June 1st, 2012 § § permalink
The big bad road test is looming and I began to wonder what I will be doing afterwards. Anime North and Doll North are in my rear view mirror.
Having done doll sewing again made me realize how much I enjoyed it. I want to get back into it full time alongside my art and writing. I won’t be doing sales. This is just a personal venture. If I am satisfied with the results, I will auction sets.
Art, writing, and sewing updates will be posted here as always.nIn the meantime, I have a road test to pass.
I hope you are all well!
May 1st, 2012 § § permalink
2012 is underway. I find myself floundering. By this time last year, I have been extremely bitten and consumed by the embroidery bug. It was all I did in 2011. Health issues have stalled/stopped my creative engine. Snow White and Hansel & Gretel have been stalled indefinitely on my embroidery shelf. I still have the giveaway in progress as well. Taking care of my two year old has also consumed much of my time. She is much more mobile now. With my projects stalled, I began to pursue cooking/baking and it became my outlet for much of this year.
At the moment, I find myself needing to focus and narrow down what I want to do. Doing embroidery full time is no longer doable. I just don’t have the time and the dexterity. My hands are starting to get tired. I want to limit myself to three works a year tops. I’m not abandoning it but I am going to be more choosy about what I’ll be working on.
I want to finish writing my novel. I’m stalled at 45000 words. I’m halfway done. I need to finish. I’ve set a personal deadline of August.
I want to pursue art again and this time in digital form. I want to create digital art. I have a tablet but I never felt comfortable with it. My husband recently got an Ipad and I really enjoyed making art with it. I like seeing where my fingers go. It’s the closest to traditional art I’ve ever experienced. Using the tablet forced me to divide my attention between the blank slate and the screen. With the Ipad, I just need to look in one place. I want to produce enough art again to restart my etsy shop.
I want to sew doll clothes again just for myself. I have a stack of books I want to explore and there are designs/patterns in my sketchbook unfulfilled.
On a personal note, I also have my road test coming up soon. I need to pass that first. This is the week after Anime North for which I need to finish 21 octopi, a cosplay entry, and a cosplay. Yes, I’ve been really busy. I hope to surface for air when I pass my road test.
I hope you all are well! Have you also somehow lost focus in your creative pursuits? I’d love to read about it.
April 2nd, 2012 § § permalink
Dark Chocolate Souffle
When I run into a hard block, I turn to cooking or baking. I’ve been dealing with a massive creative blockage for a while now. There hasn’t been much embroidery, drawing, etc. lately. To cope, I turned to cooking/baking. I’ve been working and failing on making macarons in the past few months. Yesterday, I decided to tackle souffles. Good news, I won! I made a cheese souffle out of paprika and provolone. I then made dark chocolate souffle for dessert. Last year, one of my resolutions was to learn French Cooking. It’s easier for me because the ingredients are available locally. I’ll be doing desserts and meals. Beware of food porn. It’s here to stay.
I’m hoping to get back into artistic swing of things in two weeks. I’ll be ramping up for the Doll North Marketplace for Anime North. I need to make more ocotopi, presents, my contest entry, and my Coraline cosplay.
What do you do when you hit an art block?
March 20th, 2012 § § permalink
It’s been really hard for me the past few months. 2012 has started off on a difficult foot health-wise and I’m coping with it ever since. My Graves disease has re-emerged after years of being in remission. My emotional state is frazzled. I digress. This post is about how I need to get back on track.
I haven’t done embroidery in a long time. I’ve only been engaged in making plushies and cooking recently- baking macarons to be more specific. I yearn to go back and sew and to return to illustration as well. I also want to finish my manuscript. Right now though, I’m not ready yet. I’m not in the right state of mind to return to creative pursuits. Be patient with me.
I have a plan to get out of this dry period. I will start by doing things that make me happy. It will be baby steps and I’ll go from there. I’m going to continue making my plushie army and slowly creep my back into the other projects. I also want to make more macarons. Lots more.
I hope you are all well!
March 4th, 2012 § § permalink
I’m still recovering from the surgery and my birthday is around the corner. I always get the blues near by birthday. It intensified when I turned 29. I think it comes from a deep dissatisfaction that I haven’t reached the bar I set for myself. I will always be my worst critic. It will pass as soon as I see my birthday in the rearview mirror.
