Friday, December 24, 2010

Seasons Greetings with a New Santa Doll!

First and foremost, I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope that your holiday is blessed and full of family and love and that the jolly man brings you all the things you are hoping for under your beautiful Christmas trees and stuffed stockings. :-)

I also hope that we never lose sight of what Christmas is really about, the one true gift: Peace, joy, love, hope and happiness all encompassed in the birth of a single child so many years ago. He is the reason we have the season.

Since Christmas has become a mechanized wonder of lights, sounds, taste, and smell, I wanted to bring to you my recently finished Santa. Unfortunately, he was the only one I was able to finish this year. He was a commissioned piece from a wonderful returning customer and I have to tell you, the customer was blown away! His wife is an avid Santa collector, so, he bought one of my Santa's last year for her for her present. She loved it so much, he knew exactly what he wanted to get her again this year! That's right, one of my Santa's! Boy was I ever excited to work on this fella. It is a wonderful feeling to have full reign of your creative freedoms when working on a commissioned project. Since his wife has been dealing with some health issues, I wanted to do something that would bring a smile to her now and for years to come. And, what better way to do that than with a puppet show with a couple of clowns. ;-)

And, so, we ended up with "The Puppeteer" Santa! Of course, the puppets are not full-blown marionettes, but they do have a certain amount of kinetics in their making. These little puppets have been such a hit with everyone, I may have to consider making them as ornaments or a doll or two in the future. :-D I will have to give it some more consideration. Perhaps you guys here in blogmania would give me some feedback and let me know what kind of interest there might be for that in the future.

At any rate, it is time to share with you this years Santa!

"The Puppeteer"

Puppet Santa closeup1
Puppet Santa front
Puppet Santa side1
Puppet Santa side2
Puppet Santa back
Puppet Santa closeup2

Now his 2 puppets!
santa's red puppet
santa's blue puppet

I hope you have enjoyed this years Santa. Hopefully, next year I will be able to create more than just the one Santa.

As for news and plans coming up in the new year, I am currently in the planning stages with my very happy santa customer about a commorative portrait piece for this year coming up. I have never done a portrait piece so this will be a challenge for me.

I will also be at IDEX Orlando at the end of January displaying a few of my dolls with the International Art Doll Registry. This is a HUGE step up for me and will be my first real show out in the art doll community. I can not tell you how excited I am about being able to show there....it's like a dream come true. It is a good stepping stone for me. Show in a group at first to learn the process, then, later, show at your own booth when you know what to do and are ready to step out on your own.

With my youngest son graduating high school this school year and becoming a man of his own, I will have more freedoms to be the artist that I would like to be and more freedom to travel and explore new avenues with my work. When one chapter of your life closes, another one always opens. This year marks the end of a 10 year cycle and begins a new one. I look forward to 2011 and what it brings to me as an artist. I know there will be wonderful opportunities ahead of me and many new friends to be made here in the future.

With that, I want to say to all of you, Thank You for your support and encouragement. When I was down and out, you were there to pick me up and give me hope. When I lacked faith in myself, you were always there with seeds of confidence to help me grow. With out your support I may not be where I am today.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

'Tis the Season

Of hustle and bustle and no rest for the wicked. As usual, I am far behind on nearly everything, but I am making progress.

I finally got my lights up on the outside of my house in hopes of beckoning the jolly man to my humble abode, the tree is decorated to the hilt, and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and my halls are almost stock full of whimsy and fancies of the holiday season. And, after all that, I have yet to purchase the first gift for Christmas.

I imagine I will be among the last bit of shoppers rushing around hoping to find the perfect gift at the last minute amidst all of the holiday cheer. Never worry, I do that every year. :-D Just like those New Year's Resolutions, every year I say I'm gonna do my shopping early, but it never happens. haha

At any rate, I decided to show you all what I have managed to complete recently. It was one of the commission pieces that I have been working on lately. And, one of the reasons I am so far behind. Albeit, it was a doing of my own choice as I have had plenty of time to complete her. Part of the problem was my muse went on vacation and no matter what I attempted, it just didn't come out right. But, also, I was trying new methods and new products. So, when you have to combination working for you, I suspect it would take long to create a piece than normal. Then, you mix in the advent of Thanksgiving preparations, and the incoming of Christmas, I would guess it goes without saying.

