Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Coon's Age

Just to be clear, I looked it up, and I'm 99% it's not a pejorative idiom. Apparently there's an old folk belief that raccoons live a long time... Turns out they just all look alike. Now that, that is a pretty risky statement, but I'm 99% sure no raccoons read this blog, so I think we're good here. 

Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business and address the fact that I haven't posted in a really long time. I've been busy! Here's what I've made since... October?

The preschool job is going pretty well; Nice coworkers, lots of fun kids, good lunches, so I rewarded them by making this spooky puzzle during our 'body' unit. It's white paper all exacto'd and scissored and glued onto black, then laminated and cut out again. It's so cool having access to a laminator - now when I make stuff out of paper, they don't destroy is quite as quickly! The kids liked it a lot - our class is particularly good at puzzles.

Next up I got a commission for a set of nesting dolls that were to be a gift for a fellow finishing up his masters in English. Thus: writer dolls, all of his supposed favorites, many of whom I had to google for a likeness. Serious, who knows what Robert Frost looks like? Not me. Shakespeare is obvious, but Whitman? No idea.

Whitman, apparently. Good looking guy, looks like a fighter.

Hallowe'en snuck up on me, and the few nights leading up to our annual party were late ones. If you don't know what I am supposed to be, it's a Dementor from the Harry Potter series. I was taller than Martha for once, but getting in and out of the thing wasn't easy. My face is in the chest, peering through a few layers of gauzy black fabric. It was really fun to get to see people's reactions without them knowing just how tall this spooky guy really was.

Along came a puppet order, and I filled it. This dorky looking guy was really fun to design, and I used the little plastic eyes again. I'm thinking about going with them full time, they add some life to the puppet.

As soon as he was in the mail, it was time to get-a-making for the upcoming art fairs, one on Black Friday, the other in mid December. I started with some block printed tags, which can do double duty as paper Christmas tree ornaments.

Next I made this little mousy, who sold quick (the mice seem to, as they are less expensive and very cute). My favorite mouse so far, no contest.

I added a few new signs to the mix, along with one for Martha, who had been hard at work on her newly designed clutches, and who had her own table for the first time at the Sip & Shop in December.

My buddy Phil approached me in the thick of show prep to ask about a caricature of the Postman who has served his time in the downtown area long enough to become an icon. Jerry was retiring, and Phil had a vision!

After I sent him a sketch, he approved, and I got to work.

In the end it turned out great, and we made it out to his retirement party, where I met the man himself. He seemed to really like the portrait. Fun stuff!

Smokie tends to be very involved on the work I do around the house, and he cuddle-tested this stack of cuddle-buds for me.

Martha was across me at the Sip & Shop, a which was fun and lucrative for the both of us. Look at those cool clutches!

My table was pretty crowded, but it thinned out as I sold off a handful of prints and cuddle-buds.

The new flannels I got for the back sided were classy and comfy. I instagrammed the next photo, but thought it was cool enough to re-post here.

After the fairs I listed the four buds on my etsy, which, er, you should check out, fine reader.

Here's a closer look at the Fuzzy Buddy redesign - the fuzz-ball was my first fabric printing project, and i thought he would benefit from an upgrade. I'm very happy with the new look, and people have responded well. 

I then moved on to Christmas commissions - starting with a big order of ten nesting dolls, ordered from Illinois and shipped out to sunny LA. There was some pretty detailed stuff on these dolls, and all with very pretty hair.

The largest doll was double sided, showing off the happy, gift-receiving couple. Their hair was a trick to figure out, but it turned out great.

Here's a clear shot of grandma, but I'm guessing they all call her something like Gigi or, um, Sharon or something.

Details, details - this one loves her iphone, or so I was told, so I included it.

Next up: a puppet! My third order from Illinois this season, which struck me as funny, having just left the place.

From sketch to reality in two-hundred-and-thirty-seven easy steps!

Jenny, a friend of mine in Chicago, had me design and order these vinyl stickers for her husbands home-brew. Jim has a mighty mustache, and now, so do his beers.

Next in line was a one-day art camp with a handful of my regular art camp kids. For Christmas I was granted a stamp press and some linoleum cutting and printing supplies, so I encouraged the kids to venture into printmaking, and they went for it. 

I don't know what a Divergent is, But Rhiddi carefully produced fifteen four-color prints, inspired by the cover of the book. Very impressive work!

Our resident Brony made a bunch of cool My Little Pony inspired metallic prints. Good stuff. 

A rush order came from Adventure Stage in Chicago - they needed the next poster/image for their new original play on the rush, and after five mock-ups and a whole boat load of tweaks over the course of two weeks, this image came along and we all agreed that it was great, and accurately captured the intrigue and mystery they were going for. 

Lastly (for now), I got to settle down one night and put in some time with the new wood-carving tools my dad and brother gave me for Christmas. I carved a quick and simple design and made a handful of prints. Working with wood instead of rubber or lino is a fun challenge, and it will take some getting used to, but the first prints were cool, and I can't wait to do some more. 

Whew - BUSY! But happy. On top of all of this I finished a super-secret contract last week that was for my biggest client yet, and I'm not allowed to show it, or to discuss it... so... there! Keep warm!