Thursday, July 28, 2011

Front Yard Friends

These three were amazingly unafraid as I quietly approached to take the photo. Beautiful creatures, they leisurely wandered throughout the neighborhood.

My cats seemed a bit irritated and territorial. I've seen them chase off other animals, but thankfully they left these guys alone.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Doll for Marti

Marti is a doll friend who has been waiting patiently for a doll. Last year she ordered two Cecelia dolls. One was dressed in yellow, the other in pink. She decided she wanted a third doll made from a medium brown fabric and dressed in green and purple.

This poor doll has been waiting to be made, production being bumped while other dolls took priority. This is the one I've been working on while waiting for paperclay to dry on my boy doll. Last night I did the face sculpting, and today I'll working on the face painting.

I've been searching online to find various purple/green fabrics of appropriate scale. After her face is painted, I need to pull out my two big drawers of doll hair. I may have a little wig that would fit her, or might use some wool locks.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Paperclay

Thank goodness I'm working on multiple projects simultaneously, because I keep adding paperclay to my project. This way I can allow ample time for the clay to dry, without feeling like I'm idle.

I've just started sanding a little, but can see where I need to fill in the low spots with more clay. It's easier for me to sand the head without ears getting in the way, so I'll add those later. It's important to make the surface as smooth as possible, because the cloth-over will not hide the flaws in the sculpt.

The doll still seems to want to be a little boy, and I'm fine with that. At this point I'm undecided if I'm painting his hair or gluing some sort of fiber to his head. I'm also thinking about costume options. The name will come last.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Just got an email from Julie Breidt, curator of the Hoffman Challenge. I was tickled to learn my doll "Eolande" won second place in the dolls category! I'm just thrilled to have finished my doll with all the drama that's been going on around here (not elaborating, but this, too, shall pass).

Congratulations to all the entrants. The dolls chosen to travel are now up on the Hoffman site. Links to the winning dolls' photos are a little messed up on the Hoffman site right now, but after a little tweaking of URLs, I found them (below). Clicking on the award will take you to the Hoffman site's photo of the doll. Clicking on the winners name will take you to their blogs, or other site.

The awards for Dolls are:
1st place: NANCY HALL, "Blossoms"
2nd Place: ME, "Eolande"
3rd Place: VICKI CROSSLAND, "Reluctant Princess"
Honorable Mention: KAREN MCGREGOR, "Oriental Blossoms"
Curators Choice: STEPHANIE NOVATSKI, "It's the Economy's Fault!"
Most Humorous: DALLAS SILLS, "Fern"
Best First Time Entry: TRUDY WATKINS, "Underwater Friends"
Best Incorporation of Theme: JOYCE JURCZAK, "Paradise"

Don't forget that you can see some of the dolls on my website: so if you know of someone who made a Hoffman doll this year, point them in my direction if they haven't already contacted me. Thanks!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's a...Boy?

I'm making some progress on my DIP, and at this point, I think It wants to be a Boy. Up to this point, I've done no sanding and all the sculpting has been done with my fingers. I'm still adding to and refining features. There's still some asymetry to the face, but that's fixable. When the sculpt is done, I'll add a cloth-over to make the doll a bit more durable. Besides, I like the texture of the cloth-over.

See how the torso seems a bit long? I placed the stuffed parts on top of the pattern pieces, and everything matched. It's just the nature of this particular pattern, I guess. The fact that this doll is barefoot also points me in the direction of a male doll. He'll get some ears eventually.

But I can always change my mind at make It a Girl in the end.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Caressa, Maven of the Coffee House" (ODACA donation)

"Caressa, Maven of the Coffee House" is the doll I've chosen to donate to the ODACA Day Luncheon raffle. She's a one-of-a-kind doll - a prototype - made in 2008 when I was exploring designs for my ODACA Centerpiece doll. I ultimately went another direction for that project, but decided to make this one into a Beatnik-style figure.

