May 29, 2011

Davy's WIP continues today

After a busy day shopping with mom I finally sat down to work on the rest of the Kracken. I added colour and positioned his last four tentacles, propped them up to set and added his head. Now it just needs to set up before I get back in again. Maybe tomorrow night.

May 28, 2011

Davy's Busy Day More WIP

After the undercoat of navy, I've built up a green layer, looks kind of algae like now.  Actually the real thing looks better than the photos. This is  many slow layers of paint, and sponging away. It builds up in some spots more than others and gives it a more natural ageing appearance. Of course then I have to go back and shine up the bits I want to glimmer, like some gems and coins and pearls. It's looking better now, not so souvenir shoppy with all the shells. More old and undersea crusted like I imagined.
 As I said, not so much so in the photos.

Here you can see that I have to prop up my tentacles as I attach them to the head of the Kraaken. I decided to give them a quick and dirty under paint before attaching them because there would be no way I could do them justice once attached. That way I just need to paint the attachment bits and the head and touch up the tentacley bits once I get the head of the Kraaken underway.

I must say it's been a rather full day with this one. Only a short break for lunch, dinner and a sip or two of my favourite vintage before I was off and at 'em again. I'll let the piece set up over night and get cracken on the rest of my Kraaken... snort... I know... but come on who could resist the pun!

More WIP on Davy's Secret

I've built up several watery base coats of a blue for the undercoat and shadowy areas of Davy's Secret.

Davy's Secret WIP continues

Spent some more time today with my apoxie adding it to Davy's base and encrusting it with gems and shells.

Then on to the tentacles. I've done one of each set. They're hanging off the knobs on my drawers so they don't squash. Once they've set up I'll test fit and correct the fit before I do the other side of the double tentacles wires I've set up. Then I'll fit them around my Kraaken's neck and finish work on him.

May 21, 2011

New WIP Davy's Secret

I'm working some more on what I think I'll call Davy's secret.
I bought a tutorial from Jessica at Doll Project.  Here's a picture of Jessica's wonderful Secrets Bust.

I'm not going to go into detail with my work in progress, because I don't want to give away Jessica's wonderful tutorial. I'll just show you bits of how it's coming along. You can buy your own copy of this wonderful tutorial at Jessica's etsy site. I do mean wonderful, the pictures and descriptions and options are just great! Jessica also works with apoxie sculpt for this project. So if you've been following the blog hop for Kerin Gale's book you can really play with it with Jessica's tutorial. Her work is absolutely gorgeous!

I got the treasure map and altered quote I wanted for the tin. I took it from one of the Pirate's movies but added a little something. Then I added some paint to the treasure box. I added it to the outside too, some gesso and just a bit of brown from the inside. I'll wait for it to dry and then add some apoxie to the back and stick it in place before I run my errands for the day.
I also worked on my "kraaken" octopus which will be hanging over Davy's shoulder. I made the tentacles separate so they will be easier to add the apoxie to. I doubled four wires, shaped them and place them on the octo head so I could get them to fall where I think I wanted them. After I bent the wires into position. I took them off again and foiled and taped them to bulk them out.You can kind of see them all bundled up there in the background.

I bought some shells and gems yesterday at the dollar store. I can't wait to see how he turns out. Not sure if I want seaweed hair or something else. I thought I might do the seaweed with felted dreads. Not sure yet. I'll wait until I get him done I think before I decide.

May 6, 2011

Making your work stand out is an artists responsibility

It's too true, and so many questions about success are answered by the very simple phrase  "A picture tells a thousand tales". 

I've been struggling with photographing my work since I started selling my work on line. I've bought several cameras, took classes and tried different lighting. Knowing that the picture is the first impression when selling online is key to your success and it's a lesson I'm still struggling with. You can write great copy and promote like crazy but remember your online buyer can't pick up your item or look closer so you need to tell the tale with pictures. GREAT PICTURES! Pictures that make you want to click through and look closer and hopefully be so entranced that they will buy your creation.

So, in an effort to knock down that final hurdle to success, I finally consulted with, lucky for me, a truly wonderful photographer. I think he took pity on me and my dollies and graciously agreed to take pictures of some of them for me. I've shared some of his work in my post yesterday but I want to share them all. Everyone of them is a treat for me! They make me take great pride in my work. They are crisp and clean and amazing. They make me shake my head and say wow! I did that? That's my creation? 

I take photos along the way as I make a doll, it documents my process so I can share them with your but when it comes to the final finished photos? Well, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Ron's Tips: 
"Using proper camera and lighting for portraiture, in this case for documenting different perspectives and details of dolls, is important in order to market the artist's work and relay their vision. Today anyone can easily take a picture, but very few pictures are photographs worth noting. The artist's responsibility is to make their work stand out from others and good photography does just that. If one takes great pride in their work, then it goes that one should take the necessary strides to market that work to potential buyers with beautiful imagery, and beautiful imagery sells."

The following photos are from Ron Jocsak's websites you really must visit to see the spectacular images! Please respect his copyright and do not remove his watermark or reuse the images in any way.

