Thursday, December 27, 2007
This is Connie's doll - relaxing in the parlor before her travels!
And a closer view in the dining room!
Connie - be warned! This girl is BOSSY! First she insisted on an evening bag - then she wanted a hat! I hope you don't mind that I did two things to her - hope you like them!
I'll get her on her way and hopefully she'll make it in time for the New Year's festivities.
Monday, December 24, 2007
First of all, I want to give a huge SHOUT OUT to all my brothers and sisters who are working during their holidays. I'm talking about healthcare workers, law enforcement members, fire fighters, retail clerks and the countless other folks who have to work at lightning fast speed to contend with the masses and the not-so-goodwill of the season eminating from their fellow human beings. The next time you are in line at the grocery store or waiting in the emergency room during a busy time - try to take a deep breath and thank the people who are taking care of you and not able to be with their families. A smile, a thank you and especially a HUG goes a long way.
My second thought is on the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays". I'm not going to go into my beliefs - they are somewhat convoluted and most of all, they are mine. But I have to comment on the somewhat "forbidden" use of the words "Merry Christmas".
If memory serves me correctly, the United States of America was first populated by folks looking to escape religious persecution. By forbidding Christians to use the words "Merry Christmas" - what's next? Devote Jews will be forced to work on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Pagans and Wiccans will be arrested for the celebration of Samhain, Ramadan will be banned for all those of Islamic faith, Ancestor Day will not be allowed for our Buddhist brethren, and so on. DO NOT MESS WITH A PERSON'S FAITH! I believe with all my heart that a person's relationship with their faith is a personal journey and one that is sacred and precious.
Bottom line - to all my Christian brothers and sisters, have a very Merry Christmas!
Blessings to one and all - no matter what you believe.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
In an effort to "recover" and get back to normal, I worked on the next doll in our Relaxed Round Robin:
Now as a creature of the forest, you sometimes run into not-so-friendly beasts who attempt to steal your dinner - or turn YOU into dinner.
What better to give an elf than a magical SWORD!
The chestnut brown suede scabbard is held up with an embroidered belt. The embroidery is leaves - of the elf clan our traveler belongs to.
The belt is also decorated with charms from the other clan members to help and protect the elf on his journey.Isn't he grand? I just had to photograph him out in the woods. What better place?
Thanks for taking a peek!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
And here he is with his "twin":
Friday, November 30, 2007
This is Yvonne's doll in all her glory:
I had a tough time working on this girl. The feather boa is WAAAAY too tempting. OH, not to me - to this:
Oh, yes! Feather boas are the ultimate in cat toys.
If you are a boa - enter our home at your own risk!
See you soon!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I added hands to her arms and put them on her body. It looked like it needed a bit of "foofing" up, so I added braided trim and lace to her cuffs then also around her neck. A purple jewel finishes off the neckline.
This doll will be on the way to Connie's on Monday. I'm now doll-less. HELP - send more body parts!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I belong to an internet doll club called Doll Street Dreamers, and I'm participating in the Relaxed Round Robin. Why Relaxed? There's NO rules - and if life gets in the way, no one is going to sweat the deadlines. I LOVE THIS GROUP! Not only is everyone really sweet and fun to talk to, but we're all playing really nice together!
Which is a good thing, because I am one of the ones holding up the show so to speak.
Anyway, this week - I managed to finish TWO of the dolls!
This doll belongs to Mary. I'm not that talented and really, really, really was nervous putting the face on someone else's doll. I even tried a new technique - cloth over, and shading with pastel pencils ala the fabulously talented Natalie Hamade.
Here is Mary's doll, complete with face, hair and red velvet turban:
Then onto Peggy's wild and colorful baby!
She didn't have much in the way of clothes, so I decided to add a skirt. There are 2 layers of tulle (turquoise and purple) and a turquoise embroidered overskirt. There are 2 ribbons for the waistband AND I added colorful ribbons around the waist. She decided to take over the throne to pose for her picture, and here she is:
I have one last doll belonging to Velia. I haven't opened the box yet, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do to her.
If you ever have the chance to do a Round Robin - grab it! This is FUN!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
Pam Grose has got to be one of the hardest working teachers in dollmaking! OMG, she will go from sun up to midnight and help every single whiny one of us with a smile on her face. She has more talent in her little finger than I have in my whole body and she can absolutely craft the most gorgeous things out of NOTHING.
The first weekend, we had our choice of making a Lil Monster or a cat. Being owned by multiple felines (see earlier blog post) I opted for the cat.
