Monday, October 4, 2010

Show Schedule for October, November, December

Wanted to share where you can find me live and in person for the remainder of the year!

First up, we have the last outdoor event of the year; the Harvest Festival at St. Clare's Convent in Hartwell.  If this is your first visit to the Centennial Barn and the surrounding grounds, you are in for a treat.  The convent is holding this event to celebrate its expanded community garden and urban farm.  There will be a free petting zoo and hayrides throughout the day, as well as crafters, artists, and produce farmers selling their goods.  Can you think of a better way to celebrate Fall?  Neither can I.

Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 23rd
10:00am - 6:00pm
110 Compton Road, located on the border between Hartwell and Wyoming

November is a busy, busy month.  You ready?

First up is Oddmall.  That's right, I'm heading North to Hudson, Ohio (a stone's throw from Cleveland) to take part in one of my favorite shows.  This is my first time taking part in their Holiday show, dubbed Chrishanukwanzmadan, and it is sure to be outstanding.  Not only do I love the folks who run this show (event coordinator Andy Hopp is the artist responsible for the charming fellow below), but they have a very special guest who will be gracing us with her presence - April Winchell, the notorious wit behind Regretsy.  Ooh, I'm getting excited just thinking about it!

Saturday, Novemer 6th

10:00am - 6:00pm
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center (Akron area)
240 East Hines Hills Road, Hudson, Ohio 44236

The very next weekend, I'm on my home turf at Dater Montessori's 2nd annual Craft Show & Sale.  This is Miss Kallisto's school, and I love doing my part to support it.  I'm currently teaching a Monster Making class as part of the After School Enrichment Program, and some of my students will be working their Girl Scout table, raising funds for their troop with their crafts.  We are thrilled to be in our gorgeous remodeled building, now one of the most enviromentally-minded schools in Ohio!  Come check it out and support a wonderful community of lovely folks.

The Dater Community Craft Show & Sale
Saturday, November 13
11:00am - 5:00pm
2840 Boudinot Avenue, Cincinnati Ohio, 45238

To wrap up my craft show marathon, I'll be at Crafty Supermarket the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  This is a show I am enormously proud to be a part of.  It is located in the Clifton Cultural Art Center in the gaslight district in Clifton, formerly Clifton School.  This is a fun, old building that is filled with the very best indie craft show Cincinnati has to offer.  This show is NOT to be missed!  This is the same show I was featured in Cincinnati Magazine for earlier this year.  There will be food vendors, a live DJ, and over 50 fabulous craft vendors.  Really.  Be there.  The first 100 in the door get free bags o' swag, and the line starts forming early!

Crafty Supermarket
Saturday, November 20th 
(mere days from my 35th birthday, so come buy me something :)
11:00am - 6:00pm
3711 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati Ohio 45220

After 3 shows in 3 weeks, I will retreat to my brother's apartment in Brooklyn for Thanksgiving and to wonder how I got so damn old.  

Now on to December.  I will be part of the Northside Art Sale in the ever hip and happening neighborhood of Northside.  This will be my first time participating in the Holiday edition of this show, and I'm looking forward to it being indoors!  The monsoon that suddenly swept over us at the summer show tested my children's' patience for their mother's chosen profession, for sure.  I can't tell you how often I've heard, "but Mommy, I don't like outdoor shows!" since then.  So, yay for indoors.  Suck it up kids.  I digress.

Northside Holiday Art Sale
Saturday, December 4
10:00am - 3:00pm
North Presbyterian Church

4222 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223

That's it for now, kittens.  If other shows pop up that appeal to me and fit in my schedule, I'll be sure to let you know.  I am very picky about the shows I take part in.  It is important to me to participate in shows that support great neighborhoods and communities I am proud to be a part of.  I also work hard to find independently-minded craft shows, the ones with artists that think outside of the box, push the boundaries of the craftworld, and are up-and-coming artists.  If I'm taking part in a show, it's not to make a quick buck, it's because I believe whole-heartedly in the people involved in it.  So come show your support!  We create our art because of the passion we feel for what we do.  We are driven to create, we can't help it.  So if you come and buy it, we get to go home and make more!

And there, my friends, is the beauty of buying handmade.  

Monday, August 16, 2010

PlushTeam Las Vegas Challenge - Neon Sign Category

PlushTeam is at it again!  For those of you who are unaware of the sheer awesomeness that is the PlushTeam, let me fill you in.  The Etsy Plush Street Team, or PlushTeam for short, is an international guild of plush artists. Amazing as it may seem, there's more of me out there, 50+ of us, in fact, and this incredible team of supportive, inspirational, creative, brilliant, and hilarious artists has been a major source of strength for me these past few years.

Every few months the Team comes up with a fun challenge to get people to push our creative boundaries, to inspire us, and to just get us laughing.  These challenges are often ways to get us to try something completely new, and that could not be more true for me this time around!

This challenge was inspired by Vegas, Baby!  All aspects of Vegas - performer, casinos, signage, you name it, we were to take what Las Vegas meant to us and run with it.  This has resulted in some really crazy entries, and you'll have to go the the PlushTeam blog to check them all out (which is weirder, boobs on chicken or boobs on toast?  you decide!), but today I'll show you what came out of my noggin and pin-pricked hands.

Sometimes we make bad choices...
For the PlushTeam Las Vegas Challenge, I chose to enter the Neon Sign category and go with something I know Vegas is famous for - the quickie wedding.
A dirty martini can help facilitate making bad choices.

Nothing reeks of a Vegas wedding like the 24 hour, drive-thru wedding chapel with an Elvis on hand to conduct the ceremony, right?  If I had it all to do over again, I'd forgo all that classy expensive nonsense and do it right!
Sometime glitz and glamour distracts our sensibilities.

What we have here is a very large 18"x22"x6"; pillow made of velvet, lamé, and the funkiest trim I could find.  I mean, really - tassels, pom-poms and crystals - this pillow is practically a show girl!  The neon is cording covered in lamé and painstakingly hand stitched onto the velvet.  The backside is, you guessed it, more shiny, irridescent lamé.

Why is it every Team challenge I make something that looks like boobs?
Neon signs in the night often attract
bad choices like moths to the flame.
The pillow does not actually glow in the dark. If you are not familiar with lame', it is an extremely shiny material like you might see in dancers' costumes. It is extraordinarily reflective, giving the shot with the extra long exposure the look that it is really lighting up. 
"P" stands for prenup!
This was a ridiculously funky and fun challenge. Thanks for checking out my piece (which is available for purchase here and is available at a very special Vegas Wedding price), and to see more of my work go to .

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Upcoming Shows

As usual, I've been neglecting the blog.  Bad Abby.

Anywho, I have a couple of Cincinnati shows coming up that are in neighborhoods I just love, and would be ever so touched if you came and cuddled some of my plush:)

First up is the Covedale Arts and Crafts Fair at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts.  This will take place on Saturday, August 21st from 10am until 4pm.  You won't miss me, I'll be the one in the parking lot in the fantabulous tent with the monster banner;)

Back in the day, this was a movie theater, and I remember having my dad drop me and my friends off to watch one of the two movies they would be offering.  I remember dragging two girlfriends to see Robert Downey Jr. in the Pickup Artist, thinking it was about an artist.  Well, turns out it was, but not about any artist my little 12 year old brain understood at the time.  And there you have a glimpse into the miseducation of Abby.  

Next up will be the Westwood Art Show, presented by the Westwood Town Hall Recreation Center.  This will be taking place on Saturday, September 18th from 10am until 4pm. There will be wine tastings thanks to Henke Winery, music, food and drink vendors, and lots of local artists (say, about 40 of us) selling their handcrafted goods to you, our legions of adoring fans.   

Westwood Town Hall, in all her glory.

I just wrapped up a happy, hot summer of Second Sunday shows in Over-the-Rhine, and look who stopped by - Mayor Mallory!  It was lovely to meet him, and I was flattered he chose my booth to visit.  Of course, he didn't have much choice, Jason pretty much shoved him in so as to get a photo op;)
Mayor Mark Mallory wonders what he's gotten himself into.

I made a big bunny.  The kids won't let me sell him
(seems he's been taken in as a sibling),
but he likes to come along to meet the people.
Can you guess which one is my tent?  I bet you can't:)

So, my kittens, that's all I have for you today.  Please come out and visit me if you can, if not, go *like* me at my facebook page, where I'm much more active than I am here on the blog, and of course, buy up all of my plushes and provide them with good homes here at the etsy shop.  Cheers!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Go Get Stuffed!

