Christmas Movies

So over the weekend, I got to partake in my first podcast. It was a blast.
Give it a listen:

Merry Christmas! I will be gone until the new year. I have a few posts planned after Christmas. Can't wait!


The Christmas season is here!

I have been working on projects over the last few weeks, but seeing as they are all gifts and those people look at my blog(*coughmomcough*) I will have to wait to show off stuff until after Christmas.

Now, I feel like talking about Christmas. Where I live, it's been raining a lot the last few weeks, plus it hasn't been that cold. So it just hasn't felt like Christmas. I mean I didn't even smell fall until November lol. So yesterday, as I walked to work, there was a few flakes on the ground I was excited. Now I want to get into the Christmas spirit.

I went to my staff Christmas party last night. It was a dinner theatre that put on a Christmas play. It was great. Tomorrow is my cookie party. I have a 2 foot tree up with presents underneath it. It really is beginning to look and feel like Christmas.
One of my own traditions that I started was to wrap presents while watching Muppet Christmas Carol. I don't know why I started it but I did. Now I do it every year.

I got this little Survey from Losing the Baby Weight. So here goes!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I usually will wrap gifts. There are a few times I will use a gift bag, like for Secret Santa at work.
2. Real tree or Artificial? I have a artificial tree now because my apartment is too small. My mom is allergic to real ones so we switched to fake ones quite a long time ago.
3. When do you put up the tree? It all depends really. I will just get this urge to put up the tree. Now Mom puts hers up early and when we are all home, we decorate.
4.When do you take the tree down? Whenever I get a spare moment.
5.Do you like eggnog? I love it! Dad and I go nuts for it.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I would say my doll house. We had that thing forever
7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad. I never know what to get him. His birthday and Christmas are only a month apart, so I have two gifts to think about.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Mom. She loves anything I get her. I usually have a gift all planned out for her.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Now that I have never had. Not sure why
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? The only people I get cards for are co-workers and the kids at the daycare. I hand deliver all of them :)
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't think there was a gift I didn't like. I am fairly easy to buy for. I will take anything lol.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie(s)? Nestor the Christmas Donkey, Muppet Christmas Carol. I watch them every year, multiple times.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? It varies year by year. It all depends on my money really. Some years I start early because I have ideas like crazy. I always get my mom a gift at the Christmas Craft Fair in October.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Never! I hate the idea of re-gifting. I would end up giving a gift to the person who gave it to me, knowing my luck
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Dad's Turkey, hands down. I crave it for weeks. He never disappoints :)
16. Lights on the tree (colored or clear)? I like coloured lights. My family tree and my own tree are covered in ornaments that are special. So I love the look the coloured lights give.
17. Favorite Christmas song? It's called Masters in the Hall by Harry Simeone Chorale. I can't explain why I love it, I just do.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? To go home, I do have to fly. But I don't mind at all. I love seeing my parents and sister every year.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yuppers!
20. Angel, star or ribbon on top of tree? I prefer a star but I know we've had both.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning. My dad has us up super early. He's like a little kid. He's more excited than we are.
22. Favorite children's Christmas song? Rudolph. What kid doesn't like it.
23. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People just being all about what gifts they get from others.
24. Favorite ornament theme or color? My theme is sort of a handmade ornaments or whatever someone bought for me. My family's is almost all ornaments we have had since we were kids.
25. Turkey or ham on Christmas day? Turkey! Not eating Dad's turkey is a crime, lol. I love it that much
26. What do you want for Christmas this year? I think the thing I want the most is a label maker. I need some stuff labeled. Plus a fun gadget is a plus.
27. Does anyone in your family dress up as Santa? Never. We would just go see Santa as kids.
28. Age you discovered who Santa was? I don't really remember. I had to keep quiet about it because I have a younger sister. Now my mom tells us that she is Santa so we still have to believe in her lol.
29. Eggnog, hot chocolate, or apple cider? Hot Chocolate and eggnog.
30. Traditional colors (red and green) or other colors? I love red and green stuff. It always looks so pretty. In fact my braces are red and green right now :)
31. Do you have any Christmas decorations on your roof? I live in an apartment so sadly no.
32. How does Santa get into your house? Chimney or magic key? Magic key. I got my mom one a few years ago. It hangs on the tree.
33. Do you prefer gifts or gift cards? For both giving and recieving, I love gifts. I like the idea that someone put the thought of me into finding a gift for me. I find gift cards are just blah. I only give coffee shop ones if I give them at all. Something that they will use that you can't buy yourself.

