Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Muse has Temporarily Left the Building

After getting my 2015 Hoffman Challenge doll in the mail, a series of life events started that squelched my doll making for the rest of the summer and now into the fall.  I can feel my muse trying to get back to making dolls.  Or something.  Anything! 

Princess Naima is back home.  Her base broke in shipping to the Hoffman Challenge. 
I tried a new method of anchoring her to the base in a standing position - I used a knitting needle because I could use a smaller diameter than a wood dowel and it wouldn't bend or break.  However, it did not hold in the glue and migrated up her leg, thus detaching her from her base. 
Sounded like a good idea!!
Normally I make my challenge dolls in a sitting position because it is way easier to anchor a seated doll firmly.  Didn't make sense though for a belly dancer to be seated!

Princess Naima is my favorite of all my Hoffman entries! 
And I can't say "Next Time" as Hoffman is not including dolls in 2016. 
Thinking of how to fix the Princess for permanent display. Perhaps a shorter knitting needle and hot glue rather than craft glue.  Hmmmmmmmmm!


Saturday, July 11, 2015

2015 Hoffman Challenge Doll - Finished

                     Meet Princess Naima
When I saw the 2015 Hoffman fabric, I saw a belly dancer because of the dangly coins in the print.  I added my own dangly coins for her costume and lots of beads. 
View from the back.
My doll is named after Naima Okef who was a famous dancer in Egypt.
I tried a new technique for the finish on the chiffon skirt.  Tulip Glitter Bond and Glitter.  Tested it out on a small piece and, yes, it will work to finish the edge of the skirt and to embellish. 
Then I did it on the full fabric laying it on my cutting mat.  Glue stuck to the mat!   I hung it out to dry and got glue got in places I didn't want it and on the chiffon it showed. 
Plan B.  Bought a large quilting hoop, inserted the fabric which was then elevated from the table surface.  Worked perfect. 
Did I mention glitter everywhere! 
Next problem is the 80+ degree weather - the glue took a really long time to cure. 
All in all I am pleased with Princess Naima.  She should have arrived  at Hoffman yesterday. 
Hoping she is selected to travel with the 2015 Hoffman trunks.
p.s.  I have most of the glitter in my house cleaned up!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Started my Entry for 2015 Hoffman Challenge

There is plenty of time to get her done - but what a relief to have her started!
Figured out what pattern to use -La Femme by Arley Berryhill.  Requested and received permission to use his pattern for my entry this year.  Have a picture in my mind what she will look like.  That is 50% of the whole process. 

La Femme is a 20 inch doll so I had to shrink her a bit to fit under the maximum height for the Hoffman Challenge - Not to exceed 18 inches base & all. 

Although this pattern is designed for knit fabric, I am going to use my new find  Cherrywood's hand dyed 100% cotton.  Will take advantage of the bias of this fabric and see how it goes.  The fabric has such a rich finish, it almost looks like completion.
And it comes in such wonderfully rich tones.
Another wonderful find are the Frixion erasable pens.  They erase by applying heat.  They don't fade away before I have time to sew!  They are vibrant enough to be easily visible as I am sewing, however, don't bleed through all layers of the fabric.  The line is fine enough to make a nice sewing line.  I LOVE these pens.  Now I can mark the pattern one night and sew the next night.  Or the next.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Oh Sew Busy

The story of my life lately is the lament of "Where has time gone".  I've been a little lax in posting to my blog but I have been busy sewing.  Made a dress from my granddaughter's birthday from the flower fairy fabric I found at Fabric Depot a couple of years ago.  Not enough fairy fabric so I had to find a coordinating print for the skirt.  I am pleased with how it turned out.

She is spinning!  The full skirt goes out so wonderfully.  Didn't get a non-fuzzy picture due to constant motion - however - I think that means she likes it!!

And I've made two dolls for Doll with Arty Attitudes.

