Tag Archives: doll

Some New Dollies

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So, here is part of what has kept me from my keyboard the last month or so…these dolls were supposed to be Christmas presents, but they just would NOT cooperate.  Fortunately the lady who ordered them is very, very nice.  She told me she wanted happy dolls, with no stress sewn in to them.  At last they are done and delivered. (Actually, they’ve been delivered for a week or two…I’ve not been on the ball with uploading photos, either.  Sigh.)

 





It always amazes me how they come out with their own personalities, even if I’m using the same pattern!  I used the same basic pattern for the three smaller ones, and they couldn’t be more different.  The two henna dolls started out the same, too – but the blond is definitely sassier than the brunette, don’t you agree?

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One of Those Days

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Actually, it’s been one of those weekends.  I have the February doldrums.  And I don’t even have the  excuse of a big ole snowstorm that the rest of the country has!  We kind of expect snow here.  It’s hard to have sled dog races without it.  Fortunately, I seem to be snapping out of it, thanks to some funny friends and a terrible old photo.

First gripey thing:

It’s Thing A Day time at Polymer Clay Central, and this little fairy was my offering for Day 7.  As you can see, she is really tiny.  Well, I got her all finished, and painted with Ranger Alcohol Inks, and sat her on my pasta machine to take a picture.  But then I got sidetracked with cleaning in my studio (probably looking for the blankety-blank camera), and before long I heard a crunching noise underfoot.  Yep.  Squashed fairy. One arm and almost all her petals broke off.  I mended her with super glue before taking this picture, but you can see that her arm and the petal directly under it weren’t quite in the right spot before the glue set.  Gr.

Next gripey thing doesn’t have a picture – my children have been dancing on my last nerve.  It’s getting to the point, though, where they are being so annoying I just have to laugh.  As I type, the Girl is putting barrettes and ponytail holders in my hair while the Boy (the Girl’s Assistant) is brushing it.  At least they’re trying to be gentle.  I was (facetiously) offering to sell them earlier, and one of my cyber friends came up with the best thing ever to get me to quit whining:  Could be worse.  They could have bagpipes.

Finally, my dad must have known I needed a laugh, because he emailed me this photo, wanting to know if I could date it for him.  Uh, yeah. 1983.  Junior Prom.  I’m second from left.  I won’t name the others – they’ve probably long since forgotten (blocked out) this picture.


This is Didimaa

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She was my entry for the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild of Art Fire’s January challenge, which had an Asian theme. I’m so glad I decided to enter this challenge. I’d been thinking about trying to sculpt a woman in a sari for a long time, but I kept putting it off. I love doing sculpture: it’s wonderful to watch a character emerge from blobs of clay.

Polymer clay has been called “the chameleon clay” because it can mimic so many things so beautifully – stone, metal, wood, etc. It also works great as fabric. For Didimaa’s attire, I started by dressing her in a blouse and petticoat:

(This is a good shot for showing scale, since she’s sitting on an Altoids tin and resting her foot on a cookie cutter.) I wasn’t sure, at this point, what color to make the background of the sari fabric. So I went upstairs and did dishes for awhile. Problems often seem to solve themselves at inconvenient times, like when I’m up to my elbows in dishwater, but only half done the chore. Sigh.

So, when I came back down to the studio, I’d decided to go with green’s compliment, red. I didn’t want it to look Christmasy, though, so I chose a kind of pinky red. I chopped up some red and dark pink Cernit and added some translucent Fimo, in hopes of making the finished sari a bit transparent. That didn’t work too well – next time I’ll use more of the translucent. I also added a bit of green Cernit to tone down the pink a little. Here’s the beginning of the sari:

After a few passes through my pasta machine, and the application of a few cane slices and gold trim, that mess up there turned into this:

(Canes, for those of you who don’t play with clay, are logs of clay that have a picture running through it, so that the cross section of the log shows the picture. Ever buy those tubes of cookie dough at the grocery store that have a picture of a ducky or a chick on each slice? Same idea. Here’s a better explanation, with pictures. The paisleys and patterned dots on the sari fabric are cane slices. The gold dots are just smooshed balls of clay. )

This fabric was still too thick, and the decorations needed to be smoothed into the background, so back to the pasta machine it went. After a few more passes, it was as thin as I could make it, and starting to stick to itself. Trying to drape 15″ of extremely thin, sticky clay into a sari around a seated figure was, um, a challenge. (I would have used a stronger word, but my mom is probably reading this….) Next time, the figure will be standing. And holding her arms out to the side. And on a bigger scale!

