so my computer had a major meltdown and it is under the care of the computer doctors… unfortunately the computer doctor has other things to do besides work on my computer.Â So, the blog is in flux (that is why my banner has disappeared), no pictures can be uploaded, I have very limited access to my email and I am not getting my fix of computer screen hours.Â Oh well, I’m probably supposed to be working on dolls anyhow.Â I will have lots of pictures to post when I am finally back online.Â But, I am going through withdrawal!!!!
I think I need to make a resolution for 2007 to do more linking… well let’s try starting today.
Some sites I’ve been enjoying-
I love pincushions and these ones are wonderful. And I’ve got a lot of that ribbing.
That guy in the striped pants? Very inspiring… something will be showing up here soon, sparked by that…
I am so happy that Planet Hilda has been posting again- looking at her blog is like a tropical vacation for my eyes! And I see that she has her work at a gallery in New York. That ought to be inspiration for a trip down.
and here are some of my most recent favorites on Flickr. Sorry I can’t get the mosaic to show but at least I have the links…
1. Christmas nears…, 2. *, 3. WIP: NOUVELLE VAGUE HORSES, 4. a box of birds, 5. LOS BURRITOS 1: LUPITA, 6. Untitled, 7. 1st Week In November, 8. indignation, 9. Living my death in eternal rejoicing., 10. back side of thread drawing, 11. priscilla mcgarry, 12. Ruby
Okay, now that’s enough. Let’s not over-do it…
The baby dolls were the biggest seller when I did the sale, so now I am making more for the next sale… production. I haven’t done production in a long time and I can’t say I’m loving it. I am feeling stressed and anxious, over tired and like I have way too much to do. Actually a lot of that is holiday related- I think this comes on me every year. So many demands, so many disruptions. But, in the end, I tend to find deadlines inspiring and I am happy with how these babies came out. I played around a bit with the proportions and the pattern. The face is bigger and the body a slightly different shape. It always amazes me how much difference even a slight change in the pattern can make in the end shape. Also, how different the doll can look, depending on the fabric- this is mostly about the stretch and the stuffing.
This first little one is made from an old wool blanket-
I love this vintage ribbon-
This one was a vest from LL Bean in a former life-
I am finally getting to use all the great ribbons I’ve been collecting for so long-
I love this brown ribbon. Both the green fabric and the ribbon were from my mom’s stuff-
And lastly, this little red baby-
I combined several ribbons here-
There is another photo here on Flickr. All of them, together, in the basket.
and here are the rest of the seasons-
I’ve done with postcards for now- I’ve run out of Peltex 72, which is what I make the cards on, and my local fabric store says they sell it out as soon as it comes in. I’ve ordered a bolt and now can stop thinking about the postcards and get back to work on the dolls. I went out to some of my favorite local thrift shops this week. I got a load of nice sweaters in wool, cashmere, angora and mixes of these. I needed some bright colors for the babies. I was also able to get a nice old wool blanket and some fun, vintage woven wool yardage. I am always on the look-out for stripes in colors that I like, but they are very hard to find. I’ve been giving the washing machine a workout since I brought it all home.
Winter- I really like these. I used a few sequins on each one to add a little sparkle.
I like how on this one, the sky fabric has nothing to do with snow and yet that’s what the design turns into-
I like how the face on this one is painted- pink cheeks, chin and nose- so cold!
and in this one, I used some wool blend felt which I’d washed and it puffed up- I like how it looks for the jacket.
I guess this fits into Summer- it was the first one before I’d really thought things out. The birds are printed on the fabric- I didn’t do that part.
I’ve finished the rest. I’ll photograph and post them tomorrow.