In the meantime I’ve been cooking/baking up a storm recently. I haven’t been doing any sewing/embroidery but I’ve been busy in the kitchen. Last night I baked a matcha roll cake with pistachio buttercream.
Matcha Roll Cake with Pistachio Buttercream
Even though I’ve been busy in the kitchen, I am still unsatisfied. I know I need to get back to my art. It’s pretty hard to do when I’m feeling the blues. I’m forcing myself to get back into it tonight. Only after I’ve made a practice batch of birthday macarons for a friend.
How do you cope with lack of motivation in your projects?
February 27th, 2012 § § permalink
Green Onion Pancakes
When my camera died, we got a new one- a Nikon D5100. It has a food option. I am now motivated to cook/bake more and it will be blogged. I followed a recipe from a Chinese cookbook I bought from the Philippines the last time I visited. I always wanted a Pei Mei cookbook and I found one in English. It’s not perfect but it is readable. I’ve modified the recipe a bit and it turned out pretty tasty.
This is dedicated to Miz Karen Gunter- an amazingly, talented artist and a wonderful friend.
Green Onion Pancakes
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of boiling water
1/2 cup of cold water
6 tsp of green onion oil*
A bundle of green onions
1 cup of olive oil
3 tbsp of corn oil
Before we start, I want to address the green onion oil. Take your bundle of green onion, chop finely, and divide it into two portions. One portion will go into the pancakes. The other will make the green onion oil. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium and toss in one portion of the chopped green onions. Simmer for 7 minutes to infuse the oil with the green onion. Let it cool then use a strainer to separate green onions from the oil. Place oil into a small bowl and set aside.
Place the flour into a bowl and add the boiling water. Use chopsticks to mix and allow the mixture to cool for 3 minutes. Add the cold water and knead the dough well until it is smooth. Cover the bowl with a large plate and allow it to set for 25 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 even portions. Knead each ball flat and spread it out like a pancake. Drizzle a tsp of the green oil mixture over it and dust it lightly with sea salt. Use the second portion of green onions and add as much as you like on top. Roll the dough like a cigar and tuck it into a snail shape. Use your palms to flatten it out or use a very greasy rolling pin to do so. Lightly dust each side with sea salt.
Heat up the corn oil in a shallow frying pan on medium heat. When the oil is ready, place a pancake onto the pan. Two minutes for one side and one minute on the other. You’re aiming for golden brown like the picture above. Shake and jiggle the pan to increase the crispiness of the pancake.
I like to serve this with a dipping sauce made of garlic, red onions, soy sauce, and vinegar.
I hope you enjoy the recipe!
February 17th, 2012 § § permalink
Hey! I’m still alive. I’m just recuperating from surgery I had on Valentine’s Day. I’m still a ways away from recovering. I can’t pick Natalie up until next Tuesday at least. I’m sewing a little bit Blythe wise because it’s so small and easy to do. I haven’t been doing much else.
In the meantime, I’m taking it easy playing Mass Effect 2 which Robert gave me for Valentine’s. He definitely knows the way to my heart. I have a ton of projects ups in the air. I’m not too happy about it but I need to rest. I really have to just take it easy. Yes, I keep telling myself this. I know I pulled a muscle overexerting myself yesterday.
List of Projects Until May:
– Coraline Cosplay
– Coraline Doll
– Doll North Cosplay Contest Entry
– Doll North items for sale
– Snow White
I hope you all have been well! What were you up to on Valentine’s Day?
NB. My DSLR kicked the can. I’m waiting on a back ordered Nikon. 🙁
January 18th, 2012 § § permalink
In between projects or when I’m doing something that’s taking forever, I always get into a little rut. Snow White is taking forever since I’m doing lacework. I’m running out of black thread and need to wait for the thread I ordered to come in. I am customizing my Blythe but I keep running into snags. It feels like it’s taking forever. I’m still working on my novel and I’m making headway. Again tho, it’s taking forever. I feel like a hamster in a wheel.
In reality, I’m probably getting quite a bit done. It’s just that it’s not quantifiable. I am a base creature of instant gratification. Lately, I haven’t been getting any and it’s putting me into a funk. I have devised of a way to snap myself out of it. I need to get started on Hansel and Gretel and maybe prep the Princess and the Pea hoop by this weekend. I also am thinking of starting my plushie project which never left the conception stage. I hope these new projects will inject some creativity mojo into me again.
