Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Custom Monster

I got yet another custom monster order last weekend from the same woman as the four-legged monster. This one was based on another felt project the mom did, and her daughter Ivy loved it.

Here's the sample I got, and the final project!



When she came to me, the monster had lost its antennae, so I chose some nice purple ones, and didn't make them so long as they could take an eye out! I think my final product is pretty cute (very bug-like). I hope Laurie (the mom) likes it as much as she loved the other monster I made. I guess I'll find out on Saturday morning! :)

My Very First Harvested Eggplant

Good almost afternoon! It's Thursday, and today I harvested my very first Japanese eggplant!!! I'm so excited and a little annoyed too. Haha Why am I annoyed?? Because my first eggplant got 'tasted' by a rogue squirrel a few weeks ago when the eggplant was still pretty small, and there are little teeth marks all over it that deepened as the eggplant got bigger. I don't intend on throwing it out, I'll eat it nonetheless but still, I mean, come on! I was forced to wrap my plants in netting to keep out birds and small animals (squirrels mostly). I was told by my friend Nellie that squirrels love to steal fruit, especially tomatoes (which incidentally I have two plants of, and I do NOT want anything stolen!). If the eggplant is no good on the inside (the one with the teeth marks), then I'll have to throw it out. Thankfully I have at least 10-12 more growing!!

Here's what it looks like. It's about 6-7 inches!!

Eggplant side without teeth

You can see the teeth marks the squirrel made!

Well hopefully all of my other plants will be doing well. I can't wait. :) I love gardening and eating fresh fruits (they're all technically fruits I'm growing since they all have seeds).

On Tuesday I got to munch on 3 fresh sweet peas from my plants! So sweet and yummy. I had to move them to the front balcony because apparently the intense heat created by the protected back balcony impeded my sweet peas from getting very tall, which is a real shame. I'm growing two seed packets, and I'm not getting very many fruits. I'd say about the amount you'd get in a package if you bought them at the grocery store, and for the same price. The only difference is that mine are pesticide and hormone growth free, and WAY tastier!

Keep posted! I'll post more garden photos when my purple peppers start to get really big!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Art I Found From My Sketchbook

Happy Tuesday everyone! I found some really awesome sketches I had completely forgotten about in my various sketchbooks, and finally scanned and uploaded them to my computer. Here's a little visual eye candy for today. :)

A little side note, these images are all copyright of Curious Little Bird and Melanie Audet, and you cannot download them without my express permission. 

I hope you enjoy!









 A little side note, these images are all copyright of Curious Little Bird and Melanie Audet, and you cannot download them without my express permission. 










A little side note, these images are all copyright of Curious Little Bird and Melanie Audet, and you cannot download them without my express permission. 

Thank you!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Canada Post is back in business, and so am I

Hello everyone! Happy Monday?? Hahaha who's ever happy it's Monday, except those that work from home?

So there's good news in Canada... As of Tuesday, June 28th, the postal service will resume. They don't know when it'll be back to normal, but the bill's been passed, and workers go back. If it weren't for Harper (I hope you didn't vote for him), this wouldn't have happened you know. Oh well.

In other news, I'll be done my French class. I'm so excited. I was getting tired of doing homework and trying to organize my time around drawing and making monsters, going to seminars/conferences, etc. I've had a lot on my plate the last month, it was crazy! Here's a screen shot of how busy I was!


As you can see from my calendar, I had a lot of activities and barely any time to breathe. Luckily the last 2 weeks have been a little slower, so I've had time to relax and de-stress a bit. Unfortunately last week I lost a "friend." I say "friend" because he was more of an acquaintance than anything really. But he wanted to meet with me on the 17th, and I didn't confirm anything with him, and he started calling me names (quite disrespectful if you ask me). I called him to explain why I was so busy, and said 2 words before he started talking over me. I got really annoyed, and yelled into the phone (as he wouldn't shut up) that I was hanging up. He then called me MORE names (all on Facebook chat by the way) and then unfriended me on Facebook.  He probably removed my phone number from his cell phone too. I guess this is for the best. To be honest, I don't need people who cannot understand that I am very busy trying to grow my business. I guess he figured because we were both not working full time, that I had time to spare during a Friday afternoon. Well he was wrong. In fact that same day I got an email asking if I'd like to attend a craft fair on June 18th (the very next day). I did accept. I realized then that I wouldn't have been able to see him anyway, as I'd have to spend the whole day preparing! Printing business cards, creating price tags etc.

