Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gone Squirrely!

Yes, I've finally gone over the edge now with the "doodling" stuff! Actually the squirrel on the left is the first example I did for the Kent State University (Kent, Ohio, USA) Centennial Squirrel contest. (click on the picture to see more detail). I'm co-chair of this project and we are "unveiling" them tomorrow at a town and gown breakfast. We needed one sample that gives the people in attendance an idea of some of the things that can be done with these squirrels for the contest. They are created initially in a nice weight, black resin and if you're not of a mind to do some art on one, you could also just dress them up. Or do nothing and just put him on your desk as is.
If you're not familiar with KSU - we have tons of black squirrels all around the campus. They aren't our official mascot, that's "Flash" a golden eagle, but our little furry squirrels are near and dear to everyone's hearts. These replicas (designed by David Knox of our Tuscarawrus campus) are being sold in an 8" size and also in a whopping 30" size! Our hope is to hold a friendly, viewer's choice competition in October 2009 for both sizes. And there will be lots of fabulous prizes too! More info on that to be announced soon!
We have tons of artists around the Kent State campuses and the greater community and also many alums all around the country who might also want to get into the action. If you're interested, go check out the KSU Centennial Web site and click on the link for the Squirrels. It may not be active until the week of Sept. 29 though, as the site is currently being built, but there's lots of Centennial stuff to check out in the meantime. Hope some of my artiste friends in Ohio (and elsewhere) will want to join us for this fun competition.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Fall List

I love Fall. The cooler weather, the crisp nights, the awe inspiring colors of the trees and most of all, I love, love, love - HALLOWEEN! Especially the witches! But Fall for me brings a long list of projects I need to complete before the first Saturday in December (Dec. 6 this year).
That is the date that, with my dear friend, Dawn Burrows, we hold our annual Christmas Open House. So all fall we are both in "full production mode", designing and creating new items to sell at the open house. Right now I'm working on Santas. I found a pattern I really love for a German Santa at the Country Cupboard in Berlin, OH (right in the heart of Amish country). It is made with a wool coat and hat/hood, trimmed with faux fur. He is holding a bag of polymer clay "oranges" and a sprig of evergreen topped with a tiny, red, glass bead. See what you think. Right now all my energy goes into the stock for the open house, but right after Dec. 6, any of the extras I make will be posted to my Etsy shop.

Check out these pics. The bodies with heads are done and awaiting clothes and beards, so they are all lined up on my table and they are STARING at me! It really is an odd feeling to look over and see all of them...."sew faster! we need clothes! no gifts for you, you bad girl!"

I finished one and took it to Dawn's to do a cat test. Two years ago I made the mistake of using wool from a friend of a friend, who had sheep, for the Santa's beards. The cats ripped off beards and scattered the Santas from one end of the house to the other! And other people who bought them had similar situations with their pets too. It had to be that the wool beard material hadn't been cleaned enough (it looked and smelled fine to ME) to get a scent out that only another animal could smell. I replaced beards on a number of Santas that year. Now I cat test if I'm using anything that hasn't been commercially processed. This year's Santa sports a curly, silky beard of Border Leicester wool and I just love how it looks. The cat's sniffed it once and walked away, so we're good to go!

I've been hitting all the rummage sales buying up old coats and skirts, then cutting them up and felting them for the Santa's coats and hoods. So far I'll have some in dk. red, dk. green, gold, brown and maybe some in a cream too. I'd still like to find a nice medium or country blue too.