bird baby 2

I’ll be overwhelming you with posts after my silence in January. I just finished this second bird baby for my pattern. But, I’m looking back at the January posts and looking at what I have finished and sitting in front of me and I can see that I am way behind! So today- bird baby, inspired by the zillions of sparrows that spend their days in the shrubbery around my house. Sometimes when I go out the door, a cloud of birds takes to the air!

getting back to the needle

I’m trying to get back to some sewing time but it’s been difficult. I have a ton of computer nonsense calling to me. Sigh- the never-ending distraction. But, I have 2 more samples that needed to be finished for the Swaddled Baby pattern so I HAD to go to the studio, right?!

This is the second of 2 Folk Art Baby designs for the pattern.

Last Friday I had some visitors from Sweet Paul Magazine-

That was the real incentive for getting the studio all cleaned up. As always, I work well with a deadline! It’s fun to see my studio through the eyes of the photographer. I can’t wait to see the results.

I’m hoping I’ll be back here a lot more this month. I’m also trying to train myself to post more photos on Twitter and Facebook. Winter is so isolating and all the social media becomes more important to make me feel connected. See you soon!

Gather Here reception

There is going to be a little closing reception tomorrow night at Gather Here, 7pm. It was fantastic to have my dolls on display all month. Hope to see you there!

I’ve been taking care of various business this week. One thing on the list- clean the studio. This is mid-day when I was sorting through drawers- the type of project that gets done at the end of the clean-up.

Then, all done. Of course it was nearly dark by then so I have the yellow light affect in these photos.

So many clear surfaces- That won’t last long!

And now I can start messing it up again!

Wow! What a week!

I taught 4 classes- 4 nights and 2 weekend days. Phew! And I learned so much.

First we did the owl as seen in the last post. Then the swaddled baby.

The 4 hours scheduled was nowhere near long enough. Next time, 6 hours. The faces take a good amount of time and concentration.

Then, 2 nights of Perfect Puppies. There was lots of laughing and doggie talk here. And the dogs came out great! Well, the almost finished versions that I saw. I hope I’ll get more photos of completed pups.

And lastly, 2 long afternoons of foxes.

Wow!

This is how it was from my perspective. I want to do more teaching so when Virginia of Gather Here asked me to do the Artist-in-Residence, we decided that I’d teach.  I volunteered to teach 4 classes, 3 of which I hadn’t even written the patterns for. Yes sir, jumping into the fire here. Because really, not only were the patterns not written, I have very little teaching experience. I’ve taught in my house where I have all my stuff and I taught a class with my doll club where I knew everyone. This past week was the first time I was working in a new environment with strangers- scary!  I’m a worrier and a homebody. Knowing I’d committed to being out of the house for a week, I worried that I’d get the flu (nope, my husband got it though), I’d have horrible insomnia the whole week, I’d forget everything I needed, etc, etc. I can always think of endless things to worry about! Of course it was all fine. I didn’t get sick, I was so tired at the end of the day that I crashed every night, and everything I forgot, they had there- of course, cuz you know, it’s a store!

Every day I’d start to get really anxious about half an hour before the class started. By 15 minutes into the class I was fine. Phew!

I was a little flummoxed by a different sewing machine but there was always a helper to work with the students on the machines. And I got to play with some new to me tools/toys like these light-weight Gingher scissors- I really liked them.

Honestly, I am so proud of myself for doing this. It was totally out of my comfort zone in a lot of areas- writing the patterns, teaching out of the house, so many people I didn’t know. But I learned so much by watching how people worked, the mistakes they made, the mistakes I made. I will be doing some tweaking on the patterns based on the experience. And everyone was so great! Thanks all you amazing students! I want to see more photos!

I hope to be finishing the patterns in the next few weeks. The Swaddled Baby will come first. I’ll keep you informed!

Owl Class

My first day of Artist-in-Residence at Gather Here was fantastic. We had loads of fun in the owl class.

Mid-afternoon was quiet and I organized supplies and went over the owl pattern on my own.

The evening brought the students- everyone worked really hard.

And look who was hatched by the end of the evening- A Parliament of Owls!

Tonight we’ll be making swaddled babies.

a few things finished

I’m working on the patterns and I am making slow progress. As I work, dolls get made. Here are the babies, so far. Two Basic babies, a folk art baby and a bird baby-

And a dog. I made this one and did all the photos for the pattern but realized that there wasn’t enough contrast to show the techniques so now I have another on going.

Back to work now!

making patterns

I am working away at pattern-making and it is using up all my words. So, no blogging and no tweeting and no facebook.

This is the “basic baby”. I’m working on some embellished versions.