Starting Wednesday, June 29th, I will be back in the monster making business. I really wish I had a helper. I just know I could get more done if I had someone helping me cut out body forms etc. I think I just need to manage my time better (and get out of bed at 7 am instead of sleeping in till 8, 9 or 10 am). Bad me! I could have been up early today, finished my drawings and had been to and from the pet store before noon. But no. I slept in till 9:30 am, I spent 3 hours on the computer doing what?? Reading emails, chatting with a friend. I didn't get my ass out of the house to the pet store until past 1 pm, and I didn't get back to the apt until after 3 pm. Mind you, I could have been home sooner, but I really wanted to buy some short shorts instead of wearing my knee length shorts. They're too hot (knee length shorts) for +30ºC weather. Honestly.

Ok, I *must* go and study for my French final which is tomorrow. Wish me luck, and let's hope I pass.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Facebook Page

Good morning everyone! Happy Friday! Today is a dreary, rainy day, perfect for staying home and doing crafty things.

I want everyone (in the whole wide world too) to know that I have a new Facebook page! No, not Curious Little Bird (my plush monsters) but for my Graphic design and Illustrations.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Audet-Illustrator-Designer/139463906129768
I am a multi disciplinary woman, and I have many talents!! I created this page in hopes to bring clients to me internationally, and an opportunity to be noticed. I recommend you LIKE my page :) And that way, you can follow up on what I'm doing, etc. It's always nice, right? Plus, then all of your friends will see what you like, and them in turn my come and visit. It's a great idea.

In other news, I've got a few new additions to my sketchbook. Want to see?? :)


The elephant sketch I did in 20 minutes. From the time I got on the metro until I arrived at my stop. I kept wondering if the people sitting next to me (who could clearly see what I was doing) were watching me. I find it (personally) fascinating to watch others draw in public. It's not something you see artists do in public trains/metros/subways. I find it hard to draw when the metro is bouncing up and down really hard. :-) I'm surprised it's as good as it is.  The drawing on the right is a little raccoon. He's very cute. I was trying something out for a possible painting idea for Le Nichoir. I don't want to do a bird-inspired painting because last year a good portion of artists did that, and they really wanted all ideas!! I want to stay true to myself, n'est-ce pas?  I figured I'd do a series of cutesy paintings (maybe inspire someone to buy them all so they get the whole set). Haha

Now I'm off to do some more Facebook updates! Until later!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My First Custom Monster!

Hello everyone! Happy summer solstice day! Today is the first day of summer, and the start of the days becoming shorter and shorter. That means only one thing... Fall is close behind. I can hear everyone screaming 'Noooooo!!!!'  Don't despair! :)

So I have to say that my first ever custom job to create a monster was, shall we say, interesting! The girl, Ivy, who drew the monster sure did give me a challenge. She drew her monster with 4 legs, 3 out of the 4 were all different colours (all different from each other mind you). The process went well, but the price I charged was too low. For the amount of time it took me, I could have perhaps charged for $30, but the woman only wanted to pay $20 so I did it anyway. Besides, it never hurts to do a job for less once in a while. I mean, I'm not SO busy that I couldn't do this for this 8 year old girl, right??

To recap, here is the sketch that she drew me:


By looking at this photo (and confirming the main colour with Ivy) the main body was pink, one leg was purple, then pink, then brown then green. The ears were white with pink insides and then green hair. Looks simple enough, but really, it wasn't. :) But do not despair, I did do a good job!!!!


See!? I'd say that I did a pretty good job! It certainly took a lot longer than I hoped, but one must live and learn from their mistakes. When I get more custom work in the near future, I will know next time how to price accordingly.  I guess after having such a successful day at the craft fair, I wanted to please this woman, and it's always nice to do custom work.

In other news the post office is still in lockout. I haven't renewed anything in my Etsy shop. I don't see the point right now since I don't think anyone would be willing to pay $20 for shipping with FedEx, for example. This gives me time to do more important work. :)

Once my French grammar class is done (June 28th), I'll be able to relax and stop doing homework (hooray!) and I can concentrate on my more important work, my monsters and applying for the entrepreneurship program with the Québec government. Oh yes, that reminds me. I'm officially a little business now! No, I haven't registered anything yet... In fact I'm not sure of the QC rules as to whether my company name needs to be bilingual or not. I'm not even sure how I would translate "Curious Little Bird" into French. The best translation is "Curieux petit oiseau" which I suppose works. :) It's just a few letters more than the English version.