Here is a picture of my (almost) finished kitty:
The final weekend, we took cardboard, masking tape, newspaper and paper mache and made a throne. Here's mine with the first basecoat on it (metallic gold):
See you tomorrow!
Monday, October 1, 2007
Magic, Mischief and Mayhem was all that and more! If you have never attended a doll event - you owe it to yourself to go. The energy, the camraderie, the caring and the talent is just amazing! The artists from Australia that shared a tiny piece of their talents (and lives) with us is something not to be forgotten. I can't possibly show you everything at once, so I'll show you in bits and pieces.
I took two workshops with Di McDonald. Di is a mixed media artist that can take bits of NOTHING and turn in into something fun and fabulous! I actually finished BOTH pieces from my classes with Di!
Here's Di in all her glory showing Julie how to make a tyvek bead for her cuff:
In Di's workshop on the second weekend, we created a mixed media doll titled "I'm All Heart". When I first saw the doll, I immediately thought of how heart disease had affected my family. As I was making the doll, I turned it into a tribute for my Grandfather, who died at the age of 69 from Rheumatic Heart Disease. Poppy (that's what we called him) had ALWAYS been very active. When he retired, the extent of the disease that ravaged his body as a child showed it's ugly head. We tried to get him on a list for a heart transplant - but his doctors told him he wasn't a good candidate (ie - he was too old). He succumbed just a month before his 70th birthday in 1986. I still miss him!
As much fun as the workshops were, I think the very bestest part was meeting all the people! I got to spend time with some old friends (Julie, Belinda, Annie and Judy) and I met new friends (Marcy, Leslie, Diane, Karol, Kimber, Rae, Kathleen) and so many others. AND I actually got to meet and hug my blog buddy, Natalie! Hi, Nat! It was SO good to meet you!
You all made the weekends SO special. I can't wait until next year!
Speaking of next year, there will be a Magic, Mischief and Mayhem AMERICAN Style in April. There are only a limited number of seats, so if you are thinking of coming - get that deposit in soon. The teachers will include Barbara Schoenoff and none other than my blog buddy, Natalie Hamade. I got to see one of Natalie's famous faces up close and personal at MM&M. Pictures do NOT do them justice! They positively GLOW! Natalie will be showing us her technique next April - you do NOT want to miss it.
For details, visit Annie's website at: http://www.anniedolls.com/mmmtrial2-07.htm
More pictures tomorrow!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I'll just be there for this weekend, then returning home only to go back next weekend. Couldn't stay for the mid-week classes due to WORK. That dreaded four letter word that always gets in the way of my fun.
Anyway, just wanted to leave you with a picture of a doll I did at another workshop some years ago. This was a doll created with the coaching of a very talented doll artist named Akiko Anzai. Her work is equisite!
I promise to post LOTS of pictures when I get back. I packed my camera AND the battery charger (and the sewing machine, the fabric, the beads, the tools and a change of knickers).
I'm ready to GO!
Monday, September 17, 2007
There is something about the mountains that just takes my breath away. We hid out for the weekend in a lovely bed and breakfast called the Mountain Magnolia Inn in Hot Springs, NC.
It was relaxing, refreshing and in spite of a dead car battery - a wonderful all around weekend.
May you all find some bit of serenity this week!
Last but not least, meet Suzette. Why Suzette? This is the French Broad river. I jokingly asked David "Which French Broad is this named after?". His reply - "Suzette - she was unforgetable!". After I smacked him, we decided to rename the French Broad, Suzette. So - here she is!
Have a peaceful and serene week. I know it won't be for me.
Friday, September 14, 2007
He is ex-military and very regimented and organized. I love to dye fabrics, fibers and anything I can get my hands on (the cats run when I start the process). My dyes, resists, mordants, etc were all a big mess in the basement. When I came home from work yesterday, hubby told me he'd been cleaning up the basement (usually that means just pitching stuff out). OH, OH! I thought - he threw away my stuff (I'm a self professed pack rat). When I went racing downstairs to see what happened, this is what greeted me:
The cabinets hold the mordants, resist, tjangs, measuring spoons, etc. The containers are on the counter top. The dyes are in the shelves (this is the top to our dining room hutch that we removed to make the dining room feel larger). ISN'T THIS AWESOME?!?!?
All my PFD fabrics are organized and in shelves next to where I stood to take this picture. Now I have no excuses.
Look for some dyed fabrics coming to a blog post near you!
IT'S FRIDAY, FOLKS! Have a GREAT weekend. We're off to North Carolina, so I'll see you again on Monday.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
My family celebrated Christmas this year on August 6. AUGUST 6!?!?!
