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i’ve made a pocket version of my amigurumi storybook, ‘the boring life of spencer, the ennui dog’.  it’s a children’s story for adults, with love, adventure, a 3-headed duck and a little backstabbing.  it’s available now in my online shop.  and i’ll be showing it at the fringe festival here in saskatoon, starting tonight.

back in 2006 i was invited to take part in an art book fair at aka gallery in saskatoon.  i’d just started this blog.  my first solo show of drawings was opening soon and i was still drawing for that show.  the art book fair was scheduled just a week after my show opening.  i didn’t have a book of drawings, or any other book to show.  but i wanted to take part, so of course i said ‘yes’.

i’d already been making a few amigurumi animals, but i didn’t have a story.  so i sat down a couple of nights after my show opening and wrote a story.  i spent a couple of days going around town taking photos with my amigurumi (it was super-cold, some of the “special effects” were hard to get right, i had to go to value village to find a pink jeep for the big ending).  paul and i stayed up late one night to do the layout and i got it printed the next day, at an office printing shop.  i bolted the pages together and took it right to the art book fair.

everyone seemed to really enjoy the spencer book.  that summer i brought it to the fringe festival and people were lining up in front of my table to read it, bringing their friends over.  i thought about getting it printed professionally but it seemed like too much trouble.  i always meant to make a smaller, affordable version of the book, but life kept getting busier and that never happened.  i did design a set of ‘spencer’ postcards that i’ve been showing at the fringe festival and selling in my online shop.  and the 3-headed maximum team power duck doll who played the bad guy in the book, made an appearance as part of a show i did at the mendel art gallery.

well, now i’ve finally made a mini-version of the spencer book that you can buy and take home with you.  it’s roughly 4 x 6 inches in size, so you can carry it in your pocket.  just take it out and read it when you need a little laugh. or you can come to my blog and read the whole story here. click the thumbnails to view the pages at full size or click the link below to launch a slideshow.

[nggallery id=spencerbook]

i’m taking part in the saskatoon fringe festival again this year, starting tonight until august 8th.  it’ll be the 4th time i’ve showed there in 5 years.  i’ll be selling this petit spencer book as well as my prints and postcards.  come on down to broadway avenue to meet me.  i’m planning to attend as many days as i can.  i’ll probably have elijah with me for some of the time, since he’s having a very emotional separation anxiety these days.

hope to see you there!

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maybe you’ve noticed something new on my website today…

finally, my online shop is ready! it took a long time but we wanted to make sure that everything works well. i really like the design. it’s clean and well-functioning. i hope it’s easy for you to look around.

you can read more about why i decided to open a shop on my “about this shop” page. the catalogue includes some of my original drawings, prints, postcards, posters, and handmade books and useless toys. i make all the handmade goods at home, drawing at the kitchen table and sewing my toys on the living room floor. everything for the shop is done from our second bedroom. the website was designed by my husband, paul. prints and postcards are made by local print shops so i can supervise them directly to make sure of the quality. all orders are packed by hand. i get to be my own boss and deal with people directly, without a mediator.

one of the final things i arranged for the shop was printing a lot of postcards. i’ve been selling my postcards at the fringe festival in saskatoon, and other art fairs, and they’ve been really popular. but those postcards were just color copies of my drawing images on nice white cardstock paper.

my new postcards are much nicer. the paper is thicker and the images have a glossy finish. for the first time, the back of the postcard is designed with the plastique monkey silhouette icon. it’s pretty cool — looks just like a real postcard. in my shop, there are sets of 6 postcards, featuring some of my drawings, my loud silence photographs (with the doctor and nurse dolls) and images from my spencer (amigurumi) storybook. as an opening special, all postcard sets are being shipped for free anywhere in the world.

i wanted to have my spencer book (the boring life of spencer, the ennui dog)ready to sell in my shop for the opening, but i’m still working on improving the design and the price. at art festivals and street fairs, i’ve been charging $85 CDN for one book, because i was paying so much for printing. at that price, some people bought it, but many more just read the whole thing (and brought their friends over to read it again), because they couldn’t afford to pay that much (i wouldn’t either!). the spencer book is always so popular that there’s line-ups to read it. i really enjoy watching people laughing so hard as they read it.

anyway, i’m hoping to have the book ready in the next couple of weeks. i’ll be putting the whole story up on this blog, so you won’t have to buy it to read it. in the meantime, i made a set of spencer book postcards, featuring pages from the book. you can look through them in my shop (there’s a slideshow).

my shop is just getting started. if you have any comments, questions or concerns, please let me know. i’d like to hear from you.

i hope your experience at my shop is pleasant and i hope you can find something you like.

IRASSHAIMASE! (welcome!)

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hello, my name is spencer. i don’t have arms or legs.

this way, i can finally make the best use of my mind.

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