It's almost been a year since my last show. 10 years of making dolls and jewelry and doing shows. After FaerieCon last year I felt, as Bilbo Baggins once said, "thin, like butter scraped over too much bread". I've made maybe 3 things. I decided to retire almost every single design I made. I'm turning to new media and will focus on just a few projects which will be sold here.
The reasons are mysterious to me, but I decided to return to 2-D work. Found a really old sketch of some weird cow-woman and finally finished something!
of course I still love obsessing over tiny details....
She's all finished. Then I got kuh-ray-zay and detailed the matte and frame.
someday soon she'll show up for sale via my newsletter/shop and there may be prints. But she did kindle a spark of creative energy. Perhaps the dark passage is over....
Just because you are a chronological adult doesn't mean you should give up your toys! Great toys spark the imagination, let you play, and increase creativity. I think I was drawn to making art dolls as my primary medium because of my lifelong affinity for toys. They are kind of grown up toys but they still connect me to enchantment.
I've wanted to make plushie things for a long time, but the fear that they would not sell and my utter lack of any sewing skill were sizable barriers. It took a complete collapse of the desire to make most of my popular things anymore to push me to try my hand.
So I bought a tutorial from Typing with Tea And made my first ever felt thing. Made about all the mistakes possible!
So with a little unwanted cat help from Kokopelli (he has a long way to go to be my dark craft apprentice), I made my own pattern to try. I can happily say I know what a gusset is now!
Made many fewer mistakes, biggest of which is the shape of the nose and placement of legs and embroidery detail, but my skills seem to be moving in the right direction! My first pattern and my second plushie of cheap felt. His little legs are poseable :)
So now I am on to making another pattern for a furry thing!
Been more than 6 months since I really made anything. Striking a balance between being artsy and doing what you love and meeting business demands is difficult. And I was training a new cat helper along the way! I once heard Joyce Carol Oates speak and she talked about periods of time where she didn't write like the same way a farmer lets a field lie fallow. Letting the ground rest for a season allows it to become a fertile place for growing.
After FaerieCon, I didn't feel like making a single damn thing. Caught between the pull of marketing advice, "make identifiable lines of things for brand identity" and the feeling that I really didn't particularly want to be making those very things. I began to feel like I was working in my own little sweat shop. And I made nothing at all.
And so almost all of the things I used to make are retiring. My Fairy Wing necklaces are the first on the chopping block. The last few are at Into The Myst in Bethlehem, PA Once they are gone, you'll be able to make your own, I am working on a tutorial for them!
Next on the chopping block are both my wing earrings and the steampunk flower earrings. The last few of these are in my shop right now for a limited time!
I'll not be making any of my steampunk necklaces anymore either.....
I just love those necklaces that feature a tiny terrarium scene in a small dome or glass vial. But most of the time I find myself dissatisfied with the little sculpted critters inside. They are cute to be sure, but I crave more believability and detail even in tiny polymer clay pieces. Dryads seem a perfect addition to a faux terrarium. So I stretched out my eyeballs and set to work making teensy teeny tiny dryad.
My eyes are crossing, but here she is. I could not resist adding in ludicrously tiny bracket fungus and moss.
Susan B. Anthony watches over the super small mushrooms I made. So my dryad will be a fungus herder. The other little bits I'll be adding, some plastic greenery, some semi-precious stone chips (amethyst, jasper, rose quartz, carnelian). Now comes the best part, getting dizzy from the glue fumes as I glue faux moss all over this thing!
I had to battle an attention seeking kitty, but I got all the moss on there and added the resin to the little pool at the base of her roots. I've got little bits of faux moss in my hair and glued to my arms. It's always fun to find hunks of that hours later. Now I need to glue on the plastic dome, perhaps add some epoxy details over it, and make a chain.
She is permanently a resident of her plastic dome. It's OK, she'll stay warm and properly hydrated that way. I decided that the dome looked sort of chintzy and it really didn't fit the feel of the teensy sculpt within. So I worked some woodsy motifs along the base. Now to decide on the chain!
Many of my Facebook friends suggested I use a beaded chain to accent the colors. So here is the completed piece. There will be an e-book on creating these tiny wearable worlds coming soon!
Just because it is the kind of day where I am really not sure the sun ever came up, doesn't mean I can't take a stroll in a beautiful polymer clay flower garden. I swear there are more than 50 shades of grey out there. Maybe that is why I seem determined to cram as many pretty little flower beads as I can onto this commission I am finishing! Got my fuzzy lounge pants on, got my hot chocolate, and plenty of cat help.
I'll add more pictures as it takes shape today.
Almost time to bake some flowers!
I just couldn't stop adding flowers and leaves. But isn't that how nature is really? Nature isn't shy. Nature doesn't say, 'hey this could do with way less flowers and leaves'. No. Nature explodes in color and diversity. So I did too :). The piece is all sculpted and dusted with magic fairy dust (known in the mortal realm as Pearl-Ex). I added an earthy brown acrylic pant wash to really pop out the detail. Ready to make the beaded chain!
Anna's commission is complete and ready to fly to Idaho! Just in time for snow here in PA.
is kept in a dark basement and fed a diet of mostly green peppers.