Everyone Deserves a Stuffed Krampus


I love my Krampus.

The story of Alpine Europe’s Krampus tradition was told to me many years ago, by my friend Gretchen, over one of our bacchanalian Thanksgiving dinners (which I pine for every year).  Gretchen is a true story teller, you can’t help but be captivated by her travel tales. Her description of Krampus fascinated me. I kept thinking, “Why don’t we have this here?” It kind of worked out perfectly because at that point I had no idea what to do for my yearly Christmas card and Krampus was the perfect idea. I immediately went home, drew him up and printed the 3-color illustration on my Gocco printer.

I made the cards again the next year. People seemed to love him and the idea of Krampus has seemed to spread into pop culture over past few years. I still loved the cards but what I really wanted was to make him 3D, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.

Plush Krampus

Finally, I got my stuffed Krampus idea out of my head and into real life. I loved him. Everyone loved him. Isold him for a below minimum wage price to my newsletter subscribers and friends. And I gave one away in a contest.

But last year I didn’t make plush Krampus even though he was one of my favorite things I’ve made. Why? Well, realistically, I can’t afford to spend time making him. And even if I paid a friend to do the sewing he’s just a little too expensive for my average customer. Some people might argue that I just need to sell him to the right people or market him to the right people. But I have so many other things to work on too. Plus, even though I enjoy the zen like feeling that comes along with hand sewing I don’t want to be making 100s of these every holiday season.

Then I was left with the idea that my stuffed Krampus will never be around again, and that kind of bummed me out. Maybe this sounds a little weird but I really like the idea of stuffed Krampus(es?) out in the world forpeople to enjoy. He’s such a cute addition to mix up with the traditional Christmas decor. (At one point I had 7 of them made in my apartment. They were SO CUTE sitting all together. I really wish I had a photo.)

So what should I do?

Quit making him or charge the price he’s worth? Maybe make him just as a promo item? I tried making a pre-printed fabric version of him, which is pretty cute. But not quite the same.

And then…. Eureka!

One day a friend said he would come over and help me make them if I would show him how. He thought it would be cool to learn how to make a stuffed animal. And then it hit me: I NEED TO MAKE A DIY KRAMPUS. Then people can still enjoy him (maybe even more since they are making it themselves, there’s something magical about watching something transform into 3D) at a price they can afford. And it’s perfect timing because everyone needs some kind of indoor activity to do during November and December.

In the works

So, I started. First, beginning with the template I used for myself and then writing out step by step instructions (which is always harder than I think). Thankfully, I’m already an Illustrator pro, so I don’t have to teach myself a new skill in that area.

But now what?

  • Should I give it people to test for free at first? Maybe ask newsletter subscribers? Friends?
  • Where do I sell it? I know Etsy now has a digital download option. But what if I want to sell it from my own site? Is there an automatic download option that’s easy or do I have to manually send it to them?
  • Who proofs it and how many rounds? Do you hire a professional copy editor? If so, where is the best place to find one?
  • Are there any copyright things I should put on the pattern? Like, it’s okay to make, but not to sell?
  • And how the heck do you price something like this?

Good Timing! An online course just for me!

Just when I started having these questions I saw an announcement from April Bowles-Olin about her upcoming course on Creative Live: Create Digital Products that Sell While You Sleep. Wow, could the timing of this course be any better? Don’t you love it when that happens? This is just what I need!

Inspiration Flip

CharrosWhether it’s an all-night work session or just mustering up the energy to fold some laundry, the music is always on in my house. I’ll admit, I’m a little picky. Or should I say discerning? That sounds better. But I’m also laaaaaazzzzzy. I don’t want (or have time) to put in a bunch of hours browsing, researching, and choosing music. I need a curator, a selector. If I could afford it I would seriously hire an in-house DJ.

Late one night my brain started thinking…

The normal flow is:


But what if we flip it?: 


I invited Chilly (host of KEXP‘s El Sonido) to play this little game for me (which I’m still trying to think of a name for, so if you have suggestions leave a comment below). I asked him to take a look in my Etsy shop and then pick a piece that would inspire him to play a song. Here’s what he came up with:


Charros (Mexican Cowboys) Magnets


Los Master Plus – El Gran Vacilon


So Los Master Plus are more hipsters than charros, but they do rock cowboy hats. This cover of Dr. Dre’s “Next Episode” is, like all their tracks, totally tongue-in-cheek, but it’s also a magnificent slab of cumbiatronica. The bridge is way killer. Oh, and these dudes are from Guadalajara, the city that inspired these cool little magnets.

Chilly is a Latin/global bass DJ based in Seattle, WA. He also hosts a modern Latin radio mixshow on KEXP  (90.3FM / called “El Sonido” every Monday night 6-9pm PST.

 ALSO, today just happens to be the start of KEXP’s Fall Pledge Drive. Show your support with a donation!


2013 Krampus Christmas Ornament

Krampus Ornament


My Krampus printed fabric from Spoonflower arrived a couple of weeks ago and I got right to work and made my  Krampus holiday ornament for 2013. I’ve been waiting since last holiday season to make this lil’ guy. I wanted to make something more durable than the hanging holiday cards I had made in the past and also something smaller, less time intensive and more affordable than my Plush Krampus (also for sale this season).BONUS: If you pre-order by November 15th you’ll save some $$$ for eggnog.

P.S. If you’re looking for Krampus holiday cards they will be available at the beginning of November. I might even have some wrapping paper for sale by then too. I had some made at Spoonflower and it looks great!

Monkey Loves Ice Cream – Limited Edition Gocco Print

Monkey Loves Ice Cream print from La Sirena
Story behind the print:

NYC July weather was reminding me of five years ago when I was performing in a music and dance festival in Nepal. It was pretty much the same sweaty heat, but we had to wear costumes and stage makeup. Ugh. My friend and fellow dancer, Trisha, told me “just relax into it, you can’t fight the heat.” I kept recalling and repeating those words over and over in my head.

Because of the heat wave I was thinking about Nepal every day. It was an amazing trip and experience that now seems like a dream. One of my favorite surreal moments was visiting the ancient Monkey Temple in Kathmandu. There were monkeys running around all over. But not just monkeys, I was told they were holy monkeys. AND not just holy monkeys, but MONKEYS EATING ICE CREAM. But not just that, they were monkeys eating ice cream OUT OF A CONE! I don’t know why but this totally blew my mind and kinda freaked me out. Maybe it’s cause they looked a little too human and it seemed so strange to be happening right in the middle of this beautiful ancient temple. Anyways, I made a sketch of it shortly after I returned and now I’ve finally made a print.

Want your very own monkey? Catch him here.