Monday, April 25, 2011

Bunny Cake :)

I hope you all had a happy easter.  We did.  We stuffed ourselves silly.  And my bunny cake was a success!

I'll be back soon with....oh I don't even know.  I have so many things on my mental queue.  I'll just leave it at "I'll be back here soon"!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Plarn Bag Progress Part 2!

Sorry in advance - some of the pics are a little blurry...

It's almost done! I just have the handles left to do.  I'm not sure how I'm going to do them yet, although I'm leaning toward turning the bag inside out and having them run all the way down inside each side so they're really strong.

Once I get this whole plarning process down to a science, as well as work on testing the functionality and durability, etc. of my prototype, I'll be listing some of these in the shop.  I already have lots of ideas for different patterns I can work out!

Cooper (and his fat butt) is, of course, an integral part of the testing process. So far, the bag holds at least 15 pounds of CoopDiggity like a champ.  Cool.

Sorry I didn't get some better shots of the bag...

...but Coop's a better Ham than product model.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dragon Update

I like him. :)  I can see my plan working out.  I really hope it does anyway.  There are a couple of serious hurdles that we'll have to jump when we get to the wings.  Eeek.  And getting the feet to fit in correctly.  And figuring out how I'm gonna get the eyes to work.  (I think I'm making them out of polymer...but not sure yet.  Any plushie artists with suggestions??)

This is his little chin.  Can you tell?  With his toofers sticking out.

And you can already see the shape his neck will take.  (The blue is his dragon lips.  I don't know how much is apparent and how much should be explained.  Ha!  The drawing should help some if you're lost.)

And some dragon nostrils:

I'm sewing the red rims on top of the fuzzy yellow parts and wrapping them with matching embroidery thread.

And in case you're curious, what I'm watching while I'm crafting:

I had never seen it before.  I really liked it.  It was witty and funny and sweet.  I love my old movies.  (Does anyone else in the world still watch VHS besides me?  Ha!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

I had to go and open my big mouth...

Stupid snow.  Stupid, stupid snow.  >:(  Grrrrrrrr!  You know the point where you can't even look at it and go, "well, it is really pretty"?  Ugh!  Yeeeah.  That's about where I'm at.  Blech.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Neighborhood

Earlier this week I went on a little jaunt through our neighborhood on my bike.  I was thinking that the exercise might do some good for my back, which has been majorly tweaking out lately (since our yardwork last weekend).  And although the ride may have actually had the opposite effect on my stupid back, it did do some real good for my soul.

There's a tiny, very old cemetery down the road from us.  It's very sweet and it's alway felt very peaceful there when we've stopped to visit during our walks.  This grave is Mary Crawford's.  She died in 1856.

This is the awesome, ancient tree that lives on the hillside where the cemetery is.  
The root system is awesome.  It's become exposed over the years as our road has grown from path, to dirt road, to gravel... 
Just a happy, wide-open little space.
This is the little river I found at the end of my journey.  Did you know...when you ride your bike somewhere, you have to eventually go all the way back?  Yeah, I'll remember that next time.  I was dead by the time I made it back home.  It's always great to get a friendly reminder of how completely out of shape you are, isn't it?  Ugh.
Found this little Dr. Seuss/Tim Burton swirl in a tree branch on my way back.
I'm so happy Spring has decided that it's here to stay now.  We had quite a few fake outs, but I don't think we'll get any more snow this year.  And that makes me really happy.  I'm ready for some green.  And some warm.  And some smells - sweet spring air and flowers and earth.  Has Spring finally arrived in your neck-o-the-woods?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lori Nichols - An Artisan Interview

Okay, folks! I'm super excited to present you with my very first interview!

Lori Nichols is a wonderful artist I'd like you to meet. She's been one of my favorites for a while and has a lovely self-titled shop, on Etsy: Without further ado, let's get to it!

Q: As a day job holder myself, I’m always interested to know what other artists do during “normal buisness hours”...what pays the bills over there in Birmingham, Alabama? 

A: Most of my income comes from creating soft-sculptures for different shops and shows. I have three shows coming up in April.
I am also an illustrator and working on getting my first book published. The book is being shopped around several different publishing houses now.
* * *
Q: What first inspired you to start creating your lil’ rib ticklers? 

A: My daughters were my inspiration. I started creating little owls from discarded knit tights for a fundraiser for their school (their mascot is an owl). One little girl who had purchased an owl walked into a local shop with it. The owners called me to see if I’d like to create a line for their online shop using their discarded letterpress and wood items. The rest is history! You can see their shop and some of my critters/owls at
* * *
(Side note: How cool is that, guys?! I can only dream of being "discovered" one day like this. :) Moving on...)
* * *
Q: I’m sure you love them all, as any plushie artist does, but is there a critter in your herd that you enjoy more than others or that is maybe special to you in some way? 

