December 17, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas season, I'm off for a nice long break to spend some time with our families. I'll be back in mid-january, so Happy New Year! :D

December 14, 2008

I got Tagged, and finished the quilt!

Here are the pictures of the finished quilt for my Gramma. I had to pull back the kitchen table to find enough space to lay out the quilt bottom/batting/top to pin it all together to get it ready to quilt together. :D Almost done with all my Xmas projects- YAY!
Eva of Effunia tagged me the other day; (here's a photo of Buttercup the Eva-made mushroom)

meaning I have to divulge six random things about myself, so here goes:

1. I have a really big phobia of frogs- real frogs, not cartoon or plush ones. I think it stems from the time when I was in grade one. I was sitting in the school library pulling out nature books, and I happened to open one book at this full 2 page picture spread of the poisonous African Tree Frog- I remember it felt like it was going to leap off the page and poison me right then and there. It freaked me out so much that whenever I see frogs on the Discovery Channel, or in real life, I get that horrible shivery feeling in my stomach that almost makes me want to throw up. (This phobia was not helped by having to fish dead frogs out of our swimming pool in the summer, or that GIGANTIC toad sitting on the chest high rock wall I almost walked into on my vacation with friends in Bermuda. EWWWW!)

2. My favorite color is green. You'd never know it to look at my wardrobe- I'm not one of those people who wears their favorite color all the time, due to the fact that very few shades of green look good with my skin tone. Bummer!!

3. I LOVE winter!! Growing up in Canada among the snowy Rocky Mountains was awesome. I miss snow A LOT, especially at Christmas.

4. My favorite painters are Tom Thompson

and Hans Hoffman.

5. I grew up playing video games- to this day my family is still playing- we have Mario Kart tournaments every time we get together, and now we do Wii bowling/Guitar Hero and get everyone involved from ages 5 to 65. You're never too old for Mario. :D

6. I suck at math- HATED it from day one. Total brain block. A small part of the reason I am an artist are my feeble math skills. :D Man did I hate the math portion of the SAT! So glad that I rocked the English portion, otherwise I would never have made it into art school. It was also the death knell for my very early childhood dreams of being a doctor- I sucked at Chemistry too, although I was really good at Biology. Never even went near Physics, I knew that one was going to be a disaster for my GPA.


So here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know that they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Now it's your turn:

Emily from Follow the White Rabbit
Daniel from Happycloud Thunderhead
Jill and Erin from Dolls for Friends
Anna from Burgerlog
Kitty from KiTtYPiNkStArS
Danamarie from greenstar studios

December 7, 2008

One of my (many! :D) Christmas Projects...

I took my first quilting class, and am working on finishing this up as a gift for my Gramma for Christmas. I haven't been a slacker lately, just too busy to post much. Lots of stuff happening, but it's all been un-postable. My Gramma doesn't do computers, so I figured I was safe to post a little something of her quilt. :D She loves red and white, and as Ben pointed out to me, they're the colors of the Canadian flag. I wonder if that is part of their appeal, I never thought of it that way. I'll have to ask her when I see her this Christmas.
I'm not cut out to be a full time quilter, much as I love looking at them- I can't seem to care about it enough to be as precise as you need to be- which you can tell from a few of my edges not lining up flush with each other. I'm in awe of all the beautiful quilt artists out there, after attempting my first quilt I have even more respect for their patience and skills. Plus, who knew there would be so much ironing involved? (NOT a big fan of all the ironing, let me just say.) :D
Have a great week everybody!

