Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Been too long!

I have got to get back in to blogging. I have been so obsessed with just making more items that I've neglected so many things...including Bloggetha here (my nickname I made for my blog lol).

So I'm trying to reorganize and I'm going to make sure there is one day a week where I do not sew for an entire day and focus on other things. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? Seems so impossible now. I've pretty much sewn most of the day, every day, since the end of June of this year except for one week when we were moving into our apartment here in NY.

But ANYHOO, today I'd like to showcase where 'the magic happens' know, my work room lol.

My things spread out into 3 rooms...sometimes 4, depending on if I pull out my sewing machine. I don't know why I bother pulling out my sewing machine anymore though, I always opt for hand sewing. Well, I know why, it's because I love my sewing machine. It's still pretty much brand new and has so many options, but in the end, I prefer the satisfaction of seeing what I can do all by myself with my hands :)

I house my supplies in the hallway closet that's allllllll mine.

On the top, I keep a basket of yarn and extra stock of stuffing, bean bag filling, etc...
Then the next shelf has my scrap fabric that I use to practice new patterns and there's also a basket of items that I made, but the freaking moving company pretty much demolished it all. And I just don't have the heart to throw them away.
Then my favorite shelf is where I have my fat quarters of fabric! Ohhhh how my heart skips a beat just thinking of them.
Then the next shelf has miscellaneous supplies. Like my backup thread/floss, canvas bags that I plan to decorate, bag of scraps, and my sewing machine supplies box.
And underneath it all is where I keep my yardage of fabric and felt. And I have a few embroidery hoops underneath that I plan to make plush wall art with :)

Seriously, I have a TON of fabric! My addiction <3

And when I first moved in, this was my work table looking very empty, but full of promise in the laundry room.

And this is my work table now...Well, I took this pic just before I tidied up. I reorganize it every morning religiously. I love my bobbin box and button box that I had customized by Angela's Embellished Boxes! You should definitely order from her. She's great! :)

I haven't had the funds yet to add shelves and other things I have planned to make it more organized and aesthetically appealing. But whew, HUGE plans! It's going to look amazing.

(And underneath the table is where I keep my packaging and shipping supplies)

And beside my computer armoire in the den area, I have a plastic dresser that I use to house all my inventory. To keep them safe, dust-free, and away from my daughter who gets attached too easily, until they find a new home!

And that's pretty much it...Besides my family, you've seen everything that makes me happy!

I'll leave you today with an Owenism.

I was telling my daughter the other day...I don't remember how the conversation started, but I had said that I knew I was a good wife and mom, but I wish I was better.

Her reply: "There's no 'better' in this house. You're already the best!" Yeah, my 6 year old came up with that wisdom all by herself! <3 <3

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Umbilical Cord Separation Day....TO ME!

So yesterday was my birthday...I am now 25 years YOUNG. (Right? Yes, please agree!)

We're still in a hotel and our money situation isn't the greatest. but we shall prevail! My husband and daughter spoiled me well! Thru all that we've been thru with this move, home really is where the heart is. I don't think we could have spent my birthday any other way.

We started off the morning, bright and early with Dunkin Donuts!!
A Dunkin Donuts is pretty much on every corner here in NY and I had never really experienced one before and OMG....
Delicious, delicious, delicious!
We got a dozen donuts ranging from Glazed to French Cruller to Vanilla with Sprinkles to Bavarian Creme...oh the list goes on and on!
And I had a delicious Chicken Salad on a Croissant that was IMPECCABLE!
Darn now I'm hungry for another one of those again.
Stupid only having one vehicle!

Then I got to go and spend $100 at Joann's Craft Store! Oh it was the most fun to just pick and grab and buy so much for 100 smackeroos!

I definitely took advantage of all the deals.
I scored fabric, felt, thread, buttons (that are to die for!), chalk, more hand sewing needles 
and a thread organizer...
It doesn't sound like much but wow if you could see the amount of stuff I walked out with! My whole crate was full when I went to the cash register and the lady in front of us had overheard it was my birthday and gave me a 40% off coupon that she had! So freakin nice and wonderful! I would have done the same thing. It's nice to know that are world isn't so cruel all the time. All the bad things that can happen in life get surpassed by these moments of genuine niceness!

