Thursday, September 26, 2013

Motivational-y true statements..

I don't think that's a word - Motivationaly.  I like it though - I feel like it fits. (I tend to make up my own words)

Whilst browsing Pinterest during a short break in my day, I came across this fine saying from Baubau Haus:

Isn't that great?  In my head, I read this as a sarcastically snarky comment on those who believe they've been born with silver spoons in their mouths and things should be given to them on silver platters laced with gold.  I could just be reading too much into it though.  

I firmly believe if you find yourself in a less than desirable situation, you have the power to change it. Go out into the world and take charge of your life.  Definitely words to live by - where was this when I was 19??

I also found a whole community of doodle-ists over on Behance!  It appears that I am NOT alone down the Rabbit Hole.  Apparently, there was a whole party, and I didn't even know it!

I pinned an amazing example below for your viewing pleasure because I can't be the only one excited to see some more imaginative imagining, right?!  Though so.  

Moleskin Sketchbook drawing by Danielle Aldrich as Featured on Behance

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


While I have been fleshing out some of my creative ideas, I came to a conclusion.  Well, let's call it a mini conclusion or a conclusion in progress.  Really, its just an idea that I have reasoned through from my experiments and research so far.  

 I liked the idea of making cards and selling them - note cards, greeting cards, etc.  The problem is, there are so many card makers out there with amazing stock - especially on Etsy where I'd like to open up my shop in the near future. 

The big question is this - what sets me apart from the rest?  

I know I'm supposed to be focused on creating and experimenting first and then worrying about this later, but I think finding the answer to that question and creating/experimenting kind of go hand in hand.  

When discussing potential branding for my business with Mike, the word collectibles popped into conversation.  Collectibles.  Its an interesting word - maybe not the right word for my shop, but I feel like its on the right track to something great that could really reflect who I am as an artist.  I like different things - I feel like I have my fingers in so many projects or ideas at once that my head spins.  I think Mike might have permanent whiplash from it. The point is, I like it that way.  I have this thirst for knowledge that is in no way associated with standard, traditional school.  I absolutely love learning new techniques, methods, and disciplines associated with Art.  Ya see?  Its the ADD again...

So why would I constrict myself to one specific type of product?

While I like the idea of creating cards, I don't want to make the popular cookie cutter type that I've seen all over the place.  I thought adding a more fine art twist to them would help me stand out a little more and add to the quality of my work.  I've done a few mock ups - see the pics below. I think I like the direction my thought process is heading, however we are still in the early stage of things, so its clear to me and my ADD that things are subject to change at any given moment.   
5"x 7" Pen & Ink, Prisma Color Pencil plus scrapbook paper and butterfly Punch

5"x 7" Prisma Color Pencil, Butterfly Punches

Drawing Project...Progress Update

Well I'm slowly making some headway into the drawing that I started previously.

It doesn't look like much, but trust me, its definitely progress.  I usually have a few different projects that run simultaneously of each other at any given time - for real, I have ADD...with art.  Is that even possible? do I even get projects done??  

never mind.

Its interesting - these types of drawings that I do - because my mind will be wandering around thinking of things that could be interesting to add to the composition and then later, I look at it and discover something else entirely that shows up that I hadn't consciously thought about when adding that part of the picture.

For example, the tall skyscraper building in the pic above with the feather and ferns coming off of it - it totally looks like there is an eye there....but I honestly didn't consciously think, 'Hm, you know what?  That skyscraper there definitely needs an eyeball.   Yep, an eye is PERFECT in that particular spot.'  It kinda freaks me out a little.  

Wait, the process of that happening, not the eyeball.  I like eyeballs - eyeballs are cool. 

I will definitely post my developments on this particular project as i make progress.  This is seriously turning into something interesting....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Drawing Project...

I've started a drawing and I'm not entirely sure where its going....

Clarification - its basically a page of doodles straight out of my imagination.  Which is a fun, relaxing way I like to reset my "creative mind".  I will post my progress as I go and we will see just how far down the rabbit hole I've really fallen this time....

Full Image of My work - 7"x14" Pencil, Pen & Ink

Close up detail of my work.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dyeing for the Answer...

So I had this idea, right.  Where I wondered about the possibility of completing a crochet project and then dying or bleaching a design or pattern onto the finished piece to really give it a personal, almost polished look.  

To be fair here, I haven't taken on a crochet project in several years - maybe since I was a little girl.  Even back then, those projects consisted of a single, endless crochet chain that I would pull out and do over and over again.  Learning to turn my work and build on that single chain was too much work for a 7 year old; there were frogs to catch and trees to climb.  The level of importance on learning to turn my work was this:  aint nobody got time for that.

