Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween. Today is the traditional Beggar's Night, but in our community the actually Trick or Treat Beggar's night is tomorrow. All this moving around of the holidays from one community to another makes my head spin. When I was a little girls in California, we always went out Trick or Treating on October 31, Halloween night. We'd got out as soon as the Sun set with pillow cases running from house to house seeing who could collect the most candy. Then after getting exhausted and tired, we'd head home & my Mother would have us all dump our pillow cases full onto a sheet and there she would sort it all out. Most of it we would be allowed to keep, but she would throw away that candy she didn't feel was safe for us to eat. She's also take her "percentage". Then when we moved to Ohio, Beggar's night was Halloween Eve (October 30th). Once again, we'd go out until we couldn't put one step in front of the other and probably have enough candy to last through the holidays. One year, I think it was one of my sisters who hid their candy & was eating on their hoard until Easter. Now, the only way you can figure out when Beggar's night is is if you read it in the newspaper or hear the schedule on the local news. Also to keep the children safe, Beggar's night starts when it is still light outside & only until 7pm. Where is the fun in that? I'm glad I was a child back when Halloween was made so safe & also so boring. But then we did call it Halloween back then & had parties in schools. I don't think Columbus schools even have Halloween parties anymore. Last I heard, Halloween celebrations were called Fall Harvest celebration with cute little animals and scarecrows...where are the witches? the vampires? the zombies? the monsters? Probably soon there won't be Halloween at all just so we can all be politically correct and SAFE!

Well, I decided to do a few Halloween inspired dolls. First off is a piece I made for the Hospital Halloween pumpkin decorating challenge. You could not cut into the pumpkin & yes, that red blood cell with the spigot on it is a real pumpkin. They vampire is from Ute Vasnia's Ooggie pattern.

This is from a pattern I've had for many years. It is "Autumn and her Pet Crow". I doctored it up a little bit and made the crow larger.

This is called "Pumpkin Pie, anyone?" I used the doll body sitting on my work table that was headless for so long that I forget which original pattern it was from. I used the pattern from "Autumn's" head, but shrunk it down. Then I made even smaller heads for the pumpkin king's two children. For me the biggest challenge was coming up with the clothes for the Pumpkin King. I made all the clothes from scraps. His nose is a blister pearl and his yellowish teeth are ultra suede scraps. French knots for spots, and a velvet hat to finish him off.

Have a frightfully fun Halloween. I am thinking this would be a great night to make some Starbucks hot chocolate and pull out some old scary movies to watch.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New book

Just a quick post here to announce that today I got a surprise package. It was small, but it was one WOW moment for me. Lark has come out with a new book called "Lark Studio Series Handmade Dolls". Inside on page #94-95 was my doll Sparkle. There my name is listed with some of the most famous of doll makers in the world. Some are NAIDA artist & people that I have admired since I first began making dolls, and others are those that I love to follow on blogs, websites, and in Art Doll Quarterly. I'm just thrilled to be with such talented people. The book is less than $10.00 so very affordable and just the right size to carry around in a bag for inspiration all the time.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Remember the paper clay heads I made last month of H'dor & S'lease? Well, I finally got their bodies done. Let me tell you that trying to create a body for a specific head is NOT EASY! I measured the head, had some of the gals from Doll Street Dreamers give me ideas on proportions & even found a website to help me out...but still! It was tough. I must have sewn three bodies at least for H'dor & he still looks out of proportion to me. Could be his pin head! But I finally finished them up & they don't look too bad. I'm calling them Tall Tales for now as I have to figure out how I want to pose them & find some other things for them to be holding on. I think I'm going to try making some fishing poles for them & fish, but might change my mind about them.

I'm not done experimenting with sculpting head from paper clay. It was fun & OMG! I painted! I really painted. But you know what...the needle sculpted heads are still my favorite. Guess I just need to practice sculpting more.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goodbye Steve Jobs

Yesterday, I heard on the news that Steve Jobs had died. We both were very sad. We've been Apple/MacIntosh people since the beginning. I can't tell you how many Macs & Apple products we have in our house. AND..most still work because that was the beauty of Apple. Enduring pieces of hardware that not only were user friendly, but were so well made that I'm sure all our Macs will still be working 20 years from now. I remember going to the computer stores years ago that announced they had an Apple tiny section that was being spilled over by PC or at that time the new cell phones. I took a PC class at college & struggled with everything then just thought why does it all have to be so darn complicated! With Apple all you had to do was turn it on & everything you needed to start working was there & NO fear of viruses. I myself have had Chris' hand-me-downs for years now, but when the eMac came out, I got my very own new computer. Then I wanted a lap top & now I have a computer that is so awesome with a screen that is so bright. I still remember that tiny tiny screen from years back. Then Steve blew me away again with the iPod. I went into the new Apple Store here in Columbus saw the iPod on display before it was even coming out of the factory & bought one. I wish I bought stock right then & there. Yes, I still use my "Classic" iPod that has the hard drive in it...still works!

