Monday, March 14, 2011

Monster Monday

I think this week's monsters are my most unique. :) They're much bigger than the rest of my monsters as well and I LOVE them. You can't help but grin every time you look at them! They camp out on the back of the chaise sitting next to my desk. The light pink one is an Iffiet, the dark pink one is a Trolliak.

Usually they sit there nicely, they're very well behaved monsters. :) But the sun was out today and when I walked outside with the dog I found the Iffiet and the Trolliak climbing trees in the front yard! ;) 

The very talented plush designer behind these unique monsters is Megan of  Green Elevator Industries. Megan took a few minutes out of her busy monster making day to give us a little behind the scenes info... read on!

-Tell us a bit about yourself.
Greetings! My name is Megan Barbour and I'm a plush designer originally from Ohio, now based in Brooklyn, New York. During the day I'm a project manager/producer at a media arts company, and 90% of my time outside of the office is spent getting my craft on. The other 10% is spent playing games with the wonderful cast of silly characters in my life, running, traveling, biking, and telling very bad jokes.

-What is your shop name and is there a story behind it?
My shop is named "Green Elevator." When I first moved to New York, I met my dear friend Steff who lived in my apartment building. She and I instantly bonded over how much we loved cheese and crafts. We spent most weekends crafting up a storm, and decided one night we should form a business. This idea was formed less out of the desire to make money, and more for wanting to make a million crafts and not really NEEDING all of them taking over our apartments. We decided to form our business while riding upstairs in the elevator. Steff said "We should call it something silly like... ::looks around:: Green Elevator, so we don't fuss over the name forever." Agreed. Done. Green Elevator was born. I should also note that this is a very GREEN painted elevator that we often joked about. Apparently, our landlord loves the color as it also appeared in the lobby, hallways, doors, and bathroom walls...

-How did you get started making monsters?
Another one of my craftastic friends, Kaitlin, inspired me to learn to crochet a few years ago. Once I did, she sent me a link to an article about "amigurumi" (which I had never even heard of at the time). I wanted to crochet a little mouse to cheer up my desk at work, and just never got around to stop making creatures. I crocheted basic animals at first, then more abstract creatures, then gave sewing a try with some scrap fabric, then fleece, and now fur has taken over my life.

-What inspires and motivates you to create?
I've always loved making things. At this point, I can't imagine not creating something on a daily basis, so I really don't need any motivation outside of my obsessive natural desire to do so. I draw inspiration from all things silly in my life - which tends to be quite a bit.

-If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
Flying. That is over done and predictable but I don't care - it would be awesome.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
1. Chinese food. Not authentic. not fancy. cheap, greasy, delivery Chinese food.
2. cereal
3. cheese
4. fruit
5. Annie's Mac & Cheese

TV Shows
1. Glee
2. 30 Rock
3. House
4. The Gilmore Girls
5. The Daily Show/ Colbert Report

1. Tilly and the Wall
2. The New Pornographers
3. The Beatles
4. Mason Jennings
5. David Bowie

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?
There are about a thousand shops I LOVE, so I will narrow it down to Plush and then narrow it down again to three shops that were big inspirations to me when I first started out.

-One year from now, I hope...
1. Start doing craft shows/gallery work on a more regular basis.
2. Officially go nonprofit with Green Elevator. I'm working out some of the details now.
3. Continue to grow creatively and expand my technical skill set.
4. Integrate Green Elevator with a free teach/learn group that Steff and I formed to spread the power of craft.

-Where can we find you on the internet?

 Megan and the original Iffiet (mine is an extra special one thanks to those BIG rainbow horns)

Go check her out! Her work is phenomenal!!  And don't forget to check back next Monday for another peek at some great monsters!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

CIC Saturday!

Whenever I go searching Etsy for another Crafting in Color team member, I'm always amazed at the variety and talent of them all! This week's featured member is no exception. Dyna and John are a team of two unbelievably creative people and I'm so excited to share their beautiful work with everyone! I've got a number of pieces from the shop in my favorite folder, here are just a few of them:





And without further ado, meet... Owl Creek Ceramics!

-Tell us a bit about yourself.
(Dyna) I grew up doing all sorts of arts and crafts. My mother and grandmother always had new projects going. I went to the University of Kansas for a degree in textile design and painting. Right after college I moved to California to blow glass. There are many similarities in glassblowing and pottery. You’re working with the concept of balance, constantly rotating the glass on a rod or a pot on a wheel. Also glaze is glass.
-What is your shop name and is there a story behind it?
We live on Owl Creek Road and we love the area (it’s the sticks and beautiful rolling hills) and so “Owl Creek Ceramics” was a natural.

