Friday, January 27, 2012

WIP Friday or Another Unending Project

I wanted to share a project that I've been working on for a while, or at least started a while ago. I had an idea for a soft sculpture piece and got really excited about it. Unfortunately I'm more of an instant gratification person and this was going to take a long time and I kept getting side tracked by family things. Basically I lost momentum. Sigh!

Anyhoo it was a cool project so I that if I shared it with you maybe I could get back on track again. If you follow me on twitter or Facebook you might remember I was trying to make a reindeer. Somehow it got turned into a horse. Have you ever seen a real reindeer? They are not attractive animals. So the horse just works out better. I started from the beginning with a drawing and worked my pattern up from there. I wanted the horse to look as realistic as possible but yet be able to pose it. It took a while to get the pattern just right but I'm finally happy with it.
This is where I started and made modifications from here. Some of the pieces I drew on the computer and some I drew by hand. Mostly the gussets I drew by hand since they had to be modified again and again for the best fit. Gussets are what give a 3D plush the right shape.
I scored some great wool blend felt for this project. I still scratch when using this but it's o.k. (I'm allergic to wool) and I need the thickness for this.
See the white on the horse's face? That's a gusset and it'll round out and give shape to her face. She looks a bit cow like here but when I stuffed her head she looked very nice.
She has a gusset on her back too. I plan on putting a saddle on her. Horses have big hips and butts and I need the butt area since she'll be carrying two riders.
Here she is with her legs and I just realized the front leg is on backwards! Good thing they aren't attached yet! Silly me.
Here she is with her mane attached. I need to do her tail, eyes, stomach gusset, hoofs, finished stuffing, attach the legs, sew, clothe and detail the people. Doesn't sound like much but believe me it's hours and hours of work and I'm just not feeling it.

So if anyone would like to give me a kick in the butt or even leave happy and kind comments maybe I could get motivated to finish this.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Worktable Wednesday and I Need Goth Help

Some paper clay pieces I'm currently working on.The largest one is the Goth Santa that I've been working on for weeks and weeks. Most of his details are finally done. I thought it would be easier to do him in clay than felt but I no longer feel that way and he keeps getting set aside in frustration. I'm determined to finish him but I need some help. I want him to hold something or do something with one of his hands. Any Goth type ideas?

I originally thought he would hold the severed head of an elf but my daughter said "none of the Goth people she knew dismembered anyone and that's just gross so don't do that mom!" She's right I was getting carried away, so I'll save that idea for something else. The only other idea I had was for him to hold a Naughty, naughty list. UGH! Meanwhile he sits armless until I come up with something so any help is appreciated. Seriously any ideas at this point would be helpful!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Trying Something New..

...My First Holiday Crossover Piece. As most of you know my main focus is felt dolls. However in the face of unusually bad joint pain I've been playing with Paper Clay. It's easier on my hands and since the success and wonderful reviews of my mixed paper clay and soft sculpture vintage Halloween piece, I've been excited to do more with clay.
Here's the sneak peek I put on Facebook the other day. As always I like to show WIP's in case anyone is interested, so here we go.
Originally he was supposed to be a snowman but these things develop a life of their own. I really have little control over them.
Beginning to paint.
Personality coming out now!
He insisted on close up shots.
All done. He'll be available in my etsy shop as soon as I get better photos. It's a gray, rainy, crappy day today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

First Snowstorm of 2012

Until last night we only had two small snowfalls, just sugar snow as we call it cause it doesn't even cover all the ground. Very unusual for this part of the country. We usually have some snow by Thanksgiving and a lot in January. It's been so unseasonably warm that the teen boys next door were playing basketball in their driveway on New Year's Day. That's crazy town!

Anyhoo we finally got our first big snow. We had another one last week but it melted the next day as wasn't nearly as much so I don't count it. This snow will be here a while.

I'm the only car left in the driveway cause I don't have anywhere to go. As you can see my brother did NOT shovel this morning. Grrrrrr!
My front yard.
Down the street.
Me in my house shoes in the driveway. The snow hits me about mid calf. It's too tall for my pup Lita to walk in.

I like snow I just don't want to shovel it! Every year we say we're going to get a snow blower and we never do.!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Going Dark On My Blog Today In Support of Stopping SOPA.
You can find out more here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Last Custom Order of 2011

I did a quick post about my making a custom dog ornament for a returning customer here back in November 2011. I got a lot of great response to it and another order. The new client is a friend from The Hive and she gave me permission to share the creation of the ornament with you.

This one is completely different from the ornament I previously did...it's a kitty! And just the face this time and it's much more detailed. My lovely customer sent me a photo and I made a template of the kitty's beautiful markings. Isn't he gorgeous?
 This was such a challenge to get the cat to look like himself but simplified. I did the eyes 3 different ways 3 times until I was happy with them. So many tiny, fiddly pieces!
I did the face pattern on the computer but to make one yourself you could trace the face or scan the photo to the size you want than cut apart the features you want to use for your template. You could also glue the felt instead of sewing all the tiny, tiny stitches I did.
 You can click on this photo to see it larger I believe if you'd like to see more of the details. At this point I'm figuring out where to put the hanger. Then I'll sew all away around and stuff the face lightly.
Here he is stuffed and complete.
You can see he's quite large.
A quick shot of him on my studio tree before he was shipped out. I really enjoyed making this ornament and will make one of my pup Lita for my tree next year.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Simple Name or Monogram Project Tutorial

Here the background to this project. My daughter and I were talking about how she wanted her name in big letters to hang in her bedroom way back when she moved her bedroom into my old studio...late Spring? Anyway the darn things are expensive for the mom on a tight budget, so I found those big letters on sale at Joann's, you know the cardboard dimensional ones? I never see them on sale so I grabbed 3 of them intending to come back later for more and I never did. But it was o.k. cause my daughter mostly goes by her nick name anyway and those were the letter's I got. Hope you are still following this rambling.