The Plush Team is ecstatic to present to you our first ever Team Annual, containing 120 pages of plushy goodness!

What is in store for you upon opening this marvelous book:
  • An opening by our team founder, Megan Green, describing how our team came to be.
  • An insightful, informative, and all-around fascinating account of the history of plush craft by our team co-founder Christina Ward.
  • 42 two-page, full color features of our Plush Team members. Each includes  photos of the artist's work, and text written by the artist explaining motivation, process, and inspiration.
  • A time line of Plush Team activities through over the years.Profile pages providing a comprehensive list of Plush Team artists, including artist head shots and Etsy shop addresses.
  • Photos of PT Stitchy, the team mascot, scattered throughout the book in his various incarnations as interpreted by our team members.
The book is full color, professionally printed, and soft cover. It measures 6.75"x6.75" (or 17 centimeters square). This is volume 1 of our Team Annual, featuring the artists from 2009. Our intent is to make this a yearly publication, updating it each year with our newest members and their incredible work.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

BP Oil Clean Up Solution - Save the Beaches!

The Wisconsin-based textile company Monterey Mills has a big heart - they were one of our generous donors at Maker Faire. They've proposed to BP a huge improvement to the booms being used to soak up oil from the water in the Gulf, but their proposal has gotten lost in the tens of thousands of suggestions BP has received, and BP has yet to respond. Check out this amazing demonstration of what wool can do, then spread the word until BP can hear us.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Come one, come all to the ODDMALL!

Oh, boy, am I excited about this one!  Oddmall, Emporium of the Weird (and really, do I need to say more?) is NEXT WEEKEND!!!!  That's right, I'm the kind of mom that gets her kicks on Mother's Day weekend by peddling her plushy wares in Hudson, Ohio, home of this oddly fabulous craft show.  Andy Hopp is the mastermind behind this extravaganza, and we are smitten with him and his gorgeous family.  This will be the show's 3rd appearance, and my 2nd time participating.

You are nearly peeing in your pants with excitement, I can tell, but wait!  There is MORE.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Yummy Pancake, two members of our very own PlushTeam, will be there as well!  This is my first time meeting both these gorgeous ladies in person and I can barely contain my excitement.  We'll be working a corner of Room 1 (specifically, booths 18, 19, and 21) so come join us in our day long hilarity.

Brody and Kalli will be selling their pet rocks again, and maybe pet furballs, too.  Jason will probably be wearing his "crafty girls get me hot" tee shirt.  I will almost certainly say something outrageously inappropriate before the day is through.

Once you've stocked up on all of your plush needs, saunter on over to Mary Moons Designs, because you have simply lived too long without one of her adorable bags.  This sassy, lovely lady is so fun, you'll be delighted you stopped by.

and don't forget Space Dog Studios, where the divine miss Sarah will fix you up right with your handmade book needs.  Seriously, this is the good stuff!  

Monday, April 12, 2010

This Saturday is the Crafty Supermarket!  I am so thrilled about this event, and I'm going to tell you why.  First off, I'm a vendor, and I will be bringing all of my very best plush, designed and sewn by yours truly.  But it doesn't end there - this craft fair is a big step for Cincinnati.  For years we have had two categories of craft show: the country craft show your grandma attended, and the artsy fairs that were classy, wine drinking affairs.  Nothing wrong with either of those, but not quite my style.  

This, my dear friends, is an indie craft show.  The goods at this event will have a bit more edge, be a lot more hip, be made by funky, eclectic folk who have their own, unique ways of expressing themselves.  Here you will find fun twists on all sorts of things you never knew you needed.  Need hand grenade soap?  I thought you did.  How about lego earrings for that special someone?  You'll need a card  to go with that.  Oh, and Mother's Day is coming up, I bet your mama would appreciate some upcycled bling.  And after after all of the fun you've had at the Crafty Supermarket you should definitely write down all your thoughts and feelings.

There is so much more fabulousness at this show I might just pee myself!  Here is the full vendor list.

