Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Oh 2016. How many of us wish you were over already with you depriving us of our favorite celebrities (RIP Carrie Fisher) and bestowing us some crazy conversation topics with family during the holidays (*cough*Election*cough*).

I asked myself a moment ago how I’ve grown as an artist this year, and thought – did I even grow at all? And I did – in ways that have slipped past me for whatever reason. I’ve been patting myself on the back with my accomplishments – small victories for me!

This year I’ve…

Made more plushies!

Plushie Matt the Radar Tech isn't picky about which pastries he deprives you of.

Plushie Matt the Radar Tech isn’t picky about which pastries he deprives you of.

Where else would Plushie Kylo Ren shop?

Where else would Plushie Kylo Ren shop?

I don’t know how this didn’t pop up when going over my accomplishments. So my plushie repertoire isn’t huge, but it has grown and I’ve solved lots of tiny plushie problems. Such as…discovering paint pens! Oh geeze, how I wish I got one a long time ago.

So who poses first? You pose first? Or I pose first?

So who poses first? You pose first? Or I pose first?

And by the holidays my love for sewing these things rekindled (I admit, there was a bit of a lull) and I made some new plush – including Poe Dameron and an Imperial Stormtrooper.

Opened an Etsy store!

With my obsessions driving me to make plushies, I eventually convinced myself to try selling them on on Etsy. I was surprised I made some sales! Will I continue – absolutely.

Had a table at a convention!

Your life needs more bikini Kylo.

Your life needs more bikini Kylo.

This was something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m so happy I tried it. Did I mention how much I loved it? My expectations of selling were really low, but I loved the engagement with con attendants and meeting fellow artists. I definitely want to do this again! Sadly, my friend and I were rejected for next year’s Fanime, but we’re gonna try our hand at other events. Hope to see some of you when we snag a table!

Draw. Draw. Draw!

Prompt #7: Lost BB-8 holds the key to a lost hermit

Prompt #7: Lost
BB-8 holds the key to a lost hermit

Prompt #9: Broken If only she let that squirrel alone...

Prompt #9: Broken
If only she let that squirrel alone…

Hourly comics, Inktober, and Daily Doodles (even if I’ve been slacking some days) – I’ve kept my drawing arm moving however much I could. The little artist community on Instagram is always fun and I’ve made some lovely trades with some lovely and talented folks who I’m so glad to have met.

Cosplay!

Ok, so this Rey outfit was more for Halloween (and wearing to Rogue One’s opening night), but I did get a tiny taste of putting together a costume. Most pieces were bought, but I did pat myself on the back for putting the belt  and (with a little help) getting the long scarf/wrap done.

Grew a community

Alongside my fellow artist pals, we kept our regular Drawing Meats MEATup going throughout the year. We’ve met and befriended some amazing new artists. You’ll bet we’ll be continuing this tradition through all of next year and years ahead.

What’s ahead in 2017?

Along with continuing the above there are lots of crafting ideas swimming through my mind that I want to try. One is playing around with resin to make some cool jewelry, the other – finally getting around to learning how to use a sewing machine. As for my Etsy  and possible tables – I definitely will work on making new items such as stickers, buttons, and more plushies! Who knows, maybe I’ll even try NaNoWriMo.

What are your creative resolutions for 2017 and beyond?

Have a safe New Year, everyone. And keep on creating!

 

Peer Plushie Pressure

Last week I was peer-pressured like I haven’t been since elementary school.

But instead of being pressured into ding-dong-ditching some dude I was pressured into plush-ifying a dude.

A dude named “Matt” who may or may not be a one Kylo Ren.

I’m 90% sure this plush is SHREDDED.

So I was and there he is in all his 6 inch plush glory.

But about a day before I was just thinking about making a Matt pocket plush after watching the SNL skit. Thanks to a pal of mine tweeting a pic of my previous plushies, it got a few more eyes than I could handle. Like, probably 3 pairs of eyes. That’s 2 more pairs than I usually get on anything :P.

It wasn’t super easy – but it the rush definitely wasn’t unpleasant. Having a bit of the pressure of my friend and sharing my progress was really fun! Those glasses though… making those was probably the least fun.

Embedded image permalink

Cutting out Matt’s glasses straight up SUCKS.

Let’s just say, in the end, it was the fastest I’ve ever made one of these things – from design, to cutting, to putting it all together!

Though, before Matt came his sorta other true-self:

“WE’RE NOT DONE YET.”

And, because I’m still slightly upset that the Disney Stores DO NOT carry Princess Kylo dolls, I made my own.

SIGH. Princesses…

BUT, before I even began making a pocket plushified Ren, I was first driven to make a plushified evil ginger.

SIGH. Jerk face gingers…

This plushie’s origins wasn’t as glamorous as his successors – he went through two body changes before I finally got some better black felt for his uniform.

What a beautiful couple.

Definitely a lot of plushie action these past few weeks. Other than doodles, I gotta release that obsessive energy somehow! I’m glad I could share it with fellow fans.

Want to follow along the adventures of my pocket plush? Come chat with me on Twitter!

Talk to you soon :D.

Hot n’ Hard for Accessories

They did it again.

Daiso, a store that sells cheap Japanese goods ranging from household, cosmetic, to arts & crafts has tempted me with one of their many handicraft kits (for no more than $1.50 each of course!).

