December 31, 2008

Dec 30 Doll SEDAG Class

We're working on a Russian Papier Mache technique in our regular monthly meetings. I took the entire day off work so I could go to both the afternoon and evening meetings. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera.
I must admin my head doesn't look so much like a potato as it did after last months meeting but it sure is a loooong process.


December 12, 2008

Christmas are always a challenge when I promised myself they were going to be handmade this year. Here are a few I made for my family and friends.

Of course I made a couple dolls, this time Christmas Elves using patterns I love by Alison Marano. (you can find her patterns here)
Here are my versions of two of them.


I also made some "Frosty" Boxers... hee, hee, they ended up a little too big but were much fun.. I always wanted to try to make them.



... and some fairy pj's


I also made an Elvis quilt, scarves, felted fleece hat & mittens but I didn't get any pictures of those. Oops, sorry.

November 15, 2008

November 11, 2008

Custom order Get Fuzzy Golf Club Covers

I got an order yesterday through my etsy shop for a couple of custom golf club covers. The buyer wanted me to make Fuzzy and Satchel from the comic strip Get Fuzzy for her brother for Christmas.

Since I had the day off today, I got started early.

They're coming along quite well I think, I still have a way to go though. Here's "how I did that".

If you want to see the image larger, just click on it.

November 1, 2008

New work

I've been away from my blog for awhile. For those of you following my story, I finally found the right job for me. I've been giving it my all and have trying adjust to the commute I have to make to work every day. I don't know what it is about sitting on the subway and bus for an hour, but by the time I get home at night I feel very tired. I'm a pretty sad sack.

I look forward to my weekends when I try to get into something creative. I finally finished my Stump doll, Ume's Midnight Garden. I love the way she turned out.


I also worked on a few Christmas Elves based on a pattern by Alison Marano or Faewyck studios. They are adorable aren't they?

If you're interested in perhaps purchasing these dolls I have them listed in my Etsy store.
Until next time!

September 7, 2008

Etobicoke Fall Fair


The South Etobicoke Doll Artist Guild (SEDAG) recently had a table at their community's Fall Fair.

In spite of a rainy start to the day the event was a tremendous success. Day and evening club members Lise St. Germain, Eileen Ross set up the clubs display dolls, demonstrated a few simple techniques and talked to visitors both young and old about the wonderful world of doll making and the clubs monthly meetings.

The club meets the last Tuesday (daytime) and the last Wednesday (evening) of the month at the Horner Avenue Community Centre in Etobicoke and Mississauga respectively. Please contact me by leaving a comment if you would like to attend a club meeting as a guest or regular member.

The club also has recently set up a group on Yahoo at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SouthEtobicokeDollArtists Guild

September 2, 2008

yes, I know it's been a while... new stump doll

I've been really busy over the past month interviewing and trying to soak up some of the last of summer but I've been working on quite a few projects. Lots of knitted teddy bears and rabbits, mittens, hats, a felted bag, all of those are still waiting for their felting stage, they've been through the wash a couple times but haven't yet reached their 'full' potential... lol. A little felting humour.... ha, ha!

Anyways this weekend I started a new stump doll I finally took some pics of it. I'm thinking Midnight Garden or something like that.



She's got a nice figure, and is kind of extra tall. I needed something to embellish. I wish I had a nice sewing machine!! I'd have done more machine embroidery but alas, it's plain old needle and thread from here on out.


I've got a Fall Fair that our doll club is showing at and I wanted something to work on while I was there. Lise St. Germaine is also helping out that day so I hope to learn some stuff from her while I'm at it.I'm also going to work on an armature while I'm there but wanted something fiddly to play with too. It's going to be outside so I'll have to see how the weather cooperates.

August 7, 2008

Gourd Creature Class

My niece and nephew Paige and Brody arrived to spend the day with Grandma. My mom and I live in the same apartment building so it's natural that I get to spend some time with them as well. After a trip to the Dollar Store and Harvey's for the world's best hamburger (IMHO, ketchup, mayo, onion, hot peppers and extra pickle thank you very much!!) and a trip to the Dairy Queen we started a craft project.


This time out it was critters made with gourds. I explained about different kinds of gourds and let them see and hold them, I talked about how gourds grow, what's inside, how they dry and grow into different shapes. If I get a chance I'll take them out to the Gourd Farm I go to. Northern Dipper out nears Cookstown (Barrie) ON. I took a class out there in April and had a blast! If you're in the area look them up. Their class schedule is posted on their website.

Paige and Brody had a look through my Gourd book, (Making Gourds and Spirit Dolls by Ginger Summitt and Jim Widess, published by SterlingPublishing) and looked at some other gourds I had in different styles and then decided what they wanted to do. I gave them each some paper to draw what they kind of wanted it to look like. The Gourds we used were small egg shaped gourds. Small gourds like these and the Banana gourd are thin shelled and easy to drill and great for craft projects.

We then talked about the pose, and accessories... Brody wanted his to have a Lacrosse stick and baseball hat,
Paige's fish needed fins and big lips... so we worked out how we needed to do that.


I decided to do a Humpty Dumpty.



I had them drill holes into their gourds for wire limbs to be added. We taped them in place and started adding apoxie sculpt. I talked about how the apoxie was a chemical reaction that started when you mixed the two part together. We talked about how it changed the way it reacted as it got older and how long we had to work with it.

Once we let them dry we went back to paint and varnish them. I think they did a great job don't you?

August 5, 2008

Another Long Weekend at the Cottage

I decided on the last minute to head up to the cottage once again for the long weekend. For those of you reading from other spots on our globe, the first Monday of August is a Civic Holiday for those of us in Ontario Canada.

I must say I didn't do too much except read, try to knit a hat... I say try because just as I got about half way done I realized I was using the wrong size needles, my hat might have fit a gorilla... and it would really have to be a big gorilla at that!

I also tried to learn crocheting again... kind of a crazy scarf it's just single crochet and about 266 stitches (hey I lost count - and what does it matter anyways... it's a scarf!) It's also about 7 colours. I just have to have something to do with my hands what can I say!

I took a great picture of a Cicada, which if it would have been moving I would have been moving the other direction... seriously BIG BUG!



Once I cleaned the kayak out - more seriously creepy crawlies in there too - I went out for a paddle too. I hate bugs that crawl more than bugs that fly... I don't know why but it's gotten progressively worse over the years... maybe because I move slower than I used too! LOL

August 1, 2008

WIP x 2

I've been really bad neglecting my blog like this... sorry, I have been busy working with the folks at etsy who are trying to get a dolls and miniatures team and category together. Blogging a little for them and creatings banners and avatars for the members.

I went to the cottage for a long weekend last weekend and this weekend am staying home to get something done around here. Not that here is such hard work, I live in an apartment so no lawn or garden to take care of. I don't even have to remember to put the garbage bins to the street on Monday morning. lol I just need to do laundry and dust and maybe clean my fridge... the only thing about buying fresh vegetables is remember to through said vegetables away every two weeks or so.... lol

I haven't forgotten my wip, she's still sitting here faceless. I think I'm afraid of wrecking her. I promise myself to "get 'er done" this weekend!

I did list a new puppet on etsy today though. He's a sweetie...
Meet Se' Emor. He is an other world Hand Puppet.

Often found staring off into the yonders of our world searching for his own, he has a limited vocabulary, filled with a lot of astonishment mostly. "Ah..... ssseeeee...."'s and such.

My puppets are all one of a kind made with fleece, felt, foam and other miscellanea....

Warm hand required for operation.

Have fun!

July 23, 2008

More WIP Carnivale

I'm finally posting the headwear pictures I promised. I've had a lot going on with the DAM team on etsy and needed to take a break from the computer for a while so I finally got all the beading finished on her head piece.


I decided to have two cones wrapped in fibers and ribbons as her actual hair style then covered that with a hat. The cones are made with card stock and glued to the head. I then wrapped a violet scarf around her forehead. Then wrapped the fibers around that. I stitched and glued everything in place. And then started work on the hat.



I made a card stock pattern and I cut two - a top, and a lining. I covered them both with a yellow-gold fabric. Then I covered the top cardboard with a gold-wire mesh ribbon stitching it across the back. I then glued on the lining. Once the hat was in place I could start embellishing that. I added a violet and gold piping around the top, a violet stripe down the center (which covered some of the inevitable gathering when I applied the gold ribbon) and then I started beading...and beading... I still haven't figured what will go on the violet stripe yet, but it definitely is getting something I just haven't found it yet.

July 19, 2008

Etsy's new DAM team


YAY, the DAM team has started a yahoo group and soon a blog. I've been busy working on the banner and custom avatars


and very little on my doll, but I'll post a pic of her headwear tomorrow.

