handmade portrait

Are you wondering why I haven’t posted any finished dolls around here lately? Well, I got sidetracked. Last week I got an Etsy convo from Tara Young who does videos for Etsy. She does a wonderful series called Handmade Portraits and she asked me if I would be interested in being filmed for one. I thought about it for about 20 minutes- what would I wear, how could I lose 40 pounds in the next few days, is my studio clean enough, should I get a haircut… so many ridiculous worries- and then I said Yes, Of Course I’d be interested! I did a major cleanup in my studio and found enough floor space for her equipment. She arrived midday yesterday and we filmed all afternoon. She was back this morning and spent the day with me. Phew- exhausting!

Thanks (husband) Ben for taking some great photos!

We had a great time together and I think we both got a peak into the work world of the other. I don’t know when the film will be up, but I will definitely be posting about it.

Eleanor’s birthday blanket

she got it so now I can post photos-

I made a similar blanket for Julian for Christmas. Eleanor said she wanted one too, so I promised one for her birthday- and here it is- only a month or so late! It is made of cashmere knit samples that a friend gave me. (nice to have friends who work at a cashmere knitwear company!)  The edge is  cut-up cashmere sweaters. I put flowers over some little holes, then added more to make it look pretty.

I was inspired to make these blankets by Betz White’s book- Warm Fuzzies. I highly recommend it for all the technical info on working with recycled woollies.

shrink plastic tags

I’ve been working on cleaning up the studio. One of my clean-up techniques involves finishing projects that I uncover- not recommended to get the clean-up done quickly!

So, I found a pile of shrink plastic that was cut into strips and I had used to make one batch of tags from. Before I finished or put my mess away, I’d gone on to something else. I finished up the tags- that is how I put my signature on my dolls, in case you were wondering- and was left with a pile of pieces, too small for tags but so obviously useful for something.

I had a mix of clear and translucent plastic. I drew a rough drawing of a girl on a piece of paper and used it as a guide. I laid each piece of plastic over the sketch and drew with a thin sharpie marker.

Time to cook them up. This is where things tend to go wrong for me. I have tried a heat gun and the oven- neither has worked very well. I preheated the oven, popped them in and watched. As usual, I was getting  ones that shrink more in one direction then another, ones that curl and won’t go flat again, ones that started turning brown before they were finished shrinking. I decided it was time to do some experimenting. I tried different places in the oven since right in the middle was not so good. First- the rack in the topmost position. Nope. Then all the way to the bottom- where we have our pizza stone. >Play Trumpets Here< It worked- perfectly! All the curled ones flattened! All the ones that shrunk horizontally more then vertically, evened out! Unfortunately the ones that had overcooked did not un-brown.

Here they are on my fingers for scale. Now I have a gaggle of girls and I really like them. But, I am not sure what to do with them. Any ideas?

projects this wednesday

well, I can’t post a picture of the project I just finished because it is a birthday present and I just mailed it out today- so I will post pictures when I know it has arrived. But, there is always something else.

I’m thinking about glasses and nerdy girls.

And, the studio project creeps forward. This was from last weekend-

And now- look what was delivered today! I found this ten drawer flat file at a recycle place in Boston called Extras for Creative Learning. I brought some supplies over last week to donate and had a big score! It needs a little cleaning up and some paint, but it is helping me think about how I will be organizing my new space. Also, giving me some more incentive to keep moving forward.

Another thing- have you ever heard that expression- “Nature abhors a vacuum”? Well, I think artists’ abhor open spaces- well empty tabletops anyway. I cleared most of the stuff out of the room to work on it, but somehow I seem to have started a new art project in there… I’m going to have to go back in there and rein things in again!

etsy update, links

I have finished 2 more tiny worlds so I now have 4 finished. I will be putting them into my etsy shop this afternoon.

the latest 2-

- some great photos of my house from Jen, when she came to the workshop.

- I got profiled over here- I love her very original approach. An art in itself.

- I am thinking about attending the NIADA conference again this year. Anybody else? I hadn’t thought about it, but the other day, I was fixing my website links page (it had disappeared for some mysterious reason) and clicked on the site. I haven’t been to the last 2 and now I am thinking it is time again.

I am going in too many directions these days. My head is full of studio fantasy thoughts, lists of everything that needs to happen in the studio room before it is ready for occupancy (file this in “trials of living in an old house”), dolls, how to do printmaking without a press and stay true to my work… not to mention spring and gardening thoughts… and that is just the top of the pile. So, I end up spending too much time on the computer instead of moving forward with anything!