Saturday, December 31, 2016

Life Book 2016 December Lessons

Life Book 2013 pages HERE
or Life Book 2014 HERE
or Life Book 2015 HERE
or Life Book 2016 HERE
or Life Book 2017 HERE
or Life Book 2018 HERE
or Life Book 2019 HERE

Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Life Book 2015

I've let go of the reality that I'm not going to finish all of the lessons offered in 2015, so made a video of my book this morning - as-is. I still have so many 2016 lessons to left to do, but I signed up for Life Book 2017 anyway. I'm going to try to chip away at the 2016 lessons as I go, so I'm a long ways from making last year's video flip-through.

Merry Christmas!

Here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, and blessings to those celebrating any of this season's holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Another Santa

I finished another Santa doll today. This one is a gift. I forgot to measure him before boxing him up, but I think he's 13-14 inches tall.
"Santy Claws" is made from a pattern by Hand Made With Love. I tried to find gray Kunin shaggy fur online, with no success. I did have some of the honey colored shaggy felt that I bought years ago. There were no illustrations in the instructions (which would have made the face sculpting a whole lot easier), but it's a neat pattern. I made quite a few notes in the margins for next time.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Patriotic Santa is Done!

I've just finished my Patriotic Santa for next weeks' Winter Festival at the hospital (where I work). I may try to make one more Santa from a different pattern, but I may not have a chance - I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new grandson. Due date is today, and I would've bet good money he'd be early, but here I wait.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Life Book 2016 November Lessons

And an artist interview with Gillian Lee Smith

Life Book 2013 pages HERE
or Life Book 2014 HERE
or Life Book 2015 HERE
or Life Book 2016 HERE
or Life Book 2017 HERE
or Life Book 2018 HERE
or Life Book 2019 HERE

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Blessings

"What if, today, we were grateful for everything."

Charlie Brown

Monday, November 21, 2016

Figuring it out as I go

I've got a little time today to make some progress on my Patriotic Santa, so I'm trying to design-as-I-go. I think my next step will be hair/beard/mustache. I don't know...I think he looks pretty weird at this point. Hopefully hair and hat will improve things.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Starting a New Santa

If there's ever a year to make a Patriotic Santa, this is it (whatever your politics may be). So I've pulled out some fabrics in reds and blues, stripes and stars. I'm not sure yet what combination I'll use, but I've got quite a stash from which to choose.

I've sewn and stuffed a basic pancake doll, and just finished a dimensional nose that I'll ladder stitch to the face. This was not the easiest bit to turn right side out and stuff!
Pinning the nose in place.

Nose ladder stitched in place.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sleepytime Santas are Done!

Just finished the last details, and got them photographed. I feel like I've accomplished something!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

So close...

I've gotten the basic painting and shading done on the faces, and am preparing to sew them to the neck stubs. I just might get them done today!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Nightshirts are done!

After I sew on arms, these nightshirts are ready to go on the bodies. This happens before the head/face goes on because they'd never fit over the heads.
Santas sitting around in their boxers; slippers are done.
Stay tuned!

Friday, November 11, 2016

On the Worktable Today

I took advantage of my day off from work, and started sewing two Santas from my Sleepytime Santa pattern. I'm doing two of them assembly line style to best use the time I have to sew.
I bought these two plaid flannels on eBay the other day. I have a third coming, but we'll see how things go time-wise. The Winter Festival (sale) at the hospital is December 9th, so I may or may not be able to get another done by that date.
What I forgot to include in the photo was the felt slippers I've made. The Santa on the left will have black slippers (unless I change my mind). The Santa on the right will have dark gray slippers.
I'm getting ready to start cutting out their nightshirts. It's only 5:30, but it feels much later as it's dark and I've been at this all day.
You can see some of my other Sleepytime Santas HERE or in my Santa Gallery.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"Santa Had A Little Lamb"

Just finished this Santa, and now I'm getting ready to start another from a different pattern. You can find out about the designer/pattern HERE, in my previous post.
This time, instead of using real candles, I made my own from off-white and translucent polymer clay with embroidery floss embedded in the middle for a wick. It was much easier to hot glue these to the tree - the wax candles were problematic in 2011!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Starting a Santa Doll

Now that I've got a couple Autumn dolls done, it's time to start on Winter. Last year, I attended a small sale at the hospital where I work. This year they're planning another Winter Festival. I've requested the day off and will share a table with a co-worker.

I thought it would be nice to bring at least one Santa to the sale. I've got quite a collection of patterns, and pulled out a few possibilities. Last night I started one from a pattern I've used before - for our ER Christmas Party a few years ago. It's called "Santa Had A Little Lamb" by "Hand Made With Love." I have no idea of the age of the pattern (I'm sure I found it on eBay), and I had to do quite a bit of Googling to find out the name of the designer (Pat Baumgartner):
 I found her patterns HERE, and more specifically on this page.
Here's my doll from 2011:

Feel free to visit my Santa Gallery!

November 7 Update:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Pumpkinhead is finally finished

I finished Pumpkinhead's dress today, finally. I would have been done a few days ago, but I never found her dress pattern from before. I had to re-draft a pattern, and then I miscalculated on the waistband so it's a little loose. It's fixable, and the pattern has been corrected for next time. 
She's about 15 1/2 inches tall, which is a nice size. Her clothing is removable.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Hazel the Witch

She's been on my work table for too long. She's getting done today! This takes me back. "Hazel the Witch" is one of my first doll patterns, published in 1999. I still have the pattern available, both in traditional paper format and e-pattern HERE. Pin dolls take just as long to make a bigger dolls in my opinion, and are sometimes more difficult due to their small size.
Did it!
Here are my other Hazels:
Prototype #1
And Hazel prototype #2
Hazel #3, and pattern cover

Life Book 2016 October Lessons

Life Book 2013 pages HERE
or Life Book 2014 HERE
or Life Book 2015 HERE
or Life Book 2016 HERE
or Life Book 2017 HERE
or Life Book 2018 HERE
or Life Book 2019 HERE

A Wet and Blustery Halloween in Astoria

Pretty typical for this part of the world, I feel sorry for the Trick-or-Treaters this year.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Getting There

I've finally gotten Pumpkinhead's face painted, and all now she needs is her dress. Unfortunately, I can't find the pattern I drafted for my first Pumpkinhead, so now I have to recreate it.

 Her legs are dark brown, which matches the brown in the print for her dress.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

More Pumpkinhead Progress

I've worked the past couple days, so not much progress has been made. This evening I finished painting a couple coats of brown gesso on the head and arms. When dry, I will start painting in shades of orange that resemble pumpkins.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pumpkinhead Progress

I've been working on a couple dolls simultaneously. One is an Alice in Wonderland doll (see earlier posts), and the other is a Pumpkinhead sculpted from Paperclay. Boy, I'm really out of practice (not that I was every very good!). I've still got a lot of refining to do, and add a stem, of course.
I've got her dress fabric picked out, and her arms and legs are sewn and stuffed. Now I'm just waiting for the clay to dry before sanding a bit more.
October 23
A little more sculpting today. Once dry, needs sanding.

While waiting for the Paperclay to dry, I picked up an unfinished pin doll I started at least a year ago. I haven't made a pin doll in a very long time: