Sunday, July 31, 2011

KK Doll Gets A Body and Serendipitous Socks

Worked at the weekend to give this new doll a body. Although not strictly a reproduction Kaethe Kruse-type body, it's a reasonable facsimlie. I haven't been able to work out just from old photos exactly how her bodies were constructed, but the were quite complicated with lots of seaming to give them the characteristic shape. For example, each leg alone had four seams and the feet were constructed from separate pieces. Also, she used "nettle cloth" (don't know what that is), and reindeer hair for stuffing (where am I going to get THAT from!!)
So this week I am going to work on an outfit for this doll - I've been looking at pictures of original Doll 1's to get some ideas. I already had these vintage socks which I bought in 2003 - they have never fitted anything I've made, but serendipitously, they fit this doll perfectly.

Later this week I'll be posting about the upcoming giveaway, so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kaethe Kruse Lookalike Doll

Do you remember some time ago I posted about a Kaethe Kruse look-alike doll that I had started?
I've finally started painting it in oils (like the originals). Having fun re-visiting oils, which I love to use, but don't very often these days. Here's a progress picture - still a long way to go, but I need to let this layer dry first...................which is the reason I don't use oils very often - I get impatient waiting for things to dry, when I want to get on with it!

-and another picture. Coming along!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Stuff

Having recovered from my emarrassing mathematical faux pas (and having come clean about it!) here's what I've been doing. The little doll got her unders and a white pinafore before I sent her off to a new home across the seas. And I've been making more Zozies to put in my Etsy store a a couple of's one. Keep your eyes peeled for the giveaway.....coming soon!

OK, So I CAN'T Count!

Well, maths was not my strong point at school. In fact I was downright BAD at it. I loved art, music, French, biology, English literature, home ec.......ANYTHING but maths! So you might forgive me for getting the numbers wrong in my previous post.............and nobody told me that 29 035 + 65 is NOT 30 000! It's only 29 100. Duh! *smacks forehead with palm of hand*. So I'm the odd few hundred short of my 30 000 page views giveaway. But never mind, it will be happening soon anyway - I've got a few things to finish off this week and then I'll be making a special little something for someone to win.

Exit stage left, mumbling "How did I get that so embarrassing!"

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Doll and an Announcement

Here's a little doll I've been working on this week. Of course, she's still waiting for her underwear and I'm thinking I might make her an apron. She's quite small - around 10". I photographed her with "Viola Rose" to show just how small she is (and to show off Viola's new crochet capelet and shoes)

I'm announcing here that I will be having another giveaway soon - when I pass 30 000 blog views.
That seems like a good enough excuse to celebrate! Last time I checked, it was 29 035, so only 65
more and the milestone will be reached. That will probably happen in the next few days, so stay tuned for what the prize will be and  what hoops I'm going to make you jump through to win it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I've Been Featured!

A week or so ago I got an email out of the blue asking if I would consider answering a few questions for a feature on this site, a big online shopping site. The interview, is on this blog here, edited by Max Shpungin  and it focusses quite a bit on my ideas about blogging. (You know I love to blog!) Check it out.

Meanwhile, here's what I'm working on this week (as well as getting my tax stuff in order for my accountant......YUCK! I hate doing it, but it is a necessary evil!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Making Music

I've just participated in a wonderful Winter Workshop that our community orchestra hosts every year. I had great intentions of taking lots of pictures, but my camera battery was almost flat and - silly me - I forgot to take a fully charged spare. So I only got this one photo of Darren our trombonist extraordinaire before the battery gave up the ghost.

Our guest conductor for the workshop was Willem van der Vis from Melbourne. It was hard work and we attempted some challenging pieces, but it was totally absorbing and a great way to spend an evening and a day. We always end these workshops with an "open rehearsal" in front of an audience - not a performance as such, because the four works are still works-in-progress. We will probably play at least some of them at our end of year concert.
If you've ever been a little tempted to join a community orchestra, my advice would be to just jump in and do it! It's a wonderful, fun supportive way to enjoy making music with others and you might surprise yourself with what you can do! I play second oboe in our orchestra, but I'm also playing first violin with the "Piccolo Strings" which is a training orchestra - strings only. I've been learning violin for about a year and a half from a wonderful , positive teacher who also happens to be the usual conductor of our orchestra.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New In My Etsy Store

I have just listed a new PDF, which I put together as a result of many requests for information about this subject. The PDF covers making a moulded hairstyle for a doll - just like I have done for these dolls:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Viola and the Big Wind

Here is the doll I was working on this week almost done. Her stockings are painted - I just need to make her some little leather shoes, underwear and a little crochet tan cape. Her simple dress has a bit of hand embroidery and the gingham binding at the bottom of the sleeves to liven it up a bit. She's called "Viola Rose" and she has cloth over clay head and lower limbs and cloth body and upper limbs.
We've been having a quite  a "traditional" cold, snowy, wet, windy winter this year - like the winters of more than ten years ago. Recent winters have been much milder with hardly any snow in the mountains and not much in the way of wind. This is what we saw when we looked out on the morning  of July 4th after a night of particularly wild, stormy weather - our little greenhouse blown off its footings and just a mangled wreck of aluminium and broken glass! Fortunately our insurance covers it, so we will be able to get a new one before summer.

Serene little Viola

Viola closeup

After the storm!

Monday, July 4, 2011

In My Studio.......

I'm working on one of my "historically referenced" dolls at the moment. I call them this because, while they are not copies, reproductions or facsimiles of antique cloth dolls, they are more than a passing nod to these earlier dolls in the way they are constructed and how they look. I use modern materials and my own techniques in making these - I hope - timeless dolls.
These following photos show how I tackle the painting of one of these dolls.

Burnt umber under-painting

First coat of flesh-coloured paint

Features "drawn" with thinned paint

Colour added; blushing and shading

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Oh, Humble Spud!

It's enough to warm the cockles of your Irish heart....................well, neither of us can claim to be actually Irish, but we both have Irish forbears, as attested to by our Irish surname. And the growing, harvesting, cooking and eating of potatoes certainly appeals to some deep racial memory in both of us........Potatoes - we love 'em!
We did go a bit overkill on potato planting last summer - three varieties and some heavy crops. Yesterday, Bob dug the last of them - around 40 kilos. That should see us through the winter! We grew Pink Firs (delicious and prolific), Pinkeyes (BIG!) and King Edwards (smooth, even, good bakers) To celebrate, last night we had potato soup and potato and rosemary pizza. As I said; enough to warm the cockles of your Irish heart! Come to think of it, potatoes figure strongly in Northern German cuisine, so I'm doubly doomed!

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