Sunday, 20 January 2019

Bonus: 10 Min Drawing + Weird Wonders

{My Poppet link}
Welcome to the Bonus blog update. Some things dropped into my 'get excited' box, and I really couldn't wait till next Friday to mention them. So let's get to it, shall we?

A while back I created and wrote about a Drawing Project, which you can at last read about, over at My Poppet.

Previously, my youngest made some weird wonders, which I took the liberty of photographing for posterity. I enjoy watching her sewing development.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Looking for Meaning in a Button Box

© Melissa Gaggiano
It has been a week of lost contemplation. I'm between projects. Figuratively speaking of kicking the tires and making sure I'm on the right track for 2019.

While I am double checking my course path, the week has not been without it's creative bursts.

I produced a short photographic essay on my tog blog.

I enabled the kids in their making. The eldest has been crafting paper decorations for her birthday. The youngest made a fluffy dog toy, and for the first time she had a go at using the sewing machine.

I had a little drawing spark, and came up with this doll concept. No matter how much paper I have I always run out of room for the legs. I end up drawing my doll figures with bent knees.
© Melissa Gaggiano

Friday, 11 January 2019

Turtle + Other Good Stuff

© Melissa Gaggiano

In the week that has been I have finished making a sweet, fabric sculpted turtle. The turtle is 34cm tall and has a wire armature frame (being a poser is no longer a dirty word). The turtle is available for AUD $250.


© Melissa Gaggiano
I participated in a #drawinyourownstyle activity, playing along with Illustrator, Mel Stringer's Challenge. Aptly hashtagged as #melstringerdrawchallenge.  I had a lot of fun recreating Mel's illustration in my own way.

© Melissa Gaggiano
To recap the week just gone, I have entered my 2018 Sloth Project in Frankie Good Stuff Awards. Simply entering into these awards is a pat on my own back. It's a reward to myself and therefore worth mentioning, again. To find out more about the sloths, go here.

For those interested in making a smaller version of these sloths, there is a tutorial available on Etsy. To buy it simply go here.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Turtle + Sloth

© Melissa Gaggiano

After a couple of weeks of enforced rest, I feel ready and charged to focus on 2019 work. I have begun with the sculpting of a spectacled turtle.

The turtle has not given them self a name... yet. I can tell you that the turtle is made of felt, is being sculpted one section at a time, and began with a basic wire structure. As you can see from the below images, the feet and arms are complete. My next challenge is the neck, head and face.

© Melissa Gaggiano
In other news I have entered my 2018 Sloth collection into the Frankie Good Stuff Awards.

Designing and creating these sloths was a ground breaking project for me. I was applying what I could already do, trying new ideas, and creating a set that told a visual story. I was so happy bringing my passion for doll making, illustration and photography together.

Read this, to learn more about the Sloth collection.

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Twenty Eighteen

These days I'm not much of a fan of New Year's Resolutions. Back in the day when I used to write those lists my resolve was bound to backfire. Looking back, I now understand my resolutions did not come with action plans or came with too high an expectation.

2018 is nearing completion, and no, I am not going to write a NYR. Instead I intend on using the next few weeks to rest, and take mental stock.

Doing the mental stock thing, I am following the recommendations of Marie Forleo. Marie is pure rocket fuel for my brain. Watching her videos really makes me think. And I do not mind revisiting her old videos, because, you know what? It's easy to forget, and travel off course. You are The Captain of your journey, but every good Captain refers to their Navigator. Yes, Marie is a Navigator of sorts.

With those brain farts out of my system, I want to share with you, my 2018 in review.

Let it begin:

Leonard Street (Australian indie fashion label) invited me to showcase my sloth doll designs in their Fitzroy store. The sloths are handmade armature (meaning, the limbs can move) felt dolls. Their clothes were made from the offcuts of Leonard Street fabric. Such an amazing project.

I am a regular contributor for the craft arm of My Poppet. My content has ranged from felt to paper projects. An exciting highlight was attending PAX as a media representative for My Poppet. Reporting my experience of this colossal event for My Poppet Living.

I have been a regular craft design contributor for the Australian magazine, Handmade.

I produced a downloadable ebook – a tutorial for making a simpler version of my Leonard St sloth designs.

