Saturday, August 30, 2008

And the winner is...

I am in deep withdrawal today. Yesterday I took my sewing machine in to the city for some routine service. I forgot to take the holiday weekend into consideration, so it probably won't be back home with me until next Thursday. Oh my... I hadn't counted on it being gone for so long. Fortunately I have some painting and gluing to do, but... but... but... Aack! My room feels so empty with that bare corner.

To distract myself, I set up my Blogiversary drawing. Now this was fun! I put the names of everyone who left me comments on a slips of paper, put all the little papers in a big bowl, and had my daughter draw a name. Then... (yes, I am this indecisive some times...) I couldn't decide which of the little pieces to give away, so I decided to give them BOTH away, and so Lydia drew another name.

And here they are...

Congratulations to Kerry and Jacque on winning this drawing. (I'm almost a little nervous to send these out, because if you check out their blog links associated with their names, you will see that both of these ladies are very talented artists.) THANK YOU to both of you for being my friends in the Blog World. Thank you to everybody who shares my adventures here and lets me know it. You are little lights in my life and I appreciate you so much.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Birth of a Sprite, and a Blog-iversary

My Sprite is coming along nicely, though I *had* hoped she'd be done by now. I should know better than to actually put myself on a time frame...

Here she she is as she was on Saturday -- all her parts are skinned, stuffed, and ready to paint.

I used Dyna-Flow paints, aiming for an ever-so-slightly tie dyed effect. It was just what I wanted when I finished, unfortunately, it dried a little darker than it appears in this "wet" photo. It still looks OK, just not what I was aiming for.

Oh yeah... I also skinned and assembled the skull mask -- I was on a roll and had to do SOMETHING while waiting for the paint to dry! When the glue dried I took off the rubber band and filled the seam with paper clay.

I know you could have seen more detail if I had zoomed in a bit, but I think Mocha the Doll Inspector is more interesting than to look at than watching clay and paint dry, don't you agree?

Today she is wearing pieces of her dress, her wig, and the beginnings of her hat. Oh my, how I love that piece of velvet her hat is made from. I am SO glad that I found something to do with it. It was too nice a scrap to throw away...

She still needs some sleeves and her wings. Maybe by this time NEXT week I will finally have a Finished Object to share!

AND... this is my 200th post. I will be drawing names for my give-away on Saturday, so be sure to leave a comment!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thank You Thomas

All the arrangements have been made -- it's too late to back out now! -- and I owe it all... well, OK, some of it anyway... to Tom Selleck. I (yes, ME!) have reservations and confirmations and credit card statements that say that I will be in Marshalltown, Iowa over the weekend of September 12-14. What could be more exciting??

"Iowa? Exciting?" you ask, and I say YES!! Sherry Goshon and Jean Bernard are hosting a dollmakers retreat there that weekend, and *I* get to go! When the opportunity for me to attend this retreat came up, I thought about it, but gave it up as too selfish to spend that kind of money on just me. Jake MADE me sign up, insisted I go.

(I confess, I didn't argue too much.)

So... what does this have to do with Tom Selleck? Well... let's just say that I love my husband and my husband loves "Magnum, P.I.". Over the last couple of Christmases I have bought him every last episode released to date on DVD. Every. Last. One. (I think we're about through season 8 by now. Oh my.) Lately, we have watched one episode after another in lieu of network TV for... a long time now. I usually work a sudoku puzzle or work on a hand project, but he likes it that I'm there with him.

I think this is his way of saying Thank You. Isn't he the best??

I love you Jake! And...

Thank YOU Thomas!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

We interrupt this artist...

...with a leg injury. Ouch! I was afraid that I had injured my knee, but it was "only" an acute muscle strain. After a week of wearing a knee brace and hobbling around on crutches, I have graduated to walking with a cane, and can get up off the couch at last! Woo Hoo! I can't wait to get back to normal.

Back-to-School shopping has persuaded me to continue my "no new craft supplies" challenge for now, at least through the end of summer. (Secretly... I'm tickled to be using up old supplies, and enjoying the challenge of coming up with alternative methods. Shhhh... Don't tell my husband!) I've been waiting to finish my Dancing Sprite doll until I could purchase some flesh colored 4-way stretch skin fabric, but I am aching to get back to work on her, so I decided use some of the white I have on hand instead.

Hey, am I not an artist? Am I not AMPLY supplied with paints of all kinds? This is going to be fun. I'm going to give my sewing machine a test drive tonight and see how it goes. I may have to learn to sew left footed...

These are front and back pieces destined to come together and become the head of a Halloween challenge doll. I used Paperclay pressed into a mold used to make sugar skulls for Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico. Isn't it the coolest thing? As you can see I have some serious sanding and patching to do, but I want to make absolutely sure it's dry before I do anything to them.

I haven't been completely idle while resting my leg. I also got a chance to learn more about levels, selection tools, and blending modes in my Photoshop. The photos I took of Alice were perfect to play and practice with.

I especially love the "Cross Processing" effect on her Next Top Model attitude pic. It's getting easier to remember which buttons to press with each photo I process, and I'm SO grateful to have had my Photoshop to keep my mind busy this past week!

Wow! I just checked my Dashboard, and this is my 198th blog post! Just 2 more posts until I draw the names from my comments for a winner for the beaded doll. I absolutely love it when people drop by and say "hi", so I want to give something back to say thanks for keeping me company in my art and messes. Everyone who has ever left me a comment (except for maybe the person who said I had the worst blog ever) has blessed my life.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Learning to see ONLY what the camera sees...

...isn't as simple as it sounds. I am find it challenging to take my brain out of the way, to let my eyes do the work without interpretation.

My youngest daughter decided that she'd rather spend her summer wages on new clothes than on a photographer, so she asked me to try taking her senior pictures for her. We packed up and headed out to the city park, she with a couple changes of outfits, and me with ALL my camera toys... lenses, tripod, and I even bought a real photographer's reflector for the occasion. I had so much fun! (You might notice we really liked the shiny gold light bounce, though I think the soft white made for better pictures. Still learning!)

I am pleased with what I did for the most part, but I still have a tendency to miss key lighting issues. This first portrait would have been perfect if I hadn't let it get so backlit. Sigh...

This one is my favorite, up to and including that little cowlick that got away from us. It's so HER.

If ONLY I had used a white light bounce for this one it would be so much better. I still love the way the light on her hair halos her face.

Another favorite of mine, but she doesn't like it so much.

Everything came together just right in this one. Now, if I could only learn to do it like this EVERY time, LOL!

It helps to have such a pretty girl as a subject too.