-How did you get started painting and what is your favorite subject to paint?
(Dyna) In 2000, I was having tons of fun with friends going to the “paint your own ceramics” shops. I happened to mention to John that one day I would like to have a kiln, maybe in a year or so. Well, within a week we had our first kiln. I went to decorating and John figured out how to fire the thing. Soon we had added a potter’s wheel for John. At first everything was an experiment for both of us. We made lots of mistakes. It’s true what people say, every time you open up the kiln it’s like Christmas seeing how the pieces turned out or not.
-What is your favorite color?
We love all colors but right now we are absolutely crazy for lime green (chartreuse, kiwi). Just can’t get enough of it!

-What inspires and motivates you to create?
(Dyna) Repetitive patterns fascinate me and they are found everywhere. Fabric design, nature, advertising, industry. Many of our pieces incorporate my celebration patterns. Celebration patterns come from all over. I start with banding sections and then use the lines as a border for the doodled patterns.

-If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I’d like to be supersonic fast so I could rapidly finish all the tasks that keep me from painting.
John says he’d like to fly just because.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
Fajitas, baked sweet potatoes, fish, salad, pizza
Masterpiece Theater, Blue Bloods, Swamp People, No Ordinary Family, House Hunters International
Lucinda Williams, The Subdudes, K.T. Tunstall, Rob Thomas, Five for Fighting

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

-One year from now, I hope... 
June 11, 2011 is our first day going full time Owl Creek Ceramics! We’re so excited! We’ve been job sharing for about four years. Before that we both worked full time and John traveled a lot. Now we are so ready to totally immerse in an art life. We have big plans for experimenting more with new techniques and ideas; producing and hopefully selling more; and, spending more time together and with family and friends.

Check out these fun behind the scenes pictures Owl Creek Ceramics has shared with us...

Owl Creek Ceramics set up their lovely booth at the craft fair

Dyna in front of the studio
the kitchen inside the studio

John trimming a bowl
*love the Snoopy pants! ;)

Dyna finishing pieces

I hope you enjoyed getting to know the crafty couple behind Owl Creek Ceramics! Don't forget to stop by next week to meet another talented Crafting in Color team member! :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Favorite Finds!!

I don't have much of a sweet tooth to speak of. But lately I've REALLY been craving some cupcakes. And there's nothing like dressing it up pretty for a photo shoot before you eat it! So this week's favorite finds are of the baking supply variety! :)

LOVE these!!! so colorful and stripey! 

ooooo pretty Spring colors!

I have some heart shaped silicone baking cups and I LOVE them! the cupcakes (or muffins) pop right out, easy peasy! I've been looking for other shapes!found a few more here too.

these come in other colors too!

mini cupcakes are the perfect little bite size snack - and I thought they couldn't get any cuter!?! but these baking cups would definitely do the trick!

gorgeous colors! love the big polka dots!

This only makes me want cupcakes even more! A big stack of PRETTY cupcakes! Good thing International Monster's Day is this weekend. ;) That means I can make a big ol' MONSTER CAKE and get my fix (even though I probably won't eat more than a bite or two before it gets too sweet for me).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday!

Yay! Another Top Ten Tuesday! This week I am going to be sharing my top ten FAVORITE movies! This one is VERY hard for me because I am a HUGE fan of movies. A LOT of them. I have a substantial collection and can find entertainment in just about every movie out there, even the less than great ones. BUT I am head over heels in love with movies from the 80's and 90's. Probably because that's when I grew up, but I don't think anything can beat them! They're CLASSICS! So if you grew up around the same time frame as me, you'll probably recognize most, if not all of the movies on my list. ;) Here they are, in no particular order...

1. The Goonies - Who doesn't like this movie?!? A group of kids on a treasure hunt, being stalked by a family of crazy bad guys! This movie rocks!! Plus I totally had a huge crush on Sean Astin when this movie came out! ;) And Cyndi Lauper on the soundtrack?!? WIN! 

2. Labyrinth - SO in love with everything about this movie... Jim Henson is a GENIUS. The characters are outstanding, amazing, incredible! Ludo, the Fireys (which totally terrified me as a child), Sir Didymus and his trusty steed... I totally wanted to be Sarah. I can still recite the lines from this movie almost word for word 25 years later!! Not to mention, the Goblin King was SOO HOT! ;)

3. The Never Ending Story - oh to actually become a part of the story in a book you're reading! what kid (or even adult) hasn't dreamed of just that?!? I watched this movie over and over and over as a kid. It just has everything! Mystery and suspense and awesome characters!! THE LUCK DRAGON??! Are you kidding me, I wanted one of my own! lol Oh and course there was a crush... Atreyu. The little boy who would try to save Fantasia. I cried and cried when his horse got caught in the swamp of sadness. :( I still get a lump in my throat to this day at that part. They just don't make movies like this anymore!