She still needed jewelry, make up and something to sit on. I made her a little polymer clay stool for her foot to rest on, and a seat, covered with more polymer clay fabric decorated with another paisley cane.

Make up and nail polish are painted on with acrylic paint. Jewelry is jump rings and the chain off a bracelet that’s supposed to keep you from losing it if the clasp breaks.

I think I might need to make some grandkids for her to be telling a story to!

Update:  My good friend Tammi just returned from her winter break trip to visit her hubby’s family in India, and she gently pointed out that “Didimaa” is not spelled “Deedeema,” as I’d first spelled it.  I also tied the sari a bit goofy, as the part going over the left shoulder should be going over the right and it should cover her chest more.  Next time….!

Finished Dollies

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Five in a Row

I finished my big doll order last week!  Yea!  I finally got around to taking some pictures of the completed dollies.  The lighting isn’t very good, but you get the idea.  I was experimenting with the kuspuks, and I didn’t realize how varied the lengths were until I saw this ^ picture.  And somehow I missed getting a close up of the one in the middle.  Oh well, I don’t really want to see any of them again for a while anyway . . . .

More Kuspuks, and Doll Hair

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I made this sweet little doll in a kuspuk as a donation to my daughter’s school fund-raiser. I think she came out really well – and my daughter’s teacher was the winning bidder!

Kuspuk Dolly No. 2 and her clothes

With her hood up

Now, I really have to finish up a custom order of dolls. A local lady gives handmade dolls to her 5 nieces every year for Christmas, and this year, I was lucky enough to win her business. The 5 dolls I’ve made are about 18″ tall, with embroidered faces and black velour yarn hair. They will all wear socks or tights, undies, shoes and a kuspuk (a traditional garment worn by some groups of Alaska Natives). I found instructions for human-sized kuspuks, then scaled them down for my dolls’ proportions. All 5 doll bodies are sewn and stuffed, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on the kuspuks. The undies and footwear won’t take long, but I’ve been pulling my hair out over the dolls‘ hair! When I was a kid, I always disliked doll hair that was only sewn down along a central part, the way rag doll hair usually is. If I untied the doll’s braids or undid her ponytails, I then had a doll with a long mohawk – the sides of her head would be bald. I preferred rag dolls to baby or fashion dolls, but the plastic dolls had rooted hair that could be brushed and styled. And what little girl doesn’t want to styled their dolls’ hair? So, now that I’m making rag dolls, I’ve been trying to solve this problem, without buying doll wigs. So far, I have one doll with the traditional central part and one with a crocheted cap with strands of yarn knotted all over it. (The doll’s scalp showed through the cap, so I covered her head with some black fabric.) And 3 bald dolls.

1 kuspuk, 3 wigs, 5 undies, 10 socks and 10 shoes to go!

By the way, sorry about the crappy photos – natural light is pretty hard to come by in Fairbanks in November!

ArtFire.com Updates

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I decided that trying to do our local holiday bazaars this year was just not going to work.  Hubby is taking a welding class on alternate Saturdays . . . which just happen to be the Saturdays I was planning to sell at the bazaars.  (Also, flu season and snow have hit. Bleh.)  So I am trying to stock up my ArtFire shop.  Only two new items posted so far, but I’ll be taking some more photos today.  Come back soon for more updates!Goofy Cat with Vest

For some reason, I can’t get the other new item’s picture into this post. Grrr.  So go visit ArtFire.com!  My shop is Butterscotch_Grove.