Friday, June 29, 2012

Meet Fergie

Her full name is Fergalicious Pocahontas Debbie "The Ferg" Lynch. Named after awesome people. She wandered into Nick's parents' backyard yesterday and needed a home. And I'm usually allergic to cats, so Nicholas & I figured we'd just go look and see if we could keep her at The Shack (what Brian dubbed his house). She walked right up to me and I was hooked (and my face surprisingly wasn't swollen). So we put her in the cat carrier (that's been sitting in the back of Nicholas's jeep--wishful thinking, I guess), stopped at the store for some food & flea bath, and took her to her new home. Brian came home, and despite being skeptical while on the phone with Nicholas, he warmed up to her. I had some great name ideas. For awhile, I was set on Pocahontas. Then I thought Debbie would be perfect, after my best friend who always tries to get pets named after her. But I figured it might get confusing to keep saying "Debbie the Cat" and "Debbie the Person." In the end, I called her Fergie and she came running. And Brian said he could live with that, if he could call her The Ferg. Nicholas calls her Fergie, though, and I think that's cute. Plus, now I get to spend my days hanging out with Fergie. How many people can say that?

Also yesterday, after getting Fergie settled in for the night, Nicholas & I were standing in the living room when some neighborhood kids egged the house. Brian took off running and eventually caught one of them. And called the cops. (BUSTED.) Which was fairly funny. See that, kids? Don't mess with The Shack.

Ps. Fergie just climbed onto my laptop and typed this: "f2111oloololoi-l'211111111111177=--------------------------------[". Do you see all those "lol"s in there? She's a lol cat!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Merit Badges & Marvelous Things!

Etsy Shop

That's right! I finally got my act together/made sure there were no more cockroaches waiting to attack, and finished up a brand new batch of one-of-a-kind merit badges! They've all been photographed (and re-photographed another two times for better lighting), packaged up, and uploaded to Golden Cat Studios on Etsy. So click away and get shopping! I'm sure you've earned a merit badge or two!

I managed to fit 18 of them in my little embroidery hoop (sometimes I'm a little too economic with my fabric), along with a few other little embroideries. Once I fill it up, I cut, sew, and package them up.
I have a few new designs I'm especially fond of. Like this little cupcake. In case you haven't figured it out, I like cupcakes a lot. My email address is even "michaela likes cupcakes."
This wonky little drawing is based on the Diana camera. I'm not lucky enough to own this beauty in analog form, but I do have a lens + adaptor for my Canon DSLR, which is ok, but not the same at all.
And since I have a small collection of typewriters, I figure I've earned this one. It's based on the typewriter my grandma had when I was younger. Every time I visited, I had to write a story or two.
And, since little Mia is over the moon excited to see the new Pixar film, Brave, I made a couple arrow themed merit badges, for all you fans of archery (or red-haired heroines). Plus, I've just had a thing for arrows lately.

More designs in the shop! So head on over and check it out!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Coming Soon:

A brand new batch of awesome merit badges. They're all sewed up and packaged and photographed. Now to just clean the house & update the shop.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The one thing I miss

about the North (or one of a few things), is that NOT ONCE did I ever run into a cockroach. I'm sure they exist up there, but they mind their own business, and I never had to deal with bugs too big to unknowingly step on with shoes.


But that was outside a Sonic. So that's ok.


After twisting his arm, I made him promise to save me from anymore blood-sucking jurassic demons. And what do you know--last night, after finishing up a few episodes of Grey's Anatomy, I went into my room to put my laptop away--my room that is too scary to sleep in--my room that I tiptoe into to get more art supplies after scanning the entire place for cockroaches--and while scanning, one of the many dark spots I see because I'm paranoid, MOVES. IT WAS ON MY BED FRAME.


So it yell for Nicholas to get off the couch and come rescue me. He runs to get paper towel (and by run, I mean, strolls leisurely while snickering) while I keep an eye on it. And when I returns, I run and hide behind the couch until it is safe (all the while checking for more insects dinosaurs). I hear the toilet flush and emerge from my hiding space and try to stop hyper ventilating.


At this point, I remember all that coffee I had to drink. But knowing that Nicholas just flushed a cockroach down the toilet made me debate holding it in. (Let's face it: cockroaches will survive the apocalypse. Who's to say they can't crawl back up a toilet to continue terrorizing us?) So after many pep talks, I go in, and begin looking around to make sure the shadows on the shower line are just that, and that nothing is waiting inside the toilet.


Which I was pretty sure was dead. I didn't get a good look before crying running out and screaming for Nicholas, but I told him I thought it was on his back. Nicholas proceeded to wash him down the drain. (Seriously though, he should have killed it first to prevent further breeding.)

