Friday, May 29, 2009

Feature Friday 5/29

So I just joined a great Etsy Street Team: EtsyBloggers!! I think it's going to be really fun because they give you posting requirements to complete during the month. The first is a Blog Carnival. It's kinda like an online zine with a theme. You have to write a post about a given topic, and then they complie them and post it! The other requirement is to write a post about the month's featured EtsyBlogger. I think this will expose me to new and exciting artists that I never would have ever seen.

This month's EtsyBlogger is CREATEaTHOUGHT. Very creative & witty from the start! She has a great quote that would inspire any artist:

There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen and writes. ~William Makepeace Thackeray

CREATEaTHOUGHT offers all sorts of items to help you record your own words & ideas in unique and one-of-a-kind style. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these Bingo was this journal-o!!

I'm a pretty big sucker for fun sketchbooks! She also offers many other items in her store including everything from upcycled journals, to buttons, to ACEO cards, to jewelry, to home decor stuff, to the kitchen sink. She is truly a Modern Renaissance woman!!

Please check out her shop and the CREATEaTHOUGHT Blog & help support my new friends at the EtsyBlogger Street Team!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer, Summer!!!!

Yep... It's getting to be that time again... SUMMER!!! I'm a pretty big fan of summer, well, at first. I love the warmer weather, long days, going to the beach, BBQ's, cold beer, vacations, movies, fireworks, etc. My birthday is at the beginning of summer & I always remember having pool-parties & icecream cake!! Then there always is the summer vacation!! Last year & again this year I have been fortunate enough to be able to take 2 weeks & visit my family in Dallas. I'm going next week & get to spend the time lounging by the pool, drinking beer, shopping, watching cable t.v., hanging out with my mom, dad, brother, sister, & niece!! Then if I'm super lucky, maybe Lance will take me to Vegas for a get-away weekend!! Again - lounging by the pool, drinking beer, watching cable t.v. & hanging out with the boy!!

Then there is the darker side of summer...

I hate wearing shorts. Period. My cats get sooooo hot & miserable (I have to get my fat cat's hair shaved so that it's a bit cooler for him). I don't have air conditioning, & can NEVER cool off. You take a shower & can't seem to ever dry off. The BLAZING black leather seats in my car that give me 3rd degree burns. Sweat. The never ending "summer" of late September.

I think those things get to me once the "honeymoon" time of summer has past. Like an annoying ex-boyfriend, it just won't go away!! But hey, after all of that, there is fall - My FAVORITE season!!!

Here is my birthday present to myself this year, a fun & exciting reminder of those lazy stress-free summer days of childhood!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kool-Aid Dying Part II

Sorry for the whole MIA thing in the last couple days. I haven't been busy, just needed a break from the computer thang. I get a bit overwhelmed then go on strike every so often. I also have been sorting through some new ideas & am experimenting with some new techniques for new and SUPER IMPROVED felted creations. I have an idea of what I'm starting next, so hopefully I can work out the kinks & start on it today.

I also have been thinking about how my ideas are getting BIGGER & BETTER!! I am getting more ambitious with my ideas, so you know what that means.... bigger & better= more $. I kinda feel bad about making such expensive things, I understand that I could never afford to buy my own work & I will probably not sell them, but I'm ok with that, for now. I will just have to broaden my thinking about selling my work. Maybe I'll look into doing more art shows & galleries.


Dying with Kool-Aid Part II

So I told you I'd share my new fun technique on how I dyed the Gut-Zilla. It's pretty much following the basic Kool-Aid Dying Tutorial that I posted a while back, with a second step added!!

Gut-Zilla Dye 1
So I first dyed Gut-Zilla in a bath of Yellowish-Green Kool-Aid. Then I rinsed him out & am ready to do the second part of the dye job.

Gut-Zilla Dye 2
This is my new fancy tool that I tried out on Gut-Zilla. I don't think it ultimately ended up working how I wanted, but it did allow me to apply the dye in a more specific way. I squirted the darker Greenish-Blueish-Orange mix onto the areas that I wanted to make darker. It looked kinda washed out so I decided to continue with the technique I used on the coffee dye with the pufferfish.

