In stirring up her recipe for handcrafted success, Chef Lesley Lyon Mullinix of Louisville, Kentucky, started with her love of dogs, added a pinch of kitchen savvy, then mixed in a dash of creativity. The result was Lyonesque, a line of handcrafted dog toys so cute you’ll want one even if you don’t have a pet.
Lesley is a chef, so as you might imagine she had a built in preoccupation with all things food. That focus became the creative inspiration that gave rise to Eddie the Egg Plant, Randal the Radish, Kung Fu Carrot, T-Bone and other food themed dog toys. She uses bright, colorful fabric, simple designs and makes handcrafted dog toys that look the way food would look if it had a personality. She creates animal themed toys as well, and gives them names like Sig the Rooster and Otto the Owl.
Lesley crafts all of her dog toys for dog bite durability. She cuts each toy from colorful cotton fabric, stitches it with polyester thread, then she stuffs and sews it with double zigzag stitches. Her dog toys will stand up to ordinary doggie gnawing; but she warns they are not for dog (or human) consumption.
Handcrafted Creature Personality
You would expect Lesley’s animal toys to have eyes, noses and other creature features; but the food items have cute faces as well. Some facial features are sewn in with colorful fabric, others are top-stitched with darker thread. These faces give her dog toys unique personalities and crafty charm.
In addition to her line of animal and food themed dog toys, Lesley has recently released her mini plush line, smaller versions of her pet toys packaged in a plastic snap apart bubble. The size makes them perfect for cats.
Additionally, each October she offers a Zombie dog toy line. These not-so-scary versions have names like Baron Von Bacon’s Monster, Zombie Radish and Zombie T-Bone. Lesley creates her Zombie line with unusual color combinations and slightly spooky features.
Custom Upcycled Creations
If you’d like a dog toy that’s so special it’s one of a kind, search your closet for a comfy old sweater, skirt or pants. Send your gently used item to Lesley and she will use her crafty sewing skills to “repurpose” it into a teddy bear. You will love it. Your pet will love it. You will put something old to good use, and you can be proud that you did one small thing to help save the planet.
You can find Chef Lesley and her Lyonesque toys on Etsy, Facebook or at Shoplyonesque.com
Lesley Lyon Mullinix
Lyonesque on Facebook