Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Injury In The House

So if you don't follow me on Facebook you probably don't know that my mom took a really bad fall Sunday night. She broke both her wrists, knocked her head good and has an impressive shiner. We found out today that she might need pins put in her wrists. They put her in removable splints until the swelling goes down and we'll know next week if she needs surgery.
And this is after icing and most of the swelling went down. She can't feed herself or do bathroom type things so I'm back to Nurse duty. I haven't had much sleep and I'm pretty exhausted and we are only 2 days into this whole thing.

Because of all of this unexpected trauma I have to give up hope of finishing my Santos Cage Doll. I just don't have any time and the deadline for me to finish and mail it was this weekend. I also never got my mom's birthday doll started. As much as I love my mom I'm really disappointed about that Santos Doll.

I'm doing a birthday swap with another doll maker in March and that's probably the only thing I will get done. I hope I can keep working on some of the other dolls I recently showed since I have no deadlines for them.

So if I'm not around much you now know why.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Frank and Elsa Are Back!

My Topsy Turvy Frank and Elsa doll is back from ADQ. Got a big box yesterday and was pleased at how carefully she/he/it was packed.

I missed them greatly! Now do I keep them or list them for sale?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Love Tildas!

If you don't know about Tildas you should, they are sweet dolls and softies you can make yourself. Lots of people make them to sell too. They are the creation of Tone Finnanger, a Norwegian designer. She has lots of books with her patterns and shows step by step how to make these fun dolls. She also has her own fabric line and wow are those fabrics beautiful! The dolls themselves are very simple but the clothing and accessories really make them pop. They are so beautiful that I don't consider them children's dolls.

Here's the book I picked up at the craft store over the Summer. She has them for every season and a new Fairytale one too that I'm looking forward to coming out in English.

Now you must be wondering why I'm posting about this but I intend to make one of these for my mom for her birthday. She loves anything whimsical and these are perfect.

I have a Tildas board on Pinterest because I love them so and have collected images from some awesome makers. Tildas lend themselves to being sweet and simple to fashionable. Below are 2 of my favorite Tilda high end makers with links to their blogs.

I'm not doing anything like this, just a simple pattern from the book but oh aren't these fabulous? My mom's birthday is March 2nd so I need to get going on this probably this weekend. My birthday is in March too so I may have to me myself a Tilda too.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What's Going On Wednesday

I finally got a embroidery thread storage box and moved all the wrapped bobbins in. It still looks like a mess to me cause they all get riffled through and pulled out, compared, used then shoved back in. I've given up on the idea that they will stay pretty and neat, that's just not how I roll.

I did this Sunday not today but I'm showing it today. I pulled out all my felt and re-folded it, sorted it my color and type and put it back in the drawers. Next, I actually labeled the drawers so I don't have to dig through multiple drawers looking for a color. The very bottom drawer used to hold yarn and scrap-booking stuff. I cleared that out and all the yarn is in 2 other drawers, freeing up a whole big drawer.
I did the same with these smaller drawers. All my felt sheets of odd colors, prints and embossed felt that only come in sheets fill the top and yarn fills the 2 bottom drawers. It feels good to have this organized. Not having yards of felt piled up on my worktable...priceless.

A reader of this blog asked me the other day if I had a tutorial on how I do my dolls features. I don't, but she and I talked back and forth and I kind of explained how I do what I do. After that conversation I thought maybe I'd do a tutorial. But then I thought it took a long time and a lot of hard work to figure out what I do. It's what makes my dolls special, unique and mine. So I decided not to do a step by step but just show a wip so you get the basic idea without me giving up all my secrets.
 I use felt to mark out the face and facial expressions. Some are sewn on and some aren't, it all depends on the doll. Next I embroider the lips, eyes and eyebrows. This is crazy time consuming and at times dangerous for a clumsy girl like me. A face takes about 4 hours start to finish. I usually save this kind of work to do while watching Hockey (Go Blackhawks!)
These dolls always look like monsters until I do the pupil. Still need to do the eyebrows here but you get the idea of what I do. The nose is sewn on but there is stuffing inside to give it dimension.
Here are 2 other faces where I did a few things differently. Well I hope you enjoyed seeing my process. The dolls will be appearing in my etsy shop and perhaps my own website in the Spring.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Know I Said I'd Post More...

....but I keep jumping from project to project and I think that it would irritate you all no end to see me jumping around like that. But I'll try to post WIPS in case you are following along with any interest.

So here's a beginning of a project that I'll be able to show the finish of in hopefully a week and a half. ADQ - Art Doll Quarterly Magazine is having another challenge and I hope my creation will be good enough to be published. It'll be a Santos Doll with my own special twist.