Then I got to pick where we ate lunch
and enjoyed my favorite: Chinese!
I'm half Filipino and also enjoyed my first 6 years of life in Okinawa, Japan (that's probably why I heart kawaii so much!!).
So I'm all about the Asian persuasion! :)
Here's my lil Owie Pie behind the glass over our booth. It was so cool.
We used to have these cork artwork all around our house in Japan!
My delicious first plate! Oh my gosh, soooo goood!
And someone had told Drew this place was terrible. It was amazing!
Owie took a picture of Drew and I :)
Love my lil family!
The china buffet was the perfect way to end my birthday festivities!

And this morning, I got to finally check facebook and saw my doodle from Kitty from Kittypinkstars!
Instead of an Owenism, I'll leave you to bask in the glory that is this doodle!
I want to blow it up poster size and hang it up in our future apartment!

She even added my highlights in my hair and some of my plushies!
Isn't this just amazing!?

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes!

<3 Jess

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What I would do with 8 arms!

She isn't finished yet, but HinckleDoodle is adding Octopals to my inventory!
8 glorious tentacles and flowered eyes!

She's a beauty I must say and isn't exactly what I sketched but she turned out better :)

She also has buttons that run along the underside of each tentacle to act as the suction cups all octopi have.

I don't have prices on these yet, but I will soon. I am also working on another one that is red and teal! I think it'll be pretty cute too!

I am planning to add a bow of some sort to add even more appeal to them.

I don't know what it is about octopuses that are so special.
The fact that it looks almost alien-like compared to other sea creatures.
Or for the sheer desire of having 8 arms to use.

As a mother and plush-maker, I could think of a hundred reasons why I would need 8 arms. My multi-tasking skills are pretty inadequate as it is, so the thought of being able to fold laundry with two arms, cook dinner with one, make a plushie with 2 others, write bills with another...etc, etc, etc all at once...would be a wonderful ability!

So to all of you octopi in the world, I am jealous and hope you're using your tentacles to their fullest potential!

Now on to trying to figure out if I can work on some farm animals with what I have in my wee little box of material...and a couple new monster designs!
OHHHH and it's official we have an apartment starting October 18th! Which means a few things...
  1. Getting out of these hotels we've been staying in!!! Gahhhh!
  2. Getting all our household goods, clothes, etc and HUGE AMOUNT OF CRAFT SUPPLIES AND INVENTORY I HAVE PACKED AWAY!!
  3. Being able to have my Grand Opening for HinckleDoodle!
  4. Holding the 2 contests I have planned for said Grand Opening.
  5. And just feeling normal again and having a routine. I love routines!
So many things await my family and HinckleDoodle...I can't wait to make progress on it all!

<3 Jess xoxo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Unexpected Treasure Hunting...

Sometimes adventures just jump into our paths. Like mine did last night. And most of my adventures happen via the lovely interweb, but they're still exciting to me!

So, here I this relatively decent hotel whose floors are for some odd reason always damp...and I'm just itching to create but I'm running out of materials...
I have been thinking and dreaming and sketching and more thinking and just a touch more dreaming of what I can do to entertain my creativity addiction.
My husband's Army gear overflows the trunk area of our SUV and we decided to reorganize it yesterday evening. And YO HO!!! TREASURE!! My art bag of acrylic paints was buried underneath his Army stuff. Apparently, moving companies can't move paint of any kind and I had forgotten that we had to travel with it.
And I have heard of it before, so I thought this was a sign to look into the crafting technique of...


Sure, I have done it before but terribly failed. I was young and just messing with whatever I could find to make T-shirts. But I'm more skilled now and have a better sense of neatness and visual appeal.

I now have tons of links saved to look into more thoroughly later.

But here my friends are the gems I found...the possibilities are endless with fabric painting! As I perused the Internet for images of this art form, I have stumbled across pages of artists that made me squeal with glee out of sheer amazement and awe they brought to me.

