Friday, April 11, 2014

Fiesta Dress Sketches

I'm going to make a new dress for my wedding party this September and I'm currently inspired by 1950's Fiesta Dresses. Here's the first couple of sketches, I'm sure I'll be doing more before I decide on a final design.



Collage image credits (clockwise from left to right): Turquoise Dress, Pattern 1, Red Top, Brown Dress, Cream & Black Top, Pattern 2



Thursday, April 3, 2014

Twin Beaks


I love Twin Peaks and I recently re-watched the series. I also love a puns, good or bad, so put that all together and I was inspired to paint this watercolor. The owls are not what they seem.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Nibs the Cat

I've been busy working on some long term projects, which aren't done yet, so I haven't had much to post lately. To get back on track, I've decided to start making some little illustrations in a variety of mediums to have something new to share. I have high hopes that I will be able to stick to my goal of having a new post every week.

Alec and I adopted a cat at the beginning of this year, his name is Nibs and he's great. Alec has already posted lots of photos of him on flickr but here's an illustration of him from me.



Friday, February 28, 2014

More Basewood Monsters

In the spring of 2012, I made Alec a plush version of his wolf dragon character from his comic Basewood. At the time I thought I would only make one as a gift to him, as well as fun item he could display on his table at conventions.
Alec completed a successful kickstarter campaign in September 2013 to raise funds to get Basewood printed. As one of the rewards, I offered to make five more of the plush Basewood monsters. It took longer than I thought to get around to making five, but they're finally finished and shipped off to the backers.


When I design a plush toy that I know I'll be making many pieces of I usually simplify the pattern as much as possible.  But when I made this monster I thought I would only be making one, so there are a lot of hand sewn details and complicated pieces. I had saved the original pattern but I didn't write down any of the construction details, so I had to refresh my memory as I began to make five more.
I made sure that Alec approved the correct colors and textures of the fabrics, as his comic is in black and white so it was up to him to tell me the right colors.


The monster is pretty detailed with all the spikes, claws, eyes, eyebrows and muzzle details being sewn or embroidered by hand.
Basewood is finished and back from the printer, check it out here:
www.alec-longstreth.com/basewood/

Friday, January 31, 2014

Knitted Door Snake and Crocheted Mice


In my new apartment, the front door doesn't make a complete seal at the bottom so there is a bit of a draft that comes through. I had just been putting a towel beneath it, but for Christmas my mom gave me this cool old knitted toys book and it had a snake pattern in it. I thought it would be much cuter to make a snake to guard the the door instead of an old towel.

Click to enlarge to see pattern details
I followed the pattern from the book Knitted Toys and Dolls by Nellie Burnham but made some changes along the way. For one I kept knitting the body until it was the right length to cover up the door. I also wanted to be able to stick things in my snakes mouth, like some mice so instead of following her instructions for the inside mouth I made a mirror image of the snake head with a little extension in it then sewed the two together. I gave my snake a felt tongue instead of yarn, and two felt fangs. Alec often draws snakes with angry eyebrows, which I think is funny so I gave my snake some angry eyes. This is a great project to use up little scraps of yarn since it all goes together to make the stripes on the snake.


This was also around the same time that Alec and I were thinking about adopting a cat, but we had to wait for approval from our landlord. During that waiting period, I starting crocheting some little mice toys with hopes that our future cat would play with them.


I just made up the pattern for the mice by messing around with yarn. I want to share the pattern but I'm still new to crochet patterns so hopefully I'll get around to it. I used a cream colored acrylic yarn I had, but this is another good project to use up yarn scraps since it doesn't take a lot to make. I didn't put on eyes or whiskers since I figured they would be chewed off.


The mice fit perfectly in the door snake's mouth which is cute to me. The good news is that we did get to adopt a cat, his name is Nibs and lucky for me he does like playing with the mice I made.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Creative Inspiration: Vintage Fabric

For Thanksgiving this year Alec and I headed up to Seattle to visit his family. While we were there we looked through some of his boxes in storage to see what he could get rid off. This reminded his mom that she had some old fabric that she wanted me to look through, and here is what I came home with. It's an amazing collection from the '60s to the '80s, leftovers from when she made outfits for her kids. Most of the fabric is in small pieces, but for some prints there is a yard or more. I'm very excited to dream up some projects to put this fabric to good use.

Many of these pieces are from blouses that Breck (Alec's mom) wore as a teen.



 The mouse panel is fabric that Alec remembers from when he was a toddler. I really like the angry lion on the top red corduroy.