Monday, March 30, 2009

Arcadia

I think they call it synchronicity (or was that just an old Police song?) but the idea of old Victorian Circus performers and their costumes has been on my mind a lot lately. I was looking for a costume to make for the latest addition to my small BJD family and my thoughts turned to the Big Top. I recently found a circus/side show themed gift guide on etsy, maybe that's what set me off, but I have just started on her corset when I came across this beautiful site:


Photobucket




Arcadia (link down the side as usual) is run by 2 very talented Spanish sisters and well worth a look - not just for the stunning clothing they make for BJD dolls, but also for the graphic design and beautiful styling/typography/photography. I love finding treasures like this!

Finishing Frosty's frock this evening, finally... (ahhh, don't you just love aliteration!??) so will post some pics tomorrow :o)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Childhood heroine...

I have just been reading about Ada Lovelace Day (the 24th, so yesterday, I'm always the last to know!) and commented on Iggyjingles "AllThingsDoll" blog that I didn't know who she was. And looking at this print, she seems ripe for hero worship, what marvelous clothes!!! I just went to this site to find out a little more:

http://findingada.com/who-was-ada/


Photobucket



Being a big fan of Byron and all things "Gothic" (I include all the great Romantic poets and painters along with those florid novelists like Charles Robert Maturin) I actually DID know who Ada Lovelace was after all, just not under that name, she was Byron's daughter and worked with Charles Babbage on the first "computer". I wish I'd known that part as a child, as there were precious few role model heroines growing up in the '70's. I suppose we had Germaine Greer, but she always seemed angry and had no dress sense (to my mind, sorry Germaine, I know you had weightier things on your mind). I realise that makes me sound like a shallow and vain creature but frankly I've never doubted that I was the equal of the men around me, I just wanted to enjoy my equality in well cut clothing... and I know plenty of daper men who feel just the same way!

The Byronic connection continues with my great childhood heroine, Mary Shelley. The author of "Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus". To have written such a novel at the age of 19 is a feat for any author, but for a woman in the early 1800's, when society in general merely expected her to be pretty and provide heirs for her husband, well, that still fills me with awe. At the time of writing she was already pregnant by the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley ("My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"), being his mistress, as he was already married.

Obviously, like most people I was led to read Frankenstein as a child after seeing Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, et al in the film versions and they really don't prepare you for just how complex and well written a  tale it is or for just how eloquently the Creature relates his tale. It has a far better structure  and grip on the imagination than that other gothic great, Bram Stoker's Dracula, for my money. She also wrote many other novels, including The Last Man, which is in some ways a precursor to "I am Legend", set in a future where the human race gradually dies out from plague. She also collected and edited the works of her late husband and is probably directly responsible for the fact that his poems are still well read. She led a relatively short, tragedy and scandal filled life of often near poverty, dying at the age of 53 (I think). The perfect gothic heroine in fact.


Photobucket



Here's Mary painted by Reginald Easton, I have to say that Ada wins the battle of the drapery though :o)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can you see what it is yet?

My back is SSSSSSSLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOWWWWLLLLYYYYYYY recovering, which is frustrating, to say the least. I have lots going on in my head and I'm itching to get going but finding it hard to sit upright for more than an hour at a time, so haven't achieved that much.

Have tinkered with the blog as you can see, it now has 3 columns. It looks much better on my wide screen monitor but how does it look on a standard monitor? Anyone out there, I'd be grateful to know if the background still displays OK? This background is from Itkupilli (Check out her blog and etsy shop, she has lots of nice Rococo inspired stuff!) but I will try and make a background to match the new header in due course.

Got to go and check out Lawrence Fishburn on CSI, now, as you do. He's way too good for that show, I hope he goes back to proper acting soon! :o)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

aaaarrgh, Jim lad!

Having survived my Lloyd Loom chair fall relatively unscathed the other week, I am now hobbling round on crutches like some B movie pirate. My right shoulder is lowered by the weight of an imaginary parrot (actually, it would take an ostrich to lower it this much... I'd love a real parrot).... And what feat of acrobatics caused this latest deformity? Reading the newspaper! That's what I was doing yesterday morning when my back suddenly gave out. I was celebrating (with a cake!) because I've lost whole a stone in weight since Christmas, but now I can barely move again. Ho hum :o(

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Frost fairy update

If something isn't right, just start again, that's often my moto when it comes to my dolls. I don't mean go right back to scratch but I regularly completely redo the hair or costume of a doll, and sometimes have a total rethink.

When I doodled the idea for Frosty on paper I saw her as a slightly comical figure with a huge Bo-peep style 17/18th century costme. Yesterday I finished her dress, resplendent with lots of sparkly trims and a hooped underskirt and "paniers" sticking out to the side. The fabric was gorgeous, lower skirt of silver silk under an iced blue taffeta draped overskirt which was covered in embroidery and sequins. It was lovely, so why aren't I showing you a photo?

Well, Frosty, as she's sat on my shelf for weeks, has revealed her character to be far more regal and elegant than I'd imagined. She just didn't look comfortable, as though she was in a fancy dress costume rather than in her own gown... so it had to go! I spent yesterday evening unpicking it and today I'm back to square one. Ho hum, at least her boots look right!

