eat your cuteness!

from Absolutely Fobulous


Elephabet on OPB!

Being a big time public radio geek, I was thrilled to be recently profiled in a nice little video piece about Elephabet on Oregon Public Broadcasting's website--by jeweler and erstewhile videographer Sarah Fox!

Click here to watch the video!


Elephabet now available on Amazon.com!

Woo Hoo! The paperback edition of Elephabet is officially available for purchase to the general public on Amazon.com! Click here to order yours!

Amazon is also carrying the companion workbook, Do-It-Yourselfabet. Click here to grab one for a great holiday gift for the little creative people in your life.

I will also have a limited number of hardback copies, plus original elephant figures at two Portland holiday sales! Mark your calendars!!!


Mark Your Calendars!!

I'll have copies of my books on hand, a big rack of lovely holiday cards, and a bunch of new sculptures including elephants, picketing penguins and critters of all shapes and sizes. This will be my first holiday sale, so come on by for first pick of the litter!


Elephabet off to print!

Hurrah! I have finally completed and submitted my files for the Elephabet book! I should have them in my hands by Thanksgiving! Here's a few sneak preview pages of the cover and interior:

And here's some images from the workbook, titled Do-it-your-Selfabet, which will be available at Amazon.com in a few weeks!

Sometime before the end of the month, I will update my website to have links to purchase any or all of these! All Righty! No time for rest...there's an animation to make!


photo shoot!

Last week I had the big photo shoot for Elephabet and I'm just about ready to send it off to print! I can't wait to show you the book, but I'm going to hold off and let you see what you can in these shots I took during the photography session. I used Dan Kvitka for this project--in addition to being a friend for many years, Dan is also an amazing photographer who has documented the work of many artists as well as shooting the exhibition catalogs for the Museum of Contemporary Craft. We worked together to make my visions come to life, adding a little computer magic to float my poofy clouds and ensure a great final project in general. I've been working on the typography and layout this week and it's going to be super sweet. Thanks again to all of you who supported this project!

I also have an exciting announcement! I am putting together a workbook to accompany the alphabet books so that you can design your own elephabetiphants! This was inspired by my recent visit to the Camas Ridge third grade class, where they used my simple elephant template and their imaginations to produce some fun results. In case you missed it, you can see their drawings by clicking here. The plan is to have this and the paperback edition of Elephabet available on Amazon.com, hopefully by the end of November! Here's a sample page of how it will look:
I'll send out the link when it's officially available in case you're interested in grabbing one before the holidays. (Anticipated retail price is $10.) Please note: I am using Amazon.com's on demand printing service Createspace for this book, so orders need to go through them unless you come to one of my two Portland holiday sales this December! Make sure you're on my email list if you don't want to miss out on anything.

Okay, it's back to work for me. I'll check in again in a few weeks when I (hopefully) have my first printed edition of Elephabet in my hot little hands!!


Elephabet (by the Camas Ridge School Third Grade Class!)

Hello Beautiful People! Today I had the pleasure of visiting my niece Alex's classroom. They have been following the progress of Elephabet, and invited me to come talk about what it's like to be an artist and how to write a book. When I walked in the door, I could see that they had been doing their homework!

Using the overhead projector, I could show them my sketchbook and talk about the development of several of the letters.

Then I brought out the box with a few of the original pieces. It was a look-but-don't-touch moment, if you know what I mean. I am happy to report that this was a very well-behaved classroom and no pieces were harmed in the presentation.
After answering many questions such as "what do you make them from," "why does the igloophant have big ears," and "how did you make that sombrero on the nacho cheesiphant," we launched into a creative exploration of what other possibilities might be out there. Here's a little video I made that shows the results:

This experience inspired me to see if any of you want to play along. I have created a Flickr Group where people can download a template of the elephant I made, and then add your creations to the online album. I started out with the 32 drawings from the Camas Ridge School, and can't wait to see what YOU add to the mix! Click here to find out more about the Elephabet Flickr Group!!!

I'll leave you with the smiling face of teacher Eric. Two of his students made Ericabets, so you know he must be a great teacher!


C is for Cuckoophant!

Hurrah! I have finally completed all of the elephants for Elephabet!

Cuckoophant proved to be a challenge, as its namesake cuckoo clock, this tradition is rich with detail! Part of the holdup was that I wanted to get some decorative trim to add to the forms, as well as the cedar shingles for the roof. I'm pretty happy with the results:

This piece is modeled after the more colorful Swiss chalet style cuckoo clocks.

And this is an homage to the original Black Forest style, which are so much more ornate and my favorites of all.

(If you click on either of these images, you can see a larger version of them.)

Don't forget, if you missed out on pre-ordering your copy through Kickstarter, I'm still taking orders on my website. Click here for more information.

So, what's next, you ask? Well, now I can officially launch into the planning of the book. I'll check in next week to fill you in on those details, as well as a visit to my niece Alex's 2nd grade classroom, who have been following the project. See you later, elephagator!


Elephabet from A to Z

Woo hoo! I have finished all 26 of the letter-bearing elephants who will be an important part of the video for Elephabet! Here's a little video I made to serve as a book promo:

I am still taking pre-orders for Elephabet if you (or your loved ones) missed out on the Kickstarter campaign - click here! (note: this is for the book/video only--original artwork created for this project will be listed on my Etsy site when the book officially releases. Sign up for my email list if you'd like to be among the first to be notified when this will happen!)

If you've been following the progress of this project, you might spy one of the pieces from the soon-to-be-finished Cuckoophant series! I am still working out some of the final details, but will be able to show you the two bigger C pieces this week.

wrap me in rainbows

My rainbow unicorn was featured as a birthday cake topper for a super fun looking birthday party. Woo hoo! Click here to see the full blog posting on the Allanah Rose blog!


feeling a little bit like this today....

via Florentijn Hofman

success and wobbles

Hello Beautiful People!

Yesterday I celebrated the success of my Kickstarter campaign at a friend's birthday party, where the theme was Jell-o™. I love a good creative challenge, as you've probably already figured out, so I put my thinking cap on and came up with Jell-o™ Sushi as my contribution.

I didn't take photos of the process, but it's very easy to make. Here's how I did it, using images of the real sushi and other things that inspired this art project:

I found this recipe for white Jell-o™, part of a red white and blue "salad." (Okay, full disclosure here, I actually used Knox™ Gelatine, not Jell-o™ for this, but I got caught up in the common nomenclature and party theme. Rah rah for Knox™ for holding true on producing clear gelatine all these years!!!! Henceforth, I will use the true brand-name to protect the integrity of this tasty delicacy from animal byproducts!!)

I used a glass baking dish that would allow me to pour the white Jell-o™ (Knox™) concoction in a thickness of one inch. It took about three hours for this to set, a little longer than your traditional Knox™ or Jell-o™ because, I believe, it contains cream cheese and half-and-half to make it white.

I cut the gelled white Knox™ into small rectangles, about the size of sushi rice. Using a little spatula, I moved a piece onto a cutting board. For the nori, I decided to use fruit leather made from purple grapes, because it was the only thing I could think of that looked like nori. I found the perfect product for this--Fruitab├╝ grape rolls. If you can't buy this locally, just cut a strip about one inch wide and 6 inches long, or enough to wrap around the belly of the white Knox™/"sushi rice" twice for nigiri-style sushi. I say 'twice' because there needs to be room for......

Figuring out what to put on top was another challenge. I used multi-colored Swedish Fish for the pieces around the perimeter of my arrangement to playfully honor the various types of fish found on tradition nigiri-style sushi. I wanted at least two different sushi styles to emulate for presentation's sake, so I looked to my favorite iconic salmon roe ikura for inspiration. I found this jell-roe I spied online, (I betcha anything they used Knox™!) but didn't have the time to engineer the mold to make those tiny round things work! Luckily,
I found some perfectly round cinnamon candies, similar to Red-Hots and filled the top to make three gunkan-maki styled pieces for the center of the platter. I cut the corners off of my previously used rectangles and formed the fruit leather nori around it to make it more oval.

Move the finished sushi to your serving platter with the spatula to keep it formed as best you can. Mine doesn't look perfect, and, honestly, I wish it were a little thicker, but it made me happy, made the birthday girl happy, and it was mostly consumed before the 95+ degree heat took its toll.

Oh sun, you cruel mistress. Don't you know I'm an 80 degree gal?

If you have an Asian grocery where you live, you should be able to find sushi grass for sale to garnish. If anyone tries this themselves and adds some new ideas, please send photos!!


Two more letters before pre-sales end!

Hello Beautiful Person!

It's time to reveal letters H and W from the Elephabet Book, the last of the original work I will be able to show before the end of my Kickstarter campaign. More on that at the end of this posting, but for now, let's get down to it....

Those of you who watched the behind-the-scenes video I posted a few days ago saw the very early stages of the Hulaphants, who will be representing the letter H.

We begin with the actual Hulaphant. She will be $100.

Ukelelephant will be $100 as well

Beachiphant is also $100.

