Did you know that everyone is creative? You have the ability to create your dreams. What separates those who get it done from those who do not is something called conviction! To me, conviction has two key ingredients:
1) your passion/desire, and
2) your determination.
Before Amy met me, she was creatively all over the place. That's okay! But one of the reasons I flew around her head ~ little flying pig that I am ~ was to help her feel better by helping her focus a tad and little more.
One day, I dropped my name into her head and she heard it. Yes, pigs smile! And, when she listened I smiled really BIG! Then, I gave her my first story. These two little things were the seeds of desire and passion I gave her to help Amy feel better about herself.
If you know Amy at all, you know that there have been times in life when she didn't want to be alive. She felt hopeless and confused. She suffered a lot. She let herself get pulled into situations that caused even more pain for her. I've watched her for a very long time, and this made me sad. That's why I wanted to help her.
In spite of the challenges Amy faced, she's always been a pretty determined gal. I know I can count on her to get things done. But she struggled with believing she could actually have and deserve the things she wanted.
After we became friends, I helped her connect to her passions and desires! I became the focused way she could transform all the things she learned in life as a way to help others. I was the thing she could hold on to.
To start, I gave her my name and one story. Then "Eureka," it was her idea to create the first plush version of how she saw me. She had already been making different plushies called "Kreeture Comforts." She used to make plush tacos, cherry pie and trees... hey maybe those will make a comeback! But when she was thinking about me, she got some fabric, thread and stuffing >>> Voila! Here's the photo Amy took to copyright me!
Amy didn't know at the time that eventually hundreds of me would be made. She just made the first one. Here's a little secret ~ Amy has not probably made more than a few plushies of me ever since then. That's because she only needed to make the first one, then I sent her friends.
After she successfully funded a crowdfunding, Amy started "The Wanda Petunia Sewing Collective" in Charleston, WV. It met at the Dressmaker's Closet and was the first place plushie me began to be created.
Andy was the first big time Wanda seamstress. He had sewn doll clothes for his grandmother and had a true heart to sew Wanda and even Beefy Parisian Pig, along with some special collections like Truffle Cat, Symphony Sunday Wanda and the Alice in Wanda-land series!
Then Amy had plushies of me made in Haiti twice. Many of these plush toys went to children with cancer > and that made me very very happy! It's hard to get things into and out of Haiti, so that's on hold for now... but maybe in the future this will become possible again.
** Just a little side note ~ plushie me is about being a comfort to others. When Amy was at Girl Scout Camp, one little girl complained I cost too much. Another little girl said, "This isn't just a plush toy. This is your friend to remind you to love yourself!" Yes! Amy and I would love to find ways to create plushie me more affordably and we are always thinking of this! I want to be the adventure companion, hug buddy, self-care and self-love muse for many friends I don't even know yet!
This whole hog thing hasn't been easy for Amy ~ like many creative people she can get distracted. But, her desire and passion and determination have kept her going. Her friend Candace (WVU) connected Amy to Maker's Row ~ a resource of all American manufacturers. This led to Amy's NYC trip to explore how to create plush toys through a manufacturer!
Amy researched small batch manufacturers, emailed several of them, narrowed it down to three and visited them in NYC. This sounds kind of easy breezy, but it wasn't. Amy got lost in the subway (more than once), cried, had blisters, cried more... you get the idea! She hung in there though and a small collection of plushies made like Original Wanda (aka me) were created!!
Then, after going to an artist residency in France, Amy was re-inspired to create me locally. One of her best friends Bernice offered to re-create the sewing collective and that was a perfect new move. Bernice has a special story of how she began sewing Wanda ~ stay tuned for that in the future!!
Amy's friend Debi, joined too. As well as Bernice's friend Pat ~ who is now Amy's friend too. Hip hog hooray!
I love it when people (especially Amy!) listen to their intuition and connect with others who are listening too. All kinds of amazing things can happen when that happens! That's how things change and how we change. It's the heart of conviction.
The latest Wanda plushie adventure was to have 15 of me sewn up by Project 658 in Charlotte, NC > then those pigs went to a group of young girls in a peer support program. I've been helping them with self-care and self-love ~ lots of love sharing!
You may have a little dream and you may have a big one. You may have one dream or you may have many. Just remember to get in touch with your passion and desire. Then, connect with your determination. When these ingredients get stirred together > all kinds of magic will happen... the magic only you can make!
If you need help, let Amy or me know! And let us know what you're wanting to create! We care because we love you! XOINK, Wanda