e_phemerart: (passion)
I received both the instructional dollmaking dvd's I'd ordered, and then watched introductory parts of them last night. I just wanted to get a beginning feel for what they are like. Both recommend watching all the way through before actually beginning to sew the accompanying doll making projects. They have slightly different tones and teaching styles, but I'm impressed and  think both of them are going to be a lot of help to me! One is from Mimi Winer, a 4 DVD/5 hour set and makes 18" male and female manniquins and also teaches pattern draping for making doll clothes. I got it especially for the nice looking male doll body. The other features doll artist Patti Culea, 2 disk set, and is mostly about creating faces and embellishing dolls. This was an excellent creative investment; between the two dvds, I should hopefully improve my skills quite a bit. I'm really psyched.

Printed off the patterns and supply lists at work today. Mimi's data disk also has screen shot storyboards, which can also be printed off as well as viewed, but I think I'll wait to see which ones I might really need in hard copy before printing off lots more pages. (It's nice to have good printers and staff perks at work.)

I also got a good bit of my masquerade crafting done last night, gluing on lots of tiny rhinestones. They are just acrylic craft rhinestones, but they do have a nice enough sparkle to them. I added the paint and rhinestones to the mask, and onto the tails of the tulle bow. On the headband, I ran a line of larger rhinestones down the center and attached the tulle bow to one side. Then I affixed a brooch to the center of the bow.  I had one that that worked well as to colors and style for this masq project but was damaged. The pin clasp broke and so I couldn't really wear it as a brooch anymore, but was able to use it here by gluing it to the bow with E6000 adhesive.  I like how these additions look and think it will reallly help to pull the entire outfit's look together (as my black skirt is really sparkly).

I love that skirt. I picked it up years ago at a vintage store in Nashville. It has a black sequined v-shaped yoke, with pleated black satin flowing and belling from there out over the hips. The satin is embellished with scattered rhinestones. they really catch the light and dazzle! There is a ruffled layer of good quality crinoline underneath. The skirt fits well and feels glamourous. Wish I had a top that really set it off, but the gold sweater I have at least works okay.

Reminder note to self: find gold shoe clips in jewelery bowl, add an accent to my shoes.

I located the black artificial fingernails (they were in my bag of Halloween makeup and stuffs), but still need to add the rhinestones to them; considering first dipping the tips into gold polish or paint. So, craftwise, I have to do the nails, and still have to gather the black lace to the mask's edge. Hoping I can get that done tonight/tomorrow morning. Will also decide which brooches I want to show off on the fur collar. Going to use my topaz and clear stone chatelaine brooch for sure, holding the sides of the collar together. Also still need to condition the wig, and will go out and look for gold lipstick (damn, I could have ordered some if I'd decided earlier that I was actually going to do on NYE.)

Got some tips from a couple of the Dolls on where to find gold lipstick, now if Sepehora (over at Bridge Street, or the brand is also available at JC Penny) just has it in stock.  Or another option is a makeup hack, using eyeshadow over lip balm as lipstick; I know i can find gold eyeshadow.
e_phemerart: (passion)
Spent  from 6 pm to nearly midnight last night attempting a practice pixie. Blah, I don't like working so small. Couldn't get the arms and legs turned right side out at all (I have some turning tools on order from Dollmaker's Journey, so hopefully that will fix that and I can learn how to turn tiny fingers on my dolls) As usual, I decided I didn't like the pattern as is, and am actually using a revised combination of the pix pattern and Mimi's elf pattern again, which is more elongated like the pixies in the movie are. Tweaked the body shape back so he's kind of got a bug like tail or rump, satisfied with how that turned out. Wish I could have found buttons for eyes just one size smaller, or perhaps I'll enlarge the pattern just a bit, maybe 10% or so. Also ended up ordering a yard of velour (I couldn't find doe suede in the colour I wanted). Maybe it'll go easier in that fabric and have a nice feel. Note to self: also need some blue thread before sewing dolls, and small flat buttons for joints.

Another note to self: look in books (Cullea's Creative Cloth Dolls?) to see about creating wings and decide what technique I want to use. Incedentally, in the HP books the pixies aren't winged, but they are in the movies. Hannah wanted wings on her dolls.

At work today, I did enlarge the pattern pieces and also printed off a couple reference pics of pixies. Think I can get by with the slightly larger doll still being about the size/proportions of movie reference. (and, yes the larger cage is more like movie sized as well) The images may help when I'm needle sculpting the face and detailing the doll.

Well, so I guess I can put aside the pixie for a couple days until I get the supplies. Which works well, because it gives me time to switch projects and dash out some embellishment work for a NYE costume! My theme is sparklies, the look semi-traditional Venetian masquerade, colour scheme is basically black and gold (with some clear rhinestone sparkles to catch the light).