December 1, 2008

My week in Plush

All I can say about last week is WOO HOO! I'm riding a creative high off of all the fantastic plush that either came in the mail or I picked up at Plush You! SF. The day before Thanksgiving I got both Ravvi the monster (from Daniel of Happycloud Thunderhead) and Basil (from Jill and Erin of Dolls for Friends). Now THAT was a good day! On sunday I picked up my purchases from Plush You!- the Pixie "Yoyota" by Yuriko Sera and the cutest owl "Jasper" by Devout Dolls. I also got a fun "I'm a liver, not a fighter" T-shirt (SO GREAT!) from "I heart Guts" at Bizarre Bazaar on sunday, I had my second sale off my etsy shop, AND the Thanksgiving turkey I cooked turned out really well - so all in all it was a great week. How can this week possibly compare!?
If every week was like last week then it wouldn't be so special I guess. (Not that I wouldn't mind a few more weeks like that!!) Now that I'm totally inspired, I'm off to my sewing machine! Have a good week, everyone.

November 27, 2008

New - Holiday Rabbits in the shop tomorrow!

Meet the newest inhabitants of Rabbit World. From left to right, Clarence, Ivy, Holly, and Nick. They are already so excited that December is here that they decided to dress in their favorite holiday clothes. Ivy and Holly are roommates who work at the botanical gardens. Ivy focuses on the climbing vine species, while Holly works with flowering shrubs and trees. Clarence owns the local hardware store, and Nick just moved into the neighborhood. Nick already has a reputation as something of a "player"- you can see it in the way he stands, his choice of clothes, and the expression on his face.
If you or someone you know could use a new Rabbit friend this holiday season, all will be available in my etsy shop!

November 23, 2008

The holiday season is almost here

All I can say is "how did it get here so fast?!!!" I'm busy making as much as I can, so the posts will probably be coming slower over the next few weeks. This is an extreme close up of something I'm working on at the moment. As I was working on this, it really brought it home to me that Thanksgiving is this week (OMG have to get a turkey still..) and that Christmas is really only a month away now. 0_o Crazy how time flies. There are many houses in my neighborhood with their Christmas lights up and on, so I guess it's time to break out the holiday music!

November 21, 2008

The happy couple

So here I am in plush form. Hopefully this reads as me- since I don't wear dresses (unless forced by some momentous occasion, like my sister's upcoming wedding), have short hair, don't have my ears pierced (Ben has enough for the both of us), and thought it would be weird in a plush made for a 5 year old for me to have a curvy figure. Since I couldn't rely on the obvious symbols for "girl", I settled for adding eyelashes and a pink mouth/cheeks. Green is my favorite color, hence the green shirt, and the jeans are made from an old pair of my jeans. It was a weird experience for me to design myself, it's so much easier to be objective when you're designing someone else! :D Have a great weekend everyone.

November 19, 2008

Ben gets plushed!

We were joking around this summer about Ben being a good plush because he's soft and huggable, and that led to the brainstorm of making plush versions of myself, himself, and our niece Haylie. We only get to see Haylie once or twice a year, so I thought it would be fun for her to have plush versions of ourselves to play with when we're not around. Of course I'm leaving this almost to the last minute (typical artist procrastination until the deadline is looming! They're her Christmas gift), but "we're" done now. I will post the pics of myself later- I ran out of stuffing and was unable to get me totally finished. It was fun designing Ben (although I almost forgot to include his eyebrow piercings when I was sewing him!) and Haylie, but weird to design a plush "self portrait." You can see Ben's self portrait (if you scroll down a bit) here. For more pics, head on over to my flickr.

November 17, 2008

Tilly at her new home

The first sale in my shop! YAY! Thanks to Shelley for emailing me this picture of Tilly with her cat Yammy. Tilly matches the comforter quite well, and looks like she'll get along just fine with Yammy. :)

November 14, 2008

Fresh from Crammed Organisms!

