Monday, August 31, 2009

Croquet Anyone?

Well, lookee here. The Queen found a croquet mallet in my stash. Since the hedgehogs all ran and hid, she's been trying to use my dachshund, Terese, as a ball...

As you can see, Terese is having none of it (even if she is somewhat ball shaped).

QofH is taking her mallet along on the rest of her journey - in hopes of more animated targets.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I just love The Queen of Hearts! She's an awesome art doll.

Here she is again as she arrived in NC.

She's so pissed that she has to be seen in her undies! I told her she's lucky Robyn made her some bloomers or she'd still be scuttlin' about in her royal birthday suit.

The Queen is a handful. My household's been in an uproar since she arrived. I've tried to capture the highlights of her visit in her journal.

She arrived as a shrieking package having terrorized the postal workers all along the route from Jeanne in Oregon to me in NC. Looks like they tried to squelch her screaming with the old stop, drop, and squash move somewhere along the way...

From the moment she sprang from the box, she's been ordering us all around and threatening to off our heads. All my pets scrambled for hiding places, so Q lit into my playing cards.

The tin foil strait jacket was my only option at that point. Plus it kept her royal bloomers from getting soiled while I worked on her head.

I built her paper mache head right onto her fabric head. I tried to follow the original contours of her fabric face - love that long, pinched nose and her chinless profile.

Doesn't she look like a spoiled rich brat, born into royalty and used to getting her own way?

Well, of course as soon as I let her out of the straight jacket it was once again...

All I hear is "I WANT THIS. I WANT THAT. OFF WITH YOUR HEAD! GET ME A PIZZA!" Etc, etc... More on that later.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tabula Rosa of Cool-Ab 2009

I mentioned in an earlier post that Susan had to drop out of the Cool-Aberration project for personal reasons. Well, the rest of us decided to go ahead and continue work on her doll, Tabula Rosa. Previously, I showed her in the hat I made her. Now I've finished making her a wrapping blanket.

I really like the color combination in this felted piece. Here she is wearing it.

It's not permanently attached - she still looks like this without the blanket.

So there's plenty of room for additions from the other players. The blanket can be displayed alongside Tabula. Or even under her as a rug.

Mayberry deemed this piece a bit too small for real comfort...

And here are the pages I made for Tabula's journal.

I found the picture of the old Peruvian woman online in sepia. It looks just like Tabula, I think. Right down to the closed eyes. I added the color with my watercolor crayons.

I'm glad we decided to complete Tabula. I'd have hated to see Yvonne's wonderful face go to waste.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ride 'em Cowboy!

The 3D yahoo group is hosting a wire/metal doll challenge. Well, my muse hasn't been interested in metal or wire lately. But it has in the past, so here's a couple pics of some wire pieces I made awhile back.

They were actually made as separate pieces, and the goat was the only finished piece. But I ended up putting the human figures on the goat and liked the combo. Ride 'em Cowboy!!

The wire goat was based on my goat Lois.

Except I added horns so it looked more obviously like a goat. It does have a pink collar like Lois had at the time. Lois is a nut. And obviously not camera shy...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Digging thru the archives...

Well, everything I'm working on lately is for the round robin or a swap and can't be shown yet. So I thought I'd post some pics of felt pieces I'd made earlier. These are a couple of wet felted clutches.

And here's a wet felted peace doll.

Hmm. Looks like I was into green and orange at the time...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It's shrunked! Here's the semi-final product.

It'll probably get cut to size and then a bit of machine and hand stitching to finish it. But first I have to make a doll to wear it.
The next 2 pics show the difference between the pre-shrunk felt and the shrunk felt. I shrank it down from 12" x 18" to about 9" x 13". It could be shrunken more, but I like it here. After wet felting and shrinking, the texture is similar to a felted area rug. Everything is melded together like a cohesive textile.

The edges are wonky because I shrank it without using a bamboo mat to roll it. Using a bamboo mat (like a bamboo placemat or a bamboo blind), you can maintain the squareness better. But since I'll be cutting it to size (and I happen to like wonky edges), I often don't bother with the rolling mat.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A cool giveaway

Pat Winter is giving away a really cool wire birdnest pendant on her blog, complete with tiny Robin eggs! Go here to enter the drawing. You'll love this little treasure.

