Cailleach, the Goddess of Winter

This evening, I completed two dolls!  Cailleach, the Goddess of Winter, joined her sisters, Sirona, Aine and Modron for a family portrait once she had her headdress and boots on. 

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If you happen to make it to Houston for the Quilt Festival, they will be in attendance in the Celebration of the Doll exhibit.

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Front – in all of her finery.

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Her veil, wimple and crown.

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I gave her a bit more makeup so she wouldn’t look washed out by all the red.  I’m very pleased with her, but will need to make another before I can write the instructions for her pattern.

I also finished the Searcher – really just her shoes and her cape were left to finish.  I’ll post pictures of her another night.

A New Year, A New Pattern, or Two

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My time off is almost at an end as the New Year begins.  It’s a bittersweet moment.  I did not accomplish as much as I would have liked, but spent time with my family, and enjoyed every minute of it.

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I spent this last weekend working hard on website updates and patterns.  I finally finished Modron’s pattern and got it posted to Etsy.  The Goddess of Fall was actually completed soon after Christmas, but I didn’t get back to her pattern until Thursday.  She’s such a lovely doll.  I am very happy with the way she turned out.

I also started another Kate’s Party  Doll, this one for my mother, who was as enchanted with the first one as I was.  I’m doing the pattern for this one as I go along.  It’s a fast doll to put together, as I said in the midst of the last one.  I would have finished it today, if I hadn’t been writing instructions at the same time.

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Actually, I would have finished her, if I’d not spent most of the morning finishing the updates to my website that I planned to get done.  I have Modron up, as well as Alvan, the Gypsy Queen, Count to Ten, the Nutcracker, and Kate’s Party Doll.  I did not get the Monkey commission’s page up yet, nor my quilt from Stretching Art and Tradition this year.  Actually, I think I’m a couple of years behind there.  Anyway, it was a busy weekend, but now I have to go back to work at my day job and back to part time on my artistic endeavors.  The cats are going to be disappointed that I’m not at their beck and call all day! 

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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.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday Boycott

I spent part of yesterday with my parents and my youngest brother, eating a delicious Thanksgiving meal and enjoying the company of my family.  I managed to love on all the family cats, including the shy ones.  My two were sacked out, Marigold on the bed where she’s been spending lots of time since the arrival of Marley, who was laying in bliss on the rug that he’s turned into his personal catnip patch. 

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My parents’ cats, were much more energetic, having had the smell of turkey pervading the house for 4 hours by the time I arrived.  I kept attempting to get pictures and mostly missed them, except for this one episode with Daisy patting my brother Andrew’s hand at the dining room table.

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After I left, I came home and worked on Modron.  I worked on her face, but wasn’t quite happy with it, so set it aside on the pile of fabric in the collection for her clothing and proceeded to work on her first layer of clothes.

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She tried on an under bodice and skirt, but the skirt wasn’t working, so I set it down for the evening and read a book.  Not the most productive of days.

Not being a person who likes or tolerates crowds, I don’t see the point of black Friday.  I spent an hour redoing Modron’s skirt and working out the pattern for her over-bodice, then I went to the post office to get my mail and took my camera.  I have been meaning to stop all week at the park between my bank and the post office, next to Brushy Creek.  The light has been so fantastic that I wanted to take pictures, but kept forgetting the camera.  Not today!

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It’s a really nice park, with what appears to be a half-mile or so trail that goes along Brushy Creek on both sides of the Interstate.

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This is the view back west, up Brushy Creek, from across Chisholm Trail.  Chisholm Trail is named for the Chisholm Trail, which runs right through this spot.  This was a lot water crossing that the cattle drives from South Texas used to cross Brushy Creek on their way to Kansas.

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Looking back east, you can still see the wagon ruts in the limestone bed of the creek.

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Because of the drought, the creek is pretty low and these ruts are exposed and full of leaves.

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And this is the round rock for which Round Rock is named.  This rock marked the low water crossing and the post office was sited here as settlement built up along Brushy Creek.  The settlement was originally known as Brushy Bend, but the name changed to Round Rock with the founding of the post office.

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A bit upstream there is a small dam and waterfall.  A great blue heron was wading above the falls and I kept stalking him upstream, hoping for a shot, but no such luck.  The best I got was a partial shot of him winging away upstream.

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There were several trees with really cool bark.  I had to take several pictures of this one, though, because you can actually see layers in the knobs of bark.  I had a very enjoyable hour walking around with my camera, enjoying the sunshine, moderate temperatures and the views.  Then I headed back home – yes, home – to eat lunch and spend the rest of my day working on Modron.

I got her over bodice done and the sleeves constructed and attached.  Modron is the Goddess of Fall (3rd in my Seasons of Goddesses) series, but I can easily see how I could modify her to make her a superb angel…. so that’s going on my list of dolls to work on (ever expanding!).

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Here’s her wrap around over-bodice.

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And her sleeve.  It’s lined with this cool, burnt-out velvet I got in one of the Gypsy’s fabric club packs.  In fact, all of this fabric so far is from fabric clubs from this fall.

As I worked on her clothing today, I figured out what her face needed.  The bluish green eye-shadow had to go.  And once I figured that out, I figured out she needed greenish eyes instead of brown.

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Isn’t this much better!

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Here she is, as she looks this evening.  I took a bunch of fabric out of her skirt.  It was too full before.  Now it’s perfect.

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I spent the bulk of the evening beading the trip onto her skirt.

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I’ve managed to go all the way round (all 20”) beading the sequins of the trip down on the top and just have to do the bottom.  Modron, in case I haven’t mentioned it, is also going to be my CTADS doll in a year piece.  Our theme this year is “Monochromatic”.  Obviously, she’s not taking me a year, having only been started in the last week.  I have to have her done by the unveiling on December 10, but should be done with her before I go back to work on Monday.

So, that’s how you boycott Black Friday – you spend some time outdoors in a park and the rest of it in your studio!  The day flies by, you accomplish a ton, refill the well a bit, and, best of all, don’t spend any money!