Monday, June 3, 2013

Some new stuff at Redbubble

Added some new items to my Redbubble recently.

If you don't already know, Redbubble is a print on demand site. How it works is: I upload designs, and when someone buys it,  they are printed and shipped directly to the person who purchased them.

This lil teapot is actually from a digital download set I did for my cutesy Etsy shop. I just changed some  colours and added a few bits. I think the patterns came out well.

Cats are probably hating on your right now. Even the sweet ones.
I first did this little guy with no knife in his mouth. I think he might get a few other weapons......heh heh  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Digital Downloads

I have had a second Etsy shop since 2009, it was a place for my sweeter creations. I sometimes make cute animal things, kid friendly things, and its kind of hard to showcase those type of items in a shop with my regular coffins and vampire items.

This year, I only had a few items in my cute store, so I decided to test out Etsy's new-ish feature that allows you to sell digital items. Like, knitting patterns, design work or printable/digital scrapbook items. I often get messages from people who want to use my work for other purposes (wedding invites, birthday cards, etc) so why not?

DON'T FREAK OUT. This stuff is pretty cutesy. Its just a sideline, its not a total personality shift or something, haha.

So for a few dollars, you can download a ZIP file of a bunch of high quality images for use in any of your personal projects. This was the first one I did. Its the closest to my regular colour preferences...You get a bunch of super clean PNG files with transparent backgrounds, repeating wallpapers, printable posters and also JPEG copies of everything.

I updated this older set of illustrations so they could be blown up large and still be smooth. I want a fox party!

See? Pretty kid friendly stuff. Not that I know anything about kids or being friendly... 

Lastly, I made a printable Bat Garland! 

A few different colour combinations of a nice bat, and printable pages with directions for cutting and stringing them.

Doing digital-only work has been a nice change. I think it gives me space between making physical items to relax and just work without struggling or problem solving too strenuously. 

My next post will have some of my less sweet work I have been updating my Redbubble with.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Art Doll - Blue Cat

I thought it would be interesting to paint a doll before sewing it. This is my little test guy.

I made a rough pattern out of paper first, then traced it on the fabric. This would be the basic ink outline. I didn't really plan what he would end up looking like,  this was more of a "figure out how this is going to work" scenario.

painted art doll in progress

I mixed my acrylic with fabric medium, so when it was complete I would be able to heat set it.

painted art doll in progress closeup
I found that I had to build up layers so it wouldn't all run together in a soggy mess (although sometimes that is EXACTLY what looks the best.) I did thin washes and spatters, blasted them with my dryer (which I always use when I paint) And slowly built up this little guy's face.

After painting all the parts, and heat setting them with an iron,  I cut them out with a seam allowance. Then I used a piece of black cotton the same size and sewed alone the outline with right sides facing each other. Get it? 
I left the toes and wrists open and added little hands and toenails. Then stuffed it.
I initially was going to have the limbs be fixed to the body but I thought it would be nice if he could sit or hang out like a cool cat. So I attached the limbs with thread, kind of like you attach a button to a shirt.

painted cat plush final
I think he turned out quite good for a test run! His feet are my favorite part.
Little Blue Cat is available in my Etsy Shop right now. I am planning to make a few more critters now with this format, its a nice combo of painting and sewing for me.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Makes you late for dinner.

I haven't been drawing much, because sitting in a chair makes my back hurt. Which is a pretty serious concern for someone who sits at the computer or sits at the sewing machine, or sits at a drawing table all day.

I think I prematurely aged.  Possibly going to be one of those "Ow my back" people for life now. Its really helping my cheer levels, which were pretty high to begin with. *Sarcasm chasm, watch out*

I think I am on the mend though. I completed this. (For no discernable reason...)
The Hobbit is so cute. Re-watching it, I still think its cute. All the characters are cute. All the actors are cute. Ugh, Bilbo's house is so dang cuute. The movie has no women in it, which is terribly UNCUTE, but other than that problematic crap...CUTE.  Should have put off seeing it until all three movies were finished, though. Waiting is the worst.

As for the comic, I know its a popular act on tumblr to be like "Oh, I hate people, I just need my computers heat for love" but seriously, that is me. This comic isn't an exaggeration. Everyone, you are nice and lovely and I might even like you, but I want you to GO AWAY.  Even if you are an amazing wizard and offering the adventure of a lifetime..Nahhhh.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Heat Transfer Patches

I had some heat transfer paper squirrelled away, and I decided on a whim to try to make some heat transfer things.

I took a bunch of images I had created lately and printed them on the inkjet transfer sheets. I had a few Dark T-shirt sheets, and a few Light T-shirt ones. I generally like the Dark T-shirt ones better because I use a lot of dark fabric, and I like pressing it onto black cotton. But the Light T-shirt ones work well for certain images. It was also way easier to press with the iron and peel the backing paper off.

Tip: Make sure you use a de-fuzzing sticky roller or something to remove fluff from the fabric before ironing. Even the most microscopic bit of fuzz will be super visible on the white parts of the image after you iron it. Go crazy on the fabric and brush off the transfer with a dry paintbrush.

I thought I would include some pics of my horrible failures. You know, so you can feel better about yourself. I mixed up The Dark and Light T-shirt transfers when pressing them, and since they have different processes, this happened. That black and white teapot is part of the disaster sheet.

The full page tea set was going to be a zipper pouch, but I neglected to remember that after sewing a zipper pouch, you press it flat, and you cannot iron a transfer once its set on paper. So...I am going to make something else with the tea set. Appliques probably.

So once the transfer was on fabric, I backed it in black cotton and zig zag stitched around the outside. My early 2000's Singer did not like to do this at all. But my early 1970's Singer just breezes through.

I made a few, photographed them and listed a couple of them in my Etsy Shop. I am keeping the "1st Place in Disinterest" for my own jacket, because I try not to care about things that are stupid. Its a lifestyle.
So I guess the experiment was a partial success. The images look crisp and they are nice and flexible. I still think this counts as a "test batch" though as none of them are quite perfect. 

Heat transfers are fussy, and its easy to mess up, and every time I make a project with them there are some failures. So if you try it, and royally screw up some images, just remember this post and then immediately go and eat a cookie.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


After my bro's mini-wedding, I got to stop by my friends farm!

I just have two words to say: Goat baby.

Argh! So cute, I can't handle this shit. She was so light and small. Her name is Fiona, she is a Nubian (I say like I actually know anything about goats...) Go here to see a post about her birth and more pics of her.
Her interests include: Wearing a little coat and making people baby talk like fools.
She's only a day or so old, and so sleepy and pliable, it was hard to not be a bit grossed out by her sweet little face. She was shivering from the horrible Canadian cold, so right after this she was taken out of the barn and brought to cuddle on a warm lap inside the house.

I also got a sneak peek at the goat's milk soap curing on the rack.
Smelled so good in there. This is all spoken for. There is a waiting list. This small business is growing fast.
But the soap maker/farm boss is my best friend so I always skip the line. Aw yiss.

This has been a "good feelings" post by Tara.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Unexpected Wedding

My younger brother got married, pretty much as a surprise.

I don't care about weddings. They aren't my thing. The idea of getting married is a nightmare, not a dream to me. But this might be the the closest I have ever came to understanding the appeal.

This couple has a decade of good times, two cute kids, so they are already a family. This is just a little symbol that puts a bow on top of that. It was so uncomplicated and so them. Just show up, say nice things, kiss then go out for dinner. Fifteen people and no accessories.

Just putting this post out there into the universe, hoping more people will just do this in the future. It is ok to just get married, you don't have to have a wedding.