Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Black Friday/ Cyber Monday

Thanks for making my little sale in my Etsy shop a hit this past weekend! Lots of sweet Christmas and Hanukkah gifts were ordered over the last month, and the continue to pour in. So I am sewing fast and furious! It really is meaningful to me to know I'm fulfilling little wishes around the world. Now I know how Santa's elves feel!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Busy Times

This time of year is busy with gift buying and gift giving. I'm having a great time being one of Santa's elves and creating dolls for lucky recipients! Here are a few recent ones:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Plush You! At Schmancy in Seattle

A few weeks ago I had the honor of attending the opening reception for the Plush You! art show that included three pieces of my work: a dapper fox fellow and two dolls. See?
You can't tell in this picture, but the red-haired doll has a tiny felt camera around her neck!

This is an annual show, where about 50 plush artists are selected from hundreds of applicants from around the world. To say I was humbled and honored to have been included is an understatement!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mermaid Art Doll

This past month, I participated in a great event here in Boise, ID put on by a local painter and friend, Rachel Teannalach. Every month (at the New Moon), she holds an even in her private backyard studio to display her most recent work, and she invites one or two other artists to share the space and do the same. She calls it the New Moon Salon. For September she included another wonderful painter, Pat Kilby, and me.

It was a wonderful event on a beautiful evening, with a terrific chamber music group playing music, and lots of friends attending, and great food and drinks in the warm September air. I enjoyed myself immensely, and I was glad to have a quick and simple, one evening event to share my latest works with friends, new and old.

In my preparation for the event, I decided to make one brand new piece to premiere. I made a mermaid art doll. 

I teased on my Facebook page with this photo immediately after finishing painting the tail.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fun feedback from custom doll client

I recently received this neat email from a customer for whom I made some custom dolls based on characters from the "Artemis Fowl" books:

"Just have to let you know that I took my daughter to meet the author or the Artemis Fowl books, Eoin Colfer, recently. She took her Artemis and Holly dolls, and when it was our turn to meet him and have him sign her books, he[...]caught sight of the dolls and said, 'Is that Artemis and Holly?!'

He called for a camera from one of his entourage, and took a picture of her with the dolls! That was an awesome moment for her.

Thanks again for the beautiful dolls. [My daughter] loves them and is planning their wedding."

That was so fun to hear! It makes me feel good that my customer was so proud of her dolls that she brought them along to meet the author, AND that the creator of the characters approved of my renditions.

I had made the doll of Artemis (the boy character) at Christmas, and as I was looking for a picture to show you, I realized that was one of the dolls in the batch from Christmas that didn't get photographed before I sent them out! Bummer! No picture.

But the doll I made for the daughter's birthday is the character Holly, who is a fairy. I do have a picture of her, and here she is: 
Note her winged backpack! That was really fun to design and make. I was so excited when I found the scrap of fabric that I used for the wings. It was just what I had in mind. 

I really need to get reading these books, I think!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Some new dolls

I recently finished a large batch of dolls. They were such a fun bunch to do! Here's a picture of them in-progress:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My First Art Show Award!

I was so thrilled to learn that I was awarded 3rd place Juror's Choice in the Art Source Gallery's Annual Juried Show with my piece "Frida Kahlo Contemplates Her Heart"!

I completely did not expect it, and was so humbled when I got the news. I'm new to art shows and really feel like I'm still learning the ropes, so to win an award is extremely meaningful for me.

It was a small show, with about 25 pieces, selected out of hundreds of submissions of mainly Boise-area artists, but several out of state artists submitted/were selected, as it is a national show. Amy Pence-Brown was the juror, and she selected a great array of traditional pieces, modern pieces, and downright quirky pieces! It's been a lovely experience from start to finish.

Now, to decide the most fun way to spend my winnings...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Frida Kahlo Doll

I've wanted to do a Frida doll for a very long time. I finished her a while ago, but entered her into an art show, and wanted to wait to see how that panned put before showing her to you.

I'm happy to announce that she will be a part of the Art Source Gallery's Annual Juried Show!

If the show sounds familiar, that's because it's the show that had my Edgar Allan Poe doll last year! It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to it this year, too.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fish Project Finished!

Check out my fish at the MK Nature Center visitors center if you are in the Boise area!

I made one fish of each of eight species: Chinook salmon, Sockeye salmon, bull trout, cutthroat trout, lamprey, burbot, sturgeon, and a large scale sucker.

It was a really fun project. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and at the same time, was completely drained and exhausted by it. The best kind of project!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Big Fish Project Plus Good News!

I have been busy with a variety of exciting projects and I haven't been updating the blog as much as I've meant to. So let's get up to speed, shall we?

One of the biggest and most time intensive things consuming my mind these days is a project I'm working on for the MK Nature Center. If you don't live in the Boise area, you might not know about this incredible place. It's a beautiful park/ habitat you can walk through, free of charge, and observe all kinds of amazing native wildlife. Birds, small (and occasionally large) fuzzy creatures, and fish. Lots of fish. The fish ponds are built in such a way that on one side you can walk over a bridge and watch them from above, and on the other side, you can walk by large windows which the fish swim right past.

There is also an amazing visitor's center, with an interactive section for kids where they can pet animal pelts, stamp life size paw prints into sand, and pick up life-size/-weight stuffed and painted fish of various species.

The old ones are very worn out, so they hired me to redesign and sew eight new fish!

The budget didn't extend to painting the fish, so I'm volunteering my time for that portion. I finished sewing all eight and have begun painting. This has been such a blast! I'm really enjoying it. I'll post pics as I get more painting done.

