Friday, 28 August 2009

Where's Me Shirt......

For those who don't know, the B side of the track I used in the video a couple of posts back is called..... "You expect me to wear this cr@p"

So, my dear friends, here is the jacket....pretty bad huh ! Dire is a word that comes to mind.

But, hey ho, I learned a lot with this little jacket.

I knew it was bad pretty much from the get go, but I decided to continue with it to see what other pitfalls awaited me

Figuring there'd be many problems I had yet to encounter I thought I'd have a go at dealing with them on this jacket rather than the next one.....forewarned is forearmed right ?

Probably the biggest thing I learned was not to use fabritac glue on dries really stiff and horrible.

I also learned that I should wash the fabric first to soften it up somewhat.

Also, every sculpt I go on to make will be jointed. Kendo is jointed and it was hard enough getting the clothing on and off him...I can't imagine dressing a non jointed sculpt.

The main problems on this jacket are....

The seams on the shoulders and the hems are too stiff....fabritac !

The sleeves are too wide....I wanted them wide but not this much.

The back piece is too if I hadn't put the collar on already I could have narrowed this but the collar is too stiff from the fabritac which stops me doing it.

The collar....well that is supposed to be a Nehru collar.....dismal failure there.

I am sure it needs darts...but where and how to do them...I have no idea. I do remember from the sewing classes I did take that darts were difficult.

Ah, sewing I wish I'd paid attention. Sewing class was obligatory, along with cooking classes, when I was at school. How I hated them both.

I campaigned to be allowed to do metalwork and woodwork with the boys.....and failed. I did manage to get them to allow us to play rugby (similar to American football but without protection) instead of netball (similar to basketball) but they wouldn't budge on anything else.

Nowadays, thankfully, it is different. Boys and girls have to learn to sew and cook. Aydn can do both much better than I can.

So I did my 2 years of sewing and cooking and dropped them like a hot brick once I was deemed old enough to know what classes I wanted to take...well, as much as anyone knows at 13.

And now, not only can I not sew but I can't cook either :-)

So, what's next. I really want to get onto my next sculpt, the flute player. But, I also really could do with putting some things in my etsy shop has been so long since I made flowers for general sale so I am thinking of maybe taking a week or so to do that.

However, the pull of the clay is so we'll see :-)

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Things I've learned this week.....

When you are about to sculpt the first pair of hands you have ever done.....pick something considerably more simple than hands that need to appear to be playing a guitar lol....boy was that ever difficult.

And I hate sewing...hate it with an absolute passion. I don't mind the stitching part....that is easy enough as the clothes are small.

But the rest of it....well I think I have some kind of sewing dyslexia.....I could not for the life of me figure out how this jacket was supposed to go together

I wish you were here....for some very amusing would be laughing you head off at me

I eventually kind of figured out what shapes the parts of the jacket were meant to be and start to tack it together.

  • sew sleeve hole shut...check
  • have front inside out and back outside out...check
  • reverse what you just did and it is still wrong....check
  • sew front and back up first then wonder how the sleeve fits in....check
  • sew sleeve up first then wonder how you sew the front and back ...check
  • draw hieroglyphics on the fabric to help and find it doesn't work....check.

I was tearing my hair out but I am so pathetic I was just cracking myself up.

Really how can this be so hard...feels like a bloody IQ test :-)

Anyhow, that's where I've been....I finally managed to get the sleeves attached at the shoulders, so it should only take me say another 2 weeks to figure out the rest....seriously I hope to have piccies of the finished Kendo by Friday....if I don't come back send out the search'll find me rocking back and forth in the corner surrounded by sewing paraphernalia.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen......

.........Please put your hands together
and give a warm welcome to..........


p.s I apologize upfront to all you Brits who had managed to forget this little tune :-)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Next.......Rock Star # 2 !

Well what an horrendous week computer wise this has been.

Aside from Google thinking I am a robot I have had internet connection problems you wouldn't believe.