July 17, 2008

Web site facelift today

I didn't get the job I was waiting to hear about but I did update my web site today.... too bad about the job, I really thought it would have been a great fit.

Oh well something good was accomplished! Come see !

July 15, 2008

Team MiniMakers Virtual Trunk Show July 16

Wednesday, July 16, 6pm EST in the Etsy Labs Treehouse.

Please tell your friends and family about our show. Tell everyone you know who loves miniature dolls, dollhouses, collects miniatures, or who is simply curious about the world of collectible miniatures.

This trunk show is a first for our small Team, and those of us who will be presenting our miniatures (non-toy) are looking forward to showing all of Etsy some of our creations.

Come join us even if it's out of curiosity or just to lend your support to fellow Etsy sellers.

Hope to see you and many more at our Trunk Show.

Venice Carnival WIP


I've had a busy couple of days interviewing, errands and more job seeking. I've got a second interview today for a job that I think may be the one so keep your fingers crossed for me.

I was talking to a few people about my use of a knitting needle up the leg of my current work in process, My Venice Carnivale doll. I did buy a brass rod for the purpose but couldn't find it anywhere when I needed it. SO in a pinch I used a double pointed knitting needle. You can just see if peeping out of her toe and into the stand.

She's not fixed in place yet, because I drilled the hole in at the wrong angle, the pose is not quite at the angle I would like. As you can see I've decide on the violet colour for her costume and have been busy beading and otherwise embellishing her. I have plans for her headwear but haven't found all the materials yet. SO I'm on a mission...

July 10, 2008

New Ebay listings and Update on WIP

I've had a bunch of interviews this week, keep your fingers crossed for me. In the meantime I've added a skirt to my Venice Carnival doll and am working on her shoes. I'll try to post more pics soon.

This week I've put up a few things on ebay auction in addition to the items in my etsy store.

Dragon Girl

Kaidon Miniature Dragon

Earth Day Barbie, an altered art adventure

July 4, 2008

New Cloth doll wip "Carnivale"


I've been promising a marionette and what do I do? A cloth doll, well, I think I'm getting closer. I haven't made a cloth doll in a while, it's been polymer, apoxie, and puppets for a while now. I had an itch to costume extravagantly and that's how this one came about.

I was browsing some Venice Carnival photos on a website I stumbled on and started doing some drawings based on some pink and yellow striped silk fabric I bought on etsy. It was only a small remnant but I couldn't resist it! It's been sitting here trying to inspire me to do something with it for about 7 months now...lol and finally!

I didn't take a whole lot of photos of the process but you might be able to get the gist. If anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

When I costume I don't sew the clothes from a pattern, I pin and cut and sew directly on the doll. This means that none of the costume is removable...which is as it should be because my dolls are not play things. Which reminds me... if you haven't signed the petition to give doll artists a category on etsy PLEASE do so. Here's the petition.

June 27, 2008

Not too much new...

Not much new to talk about, it's hotter that heck out today. I mailed my golf club head cover to it's owner and went to get groceries just so I could cool off.

I had an interview downtown yesterday, just as I got to the ticket booth, they tell me the Yonge St. line is closed. I wonder what makes people so despondent that they throw themselves in front of a subway car... it's so horrible... I said a prayer for the person as I walked the extra four blocks to where I had to go.

I am working on a new pair of doll shoes, which I might blog... so check back... I also need to finish one more puppet I have on the go before I start anything new.
Hope you enjoy your day!
Nancy

June 24, 2008

Doll Artists need a home on Etsy: Please Help!

I signed a petition "Dolls and Miniatures Need a Real Home on Etsy". I'm asking you to sign this petition to help us reach our goal of 1,000 signatures. I care deeply about this cause, and I hope you will support our efforts. You can find the petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/add-a-dolls-category-on-Etsy

Working on a commission - Golf Club HEAD Cover

For those of you who haven't seen them, I make custom club covers to look like people. They are caricature style, with a wide grinning mouth as my signature.

I received a request for a custom golf club head cover from a buyer on etsy a couple of days ago and yesterday I got the go ahead on pricing and received the final profile shot.

I worked day and night... well almost... because I was excited to see what it would turn out like. Here's where I'm at so far. the Head is done but I still need to make the club cover and attach the head to it.

