Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer School

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Custom Handmade Doll

As mentioned in a previous post, I met a sweet woman at the art festival who asked me if I make custom dolls.  I told her that I did and we chatted some, but I didn't think she was entirely serious.  The next day, she returned with her son's vintage and very worn-out  loved doll.  I was beyond flattered, humbled, and to be honest, a bit intimidated that she would trust me enough to hold onto this vintage toy to pattern the new one after for her baby grandson (her son's little boy).  The old british guard didn't have a coat, but she requested one for this new little fella.

I had so much fun making him and dreaming up the pattern and details.  I wanted to make it all baby-friendly (ie. no hard buttons or small pieces that could possibly come loose).  I emailed her last week to show her the finished product and I'm delivering him in person this afternoon.  She responded and said she was thrilled with the new addition to the family :)  WHEW!!  Always a relief to get the 'thumbs-up' after working hard on an extra-special project!  
So here he is!  A new Palace Guard for a new generation :)  

His coat is fully removable and he has hand-embroidered eyes and a hand-stitched applique mustache.  His coat is made from wool felt, as well as his legs and hat.
And isn't it fitting that she would ask me to make this little guy while we are enjoying the Olympic Games in London?!  Haha, love it!  And to top it off, earlier this year, John and I were on vacation in London, so I had added inspiration! 

I thought I'd see how he fits into some of my photos from London for fun...
...looks like he belongs :) 

If you are interested in commissioning a custom doll, please email me at recipe4cute{at}gmail{dot}com for pricing and details. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vacations are such a good thing!

{Pics from my instagram page...feel free to follow along if you wish!}

We're back from the beach!  A week of fresh sea air, sunshine, sand between our toes, staying up until midnight to watch the Olympic Games, exploring tide pools (and doing it in your pj's if you are Michael) ice cream cones, bike rides, shopping, time with my sister, reading books in the bathtub (most of those were picture books that I read to the mister!), tasty pub food, exploring small towns, visiting museums, sketching on the beach, sleeping in until 8am and taking 3 hour naps in the afternoon, making up silly games on the beach, building sandcastles, listening to 80's music on long drives and laughing about the lyrics, hitting up all the local art galleries for inspiration...
And necessary!!  
John and I had both been working so much without a breather and needed a break to just BE.  Be together.  Be a family.  Just take a deep breath and BE.  It was rejuvenating and relaxing.  Now that we're back home, life is in full-swing and we're enjoying the beautiful summer weather around Seattle.  Getting out and exploring.  Starting lots of new projects and finishing some old ones too.  Feels good to be refreshed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

DIY Watercolor Labels

I have the simplest tutorial for you guys today that can be used in countless ways!

Here's what you'll need:

Inkjet Printer
Permanent Inkjet Labels...I used these
Watercolor paints of your choice

Mix up the watercolor paint with water to make a colored solution...more paint than water so you don't oversaturate the labels.

Quickly paint it onto the labels...I tried 2 techniques: 1) a messy approach leaving streaks and patches of white and 2) a more fluid approach that created a softer look with no white patches. 

I let it air-dry and to speed the process up, I also used a hairdryer, but that isn't necessary.  

I inserted them painted-side down in my inkjet printer and voila!  
New labels for my Petit Pablo Pencil Pack sketchbooks!

These are so easy and inexpensive to create and the watercolor adds a custom touch.  

The package of labels comes with 400 round stickers, so you can test out more ideas like these:

Monogram stickers to seal your envelopes
Jam Jar Labels
Party Favor Seals

I could go on and on...if you try this project, send me a photo or two!  
I'd love to see how you use it :)  Have fun!

Wedgwood Art Festival 2012

Hello dear readers!  My family and I are here on vacation in Cannon Beach, OR this week and it's been heavenly to be together, without a schedule of work and to-do's.  Every morning, Michael jumps out of bed, runs onto the deck overlooking the beach and announces 'Mom, the sea creatures are waking up...we better get out there!' Haha, he makes me smile every day!  

