Monday, December 29, 2008

I made 100 hearts!!!!

Yayyyyyy!!!! I got to the 100 hundred hearts mark some time while I was off celebrating Christmas in my own atheistic way. At least I made that goal before the year was out. Thanks to everyone and I will be routing around in all your shops too, shortly. It's one of my favourite things about Etsy.

Hope everyone is having a good holiday and looking forward to the New Year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

what they look like!

Of course that last post would have made more sense if I'd added the photo links. I need a holiday!

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Phew, just made it!

Two of my Christmas presents absolutely had to go in the post today, last chance to get there before Christmas. Problem was, I hadn't finished making them! That's been the theme of this year, too much going on at any one time and looming deadlines.

I made 4 angel themed "Wish Dolls" for my friends and as I will be sending 2 of them through the post I knew they would need boxes to protect them. I've made boxes before from paper maché, but the best thing about paper maché is that it can't be rushed. You have to take your time and let each layer dry out before you begin another. That's before the many layers of painting and sanding. Normal very peaceful and theraputic...

Well, my looming Christmas deadline called for Speed-Maché, quite a high risk undertaking which meant leaving the boxes on the radiators and applying the hairdryer in between paint applications, the sanding totally got the heav-ho. naturally all that heat warped the boxes so then they had to be squished back into shape with heavy duty elastic bands and a carefully balanced encyclopaedia (always knew that would come in handy some day).

Then I put the lids on while the varnish was still a bit tacky and woke to find them welded on. Had a bit of a well earned tantrum at that point. Eventually got the lids off and decided the tears just kind of added to the slightly distressed antique look I aim for. Voila. Packed and posted and on their way to their new homes. I'm sure that Gill and Marcia are too busy with Christmas preparations to be reading this.

The second set will be handed over in person tomorrow evening. The dolls evolved to be more fairy like than angelic with those silver filigree type wings. They are for my friends, the twins, Jenni & Jessica. They weren't actually meant to look like them but kind of took on something of their essence while I was painting them. I now see the girl in Silver as Jess and the Pink girl as Jenni. I think I will just leave it up to them which one they have in the end though.

That's it from me until the New Year so happy holidays whatever you celebrate :o)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kim's Corset Masterclass!

Remember my friend, the multi-talented Kim? she drew those cute little Novitas characters I showed you in November (Look-Cute), well now she has made a website to take us all step by step through the process of making your own basque or corset. Fantastic, take a look at the link down in the links list or copy and paste the link below and enjoy!

http://www.kimberleypope.com/how_to_make_a_corset/opening_page.html


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Closing early

I've decided to close down the etsy shop a week earlier than I was originally planning. I can tell from my item viewing figures that numbers of browsers have dropped and it seems a little mad to list new items in the week before I close down for the Hols. So the Shop will now close on Saturday the 13th and reopen with lots of NEW things on January the 5th.

I guess I won't make my 100 hearts target (I think there are now 96, heart you too, but haven't had a chance to check out your shops yet!) but hey, ho, I'm in the holiday mood and everything is well with the world.

I have almost finished 4 new clay dolls which need to be posted tomorrow. They are Christmas gifts for friends, I will post pics as soon as they are on their way! :o)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Spring is in the air, or my sketchpad, anyway...

I have a several projects to finish and list before the December close-down, but more exciting for me (at least!) I also have a few changes up my sleeve for when the shop opens again in January. I have been concentrating on getting the Etsy Shop established and all the website artwork done for so long now (it's been a (woolly) Mamoth of a task, and I'm still updating the galleries!) that my dolls have taken a back seat.

Sad, as they are what it's all about!

I have a note book full of new scribbles for dolls though and a big sack full of new fabrics to get started on. I think I've kind of done the plain old gothy/witch rag dolls to their logical conclusion for now, I think I need a break from them. Also the tiny Polymer dolls are a bit limiting, although very enjoyable... so I am planning to combine these 2 techniques and see where that takes me. Watch this space!

Also, I always get pretty low in January/February, doesn't everyone? So, to beat the post-crimbo blues I've decided to go for a more grimm-fairytale folklore look. I've been leafing through a massive book of Russian Folk art today for inspiration and can't wait to get started. I think I'll come straight out of the Christmas break with my Valentine's Day head on and tell you all about it in the next Freaky Little Things Newsletter in Jan. Sign up at my website, if you are interested.

While I am on this new colourful path, I just stumbled across the work of a fellow EGADS Etsy Dollmaker who does beautifull brightly coloured polymer dollies after my own heart, Duh bu Duh designs. Take a peek at her blog, the link is down the side there. :o)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Dark Side My Space

Feeling honoured, The Pumpkin Girl, Honey, is today's featured item on the Etsy Dark Side My Space page. Here's the link to copy but have put the link to the EDS My Space page in the links list too:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=354476454&blogID=454539783&Mytoken=1A10234E-BEBA-4486-A6D4947BFE3CFEBF137326485

She is full of pride and acting kind of regal, up on the doll shelf! I haven't wrapped her yet as she is supposed to have a little companion who is almost finished and ready to be photographed... you will be meeting him/her next week. I still haven't made the clothing, that's when I will have to ask it what sex it wants to be, I have to ask, don't have much experience sexing Pumpkins!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Please make it a hundred!!!

I've just been for a peek in my shop and found that I now have 93 fellow Etsians who "heart" Freaky Little Things. A big hug to you all, I heart you all back. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can get 100 before I close down for Christmas - it's good to have goals. :o)


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Eeeek, recession?

I know we aren't to mention the R word - it's just an economic blip - Honest, and let's face it I can't spell recession, ressession, repossession(?) but having freelanced right through the nineties I recognise the signs. I recognised them about 3 years ago, to be honest, as I went through my own personal mini-bust THEN ahead of the rest of the world.

Always gotta be in there first! :o(

Design is one of those industries that get's hit first and hard. The majority of my work is to design product and packaging that sells through major High Street retailers, so, hey - double whammy. I had a full fortnight's work planned out but by Tuesday lunchtime, my first job is cancelled completely and the second got put on hold. Eeeekkk!!!!

One thing is different from the early nineties for me though and I am hoping, fingers crossed, that this doesn't change. Ask any Illustrator, back then you couldn't get work at all. If you could draw you were considered redundant as "Computer graphics" were all anyone wanted. There was this mule-headed belief that computers were actually CREATIVE, that even a chimp could create a masterpiece if they had the right software!

Thankfully that idea has pretty much faded, even the "Suits" in the industry finally understand that the computer is only as creative as it's operator and being able to draw is actually considered a skill again. Phew! Illustration is in vogue... and the magazine! I'm hoping that it will keep bread on the table, touch wood...or MDF which is closer to hand right now (IKEA desk don'tcha know). The only problem is that I just stare at the blank page and nothing comes to mind... I need to get a new updated illustration folio together but nothing is happening, it's like I have hit a wall.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Website Update

Just a quickie to say that the Jointed Clay Doll section of my website has been updated and features more views of each dolly. Well, those that I have more views of... I only got a decent camera earlier this year and so the majority of my BC dolls (Before Camera) simply don't feature on the website or only have the 1 view.

I've also added a Newsletter subscription button. Bye for now :o)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Eeek, where's my coat?

Just as I was getting organised and crossing things off the to-do list day by day (the list has shrunk to half size this week, hurrah, mostly niggly behind the scenes things)... I just got a call from a design group checking that I am available for next week.

Eeerrr, of course! I love, love, love my work but the plain fact is that the last job I did for them was 2 solid 7 day weeks with rarely less than a 12 hour day. Great for the bank balance - but, somehow I think my last push to get things into the shop before Christmas has somehow bitten the dust.

Still I've got the whole weekend! I am currently piecing together my new Winter Coat! I have had a favourite coat for the last 5 years but when I got it out of storage toward the end of the "Summer", I realised that it was looking really tatty. I found some gorgeous cobalt blue/black woven wool textile and proceeded to take apart my beloved coat to use as a pattern. Cue tons of urgent design jobs and very cold weather. Tee hee! The best laid plans of mice and me... now it's frosty and I don't have a coat old or new.

Tacking all the parts together and getting the interfacing on the right pieces requires the most concentration, so as long as I get that bit finished tonight I can hang it on my tubby little dress form and just machine sew and alter bits whenever I get a spare half hour. So that's the plan for tonight then the whole weekend is devoted to finishing various project for the Etsy shop.

So, better get quit typing and get on with it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Custom Gothic Blythe

Confession first: Of course I'd LOVE to get my hands on a Blythe doll and customize it but I just have "Precious Candy's Mushroom" and wouldn't change a hair on her little plaited head. Doesn't stop me looking for that "cheap" fixer-upper of course... A bit like unicorns you want to believe they're out there but actually know that they don't exist at the same time.

But, I am baffled by this trend where people take an already really expensive and always pretty Blythe doll then hack at it with a saw, ruin it, do a bad paint job, a squiffy hair weave, make the eyes kind of crossed then spary the whole lot with MSC and plop it on ebay looking for a small fortune for their efforts. The results often bring to mind the interbreeding often rampant in Royal houses during the middle ages which perhaps explains why they are often called "Princess" something or other.

I kid you not, there is a particular "boy" Blyhte that keeps being re-listed on the US ebay that looks like the little boy with the fiddle from Deliverence, "Squeal Li'l Dolly!"... or was it a banjo?

Anyhow, today, in my usual ebay trawl I came across this little beauty! Bucking the trend by actually improving on the original (Ok there are a FEW others out there doing lovely customs but they do seem to be in the minority!). The artist is called Freddy Tan and he's from Singapore he has loads of other sweeties on his blogspot page, I've put the link down the side as usual. Bless!


