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It has been HOT here. FREAKING HOT HERE! Hot enough to fry your brain kind of heat. The kind of hot that smacks you in the face when you step out of your door.
We have had days in the high 90s for almost 2 weeks now. We finally got quite a bit of rain yesterday from the outer bands of Hurricane Bill. Other than that we have been sweltering.
I had a hard time coming up with an idea for the August birthdays for Kate’s Birthday ATC swap. It is almost the end of the month and I still had no clue. Friday night as I was hiding in the house to stay cool it hit me…SUN! I could do a sun card.
The background of the card is some light blue fabric to simulate the sky. On top of that I sewed some yellow fabric circles and used yellow ric rac to simulate the rays coming from the sun. A little yellow sculpey face completes the suns. I also added a blue owl button to the card just because. I know they are nocturnal animals, but I liked it and thought it went well with my smiling sun.
Have you been keeping cool where you are?
Welcome to day (and doll) three. This is the final doll and the final installment in the Mermaid trilogy. You can read about the inspiration and their beginnings here.
There are so many choices involved in making a doll. There is the fabric to pick, the type of face to give her (clay, cloth, rubber stamp, etc), how to embellish and what beads to use, making the wigs for the hair, and how to wrap her for the shipment so they arrive in one piece.
I will need to search for the right size shipping box for the dolls. Since they are almost 12 inches long it will take a good sized box. I try to make them fit tightly in the box with the bubble wrap and any other packing materials. That way the jostling is kept to a minimum.
I try to get a box that is about 1-2 inches bigger than the doll. It saves on the shipping costs, too. Trying to keep it under the first class weight cut off of 13 ounces. Keeping it to under that weight cuts the shipping costs in half.
I may not make that this time as the doll is a bit heavier. Mostly with the sculpey face and the shells encrusting her bra, but I will try.
I hope you have not been bored with the posts about the girls for the last 3 days. I didn’t want to make one of those posts with a lot of pictures and I also wanted to give each doll her due. Thanks for hanging in there!
If you missed the day one post you can read it here.
Creating for a swap is a fun process. You wonder as you are making the item how to make it stand out for your partner from the other swaps. How do you make a doll spectacular? How do you make a mermaid stand out from the other fishy broads.
You sit and patiently wait for inspiration to hit and you never know what might trigger it. A trip to the Goodwill in this case. The ideas start to wash over you like a tide and you get swept away into your creative journey. The mermaids start to take on their own personality. They start to live.
I enjoy being creative. Enjoy the process of bringing an idea around to fruition. It is a marvelous process. It does take time, but that time is well spent when your swap partners love the item you made. When they ooh and ahh over your creation. It makes it all worthwhile.
Don’t you love people appreciating your work, your sweat, and your creation? It makes the whole thing worth doing.
I posted previously about the Mermaid work in progress. It took me one evening to cut out, sew, and turn them. One evening per doll was spent stuffing them. Next, came sewing on the arms followed by a couple of evenings embellishing them. Then there was a day spent creating, painting and glazing the faces with sculpey.
Sunday, I spent the day creating the shell and bead encrusted bras and gluing them and the faces onto the dolls. Lastly I used yarns to create the wigs. I truly spent the better part of over a week working on these dolls. So want to take some time to show them off one by one. I hope you don’t mind. I am very proud of them and worked very hard on them.
The mermaids were truly a labor of love. I enjoyed seeing them come to life and watching them come together. It was fun seeking out the bits and pieces I needed to complete them. The shell necklace I bought to fashion the bras, tweaking the sculpey face mold so it would fit the contours of the head I glued it to, and picking yarns so that their hair looked somewhat like dreads.
I hope my partners for this swap appreciate all the time and effort I put into the dolls. I know I do and am sure they will, too.
This month’s challenge from MAD MAMMA was to create a no sew doll. It is batting wrapped around a chopstick and tied to form the body.
This doll was made using strips of fabric that I wrapped around the batting and chopstick. It was tied with gold wire and metallic yarn. I also added some beads and various yarn fibers.
Her face is made from sculpey clay and the flower behind her is a petal from a silk one that I took apart.
I think I will call her Mother Nature.
I enjoy the various dolls that MAMMA finds for us to create. It is fun to learn new doll styles. It was really hard not to take out the needle and thread to create her, but she is held together with some thread, wire, and yarns, with a bit of glue here and there.
MAD (Monthly Art Dolls) MAMMA really challenged us this month. We were to use a can to create an altered tin can doll. It is based on the work of this lady. It took me a long time to come up with the concept. I had my empty caffeine free Diet Pepsi can for a while waiting for the inspiration to hit me.
After smashing and crumbling the can, I sanded it so that the paint would adhere to it. I used acrylic paints to paint it and then used some purple inks for accenting. The face is created using Sculpey clay and a face mold. It sits in the bottom of the can. I cut off the other end so the doll would be more flat.
