08 September 2007

notes from the workshop

Yesterday, Matt and I did our first First Friday at the studio at 450 Harrison. I wish I had brought my camera with me because our studio looked great. I was really happy with how we arranged all the work and thought everything worked well together. I only brought 4 of the 16 mini-manti with me to represent what we would have available for the Open Studios next weekend, and I had Manny on display as well (of course). So while my table was not jam-packed with goodies, it was only to introduce myself and to give folks a taste of what is to come. We handed out cards, met some of the other artists in the building, and chatted with a whole bunch of people. It seemed that our work was very well-received. Not to pat myself too hard on the back (as none of the minis sold last night), but I do love it when people see my softies and react in a visceral way - when they gasp or squeal and smile openly, eager to hold the toys in their hands. It's amazing how they really bring out the kid in just about everyone. I can't help but smile when it happens.

I have to say I actually feel confident about the upcoming Open Studio. I feel like I am pretty ready for it. I am still working on a few pieces, as I am finishing up my submission for Plush You! (Hooray! I got a whole bunch of light-bulbs at Sears.) However, I am not experiencing any of the self-doubt or panic that I did the last time. I know everything will get done, and I know it will go well. If I seem a little punchy lately, I must apologize. There are other things going on behind the scenes that have been weighing down on me, and I am trying really hard not to let it all get the best of me. I missed a deadline for one project, I let an offer fall through the cracks, and another offer that I was totally on board for fell through on its own. My big thing for October is not happening at all now; I kinda wish I had never even mentioned it on here in passing. And that's not even to mention Matt's less-than-enthusiastic attitude about the Open Studio. He has been struggling with his art and with his feelings about art and the process of making art for a while now, and while I love him and believe in his work, it is hard sometimes to be supportive in the face of such overwhelming hopelessness. It knocks me off of my course a bit. Sometimes I end up questioning myself and wondering if any of this effort is worth it.

I love what I am doing too much to give up on it. I enjoy making things. I have fun designing a pattern and working out the kinks until I have what I want to see as my finished product. I enjoy just about every process of softie-making, with the exception of stuffing, which I loathe but only because it hurts my elbows so much (and sucks up sooooooo much time). I wish I could just wiggle my nose and have the softies magically stuff themselves. Some days are easier than others. Some days, I feel super-productive and happy out. Other days, I get stressed because I feel I am not working hard enough and allow myself to be distracted by all these other things, allowing myself to get sucked into the negativity and the hopelessness. Right now, I am trying to stay focused, and I am trying to think positively for the both of us.

I am finishing up this batch of penguins. So far, so good. I am using wool stuffing with these because I was thinking how wonderful it would be if they would retain the warmth of your hands. Granted on a day like today when it's 90ยบ out, perhaps that thought is not so appealing. But I'm thinking ahead here. I'm thinking it would be great in the Winter. I am hoping to have these and a few other projects done tonight.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!


Melissa said...


They look so amazing!

abbyjane said...

Can I ask where you got your wool stuffing? I have never used it. Does it stuff firm? Is it worth the money? Should I get some?

sulu-design said...

I am so glad to hear how positive you are in approaching this whole open studio set up. And I'm just as happy to hear about the warm reception your little guys had on their first night out.

Haley said...

i know it's frustrating when your spouse is struggling. it's especially hard when you can't fix the problem, but you want to for their sake. i hope everything works out. sorry that the october thing didn't work out. hopefully that just means something better is on its way. can't wait to hear how great the Open Studio goes.

Sonya said...

How I wish for that nose-wiggling ability as well. Your pieces are wonderful, keep them coming and keep stuffing!