Thanks to allow for creativity

October 28th, 2009

sand sculptureI took these pictures when I was in Puerto Vallarta this past May.  It was the height of the swine flu scare and many tourists canceled their plans to visit Mexico, contributing to a severe drop in business for many people who depend on tourists to make their living. 

We walked by these sand sculptures that I thought were incredible.  Once again it reminded me how creativity is all about seeing things differently and handmade sign for creativityfinding different uses and solutions for what is right in front of you.   

I was particularly touched by the handmade sign that invited people to drop a few pesos into the bucket.  It was a way to thank the artist for seeing the sand differently and for making a walk along the ocean even more enjoyable.

Hungry Dog in a Shadow Box

October 14th, 2009

Hungry Dog in Shadow BoxNo matter what, I just can’t seem to part with this particular Hungry Dog.  I think it is the way his head is cocked slightly, he reminds me too much of Oscar.  I found myself taking him out of every batch of orders, so instead of selling him I suspended him in a shadow box.  I think I’m going to bring him to hang at work.

Finding Creative Inspiration at a Garage Sale

September 30th, 2009

Hungry Dog and Felix with Scrabble lettersI drove by a garage sale last week – I always want to stop at garage sales, but when I’m alone for some reason I get intimidated and don’t stop, I prefer to go with a friend – anyway, I’m glad I actually stopped at this one.  I wasn’t looking for anything special, just curious to see what was there and the possibilities it could have for me.  I found a Scrabble game.  I actually don’t play Scrabble or any board games for that matter, they have never been able to hold my attention and I find myself fixated on when the game is going to finish vs. having fun playing it. I decided I would buy the Scrabble game and put it to an alternative use.  I used the letters on a Hungry Dog and Felix paper doll and am also going to incorporate the letters into a couple of custom paper dolls I am making for an upcoming wedding.  The couple is a huge Scrabble fan, so they will each get there Scrabble initial on their custom paper doll.

Playing around with some new designs

September 16th, 2009

Penguin paper dollI’ve been playing around with some new designs lately, like this gentleman penquin featured in this photo.   

My good friend Karin, of Karin Jacobson Design, has graciously offered to let Hungry Dog Designs be a guest in her studio during the Northrup King Building’s Annual Art Attack event this November. 

I wanted to be able to include some paper doll designs at this event that are different from the Hungry Dog, Felix, Catrina, and Betsy Zebra paper dolldesigns currently available. 

Take a peak at this zebra.  He’s one of my current favorites and I’m thinking about turning him into a holiday ornament.  Let me know what you think. 

One Person’s Junk…

September 9th, 2009

Hungry Dog with old milk bottle topMy parents loved going to flea markets when I was a kid.  I hated it.  I just didn’t see the appeal; I thought it was just another way for my parents to be cheap. (Another way they were cheap was not buying me Guess jeans and I had a chip on my shoulder over it – it was the late 80’s after all.)   

My mom would say, “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  At the time, I was too much of a pre-teen punk to understand the wisdom and beauty behind this saying.  Now I can say I get it. 

I went to the Elko Flea Market this past weekend to hunt for odds and ends that I can use in Hungry Dog Designs paper dolls.  It was a creative challenge combing through all the stuff at the tables – not knowing exactly what I was looking for, but knew I’d Betsy with old bottle topknow it once I saw it.  And see it I did.  I ended up leaving with a huge bag of vintage match book covers, along with some old bottle caps and tops of milk bottles.   Here are a few pictures of the new creations.  The milk bottle tops are my personal favorite. 

My mom was right – one person’s junk was certainly my treasure.

Fall Fashion with Catrina

September 2nd, 2009

New fashions for the Catrina Paper DollLiving in Minneapolis, I have to tell you, the arrival of fall incites a feeling of panic within me.  As pretty as the fall can be, its coming means there are any where between two days to two months of decent weather left before my car doors freeze, the ice scrapper and shovel come out, and I don’t want to leave the house.   

To help make this time of year less jarring, I’ve invented some annual survival strategies that keep me going.  One of these strategies includes stocking up on the September issues of as many fashion magazines as I can find. I’ll spend hours sifting through the pages, making my fall clothing “wish list” and coming up for air only for a glass of wine (or three). 