And the dog.

So many steps to think about. And lastly the fox but no pictures yet. Pattern making is very difficult- I used to think just for me but after being on twitter with other people who do this, I know it is hard for everyone. I am stressed out by the technical end of putting it all together because everything I’ve used before (old photoshop and indesign) will not work on my new computer. If I upgrade (expensive for something I rarely use) there will be the re-learning how to use it. All that is swirling in my head as I work on the directions, the photos and the diagrams. I will get it all worked out but in the mean time I will make myself crazy. Now, back to work!

the dolls of 2012

Turns out it was the year of the fox for me. I made 25 foxes-

I made 18 men-

and 18 Women and girls.

12 fish, 7 owls,

3 kitties, 3 babies and 12 dogs.

I also made 14 pincushions including one for me!

This total is down from the last 2 years which make me kind of sad. Ah well. Today starts another year. Happy New Year 2013! Hope it is a good one for you!

let’s review- 2012

My Christmas sewing this year- reusable lunch bags and shopping bags-

Another year goes by! I am thankful for my blog to keep my memories for me. It is fun to go back and review. Here are some things that made me happy this year-

- a new floor in the studio! I know it doesn’t seem like much but I love scooting around in my chair.

- I was in a show with some other fantastic doll artists. Thanks Nichol!

- I went to Honk! It was AMAZING!

- San Francisco- Loved it! Renegade and some vacation too.

- I got to meet Sonya for the first time when I went to SF. We’ve been internet buddies for years and it was a thrill to give her a hug in person. And then we got to meet again!

- I won something from a blog give-away- Thanks again Mr. Finch! I love my moth!

- My monthly meet-up with other like-minded crafty-biz people. We are starting our 4th year in January! This meet-up started from a New Years resolution and all I can say is, if you want something in your life, sometimes you really can make it happen!

- And Ryan, my 5 hour a week helper. It has been great fun having someone to talk to on a schedule.

Other important events of the year-

- I took Sister Diane‘s class about doing on-line classes. I quickly realized that I really didn’t want to do it. And that was absolutely worth taking the class to figure out. It became clear to me that doing the classes involves a lot of tech support- not something I want to do. And, being the kind of person I am, I would likely be unable to do any other work during the duration of the class- too distracting.

- 2 things that sound good but mostly were really stressful for me, book and licensing.

- I did 3 Renegade shows- Brooklyn, San Francisco and Chicago. I decided not to do any Holiday shows this year- the right decision for my sanity but maybe not for my business. Hard to know.

Tomorrow I will post my dolls of 2012.

Classes

I am going to be the Artist-in-Residence at Gather Here in Cambridge in mid-January. I’ll be teaching a bunch of new classes! I knew if I said yes to doing the classes, I would have to finish some new patterns- you know, deadline incentive!

I’ve posted photos of examples but what we will make in the classes will all be unique because everyone will choose their own fabrics and colors. Here is what the week looks like.

I’m teaching the Owl on Tuesday, Jan 22 (although that one looks full already!)

On Wednesday, Jan. 23, I am teaching the Swaddled Baby. I am working (or maybe mostly procrastinating) on that pattern now. The class (and pattern) will include directions for needle-sculpting the face. Also a variety of designs from very basic using pretty ribbons, a design that includes a new baby’s name embroidered on the ribbon, a folk-art type design and one like this picture which I think of as a puzzle pattern (fit all the pieces together).

On Thursday Jan. 24, I will try to convince you that the patterns aren’t sacred and you can cut them up and tape them back together, make them bigger, make them smaller and generally take charge and get what you want. I will be specifically referencing the dog toy since dogs come in so many variations. On Friday, January 25 we will be making the dogs.

This is the basic design-

And above is a long version. Obviously there are lots of options to play with. This design is a basic toy with the clothing as part of the body.

On Saturday (1/26) and Sunday (1/27) will be a two-day class to make foxes. This class will cover constructing the fox and then dressing. You can make a girl or a boy fox. The clothing options will include a vest, jacket, dress, and/or skirt. You could make a kitty instead since it is the same basic construction and fits the same clothing.

This is my first adventure of 2013. I want to teach more so I am pushing forward full steam ahead! I’ll be teaching all these classes for the first time so there will be some unknowns- the biggest mystery for me is always how long a project will take another person. I’m hoping we’ve scheduled the right amount of time for the projects but I’m willing to be flexible and relaxed and hope we will all have fun. My teaching philosophy is that most people who take a class from me are looking to have a little time away from their everyday life and want play with new materials and tools- a mini-craft vacation. I hope to see you there!

The patterns will not be available for sale until after the classes so hopefully at the end of January.