a tattooed lady

More of the skeleton toile- I’ve got a good amount so it will be showing up regularly.

I am getting a few things finished but I seem to be spending all kinds of time doing boring prep work for the show- finding new tablecloths, buying another suitcase, spending half a day trying to find a box the right size to ship booth parts, then packing it and getting it mailed. It is amazing how time-consuming all of the invisible part of show prep can be. And I have a deadline for new prototypes but that is another story. So really, it is just my typical and expected pre-trip freak out around here. Luckily for me, one of the benefits of getting older is that I recognize my own patterns and try not to take myself and my anxieties too seriously.

and the last lady for now

This lady is the last of the partially finished tattooed ladies that I had stacked up. She was the one who needed the most love and came very close to ending up in the trash bin. I put her together many months ago- last summer I think? She was “done” but I wasn’t happy with her face. I kept looking at her. Eventually I decided to un-pick the embroidery, a little at a time. Maybe it was the eyebrows that were wrong. Nope. Try taking off the eyes. Still not good. On and on until the face was gone. And then the hair too. There ended up being a sort of shadow where the embroidery had been. I tried washing. Well, that faded the dyed fabric of the face. At that point I tossed her into the think-about-later pile and there she stayed for many months.

I used a very traditional fix on her. I cut out a piece of new fabric and carefully stitched it onto the front of her face. This is a technique used to fix cloth dolls for many generations. When I first got interested in doll-making, I did a lot of research into early painted cloth dolls. Apparently when some of these dolls came into museum collections, they were found to have many layers of painted faces. How fantastic is that!

So now she has a new embroidered face and a new hair-do and I couldn’t be happier with how she turned out!

and a third lady

Another on-the-wall photo. I use a type of drapery hook to hang them- called tieback pins. Here is a photo in use.

I had a hard time with the photos. I might have to go get some other color backdrop boards! She ended up being so pale against the white background.

All three ladies. I love how they come out different sizes even though I am using essentially the same pattern. It all has to do with the stretch of the fabric.

tattooed lady 2

Thanks for your input so far on online classes- it is really helping me think about the big picture as I am taking my class. I won’t be making any decisions for a while. And here is my next lady-

I watched a video tutorial about taking photos for your Etsy shop. The person talked about taking a photo of how the product will be used. That gave me the idea of taking a photo of her on the wall since that is how most people display them.

tattooed lady

I’m still working on my pile of partially completed dolls. Now for the tattooed ladies.

It is hard to see but the hair is black with dark blue dots.

She has applied breasts- hard to see in the other photos. And see the cherub in the toile?

tattooed lady

I am diving into the pile of unfinished projects. This lady has been watching over my desk for several months. Unfortunately she wasn’t seeing much since she had no eyes or any other face parts.

I tried something new with her hair and I’m happy with the result-

I sewed a separate piece in a sort of crescent moon shape and then sewed it onto the back of her head.

Body details-

I am hoping to focus on all the UFOs (unfinished objects) this month. That means it will be a month of a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Sounds like fun! Who knows what I will discover and where I’ll end up.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions for more listening. So much goodness! Also, I am going to spend some time thinking about and working on expanding the patterns for my little girl doll. This is a good time of year for me to do that. I’ve already started a list of things I’d like to make for her. Thanks for the encouragement!