Monday, February 28, 2011

Monster Monday

I'm super excited to share this week's featured monster maker. Mini, micro and macro creatures, sea suckers and oddvarks (<<< best name EVER)!  All of those must mean that today we're getting to know the talented owner and operator of Mr. Sogs Creatures! I've had plenty of Mr. Sogs creations in my favorites for a long time, but only recently scored my very own mini creature in CUSTOM COLORS! I wasn't sure they'd be up for doing this but thought it couldn't hurt to ask, and they were so kind and made the perfect little mini creature for me!! I love her!

With a little help from my oldest son she got a new name and now she sits on top of my sewing machine with a couple of her new friends. :) Meet... SKITTLES!

*are you seeing a colorful theme here?! I like 'em bright! ;)

Here are a few of my other favorites from the shop...

 Zeno (above) and Effel (below) are both mini creatures. As you can see they don't look very much alike, but they are similar in size and of course they're both ADORABLE! ;)

 this is an Oddvark, his name is Hercules and I am in love!

and of course we can't forget the sea suckers! This is Clara. I don't think I'd like to meet her in a dark cove underwater... those fangs look dangerous!!

The brilliant plush maker behind Mr. Sogs was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, so read on for the inside scoop!

-What is your shop name and is there a story behind it?
My shop name is Mr. Sogs Creatures. Mr. Sogs is also the name of my really fat cat that loves to steal the creatures and have a nap on them. He is not allowed in the studio but tries to sneak in when he can.

-How did you get started making monsters?
I started making creatures as gifts for my nieces and nephew. Soon the adults began wanting them for their own birthdays as well, so I thought why not make them for everyone and it just grew from there.

-What inspires and motivates you to create?

My best motivation is requests from friends. I never would have thought to make a giant evil penguin until a friend of mine mentioned that they wanted one and could not find it anywhere. Moments like that make for the best creatures because I definitely get inspired to make something completely unique.

-If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I would choose to never need to sleep. Oh the things I could get accomplished!

-Top 5 favorite foods?

spicy salsa, goat cheese, broccoli, mac & cheese, brownies

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

Needle Noodles -
Kitty Baby Love -
Poor Dog Farm -

-One year from now, I hope...

I hope that Mr. Sogs will be my only job.

-Where can we find you on the internet?

If you ever wondered what it might look like inside a monster makers lair, wonder no more! Check out this giant pile of monster skins!! All prepped and ready to be stuffed with monster guts and love! ;)

Don't forget to check back next week when we'll be meeting another talented Etsy genius!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

CIC Saturday!

The return and revamp of CIC Saturday! :) Each week I will feature and focus on one member of the Crafting in Color Etsy team. I am a member of this team as well and I have some crazy talented teammates! :) So for this first week back I will be sharing the wonderful work of MoKoPo Creations. She paints! And I am absolutely in love with her work!

Wonderful little quote turned into a beautiful little canvas! This is just the perfect quote for any small business owner or anyone with BIG dreams. :)

she also paints on journals and I LOVE them! It's like your own personal little work of art, that you can see and touch and USE every single day! And inexpensive enough that you can buy more than one. ;) I don't know about you, but I have an addiction to writing/keeping lists, for pretty much EVERYTHING... I am always picking up cheap little notebooks from the Target dollar spot and whatnot, but these are so much better!

and she'll even customize this one for you... another city for the heart, another state all together. so fun!

how adorable is this elephant print?! I can totally picture it hanging in a child's room. wonderful detail!!

Megan was kind enough to answer a few questions for me (I love learning more about the other sellers that call Etsy home). Check it out...

-Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Megan. I grew up in Cincinnati, where I currently live and work out of a home studio. I have a degree in Psychology and a License in Massage Therapy, but painting has always been my passion. I'm exactly 50% introvert and 50% extrovert. I love people, I'm good in groups, but I'm a total homebody and I work better solo. My family is amazing, and I'm grateful to have such a great support system. I'm quite certain I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

-What is your shop name and is there a story behind it?
My shop name is MoKoPo. It was created way back when I was 12 years old and I started painting. I wanted to sign my artwork with something fancy like a "grownup artist" so I used little circles instead of periods between my initials (M.K.P.) Instead of looking fancy, it just looked like the word "MoKoPo". I struggled with whether I would keep it as my official business name since it can be tricky to say, but at the end of the day I felt it would be strange to sign my paintings any other way. My artistic self has always been MoKoPo.

