December 16, 2010

Addition for the Gingerbread House Competition

I'm working on a gingerbread house at work for a competition to be judged at our Christmas Party. I didn't have time to finish it with the rest of the team so decided to make an addition tonight. It was a difficult day at the office and I needed a creative outlet... so this was my outlet.

okay, yes a couple glasses of wine were involved but not during the concept stage... I decided the gingerbread house needed a hot tub and deck. I was originally just going to make some people. But was suddenly inspired. SO my elves are on the deck, in their hot tub with some evergreens around them singing Christmas Carols... Fa la la la la la la la la!
I hope I get a picture of it out of the box and attached to the house tomorrow! Here it's packed up to take to work in the morning.

December 1, 2010

Travelling Doll Project Published in January's Doll Collector Magazine

I am so excited to see four of my teams dolls (including mine) published in the January issue of Doll Collector Magazine. Doll Collector published the start of the project in their July 2010 issue so this is the conclusion.

The dolls turned out so beautifully! All of them had quite an adventure!

November 27, 2010

New Listings in my Etsy Shop - Lots on sale!

I've been busy preparing my shop for Christmas, listed lots of new jewelry and a couple more puppets. I organized it into sections based on price... not sure that I like it that way but it should help people find the deals they are looking for this season. It seems more disorganized to me that way.

I've used the Etsy On Sale tool to add discounts of 25 and 50% on items and so far so good.
Some of my jewellery on sale 

I've sold a bunch of jewellery at work, and some patterns and accessories on etsy.

And two new puppets!  Billy Bob and Emma Lou who make wonderful traditional toys and companions that inspire imagination and are great for story telling. Also a blast to make! I have a puppet kit and puppet pattern on sale in my shop too!

November 21, 2010

Chaplin Mission Complete

All signed and ready to go. Just need to find a big enough box to fit him and some bubble wrap!
I'm definitely proud of this one, and I got to try a few new things, like felting the hat. There are some thing I would do differently too. I got away from fleshing out the body fully when I'm doing costuming like this, but this guy could have used more butt.
I think he took a full 7 days to complete when I look back although with working full time and life getting in there I managed to stretch it out to a month.

I hope that Lyndsay, the receiver of this commission loves him as much as I did working on him!

November 20, 2010

Working on my Charlie Chaplin - His Cane and Base

I've added apoxie to the wire cane, drilled through the wood box, inserted the cand and applies a thin coat of apoxie to the base for the textured ground he'll be standing on. The paint bottle is just supporting his cane in position while it dries.  Excuse the mess on my table I've got several projects on the go.

Well Charlie is finally standing on his own. Well the help of his cane any ways. Just need to paint them up and they'll be ready to go.

More WIP with Charlie Chaplin His Hair

Finally Charlie has hair. My friend Jolene in Winnipeg had the perfect curly locks. SO she sent them in the mail. They arrived Thursday and I couldn't wait to get at him this morning. I've used straight mohair for the main coverage, the shorter bits round the sides and back of his head and the curly wool for the top. It's a dishevelled look that's perfect under his felted bowler.

Now I need to find a base for him and make his cane. A few touch ups to eyes and nails and he'll be ready!

November 13, 2010

Work on Charlie Continues

Okay, I've shortened his vest, pressed and hemmed his jacket and tacked down the lapels. He's looking good. Still needs some hair and a cane. I'm about done for today I think.
I need to work on some other projects I've got on the go... but first a nap I think... isn't that what weekends are for?

More WIP with Charlie Chaplin - Jacket continues

Okay it really needs pressing and I've got some finishing work to do, like the lapel and collar... Oh yeah, and the vest is way too long, I'll have to shorten it. I am happy with the progress. Once Charile gets some proper hair and moustache and of course he'll be on track. Of course he still needs a cane and some finesse with his pose. I think today is a good day!

More WIP with Charlie Chaplin - Jacket

Today's the day I managed to sew back to fronts and inside out, so I pulled them apart and started again... then I sewed the sleeve in backwards... take it apart and start again. This fabric frays like crazy and I'm not a fan of fray check it gums up the needle. Take a break... and lay off the coffee...

Speaking of needles did I mention I broke two? You didn't think I do it right the first time did you?
Here are my progress pics.

Now to hem it and try it on to see if I got the size anywhere close to being right.

November 12, 2010

More WIP with Charlie Chaplin

I redid the first pair of pants... too bulky with pockets, pleats and waistband with belt loops and not quiet baggy enough. This pair is just right if a little bit baggier in the waist that I wanted. But with suspenders they look perfect. They'll be covered up with his jacket and vest anyways but I wanted to get them right.

Here he has his shirt, tie and suspenders on with his pants.

 And then with his vest.
 oops, the pictures look a big crooked...

 I dread the thought of making his jacket... uggh! The vest is easy compared to that! fitting those sleeves in and making that collar... yikes! His hair is coming in the mail. I have a friend sending me some curly wool that will be perfect! I hope!