All in all, I am pleased with the results. I hope the new owner will be pleased with her too; she will see her on this upcoming Wednesday. The angel was a special request from a lovely lady named Mary. In a way, Mary is her own angel, always bringing a smile to me when she comes in to where I work. And, so, this was a special assignment as Mary is a special person to me. That is probably why I was having such a difficult time putting this one together. haha Mary intends to give this as a gift to her new grandbaby. It is the grandbaby's first Christmas and it will be her very first collectible doll. So, with that in mind, I wanted it to be something special just as Mary intends it to be. Mary told me about her own daughter collected dolls as a little girl, and so, she wanted to inspire her granddaughter as well, by giving her the gift of her first doll.

And, so, with that said, you can understand why this was a difficult task as it is to be a VERY special gift this year in her family. Needless to say, I had a hard time naming this special doll, this special angel of Mary's, and ended up naming her: "Angel of Love and Happiness".

Here are her pictures:

Angel of Love and Happiness1

Angel of Love and Happiness2

Angel of Love and Happiness3

Angel of Love and Happiness4

Angel of Love and Happiness5

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Taking Flight on Halloween Night!

Yes! I did it! *jumps in the air for joy* I managed to get her finished in time to take flight on Halloween Night! Imagine my excitement of being able to have her completed in time for Halloween to display on my mantle that is currently covered with cobwebs! And, too, for the IADR contest deadline: TODAY! Let me tell you the sigh of relief it is to have this one finished.

After all the ups and downs of not having her completed in time for last weekends show event, I was starting to become discouraged over the entire project. Sculpting her was not the problem. Once I had decided on my plan of attack on how I was going to go about the display and what I wanted, that part was easy. She was a breeze in coming together as well. I did have a slight issue with her hat brim due to the fact that I didn't have her proped up correctly in the oven when baking. So, her hat went flat on one side and I had to slice, dice and recreate. No big deal in my opinion.

But, that base.......OH THAT BASE! What started out as a simple to do and cute idea, turned out to be a HUGE nightmare in itself. To begin with, I knew exactly what I wanted; a nice full moon so she could fly by, and a cute pedestal to raise the moon up. Easy enough one would think. Alas, that was not to be. I found myself at the store buying my supplies to create the base...rush home, put it all together, and drilled a hole into my box so I could insert the moon's stem into it. Well, turns out, my cute little box was HOLLOW!!! OMG I thought I was gonna collapse from stress and frustration. When I inserted the moon into it...it wobbled too and fro. I can not tell you the emotions I was experiencing at that time. To catch a few up on the story, as you know, I was tryng to complete her in time for the festival event last weekend, so you can see, time was running short for last minute projects. At any rate, I had no time to make another 2 hour trip (there and back again) to find another piece of wood. So I opted to try to save the piece I currently had. In a mad dash of running amuck around the house looking for a solution to the problem, I spied a can of mushrooms! Not literally, but it is a carpenters item that you can use to seal up holes in a wall...I call it foam in a can. haha So..... I grab the can of mushrooms and insert the nozzle into my hollow block. The idea was after it hardened up, it would prevent the moon's stem from wobbling to and fro inside the hollow block. Well, that was fine and dandy as long as your hubby isn't standing guard of the hollow block of wood wiping off the mushrooms as the seap out of the whole on top. Needless to day...I think he let out all of the foam. HAHAHA Ever hear that saying...." too many chefs ruin the pot of stew". I think there is some truth to that. At any rate, plan B failed miserably, so, to save my sanity, I had to push the project aside until I can get my wits about me.

