I have had a couple of messages asking about what my "studio" looks like, so here is a peek! Plus some past crafts I've done for my family and myself.
Well there it is. The "studio". HA! Really it's just part of the dining room, which is really the kitchen (eat-in kitchen... I say whatever to that. It's just a big kitchen, saying there is a dining room here is trickery). You see, we moved here when we were a family of three... and then came the twins. So, with it being only a two bedroom apartment, here is my office and all the poor kids are in one room. Thank heaven their room is just as big as the master, and all their beds fit no problem. Oh, and see my pink computer? My husband custom built it for me! :) Way cheaper than buying a pre built system and ... it's pink!
With a space this small, organization is key. Everything in my area (besides craft supplies and some decoration) was originally used for something else or is being repurposed. My second desk used to be my husband's computer desk a few years ago before he needed an upgrade.
If it's a good sized small box, I take it for storage. If it's a glass jar, I use it for my safety eyes. I have been collecting butter and cream cheese containers when they are empty so I can decorate them later and label them for separating safety eye sizes. The plan is to take an old cookie sheet, paint it, attach magnets to the bottom of the plastic containers and voila! Hang the cookie sheet and I have awesome eye storage. But that is still a work in progress.
I had to take some shelving we bought originally for my closet and my old locker shelf from high school to add some accessable storage. Works pretty well, for now. I got those cork board for less than $10 at Target for a set of four! They come in useful, and were worth the investment.
I always look for things on clearance, as well. Crafting and working a business on a one-salary family of five... not so easy. So cutting prices where I can is essential. I found this file folder, which is actually a hard cloth covered bag that came with 20 folders, on clearance at Wal-Mart for a few dollars. It's excellent for felt storage. Any small scraps of felt I always store in a big gallon sized baggy instead of throwing away, so I won't have to cut into an entire sheet later if I just need a small piece. Why was this on clearance? A tiny tear by one of the handles in the fabric. Really? Drop of hot glue, good as new, and I save a ton of money.
The one thing that is a pain is my fabric storage. Hello, big tub of fur. Finding storage for this is a work in progress, and this works for now. The tub fits snugly under my desk, and the fabric is accessable, and kept away from dust.
Something else odd you may have noticed is this little conundrum. Anyone know what it is? It's a home made lightbox! Just take a fairly large cardboard box, cut windows in three of the sides and remove the flaps completely from the top. Tape wax paper or white tissue paper over the windows, add fabric in the background and floor, and shine lamps through the windows! You get professional looking pictures, without paying $50-75 for a real lightbox. I got the fabric on clearance, the box came from a shipment of fabric or computer parts from my husband (I can't remember which, but it doesn't matter), and the wax paper was just from the roll from the kitchen. My lightbox cost about $2.50 to make! Plus, the fabric can be changed out. May look bad from far away, but the pictures are all that matters.
A close up of my computer area. My husband got me the murloc mousepad for Christmas last year! Also, you can see all my hoops in progress, and my toy collection. I made the Yoshi egg out of a wooden egg and acrylic paint. There is also a tiny Batman lunchbox and my windrider cub, and my collectable Sylvannas. If you play World of Warcraft, you know what I'm talking about here. You can also see my two lamps I use for my lightbox. Five dollars a piece at Wal-Mart, and lamps are always useful for other things.
Under my mousepad is my drawing tablet. My husband found it on Newegg, open box refurbished for $20. Does everything I need it to. I can sketch on the tablet and it goes into a drawing program on the computer. Handy.
We had to sacrifice the back door functioning in order to give me enough space to have a drawing and sewing area as well. At least I get a window by my desk! You can see my poor stuffed Yoshi has been uncerimoniously thrown on the baker's rack in the corner with all the baby food. That rack is full of formula at the beginning of every month, and just about empty at the end of the month. Twins eat a LOT of formula! But the cans are reusable for other things. If you have babies that eat rice, don't buy the cans of rice! Just pour the cheaper boxes of rice into an empty formula can. Ta-da! Your own can of rice! And just save a formula scoop to go with it, for easy measuring.
My beautiful window decor! I have a thing about Yoshi eggs. They are just cute. I also have a floating teeny yoshi egg in a one inch glass bottle I made, along with a tiny ocarina in another bottle beside it.
And just a few awesome things I have done in the past year or so...
I used to crochet a lot more, but since I moved on to sewing and hoopla I haven't had much time for it. But this guy is still hanging around, my Chef Kirby. He is gaurding Hermione's wand!
I also made him a huge counterpart, if you can see him buried under all my kid's toys. That kirby is about two feet tall. The name on the wall was simple to make. Just buttons on white wooden letters attached with hot glue!
One last question I have gotten more than once is "what is that tattoo on your arm?" I guess its slightly visible in my youtube video where I'm making the three baby monsters. Well... I warned you I was a geek.
The answer: The crest of Hyrule. I love Zelda games, way way too much.
Until next time! I have two new monsters in the works, got to get sewing!
Finished Ultros! He's the octopus from Final Fantasy VI I've been working on this week. He ended up measuring about 3 feet in length.
I never made a plush completely from fleece, but man is it forgiving fabric! I could even use his legs as pincushions and the holes just disappeared when I took out the pins. He has a polar fleece body, legs and eyelids. His teeth are 3 inches long made of felt.
