Thursday, November 29, 2012

Maggie Mizzle and her sidekick Hubbert

As a teacher, I am "supposed" to be neutral and not have favorites.  Well, I have completely failed at this because there are too many great kids, so I have favorites.  To those of you who have been one of my favorites in the past, no worries, you still hold a special place in my teaching world.  But, I do have an ultimate favorite at the moment.  Her name is Kimberly Vance.  She is one talented and ambitious kid. She is my art club president and is in my Intermediate Art class.  She has taken animation on our campus for 4 years.  Like every artist, she doubts her drawings and paintings, but continues to keep making art.  She has an open mind and is willing to give something a shot knowing that it is okay to fail. 

Knowing she is in love with animation, I had asked her if it was at all possible to create a simple animation of Larry Mizzle dancing a bit.  I didn't want color because I knew it would take longer.  She loved the idea and began working on it.  In 2 weeks, she created this cute 4 second animation of my character.  I am so in love with it!  I had it playing on my computer all day when she gave it to me.  I took her animation and added music.  He seemed to move so well to The Black Keys as he danced.  I had discovered something about Larry I had never knew before. He loves The Black Keys, but who doesn't, right?

In return I created a special Mizzle just for her.  She loves pigs!  I found socks with flying super pigs on them.  With them, I create Maggie Mizzle.

By Day, she is a farmer.  She mainly grows carrots, squash, corn, and acorns.  She loves pigs so much; she had pig faces tattooed onto her wings!  Her favorite hobbies are singing at tea parties, playing hide and seek with Hubbert, and teaching snails how to draw.

Hubbert is her pet pig that was rescued from being slaughtered, which is why he doesn't have ears or a tail.  But he is a happy little pig, who enjoys sleeping under the acorn tree, nibbling on corn, and discovering cures for diseases.

By night, Maggie becomes Super Pig and Hubbert become Sidekick Pig!  They are a duo super hero team who rescue pigs around the world from any type of harm.

Life Size Mizzle

I have had this idea in my head for about a year now.  It seemed a bit ridiculous because after I accomplish such a task what the heck would I do with the end result?  I have always thought it would be amazing to create a life size version of one of my original Mizzles.  Crazy, I know, but I've always imagined a room with a few life size dolls so kids can sit and read story books.  I never thought I'd actually find the time or motivation to attempt it.  But then I was announced as a semi-finalist for the RAWards.  I thought "this is it"!  This is where I go big!  So, I began by consulting with my best friend, who had made my Halloween costume.  I had questions.  Some were logistic and others were just questions of doubt.  I needed the reassurance that I could finish this in time. 

It all started with a doll and some fabric.  I realize that I should not pretend to know what I'm doing.  I don't know very much about sewing machines and found trouble at the beginning of my adventure.  I thought I couldn't go wrong with sewing stripes together, but I was wrong.  Bunching occurred and it took talking to many people and "googling" to fix the problem. 

Once I got the hang of it, things really began to pick up and taking form.  My excitement began to grow as each stripe added to the form.  But then at some point, it didn't look right.  It looked short and pudgy.  I had realized I mixed up my measurements.  Never debate between a 2" and a 2 1/2" strip.  I had multiplied some measurements differently, so he wasn't as proportionate.  It really helped stuffing him to see where I had gone wrong.  I had to take him in a few places to get his shape. 

The stuffing came from a failed art club project.  It had been sitting in our storage for over 4 years.  We wanted to use it up so rats wouldn't make it a home.  I wasn't quite sure if there would be enough to fill him up.  I actually had a little extra.

Creating his mouth was the most challenging part of the whole project.  My needles were too small and had to find a really long one.  Also adding the arms were a little difficult having to hand-stitch them on.

The buttons were created with air dry polymer clay.  They were fun to create and paint.

I think the best part of the process was watching my students' reactions each time they came into my classroom to find him put together a little more.  Unfortunately, they never did get to see the final product, but they were eager to hear about him.

Here is Life-size Larry chillin' on the couch with original Larry and Calico.
My mom and Life-size Larry at the Semi-finals Art Show!
Regardless of the struggles I had in creating this oversized Mizzle, I find myself eager to make another one.  I'm thinking Stargazer would make for a fun life-size adventure!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Coloring Contest

Coloring Contest

Choose one of the two images to color. Email entries to MIZZLEADVENTURES@GMAIL.COM. In the email, include the name and age of the artist. All entries must be received by Friday, December 14th, 2012. Only one entry per person!

Winners will be notified by email and displayed on my blog, by December 19th.

Award categories:
Ages 5-11
Ages 12-17
Ages 18 and older

Winners of each category will win a Mizzle doll or a Mizzle print!

There are links at You should be able to right click and save the images to your computer.  If you want the document, email me at MIZZLEADVENTURES@GMAIL.COM and I will reply to you with the image of your choice.  Make sure to let me know if you want the turkey or the christmas image.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Halloween Mizzle Style

I'm a little late with this blog, but Halloween and the zombie mizzle were both a success.  First, the zombie Mizzle...  It took a lot of trial and error before finally giving up on the bleaching process of the socks.  I had really hoped to fade out colorful patterned socks to make them into zombies.  Most of the socks didn't respond to the bleach, which I found absolutely amazing!  There was only one sock that faded, but it changed so little that the only way one could tell it was faded was by comparing it to the original.  I decided to just work with gray socks.  As I was sewing, I realized that showing my stitches gave an "undead" kind of feel to the doll.  I left some holes and allowed for some of the stuff to be exposed... kind of like seeing their insides. 
I think for my first attempt it didn't turn out too bad.  I might give it another go at a later date.

So we all know about my obsession with squirrels.  Well, it went a step further.  I was a squirrel for Halloween!  I think this was the most amazing costume I have ever worn and that is because it was made my one of my best friends!  She is an amazing seamstress!  It was a really warm costume too, so for most of the day I went without the head piece.  I had made the tail, but I think I need to play with it to make it stand up a bit more. 

I had a lot of fun being a squirrel.  It was hysterical!  Maybe next year, I can be an actual Mizzle... or have my friend be one!
One of my intermediate students was a monkey!
Best Bud and Co-Advisor dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow!