Friday, October 23, 2009

Time to experiment

As you might have gathered from my previous posts I can be a rather strange person. One of my quirks is that I buy some of the weirder and more wonderful materials and then won't try them out, "because it would be a shame to waste them". And since these materials will never amount to anything without some serious experimentation, they end up in my "one-day-I-will"-cupboard.Being in dolly limbo after all the big challenges, I needed something fun and uncomplicated to play I decided that it was about time I lost some of my weird quirks......and here is experiment no.1.

Oh.....can't tell you about experiment no.1 before telling you about another quirk....I never keep any of the patterns I make or ideas that I come up with.
Once they are made that's it......over the years I've bought a pile of folders with all the right intentions, but they always got filled up with stuff, but never with my stuff. So experiment no. 1 was intended to kill 2 quirks in one go...make a folder cover and use some previously unused strange materials.....

Well here it is........

No doubts who this folder belongs to!

The border is made from lutradur, first painted in a shimmery gray and then painted with some copper enamel I had laying about. After that I ironed on some Angelina fibers (he that's two experiments in one!)
The interesting proporties of lutradur show when it's heated. So where it that blasted heatgun.......hmm.....
after 2 hours searching and much frustration I was so fed up that I picked up the whole piece and held it over the stove. This created an interesting effect!
Hmmm....maybe a bit more distance from the flames.....(he, it is an experiment!)
So instead of my nice square piece of lutradur, that should show some delicate lacing effects I ended up with this....frame???

So I had a frame now....but what to put in it?
I wanted to try a fabric portrait for a while, but as I could envision the repercussions if I would mess up, I decided the safest way to go was to use my own portrait....and there you have it....a folder that I never have to write my name on, an experiment with lutradur and angelina fibers and an experiment in fabric portraits! No I just have to write it all down and put it in the folder.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Something a little different......autumn leaves

I really had to come up with an idea for a long overdue present.
Jean Bernard who's not only a fabulous artist, a great teacher, but also a very nice person, sent me a box of the most scrumptious fabrics a few months ago and I still hadn't thought of anything I could sent her, seeing as she is not a doll collector.....
But after getting both the Hoffman challenge doll and the Treasures of the gypsy doll out of the way I ran out of excuses and had t
o put my thinking cap on.
If there is anything Jean is good at it is to pry people out of their boxes, so it couldn't be anything box standard. Then I thought of the face molds I won in the silent auction at CIFI '08, Jean donated a whole pack of her face molds and instructional cd's. And ideas started to flow..... and here is the
result....a pin.....
There are tiny beads, pewter arm charms, a California jasper cabochon, copper leaf, some kind of weird bandage-like fabric, unspoon silk, glitters, paints and glue.
And yeah, there is some stitching there too!

What can I say........I just really hope she likes it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Treasures of the gypsy 2009

Treasures of the gypsy challenge 2009Can you believe the shock I got when I openened my gypsy treasure package and found the exact same fabric as I had for last years challenge???
I had a really hard time then trying to somehow make orange, red and a hint of purple work in one doll, I felt like screaming NO....N
OT AGAIN.....ah, well....
This time I took a different approach and pulled out every bit of red and orange fabric I could find and laid them out from dark to just screamed firebird to me and that's how the idea for the Phoenix was born.... the pictures here she's not quite finished, still some finishing touches to do, but I thought I better make use of the light and take the pictures already....
As on the pictures for more details...

I decided I had to sculpt a full body, because she had to be a very pretty and elegant girl. So I made a wire frame over which I needle felted the body in wool batting, this wool batting then got needle sculpted and covered with two separate layers of nylon pantyhose which got individually needle sculpted as well.
I really hoped that I could create the curves and humps and bumps a body has got without it looking unnatural, after all she wouldn't be covered up by much....
I spent forever trying to recreate the ankles, knees, breasts and collarbone in woolbatting and nylon.
And then there where feathers.........
Oh, dear the feathers........I
started of with the largest layer of tail feathers......easy peasy....6 different fabrics, gold thread and lots and lots of tiddly tiny size 15 Miyuki seedbeads. Did I think for one minute that even my tiniest feather would have to made up out of 6 different fabrics, gold thread, etc. as well? Of course not........sigh, but we got there in the end.

To cover up or not to cover up, that's the question....
Then I came to my final problem, could I sent a bare breasted doll to a challenge?
Not much of a problem here in Holland, but in the States??? I
thought the subject could be a bit more sensitive there..... So I tried various "coverings" and one after they other got rejected, whatever I did to cover up the possible offending area, it made it much worse...she started to look like a very exotic dancer. So yep....the Phoenix stamped her feet (or should I say flapped her wings) and I gave in. She'll stay "au naturelle".

So here she is my Phoenix, I think it's my first attempt at real pretty, pretty doll.
My hands where itching to add a few flabby bits here and there, to give certain areas a bit of droopyness and add a few wrinkles to the face.
Who wants to look at there doll's body and be jealous???
Hmm.....I might have to make an old lady next, just to make me feel better.........

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hoffman challenge 2009

Hmmm......this years Hoffman challenge fabric didn't get me very excited.
I know there are many people who love it, but it just didn't do much for me....
So I had some serious doubts about entering........but decided to start playing with the fabric to see if I could use it in a different way.

So I ended up making beads and those beads reminded me of a picture I had seen on our recent trip to the United States in the Navajo reserve.
And that's how "Tatanka" came to life.
On our trip we learned that tatanka means buffalo, so the name seemed fitting seeing as his shirt has got a buffalo applique on the back and he's wearing buffalo horns on his head.

Besides the fabric beads I've used 15/0 miyuki seed beads, it takes about 350 beads to cover a square inch! I don't think I've ever spent this much time on a shirt in my life. Will you believe there is almost a fat quarter of challenge fabric in this outfit? There's only a few snippets left.
However I'm not quite sure if they will accept this as a recognizable amount.
But I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I have to apologize for the pictures. I couldn't get all the detail in his sculptered face to show up properly. I would have tried again in daylight if I wasn't in a hugh hurry to get him posted.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Creations in Fiber 2009

What can I say about the Creations in Fiber conference in Albuquerque?
It was the most fun I've had since.........well since Cifi 2008 I guess.
The people where fantastic, the teachers where the best and to top it all off this happened:

This years theme for the challenge dolls was musical.......
So somehow my, admittedly strangely wired, brain came up with a street musician.
Will you believe that this doll won judges choice and had a 100% left me totally gobsmacked.


Below is a slideshow of some of the pictures I took. You'll see Arley Berryhill's dolls, he gave a fantastic presentation and brought in so many of his fabulous dolls. Challenge and Show-and-Tell dolls and ofcourse our class dolls.