And let me take a moment to further explain something about myself and my appreciation for art. Art can literally bring me to tears or give me chills or make me laugh or make me angry or make me completely stunned...If it doesn't do that for you, I don't think you are properly taking the time to truly appreciate what's before you. It's not your fault though. It may even be an unofficial 7th sense a person can have.
But I just wanted to include that art is emotional for me and the artwork I'm about to showcase to you from brilliant talent may bring you to tears or make you jump into the air with your fist raised high like the end of most 80s movies. So maybe you should stretch first and limber up before you proceed...

I first came across this wonderful artistic duo, Cart Before The Horse. Read their info, read their individual blogs, and go to their website...They're just interesting people and their art is very interesting. I love art that can make you uncontrollably come up with stories for the characters they create.

Here's a few of their pieces I love and they're fabric painters:

And then there's another fabric painter, who's stuff I just love. I'm a huge skeleton fan and of De Los Muertos art! So Kat Brunnegraff has become one of my loves! I actually didn't find her last night. I have been a fan for awhile, but when I thought of trying out fabric painting, I immediately thought of her work!
Here's just a few of her Sugar Skellies that will surely delight your imagination!
One bad thing about finding this sort of amazing talent is that I second guess myself. I tell myself these people obviously have this field covered. There's no way I could match or even top their talent! But I refuse to not at least give myself the opportunity to amaze myself. Sometimes that happens and makes me all warm & fuzzy inside. Kind of like this whole plushie experience I've had...
I had no idea I'd grow up to be a toy maker.

Wish me luck on my fabric painting mission. It will definitely be messy. I better fashion a trash bag poncho for this voyage!


And lastly, a very fun Owenism!
My daughter and I going to the restroom at a restaurant....

Our conversation from separate stalls:

Owen: "I stole a french fry."

Me: "You carried a fry with you to the bathroom?"

Owen: "AW, C'MON! I get hungry on adventures."

My daughter is a comedic, witty 5-year-old genius!

<3 Jess

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Not Just A Simple Flutter...

Yesterday was a beautiful day all because of one butterfly. For just that 2 minutes of my day, this big orange and brown butterfly...the biggest butterfly I have ever seen...fluttered around me as I was outside. It fluttered half an inch in front of my heart for a full minute. And then did 2 circles around me fluttered away and came back as if it was looking for a spot to sit on me.
This isn't only special because I had never had it happened before...or because butterflies are pretty in general...

Let me tell you my special relationship I have with butterflies...It's very near and dear to my heart.

My grandmother, Phyllis Evelyn Wallis, passed away several years ago. She passed away by suffering the pains of lung cancer and died 3 weeks after she quit smoking.
No matter how many words I use or what words I use, there is no possible way that I can describe to any of you the kind of person my grandmother was.

This is a very VERY old picture of her. She'd probably actually be pissed that I put this up if she were still alive!
Sorry Grandma! But this is all I could find out of my family's facebook albums.

She passed away at the very young age of 58. And her funeral was on the day of my junior prom that I was also nominated for prom princess...

But anyhoo, to the wonders that was my grandma. Not your average elderly woman (saying elderly seems wrong 58 isn't that old to me) my grandmother drove a brand new green mustang convertible, was overweight and dropped down to my size, had talks about getting her belly button pierced, and could tell the dirtiest jokes!
She was simply amazing. Any person she met would be apart of her life forever. You would meet her and think to yourself.."how did I get by at all without her?" A miracle woman, she was. I really truly believe the woman knew everything.
Her and I had become best friends the last several years of her life. The older I got, the closer I became to her. When I was 13 years old, my grandmother took me to a local flea market for a $500 shopping spree to help me start a craft business. It's pretty much always been a dream of mine to be an entrepreneur in a creative outlet. And she believed in me...but it didn't pan out back then.
I hope that this venture with HinckleDoodle is successful and doesn't fizzle out.
Yesterday made me realize that this is my chance to show her that I finally see, or at least partially see, what she had seen in me then.
I want to make her proud from wherever you believe she is now.