I've also applied for a few art shows. The Treasure Valley Artist Alliance is having their annual show, and my Edgar Allan Poe doll was chosen to be included! It'll be nice to see him exhibited among the work of my fellow members. Application deadline is also approaching for the Art Source Gallery's annual show which I was a participant in last year. More on my entry to that soon!

And my biggest, most exciting news: I was accepted into the Plush You! Art show in Seattle!!! I am beyond thrilled since this show pulls applicants from across the globe, and such a small number are accepted. I will be shoulder to shoulder with some of my stuffed animal and cloth doll maker heroes when October rolls around! Thank you all for your well wishes and crossed fingers through the application process!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Badger and Raccoon Update, Plus big Etsy Shop Milestone!

This week I finished the last details of the Gentleman Badger, and completed sweet Lady Raccoon! Take a look!

Also just moments ago, my Etsy shop hit the 200 sales mark! I am thrilled to have made it to this point. A special thank you to Cathy O'Toole, and to all of my kind patrons, customers, and fans! You guys are the best!

And don't forget: through April 9th, spend $40 in my Etsy shop and get a free bunny! http://HenAndChick.etsy.com

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Special! Free Bunny with purchase!

OK, here it is! I haven't done a special like this before, so please help me make it a success! Fill those Easter Baskets in your life:

***Spring Special!**** March 26th - April 9th, Free Bunny with any $40+ Hen and Chick Etsy purchase! That's a $15 value! (http://www.etsy.com/listing/68254329/screen-printed-mr-bunny-plushie-pillow).

Just put "Happy Spring" in notes to seller at checkout. Both ready-to-ship and custom orders placed in that time period are eligible for free bunny, but remember to allow 2 weeks from order date for custom orders to ship. Ready-to-ship items ship within 3 days.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Almost Easter Bunny Time! Special Offer Coming Soon...

With Spring just unfurling and Easter around the corner, and so many Hen and Chick items that are perfectly suited for Easter Basket stuffing or just general Spring gifting, I am getting ready to launch a really neat two-week special! Keep your eyes peeled for more info on Monday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Woodland animals series coming along

I finished my fox! Here he is. The brass button on his vest has a tiny coat of arms.

I'm also partway through with a badger fellow. I need to finish his eyes and sew on his arms as well as make his clothes. He will have a corduroy coat with swede elbow patches! But here he is in his current state. He looks sort of grumpy, or as if he has a slight underbite, or both. I love him.

I've also started on a brand new design that I haven't made before: a lady raccoon. Here are her parts and pieces. A little spooky, huh? I often hesitate to post in-progress, prestuffing shots, because there is something a bit unnerving about a doll or toy waiting to be brought to life, and as a rule, I don't like to creep people out. ;)

Next I hope to be working on a robin couple. I have had this series in mind for so long, it's nice to be making progress. I'm using a submission deadline for an art show ("Plush You" in Seattle) as my goal date which always helps motivate me. I'll keep you posted on the art show front as well.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment to say hi if you are so inclined!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back to the Land of the Living: Recent Projects

I'm finally over my long-lasting/several successive virus bout(s), knock on wood! And to celebrate, I have been on a rampage of production.

First I finished my Pride and Prejudice finger puppet set! I have been doodling and dreaming of this project for a long time, and it is SO satisfying to see it in person.
Finger Puppets in Progress
Mr. Darcy, Lizzy Bennett, Jane Bennett, and Mr. Bingley, say hello.

I also had a big custom order that I finished. Two dolls for a pair of grown cousins, one living in Australia, one in Philadelphia. This one was so fun to do because it was a long-held idea by one of the cousins as a way to remember each other while living so far from each other. I love how these dolls and all of their extras turned out.

I also finished a doll that has been languishing faceless and naked for quite sometime (if you look closely, you can see her on a doll stand on the left side of my orange cubbies in the prior post). Being in the mood for spring I made a very cheerful floral dress for her and a little saffron yellow cardi. She looked excited for spring, too, so I figured she'd want to be out taking pictures of the coming Spring, and I gave her a camera. She is already on her way to her new home in Ohio! Here she is, plus a sample of her photography.

And finally, I've nearly finished this dapper orange fox to keep the brown one company. ( just realized that I never blogged about the brown fox after giving a little teaser last April! Well, he is my pride and joy, and I'm happy to be making a partner for him.) I still need to give him a face, and sew his argyle vest. But I'm pleased with how his bow tie turned out. I'll give you another peek when he's done.


Here's crossing my fingers that this productive streak lasts! More soon...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Soul is Willing But the Body is Weak

Man! I don't know what the deal is, but my immune system can't seem to keep up with all the bugs going around. In one way it's good because in my slower state (of slightly achy malaise and low energy), I am having a whirlwind of ideas and inspiration for current projects and brand new ones, too. But being in low gear means very little left over for actually implementing and creating those ideas. *Sigh!* I'm coping by taking lots of notes and sketches, and setting small achievable tasks each day for myself. And drinking lots of water and Vitamin C!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope everyone has a great day today! Take a moment to let your heart swell with love for the people in your life.

I had a chance to show some love recently by participating in the 19th annual "Valentines for AIDS" art show at Flying M Coffeehouse here in Boise. Every year nearly 300 artists donate work to be auctioned off over a 10 day silent auction, with proceeds benefiting SNAP (Safety Net for AIDS Program). Bidding ended 2 days ago, and I just heard that the event raised nearly $23,000!

My entry was one of my plushie robots with a big red felt heart. I feel very fortunate to have been allowed to participate, as it was sort of at the last minute I was asked to join, and it was a wonderful experience from start to finish! Here are a few pictures (some courtesy of Flying M's Facebook page, some of my own) from the artists' party on Feb. 2.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Custom Bride Doll Complete!

Well, it feels so good to have "Cecelia" packaged up and off to her new home! I took a few pictures before I slipped her into her box.