Thursday, April 30, 2009

They're late for a very important date!

They say better late than never, right? Well, it's the last day of the April Etsy Dark Side Alice and her White Rabbit exhibition, and I finally finished my "entry"!!!! I guess that little Bunny's tardiness has rubbed off on Alice, too.

Just giving you a sneak peak, will do their photoshoot for the shop over the next few days, I'm hoping the wind will drop so that I can take them out for a woodland setting, who knows. They won't make it to the shop until next week, though because I am finally going to do the sensible thing and pack them up and get a postal estimate rather than guessing. That's what I usually do, and I never guess right! :o)


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jan Svankmajer's "Alice"

I thought I'd set the scene for Alice and her little Bunny companion tomorrow, by showing you this clip from the nightmarish stop motion animation of Jan Svankmajer. I can't say watching this film all the way through was an "enjoyable" experience but it certainly sticks in your head and has inspired so many artists and film makers. Just hope I spelt his name correctly!

Alice looking smooth again

Here's the old, diseased Zombie face that had the incompatible paint disaster...

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and here she is all well again...

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Will make the Rabbit today hopefully, although I've got some design work looming. When he's done I will give you a sneak peek at the two of them before posting to the shop.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Static White's gone batty

Hop on over to Static White's blog BEFORE the end of April (QUICK!!!) and enter her Batty giveaway. Who doesn't love those little winged meeces? http://staticwhite.blogspot.com/

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Alice in Blunderland

Woe is me, poor Alice may have bitten the dust!

Earlier I posted how she would be finished today and how apt that seems now... when I first painted her face (last week!) I wasn't happy with the end result and wound up painting over it again. Because I had so much success with the Matt medium that I used on Frosty, I used it again for the base flesh tone but for some reason it turned out kind of see-through like a glaze and you could see the old face even when I painted several layers over it. Frosty had white skin, and white is always pretty opaque if you use good quality paints, so I guess it was the mix of other pigments or maybe I used too much matt medium this time?

Anyhow, I decided to use a layer of cream spray paint to completely blank out the face so I could start again. The cream is part of a 2 part crackle glaze kit, you use it with a brown undercoat. It has a fantastic matt finish and nice smooth texture over the gesso. So I painted on the new face and was really pleased and got to work on her clothes.

Today all that was left to do was put on her hair and make her bunny companion, simple, so I wasn't worried when I had to go off and do some design work til late afternoon. I was just deciding on the hair when I noticed this odd bubble near one of her eyes. I ran my finger over it and it moved... then popped! There was now a little hole under her eye and to my horror more bubbles started to appear, basically within a few minutes about a third of her face had gone all molten and peeled back. the paint became like that rubbery glue that you paint your finger with then roll off. It's awful, looks like some sort of disease and she was so pretty just moments before.

I can only think that the spray paint is unstable without it's undercoat, I've used the 2 together loads of times and never had a problem. Now I have removed all of the rubbery stuff and am just left with a blank area and 2 thirds of the original face paint, but what if the rest of the pray paint reacts later on and I have to start all over again... again? maybe I should get some paint thinner or something and try to get right back to the gesso. DISASTER.

I have now removed all her clothes and limbs, as at least they are ok and at worst I can just make a new head/torso. In some ways that would be the best course but the gesso layers and then the paper dough features take a long time to dry. I very much doubt she will make it to the Dark Side exhibition somehow. NIGHTMARE!!!

Inside the house

When I was trying to figure out how all the pieces fitted together (There is a numbered system, but why bother with that, that's like buying a camera/TV/computer and reading the instruction manual, where's the fun duh!??) I couldn't find a picture of the inside or the missing outer side of the house. So things took a bit longer. Here's a pic of how the stairs should fit together in case anyone ever needs it. Don't worry about the wonkiness, it was still under construction at the point of taking this pic.

I love this little model BUT (and boy, do I sound like my 8 year old self here) the inside isn't that well thought out. Your grand front door opens into a wall, the staircase cuts across a window and most annoying of all... the only balcony access, the french window, walks straight into mid air and a one storey drop. I mean that could kill you surely? Needless to say alterations have been made to cheat more space, the staircase to the attic has been swung round and a new floor added to stop any french window mishaps... in cardboard, just like my 8 year old self would have approached it.

Of course, my 8 year old self decided to house a bunch of cute hairy caterpillars in her swish new chalet style wooden dollhouse (whatever happened to that???) and filled it up with grass and flowers for them to munch on. I never told the tall people about my little house guests, who proceeded to turn into moths and ate my bedroom curtains, causing a unilateral ban on livestock in the bedroom. Which was a shame as my new tenants, the snails, were just settling in nicely. I think I'll stick to dolls as occupiers for this one :o)

Alice will be finished today, so saving the sneak peek for tomorrow.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

House under construction

OK, so I'm doing REAL work at the moment, product design, but when I get a spare minute I am working on my Alice doll for the April Dark Side Exhibition (get a move on girl) and my house kit came at the weekend so I haven't been able to resist. It's just as fantastic as a puzzle, like a 3D jigsaw, as you only get the front view and very little in the way of instructions. Great fun.

Needless to say I'm customizing it!

First peek at Alice tomorrow


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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Foxy!