 Am plannning to wear my rhinestone accented black ballroom skirt with a gold sweater, black cardigan or maybe a fur stole over my shoulders which will have a selection of my brooches attached, black wig (which I need to condition to comb smooth), and hat with more brooches on the band. Black heels or button boots. I have a costume store fancy gold domino mask, but I'm going to make it even fancier, adding touches of black paint to the lattice glitter design and gluing on some rhinestones.  I am also going to gather a length of very nice highly embroidered and embellished black lace along the lower edge of the mask which will cover the lower portion of my face. Unsure if I am just going to use and wear the black velvet wide brim hat I already have, or if I'll have time to make a mini top hat fascinator, which might be more fun looking.  Or I could just pad a headband and attach a row of brooches as a headpiece. Will finish the mask first, then decide on hat or headpiece.

At least masked, I don't have to worry about makeup, although some gold lip stick/glitter gel would be great peeking through the black lace. Read online that you can use eye shadow mixed with lip gloss. Hmm. wonder what I can find. Note to self: look at home for press on nails, I think I have a black set I bought at halloween and I could glue a rhinestone on each one.

Lol, guess I've got the next couple nights and during the day on Saturday cut out for me. Maybe it is a good thing my coworker Kinsey gave me some of the "world's strongest coffee" for a holiday gift.  Note to self: I should do somehting nice for her in return,

I doubt I'll win anything at the NYE party's costume contest, I know some of the Dolls' have been working on their outfits for weeks! But I'm certainly going to have fun with it and go as over the top excessive as I please. :)  As I said before, I'll have to wear the skirt and sweater to the concert, and then wig & mask up for the party afterward.

Later: went to Party Central to puruse NYE masks and such and to Hobbly Lobby to pick up crafting stuff on my lunch hour. Didn't buy anything at the party store, but it was a pleasant browse. They did have a couple mini top hats-which I tried on and decided are not my style. Almost bought some cheap BIG hoop rhinestoned earrings, but nixed that too. Did get necessary stuff at HL,  sequin black metallic paint, some clear adhesive and tiny rhinestones for embellishing the mask I have; a  satin covered headband and a big black tulle bow.   Am thinking that's the sort of way I want to go for a headpiece, attach the bow to the headband or the back of velvet hat, decorate it with some scattered rhinestones and use one of my big brooches as a centerpiece. Got blue thread for sewing and sculpting pixies, as well as some different buttons to try as eyes and some to use as joints. All for around 20$, as most of the items were on sale and discounted.

Plump

Dec. 28th, 2016 12:48 pm
e_phemerart: (passion)
https://www.pinterest.com/heatherawhitesi/chubby-dolls-and-figurines/

     

Was thinking about submitting a piece or two to Doll Art Quarterly's upcoming Self Portrait themed challenge. Was also thinking that means I need to use an appropriately pear shaped doll body.  There are some nice whimisically zaftig patterns I found, but that wasn't exactly the direction I was thinking of going. Was pleased when I also came across patterns by Mary Tressler (above) which seem to be a bit more realistically large bodied.

I also created another Pinterest board of images for reference and inspiration. I've posted one of the lovely images I came across in my search for chubby dolls. (unfortunately, I was not able to trace it back to the original image or artist's site) Anyway, I love the flow and how slight body exagerration works so well. I'm hoping I could get that sort of feeling in a cloth doll.

Later: Ha, just took a little more searching. here is a link to an article about the  Chubby Models aka "Proud Ladies" sculptures of Emilio Casarotto: http://thecurvyfashionista.com/2013/11/plus-size-art-look-plus-size-sculptures-emilio-casarotto/

This is just a pondering and planning project, not going to start on it for a while. I've got a batch of pixies to produce.

I picked up (HL sale) a decor bird cage, will either use it to house Hannah's pixies or as the cage part of a half doll with a cage skirt sometime in the future. (I also ordered another cage, a bit larger and fancier, will have to see which the pixies want to call home. Probably with multiple pixies I'll want to use the larger cage.

I'm hoping the pixies turn out ok. The pattern doesn't recommend using woven cloth, but that's what I'm going to try with a enlarged pattern (from 9 to 12") I know JoAnn's didnt have any suedecloth  or velour (knit) in the proper blue colour. Hope I don't have to order more material form online. I did get premium Kona cotton, so maybe it will hold up without fraying at the seams. Also thinking I may try needle sculpting the pixie faces a bit, to look more like the HP movie pixies.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYa0jYdYiio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHewTYq0nKc A couple youtube videos about the differences in drawing a female or male face. Might be useful info for dollmaking and designing soft sculpting faces.
e_phemerart: (passion)
 I made up my mind to not go to the Ultra this coming weekend, and I feel content with that decision. (just going to have to start training here on my own.) Instead, am going to stay in town and go out on a date with my husband on New Year's Eve. I heard on NPR this morning that Bela Fleck will be performing in concert at the Von Braun Center; so I snapped up a couple of tickets for B & I. Bela is one of the few musicians I have ever heard B talk about repeatedly and with admiration ("he plays banjo but not like anyone else plays banjo; he took an instrument and made it his own."). Since B gave me such a special marelous holiday gift, I wanted to do something in return that would be more memorable and heartfelt than the simple and household gifts I had given him. I feel happy to be doing somehting for/with B that will actually make him happy.

After the concert, I'm also planning for us to stop by the Dixie Danger Doll's NYE party at Maggie Meyer's. Want to pick up a copy of the pin-up calendar (I'm in Aug's pic. remember?) And maybe have one adult drink while we're there. It's a masquerade party, so that's another excuse for fun dress up, although I may have to wear whatever outfit I come up with to the concert as well.

Am thinking to wear my black satin ballroom skirt, with a gold sweater I have--festooning the sweater with a large number of my brooches. Have a gold mask (store bought but sparkly pretty), which I can even wear keeping my glasses on. And maybe I could fancy up one of my wigs this week to further accessorize the outfit. Glam and bling for New Year's.
e_phemerart: (passion)
   

Monday's creative effort was a practice doll head.I was going for a sort of Deco Era look with the side glance eyes and cupid's bow mouth.

She's a cotton doll head is about 7" high, or 3/4 life size. More of a stylized big-eyed look than totally realisticly proportioned face. Hair is made from a scrapped costume wig I had in my craft stash.. With a faux fur stole.

I'm going to do several more practice heads, of varying sizes, to work on my bettering my soft sculpture skills. Who knows, I may end up with a box of them, and not sure what will end up actually being made into full dolls. Maybe I'll just give these "seconds" a simple boudoir doll like body.

As I'm still learning the soft sculpture technique, this doll is a little clumsy. I forgot to leave a little more room between the eyes as doing the nose draws up fabric. And nose is a bit lumpy. Eyes aren't as symmetrical as they could be. But she's still got a certain amount of character.

My daughter saw the facebook pic I posted and replied that she looks like the performer Lady Gaga. hence the subject heading. But I think her name is Gracie.

*sigh* 20 more minutes and my vacation is over when I leave for work. (later: well, that went by fast.)

Lol...just took on a doll making commission from my daughter. I'm going to make her a pair of Cornish blue pixies (from the Harry Potter movies) and display them in a cage. The pattern was download purchased from Etsy, so it'll just be some doll sewing practice but not a doll of my own design or redesign. Hope it's as easy as it seems to be!
e_phemerart: (passion)
Blah. Why do I always waste a day like this, feeling blue about having to head back to work tomorrow? It's bad enough on an ordinary Sunday of a weekend, but I've had a full 8 days off, 9 counting today. I'm feeling gloomy in advance. And it's not like I hate my job (not at all) ; I just kind of liked being at home and being artsy productive and seeing family and getting to see a bit more of B as well. All in all, I had a nice time off and it felt like a real break.

So far today, didn't get out of bed til 10 am. Binged on a bag of overpriced fundraiser caramel corn for breakfast.

Dithering about going to Knoxville next weekend for the Pistol Ultra. Pro--I've already registered for it. Pro--with a 30 hour cut off, I can walk as slow as needed and still be an oficial finisher, Pro-would be a back to it yet again sort of gesture for the new year. Pro--I wouldn't feel like a DNS wussy failure. Con--I haven't done any real training. Con-- we dont have a hotel for friday night before the race yet, and driving up that day wouldn mean leaving during the middle of the night. Con--who knows what the weather will be doing.  Con--makes for a busy weekend. Guess I should talk to B abd see what he he feels up to doing for the weekend as well.

Also need to talk to him about maybe finding an end of the year sale and finally buying ourselves a new refridgerator.

Blue rose hand brooch tattoo is healing up well, which after the bad time I had with my last tattoo is a relief.

Guess I should try to do something productive today; need to pick up my sewing area from Krampus project to have space for whatever comes next.

Later: Listened to my Accordion Babes CD, then to some Culann's Hounds, and to a Chieftan's CD. Picked up sewing stuff and then tried out another large doll head pattern. Pattern is still just a bit too small to be right for Paisley, but  I'm going to use it as a practice head for soft sculting features. Think I like the Making Memories head, with more pattern pieces and thus more shape in a larger size, best for Paisley.

