Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: Sourpuss's Housewares

   Sourpuss Clothing has long been a favorite company of mine, ever since I discovered them a couple years ago when I bought a set of pink leopard-print plates for my first apartment. Since then, I've filled my home with all kinds of products from them- dresses, sweaters, accessories, and more (some co-rds here and here for example). So when a couple weeks ago Calyn from Sourpuss contacted me and asked if I would do a review for a few of Sourpuss's new housewares, I was delighted to oblige!
  I was super excited to receive a big skull-taped box with two products featuring the "Lady of the Woods" design. If you've seen my artwork before, you'll know how excited I was to see a tattoo-style deer lady.
  The three images for this series are very reminiscent of the classic american tattoo style, with a limited palette of bold colors, simple shading, and strong lines. But there's a little bit of spooky Victorian/turn of the century detail added in. Overall, these otherworldly ladies make for an eye-catching and iconic design.
 (click images to enlarge)

They were also kind enough to send me a few cute stickers and a little bottle-opener keychain. 
I'm getting quite a collection of these! With every order I've gotten new and different stickers. 
Gotta collect 'em all. 

First, we have the Lady of the Woods porcelain tumbler (available here). As my roommate remarked, it's basically a coffee mug minus the handle, plus a lid. It kept my hot chocolate nice and toasty during the course of this review. The porcelain is a solid weight with a crisp, clean image print. The lid a flexible rubber version of a common disposable coffee lid. Despite not clicking/locking on like some portable coffee mugs, it creates a pretty tight seal that didn't leak when tilted side-to-side.

The website says it is microwave-safe, but I couldn't seem to find any information on the box or tumbler as to whether it was dishwasher safe. Judging by the style of printing, I went on the safe side and hand-washed it. There was no discoloration or damage from gently washing with dish soap and hot water.

For an even more woodsy morning, next up we have the matching Lady of the Woods throw pillow (available here). The first thing I noticed was how high quality and soft the fabric is. The beige satin as a base give the artwork a lovely antiqued look. Unlike a lot of pillows, the image was printed in a way so that it is not raised or on top of the fabric. Therefore, it's perfectly smooth to the touch and doesn't have a rough or sticky texture. It's a decent size too, large enough to lay your head on (or for the cat to sit on the moment you take it out of the box). Around the edges is a black pom pom trim, and the back is black cotton with a hidden zipper to remove the cover for washing.  
It matches our Victorian armchairs perfectly!

Though clearly this design is my favorite, they have two other gorgeous classic tattoo designs also available as tumblers, plates, and pillows. "Arctic Fox" and "Harlow". Go check out their site for some great christmas gifts or a little somethin' for your own lair :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tutorial: Pixel Sprites and Jewelry!


 Have a few hours to do something cute and fun? Pixel art and crafts made with Perler beads is little effort with high reward. You can even do it while catching up on whatever shows you kids are watching these days (I think this entire batch was done during rewatching the first season of Dr. Who). It's pretty darn addicting, and relatively cheap once you have your basic items.

So get your Netflix queue up and gather these supplies:
-Assorted plastic Perler or Hama beads
- Pegboard
-Wax paper

Hama beads are basically just smaller Perler beads, so it's up to personal choice which you'd like to use. In my experience, Perler beads are easier to find in the US. You should be able to find them at most art and craft stores. I would not recommend buying the buckets of assorted beads. It is a pain in the butt to pick out the individual colors one by one. 1000 bead packs of one color can be ordered online here if you can't find them in-store.
With a google image search, you can find pretty much find any sprite you want. Once you've got everything in order, start out by making your basic outline (there's not exactly a wrong way to go, but it's easier to make sure the shape is right and make necessary changes this way, before jumping into the inside). If you're having trouble eyeballing, count the pixels in rows. Also, I really don't recommend trying this without tweezers. Just save yourself the heartbreak and get a pair.

(click photos to enlarge)

I decided to make a Litwick c:
Once the outline is done, fill in the smaller details.

Finally, the solid color.

 Now take a sheet of wax paper and go over it with the iron for about 20 seconds. If you press down a bit and slowly move from side to side, you can achieve a more solid, smooth look. Make sure the iron is not on the steam setting. When it's done, it will have a wet look and stick to the wax paper.
After the sprite has cooled, flip it over and iron the other side to make it more stable.


