Thursday, March 31, 2011

365 Day 90

'Nipped teaser

are only supposed to show teasers for our pieces that will be in Meth & Hot Dogs 2, so here is a teaser of today's layer of plaster cloth on one of my pieces for the show.

This is my main character. He is an insatiable catnip addict. The name of this piece is 'Nipped.

I am about to turn in for the night. I need to get up early in the morning and do some chores before leaving to get Juana and we take off for Kalamazoo.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meth & Hot Dogs 2

This is another show I am very proud and excited to be participating in!

Facebook Event page: link

You can also click on the poster on the main page of this blog for more info.

365 Day 89

my last "Come Play With Me" teaser

Chime Cat Visits Cloud City is my piece that was accepted for the "Come Play With Me" show at Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester, MI.

This show is a juried exhibit of dolls, toys and games by Michigan artists. I feel so privileged to be in such glorious company.

Scroll down the
Exhibitions page to see more about this show.

Chime Cat is a pull toy and today I am working on completing the leash/strap/pull. I am using one half of a lovely old pair of braided English reins that I got from my niece...and I am cleaning and polishing the leather. I love the look and feel of the rein section and I really like the way it will attach to the cloud cart. I am adding a painted wooden handle to the pull -- probably securing it with a rivet.

I also have a few more touch ups to the paint of Chime Cat's face to do. He will be delivered to Paint Creek next week.

The Opening Reception for the show is April 15.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

365 Day 88

another Chime Cat Visits Cloud City teaser is a cloud cart, not a large litter box!

This piece is for the show "Come Play With Me" that will be at Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester, MI. Opening Reception is April 15.

Monday, March 28, 2011

365 Day 87

a pretty good day

I put up 9 more auctions at Listia today -- it went quicker because the photos were already done. Now I have 21 auctions running!

I made some more progress on painting the final coat on Chime Cat. And I painted and sanded the handle of the pull strap. A couple more paint/sand/paint/seal passes and that will be ready to be added to the leather rein.

handle for Chime Cat Visits Cloud City -- painted one coat

handle for Chime Cat after first sanding

I leveled the bottoms of the little clay guys. They are cracking me up now that they are all standing instead of laying down. It looks to me like they are having some sort of mingler or meeting.

34 little sgraffito clay guys -- before

34 little sgraffito clay guys -- after

a close up -- looks like a little sgraffito clay guy mingler or meeting of some sort

Sunday, March 27, 2011

365 Day 86

progress but no pics

A lot of the day was spent taking photos of stuff I listed in auctions at Listia. I put up 12 auctions today. Here is a link to my profile. De-stashing is a good thing!

This evening I finally started the final coat painting of Chime Cat. I don't have any photos to show because frankly I was pretty done taking pictures for today...and you know I had to force myself to start the dreaded painting. Maybe tomorrow I will take some teaser shots.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

365 Day 85


I screwed around again all day online with MOO cards of various sizes for several Art-o-mat series...editing and tweaking digital photos.


An absolutely nail-biting edge-of-your-seat roller derby bout on Derby News Network -- Detroit Derby Girls vs Charm City Roller Girls (at Baltimore). Sadly, Detroit did not win, but man! the last jam! THAT was some bout!

I know what the problem is -- I am avoiding painting. I hate painting. I know it takes more energy to do the avoidance dance rather than just doing the dreaded painting, but there you go.

Now my hand is killing me, my feet and legs are swollen from sitting at the computer all day and night...I blame myself. Nothing to show for it. New day tomorrow! (at least I showed up and posted about it...LOL)

Friday, March 25, 2011

365 Day 84

ALL day/night at the computer

That is a screen shot of one of the projects for today. Earlier in the week (or was it late last week) I made some new business cards at MOO.

Today I have been resizing and editing (not much) and selecting tons and tons of images for other various MOO items.

The screen shot is showing the Animal People mini MOO cards I am working on.

I also want to do a set of mini MOO cards with KT Goodlove and Penciled In images. I need to check with my two collaborators before I get those made, though. Perhaps they would like some, too?

I am also considering MOO greeting cards with some of the collages I made for the "A Group of Girls" show in November/December last year.

Maybe, maybe not...but that is what I have been doing ALL day and will most likely continue to do until I go to bed.

these are the new MOO business cards that arrived today!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

365 Day 83

the last look at these guys for a while

'nip dealer -- rear view before gesso and 2nd coat of blue paint

Now that I have completed the Tookies that I will be taking to the 1st-Ever Tiny Market at Tiny Studio in Kalamazoo for the April Art Hop there, I am turning my attention to:
  1. finishing my Chime Cat Visits Cloud City for "Come Play With Me" (Paint Creek Center for the Arts, Rochester)
  2. my entries for "Meth & Hot Dogs 2" (LIFT, Royal Oak)

From this point on I will only show teasers. Photos of the final complete versions will only be shown at the blog after the run of a show.

