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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Working on that Covered Vinyl Head Again

Change from the way she looked on March 9.

I am not finished with the face on this doll. I have more work to do on the eyes. I think they are too dark now, so I'll lighten them up the next time I work on her.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Class to Dye For!

Took a fabric dyeing class today at Quilt Harbor (Aberdeen, WA). It was taught by Val Fox-Armey and lasted all day. We dyed eight pieces of fabric (fat quarters) using eight different techniques. Here are some pictures.:

In these pictures, we are doing our first project, which was producing our "ombre" pieces, which are made by immersing the entire piece of fabric into a bucket of dye, and then bit by bit, withdrawing it, while adding more dye to the bucket. It results in a graduated, monochromatic piece.

This is my spider web piece, with its first color added.

This is my folded piece; can you tell I like red?

My folded piece drained on a paper towel, and left this lovely imprint that looks like a rose.

When the towels were unfolded, this series of  "roses" emerged.

This was Karla's painted piece, waiting for its salt.

This is my scrunched piece, seasoning in a plastic bag until tomorrow.

Kay's scrunched piece, after rinsing and being ironed.

My clamped piece with the wooden whirls, seasoning in a bag til tomorrow.

Karla is adding a color to her piece that is wrapped on a pole and then scrunched together.

The Three Amigos and their Ombres.

"Look distressed," Val said. So I did.

But I wasn't. I LIKE paint on my clothes!! It looks creative!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I DID Finish Him!

I finished my boy and he is now in the one month show at Harbor Art Guild's gallery in Hoquiam, WA. It's an unthemed, unjuried show called "Anything Goes." I wish I'd taken his picture before I took him over there, but I forgot, and then forgot the two more times I've been there since. But I will take a picture of him this week for sure, and when I do, I will add it to this post. He turned out cute, I think. I still want to make him a little hat.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Alabama Baby Boy's Clothing Begun

Actually, as usual for me, deciding what he will wear, what it will look like, and what it will be made from is the hardest part.  His jacket is begun, and I will take him to knitting tomorrow and for a second straight week, I will work on a doll instead of knit!! Oh, well, what can I say: I am NOT known for getting things done ahead of time. Management Via Crisis is my usual MO, although occasionally I try to reform and get a project done before the actual deadline (which I think, for this boy, MIGHT have been today).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Doll Done, Clothing Next, and Something Else, too

       Here he is. Without clothes, and waiting.
       Another thing I'm doing is having this blog, so far,  printed into a book by SharedBook. I'd like to have a printed copy for each of my three grandgirls, but so far I've just ordered one. I've paid and they will send it to me in a few weeks; I will decide then if I want to go with them for the other copies. It's VERY cool to just have them arrange it immediately into a book for you to look at online! I deleted a few posts that were just reminders about some passing thing, and I decided not to have a Table of Contents, as it went on for pages and pages. So I am looking forward to getting the copy in the not-too-distant future.

Monday, July 4, 2011

While the Boy is Drying, a Snowman is Begun

I used to just put a snowman face, buttons, and hat on an old-fashioned pear-shaped lightbulb, but they seemed so fragile. This year I decided to put a fairly thin layer of PaperClay over the glass. This not only should make it a little less fragile, but I can flatten the bottom so he can sit. I may still make some without the PaperClay, as Christmas Tree Ornaments.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Almost Done with the Little Boy

His legs have a coat of paint on them now and I'm done with him for today; I'll sand lightly and put a second coat of paint on the legs tomorrow. Since his suit will be brown, I decided for tan for the "stockings" and black for the shoes. 

I left the shoes simple for now, at least. I may paint them a little higher tomorrow, so they look like old-fashioned high button shoes. I have two or three pairs of real ones, but they are two big for him.

This is a little blurry, but you can see I signed the back of the doll properly. Too many (meaning almost all) handmade cloth dolls are not signed and leave us to wonder who made them and when, and where. It is a kindness for those who come after us, to leave information on a doll as to its origins.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

More Progress on Alabama Baby Boy and a Bit of Doll History

 Many old dolls (I'm assuming they are c.1920-1930, only a somewhat-educated guess) had arms shorter than what would be considered "anatomically correct." Here are two examples (above) of such dolls fom my fairly small collection. When I first saw dolls like this, I thought some unskilled, unknowing person  had replaced the original (correct) arms with arms that were too short. However, as I looked at pictures of many old dolls, and actually acquired a few myself, I saw many with similar short arms, and  realized I'd been wrong -- those arms WERE the originals. The makers were just not overly-concerned with realism, I guess. It just wasn't that important to them, I'm assuming. If it HAD been, they would have made longer arms!!

     However, I couldn't stand those too-short arms on my doll and I haven't observed abbreviated arms on the original Alabama Indestructible Baby Dolls, either. So I guess their originator, Ella Smith, DID care that her dolls had arms that were correctly proportioned to their bodies. I added a piece to each upper arm to lengthen them; earlier I'd also added a (lower) section to his torso, too, as I felt it was too "square" and not proportional to his head.

     Here is my poor boy, stretched out on a pull-out breadboard in our kitchen, with the front of his legs gessoed and drying. He's very patient.
     ( I've "claimed" this breadboard for my own artistic purposes, as I have much of our big old hundred-plus-year-old house. I've been told by one of my offspring that I'm being unfair to my husband, and should give him a room of his own rather than hog 85% of the house for myself, but I have, as yet,  too much stuff (mostly sewing/art supplies) to be able to do that.)
     The next step will be to apply gesso to the back of my boy's legs, and tomorrow, I will lightly sand them and apply a second coat. I also need to paint fingernails on his hands. Then, his arms and legs will receive a spray of clear-coat matte finish and he will be done.
     Then I will need to make some clothes for him, and fairly soon, as he's bound for a show at Six Rivers Gallery in a week or so . I've decided to make him a white shirt, white underwear, and a brown thin-wale corduroy suit. This suit will signify that he has been toilet-trained, as in days of old, boys wore dresses until they were. Recently, I received a picture of my father( born in 1914) at the age of two, and he was, indeed, wearing a dress.