Monday, June 23, 2014

The Long andf Short of it

     Made some progress last night; Mardi Gras (m.d.) doll now has a warm, dusky skin, sparkly purple eye shadow and glittery red lips.  When I attached her head to body last night I thought she looked great.
     This morning, was a different conclusion.  Her neck, though very graceful, was much too long.  So - off with her head!  Shorten her neck and reattach head.  She looks much better, but now I must wait for the clay to dry before I can sand and paint the area.
     I'll used this forced wait to clear off the work table and iron the fabrics I'll use for her costume.  Cutting into these limited amounts of fabrics is the scariest part of the whole project!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I Can See Clearly, Now!

Fuzzy vision is gone now.  All it took was sixty seconds of staring at a little white light while a little orange laser light blasted away scar tissue.  No pain, no burning flesh, smoke, or other scary stuff.  By bed time, all numbing had worn off and vision was nice and clear.  Now, it's full speed ahead to Houston!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Fan Club

I doubt I could ask for a more enthusiastic 'fan club' than my sisters.  Sister Marilyn attended a big doll show in Asheville and collected a card from every exhibitor, a schedule of classes, two doll magazines, PLUS a subscription to each at a two-for-one show special.  I got the magazines and cards today and I'm wallowing in a flood of creativity.  I doubt I'll ever be as skilled as these artists - but then, I don't use molds or jointed limbs.  And it will be a major miracle should I ever become a skilled seamstress!!

Sister Judy runs out and buys any Art Doll Quarterly my work appears in, then takes it to her sewing and fiber arts clubs to show around.  She also keeps an eye open for fabrics and other goodies I could use for doll costumes.  Best find so far, was two tanned nutria hydes purchased at a yard sale.  One was used to trim a medieval mans' short coat.  The doll now looks like the royalty I meant him to be.

Both of these women are wizards with a sewing machine (I am NOT) and when we get together we are a creative force to be reckoned with.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I have been chastized . .

I don't believe anyone has ever called me patient, least of all, myself.  I admit to having a rather short fuse.  But when I'm working on my dolls, I'm less apt to loose my cool.  They are, after all, small, delicate and the solid, three dimensional version of my imagination.  But last night, I lost it.

After about the fourth attempt to sculpt a tiny, pointed ear, I had it close enough that I knew a little sanding would fix it once it was dry.  I carefully laid the doll aside to allow the new ear to dry and went on to make a hand.  It was getting late.  My feet and ankles were swollen, my back ached and my fuzzy vision eye was getting even fuzzier.  When I set the new hand aside to dry, I noticed that the new ear had been mashed.  HOW?  I had been so careful!!

I grabbed up my armless, one eared little doll and marched back to the kitchen, dabbed the mashed ear with water to soften the nearly dry clay and tried to gently pry it off.  It wasn't happening.  More water didn't help.  In my frustration, I grabbed my clay knife and gave the base of the ear a viscious slice - and sent her entire head flying across the kitchen.

I can only say that because of the way I build my dolls, the damage was - not minimal, but repairable.  Her delicate jaw and happy smile came off the gourd in one cupped piece, looking like an egg shell.  I've glued her head back on, and a layer of clay to cover the cracks.  But the delicate sanding must be done all over again.  My punishment for having a tantrum.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A slow start . . .

I think I'll have to wait until after the scar tissue is removed from my left eye to do some really fine sanding.  (I've been assured my vision will improve immediately).  My efforts to put a super-smooth finish on a doll that will be showing a lot of 'skin', have been frustratingly slow.

So, like any good doll maker, I have more than one project going at a time, and just moved on to the next one in line.  There are, in fact, several more in line.  Some are no more than a quick sketch on a sheet of scrap paper, maybe with a few notes, and a couple have been started - a head or torso sculpted, or the fabrics and trims pulled.  Some times, even the gourds I plan to use are tossed into the work basket.  By the time I'm ready to start actual work on the doll the basket contains every thing I'll need except the clay.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Flynn's finished - on to the Mardi Gras!

After four days of intensive work, Flynn is finished.  She will rest in a clear cellophane bag until time to ship her off to Houston with her Mardi Gras companion.  They go in one container to one address although they will be displayed in seperate venues.  I will pick them up after the show - which will save about $100. if UPS were to deliver them.  (not to mention the very real potential of receiving damaged dolls),

So, I'll take a break to catch up on domestic chores I ignored for a week, then get cranking on the Mardi Gras girl.  Stay tuned.