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.

September 19, 2008

Little Jack Horner

"Little Jack Horner sat in the corner, eating a nice warm pie; he put in his thumb, and pulled out plum, and said: What a good boy am I!"
Not so fast, Jack! This one plum was all that he managed to get out of the pie, as his mom caught him red-handed with the now ruined freshly baked pie. He spent his time out in the corner eating his stolen plum and licking the juices off his fingers. When it came time to have the pie for dessert that night, everyone else in the family got a piece but Jack.

I had fun picking out the fabrics for Jack, I like using fabrics that don't match yet have similar elements that pull the whole together. I wanted the plum to look like it was all out of shape and wrinkly from baking in the pie, so I constructed it out of many pieces of felt.

September 15, 2008

Little Bo Peep

"Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and doesn't know where to find her..."
Unfortunately for Bo, she fell asleep in the lovely afternoon sun, and woke up to find that her sheep, Shelley, had wandered off to places unknown. What Bo doesn't know is that Shelley deliberately packs Bo a turkey, mashed potato, and gravy sandwich for lunch (turkey is well known for it's sleep inducing enzyme- as many Thanksgiving diners are aware) every once and awhile to get away and enjoy some alone time among the shrubs. Bo means well, but it drives Shelley nuts how over protective she is, and sometimes she just has to get away and be on her own for a bit. She usually wanders back to Bo after a couple of hours, feeling slightly ashamed at her method of escape, especially when she sees how anxiously Bo has been looking for her. Somehow it's just not quite enough guilt to stop Shelley from doing it again a few months later though.

I was in a fall mood, and decided to make Bo up in fall colors and a sweater and warm pants. She also has a typical shepherd's cloak to keep the chill off in the early mornings. I always see images of Bo in the stereotypical skirt and blouse, and I'm always amazed at how impractical that seems for a shepherd. For Shelley I used this ultra soft and cuddly chenille-y fleece that I've only managed to find once at my local craft store, it sheds like mad when you cut it, but it's SO cuddly that it's worth the mess and sneezing. :D

September 9, 2008

Jack and Jill

We all know the nursery rhyme: "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after." What isn't commonly known is that Jack is Jill's little brother, and that Jill was being a bully and pushed Jack so that he fell down the hill, tearing his clothes and getting grass stains, and banging his poor head. Jill was laughing so hard at the sight of poor Jack rolling down the hill that she lost her balance and rolled down as well. Fortunately for Jill, she didn't get so much as a scratch on her- although she was in BIG trouble when they got home with no water and Jack looking like he'd been beat up. Jack got all bandaged up and had some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, while Jill was forced to take a long time out. That's karma, baby! :D

This is one of the first in a series of plush that I'm doing called " Children Behaving Badly," my interpretations of some of the nursery rhymes I heard so much of as a kid. When you think about it, there aren't that many in which children are actually being good...

September 8, 2008

Crammed Organisms Book Arrives!

Hooray! I got my Crammed Organisms book in the mail this morning. I admit I was eagerly anticipating it's arrival- listening for the clomp clomp of the postman's steps as he delivered the mail, and waiting for the big "THUNK!" in the mailbox that meant my book was here. So here it is, and it's GREAT! I love to see all the amazing plush, etc. from the artists who participated in the show, especially since I couldn't make it to St. Louis myself to see it all in person. I like how the folks over at Cranky Yellow included sketches and notes from the artists, it's really great to see the thought processes behind the art. (As you can tell from the right hand page above, it took me a lot of iterations to come up with the Goldi Locks design.) I wanted to include some photos of the other artist's works, but I realized as I started to take them, and take them, and take them, that I wanted to include everyone's work in this post, and that would be a bit much...So, head on over to Cranky Yellow and order your copy TODAY to see all the amazing plush goodness inside!

Thanks to David and all the fabulous people at Cranky Yellow for organizing such a fantastic plush show! I look forward to the next one... :D

September 5, 2008

Yay fresh paint job!

Yay fresh paint job!
Originally uploaded by DesignsbyL

So I'm finally done painting, etc my sewing studio. Hooray! Now I can get my kitchen table back. It's been the temporary home for my sewing machine since the middle of August, and I'm glad it's back in it's proper place. I hope to have some new guys to post by the end of the weekend. This "3 day" job ended up being almost a week- why do these things always take longer than I think they will?
We're off to the "Totoro Forest Project " Fundraiser tomorrow night, can't wait to see all the great art up close and personal! You can bid online if there's a piece you're interested in. Just go here.

September 1, 2008

Time to Paint!

I decided that since I had my sewing studio completely free of stuff due to my family's visit I would use it to my advantage and paint the ceiling (UGH!- the WORST part) and the walls. The hard part is choosing what color! So, I am actually laboring on this lovely labor day weekend and getting my studio done. How do you look up and paint a ceiling and not get any spots of paint on your glasses I ask you? The ceiling totally needs painting-it is a very unhealthy looking shade of... not-white. I really don't know what to call that color, other than eww. It's scary to think that the ceiling probably has it's original 1965 paint job- gold flecks in the paint and all. Oh so lovely. :D
It will be SO nice not to look at white walls while I'm working! Worth the aches in my arms/neck from running the roller above my head while I paint the ceiling, I hope. I will post the finished look- as well as a few new guys I am working on later in the week. Hope everyone had a great long weekend!