a new window - they are sized down here in this post.

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4  Giant Plush Great Diving Beetle Larva - Huge, Loveable, TERRIFYING!! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by FurGots on: June 10, 2008 07:10:17 PM
Backstory: I work at a nature center in Southeast Michigan, and every day we study the insects in the pond. Over the past few weeks, the Great Diving Beetle Larva has been winning my affections:


More info here:


Anyway, today my longing came to a head..... because the real diving beetles are too small to hug, I had to make my own... Life size:

To see his size:

He's my new boyfriend.  Cheesy He's made of segmented orange faux-fur, with a brown shaggy faux-fur stripe running down his back. He has bendable mandibles, made with pipe-cleaners sewn into brown felt.

He also has a magnet sewn inside his cute head..... I eventually want to make a big, juicy tadpole (their favorite snack), also with a magnet inside, so the diving beetle can pick up his snack more easily.  Wink

It took two days to make - I hope you enjoy!!
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5  Custom Plush "Hobbes" (Stuffed Animal Version), from Calvin and Hobbes in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by FurGots on: November 29, 2007 11:49:07 AM
STUFFED ANIMAL HOBBES - "Calvin and Hobbes"

Hi! This is my very first topic on this community.  Cheesy Everything here is so cute. Seeing all of your projects over time has been really inspiring. I'm honored to be posting here with such creative people.

STORY:After a conversation with my friend, who dressed up as "Calvin" for Halloween, I got around to thinking.... it would be awfully neat to make a Hobbes stuffed animal. With all due respect to Mr. Watterson, who never licensed his characters to toy makers, I decided to make one of my own out of appreciation for the comic.

After a quick trip to Jo-Ann's, and about 3 hours of work.... Here's how he turned out: 

This is my second attempt at a stuffed animal. He was very easy-- essentially, he is comprised of simple fur tubes sewn together, with some special little things done here and there. He is made from orange & white "Basic Fur", and his stripes are made of black felt. He has plastic eyes and nose. If you aren't good at visualizing the parts in 3-d, and wanted me to sketch a pattern, I will be happy to post one. I sewed him on my machine, except for his limbs (which I sewed on by hand).

He looks a little silly (and is not exactly perfect), but I'm fairly happy with how he turned out. I am excited to think of something new to make.

Thank you for looking, and I hope you enjoy him -- I am happy to be here. I am also looking forward to seeing everybody else's projects, and talking with some of you, now that I'm registered. Hope everybody has a Happy Holiday.  Kiss

EDIT: Here was a progress pic - to give you an idea of his constituent parts:

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