Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Looking back: The Techniques and Art Challenges that Defined my 2014

I can't believe it is already 2015. 2 weeks in and I'm already getting swept away. It has been a crazy past year, but full of many new adventures and discovering both myself as a person and an artist. I had the wonderful support of 2 new regulars for 2014, and they challenged me and pushed me to do many new things!

I learned that I should expect less to be done in November and December between a convention and the travel time to see family for the holidays. So here's a recap of the FIVE new techniques etc that really defined my 2014!

1. Ombre Dyeing
My first true example of ombre dyeing started with a sunset and this little girl. Fading one color into another made for a beautiful hand dyeing technique and opened so many doors to different themes and expanded the stories I could tell with my work. It put a modern twist on my traditional techniques and made for a feast for the eyes.

2. Wings:
This year is all about wings. Goose wings, posable wings, fairy wings. I really went all out this year starting with these beautiful 1 meter goose wings. Learning wing and feather anatomy as well as constructing the bone structure to allow for opening and closing really made for my crowning glory this year! Definitely bought a lot more wire this year.

3. Clay:
When I first experimented with polymer clay, I really wanted to add it to my pieces as antlers, claws, and really make my pieces mixed media pieces. It started with an jackalope, but I really learned what I was doing when I made this beautiful winter buck. He was the perfect way to finish 2014 as well as teach me I can't bake thin pieces of clay in my oven at the stated temperature. Clay really gives me another medium to communicate through, and I couldn't be more grateful.

 4. Felt Flowers:
Nothing made me happier this year than taking my use of wool to the next level with both wool felt flowers as well as wet felted flowers. I never knew I could do these things with fabric that I have done with tissue paper, and they really allow me to explore this material to a entirely new dimension. Not only am I using felt to make scarves for my pieces and keychains, but now I can layer, cut, and felt to make beautiful pieces that can stand alone or pair perfectly to an ombre dyed doll.

5. Sewing Full Time:

Last but not least, I got to try sewing full time this year. Granted, I am still finding my niche in the market, but it is definitely enlightening to see what it means to sew 50+ hours a week and think about the numbers all the time. It made me think about what I was sacrificing in my art in order to make ends meet, and if I really wanted to do it as a job. We all know that when you are working vs doing a hobby, some element of enjoyment does leave. It really showed me what type of artist I want to be, and how I want to carry on with my art. Time really gave me a lot of food for thought, so I hope to share more wonderful things with you in 2015 as I straddle both being a teddy bear maker and a general plush artist.

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you've enjoyed my 2014 as much as I have. I really appreciate all the support and love you've given me. 

As always,
Keep in touch,


  1. All your 2014 works are wonderful Laine! Out of this list I think the deer and the sunset ombre plushies are my favorites. I look forward to see you explore more in 2015 (:

    And gosh I didn't know you tried full time sewing? Is this now your full time work or did you only try it as an experiment?

    - ieafy

    1. Thank you for your sweet words. You have been such an inspiration and your curator skills always amaze me. Whenever I need inspiration, I go to your favorites!

      Yes I did from August to December of 2014. It's still my main source of income, but I can't dedicate as much time to it this year because I returned to school. Last fall I was able to do sewing and only sewing for those months, but you quickly learn the compromise you have to make to pay the bills. For me, it did get very challenging because I was looking at sewing as a job and less for enjoyment. Now that I have taken a step back, I can definitely enjoy it a lot more.

      Always looking forward to your insight.