Friday, December 21, 2007
It had to go. I *know* this. This doesn't make me like it. But when you have to ask your daughter to put your hair up in a ponytail in order to get some exercise, and you can only reach your head with one hand... it's time for a haircut. I got an appointment with a very good stylist and tipped her well, because I don't actually hate her for cutting my hair off. (2 feet of it!) I might even learn to like it. Later. Maybe after my cast is off and I can do stuff for myself again.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tomorrow I will be fitted for a new cast that will once again allow me to bend my elbow. Woo hoo! In the meantime, I am training myself to use my left hand rather well -- I look forward to trying out some new ideas after Christmas. I *think* I will be able to do them left-handed...
Gatsby is now firmly established as a housecat. He stalks and pounces on anything that catches his attention...
...even birds on TV. He has brought so much laughter into our home.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Cooincidentally, my husband's brother sold his herd earlier this month, and is grieving their loss as well. This is one of those times that remind us how fragile our lives really are, and I am simply grateful that we are able to continue on. For now at any rate.
On a lighter note, check this out.
Yes, that is one of the kittens that was dropped on our door last fall. One has disappeared without a trace, and another was hit by a car. This little guy came to the door of the house during the storm and sat there and meowed. Then he went to the front porch and sat on the table in front of the living room window and meowed. (The dogs were not amused!)
We finally let him in just to shut him up, and now we can't get him out again. Oh, we can pick him up and carry him out of the house, but as soon as the door opens he is in again. Like a shot! I suppose this means we now have a 4th cat.
I have been complaining for years about my ugly Christmas Treetop Angel. I made it back in the 80's -- it's fake rafia needlepointed onto plastic canvas. At the time I thought it was cute (WHAT was I thinking?!) but it really is quite hideous. So I am making a new one.
This is an angel from a pattern by Leta Benedict. I gave her sleeves and hair this morning. This afternoon I am off to Michael's to see if I can find some wings for her, and something to put in her hands.
I am looking forward to putting up my tree this year!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Emma's pattern was designed with seam allowances, but I constructed her with the template method, so she is a little wider than the original. If I make another one, I will add at least one layer of gesso under her paint as well. I don't dare sand her smooth now or I will take off her flesh. Ouch!
Isn't Pin-elope a delightful pincushion? He sits on the little table beside my spot on the couch -- I haven't misplaced my snippy scissors in weeks. Once I finished beading him, I looked again and realized that I had put the little pouf ball that forms his body on sideways. Oh well... he's still cute as can be. I will SURELY make at least one more of these.
Both of these patterns were designed by Jacque Uetz, and can be found at Dollmakers Journey.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Ok, Ok, I'll stop now. You didn't come here to read me ranting!
This year outside vendors were invited to participate, so my little table looks a little small compared to their displays, but I am still proud of my offerings. I hope some of it sells -- I'm running out of room to store stuff!
This little person is "Pin-elope", another pattern I am testing for Jacque Uetz. Another fun and playful design I might add. I know it's a feminine name, but my little guy "feels" male to me. He is ready for his embellishments, but I've been too frazzled to concentrate. Maybe this weekend!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I have had so much fun creating her costume out of some vintage embroidered pieces. It was a challenge to find usable pieces that avoided holes and stains from some of them. If you look very closely at the bottom of her sleeve on the right you will see a rather large grease stain. Someone did something really nasty to what had been a beautiful table square...
Oop, I just noticed that I haven't finished her shoes yet either. She will also have a blue ribbon sash around her waist, but I don't have what I want in my stash so will have to make a shopping trip.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
It's just the kind of "crafter's ADD" style of working that I usually indulge in though, so I am happy as a clam. Today I painted the body and face of a very sweet little vintage-style doll named Emma. Emma is very different from my usual style, but I am satisfied with the way she is coming together.
She stands about 15" tall, and will be dressed in vintage linens. I bought some cutter pieces on eBay last week, and now the fun part will be deciding which ones to use for her clothing.
Here is a close up of her face. Hmmm... need to work on that hairline a little. Lydia says she looks like a little Japanese girl... The original painting design does not call for eyelashes, but I drew some in anyway. Now I am wondering if I should paint them out.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
|You Are 5: The Investigator|
You're independent - and a logical analytical thinker.
You love learning and ideas... and know things no one else does.
Bored by small talk, you refuse to participate in boring conversations.
You are open minded. A visionary. You understand the world and may change it.
At Your Best: You are sharp, inventive, and creative. You have the skills to lead the world.
At Your Worst: You are reclusive, weird, and a bit paranoid.
Your Fixation: Greed
Your Primary Fear: Being useless or incompetent
Your Primary Desire: Being competent and needed
Other Number 5's: Bill Gates, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bjork, and Stephen Hawking.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
"Onyx" wondered why The Food Woman suddenly decided to lie down flat on her stomach. I imagine that, were I in his paws, I would be curious too!
The bugs in the garden were much more interesting however. He is by far and away the most energetic of the trio -- NOTHING is safe from his pouncing games.
