e_phemerart: (passion)
Yes, I still get distracted from major projects like my Ruthie doll venture.

Bought the faux fur at JoAnn's to make a cat eared hat for the march on Saturday.  Pretty wild, insn't it? Got the pieces cut out this morning, and will owrk some more on it this evening after work.

Also picked up (payday is splurge day) a retro dress to wear to the Doll's Valentine's gig, and some fabric to make a simple bolero shrug. Theme of my outfit, obviously is "A box of chocolates".  Haven't received the green St. Pat's dress I ordered a while ago--wonder if it got back ordered; need to check.

Mr, Sopko liked my second doll head better, so will use that practice head as the basis for Ruthie's final face design. Tried the wig on her, maybe it'll owrk after all. Will send pics of wig and head to Andy to get his opinion.
e_phemerart: (passion)
Thank goodness most of it is good.

I've decided to go to the Women's March in Nashville this Saturday. Am able to get a ride with Starlit, one of the Dixie Danger Dolls and some other Huntsville women who are going up to the rally. If there was ever a time to be politically active again now is it.

I think I may let myself get pulled off into yet another quick-get-it-done project) andtake tonight/tomorrow to sew up a pink cat-eared hat, to be part of the "Pussy Project". This is women, especially those attending the Marches, standing up for themsleves and their rights after learning of  president-elect Trump's vulgar "locker room"  comments about "grabbing women by the pussy."  It may be a silly symbolic gesture, but it's a gesture. There 's  some wild pink faux fur at JoAnn's (and i have a 40% off coupon) that would make a cute hat, and I could also recycle the use of it for Burning Man, as part of Pink Lightening Camp, and Kathy's  Cat-thederal project.

Found a cat-eared hood pattern DIY tutorial online; looks funky cool and easy to follow.

Also saw a FB post about a marathon challenge Fleet Feet is sponsoring in association with the Make a Wish foundation. It's a sponsored funraiser, similar to what I've done in the past with Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. It's not a race, but a 26.3 mile hike on the Pinhoti trail. Not til end of May, so training and fundraising til then. Anyway,it sounds like a good challenge, a good event and a good cause.

Got the wig I ordered for 'Ruthie". I'm not sure I like it;  definately will have to form the back of the head solidly for a good fit before sewing it around the hairline. and then see how the syle actually works. Still may go ahead and buy another wig I think might work better; I can always keep one or the other of them in my own costume stash.

 Even with going to the march on Saturday, I'll still have Sunday this weekend to do doll work. I'm going to dye (Just want it a bit more fleshtoned) the thermasilk shirt I picked up at the thrift store and craft some practice heads from it mext. Am hoping this stretch silk fabric works; it's got a nice weave/feel to it. I figure i can get faces out of the two sleeves as well as from the shirt front and back.

B had been looking for something of his (and actually even cleaning up a little!) and came across a nice olive green,browns and blues, paisley scarf that had been his mother's I suppose. I'm wearing it today, looped around my neck and pinned on a shoulder with one of my brooches. He told me "you don't have to wear it just because I gave it to you, if you don't actually like it. lol, but I actually do.
e_phemerart: (passion)
Spent Sunday and Monday at my daughter's. Sunday, we all just hung out around the house. Hannah had a sinus infection and wasn't feeling too good. Ken was a good hubby and just let her rest all day. I had MLK day off work, so I stayed and I babysat for her on Monday evening so she could go to a meeting. She and I got up for an early morning walk on Monday; that was nice. I also got a sketch done for her for a tattoo she wants; I think it still needs some work, but it's a start. And I did some strengthening paper mache-ing on the belly cast we did when she was pregnant almost three years ago with Lennon. So, I kept busy while there. The boys were good while I babysat; Desmond kept himself amused for quite a while with drawing, he'd taken a cardboard box apart and drew on it like a big mural.

Found out, earlier in the week, via my older sister Lisa, that my Aunt Marge was in the hospital. She died Sunday night. Lisa says Dad was pretty shaken up. He's been taking care of her for years now. At least his other sister, Nonnie and a couple of her girls came over during the days in the hospital.  As usual (and to a bit of guilty feelings) Lisa was the one from our immediate family helping Dad cope and deal with things. I don't like thinking how I'd feel if one of my siblings died. Aunt Marge was a good woman; I should have seen her more in recent years than I did.

I felt a little down, depressed and binge ate a bit. Resulting in no less sadness and an upset digestive sysytem today.

Stayed at Hannah's until it was time for Desmond to go to school this morning, then drove on home. I needed to change clothes before work. Made the mistake of leaving the back door open and Josette, our calico cat got out.  I had to wake B up to help me get her back inside the house. Yeah, it hasn't been that great a day today. And it is rainy as well.

That was quick. I already got the doll book, The Basic Body, in the mail. Am still waiting on another book I ordered earlier. Guess I'll read some of it during my dinner break tonight here at work. Am orderinga  couple more sample yards of fabrics to try out on the head. Do have the thermasilk shirt I can try cutting up and using , and have already ordered some poly stretch from a doll making supply site.

