Tag Archives: ooak

Some New Dollies


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?


Of Cakes and Trains


The Boy asked for a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for his third birthday last year, and I came up with this:


Well, this year I decided I didn’t want to face all the greasy decorator bags and tips and bowls and spatulas and little boy and girl fingers…so I went the easy route.  The Boy again asked for a Thomas cake, but this year I asked if he wanted to help.  He enthusiastically agreed.  Actually, “enthusiastically” is an understatement.

I bought canned frosting (! Sacrilege !) and decorator icing in tubes.  I made a chocolate cake from a box (! Blasphemy !), in a 9×13 pan.  Nice big canvas for decorating, no stacking required.  We left the cake in the pan (no side to decorate).  He got the “baby” offset spatula (I got the “mommy” one) and we spread the canned frosting over the top. Then:

Cake Decorating 3-29-10

we tried using the tube icing.  It was a little tough for him to squeeze the tube and get the icing to stick to the white frosting just where he wanted it, so I gave him a toothpick to draw in the frosting with.  When he was done his drawing, he told me what colors to use and I went over his lines with icing.  A #4 candle, several star candles and sugar letters finished the job.  Ta Da:

Happy Engines 3-29-10

It may not look like any Percy, James and Thomas you’ve seen before, but my Boy could not have been happier or prouder.  (Or more wired)  And it didn’t take forever to clean up the kitchen!  I think I made a good decision.

Four Years Ago


This is what was happening in our family four years ago today:



FWB 3-39-06

FWB and Daddy 3-29-06

Big Sissy Practicing 4-1-06

My little man is already four years old!  He has learned so much and mastered so many skills in such a short time, it’s easy to that four is still pretty little.  Yesterday I was wearing an “I (Heart) NY” t-shirt that Wonderful Hubby got for me on a business trip.  After we talked about what the letters on the shirt meant, we joked about me going to New York “on the red-eye.”  The evening progressed as usual, and soon it was time for Daddy to put Boy to bed and Mommy to put Girl to bed, as always.  As soon as I was out of sight, Boy fell apart, crying for Mommy.  He often resists going to bed, so we let him cry for awhile, until Girl and I were finished with her bedtime stories.  When I went to him, he asked through his tears, “Are you going to New York tonight?”  After I reassured him that I was not going anywhere, he said, “Don’t go to New York tomorrow!  It was a bad joke! Don’t leave me!”  Poor little guy was so tired and so panicky that this went on for about an hour.  I finally had to sit with him on the rocking chair until he fell asleep.  That was lovely, but challenging, as he now weighs over 50 pounds and is so tall he sticks out over both arms of the chair by a good amount.  I’m sorry that I made such a bad joke, but it is nice to know that I’m so important.  🙂

And the winners are…


I was going to use the random number generator to pick the winners of my One World One Heart giveaway, but so many folks asked me to “toss [their] name into the hat” that I decided to use this:

This is a straw hat made for me by my Wonderful Husband, after I told him about the chapter in Little House in the Big Woods where Ma makes straw hats for every body in the family.  Such a nice hubby.  In the hat are 182 teeny slips of paper, each with a number on it.

I had two willing helpers to draw the winners:

First my 5-year old Girl picked Anji from Juneau’s number (can you believe that? 182 responses from all over the world, and the 1st winner is from Alaska!).

Then my 3-year old Boy got to pick the 2nd winner, concupiscent335.  (As you can see, this event took place pretty early at our house – the wee ones are still in their pjs.)  Then, the Boy put the hat on his head and shook all the bits of paper all over the living room. Sigh.

So, CONGRATULATIONS TO ANJI AND CONCUPISCENT335! If I don’t hear from you by Friday, 2-19, I’ll choose another winner…and I really don’t want to pick all those little bits of paper out of the vacuum cleaner bag. 🙂

This is Didimaa


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….!

Handmade Holidays


Wow! Can you believe it’s already November? For us, here in Fairbanks, it seems really strange. We had a very dry fall – no snow until the last week of October. Usually it starts around the last week of September. I’ve been running around taking advantage of the weather … in other words, procrastinating getting ready for winter! Now I have to do what folks at lower latitudes do every year: prepare for winter and the holidays at the same time! Eek!

And, this year, I decided to have a handmade holiday. Everybody on my list is getting something handmade. You think I’m crazy, don’t you? I mean, I’m a self-professed procrastinator, my studio is a construction zone and I have little kids. Don’t worry, I have a plan! I’ve already finished some presents…and I never said all those handmade items had to be made by my hands. 🙂 I have a not-so-secret source for fabulous handmade stuff – ArtFire.com – and I intend to use it.

I love the unique quality of artisan-produced stuff – and let’s face it, not everyone on my gift list would welcome polymer clay jewelry or a rag doll, no matter how adorable and well-made. Check out some random non-cutesy stuff I found:

From The Beaded Lily: A beautiful and masculine $12 keychain.

From Brilliance Found: The perfect earring for your guy if he wants to look pierced without getting pierced – for $2.50!

From Inkwear99: Shoes and shirt for your tattooed dude. ($60 and $11, respectively)

Why should I turn around an spend the money I earn from craft sales on other peoples’ crafts?

1. Why no? The stuff is beautiful and unique.

2. I can ask question about an item’s components or construction method from the person who made it, instead of a store clerk who may or may not be clueless.

3. I’m helping support folks who are facing the same kinds of challenges I am…maybe that’ll help my karma!

Why ArtFire?

1. Well, initially, I chose ArtFire because Kathi at Dragonglass mentioned that artists could open a shop there FOR FREE. No fees. At all. And I’m cheap. I haven’t opened any other online shops yet (ie – at Esty.com, Ebay, or any of the other possibilities), so I can’t say if ArtFire’s better than any other, but I like it so far.

2. You don’t need to open an account at ArtFire if you just want to shop.

3. You can shop for craft supplies and cool vintage finds there, as well as handmade stuff.