Thursday, January 31, 2013

365/2013 - Day 31

gah -- it's a gesso night

I mixed some blue paint into some gesso (so I can see where I've been) -- now it is just a night full of painting, waiting, turning the item over, painting, waiting, repeat...

That is all.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

365/2013 - Day 30

100 Tookies are ready to ship!

Wa-hoooooo!  I finished packaging all of the Tookies, wrapped the boxes in "cellophane" (acetate) and they are in the shipping boxes!  Now I just need to write a quick note, tape them up and put a shipping label on them -- ready to ship to Artists in Cellophane tomorrow (unless I get iced into my driveway).

the completed and packaged Tookies waiting for the "cellophane"

all done!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

365/2013 - Day 29

Tookies production progress and a couple of meet-ups

I spent the later part of the morning and early afternoon packaging up 85 Tookies finger puppets for Art-o-mat.  

The assembly line

get a weight-block, info insert, piece of tissue paper and a finger puppet

fold them all up and wrap with tissue, leaving the soft bottom edge hanging off

carefully work the whole shebang down into the box (tight fit!)

fold down the soft edge and close the box

add it to the box o' Tookies and start again
Then it was time to get ready for Juana to arrive -- I needed to meet her in my driveway with the salt bucket because the driveway had reeeeeally slippy spots -- melting snow meant water on top of ice.  We headed over to Barnes & Noble to meet up with Frann Ramales -- we haven't seen her for about a year and a half.  Among other things, Frann makes incredible chainmaille jewlery and wearable art -- take a look at her Etsy shop -- Armored Hearts.  The three of us had a very good time talking about all kinds of stuff!  Then I couldn't sit anymore, plus it was just about time for Frann to meet up with another friend.

Then Juana and I came back to my house and talked and talked and ordered incredible pizza from Benito's in Novi (yummmmmm -- eggplant!) and we played Magic: the Gathering until nearly 1:30 in the morning!  We absolutely did not plan on playing that long -- it just happened that way.   Another great day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

365/2013 - Day 28

gluing labels

I don't know why I always think I am going to just zip through the putting labels on the boxes step of assembling the Tookies for shipment to Art-o-mat.  Gluing on all of those labels takes a long time.  It took two entire glue sticks and the start of a third.

I started with the label that goes on the block of MDF stating that the block is added as weight for vending.

Then I got to work on the top of the box labels.

Next I started gluing on the two end labels -- the ones that show in the columns in the machines.

There was one hitch...this time around I cut the end labels with the paper cutter, hoping to get more uniform sizes and straighter edges.

What I ended up with was having to cut them all down by hand anyway.  Wah-waaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

After the end labels were all done, I moved on to the side label that cautions Finger Puppets are not meant for young kids or pets.  

I worry that young kids with put the puppets in their mouths or that pets could grab them and chew them.  The button eyes are very small and I doubt that the various yarns and fibers are meant to be eaten or chewed.

There -- the boxes are all done.  Now I need to turn my attention to assembling the things that go inside of the boxes. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

365/2013 - Day 27

Sunday afternoon (and evening) stuff...and lots of printing

I got down to work early this morning by printing out all of the various labels I use for packaging up my Tookies finger puppets for Art-o-mat.  This time around I will be hand gluing all of them with a glue stick.  I am out of Xyron supplies.  I do a label for the top of the box, the two ends of the box (not knowing which end will show up in a column in a machine), a caution note for the side of the box (warning that the finger puppets are not meant for young kids or pets), an info insert (which will be glued to a small MDF block this time), and a new little label that says the block is added as weight for vending).  But all of that comes later...this morning I just did the printing.

In the afternoon I wanted to get to work on plaster cloth...little did I know how long I'd be at it!  I had an idea for legs and a body for the bear-ish creature.  I taped three empty prescription bottles together for each leg.  I added one more bottle to the bottom of the creature's torso.  

Then I took the pieces into the temporary plaster cloth studio and got to work on wrapping the legs and attaching the bottle to the torso.  Next I started to assemble the parts together, filling in the gaps with plaster cloth.

I eventually started to add used paper towels that I had been mopping up dripped plaster cloth water with.  That made a couple of the gaps go more quickly and gave me some form to work with.  THEN I remembered using discarded gloves with the manikin to give it a round belly.  I tried it today with this guy in places where I wanted a rounded look.  It worked great...and now those gloves won't be in a land fill.  (I just re-read this part and it really isn't as gross as it sounds...the "used" paper towels and gloves are just in a bag right where I am working on this stuff and are from the day before.  It's not like I am pulling them out of the icky kitchen trash can.)

It gets a little tricky working with the gloves sections underneath the plaster really have to keep working the area and get it pretty wet and smooth it down and add more plaster cloth and keep smoothing and shaping because there is always a small bit of trapped air in the glove parts and I think that is what helps to make the roundy look. 