Trying to decide if I want to stay home and doll work this next weekend, or go up to Nashville on Saturday for the "sister" Women's March.
e_phemerart: (passion)

First and second practice heads. Lol, I think I had the stretch going opposite ways and that accounts for head shape differences, besides any head done in this technique is going to be unique, due to stuffing and tension of the sculpting stitches. Think I like the first head a little better, with the more bulbous nose, and its not quite so angular as the second.  A little plumpness will go better with the body shape too. However, you can see on the second how lower set eyes (in this case drawn and couched) look better; definitely will have to recess and inset the ball eyes. Feeling better overall about my abilities.

Recieved the acrylic eyes I ordered for the doll; that was quick. Just pinned them in to get an idea of how they'll look.(first photo on left) Lol, I will be careful with actually positioning them so she won't look quite as wall-eyed as here, and you can tell I used two different shades of stockings as the eyelids here as well. May either have to sink the eye sockets a bit more or slit them to insert the eyes, so they don't pop and stick out quite so much. But with that, along with shaping the eyelids and adding lashes and brows, I think the eyes will work fine.

Going to have to see what kind of lycra fabric I can find, and probably buy a couple small quantities. I am just not convinced of the durability of the nylon hosiery. Darn having to buy online without being able to see or feel the actual fabric. Sharon sugested a 2 way stretch t shirt knit. But it all depends on what I can find available. may have to self dye if I can't find a good nude flesh tone- that's important to getting the right look. Guess I could practice faces some more or switch over to pattern making for the body now.

I picked up some different batting and poly fill yesterday from JoAnns. (who is currently having a 50% off such sale; I'd ordered a big box of polyfil from elsewhere because JoAnns didnt have the 10lb size in stock, but got the same price and discount). Anyway, the new filling is called a "Dry polyester packing" and is almost tacky to the touch, meaning it won't move and shift like the regular poly fill. That makes it good for firming and shaping the features such as the nose. The batting is also somewhat "dry" compared to the regular; I used it almost like a fabric to sew and  then stuff the base head form. Will probably use a combination of fills in the doll; regular stuffing for the large areas of the body and the dry for detailing the face and hands.

Also emailed Mr. Sopko (Andy) and sent him photos of the sample head to get his imput and to see if I'm headed in the right direction of what he wants.

Later: Got a reply back from Andy. He said: "Wow, Wow, wow!" :) So That means I am on the right track of things as far as pleasing the customer.
e_phemerart: (passion)

Left: Side view showing contouring of face. Pleased with it; lots of depth. Haven't added eyes or ears yet, and probably won't on this sample. Life size. I like the size it turned out; you can see the glasses fit well. I will have to add more stuffing onto back of head or under wig to get that shape correct. Andy may want me to work on the expression (how to stitch a scowl instead of a small smile?) but I sure feel better about this as a starting place than I did after my first fumbling attempts!

Center: Ruthie Rumble 3/4 view. Sculpted nylon over batting base head (sewed and stuffed Sharon Mitchell's Patroness pattern, pic below, just using batting; turned and stuffed as for doll, and added more stuffing, over top of base but under nylon, to nose and cheeks before sculpting). Will try to remember to get more working in-progress pics when doing next (still practicing) head.This is just my third practice head; the first two were definitely a part of my learning curve and went right in the trash.

Right:Front face. Showing some added colour with watercolour pencils. Wig is not the one ordered for finished doll; just one I had in my stash from last year's Jedi Librarian costume. Glasses are mine, but I think I will have to find a pair of granny frames for her? You can see where the chin laddered badly and I had to stitch it up. Would that happen if I doubled the nt\ylon or of I used the larger thigh section from a pair of pantyhose rather than the knee highs I used here? Still think other material might be sturdier in the long run than hosiery.

Need to read though the Lisa Lichtenfels workbook I have on the Basic Head to get some more ideas/information about building up the base and sculpting over it. She does it from a skull form, adding muscles and layers to get to the skin. I'm wondering if I should spend the money and get her Basic Body book as well; might have some hints for working large; the majority of her work is life size and hyper realistic.  Ha...signed up for an Amazon Credit Card and got a 50.00 free gift card, which I used to purchase the Basic Body book via Amazon. :)  .http://lisalichtenfels.net 

See More steps in head construction )

new here

Jan. 12th, 2017 12:18 pm
e_phemerart: (Default)
Just changing over/importing from Live Journal to Dreamwidth, for the reasons of privacy and a new start. (Dreamwidth is an American based company; Live Journal is now headquartered in Russia. lol..heaven forbid that Russia hacks my public journal... Seriously though, there are some real issues.

I also like that the free version of Dreamwidth will spell check, which LJ does not.
e_phemerart: (passion)
Think I really have done all the research I can into my commission doll project. Need to jump in and start working on it. Hoping to take at least an hour tonight and start on sample faces, doing more over the weekend.

I had a meds appt with psychiatrist (new) today. Kind of a grumpy thick acccented Russian lady doctor, but got my meds and a three month break before another appt. Upping the Vyvanse just a notch, see if it makes any difference to me. Actually, am feeling pretty good overall, just hope that continues and my productivity stays up. Also had a therapy appointment last night;that went ok. She was pleased about my commission and thought it would be a good thing for me. Talked briefly about a later possible commission from her for a set of therapy dollhouse dolls. Going to write my list of "things we need done around the house" on the white board at home, maybe B will see it and work on his part of them. Katherine also mentioned that Icould rent a room in the building her office is in for about 250/mo and use it as a studio space; you know, I could almost afford that! Idea is that if B can't help me with a studio at home, I need something somewhere. (I'd love to get a space at Lowe Mill, but can't easily meet the schedule of hours required open to public). Anyway, somethings to think about.

List (ranked)
1) B's stuff out of dining room for my craft room. Then work on putting my stuff in order.
2) New Fridge (and clean path to get it into kitchen space)
3) PT Cruiser (work on it or gone)

I also had written a catch up emaIl note to my father and told him about the commisiion, he wrote back a couple very encouraging compliments about my talents and skills. Didn't say anything negative or parentally cautionary! That made me feel good too.

Don't have any errands to run at lunch today, so will use the time for a walk. Think I'll walk the mile up Bank Street and pop into the antique store to browse the jewelery cases briefly; window shopping is a good exercise bribe. :) Hope the rain stays away during that hour.

Later: Did get in a 2 mile walk at lunchtime. And I bought a new brooch from Bank Street Antiques as well; a nice inexpensive (20$) circular clear rhinestones and baguettes. Also managed to get a small blister on the bottom of my foot; which was totally my own fault because I could have changed out from my fashion boots to a pair of running shoes I had in the car!

Made an appointment to get my hair done in a couple of weeks at Ruthie's (one of the Dixie Danger Dolls) 5 Points Salon. Going to get my hair trimmed up and colored. Decided it might be worth it to have someone else do the colouring mess. That's on Jan 27 in the am; Josette has a vet's appt in the afternoon, so it'll be a busy enough day. I have gotten a couple patron comments about my hair not being dyed a bright or different color, so I can go back to it for a while again. Thinking maybe green, because I haven't done that often and it will be easy to overdye if I decide to go back to a normal brown. Or maybe I'll just do normal for me and do some shade of purple. :)
e_phemerart: (passion)
keeping track of this in a separate entry.

-costume wig $44.00;
-blue acrylic eyes. (reborns) $9.00
-swatch set of fleshtone bodystocking material $12.00
-thrift store fabric for body pattern making $7.00
-10 lbs poly-fil stuffing $30.00

Running Total: $102

other future purchases (that I know I'll need)
-dollskin fabric
-machine thread and needles
-armature wire
-weight pellets
e_phemerart: (passion)
Just jotting down some ideas for later on when I get around to (later this year, during early summer) making up 2 doll/puppets for Kathy's "Crystal Cat-thederal" art piece at the Burning Man festival. The puppets are going to go in the constructed "cathedral" for participants to play and interact with.

I wonder if I could make a doll out of the iridescent material I made the pixies wing's out of, making a "Crystal-Cat" or cat person, may well go anthropomoprhic. It doesn't have much give, and it frays easily, but could use a backing fabric or with a stabilizer. Hobby Lobby had this material in a couple different shiny colours, white, blue, green I think.

Thinking my usual I like the size 24"-36" tall.

Also considering doing a sphynx cat puppet, just because of Gaz. But that would be out of different material, something that wrinkles well. That might make a good marionette, mabe a simple bouncy body and twitchy tail of scrunched/ruched/tied/twisted material and a more detailed expressive head?

Have to consider these works would be displayed out in the elements, on the playa, with lots of dust. Will be more ephemeral than other dolls. May influence materials used, recycled inexpensive is good. May even "burn" them in the end.

Cathedral, so maybe a diety cat, quasi Egyptian look? Crystal eyes or a crystal heart?

Maybe I need to track down a set of Cat based tarot cards for inspiration? A quick ebay browse turns up quite a few cat image decks! Cats are popular. Not sure if any of them are really talking to me though.

Coleen's friend Kathy seems real neat in the few chats we've had so far. Besides being an artist, she's also an ultraruner who is doing a Hawaiian 100 miler this weekend! I'm so jealous. Really need to recommit to my training, just so I'm able to do the Ultra at Burning Man in late August.

Of course, had to do some preliminary Pinterest and image searches (for cat puppets)
e_phemerart: (passion)
So, I'm now a "professional" doll maker. (Yeah, right) However, I have taken on the paying commission from the 71 year old fellow in Indiana who wants a lady for his rumble seat. It's not my usual sort of quirky doll, but I'm kind of excited about the project. It will be good for me to move out of my comfort zone. Just got the deposit via PayPal; we're in business.

