Monday, December 30, 2013

The Carrot Monster

Dear Reader,

Life has a habit of offering up many magnificent tangents and new ideas, the trick - it seems to me - is to be open to them and see how they can connect. The other day Alien Two gave me this gem:


I simply love the hairy feet and in fact the whole wonderful playfulness of the carrot monster. I'm not sure exactly how or what her role will be, but you can rest assured she will make an appearance in the World of Dream when the dust settles around the kits and we get back to our story :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Patterns in the Snow

Dear Reader,

For those enjoying a white Christmas, here's a little idea for getting outside and making some art. Simon Beck's canvas is white and big and rather ephemeral. And his art is beautiful!
Enjoy the great outdoors whenever you can and remember possibilities are everywhere!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, December 23, 2013

Santa Squirrel

Dear Reader,

In the spirit of the holiday season I just had to share Alien two's squirrel accoutrements :)


While I was busy filling the first round of squirrel kits last week, she mysteriously disappeared, returning with these two little santa squirrels! I can't wait to see how others adorn their squirrels!

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday with family!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Friday, December 20, 2013

First Acorns Gone!

Dear Reader,

Drum roll please, drum roll please ...

The first batch is gone!!

As you can see, beyond the love, time and care there are a lot of actual physical elements that go into our fantastic acorns :)

This first batch is sans hang-tags for those special Kickstarter backers who needed the kits for Christmas, and boy do they look handsome ... kids keeps your eyes out, the fun is about to begin :)


Alien Two helped us out at the post office and was delighted by the final receipt :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims
PS. If you are one of the lucky early receivers of a squirrel kit we'd love to see your squirrel; email us a photo and we'll start posting them, and beyond that we'd love to hear any and all feedback!

Email to: thesquirrelking@squirrelking.org

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Whirling Swirling Finale!

Dear Reader,

One of the wonderful things about big projects in life is that they have a habit of looking a long way off and then suddenly at the eleventh hour coalescing. After finally settling on a paint for our lids we quickly moved to industrial application methods - nothing like repurposing a pesticide applicator :) don't worry it was brand new.
The lids also have super lovely nubs on top now (though I don't have a photo handy and I need to start packing those for Christmas shipping).

And as you can see, the envelopes with the squirrel limbs and eyes are coming together too!

It's all so exciting!! Stay tuned for the final product :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS. Our first test run using the actual card deck of instructions resulted in three wonderful squirrels and a lot of laughs. Can't wait for you guys to have your turn :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Acorn Pickup!

Dear Reader,

Last week finished with the culmination of a couple of years' prototyping, planning and implementing. Yes, that's right, we went to a warehouse and picked up a pallet of molded pulp acorns!!

Turns out that a pallet of acorns looks small inside a cavernous warehouse, but a lot bigger in our cars and then subsequently our apartments :)

Fortunately we'll be shipping a few out to our first Kickstarter backers very soon. There's just the little job of branding them, painting the lids, and adding the twig branch ... oh, and filling them!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS. Yes, they had to use that forklift for us :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Inspiration from Two Wheels

Dear Reader,

A few years ago, I posted two videos of some biking action, one from Danny MacAskill and another of how the first inspired Alien One. Yesterday I came across another such imaginative display of two-wheeled technical prowess ... and I couldn't resist sharing again.


It's amazing to me how inspiring the combination of finely tuned ability with imagination is :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Season's Greetings from The Squirrel King



Dear Reader,

To celebrate this festive time of year we recently crafted red and green squirrels for the Aliens' handpicked wreath.

From everyone at The Squirrel King we hope your 2013 is rounding out well! Kisses and tidings :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, December 9, 2013

Coloring the Lid

Dear Reader,

We've had a wonderful weekend with family and friends and fun testing new looks for our acorn lids.

Alien Two was my enthusiastic assistant testing a vast variety of paints, thicknesses and means of application.

I'm pretty excited that we've landed on something that respects the texture of our 100% recycled acorns while giving the lid a lovely contrast to the nut itself. I hope your weekend was as fun-filled and rewarding!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Friday, December 6, 2013

Woolly Bully Inspiration

Dear Reader,

First there was graffiti and then there came urban yarnage. Apparently this wool bull appeared a couple of years back, but she's still inspiring people like me :)

The New York Times did a lovely article on yarn bombing ... but what I'm sure you really want to see is the making of, so check it out:


Such a delightfully whimsical view of the world and what a great way to update the public perception of craft :) Have a great weekend and go forth and do some art!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Branding Our Acorns!


Dear Reader,

Our branding iron finally arrive and I immediately set out to test it.

The results ...

video

Obviously we needed more heat! So we turned the dial to the max :)

video

Super excited about the results! A squirrel with a crown on the side of a molded pulp acorn, who could ask for more :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS. As you can see, we've started testing paint on the lids too :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holidays with Old and New

Dear Reader,

The perfect holiday weekend is a delightful mix of the ephemeral. San Francisco was our home the last few days and we soaked up, tasted and delighted in a slew of experiences that have already blurred together in a magical soup of memories.

Not to be missed of course were traditional attractions that included the trolley cars, Chinatown, many of the parks, and the Exploratorium (an absolute must for anyone interested in exploring the mysteries of the world around them).
What we hadn't bargained for was our first encounter with claymation stop motion animation!

Way back when we first began exploring the world of The Squirrel King, I insisted to Justus that claymation seemed too labor-intensive (yes, I hear some of you laughing). The truth is I hadn't actually tried it ... well this weekend the aliens and I got a chance at The Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco.

 And the result: we had a ball shooting a raucous scene of a black and white dog chasing a pink and yellow squirrel! So now, we we think more about how our series will continue to unfold I might just consider adding some putty to the art direction ... of course with my two helpers the temptation is even greater :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims