Thursday, October 19, 2006

CRAFT Magazine.

I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of CRAFT magazine - and it's pretty awesome. Given, I also typed up most of this post, forgot about it for a couple months, and now the magazine is on shelves at every bookstore worth your time, so go read it.

CRAFT is by the same folks who gave us MAKE Magazine, and while MAKE still satisfies my tinkering compulsions more, CRAFT acknowledges my inherent need for some sort of non Martha artistic domesticity. My favourite project in this issue is the electric tank top - a tank top with programmable LED's. Other spiffy projects include an underwear wallet and an embroidered skateboard. Like MAKE, the best thing about CRAFT is that while it provides detailed instructions on how to recreate their projects, the ideas behind them are inherently interesting and novel enough to teach the ingenious crafter a bunch of easily adaptable ideas.

So, yes. CRAFT rocks. Check out their website for a bunch of craft related news and exclusive projects!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Estella is the bear that I created for the Morphe II show in Australia! It was put on by the very awesome Carly of Nest Studio who makes very charming stuffed toys with some of the most delectable fabric I've ever seen.

Estella is made from felted cashmere and really likes gelato.

Estella was sold at the show, but you can buy some of the other Morphe II toys at Carly's Morphe store!

In non-bear related news, here's are a couple picture of my most recent scenic design. It's for a show called The Cannibals. It was definitely a change from things like...making bears!

I always find it interesting to see art in other mediums from artists that are generally known for working with fabric. It is always fascinating to me to see how much or how little of their fabric sculpture aesthetic passes through.

heart cards!

I sent in 25 of my heart cards to the October Sampler!

If you're a lucky subscriber or fellow contributor, you might get one! Otherwise, you can just buy them from me.=)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Winter is coming. I know it just transitioned to fall, but winter is always close on its heels.

I like winter. Winter brings shorter days, and I always spend more time thinking, because night always inspires such.

I hope that with this coming winter, I retain the courage to make the changes in my life that I desperately want to make.

I hope to sleep in occasionally. Under a pile of warm blankets.

I hope to have a couple hours in the evening to read on my couch with a mug of hot apple cider.

I hope to be forgiven.

I hope to be older, and mostly wiser.

I hope that I will not disappoint you. And you. And you.

I hope that you will not be angry at me.

I hope that I find really cute flat shoes.

I hope that you will learn to see me as a person.

I hope to get through this stack of half read books.

I hope to finish this project-in-limbo.And this one. And this one.

I hope that you will always be my friend.

I hope that I will resolve this. You know, this.

I hope to look certain failure in the eye and march towards it with a measure of heroic futility.

I live in California. It is always a faux-winter. Still, some things are worth hoping for.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

craftypod, yay!

If you've ever wanted to listen to me ramble on about my bears and the difference between art and craft, my interview with the awesome Diane as part of the Craftypreneur series on Craftypod is up!

Check it out!

I had such a fun time talking with Diane and she edited out most of the dumb things I said!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

this is a little bit about steve irwin and a little more about my grandmother.

I'm going to preface this by saying that this post, while going to be mostly about my grandmother, was very much prompted by the recent demise of Steve Irwin. I thought Steve Irwin would live forever. And a stingray! A stingray. This was a man who wrestled with crocodiles, and he was killed by a stingray.

One of the things I've been hearing people say the most in regards to that is "At least he died doing what he loved". Screw that. I don't want to die doing what I love. I love my job too, but I sure as hell don't want to die in any of the imaginary scenarios that I just concocted in my head. I'd rather die old and senile and a burden to the people I love at age 90, than die in a freak paint frame accident at 24.

Anyway, thinking about Steve Irwin made me think of my grandmother, who was wonderful woman who died before anyone thought she would. She was past the age of 80, sure, but she was so vibrant, and beautiful that I didn't even think she was old, and certainly not likely to die. Danila assigned us this project to create an art piece about my grandmother, and I started working on it today. It's not evolving the way I want it too. It's still a little repressed, but it's the most I can manage for now. It's a vague representation of a baby blanket, sewn in a deconstructed crazy quilt style. It has paper cranes sewn into it.

