Archive for May, 2010

Squid Lids

Posted in constructions, cute, etsy, plush critters with tags , , , on May 31, 2010 by darcyarts

Having received an order over at DarcyArts for a big red catnip squid, the first since January,  took the opportunity to revamp my red squiddie ever so slightly.

I decided to add eyelids in a nice grey fleece.

I also am adding the little stripey travel size squid to all big red squid orders. the are so very cute.

I really like this bright red for the squid.

Do cats see color?

The precision with which buyers have managed to avoid buying catnip toys while my new batch of organic catnip grew in is just amazing.

I’ve had the fresh cuttings drying in the laundry room for only a few weeks. Man, is it pungent. The kitty who gets this will go wild.

To see the lucky recipient check out Sam Hisey’s the Factory101 web site. The picture of his pretty black cat is in the “about” section.

Hisey does graffiti for the indoors. Nice work in bright colors. I like it alot.

Harsh Realties of Shipping

Posted in constructions, cute, finds with tags , , on May 29, 2010 by darcyarts

I like making things, I like to bring things into the world that might add cheer, amusement to someone’s day.

I tend to shy away from the logic of business, though it is essential to operations and I am now reliant on these “operations” for my living.

I am bedeviled by shipping costs. I have miscalculated often and so far always erred on the side of under charging.

See this donut pillow? It is large. Very large. It costs a buttload to mail to Australia. I didn’t know that the first time I mailed one. When the nice lady at the post office told me my big box would cost $43 and change I was crushed. I’d guessed $13. That is the shipping charge on my Etsy listing.

I had to go back and tell the buyer I couldn’t ship the item because of my very bad miscalculation. I told her I didn’t expect she’d want to pay that much shipping. She said she would.

It’s not cool to mess up this way. That isn’t the worst story. Somehow on another listing I charged no shipping at all for a donut to the U.K.

That may have been a fowl up in the Etsy shipping page which had changed and whose subtleties I had not learned.

I ate the massive cost of shipping that time and then realized I had to get it together.

I know the cost to Australia and the U.K. nearly $50. I decided I would charge $30. shipping from now on. The problem is no one want to pay that much shipping. Even if they can fully understand that big things cost lots of cash to send it doesn’t go down well.

I though for awhile that I’d just be honest about the costs and let people know that I was absorbing part of the shipping cost.  Finally, today, I decided to do what everyone else does, what business etiquette (strange concept) or maybe I should say business psychology demands.

Include part of the shipping costs in the price. That means I had to raise my prices by $21 bucks. Will I ever sell another donut?

I’ve also decided the gigantic size, 20 inches of pillow, might be too much. Maybe I’m the only one who equates their enormity with an amusing cuteness.

This morning I made a 16 inch pattern and will, in the near future, offer these smaller donut pillows to Etsy shoppers. they will be more truly acccent pillows.

I found a really cute soap donut over at soapopotomus’s etsy shop.

Aren’t these perfect? I had to order one for my pink and turquoise bathroom.

Earth

Posted in food, gardening with tags , , , on May 28, 2010 by darcyarts

The rain has soaked the garden. It’s all covered with big droplets of water from the skies.

The tiger lilies, left by the previous occupants of this home, come out year after year. I should probably transplant them.

The warm is coming. It’s nearly the end of merry May. The vegetation is growing well. All are reaching for the sunlight.

I caught a sunbeam in one of the mirror hangings. Flash!

Lavender blossoms on the green onions are looking good.

I went light on vegetables this season – two tomato plants, some cilantro.

I planted a pepper that has not thrived.

Chamomile for tea? Or will it be just a pleasant treat for the eyes?

Do the white petals always point downward?

There is chocolate mint and catnip, parsley, the green onions and aloe vera. Here comes the sun, little darling. The container garden in low key this year.

I think the critters thought I’d brought peanuts my first time for photos. They were double checking my actions when I went back inside. These photos were taken through the kitchen windows.