Ready to Shrink!!

Here it is all ready to shrink!

And here's my kitchen table by this time. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Progress!

It'll soon be ready for shrinkin'!!

Here's what I looks like when I's stitching. I tell everybody I don't need bifocals, yet. :)

Felting Pattern Progress

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cool-Aberration 2009 Loses a Player

Susan has left the Cool-Ab project for personal reasons. I had her doll, Tabula, whom I'll be returning to Susan along with the new hat I'd already made for her. Too bad - she was gonna be such a darling little Peruvian lady.

On the bright side - I get to work on the Queen of Hearts now!! She's Jeanne's doll and looked like this when she left Jeanne's in Oregon.

Robyn in CA gave her some royal bloomers and some beading.

She arrived here in NC yesterday. I heard the clump when the mailman dumped her on my back porch. I looked out the window and saw him scurrying back to his truck like he was in a hurry to get out of here. WTF??? Well, when I went out to the porch, I heard this shrill shrieking, "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!! OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!", coming from this box.

Well, you can't hardly blame the woman for being royally pissed... Looks like the postal guys went postal on her. But, sheesh, she's still in a tizzy about it 36 hours later. My pets are all cowering in the corners and under the furniture. My playing cards are scattered everywhere and she's terrorizing them. When I caught her in the kitchen knife drawer, I decided she must be restrained.

Tin foil strait jacket. Works every time! :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Felting Doll Textiles continued...

I've started felting and stitching my pattern into the felt piece.
Some of the design is needle felted roving and some is stitched and embroidered wool thread and yarn.
I got this vintage wool mending thread at a thrift store a while back for 10 cents a package.

At the time, I thought that was kindof a high price for some old packs of wool thread. Then the other day I went online to look for more. Boy was I surprised! These little packets of wool mending thread, that contain 24 - 30 yards of thread, are selling for $1.70 average on ebay! So guess I got a deal...
Too stiff for me, so I went looking for new wool thread and found these skeins of crewel wool for $1.60 per. Each skein contains 80 - 100 yards of yarn. Still not cheap, but at least I got a bit more for my $$.

I've progressed further on my felted piece than shown here, but I haven't gotten more pics yet. I enjoy felting and stitching the pattern in, but about midway thru I start getting antsy to wet felt and shrink the piece - that's the best part!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Felting for doll attire

One of the main reasons I got interested in making art dolls is the variety of media and techniques that can be utilized in creating three dimensional figures. Stitching, beading, embroidery, clay sculpting, paper mache, felting, etc... It can all be incorporated into creating one art doll. I get bored with always doing the same craft (as is evident in the fact that my one and only full size quilt isn't completed after 5 years...).
So recently, since Yvonne made Susan's doll Peruvian, I've been looking at Peruvian textiles online. Decided to try felting some patterned wrapping blankets for my dolls. For once I've remembered to get some in-progress shots.

Here I had laid out and lightly needle felted some wool roving for the background. I forget what kind of wool this is, but it's scratchy. Not great for wearables, but it really felts nicely - both needle and wet felting. And I like the blah, neutral color against brighter colors.

Meanwhile, I brushed one side of my dog, Gussie Sue, and got all this.

She gets a real thick undercoat and she's going thru her big annual shed right now. Her undercoat is really soft and silky - like angora almost. I often throw it outside so the birds can line their nests with it. And sometimes I scatter it around the chicken coop to scare predators off. Well, since it was handy, I decided to felt some of it into my background.

Here's Gussie Sue vegging with Angel - a very rare occurrence as these are my two "no snuggling allowed" pets.

Mayberry said it felt much softer and cushier after some of Gussie's fur was added.

Next I wet felted the wool to mesh things together more. I soft felted without shrinking.

Then it was time to lay in some stripes of color. This is pre-dyed merino roving needle felted into the background wool.

I wanted a more muted, heathery affect, so I needle felted more of the back ground wool onto the back. The fibers get poked up thru the front colors to give it that heathery affect.

Okay, so that was the boring part of making the felted textile. Now I get to start adding pattern. I'll be felting and stitching in some simple patterns using more roving, wool yarn, and wool thread. Tune in later for more progress.