Gut-Zilla Dye 3
I Layed him top down in a bowl. This allows all the darker dye to sink to the bottom of the bowl so his top just sits in a dark bath. I wanted him to be kinda splotchy, so I wasn't too worried about where the dye ended up soaking in. I didn't add any additional water because there was enough from the squirt bottle.

Gut-Zilla Dye 4
Here is a bottom view of Gut-Zilla sitting in the dark bath. You can see where he is soaking in the dark green dye. This water will turn clear once the wool has absorbed the Kool-Aid. This is how I dyed the pufferfish with coffee, sitting face down in a bath.

Gut-Zilla Dye 5
I microwaved him for 2 minutes then let him sit for 2 minutes... for 8 minutes of cooking time & 16 total. Then I rinsed the wool out in some cool water in the sink & let him air dry outside in the sun!!!

** So what I learned... the squirt bottle is interesting, I ended up buying some eyedroppers the other day to try even more specific dying for a later project. I also think I need to used even more concentrated Kool-Aid. I need to use less water, if any at all.

So there you go!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Featuring... Gut-Zilla

This is Gut-Zilla, the lesser known, slightly overweight cousin of the famous Godzilla. Told by his agent to loose a few pounds, he is now on a strict high-protein low-fat diet of run-way models. He has also started an intense exercise program that includes 2 hours of rampaging everyday and training towards a future swim across the Pacific Ocean - from his home in Japan to somewhere in Southern California.

Gut-Zilla - the "Monster Face of the Future"!!! - $100 - ready for a new home in My Etsy Shop!!

Gut-Zilla 7Gut-Zilla 6
Gut-Zilla 4Gut-Zilla 3

Gut-Zilla is 9" tall, 12" long, & 4" wide. He was sculpted out of white wool, and first dyed with a yellowish-green Kool-Aid mix, and then with a mix of blue, green, & orange on top. His teeth are tiny spikes that were covered with fabric glue then super glued into his growling mouth. He has posable limbs that are sewn on with waxed linen thread (to help him rampage).

I will post a How-To on how I dyed him (I used a new & fun tool) in the near future.

Hope he makes you smile & have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just As I Promised!!

A little late today, worked super hard to get this posted...
Too tired to write...
Will post more tomorrow...

Presenting... GUTZILLA!!!
(get it! Cause he has big fat gut!! Wanted him to be more chubby, but ended up making him monstery!!)

create animated gif
Will post more picts & list him in my shop tomorrow, but am tired today!! Excited I got him finally done!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Critter Tease...

So feeling a bit more motivated today & riding that energy, I will be (hopefully) finishing my newest Needle-Felted Critter today!! I just have to finish the details & take some super awesome pictures.

New Critter Tease

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the official unveiling!!


Also wanted to share a couple interesting links that caught my attention this morning...

Improve Tags - Action Words @ Handmade Marketing - This is an intersting post about thinking about tags a different way. Sometimes I find tagging to be a brain-buster, but this gives a new and inovative way to look at using action verbs as tags.

Early skeleton sheds light on primate evolution - AP @ Yahoo News - Hmmmm... Super exciting article about a possible "missing link" to early primates & our earliest ancestors. I am such a geek!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Slow & Tired!

Blah... So hard to get back to work after having a great fun weekend with the family. Did some sightseeing, ate some food, drank some beer, and am still recovering.

Plus, yesterday Lance & I went and saw the new X-men movie at Grauman's Chinese Theater. That place is beautiful!! It is a HUGE theater & there were only about 10 people in it. We then went to Sizzler's to finish off the weekend of gluttony!!

So hopefully today & tomorrow I'll be getting back into the computer & crafty thing. Trying to finish off a new Critter & need to work on some new designs for future stuff. I'll leave you with a couple of pictures from my fun, family weekend!

This was Amy's first trip to In-N-Out Burger!! She was so sick with a cold though, that she couldn't even taste it!

**Back to Crafty Fun Tomorrow, I Promise!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fun Family Weekend!!

YEA!!! My brother & sister-in-law are in town this weekend. Bro is doing business, but sis is here to hangout! She's never been to L.A. so we have to drive around & do the typical "sight-seeing" thing today. We will probably just hit the Burbank-Hollywood-Beverly Hills-Santa Monica line. They are staying in a fancy hotel on the beach, so it's a perfect route to see the main sights! I'll try & take some pictures of us & post 'em on Monday.