I hope you all enjoyed learning more about thoughts on Christmas
Have a great holiday!!


Movie podcasts

When I do my beading, I really don't like to listen to music. I have found some movie podcasts that have really kept me entertained. It's nice to hear people talking while I focus on my work.

These ladies are so funny. I have listened to all their podcasts over and over. In fact in 15 and 16, they refer to me. Both my beading and just my general obsession with them. I am hoping to do a Christmas episode with them. Just trying to work out dates and stuff :)

I was told by the Cin-ob ladies to give these guys a listen. I just finished all their podcasts about a week ago and really love them. Their top 5 list made me laugh quite a few times and they talked about so many movies I had just never seen.

After having a brief conversation with the boys from Listcast, I was turned onto these guys. I just started listening to them when working on my last piece. They are so freakin' funny. Come the end of some podcasts, you can tell they have had too much to drink. It really just sounds like a room full of guys rambling on about movies. Worth a listen.

All these guys and gals are great and I wanted to pass on their awesomeness. So check them out.
Working slowly on Christmas pieces. Finished one last night, now I just have to iron it. I promise after Christmas, there will be some posts about all the gifts.
Happy Holidays!!


Happy Holidays!

November and December are all very busy months for people, my included. I have been working on commissioned pieces as well as a few for myself.
I am getting ready for the holidays. It's coming up so fast, that I am not sure I will even get everything done in time. Every weekend up until I go away for Christmas something is going on.
I do plan on posting more about those activities as they happen.
I am looking forward to going home for Christmas. I love being with my parents and sister. They are amazing and I love them dearly. I have got some great pieces I am making them all for their gifts. I did get my sister something really cool, but I won't post about that until after the holidays once she receives it. I would hate to ruin the surprise.
The other thing about the holidays that I look forward to is my cookie party. When I was a kid, my godmother would have a party when she made dozens of cookies and all the kids gathered to decorate them. At first there was only 4 of us, but now that she has kids of her own, it's really grown. Sadly the past few years she has lived too far away for me to attend. So last year I hosted my own party, with her sacred recipe and everything. It was a blast. I am having it again in a few weeks and I can't wait. My favourite part has got to be watching Nestor the Long eared Christmas Donkey. It was a Rankin Bass movie that no one knows.

Here are some of the pieces I have been working on, as well as a video of the movie.


Well Merry Christmas...

I just did up the order of beads I will need to do everyone's christmas presents. I am scared. It's going to be around 35 to 40 thousand beads. I am scared lol.
But lots of fun projects to be done. I really need to get my butt in gear because I only have a month to do it all O.o....

I am going to finish a commission this weekend so more money :)

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. Just wanted to thank my family who are military for everything that you do. I love you all(especially my dad).

OH.... Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He loved that baby picture of me. It was his birthday present!


Five Little Ducks Went Out to Play

Over the hills and far away, Mama Duck said "Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack" but only 4 little ducks came back.

I love this little song for kids. I really do. I like doing a deep quack sound for the Mama duck. It's just a great little kids song to teach them numbers.

A few months ago, I made some flannel board pieces for songs out of my bead collection. I made myself 5 frogs, a monkey, spider,sun, raindrop,star and the earth. Usually when I do a circle at work*, I use one of these pieces to involve my children with. They love them. They get upset and fight to rub them. They seem to really enjoy the feel of the beads under their hands.

So this weekend, I really started looking for patterns to make a bunch of songs for them. I want to show you the ones I have done.

Five Little Ducks went out to play, over the hills and far away. Mama Duck said "Quack,Quack,Quack,Quack" and only 4 little ducks came back...

One baby turtle alone and new.
Finds a friend, and then there are two.
Two baby turtles crawl down to the sea.
They find another, and then there are three.
Three baby turtles crawl along the shore.
They find another, and then there are four.
Four baby turtles go for a dive.
Up swims another, and then there are five.

Five busy bees on a day so sunny
Number one said"I like to make some honey"
Number two said" Tell me where shall it be
Number three said" In the old honey tree
Number 4 said" Lets gather some pollen sweet
Number 5 said" lets take it on our feet"
Humming their little busy bee song

I used these for Old Macdonald.

