it’s been quiet here

But not so quiet in my actual life. Since my last post, I finished my prototypes for West Elm and sent them off. Fingers crossed that all proceeds smoothly from here! Then I started prepping for a class that I taught at Gather Here over the weekend. I was having a hard time staying focused on that task and did a lot of cleaning, sorting, picking through, inventory-ing before I’d have to give myself a stern talking to and get back on track. It’s a January kind of activity. Anyway, the class was terrific!

1:15:class1Everyone worked hard and made some wonderful worlds.

1:15:class2

1:15:class3

1:15:class4

And on Saturday night, I started a quilt. Because, you know, it’s January!

1:15:quilt

I booked a trip to Chicago in February- Hurray! Now to look into all the fun stuff since it will not be a working trip…. hmm- how does one do that?

My top 10 2013 review

the above photo has nothing to do with this post or the weather today. I just thought it was pretty :)

I know, I know, time to move on! But stay with me, I need to do these reviews to think about where I want to go this new year. I’m just a little bit late.

2013 has been pretty awesome over here in my public art life. There have been a few blips (some kind of major) in the private life, but in general it has been a surprisingly good year. Here are my top 10 of 2013!

#1 is Teaching. I decided that 2013 was going to be the year I pushed myself out of the house and did more teaching. I threw myself into the fire at Gather Here where I was the January artist-in-residence. I taught 4 classes on 6 consecutive days. By the end of that week I felt like I’d run a marathon, exhausted but so proud of myself. I taught there again in April, then in San Francisco, at ArtRetreat in New Hampshire, and twice at the New England Quilt Museum. So far this year I am scheduled to teach the Tiny Worlds at Gather Here next weekend, The Makerie/Sweet Paul Retreat in March, and ArtRetreat in August again. I’m so excited!

#2 is Dolls. Wow- 144 dolls- The most ever! And my new line of friends at Land Of Nod. Yes, those are my cover dogs!

#3 is all the Selling. I did 3 in-person Markets in 2013- Renegade San Francisco, Renegade Chicago, and Crafty Bastards Washington, DC. My online sales are mostly through Etsy but this year I did a flash sale on One Kings Lane. Amazing- sold out in under 2 hours!

#4 is direct sales. Because I sell directly to customers, I get a lot of wonderful emails with stories and compliments. Among the best of this year- A tattooed man is hanging in the office of someone who works at the fabric manufacturer of the toile, a tiny world was part of a marriage proposal, one of the man dolls accompanied someone to their chemo treatments. I get to know that I am a special part of a lot of peoples’ gift-giving- even when they are buying that gift for themselves! Makes me happy.

#5 is Instagram. I love it. It has made me much more active about posting process photos and also posting on Facebook. Follow me if you want- I’m mimikirchner.

#6 is Patterns. I only got one new one out this year (hey- I got kinda busy!) but they continue to sell and give me a passive income which help me do this crazy doll thing that I love.

#7 is the Eyes of the Internet. I’m referring to this. The bad, sad, angry-making, frustrating thing. I strongly believe that by putting my work out for the world to see, I am safer than if I kept it under wraps and private. I will always hear from you all if someone is copying my artwork. I am so grateful. And sometimes the bad times can have a happy ending.

#8 is Putting Myself Out There. I was in Sweet Paul Magazine (here), Make Art That Sells, and Crescendoh.com where I wrote an essay for the Art Saves column. I had 2 pieces in a show of tattoo art in France. I also joined the fun with my friend Liz and was interviewed on her show, Makers in Business.

#9 is Doing the Hard Things. I leaped right out of my comfort zone and said yes to doing the Holiday window at Gather Here (still there if you are local to Cambridge, MA). I made 15 Tiny Worlds for it including some that pushed the boundaries of anything I’ve tried before. I took a weekend intensive class in Illustrator. Hopefully something sunk in and it will show up in a pattern or 2 this year. I said yes to some things this year and no to other things. Both/either can be scary.

#10 is Friends. That is you, all my blog readers. And my Crafty Biz meet-up buds who I see (at least) once a month and we talk about all the biz stuff. And Lilla, my so generous, meet for coffee and talk about the important design stuff, friend. And all the people I’ve “known” online and met in person this year- Betz, Mati, Lisa. The those that I’ve known online and in-real-life and got to see again this year- Susan, Sonya. And the friends on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Yes, a very good year. I stretched myself in good directions and feel stronger for it. Bring on 2014- I am ready!!!

all the things, 2013!

Happy New Year everybody!

My dolls of 2013- 6 babies, 29 foxes, 1 musician,

mosaicde26ca3c5c42b5d3f6951043b0c81a69255c607bmosaic14d278b6a15e933cd21c7ae406c7f3ed8294a5aemosaic55d03b555c9d736eb1d032faac651f5ee8da1d6cmosaicca744dd9e0c52943a690d8b0ef6b02f906dae3a212 lumberjacks, 7 with tats, 17 tattooed men, 7 tattooed women, 29 fish, 18 owls, 2 kitties, 23 dogs, 11 of which were pugs. That is 144 dolls, the most I’ve ever made in a year!

And, 17 Tiny Worlds too!

mosaic819797bd8791001101b519cacc098eb0f4be2122

Fantastic news and resolution!

12:31:ornament2

I am working with West Elm, designing a line of ornaments for 2014!!! Sometimes great things happen as a result of bad. Remember all of this mess with Cody Foster and the copying and all? West Elm contacted me as a result and I am now busy working on some very fun and exciting designs. I can’t show anything at this point but I am thrilled to bits!

This has been an amazing year and I am planning an overview, but I didn’t want this news to get lost in a big long list. And these ornaments in the photos have nothing to do with the West Elm job, though the one below is something I made a million or 20 years ago.

12:31:ornament1

gift suggestions!

Here are some ideas that don’t have to be wrapped!

How about the Sweet Paul/ Makerie Retreat in NYC this coming March. I’ll be making owls and I can not wait!

#130, #131- 2013

Or maybe you are more of a country person. How about the 2nd Art Retreat Camp in New Hampshire next August? I will be doing Tiny World pin cushions and a few other little fun projects. Here is a video for a little taste of summer.

12:17:tw

And maybe it isn’t a retreat you are thinking of. How about a little bit of Art? I am showing one piece in a show at Art Stream- Off The Grid. All the Art is 6″ x 6″ and all available through their online shop.

12:2:6 x 6

I am going to try to get my act together and write up a list of recommendations for products that I love and maybe you might too. Let’s see if I manage to find the time!

little girl fox

She has all the soft fabrics! Her dress is made of baby corduroy and the jacket is flannel.

12:15:foxgirl2a

This photo is a bit over-exposed but you can really see the flannel design. Isn’t it pretty?

12:15:foxgirl2b

12:15:foxgirl2c

12:15:foxgirl2e

12:15:foxgirl2d

Yes, we got some snow. And then some rain. And then it froze, which makes shoveling difficult. It’s a good day to work at home.

She is now in my etsy shop.