SideNote- Just had to share the comical events of yesterday. This is what happened to me all within the hour of 12-1 pm:

-Drove to drop off food at food bank (I guess they don't want to "Stamp Out Hunger" in Hollywood cause they never picked up my food last Saturday) - VACANT BUILDING!!!
-Driving to do laundry - ALMOST GOT IN ACCIDENT!!
-Grocery Store - POWER WENT OUT!!!
-Went Home.

I seriously thought I was getting "Punked" or something. I pretty much took it with a smile & came home & sat my butt on the couch for the rest of the day!!!

Favorites Friday!!!
(Honestly, I am just lazy & find it so much easier to just copy & paste an "Etsy Mini", instead of listing individuals, think of it as my own mini Treasury!)

For all of the Blythe fans, do check out a great friend's brand new shop. I work with her at my day job (scenic sculpting), & she has recently started to refinish & custom up-cycle vintage Barbie Accessories into new & funky play sets. PartyDolly - be sure to check out here awesome "Tiki Bar Play Set"!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Facebook & Twitter & Blogs, OH MY!!

My cat's watching a squirrel outside the window right now, & if I'm really lucky, he will jump over here, knock all the candles off the window sill, and spill my coffee!!!

ANYWHO... Sometimes I feel slightly overwhelmed by all of the Facebooking, & Twittering, & Blogging, & Posting, & Listing, & Chatting, & Texting, & etc. It was worse when I first started, but now that I have the basics under control, I find myself overextended in all of the "promoting" that I try and pull off. I've weeded out alot of the extra Networking sites and mainly focus on:


*Please feel free to visit my links & be my friend!!!

I also follow -ARG!!! KITTY JUST KNOCKED A BUNCH OF CRAP OFF THE WINDOW INTO THE KITCHEN SINK!!!!!-many-a-blogs. Some are crafty types like me, but I also love blogs that feature Marketing & Business Tips. These are a few of my favorites that will help any Crafty Artists or Online Sellers:

Handmadeology - **This is the Mecca for all Crafty Seller's Tips!! Please, if you have never checked it out & find yourself drowning in Computerness, there are amazingly simple tips on how to setup every account possible, & how to use it!

Please share your business links with me!! I'll check 'em out & you'll have a new friend!!

Also if you know any obvious Crafty Seller's sites that I don't know of, please tell me!! I didn't list them all here, but am always on the lookout for great places where I can learn more!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Feeling All Mathematical-like

Had another great day off yesterday! We got up early & got some breakfast, we over to the bookstore, & stopped by Best Buy to grab a couple movies. I'm excited, cause I think I want Lance to get me an Iphone for my B-Day. I need a new phone, & since he's not the most surprising gift-giver, he usually just buys me what I want. I'll let you know, I'm sure!!

Like I said in the title, I'm feeling very Mathematical-like. I started reading "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking. I'm surprised because I get most of the basic physics so far (I was dumb & lazy in high school and never took it). So I decided to do my own crafty experiment. I was working on my newest Felted Critter (awesome), & decided to time how long it takes to poke the wool 1,000 times. Here are the results....

Needle Felting Pokes

1 Poke 1/3 Second
100 Pokes 30 Seconds
1,000 Poke 5 Minutes
100,000 Pokes 8 Hours, 20 Minutes
1,000,000 Pokes 3 Days, 11 Hours, 20 Minutes
* *
1 Second 3.33 Pokes
1 Minute 200 Pokes
1 Hour 12,000 Pokes
1 Day 288,000 Pokes
I usually sit and needle felt for hours at a time, so I hope this helps illustrate just how much I poke & poke & poke & poke & poke.....


I forgot to post some pictures of my New Yummy Needle-Felted Cupcakes I listed last week. So I thought I'd throw them in today!! Here's a Carrot Cake Cupcake & Chocolate Insanity Cupcake!!

Carrot Cupcake 2Chocolate Cupcake 1
Yummy Cupcakes 1

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!

I know it's technically a day late, but I hope everybody had a great Mother's Day. I didn't get around to making anything, so I sent flowers to both Mine & Lance's mom. They were both plants so, so hopefully they can bring some happiness long after blooms would have wilted.

