June 29, 2009

Plush You! #1 teaser

Here's a peek at my first piece for this year's Plush You! show. I managed to get him finished along with all my pieces for the Stitch Wars show this weekend. It feels good to make progress on my deadlines! More to come on the Stretching Portrait as well...

UPDATE: some members of Plush Team (including myself, Scrumptious Delight, and Samaria Project) were featured on the cuteable blog today, thanks Yummy and the editors of cuteable!

June 25, 2009

Blister in the sun... BLOG GIVEAWAY!!!

I decided since I am raging against this heat wave to do my first ever blog plush giveaway!! The winner will receive my plush Rage.
All you have to do to enter is this:

Leave a comment on this post with the silliest/funniest thing you've ever done or seen when you (or someone you know) was mad or enraged.
Leave your comment with contact info by THURSDAY JULY 2ND at midnight pacific.

I will then have an impartial judge (Ben :D) choose the best story and notify the winner on Friday July 3rd. A soon as I hear from the winner, I will ship your brand spankin' new Rage right to you.

ex: our friend Jeff told a story once about how he was so incensed that his car was blocked in at a friend's place that he actually went outside and TRIED TO LIFT THE CAR out of the way. All. By. Himself. Seriously. :D
(Sorry Jeff, it was too good not to share. :))

Here's one of my favorite stories from my childhood:

One of the summers when I was baby sitting my sister we had the "Kraft Dinner Incident." I was 14 and my sister was 9. She had a friend over, and I was supposed to cook them lunch. The two of them were driving me absolutely bonkers (in the way that only a younger sister can) while I was cooking them some Kraft Dinner (that's kraft Mac and Cheese for all you Americans out there. :D). I was finishing stirring in the cheese packet when I was suddenly so mad I couldn't take it anymore. I scooped up a BIG portion of the macaroni and chucked it at my sister. Well, you can imagine what happened next- total kraft dinner fight in the kitchen. I got over my anger, and we all laughed, and then realized what a mess we had to clean up before Mom got home. So, we cleaned it all up and thought we'd gotten away with it. Little did we realize that a day later our Mom would happen to be cleaning a spider web off the ceiling, and lo and behold there was a few drops of the lovely bright orange cheese sauce on the ceiling. We were totally busted- and punished.

I'm looking forward to hearing your stories. Good luck and stay cool!!

June 23, 2009

HM Girl with Gator - 1st step

I found my background fabrics, (I was lucky enough to find this great yellow and blue gradation at the Crate and Barrel outlet in Berkeley, and for some reason I already had the swamp water fabric in my stash- lucky!) trimmed them to size and length and then sewed them together. Then I cut out and sewed the islands together. (Another Crate and Barrel find.) This bottom picture is a rough idea of some of the colors and fabrics I'll be using for this piece.

June 21, 2009

HM - Stretching Portrait, Girl with Gator

I'm starting work on the second of the wall hangings for the Haunted Mansion show this week. This is my interpretation of my favorite of the Stretching Portraits from the foyer of the ride, in rough sketch and then color. I'm looking forward to working on this one a lot- especially creating the alligator, I found some really great batik prints for his skin. I don't think this one is as complicated as the Hitchhiking Ghosts wall hanging, so hopefully it will take less time to get finished. I will post updates intermittently throughout the process. The show starts at Disneyland on September 9th, 2009.

June 19, 2009

Plush team feature- Scrumptious Delight

It's that time again! Profiling Becky Gould of Scrumptious Delight is a pleasure. Her creations range from the super fun Pickle Punks and Worms That Turn Inside Out (shown above) to wonderful varieties of candy and sweets.

Here's what Becky has to say about why she got into sewing plush:

"I am originally from Bournemouth in the UK but have moved about a lot...Portugal, Spain, France and now Vancouver. Even as a child I used to hand stitch bears and mice out of felt but my sewing passion really took off about 10 years ago when my son was a baby. I am always looking to create new models and perfect my techniques, I pride myself on the finition of my toys and the care I put into making them."

For more photos of Becky's plush, head on over to her flickr page, or CHECK OUT HER ETSY SHOP where she's having a sale.

June 18, 2009

My entry for the Mortal Plush Show in DC

The theme of the show is plush that conveys emotion. I made a list of all the ones I thought would be fun to try and convey, and I came up with "rage." Rage gave me the chance to use a color palette that I don't use very often- a lot of black and very warm, hot colors. I wanted to convey the idea of rage building in intensity (using a color gradient from black to red) and actually forcing its way out into a scream. The diamond pattern is my interpretation of how rage can feel like it's splitting you apart. Ben thinks I should call this piece: Rage Against the (Sewing) Machine. I think it's pretty good title- although it's rare for me to truly rage at my machine, it definitely gets its fair share of cussing in frustration! :D
For more info on the Mortal Plush: I am not Your Toy Show at the Art Whino Gallery, click here.

June 15, 2009

My Iron Chef Battle Velcro piece- finished! Phew!

