Friday, September 28, 2007

Sugar Skull Juggler

This little lady was supposed to be a part of last week's Illustration Friday (juggling). Alas... she was not completed in time. What with my busy work week and then my having some sick spells (but all seems to be well now), everything just happened to affect 'work for fun' able-ness. Boo! But she did get finished, and that's good.

There is more good news in sight for the Señorita Sugar Skull Juggler, because she is also going to be a part of the spooky group art show going up on Monday (and through October) at Amy's Ice Cream on Sixth. Yay!

Oh, and pen and ink wih digital color. Pin It

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Alphagals, a Blue Genie, and a Busy Bee

Meet Abigail, and Abigail's Ant, Adelaide. She is the first of the AlphaGals, which is the series I came up with recently, and I hope to do so much fun and interesting stuff with. Stationery, dolls, maybe paper dolls...maybe some stories, at least drawing wise. We'll see how it goes. One of twenty six girls and her pet who lives in her hair, and her trademark color, and her bizarre hair-do, and her retro, Brady bunch inspired outfit. Could it be anymore Alician? Nope.
Here are Bertha and her bats who live in her blue braids. They are named Bartolomeo and Benedetta. And since I'm speaking of blues -- so I submitted some of my wares to the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. I sent in various new stuff I've been working on (like the AlphaGals), and some old regular standard Alicia stuff. I hope I get in. It would be exciting and fun. I'm psyched.
And lastly, here's Carlotta and her cat, Claude. Next up is Ethany, and then Frieda, and then Gala. Why am I taking this up now, when I have so much else going on? Because I like being a busy bee, I reckon.

Buzz, buzz buzz. I'm off!

Oh, and all of these lovely ladies are acrylic gouache on Rives BFK. Pin It

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One of 'Them'

I have been infected with a virus to which I thought I was immune, and now I am one of them. "Join us," they said. "It's bliiiiisss..." They made a good case. And so, I buckled. I am now one of those people who starts on Christmas crafts in September -- before the Fall has officially started, even. What has happened to me? Who am I? This is not me!

What you see here are practice runs of a print for a Christmas project. That's right, it's three months away and I'm whipping out nativity themed goods. I have good reason though. How can I possibly achieve all of the Christmas greatness I want to if I only give myself one month to do so? I would drive myself batty, and I'd be in no mood to enjoy it all. Thus, the early start.

For those who may not know, I was a notorious scoffer of jump-the-gun Christmas crafters for years, decades even. What fun is there in Christmas if it isn't special, if it's three months old by the time it arrives? Well, as I said, the fun is in not being overwhelmed, in not pulling all nighters while cursing at the sewing machine to the tune of O Holy Night, and in not flipping your wig in general when it gets down to the wire.

Come December, I hope to be sipping mulled wine, watching Rudolph and Charlie Brown, and reveling in the cheers and complements I will be receiving on my bounty of Christmas goods that were finished months ago. Pin It

Monday, September 10, 2007

Professor Cakeface Meowmers

Yesterday was my birthday. Hooray! It was a happy one at that. See that guy in the photo above? That's Professor Cakeface Meowmers (and yes, that is a Wizard People Dear Readers reference). He was my birthday cake this year. I brought him to the lovely party my lovely friends, Paul and Emma, hosted for me. He was tasty.

He almost didn't exist, though. My oven went bonkers not even 20 minutes into cooking my cake layers, and they were all burnt and fallen. I am stating for the record that I abhor apartment kitchens. Anyway, I went into panic mode. I was especially crushed because I had plans on making Professor Cakeface Meowmers here for a few weeks. I was super excited about it. I told people my cake plans. Other people were excited about it. It had to be done! A cat cakeface cake! In a way, it was like my birthday present to myself. I absolutely HAD to make this cake.

After a few calls to some snooty bakeries trying to see if they would sell me un-iced cake rounds, I finally braved going to Central Market on Saturday, where they were so kind to sell me the only two un-iced cake rounds they fortunately possessed for a mere five dollars. My other option would've been to buy an iced cake, take it home, and scrap all the icing off, then re-ice it. I would've done it too, because I had my heart set on the Professor here, with his orange flavored icing made from my mom's recipe. Mmmm....

