Merry Christmas Nutcracker

In between running around shopping for groceries, errands for my mother, and a visit to the farmers market, I’ve been working on the last Christmas present, my nephew’s Nutcracker.  From such a humble beginning, he emerged to be a handsome guy.  I have to give credit to Diane Keeler, who’s class on constructing Cloche Hats I’m enrolled in and the lessons from which I applied to make my hat.  This is the second class I’ve taken from Diane over at Adele’s Sciortino’s A for Artistic website.  I highly recommend the experience!

So, here’s the unveiling.

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This doll is another without an armature.  I need to make some changes to his body, but after which and some simplifications, I’ll be producing a pattern.

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I’m very pleased with the end result, even though some of the intermediate steps had scary results!

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Doesn’t he look regal?

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  I hope that the holiday season is one full of warmth, family, love, and joy. 

Peace, Joy, and Love to All on Earth!

Doll Marathon!

I have been working on dolls and more dolls, with intermittent breaks for Christmas shopping and meals with my mother.  I finished up the monkey on Sunday evening, started on a doll for my niece yesterday afternoon and finished it up this morning.  I started on the doll for my nephew this afternoon.  I do believe that is the most dolls I’ve worked on in a 3-day period ever!

So – here’s Mr. Hurdy Gurdy Monkey.

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Isn’t he a cutey?

Now for my absolute favorite.  I was going to make an elinor peace bailey pattern that I bought in Houston, but I couldn’t find it, even after 2 hours of cleaning up my sewing room yesterday.  So, I sat down and concocted this doll.  I got most of her done yesterday evening.  This morning I had to give her hair, an underskirt, her bows and her hat.  When I got her hat on, I couldn’t stop laughing.  She’s such a FUN doll!  Her name is Kate’s Party Doll!  After some minor adjustments, this doll will be a pattern!  It’s such an easy doll to construct and so much fun!

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And last, but not finished, I’ve started on a doll for my nephew.  Based on the success of Kate’s Party Doll, I’m employing simple construction methods for this one.  I’m going to leave the details and theme of this doll a secret for now, until he’s more finished.  The nice thing though, is this doll is standing on his own two feet, sans an armature.  I’m pleased I made that work! 

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A Face Only a Mother Could Love

I have been working on the monkey commission I received in Houston.  He’s finally at a stage I can photograph him, and he looks like more than a jumble of parts.  This guy goes together in a way which is very different from my normal working style.  If I were doing him again, I’d change up the construction to make it easier to work with.  As it is, I have to wait to stitch his arms and legs to his body until I get his hands and feet constructed and attached – which happens last.  This is sort of the reverse of my normal working order, but is required by the armature method proscribed by the pattern designer.  Anyhow, his face is recognizable as a face (and isn’t in pieces as it was when I took him in to work this morning to show my co-workers).

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He’s kind of cute in a homely sort of way.  I have to work on coloring his face.  My Derwent Coloursoft pencils aren’t marking very well on the felted wool.  The material is some I picked up in Houston and is felted wool blankets…  a bit thicker than what I suspect the original designer (Karen Shifton) worked with, but it provides such a wonderful visual texture.

I am in the process of wiring and stuffing his hands.  Hopefully, I can get hands and feet done tomorrow evening.  For now, he’s standing on his armature wires and everything except his head is a bit floppy and wiggly because it’s not permanently stitched to the body.

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I’m already thinking about the Goddess of Winter, even though she is 4th on my list, and I have to put the finishing touches on the Goddess of Fall.  I have two dolls to make as Christmas presents, plus a 3rd piece that I’m making a body and clothing to go with a head I received from elinor peace bailey to give to my friend and co-worker Ken for his Christmas/Birthday.  LOL!  I’ve got all of my vacation booked with making dolls, it seems!  The Goddess of Winter though is eager to get started because she wants part of her costume to be made from some of the indigo/purple velvet I dyed recently!

A Little of This, a Little of That, a Lot of Progress

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I have been a busy bee this last week and have worked on, and mostly finished, a lot of things.  This means I have a lot of pictures to post this evening.  Above is what my bookshelf with dolls looks like currently.  Actually, this is only one of my bookshelves with dolls on it, but it has most of the completed pieces from this year, so far, including all three of my Goddess of Seasons series that are done or mostly done to date.

Modron has doubled as my Goddess of Fall and my CTADS doll in a year piece.  The theme for that was Monochromatic.  I chose shades and tones of brown, obviously.  She has a bit more work to go before she is done, but she was complete enough for me to take today.

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Here she is, with her headdress completed, and her cloak mostly completed.

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Her shoes peaking out from under her skirt.

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I took Diane Keeler’s Shoe class on Adele Sciortino’s A for Artistic online classroom.  I just finished these guys up yesterday. 

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I also finished her headdress up.

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Here are Modron, Sirona and Aine together.  I did not realize, until I put them next to each other that I gave them all green eyes.

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Patterns for Sirona and Aine are available on my Etsy shop and Modron should be available before the end of the year.

The other thing I had to have done for today was my Christmas ornament for our ornament exchange.  I made this Christmas bell last evening using some of my fabric paper, a left over head from me table favor dolls for ADAA, and some wool felt and wool felt balls.

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Donna got my ornament.  She made the Gourd Doll that I won at the CTADS retreat this year, so I’m happy that she now has something of mine.

Last but NOT least!  I finished up Annie’s book pages.  As a refresher, her theme is Carnival of Freaks.

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Here’s Electric Girl.  I used Angelina on the background and beaded the three fire balls.

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I also used this great orange lace trim on the edge.

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And here is the bottle imp.  He’s kind of hanging out in space, and I’m so pleased with how the background turned out, between the Shiva paint sticks, the foiling and the original bleached and over-dyed fabric.  I added some Tim Holtz gears and sequins to add a bit more depth.

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And that’s all of the progress.  I need to clean up a bit so I can start on my next project or two.  The first thing is a commission for a monkey made from a Karen Shifton pattern that Gypsy Pamela carries.  The next are presents for my niece and nephew.