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Archive for the ‘doll’ Category

Sorry, I was gone FOREVER, wasn’t I?

I’ve been very busy with Lots of things. Which I will show you in coming posts.

But first . . . an Announcement:

The Spoonflower shop is OPEN.

my spoonflower 1

my spoonflower 2

my spoonflower 3

my spoonflower 4

my spoonflower 5

And just in time for their 50% off fat quarters sale. Which ends August 11th.

I’m concentrating on doll scale fabrics. All the designs are labeled as S (small 8″ to 10″ dolls) M (medium 12″ to 14″ dolls like Blythe) or L (large 16″ to 18″ like Sasha or American Girls). There are a very few labeled T (for tinies like RealPuki or Kiddles). So if you want some small scale fabrics and like what you see above — go shop!

I will be adding new designs and color schemes periodically. Enjoy!

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halloween-vintage-postcard-woman-w-goblins

Love those little goblins peaking out from behind the big pumpkin moon.

And a silly spooky Blythe dress:

blythe-dress-halloween-2016

Yes, that is my handy dandy headless Blythe body which I got so I could fit patterns on it without risking scratching a great big Blythe noggin.

About a week or so ago I was doing some recreational browsing, which is kinda like retail therapy except you don’t generally buy anything. When I spotted this cool small scale skull fabric and thought I have got to make something out of that, at the counter I noticed that it had a tag on the bolt that said “Glow-in-the-Dark”. So I bought some and went home, dug thru my pattern stash and decided to make this yoked dress. Then I did a little google search to see if anyone made glow-in-the-dark thread and found out that DMC does. Wow! Back to the fabric store to get some and also pick up some lace for the bottom of the dress. A few, well several, hours later — ta da, Spooky Blythe Halloween dress.

Which I posted off to Arlene, who got the package, opened it, picked up the phone and Sqwee! She really liked it. Photo of her doll wearing the dress properly accessorized to come later.

A note about that DMC floss: it’s from their Light Effects collection and it’s number E940. It looks white in daylight but it Glows-in-the-Dark. Hooray! Also it’s made of polyester not cotton which means it’s fiddley to work with so for what it’s worth here are my tips for use. Use shorter lengths than you would for cotton floss, this stuff likes to unwind and tangle. Also try to only touch the needle not the floss as this stuff snags on everything, my hands aren’t the smoothest but they aren’t that rough and the floss kept catching on my fingers. Polyester floss is a booger to stitch with until you get the hang of it, but the final effect is worth it.

 

UPDATE:     Here are Arlene’s Blythe dolls all dressed up for Halloween.

arlene-blythe-halloween

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I got an email from Stephanie Blythe telling me that fellow NIADA artist Lisa Lichtenfels needs all our help. In the same six weeks her husband passed away and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. As all artists know when you work freelance when you can’t work you don’t get paid.

Please help Lisa pay her cancer co-pays and stay current with her living expenses. You can go to this link to learn more about the medical gofundme for Lisa that a dear friend of mine (Connie Smith) has organized.

Lisa Lichtenfels is one of the kindest, funniest, most honest people I have ever met. I met her in 1993 in Chicago where she showed her work and gave an inspiring slideshow talk about where she lived and worked. It opened with her saying that she had been reading and seeing all about people who lived and worked in fabulous inspiring places including a recent magazine article about a person who lived in a castle. She opened the slideshow by saying “This is a picture of the fixed-up side of my house.” We roared with laughter — Lisa didn’t live in a fancy place or even a totally fixed up place; she lived in a house where, she proceeded to tell us, it took six months to evict a “sitting tenant” (a squatter). “This isn’t the house we wanted; this is the house we could afford.” Her dry wit, her personality, her art — there just isn’t anything at all that I don’t love about Lisa.

Later during the visiting artists critique my doll was criticized for having incorrect thumbs. I was told “look at your thumbs and sculpt what you see”, I held up my hand and said “I did.” The poor artist looked at my hand and flustered said “Look at someone else’s thumbs. Take photos.” Now I need to explain that my family has anatomically incorrect thumbs — they are strange looking. They work great but they’re a bit odd, sort of double jointed and the last joint sticks out away from the hand. Then during the general viewing of the visiting artists pieces I was talking to Lisa and explained about the freaky thumb thing and she looked at the dolls hand and my hand and said “I like that it has your thumbs.”

I know for certain that I am not the only person who feels so strongly about Lisa, as a person and an artist. I am hoping that you will be willing to help her, both financially and by spreading the word about her need.

Now for the photo portion of this post:

lisa and phobe

This is Lisa with Phobe; one of her life sized Ticket taker pieces. These were made for posh people who had a private theater in their houses and wanted a sculptural piece to sit outside as if ready to take the ticket stubs.

princess arsinoe in the ostrich race

the last samaritan

These three photos came from Lisa’s website. I hope she forgives me for copying them so I could share them. You can also find more info on this Facebook page. Also try doing a google image search.

Please help.

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I Got a Makie!

Now some of you are no doubt saying to yourselves “What the heck is a Makie?”

Allow me to explain: a Makie is a 10 inch tall doll which has a customized 3-D printed head and an injection-molded body with detachable parts. Like the hands and the feet so they can be dressed easily and so that optional extra parts; like alternate pose hands* and cool shoes (some are slip on and some are like alternate feet).

