Made a couple more pin dolls - I have to get three done and in the mail this week for the swap on FOCD. I did some multi-media work on them so I was using my heat gun and my mini-iron. The two of them tried to set my studio on fire today. When I wasn't looking the cord from the heat gun draped itself over the hot barrel of the iron. The vinyl cord melted all the way through and when the wires hit the hot metal - KAPOW! There was a huge boom and then fireworks. The two of them sent sparks flying! I nearly had a heart attack. Luckily the pins were done except for their backs. Phew. Here they are ...
I like the green one best - so does Kai. They both started life as a piece of ecology cloth - which is an unbleached rough muslin. I stamped the face with Staz-on ink and then colored it with watercolor pencils. I colored the bodies that way too - just wet the whole thing down and then blended different colors together. When that dried I cut some pieces of stitch witchery into thin strips and, using the heat gun, melted it to the fabric just enough to stick. Poured embossing powder on it, shook off the excess, and then melted it all. Makes some great texture. After that I just added various papers to the two of them. These were pretty quick - which was pretty cool!
So .. hubby fixed the heat gun for me by cutting the cord down and resplicing it together. The mini iron has holes in the barrel and it's pretty much full of melted vinyl. Not sure if I can use that again or not. Grrr. So let this be a lesson to you ... don't turn your back on your tools - they're sneaky! Keep your tools out of trouble!
My folks left this morning. We didn't do much and I was able to get a couple of projects finished while they were here. Here's the flat doll that I made as a thank-you gift.
I couldn't find lace that I liked for the skirt - our JoAnns is closing and the choices right now are pretty dismal. So I bought some off white lace and just colored it using Jacquard dye-na-flow fabric paint. I used two colors of blue and two colors of green - mixed both with white so I had four blues and four greens to dye with. I soaked the lace in water so the colors would blend and just brushed the colors on randomly. I think it turned out really pretty. I left some places with a hint of white since there is white on the torso. Boy - you should have seen my hands! One of these days I'll learn to wear gloves when I do this!
These are the dangles - they are the fun part of making this thing. You get to go through all your 'stuff'! The first and last dangle are metal words backed by abalone colored buttons - they say Thanks and Friend. I just glued the word onto the button - the ribbon is between the two pieces. There are two paper tags - both have a napkin background and one is stamped New Ideas, the other is stamped Creative Juices. One tag has a couple of buttons glued to the ribbon and the other has a large bead threaded on the ribbon to give it weight. Middle piece is a bit of paua shell and the last two dangles, which you can't see, are a heart and a little metal tag that says Inspire. The metal tag has two of the diamond shaped jewels that are on the torso to help it hang.
I'm mailing it out today - so I'll let you know in about a week what she thinks of it!
My parents are here visiting - we're doing the tourist thing and my girls have been coming for dinner every night - it's been great! I'm busier than I thought I'd be though and haven't had any time to write. Nor any time to play. My folks brought up the Prismacolor pencil set I had ordered online and had delivered to their house (another office supply company that won't ship to Alaska). Wow - it's the entire set - great colors - but now I have like 140 pencils to sharpen. Ugh. Don't know what that has to do with anything. I wanted to show you the ATCs I finished right before the folks got here.
This first one is for an Anatomical ATC swap. I chose lips because I really like the photo I used. It's inset inside a photo mount - painted with gold acyrlic paint and stamped with black. The words were off this awesome tissue paper that Heather sent me and the silver wire coils were from her too. I scanned this and the colors aren't right (again) - the background is brown, the photo mount gold, and the coils silver. Sigh.
This is just an odd one. I started out with the japanese soldiers, found the words (which is actually the name of a painting) and then added the woman's image.
Who said fairies always fly themselves? This one is flying Alaska Air.