Let's make...STUFF!

Let’s make…STUFF!

A lot of adults my age may remember those kits called Shrinky Dinks (they’re still around today!) – plastic sheets where pictures can be drawn, colored, then heated in the oven to shrink and harden. The results can be anything from ornaments, charms, keychains, and other cool stuff!

This is a Japanese version that comes with a few small sheets and some bits if you’d like to turn them into keychains. When I spotted these, I suddenly had all these ideas of turning my characters and fan art into little accessories. Mobile charms? Pins? Stuff for Artists Alley at cons?!

I gave in after my last few visits to the shop. At $1.50 a pop, why not?

Instructions are as easy as they are adorable.

Instructions are as easy as they are adorable.

Welp, one of the things I was slightly concerned about was the mention of using oil-based markers in the manual because:

1. I REALLY didn’t want to shell out for another set of markers that I’m not sure I’d be using often. And, depending on the brand, they’re not cheap either (coming from someone who easily shells out for other markers).

2. If I really just wanted a set, the palettes didn’t include what I needed, like, say a flesh color.

So I used what I had anyway, figuring this was experimental. I noticed actual Shrinky Dinks use permanent marker, so I started with those.

Hah! Yes, Judging Hot Dog, you are my first subject.

Judgemental Hot Dog: The Plastic-ing

Judgemental Hot Dog: The Plastic-ing

A few seconds in the toaster oven (the kit instructs to use them, assuming you’ve got one)…

On your keys, hanging from your mobile, dangling from your bag zipper...you will be judged.

On your keys, hanging from your mobile, dangling from your bag zipper…you will be judged.

Not bad, huh? Using the markers I had did result in some bumpy streaks, but nothing too concerning…yet.

So then I got really comfy and made a few more. I wish I could say the second run came out better…

Is this some sort of subliminal message?!

Is this some sort of subliminal message?!

Snow White came out ok, though it was a little bit on the crinkly side. As for the meat…I failed. As instructed, I pressed them after they shrank to their final size. What I didn’t notice was that the part where the key chain hole was curled downward. Oh wells. 2 out of 3 isn’t bad for a first try, yeah?

In short – I love these! I plan to make more – or at least use up the kits. And…agh, I may have to shell out for a few oil-based markers just to see if the paint job turns out better.

Have you tried Shrinky Dinks, or something similar?

Happy doodling!

Because I FELT like it

I made a thing doing a thing I didn’t think I was going to do anymore. After ridding my living space of nearly everything that had to do with it…it hooked me back in.

All because of a current obsession that isn’t Skyrim or Middle Earth.

For the pasts two months, I’ve temporarily left the land of the Nords, Elves, and Dragons to venture into  land of sorta-Nords, Elves, and….Dragons.

Anyhoo, to get to the point – I made a little felt plush of Dragon Age: Inquisition character – Cullen Rutherford:

To work?

If you look closely, you can see the lip scar. *cough*

Earlier on, I doodled some plush ideas. Oftentimes, when I’m really obsessed with something all these creative things run through my head on how to really get it out of my system. I hesitated at first because – 1. all my felt stuff I gave to a friend thinking I’d never touch them again and 2. Ugh, sewing? Again?

But since I was kinda encouraged by, like, 2 people and I happened to be at a store that sold crafting materials, AND I had the time I went ahead and bought the felt and began the labor.

The design and technique largely stemmed from the Aranzi Aranzo plushes I used to make. Differences are, other than this not being a rabbit, bunny, or Totoro was that there are stuffed limbs, hair, and NO French knots. No way I was tackling that again.

The fun part was designing the character in felt plush form. The actual character’s outfit has lots of lovely details that, in felt plush form had to be simplified or left out – especially if he won’t be any larger than the palm of my hand. Sewing all these things together was a bit of a challenge because of the size and thickness of the felt.

Check out the first run:

Please, Inquisitor. Don't trap me under a pile of tampons.

Please, Inquisitor. Don’t trap me under a pile of tampons.

Eh, not bad, huh? I’m quite proud of the hair – especially adding that little Dib curl. But the pièce de résistance was the fur collar…which I wasn’t too hot about on the first run. While the shop I was in had tons of felt, there wasn’t much for a fur look. Maybe some feathers, but…eh wrong color. I settled with some woolen felt which I struggled in taming and shaping. So this little guy had to make do with a woolen collar that kind of looked more like a piece of dreadlock around his neck.

I was content with the finished plush, but not entirely happy. I had to get into the mind of someone obsessed with details. I thought of Etsy-worthy crafts, cosplayers, and plush makers. It was time to get some actual faux fur.

His coat needed some work as well. Gingerly, I took apart his coat to tighten up some of the stitches – including the “gold” trim. He even got the belt he should have had in the first place with a neater cord.

"This is ridiculous"

“This is ridiculous”

And – TA DAA! Chibi Cullen gets real (faux) fur for his lovely collar.

To work?

To work?

IMG_2254

Ahem, my eyes are up…oh wait.

Very happy with Chibi Cullen 2.0. However, I still need to work on how to sew the head onto the body better so that it doesn’t look so stitchy.

Now this little guy’s neat and pretty for more adventures hiding behind bottles of various condiments in grocery stores.

Soon...

Soon…