Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It ain't summer no more, baby

It rained for the first time this weekend (rain? In LA? Unbelievable, I know), which of course, was the perfect timing to draw me some bathing suits:

.I don't know what' with the urge to drew vintage ones, but there you have it. They're a bit girly, but they're just sort of studies of shapes, construction and such. Hopefully, these will lead to some portfolio worthy stuff. That is, at least, the plan.

And here's some other stuff I've been scribbling this weekend:

Ahem - these are some studies for some plush I promised for a friend (I don't take challenges lightly, Mr. Madison. It's game on!). Now I need to figure out how to turn this terrifying, maniacal, violent meat eating machine into something cute and cuddly made of felt. Hmmph... I'll need to scribble some more.

And if work, a new portfolio, a new freelance, new knitting (yep!), more wholesale stuff and a challenge plush were not enough - I'm also contemplating this new little plush:

Yep, it's a self portrait. And I'm going to be keeping that one. If anyone volunteers to translate my excited scribbles into decipherable language, they will be rewarded generously.

This Sunday was also our six months wedding anniversary. Wow, has it really been this long? Feels like yesterday...

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Friday, September 21, 2007

And MOO to You Too!

Lookie what I got in the mail today! Yeepee!

I finally had the perfect excuse to get them. The fine ladies at Schmancy suggested we send in some promotional materials. Oh, yeah. I love promotional materials. These are, MOO cards, of course - way too nifty! And the quality is really nice too. They're thick, matte finished and printed on both sides (I put my contact information on the other side, business card style). Swoon!

I used a few photos from my Flickr collection. I'm still waiting on the other part of the promotional package (I've been craving these for SO long!).
I think I might have to take them out of the box again a couple of times and cuddle them a little. Aren't they cute?

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


As I recently decided to merge my "art blog" with my "what? I'm not art?" blog (this one here), you're going to some more of my scibbles and other artsy-fartsy nonesense on these here web pages. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience.

I drew this little girl yesterday. I had a closing shift at work and spent the entire morning washing piles of dishes, filling out a six (!) page performance review (a page for every month of employment? I won't be surprised) and some other enjoyable tasks. No wonder this little girl is so grumpy...

Yes, she does resemble Little My (good call, sis!). I felt like drawing Tove Jansson style that day. I love her work so much...


Monday, September 17, 2007

Plush me?!

Well, it is (finally) time I Plush You, isn't it? You might have seen most of my plushin' shenanigans on my Flickr already, and yet, I didn't yet Plush myself to You (I'm having way too much fun with this...).
So yeah, I made it into this years show, which I'm completely and untterly amazed at, especially considering what I submitted in application. You may not know this about me, but I'm a terrible critic and pretty much hate everything I do as soon as I finish drewing/sewing/knitting it (with rare exceptions - I still love Jimmy the cat to death and miss him a lot). And I was planning on doing something completely different for the show, still very "me", but different.
I've been interested in doing more of "art plush" for quite a while now, ever since I sew Anna Chambers' plush a few years ago, I've been fascinated with toys that, while not playable and therefore somewhat "anti-social" are just made for the visual pleasure of shape, color and personality. Plush that's made with higher grade materials, with techniques that don't need to be child safe, that are truely one-of-a-kind and therefore have a much greater value emotionally. So that's what I've decided to make for the show. A set of three "art plush".

In terms of materials, I swapped the fleece I was already sick of, with wool-viscose blend felt. I bought a bunch of different colored sheets a few months ago to get me inspired. Man, this material is amazing (I can't even imagine what the 100% wool is like, drool!)! The texture is so rich, sewing it is so much fun. Sigh... Good move, why oh why did I wait do long to experience thy charms? Of course I used a lot of patterned cottons too (especially after the stash re-build of a couple of months ago. There was a tragedy involving some not so well guarded fabric and two vicious cats that resulted in massive casualties and a run to the local fabric store), but since color + patterns = me it's not really surprising.

First, there was Libby:

I like Libby. She's very simple yet cute. I had a bit of an accident while washing her (red dyed anything will bleed. When am I ever going to learn that, eh?) which rendered her not show material. Ant is happy about it, though. He wishes I didn't have to sell any of my plush at all. Yep, he's a good purchase.

