Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The First Step . . .

 My sister - she of the magical sewing machine - called to tell me we now have hotel reservations for our time in Houston while attending the International Quilt Festival and 3 concurrent doll shows.  She was surprised to learn that most attendees make their reservations a year in advance.  International participants especially, would want to ensure lodging, so even us 'locals' can't drag our feet.

So, although I have almost nine months to create and submit my annual doll, it usually takes that long. Domestic chores demand attention as do doctor visits, yard work - the whole home owners' agenda.  Must get to the store before the promised down pour.

I'm on a roll

Three days (and nights) working on doll no. 3.  Laundry still in the dryer, dust piling up on everything (clay dust, especially!), cupboards are bare - must get to the store today.  I'm pleased with my progress but dread the detail days, those days of making hands and ears match in size and shape.  If anyone has a fool-proof technique, please share!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Body Parts

Doll head number three is getting a rest while I make doll number three's body more voluptous.  Today has been very productive. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Fund Raiser

I am determined to have two outstanding dolls to send to Houston in October.  But Houston is expensive any way you slice it so I'm launching a personal fund raiser.

On Saturday, May 3, weather permitting, I'm holding a garage/yard sale to earn money for that trip.  I sent a circular around the neighborhood (and other places) soliciting donations.  Doners will receive no money but hopefully, will have warm and fuzzy feelings as a result of their generosity.

Doll head number three is progressing very slowly.  I'm working very slowly!  I want this doll to personify Mardi Gras.  If necessary, I'll work on it until the day I ship it off to Texas.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A head by inches

I've decapitated more than one doll because I didn't like the way the head set on the body but to misjudge the size of the head - TWICE - on one doll makes me wonder if I've forgotten how to use a ruler.

Seems that even the thinnest layer of clay (less than 1/8") on a little egg gourd expands to an unacceptable size when the features are added.  I'm now working on gourd head number three.  I think this one will work - it's the smallest I have.  And looking through my small stash of doll making gourds, I think it's time to order some more.

When I tell someone that I make my dolls from gourds, dowels and chopsticks, almost always, they ask, "Gourds?"  Their first mental picture is of the gourd martin houses.  But gourds come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny one inch pears to four foot wash tub size.  I use egg gourds for heads and zucca gourds for the torso.  It sure saves a lot of clay.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Clay's Here

My clay arrived yesterday. I hate that I have to order it on line.  The price per item may be less than in store but taxes, S&H and the time I must wait equal little or no savings.

But it's here, I'm glad I found a source for it and am hurrying to finish jobs with deadlines so I can sculpt without guilt.

Friday, March 7, 2014

When it rains, it pours!

- - - suddenly, I'm inundated with work!  Deadlines are breathing down my neck.  Eighteen and twenty hour days are not uncommon when this happens.  They weren't so bad when I was twenty-five.
So I'll rest when the jobs are finished.

Among other projects, I've started my Gypsy Challenge doll.  She'll not be so large this year.  My biggest worry is that she's balanced on one foot and vulnerable.  Packing her for shipment will be the real challenge and since I'm entering two shows with two dolls, I plan to mail both in the same container.   Both dolls go to the same address so using only one container would save a bunch of money.  And since I will BE THERE in Houston this year, no return postage  will be required.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014 Gypsy Challenge

I got so wrapped up in designing a new Mardi Gras costume that I’d forgotten I didn’t have a doll yet!  So, out to the shop, choose a (gourd) head, mount it on the sculpting post and gather a torso ( also a gourd) , chop sticks, etc – and started my doll.  I put her together with hot glue – and I may be sorry for that – then used home made air dry clay to reinforce the joints.  A couple of hours in front of a fan has hardened the clay and everything seems to be holding well.  Now I must wait for my clay to arrive.  It seems both art supply stores in my area no longer carry the clay I prefer to work with.  But Dick Blick does!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Revision A

Was doing a little casual research yesterday and latched on to some fantastic shots of the Carnival in Rio.  I considered some of the female costumes – then considered the sketch I’d made for a dolls Mardi Gras costume and decided I am definetley too TOO old fashioned and square!   Today, bling has been the thing almost the entire day.
Of course, designing a costume is loads of fun and the sky’s the limit.  Then you have to translate all that fun stuff into patterns and decide on the methods(s) you will use to make it happen.   This is where the fun starts to fade away for me, because I’m not always the master of my sewing machine.   At a certain point – usually when I’m near tears and using unlady-like language – I phone my sister and beg her to please grab her fancy sewing machine and drive the 500 miles or so to Jacksonville to save my project.
She doesn’t always drop everything and jump in her car, but she does let me vent, then usually offers a solution.  Don’t know what I’d do without her.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

2013 Gypsy Doll Challenge

The theme for this year is a Gypsy masquerade ball.
It’s midnight, the time for unmasking. Sergio is about to steal Stefania’s mask and claim a kiss.