Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jump. in. leaves.

Byron, myself, and our good friend Alvaro got the chance to spend some free time outdoors a few weekends ago. Byron insisted, INSISTED, that we go play in the leaves. We certainly didn't fight him on this one.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A life in fast forward.

Where has the time gone!?

I haven't had much time to post this summer as we've been traveling all up and down the east coast finding monsters new homes and we're gearing up for a fall chock full of road trips as well. The next stop is Chicago for Renegade Chicago. We're super excited to be a part of the show this year and it feels like we've been looking forward to this show since we missed it LAST year. It'll be our (the monsters and I) first time in Chicago so it will certainly be an adventure.

I'm hoping to return with lots of stories to share but in the mean time, I've made a short video giving you a sneak peek at my process. It's an hour of work in 7 minutes and 35 seconds. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Asimov Custom Plush

Cutesy but not Cutesy just finished an exciting custom order and collaboration with Tom Dell'Aringa the artist behind the popular web-comic Marooned. Tom approached me about working with him on a limited edition plush based on his most popular character, Asimov. After checking out Tom's work, I happily agreed to work with him. Each plush is 18" tall and a little bit different and unique from the others. For more information on how to purchase one, you can check out the purchasing details and announcements as they come up on the Marooned blog.

Schmidty: The Saleswhale Extraordinaire and New Hope Sidetracks Gallery

Cutesy but not Cutesy is happy to announce that she will have work at the New Hope Sidetracks Gallery in New Hope, PA again beginning in July with the official opening on July 10th. Paul and Ricky, owners of the Sidetracks Gallery, have stuck with me since the beginning and were really inspirational in encouraging me to continue on with my stitchery so it's wonderful to be welcomed back to their gallery to share their space with some amazing artists. If you're in the New Hope or Bucks County area, please do check it out!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Monsters first trip to New England

It's not every day, or every weekend, that I am able to look behind my booth at a show and say "I want to lay in the grass" and not only do it, but have someone there to tell me to "just do it". But that's exactly what I did this weekend in Providence. Not for long, but for long enough to breathe... finally. It has been a very busy few weeks of what has felt like non-stop making and traveling. Laying in the grass with the cool New England breeze, even for a moment, was just what I needed. And not only that, but when I asked my traveling mate (for the second weekend in a row), Alvaro, to hand me a monster... the split second of joy of just lying there with my own creation held tightly in my arms was a moment that will last me a long time.

This past weekend John (Fuzzy Ink) and Alvaro picked me up in the new Fuzzy Ink van and we all drove up together to Providence and Boston for their weekly open markets and I can only speak for myself but I do know that traveling with fellow vendors makes long trips even more worthwhile. It was the very first time the monsters had ever been to New England and I think they really enjoyed themselves!

Fuzzy Ink and Cutesy but not Cutesy within harassing distance of one another, yet again...

I also had the opportunity of meeting yet another Plushteam member, Anne-Claire Regan aka Hiboucards who lives in Boston with her adorable family. Once again, always amazing to finally meet a Plushteam member in person!

It was a fun time in a new place and the Providence and Boston energy is great! We'll be back, I'm sure!

Thanks Providence and Boston!

(Photos courtesy of: Alvaro Arteaga.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The monsters take on two cities at once...

This past weekend Cutesy but not Cutesy traveled with the monsters to two cities at once! Yes, you read that right. We had an awesome time setting up at Art for the Cash Poor in Philly on Saturday and then with the trust of the monsters and the show in our good friend Brian's hands, we headed off down to Washington D.C. to meet up with the fellas over at Fuzzy Ink with whom we would be sharing a booth at Capital Pride on Sunday.

Upon arriving to the DC area we had the opportunity to finally meet the brains and brawn behind the T-shirt company Sharp Shirter, Dan Lachman, a good friend of Fuzzy Ink's, who was kind enough to provide us with a place to stay. Not only that, we also finally met the amazing Alvaro Arteaga an incredible graphic artist and illustrator from Chile who is currently staying with the guys over at Fuzzy Ink.

Here is John Paul of Fuzzy Ink, myself, and Alvaro Arteaga before all the crowds infiltrated our booth...

It's the first time Fuzzy Ink and Cutesy but not Cutesy had ever shared a booth though we've done shows with our booths next to one another. It's not really surprising that t-shirts with mustaches and monsters with absurd horns really mesh well, not to mention the fact that they really do attract a lot of attention! We seem to have a lot of similar creative ideas and aesthetics (and a shared love for monsters and mustaches) so seeing our work together in one booth was a lot of fun to say the least.

