Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ninja Santa ornament

Ninja Santa - In a tree

Its pretty obvious that the story of Santa with a sleigh and reindeer is a lie. I mean flying reindeer? Come on!  The truth of the matter is that Santa is a Ninja. That's right, a Ninja.  He uses his Ninja training to sneak into all the houses of good little girls and boys and leave them presents. That's why he doesn't need a chimney to come down. Ninjas can find a way into anywhere!

This is my last ornament design for the season.  I got started late and look!, Xmas is almost here. I'm hoping to start a lot earlier next year and come out with a few more new designs. He's for sale in the shop now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Keyka Lou clutch attempt

When people ask me what types of things I make, I find it hard to give a straight answer.  See, I have something I call Craft ADD.  I get really interested in some craft and will be completely absorbed by it. Then something clicks in my head, or I see something, and all of a sudden I'm like "oh I want to do that now!" and I go off and do that.

I've been knee deep in ornament and plush making. I was trying to think what I was going to get for my boss for our Secret Santa at the office, when out of nowhere (that I'm conscious of anyway) I decided I wanted to make her a cute little purse/clutch. So that's exactly what I did.

I bought the Curvy Clutch pattern from Keyka Lou. This is my first attempt at any kind of purse making, so it took me a while to complete since I was learning while doing and working with new materials like stiff stabilizer.  I'm pretty happy with it, and only have a few things I'd change for next time. Since I used a much heavier stabilizer than is called for, it was a lot harder to turn, but I eventually managed.  I may try a drop-in lining next time to see how that works, because I really like the heavier stabilizer. It gives it a nice professional feel/weight.

Keykalou Pattern - 1st attempt

I can't believe its 10 days until Christmas.  I'll be finishing the last ornaments for the season I think, and listing them in the shop tomorrow. The rest have all sold out online. Then I'll be wrapping up gifts for friends and family. I'll be one busy bee until Xmas day, I'm sure.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More ornaments on the way.

So it seems a lot of people like my little owl ornaments. I'm super flattered by this.  I have a few more color variations of them that I wanted to photograph and put into the shop today. Unfortunately its raining here pretty steadily. I could take pictures inside, but I think they look so much better setup with the trees and natural light.

I also have another cute little ornament I've made that is waiting to be photographed.  I usually like a nice cold rainy today, but this time I'm hoping it lets up for a little bit tomorrow.  *fingers crossed*

I'll be wrapping up my Xmas crafts this week both for my gift giving as well as for the shop. Starting Dec 21 I'll be on vacation until after the new year. I have a lot of neat things planned for 2011, and will be starting off the year working on some art for the Soundry Members Show

Well I guess I'll work on some other things now while I wait out the rain.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sweet little owls

Sweet little owls

I came up with some super cute owl ornaments just in time for the holidays. They are completely hand-sewn, and made out of felt, thread and a wee bit of poly-fil to poof out their bellies a bit. I'm totally in love with their cute little embroidered sleepy eyes.

These will be listed in the shop later today, and can also be found in the Soundry starting later this week.

More colors coming soon!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Squiddly Prototype

So a while back I doodled a cute little guy absent-mindly.  He looks sort of like a squid-monster thing.  I was really fond of him, so I tore him off whatever scrap piece of paper I had been drawing on and saved him, not sure exactly what I'd be doing with him.
squid monster doodle

Several days ago, I decided to sketch him out bigger into a test pattern for a plush.  He actually went pretty well, but I'll probably revise the pattern some to make his arms/legs/tentacles thicker. They ended up being skinnier than I thought. I always forget that when working with fleece, I need to go larger than I normally do.

So here's his little prototype:
I also think I'm going to make a slit in his back to stuff him, so I can make sure the crown of his head is smooth and less bumpy.  I may also add some polka dots. This little guy is currently for sale at The Soundry.

Now that I'm back from my mini-vacation visiting one of my sisters and my nephews, I need to get crackin' on the holiday items. Both for my gift-giving and for selling.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Commissions and Christmas

Yes, its already time to start thinking about Xmas.  Especially when most of the gifts and goodies you've planned are handmade.

