About Me

Lindsay M Starr is a beadwork and mixed media artist currently based in Nashville, TN. She spent her early childhood in Alaska, and her school age and college years in Oregon. Lindsay has a great appreciation for history, science, and nature and is consistently inspired by insects, sea life, color, and the significance of beads and beadwork throughout human history. She spends her days beading, walking at the zoo, and practicing yoga. Lindsay loves to share her knowledge and passion for beads and beadwork to hobbyists of all skill levels.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

August 2019 Art Elements Challenge - Octopus

Well, here we are again!  Another month, another challenge.  This month I was able to participate in one of my favorite theme challenges ever...Octopus.  Thanks to Claire for the great choice!  You'll have to forgive me for the picture heavy/narration light post.  I had fully intended to walk you through more of the creative process, but was so excited to be working on this project that I completely forgot to stop and take any pictures!

I've always loved cephalopods of any type, but especially octopuses.  This is my small collection of commercial stuffed octopus.  I used the gray one to make a pattern from...
I drew directly on the seams of the stuffed animal, so I could see the seams easier.  This allowed me to pin some tracing paper on to the animal and trace off the pattern pieces.  Once I could see the flat shapes, I decided how big my finished critter should be and started enlarging everything.

Stuffing the tentacles was a challenge and took most of one day.  They ate up an entire California king sized high loft quilt batting!!!
And then, stuffing the body used up all the rest of the stuffing that I had on hand and sent me out to the fabric store for more!  

Here we are, fully stuffed, though there is still quite a bit of work to go. 
I knew there was no way I could apply 3 dimensional suckers in the time I had left, so I went more of an interpretive direction.
I bought Liquitex fabric medium so that I could make "fabric" paint from normal acrylic paints.  This medium allows the acrylic paint to stay flexible when dry, and changes the viscosity so that it is less likely to soak into the fabric. 
Once all the paint dried, I had to take Ottoman the Octopus out on the town...or really just out of doors for some good light!

The suckers dried to the perfect subtle hint of texture. 

I bet you didn't know that babies and octupuses get along swimmingly...I didn't either!
I hope you had fun checking out my creation!  Ottoman wishes you well.  Please hop along and check out how everyone was inspired by these fascinating cephalopods this month!  I'm off to do just that. 


  1. OMG HE IS AWESOME!!! LOVE HIM!!! everyone needs one!! he is ace!!!

  2. Your octopus is so cute! I love it with the pillows on the swing. I am sure you will have great fun with it.

  3. I'm in love. Ottoman is both gorgeous and adorable! I would probably sleep with my arms wrapped around him!!

  4. Holy Crap Lindsay - this is Amazing!!! I sure hope that you keep taking photos of this octopus getting up to mischievous things because I selfishly want to see more! I think your painting of the suckers was perfect - and that ones that protruded may have been too much. So well done!!! :)

  5. I'd be too excited to take pictures too! He's AMAZING!! Such an ambitious challenge, but it turned out wonderfully. Thanks for the tip about the fabric medium. I'll definitely have to keep that in mind (or just go buy some!)

  6. I love Ottoman the Octopus! He is fan-freaking-tastic! I love, love, love his eyes and the colors you added to him - and the tentacles! His photo shoot looked great!

  7. Oh my goodness! I am in love. The way you were able to translate a stuffed animal into a pattern is impressive spatial skills. Stuffing pieces always seems to take far longer, and far more stuffing, than I think it should. The finished Ottoman with the painted details is simply perfection!

  8. I AM SPEECHLESS! Ottoman is so freaking cool I would keep him with me all the time. Your pattern making skills are superb and your paint job on Ottoman is just perfect. LOVE him!!

  9. Ottoman is absolutely fabulous! Such whimsy!

  10. Your octopus looks real (and out of place like in Alice in wonderland style) siting next to the tree. I am curious to see, what the reactions of those passing by were.

  11. Oh wow, Lindsay, Ottoman is fabulous! He really looks real, especially those eyes!

  12. Omigosh! Ottoman the Octopus is absolutely magical!