e_phemerart: (passion)
I found some doesuede on sale at Hancock fabrics; bought a yard and half of the ivory for $12.00.
Bought packets of iDyePoly dye in Red and Brown at JoAnn's for  3.19 each.

Cut some swatches, mixed up the dye and have been experimenting. All I needed to do is tint the fabic with the tiniest  bit of tan/pink. I mixed the dye packet of red with 8c water. Mixed the brown in a small container with 2 c water. Kept dipping swatches--and I just mean just in, swirl, out and adjusting water to dye ratios. Ended up with a 8 parts water(16 cups water in a basin)  to one part (2 cups already diluted red) with 3/4 teaspoon of the brown dye mixed in.

.swatcheshere's a progression of swatch samples. Rats--except I forgot to save an UNDYED sample to show you what I started with!  I hope the dye actually sets with heat drying.

vinyl and fabricEnd result compared to vinyl doll parts.

Well, more rats! I hope I havent gotten ahead of the game and outsmarted myself. I'm really pleased with the match here, but I should have PAINTED the doll parts FIRST and then DYED the fabric to match! Guess we'll see how that goes and see if redying  (or rebuying) is necessary.
e_phemerart: (passion)
Yes, more mock ups.
This one is from the pattern here:http://dollmaker.nunodoll.com/cat/ragdoll.html ; I like the haunches, and the overall balance seems a bit better than the others. Needs to be enlarged "just a smidge", or maybe just height increased, for the leg size.

in comparison, the blue body is slimmer (thus more like a sphynx ) than the white (hmm..combine haunches from blue and upper body from white??). Ok, enough of trying out other artists' patterns--time to put it all together, make my adjustments, and make it my own.

That was fast--my paint order was shipped today and I should have it in a couple days!  I think I may go to the thirft store an buy any old baby doll--so I can practice with the paints on a similar surface.

Gotta finish the body first....

In other news, Gaz got his weekely bath tonight. B was out, so I did it by myself. Gaz is not the worst kitty ever about bathing, but he isn't  too fond of the activity either; he squirmed and splashed--and gave me a bath too.
e_phemerart: (passion)
DSC02408    DSC02407    mock1
Second mockup. (and mockup up 1 for comparison) I'm thinking this size is about right, once I get done tinkering with the neckline. Notice, here the smaller limbs are used as the forefeet, larger as hind legs. Yeah, I guess that does work.  May have to add some sort of wire armature--the head casting is pretty sturdy, and I don't want the doll to be top heavy. Not sure I'm clever enough to make a truly posable doll; may be just a rigid sitting pose. I can Frankenstein the (inner) body without worrying too much about details or sloppy stitching, just so long the basic shape  and structure is good. That's going to be covered with a second skin, which is where I'll create the wrinkles and folds.

13.00 worth of fabric  from JoAnns, some stretch nylon to make the pockets to hold the pellets and more flannel for bodywork (but probably not the final). 15.00 for weight pellets from Hobby Lobby.

Here are a few photos of Gaz from last night. That's a feather he's chewing on in the first one- from a cat toy not a parrot. Isn't he a handsome boy? He's much more elegant than the doll--that'll be the hard part of the project, balancing cat realism with doll simplifications in an appealing sculpture. I'm afraid Josette may have foiled Gaz' career as a show cat or male model-- she scratched him a good one on the side of his face, left marks both above and below the eye.

feather   mirror DSC02390
e_phemerart: (passion)
Used VexiWolf's pattern on Deviantart.com for this first flannel mock up. Size needs to be enlaged, but not much. Mostly, I want to work  on making a more recognizably feline shaped body silhouette. Needs a bit more body length; adjust front legs for a narrower mid-chest, and definitely have to (pellet) weight butt to make the doll sit properly on haunches.

:/  I do wish the vinyl doll kit hadn't varied the leg designs; one pair is smaller than the other and differently shaped. As posed here, the front feet are using the larger set. The other dolls I've seen using this same mold choose to use the smaller feet for the forelegs, but I think the shape for upright sitting works better this way. Will try both ways (probably back and forth several times) before making any final decisions.

I also got a mock up of the other posable pattern (IsisMasshiro's) sewn this morning as well. Will futz around and take photos of that one later on. Nope, it's not perfect either, but it was easier to sew, and is more cat-like overall.  As I said earlier, I'll  probably end up with something between the two patterns.

I do feel like I'm getting somewhere, or at least beginning to see what I need to do for the pattern making part of this doll project.

mock2     mock1

http://theynevergrowupnursery.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-and-magic-water-borne-air-dry.html  Looks like a good, basic painting tutorial!  Also googlebooks for Beautiful Babies: The Art of Reborn Doll Making. Note to self: for the painitng: KEEP IT SIMPLE and basic.