Today I received the most incredible box in the mail - it was packed full of goodies for making paper art. It was from Heather who I met through swapping mail art on Nervousness. I can't begin to tell you how amazed I am at the friends I have been making via email lately. The level of thoughtfulness and sharing exceeds anything I've ever known. I was going to take a picture to show you the stuff she sent but it covered my table and I couldn't get it all in. I�ll be sending her a goodie box too but I wanted to make her a thank-you gift too. So I started making one using some of the stuff she sent me. This is based on the Barbara Willis Sew Lovely paper doll pattern. The base was an off-white highly textured paper from Heather - I think it might have been a wallpaper sample. It is wrapped around a piece of illustration board so it has substance to it. I - guess what - stamped it with dye inks, then I colored it with water soluble oil pastels and blended them together. Then I added some metallic rub on and then some metallic blue paint. I never seem to stop at one type of media to get the look I�m going for. After that I threaded some ribbon through eyelet trim and ruched it along the top of the bosom - it looks like it was gathered with thread but it was just squished with glue. Great trick that Barbara taught us. Put more of the same down the middle and then covered it all up with jewels that Heather sent me. The bottom is a pre-pleated dark green trim on top of which I put some �pearl� trim. I think this is off to a good start!
I wish I could figure out why my camera just doesn�t do colors properly indoors. The background was a bright yellow folder - but it sure doesn�t look that way in the picture. Oh well. Maybe some day I�ll get proper lights to take photos under. But I doubt it.
What's nice about making these ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) is that when you want to be a little creative you can be. After all - they are pretty small! I had bought a couple of note pads with little angels on them, a label maker, and had read about a new technique to make backgrounds. So I figured I'd put them all together. This is what I came up with...
The background started with my usual - dye inks dabbed on with makeup sponges. Then I took some Stitch Witchery and placed some strips on the cardstock. Heated it with the heat gun till it stuck. Then sprinkled some embossing powder on it and heated it again. Put down a couple more strips and used a different color of embossing powder. Interesting effect. Then I cut the little angel out and dabbed on a bit of vintage type ink to age the paper. Found a striptease ad in a book and put them together. Then I had to think of some words to add to explain the composition. I tried Loss of Innocence but it was too wordy and didn't fit on the card so I settled for Fallen Angel. To be honest I think that fits the arrangement better anyway. The look on the little angel's face says it all.
I'll have to figure out how to photograph these without getting the reflection off of the tape. Maybe I should scan it. Another experiment for another day.
I showed this to my husband and he said that I'm getting weird. I disagree, but if I am then I'm enjoying every minute of it!
Monday night my doll club had a found object pin doll workshop. The idea was to take 'junk' and make something out of it. We had kid's wooden blocks, lots of junk jewelry, driftwood, seashells, dominoes, just all sorts of stuff. I really haven't ever tried this kind of thing before so I was looking forward to it. This is what I came up with.
This first one started off with a wooden thread spool. I found a whole bunch of these at a garage sale when I went on my fishing trip last week. I covered the spool with some lumpy yarn (great description, eh?) and then I ran a doubled 20 gauge wire through the hole in the spool. The beads for the head and legs were added to that wire. I then added a wire at the back of the spool for the arms - glueing and tying it on with more of the yarn. Beads were added to that. When I got home I thought it needed something more so I added the hand and feet charms. I'll probably tie some yarn to the top of his hat too. This one's okay but I'm not in love with it.
Michelle had brought a bunch of dominoes that she had drilled holes in using a drill press. This one has four holes - one in each corner. For the head I ran 20 gauge wire through the two upper holes and twisted it in the middle to form a neck. The head is a big teal bead, the hat is made from other beads from this big bag of beads my hubby bought me for my birthday. There is a flower bead on top of the big flat one and a white bead on top of that. Two feathers and a couple of wire curls top it off. I think I'll tilt the head a bit more to give her more attitude. Our hostess, Kris, had a box of clip on earrings that were just wonderful and she gave me one plus pieces of it's mate for the arms and skirt. The arms are wired on with 26 ga wire - that colored Wild Wire stuff. There is one metal bead added before the dangly piece to give her a bit of a shoulder. The earring skirt is glued on with E6000. Now I think I'll have to find some more dominoes to play with! All in all it was a fun evening.
I don't think I mentioned that I'm Artist of the Month over at Doll Street. Its' an on-line club that I belong to. So if you want to read about me .. not what I'm making ...check it out but you need to do it this month (July 2005) or it will be gone.
In the back of my mind I have been thinking about that self-portrait challenge that Quilting Arts is having. The examples in the magazine showed fabric collaged faces. So I thought I'd try one.