Speaking of birds, has anyone checked out Le Nichoir and their artist submissions to help birds get rehabilitated and released back into the wild?? It's open to all artists all over the world, in any country! Here's the URL again in case you didn't write it down last time: http://www.lenichoir.org/wildcard/

Alright well hopefully I can make a ton of monsters in the next month. There's another craft fair in July, on the 30th, but there's also one in September?? and I believe in December. I heard from other vendors that the one in December can bring about some decent coin, since everyone's buying gifts. I'd like to be able to work up a nice little gang on minions to sell around that time. I find with my big project and monsters, I can only manage to do one monster a day. I will need to find a more efficient way to make them. Perhaps I should mass produce one kind of body, and then just change the face. I know that would help speed things up I think. I haven't yet decided on what body style I want. It's hard to decide. Comments on that would be helpful if you have any. :)

Oh I have other news!! Tiphanie Verhoye who writes the blog Mademoiselle Maman and Au cerisier du mesnil emailed me on Monday morning, and asked me if she could write an article all about me, what I do, and my monsters she saw on Etsy. I'm so excited!! I haven't met with her yet, just waiting until my crazy schedule calms down a bit. Her and I will be meeting in July and as soon as she emails me the link I will for sure post it here! I haven't even told my mother yet, but I bet she'll be impressed to hear about this! She's been amazed so far of my success of my monsters. Quite frankly, in the last 3 months (wow, has it been 3 months already??) I think I've done quite well for myself. I've worked my butt off! I started my Facebook fan page for my monsters Curious Little Bird Facebook page and in a few months I've managed to get over 100 fans!!! I'm also trying to promote myself through Twitter but that's a bit more difficult to figure out, and I've yet to figure out how to use lists etc. In case some of you aren't aware, social marketing through Facebook and Twitter etc. takes a lot of time! I mean, I spent hours every day making sure it all worked. And when I would get comments, I would make it my first priority to respond to everyone. The thing about Facebook one must remember is that it's like a conversation... if you ignore the other person, they might just unlike your page and bad-mouth you. Who knows?? It's imperative to have fabulous customer service no matter where you are, even if you are hiding behind a computer. I think since the postal lockout on June 15th, I've sort of taken it easy with the online thing. I obviously haven't been posting as much. I'm not really creating monsters right now, so I have to make sure that everyone knows I'm still alive.

Don't worry if I don't write for a while. I'm still here! I will try to continue posting a few times a week. :) I'm sure I can find something to write about! haha

Well have a good evening and I wish everyone had a great time reading tonight's blog!
 
 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Very First Craft Fair

Yesterday I got to attend my very first craft fair! It was very exciting! I didn't have a lot of time to prepare since I was told there was a cancellation the day before, but I did my best! I brought all of my monsters with me, all nicely tagged with prices and their names written on the tags. I found that a lot of people really loved that I had named them all, and they all had a little story behind them. It was a shame I couldn't remember all the stories. I wished I had had time to make little folded cards with their story inside for those who bought them.

Here I am looking a little silly :) The woman who was taking my picture didn't know how to press the button properly.

My table, my sign, my cards and my monsters. I had only 4 hours to prepare so I didn't have anything to prop them up with.


All in all it was a great day! I sold my first monster within 30 minutes of having set up, which was a real boost!

Worf (shown above) was the first one to be adopted! A very nice couple from France took him home.

I had a lot of great comments toward my monsters. Most of them were "Oh they're *so* cute!" I loved watching the looks of people walking by (those who didn't stop), and their faces would light up with a smile. Of course not everyone liked my little guys. Some people didn't even care! Oh well! :) One mother and her child Ivy and Ivy's friend came to my table, and they absolutely loved my monsters!

This is Ivy! She is 8 yrs old and really loved all my dolls.

Ivy and her cute little friend.

Ivy really loved to be photographed, and insisted I take her photo again! And she also wanted to make sure all my business cards were in a nice pile (even though I had arranged them nicely already)! LOL

Felt and pipe cleaner monsters Ivy, her mother and her friend made (an inspirational project thanks to me). I was happy!

This is my first custom project! Ivy wanted a monster made so I'm making this one for her. Her mom already paid for it.    How awesome is that??

Right after Ivy checked out my monsters, she made this for me at the craft kids table. Isn't she so sweet? It is so going up on my cork board!

The best part of yesterday was when the adults would come to my table, see a monster, and it would remind them of their childhood. I received a few guys who really loved one particular monster, but it was a shame they didn't have money to buy it. I feel I may have scared them off by saying they should have gotten money and come back to buy it because they're all one-of-a-kind dolls, and if I sold it, they'd never get one just like it. I never did see them again for the rest of the day (hence why I think I scared them off). :)

It was great though. In the end I sold 6 monsters, made 2 trades with other vendors for art and pottery in exchange for a monster. Lots of business cards were taken, and surprisingly, a good portion of those cards were from the children themselves! Trading I find is a really good way to get your name out there for both parties. It's a shame I didn't grab cards from the vendors I traded with... I didn't think about it at the time.

