As you may have (hopefully) noticed, I have been hard at work on remaking a whole shiny new site for you. I was hoping for a cleaner, brighter look that was a little less cluttered. Crossing my fingers that it comes across that way. I have also simplified the pages in what was the Gallery and is now the Portfolio for easier viewing. AND my new favorite page, the Adoption Center, where my currently available Cuddle Buddies are waiting for you to take them home.
Along with re-branding the site, I have updated the usernames on all my social media to make it cohesive across the board, all now using my shop name “Happy Nakama” instead of some using my artist name “Rainbows Anthem” which I felt made things confusing as to whether or not they were the same person..
Here are the new social media links:
I sincerely hope that the new site design is easier to navigate for everyone. And by all means if there are any suggestions of things you would like to see or changes I could make, please let me know!
Where to even start reviewing 2014… there was a lot going on this past year. Definitely. It was not necessarily an easy year by any mark, but the year brought an abundance of learning and new understandings.
I discovered so many new things:
- Welcome To Night Vale – If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s this brilliant and creepy podcast about this little town of Night Vale in the desert. It’s… kinda hard to explain, really. But it fast became an addiction in my house and it’s sparked a lot of new creative ideas about writing, artwork, plushies..
- Cards Against Humanity – Which is such a wrong, messed up, hilarious game. We have taken the original cards and added tons of fandom-inspired cards we’ve found online, plus added in a bunch of personal jokes. We die laughing every time.. and lose way too many games to the Faceless Old Woman..
- Pirate Sentai Gokaiger – The original Japanese version of Power Rangers. (I know, right? lol) We were introduced to is ridiculousness by some friends we made at Nijicon in October and we’re totally hooked. The Gokaiger season is actually the 35th anniversary season and we’re probably going to end up searching out a bunch of the other seasons because the team has the power to transform into all the older teams and we keep wondering “Oh what team is that? They look so cool” or their leader will show up to teach the team something and then we want to know more about his team.. Also the 35th anniversary coincides with the 10th anniversary of “One Piece” and the team members were inspired by the OP crew members, so we were predisposed to love it.
I also celebrated this year the return of one of my favorite bands after a 3-year break up, Fall Out Boy, who came back with the best album they’ve made yet and a whole new energy. They’ve got another new album dropping this month and I can’t wait! So inspiring to see a band you love come back so much more alive and seeing what happens when they really come together as a band and give respect to what they all love to do.
Speaking of music, I love all these crowd-funding sites where I can help some of my favourite under-appreciated bands and musicians make the album that they want to make and enjoying hearing that love and freedom in their finished albums.
It’s been amazing watching all the victories in the Marriage Equality fight add up, for me and especially for my best friends. Seeing so many stories of couples who have waited years, lifetimes even, to have their life together respected and recognized. I just pray that we can keep the momentum moving in the right direction.
I finally worked my first convention this year (two actually) which I was so excited for. While I did enjoy part of the experience, I’m still left with mixed emotions about whether it’s something I want to do on a regular basis.. It seems like the convention environment is changing and maybe it’s not as good for independent, small business artists as it used to be.. which is really a shame.. But there are other ways to be seen and I’ll keep working at it.
I helped my besties at Hermit & Star Books rebrand their “Parliament of Twilight” series into something even bigger and better than it was before, kind of like crossing “Game of Thrones”, “Supernatural”, and “Queer as Folk” into this amazing, scary, brilliant epic story playing out across all these characters’ lives with intertwining plot lines.. Book Two is in the editing stages right now and they’re writing Book Three. As their editor and number one fangirl I can tell you they are just getting better.. or worse (depending on how much abuse you like your characters to have).
Creatively speaking, I learned to embroider eyes for my Deluxe Cuddle Buddies this year and they just look incredible. I’m so proud of the work I’ve been doing. I love comparing my creative progress to where I started, old plushies to new. Hard to believe I’ve only been making them for four years.. like this – the first Dr. Stein plushie I made to the one I made just a couple months ago.
Wow.. the difference is just crazy to me. And I tried something really new for me – my Usagi and Misaki plushies are made totally out of felt, clothes and all. They turned out SO CUTE! I think I’m gonna keep that style with the button eyes because it really suits them. Unless, of course, someone requests the embroidered ones. Gotta make some more baby ponies so I can see what they look like with the embroidered eyes.. so, so many things I want to work on!