Hoping I can successfully learn the sculpting technique (extrapolating from what I know and where I am with cloth soft sculpture) and get somewhere between the two reference photos here. (reference photos--NOT my work. Aristocratic lady from here; http://www.liveinternet.ru/users/aishagu/post221518025/ Wish I were that skillfull!).

Body pattern by Sharon Mitchell, using as basic body style, but will have to enlarge (lol. quite a bit). Also using some of  the pattern and htings learned from my previous life size dolls and Paisley doll still in progress. May have to add torso seams for constructing breasts (to form not just sculpt as on small doll). Next photo shows a doll made from this pattern. She's a nice little old lady, and she sits well. Now, I just need to make a nice big little old lady. Btw, I'm glad that Sharon (who is a much more experienced and  talented professional dollmaker than I am) is willing to give me advice and encouragement on this project. makes me feel part of the community. Lol, the prospective buyer contacted her first, not realizing she lives in New Zealand!

 The patron really liked this wig, so we'll go with it. It looks sort of vintage style, doesn't it? Which should go well with the project. Since I'm making a life size doll, a regular wig should fit and look more realistic than trying to construct the wig from other fibers. We're going for a semi-realistic semi-caricature look for the features, a sort of stern but not totally unpleasant expression.

Expendatures: costume wig $44.00; blue acrylic eyes. (reborns) $9.00; 12$ swatch set of fleshtone bodystocking material. $7.00 thrift store fabric for body patterning.(flesh coloured duvet cover and a silk knit shirt, which might be just the ticket for the final head sculpt or at leat a good practice.) Will use cheap panyhose for my learning curve to sculpt nylon, but may buy yardage from this online site for the actual dollskin.  Planned expenditures: Actual fabric may run around 50$. Will need a new box of fluff, 40. Thread and needles...$20ish? . Wire for armature too, and some sort of weighting pellets? Sigh. it all adds up, but I think I'll come out close to my $200 supply budget estimate.  I'm still going to get a decent (BMan festival ticket buying) profit. No need being greedy, doing a good job is more important.  I'm glad I don't have to make her clothes her as well, but probably will put her in a thrift store nightie or slip. :)

Going to start by buying a half dozen pairs or so of cheap knee-high patyhose (did so at Walgreen's at dinner break time) and doing a lot of trial runs on smaller heads to get the knack of the sculpting techniques. If I get a cute looking head, maybe I'll turn one into a simple doll for Kelly, another one of my Craft it Forward projects. Once I'm feeling more comfortable, I'll do a couple practice full size heads as well. When I get in the fabric swatches, I'll decide if any of them are what I really want to work for the face and dollskin or not, until then I can work on heads or think about the body pattern. Note to self: pick up some cheap sheets at thrift store to use for body pattern making, and pick up a craft size batting roll at Joann's (looked like some of the features were built up using a firmer batting, instead of just fiberfill, and then sculpted.)

By the way, her full name is "Ruthie Roadster Rumble". Unless Andy decides differently. :) He really does seem like a nice guy from our email exchange, a retired gentlemen who loves Disney and considers himself a kid at heart. He's willing to work with me, is putting up well with all my this- or-that? questions; we seem to have a decent email rapport for getting this project done. I don't think he'll try to micromanage me, but I just want to do a good job and make the doll he wants.

The hardest part for me will be keeping going and not stalling out. This cannot be an unfinished project; it won't be. I seem to be doing better on that score recently, but have to keep after  things and be aware of my own worst tendancies. Just have to believe in myself and my abilities, and have fun with it along the way.

it's been slow enough at the desk this evening that I got to watch/scan through some online instructional videos; they were really helpful.

Overall the first video is a very good nylon sculpting tutorial! (Even if it is in Russian and so I'm just going by the images.) The head created seems a fairly good size too. Think I can follow along from here and work toward getting hte head I want.

This next one is simpler, but I like that it uses numerical sequence to show the needle sculpting. It may be a good starting place before jumping into the more complex expressions and techniques. (links below)

Need to pick up my craft area/table from the last batch of pixie making and before getting out the needles and stuffing and sculpting some heads!

e_phemerart: (passion)
Enough back and forth, I emailed the potential doll patron and asked him for a 200.00 deposit; if he responds with the depoisit money, we'll go forward with this project. Ball's in his court and it's up to him if he wants to work with me on "Ruthie Rumble" or not.  If so, I'll get started on her and try to keep motivated and hopefully she won't take me that much longer than Suzie-Rose did. She's going to be wearing clothes, so I'm going to try not to get hung up on body detailing but just have the form look right. The face is going to be the hard part, and the focal point (of course); it's also going to be a new skill for me--learning how to soft sculpt nylon. He wants a caricature face, so I don't have to try for Lisa Lichenfels type realism or anything. Whew. Found some decent turtorials, some pics and some video on youtube.com (in Russian but the pictures are clear and helpful) I can do this, More info later if it pans out.