I know where I see her. I see her in butterflies. My grandmother was a spiritual woman and in tune with nature. She didn't believe in doctors...she believed in minerals and vitamins and our own willpower and strength. So nature and my grandmother were best friends, so to speak.

One day, not long after she passed, alone in my car I was driving on a back country road on a sunny day...I began to think of my "G-Ma" and I started to bawl to the point it was probably unsafe for me to continue to drive...and there it was, this beautiful cluster of about 30 to 40 yellow butterflies that slowly fluttered 15 feet in front of my vehicle. And I just had this feeling...I knew it was her...

And maybe it's all just coincidence, that when I'm really low or really happy or worrying, that I see a butterfly...but it doesn't matter because it's what I believe that matters.
I believe that it's my grandmother's spirit.

Something good is going to happen, I can feel it.
Because of that moment, I know that big things are going to happen and they will be amazing.
And they will partially be because of her doing.
My grandmother was great at maybe she pulled some strings with fate, and God, and what-have-you.  ;)

Thanks Grandma Phyll.
I will always love you.
And I always tell everyone about you.
I don't even feel like she's really passed on...I just feel like she's been busy and unable to call me.
That's not unhealthy. I call it hopeful.
Hopeful that it was just a bad dream. That she's not gone.

I wish you all could have met her.

<3 Jess

Side Note:
I wrote this yesterday, but I think it's strange...with this post and last post my life has correlated with each after I write the draft...
Let me explain...last blog post was about inspiration and a couple hours after that post I got an email from a new e-friend saying that my blog inspired her! And now we have a collab project in the works...
And then this post was written late last night and a couple hours after, I was invited to join the Facebook Breast Cancer Awareness Project! Isn't that amazing!?
I think it's special...
Maybe I should try to write a post about winning a million dollars...maybe I'll get a pile of money dropped into my lap or thrown at my head within a couple hours!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Inspiration Seed

That's all it takes to create a plant or tree starts from a idea has the same concept.

Inspired by the abundance of talent on the inspiration seed has sparked my desire to dedicate this blog post to what inspires me. I hope it evokes a jumpstart for your current projects or life in general.

I try to be inspired by everything because really everything has a purpose.

I am just astounded by the amount of talent that's on facebook! I love seeing the little creatures that other plushie makers are making. And even sometimes I honestly get angry that I didn't think of some of them first! Not in a hateful way of course...just so impressed that I blame myself for a moment. I don't think that I have reached my full potential. And I doubt I ever will because if I do, does that mean I'll have nothing more to offer?! GASP!

Here's a few of my finds...

The Feltery

Love Bunny!

I find it strange that I've mostly been doing animals. I love animals, I really do. But I've always sketched the unusual and the unreal critters since I was young. I always used to draw these imaginary lands that I wish I lived in.
I admire Pink Cheeks Studios imaginary creatures so much to the point, I may be obsessed with them. Seeing all of them, made me think to myself...I'm making a lot of things that I think will sell and not spending more time making the creatures that I want to exist. No one has forced me to, but in these two months I've been doing what I'm doing...I just got caught up in a whirlwind and I'm trying to slow things down, take what I've learned, and refocus everything into the right direction.
I'm honestly not doing this biz to make money.
I do it to keep me sane and happy.
This is healthy me time! No boozing. No drama.
Just me and my imagination.

Whew, got side-tracked... lol

Back to inspiration...
MUSIC! I know, I know...generic, right? But it's true.
Music is so inspiring to me.

I'm going to start showcasing artists that I adore and you may like too. I'm an indie/alternative girl.
I like chill music with awesome lyrics and/or folky, uptempo happy sounds.
So let me showcase a song that might amuse you...
Hey Rosetta! - "Welcome"

There's more that inspires me but those are the two big ones and I realize this is getting lengthy :)

So we'll end with an Owenism:

"Maybe since you've been outside, the dirty has come back for revenge. Muahahahaha!"