Monochromatic  - Red

She photographs quite orange although she is a lovely dark red.  I'm thinking I need to try a different background color to see if that makes a difference.  This doll is made from Debbie Bain's Gypsy pattern.

Elinor Peace Bailey Challenge
Elinor has challenged Dolls with Arty Attitudes to make her SilverWings from a WILD selection of skin fabrics.  Just getting mine finished up.  No photos of her yet.  Waiting for the great reveal at dollclub next Thursday.  This doll has been fun and yet challenging for me. She is an easy doll to make but nothing is symmetrical!  Or normal human shape!  Oh that's right - SilverWing is not human!!!

In the queue ......
    My 2015 Hoffman Challenge doll.  I know what I am going to do and have most of the materials assembled.
    Dancing Doris Challenge.  Everything I need is in the Dancing Doris tote.  Will be starting her tonight after company leaves. 
    And, not due until September, In Celebration of the Doll exhibit.  Not a clue yet what I will do.  Guess that is not entirely true - I use a pattern by Brenda Brightmore.  Or not!

Last but not least, I opened a twitter account.  @dollsbyhand

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Floral Follies

What a fabulous weekend!  Doll makers from across USA gathered.  New friendships were formed.  The gals at Piecemaker's  in Costa Mesa, CA put on a wonderful workshop with Barbara Willis, Elinor Peace Bailey, Betts Vidal and Patti Culea - dollmakers and Gloria McKinnon - ribbon embroidery expert.  Sally Lampey was also scheduled, however, unable to attend due to an accident.  Di and Donna of Piecemaker's took her place and did a wonderful job of instructing.  Daily we were served lunch that was amazing!  Yum! 

These are my dolls.
Still some to a lot of work to do on them.  There is only so much that can be done in 3 1/2 hours.  We were given the basic materials and how to assemble them.  Picked up some new techniques from each.  
Gloria's doll is missing from this group because Gloria gave us so much detail work to do before our project can become a doll.  I have done ribbon embroidery before and this is a reminder that it can be used for dolls.  It can be small enough to be doll scale and adds so much charm.  However, it does take more time than just adding  on ribbons and bows!  
For all of the other dolls, the detail work is done after she is made into a doll. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A New Find

In my wanderings on the internet I found a new source for doll skin fabric. 

Cherrywood Fabrics
Hand Dyed Suede Look Fabric
P.O. Box 486, Brainerd, MN 56401
8 8 8 . 2 9 8 . 0 9 6 7

Cherrywood fabrics have a very close weave and yet are not stiff.  They have a nice selection of skin colors.  Lots of other colors too! 

The photo below shows the weave of the fabric, however, the weaver is not actually obvious on the doll.  The fabric takes watercolor pencil without bleeding so it is easier to color the face.     
I will definitely order more of this fabric.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Gold Pixling

As a gift for entering the 2014 Hoffman Challenge I received a fat square of black and gold print.  For January Dolls with Arty Attitudes challenge I made this little pixie - fairy dressed head to toe in gold. 
She has doe suede skin and yarn hair. 
Beads for eyes with eyelids and lashes. 
Gold wings left over from a prior project
The gold boots didn't fit and ripped out when I tried to force them on!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Girls in Dresses

Josie didn't really want to model her dress.             
Kodi would just look at me taking her picture.
I am pleased with how both dresses turned out.  They were greatly appreciated and will fit for quite some time.   Kodi's dress was designed to go with a bonnet her mama found at a bazaar last summer. 
Okay ...... back to dolls!
This Twixling was January's Dolls with Arty Attitudes challenge.  She is made with the fat quarter I received from Hoffman Challenge 2014 as an entry gift. 
My Twixling from the back or top view.  She has gold wings to coordinate with the gold in the fabric.  I made the wings some time ago along with gold socks, however, the sock fabric didn't have any stretch and would not go on to her feet.  And unfortunately, the seams tore out when I tried to get them on her feet!