The Happy Groundhog Studio makes Eco-Friendly handmade critters, monsters and pillows with a heart. Whimsical stuffed creatures that are lovingly hand stitched and crafted from eco-friendly felts, upcycled sweaters, and fabrics.
Melissa Bracken is the Artist behind the The Happy Groundhog Studio. Melissa graduated from The Art Academy of Cincinnati with BFA in sculpture. As a mama and an aunt, she was always looking for special eco-friendly gifts for the kiddos. She was also looking for a way to make art while around the little ones, and the clay and metal she was used to working with wasn’t safe. Her Granny B. had taught her to sew when she was younger, and also made stuffed animals for the the family. Then Melissa inherited her sewing supplies, and the best pair of fabric scissors ever! This all combined with being her crazy love of animals, especially groundhogs, came the line of plush creatures and The Happy Groundhog Studio was born. Melissa also has a huge love for her home state of Ohio, and wanted to honor that in her work. She then created her successful line of state pillows which celebrate the love for her home state and city. She has grown this line to include all states so others can celebrate their hometown pride as well.
Details on making creatures by hand: Melissa explains “First, I start all my plush critters with a drawing. I then turn that drawing into a template on card stock. I use the template to trace out the critter on an up-cycled sweater/fabric of choice. After that is sewn together, hand cut all the details for the critter from felt, then I hand stitch them on with embroidery floss in a complementing color. I also use left over pieces of sweater to create little other details, like tails.”
At the end of the day, we hope you have found something to smile about!
“Peace begins with a smile..” Mother Teresa