The event itself was huge and attracted an incredibly large crowd. The heat was rather oppressive but when the sky opened up and poured buckets of rain on everyone it actually felt kind of nice... the monsters got a little wet, themselves, but I think they secretly may have enjoyed it, too!

We met a lot of really amazing customers and the energy of the crowd was very uplifting. One of our favorite customers couldn't get enough of the monsters OR the mustaches...

And after a long busy day John, Alvaro, and myself met up with the infamous Jon Wye, whom I also met for the first time, and we sat down for a relaxing dinner filled with a little business conversation and some much needed laughter.

Yet another amazing weekend for Cutesy but not Cutesy thanks to all of the wonderful people we've met along the way! Thanks Philly and DC!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cutesy but not Cutesy in Renegade Brooklyn 2010!

After less than a week of being home from out California adventure Cutesy but not Cutesy had the honor of participating in Renegade Handmade's craft fair in Brooklyn. This is one of our favorite shows of the year and we're always incredibly grateful to be a part of such an amazing show. The wind was nearly too much to handle but that didn't stop most of the vendors from remaining in place and mildly windblown. It was a great weekend overall and we always enjoy seeing many of the old friendly faces of fellow vendors and meeting many new ones!

We also got to meet fellow Plushteam member Katarzyna Piotrowska aka The Pixels who stopped over to say hello. One of the best things about traveling so much is being able to meet so many of the Plushteam members!

One of the most excited customers of the day, Sam Carcamo of AngryYeti fame...

Yet another great weekend filled with old friends, new friends, good friends, happy customers, and monsters. Thanks Brooklyn!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Cutesy but not Cutesy goes west!!! (Part 2)

After finding out about our Plushteam's gathering on the west coast and between trying to figure out how I would make it out there for the amazing event I immediately thought about how to make the most out of my trip once I got there. I am a huge fan of hiking and the outdoors and it's something that I don't get to do nearly as often as I would like. I decided that if I was going to finally go to California that I would somehow find a way to go to one of the national parks and give myself some much needed life-changing adventures in the outdoors. And that's exactly what I did. Yosemite is only a short drive (4 hours) from San Fransisco so there was no way that I was going to pass that opportunity up. I proposed the adventure to my two good friends Brian McManus (as mentioned in the previous post) and fellow outdoor lover Mike Petite and they were both happily on board with little hesitation. We headed off to Yosemite in a rental car the Monday after Makerfaire weekend and had ourselves a truly breathtaking adventure-filled few days. I am so lucky to have such good friends who can appreciate the same things that I do. This trip would have been lightyears different had I taken it alone and I am certainly glad I did not.

Our first stop was Mariposa Grove to see the Giant Sequoias. To our surprise there was snow on the ground... at the end of May... in California... and the threat of more on the way. As Eastcoasters, clearly we didn't do enough research about the weather in the northern California mountains, but alas, we made it!

We then made it down to Yosemite Valley where we were staying at Curry Village in a tent cabin but not before stopping for some awe-inspiring and possibly tear-inducing views...

And a shot of our cabin. With our new plush friends we picked up from Makerfaire designed by the amazing Christina Ward.

Day two could have been the most incredible hike of my life as of yet. We hiked so close to the waterfalls we needed to keep putting our raincoats on to protect us from the mist.

And yet another full day of hiking on the third day.

This trip was just what the Monster Maker's doctor would have ordered, I'm sure, had he known about it. It was truly just what I needed to get me through the jam-packed busy season and more memories than I ever thought possible.

Here's to good friends, Mother Nature, and the ability to know when you deserve something really special.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cutesy but not Cutesy goes west!!! (Part 1)

Recently, Cutesy but not Cutesy had the AMAZING opportunity to fly out west (to the opposite coast) to the Makerfaire Bay Area in San Mateo to help out the Etsy Plushteam with our collaborative booth sales and weekend workshops/demonstrations. This was the first time many of us were actually meeting each other in person since we're from all over the country (and the world!). Needless to say, it was one of the most inspirational and creatively comforting weekends I think I may have ever had. As an artist, it's always such an incredible experience to be surrounded by creative people and to be able to talk about your work in a way that those people can understand what you are saying almost perfectly clearly. Not to mention finally being able to meet those artists in person who work in the same medium as yourself who have inspired and supported you for years just through the internet... that, is truly something else.

