Monday, January 26, 2009

Bleeding Heart - Finished Doll

I will be posting some better pictures on my website later in the week, I have to catch the morning sun! Thanks to everyone who has been following the making of this doll for your encouraging comments, much appreciated.

Don't forget, if you would like the chance to WIN THIS DOLL, just put a comment (share your thoughts on Valentines Day, good or bad) on the Post for January the 12th - "Valentine's: Sweet or Sour". Good luck, I'll be picking a winner on February the 14th, check back to this blog to see if you've won!

There will be new items in the shop this week, Heart decorations and Boudoir dolls, just finishing them up now :o)


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Almost finished!

Wow, she's almost finished. I tried something new for the hair. It's called "Filz it" felting wool. I always have trouble finding bright scarlet wools with an interesting texture for my dolls, I sometimes use nylon weft, saran and mohair too. I hoped the Filz-it might look like dreads and backcombed hair and it has worked out really well.

Just got her boot tops and the painted corset to do now. I've decide her hair is too candy floss in texture to attach a hat or fascinator to, so she staying as is up top.

Don't forget, if you want to be entered into the draw to win this doll on Valentines Day, just leave a comment on the post for January 12th "Valentines:Sweet or Sour".


Friday, January 23, 2009

Competition - Win an OOAK Art Doll - Bleeding Heart 6

I've finished her face (well, it still needs to be varnished before I add her hair) given her a choker (there will be a heart bead in the centre with the blood droplets beneath) and given her some clothing. She has a devoré top with pouffy sleeves (there's probably a more sophisticated term than "pouffy", but you know what I mean!) and a ruched silky undersleeves. She also has little satin bloomers, which are partially hidden in this pic.

Still to do: the hair, skirt and petticoats and of course the corset with the bleeding heart emblem painted in the centre panel. Then I will do some leather turn-over flap tops for her pixie boots. I am in two minds about the hat now, it might be overkill. I will wait until the hair is finished and then perhaps go for some sort of fascinator instead?

She has really grown on me over the past 24 hours, can't believe I'll be giving her away! I wonder who the lucky person will be? :o)


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Competition - Win an OOAK Art Doll - Bleeding Heart 6

Well, I've strung her together and painted some outlines for her facial features. There are 2 very odd things about this doll. Number 1: she can sit and pose all by herself, she doesn't need propping up and her arms just stay in place as you can see from the pics below. Frankly, in all my time making "spooky" dolls, she is the very first that I actually find a bit creepy for that very fact!

Number 2: The last coat of varnish I used actually dried quite matt, but has a strange waxy feel to it. I find that a bit unnerving too! I don't know what the varnish is as it was donated by a friend - the cap on the bottle broke so he poured it into a couple of spare bottles and forgot to label them. He gave me one and I forgot all about it. It was out in the Washhouse under years of spider webs! I saw it there the other day when I was very carefully taking some washing out of the one is brave enough to tackle the spiders out there, they have the place to themselves most of the time and are gradually making the building smaller and smaller. I have visions of being tapped on the shoulder by a giant black leg, only to be found out there days late, dry as a husk, strung up to dry with all my undies.

But I digress, today I will finish painting the face and start to dress her! Hurrah!
Remember to enter the competition simply leave a comment on the January 12th post:Valentines:Sweet or Sour :o)


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wide Eyed Girls

No Bleeding Heart update today as I have left her varnish to dry. It's not easy to be patient, I hate this bit!

While trawling the internet looking for info on rerooting Tonner dolls (as you do) I came across this website, Wide Eyed Girls (in the links list as usual) and had to share it with you. Artist Dan Lee does amazing make-overs, mainly on Silkstone Barbies, they are incredible! I have to say Silkstones have kind of left me cold before discovering Dan's work. Hop on over there and give them a shufty!!!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Competition - Win an OOAK Art Doll - Bleeding Heart 5

I am thinking that I would like to leave painting the face until just before I add her hair. Her upper arms were sewn on with strong twine through 2 buttons that allow them to turn. I will do the same with the legs and lower arms once their latest coat of varnish is dry. This is how I usually joint knees.