Getting a "new" used computer. Selling off the used computers from the library.

I made another little fox for Cal yesterday, this one is just the face.(If I had enough time and more material I could get it to look more like the original felted one, as is it's just cutesy and similar.) So, he'll get two little crafts in his package. I should send it off tomorrow morning, as I need to go to the PO to get a pkg of craft trim that been wating for me.

One more hour to my workday Monday. Been pretty busy and pretty weird. Library personenel had to call the cops about some guys panhandling in the parking lot, and call the ambulalnce for an elderly patron who slipped and conked his head on the computer desk.  When the ambulance and EMTs came to transport him, a car ran into the ambulance in the parking lot.

Think I'll finish watching the Mimi's Mannequins instructional dvds tonight. And maybe another episode of Sherlock.
e_phemerart: (passion)

I made a very small teeny tiny fox brooch in felt for my friend Cal Foxx. Working small, it's 2.5" in length, does not mean working fast, still took me several hours to hand stitch this. Going to send him along with the flower as well; I think C is feeling more girly again these days. Wish I could have figured out how to do the fox head I posted the other day, but the fabric store didn't have any foxy colored fabric of the right sort. :(  maybe I'll have to try needle felting someday; which is how the original was made.Still may play around with pattern making though for a while today.;maybe a simple flat head pattern then with drawing and light needle sculpting; if it works out will send it along to Cal too.

As I said, I kind of like the idea of making brooches for folks. I'm just a brooch kind of gal.

It has been and is cold here. No snow though, "snow day "was a bust but I did get Hannah's pixies done on the extra day off from work! I found some cool  iridescent fabric for the wings at Hobby Lobby!  The pixie dolls are about 15" tall or so; what size are pixies? Are they all super tiny or do they come in a variety of sizes? I don't know, but Hannah wanted then  to display on her shelf railing at the top of the room so I figured bigger was a bit better for that. And they do fit nicely in the display cage I have. So, the pixies are the first dolls of the New Year! Still pretty simple and not perfect, but cute enough.
Note to self: look for other sewing feet for machine that allow to see seam line better. Mimi suggests an applique foot. (just picked one up  for 10.00 on Ebay, says it'll fit my machine)

Got several nice responses to posting the pixies on art doll group on FB; one of which was a reply from another Huntsville resident. Turns out she's the president of the Twickingham doll club here in town. She says there are a few cloth doll people in the group, so I will have to check it out. Hope their next meeting doesn't overlap with my work schedule or anything.

Have also been chatting with Coleen's friend Kathy, who is having an art installation at BurningMan. I may make a couple puppets to go along with her piece "Crystal Cat-thedral". It would be so cool to actually have work at the festival! Cloth dolls can ttranslate easily to simple marionettes or hand and rod puppets. Jusr idea thinking on this one for right now.

Back to being cold; I spent most of yesterday evening in bed, just because I was too cold to enjoy doing anything! I'm typing today with my gloves on! Space heaters just dopn't quite cut it for warming all of a room.
e_phemerart: (passion)
Got one pixie head and body done last night. I like the way it looks, with the bicoloured body and the velour cloth. Also have the rest of the body patterns, for this pixie and the second of the pair, drawn out and traced out on freezer paper ready to put on the fabric, I've decided I like using the freezer paper technique, I can see the sewing lines so much better on the paper. I should be able to get this pixie project wrapped up this weekend.

More email converation with the fellow who wants a life size doll. Working out details of what exactly he is looking for. I quoted him a price of $550-650, we'll see if he agrees to that or not. He said he might just want a torso doll, with no legs; that would make the project somewhat easier. I looked online for similar life size dolls, ones I found ranged in price from $750 lower end to several thousand on the high end. And I bet Lisa Lichenfeld's art cost even more! I'm not of a caliber or reknown to charge that much!  But I could do something like Suzie (but with an expressive nylon sculpted face) for the price quoted; let's hope he thinks it's reasonable. I would take on this commission, not because the old lady doll wanted is that exciting to me, but the opportunity to stretch my skills and to be a "professional" doll maker. Think the buyer had a good attitude for appreciating the art and I like the idea of displaying her in the rumble seat of his vintage car. Besides, I've been spending so much money lately, it would be good to be making some with what I'm learning and doing. (As I said, they earned money would be earmarked for my Burning Man Festival ticket/travel, which is going to be my big vacation with Coleen this year.)

Speaking there of, I took the first step and created my Burning Man profile. Need to do that before the tickets come up for sale and allotment. There is also a possibility that I could do some doll/puppet work with one of C's friends who is going to have an art piece at the festival. Saw pics of Kathy's piece "rat's nest" from last year; it was cool. Just friend requested her on FB, turns out she's an ultrarunner too!