A: I really enjoy creating the pigs. I think it’s because they are all so happy. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re creating a funny little critter who’s smiling at you. Also, I use the same pattern each time, but if you visit my site you can see they are all so different. This makes it fun because they all have their own personalities and make me chuckle.
* * *

Q: Do you have any memorable custom orders you’d like to share with us?   

A: One woman contacted me to make a custom order of her two hamsters, Soda and Pop. They were very cute and fun to create. She sent adorable photos of them and I then sketched them into illustrations before I began to create them as plushies.
* * *
Q: Your illustrations are absolutely wonderful!  What is your favorite medium to work with? 

A: Thanks! I enjoy working very small using a fine-nibbed sharpie to create sketchy line-work. I then scan the images large in Photoshop or Illustrator and add various color fields.
* * *
Q: In your Etsy profile, you mention a children's book in the works.  How exciting!  Any updates you’d like to share with us on that? 

A: I’ve been working with a rep in New York making revisions and tweaking for over a year. She just submitted the finished “idea” to about nine different publishing houses in February. Now it’s just wait and see who’s interested!
* * *
Q: That's so cool - congratulations! Well, I know you've got some work to do still, but that's a great accomplishment! What were some of your absolute-favorite-couldn’t-live-without-them books as a child? 

A: I remember being in love with the “Little Golden Books” as a child. Little Red Hen & Snow White. I thought the illustrations were incredible. We also had a large Grimm’s Fairy Tale book that I loved. As an adult I couldn’t live without: Petuina by Roger Duvoisin or anything by illustrator Olof Landstrom and author Lena Landstrom.
* * *
Q: Where do you see your creative self in the next five years? 

A: I’d like to be illustrating children's books more regularly. I have three different books that I’ve created but that need an art director and editor to help me get them to the next phase. I like the thought of creating merchandising for a book I’ve created or working with a toy company to design products.
* * *
Well, Lori - I wish you all the luck in the world in the future. I think it would be amazing to be a children's book writer/illustrator by profession. Your work is inspiring and I'm so glad you took the time to stop by my blog to share some of you with us. :) Thanks again!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I've been suffering from a terrible lack of ambition lately.  I've actually been getting fairly fed up with myself about it.  Ugh.  So I'm hoping by throwing my current project up here on display that it will give me some accountability and maybe some encouragement to get my buns in gear.

I've been working (for quite some time, if you can read the date in the corner of my sketch...see? no motivation) on a large plush dragon for my nephew for his rapidly approaching birthday.

I'm at the point where I've made most of the pattern.  Cut most of my pieces.  And even started sewing a couple parts.  But honestly, I think I'm feeling discouraged before even really starting because I feel like this project is really ambitious....which, as I've mentioned, ambition is not bouncing around in abundance here lately. So I guess haven't really been jumping in with both feet. 

But let's focus on something positive.  I've got the idea well-planned out in my noggin.  Nothing's impossible.  I've got a good start on it.  And now it's up here for all to see which usually makes me eager to post progress for you guys.  So hopefully I'll be back soon with some updates. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wishin', and hopin'...and dreamin'

Just a couple of things on my wish list lately.  From Etsy of course...

From JohnWGolden - who is having a sale right now actually!  I love his work.  So cute.  Whimsical.  Fun.  Go check out his shop and scoop up a few goodies!  (He has a blog too.)
Great vintage find from Kami at Marathon1981.  I love love love her shop AND her blog.
While we're at it - Kami makes the most wonderful and original creatures.  I highly recommend checking her shop out - new stuff all the time and her work is so unique!
This artist is a new one on my favorites list - Jonas Sickler.  BEE-U-TI-FUL artist.  He does children's book illustrations among other things.  I love his style.  This is an image inspired by a passage from one of my favorite classics, Heidi.
This is one of my absolute-must-have-someday items. (Actually - I haven't picked a favorite one yet - it's gonna be hard!)  This rabbit is from  Esbert's Collection.  If you are not familiar with her work, do not walk - RUN to her shop and check it out.  I'm beyond infatuated with her critters.  Sigh...someday.  Soon!  (She has a blog too.)  
Another shop I really love.  The jewelry is so sweet and nostalgic.  I will own one of these pieces someday soon too.  These earrings are my current fav.  Although I also really like her "glass nugget jewelry".  
This artist is another just amazing craftswoman.  Her creativity and skill just blows me away.  Her stuff is so neat!  (I'm just waiting for the perfect little dragon baby to call my name!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sale in the Shop!

Do you like my super cool springy sale sign?  Can you tell I have mad skills? Ha!
Hi folks!  I'm having a sale (the first ever!) in my shop.  Just because.  You get 10% off anything you want.  So if you've had your eye on's the perfect time to swoop it up! :)  

Oh! And update: I'm working on a couple interviews with some really great Etsy sellers.  So look for those soon!  Woohooo!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Music I'm Diggin Right Now

Pomplamoose! Love her voice. Love their style. Totally neato.  Check them out!

Here's their YouTube channel.
And their Facebook page.