The eyes were a bit tricky. I couldn't find the right colors anywhere, so I had to customize my own safety eyes. It's not too difficult. I know of two ways to customize eyes. One, if you need a black pupil you can just get clear safety eyes and paint the backs of them before applying them to the plush. With these eyes I needed a red pupil, so I had to customize full black eyes. I bought the largest I could find (60mm), painted them with acrylics and sealed them with clear nail polish. The polish just needs to be applied to completely dry paint, then left for a day to dry thoroughly. It creates a hard protective cover coat, doesn't chip easily, and makes a glassy look without the high price of buying acrylic sealant at the hobby store. These eyes took six coats of paint (yellow on black is a nightmare) and three coats of polish.
I honestly think he turned out amazing! Here's the picture that I had to work with:
Hand sewing this took a while, though. Glad I'll be getting my new sewing machine soon!!! On that note::
I met my $500 goal in ONE day! It's amazing! I didn't know people would love my plushies so much, but I'm honored they do. It's truly what I want to do with my career, and launching this business means so much to me. It will help me do something I love, as well as help support my three beautiful babies! My husband is so supportive as well :)
My next goal is $1200. Seems like a bit of a stretch (more than double what I wanted initially) but with 11 days left, I'm already over $900!! With that extra $700 I could go to my first professional craft show and do business face to face with customers. It would do WONDERS for my business! That amount would cover rental fees, display cases, material for product, and transportation. Here's to hoping!
And a braggy mom moment to end this post:
My twins rockin their chuck taylors! They will be four months old on the 23rd. Hard to imagine! Also hard to imagine their brother will be 2 next month!!
It's live! The geekyGAMERgirl Kickstarter! The goal is $500 to obtain a sewing machine and stock up on materials (so I don't have to save up for three months just to put new items in the shop!). Even $1.00 donations get a reward so spread the word!
Also! I officially applied to become a business and become self-employed yesterday (hooray!). I had to to begin selling at craft shows! It feels so official and completely awesome to say "I'm self-employed".
This does, however, mean that sales tax will apply in Texas beginning October 1!
And just a moment of mommy bragging ... my youngest twin is rolling over now, too! All of this has put me in such a good mood that I'm going to be completely crazy and post the newest item in the shop for $6.00, plus S&H of $3.00 for one week only! After that it goes to the regular price of $8.00 plus $3.00 S&H.
Say hello to the Puff Monsters!
Also, I'm currently working on a Ultros plush commission. He's a baddie from the Final Fantasy series. I'm waiting on huge 60mm eyes for him so I can finish him up! I'll be sure to post him when he's done... He's going to be gigantic. So far his legs alone are about 21 inches... so he'll be about 2.5 - 3 feet tall.
I'm also working on a "Surprise Monster" listing for the shop, which will be about $9 per monster. I'm trying to keep things affordable for everyone because everyone deserves a monster friend! In this listing you will be able to get a monster from the "grab bag". They will be 3 - 5 inch tall monsters such as this guy here!
There will be all sorts of monsters in this listing... some with legs, some with three eyes, maybe even some with wings! Who knows? Great for those who love surprises and hate choosing. :)
The newest member of our little monster family: The Spyster.
I want to get better at my sphere sewing, so I'm trying to come up with patterns that utilize them. I think he turned out pretty freaking cute. He has six legs, with paw prints. My son loves Blues Clues, and anything that has a paw print on it he goes insane over... so I had to do this little nod to him.
I video taped the entire sewing process, but I had to do it in several sittings over two days (watching three month old twins and a 22 month old is a bit distracting...). We'll see if I can edit it into a passable time lapse.
Also! A Kickstarter for geekyGAMERgirl should be up late this weekend, or early next week. I'll post here and keep everyone updated. If you can't donate then spread the word!
I ordered a large batch of fabric earlier this week, so I should be cranking out tons of monsters by the end of the month. Woo!
Also - congratulations to Angela C. who won this month's giveaway! She won a free customized baby cloud monster! Didn't win? I'll do another giveaway the first week of September. Wonder what it'll be... ;)
My latest project that I did tonight wasn't a monster, but it was pretty cute so I'm going to blog about it any way.
My sister, over at Teaching Chick, is getting ready for the start of school. She's a fourth grade teacher, and a few weeks ago she saw my pincushion (you may have seen it flitting around in pictures and in my video) and said she wanted it. I didn't really want to make her a pincushion since last I checked she didn't sew often. So instead, I took the pattern (which is free and available here) and enlarged it, and made her a felt plush to match her classroom, which is done in polka dots.
I embroidered her name on the dog as well. I figured she could use something soft to throw at students. (Kidding!)
You can see it's a simple pattern. I used three pieces of 50 cent felt, pink DMC floss in three strands, poly-fil to fluff him up, and 15mm safety eyes. In all, he cost about three dollars. Pretty awesome for a nice, handmade and personalized gift.
Small felt projects like these are a great way to practice sewing by hand and learning new stitches. I used a blanket stitch on the edges of the dog for a neat decorative look, and a back stitch for embroidering.
On the bottom middle seam I used a whip stitch with the seam facing in towards the inside of the dog. If you don't know how to do these stitches, they are VERY easy. The best how-to I've found for the blanket and whip stitches are at Futuregirl's Craft Blog. This took about two and a half hours of work, but mainly because I was (ashamedly) playing Facebook games while sewing after the kids went to bed.
I ordered new fur! Just a bit of it, and in some fun colors. I'm planning on making little newborn monsters to give as rewards for my Kickstarter project (which should launch in the next two weeks sometime!). I may also stock some in my Etsy store, simply because my sketch for them is too freaking cute to not share the finished product.
Oh! Also, my husband is amazing. He found an open box drawing tablet on Newegg and bought it for me! Awesome surprise. So now I will be able to sketch straight to the computer (or trace my current sketches) and share them on here!