April 28, 2008

Day Six - Our last day of class

Day Six had us heading out to the Northern Dipper for a gourd class. I must really thank Caroline for being so patient with us as we told her that we really wanted to stretch ourselves and not necessarily take the class she was teaching that day as much as learn about gourds and try something different! God bless you Caroline!

Since Jolene and I were the only two in the class that day she was very gracious and changed things up for us. We both made some gorgeous gourd bowls with a decorative pine needle rim!

We enjoyed the day so much we plan on definitely returning... me sooner rather than later! We also purchased some gourds to practice on in the meantime!

Day Five - AGM Meeting and Workshops

Day Five we head out to the Canadian Doll Artists Annual General Meeting and a couple of workshops. I took an embossing velvet workshop with Deborah Loeban and a Gully Dragon workshop with Wendy Rinehart. Jolene took a Costuming Class with Lise St. Germaine and a face painting workshop with Jacquie Garafalo (not sure that I spelled those right...) out at the Holiday Inn in Ajax.

When we came home we both made some more dragons, I wanted to make one with wings! and shared with each other the things we learned that day.

Day Four - a trip to the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival

Another great shopping trip... thinking we'd head out early and be first in line we were surprised to see that we had alot of walking to do as the only parking spots left were way, way down at the far end of the parking lot! Great shopping day, lots of new fabrics, beads, yarns and stamping supplies. We were lucky enough to pass by the Powertex booth just as they were beginning their next class so we were able to join in. What a great product! Needless to say we both came home with our very own supply to use on future projects! We had a nice chat with the Canadian Distributors and the instructor who came up from the states to demonstrate. You can see our draped Judy's in the photo above. We also came home with lots of books, mine a copy of Brian Frouds' Good Fairies, Bad Fairies which I've been coveting for awhile now and Jolene with a whole bunch of books on Kachina Dolls, and Doll books. We also found some neat leather made from fish skin.... very cool.

Day Three at the Mississauga Doll Artists Retreat

Day Three had us working some more on the projects we had started earlier in the week. Later in the afternoon after a brief adventure at Michael's we started a Pod Leaf Baby or Baby Bling as I liked to call it...
I had done an online class of Marilyn Radzat's and shared what I learned with Jolene as we explored working in miniature.

Day Two Mississauga Doll Artists Retreat

Day Two we were woken up early once again by the local wildlife waiting for their breakfast... not enough that the birds were singing, but my cats were anxious for their breakfast as usual and were quite demanding!

Todays agenda had us going out to the Bata Shoe Museum which was absolutely wonderful! If you haven't been and have an interest in shoes or history it's a must see!

After a quick browse through the gift shop there and the purchase of a couple of souvenirs, we had lunch at the local Firken pub and discussed where we wanted to go next. Queen St. West in Toronto is a wonderful source of inspiration with tons of fabric and bead shops, this has been a favourite wandering spot for us on a couple of occasions and we always find some great things. Two-way stretch materials, feathers, trims and beads galore!

Our trip home had a pit-stop at another mystery shop... the local aquarium supply shop, not only a great marine zoo-like experience they are also a great spot to pick up some driftwood and rock platforms to stage your dolls on. The Aquarium on Dundas in Mississauga even has some live sharks that they feed on Tuesday evenings.

Day Two was also the day we started playing with our Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Our project was a tree based on the instructions Jean Bernard posted onthe Aves website. We had a blast! I was little pre-menstral that day so my tree started out as a Demon throne and ended up with fairie faces! I was so intent on my work that when I looked up and saw Jolene's "ChairMan" chair I was quite taken aback... and I thought I was weird! They are both great chairs and we sure learned alot.

Day One at the MDAR

Day One of the Mississauga Doll Artists Retreat started with a quick lunch then we were off. Our first trip was to our first mystery stop, The Hobby Shop on Dundas in Etobicoke. A hobby shop is a great place to find materials for creating bases to display your dolls on. They have a ton of materials to create trees, bushes, and ground cover, molds for rocks, brass rods, sanding films, paints and the list goes on. I had already bought some green form particles to create very realistic moss on my scouting mission, so on this trip Jolene and I bought some sanding films and some brass rod that I use for inserting my dolls leg armatures into a base so the doll is removable.

We then continued on to our next stop, The Toronto Sculpture Supply shop that a friend from our Etobicoke Doll Artists Group told me about. Here we stocked up on a new product we were going to try out this week. They have all kinds of sculpting materials, molds and releases, tools and reference books available and even a great online shop. Jolene and I bought some Apoxie Sculpt and some tools and although we were anxious to get home and try our new materials we continued on our shopping excursion.

The next stop was the Japanese Paper Place, or it's retail outlet actually The Paper Place. We spent a little time getting lost because I didn't bring my directions to the shop with me... when we finally arrived I found that they didn't really have what I was looking for (some Mulberry paper to use for costuming little fairies), I did find some lovely papers to try. I've read some interesting uses by fellow dollmakers and was intriqued. It was a lovely place to visit and look around but I think the shop is more geared towards other uses... I'll have to look into it a little more...

First Project

Then we were off home again during rush hour traffic, eager to being our first project!
The Mississauga Muse, or Re-constructing Barbie as I liked to call it. I first had this idea when I found a bunch of abused barbies left in my apartment buildings laundry room. It's a place where people will often leave items to be repurposed, or things that have been gently used can be left to find use by someone else. Things don't hang around there too long, if they are not picked up by the end of the day they are put in the garbage so we often wander down to see if there are any great finds. So... one day there was a bag of barbies ... here you can see what we did with them. Mind you this was an on and off project that we continued working on throughout the week.

First we made our Barbie selection and wired her to a base. Then we thought about what she wanted to become. Mine wanted to be a Dryad, Jolene's was calling out to be a totem pole. What's funny is that she picked her barbie first and it was the most perfect one of the bunch. She had great ball joints and twisty waist and long beautiful hair and ended up bing encased in apoxie sculpt so that none of it showed and she couldn't move at all. We had lots of chuckles over that! Here's some pics of what they looked like at the end of our session. Jolene still had a lot left to do on hers, but she has it all planned out and has done a bunch of research on the subject!

Mississauga Doll Artist Retreat

The CDAA 2008 conference was canceled this year with only a few weeks to go. It's a time that I book holidays for and look forward to all year. It gives me a chance to do nothing but socialize with other doll makers and create, learn new techniques and use new materials.

With flight arrangements already made and our anticipation level so high my friend Jolene and I were really at odds with what to do. Jolene had already booked her flight to Toronto from Winnipeg as we do every year so we decided to still go ahead with plans to get together for the week. I quickly did up a little brochure and sent it to her and the Mississauga Doll Artists Retreat was born.

It was a blast planning what we would do during the week. I jam packed the week with field trips to purchase new supplies and even a couple surprise field trips to discover where to get hard to find materials for props and such. I looked for classes we could I created an agenda in no time that almost accounted for every waking moment of our week together!

Jolene arrived on Monday around lunch time and after a quick visit home with the luggage we were off on our first adventure!

Making Hematite Star Flower Earrings