Sunday, April 20, 2014

Custom Chubbies

Hi there!  Happy Easter everyone!
I just thought that I would share some photos of a Chubby Tough commission that Chris did awhile back.  Chris painted the Chubbies to resemble a customers kitties using photos as a reference.  He was pretty nervous about getting all of the colours right but I think that they turned out great!  Chris even altered one of the Chubbies tails to be shorter to resemble its real life counterpart.

Did you know that the sculpt of Chubby Tough is based on our own kitty?  The very first version of Chubby was the Ragdoll version, based on our cat 'Magic'.
Ragdoll Chubby
Here is Magic, doing what she does best!

Have a nice weekend!
Grumble Toy

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


When Chris and I were recently in Arizona, we visited a few antique malls there.   One of the first things that I found at the antique mall was the Bonzo figurine shown above.  I didn't really know anything about Bonzo before I found this figure and I only knew that this was a Bonzo figure because his name is embossed on his back.  
As soon as I could, I looked up on the computer to find out who Bonzo was.  Turns out he was a character created by George Studdy in 1922.  He starred in one of the world's first cartoons and he was quite popular in the 1920's.  Needless to say it was love at first sight for me and it was the start of the search for more Bonzos. I ended up buying a few Bonzo's while I was in Arizona and I have since been keeping my eyes open at local antique stores for him.  Here are a few of the other Bonzo's I found on my trip:
This is a piece of carnival chalkware that looks like it was probably inspired by Bonzo.
Bonzo salt and pepper shakers
 We found Bonzo at every single antique store we went to in Arizona.  So far we haven't found any Bonzo's in Winnipeg, but we'll keep searching! I find it so strange that a character that once was so popular is almost unheard of nowadays.
Grumble Toy

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fun in the Sun

Chris and I were lucky enough to spend time with some of our family in Arizona last week.  It was certainly a nice break from the seemingly endless winter we are having in Winnipeg this year.  We definitely miss the +30 C weather we were enjoying while we were down there!
Sorry this is not a great picture.  This is the scorpion that my parents found in their yard.  They put it in a jar so that Chris and I could see it when we got there.  All I can say is that I am glad we don't have these in Winnipeg!  Chris and I looked up a little bit about this little guy and apparently their sting can pack quite a punch.  Needless to say I checked our bed for scorpions every night. Haha!

On one of our first days in Arizona we drove to Sedona and hiked up to Cathedral Rock.  Sedona is a really beautiful place.
I love all the red rock.

One of the next places we went was the Boyce Thompson Arboretum national park
Chris and I really love it at the Arboretum. It is a great place to see tons of desert plants...something very exotic to a couple of Winnipeggers!
Lots of the cacti were blooming at the park. 

After the Arboretum, my family stopped in Superior for some lunch.  I just had to share this picture.  Look at the size of this burger!  Can you believe that my brother had a double burger.  It was twice this size!  This massive burger was from Porter's Cafe.  So good!
One of the other highlights of the trip was the Phoenix Botanical Garden.  The Chihuly art exhibit was running during our visit.  Chihuly is a glass artist and there were several installations of his art throughout the Botanical garden.  
Sunset at the Botanical Garden.  After the lights went down the glass sculptures were lit up.  It was really beautiful.

Well that is some of our trip in a nutshell.  It was definitely a fun time and we are already looking forward to going back.
Chris and I also did some shopping while we were down there and we found some treasures.  More about that later though :)

Grumble Toy

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vintage Japanese Toy

One of my favourite things to do is hunt around some of our local antique shops for treasures and oddities.  We have a couple of really good antique stores here in Winnipeg that Chris and I go to pretty often.  It's not often that we leave empty handed :)
Here is one of the treasures that Chris found a little while ago.
This is a really interesting toy that Chris found when we were at one of our favourite antique stores a couple of months ago.  I am  not sure of the age but it is made of plastic and has a Japan stamp on its back.  I have never seen anything like it before.  When you tap its head, its eyes jiggle....really cool!  The plastic is quite thin and fragile.  It has a big dent at the back of its head which I am too afraid to try to fix.  Just adds to its charm I guess.  
 I really have no idea what age this toy would be.  Leave me a comment if you have any ideas.  I would love to know more about this toy.

Grumble Toy

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Grumble bears

 Here are some of the bears that Chris and I have been busy making.  They are all made of mohair.  They each have 5 cotter pin joints and they are stuffed with wood wool and steel shot.  For any of you that are Grumble Toy fans you may think it is a bit odd that we are making teddy bears.  Mostly we are known for the vinyl characters that we have been making.  However, as well as collecting vinyl toys, we also collect mohair bears.  I have been making plush toys for some time now but had always wanted to make my own mohair animals.
It has been a lot of fun making these bears and I am really excited about the possibilities.  I am really hoping to adapt my bonhomme and forest gremlin patterns into jointed mohair toys.
This is the second bear that I made.  It is more of a cat really.  It has slit pupil glass eyes and thread whiskers.
This is the very first bear that I made.  I am pleased with how it turned out.  
This is the little bear that Chris made.  I love his ears!  Chris did a great job.  Can you believe he never really sewed anything before?!
This tiny guy is the third bear that I made.  He is so small.  About the size of Wormrah!!  I think that I will make one similar again but with a few little changes maybe.

Grumble Toy