I used them today at work and the kids went nuts for them. Some of them they knew instantly what they were. The chicken and dog they weren't sure. So I may end up doing another pattern. I want them to be recongizable to toddlers. Overall they were a hit!


* Circle in the child care field is when the children are all together reading stories, singing songs and getting involved. It's focused on language, such as numbers, letters, animals and a big variety of topics all mixed together.


Happy Halloween!!

Credit to Maccuris

Today is the day where it's okay to eat so much candy to make us sick. I somehow don't even have any candy to eat :(

I have made a few things for Halloween this year. My costume was even bits of Perler beads.Sadly I don't have a picture of me in my costume so you will just have to see the pieces.

Both the headband and necklace glow in the dark.

On Saturday I went to a science fiction convention called Hal-Con. It was a great time. I even wore that headband and got a few comments on it. My friend was telling everyone I made it lol.

I hope everyone has a great Halloween. Now enjoy my favourite Halloween song! I even watched this movie last night.


Guest Post from Craft Mummy!

Hi! I'm CraftyMummy. Thanks for inviting me, Jen!
I "met" Jen through the SITS community 
and was so impressed with her Perler bead art.
It reminded me a little of the cross stitch I do
so I thought I'd share some basics with you.

Cross stitch is easy. Yes, really!
It's just a whole bunch of little crosses.
But it can look really detailed once you get 
a lot of different colours in your design.
That's what gives you the shading.

These sea creatures are stitched on dark blue Aida cloth.
Aida cloth has a nice even weave that creates little squares
which makes it easy to stitch your crosses on.
You can get Aida cloth in different "counts"
which is how many threads per inch.
The lower the count number, the bigger the little squares.
So if you're new to stitching go for a lower count like 14
- it'll be a little easier to see your squares!

Sometimes you don't stitch crosses but just "half" crosses.
See the green grass above?
Those stitches all go one way without 
the stitch back the other way to create the cross.
These give a different texture in the picture.
Leaving spaces around the cross stitches gives texture too.
This peacock is stitched on linen so you can hardly see the little squares.
Most of it was stitched over two threads in the linen
but the golden gate section was stitched with tiny crosses over just one thread.
It creates a really fine texture.
Here's the other peacock in that picture.
There are little blue seed beads stitched on the tail
after the crosses were all stitched.

The charts I use for cross stitch are grids 
like the charts Jen uses for her Perler beads.
So you could take a Perler bead chart, 
grab some embroidery thread, needle and Aida cloth
and stitch a cross stitch to match your beads!

I hope I've given you some inspiration.
If you want to see the whole pictures that these sample pictures came from 
you'll find them over on my blog, Mummy Crafts:


Thank you all and good night!

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been commenting on either my blog or through any other means that you may see my work. I love getting comments on all of it.
I have been loving this blogging experience so far. I have been talking to many great people, reading lots of blogs and generally enjoying the whole experience.

This weekend I was featured on
I am very excited about it! I am glad someone liked my work enough to feature me. Her blog is great and the Not Badddd Sundays are fun to look through. Be sure to check her out.

I also have someone I make things for on occasion and last time his girlfriend gave me the money it came with a little note. " Good Job as always. The sprites all turned out perfect. Keep up the good work". I thought the note was really cute and just glad to know that he has been liking everything I make for him :)

I am currently working on a guest blog for http://mummycrafts.blogspot.com/.
It's through the SITS website tribe event. The site is a great way to make similar bloggers and to just get the word out there about our blogs.
I am hoping to finish it within the next few days. I will let you guys know when it is done and posted on her blog.
She is also doing a guest post for me, so you shall see that within the next few days.

Halloween is coming up and I have a special surprise coming up for that. I am making a Halloween costume that will have bits of bead parts to it. After Halloween I will do a whole post about it.

Also, Christmas is coming up and I already have a few requests for people that they want as Christmas presents for others or themselves. This year, my friends and family are getting creations made by me for christmas. The joys of having to pay for braces :(

That is all folks. If you have any suggestions of things I should make, be sure to post a comment about it. I am always looking for new ideas.


No one puts Baby in a corner...

