Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Starbuck" The Valentine Dolphin


When your an artist every creation
 is special in some way.
 There are those times when you get
 An amazing fun request and a fun customer
 that want you to create
their dream out of Polymer.
 That's when you feel really honored and excited.
 If your in a slump or have the creativity blahs
 that will make your creativity blues go away.
Recently I had that opportunity.
 I'm excited that I get to share the story with you.
 As part of the gift the very nice gentleman wanted
 This creative process documented for his special Love.
 So I got to create and share their story.
It is alot of reading. For those of you that don't like to
read please scroll to photos :).
The story is for the special couple.


In January 2013 I was contacted
via email on my Artfire selling site.
I want to share his email.
Its important because
sweet thoughtful people like this.

Ill say it, most men would not
be this sweet, thoughtful or creative.
I was very impressed.
I always have taught my son the
value of giving not receiving.
Thoughtful gifts not just off the shelf.
My son even made gifts for his girlfriend
and he is 13. So to find an adult this sweet.
Well its rare. He is a keeper.
Here is his original email :
""Good Day,

My name is Gabriel and I truly love the pieces of jewelry you have for sale on art fire. I am contacting you today because I am trying to surprise my girlfriend with a custom made pendant of her favorite dolphin from her job. She is an animal trainer and does performances with this particular dolphin.

The idea I have for the pendant is for it to look as close as possible to the face of the dolphin in the picture I can provide you. It doesn't have to be an exact copy of the overall picture but I do wish to make one very particular request. In the image the dolphin has a red scarf wrapped around its head and I would like to have the scarf in the pendant to be painted with a subtle red to match the image. The Dolphin doesn't need to be colored but I think the pendant would have more of a shine if it had the scarf painted in a subtle red color that will make the overall pendant pop. :-)

I do see that a lot of your jewelry is painted so I am not against having the entire pendant painted especially since it appears you have a good hand at subtle paint job. All your pieces look amazing and so I thought I would try and see if you would take any special request.

