Monday, February 28, 2011

365 Day 59

another all-nighter

Man. Last night turned into one of those ridiculous all-nighters again. Where you lose track of time and then you have to get up reeeeally early so you just say "heck with it -- I will just stay up" and then things start to get blurry and then it is daylight and you are meeting up with your sister for coffee but you take an hour's nap and feel a little better and then you go and run errands (I know at some point during the blur that was today, Juana and I were at LIFT, I changed the art in the Art-o-mat machine and we went to the hardware store) and then when you get home and your kitten sits on you and starts some "purr therapy" and you start to relax and then before you even know it you apparently finally fall asleep and then you wake up and it is dark outside and the only light on inside is the tv and you don't know if it is 6 in the morning or 6 in the evening and then it is suddenly 10:30 p.m. and you're like "oh NO...was the DVR set for my shows?!?" and then you go "crap -- did I post to the blog???" of THOSE days. some point (technically) very early today I drew over print outs of Piece #1 so I could get an idea of what the tuxedo cat-like creature is supposed to look made sense at the time. Whether I can pull this off in time is a whole different question.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

365 Day 58

finger puppet progress ... and thinking about things

Yay -- the last 29 Tookies got their side seams today.

Now I just need to do everybody's "hair" and add the soft bottom edge.

It sounds like a lot, but since all of the boxes are already labeled it isn't so bad. Here is a shot of the bin of 100 in-progress Tookies.

I have been playing with color combinations and patterns for the last few days. This guy has been plaster-colored or gesso-colored for so long it is very strange to see him actually start to get some real color.

I think I am going to try to make him into a tuxedo cat-like creature with stripey socks.

Now here comes the thinking part.

As I have said in an earlier post, the idea of "Piece #1" has been in my head for a long time. I was intending to submit the piece to the toy-themed show. I'm not so sure now. Yes, the deadline for submissions is this coming Saturday. I could finish it enough to take good pictures of it and take the submission materials to the gallery.

But I am not so sure I am ready yet. I guess this is what comes from not having a whole lot of showing-your-work experience. Intimidated isn't really the word I am looking for. And I'm not afraid of the very real possibility of it not being juried in...if it is not accepted, oh well.

It is hard to pinpoint what it is exactly that I am feeling. I think it has something to do with "what if the piece is juried in and then it doesn't perform well during the play sessions".

I am going to keep working and see how I am feeling by Thursday and Friday...maybe I will get over this by then. No matter what, I will complete this piece -- I am just not sure I will submit it for consideration into the show.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

365 Day 57

poor "unloved" Twink...

Today I gesso-ed over the practice snakey guy so that I can try out different color combinations again tomorrow for Piece #1. That deadline is getting close!

And here is Twink looking at me like "
THIS is why you can't hold me while you are "working"?!?"

Twink is posing next to today's pile of 40 Tookies -- the finger puppet series I make for Art-o-mat.

Friday, February 25, 2011

365 Day 56

colorful day

I have a snakey plaster cloth guy that I made a while back. He has a hanger coming out of his head for easy hanging while drying. Today I have been trying out some paints/colors on him. I am trying to come up with some simple but colorful patterns or designs or something for Piece #1.

LOL -- I am not a painter or a person who enjoys painting. I don't know why I make so many things that need to be painted.

Picture one is the snakey guy hanging to dry on a wire grid.

Picture two is the snakey guy with Piece #1.

Tonight 31 finger puppets got colorful side seams.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

365 Day 55

not much to see today

I did a lot of driving and running around today.

Tonight I am:

  • giving my hands a break from sewing
  • putting several coats of gesso on Piece #1
  • thinking of how I want to paint Piece #1 (working in sketchbook)
  • taping pennies to the Tookies boxes (weight for vending)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

365 Day 54

tired hands

Okay! All 100 finger puppets for my Art-o-mat series are prepped. All of them have faces and the seams and edges are sewn.

Now, on to the F*U*N part -- adding the yarn seams and edges and the "hair"!

IN the machine at LIFT for "Snap Judgment" photography exhibit

Here is what is currently IN the Art-o-mat machine at LIFT Designer Toys & Gallery in Royal Oak, in support of the Snap Judgment Photography Exhibit.
LIFT will feature the works of Jon Pickell and Donita Simpson.
Everything in the machine is either photography or mostly photographic. Cool original artwork for $5! For a listing of participating photographers and locations, you can view the Facebook Event announcement HERE.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

365 Day 53

sewin', sewin', sewin'...

I couldn't fall back to sleep this morning, so I got up at 6:30 and got an early start on sewing the finger puppets. I have been at it -- off and on -- for pretty much the whole day...except for when my sister and I met up for coffee today and then we went shopping for supplies, too. I hit the jackpot with gloves (including some color combos I haven't had before) and a new stash of buttons/eyes (including some packets in a blue palette that I haven't seen before).

I managed to get FIFTY guys sewn to this stage today! Twenty-five more to go and then I can do the fun part -- adding the yarns/colors.

Monday, February 21, 2011

365 Day 52

keeping busy

Today I worked on Piece #1 (which is most likely the only one I will try and submit to the toy-themed show). I still have a lot to do before the show's submission deadline and I think I should focus on my favorite of the three (which would be this one) and do what I feel is my best. I will absolutely complete the other two pieces, I just won't be submitting them to this show.

I attached the two arms to the body. It took forever. I started at 9:15 and finished at 11:45.

Later in the afternoon I worked on adding the weights to the finger puppet boxes, but it just wasn't happening. I was trying to use some of those glass pebbles but they were not flat enough on the bottoms to stick with either rubber cement or crazy glue. I am not a hot glue user (even though I do own a glue gun) but that would probably work. Instead, I will find something else to use for vending weight.

Next I moved on to another layer of paint on the ghost. This time it was plain old acrylic paint.

Then I settled in and worked on finger puppets while watching television tonight. I got 25 to this stage -- side seams and bottom turned under and the whole thing turned rightside out. My hands and wrists are screaming at is the back of my neck/shoulders area. I think what I need is some "cold-pack-and-purring-kitten therapy"...put the sewing away for the night and cuddle with Twink.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

365 Day 51

Woah...I was getting lost on Etsy for a minute there -- nearly missed my deadline!

Geez. I lose track of time looking at all the fabulous art on Etsy. You see one thing, then you see something that was hearted by someone you heart, so you go look at that...then at that seller's other items...then it snowballs...then it is only a few minutes until your midnight deadline.


Today I finished up the eyelashes on the remaini
ng 18 finger puppets. Now all one hundred of them are done to that stage.

I also put all of the labels that I made last week onto the boxes. The boxes just need weight(s) for making vending in the machines easier, then they are done and ready for me to complete the puppets. Yay!

I also put a quick coat of paint on the toy I am customizing. That's all...just a coat of paint. I am not sure what all I will do to this yet, but I know I am going to try to do a good paint job.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

365 Day 50

l-o-n-g day...

...but I got a LOT done!

Today started off with finishing up the mouths on 31 finger puppets that I didn't get to last night.

I have been working on the finger puppets today in batches of ten at a time so that I can let my hand and wrist rest a little.

During some of those breaks, I thought I would like to do something small. So I began a project -- something I have been wanting to try but have been kind of nervous about...customizing a toy.
Several of my friends are reeeeeeally good at it and make incredible pieces starting with various blank toys in various platforms.

The toy I am altering is from the series by Matt JOnes called "Lunartik in a Cup of Tea" and these are the mini ones.

I have a number of duplicates in the series I am collecting. None of my duplicates are rare so I have no qualms about taking one apart and giving this a "go". I don't know much about customizing and altering vinyl or plastic toys, but it seems like people use what they are comfortable with -- there is no real right or wrong way to do it.

I was surprised by how easily this is going, because I am altering this toy with plaster cloth since that is what I have on hand. So far, so good.

After I finished the mouths on the finger puppets, I moved on to the eyelashes. Today/tonight I completed 82 -- 18 to go. I haven't decided yet if I will do them tonight before bed or leave them for tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

365 Day 49 -- Part Three

wrapping up today's entry...

This is Piece #2. Matt worked on this one first but had it at his house yesterday -- he was already in his car when I texted him so he came over without it.

I got this bread box at a garage sale last summer for a dollar. I knew I wanted to make something with it but at the time I bought it I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to do with it.

I have wanted to make some sort of plaster cloth guy with a xylophone in his chest for a long, long time. Finally, I am getting the chance.

Matt cut the box down -- took off the slant. He removed the glass from the door. He removed the original panel that was the back of the box and retrofitted the xylophone.

He also couldn't help himself and he added that cool old number six to the side of the box. I like it a changes my original idea a bit...but I like it a lot.

This weekend I will wor
k on the shape of the guy. I tried placing some cardboard boxes on top of the bread/xylophone box but nothing was coming yet. Plus I need to get some more wide plaster cloth...all I have is 4" stuff.

Tonight I will be making faces on the Tookies finger puppets -- adding eyelashes and mouths. It is reeeeeally windy today and I am slightly worried that the power will go out. That is why I am posting all of this now. Then I can just work on the Tookies and not stress about making my midnight deadline.

365 Day 49 -- Part Two

continuing on...

It was kind of uncanny. Almost as soon as I had finished with the plaster cloth session and washed the mess off my hands and was just sitting down at the computer, the phone rang. It was Matt. He had the two bases done and wanted to drop them off so I could work with them over the weekend.

These are the things I was able to figure out in my head, but unable to build on my own.

Twink is riding on the working bit of Piece #1. The four casters move in all directions. (And Twink loves riding on this cart...geez!)

The musical works were attached to my work-around fix...two turntable things. Now the musical part also moves in all directions instead of just forward and backward. (This is what I was having trouble describing to Matt yesterday...when he drew his own picture of what he needed to do.)

I decided I "needed" to see how the guy would look on top of the cart. As soon as I snapped this photo, he toppled off -- end over end -- off of the cart, hitting the table, then the chair, then the floor. I totally expected to see the ears (at least) broken off...they were still wet from earlier.

(this photo is looking straight down onto the guy on the floor)

But no -- the guy was just fine...not even a crack!

Move on to Part Three...

365 Day 49 -- Part One

Things are coming along nicely today...

I have to make today's check-in in three parts because I am having trouble managing the photos in this entry.

Okay. I started today with plaster cloth sessions.

This is what I will be calling Piece #3. It is built on one of those roly poly chime balls.

I am having a teensy bit of trouble with balancing the weight of the additions to the ball. It will wobble and make the ethereal chime sounds, but it wants to fall over. I was a little concerned with this when I was sketching it and I have a couple of ideas for fixes...I think Matt does, too.

And this is Piece #1 with more layers to strengthen the ears.

Move on to Part Two.
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