Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sculptures and Peanut Butter Bread

Poor Roo, all she wants to do is play with her little yellow ball, but I've been so busy crafting lately...

I wanted to stop in and show you some brand new little sculptures I've been working on... The little girl above is called "Bear Girl," for obvious reasons. She will be posted in my Etsy shop in just a few days!

Above is a tiny bear sculpture that I will be posting on Etsy as well. These sculptures are so much fun to make, and as I type there are a few more new ones in the works that are drying with their first layers of paint...

Another one of my new hobbies is quilting, and this is the second quilt I've ever made. It was made with Heather Bailey's lovely Pop Garden fabric, and it's so bright and happy! It lives on my couch and really brightens up the whole room. The pillow in the photo was made by my friend Megan of I am so in love with this pillow!!

This little Cat Girl was also entirely hand sculpted and hand painted. I decided I can't part with her, so you will not be seeing her in my Etsy shop! This one may be one of my favorite ones that I've ever made, and I hope you like it too! Her eyes were so much fun to paint!!

"Bunny Girl" has tiny bunny ears, a skirt full of love, and she has been faux aged! She is yet another sculpture I can't seem to part with.

What else is new? I've been really into baking lately and pulled out my mom's old bread machine to experiment with. So far I've made many loaves of peanut butter bread, some botched white bread, and my friend Julie and I made some to-die-for cinnamon rolls from some dough she made. I wish I had pictures for you, but these goodies all get eaten up too fast, ha ha!!

My biggest recommendation? Peanut butter bread Just wow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Big Smiles

roo posing, originally uploaded by howtouseart.

Roo and I are both happy campers lately, especially since the brand new, fully functioning (and how!) laptop is here!! It is such a joy to be able to go to my computer and know that it will WORK and not have lines all over it from a cracked screen, ha ha! The added bonus is, since I now have a Mac with an intel chip (my last iBook didn't have one), I can now watch Netflix instantly on my computer - hooray!! Since I am my own boss, I decided to take a few days off just to relax and watch "Weeds" Seasons 1 and 2 on the pretty new computer. It was nice and refreshing, but now it's back to work with packing up Etsy orders and wrapping up a few custom orders that are in the works. I also came up with a new design that I am *dying* to show off, but it will have to wait until it is burned into a screen and printed on a t-shirt, since it will be so much more fun that way! Here's a hint: it has something to do with spinning yarn and sheep!

Digging through some old sketchbooks this week, it's so weird to reflect on who I was during the years I worked on those (when I was in college) and the person I am now. There was so much yearning and striving in those books.... I am glad I have accomplished some of the goals I was wishing for back then: I have my own website, I sell my art online, and I make a living (mostly) off of being creative. Hooray! There are still many more goals to aspire to, but at least I am taking baby steps toward them at this point... I'm glad I am more settled now with who I am and feel less of a need to be more, do more, etc...

But I do see myself relating to the person I was too: all the fears and insecurities I used to write about when it comes to making art are still there, but now I am realizing that those fears don't go away. There isn't some magic time in an artist's life where they wake up and realize all their creative fears have just have to banish the inner critics, push through it, and make stuff. Lots of stuff... It's still hard to approach a blank page and think, "I am going to draw something wonderful." Instead, maybe it's better to think, "I am going to TRY." There is so much to be said for stepping up to the plate and trying to be creative; so many people shy away from it... I'm happy every time I make something because I was brave enough to try, and I'm happy because being creative is satisfying in so many ways; I don't know where I'd be without my art. Probably in some crappy job counting down the hours 'til the end of the day, rather than wishing there were more hours in the day to work like I do now! :)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Changes Galore!

Plans are in the works, and ideas are blooming around here lately...

But before all the fun starts, some things have to be taken care my computer. It is on its very last leg. It is crying out for a younger, sexier replacement to take its place... So I decided to work my butt off on cleaning out and destashing all sorts of things in my life that I do not need, and I was able to raise enough money (added to what I'd already saved) to buy a brand new computer! Hooray!! I'm still trying to decide between a few of them, but I think very soon a new lovely Mac Book or Mac Book Pro will be a part of my life. That means I can do videos again! My graphics programs won't be the slowest things on earth any longer! I will be happy about opening up my laptop and looking at a screen that isn't cracked down the middle! I won't have to restart it every hour or so! Oh, the possibilities are endless...

I've also been working hard to reduce the amount of STUFF in general that I have. I have been going through some boxes of childhood things at my parents' house, and it's been like a weird trip down memory lane, especially considering the way I packed my boxes in such a hurry: there are things from when I was 3 in the same box with things from when I was 23... I've been going through all this superfluous stuff, selling things online that will sell and donating things to the Humane Society Thrift Store when they are not worth anything... Mostly everything has been donated, as it seems like things from my childhood aren't worth a dime! I feel lighter and better about everything knowing that I am getting rid of stuff I don't need and that I am donating it to help little puppies and kittens too.

Speaking of little puppies...

What else is changing?

I've decided to focus soley on shirts for the time being in my How to Use Art store, and I also want to work on having enough inventory to be able to sell shirts in ALL different sizes, not just one shirt in one size here and there. I know that having a limited selection is annoying for my customers, and it's something I've been meaning to fix for quite some time. I have another order from American Apparel on the way this week, whoo-hoo! I've also decided to phase out my etsy fiber and yarn store, Fluffalicious, as those listings begin to expire. I just haven't really been selling much from there, and I have to be honest that yarn and fiber isn't what I'm truly passionate about: screenprinting and drawing are what keeps my creativity going even more. I love being able to invent an image from scratch onto a piece of paper or onto a t-shirt, and being immersed in that process is so rewarding. The fact that I have sent clothing all over the country as well as overseas just blows my mind, and it's amazing to think of all the places my clothing lives that I have never even been to.

I'm sure many other changes will roll along soon - some are tricks I've got up my sleeve and others are of the wait-and-see variety, but despite all the changes, one thing is certain:

This dog is so damn cute, it's silly.