Not much to see yet. Spent time last night working out the proportions. I'll be sewing the face details today. She'll have some beading on her clothes that I'm looking forward to doing. I'll continue to show WIPS and let you know more about her.

In case you don't know about Santos Cage Dolls they were originally created for use as in-home altars in 17th Century Europe. They were needed in small villages that did not have a priest. Also for when it was not possible to travel to church, such as during times of war. They were often rustic and carved from wood. The dolls emulate the image of Christ, The Virgin Mary, Patron Saints, as well as other notable figures in biblical history. They would often have wings and crowns. The doll sits a top of a platform built on a cage type construction. Not really sure what the cage was for except to add height to the figure. There was probably a long fabric skirt attached at some point.

Oh here's another wip I can show. This is one of my jumping around projects. It'll be slow going cause I have no deadline for this and I'm working hard to make them super special.

You might now be able to guess who they are. If not no worries I'll show more wips as I continue.

Well, back to sewing!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday Worktable

I'm going to be pretty random today. More progress to show on the dolls from the previous Wednesday post.

Here's one in the works. Part of a series I'm doing. I'm not going top say what they are yet. I have a quandary though. One of the characters is usually made human like since a human played him in a movie. But in the original story he was an large animal that the other characters could ride on. I'm unsure at this point what I may do.

Binks popped into the studio for a head scratching session.

Lita is knocked out under blankets as usual.

I made a little Valentine Plush for my daughter. It's fleece with felt accents. Can I say sewing with fleece is kind of a slippery slidy nightmare?! I much prefer felt.

Well that's all right now. I'm in a holding pattern waiting for ordered supplies to arrive.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Super Hero has a Weakness...

and it's being an unwilling victim in a tug of war between a 4 year old and his 12 year old brother. Why a 12 year old was fighting over a toy that wasn't his, I don't know. Here is the result:
Poor "Z Man" has a split arm. Sigh! I knew I should have double stitched those arms. But I didn't since made him xmas eve late at night. I'll try and patch him and hope he holds. Knowing my youngest nephew I didn't think this would last more than 6 months anyway. It's just sad to see something you worked on so hard be abused. I guess that why I don't usually make things for children.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What's Going On Wednesday.

Changed it up just a bit today.  I have some wips and a finished piece to show. In my Art Doll Artists Group we had a Valentine's ornament swap. I just posted all the photos on the groups FB page so I can now show the one I did. We had a small but awesome group and everyone did something original and fun.

Let me say first I'm not a clay and paint person, I'd like to be but well I try and it's usually fairly successful but they are mine so I have to love them I guess.
I am not a Valentine person. I like the chocolate but nothing else really about the day. But I decided not to be grumpy about it and I did a cute little Lovebug.

I hope the recipient will like him at least a little. Maybe I'll send some chocolate to sweeten the deal. ;0)

I cleared off a section of my table to shoot the ornies on this tree. The other half of the table is now a piled up mess.

My mom won a giveaway at church for the people who attended the movie nights and since I'm really the LOTR fan she gave them to me. They are PEZ dispensers! O.k. yeah I'm a nerd.

While watching 2 really boring hockey games over the weekend I was able to wind all of this thread. Still need to get a nice case for it but it looks pretty like this too.

3 new dolls in the works. And can I tell you this tip? NEVER use the blue fabric marking pen on felt! It's supposed to wash off, it does and then reappears over and over again till you want to scream.

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Embroidery Thread Is Seriously Out of Hand.

I use a lot of embroidery thread. I'm not too happy with how I store and organize it though. It's all a bit of a mess.

Back in my cross stitch days (years ago) I had a container all organized like this, actually I think I had 2.
I think I was more anal back in the day than I am now. I don't know about you but I hate (hate is such a strong word!) o.k. very much dislike winding all those freaking bobbins. It's so annoying! But oh doesn't it look pretty? Maybe the bobbin fairy will come and wind for me? I have 2 of these bins but I use them for other things instead of floss.

DMC makes these binder pages with long plastic bobbins. I bought some and didn't like them but I thought the binder idea was great. I love to organize things in binders.

Wrapping your thread round old clothes pins is cute and colorful. I've seen thread wrapped around old wooden spools too. People put them in glass jars and they are pretty and stuff, but again all that winding!

Here's how I currently keep mine. In an old holiday cookie tin. A jumbled mess. Nice huh? Can you imagine winding all of this? Maybe I should have a winding party?

In that mess I have whole and partial skeins of DMC and other brands.

Mixed in with all of that I do have some wound bobbins.

I have a little fabric basket a friend made for me that I store all my bits of smaller pieces in. Waste not want not! I really need to go through this soon. I also have a shoebox sized plastic bin that holds my overflow thread.

I'm going to take some time this weekend and take care of this mess.


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