A portrait is about capturing the character or spirit of individuals, which is why having a portrait taken should feel like the most natural thing to do... the result is often extraordinary! I provide portrait photography for home pages, magazines, brochures, corporate websites, families, and special events. My clients receive the portraits in digital format for print and web, and I can deliver print for archive and/or framing as well.
In Business ... "a great corporate portrait is important... it relays confidence and trust, demonstrates approachability, communicates professionalism and expertise, and contributes to brand recognition that translates into sales".
For Personal and Family ... "creative family and individual portraits capture important milestones in people's lives that may never occur again. New arrivals, special occasions, candid moments and group gatherings offer wonderful opportunities to delight in, and later, to reflect back on these special times".

Interpretative Fine Art and Contemporary Landscape
My photography is characterized by simplicity, and clear, uncluttered images.
Nature, with all it's inherent beauty, has always influenced my life. I have unique perspective and understanding of our planet's geography, geology, and geomorphology, having been a petroleum geologist for nearly 25 years. My geologic passion fostered my passion for photography early on and I continue to hone my skill set and vision as a professional photographer. My interpretative fine art and contemporary landscape imagery has evolved through an appetite to explore and document striking landforms, textures, earth tones and ambient light. It is an expression of my respect and love at the land-water-atmosphere interface.
My art can be captivating, symbolic and unique. Nature constantly provides new material for my creative thinking and inspiration. It is always slowly evolving and changing... in a manner not too different for the change and adaptation required in the human process.

May 5, 2011

Day #6 - Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams Book Tour

Okay are you sure you're comfy? Make sure you have a nice cup of tea or if you're lucky enough perhaps a cup of my favourite cup of Tim Horton's  and be sure to read right to the end of this post so you catch all the bits about the great prizes up for grabs on this tour!

About the book I was delighted when Kerin invited me be part of her wonderful book Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams. She has included my Reluctant Prince in her wonderful book on using resin clay.

Her book is a wonderful resource for all those who have been curious about using this wonderful medium in their work.

Resin clay has amazing properties. It sets up quickly, I smooth it with water, drill it, sand it, add colour to it or paint it I also use it like you would use grout!
It's even super tool around the house!

Inspired Remnants Curious Dreams can open up your world to new ideas! Both the book and the materials she uses should be part of every multi-media artists studio. Easy to follow project instruction will inspire you!

Books and Workshop Deals If you haven't already purchased the book or have wanted to take one of Kerin's terrific workshops she has them in her etsy shop.
Be sure to send a note to Kerin when you check out with Paypal, tell her you heard about this offer on littlebitwired's blog and she'll give you $5.00 back.

My Product Tips My favourite resin clay is Aves Apoxie Sculpt and I buy it locally in Toronto from Sculpture Supply Canada and  Curry's art store.
It has a bit of a smell, kind of like stinky feet but not that unpleasant... LOL
It can be difficult to remove from your fingers though so I keep a scrubby and warm water handy in a little plastic bowl. I also make sure I clean any material from under my nails as soon as possible.  Of course you can use gloves but I prefer to feel the clay when I sculpt.
I also find there is a certain point when it is very sticky, which is also a good time to use a touch of water, or just leave the clay for about ten minutes until the sticky stage passes. You can add it to a sculpture that already as been baked or even before it goes in the oven.

Sometimes it can droop a little, plan ahead! It's easy to work in stages or construct parts separately and put them together with apoxie sculpt when the difficult bits have cured. Follow my blog post during February and March of this year for my work in progress posts on my Dark Warrior Angel 'Elena' and see how I did this with her gorgeous boots! 

I use Aves Apoxie Sculpt to set my armatures into their poses, create bases and props, and even sculpt with it!

How I use Apoxie in my work
Dryad Barbie was the result
of my first experiment
with Aves Apoxie Sculpt.

Here's a sample of some of the dolls I make visit my etsy Art Doll shop to see more of my dolls, puppets and patterns and be sure and stop by my LittleBitWired shop to see some of the other things I do and some great sale items! discovered Apoxie Sculpt at the Creative Festival in Toronto one year. The next day I started playing with it and my adventure with Barbie began. With the help of the apoxie sculpt resin my Dryad was firmly fixed to her base.

Peep is an egg gourd with wire
and apoxie sculpt.
See him in my etsy shop.
Apoxie and gourds are wonderful things!

Setting the joints in place with apoxie to hold
the dolls pose.

I use apoxie to strengthen my armatures. It keeps the wires together and maintains the pose for dolls that need to stand on their own.  

I use it to make the feet of my dolls too. The weight of the apoxie helps keep a figure standing without a base.

A simple brass tube can also be wired and fixed in place to insert a  figure into a base with a post set into a base so the figure can be mounted on it through the brass tube.

It works wonderfully to add to a base or to create props like canes, tree stumps, rocks and cobblestones. With the addition of acrylic paints, glazes and little bits of nature stuck into it you can make your bases into realistic settings for your figures.
Apoxie Base detail for Reluctant Prince from
Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams
(the base not shown in the book, but is worth a look).

