I know I have to continue to update my trip to Scandinavia but we had a couple of rainy days here so I decided to hide out in my studio. So I went through some of my photos from my trip and was inspired by the Tomtar I saw in both Sweden and Finland.
These little guys were in a shop in FInland
Some tomtar from Sweden
An amazing collection of tomtar at a friend’s house in Northern Sweden.
Here is one of the little guys that I have created. Had a great time playing with the wool roving to get a really funky hair-do on this little guy.
One of our little Canadian Tomtar developed right here in the BC Rocky Mountains
A tomte is a humanoid mythical creature of Scandinavian folklore. The tomte or nisse was believed to take care of a farmer’s home and children and protect them from misfortune, in particular at night, when the housefolk were asleep. The Swedish name tomte is derived from a place of residence: the house lot or tomt. The tomte/nisse was often imagined as a small, elderly man (size varies from a few inches to about half the height of an adult man), often with a full beard; dressed in the everyday clothing of a farmer.
I will be back with more trip blogs. More on Helsinki and then Northern Sweden, where my family is from.
Well, I have gone and done it. I have ventured out to sea and into the uncharted waters of my own website. Now this may sound strange to some of you but this is new for me. I am still trying to understand this whole new world of social media and marketing online. All totally foreign to me but I promised myself that I would get my a website up and running this year and I have finally done. So My Shopify Website is up and running although I am sure there is much tweaking to be done.
So in honour of this new venture here is a picture from our trip to Tofino, BC. Notice how my schnauzers are looking out to sea as if to say “Mom, it’s time for a new adventure. Let’s do it.”
Here I am with my 2 favourite furry friends
Well, another new fun animal totem has emerged from my studio. The Walrus Totem. I was not sure which colour to use but then opted for blue, the colour of water, the walrus’ favourite habitat. If you have ever watched them they are a bit clumsy on land but in the water graceful and effortless.
The walrus reminds us to take the path of least resistance and remember when one crosses your path to stop and hug someone you care about.
“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.”~ Bil Keane
I’ve been having fun creating new Chubby Bubby Buddies and a new little character I have named a Garden Troll. Trying to stick with the Scandinavian mythology so thought a troll would be the next best thing. I made a few modelled after the Chubby Bubby Buddy but these guys are totally different. This was my first attempt at using fibre for hair instead of polymer clay. I had some 100% Peruvian wool. I think it looks great.
The skin tone on these are made from a blend of Super Sculpey with a small amount of white Premo. The clothes are made from Sculpey Premo and Katoclay blend.
Next bake before head and arms
Hmm just needs hair
Voila complete with shovel
His cousin in fall colours
Well the first Spring Market has come and gone. Lots of great comments on the new line of Chubby Bubby Buddies and Tomtes. My next show is the Cranbrook Garden Show on July 6th. This will be my third invite to the this show. One of the organizers gave me a great tip for this year when we spoke at the Spring Market.
They have been doing workshops on fairy gardens so hint, hint maybe try some pieces that can be used in these indoor and outdoor gardens.
So for the past 2 days I have been in my studio coming up with some garden trolls that might work. Should be on my Etsy and Indiemade sites within the week.
I had a great deal of fun playing around with polymer clay and my pan pastels to see what type of effect I could get.
Here are two group shots outside in my flower beds
Frolicking in my flower beds
Some closeup shots
A mushroom troll
Mushroom number one
Next instalment is a prototype for a larger troll that I have had mulling around in my head for about a week now.
Well the end of May is not that far away. And that means the first of three spring markets at the Cranbrook Farmer’s Market. I have been busy designing a few new animals for my Chubby Bubby Buddy Collection. Plus I just ordered gifts boxes for them as well. Not sure if they will make it in time for the first market but I am still excited.
Now each little Chubby Bubby Buddy will come with a card with some fun facts about the animal it represents, a small cotton pouch so you can take him everywhere you go. Then he is tucked in a small kraft gift box.
This is what my work table looks like when I get going.
Hey who’s that at the back.
Those troll just keep sneaking into the shot.
Here is a close up of the squirrel.
More Chubby Bubby Buddies on the way.
There’s that troll again. H-m-m-m.
Okay so I have been trying to design a fun little troll to fit in with my tomte collection. Not easy to make a cute troll. Many ended up in the studio bin and not on the shelves. This was my latest attempt. He has been sitting on my studio table for the past week. I kept him there so I could use him as a template for my next attempt.
Yesterday my husband popped his head into see what I was working on – tomtes of course- and he saw the troll just sitting looking all sad and lonely. He loved it. So here is a photo of the troll that is now down in my husband’s office. I may have to make a few more.
There he is in amongst my new tomtes
A close up