This year I have found myself, like many, watching my budget. That clothing wish list just doesn’t feel like a reality right now so instead of hitting the mall, I visited one of my favorite paper destinations and splurged on a bunch of new paper designs.   I’ve been playing around with these papers, mixing and matching them to make the Catrina paper doll some new fall outfits.  Pencil skirts are her current obsession – the gold one (middle in photograph) is a tribute to Michelle Obama.  Embellished prints are also one of Catrina’s staples. 

Let me know which outfit you like best.

Making Something out of Nothing

August 27th, 2009

totem poll at minnehaha dog parkHaving a dog has made me more adventurous.  Oscar gets me out of the house and gives me an excuse to explore new places.  One place in particular that I love visiting—and that I know I never would’ve discovered without him—is the Minnehaha Dog Park.   

Over the summer and fall months we go to this dog park religiously.  We both get our exercise and are immersed in nature—trees, river, waterfall—it’s all there.  Our trips to this dog park help me clear my head, reflect, and force me to pause and notice what is right in front of me, including this Totem poll. 

Earlier this summer I noticed someone had cleared all the bark from a fallen tree.  Over the next few weeks, it began to take on a shape, and then finally, color.  I only saw the artist who made this Totem poll once and I regret I never got his name.  He explained to me that he learned his art from his grandfather and that he enjoyed doing this.  He has made a few more around the Twin Cities and leaves them behind for others to enjoy once he is done. 

I was very touched by this and now I always go out of my way at the dog park to walk by the Totem poll.  To me, it serves as a reminder that creativity is everywhere, as long as I can commit to seeing the possibilities and value making something out of nothing.     

Betsy got Back

August 19th, 2009

Betsy with BackEvery summer I have these grand plans of getting into really good shape and dropping those last 10 pounds.  However, every summer I find it harder than I thought to maintain my workout schedule because I’m running off to a block party or summer happy hour somewhere.   

They say misery loves company, so as I struggle to motivate myself in kicking my workouts up a notch, I decided to add a few pounds to the Betsy paper doll as well.  Like me, she enjoys some mini donuts along with her fresh tomatoes at the farmer’s market or grabbing margaritas with my girl friends instead of hitting the elliptical machine after work.  It’s not a bad thing; in fact, I think Betsy’s new curves provide a better canvas for decoration.  At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

Ummm, those would all be mine…

August 12th, 2009

photo of my cat and dog photosWhen I started making the Hungry Dog and Felix line, I knew I’d be using actual photos.  To obtain these actual photos, I usually make a quick stop on my way home from work to a large convenience store that will remain nameless.  At this magical store I can make prints in just a few minutes from their picture kiosk (as well as pick up other necessities/guilty pleasures).  I have to say, I didn’t anticipate how printing off numerous copies of the same picture of dog and cat over and over again could become somewhat humiliating.  

Last week I stopped in to make more copies of Hungry Dog and Felix and the woman behind the counter smiled at me.  I smiled back, thinking she was just being friendly.  Then she opened her mouth and said to me, “You’re the dog and cat lady!”   

Awesome, I thought to myself.  She thinks I’m a freak.

I waited for my prints in minutes and a young man from behind the counter retrieved them from the printer.  He glanced at them as he put them in the envelope and said, “Are all the dog and cat pictures yours?”  I was feeling a little self conscious now and replied rather weakly, “Ummm… yup.   Those would all be mine.”  The woman jumped in and said, “Those are all hers.  She comes in here every week and makes pictures of her dog and cat.  We call her the dog and cat lady.”   I think I’m going to find a new store to print my photos…

Seeing things that have been there all along

August 6th, 2009

Totem poll on 32nd and Chicago This past fall I sold my house and moved about five blocks away.  While it was only five blocks, it was enough to change up my routine and I was surprised by how such a seemingly small change was enough to alter my perceptions.  The first thing I noticed was this totem poll.  It’s located at the end of our block, as part of a community garden. 

I have driven by this garden almost daily for the past seven years on the way to my old house, but never noticed. close up of totem pollNow I go out of my way to pass by this totem poll on my walks with Hungry Dog.  It reminds me that when I am open to change, I will see things in a new way or be open to seeing things that have been there all along.