December 10, 2007

Lavender's off to Canada

A cousin of Tilly and Blu, Lavender has chosen to move from sunny California to the snowy winters of Calgary, Canada. She looks forward to doing some skating and skiing, and curling up by the fire when it's too cold to go outside and play. She had one last day of basking in the California sun and climbing her favorite tree before heading off to a new adventure in Canada.

November 5, 2007

Chuck the Cluck

Chuck is a rooster who likes to be "in on the action". Chuck has moved to Culver City, CA with his friends BJ, Sara and Logan, and plans on getting a job as a stunt rooster for the entertainment industry in LA. He hopes this photo of him in a tree (roosters don't fly, remember) will help prove how daring he is.

November 3, 2007

Finally finished!

The final steps on the tiki piece, at last. The first images are the BG pieces sewn onto the backing fabric, and the last few are the final images, with the tikis and all the other elements sewn into place. It was a long process, and I learned quite a bit. It feels great to be done, now onto other projects!

October 31, 2007


This is the sketch and process of creating the anniversary shield for the back of the tiki piece. I wanted to incorporate on the back some of the colors used on the front of the piece. It was actually fun to create and cut out all that lettering. I used fusible web ("Misty Fuse") to iron the letters on. I thought that would be easier (less time consuming!) than trying to sew around each letter. It was the first time I used the iron on technique, and it works really well. I will definitely consider using it on other projects. I did sew all the green border work on, and in the final image the shield is sewn to the fabric.

October 30, 2007

Bottom tiki

This tiki had elements that made it necessary to work back to front, as you can see from the photos. It was a layering process, and it was oh so fun to sew on the lips and border around his face. I don't think I'll work on something that skinny again. Phew! Now to start sewing on the background elements that border all three tikis. Getting closer to the finish line.

October 28, 2007

Middle tiki

These are images of the middle tiki- all the remains to do with him is to attach him to the background fabric and stuff him. He was a lot of fun to work on, and is my favorite of the three. There was a lot of detail sewing with this one, smaller pieces to sew to larger ones, which causes me to lose my patience normally. This time I actually enjoyed it. I guess that's another good thing I've learned from this project- I can cope with fussy details. (Not that I'd want to do it all the time...)

Evolution of the 1st tiki face

Everything seems to take longer than I expect with this project- this face took me an afternoon to complete. I started by sewing down the actual eye balls and socket, then sewed together the eye lids. After the lids were sewn together I attached them to the eye sockets. I stuffed the eyeballs slightly to have them protrude a little, and really stuffed the eyelids well to give them definition.

October 24, 2007

Trial face

I wanted to do a test run on a face before I started on the actual tiki faces, that way if I screwed up it didn't matter. I realized that just sewing the nose and eye shapes on and stuffing them would give me some definition, but not enough to give the appearance of being "carved". So I added panels to the eyes and nose to give it a more structured and 3D look. (those are the eye and nose floating on white fabric to the right of the face.)

Beginning to sew..

Here's a rough idea of what the finished piece will look like- minus most of the background elements. I'm working on getting all the elements in place, including the hibiscus flower that sits at the bottom. Most of the tiki's faces are just cut out and pinned in place at this point.

October 21, 2007

First steps on the Tiki piece

I cut out the basic shapes for each tiki, and add pieces slowly. It takes me awhile to choose colors, as I modify each tiki's palette to better suit the overall composition. I want to make sure that each tiki is unique, yet integrate colors into all three so that they work as a unit.

October 20, 2007

Project of the month

I'm deviating from the usual pattern of my blog- I'm working on this big plush piece for the Disneyland "Tiki Room" 40th anniversary art show and it has become my life for the past 3 weeks. I thought I'd post some of the progress.
These first images are the concept sketch of the piece, marker color study, and then the fabric color studies, using the actual fabrics for the piece. The piece itself is a plush wall hanging (the characters will be plush relief sewn to the hanging fabric) that measures approx. 20 inches by 60 inches.

October 7, 2007

Adele and her twin sister, Arlene

Adele and her twin Arlene have been working at the town diner for almost 30 years. Adele has been happily married for all that time to Officer Chuck Peterson, while Arlene has been living the single life, and loving every minute of it. The only noticeable difference between the twins is in personality. Arlene is a vivacious flirt, and Adele is more calm and collected.

September 26, 2007

Mr. Smith

Mr. Smith is a cat about town. He loves nothing more than going for a stroll in his local park, catching the new exhibit at the art museum, and having an invigorating lunch of tuna tartare at his favorite restaurant.

September 3, 2007

Tilly and Blu

Tilly and Blu are cousins who enjoy getting together on the weekend to relax outside and enjoy the sun. Tilly loves flowers and frilly things, while Blu is a very mellow cat content to just curl up and catch some rays.

August 29, 2007

Bob and Daisy

A rare moment of relaxation for Bob and his wife Daisy. Bob is an office worker who has a hard time letting go of work, which can sometimes make Daisy a little nuts. Bob is very efficient, and industrious (and uptight) who is serious about his job almost to the point of silliness. His only break at work is to go outside and practice his yo-yo, which he is equally obsessive about. Daisy is very supportive and loving, but will pull Bob up short quickly if she feels he is gettting too into his work. She is a successful veterinarian who loves reptiles the most out of all her patients. A yin and yang couple if ever there was one, Daisy and Bob have been happily married for 10 years now.

August 22, 2007

Mr. Max

Max is a worrier who stresses over almost everything in his life. He has a hard time letting go and relaxing enough to enjoy himself when he's not at work. When he does let himself relax and have fun with his friends he ends up having a great time, and his friends like to tease him about his uptight ways. Max wants to be more laid back and less stressed, but hasn't figured out how yet. One of his dreams is to become a stand-up comedian, but he hasn't gotten any further than performing in front of the mirror.

August 16, 2007

Heeere's Georgie!

George is the ultimate jokester, with barely a serious bone in his body. To George, there is no greater achievement than making someone laugh. He is best friends with Jonah and Seymour, and these guys are a huge hit with the ladies when they go out on the town. Seymour gets the ladies' attention, Jonah charms them with his smile, and George keeps them all laughing.

August 8, 2007

Officer Chuck Peterson reporting for duty!

Officer Chuck is a veteran of the force, only a few months away from retirement. He is known as a dedicated, hardworking officer who doesn't take any crap from his collegues, the rookies, or the miscreants he arrests. An avid fisherman and gardener, as well as video game enthusiast, Chuck looks forward to spending his retirement at his cabin on the lake with his wife of 30 years, Adele.