Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's a Miracle...ok, a small miracle

I actually finished a doll today. Pay no mind that she was supposed to be my AUGUST challenge doll for our doll club. Poor thing just kept getting pushed to the back burner. I used Patti Culea's pattern "Silvery Nights Angel."

I thought about making her a fairy instead of an angel, but can't decide what to use for wings. So for now she's just a lady doll.

Her face is paperclay over muslin, painted with Messy Mix and acrylics. I used little scraps of Tibetan lamb for her hair, glued in place like a puzzle. She's not really standing on her own, I just Photoshopped the pole of the stand out of the picture. Now I've got to think of a name for her. Time to check the big list of names pinned to my studio wall.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

On Cats, Boundaries, and Paperclay

Why is it that cats seem to have no boundaries? I swear, leave a door open, and they make themselves right at home. I went to the spare bedroom to grab a pattern, and this is what I found. Small boxes, big cats. I think they even gave me a look that said 'how dare you interrupt our nap?'

I've been stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of adding paperclay to my Izannah doll, then sanding it back off again. Headed back out to sand some more...

Now I'm back and have added more clay. *sigh*  I think I'll add some ears when this new clay has dried.

This Izannah-inspired doll is being created in Dixie Redmond's Izannah Workshop. Visit the blog for the details HERE.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Baking Dolls

I hope to finish the paperclay step of my second Izannah workshop doll today. Putting the doll in the oven (I've got it set to about 180 degrees) helps to dry the paperclay faster. I haven't done any sanding yet, so she's still pretty rough. I've still got quite a bit of sculpting to do. I've yet to finish her nose, and she doesn't have any lips. Then everything needs to be refined.
This is my first Izannah workshop doll. The sculpted paperclay is covered in a cotton knit. I'm ready to paint, but want to bring the second doll up to this stage so all the painting can happen at once, including both sets of arms and legs. I hate cleaning up my painting mess, so I only want to do it once.

These Izannah-inspired dolls are being created in Dixie Redmond's Izannah Workshop. Visit the blog for the details HERE.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Play Day

Yesterday was an Ivan day. What a good natured toddler. I'm amazed at all his new words each week. The weather was unusually good (for February in Oregon), so we walked to the park with the "doggy-woof." I learned that Tapiola Park is named for a district in Espoo, Finland, in recognition of the large number of Finnish immigrants who pioneered early Astoria. It features Astoria-theme playground elements, including a miniature Flavel House and Trolley.

Today is a Doll Play Day. Danielle is coming over in a few hours to work on our Izannah Workshop dolls, though my studio is in no fit state for company right now. I've got a little time to tidy up and get some snacky things. It's important to have a bit of chocolate (nothing too melty that it'll get on the dolls), protein, coffee, and maybe a little wine for later.

Update: we had a fun and productive day. Here's Danielle working on her Izannah's dress. Our dolls are in the oven right now, speeding up the drying of the paperclay.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not finished, but getting there...

I'd hoped to finish my latest Averill doll this weekend. I didn't, but at least I made good progress. Her costuming is a little different from the original - a duster/coat and vest that opens at the center front. Now I've got to figure out how to make  black boots for her.

I was going for a sort of goth look - really not my style, but good to think outside the usual. Of course, that made me realize that there are different twists on Goth. So I went with something a bit more comfortable for me - sort of a Victorian interpretation.
Her hair is knitted eyelash yarn. The colors in the skirt can be found in the yarn.

I've just had new Averill molds made from a fresh sculpt. I was unhappy with some of the anatomic abnormalities of the original (I'm learning as I go.) So now I have to make another Averill doll with this new, modified face so I can update the printed instructions for the mold. Her features are a little finer - smaller nose and lips, more of a chin, etc.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A little of this, a little of that...

I've got today off, with no obligations but the laundry. I'm taking the day to make some progress on the multiple dolls I'm working on simultaneously. I think I may add photos throughout the day.

My Izannah Walker doll is coming along. I've done some sanding, and roughly sketched in some features with pencil to get an idea of how she may look. Now I'm putting her aside to work on an Averill doll, which I hope to finish today.

This Izannah-inspired doll is being created in Dixie Redmond's Izannah Workshop. Visit the blog for the details HERE.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Joys of Paperclay

I'm in love with paperclay, specifically Creative Paperclay brand - though I haven't tried other brands. Easy to work with, air-dry (or not), easy to sand, and lightweight.

This morning I built up the features on my Izannah Walker doll a little more. I've still got some shaping and sanding to do, which will have to wait.

This morning I've been assembling a large photo montage for my mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary, which we will be celebrating tomorrow. I need to add a few graphics to the display, but it'll have to wait until after my morning nap. Don't know why I had insomnia last night, but I was up at 4:30. That's just craziness.

This Izannah-inspired doll is being created in Dixie Redmond's Izannah Workshop. Visit the blog for the details HERE.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Looking around my sewing room, I realize there's no less than four ongoing projects lined up for completion. and that's not including all those dolls in the to-do basket (I'm not even going to say how many there are, it's that embarrassing).
This doll-in-progress on the left is from Dixie Redmond's Izannah Walker Workshop. The most recent layer of paperclay is drying. I've been trying to sculpt the face while looking at photos of the originals. The faces on the original Izannah dolls appear to be quite simple, but it's been challenging to get the shapes and contours just right.
This is that Mystery Doll I've been working on since August for a doll club challenge. We decided to pick a couple patterns from the now-defunct Cloth Doll magazine, both angels. I wasn't happy with the shape of this one's head, so I've been applying paperclay. You can see more in-progress photos of this doll HERE and HERE.
These are the patterns we chose for this challenge ~ Lark's Angel by Eliese Peeples, and Silvery Nights Angel by Patti Culea.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hoffman Challenge 2010

While I'm not anywhere near starting my Hoffman Challenge doll (you all know how I put things off 'til the last minute), I thought I'd put it out there again that I'll be collecting photos of doll entries again.

This year's challenge fabric is pretty. I've already received my fabric (I usually get mine at - not affiliated, just appreciate the good service). I haven't even begun to think about the doll. I'll have to review the entry guidelines again before I get started, to make sure it fits within the size limitations.

This morning I set up the webpage that will host the 2010 dolls. Come on over and check out previous years' dolls HERE.