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World of WarCrafts: Tales from the Murloc Nursery

Anne Stickney

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction and more. Sample the whole spectrum on our Arts and Crafts in WoW page.

We seem to be on a plush kick of sorts lately, but today's World of WarCrafts isn't so much about the plush critters (standard Blizzard toys) as it is about the world surrounding them. Today's crafter Doro, otherwise known as MurlocMama, has taken the little plush murlocs and given them an entire world of their own. Doro contacted us recently wanting to share her website and craft creations:
I wanted to direct your attention to the pictures in my blog, which is unfortunately in German, but all the photos do speak for themselves, telling of absurd and loveable little creations and a huge crush on WoW's murloc babies.

I have been playing WoW intensely since the release of The Burning Crusade and from the beginning liked the cuddly murloc babies immensely. Our two little daughters found them irresistible, too, and so the first pair moved in with us, imported for a lot of money from the U.S. eBay, as you could not buy them at the Blizz shop back then.

Cute creatures! I got hooked, and started to think about making things for them ... And taking pictures, where ever we and the murloc babies went. By now, I enjoy making things "murlocky," be it for or about murlocs, using various crafts like felting and sewing, for family and friends, and presenting them in the blog as belonging to a fictional nursery for orphaned murloc babies.
From sweaters to booties to tadpoles to murloc-feet cookie cutters, Doro's blog, Tales from the Murloc Nursery, has a little bit of everything craft-related. Take a look through the gallery for a glimpse at Doro's creations, and follow us after the break for a few words with the MurlocMama herself!

Gallery: World of WarCrafts: Murloc Nursery custom crafts | 18 Photos

World of WarCrafts: This is a really amazing blog and collection you've got! Can you tell us a little bit about the story behind the Murloc Nursery and how it came to be?

MurlocMama: The fictional story behind the Murloc Nursery is that of a murloc orphanage situated near the river Spree in Berlin, Germany, where a growing number of murloc babies are living with their foster family. The reality is that due to our two daughters' love for those cute plushies, a few of them are "living" in our home and somehow developed a life of their own. And I do enjoy taking photographs that make them seem alive just as much as making weird things for them!

Did you make all the hoodies yourself? How do you go about making custom clothing for a plush toy that's got such a unique shape?

No -- in fact, my mum crocheted those hoodies, as I am not a crocheting person. But I made the other garments, like the sleeping bags, the raincoat and wellies, the dress and the life vest. And right now I am working on sewing a hoodie from fleece instead of crocheting.

The process of making custom clothing for the murloc babies is indeed a bit more complicated than working for a human or even a doll or teddy bear, as there are no standard patterns you could modify. Their physique is too special, so basically I started from scratch and used the centuries-old technique of draping a pattern with toile. This means you take a good look at the "customer" and start with an educated guess, cut it from toile and try it on. Then you mark any necessary changes, cut a new toile, try it on again, and so forth until you are happy with the fit.

I have to admit the resulting pattern pieces tend to look positively weird, but well, so do the murlocs ...

How did you come up with the idea for the murloc tadpoles?

Well, there is a quest in Northrend called Oh Noes, the Tadpoles!, which involves, of course, murloc babies. I never handed that one in! It did, however, push my thoughts into that direction.

Looking closely at the differences between murloc babies and adult murlocs, you can see a development that, extended backwards, leads one to "real" tadpoles: The babies have a small tail and gills, which the grownups do not possess anymore. To me, this hinted at an earlier stage when both gills and tail were needed and reminded me instantly of the development of frogs and salamanders. And suddenly, I had a vivid image of a small, pudgy tadpole with murloc fins and those huge, luminous eyes in mind.

The first thing I did was a watercolor sketch, but I soon looked for ways of making them 3-D. I thought of sewing first, but that did seem a bit daunting to me. Then I remembered a technique I had once learned: needle felting. Making the tadpoles from dyed lambswool with this technique is actually a lot like sculpting, only with wool. Unlike sewing, where you make the "skin" first and then stuff it, here you create the body from the inside out, adding features like fins, tail, stripes and eyes as you proceed. Lastly, I add the egg tooth and embroider the mouth.

I made different tadpoles to show subsequent stages of their development. One of them even has small legs beginning to develop!

I love the murloc feet cookie cutters! How did you make those?

The cookie cutters I made from a simple, geometric-shaped cookie cutter that I had bought, using prongs and patience. I do not possess the necessary equipment to actually make them from sheet metal, but this worked out fine as well!

Thank you for your time, Doro! For more of Doro's creations, check out
Tales from the Murloc Nursery. The website itself is in German, but the sheer amount of imagination and love poured into the website needs no translation.

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including arts and crafts, fan art, WoW-themed recipes, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by emailing with your not-for-profit, WoW-inspired creations.

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