At this point, I was way to paranoid to use the bathroom since there had been 2 demon sightings that night, until Nicholas told me that he didn't actually catch the first one in my room, so it must have scurried across the hall and into the tub. If you ask me, that's quite an escape route, and I wasn't buying it. But Nicholas assured me that they move pretty fast, so it must have been the same one.

So then I needed to get something out of my room. Luckily, Nicholas has his moments where he can be a gentleman. So he stood with me and held my hand while I went to reach for more embroidery floss (or maybe it was glitter; who cares). He was snickering and I told him to be quiet. I stood still and listened. And the SAME NOISE I HEARD THE OTHER DAY WHEN I FIRST SPOTTED IT was coming from the corner of my bed frame. Nicholas quickly ushered me out of the room, and I went to cry hide/hyperventilate. I see him carry a fabric bin, used for under the bed storage into the bathroom. And then I hear him empty everything out of it, eventually followed by the shower turning on.

(At least he has a method now?)

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: I can't shower now. Here's to deodorant and Bath & Body Works goodness. I'll be freaking out all week.

Fun Fact: Mia was taught in her kindergarten class (at Catholic school) that bugs are still God's creatures. So when she saves an ant and takes it outside, she'll yell to everyone that she's rescuing a creature of God. But I think even Mia would agree that God did not make cockroaches. Evil. Pure evil.

Ps. Finishing up some marvelous things for the shop today! (If the cockroaches don't kill me first...)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Etsy Front Pagezzz

Oh hey. Apparently, in the last two hours, a treasury I created made it to the front page, followed by a treasury one of my items was featured in.

But I was too busy making more merit badges to catch the first one. Whoopsadaisies!

Anyway, thanks everyone for all the views! There should be a shop in the next few days with plenty of awesome new merit badges for all you Whimsy Scouts out there.

Happy Friday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Return of Golden Cats

I've been keeping my hands busy making lots of things lately. Like a whole bunch of new merit badges. And after sewing the up, photographing, and packaging them yesterday, I finally updated my Etsy shop, Golden Cat Studios.
I wanted to put everything up at once. It gave me motivation to work faster and make more. And the satisfaction is much greater when you have 40+ items in your shop. Plus, I wanted to redo the design for everything based on what I had done for CIA's Student Holiday Sale in December, since I liked the way it looked much better. Everything was cohesive. So I redid all the labels, all the branding, everything. And took new pictures.

I also realized that there's a forest in my backyard now. Well, ok, behind my backyard, across the street, and down a path of wildflowers, there's a forest. But it's pretty much my backyard. So I took my dreamcatchers and hung them up in the trees and snapped a few photos. It was fun, minus the mosquitos. We've had quite a few days of non-stop rain, so there were some swampy areas for sure along the trail. Long pants and long sleeve shirts only deter so many before they attack your face. Anyway, click any of the pictures, or click HERE to check out my shop!

What you'll find:

  • Almost a dozen dreamcatchers with embroidered fabric feathers
  • A dozen and a half one of a kind merit badges
  • A few handmade sketchbooks
  • The Official Whimsy Scout Handbook
  • Pocket Friends Galore
  • Marvelous things everywhere
So get shopping! Buy things so I can buy glitter!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sketchbooks, Part 9

The home stretch. Not quite done, but close enough to dream about mixtapes and bunnies and oceans and pen pals. Ideas were coming together, and I was too exhausted to be stressed.
I wrote my thesis research paper in an afternoon. It was easy once I organized my ideas. And it aided in my concepts to understand the history thoroughly. And it was fresh in my mind for my defense.
 However, better understanding things led me to talk about them differently. And I wasn't sure how I felt. Clearly, I was lying when I thought I figured it out.
 I always went back to breaking down my ideas and asking myself questions.
 And I went back to the stories. I had (have) them memorized. And I also started looking into different writers. e.e. cummings is a favorite of mine. His words make more sense than those that actually make sense. Make sense? It's ok. He knew his writing was confusing.
 Since everything was about the story, the narrative aspect to everything became that much more important. So I decided to structure everything in such a way to reference stories and books and writing and words. My statement was a Prologue. My proposal book was a Chapter Book. (Quote by Ernest Hemmingway. Sometimes I love things he said. Sometimes he bored me.)
 And since I was working with photographs from the 1920s-1950s, I researched writers from those time periods. J.D. Salinger became a big influence, especially since he was influenced by the brilliant F. Scott Fitzgerald, who fit into my time frame. But Salinger's writing structure was closer to my own.
 Fun fact: jackalopes like whiskey. Sometimes I doodle in class, completely unrelated to everything else. But it's rare. Also, I ate a bagel for lunch.
 Sometimes I'm dramatic. Especially after the third allnighter in a week.
 At that point, I do anything I can to keep myself awake and functioning during final critiques.
 Like give myself awards for anything I can. I definitely earned this one.
After this, I started a smaller, single signature sketchbook, dedicated to preparing for my BFA defense. It's pretty boring, but maybe I'll show you a page or two. But for now, that's it.

