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188: Boombox Pillow

November 29, 2015

This project happened a while ago, but I had some file storage problems and lost pretty much all of the process photos. So, I delayed posting for a while. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that they’re gone forever, so this post is cobbled together from what I do have (…which are mostly finished product shots).

A friend of mine, Michelle Dirkse, is a designer. She asked me to make a plush sculpture for her, and she would provide the fabric. I said, “Of course!”

boombox pillow-3

When I learned that she wanted a big fuchsia boombox, I was even more excited. But, I, unlike many people, had never created a pillow shaped like an ’80s magenta music machine, so I honestly wasn’t quite sure where to begin. (That never really stops me from saying yes to a project, though.)

boombox pillow-1
I sent her a picture of an idea, and she sent some suggestions back. Then I got to work.

The fabric showed up, and it was really, really nice. I just wanted to wrap myself up in it and go to sleep, but I resisted the urge. I tend to work with whatever is at hand. So, this fabric was a refreshing change from the usual bed sheets, cheap fleece, and thrift store sweaters.

boombox pillow-6

I really like the colors we decided on. It’s all done in a single color of fuchsia fabric with a matching, shade-lighter thread and a few accents in black thread. It looks sharp! The texture on those speakers took forever, just sewing (roughly) parallel lines, back and forth. A standard cassette tape will stay snugly lodged in the tape area–which is probably the best use for your high school mixtape.

There were a lot of windows to cut out of the main form, to reveal a layer underneath. I found the best way to get a nice edge on a cut-out window is to use this method:

…Then it’s ironed and gets a top-stitch all the way around to crisp everything up, and attach the layer below. My top-stitching isn’t perfect, and that’s fine for a project where you’re emphasizing the hand-made aspect of it.

boombox pillow-5

Also, the padding is mostly latex foam, which is notoriously difficult to cut without a fancy hot-wire setup. I looked around for other cutting options and saw someone suggesting an electric turkey knife. So, I hit the clearance section of the local grocery store and found one for about $9. It was amazing! The electric turkey knife was so effortlessly fun to cut with, I went out and bought more latex foam for some other project in the future. I don’t even know what I’ll do with it, yet, but I can’t wait to cut more foam.

boombox pillow-4

Oh right, I nearly forgot. I clearly didn’t take those awesome pictures myself (except the drawings). Michelle knows real professionals, so the cool, clean product shots are by Nathaniel Willson Photography, and the beautiful portraits of Michelle and the boombox are by Zoe Rain Photography. And if you want to go check out my high-end sculpture in a nice gallery setting, stop by Michelle Dirkse Interior Design in Capitol Hill, Seattle, or–you know–click here.

boombox pillow-2


187: Instagram Drawings

November 15, 2015


About 5 years ago, I purchased a brand-used Wacom Cintiq tablet, for digital drawing and painting in Photoshop. It changed my life. As you know from previous posts, I like to draw. And I like to draw digitally even more, since having an undo function on your pen is the most useful tool known to man. So, that was a great purchase…

But the Cintiq is tethered to my desktop, so I can’t really draw on the go. They make very expensive Cintiq All-in-one tablets, that I lust over, and I’ve tried a bunch of pocket notebooks and pens, but for some things I actually prefer the feel of a stylus (which is weird in the art community, I know). So, I’ve had my eye on bigger format phones that use styluses for a while. I’m not the kind of guy who ever buys anything new. So, when Samsung came out with the Galaxy Note 5 recently, I was finally able to afford a Galaxy Note 4!

I can’t stop. I love this thing! I’ve started up an Instagram account to post my dumb pictures (I use “dumb” in the most endearing way), so follow me there: @hepworthwhile  Pretty much every drawing there is something I’ve drawn before, and most of them have appeared on this blog in some form. What can I say? I like drawing the same things over and over. If Instagram isn’t your thing, worry not. I’ll probably post a few updates of my favorites here periodically.

Now, here are a few images to entice you to click through to that Instagram gallery link:


Louie the Laughing Jellybean




Frank, the Carton of Milk

And Many More!

186: Halloween Door Monster

October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween! Here’s a monster I made.

Megan mentioned we needed something to indicate we’re celebrating Halloween. Our door is kind of industrial and boring, and we were worried trick-or-treaters might not show up. And then I’d have to eat all this candy myself.


So, I went to the garage and found a small gardening rake and a wooden box I had built for some project a long time ago. Never throw anything out, kids.


After a few screws right through the plastic handle, I was happy with the way it stuck out.


I wrapped it in some monster fur I had on hand (everybody has some monster fur laying around, right?), and stuffed it a bit with some polyfil to disguise the handle. No sewing for this project, I just wrapped and hot glued. Boom! Monster arm! Complete with dirty fingernails!


Thanks to a friend, I also have some enormous googly eyes lying around. The head is just some fur glued quickly in place, with some stuffing behind it to round it out.



I did, at one point, put some angry eyebrows on him, because I thought he was too cute. But, the eyebrows made him genuinely a little too scary, so I took them off again. I ended up giving the arm a quick haircut to define the claws more, and to reveal more of the box frame.


Trick or treat! Keen viewers might notice a different house. More on that later… probably.

185: Ski Pear

February 27, 2015


He is mysterious. He is unknowable. He is Ski Pear. Coming to Fox, Thursdays, this summer.

184: Catballoon

February 13, 2015

This is what it would look like if a cat was a balloon. ...Probably.

I made this, but I don’t know why.

182: Problematic Picnic

July 13, 2014

This started out as a sketch, then a drawing, then I colored it. Things kind of got out of hand from there.

Chess Jokes!      [click for much, much bigger]

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