Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Art All Night entry:

Here's the finished piece as put into the show!

Friday, Saturday, Better-Wear-Your-Hatterday!

Actually, I should wear a hat, it's miserably sunny out there. I have an invisible label across my back: Do Not Expose Subject to Direct Sunlight.

The Art All Night show is tonight!!, and my daughter-grup and I are leaving here around noon to get our pieces in by the 2 pm deadline. Wish us luck that a) we actually find the place, and b) we have the cojones to hand over our art for public viewing. I don't know if I can stand to come back to see the show proper, I'm so bleedin' thin-skinned, especially as I'm submitting a purty happy fairy dolly instead of something ugly and slapped-together and ironic. Which I worked on for a week, including painting the face and wings from my own original drawings, making the clothes and accessories, arranging the wig and hair, and putting it all together on a labeled doll stand so she looks like she's fluttering. No big deal. *thunks head on table*

Photo later, after the show opens. No sneakie-peekies.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I haven't? Oh. Sorry!

I've been working working working on my art show entry, which is so pretty I can't believe I actually made it. Pics tomorrow, after the show opens. I'm attached to her now, I'll miss her for the time she's on display.

And stitching--jammies, tshirts, dresses...I finally took a deep breath and cut up Ann's dark green/blue plaid nightgown (the last thing of her own that she ever wore), and am making a smaller nightgown for my repro LHJ Daisy. Plenty left over for smaller things and a bear or two, too.

Pics soon, I swear.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A bit of a self-reflective mood.

Untitled by daisygamgee
Untitled, a photo by daisygamgee on Flickr.

Here's my girl, dressed by moi. She doesn't have a name yet; I'm open to suggestions.

ETA: Her name is Sally Jean!

Friday, April 22, 2011

In which I have to admit that I can do some stuff pretty darn good.

I signed myself up for an art show. Yes, I did. It's not a juried show, there aren't any criteria to submit a piece (just has to be art, yo), there's no fees, no prizes. It's a community effort that has developed a really good reputation over the years. But--I SIGNED MYSELF UP FOR AN ART SHOW HOLY SHIT!

This was at Kevin's recommendation/behest/push, which made me realize that he sees what I do as art. That's a level of recognition on his part that gratified me very much. Usually when I show him something I've finished, he says "That's nice, honey," or some variation thereon, which leaves me feeling like a kindergartner showing Daddy a stick figure drawing. His insistence that I get something in the show For Reals really surprised me.

Now all I have to do is get myself to see my work as Art For Reals.

I re-realized this when I posted the pic of the  finished face of my wood doll.  I looked at her and thought, "This is nothing special. It's just crafts, it's not art. All my drawn faces look the same. I don't know why I thought I could make it look good. I should just delete this post before anyone sees it and forget about it."

Now, I know that all artists and artisans do this to themselves, but that can't trivialize that *I* felt it, and felt it deep. When people tell me I'm talented, I always shrug it off as mere politeness. Every time I write my occupation as "artist" I cringe inside. WTF do I think I'm doing?!? ("Author" or "writer" don't make me feel like I'm an impostor-- after three or four successful novels, I've internalized that one confidently).

The hell of it is that I can actually see that there are things I do very well. If you catch me in the right mood, I'll tell you that I'm one of the best hand embroiderers in the country. My penmanship is not only clearly legible but also aesthetically pleasing. I can eyeball small measurements accurately. I read really fast with superior comprehension. I can write an essay an hour before it's due and it will, in fact, be quite good. For that matter, I can teach a good class as a substitute with only a few minutes' notification. I have a recognizable style and "hand": my faces don't in fact all look alike, but they are clearly my work.

But that's all technical stuff, or just "I've been doing this for 40 years so of course I'm skilled" stuff. But artist? Nah. Never thought of myself as a no-shit ARTIST.

Today I took a deep breath, got my mojo in place, leapt before looking, and signed myself up for an art show. You know what that means?

It means I'm an artist. For Reals.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In which I decide she's finished!

Here's my painted and reassembled doll, hair in place, waiting patiently in the sewing basket for me to finish her dress, bodice of which she is wearing:

In which I am somewhat chuffed.

Here's the nearly-finished painted head to my Xenis doll kit:

I actually freehanded it! I kept trying to do it the "right way" and had to wipe it twice. Note to self: don't try to follow beginners' rules when you know what you're doing and what you want to accomplish. *nods*

I spray-sealed it, of course (wtf don't reborners used layers of sealant instead of putting vinyl in the oven? *mystified*). I'm going to darken the eyebrows just a tad and add polygloss to the eyes and mouth.

Gratuitous doll-and-sleeping-cat shot:

Monday, April 18, 2011

In which I am the Dolly Lama.

I've been dancing between reading, stitching, and painting all day. What am I reading about? Dolls. What am I stitching clothes for? Dolls. What am I painting? Dolls. (Yes, two.)

