Heirloom Doll: Aster

heirloom doll illustration digital art painting doodle sketch color bright

 

A few months ago I posted a photo of some very humble embroidery practice. It has become something for me to do to make my sewing projects feel a little more special. I made hand-embroidered labels for the jammies I made for my family this Christmas. But as you can tell by my very first attempts, I had faces in mind. Specifically that of an heirloom doll. 

I’ve been making really simple cloth dolls for a few years. I just love the fact that I can take a sketch or an idea for a character and turn it into a real-life friend. And a piece of art that is tactile and can be handled.

Heirloom dolls certainly have their place on Instagram and Pinterest at the moment. (As well as the rest of the Internet.) I have had this idea for this little mouse-friend floating around in my head for several months and she’s finally real! (And you can be sure there will be cats to follow.)

Trial and Error

I can’t tell you how many mouse heads I sewed, bodies I assembled, methods for arms and legs to be jointed to the body I tested, etc. I’ve sewn a couple other animals too, which I’m sure will make their debut in the near future. 

But I’m really proud of how this little girl mouse turned out. Experimenting and taking what I like to call “creative risks” is so rewarding. 

An important feature is that she is sturdy enough to play with. I dreamed up a doll that someone could give to a creative, thoughtful child and would happily endure thousands of tea and slumber parties. And hopefully the type of treasure that could be inherited after a time.

I hope you like her! I plan to make more and offer them in a special pixelpleat etsy shop. Along with clothing and other fun, frivolous things.

heirloom doll

2016 Christmas Card Roundup

custom Christmas card illustrated hand drawn personalized

2016 was a huge year for my custom, hand-drawn Christmas cards. I had so much fun drawing the families of friends new and old.

I always love looking through them once the season is all wrapped up and people have had a chance to get their cards out to family and friends. This year does not disappoint! 

Enjoy looking through the gallery and subscribe to my Custom Christmas Card Illustration Newsletter if you’re interested in commissioning me for something like this in the future.

I plan to do a batch in the next couple months for just regular family illustrations.

Christmas Card/Personalized Family Illustration Roundup – 2016

Thanks for reading and to everybody who ordered a card this year, thank you so much! Obviously I was very busy!!

Free Printable Thanksgiving Feast Coloring Page

Guess Who’s Back… Again?

Well, gosh. It feels like it’s been a little too long since I last posted something that can be downloaded and printed, so here I am again. Presenting, comically drawn Thanksgiving feast-things in the form of a PDF coloring page! So, get your crayons, colored pencils, washable markers or whatever tickles your art-tool fancy and get scribblin’. You can even use gravy!

I wish I could say that this super cute idea popped into my head for fun, practical coloring sheet place mats to help keep your kids entertained like the snazzy restaurants do sometimes. I thought about suggesting you track down some of those gnome-sized crayons. Then you could give just two to each child who attends your Thanksgiving dinner. 

Since, you know… kids hardly ever eat anything at these functions. The food’s sloshing around on their plate like pigs in a mudbath and they can’t eat it because there are beats and now everything’s pink. So, a coloring sheet will surely keep your kids entertained while you push your own turkey pants to their limit.

Just kidding. I made this coloring sheet for myself. Because I’m the only one who colors at the restaurants. 

After I pick the stupidly-small crayons up off the nasty, nasty carpet.

Guys. This Thanksgiving coloring page is for everybody.

See if you can name all of the dishes I’ve doodled and then color it yourself, you filthy animal. ‘Cause even though adult coloring pages and books are probably so last year, there are still a few of us left who have enjoyed coloring since 1993 and will probably never stop. 

coloring_page_preview thanksgiving coloring page

I don’t know why things have to be so sassy around here all the time. What I should be saying is “Hey, I made this cute coloring page. Download it. Or not. Up to you.” 

Whatever, Happy Thanksgiving!

Download the PDF

Sewing Eyes – Beginning with Hand Embroidery

Sheesh, has it been a while or WHAT? 

I’ve been busy being a mommy and trying lotsa new things. Like pixel art (more on that soon) and embroidery! 

I’ve had this idea for a while now that I would really love to try to make some dolls. Like, really cool, weird dolls. And Halloween is right around the corner so I can totally justify this conquest with the fact that it may in fact produce some cool critters to sit on my shelf. 

So, I bought a tiny embroidery hoop (I’m actually going to see if I can find a tinier one, because I’d like to be able to do this face stitching after I sew the head pieces together. I think the one I have might be a tad too big. 

Anyway, my very first attempt is in this photo.

beginner hand embroidery eyes character doll faces
That green egg-shaped blob at the top was my first attempt at something dumb and I quickly realized I didn’t like that approach.

I’ve been sketching concepts for months and the eyes are super important to me because along with the general shape of my dolls, I think the faces will set them apart. After all, embroidery like this enables me to basically draw with thread which is pretty dang cool.

We’ll see how it goes. 

Also, there is a 85% chance that the blog will turn into a bit of an outlet for my more… artistic endeavors and less of the mommy blog that it has been. I still plan to offer free downloads and quirky holiday printables, but we have created a family blog elsewhere, so PIXELPLEAT can just be weird Drea-stuffs.

Yard Work Medicine

In the past, Pax and I have really had a hard time getting much done on our weekends. We look forward to them and during the week have no problem discussing all the things we want to do around the house and yard, but when we roll out of bed on Saturday morning we kind of play the “well, what do you feel like doing today” game. 

Well, we nailed it today. Gardening really is good for the soul. And so is meeting goals. We set out to put up another section of our fence, pull as many dandelions as possible and plant some new stuff in “the bean”. (i.e., The bean-shaped flower bed we dug out of our front lawn a couple years ago.)

One section of fence, approximately 3,576 dandelions, and a run to the nursery later and I’m feeling really freaking good. My body is sore. I am going to sleep really well tonight and I think I checked every last thing off of my list today. As Vi would say, “Bing bang boom!”

spring_apple_blossoms_tree_yard_work_gardening_april_utah
Our beloved apple tree is looking quite nice right now. Spring is just the best.

It is a lot of work, but man, having a yard to take care of can heal so much. Now, I just can’t wait to get started on my vegetables. And someday, a greenhouse. 🙂