I'll be visiting my sister and her husband, and my nephews this weekend.  We're going to have some Xmas Crafty Time, since I think its something that they really haven't gotten the chance to do much of in the past. I figured I'd whip up some patterns and we'd make some cute felt ornaments, as well as make them each an ornament with their name and birth year on it (sort of a tradition in our household).

Speaking of ornaments, I'm working on creating a line of ornaments to put out for sale both at the Soundry, and online in my Etsy shop. More on that later.

Besides ornaments, I'm diligently working on making and finishing crochet afghans for my parents. I just learned to crochet a few months back at the Maker Faire in Brooklyn New York. I started work on an afghan for myself soon after, and decided it would be a great present for my parents.  They are both older so its hard to pick presents for them, as they do not use any kind of gadgets (they still have a rotary dial phone line) and aren't very materialistic. They also don't like it when we buy them stuff, because they feel we shouldn't have to. But, super cozy afghans that I made, that I'm sure they will like.

In addition to all the Xmas projects I have in my crafty queue, I also have a couple of commissions on the horizon. A friend asked me if I'd be able to make a custom plush based off a made for tv horror movie for him to give to his gf. I just finished up the sketches this weekend.  Also, some of my coworkers saw the plush girls I was dropping off at the Soundry and asked about getting some custom ones made as presents for friends.

Looks like I'll need to stay organized and on task through the holidays!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Etsy shop open!

Yup, that's right!  I finally got my Etsy shop started.  I'm so excited. There are only a few items in the shop at the moment, but look for it to grow over the next couple of weeks. As well as finishing up some more plush and artwork, I'm brainstorming on Christmas ideas.

But that's only part one of my exciting craft news. Part two is that I've joined The Soundry! The Soundry is a local (to me) multipurpose space. One part art/craft studio, one part musical rehearsal space, one part performing space, and one part coffee shop. Its the only space in the area that has so much happening in one location.  I can't wait to meet some of the other artists and crafters, as well as use some of the studio's equipment.  I'm particularly excited about experimenting with silk-screening thanks to their screen press. On, and to top it off, I'll have some of my plush and other goods for sale in their boutique (oops, its also one part boutique. Is that 5 parts now? anyway...).  Beginning this week, I'll have some of my items available for sale there.  Neato! Also, if I ever wanted to teach a class on something, I could do that there too! I really can't say enough about how excited I am about this place, and finally becoming a member.

I also plan to participate in some of their monthly craft shows. I've been wanting to for a while, but some other things have been popping up keeping me from being able too. I'll keep everyone updated on when I'll be there in case anyone wants to stop by and say hello.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Not bad

Several months ago, I stumbled across Spoonflower's website. Its a custom fabric printing shop. That's neat enough on its own, however, they also hold lots of contests for new designs, patterns, etc.  I had thrown my hat in the ring, and came up with a cute little idea for their Fat Quarter Puppet contest.

After voting was over, they announced the winner and showed the top 10. I wasn't among them, which I actually wasn't that disappointed about since it was only my first time ever trying to do fabric/pattern design.

Today I just happened to be looking through their blog and noticed that you can see what place each entry came in for the contests.  I checked out the contest I had entered and I was 20th out of 46!   I honestly didn't expect to be that high up in the rankings.  Weee! Perhaps I will try to participate in some of their future contests when I can find the time.

There is some crafty news coming, but I'm holding off on that until I wrap up a few loose ends. I can hardly contain myself.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halloween 2010 Swap

So I finished and sent off my swap for Craftster, and it should be arriving soon. I'm going to go ahead and put up pictures because I'm a cheeky monkey like that.

The first thing I worked on was the biggest and newest to me. Bunting.  I had never heard of the stuff before, but once I looked it up I recognized it. I don't know what I used to call this stuff before I knew the proper term, probably something like "little flags".  I found a tutorial at Joyful Abode and it was really helpful, and I really liked the results. Using the bias tape gave it a nice finished look.

Here is my Halloween Bunting:
Halloween Bunting

I made and attached little felt hand.  I forget how many ghosts and skulls there were exactly, but by the end I thought it was a lot!

The next two things I made were a spooky paper-cut, and a felt embroidery hoop decoration. I hadn't actually done either of these before either, but at least had done enough similar things that I was pretty confident in being able to pull them off.

