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Momaha.com article.  March 9, 2012

Mom Daily

My own cuddly creationsMy own cuddly creations

Omahan Pat Graves is a professional puppet maker. A true-life Gepetto.

She’s been making puppets — not the sock kind, instead think of Jim Henson’s Muppets — for five years.

Now that her four children are mostly grown, the 53-year-old has a little more free time. She thought about either expanding her hours in the puppet studio or freelancing her skills.

While trolling on Pinterest, she came across a site that blew her mind. (Most items on Pinterest do that to us hobby-and-craft lovers.)

A woman from Canada requested help with her business. She was slammed with orders and didn’t want to overload her self anymore.

So what was the business? Get this. She turned children’s drawings in to stuffed animals.

Yes, all those refrigerator drawings, framed artwork, and doodles were made into 3-dimensional characters children to hold, cuddle and love.

How brilliant, Graves thought.

So she messaged the woman, showed her some samples and Grave’s startup was up-and-running.

Graves has already received some referrals, including an interview from the “Today” show. She’ll be featured during the 10 ‘o clock hour Friday.

And now for the designs.

Some are pretty simple. Some are complicated. Some extraordinary designs challenge Graves to tap into her imagination as well.

“Every one of them is different,” she said.

Graves only recreates original artwork. No Mickey Mouses or Pokemon.

“It’s so much fun to see what the kids come up with,” she said. “It’s truly amazing to see the things they’re imagining. Many parents have said their child tends to draw the same character over and over. Well this is a great way to preserve it.”

Grave’s cuddly creations range in price from $100 to $200, depending on the time, material and details. She also charges a $15 shipping fee.

To see more of her creations, visit myowncuddly.com

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Tell us about your child’s drawings. Does he or she have a favorite character they like to doodle? (Click on the headline to comment.)

posted by Josie Lozaon Friday, March 9 @ 12:21 am