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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Rick & Morty Fan Art


I was commissioned last month to make  two Rick & Morty jars.  The task was left open ended at first and after talking to my client we came up with a Mister Meeseeks jar, and an Ants-in-my-Eyes Johnson jar.

I tackled Meeseeks first.  I knew I wanted to do the Meeseeks box and then a variety of Mr. Meeseeks around the bottom.  For reference for the non-fans out there:


The fist version of the jar came out thusly:


Doing the 'box' graphic as a round lid proved to be difficult and the final version here is the product of 3 trials that ended up in the garbage.  I also wasn't 100% satisfied with the characters around the body once it was done, so went ahead and produced what my second idea had been from the get-go:



The box top is amazingly easy once you are working on the 5th one, heh.

The one I love the best and really wanted to keep (seeing as I am also a  Rick & Morty fan) was the one based on this unfortunate soul:

My original thought was to have the bottom section appear as if he was on fire too (something that happens later in the episode) but I learned that I suck at making fire so left it alone.  Et voila!





Super love this guy!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Succulent Problem

Well, I don't know if it is quite a problem. YET.  I love succulents so much.  They are such hearty, lovely plants in all their shapes and sizes.  I am not an expert on the plump little beauties, but I do know that when I go to my local succulent nursery, I leave with a box full of babies and end up with a mudroom full to the brim of new plantings.

On my last journey, I got a whole bunch of little interesting cacti too that had crest mutations - something I never really heard of before.  So now my mudroom has such lovelies as this joining the ranks of my succulents:
I also got this weirdo plant that looks like alien finger suckers on the end.  Such wonderful strangeness.

You can see a couple of my clay critters hanging out in the planters there.

Since I went a little nutty buying new plants, I decided to cull my leggy plants that have grown crazy over the last three years by propagating the cut heads and replanting them in time for the annual craft fair I run.  So, these little monsters (once I get some moss added) are headed out to new homes next week:


I'm not gonna lie - I hope these don't sell out.  I want to put them back in the mudroom!


My succulent game is set to be pretty strong this year at the fair.  Aside from these real succulent mini-gardens, I am also coming stocked to the gills with faux-succulent mini plantings and jewelry.  I have mini clay gardens in shells, watches, and jars.  There will also be succulent jewelery in the form of  necklaces, rings, and pins.  I'm super excited!
(clicky for bigger images, or just go to my flickr gallery)







Oh and PS, this one is NOT for sale... its a proof of concept that I am madly in love with.  I will likely make one to go into my etsy shop eventually though!



Friday, March 3, 2017

Busy End'o' Feb Weekend

I had an eclectic weekend!



Made this fuzzy stash jar monster man!





And this weird little snail jar.


And I tried to make some pendants.  I did a couple of florals I didn't take snaps of, and this strange little thing.  I think they are all destined to be decorative badge holders rather than necklaces to appeal to folk at the business office craft fair in May.

And now to start work on what I have in mind for this weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Finding Purpose

http://www.animalhopeandwellness.org/


I struggle with creativity and 'making' as most artists do from time to time.  With me, I am more often struggling than creating; this has been the case ever since I can remember.  Usually, I have to have external motivation to get going - an occasion to give a gift, running the craft fair and feeling like I also should have a table, or a custom order coming through my Etsy shop.  It makes me sad that I am not naturally motivated and prolific, but that is just who I am and maybe one day I will square with that.

Last month, I was clicking about on YouTube and a suggested video came up.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever watched, but I made myself do so because it is important to be informed about what really goes on in the world.  The video, a BuzzFeed mini-documentary, highlights the work of Marc Ching, founder of the Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation.  The documentary shows how Marc and his foundation are working to save dogs that are caught in the brutal Asian dog meat trade.  If you don't know the realities of the torture and butchery that goes on on a daily basis, then you too should make yourself watch the video, here.  Be advised it is heart-wrenching.