In memory of Steve I'm posting some pictures of webs from our yard. Without the ease of all the Macs in my life, I never would have been able to reach out & embrace the world pulling in friends, family, and inspiration. My Mac has been the focal point of a web reaching out to bring the world to me and to make me feel that I'm not alone. Thank you Steve.

Hooked on Ute!

I started to count all the dolls I've made using Ute's patterns, and it is way over 10. Wow! I stopped trying to think why I love making trolls so much. Then I realized that it was because back when I was a little girl those plastic Troll dolls with the different colored hair were so popular. I wasn't allowed to have one. Don't know why, but when I'd whine to have a Troll while at the dime store, my Mother would always say NO! I guess that plus their big noses is what attracts me to them so much. This is Ute's pattern "Oggie". I'm made three dolls from this pattern already & I think I'm going to have to make more. According to Ute's pattern, I cam make up to 10 a year and even sell them as long as I indicate that she is the pattern designer...of course. I want everyone to met Ute!

Click on Ute's Trolls homepage to see Oggie. I'm not sure if she has the pattern for sell there on her website, but I'm guessing that if you write her, she has it. I also bought Crow Mother from her & Peter the Pack Rat. I'm thinking next month once the weather gets awful again, I'll bring them out and make them too.

This is Oggie the snaggle tooth Troll. The baby is Mae. Albert loves Scotties (to pet not to eat!).
Enjoy them as much as I had costuming them. Thanks Ute for the addiction!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Met Phil & Erma

The Sun is out & what a beautiful day. Light coming in the front room windows was just perfect to get pictures of the dolls I've been making and finishing up.

These are the finished dolls from the class I took two weeks ago up in Akron with the doll club Time For Dolls. Wonderful two days with those gals & Ute. Scroll down to see pictures of the fantastic time I had.

This is Erma & Phil. Both are from Ute's Little Folks pattern I love them & have them sitting out in the front room so I can enjoy their fun faces every time I go into the room.

Check out the this great article about Ute's Trolls in Adele Sciortino's Costuming and Trim newsletter. There is a tutorial on how to make the shoes that Phil is wearing

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just a quick posting

It has been a busy couple of weeks here. Getting the floors all replaced, having the doll making Muse in full swing, and struggling to get the girls back in good health. The weather hasn't been too cooperative either as we've just had the 4th wettest September in Columbus. Which also hasn't helped in the allergy area either. I do wish my parents bought stock in Kleenex back when it first came out...we'd all be rich.

Here are a couple pictures of the "after" of the living room. We still need to get a new rug as the old wool rug had been damaged by far too many cats & Scotties. Frodo finished eating all the edges when he was still a puppy & I think the southern Sun had faded it. So for now, we have the braided rug in there. Also, my poor Micheal Parks' print has faded so bad too. We really need to either find another MP replacement or find another print that will fill that lovely frame. Oh, and can you see way up there on the Zenith radio a few of my new "family" members. Two are from the the class I took with Ute two weekends ago, and the others are from her new "Oggie" pattern that I'm just in love with. Now that the Sun is shining again, I will get out all the equipment to have a photo session with all my new dolls and jewelry from the past long soggy month.

Arwen is getting better. She's on the last of her antibiotics from the UTI. This is the second dosage as it keeps coming back. I'm hoping this is the last, but we now need to concentrate on having her diagnosed with Cushings. I'm pretty sure she has it, but before she can get treated, she has two more test to have done. We also decided to try letting her sleep out of her crate at night. Frodo loves his crate & won't sleep unless he's in his crate with the door locked (he'll come out & bug you until you lock him in for the night). Fiona has to be crated as she won't sleep downstairs by herself anymore. I think she woke up in the middle of the night & couldn't hear anyone so she's start barking. So we got her a new crate & put her upstairs with Frodo. Also with her blindness we just can't take the risk that she'd roam and fall down the stairs. Arwen has always hated the crate. She whines, complains, and hides when it is time to go to bed, but really how can a 32 pound Scottie hide for too long without us finding her? Well, we both decided it was time to try letting her sleep in bed with us. Day one, no accidents. Day two no accidents! Now we are up to a whole week without accidents and a very very happy Scottie girl. I even come home from work in the morning & there she is still snuggled up tight next to Chris. She very happy now & doesn't seem as nervous during the day time.

Well a quick post turned longish. I'm hoping to get more photos done tomorrow when the Sun is out. Also...just got a call that the house painters will be starting the outside job tomorrow. I predict I won't get a lick of sleep tomorrow!