I received my box from the folks at Crammed Organisms yesterday, along with my copy of the book, YAY! I'm putting my plush from the show up for sale in my etsy shop. There are a couple of them that will be hard to let go, but I'll be happy to see them go off to new homes whenever they sell. They'll be posted there later today. So get them while they're hot! :D

I've been busy on the Christmas projects, finishing up one that I'll be able to post here in the next few days. Let's just say that it involves a plush version of a certain bearded husband of mine, and leave it at that. Happy friday everyone! :)

November 9, 2008

PLUSH YOU! in San Francisco

Plush You! opened friday night at Double Punch Gallery in San Francisco, and it was a great show! We got there towards the end of the evening, and there were lots of fun pieces still for sale. I couldn't resist the yeti with the mohawk. (He's the one on the left in the second picture.) For more pics of the show, head on over to my flickr. If you're in the area, you have until November 30th to go check it out. Support your local art galleries and plush artists! :)

November 5, 2008

Monster Art Rally - Gallery 1988 SF

Monster Art Rally - Gallery 1988 SF
Originally uploaded by DesignsbyL

Pictures are up on my flickr now! Check out the all the great pieces.

November 4, 2008

Additions to my plush collection

This weekend we went and checked the "Monster Art Rally" show at Gallery 1988 in San Francisco. The show was amazing! Great stuff from some amazing artists. (Monster Factory, Anna Chambers, Intimidnation, 12PUNT3, Jellibat, Dan Goodsell, DGPH, and Heidi Kenney to name just a few.) I wanted to buy the whole show, but since I am on the "B" word ( "budget" - which is a total downer when faced with 3 huge walls filled with plush art...) I was really good and bought pieces that were totally different from anything I had, and fell within my budget. I will have the pics of the show up on my flickr tomorrow.

So here's the skinny on my purchases:
We love the sparkly vinyl look and colors of the pieces by Mycryptonauts
This one is called Azteca, and it's 8" tall.
The cutie on the bottom is a Mini Zippy by Eyebone and he's only 5" tall.
They are the first vinyl pieces in my collection, and probably not the last.

I'm deep into the Christmas gift manufacturing, so my posts will probably be sporadic- I won't be able to post stuff here because friends and family check out my blog- I'll post what's safe. Happy Holiday (okay, WHERE did the year go?!) shopping/creating to you all! :D

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Walter is a sales representative for a company that books romantic moonlight cruises on the Bay. Unfortunately for Walter, one full moon evening he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He suffered a bite from what he thought was a rabid dog, and now poor Walter turns into a werewolf- although a very sheepish and non- threatening one. He wants to maintain his human dignity, so he manages to save his pants (well, enough of his pants) and tie from the ravages of his transformation. The only time Werewolf Walter can go out into the street instead of hiding in his basement is when the full moon falls on Halloween, and he can mingle with the crowds of party goers, enjoy the night air, and not feel different.

Walter is looking for a sympathetic soul to take him home. If you think you can handle Walter, get more info here.

October 29, 2008

Squirrels, Squirrels, Squirrels!

So it's that time of year again, where my dog goes mental chasing all the squirrels (and the crows who follow their every move) who are busy gathering food against the coming of winter. She can't catch one as hard of she tries, they are simply not stupid enough to come down to her level. Although they seem to be stupid enough to try to cross the road and not use the overhanging trees or power lines... go figure. I guess cars are so foreign to squirrels that they are outside the realm of comprehensible danger. Anyway, a bunch of buddies from my college days have gotten together to start a group blog based on our design teacher Leo Monahan's class assignments. This month's assignment was "Fall", and this fall for me seems to be all about the squirrels digging up my back yard and being hounded by my dog. If you're curious, you can check the new blog out here.
*oh yeah- these 2 guys will of course be making an appearance in my etsy shop later today, and you can see more pics over on my flickr.*

October 21, 2008

Frank N. Stein

Frank n Stein is a gentle soul who loves to spend time roaming through the forest where he lives. Unable to remember who created him, but full of joy to be alive, Frank decided that forest life was where he belonged. He spends his time wandering through the forest, helping out where he can. The best part of each day he spends sitting motionless against a tree, watching as the forest creatures go about their lives. Frank's favorite memories are of the times when birds and squirrels use him as a perch. He could listen to birdsong for hours and never tire of it.

I made Frank in honor of Halloween, to see more pics, head on over to my flickr.

