Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Props for Dr. Sketchy Brighton

For several weeks now I've had this idea bouncing around my noggin of making actual toadstools (amanita muscaria) for November's Dr. Sketchy Brighton. I finally came up with the theme "The Dark Forest" just so they would make sense! Chicken or egg? Dark forest or toadstool? Who cares. I actually did it!

It all came together when I was walking Poppy in the Ashdown Forest early last week and found two freshly cut wood rounds.

After drying them up against the radiator for several days, and giving the bark a good filing and dusting off, I was able to start. As with most things I create, I like to use materials I have at hand, so I'm pleased to say that these cost less than a fiver a piece to make. And they're sturdy little buggers too!

I have a "secret" place where I've been collecting scrap wood for a few years now, and it's on one of the busiest streets in the North Laines of Brighton. When I'm in town, I always have a little stroll past North Road Timber and pick up as many free offcuts as I can carry. They stack them neatly outside for little magpies to carry off. So, the tops, bases and "stems" were all free! A trip to the 99p Store yielded metal bowls, pillows and rockin' green mop heads that became the "moss."

I started looping on finding red upholstery vinyl for the mushroom tops – no, seriously LOOPing – and spent many hours trying to find the best price on ebay and everywhere else online. Can I just say how expensive two meters of red upholstery vinyl is once you add postage? Yikes. Then it occurred to me that I was going to have to address the quintessential white spots of the toadstool. To sew or not to sew? To loop on white upholstery vinyl, or not to loop on white upholstery vinyl?

CANVAS!! FABRIC PAINT! I had both. And now it became a matter of working out how to design and sew it to make it work. (Did I mention I've never made anything like this before?)

Painting on canvas (heat-fixed paint) gave me exactly the effect I was after. And sewing it was a breeze. I'm pretty sure I would have made an expensive mess of the vinyl.

The other key was to think everything through, ensuring that it was all done in the right order. What to paint when, what to screw to what . . .

And then came the stuffing. Good lord, one little toadstool needs a lot of innards! The 99p pillow was only the start. But I will say that two of these guys did a great job of getting rid of all those paint covered t-shirts, old socks and a few other odds and ends . . .

And believe it or not, they're actually quite comfortable! Be sure to come to Dr. Sketchy Brighton's event on Sunday, November 28, 2010 (3-6pm) to see them in action. They'll give our fabulous models somewhere comfy to sit . . . in The Dark Forest.

and here they are in action at Dr. Sketchy Brighton!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

art4art Dr. Sketchy Brighton prizes

Well, the day is nearly upon us . . . I can't believe my first Dr. Sketchy Brighton event is tomorrow! Here's the grand prize I've been working on – a one-of-a-kind "shorty" art doll.

I scored a huge box of these dolls (ebay my ebay) who started their lives as really boring "action" type dudes with camo/firefighter/worker clothes. I've cut their arms and legs down to make them a little more squat and better balanced to stand on their own; painted their boots, altered and added clothing, drawn facial hair and hawked the heck out of 'em!

amanita muscaria iron-on patch
Next month I'm hoping to collaborate on their clothing with Clare at red mutha. Only way to find out is to get down to Latest MusicBar and win your very own at our Dia de los Muertos show! (Well, we might just have some for sale in our prospective online shops too ;-) Stay tuned . . .

one blue eye, one brown eye

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Weigukin RULES!!!

Diggin' me some Kokoba love in her etsy treasury for all things Korean! She featured my "Let's Fight Garlic Breath Together" art card and pinback button (badge). You can buy your very own right here! Kamsahamnida, numbers grrl!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Another Dr. Sketchy Brighton Project . . .

This was a little moving "thank you card" to drsketchy.com for naming Brighton the "Branch of the Fortnight" (Aug. 9-21, 2010). Just some simple stop motion shots of my naughty skool grrlz, wind-up dollz and photo backdrops of Brighton!


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

creating dolls for dr sketchy brighton

I've been a little out of control lately, putting Dr. Sketchy Brighton back on the UK map! In addition to meeting some stellar people and getting everything organized, I've been able to get my art on too.

Since this is my first event, I didn't have any photos or videos to post, so I had to thumb through all my cerebral folders to come up with a way to present our Back to Skool event visually. Hmmm . . . back to skool? What could be more fun than naughty, sneaky, stinky St. Trinian's SKOOL GRRLZ? Uh, nothing.

And this is where ebay my ebay comes in! When in creative limbo, do an ebay search. Weird advice? Not for me. Nothing gets my creative mojo back faster than looking at strange items on ebay and imagining even stranger things I can turn them into.

Enter a big box of bendable MAJORETTES. A little paint here, some ink there, a whittled down bamboo skewer and VOILA! Dr. Sketchy Brighton Skool Grrlz.
Did somebody say a box full of wind-up soldiers? KER-POW! Paint, ink, masking tape, bamboo skewer . . . DANCING Dr. Sketchy Brighton Skool Grrlz! (Watch the video to see the "dance.")

I know it's much more realistic to have real humans in photos and videos, and I'm sure I'll be posting loads of those in the very near future, but something tells me we haven't seen the last of these little plastic entities. They're already kicking holes in their boxes screaming to get out . . .

By the way, did I mention we give prizes at our Dr. Sketchy Brighton events? Any guesses what some of those prizes might be?

Thursday, 22 April 2010

grouchy pink grrl does it again . . .

. . . only this time she's been BURIED IN BETSY'S CLOSET! Marianna, the terribly hip creator of Betsy's Closet contacted me through cookiechang.etsy.com and asked if she could feature my sweatbands in her latest entry, Hiding in the Gym. How could I possibly say no?

So thanks to Marianna for giving cookie chang a shout out! If you're interested in purchasing said sweatbands, check 'em out here:
black sweatband with art patch GROUCHY PINK GRRL
very pink sweatband with kissy kiss art patch

And while we're on the subject of cookie chang . . . I recently listed some great new products -- 1" magnets on collector art cards. They sound unassuming, but just you wait 'til you have one of your very own! There are 24 to choose from -- all images of my original mixed media paintings from 2000 to present. Choices choices.

May I suggest a starter of "marvin"? My take on Bjork. Her cheeky grin will assure you that any tiptoed midnight fridge fests will be kept strictly between the two of you!