Hahaha.... I just remembered on moment in particular. A couple of boys came to the table and absolutely *loved* the monsters! They would take each one in turn and make the monster's face on their own face to his friend! Haha It was so very entertaining to watch. It was really neat to see they both took a business card too! My friend Nellie who came to help me out had told me the kids will probably google me, and look at my website and then tell all their friends! I don't doubt it.

The fair was a success!! I look forward to the next one!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Canada Post on Lockout

Hello everyone! SO Canada Post has been on an unexpected lockout since Tuesday, June 14th, and all mail has been stopped, and they've even locked up the mail boxes to prevent people from 'mailing things.' This really put a damper on my shop since I rely on the post to send out my things.

There's a possibility I won't be posting as much, or as often, but I'll try to keep it up with more interesting things like art I'm doing for Le Nichoir's "Wildcard Project" to help rehabilitate wild birds and release them back into the wild.  http://www.lenichoir.org/wildcard/ <--- Go to this link to download the package for more information. I highly recommend you participate! Think about your art sitting in someone's house, and you also helped birds get back into the wild, and you might get something out that in the future when someone goes to the buyer's house and says... "Ooohh I love that, who painted it?" and they tell them, and then that person googles you and finds you and asks you to paint THEM something and they give you pretty money. Wouldn't that be great?? :) SO doesn't that make you want to click the link now??

Here's a bit more about the project (which is open to ALL artists and photographers all over the world!!!):













The Wildcard 2011 event is being organized for the benefit of Le Nichoir Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre.
The Wildcard is ...
  • An event taking place Saturday November 19th at Collège Sainte-Anne in Lachine, QC.
  • A sale of 5” by 7” size unframed original art, signed on the reverse and sold for $65 (the average cost to rehabilitate and release one bird back into the wild).
  • A fun, fast paced sale. The art is previewed but the buyer cannot see the artist’s signature until the purchase is complete and the card is handed to them.
  • Financially supporting Le Nichoir because the $65 selling price of each work goes directly to Le Nichoir. (Sponsorships and event ticket sales ensure there are no overhead costs.)
The Wildcard event is open to all:
  • Media
  • Medium
  • Content
  • Subject matter
The work must be:
  • On a 5” x 7” support
  • Signed only on the reverse
  • Without mats and be unframed
  • Two dimensional or low relief
Our first Wildcard event held in 2010 was supported by 225 Canadian and international artists who donated over 550 Wildcards. The sale of these Wildcards was a roaring success and so we are organizing Wildcard 2011. With your help the second annual Wildcard event will move Le Nichoir another step closer to building a new Conservation Centre.
Le Nichoir is ...
  • A unique Canadian organization because of the number of native birds successfully rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
  • The largest rehabilitation centre for songbirds in Canada.
  • Located on land owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in the Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve in Hudson, Quebec.
  • Part of an international network of conservation and rehabilitation organizations including the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.
  • Seventeen years of compassionate and professional wild bird rehabilitation, public education and promotion of avian research.
  • Undertaking construction of a new Conservation Centre to:
    • Meet increasing demand for wild bird rehabilitation programs
    • Increase educational activities
    • Attract more students and researchers.

Our Sponsors ...
This project would not be possible without the generous support of the following companies who have donated their products, services or expertise to this project.
Brasserie McAuslan
Papeterie St-Armand
Barefoot
Galerie Ouest
au Atelier de dorure  

Need more information ...
Don't hesitate to contact the Wildcard coordinator via phone at 450 458 2901 or by email: communication@lenichoir.org.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another New Earthling... Perhaps She's A Ninja In Disguise??

Another day gone, another monster made. She's very similar to Dottie, as they probably came from the same planet, same coordinates, everything! The only exception is Maple (that's her name ^__^ ) is proud to be a new Canadian!! She's wearing the Canadian flag and the colours and everything.

What do you think of her?? Isn't she cute and cuddly??






Hope you love her! She's on Etsy!! http://www.curiouslittlebird.etsy.com

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Earthling in Town!

I have a new arrival at Curious Little Bird! Her name is Dottie, and she's a little space monster! Her little space suit is polka dotted because she comes from Dot Rion, the dotted galaxy in quadrant 10.23x. She is new to Montreal, Canada, Earth, and would love to find a great home. She's really timid, but I know that with a little love ♥ she'll make a great new friend!




She's a new listing on Etsy, and you should totally check it out!! She's a one-of-a-kind monster alien, and won't be in town for long! She's too cute and cuddly, and I know someone will adopt her very soon even though she just arrived on Earth. ;)