Details:  This Saturday, the 17th of April
11am - 6pm
The Clifton Cultural Center
(the old Clifton School building)
3711 Clifton Avenue

I made something just for you, so come and get it!  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cutting Frenzy

I finally reached the point where I had finished making everything I owed to customers or to folks I was trading with, and I had gone through all of the precut critters I had stowed away, and my fingers were itching to wrap around those scissors and dive into my hoard of fur.  So, for the past few days I have been busy cutting - stockpiling monsters and animals and even fleece sugar cookies that will accompany them as snacks - all ready to be sewn and assembled when the time comes.

I have 4 big craft shows coming up in the next few months (more on that another day) and this is the first step in preparing.  As each month goes by, abbydid seems to creep closer and closer towards a full time job, and my aspirations for what I can produce before these shows creep up may be a bit too high.  But, worst case scenario, I'll have these "critter kits" ready to go after the shows to restock the shop as needed.

Fleece and faux fur are my primary materials.  Fleece is easy and forgiving.  Faux fur - especially the shaggy, long pile variety - prevents it's own set of challenges.  I vacuum constantly.  I vacuum each cut piece of a pattern before I bag it, and then vacuum the entire cutting area in between each variety of fur I use to avoid "cross contamination."  And inevitably I am covered in the stuff.  I laugh at lint rollers.  I have to vacuum myself before heading out the door.  The UPS man will attest to the fact that whenever I open the door for a package I'm covered in some new color of hair.  He must think I have some strange-looking pets (speaking of, that's my dog Kismet).

Once critters are cut, with all their contrasting or accenting pieces accompanying them, I bag them up and get them out of the way.  It's fun to go back to these bags and pull out a creature to begin working on it, only to be surprised by what color combinations I was dreaming up the day he was cut out.  Admittedly, there have been a couple of instances of "what was I thinking," in which case I may switch out some claws or limbs.  

Meanwhile, while I am sequestered in my dining room (aka The Work Space), Roomba is next door tidying up the living room.  I found this guy on clearance for half off.  While he is just a glorified dustbuster on wheels, Roomba is better than nothing, and I love that he merrily rolls along while I make fuschia monkeys and stripey Wibbly Woos a reality.  This is my view through the windows of the dining room.  See Roomba?  Way to go, Roomba!  Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Schmancy Olympic Challenge

Towards the end of January Plush You!, the annual plush exhibition put on by Schmancy, put out a challenge to the plush world: make a plush in one of 4 categories reflecting the Winter Olympic Games.  Well, I do love a good challenge!  I signed up immediately.  My assigned category was Opening Ceremonies.  

What resulted was a torch with mischievous little flames, each light up, and they even have their own Olympic torch in which to do their impish dance.  

I would have gotten more outdoor shots but my reluctant model needed to pee.

The battery-operated "tea lights" are surrounded in sheer fabrics and "stuffed" with bubble wrap.  The little smirking faces are embroidered on using red, metallic thread and iridecent beads for eyes.

The completely hand-stitched torch is made of stiff interfacing and fleece, with a felt Olympic rings emblem adhered to it with fabric glue. 

 With the Olympics just coming to a close and the Paralympics about to begin, I know we all feel the warmth of the pride and emotion of the games.  I will be submitting this piece to Plush You! for judging, so wish me luck!  The torch and it's 6 merry flames are available in my shop.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The never-ending holidays...

My beloved etsy street team - PlushTeam - has been having it's annual Secret Santa Plush Swap, and I received my nifty neato gift yesterday. Hooray!

Since us plush makers are uber busy during the holiday season, we chose to host our swap after Christmas to give us a chance to breathe a little. Plus who doesn't look forward to getting a gift after all the festivities are over? Exactly. As it turns out, Christmas is traditionally celebrated on January 7th (today!), and so I say to you 'S Rozhdestvom! I don't know what it means, but I'm told that what they say to each other over there today. I'm sure it's something delightful.

Silly me, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce our darling newcomers, sent by the fantastic LittleCritters00, to the latest batch of knucklebiters. I could not have been more wrong! Thinking they would play nicely, I turned my back for just a second, and when I returned orange nubby knucklebiter was SNACKING on little red fuzzy dude! Oh, the HORROR.

Well, I reprimanded nubby orange knucklebiter, explaining we do NOT eat our new friends, and he has since been sent to live with a new family in Pennsylvania. I wish them luck!

Meanwhile, my gift to my Secret Santa Recipient is en route, I think she'll probably receive it today. I am soooo excited! Here's a sneak peak: