No kids at home? No grandkids yet? So what do you for refrigerator art? In my case I'm doing a magnet swap with other artists. My original thought was to use some junk jewelry and do some wire and bead work on the pieces but nothing was too inspiring when I went through my junk jewelry box. So I got the bright idea of making wire pin dolls and turning them into magnets - we had learned how to make them at doll club. They were fun to make and here's their picture.
I really like the one with the pink bead on it so I'm going to keep it (always a prerogative!). The others are okay but kind of strange. One has alphabet beads on it that say ART but it's kind of hard to see. They are all wrapped with a variety of fibers and threads. All except one have fabric beads for legs.
Fabric beads are fun to make - take a straw and cut it into, oh, say 1" - 2" lengths. Cut a little strip of fabric just wider than the straw piece. Put a dab of glue on the straw. Wrap the fabric around the straw and glue it to itself. Now tie some fancy threads or fibers around it. Ta da - fabric beads. The straw helps them keep their shape. I suppose if you don't want the straw in it you could soak them in Stiffy (you know - that fabric stiffener stuff) - they'd be hard as a rock then! Think there's an article on making fabric beads in Quilting Arts.
But, back to the little dudes. One reason I think they look strange is because the proportions are off - one has short arms, one has long arms- but, hey, they're wire figures - so I guess they don't have to look right!
They leave for their new home tomorrow (or at least the swap coordinator's home) ... along with the Faces ATCs, the Alias Flat Stanley, a gift for Mimi Kirchner (who sent me these awesome 1970s fashion and home magazines) and probably a couple of bills too (ugh!). I guess you could say the bills are kind of a swap too -but definitely not a fun one! LOL.
Today was an absolutely gorgeous day! We got our kitchen garden planted, I brushed out the dogs, and just enjoyed myself outside. I did end up having to hide from the sun after a while though and I worked on a couple of paper ATCs that I'm doing for a swap on Nervousness. It's a Faces ATC swap and I thought I'd try drawing them. So here they are ...
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I drew the faces with pigma pen, colored them with pencil and gel pen. Then made the hair and hats from pieces of scrapbook background papers. I think the blue girl looks Tyrolean! Yes, that is a fish on the hat of the other girl. I have one more to make for this swap. I'm getting caught up though, little by little.
I've finished my little Flat Stanley for the round robin on Doll Street - although she's not flat by any means. She will fit in an envelope though so she should pass muster! Here's her vital statistics: Her body is a pattern by Sherry Goshon that was for an altered doll challenge that got cancelled, her face is a stamp from Barbara Willis, and her hair is knit by moi! This is the first time I used a face stamp and I have to say I enjoyed using it. I stamped the face in brown then did all the coloring with a mixture of gel pens, pencils, and acrylic paint. I never seem to use just one media on my faces. Her top is just a piece of panne velvet that I cut into shape - it doesn't ravel. I figure since she's getting dressed by everyone else she didn't need much in the way of clothes. So now she's ready for her big adventure .. she's off to see most of the States, Canada, England, and Israel. She'll be more well traveled than me by the time she comes home!
Here's a picture of how I'm going to feel later today.
This is a doll made by Lynne Butcher called Mammogram Slam and the pattern is available at Dollmaker's Journey. Inspiration is everywhere! What's inspired you lately?
Well, I didn't get any arty stuff done while I was camping. Nothing new. My friend didn't show up till 7:30 pm then we had dinner and after that it was just too late to pull everything out. So today I worked on one of the projects I wanted to do while I was out there. It's a journal for a round robin doll I'm doing - a Flat Stanley kind of thing.
I had bought a journal for $1.00 at Michaels, it had a blue polka dot cover with a little transparent window. Behind the window was this:
Way too cutesie for me! I forgot to take a photo of the cover before I started, but you get the idea. So I ripped the paper off the inside of the cover and removed the gardening illustration. I glued a vintage photo of a Parisian showgirl on some cardstock and made that the new window. Then I used a sponge and stamped the cover with a Distress Ink in brown. While that was still wet I laid down a coating of Golden's Gel Medium on the cover and pressed violet tissue paper over it. The gel medium acts like a glue. The ink blended with the gel medium and bled through the tissue paper. Very cool effect. When it was dry I sponged some pink dye ink over it. Finally I used a Krylon gold paint pen to outline the edges of the window and the edges of the cover. I did the tissue paper/ink thing to both sides of the cover - and the back cover too.
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I like it. Now I just I have to figure out what to write in it!
We're going camping at the lake this weekend. Most likely my husband will spend all his time fishing and I'll be making art at the campground! I packed up ALL my paper art supplies (well, nearly all), my inks, my pens and pencils, some stamps, glue, some collage books, and I'm going to see if I can capture some mosquitoes in an ATC or two. Now I always take 'stuff' with me when I go camping but it's usually fabric stuff. This is the first summer I've had an empty nest and that means an empty camper too. So my girlfriend and her husband are going with us and she's a painter - so she should enjoy doing paper art. Now I need to go print out some pics of ATCs so she has a clue what we're going to do .. mine all went out in the mail!
By the way .. speaking of ATCs I signed up for an online course called Daydreams and Doppelgangers, Finding your Creative Voice. Here's a synopsis:
This three week class is filled with lessons and ideas that will inspire you to use creativity to explore the myriad aspects of your personality. You will explore these themes by creating artist trading cards as you learn wonderful new techniques to enhance and illuminate your art. Journaling exercises will help you to get past creative blocks and find your artistic voice and the fun techniques and themes will inspire you to create work that uses that voice to sing!
I'm really looking forward to it! See you Monday!
Here's another way to suck the minutes out of your day. If you can draw you can participate .. if you can't, well, you can still enjoy the heck out of the illustrations these folks make. It's a weekly thing... they pick a topic, you illustrate it, you send them a link to your drawing. Be afraid, be very afraid .. it will drain your day looking, looking, looking...
I picked up my new sewing machine tonight, yay! I bought a Bernina Aurora 440QE. QE stands for quilting edition - it has a few extra quilting stitches and comes with a couple of quilting feet. The main reason I bought it was because I wanted the new Bernina Stitch Regulator. It's a foot with a sensor that measures how fast you are moving your fabric when you're doing free motion embroidery and it compensates for stitch length. So your stitches should be fairly even, which mine aren't when I do this on my own. Mine are microscopic! I also wanted to be able to use the Needle Felting attachment and my current machine has the wrong kind of bobbin race (you know, the thingy you put in bobbin in). So now I can try that too. Oh boy, oh boy. I can't wait for tomorrow so I can unpack it and play, play, play.
Today I finished up the piece from the Friday night class. This is a paper and fabric confection. They make up really quickly - you can probably get one finished in a couple of hours and they can be made to fit any theme. I think it's really pretty.
I took a couple of photos, the detailed one shows all the notions I hung from her. She has a couple of old bobbins, a thimble, a scissor button, a couple of tags we made with paper and cardboard, and some safety pins. The fun part was making the button sandwiches. I've stacked buttons on another couple of projects and forgot how much fun it could be. Check out the detail picture (which I've changed the colors on so you can see the notions better), if you look at the Sew Lovely tag you'll see an embellishment that is made of three buttons. I used two flat buttons and one domed button - just glued them together with Fabri-tac. Then there is a clear button framed with silver that I glued a magenta button on. Both bows by her hips have buttons glued to them too - I just snip the shanks off with wire cutters. The center medallion on her torso is also two buttons - I just glued a fancy button on top of a flat one. So there's an idea for you - if you need an embellishment of some sort go through your button jar and see what you can stack.
Barbara Willis sells kits to make these - one in ivory and one with a mermaid theme at her website.
You don't realize just how much energy you expend when you spend three days in classes. After all, all you do is sit, you listen, and then you create. But it's draining. We finished class early because Barbara realized everyone was getting tired. After I got home I had some supper, sat down to relax and promptly fell asleep. I didn't even unload all my stuff from my car. The doll isn't done but she's within a couple of hours of being finished. This photo shows how much I've got done.
She nearly had arms but I had a couple of blow outs. I am so used to using a high thread count or a batik that I must have trimmed my seam allowance too close on the material I'm using and it didn't stand up to stuffing. I never had a forearm blow before so that was surprising. So I still need to make another pair of arms, wrap her head in ribbon (this is temporary) and attach her tassel, a little bit of embellishing, and she'll be done.
