About Me

Lindsay M Starr is a beadwork and mixed media artist currently based in Nashville, TN. She spent her early childhood in Alaska, and her school age and college years in Oregon. Lindsay has a great appreciation for history, science, and nature and is consistently inspired by insects, sea life, color, and the significance of beads and beadwork throughout human history. She spends her days beading, walking at the zoo, and practicing yoga. Lindsay loves to share her knowledge and passion for beads and beadwork to hobbyists of all skill levels.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Art Elements December 2019 Challenge - Handmade Christmas

'Tis the season!  Not only the season for another Art Elements theme challenge, but also the season to drive yourself nuts trying to get all the gifts and decorations and cleaning and food done before the festivities.  I am so tired but proud of what I've accomplished this year!  Here's a sampling of what I finished for the holidays:
Catnip pickles.  I wanted to do a project with my friend's daughter while we were in Knoxville for Christmas, and these ridiculous things were it.  I had them all pre-sewn, cut and turned right sides out.  Katie helped me choose and set eyes in each one, stuff them with fluff and catnip, and cut the yarn "stems".  I finished them up on the machine and then we sorted them out for all the kitties in our lives.  We made about 25 pickles in total and after we chose the ones to gift to specific cats, the rest will be going to the humane society when she goes to practice reading to the kitties next.  So far I am receiving reports that the pickles are irresistible to all cats, young or old, big or small...as my friend's cat Lucky demonstrates here. 
As mentioned above, there is a new member to my friend's household - this is Cheetah.  He has added so much joy to their home, I thought he might appreciate more than a pickle.  I found this awesome free pattern and tutorial online and made the majority before I headed over to Knoxville.  I still had to hand sew the binding around the hole.  He supervised every stitch and immediately inspected once I turned it right side out and put the cushion back in.  I think I passed inspection!
For my friend and her husband, I made these two sloths that went with their bedroom colors.  These are from a free pattern by my favorite plushy pattern maker., Choly Knight  As a last second request I also made 2 more "snuggle" pillows, the red and gray with silver ones.  The other gray one I made last year so now no one needs to fight over it!  The pillows have no pattern - I simply trace 2 circles from my friend's smaller plates (yes, the dishes in the kitchen cupboard), and cut a rectangle to fit the circle circumference.  I believe I also sewed the duvet cover a couple of years ago.  Normally, I do small household sewing or the family mending for Christmas, but branched out a bit this time.  
For the kiddo herself, I made baby dragons to go with her Halloween costume.  These are also a Choly Knight pattern.  Because they are babies and they need very delicate care, they went straight in the doll pack-n-play as soon as they were snuggled, along with the Christmas rhino and penguin.  Normally I would make these out of a sturdier fabric.  Normally I would choose something less difficult to sew than foil covered spandex.  But the results were worth it!
Finally, I've been making articulated foxes.  For decades I've wanted to make stuffed animals with classic teddy bear articulation.  For some reason it had built up into my mind as a huge challenge, somehow different than all of the other plushy and doll making that I've ever done.  I found a nice pattern on Etsy and low and behold...it's much easier and more fun than I thought.  So fun that I've already gifted these four, have one more mostly assembled, and 2 more cut and ready to go!  After I get through those and get them to their intended homes, I'm going to work on patterning my own woodland gallery of articulated critters!  
I still have multiple projects in the wings for family back home.  With everything I needed to get done for people we were seeing over the holidays, I just had to prioritize the projects.  Most likely January and February will still heavily feature the rest of my Christmas projects. Oh well, maybe some random happy mail in a month or two will be a fun break for the recipients. 

I hope you will hop along and see what everyone else has been up to!
Thanks for looking!
AE team: 



  1. Your foxes are darling. I am sure those who were gifted one will cherish it. Have a happy 2020!

  2. Oh, so many cute sewing projects! I love that little cat house, and the dragons are TOO CUTE! You've got some supreme skills with that sewing machine.

  3. Oh my gosh. Everything is so great. I can absolutely see why cats would love those pickles. The cat bed looks very cozy. I have a stack of pet bed patterns (and fabric) in storage. I really should fire up my sewing machine again. Love the dragons and can only imagine how challenging the sewing must have been. The foxes are so adorable and I look forward to seeing where you go with articulated stuffed animals.

  4. What a special thought, sewing the catnip pickles and giving them to the human society! And also the fact that kiddo Katie? goes to read to them! Never heard that one :). An extra special youngster there. I'm sure all your giftees are/will be gaga & so lucky to have one of your phantasmic creations. I personally do like to send any handmade gifts in January, who needs it all at Xmas anyway?? Happy New Year 2020 to you and yours. xoxo Alysen

  5. The cat pickles are too cute!! I know my cat would love them if I could keep the dog away. I really am going to get that cat cave pattern and make one for Nate. He has a cave that I purchased but it's really small and he has to really curl up tight to fit inside. Which he loves in the winter but not other times of the year. The baby dragons are adorable but the FOXES!!! I love those. I used to make teddy bears, rabbits, sheep. I only ever made one articulated animal- a unicorn. He was rather large but really fun.

  6. Oh my goodness - I love all the sewing projects! I especially love the catnip pickles! The cat bed is amazing too!
    I am LOVE with the dragons - that is one lucky person there to have those dragons!

  7. Loving all your creations Lindsay!! But so dear to my heart is the cat tent in the shape of cat ears. So adorable. I love the idea of cat tents and have been looking for one our rather large cat could fit into. Have a wonderful 2020!!

  8. Awww. So cute animals!! And the cat house!! <3

  9. Oh My, you had made so much in time for the holidays. The baby dragons are super cute.

  10. Oh wow, you have been so busy, and everything is fabulous!
    I love the pickles, what fun.

  11. Oh Cheetah looks so darn adorable in the cat house! Wonderful. The pickles are hysterical. I am sure the iridescent lycra dragon scale fabric was a bear to sew - but OH SO worth it! Magical! You had me laughing at the cuddle pillows - describing it as so simple... For you. For me htat would be an epic undertaking! You rock! Amazing stuff!