So, after the show weekend, I went back to the store, once again purchasing supplies to fix my base. I came home and begin to assemble the project base and a funny feeling came over me. I just HAD to take another look at the "failed" attempt. Well, I'll be dog gone....wouldn't you know it, the foam in a can really was a great idea. In fact, I plopped the bottom flat base off of my hollow block, then proceeded to drill a hole through the block, then drilled a hole into my flat base, then inserted a brass tubing through the middle and fixed it with my handy dandy GORILLA glue and wouldn't you know it....IT WORKED! Again, I was at the OMG, OMG, OMG stage. haha

Well, after all that, I finally was able to finish the project; and not with a minute to spare! Especially since today is Halloween and the IADR contest deadline was today too. Good timing. I love it when a project all comes together in the long run. Persistance really does pay off. I'm pleased with the final outcome and I hope you are too.

And, just so you all know, the moon and stars should have a nice glow when you cut off the lights. I haven't tested it completely for myself, but the idea was that she would appear as a silhouette as she flies past the glowing moon at night. :-D Anyway, I hope you like her: I call it "Matilda's Flight"!

"Matilda's Flight"
Matilda's Flight6
Matilda's Flight1
Matilda's Flight2
Matilda's Flight3
Matilda's Flight4
Matilda's Flight5

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Bumpkin Pumpkin

Here I am, once again, making apologies for my blogging absence. *sigh* Apparently, sometimes life gets in the way of even the best laid out plans.

As many fellow artisans know, trying to balance life with the every day mundane and the creative side can become pretty hairy every now and again. These past few weeks have been no exception to say the least.

My youngest son, who is a senior in high school, recently purchased a car. So, guess who gets to do all the running around for the tags, title and registration, insurance and making repairs to be safe for driving. That is right...good ole mom. haha Yes, I did the mom duty. But, no more mom's taxi service...so there is a plus side to everything. haha Of course, you tie in a few high school baseball games during the week and that is enough to run any one ragged in my opinion.

With all of that going on, I have been trying to complete a neat witch project for the IADR contest this month. Unfortunately, I have had multiple problems. Non with the doll mind you, just stupid things that were a great idea at first that later turn out to be a pain in the rear in the end. (no pun intended there either! haha) I'll elaborate more on that project when I post her up for the blog world to see. I'm hoping to have her completed by this weekend. I'm hoping she will indeed get to take flight on Halloween Night and be ready in time for the contest. :-)

In the mean time, while that project was in the midst of going array, I decided to throw in another quick piece into the mix. You see, this past weekend was the ever popular Mount Dora Craft Fesitival. It's one of the major events that takes place here in this little small town area. Crafters and Artisans from all over the place come to show their wares. And, when you have big shows, you also have big crowds! A few friends of mine that braved the crowds here said it was literally elbow to elbow. My own son described it like rush-hour in New York City. Which, to put it lightly, is unheard of in this one-horse town. :-D At any rate, I didn't show in a booth outside in the main festival. I'm still a small time artist and my purse strings can not afford such extravagant affairs, so I opted to show at the 1st Presbytarian church for this past Saturday. Unfortunately, I was only able to show for one day in their church bazaar that coincided with the craft show event, but, I was also indoor and in the wonderful air conditioning. HAHAAHA Sometimes, you have to take the bad with the good. I had a lot less foot traffic, but I accomplished much what I had expected to. I can assure you this much, I worked just as hard setting up this table for the one day I was there as did the artisans in the tents outside who were there for the 2 days.

Here are a few pics of my table display for the event.

Mt. Dora Craft Fair 2010 #1
Mt. Dora Craft Fair 2010 #2
Mt. Dora Craft Fair 2010 #3

Anyway, back to the piece I worked up specifically for the show. (I tend to get side-tracked at times) I wanted something perfect for Halloween and something that was "stress free" since the witch was really being the devil for me and it wasn't in the tarot cards for her to be finished in time for the show. So, I opted out for something fun and nothing like what I had created before, and in doing so, I ended up with the Bumpkin Pumpkin. I really enjoyed making this fella. He's a little bit of country mixed in with the flair of Halloween. Thus, he is "Bumpkin Pumpkin"
Bumpkin Pumpkin1
Bumpkin Pumpkin2
Bumpkin Pumpkin4
Bumpkin Pumpkin3

Unfortunately, the first couple of pics were not the best for some reason. But, you all know how it is when you become cramped for time. You simply take what you can get. :-D Bumpkin Pumpkin is available for purchase at my website if anyone should be interested in this cute fella.

In the meantime, I have a pesky witch that needs to be worked on if I want to have her completed by this weekend in time for the IADR contest.

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures!

Hugs to all,
Lori

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fresh off the press: Martha Armstrong-Hand's book!

That's right, can you believe it! Martha Armstrong-Hand's book, "Learning to be a Doll Artist" is going back to the printing presses! This is fantastic news to many doll makers out there (including myself). If you have ever been interesting in purchasing this book, now is the time to do so.

A friend of mine from the BJD community, has brought word to the Woodlandearthstudio forum, The Enchanted doll forums, and to The Joint forums on the release of this book. This is her post in the Woodlandearthstudio forums:

---------------------
"Today I got this email from Tom Farrell, Managing Partner Reverie Publishing Company.


""I made a deal with Joe Jones to purchase the rights to the
book. I have added it to our website and it is available for pre-orders
now. Please pass the word around with the BJD people you know. I
appreciate your enthusiasm for the book and I hope you are helpful in
promoting it to the BJD world. We will have the book ready for shipment in
January 2011. It will not be available on Amazon until July 2011. The
cover price is going to be $25.00 . Pre-orders for the book will receive
free shipping via USPS priority mail.""


This is the webpage to make the Pre-order for the book:

http://www.reveriepublishing.com/item.php?id=719

When I was at the Doll & Teddy Bear Expo 2010, Tom Farrell was the first
doll bookseller I talked to. We discussed BJDs, Learning to be a Doll Artist,
and the Yoshida Style Ball Jointed Doll Making Guide. The next book seller
I talked to was Joe Jones, the president of Jones publishing, the publisher that
was going to make the DVD version of the book. He told me he would look
into what was holding up the DVD project; that he wasn't aware there were
problems with getting the project finished. When I got home from the Expo,
I wrote to Tom Farrell, to give him some information about the Yoshida book,
because he expressed an interest in publishing an English version of it;
and I wrote to Joe Jones at Jones Publishing, to encourage him to finish
the DVD project. Well, it looks like my enthusiasm for Martha's book has
had some results? I sure hope so!

Tom Farrell was in a booth at the Doll Expo that was filled with
doll collecting books, doll making books, and all sorts of doll related books.
He is legitimate as far as I can tell. I just hope he can get the book actually
published! He is going to REPRINT the book in dead-tree form! I'm SO excited!

Please, put the above information on all the BJD and doll making sites that
you know of! Please spread the word. Learning to be a Doll Artist by Martha
Armstrong-Hand is going to be re-printed! If you think this news needs to be posted
in some other topics or threads here at Woodland, please do so!"
------------

You can also find out from her blog as well: http://atelierpoupee.blogspot.com/

At any rate, it is my understanding that this books is a wonderful guide to learning to create a doll in BJD form using springs and porcelain. I have never laid hands on a copy of it myself....but I can guarantee you this much, it is soon to become another book in my arsenal of doll making supplies! yay! What great news! And, a special thanks goes out to KWM for her hard work in bringing us this news. Thank you, thank you!

Now, that I have spread the good news to the world about the reprint of "Learning To Be a Doll Artist" by Martha Armstrong-Hand, I'm off to get a basket of doll making supplies ready for a High School Baseball game tonight. You know me, I don't head out the door unless I have my basket of fun stuff with me. haha Currently I am working on a witch for this month's IADR contest. Maybe I'll have her finished in time to take flight for Halloween. And, if we are lucky, perhaps she'll have a ghostly friend or two to accompany her as well. LOL Fun, fun, fun!

Hugs,
Lori

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Cultural Experience

Yes, that is what it was to say the least.....a cultural experience. Over the past couple of months, I have been exploring the Japanese culture on the internet. It would have been a wonderful trip to have had the opportunity to explore it in person since I think the Japanese culture is very rich with many wonderful traditions, historical places and beautiful faces.

I know you must be asking yourselves....why in the world was I exploring the Japanese culture? Well, for the International Art Doll Registry contest for the month of September! The theme for this months entry was "Geisha"! What an exciting way to really learn about a culture than to go fact finding on the traditions of such a beautiful and talented being. In all my roaming, I not only discovered how to make the kimono, but how to tie on an obi, put on the face make-up and how to tie up the hair. Albeit, working in such a small scale of 14.5" was difficult to achieve these details in exact as per the tradition for my doll, but, I hope that I hope that the little details is enough to capture the essence of The Geisha.

I spent many hours in creating this doll. Two days on just creating the costume, another two days on her hair as well. Which, I tried something new; it is all wefted and I had to go the the extra steps of straightening it. Tibetan lambs wool is naturally curly. What a chore that was I tell ya! :-D Then, struggling with locks of hair that really needed to be double in length...what a nightmare! The hair company I had ordered from initially....well, it turns out that the hair was on back order! After waiting 2 weeks for the hair arrive...I finally called them to see what was taking so long and I was told it was on back order. Can you believe??? Talk about frustration. Soooo, I had to go to plan 2. Which was the tibetan lambs wool.

At any rate, after having painted her face 3 times over, I finally decided to stay with what was the final outcome. Initally, she was going to come accessorized with a shamisen. I decided against that, and thought it better to go with an umbrella. After searching for nearly a month for one of those little "mixed drink umbrellas", I finally obtained one from the local Japanese steak house. Go figure! haha Only to rush home and discover that it is toooooo small!!! OMG!! Oh well, so now off to plan 2...or is this 4. Well, I decided to make my own umbrella. Surely, I can make one that looks similar to the design of the drink umbrella right? Well, that worked out alright, but it wasn't perfect enough for me. So, off to plan, wait...is this 5? probably. LOL So, I decided to make her little fans instead. :-D

So, in the end, we ended up with my version of The Geisha, complete with her kimono, an obi, hair ornaments, and her fans!

I hope you like her! She was definitely a challenge but she was well worth it. I am satisfied with the outcome and hope she has a good chance at winning this months contest with the IADR. Wish her luck!

The Geisha1
The Geisha2
The Geisha3
The Geisha4
The Geisha5

Friday, September 17, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.....

Or is it, out of sight and out of mind? Either way, daily life has kept me from my blog. I admit, some of it has just been plain ole' laziness, other times it's procrastination, and then there are those other times where life just seems to get in the way. In some way, I think I just needed a little break to rebuild the creative side of myself. With all that said, I do hope you all accept my humble apologies for my being absent. And, I do hope the first is true, that absence really does make the heart grow fonder and that you all have missed the dear little people of the pixie knoll.

Even though it seemed like all was quiet on the pixie home front, I can assure you that the little fae folk have been very busy going about their daily life. With all the hustle and bustle, there is now a new inhabitant in town!

Yes, it's true! The pixie's in the knoll have officially hired their mail carrier! Luckily in the land of the knoll, time is of no importance and things will eventually happen when they are supposed to. Therefore, Cecil chose his trusty snail to help him deliver the many scrolls to the inhabitants of the knoll. Unfortunately, Cecil was a bit shy when it come to WIP pics. :( He really couldn't wait to get on with the mail delivery job because all of those scroll's were quickly piling up and he had to be on his way soon, otherwise, the mail would never arrive on time! Therefore, we had no time to stop for WIP pics. So, this time, you can blame Cecil. Although, he is such a likeable little fella, I don't see how anyone could point the blame at him. :-D

Anyway, I would like you all to meet, Cecil.....titled...."Cecil's snail mail". I hope you like him. :-)

Cecil1
Cecil2
Cecil3
Cecil4
Cecil5

Cecil6
Cecil7
Cecil9
Cecil10
Cecil8

Whew, that was a lot of work putting up all those pics. I do hope you enjoy Cecil.

Now, on to other stuff. Unfortunately, I did not win the IADR contest with the "Hide and Seek" pixies. :( That is alright, you never know if you don't try. :-) So, I will keep trying. LOL I have a bunch of stuff on my work table that I have worked on over the last couple of months. Most of it is in the early stages. For example I have about 5 heads starring at me. A couple of Santas, a troll head, an angel, and what I think might be a witch. Did I forget to mention the Geisha? I think so. Actually I could post some pics of the Geisha that is in progress. But, I'll spare you that for a few days at least. haha Her body and head are all completed now, and it's time to start the costuming process. Unfortunately, I ordered hair for her almost 2 weeks ago, and that still has not arrived yet. o.O I'm starting to get a little worried that my order was not processed. I have tried to call the company, but no one is answering the phones. Sooooo, it looks like the Geisha might not be completed in time for the IADR contest for the end of this month. At least, not at the rate I am going. Something tells me that I should have just stuck to playing in the knoll. haha

At any rate, I will hopefully be posting more stuff soon. In the meantime, I need to try to get ahold of the company I ordered my hair from.

Have a great day folks! And, thanks for stopping by the knoll to meet Cecil!

Hugs to all,
Lori

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hide and Seek finally finished!

Hello there Bloglandia Gang! I hope all has been well here in the land of blogging. My world has been extremely busy of late. Sometimes even the best laid plans often fall astray. That seems to be the story of my life. haha

We had a 4 week run of high school summer baseball where we were running to a game nearly every week night. Then, in the midst of all of that, my brother-in-law and his wife moved from Tennessee down the road from me. So, I have spent some time helping them to get to know the lay of the land in these dreadfully hot parts here in Florida. And, not to mention, my mother and father-in-law come from Tennessee too for a 2 week visit. Tie that in with work and every day run of the muck stuff, and you get whopping creative delays! Unfortunately, as you can see, it took me a lot longer than I had anticipated to finish the hide and seek critters. I hope you will find in in your hearts to forgive this poor ole creative soul. *puppy dog eyes* With so much happening, the creative pixie muse took a vacation on me. I really can't say that I blame her. But, now she is back and we quickly got back to work.

At any rate, I hope you like "Hide and Seek". I intend this to be my entry for the International Art Doll Registry's (IADR) August contest themed "Wild Fae". It will be my first contest entry with the group so wish me luck! And, without further adieu, here are the pics you have long been waiting for. Let me know what ya think? I would love to have feed back from all of you. There is something about this piece that really makes me smile. I have enjoyed making this one so much, that I might consider making some more of these little critters. Wonderful childhood memories; playing hide and go seek. Perhaps you have some of your own childhood memories of hide and seek too. :-)

hideandseek1
hideandseek2
hideandseek3
hideandseek5
hideandseek6
hideandseek7
hideandseek8
hideandseek9

Now that we have finished up with "Hide and Seek", I wanted to share with you the latest bit of news as well. NOOOOO I'm not pregnant! *wipes brow* Good Lord help me if I was. LOL Actually, I was fortunate enough to have another one of my dolls selected for the Gallery in Doll Crafters and Costuming magazine for September 2010 issue. Perhaps you might remember the "Gypsy Spirit". She is another one of my favorites that I think I will have a hard time parting with her when that day comes. Here is a picture of her in case you don't remember her:
gypsyspirit2.2
I really love her attitude and care-free spirit. One day, when I grow up, I want to have that same confidence about me too just as the gypsy spirit.

At any rate, I'm off for the time being to clear up the whirlwind of a mess the pixie muse created from playing "Hide and Seek".

Hugs,
Lori