Just got back from a week in Southern California visiting with family. I was hoping to go to a doll club meeting down in San Diego to hear Patti Culea speak but got rained out. Well, maybe that should be wimped out. Decided I didn't want to drive long distances on unfamiliar roads in pouring rain. Ah well. I did get to go to a couple of great shops though. Found an utterly amazing yarn shop that had so many choices it was overwhelming. If you get to Laguna Hills check out the Yarn Lady. Also went to a craft shop called Tall Mouse - it's like a Hobby Lobby and I was astounded to see the high quality goods they carried. Wasn't used to finding Hoffman batiks, Michael Miller, Alexander Henry and other 'quilt shop' fabrics in a chain store. Plus a great collection of inks and fabric paints. They had an large variety of Prismacolor pencils so I got to augment my collection, yay! It's nice to be home where I have my sewing machine though - I did a lot of knitting while I was gone. I've found I'm not very good at sitting and watching tv or chatting anymore without something for my hands to do. Made three of those narrow scarves out of novelty yarns while I was gone. Guess I'll have to learn to wear them now!
Ordered some new patterns today. Don't know why .. I just seem to read them and set them aside. Sometimes I make the doll, but usually not any time close to when I receive the pattern. Some I read and then decide I don't really want to make them after all. Some I just love but just don't get around to. Curious.
My troll is the one laying on the table. The others thought they could drink him under the table, well, he showed them!
Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to get any one thing done. Or I need more material or paint or beads to finish a project. So it gets put aside. Something else gets started and it's just so hard to get back to an earlier project. If I made a list of UFOs it would look like this:
Fabric ATCs that need binding
A huge project I'm trying from the Cloth Paper Scissors magazine that I need to dye a chiffon scarf for so I can finish the base fabric. The scarves and fabric paint finally came in and I'm dying to get back to it!
Two dolls that need heads
One online class that I need to start (class ended last December)
A faux stained glass wallhanging that needs borders (probably a year old now)
A Mystery Block of the Month that needs the last 8 blocks made (at least a year old)
A bracelet that only needs another couple of inches of beading to be finished
Hmmmnn.. think I just surprised myself. Didn't realize I had that many projects laying around. At least I won't be bored!
How many projects do you have unfinished, dear reader? Leave a comment and let's see who has the most UFOs!
Rivkah, a doll artist in Israel, asked me to share how I made this crackled head. I was taught this method by Christine Shively when she came to Alaska for a doll class. It's been a while since I made this but I'll try to remember what I did.
Click on the photo for a larger image.
First I painted the base layer, which is a peachy flesh color. You need to make this the color you want to have show through the crackles. Let this dry.
Then I painted the crackle medium on. I put one layer of crackle medium on, fairly thick. My friend Sharon told me to paint the crackle on in one direction only. Then it needed to dry. If I remember rightly Christine said to leave it dry overnight. The bottle of crackle medium said to let it dry an hour. I think I left it for a couple of hours. I'm always impatient when it comes to letting things dry. Next thing was to paint the skin color, which in this case was a brown tone. I painted the face last.
The face crackled up nicely but I got a little crazy and rolled it in my hands to see if the crackles changed. Made really big cracks in the face which probably wasn't the smartest thing to do. I think if I was to do this again I would buy the stuff that makes really fine crackles. It's a two part product and it says on the package that it's for fine crackles. In my Michael's Crafts you find it with the decoupage stuff. I haven't made another one since but it was a lot of fun and I was pretty pleased with it. Just remember that if you crackle the face .... crackle all the skin that will be showing or it might look like something out of the Twilight Zone. Hit by an aging ray. In the head.
Just got back from two days of shopping in Anchorage with three of my girlfriends. We hit every fabric, fiber, and bead store we could find. What fun! I bought some wonderful silks and drooled over lots more. Can't find fine fabrics in our town, and it was a bit overwhelming to see prices of $50.00 per yard and up. Luckily dolls don't take lots of yardage so I could buy as little as a quarter yard and then it didn't seem so expensive. We all bought some knitting needles and novelty yarn and sat in our hotel room learning to knit those funky little scarves that are selling for upwards of $60. Mine is nearly done now. Doesn't take too long when you only have 11 stitches on the needle! So now I have something else to do .. ai yi yi. As if I don't have enough projects to work on. Ah well, it's all soothing to the soul.
These sure are funny looking! Sometimes ya gotta wonder about naked dolls! But we got the toes sculpted, the legs on, the arms on (well, except for me - I seem to be the slow one in the bunch) and one more Sunday should see them done. I think we had more fun arranging them on the bench for their photo shoot than we did sewing them.
Our doll club has a major gallery showing next year (2006) and we decided that we (The Dragon Ladies) are going to make a tableau for these guys so they can be exhibited together. Just haven't decided if they should be in a cave setting or a bar setting. A cave would be appropriate for a troll but a tavern would be more fun to make. We're also going to exhibit our dragons in a tableau, maybe guarding a damsel high up in a castle tower. Since Karen joined us after we made the dragons (hence the name Dragon Ladies) she gets to make the damsel! Never to early to plan ahead.
Looks like some maniac got into my studio and lopped off the heads of some of my dolls. Didn't find them rolling on the floor though so it must be something else. Like my bad habit of popping heads off when I'm not entirely pleased with them. Of course if I made another one it wouldn't be so bad but I don't ever seem to get around to it.
The middle gal has been waving her neck back and forth for two years now, she was made in a class with Patti Culea. The one on the left was made last year in a class with Christine Shively. The face actually came out great - it was just too big for the body. That head is now hanging on my design wall. The last one doesn't really fit the unfinished category because I'm working on it now. Have to finish sewing the clothes down, make the boots and then it's on to the head. Soon, soon.
Winter in Alaska is great for the creative spirit ... here's why!
When it gets this cold all I want to do is stay indoors and play. So I do!
I don't know who said 'there are no mistakes, only opportunities' but I really like that saying. Tonight I was working with a wonderful piece of fabric that my daughter brought back from Korea for me. I must admit it wasn't much material - she went to a tailor shop to buy me fabric and they didn't understand why she wanted it - so they gave her 3 scraps. I've been saving those scraps for something special - and darned if I didn't give myself an opportunity tonight to use all of it! I've been taking an online class (just love those things!) and I was working on the overcoat for the figure. I knew I had to fussy cut the material so I could get the color and the motifs where I wanted them so I very carefully laid out the pattern pieces. There were two, the back of the coat was one piece (placed on the fold), and a piece for the sides (right sides together). Got them cut out - had a blue motif on one side - matched the trousers perfectly - and a fuschia one on the other. Went to sew them together and realized that I should have turned the side pattern piece over since I had cut them separately. I had two right sides. Grrrr. What a waste! It was the ONLY blue motif on the material. That definitely bummed me out but I cut out another piece and finished the coat. Know what? It came out great .. better than it would have with two different color motifs. I even managed to get them nearly perfectly even on each side of the coat. Ergo ... no mistake .. just a great opportunity for creativity! Ya gotta love it!
P.S. I do this kind of thing all the time. When I used to make clothing - very infrequently I might add - I always put something on backwards. Guess it's just one of my quirks! And I was trying to be SOOOO very careful too!