Then, there was Alex:

Alex was using the same pattern as Libby and I was ok with him for a while. The eyes were a big seller for me. I like making more flat, more "drawn on" eyes. But then... there was Audrey:

She's still my favorite. With her I really pushed the "drawn on" eye idea to the max, and the natural felt totally lets you do it! It takes fabric glue really well, and when you poke it and mush one layer of felt into the other, they felt into each other a bit too. It's quite amazing, actually. After I made her, only a month left before the submission deadline,I had to make my other two submissions more like her (so Ant gets to keep Alex too). Introducing - Arthur and Adrian (yeah, their names are coordinated, I think it's funny):

Arthur was quite a bit of a pain to sew, between the giraffe mane and the weird head shape. In the end I feel like I winged it a bit, but I like the way it came out. And finding a color scheme for Adrian that will match both Audrey, Arthur and a raccoon was a challenge too, which resulted in (yet another) trip to the fabric store.
So here they are, Audrey, Adrian and Arthur! In the end, sleepless nights, pricked fingers, anger directed at paper and fabric and lots of concern - I love them all. I think they came out really well and I seriously hope they'll do well at the show. It's going to be really interesting to see who's going to be their gallery-mates in October.

More photos of Audrey, Adrian and Arthur right here. Please wish them luck!

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Waaaaaaaaaay too cute

While we're awaiting an update from Michaland, here's some free entertainmment:

We used to have a cat named Speedy, once upon a time. She used to steal melon rinds and corn cobbs from the trash can and nibble on them. That was just about as cute.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shana Tova!

Oh, hellow there! Did you think I vanished off the face of the earth yet again? Youre not too far off. Although the mission to Mars giggled as it denied my application, the vortex of wholesale sewing and Plush You prep took me in happily. But I'm back, and I might actually get to talk about it soon. I just wanted to pop my head in and say Shana Tova! or - Happy Jewish New Year!
Yep, it's Rosh Hashanah again, and as they say - may this one be better, brighter, happier, craftier, more creative, better at work, more successful full of ...yarn!

This pile is a bit (!) of the loot I got at the sale at The Little Knittery in Los Feliz (the stock was way reduced by the time I got there, compared to the photo). I got some Rowan silk blends, some Katia snuggable goodness and some other stuff I can't be bothered checking the stash for. Hey, it was 50% off.

I have a late shift at work, so no time to make any holiday goodies. No reason to keep you starving, though! Jewish tradition demands vast feeding of the masses. And so I give to you - my mom's excellent recipe for a honey cake. It's really delicious, especially with the lemony glazing. Sorry if the instructions are a bit sparse. Like many other great recipes, it lives mostly in my mom's head (especially the modifications that make it really special) - which means short instructions, and lots of added love. Thanks mom! I hope you don't mind sharing.
Note: I gave the option to substitute the eggs and butter for a vegan option, but it is a honey cake which to most vegans renders it out of picture. If you're really strict - sorry. Maybe agave nectar or maple will work?

Mom’s Honey Cake

1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
200 gr (a bit over 7oz) butter/substitute

In a small pot or saucepan, heat on low heat until the melt. Blend together thoroughly. Take off the stove and let cool a bit.

2 eggs/substitute
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. clove
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. lemon or orange zest

Blend in a large bowl. Slowly add the cooled honey/sugar/butter mix. Blend thoroughly.

4 cups flour
2/3 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder (yep)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup milk/soy milk

Mix one by one into the bowl. Add the milk last.
Bake at medium heat until a toothpick inserted in the middle yields small, fluffy crumbs (but the inside is still moist).

If you feel like adding a little something-something to the cake, try mixing about 2 tbsp. of lemon juice with 2 tbsp. powdered sugar in a cup until they melt (add some warm water if that’s not enough) and pour immediately over the warm cake (right out of the oven. Trust me, it makes a difference). Let cool completely.
Goes great with pomegranate, apples dipped in honey and lots of appetite.

Shavna Tova!