Boredom… and coffee

I’ve been a little sick with a little bug.  A stinky nasty dirty bug, and this time he got in my eye! And now, after three days of Dr visits, eye exams, and insanely bright lights flashed in my face I’ve been told that I need to rest these injured eyes. That is literally the hardest thing for me to do. Could you spend your day with even one eye shut? Try both. There’s so much to see, and watch, and draw, and make…

So, other than taking the medication, I have not been following Doctor’s orders to rest these eyes. I have been taking ten second naps though. That counts right?

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Got bored waiting for the doctor today. That’s where this pretty lady came from. Guess it’s pretty serious to get eye infections cuz, before I even got home, the office called me to make sure I was taking the medicine. Of course I am! That was new, but I figured maybe I need to follow ALL their instructions and rest the eyes.

And then I drank a coffee.

Ever have a coffee and be told to sit quietly. Doesn’t work. But It was the perfect time to test an idea I’ve been playing with for a while now.

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These monsters I draw… I like them to look real, with more detail than those of my past.  I’m a grownup, and it’s time to make grownup art. (Grown up art that comes from imaginary stories about invisible monsters living in the forest. Sure.)

But I can’t sew them like I used to, because woah, time consuming. All those those highly elaborate features…  And horns! Plus I’m not officially educated in the sewing so I can only assume it will take a week just to finish ONE doll. And who’s going to buy a $100 stuffed toy?! Not me. And I really don’t expect anyone else to either. (not yet at least when I’m famous perhaps)

I wondered then about sewing a basic body, and painting their faces on with whatever detail I wanted. But that still sounded like a lot of work. And possibly funny looking. So today I wondered… what if I painted only a head? Just the heads could be cool, and then it’s a big enough canvas that I could actually see to add any detail, instead of wearing a head lamp to paint their teeny tiny horns. Yes, sometimes the head lamp IS totally cool. But right now the light hurts, and I’m not even sure if that will go away. Ugh.

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So these are a test. A definite work in progress. If all turns out well, and they are easy to reproduce, then you are going to see a lot more painted fabric things here.

Back to the sewing table

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Next weekend is the Make a Difference Market at the University in Waterloo.  It’s organized by an amazing group of college kids working through the peace society, raising money to help third world countries. I’ve been doing this show for at least 6 years, and like always, I can’t wait!

I’ve decided to bring the remaining UROCK collection plus my new upcycled project, Gypsy Train offering both preloved and upcycled clothing, as well as BIGoakCO‘s monsters and jewels. That being said, today my day will consist of a little cleaning, a little sewing and a lot of mythological superheroes…. Watched, of course, in chronological order thanks to the Internet movie database list!

The imagination needs a little inspiration every once in a while. Plus watching so many movies in succession helps me get the job done.

Ps. The snow finally hit the tall forest…. And it’s beautiful.

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From what I hear, the good fairies have been preparing for this snow for quite some time, as a protective shield against the evil rat Queen and her minion crows. So no fear, they are warm and cozy, and happy and safe.

Come a long way, baby

Me that is. Today this is all about me and the realization that I am finally proud of how far I’ve come. Proud, for this moment.

Back in 2007 I created a clothing line with monsters sewn from odd fabric scraps. People seemed to like them, so I kept going. Gradually the sewing got better, the designs cuter and the screenprinting looked far more professional than when I started. I took this as “practice makes perfect” (or maybe just “better than before”) and kept going because I could. I didn’t really feel a sense of pride or accomplishment for the sewing. And actually still got down because I figured I really needed to do much much better.

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After a while, as the demand for the tees tapered off, I decided to try something new. I’ve sinc developed a line of jewelry that encompassed my love of nature and my collection of vintage jewelry. I’ve also started to record the little imaginary adventures that we encounter while on our stick finding adventures.

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The stories came easily, as did most of the jewelry. But Illustrating the stories was something new. I had never really done that before, and in my opinion, I really didn’t do it well. I drew for fun, but never to show anyone. This was when I realized I should have paid more attention in art class. (Note to highschool me: just cuz you want to be an astronaut doesn’t mean you should ignore them when they talk about dirt. All of it really will be important one day.)

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At this point my daughter’s art had progressed drastically, and was truly incredible to me. I definitely shared it more than my friends cared to see. I was proud, but possibly also a little jealous. It frustrated me that she had no formal training and it was only her dedication to keep trying that she was able to improve. I finally asked her what exactly she did to get do good, and the smarty-farty just said “practice”.

We’ve told her this for years, back when she didn’t think she was good enough, so I really should have expected this response. And there’s that pride again. Proud that the kid actually listened, stuck to it, and accomplished something so great.

Whether it was that pride, jealously, or mad determination, I started sketching whenever I could. I drew whoever was sitting in front of me, sorry for that Guelph office mates… I Doodled faces onto monsters in magazines, while on my break… I even googled other drawings and attempted to recreate them. That being said, I actually think this is the best method of learning. Copying teaches me drawing techniques I never learned in school. And this got my hand eye used to converting what my eye was seeing.

After months and months…. And months of this, I think I am finally where I hoped to be.

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More improvement is always a goal….
But for today, for this moment, I’m kinda proud of how much better these drawings are looking. Note to anyone out there: Practice Everyday!

Mad rush before the holiday (Halloween that is)

This past weekend, Value village was both beautiful and annoying all at once.

Such a rush of emotions flowing through me. Joy and happiness watching everyone run about, searching for articles of their ingenious costumes. Then intense panic cuz what if someone else already grabbed what I needed! And then anger as every isle was blocked with so many Gosh darn people stuck in LA LA land, trying to picture their outfit and certainly not paying attention to the multitude of people building up behind them. Plus the more I detoured from my route, the more I found to purchase that was NOT part of the Halloween costumes.

Ahhhhh the joy +pain of Halloween.

Today’s visit was originally costume related. I needed a few more purple things, and of course, found a ton. The skirt I had originally designed wad too thick and bulky. I felt like the abominal snowman/hatter so I needed something lighter, But still funky weird. And what luck, I found this gold + purple plaid nylon that’s perfect! Well in my head it is. Still have to sew it into the skirt.

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I’m undecided still on weather I should wear a blouse or a frilly corset tank. But I’m hoping with the skirt complete it will be easier to decide.