45 degrees off

Seeing the same thing from a different angle.

Category Archives: Announcements

Craftypodes has a new home!

A note for anyone who missed our Twitter and Facebook announcements (because I know not everyone follows me everywhere) – We now have Craftypodes.com for all things Craftypodes! This is something we’re both really excited about!

I can’t say exactly what the future of 45 degrees off is. I still want my space for talking about art, but there’s a lot of time and energy being poured into Craftypodes. I just don’t know how much I’ll have left for traveling down other artistic avenues. I’m sticking to my “blog in my own voice” promise over there, though. And if all you were ever here for was the yarn, it’s all crochet and knitting over there!

Custom Character Dolls

This is cross-posted from my crocheting tumblr, and that’s where the link to the Brann Bronzebeard doll post will take you.

I will be accepting orders for dolls based on your character from games like WoW, SWTOR, etc. Feel an emotional attachment to the character you’ve tanked every raid on? Maybe a roleplay character you’ve spent hours exploring the backstory of in digital taverns? If you can take screenshots of the front and back of the character, I can make a doll of them! (See the post about the Brann Bronzebeard doll as an example. I will NOT be taking orders for favorite lore characters, though. Only player characters.)

Here’s how it works –

I’d prefer that you message me through our Craftypodes Etsy shop, but I won’t turn you away if you contact me via Twitter.

I need you to provide me with front and back screenshots of your character, plus any information like race/class/physical characteristics from roleplay not shown on the character model. (Example – a scar on a character’s face that everyone can see, but the game model doesn’t have an option for.)

Make sure your character is wearing what you want the doll to be wearing, and be sure to tell me if there are any “must have” parts. If I have to simplify things, I don’t want it to be the off-hand weapon that I leave off if you very carefully chose that off-hand weapon for the doll.

As with any other request item, your finished doll will be put in our Etsy store and reserved for you. I’ll let you know your doll is ready, and you will have one month to purchase it. Our standard shipping prices apply. ($6.00 USD within the US and Canada, $12.00 USD to anywhere else.)

The cost of a doll is $50.00 USD. If your character is of a class that has a pet (hunter/ranger companions, warlock minions, death knight ghouls, etc) you can add pets for $15.00 each. And before anyone asks – yes, shaman, I can make a set of four totems instead of a pet. :)

I will let you know when you contact me with a request how long the waiting list currently is. If this is something you need within the month (birthday, for example) please talk to me about putting a rush on your doll. I cannot put a rush on requests for a major holiday like Christmas, though.

I am not accepting requests for pets/minions/etc on their own. Only as an addition to the character. I am also not accepting requests for non-combat/vanity pets at this time. If you have any other questions about ordering dolls, please contact me.

Craftypodes Knitting and Crochet

I’ve written a couple of times before about my crochet projects, and if you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me mention “yarn mangling” before. I often get requests from people who are more than willing to pay if I’ll squeeze some time in to crochet for them. I’ve politely declined these requests except in a couple of cases. My mind has been set on the idea that I don’t have time to add crochet to my work.

The problem with that line of reasoning is that I’ve already been spending plenty of time crocheting! I make things for the joy of making them and then wonder what I should do with them. Obviously, I do have time for this!

Add to that my husband finding his own creative niche in knitting. Being a disabled Marine has taken a lot away from him and been a physically and mentally painful adjustment. I’m glad he’s found something he enjoys doing that we can share an interest in without stepping on each other’s toes. (He doesn’t really understand crochet, nor am I a knitter. We can share the general yarn crafting interest, but we don’t try to manage each other’s projects.) This is a situation just asking for us to start an Etsy shop, isn’t it?

So that’s what we did!

As of the end of last week, Craftypodes is open! We’re both working to get more into the shop, but it’s exciting to be able to make the announcement.

Why “Craftypodes”? This is a story for word geeks. I favor “octopodes” as the plural of “octopus”. (I did not make that up, I promise.) I also favor “platypodes” as a plural for “platypus”.  My husband, being a bit amused by the terms, has embraced them and it’s become something of a joke in our house. Things often get the “-podes” ending to pluralize them here at home when it makes the word fun to say. When every store name we could think up was already taken, we resorted to trying Craftypodes as a plural for “crafty people”.

The desperate silly name was, of course, the one that was not taken.

Mister Bear

Mister Bear

I’ve been keeping my promise to myself to do more work in a loose style. I’ve been happy with the results so far, but Mister Bear has made me happier than all the other pieces! I’ve been told adding a top hat and monocle makes anything better.

I imagine Mister Bear being the perfect guest for a tea party. Sure, he can do the teddy bear picnics, but a proper tea party is where he’s most in his element.

Several small gifts and items with Mister Bear on them are now available in my store.

Carry Mister Bear with you as a keychain:

Add some class and sophistication (because what could be classier than a bear wearing a top hat and monocle, right?) to your correspondence with Mister Bear postage:

Check out the rest of the Mister Bear section at my Graphic Content store!