She's made of camel-colored craft velour, and is in a permanently fixed position (seated). Her hair is Tibetan lamb. She's about 12 inches tall (seated). Here she is, just waiting for her moussed hair to dry.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dipping into DIPs

For those who don't make dolls, a "DIP" is a doll-in-progress.  I posted a photo of a basket of DIPs quite some time ago, and sadly, the basket hasn't gotten any emptier (and in fact, there are about six DIPs who never made it into the basket).

Within the next couple days I need to send a doll for the ODACA Day Luncheon Raffle. The Luncheon is in Anaheim on July 24th, and as I won't be attending this year, I need to hurry.

I had the brilliant idea of making a new doll for the Luncheon, so I picked a doll out of the basket (the one marked with a red arrow) and have been working on it. She/he needed some significant work on the face, so I've been applying layer after layer of paperclay to build up the features and hide that horrible little puckered face.

Now I can see that there's no way I'll get the doll done in time to get it mailed, so I'll be sending an already-completed doll tomorrow. I haven't decided which one will go, but it must go.

I'll continue to work on this doll, though. The pattern I used is a very old one - Butterick No. 331, patented in 1898 (or 1899?). My stuffed doll seems disproportionately long in the torso, which may be due to the natural stretch of the cross grain of muslin I used, but other dolls of the same era seem to have that characteristic, too. I used this 16-inch doll pattern (my doll ended up being 18 inches tall after stuffing and assembly), but I've also got the pattern in the 24 inch size.

July 16 update: I just had a chance to check out Adele Sciortino's latest newsletter, and guess what? She's announced a "UFO Challenge" that I think will be a good incentive to get this DIP done (a UFO is an UnFinished Object, for those who've never experienced the concept). Just click on "Newletter" at the top of her home page to register for this free newletter that's just packed with great doll information! The deadline for this challenge is October 15, 2011. Submissions will be published in the Winter issue of Creative Costuming Newsletter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Little Organization...and a Book for Sale (SOLD)

I spent a whole day organizing my craft and art books (I've got way more than I'd care to admit), and in the process found I had a duplicate - I just didn't realize it because the covers were different.
So I'd like to sell one of them. This one is no longer in print, and has a copyright  of 2003. I went to Amazon to see how much this book was going for, and the current price is $32.90 for the used books:

The newer version of the book (only the cover is different) is going for $12-14:

I'm asking $12 plus postage (which I'll figure out after I calculate for your shipping address) - to the first person that emails me. The book has minimal shelf wear. SOLD

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Finished Hoffman

I finally finished my Hoffman doll this afternoon. All that's left is the labeling, completing the entry forms, and packaging. Oh, and I've named her "Eolande," which is Celtic for "wild flower."

I think this is the first time in a very long time that I haven't had to send my doll Express Mail to meet the deadline.

The costuming evolved as I worked. I saved her hair for last, and as I had no fringe or other fiber of appropriate color, I settled for Tibetan lamb. It may not travel well, but will be fixable when she gets home (hoping the rest of her survives - like the armature, which is wire).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day!

Here's to a celebratory Fourth of July! It's a gorgeous day here in Astoria, and I hope all the campers, tourists and locals keep safety in mind while celebrating this nation's Independence Day. This year also happens to be Astoria's 200th birthday.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

More Hoffman Progress

I worked on my Hoffman doll all day yesterday, and got quite a bit done. Much of the time was spent making little yo-yo flowers to put on her skirt.

Her sleeves were cut from a blouse made of that weird textured fabric. I don't know if it's silk or some synthetic, but the fabric was difficult to work with.

Today I'll be working on some sort of bodice. I haven't even begun to think about her hair yet.

Friday, July 1, 2011

More fabric arrived!

Bingo! This is the same fabric I bought at Fabric Depot several years ago ( "powder" color). Now I've got nearly 8 yards of beautiful skin tone fabric for dolls with the powder and cameo shades. Here's a photo of the two fabrics side-by-side. 
Maybe I should order one of the ethic shades, too. I've got quite a lot, but all are knits of various kinds - not woven.