Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ 'Disguise'

Here's my Illustration Friday submission for the word "Disguise."


When I drew this, I had immediately thought of a masked ball, and a bunny. This mask turned into an odd drawing of a man in a bunny mask making a teddy bear and a pair of scissors hover above ground.

Enjoy! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Giveaway Results Take 2!

Alrighty! So I ended the giveaway early (I should have done this in the first place ... Not made it soooo long a deadline), and the person who won didn't get back to me for the last 7 days, so I'm doing a redraw!

The winner is.... <drumroll...>..... #5 Made By My Rabbit in Leicester, UK!!


Congratulations!! Of the 5 images below, please choose which monster (or bear) you would like and I'll be sending it to you within 48 hours (okay well by Monday, August 29th at the latest).


Thanks to everyone again for participating!

I don't know how others do their giveaways, but I'm doing my with free shipping, so you're really getting a good deal. :)

To receive your awesome monster, please email me at shop@curiouslittlebird.ca with your full name, mailing address (and email in case something happens and I need to contact you).




Monday, August 22, 2011

Giveaway Results!

Due to the shockingly low response to my giveaway (could have been the lack of stock I had... oh well) I decided to end the giveaway 2 weeks early since I haven't been receiving many comments. In fact, none since the last one on Friday.

The winner, due to a random number generator is #2 Sam-Diablo!!



Congratulations!! Please email me (using the email link at the top right of my blog) and let me know which monster plush you're interested in, your full name, address and email address in case I need to ask you questions, and I will ship it to you within 48 hours!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ 'Swell'

Here's this week's submission to Illustration Friday's subject, Swell. I was thinking of an exploding font, and then thought I'd make it into a balloon!



I'm Having A Giveaway!


I have a few monsters (above) that I'd like to see have a good home. They've been around for a few years, and I know that they're loved by people, so therefore I'm having a giveaway! You get to choose any of one of these guys as your very own, all you have to do is this:

1) Follow my blog

2) Become a fan of my Facebook page (if you aren't already a fan)
3) Leave a comment below telling me why you love my stuffed animals so much (too see more softies (not available for the giveaway) check out my Facebook page)


Lastly, I wish everyone luck! I'm going to be generous and give everyone some time to do all of this, because for the next 2 weeks I'll be a little busy preparing my presentation for that entrepreneurship program, so the deadline will be September 5th, 2011. Just in time for back to school!!

I'll choose one person at random on September 5th!

Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Curious Little Bird has gone retail!

What a wonderful Wednesday this has become. Two things have happened. First of all, I got my very first little monster buddy in the mail today! Her name is Pippa, and she's so cute and tiny!!

 

 I spent a good five minutes examining her to see how she was closed up (spying on my competition!) Hahaha no .... but seriously I couldn't find her closing seam. I know she has one, but I wasn't sure where, but my best guess is her head. :)  Why? It's pretty lumpy feeling which would make sense.

But that's not why I'm writing today's blog!

Today was the day I brought my stuffed monsters to the store! Perfide!! The owner, Julia, chose 7 of the 11 that I brought to her, and I'm really hoping they fly off the shelves. <fingers crossed>  Here's some photos of my softies installed in the store!! Eeeeee!!  If they sell well, then Julia will be asking for a restock. I'll make more of these guys I suppose. Except maybe not Pete (the white and blue one). ;) And Bort... I can't make him again.

I made each of my little plush it's own card with their name and their story inside. On the front it has my logo and company name, and on the back it says "Made with care and love in Montreal, Quebec, Canada" I want everyone to know that their plush has a little story. ;)



See the softies in the back?? That's my competition. That's why Harold is so worried!! Don't worry Harold! You'll get adopted!

Bort's all cozy in his corner. :)



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Perfide Anyone?