Am I insane or do all doll makers feel they are at the service of their own creations?


Photobucket

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Countess Bathory

French actress Julie Delpy has written and directed a film on the notorious gothic legend, Countess Erzebet Bathory, which, of course, she also stars in! You will remember Delpy from the haunting "Before Sunrise", if not, check it out, it's one of my faves (I say that with the absolute confidence of someone who hasn't seen the film for a decade perhaps!).

17th century Hungarian noblewoman Bathory, was famed for her beauty and was determined that age would not wither her. In the days before the nip and tuck became all the rage (amongst the self-delusional at any rate), Bathory bathed in the blood of countless virgins. Presumably this was during the great Hungarian Asses Milk scarcity? "The Countess" is released in Germany in June and should get to a cinema near you some time after.


Photobucket

Thursday, March 12, 2009

carnival soiree on saturday

Check out Faerie Enchantments blog, she's holding a "Carnival Soiree" on saturday... no I don't know what that is either, but I'm sure to join in the fun. Oh, will there be candyfloss, fingers crossed! Hope to see you there :o)


Photobucket


Frosty the temptress

Just working on Frosty and put her down on the bed (ignore hideous duvet cover) quite carelessly, then left the room. I'm putting her boots together, the leather uppers, and making her stays(?). Actually, I don't think that's the right word, the hooping that goes under her petticoats to keep her bustle in shape? They will be like 2 paniers sticking out at her sides. Gratitude to anyone who can tell me what they are called!

When I came back her pose really amused me. Quite the little temptress I'd say!


Photobucket


Photobucket

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Danika's Cat in the shop finally!

Finally finished the background of this print of one of my Freaky little girls and her homicidal pet... aaaaahhh, bless. Will be listed in my etsy shop as an Aceo and full size print (minus the watermark of course) shortly :o)


Photobucket


Pullip off to find a new home... maybe

Last year I posted about my curiosity about Pullip dolls, and bought 2, a boy and girl. The boy, Tae Yang Cavalie, has gone to a new home - he had such a beautiful face and long blonde hair, that I could only imagine him as a girl and didn't want to go through the whole sex-swap find a new matching body scenario.

Pullip herself was a bit of a disappointment to me to be honest. I just couldn't bond with her at all, even after customizing her and turning her into "Flossie" pictured below. She is very cute when I have her by herself but on the doll shelf she can't compete with the 2 Blythes. Just not for me I guess, but I hope she goes to someone who will love her and give her pride of place.

I've decided that my non OOAK dolly collection needs a spring prune so the Tonners are on ebay right now along with poor Flossie. Of course that means more room for new dolls???


Photobucket


Fairy Houses

Wow, how cute are these? Found this shop today, Cocoondesigns in the amazingly varied treasure chest we call esty and thought I'd share. The shop features lovely odd creatures made from anything that comes to hand and a series of lovely mushroom vignettes. Link down the side as always :o)


Photobucket

Sunday, March 8, 2009

or maybe it's a sofa?

Maybe the Nest Bed I've been raving about is a sofa? What the hell, I'll sleep anywhere and the cat's aren't fussy either! :o)

Nest bed

Robyn L Colburn is, in my humble opinion, the most prolific blogger I know! Her allthingsdoll blog (link in the list) has roughly 3 posts a day, or so it seems, and she also manages to fit in writing screenplays and making her lovely Iggy Jingles art dolls, is there no stopping this woman!?!

I check out her recommendations as often as I can and get to see lots of things I might not have otherwise found. It's worth it, especially as today she featured a typepad blog called Ullabenulla, really beautiful and worth a browse. While checking that out, I fell in love with this gorgeous nest bed by Ans Bakker, totally stunning, imagine the dreams you would have under that canopy! :o)




Thursday, March 5, 2009

No progress

Just posting because I have a few minutes, have made no progress at all with Frosty this week, she's giving me "evils" from the shelf where she is sat. It's snowing outside so I feel it would be perfect weather to get her finished but I'm freelancing and strapped into the Mac all day and evening so the sewing desk is out of bounds, sob.

Have managed to get a new template done for the Etsy Art Doll team I'm a member of: Egads, it's near the top of the links list. Go and check it out if you haven't already, loads of fantastic doll makers at your fingertips!

Oh well, off for some well earned R&R as Dexter is on in a minute. I swear that and Lost are all I watch these days...

PS: actually starting to see some results on the weight loss front, finally!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Frost Fairy - progress report

Well, she's all in one peice now - just in time as the snow and frost are set to return this week - and has been painted and varnished. I wanted her to look as though she is made of snow so she has a glittery slightly textured finish, and icy toned shading. Her face reminds me of a white rabbit and I was tempted to do her eyes pink but settled on cornflower blue in the end.

I think I'm getting the hang of acrylics or at least beginning to be able to control them. I have to say they are my least favourite painting medium, I find watercolour, gouache and oils all much easier to work with. Acrylics are very annoying, they just don't blend as readily as other paints, frankly, and that's why my doll making technique didn't advance for a while, because I was fighting with painting the faces on the gessoed canvas. I am pleased with Frosty's mush though :o)


Photobucket