Yes, I totally missed the boat on the entirely 3-D printed Makies (last ones went at the end of the summer) but thanks to a wonderful review of the new body by flyingpurplemonkfish I now have one of the new dolls.

Here is my very first Makie, named Thorn, fresh out of her box:

makie thorn box opening

Please note that she is bald because I asked for her wig to be left unglued so that I could swap out her wigs (that cookie envelope on the right of the photo is a blue wig). Also please forgive the background, this is the only spot that still had enough sunlight for photos.

makie thorn closeup

This closeup shows the body color vs the head color. The match isn’t too far off — I think part of the problem is that the head color has a depth and radiance due to the white nylon showing through the skin dye, whereas the body color is opaque solid plastic. It matches better than this in real life to human eyes.

And here she is with her wig on:

makie thorn wig

Now that she’s here I can see a definite resemblance to “Carla Conner” from Coronation Street though I didn’t plan it that way.

Her digital preview:

Makie Thorn digital preview

The create-a-makie on the makie website is addictive, I can spend waaaay too much time here designing faces. Oh yeah, the primary attraction of a Makie is that you design the face, including choice of three skin colors. If you try it make sure to click on the more options button to turn on the custom face screens. The ears don’t show in the digital preview so here is a screen shot of the settings I used for Thorn’s ears. Yes, Thorn is Fae, as in Faerie.

Makie Thorn Ears

I guess I should mention that Makies cost $75 US, they ship worldwide, and that they are very poseable and fun. They also have a range of disability accessories (like hearing aids) and they encourage kids to be Makers. The new career packs (Musician, Veterinarian, Archeologist, Photographer) that they have just released for the holiday season are very cute. So are the new shoe packs and glasses packs.

So head over to Makie land and have some fun.

*The alternate pose hands for the new body aren’t available yet, but hopefully soon.

 

 

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Happy Halloween!

Spider Revenge

Enjoy the silliness that abounds today!

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What crocodile? You know what crocodile. This one:

Crocodile

The one what ate the alarm clock and who eventually comes for us all. That crocodile.

Why am I going on about a ticking crocodile . . . because he came for Akira. The truly wonderful and entirely talented Akira Blount. Remember these:

Akira Cat Man 150ppi

The people with animal face masks. She taught classes in this, and though I didn’t get a chance to take one I hear they were great.

Akira Twig Hair

Her work later began to incorporate more and more natural materials, like this piece with twig hair.

Akira Wooden Skirts

And finally, these fantastic pieces with turned and carved wooden skirts. Forgive the tragically bad photo, conditions were way less than ideal.

Akira Jack in the box

This jack-in-the-box is the only piece of Akira’s work that I have. It was the souvenir at the annual NIADA conference one year. I remember leaving the banquet that night holding it and hearing Bill Nelson crowing to a group of people ahead of us in the hallway about how great his Jack’s thumbs were. They were the best Jack thumbs at his table. So we (the people I sat with a dinner) went over and asked what was all this about thumbs? Bill explained the clear superiority of his Jack and then said “Show me your thumbs”. We (my dinner group) had not paid particular attention to the relative quality of our Jack thumbs. So we popped open our Jacks and held them up for inspection. A deep silence fell . . . and persisted. Bill scowled — at me; my Jack’s thumbs had bested his. Then we all laughed and went to find a cosy place to laugh some more and talk the rest of the evening away.

It’s been really, really hard to write this post. That damn crocodile has been wreaking havoc among this particular group of people I care about. Mirren, Martha, Susie, Elizabeth, Barbi, and now Akira. These aren’t just people I admire and am inspired by. These are people I knew, people I’ve spent time with; had long talks with; shared meals with. People I had a deep and lasting affinity with. People who are leaving a significant hole in both my heart and my life.

So if you even think you hear something going “Tick-Tack Tick-Tack”: Run Like Hell.

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A Very Silly Book

A Very Silly Book

Yes, as I promised last week the identity of the silly little dolls having a picnic is revealed.

Psychedelic Fun: Upsy Downsy Land

Psychedelic Fun: Upsy Downsy Land

They are from Upsy Downsy Land. The Upsys are smaller and live right side up. The Downsys are larger and live either way up — they are very good at standing on their hands. Upsy Downsy Land is a very happy friendly place to hang out.

I remember playing with these trippy tiny people when I was little, first you’d connect up all the maps you had and then they would drive and drive and drive around. Occasionally they’d stop for a sandwich or a swim or sometimes a nap. It was a pretty idyllic flat little world but there were hazards — like the time the wizzer (with doll attached) went screaming across the kitchen floor and smacked our Mother right in the ankle (oh the shouting, oh the temporary banishment to our room).

Two pieces of Happidiculous survived my childhood: a somewhat worn ladybug car and the tiny blue bucket from the firetruck (oh yeah, the firetruck was an elephant). Fortunately I’ve been able to reacquire a small group of dolls, vehicles and accessories (thank you ebay) over the last few years.

Sadly, they were only made for one year, 1969. Read more about them here. It would have been really wonderful fun to see what other sets might have been introduced if the line had lasted. Mine have been lobbying for a drive-in theater and a downtown shopping area — also much larger play maps with more landscape in proportion to road. Oh, and they are demanding a electric car recharger and solar power arrays. Ha!

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