This came from Drew saying out loud to no one in particular that he needed to take a shower.
Owen said to him, "Yeah you stink"
He said I took a shower this morning.
And this Owenism was her reply lol

Yes. I know what you're thinking. And you're right.
I get lots of inspiration from my family.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Snail's Slow Start...

FINALLY THE SNAIL IS DONE. Miss Olivia graces us all with her cutesy presence :)

Olivia turned out as cute as I wanted her to be, but she's also shown me things I need to change as I make more snails. She doesn't stand up on her own. She's too top heavy, which I didn't realize until she was finished.

I know that plushies don't NEED to stand up on their own, but it's something I like all of them to do. In my mind, my plushies are more decorative than they are for actual "playing". I am definitely going to gear my brand towards decorations from this point forward. Not that I don't want you to get them for your children! I see them as more for ages 5 and up. My daughter is 5, but she's an advanced, mature 5 year old and she uses them for imaginary play rather than throwing and chewing on lol.

Next time I make these snails, I'm going to add toy pellets to the body and bottom of the shell to add more weight to the bottom. Then I think they will be PERFECT!

Now please, I beg you...what I'm about to say I hope doesn't come off as conceited. By no means is that my intention! But I have only been sewing for 2 months and I have to say, I really think I'm getting better. The Munkees and SlowPokes have turned out better than I thought I could ever create!

My construction has gotten better. My execution gets better with every piece. And my sewing knowledge is growing. I am proud of myself is what it boils down to. I don't consider myself an expert in my field but I do hope that in the future that I can say that I am. We all walk a path to greatness, I feel. And this is my niche. Finally after all my life being creative...this is my calling.

I love all things artsy fartsy! I love to draw, paint, sing, dance, mold, bake, dream, write, and so on and so forth. I haven't tried everything but I have a list of art mediums that I haven't tried yet but plan to!

I plan on trying needle felting. I plan on bettering my skills with polymer clay. I plan on trying sculptures. I plan on woodworking. I plan on never ceasing to create!!!
No creating = me, at least. YES THAT DRASTIC!

These aren't HinckleDoodle items...but here's some other creative things I've done!

This is marker and colored pencil...
This one is charcoal...I HEART CHARCOAL!
This is all pencil...

I have this strange knack for being able to draw copies of any graphic anyone shows me.
I in no way take credit for the original idea.
I enjoy doing it though. It's a hobby I enjoy and use to decorate my home :).
I wish I could come up with sketches/drawings/art like this on my own!
All the ones above are from pics I found from google or deviantart :)
This is Marv from Sin City.
This is Sharpie on Canvas from the Sin City Graphic Novel that came with the DVD we bought :)

This is my fun mash-up of all the cartoons Drew, Owen and myself enjoy!
I never finished any of these lol...(except Marv)
Like I said just a hobby...
And this is George...
I had this ole plan of writing a children's book from a story my daughter told me called "Monster Meatball Stew"...
I had this big idea to make polymer clay creatures and buy dollhouse miniatures to create the pictures for the storybook :)
Never happened, but I still have George's head and the story...maybe someday...
If any of the photos are hard to see or you just want a closer look...just click on them and it should bring up a pop up box :)

I hope you've enjoyed this post!! I'm open to feedback...if there's anything you'd like to ask about me, about my creations, what you would like to hear more about... simply ask :) I'm friendly!

<3 Jess xoxo

Monday, September 12, 2011

Step Into My Sketchbook...

I realize I have been talking about my move from MO to NY and a lot about my family...Which yes, it's obvious are important to me and this is a huge moment in our lives...but this blog post will focus more on HinckleDoodle today.

Presently, I am still working on the snail. I think I'll get it done this evening :)
Commencing the crossing of my fingers, toes, and eyes now!
(Whoa, actually strike that...Eyes have to be uncrossed for now. Hard to type and do that bahaha!)

If you haven't become a fan of my HinckleDoodle page yet (what are you waiting for!?) here's a pic of the snail's progress...

