I got the second Stone Cold Troll finished today. Thanks to Tia Linda for inspiring this one - she came up with the idea of 'the one that got away". I have the directions all written up, I will offer this as a pattern by the end of next week (hopefully). He's fun but there's lots to learn, for instance, my special stone paint job for his skin, how to use Paverpol, and a fun treatment for the base to make it look like stone. I'll also teach you to alter a bra and make the club. Phew.
When I first sculpted his face I had given him a smirk. Should have left it - he looks entirely too sweet now, LOL. Hope you like him!
OH DEAR .... I *just* realized I forgot to give him his goatee ... guess he's NOT done! sigh.
So this is the bra for my troll to drag behind him. Cute, eh? I'm nearly finished covering it with the fake fur. Did you know that the training bra section of the store has padded, underwired bras? EEKS. My training bras (if I can remember that far back) were just a piece of stretchy white material. This thing started out bright orange with lime green lace trim. My, how times have changed!
When I was at the trade show one of the girls in our doll club mentioned that we didn't have any black dolls on display. She liked the mermaids and would have bought one if I had made a dark skinned mermaid. I have never really thought about that before but she was right - most of my dolls are light skinned. So I decided to make her a mermaid.
HA - she might not get it because it's another one I fell in love with. These things are going to take over my house! I'll have a school of them. Thank goodness no one said we didn't have any MALE dolls, LOL. I'm not ready to tackle a merman.
A couple of posts ago I mentioned we had 39 women sign up for a free class sponsored by my doll club. This is the pattern I designed for the class - it's soooo simple. Fits the Barbara Willis face stamps too. Go ahead and download it ... if you make one I'd love to link to a photo of it!
Update: March 2008 - I see lots of folks coming here and looking at Blume. If you download this for a challenge or project please leave me a comment - I love to hear what people do with my ideas. Thanks!
I recently joined a group called FAT .. Fabric Art Traders .. I think I'll fit in well there for a variety of reasons, LOL. One of the trades they were working on was a Fabric Art Muse. The pattern was designed by JoAnn Bradley. I thought I could get one done in time to trade but I missed the cutoff. Here she is anyway ...
This weekend my doll club had a booth at a trade show that was marketed towards women's needs and interests. We had dolls for sale and lots just for display. The sales to each other were great but dismal to the public, LOL. BUT our goal was to generate interest in the dolls and I think we were successful in that. We offered a free class (to be held soon) and had 39 women sign up for it. Now we have to come up with the class, LOL. We thought up the idea on Friday as we were setting up and then brainstormed it today. I think we're going to have them make a Bendi type doll and then wrap it with fibers. Use face stamps that they can color in. Something we can do in 4 hours and have a finished product. Three of us will teach and we'll probably do two sessions. If we have 10 show up out of the 39 we'll be happy. It was a good weekend!
I checked the fishing regs and the bag limit on mermaids is one! So this one's mine! Whoo hoo! She's a beauty - an older mermaid who is stuck back in the, what .. 70's? 80s? She's a real kick, what with her pink hair and her forehead shell. (The mermaid version of body art.) I've got a nice little fish tank set up in my studio ... as soon as the water gets up to temperature she'll feel right at home!
I obviously gave up on the flat faces and went back to sculpted profile faces. I added sleeves too, I really like the look! This is the head I'll use for the pattern; which is nearly written up. Just have to figure out how to describe the needle sculpting and make some diagrams.
I have no idea why I wanted to do this .. it wasted a lot of my time today. I thought I'd make articulated fingers for the mermaid. I knew I shouldn't have tried the material I've been making the mermaids out of because it's kind of coarse and the arms were hard to turn when they were tubes. It was impossible with fingers. Then I tried some Kona cotton - which is supposed to be a good quality fabric. Nope - couldn't turn them either - but did manage to blow through the side seams of the fingers. Finally I found a piece of Pimatex - this is really awesome fabric - smooth as a .. well, baby's butt???? So I was able to turn them. BUT it wasn't fun - my smallest turning tube barely fit and the rod just wasn't small enough for them to work together. I tried using the eye end of a needle, that worked but what worked even better were my needle-nosed hemostats. These things are so pointy and sharp they usually poke holes in everything. But I was able to get them in the fingers, grab the end, and turn them. Okay - so now they are turned - what to wire them with? I used pipe cleaners but they barely fit - actually didn't fit in one finger after your crimp the ends over. I might try this again - but with a knit - and I think I will make the fingers longer so they look more elegant. These are ugly hands. But hey - the fingers are barely half an inch!
Yeah, yeah, yeah .. it's an awful alliteration. So sue me, ha ha. What’s the latest changes? I made the arms a bit skinnier and I made the face rounder. I like the rounder face but I’m not sure what happened to one of the arms. It’s really wrinkly. It’s stuffed pretty firm too. Maybe she needs long sleeves, ha ha. Isn’t that terrible!
