Friday, November 30, 2012

Cubebot Challenge-The Subtle Sleepover

It turns out that people like playing with Cubebots. So much so, that the first three times I tried working on this challenge, one of my brothers would come along and mess up whatever pose I had the little guy in. First time was fine, but after the next two incidents, I decided to work on my set up in secret.

That's reason #1 for why this took so long to finish. #2 is the Etsy shop (tis the season), and #3 would be that I needed to figure out how to make some semi-decent looking twin beds...for a clubhouse...a nice clubhouse.

Before I get too ahead of myself:
The Cubebot Challenge. <-For those just tuning in.

How did I get a Cubebot? ...Internet.

Why? Uhhhh...Last summer I was reading the blog, Mini Modern, and in one of her posts involved a small Cubebot. Loved it, looked it up online, and found that I could actually afford one (yay!). So I bought a small Cubebot, patiently waited for it in the mail, and guess what? He was just a bit too big to live inside my little 1:12 scale house (although he's welcome to stop by anytime). I really love it though, and was looking for more excuses to take it out the box when Call of the Small posted this challenge.

Previously listed excuses/reasons notwithstanding, this is my response to the Cubebot Challenge;

"The Subtle Sleepover"

To big to play in the house, the children thought it would be fun to build a club house with (well, out of actually) Cubebot, so that he wouldn't be stuck playing outside this winter. And since they're just across the yard, the parents don't mind the occasional weekend sleepover. Especially when the, mostly responsible, aside from eating a few crayons now and then, Cubebot is keeping an eye on them.

Happy to have participated. A big Thank You to Call of the Small & David Weeks/Areaware for the challenge.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ok, Now I'll talk Christmas

If you regularly read my blog, then you  know that I was trying to decide how long to wait before hopping on the Christmas train. Turns out, my out of town family, that supposedly couldn't make it here for the holidays this year, did manage to come home for Thanksgiving. Since I wasn't about to pass up family time, I suppose the decision was made for me.

Long story, short-It was great, but now that I've come down from the pumpkin pie rush, and managed to avoid Black Friday mob hystery for another year, time for Christmas.

Because it's fun to stagger things, and I've still got a row of unfinished minis & other work drying on the table next to me, I'll be posting new Christmas items up on Etsy throughout the week.

Right now, ornaments!

I love mosaics, it must be all the little details.

I've also been trying my hand at primitive style, hand stitched designs.

Bold colors, anyone?
If you want the most up to date...updates on what's new in my shop, "Like" me on Facebook.  
Also on my to-do list: Call of the Small's Cubebot Challenge. Entries have to be in by Dec. 1st, so I should probably finish mine soon. I really did not mean to take this long on it, but legit actual freelance design work and Etsy shop stuff has been occupying most of my time lately. I'm busy in a good way (seriously I've spent months trying to make all this happen), but something was going to get pushed aside now that I've got real deadlines again and this challenge ended up being it. Planning on spending tomorrow working on finishing some things, mostly tying up some loose ends and taking a break from my laptop, because today I was using it from 1-6pm & and then 11-well it's 2:30am right now...Yep, tomorrow I'm staying off the laptop for a while.

So remember, Etsy/Christmas, all this week. My Cubebot entry-coming soon. Next post.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Happy Thanksgiving to All & to All: Look What I Made

Somewhere in my memories there is a turkey shaped basket filled with dinner rolls at Thanksgiving dinner. And for some reason this year, I just felt the need to try and make said turkey basket, in miniature.

My first attempt was embroidery floss woven around bead wire on a cardboard base. The glue I used didn't hold and the cardboard kept bending, making the wire twist around and slip out of place as I worked. The end result was pretty lop-sided and the basket ended up looking more like a goofy brown swan than a turkey.

I thought that maybe if I used polymer clay instead of carboard, I could get the results I wanted. Of course, I already spent way too much time on the first attempt. Despite that, one morning I made out a template to trace onto a slab of clay, because I did want to try again. Then later online I saw that one of the DeviantArt groups I belong to is having a holiday contest. See? I was supposed to try again!