The Spooky Paper-cut...
Spooky House Paper-Cut

and the Felt Embroidery:

Witch Felt Embroidery

I wanted to make it a little unique so I added the dangling bats to make it a bit more than just a plain hoop.

One swap down, two more to go! Then I'll have to take myself out of the swap ring for a while for personal projects and other exciting happenings.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An almost tragedy!

I'm still here, I've just been a bit busy.

I'm participating in a few craft swaps, which I'll show my work from once they are received by my partners. All are Halloween Swaps. One is through Craftster, and its pretty open-ended as far as what to craft, so I've tried to focus on new things to experiment with. The other 2 are through Swap-Bot. These are both Halloween Stuffie swaps. YAY!

Something that has caused a major interruption in my crafting has been a pretty upsetting accident. Because I have cats (4 cats), I try to be vigilant about not leaving lengths of threads around for them to eat since it is dangerous for them. I keep only a small bit of thread through needles, just so I can see them easily. While working on one of my swap items, I left the table for a moment to cut up some delicious fruits to munch on. I thought I put my needle with its 2 inches of neon green floss back into my pin cushion, though I can't be positive.  I was keeping an eye on the table that I was working on, or so I thought.

I got back to the table, no more than 5 minutes after getting up, and went to grab my needle so I could thread it and continue working.  But what's this, no needle. I instantly panic, thinking that if the needle fell on the floor, it could easily get stuck in a kitty paw. After 10 minutes of frantic searching, coming up empty handed I began to cry, and called for my boyfriend to come help. Two hours later, searching every single piece of anything I had out, and still no needle. Even after vacuuming the entire area, and using my boyfriend's super magnets to try and draw it out of its hiding place. At this point I was pretty convinced that one of the cats had eaten it. I called my vet's office, which has an on-call vet, and explained my situation. We decided that since I didn't actually SEE anyone eat the needle, and all the cats were behaving normally, to wait until morning and see if something should be done.

The next morning we get a call from the vet's office, and I'm really set on taking all the cats in to get xrays. I only have 2 carriers, so I could only take 2 at a time. I decide to take Wolfgang and Duff first since when I came back to the table they were underneath it. 2 of the 4 cats had their annual checkups scheduled for a few days later anyway, so we were going to knock those out too. They x-rayed Wolfie and Duff, no needle, but Wolfie did get a clean bill of health (though he is a little chubby) and his vaccine booster. I brought them back home, loaded up Spooky and Uma, and headed back.

As they are checking out Spooky for his annual check up, the tech comes back in. Spooky won't be needing x-rays, because Uma was the needle eater! For those who don't know, Uma is my youngest, and smallest cat. She's super petite, so the needle was as long as her face. Also, that very morning she was doing her typical somersaults, which is one of her specialties. Even though I had a pretty good idea that one of the cats had eaten it, I was still shocked. Especially seeing the x-ray. Also, I didn't even see her near the table. Though I should know better since she is the sneakiest and fastest of my kitties. She is a super ninja.

Cat ate needle

Next thing I know I'm signing surgery consent forms, and heading back home with one less kitty than I came in with. I was in a daze from the moment they told me, to later when I got a call that she made it through surgery. It had moved to her small intestine by the time they got in there, but she seemed to be doing ok, and if she made it through the next 4-5 days she should be fine.

Well its 4 days later, and Uma acts like nothing is wrong. Other than disliking to take her post op meds and the collar she has to wear, she is happy as a clam. In fact she thinks she should be allowed to do all the things she used to do, like jump, run etc, and doesn't know why I'm not letting her. I'm keeping a very careful eye on her, and she will have a check up to make sure everything looks good in a few more days, but I am so thankful and relieved. My precious baby. I don't know how I'd have lived with myself if this had turned out worse. I've been pretty unfocused on anything other than caring for  her and keeping the others out of trouble. I think my nerves are finally settling, and I'll be able to get back to my crafting projects.

Uma Recovery

Next time I'm taking no chances. I'll be getting one of those wrist pin cushions, so all my sharp objects come with me wherever I go instead of tempting sneaky kittehs!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A distelfink?

What is a distelfink?  To be honest I didn't know either until a couple of years ago.  See I grew up in southern Pennsylvania, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. As a typical teenager, I didn't appreciate anything from the area. That was until I moved for college, and realized that nowhere else would I ever eat a delicious fausnacht, or other local treats.

As I got older, I began to appreciate some of the pretty folk art of the area, especially the symbols and such used in hex signs. A lot of the drawings look similar to Scandinavian and other European folk art as well. One of my favorite symbols were the fancy, ornate birds seen throughout many of the designs. After lots of google-hopping, I found out these birds were referred to as distelfinks.

For a long time I've been meaning to make my own modern version of a distelfink. A few weeks back I felt inspired and doodled one, then decided I'd make it into a carved stamp/block.

Distelfink Stamp - Carved Stamp

This was only the second carving I've done, so I am really pleased with how well I was able to maintain the curves and such.  Also, I REALLY love the Speedy Stamp material. I have some other carving materials, but so far this one is my favorite.

Distelfink Stamp - All

Here is my original doodle, the carving, and a sample printing. As you can see a few details didn't make it into the carving. However, I think as I improve my carving skills, I'll be able to manage such small dots and such eventually.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cute Zombie ATC

I had made this little fella a while back, but I forgot to share him. Shame on me.  He was part of the Cute Zombie ATC Swap over at Swap-Bot.  I liked him an awful lot and was sad to see him go.  I think as the Halloween season gets closer, I'll make another one similar to this. Maybe a bit larger and more cleaned up looking.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I got in!

Or more accurately, my two plushies I sent off got into Stuffed Magazine! I'm not sure which issue yet, but I am so pleased.  And I'm hoping to have my shop open in time to include it on the information I need to fill out and send into the editors.

Yaaay!  *twirls*

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chess Girl

This little drawing/sketch has been in a holding pattern for a while now. I really like her, but am unsure of what I'm going to do with her. Make her into a painting? Make her into a larger drawing and tweak the shading by adding some more light areas? So many ideas for her! She is up on the short list of things to do something with in the next month or so... Definitely expect to see more of her.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Block Printing and Stamping

One of the many arts and crafts I want to do more with is carving my own stamps and block prints. I just really like the feel of carving away at something and watching a design or shape slowly unfold. Unfortunately for my Mama, I discovered that love at the age of 3, using a nail file to dig swirls into the nice wood furniture....  oops!

Several months back I did a little simple carving, using a cheap carving material based off a little doodle I had made YEARS back. Here is my little carving:
I found out that using the cheaper carving material is a little frustrating for smaller details. I'm sure for large designs its fine, but I did buy some nicer carving material for future work.

After finishing the carving, I did a test stamp of him onto a piece of bristol board using some regular stamp ink.
 I think he came out pretty good for my first try.  I have all sorts of designs in mind to carve. In fact, maybe I'll work on one over the weekend. . .

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Its been so long!

So long since my last post! Time got away from me as I was busy with preparing for our annual conference at my day job. I was out in San Francisco for only 12 hours before I got a call that there was a family emergency. After some calling back and forth between my sisters and I, I decided to head back to the east coast. My dad was in the hospital for a week, but is out now and feeling a lot better. Plus now he has a scar to show off where they put in his pacemaker.

I spent last weekend wrapping up one of my little girls so I could send her along with a monster friend to California to meet the editors of Stuffed Magazine. I only took one quick picture of her, but will try and get better pictures of her sisters as I finish them up.  I hope the editors love her and her monster friend as much as I do. :D

I'm pretty proud of her, and can't wait to finish up her sisters.

The pieces that didn't sell at the Baby Canvases II show are back in my care. I'll be putting them up for sale in my shop soon.  I'm hoping to open my Etsy shop by the end of August.  I'm so excited!  *wiggles* I'm going to be looking around for a good pigment ink printer so I can print out some art prints and other paper goods for the shop. 

I'm also excited for other opportunities coming up soon. The Soundry is going to be starting up an Art Market at the end of the month. I would LOVE to participate if I can find the time to get some things finished up.  I'm really excited because it might turn into a weekly event, which I would LOVE, because I could definitely particpate.