So today I just wanted to feature a couple of pictures of our Mom's.
We Love You!!

Me & my mom in Las Vegas.

Lance & his Mom from New Years.
*Good thing Lance never reads my blog, he would be pissed that I posted a picture of him! HAHAHAHAHA!!! That'll teach him!!


We also saw Star Trek.... um... awesome. I am such an Uber Geek - I find myself watching Discovery & History Channel Documentaries in my spare time, and I keep up with the Science News daily. BTW - today they are launching the Space Shuttle to give the Hubble Telescope a fine tune-up. I actually got most of the Science & Physics mumbo-jumbo in the movie.

ALSO!!!! Don't forget the price of stamps goes up today to 44¢!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009


So usually I like to feature some awesome Fellow Artists on Friday, but today I am going to remind you about some USPS events.

First - Don't forget - The price of postage is going up to 44¢. Don't forget to go buy your 2¢ stamps, or "Liberty Bell - First Class" stamps.

May 11, 2009 = Stamps = 44¢

Don't forget cause they will just send back your letters, or bills!!!

I saw a postcard from my USPS office telling me about their "Stamp Out Hunger" Food Drive. I have to tell you about 2 weeks ago I was driving up Sunset Blvd on my way home from hiking, and I saw a huge line of people that went wound around the block. Now it being Hollywood, I naturally thought it was some sort of Celebrity Event, Casting Call, Night Club line (even though it was early). They were normal people standing in line in front of a church. As I drove past the front of the line there was a sign that said "Free Food". Wow. I had been thinking about donating some food to the local shelter, but honestly haven't gotten around to it. So yesterday I went out & ended up buying breakfast food!! I bought Cheerios, Oatmeal, & Baby Cereal!! I tried to buy things that were light, unlike cans of soups and stuff.

Check with your local USPS to see if they are doing this awesome food drive. Just leave the bag of food out by your mailbox, & your Letter Carrier will pick it up!!!!

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just As I Promised!!

So I know it's been a long time coming, so as I promised I am now showing my Spikes in action....

puffer 1puffer 5
puffer 4puffer 2
puffer 3

Ok, so this is my Little Puffer Fish!! He has a surly attitude to match his wicked spikes!! He took alot of time & hard work to finish!!

His spikes are stiffened with some fabric glue. They took the most time!! I saturated each spike with clear-drying fabric glue, then had to trim all the fly-away fibers, then in order to stiffen the base enough so that he would stand on the spikes, I reinforced the base of the spike with some super-glue. Boy did it do a good job!! (along with giving me a horrible head-ache & a sore throat... learned my lesson there!)

He was also dyed with coffee!! That's right, I used a 2 step dye process using coffee to dye him the rich brownish-ochre color!

dye puffer 3
Here is the little Puffer Fish after I had needle-felted his basic shape out of white wool. Then I dyed him in a diluted coffee mixture of water, coffee, and a little white vinegar.

First I soaked the fish in a warm water/vinegar bath to help open the wool fibers up to take the dye.

dye puffer 2
Then I placed him in a bowl with water & coffee. I wanted a light, antique white color for the base of his body, so I didn't use much coffee. The color will be deeper the more coffee you use. If you use straight coffee, then you will get a bright light yellowish brown. (think about the color a coffee stains leaves when you spill it down the front of your shirt!)

dye puffer 1Then you could just let the wool sit in the coffee for a while, but I'm too impatient for that so I nuked him in the microwave for a couple minutes. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap, nuked for 2 minutes, sit 2 minutes, nuke 2 minutes, etc. You only have to cook him for about 4-6 minutes. Coffee is naturally acidic so it dyes fabric really well (hence the reason you can never get that stain out of the front of your shirt!)

I also did a second dye of more concentrated coffee on the top of the Puffer fish. Here I just filled the bowl up with a couple cups of coffee, set the top side of the fish down into the coffee, & nuked him again! Super simple!!!

Now onto the next Project!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Finally a Day Off!!!

Yesterday Lance finally got a day off!! He's been working 3 weeks straight, I think he was on 21 days. Because he works everyday, I then in turn feel the need to work my butt off everyday, too. The days have kinda blurred together & I was feeling really run down, unmotivated.