I love that title, even though I was never a fan of Dirty Dancing.
After I did Miho, I began playing around with the program Perler and seeing what I could make with it. I tested all these pictures I had and finally found one that I really liked.

That is me as a baby. My family loves this picture as do I. I looked so cute, don't you think?
So I got the pattern the way I wanted it and it was going to take 9 pegboards to make.

According to the pattern, that was what the lips were supposed to look like. To me, I looked like a creepy clown baby. I couldn't leave it like that.
After about an hour of tweaking, this is what I came up with.

I didn't look as creepy. I was happy. So I finished the piece.
I am so happy with how it turned out.

Now ironing it was a scary process. A lot of the beads didn't want to iron and join the rest of the piece. Plus one whole side ironed very funny and I had to replace a good section of it. The whole thing took over an hour to do. I am very pleased with how it turned out and can't wait to frame it.

I hope you like it as much as I do.


Quick Update

This weekend I only finished my current piece. Today I plan on working on something. I am excited for this one.

I went on a shopping trip Saturday because I had a big list piling up of things I needed. So I was at Michaels and they had these sale of buy a frame and get one for a penny. I was excited because I needed a frame for Starry Night. Now I didn't know exactly what size I needed so I got two and hoped for the best. I got to the cash and used my 50% coupon they gave me.
I ended up getting 2 frame for $5.01.
I was excited.
Now Starry night hangs above my computer desk. I am just so proud of this piece.

Hope you enjoy this quick update. I have a few things planned for the coming weeks.
Finally going to post the stuff people wanted me to make.
At any point if there is something you want to see made, don't be afraid to tell me. I am ALWAYS looking for new things. I do go through dry spells.

Have a good Thanksgiving!


Ways to Connect to Me!

I am currently working on all the ways to keep in touch with me and this blog.
My goal is to work on getting more readers and even get people to start the hobby. It's fun and relaxing.
Here are the ways to keep in touch with the blog and myself.

1. Follow this blog with the Google Friend. I love checking out followers and their blogs so be sure to go that route for followers for yourself.

2. Facebook Fan page. It's located on the right sidebar. It's recently created(as in yesterday). I will post status updates about my projects, open topics, generally just chat to people. Don't be afraid, I promise I won't bite.

3. Email me at penelopethelob@gmail.com. I check that email all the time(through my igoogle page in fact), so I never miss any emails. I will more than happily answer any questions or search for the answer if I don't know myself(sadly I am not an almighty bead god)

4. Post Comments on any post. I respond to them all.

Those are just some of the ways to keep in connect with me.

Here is a project I am currently working on.

It's from a webcomic called Megatokyo.
If you know it, guess who it is!

Have a good Thanksgiving weekend!


A new type of piece

A while ago, I came across a Starry Night turned into beads. I loved it. So I came in contact with the girl who made it and another girl and between them, I got the pattern to make it. Over the past several days, I have been working on it every chance I get.
So I decided, I would show you guys the piece in steps.

So thank you to Darlaa and MagnetGames for the help. I love this piece.

One thing I realized about this piece is that I am not taking the time to iron anymore. Every time I do a project, I try to speed through the ironing process that I am not doing it well and beads are falling out and having to be put back in. My goal is to try and slow down when ironing and take my time.
I learn something new every day.


A lot going on Part 2

Now, this post is kind of my thoughts that have come up since I began this hobby about 10 months ago.
I have just been one of those people who didn't have a creative bone in their body. I can't decorate anything and make it beautiful. I have always been jealous of other people's work, like scrapbooking or designing a room in their home. So when I discovered this through the internet, I was excited. It looked simply enough to do and seemed like a fun hobby.
I was really hoping it would stick. I tend to start things and hate how they turn out so I give up. I picked up my first bucket of beads and I was hooked. I found there was so much I could do with it and I really enjoyed sitting at my table making creations for my apartment.
Even now, I display them all around my home for other people to see. I love getting compliments. It just makes me feel special and proud of the work I do. Every time someone comes into my home and enters my living room, it's just endless questions of how do I do it, wanting to see all the materials. I love showing off my work, I really do.
Over the weekend, my mom was here and she was amazed at some of my work. She has her own pieces that I made for her and she just loved them. My dad has his spider pig hanging in his computer room at the new house, his only piece of art hanging. The tail of the pig broke off and it's hanging in the dining room while the pig is on another floor.

