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--Fruitabü 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. 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!


a little O and P for your holiday weekend

Hello Beautiful Person!

With a little over one week left on my Kickstarter Elephabet campaign, I am coming down the homestretch, trying to show you as much of the book as possible while pre-sales perks and dibs on the original pieces from the book are still up for grabs!

Today I will introduce you to a few friends from the middle of the alphabet. We will begin with O, which is for Operaphant. I picked a few of the biggest divas in town to interpret pachidermally.
Here's Nessun Dormaphant. She's named for the beautiful aria from Turandot, even though she is styled after the title character. This figure will be $150.

Next up is Madame Butterphant. (ha ha ha--someday I will have to do a yellow version of this for my dad who is a big opera AND butter lover!) In case you don't know the reference, click here. She will be a $100 piece.

Of course I couldn't miss Brünnhildephant, named for Wagner's zäftig heroine of the Ring Cycle. Click here to see one of the greats, Jessye Norman, perform the final aria.

Moving along to P, those of you who have been paying attention might be thinking,"wait a minute...I thought we already made P the P-Funkiphant!" Well, there was a change of plans this week when my other B didn't seem worthy, so last week's P-Funkiphants are now back to their previously scheduled B for Boomshakalakaphant. It has been very challenging to wrap up the last half of this book, looking at the entire publication as a whole has great bearing on the themes I choose for each letter.

I have always been a huge fan of the humble handwritten letter, and still think it's pretty amazing how little we pay in the United States for door-to-door service of our correspondence. In tribute, I offer these three Postalphants:

A simple mailbox, the way I remember them when I was a kid. This one is $100.

This one is modeled after an air mail letter. It will be priced at $100, and the one who purchases it can request a custom recipient's name and address on the front (after the book/animation are done!)

Another variation on the air mail envelope, this one will be $150 and also customizable to the buyer, if you don't mind it being written on or below the wing!

Those of you in the U.S., have a great holiday weekend! And for the rest of you worldwide, cheers!! Thanks for being part of this great journey!

Hilary (aka Bunny with a Toolbelt)