I wants me this thang:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In which I come to an understanding with wood.

Yes, you all have naughty minds re: the word "wood." I heard you snicker.

I got a kinda 'spensive sumthin that I'm so pleased about it makes me giggle: the doll kit by Xenis. I. Love. This. Blank. Doll. The body is super-articulate with spring joints, all the carving is done! (yes, that's worth triple-digits to me), she's about Bluette's size so I don't need a whole 'nother set of patterns (...dammit! *snap*) and the wood is gorgeous and has an amazing hand. I've been sketching out faces, and hope to get started on the painting tomorrow. I've got a crummy cold, tho, which is sucking energy, so we'll see. I'll try to take pics as I go, but I'm very bad about that; I get into what I'm doing and don't even think of the camera.

Tonight I'm working on Bleuette jammies, sneezing and coughing, and drinking a lot of fluids. ;P

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In which patternmakers do not grok copyright law.

I've been reading doll clothing pattern errata--dates, copyrights, etc--and I'm finding a real unpleasant misunderstanding of what a copyright is. Often there'll be a statement to the effect that, not only can a buyer not copy this pattern to someone else for profit (standard, very appropriate), but that the pattern buyer is NOT to use the pattern to make items for sale under any circumstances. Sometimes there's a little threat--"copyright violaters will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law!"

Yeah. Only not so much. The copyright on the pattern extends to the exact drawings, text, diagrams, etc, which make that published unit, and no one except the copyright holder may copy said work as a publication for profit. That's it. The law covers the pattern, the sale of the pattern itself, and who may profit from the copying of the pattern as a publication.

It does NOT cover what use of the pattern the buyer makes of that pattern! At all. Period. Full stop. A cookbook writer can't sue someone for selling a cake based on the author's copyrighted work (or even for eating it). An author of a book can not sue a reader for whatever money-making ideas derive from that book. The copyright covers only the copying and sale of the work itself as a publication.

In crafts and sewing, as a matter of legal fact, the buyer need not even acknowledge that the item was made from a pattern at all, no matter who holds the pattern copyright. A person can potentially and legally make a lot more money from selling items made from someone else's pattern than the pattern copyright holder can ever hope to make from selling the pattern as a copyrighted work.

Now, of course, every community has its norms, and it's considered good form to at least acknowledge that a pattern was used. But no copyright holder of a pattern of any kind can tell you what to do with your own work made from that pattern or the sale of your own work made from that pattern.

So go forth and make stuff with impunity, my darlings, and ignore the ignobly ignorant!

Monday, April 11, 2011

In which I hit the wall.

Woodcarving is NOT my medium! I thought hard about the basswood blank for Hitty, and realized I just don't bloody want to carve the damn thing. I'm glad I decided to experiment a tad, but this particular art form is not for me. I'll cheerfully decorate wooden things, and have a blank doll trunk on the way to finish for my Bleuettes and in-transit Rosette. Carving wood? No, I don't think so. I've asked a friend if she wants the basswood blank for her own nefarious purposes.

I'm keeping the knives, though.

I found a bisque shoulderhead Shackman wood jointed mannikin in Ann's doll stuff (along with some compo dolls that make me nervous; I ordered some compo cleaner from Dollspart). I investigated whether it'd be worth selling on eBay....and no, not really. Bastards must have made a million of the things. The only one I found that went for over ten bucks was a dressed one--and that went for twelve. Not worth the bother and fees. I guess I'll dress her and find a nice display niche when we move into Ann's house.

I'm still working on the dress I had in my workbasket Friday when I posted that pic here. I foolishly decided to do decorative top stitching, which takes time. It'll look great, but ugh, these girls need jammies, by golly!, and I'm still working on last week's dress.

My husband called me a Human Sewing Machine this morning. Good? Bad? Doesn't matter, it's true. ;D

No knives today, honest!

Just a statement of fact:

Bleuettes and Hittys are like crack, and I'm addicted.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

In which I risk losing fingers.

So. I got my Hitty basswood blank and woodcarving knives in the mail the other day. Whoot, gonna try to bring the inner Hitty right outta that piece of soft wood! I got the tools out tonight, managed to gently carve off the saw markings (I could've sanded it, but I wanted to get a feel for the knives and the wood), round out the feet, and start on one hand.

I didn't actually hurt myself, but the potential is HUGE for major self-mutilation. I'm not the most dexterous person except for needles, thread, paint brushes, pencils, and/or writing instruments. Considering how I have a real talent for hurting myself while cooking, washing dishes, closing a box cutter, then on the closed box cutter...I dunno, y'all. Maybe I should hire out the carving, then do the painting myself.

Alternatively, I do have a really nice pattern for a cloth Hitty that I'd bleed on much less.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rebecca, for the first time.

This is Rebecca, my custom-made full-figured resin bjd from the workbench of Michael Waltz in Milwaukee WI. I chose her resin color, approved the pieces as he cast them, and did the faceup. I'm uber-pleased with how she's turned out.

