Saturday, 22 September 2007

Puppet Show

Puppet Show
Originally uploaded by SuperOrangeDesigner.
This should be my inspiration to make finger puppets - what a wonderful idea: to make characters from "Alice in Wonderland". This book is very close to my heart for we are namesake with Alice Lidell. (The author - that's completely different thing). I love this book for the langauage and unlimited imagination od a dreamer. A little bit scary imagination.
But I like this photograph very much - the author made a fantastic job. Well, octopus has an advantage of eight "hands" but who sais I can not make 8 puppets? Funny that all "humans" have green octopus-like faces (I've notice it at second glance, I must admit).

And I found great group of finger puppeter on flickr . Great source of inspiration. As usual.

Friday, 21 September 2007

do two sheep make a flock?

two sheep make a flock?
Originally uploaded by lalootka.
At last I'm starting an etsy shop. CUDDLY FLOCK to present various creatures that are part of it. Not just sheep, actually. Though I have really large flock of sheep and lambs - they are still WIP (registration of new students, and exams do not help in preparing stock). But I'm happy to start at all! Slowly I will add new items. And add new photographs to show my flock better. Lots of work to do! I'm starting to look forward my every week travelling to Torun, hahah. For first three buyers - shippment free - does it sound interesting? All items will go with a cotton bag (I saw once such a bag in Japanese pattern book and I love it) and with a certificate of origin. And with tags. Now I see that the idea of the shop and me making softies looks more and more detailed. I'm working on a mascot that will represent me.
And I made a banner.

The banner is small and simple, maybe too simple, but I can always improve it! Or remove and make another one! But I made it myself, and for I am not experienced in Photoshop, I should be satisfied for my first time graphic design - the original version looked like this:
It was too large (mx. 750 x 100 pixels) photography of catroons cut out of paper on cardboard, so I replaced monkey and moved deer into the gap. And then it started - I thought it should be brighter, and then more contrast.... It was fun!
I took the manual and did my best - for now. Well, anyway it's lighter :D

But few words about my sheep. They both belong to the group: "Sheep of the world, unite!". The white sheep is Fanny. She is very independent individual. She accentuates her individuality by decision of homeschooling (whomever will adopt her - be prepared then!) and keeping silence every Thursday (don't ask me why Thursdays). She'd like to have smaller nose.
She loves everything traditional Japanese: from food to design, from theatre to amigurumi. Don't be surprised if you see her late at night watching "Ghost in the Shell" or "Spirited Away", and eating soba noodles with broccoli (well, broccoli are fine and she won't resign of them). Her companion's name is Jules.

She was trying to cover her nose with a teddy bear.... The black sheep is Biba, named after 60ties fashion designer. Biba is a preschooler sheep with a strong desire to become a pilot when she grows up. She's already started learning meteorology and astronomy.
She likes to eat spinach, and tofu. And chocolate candies. Biba loves everything black and more possible is that she'll become a fashion victim or designer herself than a pilot. But who knows? I need to be more supportive for her, I believe.

Sheep are made of polar fleece and cotton, 17 cm (6,6" ) and almost the same size from ear to ear. Their teddy bears are made of wool felt - 5 cm (2" ) tall.
And the last photograph - it's the only photo of my recent custom order - a quilt/tapestry for a baptized child (it was meant to be a gift from his godmother). It was definately LAST MINUTE order, so I made this quilt in such a hurry that I forgot to take a picture! Anyway - on the cotton printed in clouds I made felt letters (seen below, the child is half Canadian half Polish so the names reflect it), and all the edges were decorated with felt angels, children and animals. Cream cotton fabric on back, red thread trim on the edges. I put ribbons on the corners to hang it. Packaged nicely in a box decorated with my characters. As I heard everybody loved it - it was so nice to hear!
I hope I will have an opportunity to take a photograph of this work.
P.S. I had a funny thought: two years ago I made a PhD about the names and tradition of naming (among the other things), and now I make tapestry with names. Second thought was: bringing up the child is worth PhD also :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

fresh finds - design for children

Tissue pom-poms remind me peonies - one of my favourite flowers and I believe they can amazingly decorate any nursery room - or any room. Children would love these fluffy pom-poms on their birthday parties. I've learned recently that Martha Stewart is almost an institution - she knows everything about the housekeeping and decorating, or if she doesn't she know who does. Then full instruction is here . These flowers are a little bit kitchy but all charm lies there.
L is for Litter A L O O T K A
Though it is not design - or very strange one - it was funny thing to Spell with flickr - the word about this programm is spreading the world. (As always - one can find ANYTHING in flickr!) Word "lalootka" seems to be much too long (for a blog) but looks interesting anyway. If you don't like the shape of the letter chosen by programm, you can click for another one, and another, untill you like it. More or less, I like "lalootka" in this shape.
But I was going to write something about my fresh finds. They are few Polish toy companies. Like Gepetto - toys with soul, as they describe themselves. They have a lot of kinds wooden vehicles and rocking horses (not always horses, actually, sometimes sheep), all nicely designed, meeting children safety standards, are painted with watersoluble paints, all with CE and TUV certificates.

My favourite item is zebra vehicle, but there are many others: pigs, dragons, dogs, ducks - all collected in pdf catalogue.
If you want to see toys other than wooden - puppets, spinning tops, pushing toys, toys on wheels, turning houses, theatres and lots more - you must visit Kalimba an online shop of Natka Luniak. She founded toy company, now expanding, with a caffeterie Kofifi, and children friendly ideology. She also designes children furniture. If you visit this site, you can listen to the sounds of kalimba - an African instrument that brought name to the company.
If you speak (or read) Polish, visiting Wy!twórnia is your must-do. It's one of the most interesting publishers of children books currently. They re-published "Baśń o królu Dardanelu"
(Tale of King Dardanel) - with Janusz Stanny illustrations - and it's children's book evergreen. The company was established by two women not satisfied with common children books production. And, as for me, it was the perfect step. They publish books with beautiful illustrations, classic illustrations, modern also, finely designed, wise and - well, these books teach children what a good design means. The more such companies, the better.
Another children friendly company is endo . Originality of this clothing company lies in the quality of materials, good finishing, detailed prints of funny characters
and the variety of products: clothes for children, wonderful teddy bears

- and clothes for them also,

books (they publish books about Maisy ! - Ada and I we are great fans of Maisy)
And if we are speaking of Maisy - the simplicity of the outlines, brighness of colours and humour of this character are very very special. I'm not surprised that Lucy Cousins has her books printed in millions of copies around the world.
And now - Polish design of furniture for children. Meblik is a producer of quite pleasant furniture for any toddler or children. Various designs, friendly colours, quality. They are not especially sophisticated, modern of posh but look pleasantly.
Baby Vox present a wide range of furniture for children. Most of them are rather classic designs, like this presented below - Alice (which I chose for its name)
This collection was cooproduced with Pottery Barn Kids , well known for their beddings, accessories, furniture, decor and many more items - all inspiring for parents, children, and furniture designers. Pottery Barn Kids are not Polish company, of course. I like the fabric dolls they present. Very much in my fashion.
And I'm back with soft toys! As always - it's (exept my daughter ) my favourite subject recently. I even though of buying Ada a Maisy in softie form
but for now - while I am away, in Torun, she is quite happy with her twin sheep. Production - lalootka. Photographs of sheep - soon.