It is hard to believe we are more than halfway through March already. Every day has been just full to the brim with things to do. Some of them are fun and others are more utilitarian. Either way it makes me happy.
I am on the brink of being overwhelmed with things to talk about with you all today. While my goal is to keep up with what I have been doing creative-wise, I often get so involved in one thing or another, that things pile up and I don’t know what to talk about first or at all even. While I am doing a little better at posting here, I find that it is best to just pick one topic and start writing. Otherwise things get too involved and the blog posts become too long and I am sure they are overwhelming for you, my readers, too.
Such is my creative life.
I have so many fun things happening. I also am proud to say that I finished charting my business figures for 2020 and turned them into my accountant. Being a dual-citizen means that I need to file taxes in two countries and that also includes working with two different currencies. It isn’t difficult, but it can be intimidating to get everything in the right place. Thank goodness I am fairly organized. This makes it a matter of just tallying things in the proper column and allowing the accountant to figure out the rest. Thank goodness for him! Even though both countries offered extensions, it is good to get this chore behind me and I spent a couple of days last week doing my part and everything is submitted. I don’t have to worry about things for another year. PHEW!
So that seemed to side-track me for a little bit. In between I painted some magnolia blossoms using my Sennelier Oil pastels on some pretty tinted paper. I will be showing that soon. I ‘think’ it is finished, but there is one part that I am not thrilled with and I haven’t decided if I am going to pick at it or not. I am giving it a couple of days to settle and then I will see what I will do. I really love the oil pastels and will be using them more. Perhaps I see some videos in the future as I become more proficient with them (and have some time!) Let me know if you all would like that.
Another thing is that I received my prints and greeting cards of some of my fine art pieces. I sent to New York for these and I am thrilled about the outcome. I will be putting them up for sale in my Etsy store (www.thestitchingkitty.com) shortly and then I will do a blog post on them.
I am also working on several projects with my colleagues. Tracy Moreau (www.tracymoreau.com) is having a ‘live’ paint tomorrow using one of my surfaces. She does just wonderful videos and tutorials and her designs are ‘da bomb!’ I am so honored she uses my pieces for her work and I love seeing her creativity.
I have also been working with Amy Mogish on several projects. I sent her a big box of things last week and can’t wait to see what she does with them. I am also going to take her Zoom class this summer that is an ongoing project done in a black sketchbook. I will definitely be talking about that more as the time comes. In the meantime, you can see Amy’s great work on her site www.classicamyjoanne.com.
And there are others, too. Too many to list, I would say. if I keep going, I will lose you before I get to my own things! I had better get to that!
When I last left you, I was working on the third building in my North Star Village Christmas series of stores. This one was the bakery, called “The Pink Macaron”. In between juggling all the other things, I was able to complete what I call Phase I of the project – painting the smaller version of the house. Below is the (somewhat) finished piece:
I say “somewhat” because I still need to paint the stand, add the snow, and glue the overlay pieces into place. But that will come later on.
I filled the window with lots of lovely bakery treats:
And I painted the door and transom over it to look like pink stained glass – with wheat on them, since it is a bakery:
You can’t really see the beautiful metallic DecoArt paint that I used for things like the frosting and the glass domes on the cake plates, but they really look awesome.
This was so far my most detailed piece of the series, and the response has been very encouraging. I think I am going to be making a LOT of kits and pieces for this!
Last night I finished making the technical drawings for the pattern. I usually paint the piece, scan it in, and then trace over it in Illustrator to make an accurate pattern for those who want to paint it. It is time-consuming, but ensures that everything lines up and matches the piece that is seen on the cover.
I take a lot of pride in my patterns, and while they take a long time to create, I feel that they are well-worth the effort.
I next enlarge the pattern by a set percentage for the ‘Large’ set of buildings for the series. (There are two sizes available). This will keep everything consistent. I cut the pieces for the larger set when I cut my other orders:
You can see the difference in size.
I will now spend the next couple of days re-painting the project on the large surface. I will follow my notes and refine them, as there are always several things that I change as I go along. I will also be taking the many step-by-step photos of each element as I paint so that I will have nice, consistent images for the pattern packet. Then I will paint the stands, glue on the overlays, and add the snow for the final step. In the end I will have two complete buildings – one in each size.
Keith often wonders why I go through this process for my patterns, but it is just the way I do things. For this series, I also am offering a set of ornaments for each building that contains some of the highlighted elements as stand-alone figures. For the bakery they will certainly include the nutcrackers, the macaron tree, the bread basket, and several of the ‘treats’ in the window. I asked around in my group and many who don’t have room for stand-up houses like the idea of ornaments for their tree. So I will be cutting them over the weekend with my usual orders and painting them next week.
My goal for the series is to add about three to four new stores per YEAR. It may seem like a low goal, but with the way that I do things so involved, it is realistic and definitely a ‘quality over quantity’ decision. In between I have some other commitments – not to mention what I am doing for other designers. Besides – it adds to the excitement for those collecting to see these pieces come to life a little at a time. It is all part of the fun.
So with that said, I will end here for today. I am really happy with the result of this bakery and I am already planning the next store in my head. The fog is lifting on that one and I will begin working on it soon after I release this. It is all very exciting to me and makes me happy to have such a fun job to wake up to every day.
I hope you like seeing the series and learning about my method of creating. I love sharing my process and explaining the steps I take to get my ideas from living inside my head to reality.