The first three photos tonight are of the two main pieces I am making for "Meth & Hot Dogs 2". Click on the poster for more info.

Around these parts (my house, that is) my cats like to partake in a bit of catnip (aka 'nip) on occasion. My characters will be 'Nipped -- a hopelessly insatiable catnip addict and his 'nip dealer (untitled as of now). The dealer is a snake that I originally made as a tail for another creature (last year) but that I thought looked better on its own as a snake. Up until now I have been using this guy as a test surface for color combinations and palettes for other plaster cloth (and/or papier mache) items I have been working on. The stripes in the first photo were the basic pattern for Chime Cat's socks.

Both characters are shot from the back view tonight...that is the teaser part.

The snake has loads of layers of papier mache and plaster cloth already (because I was teaching myself how to use the materials) and I don't even remember how many coats of colors he has altogether (so far)...but tonight he got another coat of light blue and another coat of gesso....oh I have plans for this guy, all right.

'nip dealer -- paint and gesso -- rear view

'Nipped still needs quite a few more layers of plaster cloth. He was originally made for a figurative show I ended up not entering. I was basically not happy with the human-ish thing I made and it was mostly because I had forced it -- it wasn't really "me".

[That little exercise in futility helped me to learn that I can't really work like that. I need to make things that I want to make, that I have had in my head for a while...or that I feel some sort of connection with. I need to just make things because I need to make them. Then if they happen to fit an upcoming call for entries, cool. Or perhaps a basic shape can be tweaked for a show...that sort of thing. I think that was a really big part of the turning point for me this year.]

I have added a lot of roundness to his head (especially on the back) and added the ears. I also gave him more shape and substance with the addition of the shoulders and upper torso. I am reeeeeally happy with the ears so far.

'Nipped, rear view

Thankfully the delivery date for the art for "Come Play With Me" was extended a week. This will give me plenty of time to do the final painting of Chime Cat and to finish off his cloud cart, the pull strap and the handle for the strap. He will also need several layers of sealer.

unfinished Chime Cat, rear view

It has really been amusing to me that several people have thought that Chime Cat was in a sort of traveling litter box. He is actually in a cloud cart for getting around in Cloud City. I think it will be easier to see when it is finished. Plus, if you go see him in person, when that cart rolls and you hear the chimes you will know that there is no way that's a litter box....LOL.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

365 Day 82

one of "those" days
Today has not been a total waste, but I don't feel like I was terribly productive.

I trimmed the "hair" on those 29 Tookies that I have been working least there's that.

But beyond that, I don't have much to show for myself. I shuffled things around in the studio. I put a coat of paint on part of one of the characters for the Meth & Hot Dogs 2 show. I put some Art-o-mat artpacks into their inventory boxes.

THEN the frustrating part -- I need to start putting auctions up at Listia, but I could not take photos that I was happy with. Nothing was going right...too much reflection, not enough light, too much light...the little lights that came with my light kit were waaaaay of the knobs broke off a few days ago and they are very hard to adjust now. I just needed to step away, go back and put everything away for today and I will start over again in a few days.

ALSO -- my computer won't let me change the names of has been doing this for about a week. I found a way around it but that is frustrating, too. And every once in a while for no apparent reason it will let me rename something in the normal/usual way. Urgggggh!

Yes I know I am allowed to have non-productive days now and again, but I have been getting pretty used to the rhythm and flow of making stuff everyday and this was just a disappointing day. (waaaa...poor Took)

But the Tookies look GOOD!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

365 Day 81

29 Tookies in need of a trim!

Whew -- I made it before midnight...but they are ALL still badly in need of a trim. Just look at all that unruly "hair".

Monday, March 21, 2011

365 Day 80

allergies central

Wow -- allergies were kicking me all day long. I finally ended up giving in and taking a couple of Benadryls and then a nap.

I am not a good napper, I can't just drop off to sleep for an hour and snap back -- so today was pretty much a blur...a bit disappointing to "waste" the day, but it is what it is.

This morning I did get the 4 main Tookies made that I needed to do. I am very pleased with them...they are a rollicking bunch.

These finger puppets were all embellished with my new batch of yarns. They look really great in person!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

365 Day 79

photos, auctions and soft edges

Today I took about a billion photographs of items I was listing at Listia. I played around with my light kit and the photos turned out pretty well. But that took most of the day.

Other than that, off and on (since this morning until now) I have been adding the soft edges to the 29 finger puppets that I am currently working on.

MAN -- THUNDER just is STILL rumbling!

Okay...I am logging off and shutting the computer is STILL rumbling! Same boom! Shook the house.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

365 Day 78

some days it seems like I am getting nowhere -- FAST!

I don't know where the day has gone today. It feels like I haven't done much -- probably because in this step of making the finger puppets I usually whip stitch the soft bottom edge at the same time as I do the side seam.

Instead today I did all of the side seams on the 29 Tookies that I am currently working on, and I still have to do the bottom edges. I will keep working on them until it feels like it is time to go to bed.

I love all the colors in these photos. And that is really how the colors look.

OH -- duh! I remember now what took so long today -- I was ordering business cards and monkeying with the images I was using. I am not at all handy with digital photographs and it takes me a long time. Ha -- so I didn't waste the day after all!

Friday, March 18, 2011

365 Day 77

back to finger puppet production

Today I have been working on some of the clay pieces I brought home from Brenda's yesterday.

And I am also working on the stage of the finger puppet production where I am sewing the side seam, the bottom edge, turning the puppet right side out and tacking the tops closed. I have 9 more to do tonight but I needed a break so I thought I'd come in here and post today's entry.

Back to work!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

365 Day 76

ceramics day -- at last!

Today Juana and I were finally able to get back over to Brenda's house to play with clay. Between wintry weather, various seasonal illnesses, and deadlines dictating we finish our other projects first it has been about a month since our initial clay play/work session with Brenda. In our absence she graciously took on the role of Keeper of the Clay and tended to our early pieces to make sure they didn't dry out or get wrecked. THANK YOU, Brenda!

Brenda stirring some glaze.

Juana working on her stuff.

Brenda has two very sweet and very energetic dogs. The larger one is Ginger and the smaller one is Rocky. They are not related, although they really look to me like they could be.

Ginger likes to walk between the chairs by going under the table.

Ginger coming out from under the table on the other side.

Rocky is quite a character. I never realized this fact until I was taking photos and Brenda mentioned it: Rocky's head is rarely not in motion.

This really cracked me up. His body can be nice and still, but his head IS constantly in motion.

I tricked Rocky to be still in this photo -- I was holding a ball on top of the camera...he gets really fixated on his ball...LOL

There he goes again...body is
still, head is in motion.

LOL -- one more pic of the dogs...guess which one is Rocky.

One of my clay projects will be an Art-o-mat series. I want to make something relatively simple in form and shape but that has several steps in the process of making it. I think these little shapes are going to be creatures. I love underglazes and I really love sgraffito. I want to try and make little creatures using both techniques. I don't know yet whether they will be separate series or some of each in the same series...that is a ways down the road yet.

Quite different from my intense dislike of painting, I really enjoy all of the process involved in underglazing. Layering on of colors and firing in between...using the underglazes like watercolors and building up the colors and shades...and never knowing for sure how it will turn out until it comes out of the kiln. Yeah, you do know a bit more in advance how it will turn out with underglazes versus regular glazes (that often don't even look like the color they start out as) but there is still an element of the depth and intensity of the underglaze colors as the layers build up after firing and after the clear coat.

The very beginning stages of my clay Art-o-mat idea. I will need to submit a ready-to-vend prototype first.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

365 Day 75

Tookies for other venues

I was SO excited to get a shipment of 30 skeins of "Tookie hair" -- a discontinued yarn called Moda Dea Ticker Tape. My friend Franciney is really knowledgeable about yarns and she figured out what it was I was trying to locate. Yay!

I am working on 30 Tookies that are not for Art-o-mat. 4 are secret for now, 26 are for the first-ever Tiny Market at Bonnie Pfingst's Tiny Studio during the April Art Hop in Kalamazoo.

I really like the new camouflage-type pattern on this guy. I wasn't so sure about it when my sister and I first found it, but I really really like it now. And I was able to find a few more pairs of the gloves that were on sale but I think most of the stores in my immediate area are pretty wiped out right now...end of season. I am very glad to have the ones I found.

I got the buttons put on these guys late last night and I did the mouths and eyelashes tonight. They are coming along nicely.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

365 Day 74 -- part two

a Meth & Hot Dogs 2 teaser

I am only going to be showing teaser photos for my 3 pieces for Kill Taupe's Meth & Hot Dogs 2 show at LIFT Designer Toys & Gallery in Royal Oak, MI.

I love how the ears are turning out for my main character!

The title of this piece is 'Nipped -- he is a cat with an insatiable catnip addiction.

365 Day 74

This is HUGE for me on my personal artistic path this year -- and for my 365 Project, my Creative Progress Report.