Now here is the difference between my first piece and my most proud pieces.

Now the boot with Mario in the corner was the first one I ever did.

Now Bowser and Oogie Boogie continue to be my favourite pieces and the largest I have done.

There is such a huge difference to me, that I can't believe how much my art has changed in the past 10 months.

A lot going on Part 1

This post is going to be a fairly lengthy one for a number of reasons.
First off, I want to show you all the art I have been doing since last week when my bead order finally arrived.

It's been a good few days of beading.
I love the pumpkin that I did, it looks like it's sitting in a window and will make a great Halloween decoration.

That witch was a royal pain to make. It took me a long time to do the colours just right. There was a lot of editing to do, which is my least favourite part of the whole process. Now, my last bead order I got some Nabbi beads, which are a different company of beads. They offer other colours that Perler just doesn't. I was excited to use them and give my pieces some new looks. Nabbi beads don't melt as well so it became a delicate process of making sure other parts weren't melting too much and make the piece very uneven. Overall she turned out amazing and can't wait to hang her up for Halloween.


Interview with ShampooTeacher

It's been a very busy work and it hasn't allowed me to be home as much as I would have liked. This is another interview that I had planned to put up a few days ago. I feel so bad that I didn't get it up.
Now without further ado, here is a great interview with ShampooTeacher.

When and why did you start doing Bead Sprites?
I started making bead sprites in October of 2008. I used to have a boring midnight job at a hotel so I just sat on the computer browsing images of things that I like. I'm not a huge gamer, but I spend a lot of my free time playing games. While searching Mario in Google, I saw LostMitten's 3-D question block and wanted one so bad. I figured it wouldn't be too hard to make it myself, so I made an order on eBay and got started.
What has been your favourite project to do?
My favourite project is my Super Mario 3 screenshot. I didn't even know how big it would end up being, I just loved that game and wanted to make something from it. It taught me to plan how big something is before starting and make sure there's some way to finish it.

What has been the most challenging thing about beading that you have found so far?
The hardest part is when you try and make something that's more difficult than your basic 8-bit sprite. When you try something like a photograph, you have to scale it down and make your best guess at which colour matches best which is really hard. It's definitely better to use software that does it for you. haha

Do you have any favourite coloured beads that you like to use?
Nabbi/Photopearls are my favourite because they have awesome colours that fill gaps in Perler and Hama to make shading look so good. I just wish my supplier carried them all. Photopearls Light Grey is probably the best one because it blends so well between Grey and White where before I had to use a light blue.

Do you focus strictly on bead art or are you involved in making things from other mediums?
I mostly make bead art, but I try and keep things interesting. I've done some cross-stitching on shirts and plan to do at least one stitched screenshot to mount on the wall. I do a fair amount of painting, but get frustrated mixing colours. I plan on doing some pixel art with beer caps soon as well.

When people come to your house, is your creations posted around? If so, what are people's opinions of them?
Of course my fridge is covered in magnets and I have a small room dedicated to my crafts with them all over the walls. Everyone loves my work when they visit. People find it interesting because bead art is not a well-known medium and no one I've met has seen that kind of art before.
Do you prefer to make old school video game images, anime/cartoon or do you make images from other sources?
I like making old school images for sure. They're a lot easier and they look so clean and sharp. I do enjoy the challenge of a large project every now and then, though.

For the Mario scene, is it all beads or are there some parts done with other mediums?
The background is a painted piece of "hardboard". It's not as heavy as wood, but a lot stronger than cardboard. But everything else is made of beads.
Is this the biggest you have ever done?
Yes, it's the biggest overall piece and the largest continuous ironed piece. The floor tiles with the trees is 4 feet wide.

Would you attempt to make one even bigger?
My wife would kill me. haha The struggle is when you go that large, it's hard to put it on the wall without spending a fortune. I got lucky to find that piece of hardboard at a hardware store big enough and made a makeshift frame on the back to hold it on the wall. If someone saw that one and commissioned me to do it, I would do another one or a different screenshot. It's kind of fun to work on something that huge.

You do a fairly good amount of large pieces, do you still do smaller pieces or focus on large projects?
I love spending an entire day making 20 or 30 fridge magnets. I'll usually make small ones for a few weeks and when the right large pixel art catches my eye, I'll get motivated and make it.