-How did you get started painting and what is your favorite subject to paint?
When I was little I would draw all the time, carrying around a sketchbook with me everywhere. At about 12 years old, I became obsessed with the PBS series, "The Joy of Painting" with Bob Ross. My very first painting was a landscape in oil for a Mother' Day Gift. After that, I explored all different subjects, focusing on portraits in high school. Currently, I love bright colors, lots of texture and layers of paint, and some mixed media elements. I'm also a big fan of animals-- they have such fun personalities!

-What is your favorite color?
You may consider this cheating but I've always said that I think colors look best when they are surrounded by other colors. I'm drawn to the spectrum more than the individual colors, like in a rainbow sno-cone, a box of markers, or the paint chip aisle of Home Depot.

-What inspires and motivates you to create?
I'm inspired by tons of things, all the time! Color, nature, humor, love, pop culture... Often times I'll have an idea in mind for a painting and as I'm creating it, I'll discover something else that I like better. I think it's important to stay flexible and trust that my mind knows what it wants to do. This constant stream of inspiration is also what motivates me. I'm constantly making lists and sketches because if I don't, I'll forget. Creating is just another way for me to put my thoughts down in some tangible form, so I can always remember them.

-If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
Teleportation. I would love to travel more and that would really help cut time and cost.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
1. Chicken Pad Thai
2. Chicken Parmesean
3. Guacamole
4. Golden Oreos
5. My Mom's Mac-n-Cheese

TV Shows:

1. Friends
2. Sex and the City
3. Dexter
4. Modern Family
5. Jeopardy!

1. Adele
2. Michael Jackson
3. Black Eyed Peas
4. Duffy
5. Over the Rhine

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
Ahh! SO many! Let's see...
1. Colorful, fun, inspirational doodles!
2. Beautiful jewelry, I want all of them!
3. I love her pandas, and her energy!

-One year from now, I hope...

To have more items available in my shop including more functional items like greeting cards, mugs, etc. I also hope to have done lots of local art shows and have made more of a name for myself in the local community. I'd like to have lots more facebook fans, blog followers, and newsletter subscribers. And finally, I hope to be enjoying all that life has to offer with my love, Kyle.

I hope you'll stop by the MoKoPo shop! She's got some beautiful items to offer. :) You can find her on the net...

Don't forget to stop by next week to meet another one of my talented Crafting in Color teammates!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Favorite Finds!!

Somehow I completely missed posting my favorites last week but I'm back on schedule for this week so... who like clocks?!

IN.LOVE. seriously!! the flowers! the vine! that butterfly!! the ivory acrylic over the bamboo?! SHUT UP!! this is AMAZING!! Who knew clocks could actually be art all by themselves?!

I love the way you can just barely see the numbers and the ornate hands are beautiful, so elegant and just perfect on this simple clock!

as luck would have it, Uncommon is having a sale this weekend!! Two days only (26/27) 15% off everything in their shop to celebrate their two year anniversary!! So if you like the clock above, or any of the other awesome things in their shop, make sure to stop by tomorrow!

beautiful shades of turquoise in the offset circles (they have quite a few other color options in their shop if turquoise isn't your thing) and that punch of red from the second hand is just the right touch!

 GORGEOUS bright red clock, I'm a big fan of the circles, I love the shadows they make on the wall. they have a bunch of different options in their shop, some with only four circles, some with twelve and then more like this. lots of color choices as well. very cool stuff!

and OH MY GOSH can you even get over the incredible cuteness of these?! why did I not find these when my kids were smaller! I SO want one for a playroom or a nursery!! *LOVE*

so in love with the whole concept of this clock! genius! what an adorable accent in any child's room!

