Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How To Make An Elephant In No Time Flat!

A couple of days ago, my husband asked me whether it would be very difficult to make an elephant. "Of course not", said I..........and before I knew it I'd agreed to design and make a toy elephant for a young work colleague of his who had just had a baby girl. Designed, literally, on the back of an envelope (albeit a large one!)

I'm kind of lucky that I can visualise something and easily work out how the pattern pieces need to be in order to make what I have in mind......apparently not everyone can do this!
So, over a couple of hours last night, I had designed, cut out, sewn, stuffed and assembled this little Elly for Molly and then this morning I spent a little more time on a few baby-safe embellishments. I couldn't find any plush fabric in a good, elephanty colour, so I used this pretty mauve instead - I think it is appropriate for a baby girl.

And here's a new head I'm working on - this one has been covered with fabric already and has been sized prior to gessoing and painting. More design work on this body pattern. If you're wondering about the pencilled-in features, I often do that when I'm making a one-of-a-kind head so that I can see if I have the features balanced.

Friday, March 23, 2012


When I woke this morning there was all this white sparkly stuff on the grass - yes: Summer is officially over with the first cracking frost of the year. This spells the end of any more tomato-ripening (whew!) and the start of toasty warm fires in the house and in the studio, shorter days and stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. We had a long, warm and sunny summer this year (doesn't always happen in Tassie) but now we have to bid it a fond farewell and welcome the cooler months. See you in December, Summer!

And here's a little something I've worked on this week - an outsized papier mache head-on-a-stick for a special event - can't say too much - it's supposed to be a secret........shhhhhh!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pudding Head!

My husband calls dolls like this one "Pudding Heads"........and you can see why. This baby has a very round stuffed cloth head, which is painted to look a bit three dimensional, although the face is quite flat. So it doesn't really work to view this kind of doll in fact it looks weird. But they look OK from a front or almost-front view. Pudding Head or not, they are great fun to make! I found some premmie-sized real baby clothes that fit this doll perfectly, but she needs some hand-knits as well.........maybe a cardigan, a beanie and some bootees.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sweet Autumn Child and a bit of Trompe L'Oeil

Here's the Autumn Child all finished and dressed in warm clothes for the nippy mornings.

And I've been working on a bit of trompe l'oeil (trick the eye) painting an another doll I'm working on. I use trompe l'oeil quite a lot when painting my dolls, even when I'm not painting on a flat surface, because I find that I can enhance the sculpting quite a bit using tints and tones to add more depth. With this new doll, the surface is flat, so the illusion of three dimensionality is achieved just using paint. Not sure if I'm happy with this yet - I may re-paint it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Saucy Tale!

You are probably sick to death of me banging on about tomatoes...........they have kind of been dominating my life just lately, and I PROMISE this will be the last time I mention them. If you are still reading, tomato season in Tasmania is about to come to a sudden halt - Autumn is approaching fast, there is a nip in the morning air, the leaves are turning and the first frost is not far away. That's the end of tomatoes except for all the unripened ones which will have to be turned into green tomato relish. Here's a photo of some of what I've done with tomatoes......relish, sauce (ketchup), dried, semi-dried and packed into herbed olive oil. I also have frozen puree in the freezer.
Needless to say, I'm rather sick of the sight of tomatoes.......this is the Last Word!

Now.......what to do with all those CAPSICUMS!

A month or so back, while I was doing a bit of blog-hopping, I happened upon a bright and cheerful blog kept by Brigitte. She was having a little naming contest which I entered. Lucky me! I won the contest and here is what arrived in the mail yesterday to live here with me - two of the sweetest Danish Christmas elves who took no time at all to settle in to their new home, as you can see. Go and have a look at Brigitte's blog - it's a very fun place to visit.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sweet Child my last post, I think I promised some progress shots of this sweet child as I was painting her - and then promptly forgot to take them, when I got carried away with the painting process. Sorry 'bout that if you were waiting for them! Next time, I'll try and remember.
So this child is finished except for her clothes, which I will start on tonight. I'm planning a warm Autumn outfit for her with some knitted and crocheted garments as well as this snug little bonnet (unfinished) that she is already wearing.
The tomato inundation is continuing apace.......I'll let you know how drying them goes. The sauce I made last week is mighty tasty!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Alien Tomatoes and a New Head!

We have had a bumper tomato crop this summer........after having tomatoes every possible way, making relish and sauce and still having them all around the kitchen, I'm actually a little sick of the sight of them! But should I be afraid of them? Some of them are looking like this:

.......a bit like something out of "Aliens"!
I still want to try drying some - I may be sick of them right now, but in the depths of winter, I know they will provide a welcome taste of summer sunshine.

Meanwhile, in the studio, I have sculpted this new child head - the first two show it just as sculpted  with the clay still wet and in the third picture, it has been dried and partially sanded. I usually pencil in the features like this to check for balance. I'm thinking I may paint this one in oils, in which case I will post step-by-step pictures here on my blog of the process.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rabbits 'n Eggs

I've been busy this past week making some things to list in my Etsy store which has been looking decidedly sparse. There is a bit of a rabbity-egg theme happening, given the time of year.
Still working on that wig PDF (more work to it than I had anticipated). It should be ready for listing by the end of this week - I know some of you are waiting for it.............

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hairy Thoughts!

I'm currently working on a new PDF for my Etsy store all about how to create a knotted mohair doll'a wig. Which led me to thinking about all the ways you can wig a doll.............
There are many, from the "no-hair-at-all" option which works wonderfully well on some dolls:

to painted-on hair, as for the Izannah Walker style of doll:

Or you can make a moulded hairstyle like this:

And then there are options like using mohair still attached to the skin, or fur fabric:

Those are all very fine options, but the subject of the new PDF is, in my opinion, the best way of all to create a doll's wig, by hand-knotting mohair and stitching it onto a cloth wig-cap. Why is it the best? Well, you can create any style at all, depending on how you stitch on the strings of knotted mohair; it can be brushed and styled without falling out in clumps and it always seems to look just right on a hand-made doll.

It is time-consuming to make a wig in this way, but once you get the hang of it, it's the kind of thing you can do, like knitting, whilst doing something else. Take care, though........mohair tends to insinuate itself into everything, especially the dinner!
I'm hoping to have the new PDF in my store next week
PS: Here's a knotted mohair boy wig I made some years ago - this is a digital image from a photograph (can you remember the pre-digital era?) so apologies for the quality.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...