What an exciting weekend it's been! Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've been sidetracked, working on my business summary for my meeting with my SAJE advisor, and she had a lot of criticism to give me for my big presentation (my pitch of my business idea basically) in front of the selection committee on September 1st (if I get approved I'm ecstatic).  For those of you who may not know what SAJE is, it's a government run company in association with those who deal with employment insurance checks. They help people who have a business idea and would like to develop it and grow with it. They offer financial support (to pay rent and bills mainly), and for the first 3 months of the program they help you write up your business plan (a very important step in starting one's business) and a few courses. Once that's finished, it's then my business plan is again presented in front of the selection committee, and they decide whether it's good enough for me to continue on with the program. If yes, then I get 9 more months of financial support and more business courses (all free for me). So that's the whole shebang!

During the hard criticism I got from my advisor, I was asked if I knew my competition, and sheepishly I said no. After our meeting, the first thing I did was find the artsy store in Old Montreal that sells stuffed dolls. Turns out this store is full of my competition, so I wrote every name/website down. I noticed the going price for a doll in the store was about $40-120. I didn't realize why until later on that day. I got the name of the owner and her email and I was off to my next stop, Fait içi. This store was recommended to me by a couple from out of town. I stopped by, got some information for any other stores in the city, and my last stop was Perfide. http://vachemorte.com/perfide/index.html Well this turned out to be a very good choice. The owner, Julia, really likes weird things and it was perfect for me, because my monster plush are pretty weird. Well not even 24 hours later I get a reply email from the one I sent with samples, and she had chosen 6 of my monsters for consignment in her store!!!

Gregg got chosen!!
Pete got chosen!

Bort got chosen!

Chaz was chosen!

Ochu got chosen!

Zulu was chosen!
I have a few more that I've made Friday night and Saturday that I'm going to bring and see if they'll make the cut :-)

This is Willow. She's very sweet and sunburned :(

This is Harold. He's very sad, and he's only better when he has his teddy.

I think Willow and Harold will get selected for the store. If not, then they'll go up on Etsy. My plan is to make another like Harold, and a similar one to Bort. Ok, well Bort can't be recreated because he was made by an unusually shaped piece of black fake fur, but I can make more in the same style, non!? :) OUI! I'm stoked that I'll be showcased in this store!  If they sell really well after a while, the owner will buy a whole batch from me! How exciting is that?? VERY!!

For those living in Montreal, here's the address to Perfide to see my dolls (I should have them in the store by Thursday, August 18th, 2011).

PERFIDE - Boutique in Montréal, jouets, design, vêtements, livres etc...

4217 Notre Dame Ouest
Montréal, Québec

Open Tuesday - Friday 11pm - 6 pm, and Saturday - Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm.

Closest metro is Place Saint-Henri on the orange line. It's best to Google the address.

Cheers and happy work on Monday!



Me and my bunny ears in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan






Monday, August 08, 2011

New adoptees!

Say hello to Zulu! He's the newest adoptee. He's fresh off the East African plains where he was roaming with the zebras trying not to get eaten by the lions and hyenas. His pattern makes him a huge distraction at dusk, when the sun sets and his stripes confuse the other animals. He's lucky to be alive!

Zulu's looking for a wonderful home. Someone who will take him in, feed him fresh grass and wheat, and maybe tell him a story once in a while.

Zulu stands 5.5 inches tall and wide (~14cm) just his body, and including his ears and tail he's 9 inches (22.86 cm) tall and 10 inches (25.4 cm) wide.

Zulu! 


Don't blink! Chaz is fast! He's a chinchilla-type monster and he loves his coffee. I was lucky he sat still for this photo shoot, because normally he's zip zip zipping everywhere! His pointy ears and tail help deflect objects out of his path. To get Chaz to stick around all you need to do is entice him with some fresh, organic berries and he's yours! He loves organic foo Chaz is all dressed up in a fancy thick, soft brown tweed, white felt belly, brown felt tail and black felt ears. His eyes are safety eyes (to better to see with).

He's 6 inches (15.24 cm) tall and 5.5 inches (12.7 cm) wide. With ears and tail he's about 10 in tall (25.4cm) and 13 in wide (33.02 cm).