It might have been a bit smarter to try it in a larger size than 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches though. In case you don't know - that's the size of an Artist Trading Card. I started by fusing a dark blue background to a piece of Timtex. Then I fused Wonder-Under to a bunch of different fabrics and just cut out the pieces in the shapes I needed. Using my tiny Clover iron made fusing the pieces to the face way easier than trying to use a standard iron. I actually fused all the facial features to the skin piece before I put the entire face on to the background. Manipulating those tiny pieces of fabric was a pain in the butt though. Tweezers worked great to place everything where I wanted it. Yep, some pieces were THAT small! Then I made the mistake of trying to make the lips smaller AFTER I fused the piece down. Not wise. I pulled up one side and got it trimmed a bit but the other side didn't want to budge - so now she has these lopsided collagen lips. I added a touch of white paint on the eyes and used black pen to separate the lips but the rest is all fabric. It was a really different thing for me to try. Probably would have been easier if it was larger. But I kind of like it. Still need to do some free motion stitching on it to make sure the pieces don't lift but it's basically done. Weird, huh???
Okay, maybe I shouldn't have done this but that journal was crying out to me to be altered. Three of us have worked on the journal now and it has some nice work on the inside. The outside was, well, undecorated. It didn't speak to the beauty and joy being created inside. I couldn't help myself.
So I took some decorative paper and made a cover for it. Then I cut out a heart shape from some extra heavy cardstock and did my usual background. What's the usual? I take makeup sponges and rip them so they are textured rather than smooth and then sponge color on from stamp pads. I usually use two or three colors. On top of that I put some words that were fabric stickers - they say Friends Together Forever. Thought that was a nice sentiment for a round robin journal. Punched a hole in the heart, added one piece of eyelash yarn and a couple of beads. I did make sure they were long enough to get out of the way when other people write in the journal. Simple but appealing, at least I think so.
Fiona, the round robin desert fairy, is not enjoying herself here. Must have something to do with yesterday's encounter with Bluster the Bear. She got her boots today and I think she's ready to hit the road.
I used a batik that has moose on it for the boots but her feet are so small that the print got lost. I don't think this little fairy is much bigger than 7 inches. I took some scraps of wolf fur and made a little cuff on each boot and then added some baby blue rickrack that matches her cloak. The natives here do use a lot of rickrack on their summer parkas so it is a bit authentic. They just don't use rickrack on their mukluks! One thing I didn't think of ... her poor little feet will get really hot when she gets back to Arizona in a year or so. Oh dear.
I received my second round robin doll the other day. She was waiting in the mailbox quite patiently for me to get home from fishing. Fiona is a very small, flat, desert fairy from Arizona. She spent some time in Oregon before she came up here. It's going to be interesting to see how everyone approaches the journals. The journal that came with Fiona is kept in a diary fashion. So today she got to know some of the creatures that live in my house. I took this picture to put in the journal - the larger fairy is mine - that's Hailey. She's protecting Fiona from the big old bear. I think I'm going to be the shoe lady on this round robin - Fiona is going to get a pair of mukluks to wear. I tried to make her some fur boots today out of some wolf scraps but she's too flat for them - they looked really funny on her. So instead I'll make a fabric boot and add a strip of fur and ribbon along the top.
Here's that bee I mentioned earlier. I think it would be fun to transform this into cloth. I've been invited to exhibit a doll in a show with the theme of 'Fantasy Garden' - this would be a good entry for that. She's got some chubby cheeks!
Had a wonderful 5 days away - could have stayed longer. Caught lots of fish, brought home 80 lbs of the stuff - too bad I don't particularly care to eat it. Lots of ling cod, halibut, red snapper, and some red salmon. Caught some pink salmon but didn't keep it and fished for king salmon but didn't catch any. We fished at two different rivers and the ocean off Prince William Sound. I actually did do some art work this time around. I made some paper ATCs to go in the round robin journal that is accompanying the Flat Stanley doll and I did two pages in the journal itself. I had one non-fishing day (when my husband went on a charter boat) so I wandered around the town of Valdez. There was one gift shop crammed full of stuff from all around the world - one of those shops it's impossible to see everything because it's all on top of each other. I found a really cute little ceramic fairy, well it's actually a bee but I decided it was a bee fairy. I'll take a photo tomorrow and post it but now it's time for bed - it's been a long day.