The contest is still open for a while, and I'm still working on my Cubebot Challenge entry (Dec. 1!), BUT since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I had to be done with this project by...well, right now.

Once you make the basket, of course you need to sculpt and paint tiny rolls to go inside. And because I like making scenes so much, I needed to make a few more things to go with the basket. So I dug out the paper punches and made leaves. Then I made some ridiculously tiny construction paper chains. Thought I was done, but the table looked like it could use a center piece. I sculpted some candles, coiled a strip of paper for a candle holder (with leaves and seed beads), glued it all together, and finished this project by sealing the basket/rolls/candle holder with Polycrylic.

Am I happy with the results? Yes. Do I actually have a place to put all this stuff now that it's done? Nope. Not until I finish the dining room in the Van Buren...could be years.

So everything, except the table/back drop is being listed as a set up on Etsy. Will anyone buy a Thanksgiving themed mini decor set after Thanksgiving? I dunno, some people buy holiday minis year round, so maybe. I'd rather try to sell it and help fund the Van Buren rehab, instead of packing it away forever and potentially losing or breaking parts by the time I'd get to use it myself(in which case I'd still have to make a new set anyway). I'm just happy keeping a photo this time.


Also, as previously mentioned, there are Christmas items headed for the Etsy shop too. I'm debating whether or not I should post them this week or hold off until after Thanksgiving. From the business end of things, now would be good, but...If you're not familiar with U.S. holidays, Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what you have in life, but then the day after Thanksgiving is referred to as, "Black Friday" (A store's income is listed in red if they're not turning a profit, so hopefully after all the Black Friday sales, they'll have made enough to be operating in the black again-get it?). It's pretty much just a day of people going nuts and buying tons of stuff for great deals, you know, for Christmas. I'm sure there are good intentions in there somewhere, although it's gotten so crazy (Friday starts Thursday at 8pm kind of crazy). I'd rather we all just take time out of our lives to enjoy a holiday before we run off to get ready for the next one. I dunno, I'm still thinking it over.

Anyways, if you're in the U.S. have a Happy Thanksgiving, and if you're elsewhere in the world... hope you have a happy Thursday. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Some WIP & a Made Up Holiday

I've got some family that lives out of town, and as it turns out, we won't be together on Christmas or Thanksgiving this year. The solution to this problem? A Pseudo-Christmas celebration, like right now.

OK, I did get a two week notice, but let's see you try to both buy and make a handful of Christmas gifts in two weeks when you normally would have a couple months ( *Mmhmmm* ).

And, while I'm typing up this post-I'm also working on throwing together an adorable table top Christmas tree for my mother. Basically, after my stint at a craft show last year, she thoughtfully bought me a faux-tree better suited for a show table (sadly, no shows this year though), which I then volunteered to use for Pseudo-Christmas. First, I was told not to bother, but any other tree we might have would need to be dug out of storage, along with all the ornaments. I've still got some leftovers from the show, a couple experiments I haven't quite figured out yet, and some new ones that should be up for sale on Etsy this week. Plus, let's face it, I'm a crafty person (So I got this).

And while all that can be summed up rather quickly, I have been a little pressed for time, making a few gifts (for my niece again) along with an assortment of Christmas items for the Etsy shop. On Friday, I was hoping to have all gifts made, bought, sealed, and wrapped, but then I got caught up in running errands. Was I annoyed? A little, but some of it was kind of fun. And I came home with some remnant bin finds, which led me to my fabric stash in the basement, which is when/where I decided to post some teasers about what I'm working on right now.

Since Billy has a semi-permanent table to sit on now and it looks terrible as-is, I decided to add a yard(or at least some sort of ground cover). No budget, but I had this gray, liner type fabric (Billy's upstairs carpet is the same stuff-in blue) that I thought could work...if I paint it maybe... I tried it out with the Halloween scene and then left it there, hoping it would grow on me. It didn't, that's OK though because my remnant find of the day was that same material in, "Outdoor Green", 30% off (ha-Ha!...I'm such a dork).