Wow - today was great! We spent most of the day learning to sculpt a face. It's not easy! If it wasn't for lots of help from Barbara we'd all have aliens or monsters for the most part. Our faces aren't delicate by any means. After we cooked the faces we made molds of them and then made a paper clay mask from the mold. Tomorrow we're going to learn to put the lycra over the face, paint it, and start to assemble the doll. Unfortunately mine won't have arms for a while as I managed to blow the seams on both arms and I don't have any more of the fabric I used. I think my machine burped and made such a tiny stitch that it perforated the fabric because I've never had a forearm blow open before, the back of the neck on the torso blew too. Strange. Anyhow - here's my sculpt:
Just a quick note before I go to bed. I had a lot of fun today. Started out with going over to the gal's house where Barbara Willis is staying and she taught 3 of us how to make the shoes for the doll we're going to start on tomorrow. Then out to lunch and to set up the classroom. Stopped in at JoAnne's fabric and bought some gauzy fabric that made me totally change my idea for tonight's flat doll. Class was fun - it was the first time Barbara taught this particular piece in a class setting. We made the torso out of paper backed with cardboard - did some fun stuff with inks, made some tags, stamped on ribbon, then embellished the paper torso with lace, ribbon, and buttons. Gathered some fabric for the skirt but I pulled it off when I got home because my fabric was too wide and it got too bunchy to hang against the wall. I'll finish it up sometime next week. Tomorrow morning we start sculpting. I can't wait!
I'm really looking forward to this weekend! Barbara Willis is here .. she's going to be teaching us two classes.
Tomorrow night we are playing with paper and fabric and making a 'flat doll'. Then on Saturday and Sunday we will be making her "Whisper" doll. She's a wall doll. She has a regular upper body but her lower body is a balloon of fabric and a tassel hangs from the bottom of it. The part that I'm really looking forward to is learning how to sculpt a face mask with Paperclay.
Here's my fabric choices for the doll. The leaves will be the 'balloon' and the arms, the purple will be the torso, and the shiny yellow-orange will be the corset. I dyed all the trims to match. The antique lace in the bottom of the picture didn't take the color as well as I had hoped but it will help lighten the doll as the main fabric is pretty dark. The ribbon is for her hair.
A couple of us are going to take Barb sightseeing tomorrow - although there's not a whole lot to see. She wants to come to North Pole, where I live, to go to the Santa Claus House. It's a great gift shop - plus they have reindeer there for people to gawk at. Not sure what else she wants to do - we'll play it by ear!
Yippee - I get to play dolls ALL WEEKEND!!!!!! My bags are packed, I'm ready to go ....
Yesterday the mail lady brought me the fabric for the Money Burns doll. It's not exactly what I expected but it will work. I don't think I've ever ordered fabric on-line and haven't been surprised by at least one of the pieces I received. The images on these pieces were softer and more blurred than I thought they would be - which actually will work better in the long run for what I have in mind. My new mantra is: I must finish one project before I start another .. I must finish one project before I start another .. ARRGH. It'll never happen LOL.
I took some more pictures today of the Crash Test Daughter in all her bruised up glory. My eldest daughter and her boyfriend looked at her last night and they just stood there and giggled. So I guess it works! Here's two more photos of her and a description of how I painted her.
I actually found some photos on the internet of interesting bruises and printed them out to use as a color guide. I used dye-na-flow fabric paints again (thank you so much Patti Culea for introducing me to them - Patti is one of my inspirations). I started with a dot of yellow as the center of the bruise, then did a ring of magenta, followed by two different purples, one darker than the other and leaning more towards blue. I also used a dab of green on a couple but it's actually too bright of a green. For her black eye I used periwinkle mixed with some micro pearl Pearl-Ex powder. The Pearl-Ex gives her shiner some shine! I also used a little magenta below the eye and some of the blue-purple above the eye and along the nose. As you look at this picture you can see that her name really fits her ... Oblivious!
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Here's her back. I must not have had the fabric wet enough on one arm because the colors didn't bleed as well as I would have liked and the lines are quite obvious. I imagine a lot of these bruises won't show when she's dressed but I'm going to try for skimpy clothing so I can show them as much off as possible. Or else what's the point, eh?
The Crash Test Daughter body is done now .. well, except her head's not on her shoulders .. but that might just fit with this little girl! I have the bruising done and she even has a nice shiner! Here's a photo of the first bruise I painted.
This was still pretty wet so you can see the water lines - but when dry it doesn't show up like that. I took more photos but didn't care for them so I'll try again tomorrow.
