Monday, May 30, 2011

I've never made a sock puppet...until now.

After a lackadaisical last couple of days (and a weird eyelid ailment that's still happening) I started a new project of sorts. A sock puppet. I've never made a sock puppet before but Ingrid Michaelson is having a contest, the person who wins said contest gets their sock puppet featured in a video and a signed poster. I've got nothing but time on my hands while I look for what is termed "a real job," and making more fiber rings, embroidered pendants and papier mache masks, so I figured I might as well give it a go. I first googled for instructions on how to make a sock puppet and then improvised past their suggestions/instructions. I can't even follow the rules when it comes to sock puppetry, everyone will just have to deal. Then again, I doubt anyone will lose any sleep over my sock puppet rebellion. So far all I've gotten done are the mouth and lips but I'm likely making this more of an endeavor than I need to.
Scratch that, I just started doing more work on the inside of the mouth but I'm not sure if what I'm doing is an actual improvement or not. I'll be posting in process shots after I have it mostly finished and figure out how I want to do the eyes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mmm, Saturday and new materials...

I got feathers and necklace chain and findings in the mail today. I had forgotten or hadn't ever admitted to myself before opening the package today how much I really like feathers. They make my heart happy. My favorite from the batch are these guinea feathers...sooo pretty. The chain components are a definite upgrade quality-wise, they're sparkly and pretty and make everything better (I already said that on my facebook page but it's true). I'm liking that all of these things came from Etsy sellers, too. It's symmetrical. New materials are like new toys to me. Time to get down to having some fun. Lots more embroidered pendant necklaces are coming. If something weird weren't going on with my right eye I'd still be embroidering daisies. The last few I sewed turned out wonky so I stopped, there's no use in embroidering more until I can focus and make daisies I'll actually use.

Yay for new materials! 

Friday, May 27, 2011


Today is being weird. Or maybe I'm being weird and today is being normal. Actually, that second one is probably the right view. My mind is all over the place, I'm a space cadet. I ate oatmeal for breakfast, isn't that supposed to be like starting the day right so then everything following falls into place? At least brain-wise? No? Oh... well, never mind. I just started craving tacos...mmm, tacos.

Anyway, I got some more materials in the mail today. Every time I do it feels like Christmas. More pendant blanks since I want to make more pendants and then some grass green necklace/choker pre-made wire things. I think they'll be fun for my daisy pendants (I haven't assembled them yet but I have embroidered them already). I'm already planning on making one for myself, they're going to be cute. I have some other stuff coming in the mail that I'm looking forward to also.

I've been working on making a different style of fiber ring today and I posted another pendant.

Take a look, if you want. I listed another one yesterday but didn't want to go overboard on "Look, look at my stuff...." It makes me feel like when I was a little kid and tried to get people to pay attention to me, subtlety was not the rule.

I was playing around with adding watermarks to my photos on Etsy but decided against it. Here's one of the new kinds of rings I've been working on with a watermark.

The watermark doesn't look bad, rather, I didn't see the point to spend the extra time in marking the photo.

Hmm... I was hoping to be more entertaining today, my brain is just not into it.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I can draw stick figures...

A lot of crafters like to say that they've been creating since before they can remember. A few might have wielded paint brushes or safety scissors immediately after vacating their mother's womb. That's not the way it was for me. In fact, my mom told me once that when I drew when I was little my drawings were so bad that she didn't think I'd ever draw decently. Truth be told, I still can't. Well, I've improved but most of that improvement has been just in the last couple of years out of necessity. I was taking costume design 101, basically, and in order to design you have to render and in order to render you have to draw human figures with clothes on them. The amount of clothes are subjective but proper proportions are best shown by realistically proportionate human figures. Real people wear costumes and bodies come in all shapes and sizes. I had to learn how to draw fast. My first rendering took me, oh, six hours and ended up looking...erh, scary. I still have it though, it reminds me how far I've two years of rendering. The proportions aren't the worst of it but the figure is a blocky 2D (if that) thing. Poor Viola, she doesn't look too well. Shakespeare might have made her dress as a man but I made clothing the least of her problems.

I just took some pictures for your viewing enjoyment and possible ridicule.

Here's poor Viola in her man-garb:
Okay, so I'd forgotten how disproportionate her hands were. Either way, we can agree it's not that great.

But, there is hope. Here's a rendering I did in advanced last year that has another Shakespeare character in a similar ensemble.
Still not that great but much better, no? It probably helped that I went for a straight on view instead of 3/4 though I can do that too now and have the same result. Sort of. I haven't been practicing as much as I should be.

Luckily, crafting and creating isn't totally dependent on drawing ability, if it were I'd be doomed. Being able to draw definitely helps though...I'm still working on it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Of embroidery and shellfish...

Like I said in my last post I've been making embroidered pendant necklaces lately. I listed one on Etsy today, it has a dragonfly on one side and a butterfly on the other. 