And, of course, pineapplephant, who will be $75.

Letter W is Wanderlustiphant, and was inspired by two pieces I showed you earlier that I thought would be part of the Dwellephant series. Wanderlust is a word of German origin that refers to a love of adventure and travel.

I decided to make a larger version of my VW bus so now it's like mama and baby. The large piece will be $100 and the smaller one will be $75.

I also made a mama Airstreamaphant. The large piece will be $150 and the smaller one is now $100.

Last, but not least, I wanted to pay tribute to the classic family road trip cars from the mid- to late-20th century cars with wood-paneled siding. The kids and pets piled in so luggage was on top. This piece will be $75.

So...now I want to tell you just a little bit about what I'll be revealing in the next few weeks because there's only 24 hours left to adjust your Kickstarter pledge! The one letter of the alphabet I have to complete is C, and those elephants will be inspired by cuckoo clocks. I expect they will be in the $100 to $150 range.

I also need to go back and fill in the rest of the elephants with letters on their backs that will help the animation move along.
These pieces will make up the majority of the $45 elephants, a pledge level that has sold out. Every letter will match its theme, of course.

Okay...that's it! Thank you again so very very much to everyone who has pre-ordered their copy of the book or original elephants. Your affirmation of this project means so much to me and I am so thankful to have the funds to be able to produce a higher quality product with your help! I'll check in next week when I have more to show you. For those of you still waiting to grab your book or original elephant, you have less than 24 hours to get in on the fun! Have a great weekend!!


Let the intergalactiphants roulez!

As we wind down the last (gulp!) 48 hours of my Kickstarter pre-sales of Elephabet, I have two more elephants to reveal this morning.

First, we have our Intergalactiphants, representing the letter I. (Special thanks to Jennifer at Green Bean Books for supplying the nifty space helmets from her vending machines!)
Rockephant will be $150

Lunaphant will be $100

Galaxiphant will be $100

and little martiaphant shall be $45.

The last letter of the alphabet had some great choices, and I opted for Zydephant, honoring the music and, of course, culinary traditions of the Zydeco capital of the world, New Orleans.

Accordiophant is shaped like an accordion and will be $150.

Zydephant has washboard ears and a fiddle on the gator's back. He will be $100.

And last, but not least....
This rather large foodiephant will be $150 - includes crawfish, pepper, corn on the cob, and a play on the Tabasco logo on the ear. I am still not sure what to call him, so if you have any suggestions.....

Tomorrow I shall reveal the last two elephants I will be able to finish before the Kickstarter campaign ends. That will only leave one last letter you won't get to see, but I expect to reveal that next week. Don't forget--if you've pledged at a level to receive one of these pieces from the book/video project, you get first dibs, next in line are the rest of the Kickstarter supporters, and if you missed the boat on this, what's remaining will be available to the general public in early December. Thanks everyone for your amazing support of this project! It is exceeding my original expectations and I am re-investing the surplus in a better quality book. Until then, laisser les bons temps rouler!


take a peek behind the scenes of Elephabet!

In the Studio with: Hilary Pfeifer from kiri on Vimeo.

I was interviewed for Hargie, a friend's blog that's what she calls "a self-directed MFA experiment." Take a peek inside my studio and see some of the critters that are in process for Elephabet!

p.s. pre-orders via Kickstarter ends Sunday!!!


gimme an E! gimme a V!

Hello Beautiful Person!

I have two more letters ready from the Elephabet as we tick away the hours on my Kickstarter campaign!

For the letter V, I had a few tempting options, but ultimately chose to have fun with Vice-Versaphants. Like their etymological origin, these elephants are happy to be going in more than one direction.

these pieces will be $65 each.

And now to finally reveal my very difficult E decision: Elementephant, named for the elements. I had a little fun with this one, as usual.....with a Chinese twist, following their five element philosophy:
we begin with Earthiphant - she will be $75.

Airiphant, who will be $45

Wateriphant will be $45

BBQiphant will be $100 (In China, this element is wood, rather than the western fire, so imagine this bird cooking with mesquite chips!)

Robotophant represents the fifth element of metal. This figure will be $100.

Okay--gotta get back to it! One last thing before I go, I have recently updated the frequently asked questions on my Kickstarter page that has updates about overseas Elephabet backers, how the original work will be distributed, and more. Look for it at the bottom of the page!

We hit 300% last night and I'm going in for my first photo shoot tomorrow! Thank you all!!!!
I am doing my royal best to finish up the last five letters of the alphabet this week so buckle your seatbelts!