Black and White Fabric now available through Spoonflower!

Updated with pictures of fabric swatches!

One of the bigger projects on my 2012 “To Do” list is done!

I shared this picture through social networks just as the Easter holiday weekend was starting and said I’d have an announcement about it this week:

Sneak peek of the floral fabric design.

That’s a sample view of the black and white floral fabric, and there’s also an abstract design inspired by feathers.

Yes, I said I would do a (singular) design this year, but it turned into two before I was finished.

Spoonflower has quite a few options for fabric with varying prices. If you’d like to test a piece for quality before committing to a larger purchase, you can order a small test swatch for $5.00. I’ve ordered a test swatch from them before. It’s an 8 inch X 8 inch swatch, which isn’t big enough to make much from but does allow you to see how things print and even run it through the wash and put it under an iron.

Both designs were done with quilters in mind, and one of the fabric options is Kona brand cotton. I can imagine a lot of uses for the floral design, though, and I’m sure someone more creative with fabric than I am could come up with a whole list of projects for the feathery design!

You can find the black and white flowers here, and the abstract feathery fabric here on Spoonflower.

Update!

My fabric swatches arrived in the mail today, so I’m updating this post to add pictures of the designs printed on fabric. I chose the Kona brand Premium Quilting Weight Cotton for my swatches. I think the photos give a decent view of how smooth the lines print, but the lighting and my camera make the color just a little off.  The fabric is pure white. The black lines aren’t jet black, but they do not look what I would call “faded” at all. It’s more like a soft black that doesn’t jump out at you too much but is definitely black. I’d say you could put this fabric in a project with other fabrics without it dominating everything, nor would it look faded and “blah”. As the artist, I am very pleased with the results!  The feathery design especially looks even better on the fabric than on the website.


Black and White Flowers on Spoonflower

Feathery fabric on Spoonflower

 

Positive Space

Life can be really hard. Sometimes it’s filled with seemingly insurmountable challenges and crushing pain, physically and mentally. For some people, it’s a series of problems that would be annoyances individually, but they all pile up on top of each other and become a heavier load than the person can carry. And some people just aren’t able to handle the occasional challenge very well because they generally have a smooth road to travel and aren’t prepared when a challenge pops up. (It may be difficult to feel sympathy for those people at times, but think of it as the mental and emotional equivalent to having never developed a resistance to common germs.) Life can seem like all the space has been filled with negativity.

Creating positive space in our lives is an important part of our physical, mental, and emotional health. If we can’t create enough positive space to push all the negativity out then we at least need to create enough to have a safe harbor for ourselves. That’s part of what my art does for me. It’s a way to create pockets of positive space in my life. The winter has not been kind to my health. We’ve had a string of things going wrong since the new year started. It’s normal for me to face issues with depression in the winter. Somehow, I seem to have handled it all better this winter than I have before. I think it’s because my reaction to all these problems has been, “I need to go draw something.”

This post on Keitharsis really struck a chord with me.

I can’t name one perfectly content Creative who is producing major work.  Can you?

Most of us are running away from something.

Or running to something.

Or needing to prove something.

We’re incomplete.

We’re complicated.

We’re hypocrites.

We doubt.

We care.

And I don’t think this is something we can (or should) purge from our lives.

Quite the opposite.

I think it’s what makes us real and human.

As an artist, I’m not just creating visual images. I’m creating positive space in my own life and, hopefully, the lives of others.

In art, “positive space” and “negative space” aren’t emotional concepts. Positive space is where there are “things” in a piece. Something fills this area. Negative space is the empty space between things. Both are important, and how one balances the two has a major impact on the finished work. They may not be emotional concepts, but in some ways they are very much like the positive and negative space in our lives.

I’ve talked before about how important my black and white work has become at this point in my life, and how much I feel I have to learn from it. It creates positive space in my life. I also get more feedback on those pieces than the other work I do. (I appreciate all the feedback. I just can’t help noticing when some things get more response than others.) I’ve moved the products with black and white work on them out of the store they were in and put them in their own place.

Welcome to Positive Space!

I’ll try not to change the storefront too much as I clean it up. The categories under “Browse this Store” on the right hand side of the page are very handy for narrowing down what you’re looking at.

Since this post is about creating positive space in life, I’d like to point something out about the pillows like the one pictured above. You can find them at Positive Space, and also at Everyday Myth. I will also be adding cloth napkins, placemats, and kitchen towels. These products are manufactured by a company called American Mojo. You can read their mission statement by clicking on that link.

They are helping single mothers hold a job to support themselves and their children. I have personally known women (not always single moms, but also mothers in households that desperately needed two incomes) who have faced the problem of finding a job that would pay for more than just the childcare needed so they could go to work. American Mojo understands how the childcare costs hurdle can make it almost impossible for a lot of single mothers to provide for their children.

By creating a place where mothers can take home more of their pay, they are creating positive space in the lives of these families and giving these mothers the tools they need to create positive space in their own homes and the lives of their children. I’m really happy to be able to put my work on products made by them.

Jigsaw Puzzles!

I’ll just go ahead and say right up front that I am excited about being able to make some of my work available on jigsaw puzzles! It’s something I’ve looked into before, but found that my options were limited to services I didn’t trust and services where cost prohibited me from being able to do anything with the idea. Zazzle has recently added jigsaw puzzles to their marketplace. I’ve had a store with them for almost four years now and have ordered products myself.  (The shoes and mug pictured at the top of my Graphic Content store are two of the products I have in my home.) I’m very happy to finally have the jigsaw puzzle option available!

 

This Side of the Looking-Glass was the piece that first got me thinking about putting my work on puzzles. My grandmother enjoyed putting them together, and I would love to be able to give her one with my own art on it if she were still alive.

The puzzles comes in two sizes – 8″ x 10″ (110 pieces) or 10″ x 14″ (252 pieces).  The pricing is higher on the 8 x 10 puzzles. I thought that was a typo at first, but then noticed that it’s only the smaller size that comes with a tin to store the pieces in with the art also printed on the tin.

The selection is limited by which pieces of art fit on the puzzle template without having to be magnified to the point of getting fuzzy. (Not the good “kittens and puppies” kind of fuzzy.) There are several pieces I just can’t correct the sizing for.  You can look forward to more puzzles in the future as I complete pieces, though.

Annabelle the zombie , the pink fae dragon hatchling, and Flanders the gnome are available along with This Side of the Looking-Glass over at Everyday Myth. I’m quite pleased with how Flanders looks on a puzzle!

 

There are also a few puzzles at the Graphic Content store, including my recent La Bella Muerte piece and my popular Schrödinger’s Cat WANTED poster.

 

I hesitated to put the La Bella Muerte piece on puzzles because there’s a lot of empty space. I know there are people who simply collect puzzles, though, and those puzzles may find homes with them. Or the empty space may present a little more of a challenge than a puzzle with so few pieces normally would. Customization is enabled on them, so please remember you can choose a different background color if you’d like.

An Overdue Update

My work has been slowed recently by some health issues and urgent treatment to prevent complications. My recovery is a bit slow, but well within normal expectations. This has also interfered with making announcements about my work. Let’s catch up!

I did not win the Disney-Threadless Muppet design challenge, but I did hold my own in a competition where I was new to Threadless and many others entering were more established in the community. I see that as a victory in its own right. The winning design is one I personally liked. Congratulations to Alfonso Diaz!

The really exciting news for me right now is that I have achieved ProSeller status on Zazzle! You can see the ProSeller badge at the top of my Graphic Content store and my Everyday Myth store. It has taken me a little over three years to become a ProSeller, and I’m very happy about it. Thank you for seeing my work as being worth spending your money on.

I have some projects going on right now that the health issues interrupted. I’m getting back into the swing of things so that I can pick up where I left off. I’m doing another cover art piece for The Drabblecast, working on a new design for the Keds shoes sold through Zazzle, and then I’ve already picked out which of the projects on my long list of “Things to Draw” will be next. (Hint: It will be a piece for the Everyday Myth store.) I’m also looking at doing some work for a type of product I’ve never done art for before. More on that as it happens.

Now on society6!

You can now find some of my work on society6.com. I have talked to several artists in the past few weeks who gave me their opinions on being part of society6, and I’ve been reading about the site for a couple of months. I am very impressed with the opportunities they make available for artists! The collaborations feature, the retail partnerships, etc. look like they have a lot of potential for artists with… well, a lot of potential.

My two “Alice in Wonderland” inspired pieces are there right now, as well as my Garden of Remembrance Gnome.

Art Contests

I have pieces entered in two contests right now and would truly appreciate votes and spreading the word about them.

Muppet contest entry on Threadless

This is the design I’ve entered for the Muppets shirt design contest from Threadless and Disney. You can see and score the design here. If you aren’t familiar with how designs are presented on Threadless, please look for the three dots in the upper right corner of the picture on the Threadless site. You can click those dots to switch among the three slides I prepared for presenting my work.

This contest, because Disney is part of it, is a pretty big deal! The winner gets a rather large prize package, including a set of Muppets figurines designed by Jim Shore. And Disney will buy the winning design from the winning artist for $2,500.00. The competition is pretty fierce!

The theme of the contest is friendship, so my design is a tour shirt for the Muppet band – Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. It’s the Endless Friends Tour.

The winning design will be chosen on June 27, 2011, so you have until then to vote.

Sell Art Online

The second contest I have a piece entered in is a contest at Fine Art America, and the entry is my This Side of the Looking-Glass piece. You can vote for it here, and you do not need to be a member of Fine Art America in order to vote. This contest has a short run. Voting just started today (June 8, 2011) and will end on June 11, 2011. The prizes are much smaller than what’s at stake in the Threadless-Disney contest (Fine Art America gift certificates for winners), but it’s a nice opportunity to have my work seen and see work from other artists I may not have found without a contest to call attention to them.