I know I already shared another clock by this same artist but I could not leave this one out. seriously. KILLING me with cuteness!! I so want this clock!! they have a bunch of animal shapes (hippo, elephant, hedgehog) but the lion is by far my favorite!

I could go on... there are SO many amazing clocks on Etsy! I could fill a room with my favorites. But I'll leave you with these.

If anyone has any suggestions for Friday Finds themes I'd love to hear them, feel free to leave me a comment. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

new features

Etsy seller Red Marionette posted a FB status last night that hit a chord with me. My blog has been a bit neglected, pretty much since I started it, save for last November when I posted for 30 days straight. Aside from that one occasion I tend to leave blog posting for when I have a bunch of pictures to share or something. I post A LOT more on Facebook than I do here and I'd love to change that. I know how much I enjoy reading blogs, and I really do like writing as well, so I want to make an effort to add some more content here. :) 

To kick things off  I'll be adding a new weekly feature, and bringing back back another feature that I had here a while ago.

-Top Ten Tuesday: I'm excited about this one! So many possibilities! 10 recipes, 10 blogs, 10 quotes, movies, music, games... I look forward to getting suggestions from all of you as well!
-CIC Saturday: I ran this one for 6 weeks last year. I don't have an excuse for discontinuing it, just the shop and kids and busy life. But I'll be bringing it back and re-vamping it a little. It took quite a while to choose 9-18 sellers to feature each week! Then save images, get links, etc I think it was just too much. So starting this Saturday I will choose ONE Crafting in Color Etsy team member to feature each week. I think it will be a lot more manageable this way. :)

I have some other ideas as well but I don't want to try and tackle too much at once because of course I still have lots of work to do and a house to run. :)

And because I hate to leave a blog post without some pictures I'll share some of my recent work. I've had a number of special requests lately, some of which have found their way into the shop:

I was unsure about this one before I actually pieced it together, but I really like the way it turned out. I was excited to add it to my growing list of over 70 available Lens Pet designs!

he won't go up on his own but will be one of the 'dog' options along with the standard dog and the dalmatian that I offer now.

of all the new designs this one is my FAVORITE! although he hasn't been sewn together yet, he will eventually find his way into the shop. :)

I also added another design in the Limited Edition line... I LOVE this colorful version of the frog, right down to the little yellow bug! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

are you feeling LUCKY?!

got a package in the mail today... and when I opened it I just knew I had to share! look what I got...

the one with the swirly doodles is flannel so it's sooooooft!! :) they might not look like much just yet, but these lovely green fabrics will be transformed into some very LUCKY Lens Pets! ;) Keep yours eyes peeled, they'll be popping up in the shop very soon!!

Speaking of feeling lucky, Love & a Sandwich is having a giveaway on her FB page! Pop on over and enter, you could be the lucky winner of one of her totally awesome plush monsters or yetis!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monster Monday

Monster Monday is back! And this week I was lucky enough to hook up with the creator of Hello Again Monsters! I love these unique vinyl plush and Santa brought me my very own little vinyl family for Christmas...

Screevish was in my favorites folder for a very long time before finally coming to live with me.

Of course he couldn't make the big trip through the mail all alone so he brought along Eaganormous for company.

Together they guard my bookshelf and they do a great job of it. No one has messed with my books since they arrived! :) Here are a couple favorites from the shop as well, the little scalloped cut outs are a new feature that I've just seen pop up recently and I LOVE IT!!!

I posted about this shop on my blog in October of last year (as a 'Favorite Find') and now Romiette, the creative genius behind Hello Again Monsters, was kind enough to take some time out of her monster making day to answer a few questions for us. Read on to find out what makes a monster maker tick!

-Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a monster making girl from Seattle, Washington. I have lived in Seattle all my life (minus one cold year I spent in Iceland). I often think about moving somewhere new but I'm just not sure where I would want to go. I work at Whole Foods Market to pay the bills, and hope to one day be able to make things for a living. I love cupcakes, gummy bears, and chocolate truffles. If I could live of of those for the rest of my life I would be happyhappyhappy!