My grandmother taught me how to make paper cranes. I think I could fold a paper crane before I learned how to read. Knitting, tea and certain people calm me, but the first thing I inevitably do if I'm stressed out and there's paper around is fold a paper crane. It's almost subconscious. I fold them when I'm not stressed too.

My grandmother was a very traditional woman. She believed that I should learn how to sew, and crochet and cook(I learned two of the three - I can't crochet). She believed that there were just certain things that a girl should learn, such as how to address her elders properly, how to behave in the presence of men, and how to be...well, a good chinese woman. At the same time, she never believed that a woman's place was in the kitchen or in any way subservient to men. Her relationship with my grandfather was undeniably equal. I think that if she were still alive, she would be the only one out of my extended family who would be happy for me and what I'm choosing to do with my life. She probably wouldn't give me crap for not dating good chinese boys either, and certainly not for not marrying them by now.

She never stopped my parents from punishing me. She would watch quietly, as they administered the cane, and then when she felt it was enough, she would pull them aside quietly, without drama or hysterics, and merely say "that should be enough". She stayed with us a lot when I was younger, but she never interfered with the way my mother chose to run her household, even if she didn't always agree.

She would insist that her mother was actually Japanese, although none of my other relatives believed it because of a long standing grudge against the Japanese. My mom believes it and I believe it. She was the least racist of them all.

She taught me how to sew, but she never insisted that I sew what everyone else thought I should. I made toys. Useless things. She let me. She taught me the rules that a woman should live by, and then whispered in my ear that rules were meant to be broken.

And she taught me how to make paper cranes. She taught me that something as ordinary and ephemeral as a receipt, or a chocolate wrapper or a scribbled on post-it note could become something else. Something sorta pretty. I've tried to figure out other origami things, but I keep on coming back to paper cranes. We can probably take it as a metaphor for the fact that the simplest, boring most humble objects can be always be transformed into something else, but I suppose what it really comes down to is that she taught me how to fold paper cranes and I still do it all the time and I really think that my grandmother was one of the most awesome women to have ever existed. But it didn't stop her from dying and I feel stupid for feeling angry about it. She died what - seven years ago? - and I'm still angry about it.

Monday, September 04, 2006

quick update

Just wanted to let y'all know that I'm alive and well. School has started up again which is making everything a little bit crazy, especially when you throw work and personal projects in the mix.

I have a couple bears waiting to be photographed and put up on the site, so that'll be coming soon. And some new not-necessarily-bear items are coming soon that I'm very excited about!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

watercolour experiments...

I have a stupid crush on a boy. He knows I like him, but I don't think he knows I like him. Bah.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I've also updated Strange Little Bear with my heart cards!

They're pretty cute, I think.

(they can also be purchased though etsy, if you prefer)

I went to Felt Club today, and it was pretty awesome, as usual. I bought a gorgeous, perfectly sized hand bound book from Broken Press Studio and a really cute needle case from Wendy, from The Singing Librarian and some buttons from sewing stars.

I also got to talk to the awesome Silvia from Chebang! who told me about the wonders of shrinky dinks! She ran a workshop at 2, but I had to be off by then...still, the strange little bear shrinky dink experiments are forthcoming!

In a somewhat oddly coincidental turn of events, Wendy asked me about the shirt I was wearing, which led me to singing the praises of Oddica, my new favourite t-shirt site. Anyway, I also mentioned that one of my favourite artists, and felt-clubber, Jordan Crane, had a design up and that I really liked it...and Wendy points to the lovely woman next to her and says "Haha! This is his wife." Who then says - "Oh, we have tons of those shirts! Do you want one?" So, I now have this awesome shirt that I would have bought off the website the next time I decided to buy clothing. I'll probably buy one as a gift, anyhow.

So, yeah, it was a pretty cool day.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Felt Club!

