Valentines and Flowers

cupcakes

I had an internet conversation with a fellow Texas Tech graduate last weekend while watching a basket ball game.  At some point the conversation veered towards food and I decided I would bake cupcakes.  I had bananas ready to go into banana bread, but what fun is banana bread heading into Valentine’s Day?  So, I decided to make cupcakes with the bananas. 

The result, after I tinted the cream cheese frosting with red food coloring, was sort of heart shaped cupcakes, which accompanied me to work Monday.  My co-workers are often the beneficiaries of my baking.  They are most appreciative and the upside is that I get to bake without having to eat much of what I produce.

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February is the month in which we get to experience three seasons, sometimes in one day here in central Texas.  We get warm days at 85 degrees, followed by cool days in the 50’s or 60’s.  It confuses the plants, especially if we are above 70 for 4 days running as we were last week.  This is happening more, it seems, and I end up doing my spring cleaning in the yard sooner each year.  I got all of my pruning done weekend before last and last weekend got my front flower beds composted.  I planted a few new plants and bought a few more which are still awaiting homes.  The plants I pruned are budding out and I have an enterprising daisy that is covered in blooms. 

All of this leads me to think of flowers.  I’ve been buying myself flowers at the grocer store each week and they are starting to get Star Gazer lilies in which I love so much!  This weekend, I got my fabric club in from Treasures of the Gypsy and what a surprise!  It’s spring flowers!  I have the body and head of the doll I intended to make an angel from.  Now, I think she’s going to be the flower fairy and here’s the start of the collection of fabric and trims for her wardrobe!

fabric

The next All Dolls Are Art Newsletter comes out tomorrow morning.  You can still sign up to receive it by visiting the website and signing up for the mailing list.  This month, I have a survey on doll making and an article written by Michele Lynch, one of our ADAA faculty.  If you have ever wondered about quitting your day job for your artistic journey, you’ll enjoy Michele’s thoughts on the topic.

There is still plenty of space in all of our classes for ADAA 2013.  I hope that you’ll consider joining me and sharing your creative journey!

New Doll: The Searcher, Intro and Progress

I started a doll for the All Dolls Are Art 2012 Silent Auction and she didn’t get finished.  I’ve picked her back up again after finishing my Stretching Art and Tradition piece as she’s one of the pieces I’m submitting for the Celebration of the Doll exhibit at IQF in Houston.  I had to pick a name for her, and called her the Searcher, although I haven’t really thought up for story yet.  I’ll give her a better name, like Lina, the Searcher of Dreams or some such thing once I’ve had a chance to figure her out.  Normally, this part of the process is the beginning of a doll for me.  In this case, not so much.  Any way, here’s the current state of progress.

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Her creation is an entertaining story of calamities.  I started out with the fabric for her tunic, which is some rayon challis I hand-dyed.  The same fabric is used for her pants.  I added the velvet for the apron and the turban to the mix, also one of my hand-dyed fabrics (this one, hand-dyed indigo velvet, is available in my Etsy shop).  Since I had a definite purple theme going, I pulled some purple toned hand-dyed skin fabric out of my stash, laid out the freezer paper templates, not really paying attention to grain on anything but the face, and started constructing her figure.  After I started stuffing, I noticed something weird.  The first piece I stuff is the torso.  It was really, really long.  Then I stuffed the legs.  Whoa!  More weirdness, one was really long and skinny, the other, short and fat.  Hmmmnn.  What’s up with this, you ask?  Unlabeled, one-way stretch fabric.  I also ended up with one long arm and one short arm.  Because I was short on time, I went ahead and put her body together and it was really wonky.  So, her costume design was conceived to cover up the flaws in her figure.  LOL.  I ended up with a pseudo 1001 Arabian nights costume crossed with an east Asian flavor out of the need to cover up the maximum skin and hide the figure.

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Later I added the purple daisy trim (hand-dyed too using similar colors, but not intended to go with this fabric).  Since I had more time, I dug through my stash of Treasures of the Gypsy trims and ribbons and added the purple and gold braid at the hem of the tunic, the beaded trim at her forehead, and the purple rick-rack at the neckline.  She’s going to get a necklace or a scarf to go around her neck.

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She’ll also probably get a ton of beads to bring some sparkle to her turban and veil.  I’ve yet to finish her make-up and finish her hands (nails) and sculpt her feet.  I haven’t decided if she’s getting shoes or not yet.

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I have another piece to start for Celebration.  This will be the last in my Seasons of Goddesses series, the Goddess of Winter.  I really really want to do her in blues, but to go with the other 3, I think I’m going to do her in winter greens and reds.  I’m going to pull out fabric for her probably tomorrow or Thursday.  I already have a good idea of the costume and just need to finalize some details on her figure before I draft her pattern.  My goal is to have her pattern available for sale in time for the Houston quilt show.  We’ll see how that turns out!

Last, but certainly not least!  I’m an aunt again for the third time this evening.  My newest nephew (Sawyer) arrived (early!) at 8:23pm.  Mom and baby are doing great!

Zelava and Betty’s Book pages

I spent the weekend with Annie and Pamela and Ken and Connie.  We had a blast.  i finished Betty’s pages and left them with Annie and I came home and have been working on Zelava.  I’ll post more pictures later in the week.  Work is nuts and I’m burning both ends of the candle between the dolls and the day job.

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This is the Saint page finished, with Nina’s head.

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This is the corazon page finished.

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This is Zelava’s face.  Isn’t she pretty?  This is what I did tonight, along with fnishing beading her last pant leg.

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And this is what she looks like so far.  Head is still pinned on because I’m not quite ready to attach it.

Elephant Ears and Saints

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For those of you who asked, the elephant is part of my entry for the Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge:  Gypsy Carnival which will be on exhibit at the Houston quilt show.  I have to have it done (and the accompanying doll) by the end of the month.  I’m not sure I will make it, but am doing my best.  This evening, I talked to Eleanor Peace Bailey about my super secret project and our fabric books.  She mailed the next one to me yesterday, which means I’ll soon have 3 again.  The one that is on it’s way is MT Stoa’s book “Peacock’s and Gypsy’s”.  After the phone call,  I got into the studio and drafted an updated ear pattern.  I stitched the ears and the tail, turned and stuffed them and then put away the sewing machine.  The ears and tail are pinned on for now.

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elephant_0922_front

The rest of my evening was spent on the Saint page.  I got the heart which forms the Saint’s collar beaded down, glued the head down and then worked on beading the rest of the braided trim, the ribbon I added on the skirt and the lace along the edge.  I’m really happy with the progress. 

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