I don't know how much of this is our router or how much blame I can put on Time Warner.
TW's stock excuse is that I live in LA and what do I expect with so many people trying to get through the server. Well hello...I don't live in LA (intentionally) and besides, if that is the problem then sort it out so it can deal with this many people.

I am still having problems with the blogs I am following is rarely there so if I don't appear to visit your new posts it is because I don't know about them :-(

In other news, I had my interview with the immigration people and am now 'officially' half American. I ate my first sweet potato yesterday so I am working on being authentic :-)

* * * * * * * * * *

I am still working on the 'newly named'....Kendo Didmoni...AKA Rock Star the guitarist.

I started a new pair of jeans as the skinny ones really looked stupid with boots on. It has made me realize just how much I don't like sewing...although maybe if I was better at it, and actually had a clue what I was doing, then it wouldn't be such a chore :-)

I hope to have some new photos by the end of this week but if not by the beginning of next.

In the meantime here are some photographs that are my inspiration for rock star # 2...the flautist.

This is Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull, whose photo appears to be doing the rounds of
Facebook at the moment as a one legged flute player !

The photo below is how I shall hopefully dress him. I have found the fabric for the jacket but can't seem to find anything suitable for the pants he is wearing....looks very much like the popular bedsheets of 1970's England to be honest and I am sure many of you Brits will remember striped flannel sheets like this :-)

If anyone has ever seen any fabric that is similar please let me know :-)

And this is how he looks now....still a one legged flute player....just less hair :-)

I love Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson has always been a favorite character of mine. For many years now I've planned on having a go at painting this silhouette of him on one of my day I'll do it .

I don't intend to (or have no hope of) making my sculpt look like him but it gives me great inspiration as to what kind of person I want him to be. And an excuse to listen to Tull all day to get me in the mood :-)

Monday, 17 August 2009

They're at it again

Thought I'd post this while I still could.

I can get into and view my blog fine..but, when I try and look at other peoples I am getting the 'Google thinks I am a robot and has blocked me' message again.

I have no idea how long it will allow me access to my own blog but I suspect not much longer.

I just wanted to get this message out in case this happens to anyone else. It isn't you and someone has got into the system again :-(

I know last time many of us were freaking out and wondering what was going on or what they'd done...hopefully most of you know about it now anyhow.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Rock star clothing

Who knew how hard it could be to dress a sculpt....I didn't that's for sure.

I have been ruminating over this guys clothes all week now and just can't make my mind up.

I got as far as deciding he'd be wearing jeans so started to sew some up. I am not a seamstress or anything even remotely like it. I ditched sewing in school at the earliest opportunity....and it shows :-)

These actually came out better than I expected for me although they are too high waisted and maybe a little narrow in the legs....not sure of that yet. Jeans do come this skinny but I am not sure they suit him.

The high waist might not be a problem depending on what kind of shirt I make for him....or maybe I'll just name him Simon :-)

He has no lower legs as yet....shan't do those until I am sure of his pose. That's why they jeans look funny at the bottom. Same with his hands. I was waiting for his guitar to arrive before I posed him and sculpted his hands.

Here is his guitar...isnt' it too cool !

As for the top you can see here...well that is just a cover for the wadding....a very dirty cover.

In my infinite wisdom, and laziness, I decided to glue it over the wadding. Hmm...fluffy stuff and super sticky, stringy fabritac glue...what a mess...won't be doing that again. So that is why it is so grubby....good job you won't see it :-)

I have no idea what to have him wear as a top. I took him to JoAnns with me and he sat in the cart like a good boy while I draped fabric over him looking for inspiration. Got me some right funny I played along and made a point of talking to him...loudly !

Nothing seems to suit him at all and, as I am getting rather irritated with him now, I might just put him aside for a little bit and start another head.