So, some panic, a couple batches of icing, and several hours later, he emerged. He was a delectable, delicious, hit. More so than his cakeface predecessors, although, they too were much loved. Pictured below are last year's birthday cake, Paul's birthday cake, and of course, the Professor.



Other highlights of my weekend included the thoroughly excellent company of my friends at the party, a rousingly memorable game of Apples to Apples, superb homemade cookies, good books, tickets to see Yo La Tengo at one of my preferred venues, a lovely hand drawn coupon to buy cycling clothes (complete with cat wearing sunglasses!), calls from more thoroughly excellent friends and family, Z Tejas margaritas and their famous cast iron skillet fruit cobbler, The Office season 3, these shoes, and a bounty of gift certificates for some of my favorite places to shop.

Excellence. Pin It

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

¡joyería!

Here's another 'craft' post for y'all. My mom is attending the big 40th Anniversary celebration at the Jacksonville Cuban American Club this Saturday. My dad is the President of the club this year, so it's a big to-do for him and my mom. Cocktail dress, tuxedo fancy type to-do. I reckon she is, for all intents and purposes, the 'first lady' over there, and was in need of some jewelry for the occasion. She requested a predominantly red and black with gold findings number. I just mailed it off to her.

This is what I came up with using just what I had here, with the exception of the 'donut' pendant. I didn't have any decent pendant pieces so, I went on a brief shopping trip, and this was what turned up. I had wanted a big ol' faceted teardrop, or something like that. Typically I'm not a big fan of the 'donut pendant,' but it was all I could find that wasn't faux cinnabar (real cinnabar would be bad -- it's toxic, or so I've heard), and was the right shade of red. I opted for lots of chain and the layered look to offset any of the zen-simple-chic or art-teacher-funky-cookiness I tend to see donuts mixed in with. I'm pleased.

I was afraid it wouldn't be able to pull off a formal look, but I think I did it. At first I had it more delicate and dripping with clusters and whatnot, but it didn't look right -- too busy. I think this simpler version is much better and much less cluttered.

I really like the chain slip knot part a lot. Fancy pants! There are earrings to match, but not pictured.

As for the materials, this one is faceted black onyx, faceted coral, sponge coral, freshwater pearls, and the pendant is what I would call reconstituted sponge coral, all with gold filled wire and chain. Pin It

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Awww, it's a craft!

I'm kicking off September with my very first craft post, and it's cutesy-wootsy to boot, so you've been warned.

Here's what I call Mr. Chubby Two-Penny Bunny, made from an old Old Navy tee shirt scrap that had previously been sentenced to serve the rest of its life as an oil painting rag. I had a change of heart, however, and before subjecting it to an oily death I snatched it up and gave creative birth to this bunny. I had been feeling dumpy and worn out on the art stuffs the other day, and decided I wanted to do some plush making. He was all hand sewn, has vintage button eyes, a raggedy madras plaid bow, and a sparkly cotton tail.
I modified him from a pattern I found in one of my mom's old toy making books. I like my guy better than their pin headed bunny, but if I make him a friend, I'll probably change a few things. I don't know if I'm up for making him a friend just yet. Hand sewing takes a bit longer, but then there is a therapeutic quality to it, especially with so many little pattern pieces to put together. It's one of those "quasi-mindless, but not really" activities. It's like knitting, but more fun, because in the end, you have a toy (well, at least I'm not good enough at knitting to make any toy other than a snake, maybe). You do have to think, about what you're doing at least, but not about anything else really, and all the while your hands are busy. Ahhh -- bliss! I wish I had some nice, real wool felt to play with, though. I hear it's hand sewing heaven. I think I'm going to get a jump start on that Christmas wish list...
Here's Mr. Chubby Two-Penny Bunny getting acquainted with Nico. See, I warned you -- cutesy wootsy. I cannot be held responsible if you vomited all over your keyboard.

Oh, and why Mr. Chubby Two-Penny Bunny? Because his ears are weighted down with a penny each, and I thought that sounded like a good name. Pin It