Going out of town for a few days so I won't be posting for a week or so. My daughter and her boyfriend are going to be staying at my house while I'm gone - I wonder if she'll be tempted to play with any of my art supplies? That would be nice. I would love to see one of my girls get into art. I'm trying to decide what I can take with me to do - not that I'll end up making anything, I never do, but I have to be prepared anyway! Hope everyone has a great 4th of July and I'll talk to you soon!
Today I worked on Judi A's Flat Stanley doll. She named her 'Spirit of the Dance'. With 18 of us working on these dolls you can't do much or else the gals at the end will have a heck of a time finding room to embellish. So today I gave her ballet shoes.
Nice shiny ballet shoes! First she had orange shoes, courtesy of Tsukineko all-purpose inks, to which I added blue polka-dots. Not bad. Next I added the teal ribbon with the orangey eyelash yarn. Then I decided her shoes weren't bright enough so I got out the Dye-na-flow and painted them red. Whoops. Really clashed with the teal and orange ties. Next up - Stuart Gill fabric paints. First a purple coat, then a mint green coat, then a blue coat, and finally back to the orange with streaks of Tsukineko inks. Those shoes aren't going anywhere! And if the paint gets scratched during the journey she'll just look like a hard working dancer!
She borrowed some ribbons to wear about her head - she didn't want her picture being taken while she was bald. Or naked for that matter.
Okay - so my $25 garage sale bargain isn't such a bargain anymore. I spent about $100 getting it up to snuff - I talked myself into getting it cleaned professionally and it ended up needing another part too. But, that said, if I hadn't of done that I would have been completely frustrated trying to sew on it. The tech told me that the bobbin case was out of round just enough that it would have sewn horribly. He said the bobbin thread would have come off fast, then slow, then fast and I would have had nests in my fabric. Besides which I really do believe in getting your machines looked after and this one was sitting in a garage for at least 4 years. So she's all clean and pretty now! Just have to get the hubby to carry the cabinet downstairs, figure out how to attach the belt and we're off to the races!
I received a wonderful surprise for my birthday yesterday - a friendship doll from my Internet buddy Kai. This is only the second doll anyone has made for me - so I was thrilled. It's great that we have a tool like the net to reach out to people around the world. Here's a couple of pictures of her:
There is exquisite cross stitching on the back of the doll. I would never have thought to use Aida cloth to create my own fabric like she did. Kai is very creative.
The photo's don't do her justice at all - she's much prettier in person!
Isn't she great!
Well I went out to the pre-garage sale and bought that repro Singer treadle machine. My husband called me on my cell phone as I was heading out there ..
"Where are you?"
"Heading to Salcha" I said in a really small voice
"Going to a garage sale"
"It's a surprise"
Didn't dare say I was going to buy another sewing machine. Now he probably thinks I'm buying something for him. So the sewing machine sitting in the garage will really be a surprise for him when he gets home from work today. But, back to the machine. It seems to be in fairly good shape for sitting in a garage for a few years. Missing a belt and a thread pin as far as I can see. But I'm taking it in to the shop tomorrow to buy those bits for it - shouldn't be much more than $15 in all. The gal at the shop said the thread pin isn't standard so I have to take the machine in to be fitted. So - a good deal in my book - $25 for the machine and cabinet - and $15 to fix it up. The cabinet is in really bad shape - it's falling apart. But it's made of really cheap veneer and particle board so I'm not surprised. My hubby is a carpenter and he can fix it for me. Or maybe we'll just build a new cabinet. Who knows. It'll be fun to play with in any case.
Note: It's a few hours later now than when I wrote the above. My husband DID think I was buying him something. He said after he talked to me he got out the newspaper and looked at the garage sale ads trying to figure out what I was buying HIM! Ooops. But he thinks it's really cool and he even showed me how to use the bobbin winder - now that was a real surprise for me!
I got back to work on the Crash Test Daughter today. Decided to start giving her a face. I wanted to use watercolor pencil on her but it didn't seem to want to lay down over the fabric paint I used as the base layer. So I switched to my old stand-by, gel pens.
Actually, gel pens, colored pencils, and pigma pens. They seem to be what I turn to more than any other medium. I did her iris and pupil with gel pens and detailed them with pigma pens. Her lips were done with Prismacolor pencils, same with the eyelids. I didn't do much shading since I put that big old bruise around one eye. Don't want to overwhelm the face with too much color! After the hair and everything is done I think I'm going to give her false eyelashes. She looks funny without any right now. I'm pretty pleased with how she's turning out. Next up - fabric selection for her outfit!
Have you heard of Freecycle? It's a Yahoo mailing list that offers and asks for items people are getting rid of instead of taking them to the dump. Each participating city has it's own list. You're not supposed to advertise items for sale but sometimes people do. The other day someone advertised a garage sale and said she had an 'old fashioned' sewing machine. Hmmm, I thought, I wonder if it's a Singer Featherweight. So we emailed back and forth a few times and it turns out it's a reproduction Singer treadle machine. For $25.00. Now, I need another sewing machine like I need a hole in the head but I think I'll go out there and take a look at it anyway. I'm not telling my husband either - maybe he won't notice it! Would sewing on a treadle count as exercise?
I'd like to sell some of my dolls. They are taking over the house and having wild parties while I sleep. I'm getting tired of cleaning up after them. But I'm not sure how to sell them. I've heard that cloth dolls don't sell on eBay at all - or if they do it's for very little. My thought was to have a 'Dolls for Sale' link on the blog so you could click to a page with their pictures on it. That's the easy part. The hard part is how to have people pay. PayPal has a 'Buy it Now' button that you can use but I don't know how you could stop more than one person from clicking on it. I wrote to them and got a form letter reply that was all about auctions. Big help - NOT! Or is it even a worry? I don't think there would be a rush to buy my dolls. Another idea was just to have people email me if they are interested and I could give them my PayPal ID. My brother, the web maestro, said that's too boring and slow. He says people want instant gratification and if they buy something it needs to be right then not after a bunch of emails. I want to sell the Whisper doll that I just finished and a few older dolls too. If anyone has any good ideas please leave me a comment.
Finally got some sewing done today. Decided to work on some postcards while I listened to the BRAC commision community hearing regarding the future of the Air Force Base here in Fairbanks. We had some great speakers and it was very interesting. What was also interesting was seeing what a crappy quilter I've become since I made my last quilt about 7 years ago!
For these postcards I thought I'd make a large background using quilting techniques and cut it up into postcard sized blocks. So I cut strips of 3 different fabrics and sewed them together. For interest I cut some of the fabric strips different sizes. After the first four I noticed the piece was getting kind of wavy. Oh yeah, you're supposed to sew the strips in opposite directions. So I did that for the rest of it and it was a bit better. Then I cut the resulting fabric piece into more strips - just in a different direction. Put a plain strip of fabric between the ones I cut up but didn't pay much attention to where things were lining up. I ended up with a pretty catty-wampus piece of fabric. Ah well. It's background anyway. Then I cut it up and stuck it to postcard sized Timtex. What to do next? Take out bags and bags of trims and appliques and try to figure out what will look good - what else! I rarely do these things with much of a plan in mind. I found an awesome huge black applique and starting cutting all the flower motifs off of it. Fused them to the cards and then used fancy trims to make stems and leaves. Ten more postcards and I'll be all caught up with my swap! Yay!
Did you notice how orange has snuck in here again? I've a thing for it lately.
I have a small branch library in my town and everyone there knows me because I'm in there at least once a week. They are interested in arts and crafts and one of the librarians makes most of her blouses from batiks. Anyway, they knew I had a doll coming out in a book and recently reminded me that they wanted to see the book. So I lent the librarians my
Creative Cloth Doll Faces book. Thought that was funny - kind of backwards. The couple of times I've been in there since they've had it I've heard great comments on the book. The head librarian is even going to order a copy for the library. Cool! But I should have made them check it out since they've had it for a few weeks now. It's overdue!
Didn't get any sewing done today either .. more hanging out trying to sell my junk. It was a real garage sale today though. It rained until noon so we had to move everything from the lawn and put it in the garage. Best entertainment today was three young teenage girls who were out riding mini-bikes and dirt bikes. They came by three times, each time buying more candles and knick-knacks to decorate their 'fort' with. Each time I gave them something for free. The last time they came they wanted a tiny radio that used to be my daughters. Looks like a mini boom-box. As I was telling them that it needed batteries they were already changing them out. They had come prepared! They turned it on, tuned in a radio station, turned the volume up as high as possible and got ready to ride. Cracked me up! But you know us Moms - can't hold on to your friend's waist if you're holding a radio! So I had my husband give them a bungee cord so they could attach it to the handlebars of the little motorbike. Radio blaring, they took off again. I need some of their exuberance in my life!