Like I said.. it’s been a very busy year! I’m sure that I’ve left something out but there was just too much going on.. and I’m hoping that 2015 will be just as busy, amazing and enlightening!
So how was your 2014?
I’ve been taking a break from making plushies the last couple of weeks since I finally got my old laptop to cooperate long enough to transfer my files. I’ve been sifting through those files, putting things back in order in my current laptop with all the new stuff. The most important part of getting those files off the old laptop was getting all my artwork. All my scans waiting to be colored and the pieces that I’d finished coloring but hadn’t shared yet. I was heartbroken when the computer just died and they were lost. Turns out there was a frayed spot in the cord right where it connects to the battery pack. I managed – after months of depression at the loss – to rig it up with some electrical tape just long enough to save the files off it. The techno gods truly smiled on me that day. I literally did a happy dance all around my room.
I’m so happy and so, so grateful to have my artwork back – especially the beautifull pieces that I had finished coloring already. Having them back has brought me out of the drawing drought and I am trying to put time for that back into my busy schedule. This means, unfortunately, that I will be moving slower on plushie-making, but I had actually been planning a little space for experimentation in the new year anyway. I have other sewing projects that I’ve been wanting to try out and now that I don’t have any commissions in the queue, I’m gonna play a little.
Let’s hope some new, awesome things come out of the experiments!
I just updated my portfolio pages for the Baby Scrap Dragons and Commissions & Gifts to show off some of my newer work. (Now with bigger, shinier pictures!) So make sure to take a look at the new stuff!
Just a little heads up. I got schooled by senpai at Nijicon. This and other revelations I had this weekend about my craft have inspired me to change the pricing structure on my plushies – including what I am now calling plush art dolls, due to the technical difficulty of their construction and the time spent working on them. I have updated my Commissions and FAQs to reflect this change.
I will be posting new plushies and plush art dolls to my Etsy shop in the next couple of days, once I sort out my inventory from Nijicon.
I am looking forward to having the winter (because I’m so not traveling very far in the snow) to work on more plushies, my Schwoopie Towne art and trying out some new ideas. I have so, so many ideas running rampant in my head. lol
I’ve started updating my photo gallery on Flickr. I’ve still got a ways to go but at least it’s seeing some updated activity. So if you’re on Flickr, come check out my pictures. 🙂
Well I think my fussy re-design of the site is all done! I’m really happy with the new look of the pages and I think the navigation flows better now. There’s lots of bright color and lots (and lots!) of pictures now..
I wonder if I should put up some of the black and whites that I haven’t colored yet… would anyone be interested in that? I mean, they’re not very exciting in black and white.. unless you enjoy the evolution from black and white to color.. Ah well, I’ll worry about that later.
I have some newer dolls that I haven’t gotten pictures of yet. I definitely need to get on that because I’m so so happy with the embroidered eyes. They’re really beautifull. I can’t wait to make some ponies with the embroidered eyes..
I’ve just finished the Spirit (Papa) from “Soul Eater” that I was working on right before Christmas. I’ll get those picture uploaded soon. 🙂
Let me know what you think of the site! The whole point is trying to make a shinier, easier to navigate site for you so I’d love your feedback on how I did!
So I sold 4 dolls this month! Wow! I know that may not seem like a lot, but up to this point my commissions and adoptions have been coming in one or two at a time. Suddenly, my Etsy shop is looking kinda empty! lol Now that’s the kind of problem that I like to have, you know?
I guess that I will have to start finishing up some of the projects that I’ve been working on recently so I can get some more plushies in stock. I’ve also got some commissions spaces that I’m going to list there I think.
Right now I’m working on a commission of Mashiro and Shuujin from the anime Bakuman. I’m making an extra set to list in my store when they’re done. After working on these guys, I may have to make myself an Eiji (he’s my favorite character).
I’m excited at the idea of finally getting some notice online! Especially since the amazing video review I had got taken down for some reason and the shop that contacted me about carrying my dolls locally never got back to me. I have faith that everything will work out in the end, so I’ll just keep sewing in the mean time. 🙂