Charlie Chaplin was a one of a kind commission
featuring apoxie over a wood base, apoxie hands
and shoes.

My elderly Satyr has apoxie feet base and cane. I'll have more on Ron Jocsak's photography tomorrow.
I've also used it to embed things like mosaic and the apoxie can be tinted with acrylics or dyes while mixing or before applying your mosaic tiles. It can be stamped into and with powders or paints the textures can really pop!

Journal cover for Travelling Doll Project 2010
Apoxie covers this chair armature and creates a wonderful work of art! 

I also sculpt figures with it. My Reluctant Prince was in Kerin's Book.
More on Ron Jocsak's photography tomorrow.
My Dragon Girl Amelie uses several different technique using Apoxie Sculpt.
More on Ron Jocsak's photography tomorrow.

Apoxie can be applied to anything to create wonderful boots and shoes. The boots for my Angel Warrior were built in stages, the heel was added to the sole and the boot uppers were built up into fabulous boots!
Elena my Angel Warrior was based on a book cover by Nalini Singh.
She uses apoxie in her armature her wings armature, sculpted upper body,
arms, handsand of course her fabulous boots. She's brand new in my
etsy shop today
. More on the wonderful photography in tomorrow's post.

My Ent was also made with apoxie, head and hands were sculpted with it and pine cones were attached with apoxie. 
Kerin has organized a whopping 108 prizes for this blog hopping book tour!
Just leave a comment on my blog post for an entry to win and at the end of the tour I'll be picking six lucky winners for one of the following prizes!*
When you leave your comment just say where you posted (facebook, twitter, your blog, etc.) Each post is worth one entry in my drawing!

Prize drawing extended to May 26, 2011. (Please be sure your blog profile has an email address where I can contact you if you win. You don't have to post it here for security's sake, If in doubt try contacting me through my etsy page.)

1. Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams Book
2. One Aves Power Pack (selection of their most popular formulas) from
3. Fluid Chalks Online Workshop by Lesley Venable on her The Art Of Altering site which features many other awesome online workshops
4. Two Digital Collage Sheets by Alicia Caudle of Altered Bits. You can see her very unique and cool collection at
5. Sample pack of Silputty 40 silicone putty mold mix from Silpak. This is the formula Kerin recommend in the book that has the longer cure time. 6. 1 OZ ICE Resin and a mixed metal bezel from

But wait there is even more!!!!
7 Grand Prizes For Book Reviews*
Write your own review of the book! Any reader that writes a review ~ however short or long~ of Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams on or or before July 31, 2011 and sends an email with the title “Inspired Remnants Review” to will be entered in a drawing to win one of these prizes. 
Please note that your honest opinion is wanted on this review.

A) The art piece featured on the cover of the book, “Sacred Totem”
B) Power Pack plus extra Fixit Sculpt clay from Aves Studio
C) Frozen Charlotte Doll with digital tutorial “How To Crackle Charlottes” from Alicia Caudle of
D) Resin Clay Pendants online workshop by Kerin Gale from
E) Vintage Gentleman online workshop by Kerin Gale from
F) Choice of any one workshop being taught by Kerin and Charley at Art Is You retreat in Petaluma, CA. The registration fee and workshop cost are both waived.
G) One copy each of Jen Cushman's book, Explore, Create, Resinate and Susan Lenart-Kazmer's book, Making Connections plus ICE Resin and a selection of bezels all from
Here are the rest of the tour stops be sure to stop by each day:  
May 7 

May 8  Happy Mother’s Day

May 9   
Beth Robinson, Strange Dolls 

May 10   
Brenda Schweder, Brenda Schweder Jewelry  

May 11 
Esther Verschoor, Vanessie Art Dolls  

May 12 
Kecia Deveny, Lemoncholy’s Flight of Fancy

May 13   
Rachel Whetzel, A Year In The Life Of An Art Journal 

May 14   
Shannon LeVart,  

May 15   
Marlaine Verhelst, Marlaine Verhelst Art Dolls 

May 16  
 Lisa Jurist, Mud Hound Studio 

May 17   
Michelle Bernard, Yesterday’s Trash 

May 18 
Kerin Gale, Remnants of Olde – Alan Rogerson feature 

May 19 Facebook Party! 
Apoxie Clay & Epoxy Clays Page

* Please note SOME prizes include shipping to U.S. addresses only.

ah, ha
You've read to the very end of my blog post so a special treat for you!
Here's a little photo demonstration of how I make my own buttons with Apoxie Sculpt.
Leave a comment about the buttons for your chance to win the six buttons shown.

Each button is about 3/4" wide.


 Hope you enjoyed today's spot on the
Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams Book Blog Tour!
Good Luck on the Prize Draws!

The Wonderful World of Scott Radke

Another wonderful doll artist to feature! Enter the wonderfully dark world of Scott Radke who also works with apoxie sculpt. I am so intrigued with marionettes I couldn't help but feature some of Scott's work.

Be sure to stop by all the artists involved in Kerin Gale's blog hopping tour for her new book Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams. Today's official stop on the tour is with Seth Apter, The Altered Page

Making Hematite Star Flower Earrings