© 2019 by Conner Singh VanderBeek

茄子 (qiezi, which means eggplant), a very toothy lion I found in Hutong, Beijing. In China, people pose for photos by saying "eggplant!" instead of "cheese!" I took this little eggplant home and sewed overalls for him.

The Grunts are an extremely rare species of dinosaur that survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago. They are named Grunts after the first of their species to be discovered, Gruntwinder (green), and after their highly developed language, which, to human ears, simply sounds like "ra ra ra." Later such Grunts discovered include Jatindergrunt (blue with stripes and mohawk) and Indergrunt (pink, via Skype). Grunts have shown incredible intelligence and sophistication, including Gruntwinder, who is active on Instagram.

Sock Monkey came into my life on July 4, 2012. Since then, he has stayed true through all my ups and downs and accompanied me on all my travels. His first few outfits were curated by my mom (personal stylist to us both), though I have been sewing his most recent getups.

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Turtle, hand-painted