Friday, December 14, 2012

Tis the season to be jolly

Halfway point of the Chrimbo season, I feel like I've been working since September non stop, a bit like a continuous spin cycle. The OC mart mix popup shop was a huge whirlwind of activity and it was nice to have a change of scenery. Alongside its me Mary and pooka queen I think we did a wonderful job transforming our temporary home.

In other news I've had some commissions, a little dog plush, dog pin and hedgehog. I think I mentioned in the last post that I have a kind of love/hate thing with commissions mostly because it pushes me out of my comfort zone, and always inevitably takes longer than a normal piece. I'm pleased to report that at least half of these were fun.

This is hedgehog. He's rather robust.

This is a little daschund dog, this has inspired me to make a Sanford dog plush. So,In all the frantic ness of the Xmas season I forgot to hit publish , so I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. In case I don't get to the blog before the new year, thank you to everyone who has supported my handmade vision. I am continuously humbled by the generous enthusiasm and appreciation shown for my designs. I have plenty more please continue on this journey with me!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November's Blog Update

Blimey, there are just not enough hours in the day anymore for all the crafting that needs to be done. In case you were thinking I was sitting back and resting up, oh I can dream... January will be my vacation time.
Xmas at Crafted
Mega Owl the biggest Owl I've ever made.
Custom mobile

So, I was commissioned to create a baby mobile a while back and I was so happy when it was finally finished. The logistics of creating the structure itself and balancing the components took a really long time and tested my problem solving abilities to the max. I was really happy with the end result and despite it taking a lot longer than I had initially thought, am excited to perhaps make this a future store offering. I'm already working on a Forest type theme. It's good to have things that push you but it was a big relief to finish and be satisfied with the end result.
Add caption
Ok, so since the bats I finished my Christmas Card collections, after a hiccup at the printers they are finally ready. Here's a few, all themed around Peas, I had to have a pun and this one came to me in September or October and I've been excited ever since.

A Christmas Pea of course

More Peas


Stop by and say hello Dec 3rd to 11th
There's a new exciting place that's just opened and I will be teaching some workshops this month including upcycled stocking, wooly bird and printing workshop and there are lots more fun things too. The owners are lovely and just so much fun stuff to learn. Oh and lastly I'll be doing a pop up shop at the OC Mart Mix with It's me Mary Taking over one whole shop ! Back to sewing there's only one week to go eek.
It was 7am and about 100 degrees and unbeknownst to me I was supposed to bring wintery clothing hence the slightly odd outfit.

And lastly, see this is what happens when I blog once a month it turns into a very long round up. Got some nice press !

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October, you're here

Hello, it's been 4 weeks since my last blog. It's been a challenging couple of weeks to say the least. We have a neighbor that's not being very neighborly and the whole apartment just got new carpet and paint. It was like moving out but instead of taking all your belongings and putting them in a van they just got shifted to other rooms and there was a LOT to shift!

I had to go through everything in the studio and take it all out but not before sorting everything. All accompanied by this delightful heatwave weather we've been having. I haven't been able to make anything for two whole weeks ! That's such a long time when you have a shop ! However, I did discover that I had a lot of fabric I didn't know I had, and as such do not need to shop for more for a while and also that it's actually quite a big room that I made look tiny. I did decide to get some shelves and the same morning that I spent hours trawling the internet for some lo and behold I walk the dogs and there's one sitting on the side of the street looking for a new home. I dragged the dogs across the road, accustomed as they are to their walk for closer inspection hardly believing my luck. They were actual wood and not particle board which was quite exciting. Someone had attempted to paint them black and only got halfway. I promptly finished walking the dogs and then got the car, the tricky part was getting them in the car, singlehandedly I might add. I'm a recycler it's what I do, take abandoned things and make them useful, it doesn't make me look any less dodgy though. I was still wearing my running gear so  you can only imagine me lifting this 8ft tall shelf into the back of a Hyundai Santa Fe. It did fit, just and I made it home where the shelf stayed till my husband got home.
Two days of sanding later, a combined effort followed by paint it's almost ready and mentally I have already planned what's going on each shelf.

Here's Panda.
Orange wool coat plushies
On a craftier note, this is Panda. Well, I think you have to go back a bit to find when I had the idea for Panda, this is attempt no 3 and I like him. He looks like he has a black sweater on which is my favourite part. In other news the book is coming along, I have some watercolors to experiment with and I'm excited to see how it turns out. There have been some exciting wool finds, an orange wool coat, it's always tricky to find bright colors and the timing is perfect as we head into fall.

Here's Black Widow Spider
 I decided to make a spider, see I am getting into Halloween slowly but surely. He has wire in his legs and a wooly body. He was a bit too cute which is when I decided to add the distinct but deadly red hourglass on his back. The dogs didn't seem too bothered and reluctantly posed for pictures.

So there you have it, the new carpet feels pretty nice and everything feels clean and fresh. The process forces you to declutter two car loads went to the charity shop. Various surplus bits of furniture have found new homes and while all the artwork still needs to go up I must say it feels a bit more zen.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Getting a bit Batty and other animals

Bat and Robin
Can't wait to display these bats @Crafted

So, as we approach Halloween which is a big deal in the States much more so than in England I thought I should make a plush or five. If chocolate actually tasted like real chocolate, (sorry America your chocolate tastes horrible) I would love Halloween, but as it is I get into the spirit of things but I  know that my heart's not really in it. However I may have turned a corner, I decided to make a bat the other day out of wool of course, I made a bird too but he needs adjusting. So the bat, after discussion with husband resident Halloween and bat expert, some adjustments were made to the beak placement. "Haven't you ever seen a bat ?" he said. "Well, no actually" I replied. In my defense my plushies aren't meant to be anatomically correct. So beak was moved, the Earth kept on spinning and I sewed him up. I was quite pleased so I shall be making some more.

