Friday, March 28, 2008

A Mouse in a Box

Here is a story for you, dear Blog Readers:

Once there was a mouse trapped inside a cardboard box. She wanted to get out, so she chewed a bit here and a bit there, trying to make a hole in the box, and made small holes all over the box until she finally chewed one big enough to get out!
Once there was another mouse trapped in a box. This mouse wanted to get out so she chewed and chewed in the same spot, and in no time at all she had made a hole large enough to get out of the box. The End

Of course it is pretty easy to see the lesson in the story, but try as I might to change my ways, I am the first little mouse! It would probably be more time efficient to begin one project, and only work on that one project until I had it finished. But I always end up working on several things at once!

Here are some things I have been working on--and even a couple that are finished!!!

A Sailboat Make Over
You may recall Edward Bear, the young sailor from an earlier post this month. He was going to have a sailor-boy doll, but he asked me instead to give him a little sailboat to play with. I found three lovely sailboats at Hobby Lobby, but I wanted the colors to match Edward's collar. So, I took the boat apart and painted the sails and the hull.

A Ball-Jointed Doll Head
When I was planning to make a doll for Edward Bear, I started to sculpt this head. But she didn't want to be a sailor boy. She came out cute, but she wants a posable ball-jointed body! (She will have to be patient, because I am still working on bears for orders and shops!)

Little Floppies
Yes, I am doing more of these cuties! Some for orders some for shops!

Two V.I.P.s (Very Important Pandas, that is.)
I have had a number of special commissions from collectors recently and two were one of a kind pandas. One bear was sent to his new home before I had a chance to photograph him, but Raphael had a chance to pose. He will meet his new mom on Monday.

I had better get back to work on all my projects!

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Life is Drawing Without an Eraser"

"Life is Drawing Without an Eraser"
I just read that quote in an email I received today, and I love it! When it comes to my artwork, I like realism and precision. I can spend hours trimming a Teddy Bear snout to get the shape just right, and if I don't bake a polymer clay sculpt right away, I could tweak it forever. But for some reason, I also love to draw with a pen. For me, the fact that I know I can't go back and erase somehow frees my inhibitions. It takes away that "it-has-to-be-perfect" pressure. If I know I can't erase, then what is there is there. My pen and ink sketches always have a much more energetic quality about them, and even though they are not perfect, I love them. I suppose life is like that too. It is good to have a plan, but sometimes when we let go of our plans and preconceived notions, great things happen. One example is my job search last summer. I had planned to get a full time teaching job at my sons' school. It was the only place I had applied because I was sure I would be teaching there this school year. It is close, there were four openings which I was qualified for, and the pay was great! It was the "perfect" job for me. I was devastated when I didn't even get an interview. I had not planned to look at private schools because the pay is always significantly less, but I had to check out other options when the positions I wanted were filled. When I saw the opening for the art teacher at St. Bernadette School online, my heart literally started to race, and I knew this was going to be my job. I would get to teach art, my passion, even though I am still short a few credit hours for certification in art. (a public school district like the one my sons attend cannot be that flexible.) It is a part time job which is wonderful because I still have plenty of time to do my own artwork. It is not perfect. I wish it were closer to home, and I think we all would like to be paid more for our time and experience, but it really doesn't matter because, like a lively sketch that flows from my pen when I let myself go, I absolutely love it!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Edward Bear--What's in a Name?

This is Edward Bear. He is going to hold a little boy doll in a sailor suit. I was going to make a bear to hold a Goldilocks doll, but as I began to cut his pieces I began to picture a bear with a light blue sailor collar holding a little boy doll with a sailor suit. The gold color of the fur made me think of Pooh and Christopher Robin and I thought this pair could be reminiscent of them. Later, as I took the last stitches in the bear, I began to think (as I often do at that point in bear making)"What will I name him?"
My train of thought went something like this. "He's going to wear a sailor collar so what is a good sailor name...Dad was a sailor...Hey today is February 25, dad's birthday and the bear's birthday too!...and my brother in law Chris's birthday as well--the doll could be Christopher! Edward Bear and Christopher for my father and my brother-in-law who share this bear's birthday! Those names are perfect because they also are reminiscent of Christopher Robin and Pooh since Pooh was once called Edward Bear! Serendipity!
Now. I had better get busy and make his doll!