Holiday

Dec. 25th, 2016 03:24 pm
e_phemerart: (passion)
This Schaiparelli brooch is my favorite holiday gift from B. (He also got me season 5 American Horror Story: Hotel, and a 2017 Accordian Babes calendar and CD. I also recieved two small glitzy brooches, a bee and an octopus, picked out by my grandsons Desmond and Lennnon, and a Fandango movie giftcard from Hannah and Ken.

My love of sparklies aside, the best of the holiday was spending time with family. Had a really nice time on Christmas eve with the grandsons; made gingerbread cookies as planned; then they drank hot chocolate from their santa mugs and we read stories together for bedtime. Sprinkled reindeer food in the yard, and put out cookies and milk and beer for Santa. Maybe next year, I'll introduce them to Krampus. Lol, Desmond got me up at 6 am on Xmas morning; the rest of the house didn't get up for another hour.  At 5 years old, he really was getting into all the Xmas trappings and traditions.

Christmas day was good too, if a bit busier and more cluttered. Opening presents was the usual fine mess of ripping off wrapping paper. Afterward, I did sneak off for time to take a bath--which I like to do when I'm at Hannah's because we only have a shower not a tub here at home. Other grandma Millie was there, so had to share the boys. She had cooked holiday lunch, so I gave up the pretence of being vegetarian and went ahead and ate ham and chicken casserole. Hannah and I had a bit of a good mother/daughter chat, even though she had to take a little time out when she and Ken were fussing over putting together Lennon's train set, and because she was disappointed that Ken didin't score a goal with the gifts he'd chosen for her.

B and I left after lunch, when it was time to put Lennon down for his nap.  We got back home about 4 pm. I''d taken a nap in the car on the return trip, and he went off to take a nap for a while before work. Lots of napping going on there. I watched a couple DVD episodes of AHS: Hotel  in the evening to balance out all the holiday movies we'd watched (Nightmare before Xmas; Grinch, and Home Alone). Guess you can tell I sort of have ambivilent feelings about Chirstmas time.
e_phemerart: (passion)
   

Finished up my Krampus cloth doll! He turned out a little differently than I'd planned, but that's the way the project took me. I can see I'm going to have to do several more practice dolls before I can really get them looking a touch more realistic; in the meantime, ones like this are cuddly, cute, a bit odd and quirky. I may have used some patterns to start with (bits from three different doll patterns, actually), but by the time all was done, I can definitely say Krampus is an One Of A Kind piece of doll art. Now, I need to clean up between projects and consider what i want to work on next. Maybe go back and do some embriodery on Paisley before starting another new doll.

Krampus: Yule Boy. approximately 27". Cotton, suede cloth, faux fur. Chest harness made from fur and faux leather trim with added brass bells. Tounge is a ribbon scrap. Accessorized with a twig bundle of switches. Features drawn with Prismacolour watercolor pencils, and lightly sculpted. Has tie joints at hips and knees to be able to pose sitting. Pecs and abs were appliqued and lightly stuffed.  Some sculpting to body on horns, muscles on arms, toes and cloven hoof, belly button, with added boy parts (which nestle between his furry thighs and thus isn't too blatant. (Well, his only coastume is the chest harness; he's not wearing pants, so his penis would show and he didn't seem right without one. Blank crotches are for Ken & Barbie.)

Christmas eve. Going up to Hannah's later this afternoon. She called yesterday and asked me to bring dessert for holiday dinner (Millie is cooking the rest). Hope they aren't too dissappointed that I'm not baking (don't have time) and will just pick up something from the bakery at Publix. Got presents in the mail from some of B's relatives. I think its nice that I'm included. Got a fashionable suede leather purse; can't quite decide if it's really my kind of thing or not. Lol. B got an izod sweater--which is most defintealy not him. Stil, the thought and inculsion is appreciated.
e_phemerart: (passion)
And planning for the New Year.

I ordered a couple instructional DVDs on dollmaking (using paypal credit card, reminder to self to watch using that heather...) One is by Patti Culea and one by Mimi Winer. I think between the two, I should learn quite a lot. The Mimi Mannequins one has patterns for a female and male figures, which is why that seemed particularly useful to me, and I already have a couple books by Patti Clea and love her dolls. Also, had been having a short FB conversation with dollmaker Gayle Wray, and she said she started with Cluea's instructionals and now she makes these stunningly likeflike dolls. I'm really in awe of her work and fangirling.

Krampus is coming along. I believe I have the basic head worked out now, and so onto working on the features. I also did some more detailing work on the body (adding sculpted toes on one foot and a cloven hoof on the other),  sewed on his chest harness (made from some cool fur and faux leather trim, which I also gave him ankle cuffs from) and added brass bells, and have his horns ready to stitch to the head. When I was making the horns, B teased me, because of the basic shape, that I was making a penis; who knows, Krampus may end up having boy parts now that the idea's there?  He's going ot end up being more of a cuddly Krampus than a terrifying one, but thats okay.

