Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crop Art Dominoes

What do you think? The camera flash washed them out a little, but you get the idea. I did these after taking a fun workshop called "Nature Kitsch" and I personally love crop/seed art, so I combined my love of seeds with my huge stash of postage stamps. The pears have red pepper flakes around them. The hummingbird has dill seeds, which look like tiny sunflower seeds, and pasta letters that spell "birdie." Hee hee. And the sunflowers have mustard seed and dill seed surrounding them. Oh, and the top super cheesy one has brown rice all lined up on the bottom, dill seed on the sides, and one line of mustard seeds on the top. I basically used oodles of mod podge as glue, and I got some glitter mod podge, which is soooooo fun, it makes the pepper flakes really sparkle.

Johnstock 411

This is going to be so fun. It's a little art fair, only 40 vendors. Look at this schedule. Very kid-friendly and they're showing The Muppet Movie outdoors the first night. How cute is that??

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We're IN!!!

I can't believe it! I just checked my email real quick before I was going to go to bed, and there it was, the generic email sent to everyone who was accepted to be in the Johnstock art fair!!! Yay!!!! Just had to share that before I went to bed.

Zendalas, or Round Doodlies

Aren't these fun? They're 3 inches in diameter and I glued them onto 3.5 inch black cardstock. All drawn freehand, with one thick pen and one thin pen. They're very similar but they're all going to different people, so it doesn't matter. I love working on those shell shapes right now. I'm working on a 9-inch diameter one that's for a clock face and have just started coloring it. It's going to take a while, but I love coloring! And it's only 3 colors. I've found that works really well for some reason, to choose only three colors to use. Then I don't get overkill in rainbow colors. It hangs together better or something. There's probably some color theory reason, but don't tell me what it is, because my eyes will glaze over and you'll give me a migraine. Sometimes it's better not to know these things. Especially when it's not broke. Oh, I guess technically there's a fourth color, white. Sometimes I leaves spaces white for contrast.

So, next week, I've decided I'll give away a 3-inch zendala like you see here. I'll mount the black cardstock on pasteboard so it will be sturdy. Then you can either frame it or just set it against a wall on a shelf or something. Or make a tiny hanger on the back and hang it on the wall. Anyway, that's your preview of next week's giveaway. Aren't you excited? I like the idea of giving away stuff I've made, so I'm going to try to do more of that.

Monday??? Giveaway

Er, yeah, guess who won this one? The ONE person who commented. And I do love the look of those pendants, Chris, even if the picture is only a sneak peek. So what you gonna do with this fabric, huh? So I guess I threw everyone off doing a Monday giveaway on Wednesday. But Chris gets the benefit of being able to follow my confusing life, so she's a winner! The WINNAH! I love saying that.

Yes, well, I know it's almost Wednesday, and you're all like, hey, where are you? My brain went away on vacation Monday, mostly because I was anxious about finding out whether or not I was getting into that craft fair. Then I kept trying to find my calendar to see what I was supposed to do Monday and by the time I found it, I forgot why I wanted it so I didn't look at Monday's schedule and I missed a doc's appt. I was supposed to go to. It was also the first day of single Mom week, as hubby left for a work conference that morning very early.

And I still don't know if I'm in the art fair or not! I feel like those little alien dudes in the grabber machine in Toy Story...waiting to be chosen. My hopes are waning. I called the people in charge again about 6pm on Monday night, and this time they said I should hear "by Tuesday...or May 1st at the latest." Oh, fer Chrissake! The fair is May 16th. Could you cut it any closer?

My friend Jen, who is in on this with me, lamented,"Welcome to the wonderful world of juried art fairs." Wow, suck. I guess I'm going to have to not invest so much in this mentally. And I have a bunch of stuff I've made that I don't have in my Artfire or Etsy shops because I was sort of "saving" them for this art fair. Now I'm thinking that's pointless. I should just put that stuff up for sale and then pull it at the last minute if I get into a fair.

Well, anyway, HERE'S THE GIVEAWAY, FINALLY: about a half yard of some cotton print fabric. It's butterflies and they have stars on their wings, so they're sort of firework-y or something. Maybe they would be good for something subdued for the 4th of July. So what I'd like to request in your comment, instead of begging for the fabric, is either 1)a helpful tip about your experience-if you have any-selling at or even getting into an art fair, OR 2)a link to something you made (in your store or on your blog or whatever) that you're selling that you think is really fabulous and if only other people could see it they would snap it up!! I will look at all these links. Of course my choice for my thing is my Amelia Earhart shrine, which is exhorbitantly expensive, so I understand if you don't buy it, but there must be someone out there who is an Earhart nut and MUST have it! OR 3)If you don't have a store yet, but you're secretly harboring thoughts of selling your work, link to a picture of something you think maybe you'd like to sell, so we can all tell you that of course the world needs you to sell it!
This giveaway will be open through Friday midnite. Have fun playing!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nice People

Did anyone notice that after I talked about Kathy Cano-Murillo, the Crafty Chica, when I was trying to figure out what my style was, she left me a long comment with advice on how to figure that out and how to describe it to others? How nice was that? She didn't have to do that. I don't even know how she found out I linked to her. Anyway, I loved her idea of describing my art in terms of pop culture. It's brilliant, because I'm already a pop culture junkie. So I'm going to follow her advice. I'm going to sit down and just brainstorm words, adjectives, thingies, that are in my art. Then I think I'll ask a couple friends to tell me what they see, how they would describe it. Then I'll put it all together into a Brady Bunch episode. Ha!

Oh, and about this art fair, Johnstock, that I applied to 2 weeks ago, I called this afternoon because the thing is in only a few weeks and I need to know at what speed I should be producing, and for that matter, what things to work on. Well, they said I should be getting an email either tonight or tomorrow. He should have just said tomorrow because now I'm checking my stupid email every ten minutes only to find another Meetup reminder from Twin Cities moms about Choo-Choo Bob's or an alluring (NOT) message from MyLife (formerly and just as annoying) about how 3 white males searched for my name this week. BAH!!

But tomorrow I'll know. And then I can panic anew! But in a good way. I think we have a good shot. I'm just such an impatient person. Okay, moving on.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bib Attempt #2

Well, it's done. And it snaps. And I love the wind-up robot fabric. But I tried to use felt for a layer inside and it was too thick. Plus then I sandwiched it wrong and so the felt is one the back, not in the middle. Which isn't so bad, it's red so it matches fine. But I learned you gotta really trim the seam allowance where the snaps are going to go, otherwise there will be too much fabric to push through. Also, hammer the pearl top part of the snap on a soft surface, like I did here on folded up felt, so you won't crack the pretty top.

So! Third time should be a charm, eh?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday's Giveaway Day!

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks for playing, everyone, except the person who spammed me. And the winner is...lilbabypug! She forgot to give me a book recommendation but when I asked she came up with The Saggy Baggy Elephant, a classic Golden Book. We already have it, but it's nice to hear someone else loves the old ones as much as I do.

Other recommendations: So many people loved Where the Wild Things Are. We actually have it but haven't read it much yet. I think it's a little over her head. But we have Sendak's Nutshell Kids series, and my daughter loves One Was Johnny: A Counting Book. And I love to sing it to her, a la the Really Rosie musical from the seventies. Alligators All Around is the only alphabet I know that has "Having Headaches" for the letter "H" and I can soooo relate to that. Freight Train was another book mentioned that I've heard of but not tried, and since it's a train book, I figure I better check it out. Many of the others we already have, but there were a couple I'd never heard of, so thanks again to you all for sharing!

Today, kids, we have one of my handmade ATC's with Mr. Seahorse, my carved rubber stamps, in 3-D. I call this one "Seahorse Architecture. So what should I ask you to leave a comment about today? How about this: If you have kids, or remember being a child, what was a favorite picture book? I'm always looking for new ones for my almost 2-yr. old. And don't say "all the Dr. Suess books," because that's just cheating. So I'll tell you, one of my current faves and my daughter's is one called And the Train Goes... by William Bee. The illustrations are fabulous and have many levels, like once she gets a little older, she'll start to notice there are certain items that show up on every spread, so she can hunt those down as well as listen to the fun story and sounds. Okay, I gotta run. Leave your comments until close of day (midnite) Wednesday and thanks for playing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Baby in Jammies? Pixie Doll?

I sewed this in the last few days. Made up the pattern myself from a drawing I did from another drawing I liked. Lily calls it a baby. She gave it some of her milk today.
It's a good first effort, I think. I want to make more and make the face smaller and the middle fatter. And sew it wrong side out and flip it. The blanket stitch is cute but not so great on the points, which I glued to keep pointy.
I have oodles of felt now, between thrift store buys lately and the annual Textile Center Garage Sale yesterday, which I forgot about until 3pm, which was probably good, because then it was bag sale time, everything you can stuff in a grocery bag for $1. I spent $3. I had 25 minutes and just raced around grabbing things that looked good. I only ended up with one weird little bag of scraps that smells like cat...otherwise everything looked in good shape and when I went through it I could think of lots of uses for stuff.