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Monday, November 24, 2008

More Blahhh

Still bored. Got up really early today as I couldn't sleep and had a fluffy cat rump in my face. Really cold sunny day so got loads done, nothing cute to put in the shop sadly, just loads of those nasty jobs that involve tidying up, phoning a "public Servant" (ie being put on hold for 20 minutes then through to the wrong department and finally cut off) and doing sums. I hate maths. Hate, hate, hate doing the books but am also too scrooge-like to pay someone to do it for me.

Cats helped - as Paper-weights generally and also rearranged my filing system with a mid-morning roll around. Thanks. Now it's gone dark and I've run out of steam. Yet another day gone by and I still haven't put pencil to paper... why can't I draw anymore? It used to be what got me out of bed and the reason I never went there until the wee small hours, now my sketch pads remain virgin intactica. Still, with most of the dull jobs done on a Monday, hopefully the rest of the week will be super-productive!??! :o)

blahhhhh

Bored

Sunday, November 23, 2008

lost a pound!

actually lost a pound when I got on the scales this morning, had almost started to think it was impossible. I know that isn't the most exciting first loss on a diet that I allegedly started almost a month ago...but it is a start!

You HAVE to watch this

This video is really scary, especially if you are in the USA and bought your kids Trick or Treat sweets last month. There has been a huge scandal about this and the offending items withdrawn across the EU, most of the world as far as I know. I can't believe that after hundreds of Chineses children died, the FDA in America has quieted this down and not pulled the Melanine tainted sweets/candy from stores.

I thought America led the world in standards of safety but this frightens me, please take the time to listen to this guy if you don't already know about this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUB79WJ9ktQ

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hurrah!

Not that anyone cares, I don't suppose. but the order finally turned up! So now the customer has her prints and I can heave a sigh of relief. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh, there it was. :o)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

to post international or not?

Firstly, my website had it's 100th visitor today! Yipee!!!

On a less happy note, I've had my first International non-delivery saga. Someone ordered some ACEO's from me in late September and I sent them out to the US on October the 1st. That same day I sent another package to the US which arrived a week later. I was eventually contacted in late October by the customer who hadn't had her package. I tried to trace it but only got as far as "We put it on a plane to the USA, it's untrackable now unless you are in the US". Great!

I sent the customer the tracking number but she couldn't find it's whereabouts either. So a week later I sent out a duplicate set of prints by a different postal method AIRSURE which is supposed to be trackable by me once it gets to the States too, the other parcel just needed a signature. Well, I've waited a few weeks and heard nothing then contacted the customer again (who, let's not forget PAID for those little prints back in late September), still no sign of either parcel.

Today, I get the original parcel back with a New York (it was going to Kentucky) post mark and a label that states that the recipient "Failed to collect". I figure Kentucky is probably a bit bigger than Wales and maybe her postal depot is a fair way off (My postal depot is 6 miles away if I have to pick up undelivered mail) and as far as I can tell they never contacted the woman to tell there was a parcel to pick up and sign for in the first place. Ggggrrrrrrrrr!

What am I supposed to do? The woman never got the last parcel either but I can see that it's in Kentucky when I track it. I can't just keep sending parcel after parcel if the mail people over there just don't bother to deliver...but this is making my business look bad. What would you do, any ideas?

Monday, November 17, 2008

still a fatty!

Aaaarggghh, got on the scales this morning and realised that all my cutting back hasn't made an ounce (literally) of difference. I might as well have just eaten cakes all week! Still, have just gotten back from my first Physiotherapy session in about 6 weeks, so I will go weekly now and hopefully the flab will fall away. I had to stop going because of the anemia, but I felt OK today, very out of breathe but things will improve with time, at least no migraine, thankfully.

I wonder if anyone else out there gets migraines and needs to eat carbohydrates immediately after or they bounce right back. When I was younger it never affected my weight but I think the constant migraines because of anemia, and the fact that I don't get as much exercise because of my knee injury, well they all add up to a slightly rounder silhouette than I'm used to. I don't recognise myself in the mirror.

What a lot of phooey and excuses, I just need to STOP EATING SO MUCH! :o)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gift Sets

I have a new Goth Girl illustration almost finished, all I'm saying is that it's called "Danika's cat" and he's a very grumpy little moggy indeed. Sneak preview later in the week hopefully, but for now, I am listing some "Gift Sets", an ACEO of "Voodoo Bunny", "Bethany" or "The Mighty Boosh" with a badge. The Mighty set includes 4 cute Booshy badges. The perfect stocking filler just in time for the holiday season... well, if your stockings are sort of ghostly or a fan of alternative comedy. Tee hee :o)


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Raphia's new face

The only doll related thing I did this weekend - strip off Raphia's face and wig and redo her make-up. I was going to copy the Pullip Cornice doll but went my own merry way in the end. Suprise!

I also gave her a beautiful pair of acrylic eyes and some extra eyelashes. I was just trying out the new look for size when her eyelids got stuck in this drooped position and I liked it so glued them like that in the end. I know everyone says this, but she actually looks way better in reality than these pics suggest, the flash has washed out the subtlety of her smokey chalk pastel eyeshadow. She now has a worldly, slightly bored expression that I much prefer to the original "Oh my Gosh" innocent perkiness. And now she definitely won't look like a toddler dressing up in mummy's punky clothes.

The rest of the weekend was devoted to gunpowder,treason and plot, of course. When November the 5th falls on a weekday the whole Bonfire Night thing becomes Bonfire Week or even Fortnight. We had ours on Friday, (Fireworks were ace this year, from LIDL, who would've thought!??!) but saved some rockets for Saturday and Sunday. All my clothes now smell of Bonny smoke and I'm sick of the smell of Hot Dogs and Toffee Apples... finally. The diet started in earnest yesterday. I have a pact with my friend Gill (who did those paintings below) that we must each loose at least half a stone before Christmas.


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Friday, November 7, 2008

Pullip vs Tae Yang

I was so pleased with the Tae Yang doll that I bough the other week, that I bid on a Pullip (Raphia), just the doll without her stock outfit or box, to see what all the fuss is about. I've heard so much about these dolls (especially Pullip Noir of course) and had looked at a few customized ones on flicker, there is certainly a buzz about them and they cost enough. I fell for "Cornice" from online photos and decided that as I couldn't afford her, I would buy the goody-two-shoes white version - Raphia, and customize her to look like Cornice.

Hhhhmmm, not sure I like Pullip at all now she's here. You can see from the photos below that she is the wrong scale to her "Boyfriend" Tae Yang, her feet in particular are ridiculously small. Her face is also extremely "Chipmunk" like from many angles and actually looks more like the head of a toddler rather than a teen. Very peculiar. Tae Yang's face mould is so beautiful that I was expecting something similar, I suppose. I love him!

Another gripe is the production standards - these are small run limited edition dolls and so you would expect much higher quality control. The number of dolls you hear of mint out of the box, on ebay with 2 left feet, or 2 right feet or even in one case with a foot missing is really quite astonishing. the feet being a bit of a sore point with me at the moment as Tae Yang has got one very stiff leg, it makes a terrible noise as it bends at the knee and the other day his foot fell off. It's fine as the foot is inside his white tights, but I need to undress him soon to get him ready for customizing, I think I'll pack him away in his box where he will be safe from further mishaps until I am ready to start work on him. I'll miss his pretty face though!.

If you are wondering about the odd outfit he's wearing in the photo, I've been wondering about transforming him into Alice in Wonderland as he's easily pretty enough to be a girl. I am contemplating getting him a replacement female Obitsu body before I make the dress, though. Hhhmmm. Anyone got any experience of whether his head will fit a female Obitsu?



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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Full website up and running

FINALLY!!!!

it may have taken almost a year to actually get there... and so many discarded designs along the way... but the full Freaky Little Things website is finally launched! There are still a few glitches to fix and all the alternative views of the dolls to add (crickey!) but it's finally there and the visitor counter has started to click, without announcing it I was actually the 8th visitor to check out my own website???

Whatever, I'm exhausted and all WYSIWYG'd out for now, but check back next week as things will start to evolve.

Wondering about Mr Nightshade yet?

Gilly

I obviously have my promotional head on at the moment, because here are 2 of my favourite original paintings by my friend Gill Bowditch. She has lots of work on the Artists Web, I've put the link down the right in the links list(where else?)...go see!


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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Look Cute!!!!

Here are some really cute little characters my friend Kim is letting me share with you, I am trying to persuade her to bring them to Etsy and open her own shop. They are sooooo cute, I love that Monkey! What do you think? :o)


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A reason to lose weight!

Well, the threatened diet hasn't really started at all. I sort of forgot about it once I got near the fridge/larder/Tesco and be honest who can diet when they have a coldy/fluey bug, we all need to comfort eat, right?

Last night I found a fantastic clothes and accessories shop on Etsy, Louise Black (I've put the link down the side bar). Her stuff has a wonderful Louise Brooks/ Flapper Girl/German expressionist twist crossed with a darkened Moulin Rouge and is just wonderful. I am particularly in love with this dress, and hopefully it has given me an incentive to diet. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!!


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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Blythe window shopping

I love dolls! I've always loved them and had a fairly vast collection when I was a kid and clearly remember seeing my first Blythe doll back in the early 70's. I never had one just WANTED one! I know I'll never have a Kenner original but I did manage to get hold of a black haired Lounging Lovely a few years back... well, my good friend Susie did, out in Hong Kong.

That was when I was just starting to spiral down into my own personal recession (Hey, I'm always one step ahead of the game) and I was too scared to even open the box because I'd de-value her. Eventually she went the way of all things doll-like and beloved and got sold to pay the rent.