I now have the shell completed and I am assembling the body today :)


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now I have been back & forth on whether to reveal my secret project just yet. Mostly because I'm afraid my former best friend who is now my biz copycat will try to copy this project that is very dear to me.
It's going to take quite a bit of start-up money, but I am just too excited about it--not to share!

So, without going into it too much, I thought I could at least show you sketches of the new style of plushie-making that I want to integrate into HinckleDoodle's products.


But I think it's a good 'different'... :)
Here's my first ever sketch in the style...(some of you may be able to tell what style it is but just for the sake of secret-keeping, I won't use the term until I make my first plush for this line!)
And this sketch is my favorite!
Cute, unique, OOAK dolls are in HinckleDoodle's future! :)
I think that this line of products will be unlike anything you've ever seen!

And here's a few other sketches for you to peruse :)

Scuba Fish Explorer

Fisherman's Delight
Air Ship Captain

Mistress Key Keeper

That is only a SMALL GLIMPSE into my sketchbook for this project :)
I wish I could show you all of them. I'm very proud.
The greatness is the endless possibilities this line will bring.
It's definitely more personal in a way.
I'm into science fiction, fantasy, magic, retro and vintage.
This meshes all those wonderful things into one style.

I think I may make this a regular allow my fans to step into my sketchbook.
It's how all my creations start.

I hope you've enjoyed tapping into my imagination and taking a stroll with the creatures that will be and could be.

I heart you fans. I really, really do. :)

If you enjoy my blog, I'd love it if you would pass the word on!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lucy Takes a Trip!

Now Muriel is who I wanted to be my HinckleDoodle mascot, but she's packed away in a warehouse. So we have Lucy with us! We got to go on a mini-adventure yesterday afternoon after Drew got off work. :)

Lucy just hold still! You'll be safe!

Tucked away in her little seat as we made our way to Watertown, NY which is just about 6 miles from where we live in our lovely hotel. We had to get gas and so she had to get a quick hug in with the
greatest little Miss Owie Pie...

And Lucy is pretty comfortable with me now. She's been around for awhile...So she DEMANDED a better seat!
With me...

And yes I lived in MO for so long but I have never been to the famous "B-Dubs" (aka Buffalo Wild Wings). I asked Drew to take us somewhere I've never been before. I can see why it's so popular. It's like an adult playhouse! lol
TVs everywhere!
Owen pretended to freak out and said "There's,,,, so.... many... TVs. Helppppp!!! Which one do I look at?!" As she shakes her fists into the air and slams dramatically to the table lol!

(By the way, I suggest the Honey BBQ Bacon Burger. SUPERB!)

Getting some love at BDubs :)
We thought the last picture was too "normal" for us lol This is better :)

After we were happily no..uncomfortably full...there was some beautiful scenery that we passed on a beautiful sunny day in NY.

We live just miles from all the glory that makes up the Adirondack Mountains!
This is amazing not only because the scenery is so beautiful but because my husband is OBSESSED with mountains. Can't wait to rent a cabin out there for a weekend!

We have fishing access to this wonderful gem! I swear almost every part of NY that we live in should be on a postcard!
It's no beach by the ocean but I sure am loving all these lakes that are within minutes from us!
Winter will be here before we know it but I can see next spring and summer, I'll be packing a picnic and my supplies and enjoy a day by the water crafting and enjoying time with the fam!

Drew and I were talking the other day about how much we love everything we've seen and we're sure that the people who have lived here for so long, don't even appreciate it anymore. That saddens me.
So I challenge you to visit some area of your town that you may have taken for granted over the years...appreciate it and I'm sure you'll get a burst of inspiration if you allow it :)

And we ended our mini-adventure (we're kind of boring in what we do but we're a hoot together!) with 2 hours of laundry at the laundromat...Blech! I can't wait to have a home again! lol

And now we end with a new Owenism...(I LOVE THESE! And I hope you do too!)

"Wouldn't it be cool if Daddy had a toilet built in the bed?
But he'd have to wear no pants. And that's NOT cool."

I swear all Owenisms are taken word-for-word from my daughter's mouth and brain lol. She is this odd and hilarious all the time. We are lucky parents.