-What is your shop name and is there a story behind it?
My shop name is HelloAgainMonsters. There's not really any story behind it. My friend (see question 3) and I went over lots of different names when we were making monsters together so I took my favorite one when we split to do our own things. Its kind of like my comeback... HELLO AGAIN!

-How did you get started making monsters?
Lots of years ago (5 or 6!?), I was dating a boy who was a graffiti artist. He had one character that he painted around the city. That Christmas I decided to turn his character into a plush thing for a Xmas gift. It turned out really good and we started making them together. We did a big group plush show at Snowboard Connection, but then he turned into a real jerk (ha!), and we went our separate ways. I really loved making plush so I decided to keep doing it on my own with my own designs and took on the moniker 'Hello Again'.

-What inspires and motivates you to create?
All kinds of things! Its almost difficult to pinpoint what it is really. I get inspired but the cupcakes I eat, by the people I know, and by the city I live in.

-If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
Only one!? Ummm... I think I would like to be able to be invisible.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Foods - Cupcakes, gummy bears, chocolate cake (those are all foods right!?), tacos from El Asadero (best taco bus in town!), and my moms cooking.
TV Shows - Thats tough because I don't really watch a lot of tv shows. I like the cooking channel and i love Anthony Bourdain (totally my old man crush!).
Bands - Wow this is hard. I don't like limiting myself to favorites! On current rotation: Baths, Eluvium, Little Dragon, Machine Drum, and I've just become insanely obsessed with witch house.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE? Sooooooo cute! Also sooooooooooooooo CUTE! I want all of her jackets!

-One year from now, I hope... be debt free, and living the dream.

-Where can we find you on the internet?

In addition to sitting down for our interrogation, Hello Again Monsters has also agreed to give us a little sneak peek behind the scenes. Check it out!

Romiette's work station - where the monsters are born!

that's A LOT of monsters!!

I love that one with the furry face on the top left ;) and the pink one under it that has EYELASHES! lol

oh look! BABY monsters! :) I see mine in there!

I am having so much fun with Monster Mondays! Can't wait to share next week's monsters with everyone!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter is not gone yet my friends!

I am one of those strange freaky people who LOVES Winter! It's my favorite season, by about a hundred million miles! #1 reason - VERY few bugs in Winter! I hate bugs. and in the cold snowy months they go away! I don't have to deal with them flying into my hair while I walk the dogs... or sneaking down from the light fixture above my desk and ending up no more than two centimeters away from my face! Both have happened... BOTH more than once. I HATE BUGS!! So I love Winter. I also love all that fluffy  beautiful white stuff. And before you say it's because I work from home and don't have to go out in it... I drive my son to and from school every single day, in addition to typical errands, and I really don't mind driving in it. While I do love other seasons as well (except Summer, UGH I hate the heat, and the BUGS!) I always dread the end of Winter, when all the pretty white snow gets all gross and dirty and then melts away. Eighteen days ago we had more than a foot of snow on the ground (I blogged about it here).

Two days ago I took the pictures for this new listing in my shop, where you can clearly see the snow was all but gone! :( Yesterday the only snow left on the ground were the quickly melting mountains (now nothing more than mole hills) left behind after they plowed the parking lot.

This is outside my front door today...

that's right... the snow IS BACK!!! And I couldn't be happier! ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monster Monday

Welcome to another episode of Monster Monday! This week's super talented Etsy plush maker is one of my very favorites. The JaeBird! It was her monsters that actually started my collection and they probably {definitely} out number all the other monsters on my desk combined at least two to one.

The little ones are called Uggles and MAN are they addicting! I won't divulge the actual number living here on my desk and in other parts of my home... needless to say it's probably more than any one person needs. Which is why I gave some to my kids for Christmas and even gave my mother and sister an uggle each from my very own collection. because I had so many I couldn't even fit them all on the desk and still have space to work. It might be embarrassing except for the fact that they make me smile every day, sitting there looking all cute and colorful while I work. So I make no apologies. I've even gotten my sister and nieces/nephew addicted and I happen to know that the Easter Bunny will be surprising all of them with an uggle in their baskets.  ;) Ok, so you probably get the point. :) Here are a few pictures of the uggles that live with me...

this is Gretchen, she was my very first and still my very favorite uggle. I love her crazy colorful fur!

the ones with the zombie eyes are among my faves :)

these uggles guard the buttons in my giant button jar ;)

but uggles aren't the only monsters you can find at The JaeBird. She also makes all sorts of bigger monsters, like Boggit. I LOVE his antlers!

as you can see, he's quite a bit bigger than the uggles!