All that's behind me now, I'm not rich but I'm not starving either (oh hell, forgot about the diet!) but every time I look up at the notice board next to my Mac Mini ("The Biscuit Tin" as it's become known) I see my tiny Asian Butterfly Blythe, the only one to escape the great dolly cull and get all whistful.

Said whist led me onto ebay last week and I wound up buying a 2 Pullip's as I just can't justify spending so much on a Blythe. They are expensive anyway and then you have to pay shipping from HK AND that new bloody "Handling Charge" the Post Office introduced in the summer on all imported stuff. Hell they even charge you if it's marked as a present! The Pullip's were a nude Raphia and Tae Yang (see below) but that still hasn't purged the Blythe shaped hole in my life.

I've been feeling pretty ropey this weekend and found myself comfort window shopping for Blythes on ebay in between mugs of lemsip and sneezing bouts. It's addictive. Meanwhile, poor Tae Yang and Raphia sit shivering on the book shelf because I haven't made them any clothes yet!

I can't really start Raphia yet as she is going to have a Face-up (my first ever) and a new wig. I've rerooted old Daisy dolls with saran, which is fiddly but fun, but I guess making the wig will be more like attaching the nylon hair to my Freaky Little Things. The hair arrived on Friday, bright red. I want to give her acrylic eyes too, but I'm still researching that with the help of tutorials on Requiem Art. I will put them in the links section. Tae Yang will just be getting a sex change to become an Alice in Wonderland Lady Boy, this won't involve a new body though as he will look fine once he's outfitted! Will post pics of my progress as I go along.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

website sneaky peak

You can get a sneaky peak at the brand spanking new Freaky website at:

http://web.me.com/freakylittlethings

It's just the "enter" page for the moment until it moves to it's permanent address at www.freakylittlethings.com some time next week! I kept my promise to publish on Halloween, just not in the right place!

Got flu so going back to bed, now, oh yesss, sniff :o(

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Pumpkin Girl

Here is the latest Freaky Little Thing, Honey Pumpkin. She hatched out of the largest Pumpkin in the patch and grew into this crazy haired Gothic Beauty, just in time for Halloween. She has a scary little Pumpkin head dolly too, I will post pics of him as soon as he's finished and they will both be listed in the Etsy shop later today. x




Tiny weeny eyes today

After I got the freelance (proper) work done yesterday, I stayed up until the wee small hours working on my website, with huge goose-feather snow falling outside. It was a beautiful sight from the bedroom window when I finally went to bed.

This morning the snow is all gone but I now have WEE SMALL EYES. Ow. Still haven't finished the website, don't really know what I'm doing, the programme is WYSIWYG but I can't help thinking that once published all sorts of glitches that I DON'T see will be what I get!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

deepest mid-winter

What on earth is going on with the weather? I always joke about our soggy Welsh climate but yesterday I was woken at 5am by the loudest crash of thunder I've ever heard, actually thought I'd gone deaf until all the car alarms went off in the street. Then it started hailing, it was incredibly loud on the roof and by the time I got up it had been snowing a while and totally white outside.

All day there was this mad cycle of hail, thunder, snow, rain...snow melts, hail, thunder etc... Insane, basically, it's not even November yet. We always hope for snow (the nice fluffy Xmas card variety, not yesterdays "Oww, that hurt pelting down stuff) for Christmas but usually don't see any til January.

The really annoying part is how dark the last few days have been. I finished a doll on Mondau but can't get any decent pictures of her. She's a Pumpkin Patch dweller and has a creepy little pumpkin dolly, so it would have been good to actually get her in the shop before the "Big H" on Friday. Oh well!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

DIET...diet, diet, diet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lordy, I've made a fateful decision tonight after an unguarded glance in the mirror earlier...Tomorrow I DIET! I've decided to announce this for the public record (not that anyone ever reads this) and shame myself into action.

In my mind I still have my relatively svelte size 12 frame, only foolish ventures into the non-elasticated waist section of my wardrobe prove otherwise which is why I tend to stick to baggy and roomy clothing.

Working alone from home definitely has it's disadvantages. At first not having to wear make-up and coordinated outfits every day seems like a welcome release... then, one day (today) you realise that you are actually a size or two larger and have gotten used to your wan spotty complexion and raisins in uncooked dough eyes (I have deep set dark eyes and that with the pale skin kind of make mascara compulsory unless I want to look like a smiley face - this one :0(....

Will actually have to weigh myself tomorrow to see the real damage and go from there. Will post my progress in the days to come, wish me luck!

Beautiful TaeYang!

Here is my first ever Pullip doll, the BOY TaeYang, how beautiful is his face? I have been thinking about him in my sleep and woke up this morning with a fully fledged "Alice" make-over in my head. Yes, TaeYang is going to be a LadyBoy! I'll bet it's not the first time that's happened! So many Korean/Japanese male dolls have this very androgynous aesthetic, nothing wrong with that, but I would like to see male dolls actually looking... errrrrr.... male! It's a hard thing to get right. I'm not talking about Muscle Bunnies or a plastic army of little Mitchell Brothers (horrible thought!) just, you know, willowy male dolls who still look like guys. Tae Yang here is very stylized but his face says girl to me.

He also appears to be wearing a Panto outfit!


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Saturday, October 25, 2008

halloween approaching fast..

Yeeeaaarrrgh.. Halloween is just a week away and I have sooooooo much to do BUT I am also inundated with freelance work (I mean HURRAY, as I will be able to afford to eat next month!) and can spare so little time for Freaky Little Things right now. I have frazzled myself a bit this last 10 days or so and decided to let myself wake up without the alarm for a treat this morning. Well, I say MORNING, I actually awoke at ten to midday and that was mainly due to my cat, Matilda, rolling over so that her fur was blocking up my nose and I sort of ran out of non-cat-filtered oxygen. She was a mit miffed as a force nine gale was blowing through the bedroom and my breath was keeping her warm.

Many cups of tea later and I'm just thinking about how much design work I still have to get through before I can indulge in a bit of FLT. I promised myself (and readers of the last FLT newsletter) that my website would be up and running by Halloween and that's one deadline I MUST keep. It may have to be in a slightly reduced format that I can add to later as there's still plenty to do.

I also have 3 dolls half finished that I wanted to go in the shop ages ago, a Witch, a Vampire and the Pirate I previewed a while back. The Witch and Vampire have completely gessoed and painted faces and hands, the Vampire even has painted boots and tights. The Pirate just needs his sword and hat, and maybe a battered Jolly Roger cape?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gingerbread dolls

Last week, whenever I had a spare moment I was tinkering about with the new doll idea that I've had. I was looking at Gingerbread Men in a cake shop window... cake shop windows always magnetically draw my eyes for some reason...and thought it would be nice to try and create a Freaky little Thing with that kind of simplicity. I also want to start some Matryoshka style dolls too, so the 2 ideas kind of welded together.

I produced a linocut over several nights (I am a wimp and keep cutting myself, that tends to put me off for a while) then tried printing it onto calico. The results were pretty much disasterous after all the effort doing the linocut! The only half decent print I got became the slightly larger doll/cushion at the back in the photo below. I backed her with some fluffy black polar fleece and coloured her with fabric paints and 3D paints. She looks just OK, some of the print area goes into the seams because I didn't leave enough space around the edge.

Attempt number 2 was to draw up the image in Illustrator (I could just have tidied up my original sketch but figured that I would eventually have to scan it and tidy it up again, so why not start as I mean to go on?) then transfer it to the calico using Image Maker. That is a bit time consuming and I had to go to the library to get photocopies as it's the toner that transfers and you don't get any from my ink jet printer. Sorry, geek tech stuff there! Anyway, one very sore finger from rubbing off the photocopy later and I got a really nice print on the calico. I coloured this up and like the shiny plasticy feel of the finished result, so backed her with polar fleece again and hey presto, the smaller doll at the front.

If only I had remembered to leave extra seam room at the edges she would be in the etsy shop right now! Later in the week I went and did more photcopies but the paper was different and wouldn't transfer to the cloth... aaaaarrrrgh! Hopefully, some time next week I will actually get one right! At least I have used the image to make some book marks, they will be in the shop later. It's so damn dark today the photos came out poo, so I will have to mock up a few images.

If I thought anyone ever read the blog I would ask for your comments on the new dolls!??!


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Friday, October 17, 2008

porcelain misfit

Here is a pic of a poor armless porcelain doll that I've just added to the Etsy shop as a craft supply. I bought her in a job lot of dolls and limbs about 6 years ago and have made fairies of all the rest. I kept meaning to make her some arms from polymer caly, but you know the way it goes! Anyway, she stands around on the shelf staring accusingly at me and I think she would be happier with someone who will put her to good use.

Got several freelance design projects on at the moment so no time for FLT unfortunately (on my lunch hour right now!) but I have started experimenting with a new type of "doll" inspired by Gingerbread men. Will show tomorrow hopefully. Bye!


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Monday, October 13, 2008

poor little soul

The poor little soul from the post below didn't sell, I don't know why, she is really quite sweet in her own startle-faced grumpy way. Obviously I stopped making this kind of doll years ago (actually, I only made a few from fleece as I always knew I wanted to paint the faces).

Anyway, I'm still convinced that there is someone who will love her out there, so she now lives in the esty shop, at a really low price, too. I am sorting through loads of stuff from my work space and starting a De-stash miscellany section in the shop, too.

I am such a hoarder and collect all sorts, thinking they will be needed for a craft project one day. Many, many days, no YEARS later and this stuff is STILL here! I think I will just look at everything realistically and get it photographed and listed on etsy.