Thank you for your attention and I hope to hear back from you soon."
I emailed back within a few hours.
Told him I would be thrilled and to try
and to send me a photo.
Come on who could not fall in love with that smile :).
Two I love dolphins.
Fed them at Seaworld many times
As a child and an adult.
I still get excited like a kid when
around them. Doesn't everyone?
I jumped at the chance.
I emailed back with the
normal creating questions.
 Style, colors, scarf on or off?
could I add crystals
(I have to add bling) that's me :).
Also explained how I create.
No painting in any of my work. 
 I create with my hands
some tools and polymer clay.
With some gemstones of course.
I have to share his response.
It was so sweet.
"Hi Kimberly,
His name is Starbuck but my girlfriend calls him Handsome. Unfortunately I was only able to capture a photo on my phone of the picture she has on top of her dresser. Since I am trying to make this a surprise for her I don't have access to any other picture without her realizing that the surprise is going to be about Handsome. As I look at the picture the shinny areas right around his nose and forehead are all camera flashes. I believe the left flipper is probably the same shade of gray as the majority of his body and it only looks white because of the sun light when they took the picture.
My idea behind this design was to have it be primarily just be the head of the dolphin, kind of at the same angle as it appears on the picture, up to where the scarf is located and maybe a little bit further back just to accentuate the scarf. I do wish that I had more information on the type of dolphin handsome is and I would love to get more pictures but I would not be able to do that without my girlfriend figuring out the surprise is about him.
I am interested in having the design be more of a charm/pendant that she can use to add on to a necklace or even be its own necklace piece. In terms of the size I am looking for it to be about the size of a US quarter or a little bigger since she likes her jewelry to look very subtle and elegant. I definitely do like the idea of it potentially being the entire dolphin but I wouldn't be able to provide you with pictures of his entire body. Therefore I would say that if you can capture the unique features of the dolphins face, smile, and scarf as they appear on the picture then that would be exactly what I am looking for. This way she can see the pendant/charm and immediately realize that it her Handsome.
I am very delighted with your response to my request. Gabriel "
Tell me she is not the luckiest girl?
Thoughtful and sneaks around taking
photos. Truly :)...
I Emailed back with a few more questions.
I'm a woman of course I have a
million and one questions.
Where was the dolphin from. Type of dolphin?
I knew they were in Florida.
Did she happen to work at Seaworld.
Since I figured if she did I would
find more photos.
My besties husband works at Seaworld.
His Email:
"As a matter of fact she does work at Sea World in Orlando and the fact that you know people that do work there might make it even easier for you to get a better idea of what Starbuck looks like. He has actually been there for a while so your friends will probably know exactly who he is.
I appreciate all of the information you have provided me with. I truly believe that it was meant for me to find you online to help me make this surprise gift a possibility. I do like all of your ideas and I think I found the perfect person for this job. I would definitely like to move forward with the design and I truly can't wait to see what you can come up with. Gabriel"
We worked out the fine details.
I got ahold of my bestie Valerie another amazing
artist from Florida and she found
This photo of Starbuck 
Aka "Handsome"
Thank you again Valerie. Hugs.
This photo of Starbuck
Shows great colors for me to go by.
I was so excited and ready to get to work.
I wanted to get to work as soon as I could.
I was a bit delayed in creating by an
unexpected surgery and medical problems.
Sigh story of my life.
a few days go by.....
Searched for more photos.
Found many.
This was one of my favorites.
Isn't he adorable.
I want to dive in and hug him.
Watched many videos of Starbuck
performing. Sooooo Cool.
Kids and I really enjoyed it.
I cant wait to go to Seaworld again.
Hopefully meet Starbuck and his girl :)
I was dreaming about dolphins.
Looking at all kinds.
Doing research.
Mixing colors of clay.
Changing it.
Trying different techniques.
Making things more difficult
than they should be.
That's a must. I'm an artist.
So I created several dolphins for about 5
days. Happy with some and not the
others. I would get almost finished and
use the wrong tool and mess up his cute
little smile. Ugh I thought oh no.
I wont be able to do it.
My dilemma was cutting him in half.
Ouch, ugh it was too cute
to cut in half.
so I needed to be sure...........
I sent Gabriel some photos
I'm not sharing they are not good. LOL
Gabriel was thrilled.
I thought if he likes that I'm good.
So guess what ? 
I started all over again.
Yes Artists are sometimes too
worried about every detail.
But this was special.
 It was important.
Handsome had to be perfect.
On Jan 25 Gabriel
Emailed me back with a special photo.
This made it ten times more special.
Gabriel said this is Jeannie and Starbuck together.
I had asked Gabriel a few questions about her.
Her looks, her uniform she wears.
 I was having a terrible time
hurting my dolphins. lol
I wanted to make her a surprise gift.
I always make every customer one or two special
gifts in either their favorite color or something to match
what they bought. I love creating more than
I do sales. I like to make people happy.
Knowing they will be excited when they open up
extra special gifts they did not expect
that is what makes it more fun for me.
Oh and I like to talk to. Long winded sorry.
Back to the story.
I told him I had a hard time cutting him in half.
He said he thought a whole dolphin would look good after
he saw the photos of the dolphins I had made already.
I also told him I could make a glass heart box for
the pendant to go in with a full replica of Starbuck.
He liked that idea and thought it would complete the gift he said.
So I told him if I was well enough. I had not been out of bed in
several days because of more medical problems.
I had alot of pain and other issues.
So with that plan in my head I made more dolphins.
There is a short tutorial at the end.
Gabriel wanted that as a gift for Jeannie too.
To see how I hand crafted "Handsome".
I thought that was so nice.
For both her and I.
Its nice to be appreciated without question on
how long it takes or how much materials
to create. Because there is so much time
put into a sculpture.
Especially when you fall in love with the dolphin.
You want him extra perfect.
A day few days later Gabriel sent me an email.
I had just been to the doctor because I was in pain.
I was so inspired by what was in this email.
It gave me all the energy I needed to finish.
Gabriel said that Jeannie had sent him this video.
Gabriel was working in Japan while setting this up.
Which I was impressed he found me from that far away.
First thing I noticed was he sings like my parrots. lol
I laughed and watched it over and over again.
I fell in love with him.
He is soo cute. I noticed details.
Loved on his chin that he has pink
what looked like little whiskers.
Toooo cute.
I knew I had to add it.
I stayed up almost 24 hours creating.
I finished the pendant and the glass heart.
I made a few special gifts for Jeannie just from me.
I was so excited about the project.
I changed things up a bit without asking Gabriel.
Crossed my fingers he would be happy.
Added all the photos and sent them to him.
Checked my email and there was one from
Gabriel. Asking me to add something:
"Hi Kimberly,