Pig 'n' Chick House

No, it isn't a new restaurant. It's a cute thing I made with one of those wood knick knack holders, along with some farm animals I got at Target a while ago. And I made up a poem for them. And it goes like this:

The piggies and the chicks
moved in that day
they liked the big house
so decided to stay

"Oink! We like yellow," said some of the pigs
"Cheep!" said some chicks "Well, we like pink!"
So they ran all around
and they shared all the rooms,
and the neighbors came for tea
exactly at noon.

And as you can see, I've glued piggies and chicks all over the house. I like it. This is actually the first poem I've written in a while. The last one was about Lily eating Strawberries for the June Moon calendar page. This was fun. Except for the part when the animals wouldn't stick. Hot glue just didn't do it. Lily would come over and pluck them right off. Bah! A good test, though. So I found Weldbond, a much stronger glue, and non-toxic and dries clear. Good stuff.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fun Food

For Totoro fans, you'll recognize this little cream puff as a very good likeness to a beloved Japanese anime character. Isn't he cute? I wouldn't want to eat him, though. All that dairy makes my tummy burbly. So I'd just let him sit on the window sill or a shelf on my desk. Perhaps I could spray him with acrylic sealer.

You want to know how to make your own? Go to Anna the Red's Bento Factory and learn.

Still haven't heard about the Johnstock craft fair. la la la.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zippies Galore!

So, I mentioned I made those clocks for a craft fair coming up. I also made all this goodness. The coasters were already done, of course, and in my Arf shop, but I made all the zippies. They are basically two different sizes. Small change purse size, and bigger ones long enough to hold pens and pencils and even small drawing pads or ATC cards to doodle on. Oh, and one needle book that I did finally list in Arf. I will be listing these zippies soon on Arf. That's my Artfire shop, for those of you unfamiliar with my typing quirk (whenever I try to type "Artfire" it comes out "Arf").

I've gotten the application in for the craft fair, called Johnstock, which was stressful, probably why I ended up going into the hospital for a migraine last week... (and I don't know when we hear back if we got in--it's juried, and they're deciding AS applications come in, not at the end of the acceptance period for application time. But at least it's out of my hands now.) But it's no wonder I got stressed. I had to sort of define myself (and two other people who are doing it with me) as an artist. It was like doing a resume, which everyone loves. Ugh. Describing my wares was easy. But describing myself and my business was difficult. I don't feel like I've developed a signature style yet, and I feel like it's even harder because I don't do just one type of craft or art (and don't have any desire to limit myself to such). Which made me have a think. I was looking at the posting in Arf today about how they want columnists for their different departments and here I am, a writer, an "artisan," (it's still hard to say that without quotes, even though I know it's wrong, it's a completely wrong use of quotation marks, besides being a chicken way of claiming my talent), and I think, yeah, that would be fun. But I don't like any of their departments. They say you can propose a new department to be a columnist for, and I'm thinking about doing just that. Here's my department:

How do you grow into yourself as an artist? It's a deceptively simple question. But who am I as an artist? I'm not the Crafty Chica. She has a definitely recognizable style. That's what I mean, how do you develop a recognizable style? Is it a deliberate process? Is this too ethereal of a subject? Or is it just plain and simple branding? What do you think? It's just that when they do the "Featured Artisan" articles, I always feel left out, like I'm not there yet, and when do I get to be a grown-up artist? I think I'm talented now, it's not that, it's just, well, is it even important for people to look at a piece and say "Oh, that's an Alterior Motives piece"? I don't know. Hmmm. Columnworthy?

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Always Art Time!

I mean, does anybody really care what time it is? I made these over the last week amidst a frenzy of activity getting ready to apply for a spot in a craft fair (my first) and I really like how they turned out. I upcycled these clocks. But Google keeps screwing up today and eating this post. This will be the fourth attempt. I go nap now.

Monday's Giveaway!