Have you gotten into a rut lately? Most importantly, are you taking steps to snap yourself out of it?
January 12th, 2012 § § permalink
A Slient Hill Morning
It was foggy yesterday morning when I took this picture. It turned the world black and white. A storm system is supposed to be coming to the area and my brain is pounding. Obviously, this severely cuts down on my creative time. Migraines have been non-existent for a few months but lately, they have been cropping up again.
I’ve sketched out an idea for Princess & the Pea. I’ll need to pick out a nice fabric for the background. I know what I want it to look like. It’ll be beautiful once it’s done. Please let your friends know if you think they would be interested in the giveaway.
Currently, I am working on Snow White- specifically on the whitework of her dress. The palette is still white, red, and black. I don’t want to deviate. I’ll be doing a ton of black lace on the background. I’ll need to pick up more black thread from the quilt store in town. I may also pick up a fabric for Princess & the Pea if I can’t find the right swatch in my fat quarter stashbox.
Here’s a quick list of ongoing projects I’m working on at the moment:
- Snow White
- Fat Quarter Box that is forever in limbo
- My Novel
- Custom Blythe
This is it. I hope I can get some of these wrapped up soon. What are you working on?
January 4th, 2012 § § permalink
Creative Options Bead Organizer
Every project needs supplies. No one can deny a swatch of fabric, a vial of beads, or new paints can inspire more ideas. I love going shopping for supplies! Who doesn’t? I get giddy when I see my fabric stash, art supplies, bead stores, and felt packs are running low.
For the shopaholics in us, this is the perfect excuse to go mad. It’s a dangerous habit. Instead of supplies, you are buying possibilities and it’s a heady, addictive experience. This is how hoarding starts. Let’s face it- unless you live in a giant mansion or a castle, you won’t have the space to store everything you continue to buy or have the funds to do so.
In the past, I had the mentality of a hoarder. I see the endless possibilities in so many things. I would remnant dive every time I visited the fabric store. I always went on the hunt at the antique market for interesting finds. I got off on the high of “overstocking”. I can never start or even begin to think about a project unless I have all the items I needed. Needless to say, there were many projects I never started because I rationalized to myself that I didn’t have everything I needed to start. I got to a point when I realized I wasn’t really shopping for supplies anymore. I was just shopping for the sake of shopping. It wasn’t about creating anymore.
If you haven’t crossed the line yet, here are two tips to help curb the hoarding and be “well-stocked” :
- Choose a limit: This means you choose how much of a type of supply you will acquire. This can easily be determined using the criteria of space. For instance, I have limited my fabric hoard to a pantry and two large rubber tubs. My beads are limited to a plastic shoe box, a small container, and the organizer I posted above. My embroidery floss is in a large special organizer. My embroidery floss balls are in two-three clear plastic containers. My felt stores are limited to one rolling cabinet. This is the physical and mental barrier I’ve placed on myself. I won’t get anything until my stock runs low. I have more than plenty to start and supply any project adequately. If I’m missing a particular color, I can pick it up at the store. Setting a spatial limit is the key to stop needlessly acquiring.
- Destash and appraise your current stock: Look at every item and realistically ask yourself if you truly need it. Are you really going to make that project with those plastic handles and forks? How are you going to do it? When do you plan on getting it done? Is this just a wistful possibility with no plan of follow through? Free time is precious and you will need to prioritize. These are tough questions for a consummate hoarder because throwing out an object represents an idea or unfulfilled project. Supply items are items. They only begin to have meaning once something is created from them. It represents potential. Potential is just potential when nothing is done. However, when something is accomplished, potential truly reaches its namesake.
Ideally, you want to be in between “Honey, I gotta go to the store to pick up supplies because I have none.” and “OMG! I can’t find anything in my craft room because it looks like the craft fairy exploded.” The urge to use everything and let nothing go to waste is strong. It’s a great principle to apply to what you currently have not what you want to get. You’ll need to ask yourself tough questions. Remember, the less you have the easier it will be to organize.
Are you a hoarder or are you well-stocked?
PS. I will be taking comments/suggestions on my giveaway post until this Friday. Monday, I will post the chosen subject matter of my giveaway. 😀