Varnish... that's quite a touchy subject...this is about the 5th "absolutely matt" varnish that I've bought through art, craft or DIY stores and they range in finish from satin to high gloss. The one thing non of them can achieve is a MATT finish!!!! The only truly matt varnish that I have found in my odyssey is for oil paintings but over acrylics it always remains slightly tacky, so not much use on my dolls. A friend's husband, who makes war models, advised me to get "Testors Dullcote", but the dire warnings on the can terrify me. That and the fact that it says not to use it in damp conditions, which might as well read: Not for use in Wales.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to make a jointed rag doll - Bleeding Heart 4

Here are the completed legs, well, there are still some things to do with the boots, but, basically, they are finished. I can't photograph the splatter effect on the legs very well. I am really pleased with the way it turned out, the gold/coppery splatters on the red turned darker but still show through on the black/midnight blue stripes. They actually look as though the legs are rusting here and there. This will be especially obvious round her knees. As someone who has had Osteo Athritis in my knees since I was a kid, I know how she feels!

I used a smaller bead than recommended in the book but I think they turned out ok. I put a small rose on each outer join as the finish isn't as clean as I'd hoped for. If I ever use this bead joint technique again, I will have to refine it. Just a bit clunky for my taste.

More later...


Friday, January 16, 2009

How to make a jointed rag doll - Bleeding Heart 3

It looked like a scene from Dexter in here earlier, I had the place covered in plastic sheeting and began splattering a concoction made from red acrylic ink, gold fabric paint and some purple acrylic paint. After the legs were dry I painted in the stripes with a mixture of Black acrylic ink and "shimmer jet black" Pebeo fabric paint. I love Pebeo paints as they often have these really subtle shimmery effects, the jet black I'm using is actually a very dark blue so when mixed with the acrylic ink it seperates slightly and gives a sort of marbled effect. It's all quite subtle and hasn't really been picked up by the camera. I will post another picture tomorrow when I'm sure it's all dry.

I've also painted the boots in, over the gesso. The gesso gives it a very different finish to the "tights" which is just what I wanted. I've also done quite a few skin coats on her torso and hands. Will probably sand those tomorrow before applying anymore paint. The doll is made from calico, so is quite rough and bumpy in places and could do with some smoothing.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bleeding Heart Progress 2

I decided not to use the head pattern from the book at all as it worked out quite small and I like a nice big area to paint the face. So this afternoon I stuffed the head and attached to the neck. Then I have painted Gesso on all the parts I want to paint. Gesso is what artists use to prime a canvas before they paint, it stops the surface from being porous, but I guess you all know that.

The only bits not to get any gesso were the main torso, and upper arms (not in the picture) which will be covered by clothing, and the legs. I gessoed the little boots but not the rest of the legs. I have since painted these with red fabric paint and now have to leave these to dry. I am soooo impatient! Sadly they will take a good while as all the stuffing will be wet too. Tomorrow I am going to do some splattering and marbelling on the legs, then after they are dry, paint on the black stripes.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bleeding Heart Progress 1

I decided to try some new techniques for this doll and have adapted a pattern from Patti Medaris Cullea's book "Creative cloth doll making". I bought the book in the summer but haven't had a chance to try it out. Previous to this I have always found my own way, drawing my patterns from scratch and learning from my mistakes. We haven't really had access to these doll making books in the UK until the last year or so. I'm glad in a way, that I kind of just experimented to find my own (what passes for) style.

This pattern will give the doll fully jointed limbs and the head will sit separately on the neck rather than be all in one with the torso. The biggest challenge is the hands. I have tried to make hands with digits before but they have always torn or frayed at the seams when I have stuffed the fingers, not this time though thankfully. I've added a pipe cleaner armature inside so that the fingers can be posed. The elbows and shoulder joints will use buttons to allow them to swing.

The biggest departure from the pattern in the book is the torso. It was interesting to see how similar Patti's pattern is to the one I kind of cobbled together myself (adapting a fitted blouse pattern to give the bust and waist darts) but I found the PMC pattern to be too bulky for my taste. The finished girl will be wearing a corset so needs a very slim waist and a longer body generally, definitely longer, slimmer legs. I trimmed the seams and added darts in the back then did a bit of needle sculpting to give those exaggerated "corset" curves.

Keep the entries coming, it is really fun reading all your comments :o)


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Valentines Day; Thoughts so far

Thanks for all the fantastic comments/entries so far, keep them coming! I was going to add a comment for each of you but that will confuse me when I come to copy down all the names to put in the hat... yes, I'm actually using a hat. If you want to enter the competition just add a comment on the post below this one, thanks.