Also, the next Teeny Tiny Art Show is going to begin accepting submissions for their next show starting in October. Both of these opportunities have me excited, especially since Artomatic may not be happening until next year.

 Look for more frequent updates from me as I dive more into my art and crafts! 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Doll Parts?

Who has a closet filled with partially stuffed doll parts?  Oh, I do!

There is mischief and shenanigans afoot!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Crafty Space

I finally am started to get my craft space organized and usable. I actually had a "craft room" at my last place too, but it was more of a craft supply storage area. Early on I discovered that a futon and coffee table aren't the best of working spaces, at least for me.

When I moved a few months ago, I once again had a room that was designated as my craft room. This space is a good deal larger, and already came with a small desk that I decided to make my sewing table (once I straightened things up).  Up until a few weeks ago, this room was mostly serving as a storage area as well. That is until I got my new drafting table and chair.

I've had a drafting table in my office at work forever, going unused. As we started cleaning out some of the old furniture, I asked about perhaps buying the table off the company. My boss told me to take it... for free. WINS! So my boyfriend and I picked it up one weekend. Once we got it into the condo, I needed to clean up and rearrange the craft room so I'd have a place for it. So not only did a get a drafting table for free, but as a result my craft room got cleaned up and turned into an actual usable space! There is still a good deal more work to be done to set things up really nice (painting, decorating, organizing), but its definitely a more usable space now. I was so excited, I took these pictures at night when I finished. As the space develops, I'll take better photos.

Here is my new drawing/painting area. This was were I spent the majority of the last two weeks finishing up work for the Baby Canvases II show.

And this is my sewing area. You can see one of my helpers investigating the new set up.

And this is the rest of the room/storage spaces. This is definitely the part that needs the most work. The closet space needs to be utilized better to make more room to put everything and get organized. Eventually everything will have its place. But mainly its nice to have a space to run away too and become completely absorbed in creating things.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baby Canvases II Show is up!

So much of the last 2 weeks has been wrapping up work for the Baby Canvases II show at the Soundry. I finished all 15 works and added little tags to the back of them with my blog address and dropped them off last Wednesday.  This past Saturday was the show opening. There were so many good works. I drank a delicious lemonade fizz served up by the lovely folks at the Soundry.  HINT: The Soundry is a gallery, studio space, and coffee bar all in one!

My friend Katie, who also had work in the show, dragged me over to where my stuff was displayed. I was surprised and thrilled to see that within an hour of the show opening 2 of my works had already sold.  :D I took a picture of my hanging work before I left, and now a total of 5 had been sold! *twirls* I'm very excited if you can't tell. This is the first time I've sold anything I've made, which is super awesome.

I'm so glad some of them (maybe more?) will have new homes. I'll be honest, I had a hard time relinquishing some of these to the show once they were finished. In particular, that little girl with the red balloon. She's modeled after some of the dolls I'll be making soon.  I was finally able to put her in with the rest of the pieces once I decided I'd make myself a bigger version of her for my home.  Turns out my sisters all want a version of her too, as its become their favorite as well.

You can see more detailed views of all of these on my Flickr Account.

Here are the works Katie had up, and below that are the works her sister put into the show. Katie made some really cute kokeshi girls.  I really loved the little blue skull one, so its mine!  We're doing an art trade. Her blue skull kokeshi for a variation of my Stitch Bunny.

The show is up until July 28, so if you are in the Northern Virginia area, you should go check it out. There really are some very neat works, and its just an neat space overall to visit.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sketches - Curl Girl to Whisp

A few months back I was making nightly sketches (something I really should get back into).  Just getting things out of my brain and onto paper. Most of my sketching is very organic, without too much forethought going into them. I'll have a basic idea, and after that things flow in whatever direction they want to go. I've tried to force myself into a neater, cleaner style, but it rarely turns out right.

I have a pretty set sketching style. Where I use short loose strokes and slowly tighten things up as I see how things are developing, and the image slowly reveals itself to me. Its almost like scratching a lottery ticket to reveal the numbers below. I sit there scratching into the paper to see what exactly is going to end up staring back at me.