Oh and next time...I'll dress the doll before I wig it...his hair is really getting in the way...hence it being put up :-)

Saturday, 8 August 2009


I am having some serious computer problems here...for some reason Google believes that I am a robot and am flooding the system with automated queries......whatever they are. It won't allow me to connect to G Mail or my blog.

I managed to get in here now by going from a link in a hotmail email somehow.

But that didn't' work a few minutes ago and I don't even know if this will post.

So if I vanish or appear to be ignoring comments this is why.

Hopefully I can figure it out...goodness knows how long it will take goggle to respond to my question.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Rock Star Revealed

And so here we are....with a rock star...of sorts lol.

This guy really knew how he wanted to look and would not do as he was told.

Still, I have to say for my first baked head I am very pleased with him.

Considering he was made with clay that was far too overworked as it was only my practice head, was different colors because I kept picking it from the wrong batch and was filthy dirty I am amazed he looks like he does. I never intended on baking this I say I was just playing and getting the feel for the clay. But I think he is good enough to deserve the dignity of being given a body and dressed.

No, he doesn't look as I had in my head and yes he is full of mistakes...but he is mine. My hands shaped him, baked him, colored him and gave him hair. I basically watched him come to life in my hands. Just start calling me Geppetto :-)

If you have never tried to sculpt a human then you probably think I have lost my mind but I am hoping all you sculptors out there understand what I am saying.

We laughed, we cried, we had tantrums and we talked. It is so strange...he is standing there with little more than a head yet I catch myself smiling at him.

Anyhow, at the risk of sounding completely insane I'll shut up.

As usual, he looks way better in real life than he does in the photos....many of the goofs I made you just can't see till you look at an enlarged picture of him

He is not dressed at all, nor does he even have a body. I just draped some cloth over him for his photo shoot.

You should have seen me, posing him, straightening his clothes, smoothing his from a girl who never cared much for dolls :-)

He ended up with a head much larger than I planned so to keep him in proportion I had to make another armature. I was aiming for 8 - 10 inches. He stand 12 inches tall. Which, to be honest, seems just about the right size for a display doll to me. Besides, being roughly 1/6 scale I can now buy him an authentic guitar :-)

As he is larger I decided to give him a soft body. I sculpted his neck and just enough chest to allow an open collar.

I have no idea who is he or what he'll wear yet but I am leaning towards a bass guitarist in a long Victorian style velvet coat.

Now for my mistakes....

My blending is appalling. I have to mix and leach my clay until it is really firm as it is so warm here. I guess this makes it harder to blend. I thought it was blended fine until it came out of the oven. Having 2 different colors of clay doesn't help lol.

His eyes. The shape of his open eye is all wrong and needs to close more at the inner corner. My eyeball appeared smooth until I started to paint it when I realistic it wasn't at all. Hence the rather rough paint job.

I need to learn to refine the crease between the upper eyelid and the pad of fat that lays above it. I found this quite hard actually. It was either too defined or too subtle. I couldn't find the middle ground.

His lips. His upper lip is too prominent and wonky and his lower lip is a mess. Again this is a blending issue. Also painting...I didn't have any suitable lip colors so winged it.

The dimples in his cheek look too deep although I copied those from a photo and the dimples were that deep. Guess it looks different in clay so I need to be aware of that.

Hair....hmmm...what I thought would be the easiest part was actually the worst.

For a first go I did actually succeed in getting a tidy parting but I hate that Tibetan lamb fur hair...makes me sneeze like crazy and gives me fur balls lol. And FabriTac glue. Oh my do you all work with it...what horrible nasty stringy stuff. So if I get different hair and glue I think I'll be fine with wigging.

I would appreciate any other criticism from you sculptors out there. I am pretty sure I know where I am going wrong and only practice will help that but if there are any other comments I'd greatly appreciate them. I won't be upset in as brutal as you like is the only way I'll learn.