In other news, thrift store finds galore (over the course of a few weeks not one crazy splurge). 

A Wooden Dog
I will display my felted doggie poop bags holders in this.
Squirrel and Nut Ceramic Combo

I'm not usually a big ceramic animal purchaser but the nut has storage and storage pretty much allows for any purchase in my book. The eyes are a little scary.

Tortoise mini stool

How have I only just realized that everything is animal themed in this blog post? This tortoise spoke to me, it has Alaska 1969 written on the bottom, I could use it as a giant pincushion among other things. The colors are bright and someone clearly put a lot of love and effort when they made it so it's found a good home. I am going to have to have a yard sale if I am going to have any more room for new purchases.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Desiree B. Lookbook

So on my day off I decided to make a lookbook. I haven't got the hard copy yet. After a couple of hours fiddling about with images I hit the order button. I then received an email about all the cool new features that I hadn't used when making the book. Next time, i was a tad annoyed though. Some of the photos were taken by my talented photographer friends Lindsey Kliewer and John Santoni. Those of you with an eye for these things will instantly know which ones are mine !

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oh dear , August is almost over

So it's been a crazy Summer, what with Art Camp (regular job) Crafted (new job) and actually making stuff there's been little to no surfing/ sunbathing or summery like activities. There's been a lot happening hard to tell given that I stopped blogging but I have proof. As one busy time spots there's no rest, holiday merchandise needs to be ready by Mid October !

 Makeovers - Just afters no befores
Mini Supermarket Trolley. I still need to brand but almost there.
Phone Bench for the Crafted Booth it sure is bright and beautiful

New Stuff
Foxes, Bears and Squirrels
New Magnets of my favorite doodles
Mr Fox Purse
There's also new cards and I've been making snailpace progress on a Children's book but hope to give it more time now ...oh who am I kidding it'll have to be squeezed in. I've added some links on my new Press page to the blogs that in recent times have mentioned the brand just in case you were curious.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rush Rush

Wow, it's a whirlwind action packed Summer. Having a permanent shop front means you have to keep it stocked and that has been a challenge. Casae Larae Photography stopped by a few weeks ago to shoot my very messy craftroom as part of her artist series and managed to successfully frame each shot to not reveal the piles of fabric everywhere. The pictures are lovely so head over and have a look.

I still need a work table for the booth and some storage for all the clutter I seem to bring with me. I found this old wooden box covered in stickers (for at least 10 years according to the other half) at the local goodwill and it's been de-stickered but still needs a little more work doing to it before it makes it into the booth.

I have been making a lot of stuff but it's been selling well that I don't seem to have documented the new stuff, oops. I have begun my first bowtie and bought some hardware to make the back strap which is kind of exciting to have a new project. I also made a scrap doll and I think I'll take my bag of scraps with me to CRAFTED and make some more or maybe some furry travel buddies, too much choice but I miss those funny little creatures.

News just in, Mr Fox will be making his Crafted debut with a couple of pals. I seem to Instagram everything these days must get better at using the proper camera.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Crafted -the opening weekend and beyond

Well the moment of truth arrived and we rose to the challenge. Sleep deprived and sewing into the early morning it was all worth it. Excited customers,tv crews, media were all there for the grand opening. It was a great turnout and the booths looked amazing. It really was such a relief to have gotten to that point and realized that the hard work was justified. It went so well that I have not been able to take much of a break as I battle to restock, a good battle to have I might add. Poor panda is still waiting to be made but on the upside lots of bears, rabbits and owls have found new homes.
I could have sold that chair many times over.
Look it's my card wall.

Hello owl wall.

and more stuff.
Exciting projects are in the works, a collaboration with another crafted vendor to make some bags as well as a potential children's book. I cannot complain these last couple of weeks have been fantastic. Apologies for the blog delay, after all that build up !!

Here's some video footage for you, I do appear about a third of the way through, standing in my booth trying to string a sentence together.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crafted - 2 days to go....

 So you'll remember at the end of the last post I was unhappy with the raw finish of the walls and so I bought a whole lot of paint and with a full crew dismantled all the shelves and decor and painted the whole thing. May not be interior design standard but it gives the space a finished feel. I'm glad I went with my gut and did it. We still need to put the colored flags up and product in but there's a much cleaner backdrop and the back wall is still wood. I'm excited to get everything in and there will be more tweaking no doubt.
There's our booth at the end.

The Silver Blue Glass Side.

Monday, June 25, 2012

4 days to go....before CRAFTED

So in the blur of preparations I was slightly terrible about documenting the transformation of the booth. It was kind of hot and exhausting. The shelves were painted beforehand but with the walls being less than 6ft tall I went for less is more and reduced the number of shelves I'd planned. The sign had to be rethought after I realised the yarn letters were just a fraction too big but I had a plan B and I think it worked out. The flag idea ties the two sides Silver Blue Glass and me together.

Mr B. hard at work
Pennants for a festive feel
Bright Green Paint

The Vision

The sign that goes on those two long planks on the back wall.

Yarn letters, sadly too big for the sign so this was plan b.

I put these shelves up myself.

A few props

I am really starting to think I need to paint the walls white, that would mean taking all the shelves down, recutting a bunch of flags but I know it would look a lot cleaner. Can't paint the back wall but at least its a nice dark color. How long does paint take to dry anyway ? It's going to be a loooonng week.

Just in, look who's sitting pretty in the July issue of Sunset Magazine. Praise is due to Lindsey Kliewer the wonderful creator of the image they used. Interestingly they took out the sky and reversed it, even handmade plushes can't escape a little bit of photoshopping !