"Pemberly" was the little shy one who hid from me under the floor of the calf house. He would NOT stay in a position for a photograph where he wasn't backlit, so we had to resort to a posed photo.
Thanks for your interest! I'll be back with a regular art post later in the week.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
In the spirit of the evening, the girls and I watched "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and waited for Trick-or-Treaters. (We actually got some this year!) I took the opportunity to finish up my charms for the FDA swap. I can't wait to get mine -- they are destined to be featured on my "Charmed One" doll I posted a month or so ago.
They are made of 4" squares of Tyvek which was zapped with a heat gun then pressed between 2 rubber stamps. They were then threaded on eye pins and accented with crystal drop dangles. I had to stabilize a few of the pins with glue. When I disguised the glue with glitter, I liked the effect so much I added glue to all of them. I wish the glitter showed up a little bit better -- I mixed up a bit of gold and a bit of green Art Glitter which made a beautiful rich blend.
Can you tell I like sparklies?
Finally, I want to share this sequence of photos I shot over a span of about 10 minutes from my front yard earlier this week. This month's full moon rise over Mt. Hood was simply breath taking.
I hope your Fright Night was delightful!
Monday, October 22, 2007
This is the doll I received in my "goth swap" from Kate Erbach. Isn't she wonderfully weird and adorable? I notice cool things about her almost every time I look at her, like the sheer skull fabric of her skirt, the neat lacing of her faux leather overskirt, and her little pet on her shoulder. I tried to get a good photograph of the skeleton dangling from her left hand, but I guess he is shy. He kept turning away from the camera... Thank you Kate -- you have restored my faith in swapping!
And speaking of fun to make, this little guy is made out of glow-in-the-dark clay. He was inspired by the work of Pat Graham, "dancingbuffalo" on eBay. I have never yet been able to win an auction for one of her pieces, so gave it a shot myself. He turned out pretty cute, but he did freak me out the first time I saw him dangling from the necklace rack in my room in the middle of the night. He really DOES glow, and brightly too.
I have been doing a lot more spinning since I began working. It is such an easy thing to just sit down and begin to spin. No set-up and no clean-up involved. I am going to have to think of something to do with all the yarn -- I am running out of places to put it!
This beautiful stuff is special though. It is a silk/merino blend in exactly the colors of the inside of a pink seashell. By the time I finish spinning the bump I have, I ought to have enough yardage to knit something fine and lacy. In the meantime, I just like to touch it!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I purposely picked colors about as different from what I am used to playing with as I could get: black and silver, with accent colors of orange and verdigris. Verrrry cool, but a challenge to work with. (Each of the artists who worked on her mentioned in the journal how outside-the-box the color scheme was for them. Hee hee!)
"Flabbergasted" about covers how I felt as I opened the box. I see more every time I look at her.
But wait! There's more! She came home with a journal of her travels. Each page is a beautiful piece of art in itself.
I made the cover and the introductory pages using my chosen color scheme. I may have mentioned it before, but Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold is now one of my favorite colors of paint. Transparent, yet rich, almost good enough to eat!
I feel so incredibly blessed by the wonderful, generous women who poured so much skill and effort into making such INCREDIBLE art for me. Thank you all!!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
When we got up the next morning, the most pitiful mewing sound was coming from ... somewhere. I thought one of our cats had been shut in a closet (it has happened before) and spent quite a few minutes looking for the source of the sound. Eventually it occured to me to look out the window, and then my heart did a flip-flop. There were 3 little kittens sitting on the rocking chair on the porch.
OH! I get so mad when people dump cats off on our farm. Usually it's an older cat that has outgrown its cuteness. At least they have a chance of surviving. These babies are only about 8 weeks old. They are quite clean and rather chubby so I know they have been well cared for so far, but how on earth does ANYONE think that teeny-tinies like these have a hope of a prayer of surviving on their own?
I want to grab these people and shake them and scream "Do NOT count on the Nice Farmer to take them in. He already has 5 housepets and has threatened to leave home if wife or daughters bring home any more!" Sigh...
We caught these 2 right away -- the black one is a charmer who likes people, and the gray one was just too hungry to care -- and relocated them to the calf house along with a bowl of cat food. It's warm and dry in there, and the guys can usually be counted on to leave the leftover calf milk behind for the barn cats.
It was a challenge to catch the third one, but eventually she got hungry enough to come to the food we left out and so we took her to join her littermates. She was unwilling to have her portrait taken, but my camera caught her anyway. See her under the stall floor way back against the wall? Poor baby... I don't blame her for being frightened.
I saw these beautiful spiderwebs under one of my birdfeeders, and just for the heck of it, because I had the camera out already, I played with some more of the settings on my camera. I snapped over a dozen photos, but these 2 were the only ones that turned out. (Note to self: put a dark background behind misty spiderwebs.)
I wish I could make art like this!!
Sunday, October 07, 2007
If nothing else, the forced inactivity gave me the opportunity to do some handwork on a swap doll I want to finish this week. Meet "Tanith Ravyn", adapted from Patti Culea's pattern in her book "Creative Cloth Doll Beading."