I'd like to thank Christina Ward, Abby Langdon aka Abbydid, Leanna Butcher aka PlushGoodness, Denise Ferguson aka YummyPancake, Marcy Bridges aka Moonscreations, Claire Chambers aka Absolutely Small, Zazu Faure aka zfla and one of my best friends and honorary Plushteam member Brian McManus who ventured out west with me for an amazing and memory-filled weekend along with all of the members of the Plushteam who sent in their beautiful work for us to fondle and cuddle... oh and sell...

And as if all of that wasn't enough, Brian and I were able to catch one of our favorite bands OK Go and their performance underwater on the last day of Makerfaire. Truly incredible.

And to think that was only just the beginning of our west coast adventure...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"So, 4 years ago or so, Cutesy but not Cutesy was living in a sandwich...

Yes, you read that right. But let me explain...

This all started last night when I was chatting with a friend about how overwhelming being a full time artist and business owner can be. Every now and then a monster maker gets overwhelmed, too. There, I said it. I'm sure I'm not alone in this and I'm sure the other artists, DIY-ers, and small business owners can attest to sometimes faltering and needing the encouraging push from a supportive friend. And this is just what I needed.

So now's where I start to explain the title of this post...

This supportive friend of mine, in the hopes that he could prove a point, asked me where Cutesy but not Cutesy was 4 or so years ago. I thought for a moment about where I was 4 years ago to the day and I chuckled to myself and responded " a sandwich." Not quite the response he expected, I'm sure, but it was, in fact, the truth.

Four years ago I was working in a small town in Pennsylvania at a cafe making, yes, sandwiches.

That's not all I made, I cooked up some other delicious eats under the watchful eye and expertise of my good friend and chef and I baked some pretty impressive desserts, if I do say so myself.

But, in a nutshell, and for the purposes of this post (and my friend's point), I was a sandwich artist.

I lived near the river in one of the most beautiful areas of Pennsylvania there is, with some of the best friends a recent college graduate could ask for, a wonderful boyfriend, and the world (and people's taste buds) at my finger tips. But we all know that the reality is that a life like that can't last forever and besides, I wanted so much more for myself than making sandwiches (not that there's anything wrong with that). I wanted to use my creativity that had so come to life as a fine arts major in college and I knew if I worked hard enough, someday I would do just that. Admittedly, I was always looking for a way out, thinking up new ideas for my future, new ways of creating, and becoming, and living.

This. This is when the monsters were born. Somewhere between reheating someone's lukewarm soup and making another customer's turkey, brie, and raspberry panini, I began sewing. I keep this picture of one of my very first monsters from when I was working there on my refrigerator to remind me everyday of where I started and how far I've come. (Yes, he's wearing a tie.)

Life took it's course after that (and threw in some curve balls to keep things exciting). That job and I have since parted ways and the same with the wonderful boyfriend (the friends, however, I've held on to). And that brings us to today and to the supportive friend's attempt at proving a point... 4 years ago Cutesy but not Cutesy was living in a sandwich. You've gone from one small sandwich (not sure what kind) to a business built on something that you are truly passionate about. You've worked incredibly hard to make your vision a reality, which is much more than most people can say they've done with their life. I can only imagine how demanding your work is, but seeing how hard you work to be successful I can say, without a doubt, that you'll make it through this summer and beyond.

Not only did this bring a huge grin to my face and uncontrollable bouts of laughter for a long time after, but it did prove a point. It put everything into perspective for me and it reminded me of how hard I have worked to get where I am today and though it might not always be apparent in the throws of it all, some day all of this hard work will pay off. And none of this goes for just me, but for everyone who sets their mind and heart on something and dives into it with everything that they have. If you work hard and are passionate about your dreams, all of it will pay off in the end, some day, some how... no matter where that dream was born. This is something that we all need to remind ourselves from time to time.

I encourage all of you to think about where you were 4 years ago and think about how far you've come.

For me?... 4 years ago, Cutesy but not Cutesy was living in a sandwich.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Plush You/Schmancy Olympic Challenge

I've had the great honor of participating in the wonderful plush Olympic Challenge being held by Kristen of Plush You fame. You can read up more on the details here. Over 180 artists have entered and were assigned a competing category. I was assigned opening ceremonies and after much frustration I came up with what I think was the best solution.... the Vancouver Olympic Torch Monster!!! I've named him Vin and he's 52" tall! Holy smokes!!!

Please wish Vin and I luck as we head into competition for gold, silver, and bronze plush metals!