Monday, June 30, 2008

Dyeing Tibetan Lamb

After much deliberation, I took the plunge and tried my hand at dyeing Tibetan lamb. Of the information I found on the 'net, much of it was contradictory. Cold water, hot water, liquid dye, powder dye, etc. I ultimately used information found at (thanks ladies!)

I did the dyeing outside, and as it was a breezy day dried the pelts outside, too. This is the first one attempted. I wanted a natural red color, so mixed four colors of Rit dye. I've got two more outside drying. One is a darker auburn, the other a light brownish color - I may stick that one in the pot again.

Unfortunately, I rolled my ankle as I was stepping off the deck yesterday. The pain and the accompanying crunch as I landed made me think I broke something. My first thought was "oh crap, how in the world am I going to walk to work, at work, and along the Las Vegas strip." It's swollen, bruised, and still very painful to walk.

This morning I mixed up another pot of dye (just two colors this time), and I'm not sure if I'll like this one. I may need to add a little something.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


While I decided against this body design for the ODACA Day centerpiece dolls, I've been turning the prototypes into one-of-a-kind dolls. Sophia is from one of these prototypes.

Sophia's made of craft velour. She's in a permanently seated position, about 12 inches tall. Her face is needle sculpted and painted in acrylics. Her wig is sewn on and tied back with a black ribbon. Her fingers are wired. Her head is jointed, so it can turn side to side. Her dress is not removable. I really don't like her platform shoes, but they're what I had on hand (I may replace them with something else later.)

I found her cat on eBay, and guessed/hoped it would be the appropriate size for her.

I've got today off, so I hope to dye my Tibetan lamb for the centerpiece dolls. I've been taking progress photos of these dolls and uploading them to my picturetrail site (still password protected at this time). After the UFDC Convention/ODACA Day I'll unlock the album for general viewing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tillamook Head Trail Hike

I spent the last four days working on the ODACA Day centerpiece dolls, so today I took a break and hiked the Tillamook Head Trail with a friend. We were able to see the Tillamook Head Lighthouse through the light sea mist.
At least 8 miles round trip, it was a very pleasant hike. Cool, no rain, the morning began with overcast skies. I packed a light lunch (sushi, cantaloupe, hummus, crackers, carrots and plum tomatoes). By the end of the hike it had warmed up a bit, and some of the clouds had burned off. Julie took a photo of me standing beside the colorful remains of a huge tree.

Now that I'm home, I'll work on the dolls, continuing where I left off. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, June 20, 2008


The week is at an end, and I can sigh with relief. It's been a long one. Now I look forward to the next five days off... no set plans, just free and easy. Of course, I'll work on dolls (haven't been able all week.) I should also go for a bike ride or two if the weather's decent.

Tuesday, my husband left for southern Oregon for a visit with his siblings. He'll be bicycling the "Mountain Lakes Challenge" century ride tomorrow, with very little preparation. I told him to call me when he was done. He assured me SOMEONE would call me, one way or the other. Meanwhile, the house has been empty and quiet, and has stayed tidy.

Today is also our 16th wedding anniversary. I got a new wedding band, which I love. What a guy! I got him foul-weather gear for the sailboat. Not romantic, but what he wanted.

Joee from Cart Before the Horse recommended visiting this website, and I just had to post it. The landscapes and photography are to die for.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Lovely Sail

We've been fortunate to be able to sail several times in the last few weeks. This day was calm, with just a light wind. Perfect for trying out our new (used) sail, called a "drifter." We sailed up the Columbia to the 39th street pier and had espresso at "Coffee Girl." This is a very cool place to hang out...
This summer my husband and I hope to anchor out near Tongue Point (Lois Island) on the Columbia River and spend the night. Could be romantic.

Monday, June 16, 2008

OK, I was Wrong

Well, I thought I had several days off this week, and that's why I agreed to work today when someone called in sick. It made six shifts in a row, and of course, yesterday sucked. But I discovered that it's not THIS WEEK that I have days off, but NEXT week. Sigh....

So I've only got tomorrow to work on dolls, housework, laundry, banking, bills, order filling...

I'm done with the whining now.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Punched Out

Today was the last in a long stretch of shifts at the hospital, and it was the worst one of the week. I hate it when young people die unnecessarily. One wrong choice ~that's all it takes. Because I so often see what comes from these bad decisions, I'm probably among the most neurotic of mothers. My poor kids.

It felt good to finally punch out today, knowing I have several days off this week. I plan to work on my ODACA centerpiece dolls, and hopefully finish them this week. The dolls are taking much longer to make than I'd anticipated. Just have to stay focused and on task. The legs are done and sewn to the bodies. The only things left are: 1) Dying the Tibetan lambswool hair, making wigs and attaching them to the heads. 2) Costuming. 3) Accessories

About 3 to 4 weeks ago, I decided to start walking to and from work, up and over the hills of Astoria, about 2 1/4 miles each way. I'm doing this because fuel costs so much, and I have to get rid of my "winter weight." I'm sorry to say the pounds aren't melting away. I am sleeping better, though it's been hard getting up a half hour earlier each morning.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Special Doll Club Meeting Yesterday

Yesterday's doll club meeting (luncheon) was held at Roxanne's home in the Scholls/Newberg area. Roxanne is a supremely wonderful hostess, and her home and property absolutely gorgeous. She and her husband Ed have a non-commercial winery. Ed gave us a tour and explained the process of making white and red wines.

We had our wine/grape themed challenge dolls on display in the dining area, as well as other dolls we've been working on.

I just started a flickr account so everyone can see photos of the challenge dolls (there's also a link to the left under "websites to visit" - Reigning Dolls and Bears:

Because we've been meeting quarterly instead of monthly (many of us travel considerable distances to get to club), we started a private Yahoo group to stay in touch, upload patterns, photos and minutes.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Today I've been working on my wine-themed doll for our doll club meeting this Saturday. I've named her "Meditrina," for the Roman goddess of health and wine.

I used some suede knit fabric I had on hand for her body as she's just a prototype (I didn't want to waste my good skin tone fabric while was working out the proportions of the doll, so I used this alabaster colored fabric - really too light for an appropriate skin tone).

Her face is polymer clay with a knit cloth-over, painted to match her skin tone. Her hair is Tibetan lambswool on the hide. Her fingers are wired. She has needle-sculpted breasts.

She's dressed in a very dark navy blue (almost black) silk georgette drapy gown.

I thought she should hold a carafe, bottle, goblet or something fitting with the theme, but had nothing suitable on hand. So I made a polymer clay wine goblet and used fine mica-like powder brushed directly onto the uncooked clay to give it a metallic look. After baking and cooling, I mixed the same metallic powder into a clear varnish and coated the goblet with the mixture.

This photo is a temporary placeholder, because her grapes are not in scale. I've got smaller grapes coming, and hopefully they'll be better.