In the last few days, I’ve had several people ask what inspires me so I thought it might be a good idea to post about it, i.e. give it some actual thought. Years ago I took my son to a talk given by Philip Pullman. He was absolutely brilliant. One of the things he talked about was that people often ask where he gets his ideas. He said something along the line of- the ideas come to my desk and if I’m there, I get them. If I’m not, I don’t. I loved that explanation! So much of the art is just being at your desk and working. I googled “Philip Pullman inspiration” and I didn’t get that story but got this explanation. (the first paragraph) Not as funny but also excellent.
I am inspired by materials (these days beautiful fabrics), things that I touch (robots with the sewing notions for details), the seasons, the little stuff going on in my life everyday, some odd thing that I’ve read about (example- fat fairies), the photos of what everyone else is doing all over the craft blogging world and Flickr, a new technique that I’ve learned, my family, color. And if I am working on something, and if it doesn’t have a face, I probably won’t stay interested for too long! If I hit a dead end, I have 2 ways of recharging that usually work. I go back to my older work, look through it and try to come up with a new approach or simply do another one. I have found lots of inspiration for the postcards by going through old photos of my pottery. The other technique is to go through all my materials. That way I get 2 things accomplished- clear out some stuff and almost always find something that sparks an idea.
I had a great expedition up to the Fiber Studio. It was a beautiful day for a drive and so after scooting up on the highways, we meandered back to Boston on back roads. I bought wool roving and batting to do wet felting. There was such an amazing assortment of colors and types of sheep and all kinds of other variables that I don’t know how to figure into the equation… so I chose solely based on color. Well, actually I bought a bag of assorted colors (the smaller balls) and then filled in with what wasn’t in that. I like playing with felt for doll hair and embellishments. I was inspired by these juggling ball also, so who knows where I’ll go with it.
Now I’m back to work starting with postcards. Here is what I’ve done in the past 2 days- 7 postcards, ironed onto the backing but I still have to satin stitch around the edge and then cut them apart. I’m working on a “Seasons” theme.
The sale went really well yesterday. It is a long and tiring day, but I know lots of the other people who were selling their work and lots of the people who came and shopped. It is a very local and social event and I would have had a good day even if I hadn’t sold anything! The round table worked out very well with the only drawback being that I didn’t know where to stand. Here was my table at the beginning of the day-
People were enthusiastic about the work. I sold a good amount of my work- not so much that I am worried that I’ll have to kill myself for the next sale in a month, but enough that I was surprised and pleased when I counted up at the end of the day. Today I’m going on an expedition up to New Hampshire to the Fiber Studio to spend some of my money!
I got a question today- How do you price your work? After thinking about it, here is what I wrote back-
I think about it in several ways.
one- how much would I be willing to take for something and I won’t feel like I’ve been insulted, won’t feel sick, and/or wish I’d kept it.
two- I have a fantasy that I should earn $100 for a full day of work (ie 8 hours ). If I think something took 8 hours, I should get $100 for it. Of course this is very rarely straight forward. I don’t include my design time and mistake time. I am always second guessing myself. Could I have done it in 8 hours if I’d worked harder? kept a more accurate tally of time spent? been more organized? And it doesn’t include materials. so I know it isn’t really sensible, but it is still a model I pretend to use.
three- there is the fantasy of what people will pay. I am always guessing at that. I don’t try to sell my dolls in a gallery because they take 50%. I can’t believe that I could double the prices and still sell them. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. Besides most galleries seem to be afraid of anything that looks like a doll… not art enough? The gallery sales thing worked for me when I was doing pottery so I have had experience selling that way.
I wonder how this compares with other people? I think fiber arts work not something anyone get into to get rich- you just can’t get back the time you put in.
It was so beautiful this morning. It was misty and everything was wet from yesterdays rain. The color was amazing. Everything seemed to glow! I took a bunch of photos and posted them at Flickr.
Remember way back in July when I posted this as unfinished? I was making no progress so I put it aside. There is nothing like a deadline (or upcoming sale) to get me motivated and I’ve finally finished her!
None of these photos are great but it is pouring rain so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it…
She is big and solid and red and I think will be a real eye-catcher on my table.