Here’s a group shot – I think I might make one more. I don’t know – they are getting pretty addicting. I was asked if I was going to make this into a pattern. Maybe – we’ll see. I’m kind of afraid to after all the comments over on Doll Street about how some doll maker’s patterns are so unprofessional looking. I was thinking of going to the University and seeing if someone there could turn my hand drawn patterns into something nice looking. I’ve tried using the computer myself but I’m not very good at it. But that’s a worry for another week!
Oh my gosh, I'm pulling a Kai! I'm taking photos before the dreaded glue is dry, LOL. I thought about Jacque's suggestion and I decided that the girls should hold seashells. I found a package of tiny shells at (sshhhh) Wal*Mart - just the perfect size for these little ones. I extended her tail one inch and it makes a big difference - I really like it. I also completely changed the arm pattern - I made them longer, turned them into tubes instead of mitts, and wired them. I think I like this pose better also.
These little faces are killing me though - I'm having a really hard time getting a nice face when it's only an inch or so long. Hopefully someone will like them though. I do but then again they are all my babies. Oh - they can all hold business cards or name cards too. Here's the group shot:
Linda, of I Love Crafts and Craft Blogs has written a wonderful review of all my websites. She obviously spent a lot of time poking around this blog, my Etsy shop, my photo album, and my newest endeavor, the Ask the Crafter website. She makes me sound like a Wonder Woman! I'm now ready to scale new art projects in a single bound. Oh wait, that's Super Girl (my younger self, ha ha). You know, I didn't even realize I have 14 tutorials on this blog until she counted them for me. Seriously, I am quite thrilled and honored to be recognized this way. Thanks, Linda!
Click here if you would like to read the review.
Yesterday I made a prototype of a mermaid that I am going to make a bunch of for sale at the Women's Show, a trade show here in Fairbanks. Our doll club has a booth courtesy of the show's owner (who is a doll club member). I want to make something quick and easy that I can sell inexpensively (around $35-$40). So this first photo is the prototype. I changed the tail before I made the first 'real one'. I also shared this photo with one of my online groups and received a couple of fun comments.
So per Linda's suggestion, the mermaid is now a business card holder, LOL. I'm not happy with her though. I can see where a couple of changes needs to be made. I think she's stubby. Now that can be cute but I most likely will elongate the very bottom of her tail a bit, about an inch or so.
I am using Natalie's method of painting faces, more or less, no paint but I am making iron-ons for the faces. I see that I have to move the nose down on this face - it's up by her eyes instead of down by her mouth. No wonder something looked 'off'. The whole head is just 1 1/2 inches - that's tiny to me. I have to come up with something quick and easy for hair too. This poking the mohair in took too long and it just looks too messy. If you think I'm whining .. you're right! Everyone's allowed to pick their own work apart if they want to, LOL.
I did some free motion embroidery on the fins and I really like it. I've made two of these now - I didn't take photos of the other one because it is so ugly it makes me think of a guy in very bad makeup. I am going to have to pop the head off and make another one. But I'm having fun and keeping busy so that's all good!
Remember when I made the flower fabric using the silk flower petals and free motion embroidery? How about the saran wrap fabric that I didn't like so didn't take a photo of? Okay - so you can't remember something you didn't see, LOL. Well, both pieces ended up as fabric postcards yesterday. I'm really happy with how these came out. Some of the shininess is from using monofilament thread to sew the pieces to the backing of Timtex. I was given a spool of monofilament made by Superior Threads and it's awesome. Doesn't break like some of the others do.
The saran wrap was just a background piece so I free motion embroidered some petals and leaves on top of it. The saran wrap ripped when I was sewing it to the Timtex so I had to add a piece of tulle over the whole thing. I use a piece of overhead transparency film cut to the size of a postcard to decide where to cut out the big fancy pieces. Our theme for this swap is Winter Wonderland .. but it's optional .. and I'm tired, tired, tired of winter!
My friend Sherry Goshon's power has been out due to the winter storms in Iowa and she has been staying with her Mom, Jacque Uetz. These two super talented artists put their heads together and came up with the idea of Artist Trading Dolls. You need more than two people to swap though, so they have started a new group over at Yahoo. I offered to help co-moderate the technical end and one thing led to another and now I'm a co-owner of the group. The group is for trading artistic paper dolls, leaning new techniques, and we'll even have some challenges. We'll be making different styles of Artist Trading Dolls - this is one I came up with.
It is the size of a standard Artist Trading Card and when all the extremeties are folded up it will fit into the plastic sleeves that hold baseball cards (and ATCs). I came up with this one because I am so out of room to store anything! The pieces that Sherry and Jacque created are about 8 1/2" tall. I asked if we could do a smaller format as an option. It's a participation only group - no lurkers allowed!
UPDATE: This group no longer exists (4/28/2008)
I fell in love with these metal sculptures in Cabo San Lucas. There were two shops selling these and I hadn't seen anything like this in any of the other ports. I really like the mermaids and the faeries. They are about 2 or 3 feet tall so they were a bit too big for the suitcase therefore none came home with me. I don't know if that's good or bad because now I want to make one. My husband thinks they might have been cut with a plasma cutter - which is too expensive for me to buy just to fool around with. So I'm thinking of making one of these with Timtex and fabric. Who knows what it will end up as!