Sketchbooks, Part 8

 This is the last big sketchbook I filled during BFA year.
 That first page still intimidates me a bit. I find it's the perfect place for your name, though.
 We had a lot of presentations towards the end. A lot of studio visits. A lot of stress.
But when you make it through a VATe (fine arts) presentation unscathed, it feels pretty awesome. 
It feels even more awesome when you reward yourself with [an award for] a good night's sleep. 
 The last few pages were filled with summaries of my ideas over and over. Even in the last few weeks, ideas were changing, and as I tried to nail down exactly what I wanted to say, I kept rewriting everything.
 I wrote a lot of things I didn't mean or didn't want to say. It was frustrating.
 I wrote lists of words. I made flow charts. I wrote and rewrote and rewrote some more.
 And I was so determined to get it right, that I put a lot of pressure on myself. And stopped sleeping enough.
 And then one night, better words came to me. Not perfect words, but the idea was there. Almost.
And I was still learning things about myself. Which gave me more confidence to say what I wanted to say in the way I wanted to say it. Plus, I was too tired to be self-conscious about my ideas. 
I think in order to believe/understand something, I have to write it down from all angles. I did that a lot.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sketchbooks, Part 7

I think most of these things were on almost every To Do list I made until BFA week. There's always more to do. 
Like Whimsy Scouts... I didn't finish the handbook until finals week (I'll share more about it soon!). And my website... I didn't finish that until BFA week. 
 Sometimes, blank space is necessary between ideas. That way, you can go back in and add more. Sometimes, charts are necessary to remind you that you caffeine addiction is probably unhealthy.
Whimsy Scouts became a nice break from the rest of my ideas. Jackalopes began popping up on every other page.

Who knew this was important? While working with narratives for my rotoscopes and tapestries, I decided to write a paragraph about each person. Character development, if you will. And so I just wrote, knowing that I would limit myself to working with only the ideas in that paragraph. So I wrote, without thinking, only knowing, instinctually, what the story outside the frame would be.
 Nellie's story was basic when I wrote the first sentence here. But then everything came together.
 Gregory's story was fuzzy to me. I had the essentials, but the details didn't come together for awhile longer. I just wrote here, and ended up changing things later. Small things.
 Poor Frank, his story was never told. But that's part of working with installations--you work with the space, and my space allotted for 3 tapestries, not 4. So Frank and his pies will have to wait.
Did you read Nellie's story? Because in order to rotoscope her, I needed to film someone cutting their hair. Guess who that someone was...

Sketchbooks, Part 6

This past semester, I (finally) took a handmade book class.  I learned all sorts of bookbinding techniques, but my favorite by far was the coptic stitch. For a long time, I hated coptic, seeing examples online. I thought it was tacky. But I think that's because they were all hardcover. I much prefer them as paperbacks. With colorful thread. And they open so nicely.
Filling these handmade sketchbooks became more gratifying. I was more aware of how quickly I filled each signature, and it was a nice way to section my ideas. And I felt free to write and draw anything I wanted, especially since it was much cheaper to make sketchbooks. A lot of pages, I realized, dealt with narrative sequence. Flow charts. Storyboards. Maps. Book layouts.
Goals for the next 5 years. I'll repost this later - in text form - for your convenience. 
 Narrative sequence. Ideas for my website. I always have trouble categorizing my work, and I end up with a lot of messy venn diagrams and various lists. Like this one.
 Good things. Good ideas. Good day.
 This is how you write a cover letter. In case you were wondering. I took very good notes during the lecture. Can't you tell?
 Annoyed. Probably with the weather and idiots.
 My traveling scholarship plan ended up being something other than this. But it's kind of cool to look back on these brainstorming sketches, and know that it paid off, that I earned money to travel and make art. In other news, here on the right is a list of Good Rabbit Names. Because I will have at least one rabbit (good luck trying to stop me, Nicholas). I'm especially fond of Millie, Julie Andrews, Presley, and Gertrude.
I've worked in 2 different flower shops. And each time, they gave me endless inspiration. Mostly because I came to strongly dislike cut flowers sold in shops (except for peonies). And so while making bouquets, I'd daydream about wildflowers and wonderful landscapes. I like to keep flowers around me and in my sketchbooks, to keep feeding these narratives.