In some ways I don't want to clutter up the shop with non-FLT stuff, but on the other hand my cat couldn't swing a mouse in here these days. Lordy!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

on ebay right now, finishes Monday

Just thought I'd mention that this sweet little dolly, one of my older creations from a few years back, spruced up and ready to find a new home, is up for auction on ebay right now,. Auction finishes Monday evening. You can find all my auctions by following the link on the left.


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New print

I've been freelancing all week so haven't had time for FLT, but finished messing with an old illustration earlier today and just listed it in the esty shop. It is available as an ACEO right now and will also be listed as a larger print some time next week.


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Friday, October 3, 2008

Stiff upper lip, what?

Don't ask why I was reading the usually dire Daily Express yesterday, but I came across an article on the dying art of understatement. The day before they'd reported on a man who calmly went round to his neighbour's house and asked for help as he'd just cut his own arm off with a chain saw while pruning a tree. Said neighbour put the arm in a bag of frozen sausage rolls, as they calmly waited for the ambulance.

The article went on to recount various cases of sang-froid, which it describes as a great, but endangered British Virtue, ie: The Stiff Upper lip. My favourites were:

There's the story of Sir Thomas Blount, a traitor being executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered, who while seated "watching his own guts being extracted and burned, was asked if he would like a drink to steady him." His reputed reply was:"No, for I do not know where I should put it"

But my favourite has to be the unnamed British 2nd world war veteran Pilot, terribly scarred by a fire in his cockpit. He baled out into the sea, and while bobbing about his whisky flask slipped through his badly burned fingers: "At that point I was getting really pretty fed up"

Fantastic!

One of George's spooky stories

Typing that about my anemia earlier, just reminded me of one of the stories my grandparents used to tell when I was little. We all lived in this same house, 3 generations and a couple of cousin's too most of the time. My Grandad, George, had loads of brothers and they used to call round a lot as did my Gran's family. They were very raucous and as kid's back in the early seventies, my brother, cousin's and I, all used to love "sneaking" into their living room and hiding under the table with our dog, Boo-boo, while they sat round into the night gossiping and telling tall tales. I'm sure they knew we were there.

We also used to share Boo-boo's dog biscuits, but that's another story...

AS evening fell, talk would start to turn ghostly, as the brother's took turns to outdo each other recounting tales of strange happenings and unexplained events. My favourite tales were about my Grandad's childhood, a time when the Hooson household was bursting with more children than it could hold or feed and so George decamped to live with his "Nain" Jones (pronounced like the number 9, that's Welsh for Grandma). Nain Jones was reputed to have eaten a piece of "green eagle" and it had given her "the eye" - Grandad used to say this in a very knowing voice and all the clan used to nod their heads sagely...to this day, I have no idea what that meant, except obviously a great deal to them.

Anyhow, Nain Jones was someone well regarded in the village in those days, the early 1900's, people would come and ask her advice about all sorts. She could tell you what sex your unborn child would be, that sort of thing. Grandad was most intrigued by a frequent late night visitor, about whom his Nain was very tight lipped and secretive. He would lie restless in bed at night waiting for the furtive tap at the door and then hear his Nain tiptoe across the hallway and usher in this most private guest. If ever he asked the usually sunny Nain Jones about these nocturnal visitations she would scowl and tell him to mind his business.

All villages have a haunted house, of course, and Bagillt was no different. My Grandad had grown up with the schoolyard wisdom on Fanny Bwgan, an elderly resident of the village who seemed to have no immediate family in the area (always a cause for suspicion) and was reputed to be a Vampire, Witch or possibly a Ghoul, the exact nature of her supernatural inclinations always in dispute. All the children, along with many of the adults, avoided the end of the street where her dowdy old house stood. I have no recollection of the poor woman's real surname but I think Bwgan means either a ghost or a hobgoblin. When the cat would get riled and his tail would fluff up my gran would say he'd gone all "Bush bwgan" like he'd seen a ghost!

Anyway, Fanny Bwgan was a recluse, never seen in daylight, rarely ever seen beyond the gates of her own unkempt garden. She dressed in black mourning clothes, hooped skirts and such that must have been elegant in their Victorian heyday, but were now dusty, slightly frayed and torn. Her skin was deathly pale, luminous even - so went the breathless accounts of those few brave children who had dared to approach her house after sunset and spied her ghostly candlelit face at the window.


Eventually, one night curiosity got the better of him. George, mindfull of the "thick ear" his Nain had promised him if he should ever try to sneak down and spy on her mysterious sundown visitor, crept down the stairs, careful not to cause too many creaks on the incredibly vocal boards. He reached the bottom stair and sat, trying to subdue his noisy breathing, full of excitment and fear. He could barely hear the hushed voice of his Nain's companion, raspy and broken. His eyes could just make out a dark huddled shape in the firelight, sat with it's back to him. Nain Jones was busying herself with some vegetables and groceries that she was putting into a sackcloth bag, chatting all the while in colloquial Welsh to the attentive visitor. George, absorbed in the scene before him leaned forward from the shadow of the stairs, feeling a sudden chill as Nain looked up from the task, suddenly catching his eyes with her stare.

George froze and his heart sank as anger flashed in his Nain's eyes, but worse still was the look of utter horror on the face of the turning visitor, realising that they were being spied upon. The tiny creature shot up from it's chair and in a whirl of tattered black rags scuttled through the hallway and out through the door. He recalled that as the visitor shot past him he saw a look of panic on the ancient, wizzened bleached out face and realised that this person, was in fact, terrified of HIM.

My Grandfather had to face the anger of Nain Jones that night and there was an atmosphere between them for several days. George feared that she would send him back to his Mother's house where his brother's were already sleeping 3 to a bed. Beside he had always been Nain's favourite and was sorry to his bones that he had disappointed her. A few evenings later his Nain called him and said he must run an errand for her, to take a bag of groceries to an old friend. "You have met her already and you were very rude, you'll take her these provisions and your apology, I think you KNOW where she lives". George certainly did.

He knew that he must walk down the street and turn the corner, pass the waste ground and walk right up to the rusted gates of that neglected garden where so many of his classmates feared to tread. He would slam hard on the tarnished knocker and wait while the owner of the pale face in the upstairs window shuffled her way to the door - all the while lurid stories of her supposed evil playing in his head. George faced his fear that night and so, eventually, did Fanny Bwgan.

At first suspicious of the boy, she took the bag and slammed the door. When she had first become ill people were kind, they had come to the house, they had helped her all they could but as the years passed by and her health failed yet more the children had become her tormentors, always throwing stones at her window or trying to sneak into her garden. They told frightful, mean spirited tales about her... and now those same children had grown, and so had the tales, passed on from one generation to the next. No one remembered her before the illness when she had a blush to her cheeks and would walk in the sunlight smiling and chatting to her neighbours. Only one girl, the bold one, the one who told fortunes and claimed to "know" a person just by looking at them. She had walked right up to the door one day and calmly asked if Fanny was in need of anything. "I know the sunlight hurts your skin, I can fetch things for you" and so she had, for so many years that Fanny could not count them.

And so, that night my Grandad became Fanny Bwgan's delivery boy. The Vampire's Assistant, as he became known for a short time in the schoolyard - before a few bloody noses put a stop to that. Nain Jones had explained to him that the lonely old lady had a disease of the blood that meant her skin and eyes were very sensitive to light and that over the years she had developed a morbid fear of being seen in her deteriorating state. In her youth she had been proud of her beauty and the ravages of the disease had left her emotionally scarred. It seemed the villagers and their specter lived in fear of each other.

I suppose that's the route of my fascination with all things supernatural; passed down from Nain Jones to George, to my Mother and passed on to me. I think we all have the same instinct that there will always be a rational explanation, tinged by a whistful desire to be proved wrong. If only things that go bump in the night would turn out to be a little more elusive and ethereal than the badgers rummaging through the bin again.

feeling perky at last

Wow, the sun is out and I woke up feeling FINE today, the first morning that's happened in a few weeks. I have some kind of anemia, a very low iron content at the moment (well, looking on the bright side, at least I won't go rusty any time soon) and it is setting off wall to wall migraines, the last bout lasted 6 days, before that the longest bout was for 8 days about 3 weeks ago. Lucky I work from home and the freelance design work is quite quiet at the moment as I am not getting much done at all.

I miss working on my dolls and stuff for the shop but my eyes have not been up to it most of the time. Either blurred vision or big flashes of lightening just at the corner of my eyes. The ACEOs were supposed to be an afternoon's work but took the best part of a week.

But today is different, hurrah!!! It's beautiful outside, like a picture postcard Autumn day and all the fruit trees are kind of bowed with apples, huge pears and damsons. The birds are having a great time in the elderberry tree, splattering the garden with purple juice. I love this time of year.

Hhhhmmmm, anemia, no one can believe it as I eat healthily (PLUS chocolate and cakes of course)... kind of ironic for someone who makes little vampires. I am giving the evil's to a particular half finished dolly as I type this....

Monday, September 29, 2008

END OF SUMMER SALE

Having an "end of summer sale" at my etsy shop, some of the more summery items are marked down so grab yourself a bargain. I am just working on designs for some winter bags so hopefully they will start to appear in the shop from next week... and more ACEOs...I have decided to use photographs of some of my favourite older dolls, I love the images and just because that doll is sold doesn't mean the image won't be loved by someone else.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Etsy Witch Treasury

Great news, one of my Witch dolls has just been included in an Etsy treasury by totallytwisted, really honoured! Take a peek:


http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=11501

There are some wonderful dolls in this treasury, and on Etsy in general. Have just joined the Etsy Doll Artisans Street Team as well as The Dark Side team. Will include a link to the Doll group when I figure it out, the dark Side team can be accessed by clicking on the Poison Bottle to the lower right of the screen. better go, off to watch "In Bruges" on DVD and eat chocolate...come on - It's Saturday night... what else would a hermit be doing?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New shape body

Feeling a bit stressed out today and realised that I am putting an awful lot of pressure on myself to get stuff out for Halloween sales. I have decided to cut myself some slack and maybe delete a few items from the ever present "To Do" list!

