Miss Pom says Happy New Year!

I bid you goodbye 2010 with the last finished object of the year (unless I am really bored and manage to finish something else tonight…but I doubt it)

Miss Pom

Miss Pom1. Miss Pom, 2. Miss Pom’s feet, 3. Miss Pom’s hand, 4. Miss Pom in repose

Knit doll, about 10 inches tall, with I-cord arms and legs. Her feet, hands and nose were shaped with strands of yarn
Body: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
Hair: TLC Cotton
Dress and hat: Moda Dea Bamboo Wool                                                                                         Needles: size 3   More pics here.

I wanted to make a much smaller version of the doll that I wrote the pattern for.  I’ve tried before and it never worked out for some reason. In fact I had two failed versions just last week. I think I was trying to re-invent the wheel too much. A doll is a doll, right?

I think I prefer this size of doll. From the kid point of view, it’s easier to grip with one hand. And from the parent one, it’s easier to shove in a purse when they’re tired of lugging it around.

Miss Pom and I plan to oversee the making of some noisemakers to shake into 2011. Let’s see how many of the kids actually make it to midnight. They have new toys to open and play with so that should help some. Though, I myself feel like I need a nap, so I’m thinking someone is going to crash before then either way ;o)

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Things 2010

Here are some things
Things Made, 2010

1. Purple Thumb, 2. Seuss Style, 3. Boys v. Girls, 4. Picture Day Tie, 5. Picture Day Dress Ruffle, 6. SUPER Cowl, 7. Basic White, 8. B-Day dinner date outfit, 3rd choice wins, 9. Hat Obsessed!, 10. Shirt with Scribbles, 11. Cowl Neck Top, Lil daughter sized, 12. Cowl Neck Top, Missy sized, 13. Kid’s Clothes Week: Skirts for sisters, 14. Cool Breeze Pants, 15. Half-Assed Shorts, 16. Thank You Gifts, 17. Lacy Cami Copy(ish), 18. Skirt Refashion, 19. Tiniest model, 20. Jumper!!, 21. Me-Made-May #3, 22. Me-Made-May #2, 23. Me-Made-May 5.1.10, 24. That Wallpaper Shirt, 25. That 70′s Shirt, 26. Green Batwing, 27. The Fold Over Skirt, 28. 5/365: Burda Dress Preview, 29. Golden Coraline, 30. Hat Obsessed!

Here are some small things
Some Small Things 2010

1. Felt Cameo Pin, 2. 3 Apples , 3. Mandisa, 4. Ashima, Felicity hat, scarf and capelet, 5. Frida!, 6. Spirale De Cuir Earrings, 7. SownBrooklyn, 8. IMG_6249, 9. IMG_6261, 10. Pencil drawing 12.10

Here are some hair things

Some Hair Things
1. 2/52: 10 Things, 2. Samurai do, 3. 4/365: Texture, 4. Me, sans hair., 5. Oh, hai hair ;o)

Here are some cool things
Some Cool Things

1. Please, contain your jealousy, 2. Mrs. Doonan, 3. BOOK! BOOK!! EFFING BOOK!!!, 4. Cheap Thrills, Mom edition, 5. Painted heart…

This year, I choose to leave the bad things off. The year had been on notice since February, and did not improve.

So, today, I will celebrate the things I was able to make with my two hands, things big and small. And the drastic hair things that I NEVER thought I’d be brave enough to do.

Today, I celebrate some of the cool things. Things like my hubby buying all my faves from my wish list, and going the distance to bring home my dress form. Things like making a dress for the BurdaStyle book, and shopping at the Salvy with my daughter. And getting into graduate school. Getting ceramic hearts to drag out when my son is a teenager and thinks he’s so cool.

There are more things I want to remember from this year, like knowing that my husband really loves me and can stand by me like nobody’s business when shit gets tough. Things like knowing that my children appreciate me (mostly, they are children after all) and know how to express their appreciation through words AND actions.

I want to remember that I was/am strong in the face of extreme circumstances and that I can help my sister to be strong, too. That we cannot and will not break. I want to remember what it was like to reach my limit and know that I’m ready to move on.

I am so thankful that my little family will bring in the new year together tomorrow (hubby usually works) and that we will all go to sleep more healthy than ill, more happy than sad and most importantly together.

Mandisa

Mandisa

1. Mandisa, 2. Mandisa, 3. Mandisa, back, 4. Mandisa’s funky pants

Clothespin with doll head and “feet”. Nearly 5 inches tall.
Acrylic paint, Bic marker and fine point ink pen (& a little oil pastel rouge).
Felt jacket with wire (paper clip) arms and wooden hands.
Body finished with Sculpey gloss (which I don’t like very much).

Mandisa is LIGHT YEARS ahead of the last clothespin doll I attempted. Now I’m regretting leaving more heads off my last craft order. I have about a dozen pins and feet, though. I’m thinking up head alternatives. Maybe fabric? Anyway, I think I’m making strides with learning my camera. Fiddling with it, and making lots of tiny things (more on that tomorrow), has been keeping the crazy at bay. I’ve been indoors for days. All day long…. with all of the kiddies.       Oy. Send provisions.

A veritable feast of photos!

Ashima

I made patterns for everything you see here so that I could use them if they were successful. I am happy to say they were!

Ashima is named for a character from Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake. She was intended to BE Jhumpa Lahiri, but she asserted her own personality while being made ;0)

Her hair has an under layer of wool felt, with cotton yarn attached to the perimeter. It was trimmed and styled in a french twist (which is hard to photograph). I hand stitched her little undies from a cotton blend jersey, the leg openings are blanket stitched with white sewing thread. Her dress is made out of the same material. It’s a variation of the T shaped shirts I make for myself, except REALLY TINY. The overskirt is actually from a black skirt of mine that I previously used to make this hat. I didn’t get much use out of it as a skirt but I’ve used it plenty now. Her little obi is made from some poly jersey and strip of denim. The jacket is also from the T shaped pattern, but altered. The boots were a happy accident. I only cut one leg and had to do some improvising. I thought the little leather embellishment was a nice touch. I completely winged the knitwear, but obviously used the Felicity hat pattern as a model ;o)

I am SO happy with her!! I have another cut out. She will be a princess. I am having fun planning her outfit!

Keeping busy today

 

Too much on my mind. Must keep busy.*

Keeping Busy

Felt doll made with my own pattern (!!!). I should have tried it out in practice fabric first, since I have  already made a huge mistake (cutting out only one arm and leg and not having enough fabric leftover for more). But I will continue on. I managed another arm out of the leg that was cut.  She will just have mismatched legs…or stockings. Or boots! I think boots will do.

As with the clay doll (which I have painted) my proportions were off. I had to make the arms smaller and I think the legs were too long too. It’s possible that the neck is too thin also. I will have to go easy on the hair or her head will weigh too much.

I’ve been reading this dollmaking book since checking it (and several others) out of the library:

Anatomy of a Doll: The Fabric Sculptor’s Handbook
Anatomy of a Doll: The Fabric Sculptor's Handbook

It is excellent! A definite must buy. I also have two sewing projects sitting out. One very easy and one maybe not so. Lots to do this weekend. Hopefully it will work at keeping my mind quiet.

 

*Not pictured, the tasks that my activities director (b.k.a. Son#1) has set for me:

  • magnet making (he decided that he we needed to make magnets for grandma)
  • shadow puppet making (I found a really cool looking flashlight while cleaning recently)
  • more drawings on giant paper (I have two sketchpads that are about 18×20)

A new medium

First, THANKS for the Frida doll love!! Even my husband told me she was beautiful. An unsolicited comment from him is a big deal. He is (kindly) honest about things I make, so I was pleased that he liked her and that you did too! ;o)

Now:

To say that I am inspired by artist Elsa Mora‘s work is an understatement. I found her when searching for info about Frida and was fortunate enough to add another great lady to the love list. Elsa has divided her work into several different blogs, she has one all about dolls here. While looking at her photos I was suddenly struck with the urge to try making clay dolls myself. Though she is super talented and her work is intricate and beautiful, I didn’t feel intimidated by it like I sometimes do when faced with really talented people. Instead I felt empowered to try, do and make in my own way.

Thanks to Elsa’s clear photos, detailed listing of materials and many informative links, I placed my order for supplies. And waited anxiously. I can confess now that working on Frida went into overdrive because I knew I’d want to jump right into working with clay when it arrived and I was right. The order even came a day earlier than scheduled.

Here’s my first attempt a (made with this clay) ready to go in the oven:

Going to the oven

Making clay figures is both easier and harder than I expected. The proportions were hard to grasp at first, but making the pieces was easy. Except for attaching the head. I don’t know how to mold the head, neck and body as one and attaching it afterwords lead to it snapping off as you can see.

Post Baking

I’m keeping a little pocket Moleskine of things I learn as I go along. This project has taught me to:

  • make the holes for the arms and legs at the same time so that they end up the same length when placed on the body
  • thin the paint down, it will apply smoother
  • find a new and better way to attached the head

I patted myself on the back for my foresight in ordering the kids their own clay and other supplies. We have been happily working on projects together and separately. It’s been fun!

Viva la Vida, Frida!

Viva la Vida, Frida!!

 

Frida Kahlo is done!!! I am so excited to finish her!

Here she is in many, many photos!

Viva la vida, Frida!

1. Frida’s face, 2. Yarn Braids, 3. Hair, 4. Frida in the sun

Frida!

1. Frida!, 2. Shawl and Skirt, back, 3. Swatch Sweater Vest, front, 4. Swatch Sweater Vest, back

Pattern: Purl Girl from the Purl Bee, designed my Mimi Kirchner

Materials: Wool felt (body and base of hair), cotton yarn (black hair and eyebrow), silky wool yarn (red hair and roses), embroidery floss (to assemble body and make the face), jersey knit (shawl), cotton herringbone (skirt), cotton eyelet (underskirt), cotton trim and lace, two buttons for the leg join and poly fill stuffing.

I followed Mimi’s pattern faithfully (the way the legs are attached is GENIUS but I feel like my arms are weak) with the exception of the arms, which I accidentally did not crease the correct way.

Frida Naked

For her hair I cut lengths of red and black yarn, braided them together, pinned the braid in the arrangement I wanted and sewed it down. For her roses, I crocheted tiny circles and attached them to her braid using the tails. I just tied them off and snipped carefully.

For her eyebrow, I pinned a piece of the black yarn down in the arrangement that I wanted and embroidered across it. The face was the most difficult part. I am not skilled at embroidering on a stuffed face and I was afraid to do the face first and then distort it when I stuffed the doll. I think it looks pretty okay though.

For her clothing I used the dress that comes with the pattern and cut it off at the waist. I cut two layers of material, one longer than the other, stitched the white lace to the waist band, hemmed the top skirt, attached the lace to the bottom skirt and then seamed the whole thing up the back. It slips on and stays up with the waist tied. I cut her triangle shawl from a scrap of fabric and her little vest is a swatch I knit for a design that never was.

I am SO HAPPY with her! I have a whole series of inspiring (to me) women I want to make (Pearl Cleage, Jhumpa Lahiri) Now, I just need a little shelf over my sewing table so she can inspire me daily.

Paint. Felt. Cardboard. Floss.*

 

Frida, nearly complete
I have one more arm to go before I can begin assembling Frida! I am so excited. I’m enjoying the hand-sewing again (just like on my last Purl Bee project, the picture day tie).  I finished the legs and the first arm last night while watching Beauty and the Beast with my sister.

We really needed to laugh and think of good times. This movie accomplishes both, we watched it together often when we were younger. The bulk of my family drama is coming to an end (hopefully). I’m looking forward to a time when I don’t have to worry what new piece of nonsense will pop up to drag my mood down.

The paints I have Frida resting on just arrived today. I love looking at them all new and perfect, but I am anxious to try them out. That will have to wait until the children are asleep. They are distracted right now playing with the new markers I bought for them, a box of 64 they are amazed, especially since they had previously been banned. Markers are messy….they may have been a stupid purchase thinking on it now. Anyway, I don’t think even markers will distract them enough to paint in the same room as them.

I sketched this face the same day I got the bug to make a Frida doll.
Frida's Face
The nose needs work. I think the eyes and brow (;p) came out great. I always like one side better than the other when I draw.

Before I go, another weird Frida happening. I go through phases where I decide that I’m done with writing. I am in one of those now. It turns out that the Purl Girl pattern is printed on the back of pages of a script that I wrote in college.

Purl Bee pattern, leg

Coincidence?

*These are the materials I’ll be working with today.