I'm back baby!

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

Welcome to my new website! It’s been a while since I have had anything online and I can't remember the last time I wrote a blog post... It’s been such a long strange journey and I want to tell you all about it but I don’t know where to start. I will do my best to keep this short as possible my friends! Here we go! 

This Lollytots world has been a dream of mine for so many years and has evolved a few times (over 10 years). The last iteration involved selling furry hats at the Portland Saturday Market and craft fairs as well as an online Etsy shop. If you met me at the Saturday Market, welcome old friends! Thanks for all your support over the years. It was your bright energy that kept me sewing late into the night. In the end, I had to change my plans. The hats business didn’t end up being a sustainable way to make an income for me so I closed up shop to figure things out for a while. 

While I was trying to figure out what to do next I went and worked for a company that produced animated commercials (also called “explainer videos”). I fell in love with animation and scriptwriting. Our team was full of such talented people and I tried to learn as much as I could from them. They taught me all about storyboard design, narration, sound editing, project management and most importantly how to have fun at work. This job sparked a real passion in me and taught me the value of telling a great story. 

I'm still telling stories in my current job as a User Experience Architect. Now I get to be the voice of the user and a champion of great experiences. I now tell stories of a different kind.. user journeys, usability reports, and data visualization.

Now how does that lead to the next part of my story? This whole time I was struggling to create any art. I was struggling with a massive artist’s block and I kept thinking I would break through it but it ended up lasting years and years. Slowly I stopped sewing entirely. I stopped drawing. I stopped dying my hair. I ran out of steam. I ran out of creativity. I shut down my Etsy shop. All of my hats, fur, fabric, patterns, and creations have found their way into storage.

Cue my partner - Ryan - who is also dealing with his own sort of creative problem involving music and a passion to create and share that with the world. We also had a shared love of film and production. He had started to collect different cameras and equipment to start a marketing business of his own. Complications came up and he also had to modify his plans. But he had all of this equipment just sitting around. What could we use this for?

Then one day it all clicked. Why not make something from all of that material. I have all the fur and fleece and a set of characters, we both want to get into film and learn how to use all the software. What if we made...PUPPETS and film it with the equipment we have? Haha.. that sounds ridiculous. BUT WAIT that might actually work...

What if we took that fur and materials that I had.. mixed with all of my skills in sewing, gluing and working with thus fur and fleece.. to.. make.. PUPPETS?? Yes.. this could work.. It would be the perfect subject for the camera and we could actually have a reason to build a green screen! Yes, totally a reason to take a room of your house and transform it into a full green screen studio. ;-) 

So we decided to do it. This time we would really make something to call our own. But things like that don’t just happen overnight. Slowly we got everything ready for this next stage of our lives. Every weekend, every weeknight, every bit of vacation we could turn into a “stay-cation” we spent building.

So here we are in 2019 ready to start a new chapter in our lives. We are going to create a show... a lollytots show. We are going to bring my characters to life! This blog will be filled with our stories of discovery and learning. We are not experts in this field but we are curious and passionate and fast learners! We have a lot ahead of us but it’s going to be a lot of fun in the process. I’m excited. Are you excited? I hope so! Do you want to take this journey with us? 

Tune in next time for a run-down of our green screen build. I can’t wait to show you how far we have got with this project! Sometimes it feels like every step forward is two steps back.. but we are trying to something that does not have a guidebook or instructions. We have to figure this out bit by bit, piece by piece. But here we go... and if you want you can come along for the journey. I make no promises.. just the one we made to each other.. to see this through and actually have the creative outlet we have wanted for so long! 

Thanks to everyone that has supported me over the years. I look forward to showing you some fantastic creations soon! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more updates. 

Love you all,

Mary Kelly

Creator of Lollytots, sewer of hats, wrangler of fur, mother of monsters

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