Lucky for us, The JaeBird herself agreed to answer a few questions so we can get to know the woman behind the monsters! Read on...

-Tell us a bit about yourself.
About 15 years ago I stopped going by my birth name and insisted everyone call me “Jae” instead. Only official documents hold the secret to my real name. Currently, I am attending college for Accounting and am running my little shop on Etsy called “The Jae Bird.” Random facts about me: I am 4’9 (and by height standards alone I can be considered a dwarf, however I do not suffer from dwarfism), I am obsessed with hot pink and lime green together, I am a closet nerd (I heart star trek), and I am intrigued by tattoos and plan on getting full sleeves done.

-What is your shop name and is there a story behind it?
The Jae Bird has no real story. “Jae Bird” is just something that random people always call me. When I signed up for Etsy, I really had no idea what I’d be selling or if I would be selling anything, so I tried to be somewhat generic in my username. However, there is a story behind one of my main products, “Little Uggles”. I am always teasing my little dog Pixie and always saying she’s hideous (when in fact she is adorable). One day I started calling her a Little Uggle as a variation of “ugly”. I liked the sound, so I started naming my small cute creatures that.

-How did you get started making monsters?
It all started in February of 2010---there was a terrible snow storm that left me bored and in need of a yeti friend. I doodled a little drawing of a yeti and went to my craft space to try to replicate my drawing in plush form. A couple of hours later my yeti was born and I decided to take silly pictures of him in the snow. From that point on I was hooked on making monsters.

-What inspires and motivates you to create?

My mind is always racing with new ideas---not just plush. I also write music, poetry, design clothes, and am always looking for new things to try. As far as my plush---I am inspired a lot by colors, seasons, animals, and sci-fi. I very seldom draw my monsters anymore, but just make the pattern and see where it takes me. Most of the creation process is random and whatever I feel like at a particular moment. Sometimes people will give me suggestions that help me think out of my comfort zone.

-If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Simple----time travel. I probably wouldn’t use it for any sort of awesome crime fighting but rather just to go on mini vacations. Ever since I was a child I have loved the idea of time travel (thanks to Back to the Future) and always wonder what things will be like in years to come…or were like in the past.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?

Foods----sushi, raspberry anything, cheese (in almost any variety), dark chocolate, and ravioli (or other cheese filled pastas)
Tv shows----Heroes, The Office, Psych, WWE Raw, and The Soup
Bands----As Cities Burn, Matisyahu, Johnny Cash (not really a band but he rocks), Dead Poetic, and Underoath

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
Miss Demented (AWESOME wigs), The Poppy Tree (cute paintings and prints), and Glowbies (amazing little polymer clay creatures by a very talented 10 year old). Please note I am in love with a million shops but these 3 I probably stalk the most.

-One year from now, I hope...
To be better organized, have participated in at least 1 craft show, have way more unique items, and have made enough money from my Etsy shop to purchase a home. That last one is a pretty big goal, but anything’s possible!

-Where can we find you on the internet? (plush) and (destash supplies)
Facebook--- (I don’t check this as often, though, so facebook or etsy are the best ways to get a hold of me.)

As an added bonus we've even been lucky enough to get a super fun behind the scenes sneak peek of The JaeBird and her workshop!

check out all that fabric! *drool*

the beginnings of what looks to be a very cool uggle! I see zombie eyes! and guess what, he's in the shop now!! check him out! LOVE!

it looks like your monsters are a little out of control Jae, be careful! that one on your head has some big chompers! ;)

Thanks a bunch to Jae for giving us a peek behind the scenes at The JaeBird. Now everyone go and order yourself some monsters!  :)

see you next week...