This is what ended up looking back at me one night. I did the initial sketch one night, and then a few weeks later I added a little shading. Its really neat watching these girls I draw come into existence. I nicknamed her "Curl Girl".

Recently I decided to try and make this sketch into a drawing. So one night I set out to make a cleaned up version. While I like the outcome of this first attempt, it didn't end up looking exactly as I had planned. I ended up nicknaming the drawing "Whisp" because of the whisps of hair flying in the front.

I'll probably try to make her as drawing again, but without getting rid of the "sketchy" feeling entirely and without such thick lines. I really like the character some of the sketchy feeling gives to the original sketch. There may also be more to the drawing next time around, such as more of her, and some other little items, like a background or such.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Baby Canvases II - Tiny green monster

Yet another piece in the set I'm doing for Baby Canvases II. A cute little painting of my little green monster.  You've seen his cousin "in the plush" in this post.

I'm still getting used to this whole shading in color concept.  I've used monotone dry media for so long, that its sometimes hard for me to understand that not just any old dark color will do for shading. I originally tried making the shadows on this little guy in a dark brown. It didn't blend so well, nor did it look too good. So I had to go back over with more greens to finally get it to look how I wanted.

With more practice I'll get the hang of it.  :D

2x3 inches
acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baby Canvases II - Stitch Bunny - In a day

One of the many things I've added to my list, is to participate in the Baby Canvases II show being held by The Soundry. I figured it was a nice baby step into painting since I haven't finished a painting in...oh....10 years? Yeah...

So, the other day at lunch I was doodling. Trying to come up with little felt patch designs for the upcoming plushies I'm working on. Instead I doodle a slightly more complicated cute bunny (and friends).

I figured it was perfect to use as one of my Baby Canvas entries. I had even sketched him at the exact size. Perfect!

If you look closely in my messy workspace you can my sketch as well as the painting of the bunny in progress.

I have a feeling him and his friends (not as easily seen here) will end up in my mental que of "Cute things to make into plush form".

Here he is all ready to go off to the show! He told me his name is "Stitch Bunny". I feel I better listen to him and title him as such, otherwise there could be trouble.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spoonflower Fat Quarter Puppet Contest

I've heard about Spoonflower before. Its a really neat site where you can upload your own fabric designs and get them printed. You can also make your designs available for sale if you choose. When I first heard about it, it was still by invite only.  Now anyone can get their designs printed.

I also just recently learned that they hold contests.  I love contests! So I came up with something simple and cute for their Fat Quarter Puppet Contest. And here he is:
He's just a cute silly little bunny. We all know (or you should anyways) that bunnies are high up on the list of things I love.

The voting just started today.  So everyone go vote! You can vote for several designs, which is good because its hard to choose. Even for me, and I have my own design in the running! After seeing so many cute designs, I'm just hoping to get into the top 10. If I get into the top 5 I'd probably fall out of my chair. My personal favorite is Grrr...arrrgh! by milktooth.

Here are the 4 I voted for:

I'm currently working out the rough spots of my planned plush assembly line for my upcoming Etsy launch.  Launch date still TBD, but I'm thinking you'll see something sometime in June. Also, more doodles and art stuff next time.  :D

Monday, May 10, 2010

Leprechaun Gangster?

Its been so long since my last post.  Oops! I was out of town for a little while for work, and I'm slowly getting back on the crafting ball. My most recent completed item was a little gag gift for one of my sisters. Apparently she thought one of the lyrics in the song "Here comes the Hotstepper" said: I'm a leprechaun gangster. This amused her boyfriend a lot. Enough so, that he contacted me and asked me to make a leprechaun gangster plush for her as a surprise.

I believe you, but my tommy gun don't!

I had a lot of fun making him, even though I ended up having to pinstripe the fabric myself with a ruler and sharpie marker.  I just couldn't find a pinstripe fabric I liked, and in green no less. And I really love his little felt tommy gun.

Also, he's showing off my spiffy new labels I got a few months back.

From what I hear, he was very well received. :D Now I want to make a little plush version of my boyfriend with his fedora that he wears.  Will have to add that to the to do list.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Busy bee - show applications

I'm going to be a busy bee over the next few weeks. There are some deadlines closing in for work and applications to some shows. The Plush You Seattle deadline is May 10. After that the Strange Figurations deadline is June 30 and the very next day is the deadline for Teeny Tiny Art show #7.