Okay, yes, this giveaway is CLOSED. Chris, you didn't win the hideous coaster. You big wanker. Miri did, though, so I'll be contacting her. I swear I used and it didn't have anything to do with the fact that she showed pity for my deprived chocolate-free childhood. She has a beautiful blog with fantastic mommy energy.
This is just a lil' thing this week, but it's cute. It's a quilted coasted using Laurel Burch fabric. It just wasn't up to my perfectionist standards to sell. There's nothing really wrong with it, it's just that, well, see the back, how the black of front fabric got folded over in that one spot on the bottom? Yeah, that bothered me. So I'm not selling it. But I'll give it to you if you want it. This time I'm not going to ask what you'll do with it (duh), but if you have a favorite Easter candy, tell me what it is. Please leave your answer in a comment on this post. Thanks and good luck!
Okay, someone asked what MY favorite Easter candy is, since I want to connect with my readers. Well, let me tell you the sad, sad story. When I was a child, I was allergic to chocolate. How much does that suck?! No chocolate bunnies. No chocolate eggs. No chocolate M&M's. Nuthin'. My parents did their best. They got the plastic eggs and filled them with jelly beans and sweet tarts and caramels. But we knew we were deprived. Anyway, to answer the question, NOW just about anything chocolate is my favorite. Because I actually grew out of my allergy. Which doctors don't understand and make up some explanation for, like I must not really have been allergic. Yes, I was. My throat would close up. I couldn't breathe. It was real. But then I was healed. I don't remember exactly when. But now I can eat it and try to every day in some form. Brownies. Chocolate-dusted almonds. Chocolate chip cookies. Pillsbury ready-to-bake double chocolate chunk cookies are my faves. I really like dark chocolate, and I guess for Easter I like the Cadbury eggs. All of them. Oink. Amazingly, I don't weigh 300 pounds.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Bummer of an ID Number

This taxi was in front of me the other day. Wouldn't it suck to have car #666? What if you got to your fare and the person got all freaky and wouldn't get in your car? I wonder if he ever gets that.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Monday: She's Gave It Away!

This Giveaway is now closed. A bit late, because I had a migraine week and spent yesterday in the hospital. Whee! I should just have a disclaimer in big letters on my blog somewhere that says *schedules may change at any moment due to stinkin' migraines.*

Anyway, THE WINNER IS moiraeknittoo! by random drawing. I'll be contacting you and sending you the fabric, and then having another GIVEAWAY next Monday. It was really fun hearing what people would do with the fabric, and also great to hear what they'd made recently that they were proud of. moiraeknittoo made a friend some warm socks because she works in a building that's always freezing. That is some knitting love, I can tell you. Not everyone appreciates how time-consuming knitting is, and I bet that woman did. What a fab present! Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. I hope you win next time!

I've decided to do regular giveaways on my blog here. I just have so much stuff! And I like giving it to people. Sometimes it will be supplies, sometimes it will be something I made. And I'll ask you to comment somehow. I won't make you visit my store, and it won't be a quiz, but I like connecting with people who are reading my blog, so it might require a teency bit of thought on your part. And I like the idea of giving stuff away on Mondays, to start off the week right. So here goes with my first Monday Giveaway!

To win this lovely 1/2 yard of Japanese-themed fabric, simply leave a comment on this post saying what you would make with it, AND tell me about the last thing you made that you are proud of, that made you feel good. Oh, don't be a baby and skip that part. It will make you feel good to share with the class, and start out your Monday right. You could even share a link to a picture of the thing! I'll pick a winner randomly on Wednesday (because of time zones and wanting to give people over yonder a chance to win).

My First Bib

Okay, not really MY bib, but the first bib I've made. Isn't it cute? I used fabric that Very Mary sent me. And this is the first time I have put a snap on. Hoorah for me! Now, I know this isn't stunning. I'm crap at sewing curves on the machine, and I made the seam allowance too big and then didn't use that much of it so it's a little snug on baby's neck, AND I had to take off part of the snap and redo it because I missed two prongs, and the second time I caught those two prongs but I smashed it too hard and one is flattened and kind of sticking out. Snaps are a little harder than they look--a little harder than eyelets to hammer on. But hammering them beats sewing them on by hand from the days of yore. And it's functional! And it works! And I finished it! Mission accomplished! I have been wanting to sew a bib forever. I didn't even have a pattern for this, I just traced a bib that I got from a friend who made hers and went from there. And the next one I make will be better! And I got some girl pirate fabric. How cool is that? Those little velcro bibs that we've been using since Toddler was a wee babe are too small now, and are getting realllllllllly grungy looking, and we have grown to hate the seeming convenience of the velcro, because it sticks to everything else but itself and shreds lovely new socks. So I'll be making more of these soon.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


That's right! See these beauties? I'm giving them away through the American Craft Guide website this Friday, April 3rd. I'm hoping to get more exposure for my work and my Arf store, so we'll see how that goes. So don't leave a comment here, go to the link above and see what you have to do on their "Freebie Friday" to win.