Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finished dolls...

It has been a busy last few days. Patrick had his surgery (thank you all for your well wishes!). He's fine, and getting lots of gaming time in. Not to mention he has his mother waiting on him.

I wanted to post the rest of the WIPs and also the finished dolls (before I forget).
When we last left our dolls in the laboratory, they were patiently waiting for body parts.
Little Frida needed arms.
To attach the arms I use copper wire and glass beads.

Make a little loop with the needle-nose pliers, thread a bead and then thread the other end through the doll.

Snip the wire, leaving just enough to thread another bead and turn a loop.
I decided this little Frida needed some flowers. I cut small circles with my pinking shears and stacked them up. I used a little glass bead for the center.
I attached them using Fabric Tac (you can use any old glue, I imagine, but Fabric Tac is quick to set, and very sticky).
It's hard to tell from my fabulous photo, but I put a little 'bun' of black yarn under the flowers.
Last time we saw Pansy (the pink doll with the window on her chest), she was waiting for her head to be attached. I decided to put her hair on first, in a weak attempt not to get Fabric Tac all over her. I used soft pink yarn.
I attached her head to her body with copper wire (about the thickness of a toothpick) and E6000.
I attached her arms (and legs) the same way I did little Frida's. I forgot to mention that I seal each piece of the doll with several coats of varnish, and then let them sit around and 'cure' for a few days before I assemble them.And now for their close-ups!


I decided that she needed a little friend to hold.And if you've stuck with me this far, here are some pictures of springtime in jolly old Maryland!

The wind blew the blossoms on to the driveway. It looks like snow, but thankfully, isn't!
This was our view from our deck last night.

Pretty soon we will be looking at a wall of green. I love the branches against the sunset. I saw my first bat last night, and so summer must be right around the corner. Have a wonderful holiday weekend, all!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring break and some WIPS

Since Patrick fell on his skateboard and broke his foot, our Spring Break will be here at home this year. Poor Pat had plans to go with friends to a beach house, but instead he will be having foot surgery and hanging out on our couch. I told him this was not what Spring Break meant (insert rim shot and laugh track here).

Here are some pics of a few new pieces I am working on. (I'm sorry about the crummy photos, I am not a photographer. 'Nuff said.) When I say I work in a 12 inch square, I am not kidding. Actually, I think it's 8x10. :)

Anyhoo, first I made the parts (ultra light sculpey), baked, sanded, then gessoed them.

I checked to make sure the head, arms and legs all fit together. There is my little zombie friend in the background. He watches me work.
I painted the arms and legs with a couple of coats of acrylic. You can see my Halloween guy patiently waiting for his arms. He's been waiting for a couple of weeks now.
This doll's head has been shaded with colored pencils. I decided to use two beads for her eyes (they are cheaper than doll's eyes).
This is another little doll in this 'batch'.
I am using the same color pink on both dolls. No particular reason, I just like it.
I collaged a little heart to Frida, and a gothic window to the other doll (who is nameless still, poor thing!). The legs are shiny because of the crackle I use. Once I paint over it with another color, it dulls down.

Frida finally got some eyes.
I'll wire her arms on after I am finished drawing on her, and sealing her with varnish.Next, I'll paint on any details, or add flowers and hair. Hopefully, I'll get these done in the next couple of days and post them so you can see the 'afters'. Even more hopefully, I hope they turn out well. Even more hopefully than that, I hope you are all having a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thank yous and Spring a mish mash

I want to thank everyone for their wonderful comments about the Frida collage. I am happy to say that she sold (thank you, Wendy!) and the money has been donated. I would love to do this again, but somehow I'd like YOU to get credit for the donation, so I will have to think on that.

Baked Skelly head says "Thank you!"

I got a lovely gift in the mail from the equally lovely Lori. I won this on her blog! I have been secretly desiring one for months, and now that I see it in person, I know why. Her 'green sleeves' are beautiful (and green!). I will be the envy of everyone at Starbuck's. Thank you, Lori!

On another topic all together (it's me, after all), my DH got a "late Christmas, Anniversary, early birthday and Father's Day" gift from me. He got an iPad. The thing is amazing. Now I want one.
Here are Caity and Patrick playing Angry Birds. Which is addicting, I have to say.

