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2003
I invented the Jumble Bugs in 2003 while working as an animator on the Australian TV Game Show "Burgo's Catch Phrase". I was feeling antsy sitting in front of a computer all day, and wanted to create something real and tangible, so I stopped by a fabric store and bought some acrylic felt.

My first hand-sewn creations were monsters, zombies and men dressed as hotdogs. The first ladybug toy I made was red, squashed-looking and didn't smell too good, as he had been stuffed with an old pair of socks.... luckily I discovered polyfiber filling soon after! The ladybug toy was a favorite of my family and friends so I went ahead and made more of them in a rainbow of colors.

One day I was watching a cartoon version of Frankenstein and happened to be sewing a green ladybug at the same time - this sparked the idea for the very first Jumble Bug - a ladybug jumbled up with Frankenstein's Monster! I sewed little bolts, black jaggedy hair and scar stitches for him. Next, I created Bloomie the Flower and Wilhemina the Queen – and before long, added many more characters to the Jumble Bug family.

(See my other plush toy creations and funny craft projects at lookwhatemilymade.com)



2005
I moved from Sydney, Australia to San Diego, California in 2005, when I married Kevin, and of course brought my collection of Jumble Bugs with me. USA customs officials did a thorough inspection of my toys! Not quite sure what they thought was hiding inside of them....

I made a Bride & Groom Jumble Bug and photographed them for our Wedding invitations. They then sat on top of a satin pillow in front of the cake at our reception in Las Vegas.



2007
Limited Edition replicas of Johnny the Punk and Leilani the Hula Girl were produced with the same hand-stitched details as my originals. I packaged these into plastic bug jars and they turned out great!

They were sold in boutique toy stores and museum art galleries around the world.

A small number of these collectors items are still available for purchase at our online store! If you own a store and would like to stock them, contact our wholesaler Dov Kelemer at DKE Toys.

online store - click here



2011
Kevin and I began writing stories about the Jumble Bugs and planned to self-publish a printed book, but these plans changed when we saw some really cool book apps for the iPad!

We teamed up with New York City based illustator Kristine Marsh and she transformed my Jumble Bug toys into cartoon characters.

In November we attended StoryWorld Conference in San Francisco, intending to find an iOS developer who could build and code the app for us... luckily we found something BETTER!

The founders of Demibooks were there, demonstrating their new iPad app called Composer, that allows you to create a book app yourself. It was amazing and I jumped for joy! We returned home and I went full steam ahead animating my characters in Flash, and then authoring the app in Composer. Kevin and I are having a ball putting this together, making the sound effects, and bringing these characters that have been close to my heart for nearly 10 years to life, at long last!

A demo version that includes the first 5 pages of the book app will be included as a free download with Demibooks Composer Version 2, very soon. And the finished children's book app called Bloomie and the Birthday Blunder, full of interactivity, animation and sound effects will be available in the app store early 2012!



2012
We will launch Book One in the Jumble Bugs series:
"Bloomie and the Birthday Blunder", which tells the story of Bloomie the Flower Bug and her trip to the beach to give her best friend Leilani the Hula Bug a birthday surprise.

New prototypes for Jumble Bugs plush toys are in the works, using softer and machine washable fabrics. Charming embroidery details have replaced the hand-stitching, making these durable toys that children will love!

We'd love you to follow the Jumble Bugs on facebook and twitter, and sign up for updates about the book app below.

Big thanks to my family and friends for all their support, especially my brother Alex who is doing the narration, and my sister who has been telling me to write a story about them for years!! Thanks also to Rafiq, Chris and Andy at Demibooks, and Karen Robertson at digitalkidsauthor.com for her encouragement and advice.

2012 will be a wonderful year!

Thanks for reading,
Emily xox

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