I work under great pressure in my freelance work and actually thrive on it in a mad way, but "Freaky Little Things" was meant to be an escape, just something for pleasure. Since opening the Etsy shop I have been going hell-for-leather in every spare moment to get new stuff to list. Because I never know when the next freelance job will come up, I often start an illustration or a doll and then have to stop halfway because an urgent freelance thing comes up. I always mean to go back to the original project but other things pop into my head (aaaarrrggh, I can NEVER use that phrase without hearing the line from Ghostbusters: "WHAT just POPPED in there, Ray?" as the Staypuffed Marshmallow Man comes stomping toward them!) and maybe I get carried away and start a whole new project... then I have all these half-finished things lying around crying out for my attention and I FEEL STRESSED!!!!!!!!!

So, who is stressing me out? Well, ME of course.

Here is one doll that fell by the wayside for a week or so...she has the new body shape that I drew up to try and give a better "corset" look to the clothes. In the past whenever I have put corsets or bustiers on a doll they look a bit lumpy somehow, but now the waist will have a nice curve to it. I have also finally gotten round to drawing up a definitive pattern. Up to now I just cut around the last shapes that I cut and over time the dolls have been getting bigger and bigger without me noticing! When you put tall Witchy hats on them they become a bit of a nightmare to package and the last 4 or 5 have been too tall for the doll stand! She's a more manageable size but I may slim and elongate the legs a little for the next doll.

She is going to have an Edwardian outfit with a bustle at the back and hopefully lots of detailing. She will also have a tall elegant hat with lots of little bats flying round it. I have been looking at Topsy Turvy's hats for inspiration, they are AMAZING!(see link)

When she is finished I will get going on "Little Red", with her velvet cape and hood, who has been on my sketchpad for ages it would seem, screaming to be made...I was going to make her and enter her into The Dark Side September exhibition, but have decided she will just be ready when she's ready. I am going to go back to taking my time and enjoying the process of making dolls!



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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Mighty Boosh

Going a bit ACEO crazy at the moment. Both of the ACEOs I listed last night sold today after less than 24 hours, which is encouraging. I have been dying to get some of my artwork into the shop, hoping it will get me back to drawing again - I REALLY miss drawing - but just haven't had the time until now. Freelance work always brings these projects to a premature halt and sometimes I forget to go back and finish images I start working on for myself. I still back up all my iMac work on discs and sometimes (well, MOST of the time) I'm a bit haphazard about listing what's actually on the discs, so finding old work isn't always that easy.

Routing through my back-ups I found the illustration below of "The Mighty Boosh" from about a year ago. I'd forgotten about it. I was originally approached to do a mag illustration and sent in a quick sketch but they decided to go with a stock photo (the ups and DOWNS of freelancing) but I completed the image anyway, so this isn't commissioned or done with Freaky Little Things in mind either, just spec work for my folio. Fan Art when you get down to it! I love drawing faces and used to do so many portraits and caricatures back in the 80's and early 90's. Illustration became a bit of a waste land by the mid-90's because everyone who was commissioning for ads and mags just wanted computer generated images, I am lucky I had design skills to fall back on.

Anyway, enough of that ramble/grumble! Looking at it after all this time I decided I do like it, but thought it might be too full of detail to squeeze down to an ACEO. Well, just did a test print and it looks fine, Mighty Fine, in fact, that's what it says in the right corner above Howard Moon's head! Gotta Love the Boosh! If you are also a fan, I found some  mad little knitted Vince and Howard dolls in an Etsy shop. The shop is based near me in Prestatyn too, which is quite freaky, n'est pas? Anyhow, have a look, I put the link into the list as Vince & Howard dolls, enjoy!

PS: I drove through Dyserth earlier and there is what appears to be a large crochet Yoda figure peeping over someone's garden hedge... I would have thought I was hallucinating but had my Mother in the car and she saw it too! Anyone care to explain???



Monday, September 22, 2008

ACEO, again!

Ooops, managed to cut off the right edge of the image again! Obviously the full image will be on the 2.5 x 3.4 inch card. It's been a long day.

ACEO cards

Just finished shrinking some of my illustrations to fit onto ACEO cards. I have never done any of these before, even though I have collected a few over the last 2 years. A lot of my illustrations have lots of photoshop layers and textures which are lost when shrunk down, or simply won't fit into the format. I have found 2 images so far that fit and have been doing numerous printouts trying to find the best stock to print them on. My first instinct was to print them on Epson paper then spray mount that onto a backing card... but I wound up loving the subtle textured matt finish of some card stock I have. It's 220gsm and really mellows out the colours, which I like, for these 2 images anyhow.

Obviously there are now some sheets of "Rejects", which are actually perfectly fine but I want continuity if I do a numbered set of prints. I have decided to give the spares away as free gifts in my Etsy shop. There are 12, so the next 12 sales will get a free ACEO of this image below, though obviously without the Copyright splashed across the front. I will sign and date then across the back and number them 1-12 of 12, which will differentiate them from the 1/40 that will be for sale in the shop.

Hhhhmmm, what if someone BUYS that ACEO, they will hardly want a duplicate? Well, I will give them the second image free instead, also signed, etc. Not as complicated as it sounds! :o)


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Friday, September 19, 2008

Vampire finished

Here she is, the Little Vampire. She is the smallest doll I've made so far and that's been tricky. Glue guns are a messy necessary evil but things got particularly tricky as she is so wee. She's cute though, I think. She has become a vampire at the last moment, but was inspired by a different type of creature altogether, from a story I have been working on for a few months now (to be a Comic Book... or Graphic Novel when I am feeling cocky!) writing (THE HARD PART!) and illustrating.

This is a shortened version of her part in that story "The Fable of Weirdly Nightshade":

She has one leg longer than the other, or one shorter, if that is your inclination. She once dreamed of being a glamorous dancer on the Parisian stage, but reluctantly, accepts that it will never be. Her dreams are tattered at the edges, shop worn and neglected. Too ungainly, too stooped... pretty enough but not dazzling, not born to command attention.

She works in a nightclub, taking coats and hats and smiling at patrons whose eyes move over her so swiftly that her image doesn't even register. To them it appears as though the coat rail has arms and looks after their outerwear with no human intervention, she has perfected anonymity. She feels as though she could walk out onto the stage and the spot light would shine right through, she wouldn't even cast a shadow. But she is near what remains of her dream, watching the beautiful performers in their dazzling costumes, all eyes on them, night after night. She will never never join them, and sinks further into the twilight the closer she is to their glow.

Tonight is a blur of familiarity until right now, this second, this tall young man shaking rain droplets from his overcoat, his hand brushing her's as he passes her the garment. The rain sparkles on the black cloth and she looks up to see it in his hair too, tiny stars twinkling. His eyes meet hers and she feels a blush rise to her cheeks, dizzy, a feeling of belonging that she had never known before is sweeping over her. She might swoon (how humiliating) but instead she breaks this contact and scurries away, red faced, embarrassed by her own emotions, embarrassed to be noticed at all!

She gathers her composure in the protective embrace of empty coats, deep in thought amid the comforting steamy aroma of sodden wool. His face is handsome, is this mere attraction? Why does it feel more like the fear, excitement and confusion of recognition? Too much to take in now, she will save her puzzlement for later. She reminds herself firmly that she is just a drab little sparrow amongst the dazzling peacocks. He will be turned away when I return with his ticket, distracted by the dancers along with all the rest. She steps back into the booth and her practiced smile, the smile no-one ever stops to gaze upon, fades. The gentleman is nowhere to be seen, just a calling card left upon the counter.

She is momentarily wrong footed, oddly empty of feeling where seconds before they had jostled for a chance to be felt. She reaches for the card, suddenly guilty, as though for the first time ever, all eyes are upon her. She studies it, baffled, something so small, so slight, so mundane but she feels as though the world is shifting slightly on it's axis as she reads the printed name :  J.W.Nightshade, and a message in a strange inky scrawl..."This place is all rouge and paste, mere fakery, come join us, true magic awaits you"... there isn't even an address. As the familiar nightly hubbub goes on around her, an image begins to appear in her head, like mist swirling and catching the pale glow of moonlight, she can just make out that same young man, now sat in a dark and dusty room surrounded by glass cases in which myriad tiny creatures glitter and move so slowly over darkened landscapes. He leans closer to a large glass dome and now she can see what he sees; at first she thinks of moths, of insects, a dark creature fluttering up toward his face, her face. He lifts the dome and it settles on his hand, a tiny man with great black wings of gossamer.

She drops the card as though it is has just brunt into flames and has the strangest feeling that they are both watching her now, she feels herself lifting, rising up, floating out of the booth, above heads, the sound of voices dimming and now she is up in the darkness looking down upon a strange young man who collects things even stranger than himself."

If you want to learn her fate and how she grew wings, well, you could try asking her, failing that you will have to wait until I finish writing and illustrating The Fable of Weirdly Nightshade. I've a feeling that could be quite some wait!


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Mermaids

The 2 cartoony mermaid doll/ornaments are finally ready to go into the shop. What a long and tortuous process this has been. I've never had so many things go wrong with one batch of polymer dolls before. Out of 5 that went into the oven only 3 have survived intact and one other has lost all her limbs! I am going to try sculpting with Paper Clay in future, see how I get on with that.