Originally uploaded by strangelittlebear.
So, Felt Club was awesome. I sold stuff, I gave out lots of business cards, I talked to lots of people and it was just so damn cool.

I finally met Kevin! I didn't recognise him, he had to go "You're Shing right? I'm Kevin Hanna." Duh. His kids are super adorable(and his wife is a crafty type and may do a future Felt Club. Yay!). My roommates came and so did Ryan and Shaun from downstairs, and Lindsay and Olivia, and I'm excited and happy that my friends showed up!

I'll write more later!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

egg pillow

Another stuffed thing for the Gathering. It's called "Oops."

Get it? Get it? gargoyles lay eggs and so...ah, nevermind.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Just a quick post to let you all know that strange little bear and I have been accepted to the July 8th Felt Club! Apparently another vendor had scheduling issues, and I was top of the fill in list! It's a craft show in Hollywood and I'm going to start panicking about getting enough stuff together, being good enough and getting all my promotional material

Monday, June 12, 2006

Eggplant, the bear(from summer 2005).

Robyn sent me pictures of Eggplant, a bear I made in Vermont and gave to her. He's my last completely handsewn bear and stuffed with goodness knows what(a lot of dryer lint and scrap fabric, I think).

This is my favourite picture of any of my bears.

He has weird feet!

I'm going to make more vegetable/fruit themed bears in the future...even though I should be making more gargoyles! Aaaaaa.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

elsie, the gargoyle

This is Elsie. Elsie is a shy little gargoyle with self esteem issues. However, today she is going to ask her crush out to the prom!

I swear, I'm going to end up creating a series of gargoyle stuffed animals based on my high school experiences. Actually, I wasn't terribly shy in high school and I NEVER asked my crush to the prom.

I started out with the intention of making cure plush versions of the Gargoyles canon characters. Hahaha, yeah right. As if I could ever develop that much attention to detail. I couldn't even remember what colour Goliath was(I couldn't remmeber if he was purple or blue. apparently it's a purplybluey.).

Friday, June 02, 2006

Stormy, the bear

Summer vacation has technically started. Yesterday was the first day I really had to stop and actually think and do things I wanted to do. Well, I did have to run over to the middle school and lubricate some swivel casters with PAM(yes, I would have preferred WD-40), but other than that, it was a nice day for me. Today, I have a strike, but I don't have to begin thinking about that quite yet.

I made another bear recently!

His name is Stormy and he wears scarves a lot. Too bad he lives in Southern California.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

middle schoolers rock.

I just wanted to say that these middle school kids are so awesome.

On Wednesday morning, only my black outlines existed on that back wall. The kids filled in ALL the colour(and half of the work they did isn't even in these pictures - they painted a whole load of props too and did a bunch of touch up as well). One art class totalling about an hour and a half, four kids from orchestra that were sent in to help(they were great) and a core group of four girls that kept on getting permission from their teachers to come back and paint. And no one goofed off. They WORKED. Hell, I think they worked harder than most crews I've supervised or worked with.

I'm so completely exhausted with working with these kids who seem to have an endless supply of energy all day, but it is so worth it.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Yorick and Hester

Finals week begins tomorrow. My oral examinations are tomorrow. Am I ready? Hell, I haven't finished reading the books I'm supposed to be quizzed on.

So, instead of dwelling on what I have yet to do, and most likely will not, and the impending possibility of NOT getting A's this semester and/or being told I shouldn't stay in grad school, I will post more pictures of bears.

The black one is Yorick, and the other is Hester. They were on display at my grad student exhibit - I felt a little silly having a bunch of stuffed animals in the same room as people who were turning out really awesome stuff.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

last five years

Whenever I get cranky and stressed and bored and tired with my job, I try to remember that at least the final purpose of my job is usually making things look pretty. I can live with that.

This scene is actually much prettier in real life because my camera doesn't capture the beams of light terribly well.

tech week countdown: two days down, five more to go.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sky Girls

So, Sky Girls opened and I heard that it went pretty well. Yay.

One show down.