The bluejays are the quickest and smartest peanut spotters. They squawk out an excited announcement as soon as the first peanut hits the grass.

This guy had already snatched a fat moth from under the eaves that cover the front walk but he wants more.

The squirrels follow the jays’  lead.

Right outside the window over the kitchen sink is a bush where the squirrels hang out and mad dog us. If we are lax with the food.

“Where are the goobers, people?! Have you lost your frickin minds?”

Pressure.

Pizza and Pastries

Posted in reading with tags , , on May 27, 2010 by darcyarts

I’m pretty sure If I mention pillows one more time someone will slap me but I’ll just slip in a plug here for my big donut with cherry icing:

This evening, wet and chilly for the end of May, I must confess that after a full day’s work on projects mentioned far too often I am reading another interesting memoir.

I though this one might be a little Oprahish but I’ve found Elizabeth Gilbert is a witty Cancerian and she’s visiting places to which I am drawn.  Though this is like a mega hit book that’s not a good enough reason to avoid it.

I am loving Gilbert’s descriptions of her lusty enjoyment of Italian foods. Pastries and pizza. Yumm.

I read on Amazon that they are making a movie of this book and that Julia Roberts will star. Hum. Maybe. I hope she doesn’t burst out in that crazy laught too much.

I’m avoiding the nightly viewing of Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. It’s just too sad to see the oil spew and related wipe out damage. Too, too sad. I know I have to face reality but sometimes it’s tough.

Back to my book.

Released

Posted in handmade, projects, writing with tags , , on May 26, 2010 by darcyarts

Thank you, dear readers, for your prayers and positive energy. I have been released from this call for jury duty. After three consecutive nights of calling in I am free.

That means I have uninterrupted time to finish off my latest list of projects.

As if my list wasn’t long enough I have been visualizing some very attractive fantasy mushrooms. This morning I pulled materials from closets and shelves and set them aside for use in mushroon construction.

Then there is long-term writing project that is making itself known, a calling  to get some things down while I still can. It shall be called ‘member?  I know that title is weird and confusing but it has a sort of multi-layered meaning for me. “member is a countryish colloquial version of “remember”.

” ‘Member when we went down to that place and did that thing that time? ” ‘Member?

This project involves lots of wringing out of moments from the past. I can’t say anymore about it because I’m am hypersensitive (superstitious) about large, prolonged writing tasks. I have to just do it and see if it materializes. It’s going to take a very long time.

It’s all about what I want it to be. It is a voyage of self discovery, it’s private art. Initially it feels like the voyage make take place on a sea of shit. It’ll clear up when I get in real deep. I can already feel it but now it’s something else that deserves my time and that’s the tricky part.

The list:

Dollmaker story, deadline June 15, have barely started.

 All 25 letter number pillows finished and shipped, deadline June 10, nearly there.

ADO doll maker challenge for May, deadline May 31, have just started but know where I’m going.

ADO dollmaker challenge for June, deadline July 1, good ideas, some materials gathered.

Maple Bar pillow for Emily, deadline by her July birthdate.

Pretty Mushrooms, whenever I finish a few of the above. I can’t wait to try one.

Temporary Reprieve

Posted in handmade, projects with tags on May 25, 2010 by darcyarts

The call to the court last evening let me off the hook until a later time. I’m in limbo now. My group may be needed for a trial next week. I am to call back tonight and see if I show up at a future date or get the free pass.

I should have been stuffing 7s and readying the sets of pillows to go off to the big clothing manufacturers annex in the east but I’ve been doing everything else — errand running, grocery shopping print packaging, drop off and pick up, etc.

The truly satisfying thing is that I finished both my other donut pillows yesterday.

Devil’s food with white icing and cocoa puffs

This is my biggest donut to date. Lots of luscious chocolate and vanilla.

The  donut with chocolate icing and red heart candies came out nicely.

Both of these are about 20 inches across and about 5 inches in height.