I spent today sitting in my driveway. Not too interesting, eh? I am having a garage sale this weekend and someone has to do the deed. I am a sucker for little kids and I kept giving away stuffed animals instead of selling them. But it was fun to see how excited the little ones got. My husband suggested I put some of my work out in a little display to advertise myself. I thought it was a good idea so I grabbed a half dozen. Fairies, trolls, dragons, and a couple of more 'regular' ladies. The older girls just loved them - older, as in 8 or 9 years old. But there were a couple that gave me a start. One little girl walked up to my dragon, grabbed it by the neck and started twisting. Oh my! I nearly hurt myself rushing to get it out of her hands. Another grabbed my troll by the hair and starting poking his eyes. She was full of questions. How did I make them? What are the eyes made from? So I told her all about it and she turned around and gave her Mom a lecture too. She pointed out each doll and said what kind of eyes they were, buttons, glass, or painted. She was just full of herself and too cute. Funnily enough I had a child's play doll out there that I made but they didn't take a bit of notice of her. They all liked the fanciful ones. Maybe someday those little girls will remember my creatures and will want to make one for themselves. But for now the dragon stays home.
With no little help from the ribbon chewing puppy I managed to finish the project from the Barbara Willis class. I'm pretty pleased with her except for one thing - I don't think I like the orange scallop around her neck. I wasn't sure of it when I put it on so I only tied the ribbon in a knot instead of sew or glue it on. I'll give it a few days and see how I feel though. I took two photos of her.
Her head is covered with ribbon bows. I made all the bows first and had them sitting on my desk. As I was attaching them I couldn't find one of the light purple bows, I looked under the doll, I looked on the floor, and then I looked in the other room where the puppy was laying down! Uh oh. This wasn't the first time he'd gotten hold of ribbon meant for this little lady. I managed to save the bow and it isn't any worse for the wear - must have caught him right away. I have to admit the ribbon was still a bit wet when I attached it but there's no little teeth marks! I never manage to see him take things and it's literally right under my nose. She hasn't told me what her name is yet so maybe I can figure a way to add puppies and ribbons to her name.
This is a closeup of the shoes. I thought they were pretty cool. I cut two motifs out of a piece of lace and they've been dyed lots of times. I didn't like the color the first time I dyed them so every time I dyed or painted they have had another coat of color. They ended up being perfect for the shoes - although the shoes do tend to blend into the color of the skirt.
Now maybe I will get back to the Crast Test Daughter!
This weekend I did some redecorating downstairs. I have a large room downstairs that runs the length of the house. When we moved in we put in a false wall so I had a sewing room that took up about one third of the space, the rest of it was the kid's 'living room'. I've been pretty cramped in there and I hate it. When the girls moved out I started moving into the rest of the space. I would really like to take the wall down but my hubby hasn't agreed to it yet. This weekend I gave the two recliners that were down there to one of my girls so I had more space to move things around again. The computer moved out of the sewing room this time. I tried to move my sewing table around and move a desk from the spare bedroom in there to back up to it but it didn't work. Then I took another table and moved it in there - still didn't work. Things ended up pretty much where they started! The only thing that moved in the end was the ironing board. It used to be directly behind me when I sewed so I could swivel from the machine to the ironing board. Now I have to get up and move across the room to iron. Which is probably a good thing. All in all, it took me a couple of hours to move the ironing board!
The other thing I did this weekend was work on the doll from my class with Barbara Willis. Not much left to do on her now. Need to do her head wrap, put on the tassel and trim, and then she's done! Amazing - I might actually finish a doll. Who wudda thunk it!
Thought I'd share just one more of the vintage nude ATCs I've been making. I keep deciding to keep them so I have to keep making them so I have enough to trade. Now I understand why the house is filled with dolls! I can't stand to see them go either! I lost a little resolution as I resized the image down but I think it still looks okay. This is one I've decided to keep:
I finally got some time tonight to play and I whipped out some vintage nude ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) for ANOTHER swap I'm doing on Nervousness. I think I'm getting hooked on these things .. at least for this go-around. But this particular piece is of a dual nature - not only did I make it for the swap but I did it for an assignment in my Creative Voices online class. We were supposed to make an ATC about our favorite outfit .. well ... I don't have one. What I do have is clothes in many different sizes that I've saved over the years as my weight goes up and down. So without further ado ...
Haven't had much time to play in the last couple of days. Lots of cleaning, grocery shopping, washing dogs, etc., etc. But I wanted to share a website with you - it belongs to Margot Lovinger who is a fabric artist. She basically paints with fabrics and most of her work are nudes. Truly amazing what she does with sheers. Go take a look, you won't be sorry!