It took me several tries to get a face I was happy with. I still think this girl's eyes are a bit too big and too far apart, but Jake is crazy about her. I didn't think he would like her at all, but he surprised me. He is a bit upset with me actually for sending her away. I guess I will just have to make another one in the same style for him.
She still needs shoes, but she'll be ready for the mail this week.
That's about all I have the energy for now. I HATE colds!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
In order to prove that, yes there IS a Klimt doll-in progress, I decided to post photos of her as she is at the moment. She is coming along, and I am SO happy with the way her costume is developing. I am less pleased with her wig -- I think the Tibetan lamb is just too fine in scale for a doll of this size. Unless I change my mind, the lamb will become the wig for the severed head, and I will make another wig for her, probably from a fine mohair yarn.
Her beaded collar fits perfectly, and I love the way the bugle beads on the "band" of her belt disguise the raw edges of the fabric. I didn't want to do an exact copy of the jewelry in the painting -- I doubt I could if I HAD wanted to -- but the effect is really good. She needs an armband yet and something on her feet and she's done. Except for the severed head...
I am a little burned out on her at the moment, so I am taking a break to play with a Halloween themed doll.
I wonder if Jean Bernard would recognize this face as being from her lovely and serene "Mother" mold??
This eeny teeny hand is from Sherry Goshon's "Cinnamon" pattern. It took me 5 tries to get 2 decent hands. I don't know if I will attempt anything that small ever EVER again!
I have to go back to work today, and there is still a huge pile of ripe tomatoes on the counter in the kitchen. I'll be back though.
Monday, September 10, 2007
It SHOULD be upright, attached to a nice little Ford tractor, and moving back and forth through the barns feeding our cows. Except that it has a broken axle, and our faithful repair guys don't have a replacement part. Here's hoping that it comes in SOON!
Take a close look at this photo... see what the men used for a jack? That is a stump of a walnut tree we cut down 8 years ago because it was rotten. I have no idea why that stump is still hanging around, but thank Heaven it was. When you need a prop fast, you grab what's at hand and what works. It makes a good photo too, if you're into farming horror stories...
On a brighter note, my tomatoes are ripening in a Biblical flood right now, and we will have lots of soup this winter! I also have a nice crop of basil that I am putting up as pesto and freezing. Oh, if you could just smell the aromas in my kitchen right now...
I finished Nancy Anne. The Fine Crackle I used on her created a subtle and beautiful antique effect that I am really really pleased with. It makes the whole doll. I wish I had been able to find a fabric for her dress that looked a little more old-fashioned, but bright colors are what's "In" right now, so I did the best I could with what I could find. It's a very pretty fabric, but the scale is a little large I think... I also think she's beautiful, but I am SOooooo sick of her. Poor thing... I don't want to have anything more to do with her for a very long time indeed, LOL!
And, just because I was outside, and the camera was outside with me and it is a fabulously beautiful day in spite of its challenges, I decided to play with the macro setting on my camera. WHAT FUN! Special thanks to Sue K. and Judi W. who actually inspired me to read the complicated parts of my camera manual!!!
I discovered that it's difficult to focus precisely with macro -- what I see in the window is not necessarily what will show in the photo. Also, flowers blowing in the breeze are not the easiest subjects. I took nearly 30 shots, and got 2 worth keeping, which isn't so bad as it's all digital. I love this freedom to play!! I managed to catch my bees feasting in my flowers. Don't they look like they are enjoying themselves?
Monday, September 03, 2007
I am thinking in my mind that I would like to do a beaded fringe under the ruching at her neckline, but then I think back to all the beading I did on my Klimt doll and I tell myself not to be absurd. Maybe some other day... in the meantime, she is DONE.
I had hoped to use her to display my own personal charm bracelet, but as you can see it is broken, though none of the charms are missing. I wonder when that happened...
I also managed to apply the crackle finish to "Nancy Anne". Now I need to hunt down my satin finish varnish and seal her, then she will be ready to dress. I WILL finish 2 dolls this week... if I can find that darned varnish!
Saturday, September 01, 2007
I just did her face today. One last step yet... I have decided to give her a crackle finish. We are going to the State Fair with the girls this afternoon though, so I will do that tonight when we get home. I wanted to get this "before" shot up before I added the crackle though, so I can observe the change without having to rely on memory.
Her name is "Nancy Anne" in memory of my mother. Mom would have loved this doll.
"Simply Charming" is coming along as well. I had to make an emergency run to Michael's for another tube of Texture Magic for her hair, but I am satisfied with the way it looks now. It was just too skimpy before. I don't know if you can see them in the photo, but I have embedded little flat backed Swarovski crystals in her curls. The effect is very charming...
I had made her a set of sleeves before, but they were too skimpy, so I took them off. I don't dare touch her now though until her hair is completely dry -- I've already squished one of her curls... Another set is in the works and ready to add, and then all I need to do is add the embellishments to her base and give her some charms to display and she will be done.
Could it be possible... will I *really* be able to finish TWO dolls in one week??? we shall see. Stay tuned!