Monday, January 31, 2011

She's done

Her owl is made, she's riding onward to her quest!

I thank James for his patience and help in making the owl's base and wooden armature. OH! and his washing the chenille multiple times, and listening to me mutter to myself about ruching and other manipulations.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

The push

Today's gonna be a push day to get the doll's coat and trousers done.
The trousers are like fluffy culottes tucked into the tops of the boots. (The boots and gloves came out very cute.) The COAT!!! well.... that should be all arty and embellished with some square abalone shells sewn to it, and sheep's wool, Jacquard work trims and some other kind of vintage furs and leathers to make her resemble her spirit power animal, the owl.

On a bad note, I somehow slammed my thumbnail in the bottom vegetable bin of the fridge and pulled it back in severe pain and hurt the first joint in my thumb.

ouch. ouch. OUCH!!!! I'm suffering for my art, now...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sometimes it really IS the small things that count

Like, for instance, toes. Toes and how they attach to a doll's foot are
a strange manipulation. The foot is sewn in profile so the heel can
stick out in an anatomically correct way. The toes are sewn across
the tops so they are...well, toes! Then the two are sewn together.

Here's where it gets murky. The toes' seam is one way and the foot seam is
another and I'm sitting there, after turning them, trying to devise how I'm
going to sew them together without sewing my own skin to them... and muttered 'how do they expect me to do this'. This caught James' attention
and he ambled over and was speaking stuff I was not really listening to
that attentively, something about 'sewing it before turning it', but I was so absorbed at trying to SOLVE this conundrum.

About ten minutes later I exclaimed "I have it... you have to sew them together BEFORE you turn them!". Thrilled. James looked at me and
said, "That's what I said already". Well, you know, he DID. So I am
here to tell you He solved it before me. He really did. Congratulations, James, I love you!

And no, this isn't sarcastic. I truly am grateful. It's the small things that do, indeed, count. <3

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Since I got my tools yesterday to turn the hands, I decided today's the day to make the hands.

and... presto! chango! Sleight of hand!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Lesson Learned About Turning Hands...

It's impossible to do without the right sized hemostats, tweezers or Tiny Turning Tubes, now ordered
from a lovely place called  Of COURSE, other things were ordered, too.
Of course.  So, it's onto the Owl Being tomorrow. 

I cut out six mousies from one fat quarter.  I could sew and stuff them, too. 

Oh! and there's always my ginkgo project hovering in the background. 

See you soon.

ps:  At least I now know I really can sew those tiny hands with tiny stitches and from what was turned without blowout looked great--no unsightly puckering.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Today's Work

Here's her head all cooked and painted and some embellishements I may or may not use.  You can also get a glimpse of the copper wire armature which will be inside her cloth body.
... and here is the stuffing process.  Kinda takes the magic out of it all seeing her like this, huh? LOL

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lest you think I was slacking...

While the new chenille was being laundered to become fluffy, I decided to move right along to making
the doll's head.  She will be the rider of the Owl Guide which is taking her on a shamanistic journey,
a fantasy.   I'll tweak it, let it set and make her hands.  I'm getting excited about this project now.

A heart-warming site for creative people to give

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's time to quit for the day?

Ha! A manipulator's work is never done!  Today, I awakened with the sinking feeling that what I had put
together for the owl was not going to work... and here's where an honest, arty husband helps... he concured
I needed to make more chennile out of the white sheeting.  I worked on this all day long and have
enough (I hope) to start assembling the owl.  I also cut out more mousies... trying to figure out how many
can be made from a fat quarter.  I was going for six... I only got five.  I may or may not make them tonight.

They are multiplying...

Fun though ;-D
Hope you like them.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today's the day I'm going to make the pattern for the owl

I had to take some sandpaper to the chennile to  get the nap up more, because after two general washings, I wasn't pleased yet.   I also got out my stash of velvets, leathers, fur, wire, buttons, real feathers,
brocades and whispy goodies.  So it's off to the drawing board to see what emerges for the owl. (and
maybe her rider.)

It's was a  lazy kind of evening last night... although, I did make two more of those mousies.
Perhaps pictures tomorrow. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Side-tracked twice. You know how that is....

When you have quilter friends, they TEMPT you with projects they found.  And when that happens,
your OWN desires draw you out, till you cannot stand it and you HAVE to do something about it.

Case in point:   my very good friend (she knows who she is) sent me a pattern for a mousie pincushion.
I let it sit on the backburner for days.  I also mentioned it as a possibility to make for tea party favors
for our own local quilting group.   Well... after doing a ginkgo and having to snip it out because I hated
it, I decided to take the side road and make the mousie to just have some fun.

THEN!!! she comes up with a scheme to make a yo yo bag!!!  Geez... now you all know how I love my yo yos, so this gets me all twitterpated.  I show her Dharma Trading Co. for purse blanks... she comes up with this:  This really gets up my fabric manipulation lust! So she prevails upon me to do the plan for how much material she needs (of course this is for me, too)  The bag blank is in the mail...  and I may embellish with yo yos a ruana my sister-in-law gave me for Xmas with the same fabric I decide upon for this yo yo bag.  You see where I am
going with this... (the best-laid plans of mousie pincushions and women and, and YO YOs!!!!!!)


*Huge cleansing breath*  That all said, at least I got one more ginkgo done toward my arty quilt project
and I'm liking it. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

time for an aside project....

For years I have wanted a decent shot of our house in the snow to render into an xmas card...

well.. here it is, finally!

and it is Christmas today, for some cultures... so Merry Xmas to all of those celebrating it today.

mmmkay. Here's the chenille being made for the owl's body

The Snowy Owl so far:

Making chenille.  This is a lot of fun. You stack 6 - 8 layers of cloth, in this case NOT my precious 'stash' cloth, but from various items of my linen closet which have outlasted their useful life on my bed.  Then you machine stitch them  on the bias at 1/4th to 1/2 inch intervals and then have FUN cutting them!!! whoooo! Then you clip open the channels made being very careful not to pierce the last 1 or 2 layers.  It doesn't look
like much at this point until you stick them into the washing machine and then tumble them dry.  Then they

become quite fluffy.  I love the texture and I may have a slight addiction to making chenille now. ;-D  The
brownish material for the outside of the wings has not been 'bloomed' yet.

Believe this or not, there IS an owl in there somewhere...

Ok. So I figured out I needed to have one of these blogs finally

Today is the first day of the rest of my blog. 
I am concurrently working on three projects, one of which is due by the end of January.

I am specializing lately in manipulating fabric (as opposed to 'real' quilting--mainly because my
mind, heart and hands are too 'unruly').

I hope you enjoy this process.  I'll try to be diligent in my updates.

The number one project started way back in September when I was admiring a bowl of apples on my
table and thought to myself it would make a great design for a table runner.  I have the pictures I took
so far about its progress somewhere in gmail.  I'll dig them out when I can.

The number two project also started materializing in the fall. I had some vague sketch drawn of ginkgo
leaves falling with a darkish background.  I decided they would be best shown in a quilted form.

These are the pictures so far:

The blue crazy quilt foundation background is about 18 x 15 inches.  The work so far entails about 12 hours
work... and they are hand pieced and hand sewn.

Project number three is a doll challenge from Gritty Jane's site (I'll link in when I get the hang of the technical
stuff).  They decided to unleash the creativity of the dollmakers and challenge us to make a Winter Fantasy
doll.  Well. Let's just say I decided to make a Snowy Owl being ridden by a benevolent fairy-type being.
I'm making my own chenille to use in the owl's body.