Still, they are ready and have been photographed, They both have little tatoos on their arms, one, pictured, has a skull and cross swords, the other has an anchor... I figure that mermaids would probably be Pirate "molls". I also wanted these dolls to look a bit battered and aged like ships figureheads. I just need to finish the little Vampire Showgirl and they will all get listed on Etsy this evening.

Speaking of Etsy, I came across a lovely shop yesterday, called Ravenhill. It's full of lovely little cloth Matryoshka dolls. They are so sweet and reminded me that I have a whole batch of "wicked" Matryoshka dolls that I was working on a while back at the beginning of the summer. They got shoved to the back of the wardrobe (where a lot of my projects go, I used to have 2 wardrobes full of clothes but now FLT has taken over one of them and all my poor clothes are squeezed into 1...which is why I always look so crumpled!) when some freelance work interrupted play (so often the case, but I am not complaining THAT actually pays the bills!). I have dug them out now, and intend to finish them and get them listed by next week if possible. I have soooo many half-started projects to get finished.





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Thursday, September 18, 2008

V&A Wow!!!!

Just got a package from A**z*n, my book has arrived, yay! I ordered "Nineteenth-Century Fashion In detail" by Lucy Johnston, which is sooooooo beautiful it hurt my eyes. It features loads of period costumes from the Victoria & Albert Museum, one of my favourite haunts when I lived in London. The photos are so stunning and there are diagrams of the costumes, and details on how they were made. Hopefully this will all inspire my dolls to dress a bit more sassy!

I'm working on a Vampire at the moment, I know she needs a hat as there will be bats swirling around it, and I kind of saw her in Edwardian fashions. I tried out a new body construction to give her a nipped in waist and a bigger bust so that she would look as though she was wearing corsets. Will post pic soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Website

Here I am taking a quick tea break away from finishing my website graphics... for the umpteenth time. Maybe I should do a section on all the rejected style tryouts that I've come up with over the last 10 months or so! This got me thinking about Amy Allen, a really talented web designer who owns the Amybug's Primitive Attic website. She produced a lovely Ebay Auction Template for me last Christmas and I can't recommend her highly enough.

Her work is what I would call American Gothic and has had a big influence on my (hopefully) final website look as I always knew that I wanted a sort of mad, high camp, whimsical "Victorian British Empire Gothic" look.. as if that makes any sense. Pugin-style High-gothic can look very austere and hard or just TOO MUCH when it comes to any kind of information design, which is what a website basically is.

But I still wanted something rich and textural as well as ornate and before I saw her design everything was a mess, just too busy, an assault on the eyeballs. She is excellent with colour palettes and I realised that I basically had to de-saturate everything I was doing and add more subtle textures. (hhhmmmm subtle... I should get one of those Victorian cross stitch samplers with that word on and hang it over my Mac. Amybug specialises in Ebay stuff and I wish I enjoyed ebay more as I would get more use out of my template. As well as bespoke designs, she also produced of the shelf templates and webgraphics, well worth a look. She is also a really lovely friendly person and great to work with, look for Amybug in my links list. :o)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ooops

Oooops. The photo of the Devilette is way too big. I find these posts almost impossible to edit so she'll just have to stay that way, you get the idea, anyhow!
Yay, up really early (for a change, NOT a morning person) and managing to get loads done. No freelance today so catching up with the Freaky Little Things backlog. Just thought I'd post a pic of the Devilette Polymer doll, the sun was actually out earlier so got a shot of her at last with reglued horns. She is a replacemnet for a doll I made about 18 months ago, she used to sit in the twig frame on my wall with a bunch of other misfits but fell when I was trying to photograph her for my website and smashed to smithereens. I think I like her replacement just as much now, although they never turn out exactly the same no matter how hard I try.

The 2 mermaids and showgirl fairy (although I feel she may in fact be a vampire) are all sitting out to dry after their final coat of varnish, so they just need clothing (or "finning" in the case of the Mermaids) and wigging, then they are ready to photograph too! Trying to think of some props for the fishy girls. When this is all done I have promised myself I will draw, something that I don't do often enough anymore, damn you Apple Mac!


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Disaster averted... or repaired

Hurrah... last night I managed to paint up both the polymer mermaids and the Show-girl Fairy. The other show girl is now sadly limbless as I decided it would be easier to make 2 new PAIRS of legs and arms rather than trying to match the remaining limbs. No point in painting the torso or I'll have to match up the flesh tone paint too, which is always a nightmare as acrylic tends to dry lighter than when it's mixed.

I love these tiny dolls but I'm now thinking that it might be easier to scale them up a bit and then they would be less prone to my clumsiness. Oh well. I don't know why I drop things so much, I'm forever putting things down on tables that don't exist and tripping over cats that do. When jewellery was my Craft-du-jour the kitties were constantly bead encrusted... I was always dropping tiny spacer beads on the floor, and the cats, who love to join in, were always rolling around and picking them up in their fur. Quite handy really. A cat's love of crafting is less handy when you are dealing with thread/wool/yarn or anything similar as you often find that they've chewed through a length or just tangled everything. The person who discovered felting obviously had a cat.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Disaster!

Having the usual disaster-prone time with my last batch of polymer dolls. The little skelly sold after 24 hours in the shop happily, but the other dolls haven't even been finished yet. My friends, many of whom have my polymer dolls as presents, keep asking why I don't sell them in the shop yet, do more of them, etc? Well, because I am a naturally clumsy person and I smash everything. I think for every 3 dolls that go into the oven roughly 2 get smashed or at the very least need new limbs - I might as well re-christen Hellgirl as "superglue girl" as her LEFT horn got smashed off last night. Just as well she wasn't intended for sale, but still annoying.

I dropped the Elf head (pictured below, Ploymer Clay Experiment, 23rd of Aug) and one of her ears got smashed off, so I decided to remove both and sand the head back smooth, hopefully long hair will make that OK. Then, the biggest disaster of all, I broke one arm and one leg belonging to one of the dance-hall fairies. So that means that she has to wait until I bake the NEXT batch to get some replacement limbs. I was in the process of taking off all the layers of varnish and paint at the time. The last tube of black Acrylic paint I bought (Liquitex...avoid using on polymer clay is my advice) has turned out to be a really bad investment. It just will not dry. I have left them for a fortnight but all the black areas were STILL tacky and attracting dust and fluff. I even used the gloss varnish on one doll thinking that it was dry enough but it reacted badly with the varnish. It is really disheartening having to go back to square one with the painting.

Happily, 2 jointed mermaids that I started a week ago, seem to be coming along fine and will hopefully get finished and into the shop before the end of the week. I have resorted to crackle glazing the other dolls as I can't face doing all those layers of paint again. They are really too small for the crackle glaze to look really effective and I will paint over most of it, but a good base layer of spray paint will speed up their rehabilitation.

Someone who uses the crackle effect really well on her truly amazing dolls is Rachael Kinnison of Diamond K Folk Art, I've only just discovered her dolls and I am stunned at how much work goes into them. Take a look at her blog (on the links list) as she details all the incredible period costumes she creates for them, jaw-dropping. I LOVE her tiny witchy-poo dolls in their little straw filled boxes too. Want one! :0)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Newest Witch Doll

I finished this Witch Doll last night and have been waiting for a break in the black clouds all day to get her photographed and listed. I prefer to shoot my dolls outside in the garden or in the woods to add interest but have had NO chance with this abysmal summer. I am now finishing off a Spook Elf and a little Goth Girl who will wear a replica of the Prairie Gothic dress featured on the older plush doll from a few entries back. Will hopefully be able to show you them by the weekend.




Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beads!

Wow, look at all those lovely beads behind the Devilette and the Skeleton in the 3rd photo of the last post. I keep meaning to make it all up into jewellery and list that in the shop too...haven't made any jewellery for years. Something ELSE for the never-ending "To do" list! :o)
Finished painting the new cartoon-like Polymer dolls (see my Old Blog for some more: The Wedding Present). Have made a replacement for a "Devilette" from my personal doll collection, I was photographing the original for my website but dropped it and it smashed. Bit beyond the realms of superglue, so needed a new one (she's pictured below). In my usual clumsy way I managed to drop the new one last night while checking if the 3rd coat of red paint was dry, and guess what, her right horn got smashed off! She's now re-christened Hellgirl. It's been superglued and I think she looks fab, she's just waiting for her wings and a skirt.

Another doll that is just waiting for wings is the Blushing Skelly copy. This is a replica of one of my favourite early clay dolls, which has white feathery angel wings. This one will have to make do with fabric wings but GLOWS IN THE DARK! I have never varnished any of my personal dolls or the ones I've given to friends but decided that as these are for the Etsy shop, maybe I should. Being impatient to have something to list I went to buy some to day but our local hardware shop only had gloss varnish in small cans. I ummed and ahhd, thinking Matt would really be my preference, but bought the gloss anyway. It looks great on the little bowler hat I made for the fairies and I even quite like the effect on the doll herself (second picture down) but it makes her very hard to photograph. I think I will wait until I get the matt varnish before I put the other fairy together.

On the subject of the website, a whole year in the dithering, but I have finally decided on a layout and what the contents will be. I am working on new artwork for the pages (hence photographing the Devilette) and definitely intend to hit the "PUBLISH" button before Halloween. ON Halloween would be nice, who knows?


