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Category Archives: Graphic Content

Being Thankful and Reviewing the 2012 “To Do” List

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for those of us who live in the United States. I’m not sure the history of the holiday ever really mattered to me. We were told stories of the pilgrims and native people celebrating together, and I know I really got into the crafts and plays. I just always saw Thanksgiving as two things… one was the holiday I was told everyone was celebrating, and the other was what was actually going on at our house. The latter was the real Thanksgiving for me.

It hasn’t been the real Thanksgiving for me since my grandmother died, which was about eight years ago by now. She wasn’t a big eater, but she cooked and loved to feed her loved ones. I guess it’s because she grew up in a family with a lot of kids during the Great Depression. It seemed to make her someone who showed she loved you by doing things like feeding you, or buying you a book you wanted. She didn’t shower us with gifts non-stop, but she did a lot to quietly “take care of us” maybe a little more than we really needed. Thanksgiving and Christmas were something of a month-long celebration in my mind, and she and my mom were the driving forces.

My grandmother died just a few days before Thanksgiving the year we lost my grandfather in the spring.

Things change with time. My sister has children now. I’ve divorced and remarried. Pets have gone out of our lives, and different pets have come in. We still celebrate Thanksgiving. Christmas is different, too, but it does feel like a real Christmas. I’m trying to accept the new Thanksgiving.

In some ways, it’s not really a new Thanksgiving. It was always about family for me, right? My family may have changed some, but this is still a family holiday. And it is still a time to think about all the things I’m thankful for. I try to do that a little each day, but Thanksgiving reminds me to sit down and look at the bigger picture.

I’m thankful for my family. I am especially thankful for my sister’s kids. They are all still very young, but I am not exaggerating to say they are some of my favorite people.

I’m thankful for friends, even if they do tend to live way too far away. The Internet keeps us connected and makes being close while far apart possible in a way other generations would have been very thankful for. I have to remember not to take that for granted.

I’m thankful for the friends and family members who have supported my husband and me in getting  Craftypodes  started. It’s been difficult for me to make the change in my work, but I do believe it was the right decision.

I’m thankful for finally having a doctor who took my complaints about pain seriously, did the tests, diagnosed the arthritis, and is treating me. I still have more bad days than I want, but not as many as I was having… and not as bad! We’ve made some adjustments at home, and I don’t feel as knocked out by this as I did earlier in the year.

When life gets really frustrating and unhappy for me, I try to think of one thing I’m thankful for to balance one thing I’m aggravated about. I can’t erase all the pain in my life, but I choose not to let it dominate my life. I can at least look at it, acknowledge that it exists, and say, “But good still exists, too.”

Boris the Turkey

It is also time to look at my “To Do” list for this year. I’ll be writing next year’s list next month, and it’s late enough in 2012 that my remaining projects for the year are already in progress. If it’s on the list and hasn’t been done by now, it’s just not happening this year.

Do a fabric design on Spoonflower.

I did this! In fact, I did two designs. There is a feathery fabric and floral fabric Both are black and white fabric designs.
Find out more about how Storybird works.

I did this and found out it wasn’t really for me. I still think it looks like a great idea… just not for what I had in mind at the time.

Make my Zazzle stores connect to each other better visually. There are many good things about not having everything in one store, but I’d really like it to be easier for people who want to see all my stores.

The exact way I wanted to do this wasn’t possible, but I did link all the front pages to each other, as well as getting the designs categorized better by adding Positive Space.

Make progress on a fairly long-term collaborative project that was recently proposed to me.

I’m still not revealing yet what this collaboration is, but progress was made! When I said “fairly long-term”, that means “a couple of years”.

Finish any three things on my Ideas and Inspiration list.

This did not happen. I’m not unhappy about it, though. Making the switch from drawing to crochet as my work meant making a lot of other changes, too. The Ideas and Inspiration list has been going through some revisions. I’ll talk about that more when I write the 2013 “To Do” list.

Put together a calender in time for 2013.

This is the only thing on the list that did not happen and I’m not okay with it. Even with all the other changes this year, I still wanted to do this. While I’ve been able to make adjustments to keep crocheting even when I’m in mild pain, I couldn’t make similar adjustments to my workspace and tools for drawing. It’s very frustrating to feel the arthritis took this away from me. With the treatment I’m getting, though, I’m not giving up on this. I will be carrying it over to my list for next year.

Not everything on the list worked out the way I wanted it to, but I can look at it now and see that I accomplished more of my goals for the year than I thought! I’m glad I made the list. I’m thankful for being able to share it with all of you to keep myself accountable. I’m thankful for your support  through this year.

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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!

A Little Love

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Many people don’t like the holiday. It’s not much fun to see everyone else gushing on and on about how in love they are when you’re not in a relationship, even if you’re generally happy that way the rest of the year. Love isn’t just about romantic love, though, and Valentine’s Day cards and gifts are often given to a variety of people in our lives who are so near and dear to us that we consider them “someone I love”.

My Patchwork Heart is available mostly on small gifts. Things like stickers, keychains, magnets, and mugs.  These aren’t particularly romantic gifts, and are appropriate for giving to everyone from your mother to a teacher.

This is a design won in Zazzle necklace design contest last year, and it is available as a necklace, but between you and me I’ve always liked it more as a shirt and a mug.

The Many Languages of Love design is available on a variety of products, including tote bags, aprons, and keepsake gift boxes.

This postcard has been one of my more popular products for the past few years. I made the piece available on a few other products, but only when it would fit well. You can get it as a necklace, postage stamp, magnet, or mousepad, as well still being available as a postcard. It can be a romantic gift, but also makes an appropriate gift for a mother or grandmother.

And if you do want to tell a special someone just how much they mean to you, but you’re not really a “flowers and teddy bears” couple…

The mug has “You fill my life meter” written on it. I suggest the “morphing mug” option (which is what I’ve set the default to, but you can certainly change it before ordering if you’d rather not have it)  so that the design appears and your life meter fills as the mug is filled with a hot drink.

 

Don’t give in to the idea that Valentine’s Day is either a holiday full of chocolate and roses, or a day you avoid all human contact. Spread a little love in your own way!

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.

Zombies, Witches, and Skulls… It must be Halloween!

I love Halloween! Besides the fun of costumes and watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, I love spooky stories. I love the traditions. I am drawn to the idea that the dead may not be as “dead and gone” as we tell ourselves. I once tried to find the ghost of the pirate Jean Lafitte on Galveston island. I didn’t have any more success than the year I tried to find gnomes in the woods (which means, no success), but I was drawn to the idea enough to try. Halloween appeals to that aspect of me. Admittedly, it also appeals to the part of me that loves tiny chocolate bars.

I’d like to introduce you to a new friend of mine this Halloween. This is Annabelle.

Art PrintsPlease do go over to Fine Art America and say hello to her. There are quite a few details, such as the spider webs clinging to the picture frame, that aren’t clearly visible in such a small preview.

A dear friend agreed to pose for the reference I used to get Annabelle’s expression right, so I’m not surprised that she turned out to be rather pretty. For someone who is neither truly living or truly dead, of course. I suspect she hasn’t been a zombie for long. Her hair hasn’t completely fallen and become matted and tangled. Her flesh isn’t showing advanced signs of decay yet. Even the flower in her hair still has color, though it is looking a bit dry and wilted. Annabelle seems to have developed a taste for blood, and I can’t help but wonder whether or not she still has memories of the friends and neighbors she feasts on.

I would like to thank everyone who voted for or suggested a name for her on my Facebook page. Even though I didn’t know what her name would be until I’d finished the art, knowing her name changes the way I look at her. You all helped complete the piece by naming her for me.

Prints of Annabelle’s portrait are available at Fine Art America (just click on the picture above), Society6, or RedBubble. You can also find a die-cut sticker that follows the shape of the picture frame at RedBubble.

If you’re looking for something a bit more functional, Annabelle is available on a variety of products through my Everyday Myth store.

Everyday Myth is also the best place to find my Witches Stitches line, and you just can’t have Halloween without witches!

There are two designs available in the Witches Stitches collection. The art is the same, but one advertises “poppets – curse-stitching – quilt binding” and the other proudly proclaims that Witches Stitches is “A member of the H.A.G. Guild (Handmade Arcane Goods)”.  It’s all about putting the “craft” in “witchcraft”.

Day of the Dead follows Halloween, and my sugar skulls can be found over at Graphic Content by Rosa Amarilla. The collection grew a bit this year when I added my La Bella Muerte piece, but you can also find a more colorful and whimsical sugar skull there. Don’t be scared off by the name of the store… neither the graphics nor the pun will bite. ;-)

Happy Halloween, everyone! May you always have a lantern on hand when you find yourself in strange dark corners, and may the Great Pumpkin always find your pumpkin patch to be the most sincere.

La Bella Muerte

I declared the start of Zombie Season several weeks ago. Oh, sure… zombies are there all year long, just waiting until you relax so they can eat your brain. The closer it gets to Halloween, though, the more I think about zombies.

I’ve been working on a zombie portrait. I needed to take a break from it, but I didn’t want to let my focus stray too far from the Halloween season. No problem! I’d just draw a nice, creepy skull. Like zombies, I think about them more around Halloween but they stay popular year-round with some folks. What I ended up with isn’t exactly a creepy Halloween skull.

La Bella Muerte by K. Martinez

I love working in this style! It’s very relaxing. My usual way of working is to either have the house quiet or put on instrumental music. I have trouble focusing on words that I’m hearing as well as the piece I’m working on. When I work in this style, I can let my mind rest. It’s a good time to put on some music with vocals or listen to a podcast. I get lost in the repetitive patterns and nearly always end up surprised by just how things turn out in the end.

I saw early on with this piece that it could be a bit like the sugar skulls for Día de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead. It’s an observance that has never played a significant role in my life, but I see a lot of beauty in the traditions. I can also see this piece as being something like a tribal mask, but it’s the sugar skull inspiration that really resonates with me so I’ve titled the piece La Bella Muerte – the beautiful death.

The “black on white” isn’t going to work for everyone. I know some of you will insist that a skull should be white. I was thinking of you! This piece is available as either “black on white” or “white on dark”. I say “dark” because the backgrounds can be customized in many cases, so you might choose navy blue or a rich dark green. You won’t find all the same options in both cases, but most things are available with either choice. I try not to judge what people may or may not want to buy my work on. At the same time, I don’t want to put it on something where it just doesn’t fit well.

La Bella Muerte is available as prints from both Society6 and Fine Art America. I encourage folks to look at pieces on Fine Art America even if you’re not looking to buy or if the prices there are a bit high for you. I like the square-by-square full resolution previews they have. It’s fun to get a close view of different areas in a piece.

You can also find this piece in my Black and White Art gallery on RedBubble. Both versions are available as prints, cards, and on shirts. The “black on white” option is also available as a die-cut sticker

Both versions of La Bella Muerte are availble from Graphic Content by Rosa Amarilla on a variety of items. Mugs, postage stamps, cards, shirts, iPhone cases, necklaces, keychains… there are a lot of choices! If nothing else, stop by to see the picture of my cat at the top of the page. She’s investigating the mug with art she was the model for on it.

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.

Midsummer and Fairy Day

I’ve been made aware that Fairy Day falls during Midsummer celebrations. I’d never heard of this before, but it does make sense. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of my favorites among Shakespeare’s plays!

I haven’t drawn any faeries yet. (And yes, I’m odd in that I prefer to spell it “faerie” even though I grew up in a culture and time where it was almost always spelled “fairy” when I saw the word.) I have made my fae dragon available on several products, though.

You can find her as a sticker on RedBubble.

On baby clothes at Graphic Content on Zazzle. This baby onesie won a Today’s Best Award on Zazzle in February.

And for folks who’d love a fae dragon but don’t have a baby, or want something for themself…

A few small items in my Everyday Myth store on Zazzle.

Graphic Content – Now Categorized by Product Type!

Zazzle has grown a lot in the three years I’ve had the Graphic Content store there. So has the store. Earlier this year, I made updated category icons to tidy the front page up a bit. What I didn’t take into account is that the store was getting harder and harder for people to navigate. It is a store focused more on product design. Not finding art and seeing which products you can buy it on, but finding products you want and seeing what art is available on them. That’s a big difference from the buyer’s point of view.

I’ve left a few of the old categories in place because they are truly more appropriate when grouped by theme, rather than being scattered among product types. The rest of the categories have been redone so that you can simply look at all the shirts at one time, or see what’s available on a mug, or browse the iPhone cases without having to dig through magnets to find them.

A change in how things are categorized also called for a change in category icons. The pictures you see on the icons now show some of the actual products you’ll find within that category. Navigating the store should be much easier.

Doodle Speakers by OrigAudio Available on Zazzle

See the Doodle Speakers in my store here.

The Doodle Speakers from OrigAudio allow you to put your own pictures and/or art on a portable speaker. Zazzle allows you to put your own pictures and/or art on a variety of items. Sounds like a great match? It seems the OrigAudio guys and folks at Zazzle think so, too!

The Doodle Speaker is small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. The exact dimensions are: Depth – 0.88″, Width – 2.44″, Length – 4.56″, and one weighs 9.6 ounces. It plugs into an MP3 player, iPhone, or other portable device with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The speaker can be powered by two AAA batteries to play for around eight or nine hours, or it can be plugged in with a USB cord. The USB cord comes with the speaker when you order it.

When I checked the Zazzle countdown page for the launch of the speakers on Thursday afternoon, it said 1 day 10 hours and some-odd minutes and seconds. Zazzle decided to launch the speakers a little earlier than that, though. There are already over 7,000 speakers in the Zazzle marketplace (just click the picture at the top of this post to see all the ones in my store so far), and I’m betting this will keep Zazzle artists and designers busy all weekend!