It's very easy to make jewelry as well. A bit of hot glue and a pin back, and you've got a nifty pixel brooch. The holes in the beads lend themselves to easily making necklaces (if the holes in the corner have sealed closed, use a pin to reopen them).

Here's me wearing a Minish Cap keese sprite necklace :> With my boyfriend bein' a creep in the background.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sugary Sweet Thesis

I hope everyone had a great Halloween. I was Minnie Mouse ;)
But anyway! If anyone's been wondering where I disappeared to again, it's mostly been my senior year of college (scary!). For my Illustration thesis I elected to do a series of drawings having to do with a candyland creepy-cute universe. "Bittersweet" if you will. Many of these were inspired by AP's OTT sweet prints as well as Adventure Time and, more recently, Wreck-It Ralph :)
I'll be selling these drawings as prints by the end of the year, as well as possibly a line of t-shirts and tote bags.
I started by doing a little monster girl, then wondering "what kind of world would she live in?"

(click to enlarge)

So I did three dessert themed over-the-top environments.


Then I took a break and worked on a little line of spooky food postcards in honor of Halloween.

Now I am working on three character based spot illustrations. These will most likely end up as t-shirts. I only have one completed at the moment, but the others are nearly ready! 

I'd love feedback from you guys c:
Which are you favorites? What would you like to see next?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Magical Tea Time!

Hello again darklings! Today I would like to announce the opening of my new Etsy shop, Magical Tea Time! Currently it only carries jewelry made by yours truly, but soon it will also have lovely hats and accessories made by my roommate Kelley, more jewelry made by her husband Evan, and some video game inspired items by my boyfriend, Brandon.
The theme of our shop sort of ranges from Gothic Victorian to Creepy Cute to Nerdy Cute (for example, I currently have in stock fancy Dracula necklaces as well as brightly colored Pokemon rings), but I hope most everyone can find something that catches their eye c:
Please check it out here!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Otakon 2012: Revenge of the Frill

Well, the aftermath of Otakon has simmered down. It wasn't my most eventful year, honestly, I wasn't even committed to going until 3 hours before pre-registration closed. So I didn't have any cosplays lined up or time to buy part of a new outfit, but it was fun weekend nonetheless.
The first day, Friday, I was going to the EGL tea party, which was gothic themed this year. So I opted to wear Alice and The Pirate's Beauty and the Rose Promise, which I hadn't gotten out of the closet since nearly this time last year.

JSK: Beauty and the Rose Promise by Alice and The Pirates
Parasol: Alice and the Pirates
Purse: Putumayo
Boots: Bordello
Tights: Sock Dreams

 The tea party was a nice little lolita event, considering Otakon was definitely lacking in programs for the frillies this year. There was a little gift exchange, and a decent selection of teas and light food. Whenever I go to a formal tea, I am always interested to see what can be made into a tiny sandwich.

(last two photos courtesy of Petrina Cheng)

Later that night was the fashion show. It was a smaller event this year, and was missing my favorite American designer, Morrigan NYC, sadly. But it definitely was run much more smoothly and was still a good show. I was particularly fond of I Do Declare and Haenuli's designs.

On Saturday, I decided to brighten things up a bit and go for a bittersweet look (quite similar to the one I posted here!)

 JSK: DoL Fantastic Dolly Replica
Cardigan: Sourpuss Clothing
Purse: Cambridge Satchel Co.
Boots: Bodyline
Tights: eBay

 I didn't really go to many panels Saturday, mostly shopped Artist's Alley and hung out with friends. There was so much lovely deco jewelry, it was very difficult to contain myself. Somehow, I managed to not spend all my money in the face of purple accessories.

Sunday was just a short "see everyone and everything one last time", so I abandoned my hair extensions and wore a comfy kodona-ish outfit.

Hat: Hats in the Belfrey
Vest, shirt: TJ Maxx
Bow: Bodyline 
Bloomers: Handmade
Shoes: Bodyline
Purse: Putumayo
Bloomers are the best pants now. I've been wear bloomers with opaque tights are casual wear ever since c:
I've still got so many photos from meetup and such to dump this month! And my roommates and I are currently setting up an Etsy store to sell our handmade jewelry and hats so, expect to be spammed with spookygoods soon, darlings!

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