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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Etsy Handmade Portraits: Mimi Kirchner

Mimi Kirchner is a wonderful doll artist and the subject of Etsy's "Handmade Portrait" this week. Watch the video to see some amazing artist wheels turning:

You can visit Mimi's blog here.

Twin Baby Shower Sock Monkey Cake Topper

A customer asked me if I could make a sock monkey baby shower cake topper with twin boys. Her party favors are little aqua blue gumball machines!

They are so cute I don't want to send them away! But I will.

Here is a picture of the party favors:

You can see more pictures here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Made a Shop Banner!

I made myself a new shop banner for my Etsy and Artfire shops. I'm not much of a graphic artist, so I was pretty proud of myself that I was able to figure out how to do it.

I found a great online tutorial by ZenithJade here.

You can see my banner at work in my shop, here!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bamboo Festival this weekend!

The 17th Annual Texas Bamboo Festival will be held at Zilker Botanical Garden, Austin, TX on Saturday and Sunday, August 22 - 23, 2009.

Hours: Saturday 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday 10 am - 5 pm - Admission - free. Parking fee $3.

The festival includes educational presentations about bamboo, a live plant auction on Saturday afternoon, bamboo plants, poles and crafts for sale.

I will have a booth there with my bamboo clothing, jewelry and art. My bamboo clothing will be HALF PRICE!!!

I hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

ADO Team Treasury

Wonder Woman Sock Monkey Sculpture

I had a little fun yesterday during Baby G's nap. Yes I should be cleaning the house and working on custom orders. But sometimes a girl just has to have a little fun, ya know?

She is Wonder Woman sock monkey, a 4.5" sculpture. I have been wanting to do a series of sock monkey sculptures dressed as various characters for a while, but haven't found the time. I started dreaming about them two nights ago, and I just had to get one out. So here she is.

Wonder Monkey to the rescue!

Wonder Woman sock monkey is available in my etsy shop.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Sock Monkey Wedding Cake Topper Cupcake Size

I've had several requests for a mini sock monkey topper that could adorn a smaller cake, a cupcake tower, the groom's cake, or perhaps just as a decoration or keepsake.

This is it! It is 2 inches tall. I had such a blast making these little cuties!

This topper can be ordered as shown, or I can make the following customizations:

1. Choose the color of base that the monkeys are sitting on
2. Choose the color of flowers the bride is holding
3. Choose two colors for the two accessory flowers which are included.
~You can order more accessory flowers if you want more than two!

4. I will make this a hangable ornament for you if you ask me to. I will add hanger loops to the top of each monkey, but only if you ask!

ps This would make a wonderful wedding gift.

They're waiting in my Etsy Shop!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rocker Muerto Day of the Dead Art Doll

Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, skeletons, sugar skulls. These are a few of my favorite things! And that
time of year is sneaking up on us already.

ADO Team is having a Halloween challenge, which got me motivated to do this Rocker Muerto. Rocker Muerto is 13.5" tall seated. He is made of polymer clay, upcycled clothing including red pleather pants, and a bamboo t-shirt. The skull on his shirt is my own design.

My Rocker Muerto has a 7" removable polymer clay and wire guitar.

He is in my ETSY SHOP.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I am so fortunate! I have a new little doll living with me. Her name is Saskia, and she was made by Chrstine Alvarado of Du Buh Du Designs. Isn't she fantastic?

My birthday just happened to be the day before Saskia was for sale in Christine's shop, sooo
"Happy birthday to me!"

Thank you for creating such beautiful and inspiring dolls, Christine!

Shipping Tips!

How to package our dolls and fragile art items is a big question that many doll artists have. When I first started shipping my cake toppers I knew the packaging was crucial in order for them to arrive at their destination intact.

I've had some trials and errors with packaging, and here are the key points I've learned:

1. Choose a box that is at least twice as large as the piece you are shipping.
~You want to pick a box that has plenty of room for packing material

2. If your item is extremely fragile I recommend double boxing. Placing your well packed inner box inside a slightly larger box with packing peanuts surrounding it is a great way to insure your item will arrive safely. Did you know that the USPS requires 4" of packing peanuts around an inner box in order to pay a claim on an insured package? If you are paying extra to insure your packages, make sure your package meets your shipper's packaging criteria.

3. After trying several more advanced techniques such as wiring my sculpture to a base before shipping, I learned that the very best packaging for my items is bubble wrap. Lots and lots of bubble wrap!

4. You do not need to spend much money on packing material! Find a local business who receives lots bubble wrap, and you can save them money by taking it off of their hands. I found an endless supply of bubble wrap by posting on Craigslist. The same is true for boxes. Find a local store who will give you their boxes and you are in business.
~Be sure to inspect your boxes for damage, and never ship in a box that has been dented or ripped. Make sure when reusing bubble wrap that the air is still in the bubbles, and check to be sure the packaging is clean.

Taking a few extra steps today while packing your art will save you lots of time, effort, and money in the long run.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sarah's Visit

I've had the pleasure of a visit from the adorable Miss Sarah, from New Orleans. She belongs to the talented Colleen of Loopy Boopy, and is my latest and final visitor from the Art Dolls Only Team traveling doll project.

Sarah and I have spent our days shopping and at the beauty salon. Sarah got a new bag, new shoes, makeup, purple highlights in her hair, and a breast augmentation. Yep, she went all out! Fortunately for an art doll a boob job only takes a few minutes and is quite painless.

I have fallen in love with sweet little Sarah, but soon it will be time for her to return to Colleen. I will need to spice up a few pages of her traveling journal and then she will be homeward bound.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I'm Back!

I'm home after a wonderful month at my parent's home Lake Okoboji, Iowa!

This is the first time I've tried going on "vacation" and bringing my artwork with me. I did not close down my Etsy shop, instead I brought all of my clay, my tools, and my pasta roller (for clay) and I set up shop on a little table where I could look out a massive picture window at the beautiful lake.

Next to my table I set up a nice big play area for baby G, full of fantastic toys and treasures my mom found at garage sales before we arrived, and he played and played and played.

So was I productive on my "vacation"? Here is what I did while away:

On the left is a 6" wedding cake topper with calla lilies and hydrangea on the base, and calla lilies and bells of Ireland in the bouquet. The wedding colors are silver and deep purple. Those hydrangea flowers took forever, and I love the result.

On the right is a 5" wedding caker topper (that was supposed to be 4 inches) with colors turquoise and red. The flowers are red roses, of course, and the bouquet has some white accent flowers. Aren't these great wedding colors? The turquoise really stands out.

I was so excited to have these two orders back to back so that I could get a picture of the 6" sock monkey wedding cake topper next to the 4" topper, but oops, after making the 6" topper, my internal scale was set high and I made the 4" topper 5 inches!!! The bride didn't seem to mind.

I made two of these little princess ballerina monkeys in Iowa. The first one was an Etsy order. I had it finished and my neighbor walked in with her 10 month old little girl and said she had to have one for her little princess' party. So I made another one for her. I LOVE this birthday cake topper!!!

I also made:
A birthday monkey gone bananas,

and a happy little turquoise and yellow party monkey.

Whew, that's a lot of monkeys!!!