Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Story of A Blue Giraffe Named Clover

Clover's story probably best begins with Christmas last year when my friend Kimmymanga sent me the most adorable pens.

I never really thought about it extensively, but this blue giraffe definitely provided me with enough gumption to make another giraffe. It was also because I had heard from my talented friend Nyssa that she'd be giving the idea a go. 
Blue Giraffe Commission by Nyssa
It just sounded too adorable to pass up, so I set out to have the pieces cut and the majority of the machine sewing done before I left to visit fiance and family in California. Sadly, in my scramble to pack and clean, that did not happen, and in the time I spent there, I only managed to get the head hand sewn. It was a first for me not to be sewing my way through the long layovers, but spending time with friends and family sometimes needs to come first. 

Something I realized was that our time with the special people in our life is really what means the most. Often I keep myself isolated from those offline. I have just retreated to being a person behind a screen, and it was a wonderful change to take the time to have conversations with family, go jogging, and just be beside them to talk, play, or just enjoy their company. 

When I was finally ready to finish it, I had run out of eyes, so for a while, he was sitting looking quite sad with me, but I was already starting to love him. I took the time to needle sculpt his feet to give him hooves, and it was just the right touch. 

Today I finally had it in me to just finish him. As I was working on his eyes, I realized he had the kindest eyes I have ever felted. Something about them just spoke to me. Originally, I had intended to make a gentleman character to match the last giraffe I created, but he was just so guileless, like a child.
My last giraffe: Georgina
 I still had every intention to dress him while I was shading him, but by the time I finished, I set him down and he just looked at me, and told me he didn't need to be dressed.
The back of Clover as I added his markings
And so here he is now.

 For added warmth to compliment his cool tones, I added a warm golden brown to his ears and cheeks instead of my usual pink blush. He really made me feel at peace when I finished him. I hope you'll enjoy him as much as I have. He is looking for a home, so please feel free to click here if you are interested in adopting him. (All materials are also listed)

Thank you for reading,
<3 Laine

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

4 Projects at Once

In the past, I've never had more than one project open at a time. Sometime over July 4th weekend, I ended up running out of eyes and needing a couple other things to complete commissions, so naturally I put my current project (blue giraffe) on hold and my goose commission on hold to start more con prep and when I wanted a break from that, I started doing some sewing for my second commission.

 LO AND BEHOLD, the package with all the things I ordered came that day, so I was more than torn in a few directions. I didn't like having multiple unfinished things at once so I settled in and spent the good remaining of the day finishing what was closest to completion: 5 shoot star plushies to go with the original

Then I wet to approach my largest priority: the Canadian Goose

After working two full days of 10+ work hours, I had the head done right, ultrasuede beak on (nearly killed my wrists), neck made with skeleton, body sewn and stuffed, and the beginnings of a wing in progress. I'd have to recommend to those who use wire not to twist two pieces of 12 gauge wire together and then try to get your machine to hem it in. I broke 2 machine needles because the wire wasn't twisted 100% uniformly (and you can't see it under the minky). There were times when I was chugging along, that I would just hit that twisted wire and BAM off it snaps and usually I have to go in with tweezers to remove the broken portion out of sewing. This task actually can prove to be quite tough given the thickness of the minky+batting+wire. I thought about sewing it, but the wings themselves are quite large to begin with. If I were to annotate through my process,this post would get too long.

In the end I compiled a mental pros and cons list in cause I ever decide to have so many things going on at once:


  • There is variety, so you can keep your interest from waning by working on a few things at once
  • Can increase efficiency (do all your cutting at once, sewing, assembling)
  • Can feel overwhelming esp to people who require certain amount of control in their life to function
  • Can lead to being distracted because you DO have the option to work on multiple things
All in all, I'm trying for less structure when it comes to myself and doing things more with my energy levels. Once I finish these I will probably go back to my original arrangement, but it was definitely interesting (and stressful).

Question for you: Do you typically work on one thing at a time or multiple projects? I'd love to hear your pros and cons list.

Until next time,
<3 Laine