November 9, 2010

Ok, Yes, I'm a bit of a Gleek

I don't watch a whole lot of television, but must admit I'm addicted to Glee. I get so disappointed when the show airs a rerun instead of a new episode. 
I'm psyched to get home sit down with a bowl of popcorn and watch Sue demoralize another student and the rest of the cast sing their way through teenage angst!
Are you a "Gleek"?

Tonight:  Never Been Kissed
Finn and Sam find an unconventional way to control their urges, so some of the other glee kids start using it, too. But Coach Beiste gets wind of it and isn't pleased.

Nov 16: Substitute
A substitute teacher (Gwyneth Paltrow) takes over Mr. Schuester s Spanish class when he gets sick; when Sue fills in for Principal Figgins, she tries to flex his power on campus.
Can't wait to see Gwyneth in this role!!

October 24, 2010

More WIP with Charlie Chaplin

Today I've attached his hands and feet to the body armature and wrapped the body with polyfil. Next step to cover the body and then begin costuming.

I will need to find some fabric to use for his clothing. I am making a trip to the thrift shops to see if I can find something that will work. It needs to be soft but look like suiting. So while I wait for the shops to open I'll wet felt his hat. 

I've laid the wool fibres out over a styrofoam ball, add hot soapy water and agitate under a layer of saran wrap. I used some brown fibres in here too. I only had mohair in the black and it needs anchor hairs to felt properly. Since I will be hardening the felted had afterwards I will be able to add a little acrylic paint so it will be more black.
Here the hat is drying out a bit, but it still could use some shaping. 

October 23, 2010

Work on Charlie Continues

I've now got Charlie's body armature together and have started on his hands and feet well, shoes...
The shoes are baking as I type. I've build up the lower leg first and baked it, then added a foot and shoe to it and am baking them again.

I've used a rubber core for his body and drilled through it to insert the armature wires. Everything is covered with hockey tape. I find this tape super sticky and nothing moves once it's taped up. I am still able to bend the armature wired though. I haven't yet trimmed the arm wires here, and he's just got his ankles in place.  His ankles came off again so I could sculpt his shoes on them.

October 18, 2010

Working on my Charlie Chaplin Commission

It's always so intimidating to try to capture a known personality and this one so classic. I sculpted the head with Living Doll. I love this clay!! However it was so difficult to tell if I had him down or not without colour. So I baked it and started colouring.
 A wash  of Raw Umber and then in with the eyes and a little blushing and classic black coal around the eyes. I still haven't added the moustache, just a bit of coal to see if it would come to life as Charlie or not. No lowlights yet in the eyes either but I think I got it.
Once I costume and add the hair and hat it'll look like Charlie I think.

October 10, 2010

New Ebay Listings today!

Today's task to list some of my work on ebay. I never seem to have the time and get a little complacent and just keep them in my etsy shop hoping the world will find them. Never hurts to have more exposure so I just listed my Jack Skellington Puppet, my Alice in Wonderland dolls, Red Queen, Mad Hatter and Alice, and my Satyr on ebay.
It's a beautiful sunny day here in Southern Ontario so I think I must get outside today.... perhaps after I cut a few more squares for my ornament workshop...

October 9, 2010

Prototypes for Lunch and Learn: Christmas Ornaments

My next lunch and learn series of workshops at  the office will be on November 12th. I've begun with prototypes and pattern for demonstration. Next step is buying and cutting fabrics.

October 5, 2010

Lunch and Learn Puppet Building Workshop Number two

My second puppet building workshop was held at the office today with proceeds to the United Way campaign that our company is running. We made 22 puppets and raised $300 for the campaign. Everyone had a blast and went home with their own creation.
This group photo only shows part of the group... why is it so tough to get everyone in one shot?
A puppet building kit is for sale in my etsy shop, it includes the pattern, detailed colour instructions from the workshop and most of the fabrics and materials. If you just want the pattern with detailed instructions, it's available here too. It's a simple project that you can create with your child as a gift or fun story time friend.

October 3, 2010

Judy's Petticoat in Progress

Gathers and pleats and hems oh my... still need to add about 180 inches of box pleated trim on the bottom... not looking forward to that but so far so good.

October 2, 2010

Judy, Judy, Judy

My local Doll Club started up again with a bang! What a treat! Lise St-Germaine is teaching us how to build a Mannequin, then an authentic Elizabethan Gown complete with petticoat.
Lise works as a costumer in Toronto and although her time is severely limited with her Opera and television projects she is teaching us once a month until we get this done.

Today I took some time to work further on my mannequin or Judy as I like to call it. I still need to create a stand for it. There will be dowel inserted into the Judy's base and then the dowel will be inserted into a stand. I still haven't found what I'll use for that yet. But I love the way my Judy turned out! YAY! Thanks Lise!!

September 21, 2010

Another great treasury!