Well, when you live in Indiana, your brothers live in Chicago, your parents live in Florida and your kids live in Kentucky, Texas and northern Indiana - you pick a time when you are all free and all don't have to contend with bad weather. We drew names and each bought a gift for the person who's name we drew. It was not only fun, but it didn't break the bank.
So why am I dreaming of a White Christmas?
WELL, having grown up in the frozen north and now finding myself just barely north of the Mason-Dixon line - one thing I absolutely cannot get used to is the HEAT! This August was the HOTTEST on record here. we had 25 days of TRIPLE digits! ACK!
The hot spell has now broken, and we actually awoke to 53 degrees this morning! AHHHH!
This Yankee is in heaven.
This made me yearn for wool sweaters, wool socks, hot chocolate by the fireplace, walks in the woods crunching through fallen leaves...you know the drill. Is it any wonder the doll embellishments I'm packing up for Magic, Mischief and Mayhem doll seminars in Richmond, KY are all fall colors?
Anyway, I found this picture of our front yard taken in December of 2004 when we had a record 18 inch snowfall (unheard of in these here parts).
I love the snow! Well, as long as I don't have to drive in it...
Thinking cool thoughts for all of you!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I am sick and tired of my poor sewing room. I don't dare call it a studio - it's a PIT! Hubby is on semester break and offered to help me clean it. Don't you know I said YES!
He came across this little guy while cleaning the top of my cutting table. This poor thing just needs some finishing touches. There's something very special about elves - maybe it's because I live in the woods.
Anyway I thought I would share him with you.
This is Elwyn. He's special because he was created in a very FUN class - Wood Knots with Allison Marano. It was there that I met Carole "Molly" - the wonderful keep of the Doll Street Dreamers Internet group. We had SO much fun in class! Both of us worked away on our old Berninas and came up with these adorable little guys. No - I haven't finished his hat or given him his ears yet. But I love his little face!
It's getting late and I had a BLAH day at work. Think I'm going to call it a night.
It's OVER THE HUMP day tomorrow!
Monday, September 10, 2007
As I sat on the edge of the bed this morning trying to talk myself into dragging my weary old carcass into work, I thought of the many blessings I have in my life.
Here are the three main ones:
This was taken last spring at my daughter, Danielle's high school graduation. I LOVE this picture!
Danielle is the rose between the two thorns. My surprise baby born 9 years after the younger boy. I was told I'd never have any more babies after my second son was born. SURPRISE!
Danielle loves all things Japan. She is into Anime, Japanese history and has even been to Japan twice. She's studying at Indiana University, Bloomington and majoring in (surprise again) East Asian Languages and cultures. She also has a second major in computer science (yes, she's a self proclaimed geek) but that's only to feed herself. She's also studying music (but not majoring in it). It's a VERY competitive field and she doesn't want to lose her love of it. She plays viola, loves classical and orchestral music and has most recently started playing the piano. She is an artist in her own right - she can DRAW! Something that I cannot do. And YES - she understands why her mother still plays with dolls.
The *HAM* on the left is Eric. Eric was born a deep royal blue color having had the cord around his neck 3 times. His little heart would stop every time I had a contraction. My doctor was a general practitioner and couldn't perform c-sections. By the time they rounded up an anesthesiologist and an OB surgeon, Eric decided he couldn't wait any longer. Out he came - and proceeded to scowl at the world for the next 4 months.
As a baby, his favorite pass time was to slam his head against the crib by rocking back and forth on all fours. He had no fear at all growing up - even broke his thumb *surfing* on the hood of his older brother's car!
He went to New York City to pursue his dream of becoming a film writer in 2001. September 11 destroyed that dream.
He then joined the US Air Force, met a girl and they were married. Eric was then called to duty in Iraq. While over there, his wife decided she wasn't going to sit at home and shortly after Eric returned, she dumped him for another guy. Eric is still looking for someone to love him.
After he was dumped, some friends took him to a comedy club to drown his sorrows. Once there, they dared him to get up on stage during Open Mic. He did it - the crowd liked him. So he decided to try it again sober the next week. He did it again - the crowd LOVED him.
Now he does it for money.
If you live in the Austin, Texas area - please visit the Velveeta Room or Cap City Comedy Club on the weekends. If you see a very tall, very skinny, very cheesy young man on stage - be sure and laugh extra loud. OH - and tell him his mother loves him.
