Monday, November 30, 2009

Can't Wait to Post...

...his real picture. This is my latest little elf. I made him for a swap and I'm just dying to post a real picture. Alas, I need to wait another day (or two).

I think he is very sweet, which is unusual for me. Often, I am so focused on what didn't come out exactly as I wanted it to that I have a hard time getting around to loving the finished piece as a whole. I know, I know...I'm working on it!

Just a few more days...I think I can make myself wait.

He goes off to his new home tomorrow. This is one of those pieces where it will be hard to let him go. Bittersweet bubble wrapping, I guess. He just seems so cozy here next to the bottle brush Christmas tree.

Hope everyone has a productive week. I need to finish up the other Bichon and a few other critters today. Hope I can find the time to get it all done!

Until next time, happy post holiday health!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wooly WIPs

Here is my latest pup...a little Bichon. I like working on dogs, especially commissioned ones, because there is always a new challenge. For instance, I originally had made this little one in a very soft core fiber blend, but I just couldn't get it to look 'right'. It was a texture problem.

I ordered some Leiscester and Wendslydale locks, which, once deconstructed, worked perfectly for the Bichon's external layer. Much more realistic. I still need to clean up the loose fibers and add the long, straight hairs to the tail.

I have been getting lots of dog orders for Christmas. I still have another Bichon, a schnoodle, a pug, a daschund and some cockers to put together. Luckily, I haven't had too many 'repeat breed' orders, so each experience has something new to teach me.

Yes, I KNOW that doing the same dog over and over would make it 'easier'. But problem solving is half of the fun of creating, don't you think?

Now here is the catch...I keep hearing that I need to focus on ONE style in order to have product recognition. My response is WAHHHHHHHH!

My wool style is very different from my clay sculpting style which looks nothing like my fabric style.

And, no, I can't seem to give up the other mediums to focus on just one. Each thing I do fulfills a different craving for me.

What's a gal to do?

Well, I'm off to finish up some more holiday paperclay. Then I have out the sewing machine to make some teeny, tiny replica dolls a la Walker. I may even add clay to the cloth dolls!

Hey! If I add wool hair, all my passions can be in one place! Woot!

Until next time, happy dabbling!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wherefore Art Thou, Light?

Why is it that, on days upon which it is imperative that I be able to take photographs, the light always s-t-i-n-k-s?

Since photography is not truly my calling, I am not that picky, but poor photographs can make any doll *sigh* with drab, under-saturated colors. Oy!

Yes, I KNOW that I can use editing software to perk things up, but I try not to do that as much as is possible. I want my work to stand on it's own, unadulterated and honest. I find that items that are too "shopped" end up being a bit weaker in the long run. People want to see a true representation of what they will be receiving.

(I will 'shop' the heck out of photos of ME of course. It's OK because my husband got to see me in person and was able to witness all the sags, bags and wonky parts in person before he made his purchase. I have no sympathy for him. Buyer's remorse, shmuyer's remorse.)

Here is what I have, bad lighting and all. I still think she is sweet.

This piece was very self indulgent for me in that I didn't have a firm plan on what I expected the outcome to be. No sketches, not too much preliminary planning. Total flow. I love moving through the process of making something new with zero judgement. Very liberating.
Here is a back/side view. Her block has text from "Let It Snow" on it. Pretty appropriate, since she is sitting in snow. Brrrr.

This is a full back view showing off her wings.

This was the first time I used Liquid Sculpey. I used it to coat her wings and then baked makes them seem more translucent and realistic, I think. I can't wait to see what other applications I can find for this interesting substance.

It is super stinky, though, so if you try it, open some windows and pray that the non-toxic label they put on it is accurate!

I love new products! So many possibilities!

Until next time, happy creative flow.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Visual Quickie

This is my latest piece that will be available to the general public.
My daughter thinks he looks sad. You'd be sad, too, if you were a snowman seeing one of the first birds of spring.

Or maybe not. Perhaps he is just lost in thought.

I hope he finds a good home. He is really quite sweet.

I have lots of other items going right now (had to move to the kitchen so I had access to running water), but many are "secret" gifts, so I can't post them.

I have quite a few commission pieces in progress, too, but I don't like to post them as WIPs because I don't want any nervous customers. What a piece looks like in the early stages is VERY different from the finished work.

I don't want to scare anyone off!

I am amazed at how difficult it is to get things done around here. I remember when my husband and I decided that I would be staying home with the kids and he would be going back to full time work. I just KNEW I was going to have tons of time to get things done.

When I told him this, he just smiled.

I am ORGANIZED, I said. I am going to be DISCIPLINED, I said.

Well, I am both, but I still manage to struggle to get things done in a timely manner. Life gets in the way sometimes, but I suppose that detours can take us into new places that we have never gone before.

Life is good and full of rich experiences.

I'll have more that I can actually show you by mid week. I am working in wool again, in addition to the various clays, so things are quite fun around here.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Won One and I Swapped One

Aren't these pieces great?

The first came from Sonia at Dark Raven's Nest. Sonia and I participated in a Monster Under the Bed swap and here is her doll.

This doll is a part of a special series of dolls that Sonia created. Her name is Mary Anne Nichols (aka Polly). She was one of the victims of Jack the Ripper. Her eyes are so haunting! You have to see her in person to "get" how truly riveting this piece is.

This next piece was mailed to me from MarZel at Dark Artists' Guild. It is a Ghost Geisha. Very, very cool. We already have a special place planned for her on next Halloween.
Many thanks to both Sonia and MarZel for such wonderful opportunities to experience this kind of art up close and in person.

Until next time, happy new experiences.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here He Is!

So what do you think? I need a little feedback, please.
Yes, he is a little weird. Too weird? Just weird enough?
He might be a multi-holiday piece.

I could see him coming out early; say, Halloween.

He can hang out and make the transition into winter. He is, after all, a snowman.

He is about 7.5 inches tall. His body is a lovely, thick shelled gourd. He was hand flocked several times to give the illusion of actual snow and then dusted with mica for shine. He has blue inset eyes, paperclay "coal" buttons, an orange flocked hat, needle felted earmuffs, and a hand built broom.

I learned a lot making this one.

Thanks for popping by!
Until next time, happy flocking!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Big Load 'O' Nothing

This post contains nothing. I didn't get anything new completed this week. When almost done with my latest snowman, I goofed up (majorly) and get to start again. Lucky me!

I know...I should look at this as a great opportunity to practice patience and to learn something new that might be helpful later on, but right now I am choosing to stew in my own juices for a bit. Petty? Yep. Selfish? Sure! Why? I just feel like having a little snit. I do that every so often. (No one else is here, so it mainly just impacts the cat. She seems fine with it, really. She is pretty unflappable.)

I AM, however, sending good thoughts out to everyone else. I am hopeful that mustering a little positivity will drag me out of the place of my artistic mental block. Perhaps the art gods will look upon me with favor.

Happy Sunday to all! Until next time, happy snits.


Monday, November 2, 2009

The Paperclay Song

(Sung to the tune of 'Oh, Christmas Tree')

Oh Paperclay

Oh paperclay
Oh paperclay

How love-ly is thy tex-ture.

Oh paperclay
Oh paperclay

How love-ly is they tex-ture.

Eas-i-er with which to play
Than oven baked pol-y-mer clay

Oh paperclay
Oh paperclay

How love-ly is thy tex-ture.

It is destined to be a holiday hit. NOT.

And yes, Virginia, I AM that big of a geek!

As you can clearly see, I have shifted seasons mentally, though it will probably take a week to get all of the Halloween goodies back where they belong.

Maybe two.
Until next time, happy variety!