You get the point.

So, I'm contemplating this creative road block in my mind when I finally decide that thinking it to death won't give me the answers.  TIME TO EXPERIMENT!

I pull out the bleach and pour some in a container as seen above and let the yarn sit in the liquid for about 10 minutes.  I'm diligently staring at it, waiting to see the color bleed from the exposed length of yarn, but nothing happens.  

Maybe I need to rinse the yarn with water?

I don't have a clue what's supposed to happen here, so I rinse the string and I still do not see any deviation from the original color the yarn was dyed as.  hm.  I'm officially confounded.  Usually when bleach touches fabric, you can see the color change pretty quickly, but I had no such luck.  

Of course, it never occurred to me at any point during my experiment to just look the information up on the Internet first.  Ah well - I sort of enjoyed testing my theory out on my own first.  But alas, what I found online states that you cannot bleach acrylic yarn - which is the kind that I purchased.  Its something in how the yarn is processed that leads to this end result (something about the dye and polymer being mixed together then applied to the yarn).  My findings even said that its very difficult to dye acrylic yarn to any other color as well.  Who knew?  I learned something new tonight.  BUT, I've not  given up on my idea just yet.  I found a tutorial on how to screen-print, so I'm thinking this could be applied to a finished yarn project as well and I could potentially achieve my desired affect.

Hump Day....Ha....

That phrase always makes me giggle.  

Hump Day.  

In Honor of this glorious division between the start of a week and the end of one I give you this video:

You can thank me later. 

All kidding aside, I always find it funny that everyone dreads the middle of the week.  I suppose if Wednesdays were classified as a pre-existing cartoon character, I would have to say that Wednesday is Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.  Seriously, it totally makes sense.  

And Mondays would be Rabbit - he is way to organized and business-like to NOT be Monday.  Look at him - he's happy getting up early and doing work.  Complete insanity - Who enjoys waking up at the crack ass of dawn to do work?!

My take on the middle of the week is this:

I like to look at Wednesday as the halfway point of the Marathon that is my work week.  Optimistically speaking, I'm almost at the finish line so obviously I can't give up now.   Plus the paycheck is a great motivator too.  I firmly believe that money can move mountains...maybe planets, but I'll get back to you on that one.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013



Work. Week. Exhaustion.  

No really, its a thing.  Trust me.

Okay, okay, okay.  So its only Tuesday, but I'm already feeling the undercurrent dragging me down into the work week blues.  At this point I'm giving myself an internal pep-talk to get psyched to buckle down and knock stuff out, but its difficult.  The only things running through my mind currently are creative problems to some craftiness I started yesterday, how to improve our current marketing standpoint at work, cookies, and the characteristics and potential problems I could run into with dying yarn.

I think cookies were the most recurring thought there.  

Trying to juggle my different interests is difficult with a full-time job, especially since I eventually plan to transform my interest into a business.  When discussing my ideas and plans for my business with Mike, he made a profound point once I ran out of steam.  His point is this - I tend to over-think things right out of the gate.  

After thinking on it a bit more, it's definitely a true statement.

I get these grand ideas, and then I think them to death and somehow end up talking myself out of them.  I need to just let it go and really dig in to what's important right now, which is creating things.  Once I test drive several possibilities and come up with a few polished ideas I can then start to think about the end goal of selling my work.  Let's face it, the end result is that I need to have a decent inventory to start out with that I am completely satisfied with and absolutely love.  The rest will certainly follow after.   

The good news is, I put his advice to use.  I started to work out some ideas of my own last night - I will report on that later.

I did want to pass along some advice of my own - protecting your work is hugely important to any artist or creative person out there.  If you work with 2D flat work I recommend using these Polypropylene protective bags:   11 7/16" x 14 1/4" Protective Sleeve and 7 7/16" x 5 1/4" Protective Sleeve. I purchased these bags to protect my work a while ago and they have an adhesive seal.  The price isn't too bad either!

Monday, September 16, 2013

New York City - Trip Highlights

Monday's are my most favorite day of the week...said no one ever.  

I think that's probably one of those ecards floating around the Internet or Pinterest.  If it's not, then it should be made into one and spammed to every person in your network immediately.  

The problem with my Monday, is that I celebrated my weekend in New York City.  For the first time.  Ever.  I know, its shocking but true - I had to confirm this several times with BOTH my cab drivers which prompted them to give me individual listings of all the places I had to visit.
So Obviously coming back to reality on Monday is a bit of a drag.  On the plus side, I think New York is Fabulous!  