4. Dirty Dancing - I bet you KNEW this would be on the list! ;) Who DOESN'T love this movie!!! I was in 7th grade when this movie came out. I had an awful perm at the time which actually sort of resembled Jennifer Grey's hair so friends at school called me 'Baby' for a while. lol The music, the dancing... "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" the LINES! This movie will NEVER go out of style! Patrick Swayze was AMAZING! And though (surprisingly) I did not have a crush on him, I did love him in this role. :)

5. The Dark Crystal - more Jim Henson. I'm a HUGE fan of absolutely everything he did. What an imagination! Though my kids don't mind some of the other movies on my list, they never really liked this one. I on the other hand still love it! My very favorite character... Fizgig, the fuzzy little ball of fluff monster 'dog' that Jen (one of the Gelflings) had.Ya know, the NAMES of all the creatures in this one was half of what made it so great! Gelflings, Skeksis, Urskeks... so fantastic! Don't get me wrong, I love me some good CGI, but classic Henson movies like this just can't be beat!!

6. Ferngully - I was a junior in high school when this movie came out and it was one of the gifts I got for my 16th birthday. I watched it over and over and over again. Every single day for nearly a year. I still have that original VHS movie (though I also have the DVD now). A lot of people I knew at the time hadn't even heard  of it until I made them watch it with me. ;) But there were some great actors doing the voices - most notably Robin Williams did the voice of my very favorite character - Batty Koda!! I loved this movie and that character so very much, when I turned 18 and my mom took me to get my very first tattoo, I walked out of the tattoo parlor with a cartoon bat on my ankle. ;) Everyone should watch this movie. Even though it's "just a cartoon" it has a great message. The animation is beautiful and the characters are just adorable! :)

7. Lucas - think back to a time, before Charlie Sheen was Bi-Winning (as opposed to bi-polar, don't get the two confused) and had tiger blood running through his veins. He was great in this movie. Almost as awesome as Corey Haim as Lucas. BOY did I have a crush on these two.  Corey Haim was adorable as the dorky, but lovable Lucas! And I totally remember writing Charlie Sheen in huge letters on my folder in 6th grade. I'm only slightly embarrassed about that now. This is an amazing movie!

8. Gremlins - Comedy? or Horror?? With this movie you didn't have to choose! lol As you may know by now, I'm a big fan of "puppets" and imaginary creatures. Gremlins fit the bill. Gizmo is SO freaking cute! I always wanted my own mogwai... ok, or just one of the plush toy versions of him. ;) Never did get one though. :( Gremlins 2 was cute, but nothing can touch the first one!

9. Footloose - Name one person anywhere in the world who doesn't like this movie. Seriously. Kevin Bacon is the man! The dancing. THE MUSIC! This movie is fantastic! It never fails to make me smile. :) The soundtrack is almost as good as the movie!! I even had (still have) the album, the one with the picture of Kevin Bacon covering the whole front side of it! SO COOL!

10. Purple Rain - maybe you've seen a general theme with all of my favorite movies... when they were released, I almost always fell in love with the lead boy. lol I was kinda boy crazy as a child. I can't really confirm or deny that much has changed in that respect. ;) Ok yes, I still fall in love with guys in movies. ;) Purple Rain was no exception. Though I was already in love with and planning to marry Prince, this just solidified that dream/goal. ;) And oh how I wished I could be Apollonia! I thought she was so beautiful! I love Morris Day and The Times too. This movie was just all around spectacular!! :)

BONUS: The Karate Kid - I know I already have 10 on the list but I just couldn't leave this out! I'm sure it will surprise you to hear I had a big crush on Ralph Macchio as a little girl. ;)  lol I haven't watched Dancing with the Stars in the last few seasons, but actually might have to this season just to see how he does! :) The remake with Will Smith's son was good, but nothing can compare to original! I still cheer at the end when Daniel kicks Johnny's butt!

That was fun! :) Got an idea for another top ten list you'd like to see??? Leave me a comment! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Count yourself LUCKY!

Today I will be posting in my shop a small line of very limited edition GREEN Lens Pets! ;) My 2011 'Lucky' Collection will hit the shop later today, all will be LARGE size pets and all will be ready to ship right away! But when they're gone, they're gone. I ordered a small amount of  the two different fabrics and I won't be getting any more. Some designs will have two available, and some will be OOAK! There are even some BRAND NEW designs making an appearance in this line!! 

Without further ado... I would like to introduce you to the cast of characters! :)

crazy lucky

lucky duck

the green eyed monster ;)

Shamrock the Irish Setter ;)

lucky catch

Lukousaurus <-- actual real name of an actual real dinosaur!

lucky in love

lucky bug

lucky charm
having the whole rabbit must be WAY luckier than just one tiny little foot, right?!

lucky Penny (the kitty cat)
find a Penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck! ;)
**coming tomorrow - no pictures yet**

happy go lucky
**coming tomorrow - no pictures yet**

Good luck scoring your own Lucky Pet! ;) Keep your eyes peeled, they'll be in the shop later today!