Picking up another cheap book, this one on Embroidering Potraits ideas, inspiration and techniques; it's about making stumpwork faces, just what I need for doll brooches.

Well, yay, I've got another three day weeekend. Possibility of bad winter weather tomorrow and the Decatur City Schools have already closed for tomorrow, so the library has done the same. Another day to craft, and (if the weather isn't too terrible) may meet a friend for brunch. I may even get the pixies done with time to start on Cal's little craft project as well.

Dolls are going to have a merch table at Maggie Meyers again this Saturday night. If the show doesn't get snowed out, I may go over just long enough to buy a calendar and to give Starlit her Craft gift. I'm kind of fudging and giving her a gift I 'd made previously, but it is handcrafted by me and was made to be a gift. And I think its the right gift for her. Think I'll also give her the burlesque dvd to go along with it.


Jan. 4th, 2017 11:44 am
e_phemerart: (passion)
Lol.I'm doing my holiday giving late. Will give Kinsey the pixie doll today. I also ordered a length of brocade ribbon with a squirrel motif to make a bookmark for Tina and picked up a copy of "The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin" for her. (She had given me a faux 1 million dollar bill, with the etching illustrations being of  the Bride of Frankenstein; it'll make a good bookmark for me.)

Did some idea searching for my Craft if Forward projects and so created a new pinterest board, "Doll Brooches". Think I have ideas for most of what I want to do. Will start on the first of them after I get done with the Pixies . Cal's gift is going to be a fox, either a little stuffie or a brooch based on the tattoo I got when we were married, but in 3/d sculpted format, like the image below but probably done in flannel or felt. That's really cute if I can figure out how to do the face pattern similarly.Want to use animal eyes like in the pic, but need to do mock up first so I know what size. Vickie's Bee is going to be a stumpwork bee on a honeycomb with beaded accents, adapted (larger bee) from a lovely jewelery piece I stumbled across.Think I'll probably start with one of those since I have the images/inspiration in my head of what i want to do.

Hannah's pair of pixies first though, and I did get the velour for them in yesterday's post. Am thinking I may do, as my daughter wanted, and applique the body front and inner ears in a lighter blue flannel I have to make the body bi-colour. Need to tweak the pattern still just a bit, elongate the legs just a tad more, maybe another 1/2 inch.  I'm hoping I have the head size right now.  I'll make the two bodies first; then the heads, and then add on the arms and legs. Going to get started on these tonight! I'm going ot visit her in another week or so, and want to have the pxies done by then.

Went out walking at lunchtime; did a mile. It's a silly superstition/habit of mine, if I haven't been active for a while when I do go out the "first" time again- it's for a single mile (even though I know I can do more than that.) Always that babystep to start; besides I was wearing my fashion ankle boots anyway instead of my trainers.

BTW, Kinsey loved her Cornish Pixie! I mean she seemed super thilled, so that made me feel good about my work.
e_phemerart: (passion)
Project 1: Irish Dress.
Ruthie mentioned that the Dixie Danger Dolls may be participating in the local St. Patrick's Day Parade. I figured I'd get a jump on things and found an inexpensive dress.  I figured for the parade, I could maybe spiffy the dress up with embellished celtic knotwork applique, sort of a pin up version of an Irish stomp dance dress. Otherwise, I could even just wear it for a work dress. This is assuming of course it fits and I don't end up having to send it back. Second pic is a belt I found on etsy, messaged the artist about how much one in my size would cost (as offered, they are long medieval style belts, I'd just want a regular waist belt.) and if he could have it shipped in time. Or I might craft a wider corselet type belt myself to wear over the dress in the area under the bust and to the waist. Or I could put my energy into dolling up a  cheap green wig I have.

Project #2 is from a FB "Craft it Forward" post, that Jason Jacobs initially posted and I forwarded from there
Craft It Forward 2017.
"I promise to make something handmade for the first five people who comment. Depending on who and where you are will depend on what it is. They must in turn post this and make something for the first five who comment on their status.
*The rules are it has to be handmade by you, and they must receive it before 2017 ends.
* It can be something as simple as making a friend a cup of coffee.
Or not......may the odds be ever in your favor!
*It could be a cookie, a drawing, some weirdly crafted object.. you never know".
I will be crafting small gifts for:
Cal Foxx (exhubby who will get a fox)
Melinda Brown (longtime feminist friend; I'll eaither make her a small doll brooch like a mermaid or a hedgehog stuffie)
VIckie Bloom (some sort of bee motif)
Janette Maas (running friend. maybe a turtle)
Kelly Buzan (my cousin)
and, one extra, Starlit Piaulsen (A Dixier Danger Doll, maybe make a set of pasties since the Dolls are exploring expanding into Burlesque this year)

I'm thiinking to make mostly embellished doll brooches in themes that relate to my various friends' interests. That way it's also doll practice on a small scale. And everyone associates brooches with me. I do have a set of pasties already made up, made them last year for the Nassa gift exchange, but then it got canceled due to Heinz' death. Maybe it's time to repurpose them. These are just small projects to put some good creative karma out there in the world.

Project #3 :MAYBE" life size doll commission
This is a huge "if", but I'm checking into it and we'll see. One of the artists, Sharon Mitchell, in the Doll Artist group posted on her Facebook page:
"I have had a request from a man in Indiana, 60 miles from Chicago, who wants someone to make him a life size mannequin doll of a grumpy old lady, to sit in the rumble seat in his 1930 Model A Ford, on show days.His name is Andy, and he saw my pattern of Jeanne, The Innkeepers wife in my Etsy shop, and wrote to me, not realising I live in NZ! I said I would ask in this group, if anyone was prepared to take on the task.I would be prepared to support anyone who wanted to take it on, by email or messaging on FB, and I would give this pattern to anyone who wanted to try it for this purpose, to use as a guide. I do have a pattern for a life size head that is needle sculpted, and I think he would be happy with one made from pantyhose. I have his email address if anyone is interested in a project like this? All consultation would be with him.Anyone up for this challenge living nearby? Please message me for his details"

So, I messaged her and we chattted a bit, and then I emailed the gentleman who had queried her. Asked him some questions about what he is seeking, and to see if he'd be interested in working with me on his doll project. I was honest about my abilites (which are not yet up to par with Sharon's skills). Also asked him for a ballpark figure of what he'd be willing to pay, we'll see the response to that--because I'm thinking at least 500$ if he wants any sort of detail in the doll.

Here's what I wrote to the potentional patron:
"I was referred to you from SFM Cloth Dolls With Attitude's artist/owner Sharon Mitchell who you had contacted about commissioning a life sized doll. While she was unable to take on this project, I might be able to help you out with what you want.
I have created several life sized and near life sized dolls, and enjoy working large. Your project sounds like it could be quite enjoyable to me as an artist.  I would consider myself an intermediate dollmaker, I've been making dolls for years, but I'm still learning and am getting better with my soft sculpture skills on making faces.
What can you tell me about exactly that you are seeking? What size? Will she wear regular clothes or will I have to tailor the costume?  assume you want her jointed to sit; do you also want joints in the arms as well for more posing options?  What character and persona do you want her to express?  Sharon mentioned you had seen her pattern for "Jeanne", would that be a decent starting point for this project? Do you have any kind of deadline for needing the doll finished? Are there any other details you can think of?
A doll of this size would not be inexpensive to craft, life size dolls require rather a lot of materials. And the more detail you want, the more time she will take to create. Do you have a ballpark figure of what you would like to spend? I'm willing to work with you some on price as this would be a learning experience for me, really testing and pushing my skills.
I live in Alabama, but I'm sure we could work out shipping and or delivery (I do have relatives in northern Illinois, somewhat closer to you).
I have attached a few pics of my large scale doll work for you to see. As I said, I am capable of making the faces somewhat more realistic if that is what you prefer.
Please email me back if you would like to discuss things further. I think it's really fun that you want a gal to ride along in your vintage car; (perhaps you'd want her dressed in a similarly vintage outfit as well?) "

We'll see if he writes back and what he has to say. As I remarked, it would be a test of my skills. And Sharon has even offered to provide advice if I do accept the work.In fact, she even sent me one of her pattern downloads (free) becuase it was the image Andy had seen and liked and might provide a starting place for the look of the doll. It would be nice to earn the amount I need for my Burning Man ticket....

Gods, am I going to be busy and creative this year! I better get back to walking daily so I have the energy for all this.

I also had B take a couple more photographs of my Bequest tattoo at a higher resolution and sent them off to AnatomyBoutiqueBooks for inclusion in the book on Anatomy Tattoos. (I didn't realize before the camera could be set to a higher res, and the ones I took previously were smallish for printing--especially since the editor said she was interested in printng my tattoo as a full page if possible.) Will see what I end up with when it actually gets printed. but regardless I'm psyched about being included in an actual print book.


Jan. 3rd, 2017 09:49 am
e_phemerart: (passion)
 Some things I like about Cloth Doll Making
1) it's a fiber art and that is my media of choice.
2) utiizes costuming, but at a smaller scale, so takes less materials and less time.
3) is realtively quick to make a doll (compared to finishing some other crafts.)
4) I like the figurative aspect
5) It's a good outlet for self portraiture and self expression.
6) offers oppportunites for embellishment
7) tells a story
8)  even art dolls are playful
9) I can practice drawing skills on pattern making and faces
10) There are still new things I can learn about this craft
11) I can develope and further myself and my skills as an artist through making dolls.
12) I like the compliments and response I've gotten to this type of art.
13) Can use all kinds of fabrics and materials.
14) I enjoy the aesthetic and tactile qualities.

Other things I want to work on  (I'm not calling them resolutions) this year.
1)Keeping track of the books I read this year.
2) returning to walk/running and fitness training on a regular basis.
3) go on vacation to the Burning Man festival with my sister (in late August), and be able to walk/run the 50k race there.