BUT - we slept in, got to go out to the the Diner for lunch, ran some errands, napped, & watched a movie. Wasn't horribly exciting, but was nice & relaxing. If he gets a day off next week, we are TOTALLY going to see the new Star Trek movie!!! I've never been a huge Star Trek fan, but the new movie looks AWESOME!!!

So feeling a bit more un-crappy today, hopefully I will get some crafty stuff finished & photo'd today so that I'll actually have some new items to post & share. I do have a couple of pictures of some newer things that I've been putting in my sold packages. I love reading crafty-business-advice blogs & they always talk about "Creative Branding" & promotional things to put in your packages. Along with a handwritten Thank You note & some business cards, I put a couple of these in...

These are some cute Origami Chickens that I've made to put into my packages. Origami is pretty fun & I'll make a few of these when I'm sitting on the couch & not wanting to sculpt. I wrote "Thank You!" on one side & "FeltedChicken" on the other!

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Day Job

I don't have much to talk about Crafty wise. I did finish my latest critter, but still have to take pictures & I'm hoping to get some new cupcakes done in the next couple days. So I thought I would share a little bit about what I do when I'm not being a Crafty Entrepreneur.

My day job is pretty awesome. I'm what you would call a Scenic Sculptor. I basically sculpt polystyrene foam (commonly known as Bead Foam, or styrofoam). I have worked on a lot of different projects here in Los Angeles from local Libraries, Disneyland Rides, Commercials, and Movie Sets. I finally made it into the Local Union 755 which means that I am able to work on Feature Films. I've only worked on one so far - Land Of The Lost starring Will Ferrel coming out on June 5.

Here is a Billboard on Highland in the heart of Hollywood!!!
And yes, most of the billboards around my house are movie advertisements!!

A quick description of what I do at work is: I get blueprints for props & background elements of a set, block out and glue the basic shape of the object in rectangular blocks of styrofoam, then carve into the foam with saws, hotwires, wire brushes, acetone, knives, or whatever will take away the extra material. We are experts at making rocks & stone & trees & generic scenic elements, but sometimes we get to work on more detailed things like building trim, figures, animals, & characters.

Here are some pictures of me working on some roots & stone heads...

It's a dirty job... but somebody's gotta do it!!

I have done some painting in the past, but as of now I only sculpt. We finish off our pieces & pass them on to the paint department, who are experts at faux finishing the surfaces with different techniques like granite, marble, wood grain, or cement.

Here are a couple of pictures of some nearly finished pieces, after they have been painted (except the elephant head)...

Sometimes I also work with fiberglass, sculptable epoxy, & polyurethane foam (like flower foam, but denser).

My job is considered a "construction" job. I work with mostly men, but there are a couple of us girls that stick together, and there are alot of carpenters & welders. I consider it a "blue collar" job, because I shower after I get home from work rather than before I go!

Work has been really slow (a combination of the economy & Actor's - SAG - contract negotiations). But it does seem to be looking up. There are some productions starting up, so hopefully I can get a couple small jobs to help with my dwindling bank account.

Crafting is fun, but as of right now, it just doesn't pay the bills!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Featured Friday 5/1

Today's Feature Friday is dedicated to some of my Fellow Felters!!! Here are a couple of new friend's that I have made who also make incredible Need-Felted Artwork...

MadeByLaura is based out of California & these are a couple of adorable Tiny Teddy bears that are sized perfectly to go with your Blyth Doll. She's been busy, busy felting these bears so I thought I would feature her hard work. She also has a hilarious I Can Make That Blog, makes me laugh everyday!!

forestblue, a brand new seller to Etsy, I found while surfing the pages of Flickr. I love the picture with the cow in the back. forestblue is based out of Amsterdam, so here is a shout out to our international felters!!!

SeaStarStudios, although not technically a felter, a new friend none the less. As new to Etsy as me, SeaStarStudios is based out of Central California & makes Cute Critters out of polymer clay. She also has these beautiful Beach Glass jewelry.


BTW - I almost forgot, I made a sale yesterday!!! YEA!!! I sold the little chocolate cupcake!! I also listed some new picts of my newest cupcakes. Keeping with the Orange Cupcake theme. I like them SOOOO much better that the old picts. Check 'em Out here!