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The Woman Who Can Turn Your Child's Drawings Into Cuddly Toys

19/09/2012 12:52 | Updated 22 May 2015
The woman who turns your child's drawings into one-of-a-kind cuddly toysChild's Own Studio

Every day at school pick-up, my five-year-old son emerges from his classroom clutching a scrap of paper in his hands, which he then thrusts into mine.

"It's a monster, Dad," he says proudly.

"Yes, son, I can see that. You're a genius."

Then when we get home I put it on the sideboard until it's time to put it into the recycling bag. And that, dear reader, is that.

Of course, many parents save their children's scrawlings – sorry, works of art – for such time as they can dig them out to embarrass their offspring in front of their future girlfriends or boyfriends.

But from now on, I'll be saving my son's for a different reason: I've just discovered handcraft genius and internet sensation Wendy Tsao.

Instead of chucking or hoarding her four-year-old son's artistic gems, she turned them into one-of-a-kind cuddly toys and set up her own handcrafting business, Child's Own Studio, based in Vancouver.

Since then she has made hundreds of soft toys based on the weird, wonderful – and sometimes quite disturbing - drawings of youngsters.

There are horned monsters, rainbow elephants, a sheep with eyes on the side of its body, a five-eyed rabbit and so, so many more.

"The child's drawing, a wonderful expression of childhood, is the starting point of the collaborative project," she said.

"Details and colour choices are reproduced as closely as possible so that the stuffed toy is immediately recognisable to the child who designed it.

"It's a fun, rewarding process, and kids love seeing their drawings come alive."

Word of Wendy's genius spread like wildfire. Her website has been bombarded with comments and praise, ranging from 'amazing and beautiful' to 'unique and artistic' to 'million dollar idea here'.

One fan, Thach Nguyen, summed up with enthusiasm of many: "AMAZING WORK! It's unlike anything I've ever seen before. One could go to Build-a-Bear Workshop or just buy any old stuffed animal for their kid, but this idea of capturing a child's artwork and creativity into one great bundle of joy is absolutely wonderful."

But demand for Wendy's skills has been so high she has begged her fans to stop spreading the word.

"My site has gone viral; people say that I'm on Pinterest; people are blogging about me," she wrote on her site.

"But now I don't know how long people will have to wait before I get to their order...So, here's an idea. Let's keep Child's Own Studio a secret for a while? Don't share this website with your friends, pin me on Pinterest, post about me on facebook or blog about me. Yes, shhhhhhh....until I catch up."

Er, sorry, Wendy!

Helpfully, Wendy has set up a page on her website featuring other talented toy makers around.

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