I need to make room for new dolls! So I thought I'd mention one that I'd like to find a new home for. This is Dasselrond - he's a dragon from a Smallworks Pattern. Dasselrond is a pretty amazing piece. Three of us got together and worked on those dragons because they were fairly complicated. . His horns, ears, and spine fins are purple panne velvet, his belly and wings are batiks, the rest of his body is a purple/blue/gold print. He has glass alligator eyes, lots of picot beading along his wings, beading along both sides of his spine fins, and a mohair mane. The bottom half of his tail is stuffed with sand to help him balance. He's jointed, so he is fully poseable, but his wings are pretty heavy due to the beading I did so they don't go all the way up now. I got out the measuring tape to get Dasselrond's particulars and he got rather snooty with me. But I persevered, told him that I was measuring him for a new golden jacket. He settled down after that and I found out that he is 30" long from snout to tail, about 12" high, and has a wingspan of about 26". Those purple dragons think they are the cat's meow. He's one of the best pieces I've made yet!
The new JoAnn Fabric superstore opened yesterday. So I went and checked it out today. I was very good - I didn't do too much damage to my checkbook. I did buy some more of those alcohol inks - got the last package left in the store (love that 40% off coupon!). They have tons more stuff, plus a huge scrapbooking section, so I can see myself saving money on shipping now, yay!
When I got home I tried to get some deco work out of the way. I don't have many left to do now, yay. Of course, someone will send me more as soon as these move along to the next victim, er, artist. But I got to play with something that was new to me today so that was cool.
This is a page for a vintage lady deco - it's about 3 1/2" x 3". The heart was dull metal and I put some blue alcohol ink on it. It was still dull so I thought I'd try putting some UTEE on it. That's Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. It's like coarse embossing powder - I'd never used it before - it's neat stuff. Took three layers to get a nice finish and then I smooshed it around with my finger to give it texture. It's nice and shiny now! Everyone always does vintage with browns and beiges so I thought I'd do something different.
This is a tag for another deco. It was 'free expression' so I decided to do another vintage lady since I have a bunch of those images already printed out. Yeah, yeah .. browns and beiges, LOL.
Lastly, I'm supposed to be doing some Paris ATCs for a swap next month and these dancers are painted by one of the Impressionists. I always associate them with Paris so it works for me! I scanned the dancers from some notecards I have and they don't say who painted this .. if YOU know please leave me a comment.
I finally got some alcohol inks to play thanks to my friend Heather. She spoils me! I have to be careful when I talk about wanting to try something because the next thing I know it will be in my mailbox! Yesterday Kelli, one of the artists in the Embellished Circus, did some awesome work with alcohol inks and she inspired me to give it a go today.
I made a bunch of ATC blanks but I can't figure out how to photograph them, way too much reflection. I tried like three times and finally gave up. So instead I'll share the medallion I made and a domino. The medallion was based on one that was taught in Maggie Grey's Workshop on the Web - this is a great quarterly workshop with articles and lessons by some of the world's best textile artists. It costs $25 a year but I think it's worth it. I used the alcohol ink on gold foil after I sewed the design on it. There is a second piece of gold foil in the center with a bead under it (the nipple looking thing). The second piece is held in place by some free motion embroidery lace. Colors aren't the best but it was more of a practice piece than anything else. I'll make more of these - this was FUN!
Here's a domino. I have to go back around it with the gold metallic pen. Didn't see it wasn't even until I took the photo.
Now I just have to DO SOMETHING with them. Soon, soon...
Sometimes you get on a roll and you get a lot done. Today was a day like that for me. I made 9 Goddess blanks using some patterns from Ronda Kivett's site. If you don't sew she sells pre-sewn bodies, and even kits that contain face cabs and beads. I used three of her patterns and just dug through my scrap pile for the fabrics.
The sage Sun Goddess is 6 1/2 inches and it's her latest design. All the others are 4 inches. I need 3 of these for a swap I'm doing and some of the others are going to my friend Heather who hasn't figured out her machine yet! Guess whatever is left just might inspire me to do some beading over the winter.
Visit Ronda's web site
Thought I'd give another try at making a head for the walking gal. At the rate I'm making heads for this thing she could have been a multi-headed monster for a second-rate sci-fi movie.
On first glance this head isn't bad at all - but then if you look again you can see the lips are crooked and the eyes aren't centered on the nose. But, hey, at least I'm getting closer. Sigh. I've changed the way I'm shaping the eyes - more of a straight line for the bottom and more of an arch for the upper eye. Way more of a character face - I like it. Maybe I'm working towards a Japanese Anime look! Medium: watercolor pencil on wet fabric for shading, watercolor pencil (dry) for eyes, gel pen for white of eye, prismacolor pencil for eyeshadow and lips. Pigma pen for detail work.
Oh - this was too much fun! One of the girls in the Embellished Circus made a magazine and told us where to go to make our own. So here is the first edition (okay, so it's just the cover) of The Godmother Gazette!
Make your own magazine cover or trading card or art stamp! It's fun! Hope it works for you - it didn't work on my laptop, something must have been interfering with the program - I ended up having to use my desktop computer to get it to work. But I'm glad I did! I see more magazines in my future, LOL.
This past Monday our doll club's program was watercolor pencil faces. We all made a head from the #2 pattern in Patti Culea's new book Creative Cloth Doll Faces. Had it sculpted and features draw on before the meeting so we could spend more time playing with the watercolors. I love how mine turned out.