Last (but not least) is my trainer kid. My oldest son, Joe. Growing up, Joe was always very serious. I used to joke he was 40 going on 5. (Now, he's 31 going on 10.) Most of this is due to the fact that he has a very stressful lifestyle. He's a second year resident in Emergency Medicine at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. I couldn't do what he does! To relieve stress, he and his lovely wife, Dawn, ballroom dance. Having two left feet myself, I couldn't believe that a child of mine is SO coordinated!
Joe was always my brainiac. I remember waking up one Christmas morning when Joe was 4 and Eric was just a wee one. Joe was reading a book to Eric. I thought - oh how nice, he memorized a book. Until I sat down next to him and realized that this was a book they had got the night before and there was no way he could have memorized it - he was actually READING it to his brother.
They identified him as gifted kindergarten. The gifted programs didn't start until kids were older in the Houston, Texas school district we lived in, so Joe was often bored. When we moved to Kansas when Joe was in second grade, they asked us to let him skip second grade. In sixth grade, he was taking math and science with the seventh graders. He graduated #1 in his class from high school - and was given a FREE RIDE to college (he was a Ronald Reagan scholar at Eureka College). It was there that he met Dawn - and I gained another daughter!
So - today I am grateful. Even though I am not having much fun.
But tonight - I PLAY!
Have a good Monday!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
First of all, Sundays are depressing - because tomorrow I return to the he** otherwise known as WORK.
Now I know I should be grateful that I have a job BUT I absolutely loathe what I do. I especially "love" the part of mediator - where you get to listen and resolve the conflicts between two warring (and I do mean warring) factions.
BUT today is especially depressing.
I got (for my upcoming birthday) a Cannon camera. A digital SLR camera. One that comes as a highly rated digital camera.
Does it work?
I've already exchanged it once, and this newer one is not working any better than the old one. It won't "talk" to my computer. It did once - then quit.
I'm just sick. Right now, all I have is a very expensive paperweight.
Anyway, the second doll related part of this post is:
QUIT WHILE YOUR AHEAD (OR SHOULD THAT BE A HEAD?)
I don't know about the rest of you, but I find the most challenging part of making dolls the head. Why? Because it makes or breaks the doll. You can always cover up bad body parts with clothing or embellishing, but the head is right there front and center for the whole world to see.
Here are some of my "rejects" and some of my successes waiting for their body:
Here is my first attempt at a polymer clay head. Yes, I know - it's just in the beginning stages BUT it looks like it has cellulite! How on earth do you get this !(@*#^ stuff smooth? ARGGHHHHHH! Frustrating!
This adorable little guy is from a pattern by Sarah Jones called "Keegannie". I love this face! So why is he in the head jar? I can't get his @(*&^$ eyelids on! I've tried FOUR times! He's in the head jar until I work up enough nerve to try it again.
This head was my first attempt at a male face. What was I thinking with all this color? He doesn't look very masculine. I need to try again.
This is a head from a book by Patti Culea. Again, what was I thinking with all this color? She looks like a runaway from the Chicken Ranch. "Scratch" this one.
I needed to make a head for a Round Robin doll. I thought I had it nailed. But what's up with the chipmunk cheek on the right? Egads - start again.
I LOVE THIS FACE! Yes, I need to finish her hair. But this is from the Vernal Muse class with Allison Marano. This is one of the best faces I've ever done. Unfortunately, it's the body I screwed up. I'm in the process of rebuilding it, but time is limited (see the start of the post for the reason why).
Last but not least - the beginnings of some Christmas ornaments. There was an article in one of the doll magazines by (I believe) Jackie Uetz. This was my interpretation. Again - love the face. I just need to find the right ribbon for the body.
OK, I'm done venting. Think of me tomorrow - and say a quick prayer.
Have a good week, all!
Saturday, September 8, 2007
After a blah week at work, at having my muffler fall off my car after arriving home, I was greeted with a wonderful surprise!
To preface this, I must tell you that I belong to a wonderful, wacky, fun bunch of doll artists called the Doll Street Dreamers. Now, I'm nowhere near as talented as the rest of these ladies - making dolls is just something I love to do.
As part of a "Body/Costume Swap" I joined, I was paired with a doll artist who was to create two bodies - I, in turn, was to costume the two bodies.
My partner in crime for this swap is a VERY talented doll artist, Jan Dee. Now what I admire SO much about Jan is SHE DOESN'T USE A PATTERN! Gads - I've never made a doll without a pattern. Mostly, I'm scared I'll screw it up. Not that I haven't screwed up dolls using patterns before, but...
