Here are answers to some frequently asked questions that I have received. Gotta question not covered here? Please contact me :-)
1) Do you accept custom orders?
Due to full-time work, I am no longer accepting custom orders.
2) Do you wholesale?
I was previously offering my products through wholesale but realised that unless I began producing items in bulk, the wholesale price was not commensurate with the effort/time/materials that I was putting in for each creation. So at this stage, I am no longer wholesaling softies/dolls.
3) Are your soft toys and dolls your original designs?
All soft toys and dolls that I offer up for sale are my own original designs. Any soft toys or dolls that I make using another person’s design/pattern or from a craft book is credited on the blog (and I do not sell these).
4) Where do get the inspiration for naming your creations?
I’m one of those people who love to know about the meaning behind the name. I always check the meaning of a name before I ‘bestow’ it upon one of my little creatures, and I usually choose a name that I would consider for my own child :-)
“Shmerpi” creatures came from playing around with the word “Sherpa“, which is the type of fleece that I use on those soft toys.
“Chibi” is the nickname that we have for my eldest daughter and since she was the inspiration for the first round of dolls that I made, the name stuck. It was only after I named the dolls that I learnt of an entirely different “Chibi doll” in the Japanese anime culture – hopefully that doesn’t completely confuse people!
5) Will you be making patterns of your soft toys and dolls available for sale?
6) From where do you source your fabric?
For fabric such as wool/wool-blends, flannel, suiting, etc., I usually pop into my local Spotlight or Lincraft stores. For designer fabrics and my beloved Japanese prints, I like usually shop online and on etsy. I also visit op shops/thrift stores and scour eBay for vintage fabric and notions whenever I have the chance.
I have recently written a post listing my favourite fabric shops on etsy here.
7) From where do you source your felt?
During the early days, I used 100% wool felt made in Italy that was available at Spotlight. I now use 100% Holland wool felt that I purchase from A Child’s Dream Come True.
8) Who designs and maintains your website?
My web-design and web-programming skills are self-taught and gained over a number of years fiddling with various websites (and lots of trial and error!). I set-up this website myself and do all maintenance required. I use WordPress to power my blog and highly recommend it!
9) What image-editing/illustration software do you use?
I must admit that I have never been completely loyal to one software package. At the moment I use Photoshop and Illustrator. For photos taken using my iPhone, i like to use Instagram, PhotoStudio, PicFrame and iDarkroom.
10) What camera do you use?
I still have much to learn about taking a ‘good‘ photo but having access to quality photo equipment makes a difference! I have used a number of different cameras over the life of this blog as you will be able to tell by looking at the photos, but all have been Canon cameras. I recently acquired by very own DSLR, a Canon 100D. I have been told that this is an ‘old’ model but I am very happy with it :-) I now use a 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens for most photos but hope to get a few more lenses (when I have some extra money – they ain’t cheap!).
I also recently acquired a Holga 135BC (just for me of course!) and am still learning the ins and outs.
11) Can I include some of your photos on my blog/website without asking for permission from you?
As you already probably know, the content and design of my website is protected under Copyright laws with all rights reserved. However, I do allow others to include pictures that I have taken of my creations (whether toys, dolls, prints, etc) on their own websites without the need to ask for my permission, but only on the condition that a link is included back to the One Red Robin website and I have been given credit for the photo.
12) From where do you source your craft books?
I like to purchase my Japanese craft books from eBay sellers, and always try seller “Simply Pretty Japanese Beads Books” first. My other craft books are either purchased from Amazon or my local Dymocks bookstore.
13) What is your background – is it related to Design?
I have been working in the I.T. industry for the last 12+ years, and graduated from Melbourne University (Victoria, Australia) with a degree in Commerce. However, I have always loved creating things.
The passion to create things died momentarily while I trudged through University and my first few years at a ‘real‘ job. It happily resurrected however, upon the birth of my first child, sparked by the desire to provide her with unique toys. And thanks to the inspiration I find in the online craft community and the encouragement I have received from readers of the blog, the passion has continued to flourish and thrive! :-)
14) Why do you no longer make or sell softies and dolls?
I moved to Hong Kong in early 2011 for work purposes. Living in HK has been wonderful – however the tiny living spaces and long work hours mean that I do not have the luxury of space for all the things needed to make softies/dolls and unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of time in the same way I did back in Melbourne. I do miss making softies and dolls and I am still hoping that I will be able to begin making them again sometime soon!
14) Where can I buy your stuff?