The main theme emerging seems to be that although we are all suckers for hearts and chocs (what about roses, I LOVE flowers?) most people want to do something small and personal for their loved ones, and not necessarily on a specific day. I think I'm torn 50/50, loving and hating it. Totally single - with no prospects even - this year so decided I would go for the random act of kindness approach, hence the doll!

Have started on the body construction and will have pics to post tomorrow, so keep checking back. Love to you all :o)

Monday, January 12, 2009

COMPETITION: Valentine - Sweet or Sour?

To enter the COMPETITION to WIN the FREE one of a kind art doll, "Bleeding Heart"(see sketch below) simply make a comment on this post. Tell us something about your feeling about Valentine's Day, sweet or sour.

Is it a day to rejoice in love and togetherness or a constant disappointment? Whatever your opinion, just make a comment below and I will add you into the draw (make a million comments if you like but only one entry each person!). I will be showing regular updates on the doll as she progresses but always refer back to this post to enter. Good Luck :o)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Competition - win a doll

Here is the design sketch for the doll "Bleeding Heart" as promised. She will have jointed arms and legs and a sculpted face and feet using paper clay or similar medium. I am just working out how people can enter the competition, and will post on that tomorrow. The winning entrant will be announced on St Valentine's day, Feb the 14th. Keep watching this space.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Nativitilly

We are all back at work, the decorations are packed away and the festivities are sadly just a distant memory. Thought I'd just post this picture of Matilda in her Christmas hammock to bring back sweet memories...


Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Hi, check back later in the week for details of a fab competition to win a brand new, FREE, OOAK original Freaky Little Things Doll. Her name is "Bleeding Heart" and I'm just putting the finishing touches to her design  today. The lucky winner with be chosen on February the 14th, St Valentines Day, to spread some freaky love.

Watch this space for how to enter and the first sketch of Bleeding Heart :o)

New Year Sale!!!


One of the best words in the english language, one to set your pulse racing if your anything like me. I've decided to have a spring clear out in my Etsy shop and so have reduced the price on many items. Take a peek and look for the pink "Sale" badges.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wild about Ellowyne? turned out to be too cold to actually clear up my workspace (I just have a naff little electric heater and there's ice forming on the INSIDE of the double glazing!) so I retreated to the Mac with a big mug of hot chocolate and went doll surfing, as you do.

Ellowyne Wilde...can't make up my mind. Tonner dolls are usually not to my taste (Too Dynasty/Dallas Holywood middle aged looking) but the outfits on some are totally fantastic, just a bit...well, mad. They seem sort of over the top - not in a cool, eclectic, funky way - more in a "money can't buy style" way. The kind of thing Joan Collins would wear in the eighties, and probably still does.

Ellowyne is meant to be Gothic, but not young, sassy, punky, emo goth... more neo-victorian/steampunk Addams family Goth. Which should appeal to me... let's face it, I'm getting a bit long in the fang. The outfits below definitely hit the mark, I love how detailed they are. It's just that there's still a whiff of 'spoilt little Mall-Brat who decided to go to a fancy dress party as a goth but didn't want to spoil her make-up' about Ellowyne. Or her strangely perfect hair. She is also kind of a split personality as the rest of the outfits look like they have been borrowed from her mother's wardrobe. I think she would be terrified of Pullip Noir.

I think I want one though, ggggrrr.

The weirdest thing of all is the fact that they have given her a STALKER, instead of a boyfriend, in the form of the facially-challenged Rufus Rutter. I mean I love a guy with a strong nose BUT boy, are his eyes close together! He isn't someone she fancies, he just kind of moons after her and is pictured lying on a bed surrounded by photos of her. Eeeeeuuuuwww - Psycho! He's dorky creepy rather than dorky cute, and again, looks middle aged. I think Rufus is the safe, dull guy-doll that all the Mum and Nanna dolls want their pouty teenage tearaway Barbie/Bratz and Pullips to date. Never going to happen.

These photos are from the official website, go and check out rancid Rufus and more of Ellowyne, the link is down the side as usual.


Happy New Year everyone

A happy New Year to everyone, starting back at work on Monday and the Etsy shop will be open again. Here's hoping the doom and gloom mongers in the Press are wrong and that 2009 proves to be a great year for us all.

I must get back to re-arranging and tidying my workspace. I may even take a photo of it tomorrow! I want to be able to make lots more dolls and to sketch daily, drawing is something I need to get back into my life full time.