Monster Monday

This week I'm sharing some monsters that aren't of the soft and squishy variety, but that doesn't deter from the absolute CUTENESS OVERLOAD at all! I've been watching this shop for AGES but everything sells so quickly it wasn't until I got more vigilant in my stalking techniques that I was finally able to bring a couple home for my own collection. ;) I'm not one for 'dust catcher' collections, I got rid of all my figurines of that nature a number of years ago because I HATED having to move them and dust them all the time. Never say never. Because I've made an exception for the Beastlies and I will smile when I dust the top of the bookshelf where they sit now because I am IN LOOOOOOVE!!! Meet my Beastlies...


Williby (with my ChapStick for size comparison)

and both Beastlies together... Dingie is kind of a scaredy cat ;)

tell me they are not absolutely painfully adorable!! You should see them in person, the tiny details are just astonishing! Seriously. Some of the spots on Williby's back are smaller than a pin head!! A PIN HEAD PEOPLE! That's tiny!! Even the tiny white spot in the center of each pupil is a dot of clay!! I have no idea how she does it! Not surprisingly, this shop crazy popular! The brilliant artist behind it all posts a few new creatures every couple of days or so and they are usually gone before you can blink! Once I clicked on 'add to cart' and in the few seconds it took my cart to load, it was SOLD to someone else!! Check out some of the other cuties that I am sad to say I missed out on...

Leslie was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her busy day to answer a few questions for us. :) read on to find out more about how the Beastlies came to be...

-Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Leslie and I make the Beastlies! I live in LA with my husband and cats, and I sculpt pretty much all the time. Some friends and I write a webcomic together, which I sculpt when i'm not making Beastlies

-What is your shop name and is there a story behind it?
Beastlies.  The story behind it is just that I make small monsters, and wanted a word that sort of conveyed the monster-ness and also small, cute side.  I ended up deciding on Beastlie when I combined "beast" and my first name. 

-How did you get started making monsters?
I sculpted a lot of little characters and animals when I was a kid, but then I gave it up for more "serious" art.  A couple years ago, I had the urge to try it again. I started out making cats and dogs and elephants and such, but they slowly started evolving into the Beastlies.  

-What inspires and motivates you to create?
I love animation and the Muppets. I sell Beastlies at a lot of comic festivals and conventions, and just being around all the amazing, small-press creators is really inspiring.  It's worth going to those events just to be immersed in that many interesting artists.  As for motivation, if you're passionate about something, you have to devote yourself to it and make it the thing you work harder at than anything else.  I quit my day job, which was a job I actually liked, to do Beastlies full time, and it's a ton of work, but I'm so glad I did it.  If you want to be a full-time creator, then you push yourself.  I dunno, is that too self-helpy?  I think people motivate themselves because they are driven to do the thing they love.

-If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I would be some kind of super-chef.  Like, if I could make brilliant food just by thinking about it, that would be ideal.  I love cooking, but I don't have time to do it enough to be great at it, and that kind of bums me out.

-Top 5 favorite foods, tv shows, and bands?
Foods: All kinds of cheese. Cake. Tea.  Blueberries. And I kind of love roasted beets right now.  
TV shows: Buffy, Firefly, Arrested Development, Farscape, Lost.  I'm a nerd.  
Bands: Yikes... I've been listening to Janelle Monae a lot lately.  She's great.  I dunno!  While I sculpt, I tend to put on podcasts or film scores.  I've got a playlist with music from Ratatouille, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and How to Train Your Dragon that gets used a lot.  Again, nerd.

-3 etsy shops you just LOVE?

EvaFunderburgh does amazing ceramic creatures 
lwong is a friend of mine whose art I just adore
specimen7 is another lovely artist who also makes small creatures, but with a very different style.  

-One year from now, I hope...
To be farther along in various Beastlie-related endeavors...  If things just keep chugging along like they are now, I'll be a happy camper.

-Where can we find you on the internet? is my main site, and from there you can get to Twitter, FB, Flickr, and Etsy!  (Oh, and the webcomic is at  It's about a former man-eating monster who is trying reform and be civilized. Recently, though, we've been following a quest that some viking bunnies are on.)
 The artist herself at a comic festival, selling Beastlies

and her work space... where the magic happens!! 

You might be able to get your own Beastlie... if you're faster than me that is! Trust me, I've perfected my quick reflexes when it comes to clicking 'add to cart' and 'checkout'! ;) 

Stay tuned for another edition of Monster Monday next week!!