I have never been one to champion causes or go out of my way to be preachy about something.  But, this has hit me harder than anything has before.  I am not a wealthy person.  I don't have a lot of free time, and I don't live near the AHWF headquarters to do anything hands-on with them.  And I sure as hell don't have the stomach or mental fortitude to go into Asia and do something on the ground.

But what I can do is dedicate my creativity to this cause.

I have, therefore,  pledged the net profits of Brandee Blank Art to AHWF starting this year and have their blessing to use their name and logo on my websites and during craft fairs.  I feel really good about this decision. I feel like my art has meaning now.  I have been inspired to actually clean up my disaster of a craft room. I have a notebook filled with ideas and experiments - it is the first time I have even cracked open my notebook in months.  I even finished a couple of "no rush" back-burner custom pieces that I really didn't want to deal with.

All in all, I feel like this is one of the best decisions I have made.  It is helping to soothe my broken soul by giving me a way to help the Foundation and at the same time lending me inspiration where perhaps I wouldn't have had it otherwise.

Thank you, Marc.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Black thumbs? No problem!

The kitchen still isn't done, but it is close enough now that we got a lot of our living space back, and with the space came the room (and mental energy) to actually make stuff!  YAY just in time for the Holiday Craft Fair I put on every year at my office.

This group of work came about because I wanted to make my co-worker and good friend something special for her birthday and I knew how much she loved my succulents.  I have a house full of them, and three years ago for the Spring craft fair I brought in a bunch of cute terrariums with air plants, succulents, and the like.  They were a hit and since then folk keep asking me if I am going to do it again.

Well, no, on account of half the people killed their plants within a month (how in the world do you kill a succulent??) and also it was hard for me to let go of plants that I had been nurturing for 6+ months to get them ready for the sale.  But then it dawned on me that I could just make faux succulents;  sort of how Athena made the mechanical owl for Perseus in Clash of the Titans ('Not my beloved Bubo!').

So I made a few desk top terrariums (the air plants are real):




And a few adorable mini- terrariums.  The base is about the size of a quarter:


Pendants:


This is my favorite!  And the one I am keeping.

And, Christmas ornaments in two sizes!  But really, I think you could hang these in a window all year long:








In a strange twist of coincidence, the day I started on these, I saw that the new PolymerCafe magazine came out with the cover being succulents.  So weird!  I ordered it but it hasn't come in yet. They probably have a much better technique for making these than I managed - but we shall see!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Kitchen Upheaval

I've been living in a construction zone.  SINCE FREAKING MAY.  My kitchen remodel was supposed to be an 8-week job and has turned into this never ending nightmare that has left me without a kitchen, without most of the garage (the kitchen stuff is in there, and it is serving as the dog's living room while the house is being worked on) no dining room and half a living room since the kitchen cabinets have to be stored in the house (did I mention the garage was full) which means all my stuff from these rooms have been shoved into my craft room and it has been unusable for over four months now.  The stress alone has made me feel not very creative, but having no space to work has completely cut me off from claying at all.

The only time and space I have to do anything creative is while I am at work, so I have taken up embroidery.  It's clean, compact, and mobile.  Plus, you can pick it up and put it down at will.  Hence, this chicken:


It shall remain in this hoop and adorn the walls of the dining room.  If construction ever ends.  Le sigh.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Journals and Jars - holidays 2016

I got a few neat things done for the holidays, but not much else happening in the ol' creativity department.

A few journals:


 

and a special order jar to look like the recipients pup:


and I also managed to make myself a pretty cool necklace to match a party dress:

Other that, not much fun stuff is managing to come out of me.  I am in a slump at my day job, and I have convinced myself that the sadness there is bleeding over into my (lack of) creative self too. 

 I am taking some steps to try to fix that though!  I am part of the 2016 Polymer Clay Adventure.  There are a few projects there that I am super pumped about (and a few I really want nothing to do with but I am going to try to force myself to do them anyway.  Who knows, maybe something neat will come of it).

I am going to try to participate in the monthly challenges for the polymer guild I belong to, too.  I am coming up dry so far though, even though the next theme is right up my alley.  I also have my eye out for some kind of bead soup challenge type thing, but with polymer pieces.