I've got several sketches that need to turn into paintings, as well as several plush ideas. I'll try to get some in progress shots while I work on things.

This little sketch is definitely one I'd like to finish in time to submit to the Teeny Tiny show. I'll be working on her and some others over the next couple of months.

I must say I'm really excited to get some of my sketches out of the sketchbooks and make them into final pieces. Some of them have been sitting in there for a long time, and are starting to get cranky with me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Skull doodle - oil pastel

This is the result of last nights playing around with my new oil pastels. I'm actually pretty happy with how he came out. At the beginning I didn't think I would be. But I just kept on playing, and slowly things started to look better and better.

And while I didn't get super expensive pastels, I was really impressed with how well they worked. Definitely good enough for me to work with for a while.

I also loved my silicone brushes. The set I got was actually a bit TOO soft. The reviews had said the soft ones were good for pastels, but I think they were referring to chalk pastels. I forgot how heavy oil pastels are. However I also got some chalk pastels, so I'll use the soft colour shapers for working with them, and charcoal, and maybe painting. :D

I did order a kids rubber clay shaper tool, and that was firm enough to really blend the oil pastel, though the tip was a bit large. I'll probably order myself a couple of the firm brushes sometime soon. (oh noes! Suzi has to order more art supplies!) I can't say enough how much I love them. I can already tell that sore finger tips from smudging will be a thing of the past. And I really want to see how they work with paint.

Tonight I'll be doing the water color resist version. Which means unpacking the paint supply box. Then apparently Patriots is starting a Trivia night tonight, that will hopefully be every Wednesday. I've been wanting to go to one of these forever! My friends in other states go to them frequently, and I've been jealous for years.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Skull doodle test subject

I got the disappointing news that I did not make it into the Plush You LA show. While I was a bit bummed out, I'm not too down about it. I really am just starting out. So I'll work on making more cute things and try again next time.

Also I've been switching moods from my Plush Mood, to my Art Mood. I got the idea recently to make a simple little doodle to use to test some new methods. So here is my little skull doodle.

Nothing super fancy. Just something simple that will allow me to concentrate on learning to work with some new mediums rather than being too focused on a finished project. I've traced him onto several 6x6 pieces of bristol and will begin experimenting tonight. Mwahaha!

Here he just has some thick ink outlines. Just for fun. The other methods I'm gonna play with are:
- oil pastel
- water-color resist
- acrylic with resist

And maybe some others. We'll see. If they come out pretty decent, I'm going to donate them to the 6x6 exhibit.  More on the 6x6 show here. Its basically a fund raising exhibit where anyone can donate pieces of art 6x6, and the art center sells everything for $20 a piece. There are no names on the pieces (except on the back) and on one knows who they are buying from until after its purchased. It seemed like a neat idea, and I was going to do these little tests on this size bristol anyway. So basically its perfect! If I have time, I may doodle out some other little pieces, just to get myself into the art groove.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The labels arrived!

My labels arrived today!  I'm so excited.  They look great, and are so well done. I'm definitely very pleased and can't praise Priya Creations enough for the outstanding job. I definitely recommend them for all label needs. I just made my layout, and uploaded the file to them. I was given a soft proof, and after approval and a few days these lovelies were waiting for me in the mailbox!

Now to tackle that craft room so I can get to making some things to sew this little guys on to. I've got lots going on in my head to get done!

I wanted to sew one onto Keith, but he didn't think that was a good idea. Harumph!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Moving - Almost finished

I'm almost finished moving. There are only a few remaining odds and ends at the old place, and today I dropped off all the donation items/clothes. The new place is coming along. I'm about 40% unpacked. The kitchen is mostly set up. I still need to clear out some of the cabinets and reorganize them. There is a laundry backlog that needs to get worked on...oops.

The craft room is currently full of boxes and misplaced furniture. :( I really want to get that set up and get things started. Unfortunately I got sick recently, and have spent most of the past 5 days sleeping. Today is the first day I'm feeling well enough to get around.

I was really disappointed in myself. With all the packing, moving, unpacking, I didn't have time to work on my Olympic Plush Challenge entry. My sewing machine and fabrics are still hidden amongst the pile of chaos in my new craft room.

So I'm trying to get myself well (see above about sleeping for 5 days) and do what I can to get things rolling. I've got soooo many ideas in my head. Its like my brain knows I'm currently unable to make anything, so its being impish and being at its most creative right now. Oh brain!

I had some labels made up by the wonderful Priya Creations on Etsy, to sew onto my plushies. They should be arriving soon. I've only got a couple more things to get ready business wise, and then I should be ready to go forth with my Etsy shop. And hopefully I'll get the craft room set up in the next few days so I can begin making all the things swimming in my head. Maybe by the end of April I'll have several things listed in my shop.  Only a month later than I was expecting. :P  I can't wait!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Plush You LA application submitted!

YAY! Here are the 3 images I sent in. You'll recognize the one from the Mortal Plush show. I decided to go ahead and use her for the application.

Now I can focus on packing and moving before beginning working on other projects. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Too busy to update! Oh no!

More snow this weekend makes me very happy.  Did I mention I LOVE snow.  :D
*does a snow dance* 

I've gotten a bit busy with the day job so haven't gotten to work on my art and crafts as much as I would have liked. I did work on a painting, and got a good under painting on the canvas. I've also sketched up some other ideas for pieces that I really like and have a good solid plan for my Olympic Plush Challenge entry.

I've got a really cute idea (I think) for something else, but I'm not quite yet ready to share it. So far I've not seen anything exactly like it yet, so that makes me really pleased. I should have a prototype finished by this weekend, along with my Olympic challenge plush.

I may or may not get enough done in time to submit to Stuffed Magazine like I had hoped, but I can always submit at the next deadline which is August 15.  It might be better, because by that time I should have a few more things completed, and hopefully I will have opened my Etsy shop by then.

I do want to have things finished up so I can submit an application for the LA PLUSH YOU show.

More later. I'm exhausted from Zumba class, and the kittehs want to play Laser Pointer Chase Extravaganza!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Plush happenings

I have been planning for a while now on submitting some plush cuteness to Stuffed Magazine. Their next deadline is February 15. I was going to rework my Vox plush that was in the Mortal Plush Show last year, as well as create some "sisters" or friends.

Its helpful that I've started to get into a plush mood. I get crafty moods, where I am completely focused and only interested in a certain art or craft. I've been trying to work on some art, but my brain was just completely elsewhere. Its a good thing though, because not only am I working toward submitting some work into Stuffed, but I just came across two more fun tidbits. Schmancy Toys is having an Olympic Plush Challenge for the upcoming winter games. So I thought, hey why not toss my hat into the ring for that.  Also the next PlushYou! show has been announced. Applications are due February 22.

I must admit I am quite giddy about all the possibilities. I'll be sure to post what I'm working on as things progress. Getting into Stuffed, or into the PlushYou! show would be so exciting.  *wiggles happily*

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shading Practice - ACEO

The other day I whipped out a pack ATC sized Bristol board a friend had given to me and decided to do a little shading practice. Its been awhile since I've worked on art, so I'm trying to get my art muscles all nice and loosened up.

She's pretty much a replica of the girl in my previous post. Just wanted to get some tonal values down to see how I want to progress with her on a larger scale. I was pretty pleased with how she came out despite being out of practice. Maybe I'll make her available as an ACEO after I finish the painting.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Balloon Girls - Girl 1

I've had a certain doodle laying around for some time while I tried to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it. I eventually came up with a basic idea, and even sketched it onto a canvas. I didn't start painting it yet, because I wasn't sure exactly where I wanted to go as far as the color scheme, or some of the details.

Just last night I decided I'd do a series of these girls with balloons. Since I have more than one idea.  I don't know why it never occurred to me before to do more than one with this idea. I keep trying to apply all these "rules" to my art that make no sense and tend to limit myself. Oh Suzi, you are so silly!

Anyway, I hope to have some more progress on her soon. I'll probably break out the colored pencils and try to get an idea of the colors I'd like to use and start making some sample palette mixtures.