recent news- so much!

My blog birthday was last week on February 13- 9 years old! Yes, I am amazed too! Nine years old is the age that I look back on with the most fondness in my own childhood. We’ll see what this year brings for my blog.

Okay, I have the Swaddled Baby pattern done. I am planning to have it available for sale on Wednesday evening. I’m going out of town for a few days and I don’t want to put it into my etsy shop if I’m not around to send out the pdfs. I will also be setting up a shop at Craftsy which does automatic downloads. See you on Wednesday!

I have recently gotten some very inspiring books-

Hurray! I now have my copy of Lilla’s book- I Just Like to Make Things: Learn the Secrets to Making Money while Staying Passionate about your Art and Craft and have started reading. It is so exciting, inspiring and beautiful! I am so proud to have a little part in it- yes, there I am!

I also bought myself a few other beautiful book treats last week- Mark Hearld: Workbook, an amazing, almost all picture book of the work of a British illustrator. Gorgeous.

And, Illustrators 53 , the Society of Illustrators Annual. I looked to see if I could get some back issues out of my local library and the most recent on they had was 1980! These books are keeping me motivated to keep on with my “draw more” New Years resolution. I’m doing pretty well on that, btw. I have missed days but keep going back and not giving up. The trick for me is that I try not to do it at the end of the day when I’m tired. And, in case you might have noticed something a little different here, I just signed up to be an Amazon affiliate so I will actually get a tiny kickback if you click the links and buy. Figured I’d give it a try, now that I am 9 years old!

And other things- I’ve been playing with colors and my dots and flags.

Making these is one of the ways I deal with myself when I’m freaking out about something- like feeling overwhelmed by computer ignorance when I’m doing the patterns. Step back, breathe deeply, calm down, play with the pretty colors.

And, as usual, lots of unfinished projects are littering my space. Right now, foxes and kitties.

So many projects, never enough time.

Visit to Salley!

I went down to the Cape to see Salley and her amazing artwork!

I’ve seen enough of Salley’s artwork to know it would be worth the drive to see this piece in person- it was amazing! She blogged about the visit here.

We sat in her studio and chatted, we walked in the woods, we visited the show, we had lunch… and it was a perfect Autumn day. Salley’s studio is so beautiful- I always enjoy visiting and seeing what she is up to. Lots of work-in-progress!

Honk

I ended up at Honk last weekend. I’ve never been before. I knew it was going to happen, thought about going, figured I had way too much work I should be focusing on and forgot about it. But, I was out and about and decided to stop into a restaurant I’d want to try out and suddenly I was in the middle of it- Hurray for serendipity! I had no idea what I’d been missing!

Ben and I wandered around Davis Sq. for several hours on Saturday, watching a number of the bands perform. It was all so much sensory stimulation- I was exhausted! We returned for the parade on Sunday and this time I brought my camera.

All ages and all colors! Love the guy in plaid.

I am not sure I’ve ever seen so much hula hoop action in my life! This was just one of several groups.

Lots of politics mixed with music.

Even some really amazing embroidery!

I couldn’t get a good photo of this embroidery unfortunately-

Amazing art clothes-

Art instruments- can you see that that “thing” is made out of circular saw blades?

And amazing people- Definitely doll inspiration! I love her jacket and hair. She was beautiful.

I will try not to miss it again! We had so much fun and it was one of those events where I felt like I live in a wonderful place. Hurray for Honk!

finally- Maker Faire!

I was in Stamford, CT and the Maker Faire was less than an hour away- how could I not go. Especially when I knew Sonya was there!

And all her dresses!

I saw some other things too of course although I only had about 3 hours total to be there.

New York in toothpicks-

Makie Dolls

Scribble makers-

A man dressed in Metro Cards-

and a life-size mouse trap!

Next year, my husband and I will probably come and spend the weekend. There was so much to see, so much energy and so many people having a great time! I’m glad we made the quick trip and got a taste.

 

and then I went to a doll conference

I went to the NIADA conference in Stamford, CT. I saw some amazing artwork.

I love Neva‘s work- the craftsmanship is amazing and her humor has stayed with me- every time I think back, I am amused again!

Nancy Wiley‘s beautiful work. She now has 2 children’s book- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Red Riding Hood. I bought myself the Red Riding Hood book. She did a presentation and described the process of illustrating the book and self-publishing.

Ana Salvador

Ankie Daanen

I love seeing Shelley Thornton‘s work. I wish there might be more but even one is a treat.

E.J. Taylor

I saw other dolls (Anna Zueva) that I missed getting photos of and met some wonderful people (Lillian Alberti). There were hours and hours of presentations.

The talk I needed to hear was by Robert Tonner who is currently celebrating 20 years of his doll company. He spoke at the first NIADA conference I went to in 2005- I still remember things he said from that first talk. This is what he said that I wrote down and will post in my studio- If you want to grow, let it go. I need to hear that- over, and over, and over… yes, I admit it. I can go nuts if things aren’t just so- especially if they have my name on them… reminder to self- let it go.

And now I will probably burn any bridges that might have existed with the NIADA part of the doll world. Wow- I just checked out the doll websites for the above artists and several others too. Most of them have not gotten the message about the internet. Please- update your sites! Put some of your new dolls up there. Get rid of the black backgrounds. How many clicks does it take to see what you do? Sigh.