I am so happy to be a part of this amazing show and to be in such wonderful company with this line up of artists.


Monday, March 14, 2011

365 Day 73

I made it!!!

My first-ever big time juried art show submission - Chime Cat Visits Cloud City - was accepted for "Come Play With Me" at Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester, MI.

I will have more links as I get them, but for today's blog entry this is plenty!


I still have a little bit of finishing up to do

Sunday, March 13, 2011

365 Day 72

and this is just the stuff that was in the studio and ONE bin in the basement...

Suddenly there is a lot of actual work to do around here! I found my stash(es) of things I really don't need to be the caretaker of anymore.

It is all wonderfully wonderful stuff, it is just that someone else could be enjoying it and using it, you know?

I will be doing tons of Listia listings! Going through all this stuff, sorting it out, taking photos, writing brief auction listings...this is going to be work -- but SO worth it to:

1. get it out of my area(s) and make room so that I can organize the things I want to keep and
2. know that other folks are loving this stuff as much as I did when I first brought it home,
3. not have to deal with SELLING it to people at a yard sale or on "real" money on Listia...just credits.

I am also running on about an hour's sleep and I just had to take a couple of Benadryls for my sinus headache...that is why I am posting the 365 Blog entry now -- I know I will be nodding out off and on all night and probably not be able to write coherently later (I hope this is coherent enough...LOL)

Listia -- what a cool idea!

Something else that has been occupying my time for the last 24 hours or so is Listia.

Listia is a new kind of auction site where you bid on other people's stuff using credits instead of real money. They make it easy for you to give away stuff you don't need anymore and get stuff you want in return for free. There are several ways to build up your credits on the site and it is easy and fun. Example: Take the video tour after you sign up and earn more experience points and credits. Or log in from Facebook...Twitter about get the idea.

Everybody has stuff they don't need anymore...why not list some items just to try it out? I have been clearing out things that I am not using and that are relatively lightweight so I can offer free shipping.

This is my referral link -- -- I get a referral bonus and YOU get a sign up bonus (once you have completed your first auction). I know if you follow it from my Facebook page it will take you directly to the sign up at Listia. Not sure if it will from this blog entry. (Scroll down my Facebook wall to find the Listia invitation -- located between the blackbird postage stamp and the "SQUEEEEE".)

ANYway...try it out, Listia is pretty neat!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

365 Day 71

and so it begins...again

I know it probably doesn't sound like much to do, but this is a very time consuming part of making the Tookies finger puppets...selecting the fingers and pre-matching them up with the buttons that will be their eyes. As I have said on many occasions, I have trouble choosing colors (mostly because I like too many combinations) and it just takes me a long time.

I pulled out 50 combos of glove fingers and button eyes. 30 will be for taking to Tiny Studio in Kalamazoo for Bonnie Pfingst's first ever Tiny Market during the city's April Art Hop. 4 are for another very special reason and the rest are for my Etsy store.

I will begin cutting off the finger parts and sewing on the eyes and mouths tonight. I may only get the first 4 done, but it will be a start. Because of the way I was working today, my right upper arm hurts like I got a tetanus shot
(poor Took).

I think this one is my favorite right now.

Friday, March 11, 2011

365 Day 70

moving right along...

Having completed the 100 Tookies finger puppets for Art-o-mat what should I do next...make MORE Tookies, of course!

I am starting a new batch of Tookies that I will sell outside of the Art-o-mat format...meaning no box (and probably other changes per puppet). So today has been spent reassessing, sorting, cleaning/clearing my Tookies supplies stash.

Making the Tookies in assembly line fashion seemed to work pretty well with that batch of 100 so I will start this batch out the same way.

I will put some of the new Tookies for sale in my Etsy store and will have some available for sale at the first ever Tiny Market at Bonnie Pfingst's Tiny Studio in Kalamazoo, MI during the city's April Art Hop. Juana and I will share a table there -- very exciting!

Bonnie is also the host of an Art-o-mat machine at her studio. Click on the poster to go to Bonnie's Tiny Studio blog.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

365 Day 69

on their way!

Today I finished wrapping the Tookies boxes in acetate/cellophane and then packed them into the box and shipped 100 of them off to Art-o-mat HQ in Winston-Salem, NC.

80 finger puppets will make their way across the country to various Art-o-mat machines and 20 will come back to me to go into my two Detroit-area machines.

Tonight I am turning my attention to sketching a face for one of my pieces for Kill Taupe/Jason Driscoll's Meth & Hot Dogs 2 show at LIFT in Royal Oak. I am very excited to be able to participate in this waaaaay cool show! I know what my main character will be, I just need to get his face right -- then I can get to the plaster cloth.
click the poster to see the artists line up!
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