Hope you enjoy the process... just click on the photo for a larger view.

June 22, 2008

Domestic Goddess I am not...

I've had the whole weekend to get my house in order but alas, I've found a good book to read, watched a movie with my sister... (P.S. I Love You ... I went through half a box of kleenex... no kidding!), today I was committed to finishing another puppet and alas I have been at the computer for about 4 hours now! YIKES! is that the time?


I got caught up in a forum discussion on etsy about a Doll Artist category which I've been hoping for for two years now... I'm hoping that they'll get the message!

Well, at least I got my laundry done while watching the movie... and my kitchen is clean... now if only I can motivate myself to get away from the mouse and keyboard....
soon...

June 18, 2008

Meet Mookie a Caffeinated Hand Puppet

I'm still working on clearing away some projects that I started but haven't finished.... just in case I have to move! Last week was a bust on the job hunt front... though I have a couple interviews this week... in the meantime, I search the web for the illusive perfect job and break for puppets... lol



I created Mookie after I added a puppet tutorial to my blog last week. You can see Mookie's brother Murple's creation a few posts back.

Mookie is Murple's biggest fan and often tags along on Murple's Karaoke adventures. Mookie's a little wired because he is a barrista at the local coffee shop. He can lead you into in-depth discussions about the best temperate regions for coffee bean growth and swears he's close personal friends with Juan Valdez. I don't know about that Mookie, but I bet there is some Columbian in your circle of close personal friends.

hee, hee!

Half the fun in a hand-puppet is making up a story to go with them.
HAVE A BLAST!

June 17, 2008

Peeps



I finished off my Peeps and listed them in my etsy shop today. They're very cute aren't they?





In Case you don't remember seeing them earlier on in my blog...
These are small egg gourds transformed into a Peeps.



Peeps are funny little egg shaped creatures similar to a wee chick but no wings and no feathers.



They are a wee weirdy found hidden in the undergrowth of the faery world. Only 3" tall.



Very cute! You know you want one!!

June 15, 2008

Murple Puppet Project Part Six


Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of how I did these steps...

I sewed on Murples Feathery hair with a couching stitch (you come out from inside the puppets head where you want the hair to start, then come out and over the feathers and back into the head and out the other side you keep doing this until you have captured all the feather boas core, but be careful you don't catch up too many of the fluffy feathers... try to pull them out form under the thread as you go.)

Then I decided Murple needed a nose and ears. For the nose I cut out an egg shape out of felt pinched it together a bit at the small end and sewed it in place between the eyes. the whole nose isn't sewn down. I wanted it to stick up a bit.



For the ears, I cut out an oval and cut it in half. I then folded ear flat side into a little "w" shape and stitched them in place, then stitched them onto the puppet just below ans slightly behind each head dart.

I also decided Murple needed to have tonsils and a tongue so I cut out those from a deep red felt and slightly clued those onto her black mouth.

One last thing I did was add a line of black on her lower eyelids with a sharpie. I really wanted it to look like Murple had bags under it's eyes. hee, hee.

And that's Murple!
Now make up a story for your own puppet. Murple is off to an all-night Karaoke bar to show off his lovely singing voice. Too bad all those late nights have him developing a slight tick under his right eye... Makes him look a little crazy when he gets on the subway after his late night.

HAVE A BLAST!!!

June 14, 2008

Murple Puppet Project Part Five

Now the really fun part...

I sort through my stash of fun stuff, felts feathers etc and pic things that will go with the color of the body of my puppet. Since Murple is purple I picked a lighter shade of purple and some hot pink felt and some marabou feathers that will make great hair.
I apply most of this with a light glue or hand sew them in place depending on how I want it to look, as you'll see in the next steps. Once again click on the photo to see a larger version.


June 13, 2008

Murple Puppet Project Part Four

This is where the fun begins... just click on the photo to bring up a larger view.



June 12, 2008

Murple Puppet Project Part Three

The next and most exciting parts of the project are creating your puppets face. You could also costume your puppet making clothes but since Murple won’t be wearing any I won’t be going there.



June 11, 2008

Simple Hand Puppet - Murple Part Two

Here's the next steps... if you click on the photo below it will load a larger version of it so you can see it much better.

June 10, 2008

Making a Simple Hand Puppet - Meet Murple


I got intrigued by the personality that comes alive when I make my dolls and often thought it would be amazing if I could make them move. I began investigating puppets and marionettes and while I still haven’t begun my marionette building experiments I have been playing around with simple puppets.

