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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Progress Continues on Latest Root-Haired Doll



Well, as usual, my progress is neither steady nor speedy, but somehow, I made some on this latest root-haired lady. Her face is painted and I will be making her a body and some limbs soon.
I like her face a lot, and she will need beautiful clothing to wear, too. None of this shabby-chic stuff for her. I am not particularly good at fancy finery, but I will do my best. I have some of  James Christensen's work http://www.jameschristensenart.com/, which is wonderful, and his characters are outfitted in great style; I will do as my friend Nancy does (one out of all my Nancy friends) and let James help me outfit this doll.
 
I also fiddled around with a little head/torso I'd made out of a scrap of fabric last month or the one before. I love making small dolls out of what I call "Nothing!" as they can be made from such tiny scraps that most (sane) people would not even keep them. So I have mine and also some from the sane people I know who save them for me. They consider this "recycling" without hardly any effort, so I feel good to get them and they feel good to get rid of them, in a "green way," no less!! Win-win!!
Here she is, nestled in my palm. I really love her little serene face. If someone had ASKED me to draw a serene face, I probably wouldn't have been able to do it, but my dolls' faces are all about happy accidents, more or less. I consider making dolls "playing," and so I don't over-think when I make them. That would make the process too much like real work!! Why would I want to do THAT?!?!?!  I don't.
 
And so the winter goes, with January over half over already!! Western Washington (state) is "enjoying" it's usual wet weather and dark days; that's what winter looks like here and we can either like it or not, but that doesn't change it.  So we choose to like it. It's a very good time for spending time indoors, working on indoor projects. The grass is sleeping, the garden is asleep, too, even the three dogs do their share of extra sleeping, and enjoying the warmth of the fireplace.

 
The Seattle Seahawks are playing the Green Bay Packers tomorrow in the NFL playoffs. We are 110 miles from Seattle, but the Blue-Green Fever spreads a lot farther than that!! So we are a little caught up in it as well. We'll be watching tomorrow, along with probably 75% of the country.
 
I am always glad when the Hawks make the playoffs, not only for the team but also for all the small businesses that are near Century Link Field ("the clink" in NW jargon) and those people that work inside selling, cleaning, and whatever else individuals are employed to do in there. Between those jobs and folks who work in the hotel industry, many families  benefit when the Seahawks play post-season games at home.
 
Stay tuned on progress on my dolls.
 
 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fourth RootHair in Progress

 
I SHOULD put the tee shirt skin on my doll's face before I allow myself to draw on it, but I can't help it. I MUST find out what she's going to look like and I've already had to wait four or five days for her head to dry.!! I can't STAND waiting!! But I love the hair on this one, and I think she'll wear a fancy outfit. Maybe she'll have a bird nest in her hair!!  Isn't there a poem about a woman who has a bird nest in her hair?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Three Root-Hairs in Progress




Here are the three dolls that are "in progress," although right now I am ignoring them in order to concentrate on holiday things.

As you can see, they each have their "own look" and so will end up looking quite different from each other.

Another doll I've made recently is this one:

 This is a small doll, about 9 1/2 inches tall. She has a skirt added to her Awake Side and will have hair, of course.
 
That's about all that's new in my doll world. Stay tuned.
 
 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Big Root-Haired Dolls





Here is my first large root-haired doll; her "hair" is a wild blackberry's root which I wrenched from the earth only with great effort!! Every single blackberry root is like that--they do NOT come out easily, and there are always more to pull up, as one never "gets it all."
 

 
Of course, one is never enough, so now I have three of the larger root hair dolls in progress:


 
Here is the top one with her face partly painted. She has very large eyes, which makes her a child:

 

 
All of these root heads began with the root and on most, I used aluminum foil bunched around the "stem" of the root, although one has one of those paper-wrapped Styrofoam balls you can buy at craft stores. You could use just about anything for the basic head. Sometimes you need to use masking tap to hold all the "inner head" together. Then I use Das or Paper Clay to cover the head and make the features. Both these products air dry fairly quickly (it helps to keep them in a warm place).
Once the paper clay is dry, I cover the head with a "skin" of old tee shirt fabric. It can be any color--I just grab one from my rag bag. The smaller the head, the thinner fabric you will need, but it's always easy to find old shirts (or even underwear!) around the house to use. Some people prefer the cotton shirts with 5% lycra, but I'm not that picky.
 
With the smaller root-hairs, I don't give them tee shirt "skin" due to the smallness of their features. Here is my latest one, still in progress:
 
 
 
That's all for today. There will be more root-haired news to come.
 

Big Gourd-Head in Progress and My China Girls

                      https://twitter.com/DollMakerBarb


This big gourd head doll is on her third face!! But I like this one, so I think it will be her forever face. I'm not sure she'll keep this hair, though.
 
She has been "in progress" for so long I hate to even say. I have a couple pair of antique, high-button baby shoes that I think she will get to wear. If I sell her, I will need to remember that I paid $25 a pair for them and add it on to the price. I HATE pricing my dolls--somehow it just seems wrong, but no matter how much I like them, I can't keep them all--especially the ones as big as she is. She''ll be close to 30 inches tall when she is done.
 
 
This is my collection of "China Girls," which I plan to share with my grandgirls. As you can see, the shelf I keep them on is FULL, so I will need to share soon or I won't have room for any new ones!!
 
It definitely feels like winter today, here in the Pacific Northwest. It's very sunny, very breezy, and about 40 degrees! Brrr!!
 
Today is Veterans' Day and I'm remembering all those who served and are serving now.  My four House uncles all served in World War II, as did my Uncle George Evans. So if any of you reading this are in active service or veterans, thank you so much for your service and I'm glad you are still with us!! Have a great day!!
 
 
 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Root-Haired Dolls:


When pulling up a weed in my backyard, I noticed that it looked just like hair, and so I made this doll.  I called him "Earth Man" because his hair had come out of the earth:
 
 
This is how he looked before I dressed him:

 
There;s not a lot to him. His head is DAS paper clay and his body is made of chenille stems; I wrapped his hands and legs in pearl cotton. Usually I use embroidery floss but I didn't have any the right color.

I took him to doll club in Puyallup and all the ladies wanted to make one, so I began saving roots from the hay I was pulling up in the garden (see Gardeningbyhand.blogspot.com).

Here is one "group" picture of the dolls they came up with:
 
 
Here is another:
 
 
 
 
And two more: one howling and one looking inscrutable:


 
 
And another group:



                                                            And this smiling person:
 
This one is a bit scary:

 
While this one is serene:
 
And two more-- one singing and one listening:
 
 
 
 
I can't wait to see how they'll all look when finished!!