Frank is now available in my esty shop!

October 15, 2008

Maritime Marty

Maritime Marty is a somewhat new member of the crew of the Pelican. A former "boucheron" ( that's "logger" for you non-french speakers) and fisherman from Canada, Marty embarked on a life of piracy by mistake. Unable to quite understand the Captain's salty english, Marty thought he was signing up for an extended fishing trip for profit in the South Seas. Realizing that he had in fact become a member of a pirate crew came as a surprise, but being the adaptable type, Marty decided to roll with it and see where it takes him.

Marty is now available in my etsy shop.

For more pics, head on over to my flickr.

October 11, 2008

Items available in my new etsy shop!

Items available in my new etsy shop!
Originally uploaded by DesignsbyL

Hello everyone! I finally got the nerve to open my own shop up over on If you're interested in checking it out, head over here. More items available soon! I'm also up for any custom requests.

October 8, 2008


Known to his shipmates aboard the Rusty Pelican as "Tiny", the helmsman of the ship is steady as the Rock of Gibraltar. Hugely muscled upper arms help him keep the ship on course during the most violent of storms. "Tiny" got his nickname not in the ironic sense that he is a big man called tiny, but because he is so proud of the sea serpent tattoo across his belly that he always wears shirts two sizes too small to show it off. Even when the ship ventures north of the equator in search of booty "Tiny" refuses to put on a warmer shirt.
For more pics, head on over to my flickr.

I'm back to work after a fun but tiring whirlwind of wedding shopping with my sister and her good friend. Phew! 10 days is a long time to be away from the sewing machine. I thought that I might get some time to sew in between wedding dress appointments, but no such luck. We did find "the dress" and it looks amazing on her, so job well done. Oh- and I have discovered Guitar Hero- which is totally addicting and murder on the hands. I have to force myself to put down the guitar and give it a rest, but I can still hear the dulcet tones of Heart's "Barracuda" trying to tempt me back...

I will be creating more pirates to flesh out the Pelican's crew, so stay tuned.

September 25, 2008

"Seasick Sal" Salvatore

"Seasick Sal" has been sailing the mighty seas for almost 30 years now, and he's never gotten over his seasickness. You would think that his fellow pirates on board the Rusty Pelican would be sick of Sal by now, but he's considered a valuable asset to the crew. Whenever he turns green and gets this expression on his face, the crew knows that a mighty storm is coming and to start preparing for the worst, even if the sky is at the moment clear and blue. Sal has saved the ship many times from sailing into a fierce tropical storm or hurricane, and this alone makes up for the fact that he's always sick as any "landlubber" who is sailing for the first time. Whichever of the crew is in disgrace with the Captain gets to cleanup after Sal if he can't make it over the side...

Another pirate for the Monthly Craft Challenge, hopefully not the last before the theme changes. I'll be taking a few days "off" from sewing, but not from work, as my sister is in town so we can go wedding gown shopping. It's fun, but definitely work! So hopefully more pirates will follow next week sometime. Have a good weekend everyone!

September 23, 2008

Billy "One Ear"

Billy "One Ear" is first mate on the dread pirate ship "Rusty Pelican." He lost his right ear after he was captured by a rival crew of pirates and forced to listen to the Captain's never ending sea chanteys. His left ear was deafened due to canon blast but escaped permanent injury. The exposure to the horribly out of tune screeching of the Captain and his crew forced Billy's brain to shut off all access to hearing in his right ear, resulting in permanent hearing loss. He was able to escape his singing tormentors when they made port in Antigua and after many adventures made his way back to the Rusty Pelican and her crew.

I made Billy for the "Monthly Craft Challenge" group over on flickr, the challenge this month is obviously "pirate." :D It was so much fun sketching up Billy that before I knew it I had a whole crew of pirates scowling up at me from the pages of my sketchbook. So it looks like I'll be making pirates for a bit, then head back to the nursery rhyme gang. For more WIP pics, head on over to my flickr page.