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 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 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,

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:

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:

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!