I'm calling my creation: "Ravioli con Tentacoli di Polpo" or: Ravioli with Octopus Tentacles. (It's much more fun to say "polpo"- don't you think? :D)

My secret ingredient was tough to figure out what to do with. I brainstormed for weeks off and on trying to decide what could work. I wanted to make a food item directly out of the velcro itself as well as adding a plush element to my dish.

The ravioli are 2" velcro pieces cut, stuffed, and sewn. I used my pinking shears to cut the edges into a fluted pattern.
I came up with the idea of octopus tentacles when I was brainstorming food sources that were sticky. The "suckers" on the tentacles are also velcro- with orange felt accents to make them look like the suction cups.
For the tentacles, it was my first attempt at sewing dimensionally- which resulted in lots of swearing (and prototypes) saturday as I tried to figure it out. :D

I couldn't find a plate in the mediterranean blue that I wanted, so I ended up sewing one.

Check out the Plush Team blog to see all the creative entries and different ingredient battles.

June 12, 2009

A new feature- PlushTeam Member of the week

Since I joined the Plush Team back in March, I've met online and in person (hello again Claire! :D) so many of the talented and diverse plush artists that make up the Plush Team. I thought it would be fun every Friday to introduce to you a different member of the PT family. There are currently around 48 of us spanning the globe, so there are many unique plush points of view coming your way. :)

I'm starting off this week with Samaria Project, one of the fun plush artists on the Team who will be featured as part of the Plush Team article in the new issue of Stuffed! magazine that comes out July 1st. Here's what Jess of Samaria Project is all about in her own words:

"Essentially, Samaria Project is me....Jess...
Me, being a big mess of nerdiness, artist, and all the other in-betweens. Samaria Project was born out of new beginnings and a new way to look at life. I felt our products should reflect that.

We don't always have to be what we started out as :) The items I make are things that someone would normally pass up without another thought; a rock, an old tshirt, or a pair of jeans. I love the challenge of taking an object and making it into something completely different, giving it a new life. Everyone/everything deserves a second chance...you never know, you could love it allover again.

Each Samaria Project Plushie is made from something...be it a tshirt, pajama pants, jeans, hoodies, even scrubs! It's up to you whether you want to know them for what they were, or what they are now.

One thing is for certain, each needs a lot of love and attention-but don't worry, they always return it!"

To find out more from Samaria Project, visit her blog or etsy store, or you can find her through the Plush Team Blog, where we are currently having an "Iron Chef" plush food challenge- there are five types of "ingredients" (faux fur, mirrors, pom poms, velcro, foam). Each member is assigned an ingredient to battle over and Samaria Project's was foam. Talk about tough! Here is her dish:

The battles will be judged by talented members of the crafting community starting Monday, June 15th. To see all the Team's creative dishes, head on over to the PT blog on Monday. What and where is my Battle Velcro dish, you ask? Well, it will be revealed on monday, so stay tuned. As they say on the show: "Allez Cuisine!" :D

June 10, 2009

One last peek before the show

Here's a final preview of my Stitch Wars pieces. They were a lot of fun to make, although time consuming. Even for some of the more "simple" characters, these ended up being more detailed and labor intensive than I though they would. What fun though! I could have gone on for weeks just making Star Wars characters once I got into the groove, but unfortunately other deadlines are looming. I will post the full final photos of these guys in the week of the Stitch Wars show- July 13th.

June 7, 2009

Hooray for the Pecanpals!

We were browsing around Haight-Ashbury this weekend at our favorite browsing shops: Kid Robot, Amoeba Records, and Giant Robot. When we walked into Giant Robot we were so happy to see the display of the Pecanpals- the awesome wooden toy versions of the characters created by Noferin. It was SO hard to choose between them all (Giant Robot had all the figures except Pandacake-bummer!), but I ended up with Fanelli- I love the walking staff that comes with it. I've been a fan of their work for awhile through flickr and seeing their work at shows, but this was my first time seeing the toys in person. I LOVE the packaging! I'm having a hard time not ripping off the plastic and assembling Fanelli, but I love the way the whole thing looks together. To see Noferin's wonderful paintings of Pandacake and friends, as well as the rest of the wooden toys, click here.

June 3, 2009

"Stitch Wars" Sneak Peek

I've been madly working to get my pieces for the Stitch Wars show out of my sketchbook and into reality. Here's just a brief look, as I'm not sure how much of them I'm going to reveal before the actual show in July. If you can guess what characters these are from these pics, you're good! :D (Okay, I admit the bottom photo shouldn't be too hard to guess.)
So, after combing through our CD soundtrack collection I found and digitized the double disk Star Wars, Empire, and Return of the Jedi scores to accompany me while I work. I don't think I'm alone in saying that the trumpet fanfare during the 20th Century Fox logo will forever be branded in my head as synonymous with Star Wars. I can't ever hear it, no matter what movie I'm about to watch, without it giving me that Star Wars thrill. :D