Anyway, about 10 days ago I got the first doll from Jan. Yesterday, the second arrived.
I thought nothing could top her first doll - from the soft, gentle features to her body painting (soft greens, my favorite) but I was wrong.
The second is EVEN MORE AMAZING!
I *think* I know how to costume them. But I'll have to think a bit longer.
Enough of the suspense, here they are!
And an even closer view:
Jan, I'm not sure you can have EITHER one back! (Only kidding.)
What they almost look like to me is alter-egos, the demure good girl - and the wild, wicked side she keeps hidden.
I'll have to think on this.
Anyway - back to my studio (or the fourth bedroom that passes as such). This is my only day to play each week.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Now Friday nights are special. As someone who has been in the workforce for 35+ years, Friday can never come soon enough. I don't know if the cats can sense this or if they can smell that tuna coming - but each Friday they are rewarded with a can of solid white Albacore tuna in water (and the humans are rewarded with a nice bottle of Cabernet or Shiraz).
I now present to you the Tuna Lovers of Kentuckiana:
This is Sootz - the undisputed Queen of the Castle. She always looks at you as if to say "Peasants! Bring me my throne!"
This is April - littermate to Sootz. April is NOT the brightest crayon in the box. We've seen her leap from one piece of furniture to the next and MISS.
This is Tessa - a throwaway kitty who came to us all the way from Texas (long story). Tessa is the Matriarch of the house and the sweetest little thing on four paws. She is very comforting and seems to know when you need some purr therapy.
Last (but not least) is a picture of my newest grandson - Ozzie. My oldest is a Resident at UK Med Center (Emergency Medicine) and while he and his lovely wife, Dawn, have been married for 9 years, I have NO grandbabies. I do however have grand-furbabies. Ozzie is the baby. He's a wild man - but with a face like this, he can get away with anything.
Thanks for listening! May there be many cans of tuna in your Friday!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
It's not that I don't want to post - I forget to post. Things get crazy. My family just celebrated CHRISTMAS (yes, in August) because it was the only time we could get together this year. Then my daughter had to return to college. THAT is an ordeal.
Anyway, I found this AWESOME quiz, and had to take it! You must try it!
|What color is your soul painted?|
Your soul is painted the color purple, which embodies the characteristics of sensuality, spirituality, creativity, wealth, royalty, nobility, mystery, enlightenment, arrogance, gaudiness, mourning, confusion, pride, delicacy, power, meditation, religion, and ambition. Purple falls under the element of Earth, and was once a European symbol of royalty; today it symbolizes the divine.
Quizzes and Personality Tests
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Life has a way of interfering with your FUN!
I've joined a group on the internet that has SO much energy and SO much creativity that they are inspiring me to not only spend some creative time each and every day, but also to step outside my comfort zone.
Anyway, I made a fabric postcard! I wanted it to represent the world around me - which is woods. We have a pond rimmed with stones that is a work in progress (actually, my hubby's therapy). This a picture from last summer - the water isn't always that murky but hubby had just cleaned the pond filter:
SO - this wonderful view (and you don't see the half of it) is my solace and inspiration. With that being said, here is my postcard:
Not too bad for a first timer, eh?
The group is called Fiber Art Traders and they can be found on Yahoo! groups. Come join in the fun!
Monday, March 5, 2007
I took an online class at DollStreet about a year ago. This is "Abundance" by Angela Jarecki. I had a TERRIBLE time with her face - I ended up enlarging the pattern 110%, and I still think it's too narrow. No matter how I stuffed it, I just couldn't get it to work right. This was the best of the 3 I made.
Anyway, I'm getting better at dolls. I LOVE THIS ART FORM! It's like giving birth all over again - but to the ideas in your head.
I hope you enjoy looking at her as much as I enjoyed making her.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Way back in another lifetime, I was a Textiles, Clothing and Design major. When my institution decided to cancel the program in my junior year, I quit college for many years. When my (then) employer told me I needed a degree to progress (and that they would pay for it), I went back to school and earned my Bachelor's in Marketing (closest business subject to anything even remotely creative). That was in 1999.
Fast forward to 2006. I graduated in March with my MBA.
Why am I telling you this?
I work in a fast-paced, driven field (healthcare). Being the totally right-brained critter that I am, by the end of the day - I'm drained both physically and mentally.
It's the art that keeps me sane.
For now, I'll leave you with a photo of a doll I made at a workshop given by the Goddess of Beaderly Delights herself, Annie Hesse. Doesn't she look fantastic against my "Belgium Chocolate" dining room wall?