Chaz has been weighted with a few stones so he can sit proudly to be displayed on your shelf or table! He's not really appropriate for children as his ears and tail and stones make him less of a toy and more of a collectible.

Chaz is for sure a one-of-a-kind monster because this is the only fabric I had, and I'll never make one looking quite like this again (although I could always make him in another colour or pattern for sure).
 
Chaz!
 
Meet Ochu! He's very shy because he has floppy ears that always make him look scared or sad. He was the runt of the litter, coming out all lanky, and plastic surgery just doesn't exist in Ochu's world, so he must live with is floppy ears. He just whispered in my ear to tell you he too is from East Africa, but that he lived in a hole in the ground because he was just too scared to go out. He was afraid his ears would flop in his eyes and he'd get caught by a predator. So instead, he'd live in his hole, and catch food with a trap he built himself.

Ochu stands 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) tall and 6 inches (15.2 cm) wide without his ears. With his ears he's 10 inches (25.4 cm) tall and 11 inches (27.9 cm) wide.
Ochu!
I really like these little guys! Even though I'm using the same pattern, I find with the different fabrics he always comes out a little different which is nice. With Zulu I experimented with shorter ears and a tail, and I think I prefer it that way. I think I'm going to make 2 more like this. Who knows, this could be my thing? :)

A Few Sketches

Happy Monday everyone! Today is going to be a little bit tougher, since I've maybe had 5-6 hours sleep. It's only 11:30 am and I can feel my focus slowly waning... I had my morning coffee, and now I'm drinking something a little stronger, a nice hot cup of lemon tea (not herbal). :)

I have a few sketches to show off today...



In case you're wondering, the drawing on the left is inspired by Constantin Brancusi, a Romanian Sculptor.
Sculpture by Constantin Brancusi


You see?? I love drawing elephants!! I think they have great curves, their trunks can be stylized so many ways, and their ears can be drawn so many ways as well as their eyes. In fact, why draw a realistic elephant when a stylized, illustrated one is so much more fun??



This here is a drawing I did from a list of words to give me inspiration. I wrote a whole page of words from past Illustration Friday words, so in case I ever get stuck I can look at this list, pick a word and draw what comes to mind. Germs... This is what I saw when I heard the word. :) First I started with bacterium with flagella (the ones with the little lines all around it), then moving on to spiky viruses and X germs which I doubt exist. This was a fun page to draw. :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Update!

Happy hump day everyone! It's Wednesday, it's still summer, and it's not boiling hot out at 9 am which is a nice change.

After 3 weeks of working in house at a company freelancing for them, I'm back home, doing my own thing (mainly finishing a children's book for my friend Janeil). I haven't yet posted photos, but why not? Just a few though (a teaser until I get the printed thing!).


Cover and back page sketch

Page 6 - 7 sketch


These are the sketches I did for the cover page/back page, and then the inside page 4-5.
Cover and back page finished illustration - chalk pastel

Page 6 and 7 finished illustration - chalk pastel


This book has been a challenge! My friend wanted me to do this originally in oil pastels but as I'm not super skilled in that medium, I asked her about dry pastels, and she agreed. Even with pastel pencils, I found it really difficult to get the little details, but I did it. You see the woman in the above illustration? Her face was really hard to get (pastel pencils didn't allow me to do super fine details) and she ended up with a frown instead of the smile she had in the sketch! haha To achieve the rough, painterly look, I used 140 lb Arches rough watercolour paper, and I think that probably was the biggest mistake ever. Not only is it the roughest paper ever, but each illustration took me twice as long to do because I had to fill all the grooves! I could spend an hour just blending the colour into the paper so the white 'dots' wouldn't be visible anymore. Thankfully out of 28 illustrations, I'm down to 2 2-page spreads left and the back page portrait of my friend and me which is less than halfway done. 

I've learned so much doing this project! For one,  I should have learned how to paint a suggested sky instead of the whole thing...


You see how there's only a hint of blue in the sky to suggest it's there?? I didn't learn that I could do this until more than half of my illustrations were finished. Next time though! :)