And here is a story that will be what I remember from this trip. If I ever get worried that I am getting a fat head when exciting things happen, I will come back over here, reread this and laugh one more time!

background- On Saturday morning there was a program where visiting artists’ could sign up to show 10 images of their work- they called it 10 x 12 (based on this). I hadn’t submitted my images because I thought that, heh, I’m all over the internet. People have seen my work and I should give other people a chance. (silly me!) When I asked the organizer of the program, she told me only 7 people had submitted work so I joined the fun after all. I presented and survived- it was the first time I have ever spoken into a microphone! At the end I mentioned the licensing contract with Land of Nod. I then spent the rest of the day answering the question- how did LON find me. I don’t actually know the answer to that but tried to suggest ways that hopefully didn’t make me sound like a jerk. That evening was the banquet and again someone asked- how did they find me? Maybe I’d used up all my patience but I said- they probably saw my work on line. I’m pretty well known on the internet. And the woman sitting next to me asks, For what?

I am still laughing. It was all so absurd. Yes, I was at a doll conference. No, almost no one there knew my work or was even interested. I apparently don’t fit their definition? Luckily I am at a place with my work that I find it funny and not discouraging. And, next year I will think about going to Comic Con where I think I might fit in a little better.

Wow and an Owl!

Look, look, Look! I won this gorgeous moth when Mister Finch celebrated his 2nd blog birthday- Lucky me! I am so thrilled!!!

His work is amazing and I’ve been stalking his Etsy shop for a while, looking for the perfect piece (usually what I want has just sold). This is the best though! I am going to find the right spot in my studio to hang it up. Then I can get back to his shop and start to shop again- I think my moth might need a friend.

And, I finished up this owl.

I was in the mood for a quick project and this owl body was already sewn and stuffed.

Of course I can make any project more complicated by spending hours picking through my fabrics!

Happy Day!

Merry Christmas if that is what you celebrate! When we cleared out my parents house some number of years ago, I found a portfolio with Christmas stationary, clippings from magazines and other graphic art, dated 1938. Here are some scans from the collection-

Have a wonderful day!

some presents to myself

I’ve spent some money on things I couldn’t resist. I will list them in the order I bought them.

I got an IPad in August and I love it. I’ve been using it for running charge cards when I go to markets and so it feels like a legitimate business tool. About a month ago I bought a DODO case and I totally recommend it. The IPad feels protected and the case feels good in my hand. It is an artisan-made product which I have to admit makes me love it even more. Check it out if you are in the market for any tablet case- I think they’ve got them all.

I read this review on Pikaland. I thought, I have GOT to get that! I did. It is amazing! Check it out, Wrap.

My favorite-

Crystal posted some mushroom ornaments on her blog right before the SOWA Holiday Market. I rushed over to her booth before the show opened to check out what she brought. Unfortunately some other vender had gotten in there before me and the ones I wanted were taken. Crystal make me some more when she was back home again. These will not be going back to attic after Christmas. They will be hanging in my studio all year round.

I found this adorable little fellow at Gallery Hanahou. He is made by Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land. I think he will be spending his time hanging out on top of one of the above mushrooms.

And lastly, this owl ornament (I think he is papier mache and approx. 4″ tall). I found him at John Derian.

When I was at John Derian, there were lots of items by Coral & Tusk. I had never seen the work before and was tempted and intrigued. Then, as I was catching up on my blogs on Monday, somebody linked to them! I loved this fox. He has a pocket with a camera!

the weekend

The SOWA Holiday Market is usually 2 days but was only one day (Saturday) this year. People really wanted to come!

Apparently the line was like that for much of the day.

Here is my booth. (Sorry about the bad photo. My camera seems to be developing focus issues. Is a 3 year old digital camera geriatric?)

This is just one side but at least it is in focus-

The show was fun, busy, exhausting!

On Sunday I went to the Art Institute of Boston to see an amazing show– the work of Chris Sickels of the Red Nose Studio.

Sorry- more terrible photos. Go to his website to get a good idea of how incredible his work is. He makes these figures and then photographs them for his illustration work. I love seeing pieces like this close up and in person- the details of the stitches and fabric choices are what interest me most. The show is only up for a few more days but if you are in the Boston area, I would highly recommend it. And it is free!

I am planning on going to NYC at the end of the week so I can see the Luvable and Hugable Show. Is there any other shows I should go see while I am there? Any other general recommendations?

 

 

botanical garden

or Jardin Botanique. I love Botanical Gardens and always find them inspiring. Oh, but first, I forgot this photo for the market post- look at all the beautiful preserves!

Okay, now, back to the gardens.

I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to visit these greenhouses in the middle of the winter.

Out to the display gardens- look at that gorgeous purply-red giant decorative Kale. Maybe it’s edible, I don’t know. Very impressive!

And artichokes. Such crazy looking things.

This is the Chinese Garden. I love the Lotus plants. Can you see the man in the boat? That is a lantern, part of the Lantern Festival they have in September.

We wanted to see the lanterns lit up but obviously had to wait until it was dark-ish. We decided to head back to the car and just relax until dusk. On our way to the parking lot, we saw this sign. Tintin! How could we resist?!

Well, Tintin and a display of mushrooms. It was an impressive collection. So many varieties.

Tables and tables full.

After that and a little rest in the car, it was getting dark enough to go back and see the lanterns.

There was an impressive crowd for a Sunday evening in September. This is obviously a very popular yearly event. I can see why- it was fun to walk around in the dimming light with the lanterns glowing and people all around.

We left before it was fully dark and loads more people were streaming in.

We had a great time in Montreal. It is not that far from Boston- about 5 1/2 hrs driving. We should go more often. I’m already thinking about what I want to do next time!