Didn't have time to work on it, so I just rolled it out to see how it looks 
(already much better than brown beat up table).
So that's WIP 1.

WIP2.  Maybe it should be #1 because I'm currently working on it, but...Christmas stuff!

Been working on these since September, I'll let you guess what they are.

Mixed Media Ornaments 
The bottom one is a gift, top right still needs paint, but the other two I'm hanging on the tree tonight. More on the way. I keep looking for excuses to do mosaic work, sort of as practice for some ideas I have about the Van Buren. Speaking of which...

...No that's not the Van Buren. It's a neat little shelf/cabinet I picked up at an antique co-op 2 summers ago. It's not really an antique, but I got it for $20. From my understanding, front open houses are pricey, so this really was a find. I'm mentioning this house because, like the Van Buren, I want to do exterior stonework siding of some sort. So I think I'll use this little guy as practice. Better to have to redo a botched siding project on the small house instead of the big one, really though I can handle mosaics. How hard could faux stone siding be?
This isn't gong to happen for a while though so, oh hey, did I ever post about my type set drawer?

I got this one last summer at another co-op. I've been wanting one for a while now. They're neat because: A) If I were a graphic designer and/or printer, "Back in the day", (like before I was born) I'd probably use a printing press, and would have a bunch of these filled with letter blocks. And B) I wanted something like this to display my mini work. I had to glue together some spots, and clean it, and seal it (because there was so much smeary ink/grease in the sections, I couldn't use it otherwise), but I still think I got a deal on it. The WIP part is that I'm still considering adding some scrap paper to a few sections for color.

If  you're keeping score, I think this next one is WIP #5...

Progress with what I'm doing with the lamp shades, and some other house accessories. I like where it's going, but it's slow work, so it might be a while before any of these make it to the shop. Also, I think I made more lamp shades than I will use for a while, so maybe I'll start selling batches of lamp shades? Or DIY lamps, what do you think?

Lastly, (I really need to go finish decorating that tree) WIP #6,

Wood and vinyl...hmmm, What am I making?

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this, and are intrigued. Will I finish it all? Maybe...I'm also working on a couple challenges too, we'll just see how it all goes.

I'm going to finish decorating so I'm not up ALL night (and then it's family time).

 So...Happy Pseudo-Christmas!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

So...hurricane Sandy...yeah...

I was conveniently out of town when Irene blew through, but I was told it didn't do anything to this side of the state. I also missed the whole, watching a massive storm system crawl across the weather channel's radar screen toward your town, thing(scary stuff). I was here for Sandy though.

Fortunately, we got a ton of wind and rain, but that's it. The power didn't go out and there were no downed trees in the yard. Of course it took until almost 5 a.m. to realize that. Did I mention that I ended up watching the live coverage until 5 a.m.? In light of what hurricanes do to the north east...Can we stop getting them, please? I mean what we got here was just a wet blizzard, but it was so much worse everywhere else. Look, I'm ranting, see it's scary stuff. And there's still a winter to get through...


Why am I posting? Right, the Van Buren. Quick story; If the power ever goes out, the sump pump fails, and then the basement starts flooding. By, "flooding", I mean everything on the floor gets wrecked and the water has to be manually removed from the basement-with buckets and such. So, when a bad storm was coming we prepared for the worst, which meant moving everything away from the sump pump for quick access and to help keep the whole flooding issue in check. Great idea. My problem?

The Van Buren lives in that room.

It's a good thing I fixed it's foundation because it's holding a couple pounds worth of random basement stuff right now.

So I haven't been working on the house and I haven't been able to try removing the stuck floor tiles yet.

Instead I've been working on a gift for a family member, and more things for the Etsy shop.

I feel like I keep starting things that the world just won't let me finish(so then I start something else). Hopefully, I can get it together this week and complete something-anything.