What's in my workbasket at the moment:

Obligatory lurking cat:

Hey, kids--let's put on a MASS!

Copy-and-paste the URL, it's worth it, imo:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In which I take too many photos.

The Second Dress of Much Bother:

Colette welcomes her new sister, Cosette:

My Three Hittys, named for my three mothers, Alma, Roberta (Ann) and Alicia.

Heather and Colette were looking at the baby across the street:

Holly is mystified as to why in the world I'd go outside without her.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some pics of dolls. YAYES!

Here is my handle, here is my spout:
colette 1

Hitty Roberta, sitting, by stonedragon44 on eBay, and Hitty Alma, standing, by cassieq on Etsy:
hittys roberta and alma
We're waiting for Hitty Alicia, who is a Robert Raikes doll.

The painting on these two is so lovely and sharp!
hittys roberta and alma 2


I woke up today with a need for crackled marbles. No project in mind, just "I need me some crackled marbles, I doodly do." I'm learning to roll with these things when they hit, so I set about crackin' some glass, baby!

But here I sit with two broken marbles (also pretty, but not my goal) and roughly 90-plus still uncrackled marbles. Two methods I've tried didn't work very well--boiling, then ice water; baking, then ice water. Each method broke 1 marble. That's it. Dammit. Now I'm going to try what I observed at The Glass Works here in town. I'm baking the marbles for a really long time at 350(no, there's no way in my oven they'd get hot enough to melt), and then will put them in a closed metal container and wait for them to cool on their own. That oughta do it.

If it doesn't, then I'll think of something else. Fricaseed marbles, anyone?

ETA: I've got a few gorgeous crackly marbles, yays! I hope most of them pop and crack as they cool. Now I just need to figure out what to do with them, besides looking at them. 'Cause they's prettyful.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quickie piccie.

Just finished, and I mean w/in 5 minutes ago!, this cute romper for my Bleuette, Colette:

colette romper

I didn't get the pant cuffs in the shot, but I'll take more pics laters.

Eva does good work.

Something I didn't make, but is beautifully made all the same: this is my Facebook friend Eva J. Summers's work, on a Madame Alexander play doll she rescued from a thrift store bin. I bought it about 90 seconds after she posted it on her web site!

eva summers doll

I named her Eva, of course.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Dress of Much Bother.

dress of much bother

Of course.

I found my camera charger as soon as I put a replacement in my Amazon cart. I didn't have to actually buy the replacement, so the threat to replace it seemed to be enough to make the original one show up.

Also, I stayed up laaaaate to finish the dress for Heather for which I had to make a replacement bodice, as the first one was lost. Guess what I found about ten minutes after I came downstairs this morning. *facepalm* I guess Heather now gets two similar dresses with different skirts. @_@ Hey. You don't suppose she hid the first....naaahh, that's impossible. But I'm keeping an eye on her. Yeah, I'm watchin' you, kid.

Today I made two teensy dresses for a friend's teensy dolly, and have started a romper for Bleuette. Sooner or later I suppose I ought to make supper. Maybe.

Also? It's raining Hittys at my house! More on that later in the week.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fine, I'll use the damn machine, but I refuse to enjoy it.

My little tiny toy-sized Janome works pretty well. I decided to use the machine for the replacement bodice, and instead of the sewing taking up the entire evening by hand, it took about an hour with the little zippity machine. Mind, it shouldn't have taken that long, but I was having major issues--bobbin seizing, thread breaking, tangles, GRARR!--then I paused, really looked, and realized I'd left the bobbin-winder on. *facepalm* I had the machine on an Ikea lap desk, with the foot pedal under my crossed knee, and aside from motor noise, it was all easy, convenient, and not too terribly infuriating. Anyone interested in getting one should know that it will not go through more than four layers of medium weight fabric, and even then, I think the machine would have preferred gauze or light silk. Or kleenex.

And yes, I have Amazon Associates links here, and little ads to the left. All the same, I bought it at Overstock.

My house eats stuff.

I lost the bodice to a dress I'm making for Heather (a Lasher Alice). Frikkin' LOST it. I'm so bloody annoyed. At least I hadn't embellished it yet. The instant I cut and start a new one, I'll find the first one, so the sooner I start that replacement, the sooner I get the original back. There. I've run rings around you logically.

I also have misplaced the battery charger for my camera. Really, this is just not my day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Look, Maman, we have a lotta patterns, here, so git goin'!

Bleuette Colette 1

Yes, MA'AM!

There are also 50+ years of patterns for Bleuette on the interwebs, but I am *so* not telling her that.

Her name is Colette, btw. She kinda popped out of the box and took over. And she looked so mild and demure on her sales page. *sigh*

Disclaimer: I didn't make her dress (if I had, it would be much better made). DDE got her to me so fast I haven't had time yet. @_@