Day stuff: Finished watching AHS: Hotel; still think Freak Show is my favorite season. Also watched remainder of Cluea Doll dvds. Made the additional pixie head sample. B bought me a couple locking grips, one small, one large from Harbor Freight and ordered me a medium sized hemostat (same principle). These should come in useful for turning doll parts and stuffing. The larger grips are a bit too unwieldly for smaller parts, but I think they will be a useful size for when I do half size, say 30'+ dolls and life-size larger dolls like Paisley. Am thinking, after I do the pixies, I may do a female doll before returning to my gents.  I want to watch Mimi's dvd before returning to doing a male body (from her pattern). Also been rewatching the Harry Potter pixie clip over and over, trying to capture the look and character of the pixies for my daughter's dolls.  Haven't sewn them yet, but added a couple more  pieces of paisley trim to Paisley's torso; once i do a little bit of embroidery, I'll have the torso all finished. Am considering adding joints to this doll; at least in the legs so she can sit, but will practice on a smaller  jointed doll first.

Brought into work the one completed first draft pixie in his cage to give to Kinsey, but she isn't in til tomorrow. Oh well, he can sit in iis cage in the cupboard until then. Will try downsizing my pix head pattern on the xerox, just a smidge needed.
e_phemerart: (passion)

Another practice pixie head, this time with larger eyes. I'm wondering how much difference using the velour fabric will make? Guess I'll find out when it gets here.


 Same body, different heads. Nope not right yet. Think I need to enlarge the body or shrink the head just a bit in the one on the left, proportions just aren't quite right, even if I want the head somewhat over large. Need to also make hands larger as in references too.

Watched the rest of the Patti Culea DVDs today; lots of good information there. I likes the doll she used as her sample figure throughout, it's from her book Cloth Doll Couture, which of course is one I don't have. Thank goodness for cheap used books on Amazon!

New Year's

Jan. 1st, 2017 09:54 am
e_phemerart: (passion)
Had a very nice New Year's Eve. The Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn concert was good. I'm glad that B really enjoyed himself; that made it all the better. They did a variety of music, blues, bluegrass, murder ballads, traditional. Bela sure can make that banjo sing. Was also cute when they had their 3 year old son come out on the last number and stomp dance along with the song. Afterwards, went to the Dixie Danger Dolls Masquerade, staying about an hour or so til midnight. Imbided a whiskey sour and a champagne toast at midnight. Got lots of compliments on my outfit, but Starlit took top prize with her dazzling ensemble. (She's been having a rough time recently, and she does so much for the Dolls, so she deserved it for that as  well as her costume.)

Practice protoype of a Cornish Pixie doll. 14", Cotton, Button joints in arms and hips; button eyes. Based on character/creatures in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie and book..  I used turning tubes on the fingers and other small parts; I have to say they made a world of difference in being able to turn the fabric- definitely the right tool for the job. Hannah says she wants him "cuter", so going to try  increasing hte head size in proportion to the body and using larger eys (which looking at movie references, the eyes are over sized large) and think the plushier velour fabric will also help with that. That fabric order should show up in a couple days and then I can actually make my daughter's request.

Think I'm going to take a break from sewing today and just watch some of the dollmaking DVD material instead to start of my new year.
e_phemerart: (passion)
Last round of costume working; have got this Masquerade outfit just about all wrapped up and ready.

Decided to leave the lace fall off the mask, it just made things entirely too busy.  Lol, that and B ruined it by saying it looked like a beard. Wonder what project I will eventually use it for? It is lovely stuff.

Got lucky when stopping by Thrift Mart yesterday evening. Found a little black satin (Jessica McClintock brand) clutch purse. It's design is sort of pleated, so it'll be a good accessory to the skirt and outfit. Of course, I  added a brooch to it.  I also found a fancy blouse,  long sleeved with a high neck, to wear! it's sheer black netting material covered over with curliques and floral like designs of satin trim, sort of looks like satouche braiding. I. I added yet another brooch to the front of the neck (am using some of my clear or goldish tone brooches on the outfit).

I just love it when thrift storing turns out well. :)  It's always hit or miss and you never know for sure what's going to be on the racks.

Am still throwing the fur collar around my shoulders with the chatelaine brooch.

Finished embellishing the press on nails, but I need to go to Sally's Beauty or somewhere later on this morning to buy nail glue (as I don't trust the press on adhesive on these) Going to also look one more place for gold lipstick, but I do have gold eye shadow as back up.

Since I've got my outfit for the evening under control, I'm going to do some doll sewing and try one more pixie in cotton using the revised pattern pieces. I got the turning tubes I ordered, so I can practice turning the arms and hands, Thinking if the cotton one turns out well enough, I may put it in the cage I got at HL and give it to Kinsey ; she mentioned she was also a big HP fan. Still waiting on the velour for Hannah's dolls.


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