My husband thinks I'm insane. When I called him down to see the bruises he just shook his head and walked away. After I got the black eye done I took the head out to show him (he was working on his truck in the driveway). At least I got a smile out of him that time. I was having way too much fun painting these bruises and I got a little carried away as you'll see when I get the rest of the photos up.
It's a gorgeous day today .. and I'm stuck cleaning the house because the daughters are coming over tomorrow for Mother's Day. As usual I find a million things to do while (instead of?) cleaning. Thought I'd share how I display the pin dolls I've received in swaps.
I took a couple of pieces of wired velvet ribbon, it's a couple of inches wide, and made a little casing along the top. Glued the botton into points - sometimes glue is good! Then just strung them both on a bit of dowel. For the hanging 'wire' I braided some matching embroidery thread. Easy!
Today I'm going to start working on the bruises for the CTD doll. I googled some images of bruises - some interesting pictures came up. I want to make sure I get the colors in the proper order - you know - like pink INSIDE the purple. Or the yellowy green color inside the really dark blue. I'm not quite sure where I'll place the bruises yet or if I'll just do her whole body as a bruise. I'll see as I go along. Can't take photos of it in progress which is always fun because my hubby took the camera to his knife class. I really hate sharing it!
I had fun today experimenting with painting various products on some stark white doesuede fabric. Doesuede is a one-way knit fabric, fuzzy on one side, and smooth on the other. I needed to paint the smooth side. I decided that my Crash Test Daughter was just too 'dead' so I wanted to give her some skin tone. Here's the results .. in pictures!
First off, a photo of the products I used. Jo Sonya textile medium, this is an Australian product, Stuart Gill Colorise textile and craft paint in skintone,which is from Scotland, and Jacquard's Dye-na-flow fabric paint, which I believe is a product from the good old US of A!
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These three samples are painted with the Stuart Gill paint. This paint is rather thick, kind of like an acrylic. I treated the first piece with textile medium by itself and let it dry. Then I used some paint with textile medium in it and some paint that was watered down on it. Neither of them went on easily - although it worked better than the untreated cloth. Next piece is paint thinned with textile medium - the top half was painted dry and the bottom half was wet down first. I couldn't get the dry fabric to take the paint except in blotches - so that was an easy one to forget! The wet wasn't much better. Last one is just watered down paint - top half dry, bottom half wet first. Didn't care for that either. This paint was just plain hard to spread, no matter what I mixed with it or if it was wet or dry. Probably would work much better on cotton than a knit though. To be fair I did use Stuart Gill paint on the doll I have in Patti Culea's new book - but she's made of Pimatex. This experiment was on doesuede.
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Next I tried the Jacquard Dye-na-flow fabric paints. These aren't thick like the Stuart Gill paints - they flow like water. I did one piece dry and one piece wet. If you've ever done one of Patti Culea's classes she likes to use these dyes and have the colors run into each other. The coverage on these were great, and I liked the dry best.
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So - here she is ... all painted with Dye-na-flow. I mixed ochre, white, a bit of yellow, a smidgen of red, and a drop of chartreuse for the skin tone. You can see where some of the paint migrated at the leg joins. I laid her on her back to dry and some of the paint migrated into the paper towels so I'll probably give her a light coat on her back tomorrow. Next time I use this fabric for a doll I will paint it first now that I know I can. Oh, you might notice she has a head now - amazing!
Check back tomorrow .. I have a funny photo of her I'm going to post.
Not much to share today. I've been sewing the limbs on my Crash Test Daughter doll. She did tell me what her name is though ... Oblivious. She also told me she doesn't want to sit in a car but rather on an art chair. She gave me a vision of what her chair should look like. A highbacked chair with various traffic signs arrayed behind her in a sunburst. The signs should be attached to the back of the chair. Kind of a Christine Shively thing. But first she needs skintones and bruises ...
Happy May Day!
There's a very fun ongoing craft project at Month of Softies. The gal who organizes this is in Australia and people from all around the world participate. Basically she comes up with a theme for the month then people make something crafty - usually some type of doll or stuffed animal from what I've seen, The photos up right now are for March, The Artist as a Young Child, and next will be April which was "Recycled Monster". You send her a digital photo of what you create and she makes a thumbnail out of it and puts it on the Month of Softies website. She'll link the photo back to your site or blog too from what I can tell. Next month's theme is May flowers! I won't have to go far for that!