I wanted to have Krampus done by Xmas, but I don't think he'll quite be there; maybe by new yea's though--still in the 12 days of Xmas and near Yule season isn't it?
e_phemerart: (passion)
I was on a roll yesterday and spent most of the day, even through the evening til bedtime, crafting on the Krampus doll. Thought i was making real progress, got the torso, legs and arms done.  However, today I've already made three heads so far and none of them are right for the doll body. I'm getting closer, think I have the right shape, but have to figure out how to make the head just a smidge larger. I had also tweaked the arms trying to make them more muscular, but then they looked too outsized for this fellow, so undid the extra stuffing and details I'd added on. I'll get it all worked out eventually. Just need to think of it as as good practice with pattern making and adaption.

While it works, I don't think the doe suede from Joann's is as supple in quality as it used to be. The backing seems a bit firmer than some I've had before (from the now defunct Hancock's Fabrics)- so there is less stretch and sewn seams and forms are harder to turn. The fur leggings lurned out looking pretty good though, very goatlike. I ended up making Krampus' with "mitten" hands (fingers together and not separated); looks okay for now. Not expecting top quality results on this guy, since I haven't done any dollmaking (of this size and sort) for a couple years; need to feel and learn my way back into it. All my dolls seem to retain a measure of "ragdoll" handcraftedness to them, but I'm okay with that. I like to put in lots of realistic details, yet they  read as "dolls" not realistically lifelike "figurines". Not saying they are childish or clumsy, just not sophsticated in look or use of all techniques.

note: I need to get a set of tiny tubes for turning fingers and I need to practice more with sewing and stuffing them.

I also made the trip over to Decatur this morning to pick up my paycheck, put it in the bank, and then go spend some of it getting my meds prescriptions filled. That's the way things go. Had a nice little chat with Kinsey and Jen when I stopped by the library. Jen has days off after Xmas, so I don't think I'll be seeing her again til the new year.

I know B isn't crazy about overnights at Hannah's (he never sleeps well), but he's being holiday generous with my feelings and we are going up on Xmas Eve and staying over into Xmas Day. I'm looking forward to seeing Desmond and Lennon, spending some quality time with my grandsons. (and, of course, with Hannah and Ken as well.)

All right, that's enough of a break. Back to crafting and Krampus.
e_phemerart: (passion)


Caroline was taking walk-ins yesterday. Since I was home on vacation, I had the time. Thus, here is tattoo #65, a blue rose piece done at Blue Rose Tattoo. It's just a piece of wall flash, but I really love the job Caroline did with it. You can't go wrong with a traditional rose image, and it sort of reminds me of a jewelery brooch with a watermelon stone center. It's located on the back of my right hand, balancing out the two blue roses i already have on my left arm. Eventually, I'm going to have blue roses from all the artists at Blue Rose; I currenlty have pieces from Greg, Caroline and  former employee Laura;  and need ones from Victor, Jason, and Matt. I'd been kind of hesitant about getting a larger piece on the back of my hand, but I did already have the smaller pieces making the luna moth on my thumbs; if anyone is going to judge me on my tattoos, one more isn't going to make any difference.  It is a nice pretty image, not  like it says "fuck you" or anything. Lol, besides, the space needed to be filled.

Did get a bit of doll work done yesterday as well. Made mock ups of the two different doll bodies. As I thought, the Mimi patttern makes a skinnier doll, so I'm starting with the basic body from Dude, but then reworking the torso front by appliquing a lightly stuffed piece over the chest and abs. Krampus is going to end up being made of several different black fabrics, usiing doe suede for the basic body, but cotton for the chest, palms of hands and face, with furred legs. Also. he'll need to have his tail and horns of course, and a bright red tongue sticking out. Anyway, time to leave off here and get back to the crafting and stitching.

sparklies

Dec. 20th, 2016 10:18 am
e_phemerart: (passion)
 
Got my chatelaine brooch. AB clear and topaz rhinestones.  Posting a close up and disheveled selfie for showing size. Even though I'm just hanging around the house today, I can still wear a brooch and show off. btw, :"chatelaine" is one of my favorite words., right up there with "ephemera".

Going to get started on my Krampus doll today, and maybe also work some of embroidering crazy patchwork on Paisley's torso.  Have the doll pattern pieces out; (making mockups of both a Dude for all Seasons annd Mimi's Elf pattern torsos to see which I like best.) I am going to try tracing the patterns on freezer paper; ironing  the paper onto the fabric to see if that provides a good edge to to sew up against. I sometimes have trouble seeing to keep my seam lines even. Definitely using the elf pattern for the head, not sure about the legs and arms; I think Mimi's patttern may be a ittle longer and skinnier than I want for my doll. Have some leftover curly faux fur (which I used for Susie's hair) to use for Krampus' fur; he's going to be kind of a faunish/elvish/ Krampus with a sculpted bare chest. As I may have mentioned, he's going to have a cute face hidden under a more demonic mask; haven't decided if I'll sew the mask from cloth or sculpt it from paperclay.