I think she's precious! We pretty much soaked the heads before we started - which really was kind of an epiphany for me .. because I hadn't done that before and now I know why my watercolor pencil faces never worked. They were too dry. Then our teacher had us put two or three colors on top of each other for the basic shading and blend it in really well with our fingers. Another great tip - just make sure your hands are clean! Once the heads were pretty dry we did the detail work on the eyes, mouth, etc. I had avoided doing watercolor pencil faces because I could never get the colors blended right - now I think I�m hooked!
And as usual I made the practice head into a flower face - that way I can enjoy them without worrying about a body, LOL. I just hang them on the wall. I used two different flowers for this one - the red 'hair' is actually a couple of petals. Cute, huh?
I've wanted to make an ATC about the tragedy in New Orleans and I found this quote on a piece of paper in my kitchen. I'm not sure where it came from - obviously it came in an envelope of mail art but I don't know whose. So I decided to use it on a paper ATC. I made a montage of some photos from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and this is how it ended up.
Moving right along with these ATCs .. got another two done today. I've finally smartened up and actually lay the whole thing out before I start cutting, fusing, and sewing. Before I just kind of built it as I went along. I like this way better. I'm happy with these latest two too.
I have a couple of pieces of Asian themed fabric that I've been dying to do something with. I like using images on my ATCs and I had a great one of Japanese ladies that I got my from Dover sampler. So I took my last page of Printed Treasures fabric and printed a whole page of various images that I could use on ATCs. The hand on the Printed Treasures is really nice and soft - too bad it's SO expensive! Anyhow - still playing with mesh - but this time I used some of mine - I used a red piece layered with silver to tone it down - worked well.
Pretty much did the same thing with this one - framed a picture. Made a crazy quilted background out of various black/whites - I have a huge collection of them and have wanted to do something with those for a long time too! That's Greta Garbo, in case you're wondering. Lots of silver, silver gimp, silver mesh, silver studs. I even tried to put silver piping on the edge but it didn't work out too great.
That's it for today! Tonight will be movies and popcorn .. hubby brought home three to watch! Typical guy movies too - action, action, and more action!
I'm hosting an Artist Trading Card (ATC) swap for one of my online groups and I've got about 75 gorgeous pieces of art here now. But talk about last minute .. I haven't made my own ATCs yet and they are going to be swapped out and put in the mail on Tuesday. So that's what I've been working on today.
When I signed up to be a charter subscriber to Quilting Arts' new magazine, "Cloth, Paper, Scissors', I got a little gift certificate to spend in their store. So I bought some vintage images that were printed on fabric. I've been using them sparingly but I pulled them out to use tonight.
This one has a sheet music background, two pieces of interesting material that I frayed, and a printed ribbon. I also used a piece of gold mesh that I got from someone -it's awesome stuff and I want to get some more. I'll have to find out where she got it.
For this one I used the gold mesh again, a very neat shiny material that I got in the mail from another friend, some black and gold ribbon, and some iron on gold jewels. I don't have one of those special applicators, I just use the tip of my Clover mini-iron. It works great as long as I'm careful! Oh, I don't keep my heat gun anywhere near the mini-iron anymore - so no chance of explosions!
I don't normally put puppy pictures on the blog but I can't resist this one ... Zach, the ribbon-eating puppy (who has turned into a fabric eating puppy now), decided laying UNDER the dog bed is better than on top of it!
My aunt loved the doll I sent her (down a couple of posts called Another Gal Finished). She has named her Courage! My aunt says "I like the message she is holding 'Courage' and 'Hope, as I think it's courage we need when we face our dark nights." So I'm happy that she's happy! Y'all make sure to do those self examinations - early detection is key!
I really hate it when things I 'have to do' interfere with the things I 'want to do'. For instance I really need to finish the last few postcards for my swap - they are due to be mailed by Sep 14th but instead I've spent the last couple of days dealing with the hard work created by my husband's hunting passion. Yes, he got a moose on Saturday, thankfully my girls and a couple of their friends came over and helped with the butchering. So today I finally got back into the studio to play with fabric.
I made two of these postcards today. I like the design concept but I'm going to work on the colors and contrasts. I used a stamp for the face and drew in the suggestion of a jaw line. Used some colored pencils to soften the stark white of the muslin I stamped on - next time I'll use something else. Dug into my scrap bag of triangles - which I still have a couple hundred of - and just used some other geometric shapes. I think I'll work on this design and make some of these for the breast cancer fundraiser that is supposed to happen at the Houston Quilt Festival. It actually looks better in person, LOL.
You all know by now that I'm pretty heavy into mail art. Checking the mail every day is a joy because I never know what kind of surprise I'm going to get. I'm doing postcard swaps, artist trading card swaps, pin dolls swaps, and anything else I can get into! Today's mail was a bonanza - not only did I get a DVD I ordered about altering doll patterns, but I got some ATCs, and some pin dolls. Here's the pin dolls.
These are from a swap on Friends of Cloth Dolls, an on-line mailing list. I've done about four of these swaps over the past few years and these are the best pin dolls I've ever received!
The jester is from Deb McKenzie, the striped woman is from Kelly Parker, and the colorful stick man is from Yvonne Nathanson. Pretty neat, eh? I love this stuff!
I'm doing a swap on one of my lists for a palm-size stuffie - and I took it quite literally. Check this out!
Little, eh? I drew a pattern on a post-it note then enlarged it by 10% on my copier. You wouldn't believe how much stuffing this fish took - I was amazed because it's really tiny. Not much to tell about it - used some retro 60's style fabric which gave it some nice surface design. Did a little beading and that's it! It was a lot of fun and a bit of a challenge to make a stuffed animal this small.