Beyond Teddy Bears. There's nothing wrong with a good old fashioned teddy bear, but plush toys have come a long way. Now commonly referred to as "softies" in the crafting world, you're as likely to find a stuffed tooth or robot as you are a member of the ursine family. Softie expert Therese Laskey has combed the world to find 25 softie artists to contribute patterns to Softies: Simple Instructiosn for 25 Plush Pals. Easy to follow instructions mean you don't have to be a sewing ace to give these a try. They make great gifts for your kids or fun projects for older kids to tackle.
Prior to the book's publishing, Laskey oversaw the Softie Awards which garnered votes from 3,500 softie fans. See the winners here and check out the Flickr pool for inspiration. If you find yourself hooked on softies, be sure to visit Laskey's blog, Softies Central for information about making and buying softies. Softies is published by Chronicle Books ($20) and can be ordered here. Other good posts: Stupid Sock Creatures Kit. Cute uses for orphaned socks.