Thought I'd share a pic of my lovely Foxy critter from Static White (see link down the side for her etsy shop). He's is just soooo cute, I love him. I asked Maya if she could make one for me and hey presto, before I could say "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", it was made and on it's way! Beautifull workmanship and wrapped to perfection, fast shipping and a super friendly seller, what more could you want? :o)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The inspiration...

PS - in case you were wondering what had set off this current frenzy (apart from my usual lunacy, of course) it was finding this BEAUTIFUL "Dia De Los Muertos Dollhouse" on Etsy last week... it's stunning. Check out ArtistaMuerta's shop and just look at the detail on this Baby! Love it :o)


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Haunted Birthday present

It's just a few weeks til my birthday and look what I'm getting for a present! Much more affordable than the one in the post below and who knows, maybe putting together the kit and decorating this one may take the edge off my current "Spook up a doll house" mania!??

Don't worry, also working on lots of dolls, made a batch of bodies that are slowly evolving into little characters, they will start appearing in sneak previews soon, so keep checking back :o)


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Monday, April 13, 2009

Dreaming of a Haunted Dollhouse

Sigh...oh to live in a country where you can buy Doll's houses like this! I've been hankering after a dollhouse to spook up for a few months now (probably because I no longer have my own place and no funds to move out anytime soon) and yet I can't find anything that looks even vaguely creepy...I found this PERFECT example on t'internet but you can only buy it in the States by the look of things. Well, it's already expensive and then there's the shipping AND the Custom Tax, the VAT and the Postal "Handling Charge" - it would probably be cheaper to buy a real house!

Anyone spooked up a doll house? Send me links to your pics and I'll feature them on the blog :o)


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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Clangers on a Saturday

Moving stuff around in my room last night I kneeled on a cushion and heard a familiar muffled whistle of protest. My "Small" Clanger had slipped under the cushion and I'd activated his squeaker with my knee! Poor little soul.

Thought I'd give you all a bank holiday treat with a Clangers episode to start the day, and it's all about chocolate! You might want to turn down the jukebox sound to enjoy the clip:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fairy Treasury

Take a look at Gracie 1968's Etsy treasury, she featured my Frost Fairy (thanks Sweetie) and lots of other lovely Fairy related items, go take a peek

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list_west.php?room_id=49645

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Frost Fairy finally finished!

Apologies for the blurry shot, but The Frosty Fairy is finally finished and so I took a chance to photograph her quickly while her wings were drying. She has taken me longer than any other doll so far, but I'm pleased with the results. I need to gather some props and get some decent photos done during the week then work out a price and put her in the shop.

I have 2 more dolls on the go now, a Vampire and a Pirate that I started last summer. The poor souls have been neglected too long but will get finished before the week is out, then on to new things. I'm hoping that Alice in Wonderland's Rabbit wins this months Dark Side team challenge, if so, guess what's next!


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Friday, April 3, 2009

Frosty admires her hair-do

Here's Frosty admiring her new hair in the mirror, typical girl! The hair is made from Milk Fibre Protein (casein), which I don't really know too much about and have never used before. Apparently it's been around since the 30's and was used instead of wool by manufacturers during the war.

It's incredibly soft and silky but seems a little unstable, if you pull a big hank of it it's really strong but pull at the individual fibres and they seem to separate and come away like gossamer. Strange. I decided to twirl it in hanks to make this hair-do, to utilize that "strength in numbers" property. I'm really pleased with the results and so, it would appear, is Frosty!

The nicest thing about this stuff is the colour, a beautiful soft creamy blonde, kind of like, hmmmm, let's see... milk! The strangest thing about Milk Protein Fibre is suggested in the name, when I first opened the bag there was a distinct MILK smell, which has thankfully disappeared. As this is something of an experiment I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has experience of this material. :o)

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Not enough male nudity

I know what you are thinking, there aren't nearly enough photos of beautiful nude men on this blog - I totally agree!


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You can go to this link (seriously - full frontal male nudity, don't go if you are easily shocked):

http://www.art-dept.com/artists/afanador/

and look at the amazing photography of Ruven Afanador who did the photoshoot mentioned in the post below. His work is stunningly beautiful and it's hard to pick just one sample, so here's another.


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Thanks again to Ullabenulla for sharing this!

A little Goth for Friday

Ullabenulla has been providing inspiration again, go to her blog (link at the side) to see the amazingly GOTHIC November photoshoot for Elle Italia or look at the original uploads at:

http://community.livejournal.com/foto_decadent/1894590.html

Either way, skeletons, death masks, sepia and fantastic clothes, what more could you want for a Friday morning?


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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Frosty's dress

Here's an ironic picture of The Frost fairy that I forgot to post yesterday. I've been working on her on and off for so long now that it's officially Spring! The sun is shinning and the temperature is rising with all the Spring bulbs, and we seem to be getting very few frosty mornings now, so it's probably time for Frosty and her kind to go into hibernation until October.

Having said that, this is WALES and it will probably snow before the weekend! Frosty is currently having her hair applied and her hat finished, then it's just her fur wrap to finish (don't worry it's faux fur!) and those all important wings, and she's finished... finally. I am loving this doll, it will be hard to part with her when she is finished :o)


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