Just some of his fridge magnets.

Your Yoshi, Mario and Bowser pieces don't look like the game ones, where do you get the images?
I got the images from AbyssWolf's "Get Ready to Brawl" project on DeviantArt.

Now, is is done with both beads and painting? Do you like making the mixed medium pieces, or would you prefer to stick to just one?
Sometimes painting a background is easier than doing beads because it can take less time and you don't have to worry about them melting funny or the overall piece warping. If it's for a customer, it's up to them, though. I'll mix whatever mediums I can if it looks good.

What is your favourite part about mixed medium art?
My favourite part is that it gives pieces different layers and catches peoples' eyes.

This was another great interview. Thank you to ShampooTeacher. 
I have really loved doing these interviews. Next week, I will hopefully be back to beading my own art. Lots of projects on the way.


Interview with SerenaAzureth

Today is my second interview that I have conducted. Thank you very much Serena for agreeing to do an interview.
Serena is known around our little company as one of the top people to do flat ironing with her projects(which you will see later). It really gives it a much different look and I wanted to interview this great artist!

When and why did you start doing Bead Sprites?
I started Bead Spriting about 2 years ago this past May. May is the season for Anime Conventions here in the Midwest, and when I attended ACen (Anime Central) in 2008, there was a booth there selling bead sprites. I went nuts and bought every single Chrono Trigger bead sprite they had. I thought they were the neatest arts and crafts thing I had ever seen. I asked them if they could make other characters and they gave me their website. I showed a bunch of friends the sprites I had boughten, and by the next week, we compiled a list of sprites I was going to commission them. I was about to do so when I decided to do a search google search for "Bead Sprites," and that's when I saw Doctor Octoroc's stuff. I couldn't believe my eyes! I was amazed by all the different things that he had made that I decided to go out then and there and buy my first mix bucket of Perler beads from Michaels and try to make all the sprites my friends and I were going to have summited to that website and had someone else make. I desperately wanted to practice Bead Spriting and just hoped some day I could make stuff as cool as Docs. ^.^  

What has been your favourite project to do?
My favorite Project has got to be my ongoing piece " EggShell Wars ." I found the original pixel art (done by pixeljoint.com's Orkimides) 2 weeks after I bought my first mix bucket of Perler Beads and promised myself I would someday make that beast, frame it, and hang it on my wall. I regret though after 2 years I have yet to finish it. It's about 45% done and sitting in a corner under a coffee table waiting for my attention. LOL. Someday, someday...

What has been the most challenging thing about beading that you have found so far?
The most challenging thing for me is to keep a bead sprite (especially a large bead sprite) from warping while I am trying to flat-iron it. It can be a hassle with how slow I have to take my flat-ironing process to keep everything nice, even, and flat because if I mess up, the whole thing is ruined and I have to scrap it and start all over again. This happened a lot to me when I was first trying to perfect my flat-ironing technique, and only once on a big project this past year. :mad: So frustrating. 

Do you have any favourite coloured beads that you like to use?
I LOOOOOVVVVEEEE getting my hands on any color fuseable bead from any brand so I can try and have the widest color-palette range. It can be so frustrating when you run across a sprite you want to make and one of the colors used in it does not match up with any of the beads available.
I think in general I like using Perler Periwinkle and Perler Blueberry Creme a lot in my sprites as they can be used as a blue tone, a substitute for a purple tone, or a substitute for a grey tone. A bead that can fill in 3 gaps in a color palette is mighty nice in my book. ^.^

Do you focus strictly on bead art or are you involved in making things from other mediums?
Bead Spriting is my Hobby, my day job is actually as an Animator so I'm quite versed in many different artistic mediums. I find it nice to sketch, digitally paint, and animate all day long and then come back home to a giant pile of beads waiting for me to make them into something. :D

When people come to your house, is your creations posted around? If so, what are people's opinions of them?
I thumb-tack every bead sprite I finish up on my home-office's walls to try and keep them out of my way until they are either sold or given away. My favorites I usually have framed or mounted and put up all over my home. My friends laugh at how often I switch around all the sprites since they truly are ever changing. Almost everyone who has seen my stuff up in my home always wonder where I get such interesting art. It's fun to explain to them how I make it all myself. 