I really think that this is where I am meant to be heading. Yes I enjoy making my flowers but I never woke up at the crack of dawn wanting to get up so I could start working on them like I have with this. I think that's a sign don't you ? And I truly hope this excitement never goes away.

I must say a HUGE thank you to all of you who helped me though this adventure. I can't wait to get started on my next one. I might even do an entire band :-)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The Pickled Vicar

Some time ago I had an idea to build a dollhouse. A church old English church.

There are many of these churches in England that have long since been abandoned. Many of them get put up for sale and are renovated into private homes...something I always wanted to do.

I have seen others get renovated into mini shopping malls full of little craft type market stalls.

And some get renovated into mine. And the idea for the Pickled Vicar pub was born.

For the Americans reading this, Pickled, is an English term for drunk :-)

I started to convert one of the tab and slot dollhouses but was not at all happy with it and Mick decided to help.

The whole house is somewhat of a saga so I won't bore you with all the details but somewhere along the line we went from a little church to a cathedral type of structure...whose roof beams had been precisely calculated in terms of size and angles to hold the weight of a typical roof for this period. I'd love to tell you how but don't remember...something to do with vector forces if my memory serves me right. Don't ya just love engineers lol.

Then we moved from MN to CA and the whole project got put on hold.

I am sure it will be built. When, I have no idea, but it is such a part of us now that I think we'll do it one day. We have the plans almost completed so perhaps I'll just see if someone can build it for me.

This is a rough idea of what it will look like.

Here are the infamous A frames.

The pub will be set in the late 1970's England. The alter has been converted into a stage and there will be a hippy / folk band playing. Mick is going to set it up so you can hit a switch and real folk music plays :-)

I have collected lots of stuff for this already. After a long search I even have urinals for the men's bathrooms...which will be in the bell tower section of the church.

Anyhow all this waffling brings me to the reason for this post.

I now have my pickled Vicar.

Debie from Piskies and Poppets made him for me. Isn't he just wonderful. You can see her blog post and more pictures of him here

I was really aware of how hard it would be for me to convey my ideas for his character, in words, that she would then get the same image in her head.

But, I have to say she has got him even more perfect than I had in my head. The face, the wobbly legs, the comb over...just perfect.

He is the first doll I have ever owned and I just love him. As does Mick. Hopefully this will get him moving on finishing the plans for me.

So until he has a home, he is quite comfortable on my bookshelf. Given that he is drunk, he needs something to lean on :-)

Eventually he will get a mate. She will be the village slapper. Far past her prime but still trying to pull the men. Unfortunately her reputation precedes her and no one is interested...except the vicar. They are two peas in a pod and as bad as each other.

A match made in heaven.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Photo Challenge from Marsha

Marsha over at Sassy Mini Dolls sent me this challenge..and .a nice easy one it is too :-) I have to go to my photo files and pick file number 4 and then photo number 4, publish it here and explain a bit about it.

Well my photos are in files all over the show so I went to my sculpting folder which is what I am using at the moment and this is the 4th pic in the 4th file...

This is Ian Gillan. Ian who ? I hear you cry. He was the singer with Deep Purple...I am sure most of you know of them :-)

And yes, if he appears to be looking right into my camera it is because he was lol. This was at some small dive of a bar in Minneapolis a couple of years back. I could tell you I had his attention because I was the hottest chick in the room....but it was because I was the only chick wearing a very low cut Union Jack vest top and sitting right at his feet lol. Luckily Mick just humors me :-)

As you can see, nowadays, he is every bit the aging rock star. This is what he looked like in his younger days....

A tad more rugged than the pretty boy rock stars, Gillan was the first 'love' of my life :-)

Mick looked remarkably like this last photo when he was and all. Which I guess was the reason I was so attracted to him way back in the beginning.

Anyhow, I have these photos in my rock star reference photo folder and am referring to them often for my sculpt.

Yes I am still bashing away at the clay. I hope to have new pictures for you tomorrow. Still don't' have my rock star but they are looking more human at least :-)