I’ve made several now, and I kind of fly by the seat of my pants and just start with a simple pattern I made based on my arm and hand. I then kind of let the puppet become what it wants to be as I find materials to use and try them on for size. Over the next several entries I’ll show you how I do it in a step by step pictorial. I’ll only be adding simple instructions, but there are lots of references out there including my favorite: http://www.puppetsandstuff.com

So this is how I built Murple.


June 8, 2008

NEW Fairy Slippers


I've been working on learning how to make shoes with my doll club and I was so happy with the way these turned out that I made a shoe box for them too!
Made with wire mesh, gold mesh ribbon, pink and gold silk lining and sole and royal blue glass beads.
Shoes are not an easy thing to make. These took me about 6 hours. SO pretty though aren't they? And only 3".

June 7, 2008

Dragon Girl Part VI




Dragon Girl now has a name... meet Amalia, Lia for short. She has just awakened into her powers of change. Her fae family has been disappointed in her, at her age and still not able to change. One day after meeting what she thinks is her true love, her life mate... she was able to turn to smoke. A day later, she could breathe fire. Now she can "turn".



She is just about done... just needs a little final embellishment before she moves on to her new home.


As you can see I changed her wings and added some scales to the base of her tail!
I love the way she turned out!

June 5, 2008

Still on the job hunt

Boy it's been an interesting week. It's really a full time job looking for work. I've already listed with a half-dozen agencies and recruiters and have been on several interviews. I hate having to turn down a great fit when the money is not right. I've reassessed and manipulated my budget to try to make some of them fit but no such luck.

One of these days, sooner rather than later I hope, something will click. In the meantime I'm getting myself out there. If anyone knows of a company who might be looking for a great Executive Assistant/Marketing person please let me know. I might even post my resume on here so people might bump into me... lol

Dragon Girl is calling to be finished, and I'm itching to get to it. It will be good for me to do something creative and take my mind off my trouble for a little while. Watch for more progress soon.

For those of you who have sent me personal messages .. I thank you for your support! It's great to know I have people all over the world pulling for me!! Thanks for sending your positive vibes!! Keep it up!
Nancy

May 31, 2008

Rough Week

I've just had the crappiest week. It was great to have family visiting from St. John's I hadn't met my cousin Marilyn before and she came down with her mom, my Aunt Alice who I haven't seen in years. We spent a lot of time shopping in the evening after I got off of work and on the weekend. Marilyn is the "QUEEN" when it comes to finding the best bargain anywhere... I swear... I am humbled by her extraordinary finds! Everytime I hear the price "9.99" again I'll think of the excitement in her voice as she said it!

I took my mom to her Oncologist on Wednesday and I am thrilled to be able to report that she has been cancer free for six years now. The doctor even discharged her so she doesn't have to go back to her anymore. Of course there are still the regular colonoscopies, scans etc but so far so good!

Now the bad news... I lost my mother-in-law Fern McGall this week after a long struggle with Alzheimer's. Fern was a wonderful woman who had to struggle with so much later in her life. I will always remember her love of gardening, her afternoon cocktail (some orange juice, cranberry and vodka concoction), her wonderful cooking and slow, steady pace. When she got flustered or tried to remember something her hand would always go to the top of her head in a move reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy. Although I lost touch with her in the past few years, I will miss her.

The other bad news is that I got laid off yesterday at work. Suffice it to say that I am devastated. I felt truly blindsided by the news and am desperately seeking a new job. I have taxes to pay back and no income. I may have to put all my stuff in storage, put my cats up for adoption and move in with my mother. Not a happy camper. Doubt I'll get back to Dragon Girl for a bit as I scour the city for a job.

Wish me luck!!!

May 20, 2008

Dragon Girl Part V

I made another set of wings for Dragon Girl yesterday and I'm still not happy with them... I'll try to bend them out a bit so they flare and embellish a little more. I used a wire armature, then covered with fantasy film and fusable angelina fibre. I very carefully set them up with my embossing heat gun then embellished with paint, glaze, interference powders and micro beads. Either they're not quite there yet or I have to start over....

Unfortunately the project may have to wait a few days as I'm expecting company from the East Coast and don't want to be in a mess when they visit. Putting everything away for now ... and for any of those who know... putting it all way only makes you want to create! So there you have it....