I made a pendant for my aunt since she responded to a meme I did on Facebook that said the first 5 people who responded to my post would get a handmade present from me. It has easily been a year since I promised that, I posted it with the stipulation that it would likely be a while before anyone would recieve their present since I was going to leave for a six week study abroad in London in about a week and still had a lot of things to prepare and some finals to take. I didn't forget but it did take me a lot longer to come through than I'd originally intended. Only two people responded and I figure since there were only two and they've had to wait so long I'd make them something particularly special. My aunt got an embroidered pendant with a crab on one side and a sand dollar on the other since some of my funnest memories with her are going out to the Oregon coast to crab and fish as well as look for seashells. That and she likes nautical things.  I really like how it turned out, I took a few pictures before I sent it (usually I forget to take pictures of things I make and gift, it's made me kick myself on more than one occasion):

The side by side pictures are brought to you by several hours of hair pulling and computer illiteracy in photoshop. I think I have the process down now, it was making me regret doing double sided pendants instead of just a regular pendant for a while there, though. 

I still have one more item to make for that meme, this one will be going to a facebook friend of mine that I met in an acting class. I told her since she has had to wait so long I'd make her a mask since they're kind of my specialty. I didn't know at the time that she collects them, which, makes it kind of perfect. I haven't had any flashes of brilliance as to what to make her yet. For some reason I have this vague thought that it's going to be fiery in color and have some shinies. I have some feathers coming in the mail that I intend to use for it, eventually I'll be ordering some swarovski rhinestones too. It will be a somewhat traditional masquerade mask. I hope she likes it, I don't know her that well so it makes it trickier to make her something I think she'll like and still have it be a surprise. Part of the reason it's taking me so long is because I need buy some materials from a place only open on weekdays when my family is needing to use my car. Well, that and I'm broke. Still, it will eventually get done. If she forgets about it before then it'll really be a surprise!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sometimes I start talking and end up with nothing to say.

I've never been good about keeping up a blog, especially when I feel like I'm just talking to myself. I already spend a lot of time doing that for real. I was going to write about how I became "creative," the norm seems to be to say that "I've been creating since before I can remember." That's not really the case with me. So, I was going to write about that but it is very near 1am as I am writing this and I'm actually tired for a change (not that I'm usually a ball of energy, usually at night is when I feel like I'm awake). I just wanted to write something so I don't feel like I've completely stopped writing in here. Yeah...

Sometime I will start writing the genesis of my creativeness -just not tonight.

I've been working on double sided embroidered pendant necklaces for the last couple of days. The ones I've made so far have been using scrap embroidery thread leftover from the rings I've been making as well as some scrap muslin and linen from various sewing projects. They've turned out to be a nifty way to reduce the amount of things I actually throw away. I've been keeping the itty bitty bits of leftover threads to possibly adorn a mask. There's something I like about the tangled randomness of cotton threads. I love texture so it might be that they'll get mixed in with the papier mache pulp or glued on top and painted over or I might let them show in all their tangled and colorful glory.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Angst and love...

I've been listing things on Etsy for a little over a month now and I keep running into the same insecurities. I feel so ridiculously young. But, I'm not that young, I'm 25. I think part of it has to do with the majority of who is on Etsy, women past their 30s and I keep comparing myself to them. At least, that seems to be the majority of sellers who post in the forums, I could be wrong. I keep forum lurking to learn how to market, take better quality photos, learn the ins and outs of online selling. Every once and a while I'll post but when I do I just feel like I really don't know how to relate to anyone. I tend to expect too much of myself too quickly, this is a problem I know I have but at the same time I keep trying to force my life and everything in it to start. It feels too cliche to say I might be trying too hard but I never now how to try otherwise. Just, shouldn't I have made some progress by now? In regards to, like, everything? Dude, I need to adjust my way of thinking to not be so tense. I often feel like I'm 12 and 50 at the same time and that can't be healthy.

I'm starting to wonder what the point of this post was. To prove I'm slightly neurotic? Or just having a quarter life crisis?

Changing topic: You know what I love?

  • Walking in the rain when I have waterproof boots on and it's slightly warm outside.
  • Hiking, I don't do nearly enough of it. In fact, the last time I went hiking was nearly a year ago.
  • Digging up razor clams. I've only done it once but for some reason it was so fun to me. Using these plastic cylinder things to suck up these subterranean dwellers out of the sand. Jumping on the ground to simulate the surf hitting the beach to see if these little holes in the sand get bigger and knowing that it means you found one and though you can't see it, the clam is there. It's like a treasure hunt mixed with digging gross things out of the dirt mixed with pouncing around on the beach. I was so sore afterwards! My hands were raw from forcing the tube into the sand, my legs sore from jumping against the surf and my whole body from everything. By all rights I should have been miserable in those kind of conditions but instead I just felt giddily energized. It's the Oregon Coast I'm talking about here too so of course it was overcast, raining and slightly cold. I had rain gear and my favorite waterproof boots (RIP) so it definitely wasn't like I was soaked. It was also 6am-ish and I'm known for being a night owl but it was still so weirdly fun.
  • A bunch of things, in some ways too many.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ziggy Piggy!

It's been more than a month since my last post, in that time I've been doing more research and feeling less overwhelmed but more like I'm waving my arms about. I've listed quite a few more things and made a facebook fanpage;

I really enjoy making new things more than I do writing about them. My absolute favorite item is my pig mask, I really want to make a lot more masks but haven't had the money and materials to do so. Being unemployed is not fun, it limits what I can do. At least making things keeps me from going completely wonky. Anyway, here's a picture of it:

Pig Half Mask!

I changed my banner in the time between this post and the last, it's now the one from arches. It's just more colorful and bright. I really like the blues and oranges in it too, it's a nice constrast, I think. As I go I may change it yet again.

Here's my shop, take a look! I'm going to be offering bracelets soon if you're not into rings: