January 6, 2014

RAZZLELUTIONS Only Beyond This Point

Ohhhh, New Year's time.  That time when we come up with lists of things to criticize ourselves about or things we expect to change by sheer magic?  I'm going to go ahead and ban those boring, trite, guilt-laden "resolutions" and declare we should focus on RAZZLELUTIONS.  Sassy mottoes, theme songs, and bold declarations of the new flavors of awesome we are going to introduce to our lives this year!  For which there is no failure, but for which every incremental inclusion amplifies the radness by a factor of HELL YEAH!  My patron goddess of Razzlelutions up there is "Empress of Fashion" Diana Vreeland, who said, "WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T BE BORING."  So keep that in mind, and feel free to emphasize with vigorous jazz hands.

I have a Razzlelution that is fashion related, probably something I have in common with many broads who work from home in shlubby pajamas.  This year is the year I dial my sewing discipline up to 11!  No longer will I settle for throwing fabric on the floor and cutting it out in vaguely a dress shape!  Here's the sum total of my garment skills at present date:  hemming straight lines, baggy sweatshirts that could be pajamas, and shift dresses that make me look like an overgrown toddler.

In addition to helping me dress snazzier, this plan will also assist me towards my goal of consuming less "fast food" fashion.  It's hard to resist buying cheap clothes when it's all you can really afford!  I love color, I love design, and how I dress is definitely part of how I express myself.  I am not ready to buy bespoke cashmere underpants for every day of the week, but I hope to redirect my meager budget away from things produced in sweatshops and more and more towards ethically produced garments, and my own creations! 

Step One in this plan also ties in something ELSE I wanted to explore: online classes! My fashiony dreams seemed like great inspiration for giving it a try.  I'm interested in exploring the possibilities for teaching online too, so it was high time I got on board!  When Twinkie Chan mentioned her friend, artist Mary Winkler, was teaching a fashion illustration class, it only took me about 2 seconds to sign up.  This class is being offered through Skillshare, and it's already great practice for drawing using a tablet (high on my list of professional skills I want to improve!) as well as getting stoked up about creating some clothes.  Come scope it out!  The class is brand new and will be way more fun if more people are participating and commenting!  You can even check out the projects and see what I'm doing before you sign up.  If you use this referral link to join, you can save $10 off your first Skillshare class!   Look, I'm drawing naked ladies!

I've also been checking out Craftsy for sewing classes so I can move on to things like Making Vintage Party Frocks Like A Boss once I get in full-on superhero seamstress mode.  

So what are your RAZZLELUTIONS?  Lay it on me!  Put your shiny intentions out there!  

January 2, 2014

Latest Portrait Adventures!

Another insane holiday season has rumbled by and I'm greeting the new year with a great feeling of satisfaction with the past year and excitement over possibilities ahead!  I wanted to drop a little show and tell of some holiday portraits I did recently to plant the seed that I LOVE MAKING PORTRAITS and there's another super couple-y holiday on the horizon for which perhaps it would be A GREAT IDEA for you to commission a portrait of your own!

This is the fifth year in a row I've made a portrait of my aunt and uncle!  Each year they have new requests and ideas for themes and motifs and it's really fun to see how they develop.  This year was an 18x18 painting on a wood panel.  They called me on the phone after it was unveiled and it was the next best thing to being able to see their faces in person.

Here's a drawing I made for a fellow who found me through my Etsy shop.  He wanted a gift for his girlfriend that captured elements of the story of their relationship.  I think a storytelling portrait is such a cool idea!  It's a little bit "This is Your Life" and a little bit "My Favorite Things" (the Sound of Music version OR the Sarah Silverman version!).  I would love to create repeating patterns to tell these stories too -- OOOH! How cool would it be to make a large portrait and then create a repeat to print on wallpaper for the wall behind it?!  Whoever wants this first, call me!  Spoonflower and I are waiting to make this dream come true.