Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stuffing... Stuff it!

It's very time consuming, awkward and just plain a pain in the butt.
But, to have a cloth dolly we like to squish, it's all part of the deal.
It's also what I've been doing this week.

My daughter's house is being completely gutted because of the extensive
fire and heat damage.

And here I am giving guts to my dolls.

Oh! and I have another head in the works, I am calling her Callie.

This is Geneva and her long, long legs.

This is Prissy -- looks suspiciously like a breech birth...

A new head to dry ... She's Callie.

Pretty soon I can show off three completed dolls... Each day is one day
closer to their debut.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What a day, and it's not over yet.

Well. I worked despite it all.

1. Thea got featured on the doll site main page. This is a distinct honor.
I was kinda over the moon.


2. My daughter called me around 1:30 to inform me her house severely burned. The best we can say is that she and her daughter did not suffer
any bodily harm and even the dog, Dutch, was rescued. I am sad because
I do not live close enough to just pop over and give her comfort. She says
that the town will give them emergency housing and clothing. I am reserving
myself some time to get down there, anyway.

3. Two hours later, my new Professional Heavy Duty Singer showed up and it is marvelous. Even though I feel lousy and sad about Shir, the machine
lived up to my memories of really, really wanting one when I gave sewing classes at JoAnne Fabrics.

4. The rest of the painting mediums and more clay and supplies showed up just now as the sun is setting on this weird day.

5. I said it's not over, because I am going to WIN the lottery tonight.

I'm convinced, because it was such a topsey-turvy day.

See you soon,


Sunday, February 20, 2011

A peek at the making of the body pattern

In short, there isn't really one. I draw it on the cloth and sew on the lines for the legs and arms, especially around the fingers. I sum up the proportions for the body with each head using a basic formula of: height of the head = 8.5 sections of total body height. Kinda weird to explain, but
somehow it works... That would be for adults.

I have already made a basic
child's body which will be stuffed this week. Children, depending on their
age can have the formula of: height of the head = 3.5 - 6.5 of total body
height up until the age of 15 or so.

Geneva is also extra slim, because of how I am planning to dress her.

Confused yet? Relax, that's why I'm the dollmaker. Trust me...

Yesterday was like a hurricane

The wind was so distracting and so high, it added an element of anxiety I couldn't overcome, so I really could not paint. A lot of the anxiety was
over whether or not the winds would take down trees along our property line and hit the house and our power line to the house... a worry that I am happy to say did not occur. But later in the evening and this morning
I made up some time by doing a wig cap for the new doll's head. (I am calling her Geneva.) A wig cap is a piece of woven interfacing moulded
against the head crown and then sized with glue. It is useful when you want to have a removable head of hair for your doll. In this case I did, because I couldn't paint her face yesterday, but wanted to 'do something'.
If I painted her face, putting on hair later could be problematic. So this was good practice. I decided not to use my 'good doll hair' and repurposed a knitted hat that never really fit me well. That curly black yarn feels so springy and delightful on her head!!

I also did some 'guts' this morning of wire--no guts, no glory!!

See you soon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Yesterday was a day out; today: back to the grindstone

Yesterday was a lovely day out on a field trip to Cooperstown with the ladies of our quilt club, with lunch after at the Otasaga. Beautiful quilts! But would you believe, although I took my camera, I forgot I had it and didn't take pictures! Talk about a senior moment! I came home
and didn't do much of anything for the rest of the day.

This morning I awakened to put cloth over a clay head I'd made with a bust
to attach it to a cloth body. Here is the result:

Painting to commence! See you soon...

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Red Letter Day

It's a holiday for romance. And also for getting the book for which this
blog pays tribute!!! And! four doll heads sculpted... and!!!! the Hoffman
Challenge fabric arrived!!! and!!! a sample I'd ordered of some suede of which I may well make a life-sized doll...mmmmmmmmm such goodies. Better
than chocolate!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wasting no time getting a new doll ready

Ok. Seems like this is becoming a compulsion. I got the sketch proportions done on an envelope of junk mail...I got the skin made, including her hands
and feet... I made the head over a plastic xmas ball with La Doll paperclay...and begged, really BEGGED, James to get the #14 electrical wire for me out of the basement (it was easy, really, lol)...and just went about
business to get her going... I am not sure if she is going to be Kortney
or if she is going to be Prissy. I will have to wait till I start painting
her cloth over her face (which, putting the cloth over her clay features is the next step). Here's pictures:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More of Thea

Thea is done, or is she?

After manipulating most of yesterday and a lot of today, Thea now has legs
and sweet ballet shoes made of satin ribbon wrapped around her dainty enpoint posed feet. It was true manipulation.

James thinks she needs a sash or a ruffle around her neck or a flirty short
poofy skirt. I am pondering this. Further input?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So Far, Let me introduce 'This n That Thea'

She got hair today. I made it out of some white silk finge from a shawl I saved. I figured the white would be interesting since she is clothed in white eyelet.

Then I painted her face, a kind of Lladro scheme, affixed her head to the
body, gave her a hair cut and posed her for her first preliminary portrait.
She's not done yet.

More work tomorrow. Like feet. Ballet slippers? I'll see.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New project coming down the pipeline...

I have plans to make four dolls at a tea party, details will be explained...
also a Hoffman Fabric Challenge doll... also details to be explained.

Each of these dolls needs to be of the highest quality and work(wo)manship,
manipulated to the highest degree. I'm going to be entering them as submissions for a national doll makers association. So...
I needed to practice my 'cloth over clay' technique, which is what it sounds like: cloth glued over a clay sculpted substrate to make the face
appear the best it can be while paying attention to tradition with an all-
cloth doll body.

I had a head I did not use for a yo yo doll series I'd made last year which I saved 'just in case'. So, I got out some trusty yellow percale to try this technique
and I think it's 'ok' for practice and even 'ok' enough to go ahead and use a pair of hands I used as practice and make a new yo yo doll. Here's the
head so far:

The yellow fabric has been painted over with gesso, which when I took these
photos, was not sanded yet. The margins will be cut and tucked to behind
her head. More to follow.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I think I fixed the comments problem

You have been telling me you have made comments and then when you log
back on, they are gone. I hope I fixed the settings so we can all see
your comments.

Just for an update, the doll was very well received in the doll group. I am
happy about that. And... I have five more planned. I have all the fabric
and other supplies, a very good pattern and gonna get started. Oh and I
got a pair of the BEST kind of hemostats. I'll post a picture of them
when I get them. They were shipped out today. They have an offset 45 degree handle and tiny grabbers at the end of an 8" shaft, which only open at the end and only about a quarter inch, so they are perfect for grabbing tiny fingers tips inside a long doll arm. The next five dolls are going to have bare arms, so this should be a very good tool addition.

Talk to you soon and will have pics soon, also.