Over the weekend, I got started on buying flowers for the garden and deck. Let's hope this year I actually DO something with them, and not just set them out by the back door and water them in their nursery containers. We can only hope.
This one was a center piece at a Children's Book Guild luncheon. I happily adopted it.
I splurged and bought tomato plants. Weeee!

And speaking of hope and Spring, here is what I see when I look over the edge of my deck these days. I love flowering cherry trees!
If you haven't had enough of me (ha!), pop over to my friend Jim's blog. He's posted an interview of moi. Check out his amazing books, too. SWIM, SWIM is one of my favorites.Thank you, Jim!
Happy Spring, and thank you all again for the good words and good deeds.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A small Frida for the Japanese Red Cross

I know many of us are heavy-hearted about the Japanese quake and tsunami, as am I. I grew up in Southern California, and experienced more than one quake. I can't even begin to imagine what the Japanese people are going through. The tsunami is nightmare material, and now radiation is affecting every aspect of their lives, including planting their rice crops.

The need for help is going to go on for a very long time. I have notice many blogger and etsy friends are offering artwork for sale, and then donating the sale amount to aid organizations. I'd like to add a small drop to that wonderful creative bucket!
The proceeds of this small Frida collage ($27 plus $3 shipping), will be donated to the Red Cross and earmarked to be used to assist the Japanese Red Cross in their relief efforts. I will email you a copy of the receipt from Red Cross when I make the $30 donation.

Frida will be listed in my etsy shop tomorrow. She measures 5" square, and is ready to hang!
For years and years I have made collages. I love cutting and pasting. It's great therapy. Do you want me to be happy? Leave me in a room with paper, glue and scissors. Add a cup of hot tea, and I will be in there for days. The colors in this are very vibrant, but for some weird reason I have trouble getting red to come out in my pics.
While you are blog-hopping this weekend, visit Bella's blog to see her lovely offering with Ces. So much talent in BlogWorld!

I am ready to plant some flowers and start my garden. I need to see something grow, don't you?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Frida skelly with marigolds

Okay, I have not finished one single piece that I showed you in the last post.

Instead I made a completely different piece!
This is a skelly Frida. I collaged a small picture of Frida and Diego to her chest. I like this photo. I think they both look happy, and I like to imagine that this was a good day for both of them.

Some people are afraid of skulls, but skulls are often used as a symbol of death and rebirth (especially if depicted with wings). Perfect for Spring!
I made some felt marigolds for her head. Marigolds are an interesting flower. In Mexico they are known as "flores del muerto" or "flowers of the dead." Their scent is believed to attract the spirits of the dead during The Day of the Dead, so they are laid on altars and around graves.

Their history in Mexico goes back to Aztec times. Of course, the Spanish showed up and forbade their magical and religious use, but see how they have stayed in the culture? It's a nod to those Aztec roots. I love that.

The Spanish explorers loved the flowers and took the seeds back to Spain. They were grown in monastery gardens, made their way to the rest of Europe and Africa, and finally back to us in the USA (after the Revolutionary War).

Marigolds are also used as offerings in many Hindu ceremonies. They've been used as an herb for medicinal purposes by many cultures.

One little flower that has such a well-traveled history, and continued use in our world.
I will have to try and plant some this year.

And now you can see how getting off on a tangent is one of my specialties.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April showers and works in process...

We've had rain and drizzle, and even some snow (north of me, thankfully!). The grass is getting greener, and my daffodils are blooming, in spite of the chill. Meanwhile, I'm cooking up a new batch of things.

Do you work like this? I am all over the place. These are only some of what I've started. I couldn't bring myself to show you ALL the unfinished things I have scattered everywhere. And for those of you who are writers, I do the same thing with my writing!

Eventually, I do finish things. Mostly.
Here are three Fridas (I think they are Fridas) and a Pumpkin doll I've started.
In this mixed batch I see a partially painted robot (it's like I SPY!), a bird doll, two doll heads, some skelly...not sure...maybe buttons? Oh, and I discovered some vintage candy molds hidden in my cupboard, and made some polyclay ones just to see what would happen.
Here is a doll, patiently waiting for me to paint her. I kind of like the way she looks now, but I'll paint her anyway. She wants me to, and one must listen to one's dolls (just don't have conversations with them in public).Okay, back to the trenches. Let's see what else I can start!
I hope you are all having a lovely first day of April, and getting lots of creating time.