I found some verigated embriodery floss that I think will work really well in with Paisley's crazy work. Think I may just do all the embroidery in the same feather stitch pattern, following along the lines of the patchwork pieces where i don't already have braid or trim. Excess is best with crazy quilting, but I'm going to have to draw the line somewhere.

With the exception of some groceries, coffee and creamer and baking supplies for making cookies with the boys, my holiday shopping is done. Did pick up a new phone as a house gift and also got B a DVD of season one of Big Bang Theory. We always watch BBT together (about the only TV show we do watch together since Castle got canceled) and I thought it might be nice to rewatch the starting episodes of it. I've got a sweater (secondhand but twins like to share) that I want to send to Coleen, should get that wrapped up and sent off even if it won't get there before xmas day at this late date.

Finished reading Krampus: Lord of the Yule and Susan Oroyan's book on Art Dolls of the Deco Era. Making some boudior dolls is on my list of someday projects. Maybe I should go to the Huntsville library later on today and get a new card so I can check out books from there again as well as from work. I'm out of things to read here at the house at the moment, unless I just want to pluck something from my own shelves to reread.

Craft. Read. Compute. that's about all I'm doing these days.

next day

Dec. 19th, 2016 12:01 pm
e_phemerart: (passion)
Spent most of Sunday sleeping off this cold, and and after moving around a bit slowly this morning, am finally beginning to feel bettter again today. Maybe I'll even get around to doing some crafting this afternoon.

Am leaning toward starting a Krampus doll; the first of my guys. Need to look through my stash for black cloth; know I have some.

Replied to an email from Dad. Sent out a short note to all the siblings & relatives. just to let them know I'm alive and thinking of them during the holiday season.

Been re-reading "Krampus: the Yule Lord" by Brom. I wish Chris Moore would write a Krampus book, or any new novel really.

Thinking I need to go out and buy some gift bags to put presents in and think I'll go to walmart and see what they have on the shelves for house phones. I like having a house phone and not just stupid cellphones, but the old one we have squeals when you try to answer it to talk. Time for a new one.

Could give the phone to B as a gift, not much in way of return for his to me, but something useful for the house anyway. As I've mentioned, I've tried in the past to be clever and thoughtful with gifts to him, but it seeems he just doensn't really care what if anything I give him for birthdays and holidays.

Another short entry here; not much to say. But I am feeling like I am beginning to get in the habit of journaling again; I like that. Have gotten used to doing doing it here (instead of using a paper journal, although I do kind of miss that); it is easier to go back and edit this way.
e_phemerart: (passion)
Due to (the possibility of) inclement weather, the library is closed today. That means, I get an extra day off added to my week's vacation; can't argue with that. Tempatures are hovering right around the freezing mark at the moment, and it's kind of a mix of rain and snow right now. Library closings tend to err on the side of caution and better safe than sorry for winter in the south. I don't know how i ever survived through Wyoming and Montana winters; guess I was younger and hardier then.

Does mean I'll have to drive over to Decatur sometime in the next day or so to get my meds refilled. Wonder if I can hold out til payday so I can pick up my paycheck at the same time? Think we are getting paid early on Wednesday.

Wish I felt better to really enjoy the day, but I've got a half assed cold. I don't feel totallly wiped out, but I do not feel perky either and I have a slightly sore throat and a hacky cough that is driving me crazy. Went to bed at arounf 6:30 last night and didn't get up til 9 am.

Trying to decide if I feel up to crafting or if I'm just going to stick my nose in a book for the day.

Need to remember to ask B to take a pic of my anatomy tattoo, so I can get the pic submitted to the book project. I  need to get that done before Jan. 4th deadline.
e_phemerart: (passion)
This is going to be another long day at work, unless things pick up some later on. Not much going on at the library yet this morning (only two of our regular patrons on the computers), and I really don't have any busy work to keep me busy...

Making the work day even worse, the cash register decided to quit working. And its frustrating because I know it must be something simple that I'm missing in replacing the tape and resetting it. I had Patti come over from Circ and see if she could figure it out. I called Jen to see if she knew anything, but it seems Cathy is the only one who has the knowledge and who has done this before and of course she isn't in this weekend. Oh well, thatjust means Circ gets to handle all the cash the next couple days til Monday....

After shopping several places yesterday, ended up at Target buying plain white (but nice siized large) coffee mugs for Hannah. Most everything else was kitchsy-cute with snarky sayings printed on them, but I just wasn't feeling that. Also got two little cute santa face mugs for the boys, and a gingerbread cookie mix and cookie cutters (so we can bake fresh cookies for santa)

Darn it. I should have brought my meds to be refilled at the pharmacy today; HAVE to remember to do it tomorrow before work (and give myself enough time to do so before getting to work on time), because I won't be in town then for the following vacation week of mine. (I get my meds filled in Decatur rather than Hutsville, it's usually more convenient for me.)

I've got a holiday dilemma; not quite a "gift of the magi"  O'Henry muddle but still a situation..I was going to do my usual wasting time ditzing aorund on Ebay yesterday,  but when I went to the website, B hadn't signed out of his Ebay account and what showed up on the page was a recent purchase of his. Which I am assuming is meant to be my holiday present! So, now I've spoiled the surprise for myself, and wondering if I should tell him I know or just pretend to be surprised when he gives it to me. It won't be hard to be happy about it---it's a signed Schairapelli brooch! Not the super expensive one I had my eye on, but a pretty one nonetheless, with watermelon stones, that I'll proudly wear. I think I have a couple signed Weiss pieces, but this is really my first haute designer piece! How cool is that? Don't I have a great husband?

So, Oliver sloth is finished. Which project to go onto now? EIther work a bit on Paisley or dive into pattern testing for my guy dolls? As I mentioned, I've got some vacation days coming up, and I really don't want to waste them.

And the day continues to go not quite right. Went to BK for lunch, ordered a veggie burger andd onion rings. Got a whopper with no meat, which I guess technically is  veggie, as in lettuce, pickles and onions on a bun, but not what I was expecting. It's raining too.

Not even all that cold today, yet I'm sitting here freezing. I just can't stay warm.

Oliver

Dec. 16th, 2016 05:48 pm
e_phemerart: (passion)
Here's a few pics of my completed sloth plush. I did get both my objectives for the day completed--shopping and crafting. The crafting was more fun.
 
I decided his name is Oliver, because of his olive colored fur. He looks kind of cute just hanging around.
   
Did his face with button eyes, watercolour pencils and some minimal soft sculpting.
e_phemerart: (passion)
to say yet today, because I haven't done much this morning.

It's a day off, so I didn't have to get up early. Stayed in bed for a while a bit cuddling with my kittty.  I should take some more pics of Gaz to post. He's grown into quite the big boy and sphynx cats with all their wrinkles and velvety not-fur nap are just so interesting.

Well, I did read a book this morning, sipping my cup of Earl Grey tea and browsing though one of the Art Doll volumes I have, The  coffetable style book "The Magic and Romance of Art Dolls" had pretty, artsy pictures (mostly photos of Deco Era dolls) accompanied by essay text . Lovely to look at and good for inspiration.

Trying now to convince myself to go out and finish my holiday shopping, which may actually involve a trip to the mall. I hate mall shopping, but it'll only get more crowded and noxious the longer I wait.  Guess I could try Walmart first. Like that's any better for my agoraphobia. I kind of hinted around last night to have B come shopping with me, but he quickly nixed that idea and said it would be a good thing to do before he got up in the afternoon.

Then I want to come home and "Crafternoon" work on finishing up the sloth doll face. Part of me thinks I should just dive right in and what I end up with is what I end up with. Part of me thinks I should do some preliminary paper sketches. Part of me thinks I can always add a secondary mask over face if I really botch the first one. Part of me thinks i won't know how it'll turn out until I try--darn fear of failure/procrastination. And its just a silly sloth plush doll, not one of my "art dolls".

Lol...have I ever mentioned that one of my "unfinished projects" is a "Catalog of unfinished projects"? Where i would write small notes as if they were the descriptions of objects in a catalog for an art exhibition. Desctiptions as if the pieces were already finished. (Charles De Lint used this in one of his urban fantasy novels, detailing the art that's part of the story in his "Memory and Dream". )

For instance:
(2016) Sloth. 27" cloth sculpture from olive green faux fur, tan doesuede, and polyfil stuffing. The three-toed claws have a bendable armature and are made from cotton kahki fabirc. Tie jointing of limbs. Face created with watercolour pencils and soft sculpture techniques. "ive always liked sloths, they are one of my favorite critters. I also liked the fact that they can actually appear green in the wild, growing algea on their fur. This fellow is meant to be displayed hanging upside down, a favorite sloth position in the trees. To me, sloths symbolize  not sinful laziness, but acquiesance to a deliberate slow calmness. Yet, they wear a hint of a smile to their zen"
e_phemerart: (passion)