Need for this project:
Big Letters
Paint
Felt, Fabric or Scrapbook Paper
A Good White but dries clear Fabric/Paper Glue
Scissors
Paintbrush
Optional: Ribbon, crystals, buttons, flowers etc.
O.k so I didn't originally intend this to be a tutorial but part way thru I thought "hey why not?" so that's why things are painted and I don't have a photo of supplies laid out. But you'll get the idea. These are the big letters. They are about 9" x 12". My daughter wanted zebra stripes and pink like the Christmas stocking I did for her a few posts ago. This size is perfect cause they fit the felt sheets that I bought previously.

I painted all around the edges and part way onto the front with pink gloss paint. Painting slightly on the front is important because if your fabric, felt or paper is slightly off you don't want to see the brown cardboard peeking thru and if it's painted it isn't noticeable.

Here's the paint I used, simple craft acrylic. I choose gloss cause I thought it would be easier to dust off. It took about 3 coats.
Next I took my felt sheet and flipped it printed side down. Place the letter backwards over it and traced with a pen.
At this point I realized I should probably paint the backs of the letters. I did paint the bottoms too but just hadn't done it yet here.
 I checked the fit of the felt and went back to trim them a bit.
Then I thinned out a bit of white glue with water and brushed it on the fronts and pressed the felt into the glue. When that dries you could glue ribbon all the way around the front or add paper or silk flowers or crystals or buttons and bows to jazz them up. I left them pretty plain which is how my daughter wanted them. I did this project for under $20.00.
 They now reside on top of her computer desk and she loves them. They also match her bedding too.

I hope this simple idea sparked something creative for you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A New Studio design For A New Year

What I had wasn't working any more. I've changed my work focus and needed to change my studio to reflect that and make it easier to create.
Here's a shot of my little space from the living room. If you've seen my studio before than you might think it's pretty much the same...but there are some major differences. I now have 2 worktables for cloth and felt doll and plush making, a separate worktable for clay and painting and a smaller table just for my computer. Somehow I got another table in here without taking anything out except for the small console table I was using to shoot on. Yea me!
The empty corner wall on the right is driving me nuts. It the perfect place to hang art I have form other etsy artists, so once I organize myself I'll get that done...eventually...you know how I am.
This is my main worktable that you've all seen. It faces the living room so I can watch t.v. while I sew. Yeah I know my living room was a hot mess when I shot this and honestly it still is.
I moved the table my computer and printer were on to this side and can store my felt bins underneath now. I got a great bunch of photo boxes super cheap at the clearance sale Joann's was having and I have trims and lace and buttons etc stored and labeled. I even organized them by season, like all Halloween stuff and all Christmas stuff! Squee! Now I don't have to dig every single time I want to work on something.
I moved my shipping storage to the left corner. And my giant bags of stuffing are in that corner too. Packed away lots of finished work and made space for my clay and painting supplies. I even have room for my toaster oven to bake my little pieces! This clay table is sharing space with my photo printer for now but that will change soon. My sewing machines and another printer and supply storage goes underneath.
This is now my computer station. It's my old drafting table I got for high school graduation that I refused to give away. See I did need it! It fits perfectly here.
I still have the big shelving unit. I just moved it over a few feet since my felt bins are no longer there and that allows me access to the window in front of my computer desk. Daylight! I organized this a bit but there's a lot I just want to get rid of still. My trusty file cabinet stayed in the corner but I went through it and shredded most of my old ebay files.
I want to share this great find. I got it 1/2 off which is good cause it isn't worth more than that anyway. I was able to clean out a whole big bin of ribbon and now I can see what I have. So happy about this! I hated pulling out that bin and digging through it.

Well it's not one of those fancy, super girly pretty studios but it's me and I look forward to getting my hands dirty in here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year and A New Me?

I looked back at my goals for 2011 and realized I only did 3 of the 6. Not too bad, better than none right? My biggest goal I didn't do. It was to be published. Basically to submit work for consideration to be published. It was completely my fault that I didn't make that happen. So with more confidence in myself and my work I put it back on my mental list this year. I'm not going to write down lists or anything like that this time around.

I gained a lot of confidence this year and feel really good about the direction my art is going. My long time followers will see the most change. I'm going to continue to show finished pieces with some WIPs. I love to see other people's WIPs so hopefully you'll enjoy seeing mine.

Update on my pup Lita. She's all healed up and her butt hair is growing back, no more weird pink butt. She's back to ruling the house like the Queen Diva she is. I'm very happy that she's happy and healthy again!
Update on my Step Dad. He's still with us. He refused to move to the Supportive Living place that we found. And because of his stubbornness he missed out on a great apartment in the regular Senior building. He wants to stay here. Well that's not going to happen for various reasons that I'm not going to get into now. He's been here 5 months and it's time for him to go. He doesn't realize what a strain his being here puts on all of us especially me. I've had to put my life on hold to care for him. Which I didn't mind in the beginning, I choose to do that, but I didn't realize it would go on so long. Now he mostly needs reminding of things because his short term memory is so bad. He's back to driving himself again. I feel like a bad person cause the constant reminding about meds and food restrictions, etc is driving me crazy! We finally found him another Senior building that's not as nice as the previous one but it's closer to us and he's finally agreed to go. We are waiting for the last bit of paperwork they need before he can move in. I'll still have to go and check on him but I'm hoping I can get back to my normal working schedule and my life. I'm still resentful of my brother's lack of doing anything for his dad, but that's another rant. We are also looking forward to getting the dining room that he's currently sleeping in back.

I'm not even sure where I was going with this post now...but thanks for reading my ramblings.

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