I received a commission to make classroom finger puppets. The puppets were intended as a classroom tool, for students to express their feelings, in their transition to high school. These finger puppets have armature in the arms.

Although not craft design orientated, it is a worthwhile point to mention, I was hired as a photographer for a Fortieth Birthday celebration. It was both a highlight of my year and a creative job, therefore worth mentioning.

Worthy mention:

I handcrafted a felt furniture set. The bed and couch were designed to suit the dimensions of an LOL doll...
... and it was well received.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Gameboy + Pac Man + Fish Girl + Fast Food

I'm busy. You're busy. Everyone's busy. It's that time of year. We're all rushing to get things done, as if Christmas and New Year is this unspoken cut off period. We all know it's drawing near. In fact, we've had a whole year to brace for the festive season. And yet, here we are, losing our sanity, collectively.

Oh well.

The past week I have been hand making presents for family and friends. Nothing says friendship appreciation like a felt crafted Nintendo Gameboy and a tray of fast food.

As of tomorrow, I will try listening to my own inner voice, and stop... Maybe.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Go Ahead! Make Your Own Sloth

© Melissa Gaggiano
How could I not be excited? Today I am launching my first craft tutorial ebook, and it's all about the sloth.

This book has been quite a few weeks in the making. There were times I wasn't sure this would actually come together. But a combination of perseverance and getting some sleep, made it possible.

And now, I present to you "Sloth – Felt Design Tutorial", available on my Etsy store.

This PDF download provides you with all the information you would need to make one of my cute sloth designs. It includes:
- material and tool listing
- simple, step by step instructions with matching photographs
- pattern pieces template page

The dimensions of the doll presented in the tutorial are as follows:
Height – 17 cm
Width – 6.5 cm

A little background story...
This sloth originally emerged as a much larger doll that has showcased in a Leonard St clothing boutique in Melbourne. The original sloths wore doll size clothes, replicating Leonard St fashion. For more information about this – Leonard St Sloth.

I then decided to product a smaller scale of the sloth (without clothes), and make it available as a tutorial, for you. Which is where this book comes in.

Visit my Etsy store and buy your own copy of "Sloth – Felt Design Tutorial".

© Melissa Gaggiano

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Angel Baby

{My Poppet link}

"Who is the dream who starts me dreaming
Angel baby
Then keeps me worrying and schemeing
You, angel baby, you"

The year is drawing to a close at a pace that I can hardly believe. Time doesn't stand still, and neither do we. There is always something to work toward, and always a time to rest. The planet rests. Flowers rest. Animals rest. Humans are animals, and we too need our rest, as much as we need good work to thrive.

On that note I'd like to take you to My Poppet to access my latest DIY. It is an easy as paper angel project. This decorative piece makes a lovely time out project. So head on over to My Poppet, and get into it!

Friday, 23 November 2018

Rubik's + Gameboy

Felt crafted Rubik's cube
by Melissa Gaggiano
This week might have been a lost week, if not for the impromptu sewing projects, which are photographed here.

The week began, with my finishing a major project (which at the mo' is still hush-hush). The project is now in the hands of others, as I  await feedback. That left me with time, to contemplate my existential navel, and tweak an updated business plan. I'd tell you that I'm at a cross-road. But let's be clear – every week is a cross-road for me. Even with a business plan, I still have this feeling that I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. It means I'm using instinct.

I have discovered, when between major projects, it is healthy to take on smaller projects. As it turns out, I always need to create something. So...

Two pieces, that I made this week, had a retro eighties vibe – a Rubik's Cube (with my own color choices), and a Nintendo Gameboy (intended as a birthday present). A part of me truly never left the eighties, and this sometimes bleeds through into my concept work.

Keep on! Keep on!
Felt crafted Nintendo Gameboy
by Melissa Gaggiano

Friday, 16 November 2018

Whoosh + Rocket + My Poppet

{doll box}
“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams
This week has seen a massive surge of productivity. What a difference it makes when you put things to paper and set yourself actual deadlines.

Pocket Rocket Moment
I received an uplifting note, in regard to the doll box that I recently made. Little things like that become huge motivators for me.

My Poppet
I have illustrated a printable coloring advent calendar for My Poppet. Head on over to My Poppet to get your own calendar and find other wonderful inspirations in the lead up to the festive season.

{My Poppet}