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Here are the devilette and the blushing Skelly, wired together:


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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Polymer clay experiment

Been doing allsorts over the last few days, have half finished 3 new rag dolls and have about 5 others at the start of their journey... that's just a flowery way of saying some are painted, some are cut out some are even sewn and one is partly stuffed! Trying to get a good amount of stock together before Halloween season really starts. From doing craft fairs way back I know that August is always dead sales wise, so need to work really hard in the next week and get lots ready to photograph and list. Would have been working hard on the illustration side too if it wasn't for the eye infection, I still can't spend too long on the computer before my eyes sting!

Also decided to finish off some polymer dolls that I started a few months back, I realised that the limbs for a few of them were a bit dodgy/out of scale, so threw them away. Spent friday afternoon modelling and baking some new ones and then decided to try an experiment. I see lots of semi-realistic looking clay fairies on ebay and thought I'd have a go at modelling one as this newest block of clay is a pale flesh tone. Typically I overpaint loads of layers to eliminate that "realistic" colour, but decided to give something different a try.

The pictures below show the head, hands and feet that I made. They are to a much larger scale than any of my previous clay dolls. They were painted too, although I've left the shoes until I know what fabric I will use for her costume. I am thinking that her body and limbs will be a skinny rag doll, probably with an internal wire armature to hold up the head. I made the head flat thinking that attaching saran hair would be easier with a rag/stuffed scalp to sew to. We went to see Hellboy2 (amazing creatures/special effects in search of a plot as usual, good fun though... I have a big soft spot for ol' Hellboy himself, prossibly because he's Tikka Marsala coloured?) the other night and I think she will be an Elf princess with long white hair. We'll see if it all works out!

Happily it turned out better than these photos suggest! Well enough for me to want to try and sculpt more, and let's face it, BETTER faces and hands. The skin has a lovely translucent quality and the green underpainting is a lot more subtle than these suggest. I'm quite pleased with her for a first go, but I'm not sure if she might also be my last in this kind of clay. Obviously she isn't very "real" at all, just closer than I would normally go (check out those cartoony hands, couldn't resist!). She's an experiment and hopefully if I can perfect attaching a polymer head and limbs to a rag body I might try some more stylised dolls in the next few months. Watch this space. :o)


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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Attic

So what else have I been doing with my no reading/drawing/Apple Macing time? Well, rummaging round in a dark, badly lit, creepy, spider filled attic is probably not recommended when you have blurry vision, a dodgy knee and no sense of balance (or direction) but I've always had a sense of adventure... well, as long as it doesn't involve leaving the house. Actually, must 'fess up - we don't have an attic... but I've always wanted one as they seem to be a Gothic requirement (along with a basement, dungeon, or, even better, an oubliette!) but we do have a dark forbidding box room, which is where I found the little lady pictured below.

When I moved back to the old family homestead, after yet another misadventure abroad (England) I had to cram a whole cottage worth of stuff into one large but not exactly Tardis-like bedroom and it just wouldn't fit. So half my life is still boxed up and in a kindly neighbour's garage gathering dust and mould spores. But I have moved in and out of this house several times and there were also some boxes under a few years worth of detritus in the aptly named box room, too. Worth a look when you are bored, I thought.

Hurrah, I found a stash of some of my earliest doll making attempts, I knew they were here somewhere. Basically about 5/6 years ago I was making Bags and selling them at occasional craft fairs to supplement my Design/Illustration business. I saw a Gothic rag doll somewhere, possibly one by Tattered Rags (see links list) and really wanted one. With me, and I suppose most creative people I'm sure, that quickly turned into "I want to make one". So I started messing around and trying stuff out, I was also pretty keen on the whole Primitive look too and I think that shows in the doll I've pictured, well, her clothes anyway. She was definitely one of my first few, I kept her because I loved the dress, sort of Primitive Gothic, if you like. Hmmm, I do like that phrase, has a ring to it. She seems to be the ghost of little Laura Ingalls from Little Haunted House on the Prairie with those bloomers too.

Anyhow, I sold quite a few along with the bags back then but must have packed the rest up when I stopped doing the fairs. I've given them all an airing, a bit of a clean where needed and spruced up a few (Zombie Ingalls got a lovely glow-in-the-dark skull head choker, for instance) and think I will list them on ebay.... YES, EBAY!!!!! Haven't been back to ebay since they introduced their ridiculously unfair new feedback system, but they do get a wider audience than Etsy and hopefully it will bring more people into the shop. Worth a try. Will start listing next week.




Sunday, August 17, 2008

Seriously, is anyone there?

Wow, it seems like months since I last wrote an entry...woke up last Saturday night and felt like I had a pain in my right eye, like an eyelash or something not too dramatic. But it wouldn't go away and I couldn't go back to sleep as I couldn't close the eyelid. Freaky!

Even worse by Monday morning and really painful too, so had to go to the Docs. Turned out I have conjunctivitis and a cyst in my right eye. Yippee. Worse of all, no close work for a week or so. So that's no drawing, sewing or reading...so I can still play on the Mac, right? Wrong - no blogging, listing stuff on Etsy, no trawling Etsy looking at all the amazing stuff that other people make, no messing around on the Mac at all. I haven't even been reading my emails!!!

Feeling a lot better now, but returning to work quite gradually as I don't want that pain back. At least I have done some tidying and changed my work space around. A little tip (probably a no-brainer to everyone else, but here goes anyway...) put your drawing desk to the right of a window if you, like me, are right handed. Then, as I've only recently noticed, the light from the window doesn't cast a big shadow of your hand over everything that you draw/sew and you probably won't get conjunctivitis/cysts in your eyes from struggling to see what you are doing in your badly lit cave of a work room.

I also found a stash of old dolls, some of the first ones I made and didn't want to sell at craft fairs (bags were my thing in those days). I think I will list them all on Ebay to try and advertise my Etsy shop and reach a wider audience. I have been both a buyer and a seller on Ebay in the past and as a buyer they treat you with kid-gloves but when you sell these days Ebay immediately treats you as though you are a potential fraud, you get tarred with the same brush as really dodgy sellers. Odd way to treat your customers, as it's the seller that pays Ebay's fees, not the customer. Rant over.

Off to rest my eyes!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Is anyone out there????

Back again, while I am on the subject of graphic flat colour character illustration versus more hand drawn textural stuff, have a look at Tara Fortin's work at Blacklilypie on etsy, she combines both to good effect. lovin' Bat cat!

Have just spent a few minutes re-doing my profile, so it actually has MY interests and hobbies now instead of my cat matilda's. Typical of a cat to create a blog then not bother to write anything. She's sleeping off a very adventurous and VOCAL night on the tiles (or, more accurately, in the shrubbery) squealing at the neighbour's cat. They just seem to sit face to face all glassy eyed and bristly making strangled noises... quite a few people in this locality would cheerfully have strangled both of them around 3am this morning.

I wonder if anyone actually reads this stuff??? I never get any comments!

illustrations

Been concentrating on my Freaky Little illustrations for the last day or so. Actually nice to get away from the clutter of the sewing desk for a while (would be even nicer if I had actually cleared away said clutter before I started but, hey-ho). My last version of the Goth Girl from before Christmas just looked too grown up and vampish, I wanted something more innocent but still slightly sinister. The doll as a child rather than some of the more sexual looking Goth stuff.

I have been looking for inspiration, I love Mark Ryden's style but don't feel comfortable with images of childlike creatures (even if they are fantasy dolls) in surreal/sexual imagery. His technique is faultless though and very original(see links). Another illustrator whose work I absolutely adore is Louise Robinson (?) of Art & Ghosts, her work is wonderfully dreamlike and so ethereal. There is a lot of doll related imagery. I am quite torn between keeping my natural cartoony flat colour style or going for a mix of more hand-drawn/painted styles.

My problem is always the eyes. I love the oversized spooky owl eyes on the dolls, especially when they are very graphic, flat black and white (or calico) with a glittery glowing iris. The softer eyes I have tried on the mermaids and straightforward fairies don't have the same punch. When I start to mess around with subtler colours and texture with the illustrated versions the eyes either loom out at the viewer or just don't have the impact...Hhhhmmmm. Decisions, decisions.

Below is the old (too sexy!) version of the Goth Girl


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This is the latest, more innocent childlike version that I've been working on, still a work in progress


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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cats

My cat, Tilda, has just decided to start her own blog, see what all the fuss is about. I've just filled out the profile for her without realising that it now displays as MY profile too. So if anyone wants to know about me, just ask my cat. I don't mind, I like to remain a mystery. :o)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Gothic Lolita

Managed to get a few things photographed in a brief burst of sunshine this afternoon, including Drusilla & Hatty the Hex. You may remember Dru from her pre-haired Ronald Mc Donald inspired earlier incarnation... Well, she looks a lot better now. She isn't really Gothic Lolita inspired, but it's a tag that people recognise and search for so hopefully she will get an audience in the Etsy shop, where she now resides. I wrote her a little story too. Glad to be back at my gloomy roots after all those traditional fairies and pink, pink, pink!




Sunday, August 3, 2008

More Daisy photos...

Just found some more photos of my long lost Dasiy Dolls - I so wish I hadn't sold them now, but I was desperately broke at the time - needs must and all that. Just a bit annoying that I don't have any pictures of my rarest doll. She was a beautiful auburn haired doll, not so many of those were made, with a really rare smaller than usual head. Something to do with the original moulds being lost or unavailable and so a batch of dolls were made, just for a very short time, and the new mould was taken from an existing doll head, hence, slightly smaller than normal. She was in perfect condition but I probably thought she was worth too much to take out on this hike.