Then I started alternating between paper towels and glove parts until I got to the point that I thought I could stop for that session.  I am really happy with the bear-ish creature.  He is a lot cuter in person than he is in the photos.  I hope I can come up with a good method of finishing him.

When I got up to dump out the plaster cloth water and clean up the space a little I noticed I didn't see either cat and couldn't hear them.  Quick panicky feeling...did Twink get the door to the basement open?  Did they go outside somehow?  Nope...whew!  Twink and Bootsy both went back to bed -- my bed.

I just had to go back and look at the bear-ish guy one more time...did I mention I am pretty happy with today's results? turned out I was working with the plaster cloth for a little over three and a half hours straight.  Time really does fly when you are having a good time!  I needed to medicate, elevate, and cold-pack myself in my recliner in front of television for a little while.  Then I got down to cutting the labels that I printed this morning.

Some of the labels (like the Tookies picture for the top of the box) need to be cut by hand because I just can't gauge really close cuts with the paper cutter.  After feeding the cats and making my dinner I got set up in front of television again and cut the remainder of the labels.  I think I am done for tonight...unless I get a head start on some of the gluing tonight...but I most likely won't.

All in all, a good day's work -- yay!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

365/2013 - Day 26

I'd kind of like to try and paint something...I think

What?  Did I actually type that out loud? 

It doesn't happen very often, but yes -- sometimes I think I'd like to try to paint a picture.  I never have a clue what/how I want to do...and I usually end up not doing it at all...but today I figured what the heck -- I'm going to give it a try.

This morning I started doodling while I was half-watching a movie (that I've seen before).  I kept playing with it and adding more and more elements.  As you can see, it has a lot more to it than my "normal" near-stick figure doodles or my super plain creatures.

After a little bit I got tired of the movie and I went into the studio to use the computer to find some variations on a song from the movie.  I ended up spending a lot of time on YouTube and at iTunes and Amazon.  I got a bunch of songs and made a new compilation CD for the music player in the temporary studio.  PLUS, I managed to avoid working on the labels/printing/boxes for the Tookies.  (I will do them tomorrow...but I did realize I was doing some avoiding today.)

Then I went "shopping" in the basement -- I knew I had at least one small blank canvas down there somewhere.  I discovered the bin that held the canvas and much to my surprise there were about 5 or 6 canvas boards.  I decided to use one of them instead of a "real" canvas...just in case I lost interest or really hated the project halfway through.

The funny thing about these canvas boards is that they have a picture outlined on them.  On the back is (I suppose) what your finished painting is meant to look like.  They remind me of paint-by-numbers without the numbers.  I must have bought them at an estate sale -- the one that had a bunch of used brushes and a paint set and several paintings that I later repurposed into collages.

So I gave the canvas board a coat of paint to prime it and cover up the images.  Then I left it to dry and got ready to work on the plaster cloth that I didn't do last night.

The first thing I need to do to the Atomic Fireball Happy Hour guy is add more layers of plaster cloth to strengthen the Happy Hour tin that is his chest area.  It is a time consuming process but most of the guys on the save-it-for-later shelf are in the very earliest stages and they need a lot of work.  It also takes a long time because now I am trying to add wet plaster cloth to very dry old plaster cloth and the older stuff just soaks up every bit of water in the new stuff.

And tonight it has been "get back in there and work on the painting" time. 

I found that (luckily) I could still see through most of the paint and I was very surprised that I was starting to see a creature forming out of all of the still life items...just like when I re-use paintings for collages.  I was not expecting that at all.  

Then I was wondering what I could put in the background and I spotted the perfect circle template.  Perfect, indeed!

I added a bunch of circles an this is how it turned out.

The color in these photos is way off and I wanted to remember what color I used as the base so I scanned the canvas board -- this is closer to the actual color.

And much later (after feeding the cats and having my dinner) I came in to paint more and I started to outline one of the circles then I realized I would be covering up any shading I was doing now so I switched gears and filled in a background base color around everything, leaving a little bit of space for shading.  Yeah...right.  

And this is where I am stopping for tonight.  This is actually turning out better than I had imagined when I started this morning.  Obviously, this is going to be another creature/guy.  Right now it sort of looks like a kind of minotaur/bear/monster.  Who knows -- right now I am still just playing with it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

365/2013 - Day 25

lining up art plans for the weekend

Whoa -- I nearly slept through my midnight blogging deadline.  The second dose of Benadryl kicked in and I have been nodding/napping for the last few hours.  Another day of a lot of knee and leg pain (both legs) with the added bonus of sinus headache and allergy symptoms.  I. got. nothing. done.

But -- a two-box shipment arrived from Artists in Cellophane today.  One box is full of new art for both of my Art-o-mat machines.  The other contains the 100 white pre-glued boxes that I needed to complete this batch of Tookies. 

This evening I took the Atomic Fireball Happy Hour guy into the plaster cloth room to work on him.  That didn't happen either -- but now my work is cut out for me for the weekend.  That, plus gesso coating the cat-ish king and working some more on the camel-like guy.

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