I was watching the video of handsome today and I noticed that he has a little color discoloration on the tip of his bottom lip. Basically it looks kind of pinkish compared to the white color all over the bottom of his lips. If you could some how capture that on the design I think she will immediately recognize him with out me having to say a word. I mean the red scarf will be a dead give away but I think that it is definitely a unique feature of handsome that cannot be duplicated. Gabriel"
Whew. Thankfully I had noticed the same adorable feature
 and had already added that detail to Starbuck.
Great minds think alike I guess.
He loved everything.
What a great feeling for me.
Relief and excitement.
Here is the finished Starbuck Pendant.
I love bling. I'm crossing my fingers that Jeannie does too.
I had a really pretty large Swarovski Heart in Siam from Austria
and some tiny ones to match.
They went with his scarf perfectly.
I had originally sculpted his eyes.
I didn't like them so I had black tiger eyes.
I loved the way they look on him.
When you move the dolphin his eye whites move too.
Tiger eye stones are so cool that way.
Ugh Just kidding. This was my first attempt.
Thankfully with practice he came out much better. :).
First a sweet note from Gabriel to Jeannie
Aquí estoy a tu lado y espero aquí sentado hasta el final.
No te has imaginado lo que por ti he esperado
Pues eres lo que yo amo en este mundo, eso eres,
Cada minuto en lo que pienso, eso eres,
Lo que más cuido en este mundo, eso eres.


Here is the glass heart I made with Starbuck on it.
He has all the same details. Plus his tail is still there its just inside the heart box.
I had fun making the glass. I created lots of pretty blends in the blues and swirled them around that glass using an extruder cane polymer clay technique. Once that was done I baked everything and mixed up a home made batch of resin added some in all the openings of the hearts, I wanted Jeannie to be able to see the dolphin through the heart so I made it clear in alot of places. I added floating genuine swarovski crystals in various shades of blue and a pretty Swarovski Aquamarine Glacier Blue Topaz Heart Crystal from Austria under his left fin. I loved the color and it matched the pretty water. So the pendant has a place to stay when its not being worn around on the three pretty ribbon necklaces that Gabriel picked out. Gabriel had alot of choices to make because I gave him many options. I kept changing them too as we went along and adding more options and he was a wonderful sport and didn't complain and luckily liked all of my ideas. I was very thrilled to work on this sweet project and honored to be chosen to create such a treasure that means so much to such a lovely lady.
Sadly I do not have good photos of the Heart once it was finished drying and glazed up all shiny. I was so excited once it dried that I packed up everything all pretty and put it in the box and shipped it out. Then realizing ooops. I forgot to take photos. But they are for Jeannie, Gabriel and Starbuck to enjoy. As long as they are happy then I'm happy.

Polymer Starbuck has arrived in his new happy home in Orlando Florida, USA
Of course USPS was rough and he had to be glued back on the heart. UGH
So glad I sent instructions just in case.
Have to love the disgruntled postal workers. LOL
Gabriel is very happy with everything.
Which makes me extremely happy.
I hope Jeannie Loves Him too.
Happy Valentines Day to you both. Hugs...


I had promised a tutorial. It is almost finished.

I got busy on a very tight deadline.

I'm going to be published in a wonderful magazine.

Deadline for my creation Friday.

And guess what Starbuck inspired me for my idea.

The magazine issue is all things of WATER

So stay tuned for that.

I will be making an actual full tutorial in a few days.

I will finish up that part Sunday.

I know how alot of you love free tutorials and this way

I can share all steps and you can create little sea animals too.

I have lots of ideas to share. Fish /  Sea urchins/ Bubble Anemones.

I have it almost finished but the magazine

had to come first.

I have so much news about the magazine

That will all be coming soon. :) ...

°º♥º°¨¨ º ¨¨°º♥º°¨¨ º ¨¨°º♥º°¨¨ º ¨¨°º♥º°¨¨ º ¨¨°º♥º°

So stay tuned and I will be sure to share the link with

Jeannie and Gabriel.

To you both I'm sorry for the delay in the tutorial.

I promise the delay will be worth it.

You will see so much more.

Including how I made your special free gifts.

How a cane is made.

Short instructions on my beloved Art.

I will call the tutorial Starbuck :)..

To Gabriel and Jeannie.
Happy Valentines Day.
I hope it is a Loving and Blessed one.
I wish you many many more Days like today.
Hugs and Thank you
for letting me and Starbuck be part of your day.
Thank you for Choosing Kimi's Jewelry and Gifts
To learn more about me and my work
Click the badge below.
Happy Valentines Day to Everyoone.
My Family, Friends, Fans, Followers, Likers.
I love you all.
I hope their story inspires you to give handmade.
As you can see it means so much more.
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Click the giveaway button.
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Create With Heart, Love, Color and Bling


1 comment:

vovsblog said...

stopping by all the blogs taking part in the bead soup blog party. cant wait to see what you make!