Her arms and legs are clothespin halves that were painted and inked. They are affixed with wire threaded through buttons on the top and the bottom. He legs are threaded using buttons on the back and then the wire is wrapped around at the top of the clothespin half. A bit of trim is used for her skirt.
She has a very serene look to her. I am having trouble naming her. Any suggestions?
After the bakin’ had finished and the coolin’ was done I painted an acrylic paint base covering them. I then used my ink pads to color the beads. The beads are colored with 2 inks each so they are a bit variegated.
Topped off with some Polycrylic to seal them and they are lovely, no?
Now what to make with them??? That is the big question!
The Mermaid Dotee Group on Flickr had another swap. The person I create for this time, Zeldaloo, creates art dolls. That is a lot of pressure for me. Her art dolls are awesome, too. I had to step it up a bit. I had just received some fabric from Starlitnest via Etsy. It is part of Heather Ross’ Mendocino collection.
She is a bit smaller than my usual Dotees and I hand sketched her shape over and over to get it right. Since she was smaller stuffing that body and especially the tail was hard! I like the shades of brown with the pop of turquoise. I had also made a larger face for her about a week ago then when I was ready to affix it realized it was not going to work. I took some of the day Saturday to make another using my sculpey clay, paints, inks and the sculpey glaze. I worked on the beading as all that was drying.
I always struggle with the hair on my Dotees. I started out taking pieces of yarn soaking it in stiffy and then twirling it around a pencil to make her some ringlets of curls. I was going to make her a head of ringlets, but it was not working out. Come up with plan B!
As I was thumbing trough my yarn stash I found some brown wool yard that was a bit more natural and not as heavily spun. I made some loops of it and then sewed it onto brown bias tape to make a wig. I then sewed in the 4 ringlets that survived and mixed them in with the brown. I really like how it came out loose and wavy like she just came up from a swim.
I am really pleased how she came out in the end, but man the process was like a mystery novel filled with twists and turns. Thankfully, I am very good at “winging it” when plans go awry. I hope Alisa likes her. Can’t wait to hear what she says!
And while I am on the subject of the Mermaid Flickr group, my partner for the last swap, Jenny The Artist the group admin, asked me if I would make her some small domino charms. She asked me to let her know what I would like in return and I spied her Japanese owls. She was nice enough to make 4 of them for me.
Aren’t they cute! I really like them and they are a bit larger than a ping pong ball. Thanks, Jenny, for an awesome swap. If you are interested in 1:1 swapping let me know. I never say no. Sometimes you have to wait a bit, but I am always game for a swap!
Do you swap?
This past weekend I was playing with the Sculpey. Donna Dewberry has a new link of clay making supplies that I found at Michaels. These hand cutters were part of that collection. I also found some tools for texturing the clay, too.
I sanded the hands and then tinted them with bronzed get medium (I added bronze power to the medium and painted it on). On top of that I inked the gold, silver and pink color using my Dewdrop Brilliance Inks. With the texture on the hands it was a nice blend with the copper base.
I used my Dremel to drill the hole and added some dangly beads to complete the look. The findings are all sterling. I like how they came out, but will see how they sell before I make more.
What kind of Sculpey or Fimo jewelry have you made?
I posted previously about playing around with Sculpey and making faces with molds. I had a hard time getting the ink to dry, but found with a bit of sanding and a lighter hand on the inks it worked. I like that the color remains a bit rustic looking.
I knew I was going to use them for brooches, but was not sure of the exact way I wanted to use them. Since this one looks a bit sun-like, I decided that I would crochet a flower to go behind it. For the flower, it is a very easy pattern of chain four, join with a slip stitch, then chain 10, slip stitch to join to chain 4 circle (repeat 7 times) and then tie off. Then glue the face to the top and the pinback on the back and you are done. The finished dimensions are about 2.5″ X 2.5″. The yarn is a wool yarn that is a bit bulky, but not extremely so.
The ink I used is the Tsukineko Dew Drop Brilliance in Cosmic Copper. It took it a day or so to dry completely on the face. I am pleased with the result, but am still working on the inks and shadings, etc. More to come.
Also, I have been working on a decoupage wooden cigar box. I used pattern pieces for the base layer and am still deciding what to do next with it. It will be a work in progress for a bit as I decide what to do next. I like how the wood shows through the layers. It gives it a more rustic look. I tore the pattern pieces into irregular squares.
It was a glorious day yesterday and today will be awesome also in central Virginia. It was 70 degrees yesterday and will be 74 today. We have a bit of rain on tap for the evening, but it was nice enough to drive with the windows open.
My Clematis thinks it is spring and is sprouting a few sprigs of leaves. My lilies have popped up out of the ground. I am hopeful that the frost will not kill them and delay the blooms. In the garden that is Cindy’s it is live or die. I don’t coddle or pamper the flowers.
Hope where you are it is nice, too. It is days like this my spring fever goes on overdrive!