Friday, July 18, 2008

Expo: Creating New Pieces

My life is filled with deadlines. Weekly deadlines to complete school work, deadlines to get orders to shoppes and customers, and deadlines to get ready for shows. The later is what I shall be blogging about this time. (And yes I prefer shoppes to shops).

It seems that I am always just around the corner from my next show. I never get everything ready for the show that I want. And in the next couple of weeks is the biggest show of the fall season for me. "A show in August?" you ask, "That really is a fall show?" Yes, indeed it is. Even though school hasn't started and the leaves are still green on the trees. In my world fall has arrived. The Doll and Teddy Bear Expo in Washington, DC gives me enough business to remain busy for the rest of the year. In fact, if it weren't for Expo, I don't think that I would have ever traveled to our nation's capital.

One of the biggest things in getting ready for a show is creating new designs. This can be hard after nearly 20 years. But somehow I manage to create new items for each show. It can be even more difficult to create a new pattern. My latest creation is my Bubbleheads. They came to life this week. There are now 5 of them ready to go to Expo and find new homes.

It all started with some google eyes that I found on eBay a few months back. I thought that they were different and that I sure could do something with them. So I purchased them and they have been sitting on my work table ever since. My mother asked me what was I going to do with them. I told her that I wasn't just sure, but I knew I could do something. My original thought was to use them on my existing big head pattern… but they were just too small for that. Finally, I decided that I needed to create a new pattern for them. In fact the idea for the head just flowed into my li'l ole brain. And a bubble shape came to mind. Designing the head and body were easy, but the arms and legs were another matter. But that is how creativity works. It comes and goes; ebbs and flows. There is no controlling that creative energy. Many times I will have dreams of what to create. Other times I can sit and draw the pattern while dissecting the piece in my head. Gwen Stefani did a commercial for Hp awhile back and she said basically the same thing. You can't control creative energy. Believe me I have tried.

Now back to the Bubbleheads. So, I figured out the easy parts first. And for about 24 hours I struggled with the arms and legs. They really can make a difference in how a piece is understood. I could have created long lanky limbs, short stubby limbs, or something in between. Many times that energy will hit and I know what to do. No matter what it was not coming around this time. Mom finally looked at me and said. "Well just make a little blob shape for the arms and legs. After all you can use the same for both." I drew a basic arm and mulled it overnight and came back the next day. I modified the arms a few times, each time asking my mom what she thought. After about 30 minutes I had something that I was happy with. (Ok, I know that I shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition, but sometimes that just happens.) I redrew that same shape and created the legs. Not really how I was hoping to get there, but I got there and that was what was important. In 3 weeks I have a show to do.

So in the last 3 days I have made 5 of these little guys. The last 2 I finished with help from mom, otherwise they wouldn't be finished. We needed them to have something new to show on the cards we were sending out for the show. I made them out of scraps of mohair in several different colours. I even went so far as making one in Christmas colours. So here they are:

Now I just need to come up with about 15 other new designs all before the 7th of August. Any ideas?

If you are interested in purchasing one, two, three or more you can contact me @: