Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Experimentation with Water Color Pencils

This time I decided to use the pencils to deliberately show lines and strokes in the watery background of a mermaid picture.

This painting is another ACEO - 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size.
It's not easy painting this small!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Two Celtic Scrolls

I finished and sent off two scrolls on Wednesday. Hopefully their new owners will like them. They are done in guoache in the style of the Book of Kells.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Water Color Pencil Experiment

I picked up some water color pencils to try out. I did this little ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches) sized doodle to see how well they worked, and I'm not sure I like them. When wet, I can move the color around somewhat, but I can't predict how much. Some colors seem to just disappear when wet and others get more intense. It's impossible to get a completely smooth color. My daughter says I'm just not used to the way water colors look. I may go back to guoache.
If you have any tips on using these, please let me know.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Two New Pins - a Kitty and a Fish

Here are a couple brand new pins I just added to my shop:
An ochre, tan and rust kitty pin and an orange, pink and yellow fish.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm a One Eyed Cyclops Today

Oh joy. Somehow I managed to scratch my cornea, so my eye is patched to keep me from blinking and constantly irritating it. It makes viewing the monitor somewhat difficult for some reason. I think my patched left eye was better than my right so things are rather blurry.

What fun! I get to wear this patch while playing for a bunch of dancers in a public place tonight. As if playing the accordion with Morris dancers wasn't embarrassing enough.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Scarf on the Loom

My spouse weaves scarves using warps that I hand dye. Here's one scarf almost completed on the loom. The warp is purple and turquoise hand dyed rayon and the weft is black rayon. He has two more scarves to weave on this warp before he can take it off the loom.
The loom is a 44 inch Louet Spring 8 harness.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Meow Meow Meow, I'm a Kitty Cat

I hadn't done a kitty cat treasury in a while, and they are so much fun. Here's my newest: Meow Meow Meow, I'm a Kitty Cat.
It expires on Wednesday.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pouches from Hand Dyed Fabric

I love to hand dye fabric, and was wondering what else I could make with it besides little doll pins and such. I was looking for something that didn't take hours and came up with these pouches.

Since I don't use a purse, I usually have a wallet in my back jeans pocket. But there are times when I don't have a pocket, or I need to carry something that doesn't really fit into a pocket or is too fragile to sit on, like a lucet. During those times, I'll hang a pouch off my belt.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Poppies in the Garden

My children call them tissue paper flowers.

I love the delicate crinkly papery look of poppies. I grow all sorts, including Oriental, California, Iceland, bread seed and Shirley.

The above two are Papaver somniferum varieties Heirloom and Lauren's Grape. The ones below are from a mix of Shirley poppies and some reseeding California poppies.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A new Kitty Ornament

I finished up another new kitty ornament/doll and put him up on Etsy. He's done in some of my favorite colors - blues and greens with just a touch of purple on the feet and tail. I wish the highly metallic bright shiny Lumiere paint showed up better in the picture. He's listed here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Fairy and her Diary

Back in 2005 I entered a challenge where the doll had to have a story to go with it. I came up with this little brown fairy for that challenge. She was actually the prototype, but since she turned out reasonably well, I entered her instead of the next generation fairy because she fit into a story my spouse Chris came up with.

After drawing up the pattern and trying out various incarnations of bodies, legs and such, this doll was my first result of all the parts going together in a satisfactory way. Usually, at this point, I don't go any further with the prototype and just go on to the final doll but I had put enough time into her I thought I'd try and get a doll out of her. Since she was done in white muslin, I decided to try dying her with procion dyes after I put her together, which is not the way I would recommend dyeing a doll if you want a consistent color throughout. So, there are some interesting markings on her legs and arms, but it seems to go with her overall earthy look.

Next, I worked on her clothes. Her bodice is made of some kind of fake-a-suede and took several iterations to get it to fit just the way I wanted. It has tiny eyelets all up the front which I found in the scrap booking section of the hobby store. Putting those on the bodice was a bit of a challenge.

Her boots are also made of imitation suede with some painted embellishments and the same tiny eyelets. I looked at a pair of ice skates to get the general idea of how to do them.

The hair is made of mohair locks, carefully dyed using jacquard acid dyes and then needle felted on.

The wings are also hand dyed.

I couldn't come up with panties that suited her, so she's pantyless under her skirt. This inspired the story, a diary entry, on how she lost her painties.

"June 22
Dear Diary,
Oh baby, what a party that was last night. Everyone, who’s anyone, was there including Oberon and what’s her name, Titania. Sure hope none of her fairy spies go around reading diaries of young fairies. And then there was that satyr that came in about half way through the evening. Oh my! What a buck! And what a sweetheart, we talked and drank and danced into the morning. And then we went back to his place. He, he, he."...

For the rest of the entry, see this pdf:
Brown Fairy's Diary

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Twenty Pound Tabby Just Has To Get Into The Picture

Yesterday I was taking some picture of Emily modeling a new hand dyed pouch I made, and Donovan, the twenty pound tabby, just HAD to be in the picture. He just about always shows up when I'm busy in the yard, begging for belly rubs.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Celtic Dragons

At this exact moment, I'm procrastinating finishing up a scroll which is illuminated in beasties and characters from the book of Kells. This book was made in a monastery in Ireland over a 1000 years ago its name is where the word celtic came from.

So, this scroll reminded me of all the other celtic things I have around the house, including these little celtic dragons I made years ago. There's one each for each member of the family and each member got to pick their colors.

These are made from a pattern by Melinda Small Patterson that was published in Soft Doll and Animals. This pattern does an excellent job of producing a dragon with the look of something that had just popped out of the book of Kells. The pattern was supposed to be enlarged, but I liked it this size. Other than that, these are pretty much directly from the pattern.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Traveling down the vintage path

A recent thread in the Etsy forums about vintage was quite interesting. In it, I discovered that the dress I was married in (or one very much like it) is being used on Wikipedia to help define vintage. Wow, do I feel old! Here's the Wiki page with a dress made using the same pattern: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vintage_clothing
My wedding dress pictured above is a late 1970's Gunne Sax pattern and was made on a 1948 Singer treadle machine by my mom.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Featured on two blogs this past week

I'm currently featured on Universalthread's blog on Interviews with Artists
And earlier, I was on DZFantasy's blog as Featured Artist.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Daylily Seedling FFOs

FFO- First Flower Open. It's always exciting to see the very first bloom on a plant I've hybridized, even if it's not that great. A couple of years ago I crossed a bunch of daylilies just to see what I would get. Last year I started the seeds indoors, and planted them out in June. This year they are putting our their very first blooms. So far, nothing is all that great, but they aren't too bad either. My main goal was to hybridize repeat bloom into them so only time will tell if I've succeeded in that.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Arm Chair

This is an older doll I made from a Christine Shively pattern. The arms are part of the pattern, which makes it an "arm" chair, but I added the face for fun and to try and make it more my own. I like doing faces. This may be the largest face I've ever painted, but it turned out good enough for me. The face is made of gold silk taken from an old silk shirt. The arms are from the same shirt and the purple puffs are from another old silk shirt.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More flowers - Clematis Jackmanii

I took a few pictures of my Jackmanii clematis today, with my 5'11" daughter as a height reference. This clematis is 20 years old and is one of my favorite plants. From what the neighbors tell me, it's one of their favorites too since it shows up very visibly from the street.