Thursday, May 26, 2011

Making Christmas

Last week my coworker asked me to crochet keychains of Jack and Sally Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. This was after all the orders and preparation for JapanLA and a week before I had to leave for a one month vacation, so I wasn't sure if I had time to fit it in. But after doing a little sketch of my plan for it, I decided I had to squeeze this project in. Plus my coworker is really sweet and cool, so I wanted to help her out.

Jack and Sally are very detailed with larger heads and frail extremities. For the structure, I knew I wanted to keep the heads accentuated but simplify and miniaturize the bodies. I debated the addition of arms or not, and after fastening both bodies to heads, I decided they looked good without arms.

All in all, after figuring out how I was going to approach this project, and the logistics, it was fairly simple and very fun. I'm happy I was able to do it and finish so quick. My coworker loved it and wants me to make her another set, so I will most likely be making more soon!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Etchin and Sketchin

I have always never resisted the opportunity to doodle on an Etch A Sketch whenever I find one in my sight. As a kid I spent many hours making these temporary masterpieces - I even had the mini keychain one so I could sketch on the go. In February I began crocheting mini Etch A Sketches. I tried embroidering many things, fancy hearts for Valentine's Day, the hand gesture for peace (not sure), but really I just needed something simple and eye-catching to put out for initial posting because I knew I would embroider whatever people wanted me to anyway. So I defaulted to what I would personally want, Dinosaurs. I was on a roll and did a few of these, but then I encountered the dilemma of knob making.

I usually use safety eyes for my work, but they don't come in the white color I needed. I investigated my sister's craft room and thought to use eyelets that she would use white powder to emboss. However, not only were the stems of the eyelets shorter than necessary, but when we snapped them down, the pressure was so strong that the embossing came off. Then she suggested I used brads, so I picked up a box, and she embossed those white for me as well since the only ones I could find came in multi-colored pastels. After she had embossed a few, I realized the size was slightly too large so I had to pick up a different size. By this point, my sister had gotten engaged and began wedding planning already for a June ceremony, so she was preoccupied with that. I also started taking on a bunch of projects, as usual, but I always had my 90% completed Etch A Sketches on my to-do list.

Finally after all these months I asked her to teach me how to emboss the brads, and I don't know why I didn't ask sooner. It was quite simple and amazing. I couldn't help but smile when I finally secured the knobs to my pieces. What I love about mine are that, yeah I took away the ability to sketch, but my doodle now won't ever erase!

I have only crocheted replicas of characters, so this is my first tribute to an actual childhood toy and I couldn't be more pleased. I'm not sure if kids still play with Etch A Sketches today, but I am still giddy to see them around.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ice Cream Dreams

Sometime in March I visited a cute Japanese culture inspired shop called, JapanLA. My friend, amazing artist JSalvador, recommended it to me and I just thought it was so adorable. I ended up talking to the sweetest worker there who invited me to their Japan Benefit Art Show they were having in a couple days, and suggested I bring some of my Leesasaur products to show. At the time I was unsure of how long I would be staying in LA due to an unforeseen obstacle, but I managed to stay a while and was glad I attended the show. It was pretty wild in there and I briefly met with the shop owner, Jamie, who took my French Toast and sample business card. To be honest, I didn't think I would get a response from her, but a week later she emailed me asking to be apart of their upcoming Kittens and Ice Cream Show!
It was so bizarre because I happened to be making my Banana Split piece just then! My mindset was in the ice cream and I didn't really put much thought into implementing a kitty because I wanted to keep things simple and focused. At first I was going to do a bowl of different ice creams. I started with vanilla, green tea and chocolate, and was even going to do mint chocolate chip, but I was so in love with my Banana Split, that I wanted to make a larger scaled one for the show. This is only my second piece that is a set-scene concept, so I spent hours upon hours on not only the individual pieces, but the whole compilation, to make sure everything fit perfectly together, aesthetically and physically (the bowl was really difficult).

The show also sparked the execution my long awaited Chill Pops, so I thought it'd be great to add them along with my piece since Jamie mentioned she would like me to make my ornaments or whatever else I think of that would be cute in the show.

The day I packed and shipped them off, I felt a deep sadness. They are very special to me and I just hope many people will enjoy them as much as I do. This is my first ever art show and I actually won't even be able to attend the awesome opening for it! If you happen to find yourself in Los Angeles and are in the mood for smiles, I hope you can make it to the show or just the shop itself!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Eight by Two

A customer requested a pair of my octopus keychains in slightly larger sizes as well as have them accompanied with a guitar and a piano. These were to be gifts for a musician couple who play these instruments and whose friends give them endearing octopus names. I'm all for cute and random challenges, so I was happy to help.

As far as the instruments go, I wanted to make them very kitschy and simple. I first made the piano as a miniature grand piano, but it just didn't match the electric guitar, so I switched it to a keyboard.

What makes me happier about the end result of this darling couple, is the significance and uniqueness it plays in the lives of the requester and the receiving couple!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Capital Music

While most adolescents float with the mainstream tunes and don't establish much of an attachment or identity to particular genres (if they do) till mid teens, because my brother is six years older than me, I was exposed to a more eccentric and progressive taste of music at a fairly early age. I have him to thank for and apologize to for always stealing his CDs. In fact, to this day, I still have some of his (I'm sorry!). Point being, I have always been a sort of music elitist, (or the less attractive "snob" as some prefer) but the underlying significance of good music, as defined by anyone, is that which makes you and everything in, out, and around you feel uncompromisingly wonderful.

In commemoration to the virtue and power of good music, I have crocheted a miniature boombox. This boombox is accompanied with a penguin as a paired birthday gift for my friend, Myke, because he makes and likes amazing music that you should definitely check out.

During my photoshoot for these guys, I also had to redo photos for my Red Panda, and after pairing the trio together, I could not resist the opportunity for a full fledge shoot with other finished pieces. I put together a little photo story I hope you enjoy.

Once there stood a penguin. He was not brave nor mighty nor especially skillful at anything. He contemplated the simplicity and complexity of life. He watched the moon rise and the sun fall. He travelled in his thoughts through the music of his magic boombox.

Captivated by the enchanting music was the elusive red panda who burrowed out from the depths of his forest home.

Then, a friendly giraffe reveled in the melody, galloping to the rhythm.

The music flowed even below the equator, catching the attention of Rocko, the wallaby, who was so impressed, he called up some of his homefries to indulge in the magic.

Soon, creatures came hopping and hooting, swimming and soaring, from all over the world. Heroes from Hyrule to Dagobah rejoiced in the splendor that filled their ears and heart.

The power and beauty of music is irresistible. Follow the lead of penguin and his magic boombox and share some good music with the universe.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Time Capsule Scripture

Sometimes I feel like I write to inspire myself. Years later, months later, weeks, days, hours, I always feel like I was smarter than I am now. This can only mean I am just as insightful if I can feel this way and still inspire my future self.