I've been featured in another great treasury this one by ArjasUni who does some beautiful work! Check out some of the wonderful blue items she has collected for this treasury!

September 19, 2010

September 14, 2010

My Slippery When Wet Treasury on Etsy

I just created another etsy treasury, this time for the Etsy.... everything wonderful in life!
A group I belong to trying to get our work to the front page of Etsy.
Hope you like it!

September 8, 2010

Love a Good Goat Treasury

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd...
I've been featured in this unusual goat treasury by nhquiltarts on etsy.

She makes the most glorious quilts. This one is my favourite!

September 6, 2010

This weekends Experiment Wet Felting and Nuno Felting

I worked on several felted scarves this weekend.
The first wet felting: For my first time I think it's ok. Some thin spots, that's ok, gives it character. I used some needle felting wool for the first layer of black then another layer of combed fibre or roving. I didn't have enough to do it all with roving.

I think I'll try the nuno felting tomorrow. I have a piece of silk guaze to try it on. Uses less wool fibre and as I don't have that much of any one colour. I have lots of the light blue for some reason... so I might save that for another felted scarf attempt.

Okay same post... different day. Today I made two attempts at Nuno Felting. I had some silk gauze in my stash so cut a couple of pieces and tried to felt them together. The first one I used fibres on front and back and tried to join two pieces of silk together while felting. Results kind of like it was just wet felt. The fibres covered too much of the silk so it didn`t wrinkle up like it should have. Not soft either and the join shows a gap between the two pieces of silk that didn't felt up properly or most likely shifted during the process.

The second one is green and white and black is softer less silk covered. It is soft and more silky though and it's just a short one... just enough to tie around the neck or wrist a couple times. Fibres only on one side. I like it better.

I'll try it again for sure. I find the rolling relaxing and the laying out of the fibres a creative experiment.  I found this wonderful website that got me excited about trying it out. There are great video's to accompany the written text too! Have fun!  Here's the link

Etsy Reflections of Autumn With Warm Brandy

Golden autumn colors, a sense of melancoly as we gaze into the fire with a warm brandy and warm arm around our shoulder. The skitter of leaves drifting down the sidewalk, squirrels hiding away their bounty, harvest coming to fruition.

August 29, 2010

My Travelling Doll Returns Home


D'Sil and Olin have reached the end of their journey and what tales they have to tell. My travelling doll started out as just a head, hands and feet attached to a wire armature, only wrapped in polyfil and Olin just a pair of feet.  
The journal that I sent along to record the story, a small one, only a 4 x 5" notebook with an experimental cover and a magical story or a disallusioned wizard and the vague tale of a companion he meets along the way.
The returned to me quite different from what I expected but no less grand or than my tale. I couldn't be happier! Of course I got to see his progress along the way as the dolls in the travelling doll project were regularly posted on the ADO Travelling doll blog. If this is your first time reading about it, you must go read the stories of all 28 dolls that made this journey to multiple countries and talented doll artists.

The journal is now full to bursting with stories, pictures and trinkets collected along the way.
D'Sil fell in love and got married in Texas, his wife Vaudeville left him to journey to Germany and his companion showed it's true self. They travelled on to Iowa where he met Marie, they soared across the heartland and found themselves in the foothills in California where they caught gold fever and panned for gold and jewels, back in Iowa they were chased by squirrels and they ate home cooked meals, and in England they spent some time with another magician to learn magic that made people laugh. They went on a treasure hunt to find more magical things and great medallion. Scotland, Stonehenge and even to see King Arthur and the Lady of Shallot and finally finding a great copper medallion before they flew home to me.

Along the journey he acquired more clothing trinkets added to his costume. Olin got some wings and funky tail and mane.

 I am truly honored to have met some wonderful people, fellow doll artists and to have had a chance to work on their dolls. All were very different and had their own unique stories that developed. It was a lot of work, some of it very time consuming. I learned new things about my city as I involved the doll in it's history, or in Ruby's case shopping! I explored new techniques, made lots of shoes and underwear for the dolls that came my way. I had a blast.

Here are the dolls I got a chance to work on when they were with me and a final peek at how they turned out in the end.
First Sally's doll, Satinka. She didn't even have a name when I first got her, just the impression that she loved Native American and the Painted Dessert. I made her some rawhide boots.

 Then Paula's doll Lady Wisteria Asquith Jones. I made her some lovely knickers.

Then a visit with Lisa's doll Wild Thing who took me on a crazy ride through the sixties.  While with me Wild Thing got some new go-go boots and a tie-dyed dress.
Then I received Cindee's Chloe. A button-eyed wonderful doll who got a pair of lacy, beribboned stocking and silk flats while visiting me.

and finally Abi's doll Ruby who also got a pair of knickers, a silk purse and silky lace up sandles from me and coaxed me into taking her shopping in Yorkville and to a posh resort in Muskoka before she journeyed home to Texas.