Lest anyone think this is a cheap craft...the doll kit cost me $35.00; the eyes were $20.00, and I just ordered the basic WaterBourne Air Dry painting supplies for $40.00 (but there should be plenty of paints left over). So, that's $95.00 so far.  I haven't yet gotten fabric for the body or weighting pellets, and gods know there will probably also be other this-and-that things before I'm done. But  the end result will be a One Of A Kind Art Doll.
e_phemerart: (passion)
I've been doing lots of Internet searching for "cat doll" and "plush patterns".  Deviantart.com is a wonderful place. :) I'm thinking this one is a possibility, as the cat can then be posed either sitting or lying down. Will probably start doing mock ups from this.




Or there is this pattern and tutorial for a (rigid pose) seated cat: http://dollmaker.nunodoll.com/cat/ragdoll.html
I like the look, but some problems--the front legs would be fine, bu tI'm not sure how the hind legs on this one would work with the vinyl lower sections? And the body would need to be lengthened, too squat for a sphynx.

This pattern is similar to the first cat one (even if it is a canine), but I think the legs may "hinge" better for posing. I may end up tweaking a pattern somewhat between the two.

Some considerations: will need to alter patterns for "hairless cat", consider differences between using thicker faux fur and woven materials. Will need to alter for sphynx characteristics: a longer, leaner look, and the wrinkled skin. Regardless of what patttern I use, I'm going to have to play around to get the body size a good match to the vinyl pieces. Will also have to figure out dimensions/lengths for the cloth portions of the legs vs molded lower legs

My accomplishment for the day is having printed off enlarged copies of three of the patterns here. I had to just guess what size to make them, and I doubt I guessed perectly on any of them!  Still it gives me a starting point. I also put up a Pinterest board of some references for this project: http://www.pinterest.com/heatherawhitesi/sphynx-cat-doll/

I wonder how many scrap fabric mockups this is going to take me?  Guess we'll find out.
e_phemerart: (passion)
DSC02370     ileyes

Here is the doll's head with eyes inserted, and an example of what similar half round eyes look like on their own.

This wasn't exactly just as easy as just popping the eyes into place. I first inverted the head and filled it with boiling water for a couple minutes; this softened the viynl. After emptying the water and drying the head, the lingering heat made it much easier to cut through the back eye caps with a sharp exacto blade. I didn't competely remove the inside cap, just slit it about 2/3rds round, so the eye sits inside the lower eyelid in a pocket. Then it was a matter of sliding the eyes into the sockets from the front, and pushing and positioning them. The doll's neck opening and interior shape made it kind of clumsy and uneasy reaching in with my fingers and working from the inside, but a mix of working from the front outside and inside finally got results.

Lol; it was rather difficult to get the irises straight, had a real cockeyed looking cat there for a while!

I do think these eyes were a little large for the sockets, even though I bought the 22mm size as specified. (That problem was with the seller of the doll kit, not the artist who made the eyes.)  Later on, I will still need to glue the eyes in permenantly in place.

I really like the colouration of the eyes. You can't really see it in this pic, but there is a hint of green around the irises, then the mottled gold, and a brown outline. It's a fantasy version of Gaz' eyes.

This is the Etsy seller I got the eyes from, a custom order-- very good transaction, turn around time was good- even with international shipping from England, and reasonable pricing. Very pleased with the purchase.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CandyKittensEmporium
e_phemerart: (passion)
10802020_10202809050178882_1810045774793314129_n il_fullxfull.407181354_quxr

I received the vinyl dollkit I recently ordered. And here's Gaz with his copy-cat counterpart!
The doll pieces are larger than I anticipated, more anthropomorphic baby-doll  proportioned than true to life cat sized. However, I do think I'm going to try to make the body pattern more feline shaped, like so:
Pondering using doe-suede for the body, after doing pattern making muslins. Definitely have to figure out how to get the wrinkles in the skin too! Think I'll work on the body first, but then I'm going to need to do some shopping for proper paints (websearching "reborning' dolls).


I did get a really cool set of resin eyes made by an etsy seller. This coloration, but with cat's eye slit pupil. They look great, but it also looks like it may be a bit of a hassle to set them--have to cut out the back eye caps (and the casting seems thicker than necessary there). I'm thinking this probably is a knock off casting, not  a brand "ReBorn".  Besides the castiing quality, the item specifics as listed , 16" size and 22mm eyes needed, seem  a bit off to me.

 Another note: add shaped wire to tail to make it curve.

I'll make it all work. It'll be a sort of different doll making project than the total soft-sulpture cloth dolls I've done in the past, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.


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