I think I love these pics so much because we are having such a damp squib of a summer, and it was so hot the year I took these (2003). I went to the beach pictured the other day, went for a walk in the drizzle. It was actually really warm for a change, even the breeze coming in off the Irish Sea, I had the beach to myself, well apart form a few seagulls. Normally, this time of year the beaches are swarming with tourists. Still, as my old Ma always says, what's bad for the sunbather is good for the garden... I think she's regretting that this summer as it's like a jungle out there and growing faster than she can weed!


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Primitive folk art

Hi again. I am finding that I love American Primitive Folk Art stuff more and more. Some of it is really quite sinister (a lot of the ultra primitive Halloween stuff), which I love, but also a lot is just soooooo cute! Check out "Raven's Haven" - I've put the link at the side - they have some of the sweetest patterns, my favourites are the bats (as usual, I LOVE bats), but all of it is great and really funny. I would love to send for some but know I would never get any work done and would be just covering the house with these critters.

I must sit down and think of my own twist on this look - WELSH PRIMITIVE - and do something for Halloween. Keep watching this space!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Daisy Doll

I mentioned my favourite fashion doll from the 70's a few posts back, the Daisy Doll by Mary Quant. I imagine everyone knows who Mary Quant is, but just in case... Quant was the hippest London fashion designer back in the swinging sixties and, I'm pretty sure, invented the Mini Skirt. Her logo was a simple 5 petal daisy and in the mid seventies she worked with a doll manufacturer in Hong Kong to launch her own dress-up doll with a fantastic range of funky fashions.

I think production continued into the 80's, but the classic Daisy look and most collectible clothes are from the 70's. I had one as a kid and she was my absolute favourite, she was a few inches shorter than Barbie with a much more fashionable figure and way better clothes. Barbie always had that top-heavy silicone breast implant thing going, which I never liked, even as a child. I wasn't keen on her big, vacant grin either. She always seemed a bit trailer trash, no matter how sparkly the gown. Daisy on the other hand had a whistful, enigmatic expression and such delicate features. And she was British!!! I was never keen on our other Brit doll, Sindy, because of her swelled head and stumpy limbs, but looking back now she seems kind of innocent and cute.

Here are some photos I took of my daisy collection a few hot summers ago. Proof that the sun does actually shine on Wales occasionally. Sadly the dolls are all gone now, I needed the money a few years back and auctioned them all on Ebay. I really wish I had hung onto them, but maybe will start collecting again, who knows.


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Sewing machine blues

Just what I need, the sewing machine is broken again. Well, I say "again" but it was never really fixed unless stitching about 3 inches fine before going berserk counts. It wouldn't be too bad if it hadn't cost so damn much to get it done in the first place. I seem jinxed as far as getting stuff finished to list in the Esty shop is concerned. It has to go back to the Sodding Singer Shop later, lord knows how long it will be gone this time.

I concentrated on doing the hair for the latest fairy doll last night, synthetic streaked blonde, with a lovely wild soft twisty cream yarn and fine silky twisted ribbon in creams and pale greens. I plaited two strands around her forehead to hide the synthetic hair seams and she looked really sweet. Sadly though, I had to glue on the ribbon & yarn threads and the glue-gun blobs kept poking through the fine layers of synthetic hair. Couldn't think of any way round it and so the whole lot had to come off. I always find that the crown of the head is the hardest part with this synthetic hair, so have decided to bypass that completely and give her a cute little felt pixie hat. That can all be hand stitched, then I can finish of 4 more Wilfs and photograph some bags I made a few weeks ago, then thats it, all I can do until the sewing machine is back.

Well, obviously this is the time to concentrate on the artwork!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Baldies

Things seem to be coming along really slowly at the moment. I have been taking a scattershot approach, working on lots of things simultaneously, everything is progressing but nothing is finished. Since things have quietened down on the freelance front I have also been catching up with friends, one of the best things about working from home is deciding to take the day off (tomorrow, for instance) and go into town for lunch and gossip. Too much work makes Jack a dull boy... no idea who he was but, it's true all the same.

Here is the next fairy nearing completion, she just needs her hair. Until recently I have always used lots of funky wools to make the hair, mohair gave my goth dolls a great mad backcombed look for instance. Earlier this year I bought a whole mixed bag of synthetic hair and really like the way it makes the dolls look. I don't want to get too reliant on it as it is more expensive than the wool. For this little fairy, I am hoping to do a mixture of synthetic strands and a wool that has satin ribbon twisted through it.

The other doll looks a bit Ronald McDonald at the moment, but it's early days. I've used this maroon curly wurly stuff on the polymer clay dolls before, to great effect (see the doll on the blog logo, for instance). I am hoping to get a Daisy Doll look (Mary Quant fashion doll from the '70's, my favourite, so funky in comparison with Barbie!) but only time will tell. I have been known to finish the hair on a doll then strip it all off and start again. So watch this space I guess.


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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Work in progress

Here is a pic of the finished fairy and behind her another one still needing to be dressed and wigged. I love their enormous feet, it seemed fun to give delicate little creatures big feet but think it's time for a change. The next dolls I make will all have much smaller feet, even the ones in boots.



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Below is the Pirate doll, he still needs a long waistcoat, possible a leather front and satin back, leather turn-ups for his boots, a tricorn hat... and of course - a sword! I'm still puzzling over how to make the sword, think it will be polymer clay. He will have to wait for that until I'm ready to bake another batch. I also need to model and bake a new set of limbs for 2 more polymer dance-hall fairies (similar to the one on the upper right corner picture). I modeled 3 new dolls a month or so ago, but the limbs came out all misshapen. I think I overwork the clay sometimes so it is practically liquid and it kind of flops just before it hardens in the oven. I was happily making clay dolls a few years back but this problem put me off for quite some time. I loved the dolls that I managed to make, but kept them for myself and thought the process too hit and miss to try and make them for sale. Then about a year ago I discovered the wonderful Spookbot dolls on Esty and was inspired to give it another go. I've tried not to complicate the shapes too much so I am not over handling the clay, that seems to be when it gets too fluid. I've put a link to the Spookbot dolls as they always make me smile and want to continue.



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Below are some faces that I've painted ready to be sewn up as dolls ready to stuff. I use artist's acrylics and wonderful glittery Pegeo fabric paints. I paint the faces flat then iron them to fix them and then sew them up. I started to make dolls without researching how other people approached it and realise now that a lot of doll makers make up and stuff a doll, leaving the face painting until last. Someone accused me of printing the faces, but this is how I get them so uniform. Up until early last year I was always experimenting with the faces, sometimes the eyes were buttons and features stitched on, but I wanted to make them more like the characters I was drawing and give them a subtle Manga/Blythe influenced look (the big eyes). I am happy with them now although I am starting to think about making some darker looking dolls, mine always look so innocent, even if they are little demons.



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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ongoing saga...

Back again finally. Have been unable to blog because of general computer eccentricity. Keys that do nothing when you hit them, etc... That was using my old back-from-the-dead eMac, certified a gonner prematurely a fortnight ago and now resuscitated. But like something from a gothic Victorian novel, it came back from the brink, kind of "altered". Nothing works right when it comes to mail or the internet, probably because it's got an older Operating System (Tiger?) and now most web browsers don't support it. Had to wait for Virgin to send me a new router so I could connect on my new shiny Mac Mini.

As I work in my bedroom and this new Mac has a remote control, I've sneakily realised that I will be able to check my email's from under the duvet of a cold winter's morning. How cool is that? Or warm in this case.

Back to the dolls - have been busy with design work all week so was really looking forward to the weekend and getting some more dolls finished for the Esty shop. Have finished a fairy, she's kind of cute. That's a bit of a problem for me to be honest. I prefer the darker, odder dolls and never feel really happy with the straight fairies. They work much better in polymer clay to my mind - the ones I've made so far have all look like slightly tarty Burlesque dancers just dressed up as fairies, which is more what I was aiming at. the rag dolls always look sweet and innocent, which is why I more often create "Spook Elves", naughty, dark and dangerous little winged mischief makers.

The 2 pirates are coming along slowly too. Slowly being the word, I tripped and twisted my ankle yesterday and so I am fighting pain-killer lethargy and hobbling round on a walking stick. That shouldn't cause too much trouble in theory, when I'm sat at a desk with everything I need around me but in reality there have been paint spillages and lots of things I've forgotten which are just out of reach. Chaos, my natural element. Will have to take pictures and post on here tomorrow

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The continuing adventures of...

Here we are again, another week another blog. My Mac died last weekend taking all my passwords with it to the grave and so I can't continue blogging at "Freaky Little Blog". This is now my 3rd attempt at keeping a blog going on this site, begining to think I'm jinxed!?!

My last entry was on the 1st of July and concerned the opening of my shop on esty (see the links opposite). Since then I have been snowed under with design work and haven't had time for the dolls. Within the first week of opening, though, I sold one of the 2 dolls I'd listed (Dotty Witch below) to a old friend of my Freaky Little Dolls. A big hello and Thank you to the lovely Witch Betty :o) xxx

There is no room for me to work at present, as the new apple Mac is on one desk, piled high with work folders and fabric samples for the freelance job, and the old mac - I'm typing away on it right now - it on the sewing table. I have managed to get the old faithful working again although I had to completely erase the hard-drive and lost a fair bit of work. I have no idea how much longer it will last for as it is still behaving eratically, and typically, the new wonder-machine is too new and advanced (with its Intel Processor, whoopi doo) for me to connect to the internet. Waiting on a new router. Included in the "gone forever" pile, unfortunately, is the Freaky Little Things mailing list... so if you were on it, or would like to be, convo me at the etsy shop and I will send out the next newsletter to you.

Think that's it for now. I know the etsy shop is a bit dull with just one doll, but within the week there will be more listings and I aim to list something new every week from August onward. I've got lots of stuff half made so that should all start to come together.

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