Do you prefer to make old school video game images, anime/cartoon or do you make images from other sources?
That's kind of a hard question. It honestly depends on what mood I'm in. I have so many folders on my computer filled with pixel art I usually just open up one of them and browse around until I see something that screams "Make me now!".

What made you decide to do all flat ironing on your bead sprites?
When I first started ironing, all my bead sprites were inconsistent; some of the holes would close, some would stay open, and I couldn't stand how that looked. I decided I liked the look of the sprites that had more "fully-closed holes" and tried to make all my sprites like that. Eventually that became my thing, especially as I made bigger and bigger sprites and it became harder and harder to fully iron them. Also they are extremely durable when flat-ironed and I could chuck any of my sprites against a wall (and I have) and never worry about bending or breaking them. 

Since beginning flat ironing, has your technique improved any? Have you found any easy tricks that you can share?
My technique has improved greatly from the beginning. I can flat-iron my bead sprites down enough that they look like a solid sheet of plastic so all the definition and bumps of beads are completely gone. I've had quite a few e-mails recently of people asking "where do I get my square beads from since all they can find are round ones." I assure everyone they are the same beads, it's just the way I iron. :) I'm also glad I don't warp or melt my pegboards anymore. It was a pain in the butt for me to realize I threw out a whole bag full of boards just because my technique wasn't refined enough yet.

I wrote up a tutorial a while ago which can be found here about how to do my flat-ironing technique and I still hold true to that. It really is all about practice, patience, and learning the best settings and positioning of your iron since every one of them is different.

I think the one thing I would add is from time to time, if a hole in my bead sprite just WILL NOT close, you can flip over the bead sprite, take the tip of the iron (without the paper in-between the iron and the bead) and push it against the back of the bead that won't close up so some of the plastic starts melting up out of the hole. Then let it set for a moment, flip the sprite back over, and melt the nub of melted bead that came out of the hole down so it is flat and matches perfectly with the other beads. 
You have recently been posting a lot of ATC cards that you do on Swap Bot. Where has your inspiration come for when you are making them?
A lot of them I have had to make up on my own, and by that I mean the pixel art was drawn up by me as well. An ATC is just so small (2.5in X 3.5in) that it is hard to work off of any sprites already made since they just don't fit right in card form. Sometimes I still find original pixel art done by artists that look wonderful on an ATC, but I truly find it fun to just doodle with the beads and see what I can come up with. Part of the challenge.
What was the hardest piece for you to flat iron?
That would definitely be the Sonic the Hedgehog GameGear Logo I made as a commission.
At the time, it was the biggest piece I had attempted to flat-iron and I tried to melt it waaaaayyyyy to fast and the whole thing warped and distorted. The plastic itself even bubbled in some areas. There was no way I could give that to someone who had paid me to make something wonderful for them, so I had to chuck my 6+ hours of work and start over from scratch. The second one turned out fine since I slowed down and took my time with the ironing. It honestly just happens sometimes though. The ironing is the hardest part of bead spriting and if you get it wrong, your whole project can be ruined. 
You use Hama midi beads and minis, which do you perfer to use?
I love the the final product that mini beads give you when you use them since sprites show up much clearer when the beads are smaller, but the color palette is extreme limited and most sprites just could not be done without using all the colors you can get from multiple companies with the Midi sized beads. Overall the answer would have to be the Midi sized beads unless more companies other then Hama decided to make mini sized beads. ^.^
What is the largest piece you have ever done?
That would have to be EggShell Wars . Even in its unfinished state it is around 4 ft. long and will be over 8ft. when done. That bead sprite is a monster. @.@
How do you make the edges around all your pieces flat?
When I'm done beading my sprite, I put a row of clear beads around the edge of the sprite, outlining it. I then flat-iron my piece and when that is all said and done I take a pair of really sharp scissors and trim off the clear beads around the edges. That layer of clear beads keeps all the edges of the bead sprite square so only the clear part distorts a bit which doesn't matter since it will be cut off anyway. In theory you could use an exacto knife to cut off the clear beads as well, I just find the plastic too tough to get through safely with the exacto knife and end up cutting myself. Really sharp scissors works better for me.

Serena gave a really great interview and I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I did. Please be sure to check out the links she provided, as they are great images she's done and a tutorial that I have even used once or twice.
Thanks again Serena!