This is the view from our Hotel room in Midtown - we were on the 34th floor.  Another first for me - I've never been that high up in a building before.  Mike says that I lived a sheltered life.  He's probably right. 

Highlights of my trip to visit Mike:
  • The food was amazing - especially the Pizza!  Let's not even discuss the sandwiches built for a family of 5 at the Carnegie Deli; Holy Sandwiches Batman!
  • My first Broadway show experience was the Book of Mormon - if you haven't seen this YOU HAVE TO GO!  It was by far the funniest thing I've ever seen.  
  • New York night life - these people obviously have endless supplies of energy because we didn't stumble back to our hotel room until 5 am Sunday morning....the natives must be descendants of the energizer bunny.
  • MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) is fantastic - Standing in front of a 12 foot long Monet painting was surreal.  Their Picasso collection is also noteworthy as well as some of the more famous pop-art pieces.
We also tried Brooklyn Bowl - they had the best fried chicken.  Magic on my taste buds.  Here's a pic of Mike and I near the lanes:

I'm sad to report that I tied for last place in our game (I'm not very good at bowling), but we still had a blast!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Infamous Yarn Ball....

As I was getting ready for my trip to New York City to visit my husband over the weekend, my mind started to do that wandering thing again.  My husband (Mike) and his friends have given it an official medical term among our friends because it happens all the time - "RTS" or "Random Thought Syndrome".

It's very serious.

Anyhoo, I was taking a skein of yarn and creating a yarn ball with it like I was taught to do by my grandmother when working on crochet projects, when I suddenly questioned why it was necessary in the first place?  You're probably thinking that this is a pointless question because the answer is obviously, but ya never know - sometimes the answers surprise you.  At this point it was too late to contact my grandmother to ask, so I turned to the trusty Internet for answers.  Though my suspicions were confirmed - the skeins are wound into balls to ensure that the string does not become tangled during your work - I found something interesting.

Apparently I've been winding my balls all wrong (stop snickering, we aren't twelve anymore).  I've learned that there's a method to wind the yarn ball in such a way that the string is pulled from the CENTER of the ball and not the outside.  I bet you were already aware of that little jewel.  I'm always the last to the table of knowledge on the mundane, or at least Mike thinks so.  

I thought it exciting enough to share:

Here is a tutorial by Lion Brand Yarn if you need to see some visuals on how its done:

And of course I had to try it myself and I'm happy to report that it was a success.  Such a nifty little trick!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pull Up Your Big Girl Panties....

Ever have one of those days where you look around and ask yourself "what the hell am I doing?"?  I have those occasionally.  Towards the end of last week in fact, if I'm being honest.  After some serious contemplation on the subject, I've come to realize that there's a pattern.  It's almost like I have ADD, but with Employment.  


I should form a support group for this.

Let me Preface this realization with a little background history for you - in case you're sitting there shaking your head, wondering if you've stumbled upon another crazy kook.  I'm no kook, though the jury is still out on the "crazy" part.  

I've been working since I turned 16.  Thanks to supportive yet firm parenting, I quickly realized how the world worked when responsibilities like car insurance, gas prices and what those cute tops at the mall actually cost for a real person.  I stayed with each place over several years, but would inevitably feel the "boredom" set in.  I would get restless, and thus move on to something else.  College wasn't much different, in the fact that it was like pulling teeth just for me to get an Associates Degree.  College was more or less not really for me, but I'm proud that I stuck with it to the end.

So, here I am, with that restless feeling.  Again.  

I'm an artist working a 9-5 desk job.  While I do not begrudge my fortune at having the blessing of a job and a steady paycheck, it is still lackluster for me.  I'm tired of the cycle I've sunk into over the years, and I've started to formulate steps to get myself outside the box again.  

 So, I've pulled up my big girl panties and really looked hard at what makes me happy (besides my husband and wonderful pups).  The answer really wasn't a surprise or that difficult to find.  Art.  The most wonderfully euphoric feeling in the world can only be achieved when I enter that trance-like process where my hands create something out of nothing.  It's a beautiful feeling - one that i wish I could bottle and pass out to everyone.  There really isn't anything like it. 

I want to be happy and excited about what I do for a living so its time to get creative - my inner me squares her shoulders, claps her hands together, and yells "LET'S DO THIS!".   

....Hmm, maybe I AM crazy after-all.....