More pics of the beach coming soon, but if you want to see some now, you can follow me here for photos of highlights and things that make me smile in general: http://followgram.me/recipe4cute

I wanted to take a moment to share a few photos from the Wedgwood Art Festival this year.  Leading up to it, the weather was amazing, but the day before, Seattle had a major thunder/lightning storm...yes, we get a lot of rain, but we rarely get the crazy storms.  I'm talking POURING rain...buckets...like being in a shower and getting soaked within 10 seconds kind-of-rain :)  So I was worried to say the least since this festival is outdoors!  Luckily, the weather held up and we only had the tiniest bit of rain and some wind during the 2-day show.  Whew!!  Just to be safe, John got me a tent with walls this year :) 

This year, I doubled my inventory...basically made twice the amount of pencil packs and dolls since I almost sold out of both last year!  I also added about 12 new watercolor illustrations to my collection. 

A photo of my John managing the booth.  I'm so grateful for his generous support and love.  He always makes sure I have time to work on my art and takes Michael out on fun adventures so I have quiet time to work.  I'm definitely someone who needs time to myself to just 'BE'.  I've always been that way.  Even when I have a 'night off' and I'm going out, John will suggest that I call up a friend to come with me, and sometimes I do, but lots of times I enjoy my own company ;)  Anyway, I digress...he just understands me so well and I feel so loved because he supports my dreams of being an artist/illustrator/crafter/wife/mama.  I could never do this alone...we make a good team!  Thank you for being incredible, John!  I'm the luckiest girl to have you :)

Side-note: I think some of the funniest moments were when customers would approach the booth and John would casually mention that he made everything...ha, loved seeing the reactions ;)  

As my son would say, 'I spy with my little eye...'  a 'Piglets Over Paris' birthday card!  Working on the storyline/illustrations for a new children's book.

This little girl's mama bought her a second doll just in case the first one gets lost/ruined/wears out after years of love.  She told me that it's her bedtime dolly and she can't be without it...way to think ahead Kirsten :)

This little guy was soooo cute...his name is Lucky and he even smiled for the camera ;)  I saw so many sweet companions during the festival.  Lucky's owner bought 3 of my illustrations for her 'future kids'.  Wow, that was a huge compliment!  Thank you Beth!!

My Happy Little Camper

A close up of about half the dolls this year...I made more boys and the little lad with his bow tie was gone pretty quickly...a gift for a new grandson.  I was a tiny bit sad to see him go, but I know he's going to a happy home!

A group of modern dance teachers (this beautiful woman was born in Jamaica and grew up in NYC) came by my booth and we had fun chats.  Two of them bought dolls and the other bought a pencil pack for her son.  I LOVE talking to all the diverse people who come to these events.  I love hearing about others' lives...their stories, their interests, the people they hold dear and for whom they are purchasing the gifts.  I feel so fulfilled and happy to know that my art and creations are bringing others happiness as well.  I suppose that's why my motto is 'Art that will make your heart smile!'

Other highlights that made the festival so much fun:

One mom had 3 daughters and their middle names were Faith, Hope, and Grace...so I customized the word 'Love' on the horse illustration to read 'Grace' so each girl could have a print.  What are the odds?!  So cool :)  

One new grandma brought me her son's old British Royal Guard doll that was very well-loved and falling apart and asked me to make a custom one for her new grandson.  Such a loving gesture for this sweet grand-baby and I felt quite humbled to be taking home her son's vintage doll to pattern the new one after...whoa, you'd better believe I'm taking EXCELLENT care of that little guy!  

Another great year!  Thank you to everyone for your support...my wonderful family who helped take care our son leading up to the festival and also during the show, friends who stopped by and texted/emailed me the week before to show their love, and for all those people who made purchases.    Wow, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!  My cup runneth over :)