Also known as Zodiac Eclipse on the forums, Joanna is your friendly neighborhood MOMerator and former co-forum admin. Having done a fair share of community badassery Joanna now enjoys actually having time to play games and interact with her family, henceforth referred to as 'Husband' and 'Kiddo', respectively.
This is a very special edition of Custom Corner. Usually I tell you about my latest project and how I went about making it, which I'm still going to do, but this time I'm also going to tell you about how you can help people just by buying a plushie.
Most of my custom orders operate under the principle of "one and done" whereby I make one, without a pattern and then call it a day. Sometimes if the piece is a bit more complex or I think I might make more I'll take the time to draw out a pattern. Beedog was special in that I've been trying to make him for over a year now.
Rewind back to about June or so of 2010 when I sent Rockmelon Soda founder Topher Cantler an email asking for some front and back shots of Beedog so I could make a stuffed animal of him. Topher graciously agreed and I planned how to go about holding up my end of the bargain. Well it took some time, but I did make an original Beedog from those plans, but I wasn't too thrilled with it. Keep in mind this was back when I had first started making things so I was very limited in how I could put stuff together.
Here for the first time is a picture of Beedog Prime, which my son adores and called "Beegog".
Not bad for a first attempt, though the wings were an absolute nightmare to work out. I planned to make another and pretend that this one had never happened, but then things came up and I got busy. Apparently starting a business really eats into your free time. For the longest time "Beegog" sat lonely and forgotten, until something magical happened, Plushtoid.
Seeing the great feedback I got by doing custom work for a website I loved really got me motivated to do some more "fan art" plushies. I dove into my Beedog work with the power of JOURNALISM and pancakes behind me.
The newer version lost the wings and antennae, but gained a removable mustache which I think was way cooler anyway.
I posted a picture over at Rockmelon Soda for Topher to find, originally I just wanted to make good on my year old promise of making one for him. The response was great and thanks to the community over there Topher and I worked out a deal to do a short run of Beedogs and split the profit so that both of our businesses would benefit.
I went back to the drawing board. Remember that "one and done" principle I mentioned? Yeah I hadn't made a pattern for Beedog since I'd only planned on doing one. I made a few more changes to make him easier to mass produce (4 at a time, 1 hour and 20 mins each) and made a dozen of them to cover the preorders I'd taken on the Rockmelon forums.
Then the earthquake in Japan happened, followed by the Tsunami's and as reports of the damage escalated I knew I had to do something. Luckily I had a fleet of Beedogs all ready to go and almost all of them already spoken for, meaning I was pretty much guaranteed some money coming in.
I talked to my husband, who'd been following the news as well and we decided we'd donate $5 from every Beedog sold to Global Giving to help with their earthquake/tsunami relief fund.
When I mentioned this on the forum, just to let those who'd already placed orders know they would be doing something good, Topher stepped in and announced that he wanted his entire share of the profits included in the donation. This is amazing as it put our total donation for each Beedog sold to $12 which will really add up.
Since it's for a good cause I figured if more people wanted to buy a Beedog than the original dozen orders I'd taken then clearly I should step up and make some more. So I'm here today to tell you guys about them and how you can help a worthy cause just by buying a stuffed animal of your favorite purveyor of fine journalism.
I should note, that if you don't really want a Beedog, but still want to help out, then by all means just donate to any of the great charities (Global Giving) collecting money to aid relief efforts. As I mentioned earlier I choose the Beedogs because they were practically already sold, and while I'd love to sell more I'd rather they go to people who would have bought one anyway so that I'm not just profiting off of the disaster in Japan.
If you'd like to purchase a Beedog you can find them at Story Builder Toys for a limited time (basically until I run out and quit making more). This is a great opportunity to create good from geekery, will you put on your journalism mustache and answer the call?