Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Work on the doll is speeding along, but its still a very slow process. I work in a reductive and additive way, meaning I carve away clay, then add layers on top. Carving baked polymer is very satisfying, as its texture is so dense, it reminds me a little of soap. Adding clay on top allows details that are much finer than carving.

The body is still in the shaping stage. Figuring out anatomy and jointing are the hardest parts of this doll. Making a figure that is completely correct is really difficult and somewhat odd looking, its as though softening muscle structure adds to the realism. Or, I just don't like seeing ropey tendens and bunchy muscles on my dolls. Anyway, I'm excited to get to the noodly bits, like hands and feet, which are so much fun to carve. The joints are going to be a pain, but I like a challenge.

Max likes sleeping in the afternoon sun, something he gets from me, I'm sure. I have memories of stretching out in front of the patio door after school, the sun streaming in and warming the carpet. Perfect napping conditions.

Max is a good baby. Quiet, relaxed and very good natured. He has moments when things aren't working for him and he lets me know (loudly). He loves riding around in his stroller, looking at everything and occasionally grabbing at objects that are close (like big sister).

Here's the family after enjoying the Southern Highlands show held downtown at the Civic Center. Its always fun to see all the amazing crafts, like carved birds and hand woven scarves. I really like witchy-looking wooden spoons and utensils and always find nice ones at the show. We found a twisty wood broom carved from a persimmon vine, collected from forests around town. Its nice and light and Azalea promptly claimed it as her 'magic broom, that's actually a princess in disguise'.

Well, the signing was less difficult than I imagined. It still felt odd, though, talking to people about the book, explaining what its about, how easy it is. Public relations is not my strong point. I do not enjoy center stage. I have no fear of talking in front of people, I'm not even shy, its just I'd rather be doing so many other things, like working on my doll. I'm so glad my friend J'aime came along and sat with me, helping to lighten the awkwardness. It turned out to be a good time, surprisingly enough.

This past week held a lot of instances of change for me. I've mentioned that I'm not very social, so organizing a get-together with my online doll friends is a bit different for me. Greg was very encouraging, baking fresh strawberry cupcakes for me to bring. We met at the new Barnes and Noble, and sat in a circle for a round of show and tell. It was nice to meet people that were into dolls as much as I am, getting excited over dress designs, shoe making and jewelry. I felt a little like an addict, nodding with understanding when someone would talk about the 'next doll'. I had so much fun, I decided it was o.k. to be social and had a craft night the next evening. I haven't always been so reclusive, I used to throw parties nearly every month and went on trips at a moments notice. Things are different now, I don't leave the house often and visit with friends only every once and awhile. I'm making an effort to widen my circle, so we'll see where it goes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Doll head sculpted from polymer clay and destined to be used as the master for a porcelain ball-jointed doll. This piece still needs ears, a good sanding, a coat of primer, another sanding, then if everything looks perfect, she goes into the mold. I work on her every time I have a spare moment, between feeding Max or reading with Azalea. I'm hoping to have her finished within the next couple of weeks.

A sketch of my most favorite people of all! I've had an image of this in my head as a photograph for awhile now. I just need to construct the bird wagon and pixie wings.

A nice sketch of Azalea at the bookstore, designing fairy houses for us to build. Its under construction, a process delayed by rain, heat and mosquitos.

The previous few days were spent in various states of befuddlement, annoyance and oddly, productivity. Too many emotions fighting for attention, I suppose. I couldn't sleep, so I stayed up really late, carving my doll with an xacto knife. I moved around like I was doll myself, stiff and wide eyed, my expression fixed in a daze. There were problems of all sorts to contend with, some with protecting our copyrights, scheduling conflicts, misunderstandings and arranging a doll meeting. Largest of my anxieties was the nervous tension surrounding my first signing of Enchanted Adornments. Which, by the way, will be at Chevron Trading Post in Asheville, NC this Saturday 2-5 pm. For some reason, I'm filled with an irrational worry that I might burst into tears or hysterical laughter, or talk non stop . I've spoken in front of groups of people countless times, yet here I am, swaying between excitement and dread. I asked one of my friends to sit with me, that way, if no one shows up, I wouldn't have to sit in utter mortification alone. Anyway, I can hardly think about it without imagining all manner of silly things happening. If you're in the Asheville area on Saturday, please stop by and say hello, it'll be fun! Plus, the store is wonderful, well stocked and totally worth visiting.

Monday, July 05, 2010

simple earrings

I made these the other day, thinking I'd send them to one of the magazines I submit to. I changed my mind and kept them. So many things are like that around here! Necklaces, bracelets, doll heads, beads.....my work table is overflowing again.

I really love these skull beads and I think they are a perfect match with these amazing black rutilated quartz drops.

These links are part of the new collection of pieces and are fun because you can choose between two designs. The drops are faceted andalucite, a beautiful stone that shifts between a champagne pink and foresty green, depending how you look at them in the light. The silver loop earrings are made by Saki Silver and are of very good quality.

liquid sand

This big and beautiful bead was made by the talented Martha Proctor, of Liquid Sand Studio . Greg was set up near her at the Baltimore show and picked up a small collection of her beads and marbles for me. This one has such gorgeous colors! I am not sure how I'm going to use this bead........

Greg collects handmade glass marbles and thought this luminous bead looked like a burst of stars in a celestial blaze. It put me in mind of tiny beings floating in the ocean or fiery balls flitting through the sky. There was some debate of the best description for this particular piece.

These are smaller beads, but still reminicent of undersea creatures and outerspace. I collect glass beads and use very few of them in jewelry. I think the bead with the greenish bumps is calling for handmade chain and maybe labradorite or green amethyst.