They are big and cuddly which is one of my favorite things about the donuts.  The close ups make me think of donut landscapes.

These donuts will be listed in the DarcyArts shop this weekend.

Cherry Icing

Posted in Art, constructions, cute, etsy, family with tags , , on May 24, 2010 by darcyarts

In the big build up to half a dozen the latest is a donut with cherry icing and no sprinkles.

The color was is pretty and powerful that it deserves to stand by itself. That and the fact that not many bead sprinkles show up well on this intense field.

I love this donut. Yes, I love them all but this one is so big and pretty! It measures about 20 iches across and is 5 inches high.

This much color will really brighten a room, baby.

I can see these tossed on the bed or on a soft clean rug for a toddler to crawl over or sit in.

I know my daughter would have happily occupied a donut pillow hole while watching Muppet Family Christmas, her first favorite TV offering.

I was going to school back then and had not yet given free reign to my maker instincts. I had my hands full with two kids and college.

Here is Miss Jess in a sweatshirt turban looking badass beside Keith Richards and beneath the Blues For Allah poster.

I wish I had a time machine so I could make her big donuts and all the pretty dresses she craved as a very small girl.

I think Brian would have liked the donuts as well. They make for very comfy lounging.  Time machine, time machine, time machine!

Does every mother wish to turn back the hands of time ?

My kids are so cool and now as young adults they touch my heart and blow my mommy mind with their brilliance and goodness.

They are poised and kind and funny, funny people. I am so blessed to have be related to them.

Ah, back to the work at hand.

Three or four sets of 7s need to be stuffed and  I should definitely start today. I think I’ve got three sewn with two more sets to go. I also have three letters to cut, sew and stuff. Shipping begins this week. I’ll roll them out one big box at a time.

Potential boulder in the road –> I call the court about jury duty this evening.

No more donuts for a while though I’ve got two others nearly finished.

Maybe I’ll finish the last of the hand stitching on this donut with chocolate icing and red hearts candies. I’m so close to being done.

I want it on my donut stack.

This baby should be up at Etsy sometime this week. Yummy for the eyes.

***********************************

!Help! Anybody out there who knows where I can get this caramel colored fleece (body of donut) on line please leave me a comment.

Half a Dozen

Posted in Art, constructions, cute, etsy, handmade, projects with tags , , on May 23, 2010 by darcyarts

Feeling fairly caught up with the letter/number pillows I set yesterday as a donut sewing day.

 Friday I split my time between the two projects and cut out the donut shapes and holes. Saturday I found the right icing colors and did the hand stitching which I will finish today.

As I mentioned, I’ve got one more donut, a devil’s food with white icing to stuff and stitch. I want to put little cocoa puffs on it.

All three of these should be so cute.

I still need to sew twin cloth dolls for an ADO challenge. They will be the embodiment of my chief characters, Dee and Stevie Darcy.

I’m thinking I’ll run out of time today to get to them. My goal is to finish and photograph at least one of the donuts by this evening.

I’ll remind myself not to rush it, not to fall prey to my native Aries impatience. I’m just stoked that I have them nearly doen and I’ll be satified to work them slowly into completion, listing them on Etsy as they come off the one-woman assembly line.

I am creating enough to stack on a big holding pole. That’s another goal, at least a half dozen stacked on my hand made holder by the end of August. I think I’ve made good progress. When I finish the three in the works, and if no one buys one this week, I’ll have four on the pole! ♥

Friends, I ask you now to send up tiny prayers/positive affirmations that I will luck out and NOT be chosen for jury duty. Visualize me calling in tomorrow night and hearing that my group will not be needed. It’s not that I want to shirk my duties as a citizen. It’s just that my time is so precious. I have work to do!

Slow as Molasses

Posted in Art, constructions, cute, etsy, family, handmade, plush critters, projects with tags , , , on May 22, 2010 by darcyarts

My post yesterday included a sort of sloppy taking stock of projects under way, approved projects yet to be started and those that still dance in my head.

This is my second year doing Etsy full time and as I drift deeper into 2010 I am reminded how fast the months fly off the calendar. I am working in a dedicated fashion, fingers are raw and stiff at the end of most days. I’m exhiliarated to do every stitch.

I am learning that I do not have the time to transform every idea into a real physical object d’arte. Maybe if I were to give up sleeping but I’m a wreck without the proper rest. This human form demands pampering and I must yield to the slow molasses swim of making in time.

This well-worn little doggie was my very first stuffed creature. I made him in the image of my beloved, long gone Wimpy, the cuddle puppy of my infancy.

He’s a pretty good imitation. In the film Meet the Fockers, There is a vintage Wimpy, just like the one I had, framed in a plexiglass frame. The real doggies were a light cocoa color.

I made this dog from a fleece jacket I had in my closet. I borrowed his stuffing from an old pillow. He now lives with my daughter Jessica and her beau Colby in San Francisco.

I would like to add mod Whimpies to my collection of creatures but I have to put them on the to do list and see if I get there this year.  I am still learning how many new things I can actually produce in any given year. Not many.

I’ve got projects that will easily take me to July. Once I hit July I’ve got a mere four months to get the DarcyArts store stocked up for the end of the year holidays.  Holiday sales have lapped over well into January, biting into the next year.

I may be addicted to innovation. I think it’s a good thing that what I have already created is working. I will learn to limit my impulses and settle down to refining the strongest elements of my oeuvre.

Donut Break

Posted in constructions, cute, food, handmade with tags , , , on May 21, 2010 by darcyarts

After days and days of letter number pillow making I had to take a break to cut some donut pillows.

I’m finding people are interested in these cutie pies so I want to get a few more into the Etsy shop. I have multiple ideas for icing and sprinkles floating in my heart and I am trying very hard not to confuse the art with the food.

“Do Not Eat Donuts,” I repeat to myself.

I but donuts for research. They are so pretty. These day-old donuts were cheap inspiration at WalMart.

I like to have images to see the way the frosting drips, to see the colored sprinkles used and how well they “pop”.

These were pretty nice examples and gave me a good variety of sizes of toppings.

I like these big pastel dots.

They had little dots too.

There are more colors among the small dots, cool.

Then I have to decide how I will reproduce the pastels in fabric or beads, or whatever is available and not too expensive.

All this deep-fried pastry is sitting around my kitchen, or was till I threw them all in the trash. They were pretty stale by then. Granny ate a few before they got too dired out.

These small donuts are nice especially with cherries stuffed in them. That was Frank’s design.

I began stitching the small maple bar, one of four donuts I cut today.

This is sadly the last of my caramel colored fleece.

I cannot find this color anywhere, not online or at the JoAnn store. Boo hoo.

I guess Ill have to concentrate on round donuts but it was very good for a round donut base, too.

This is before I started stitching the maple icing  on tightly.

Maybe I’ll keep this one and keep my eye peeled for some maple-colored substitute.

My shelves are stuffed with the materials of projects underway.

I’m going to be fast at work for the rest of the spring and summer and hopefully, Frank and I can take a little break mid August for a reunion of our dearly beloved friend from our early San Francisco days! Whee!

I’ve cut a new pattern for slightly larger cloth dolls. I’m looking forward to building up stock for the 2010 holiday season. I’m going to keep it real simple and make it sweet.

This is all such good news, to know what I’m doing and to look forward to this work everyday.

I am so thankful for this being my life.

It’s 4 p.m. and I’ve been at it since 5:30 a.m.

Time to relax, wind down and rest up for tomorrow.

The wind is blowing in another storm. The sky is still blue but I bet we’ll have rain soon. I love the sound of rain onthe roof, the windows.

I want to make more mushrooms, too and get around to my 50s  Beat gnomes.

It’ll happen.

I might have to put the bottle dolls off for another year.