   
Three pretty pics, but I only bought the first two. :) :(

Subject header says it all, but doesn't quite capture the thrill or the shadings of guilt. It wasn't that much money to purchase the two new brooches (Images 1 and 2).  I dropped a hundred dollars and something, not a thousand, but I still didn't really need to spend it on more sparklies! The chatelaine brooch is the first of that kind of piece I've gotten; can't wait to wear it with my sweaters. The Weiss ice and blue piece was just too dear to pass by, again its unique and I don't have anything quite like it in my collection.  Still, neither are the Schairapelli parure pieces (image #3) I've seen and coveted with much drooling recently.  Like the better D&E Juliana pieces, that one is way out of my price range. Bills are paid; I still have enough for holiday gifting. Yeah, I'm trying to rationalize and make excuses for being the greedy girl I am.

What is the difference between a collector and a hoarder? When is it mere indulgence and when is it manic acquisition? I believe I've asked those things before.

I know I spend too much money as opposed to saving it. I am a material girl. I like things. Between jewerly, art supplies and doll patterns, I have been on a bit of a spending binge recently.  In truth, I've probably got as much of a problem with things as B does. (Mine maybe with aquiring things, his with an inability to let go of them) Am I a hoarder too or just a clutterbug who won't stop shopping? I figure the art supllies are investments, as I need them to create and being creative is being authentic to myself and in a positive way. I could say the sparklies are part of my personality too, but maybe that personality is just a magpie.

goal for self: no more self shopping til 2017.

e_phemerart: (passion)
I need to find a set of coffee cups for Hannah and Ken, and two small holiday theme cocoa cups for the kids (along with a pound of coffee and some cocoa mix and marshmallows). I want to get them a little something, and Hannah has a pretty motley assortment of random cups-- I joke every time I'm there that I just can't drink my coffee from a cup with Michael Myers picture on it. :) Looking for a nice set of 16 oz cafe style latte cups. That shouldn't be that hard to find, should it?

I asked Hannah, since B and I are going to be there on Xmas eve if the boys could open the presents (picture books) from us then. We could share a cup of cocoa and read the books together on Christmas eve, (so the books don't get lost in the shuffle of lots of presents on Xmas Day, and to have a little quality quiet time with the boys.)

I have no idea what to get for B. he is incredibly hard to shop for, and i never get an enthusiastic repsonse to what I do pick out. (Although he does use the gym bag I got him last year).

Other notes: guy doll patterns purchased: Wally, Sentimental Bloke, Material Guy (large doll 39"), Dude For All Seasons. There are others I could have purchased, but this sample should well be enough to start with!  "Guys: Physique and Faces for Cloth Dolls" could become a book project as well as a doll one--but first things, first, I want to make some dolls. Well, someones.

I've had three days this week , M-T-W. where I haven't or won't get home till after 7 pm. No energy left to craft, but freer days are coming up.

Not feeling so good today, throat sore and a bit sinusy,  hope i'm not coming down with a cold? Blah.

Later:  LOL. never say never enough.....I found a free online pattern by Mimi Winer for a male elf doll, has a nice face and has very detailed instructions for soft sculpting the chest and abs. I think I can use this one!

Uuuugh, ate badly today. M&Ms for snack and then burger & fries for Lunch, put it all together and I've got a food headache (which is a litle bit of a stomachache but with sleepiness, fogginess or headachiness too.) I really don't like burgers, I really don't like Jack's Restaurant, so why did I find myslef over there scarfing lunch? Blech, I need to go back to being a vegetarian. (which is not to say you can't eat meat and be healthy, but personally I know I feel better the less I consume.)
e_phemerart: (passion)
or when i get obsessive, i get obsessive.

just spent some time looking though one of my favorite dollmaker's sites, http://www.arleyberryhill.com/. I really like his candlestick dolls, may have to try that sometime. Also need to remind myself to look for the Treasures of the Gypsy challenge he talks about, no info out on the 2017 contest yet. Also need to check back on http://www.niada.org/ National Institiute of American Doll Artists as their 2017 con is going to be in Nashville this summer.

Here was a contest from a few years back, a male doll challenge! http://www.thedollnet.com/challenge/ I'm not overwhelmed by most of the entries, but there are some good ones in there.

Things are slow at work right now, so I seem to have (too much) time to web surf inbetween helping patrons, and plenty of time to let my mind wander about all the marvelous things i could be creating.

Thought of a couple other male art dolls I'd like to do--- the swan prince from my favorite Hans Christain Anderson's tale of the 7 swans, and a gypsy-esque boy from a Terri Smith illustration; in the illustration he's half boy and half snow leopard; Smith had some reknown as a furry artist. Actually, once upon a time i even wrote to her to ask permission to make a doll version of this drawing. Needless to say, still on my list of unfinished projects.

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