Well, Nelly's Saffron outfit is on it's way to the Post Office, and today I start something new. Fridays are never a good day to start a new project because every Friday night I have to clean up every single thing in my work space for when my grandchildren come over Saturday morning. So today I'm tackling a very quick commission which should take just one day, then spend the weekend going through books for ideas for the next commission, which is a Victorian ball gown. I will need to spend some time in my supply closet going through the boxes of fabrics, laces, and ribbons putting possible colour combinations together. After that there's something for Tedros, and quite a few fairies coming up - six in an assortment of different sizes and colours.
When my Limhwa Mono comes back I'll see if it would be possible to remove the costume on my old "Prince Adrian" figure and remake it to fit him. I'm hoping so, and then he can inherit the name "Adrian" too, as "Mono" is just too objectionable. I also want to see if "Princess Blanchette's" elaborate white gown can be removed and remade to fit Isar. I think she'd look amazing in it. I'm really hoping those old costumes will be removable, as in the very beginning I only ever sewed costumes onto a doll and never used glue. They will need a bit of altering because the old dolls are a little taller than the ones I want to remake the costumes for. The old dolls themselves are not that great - they were among the very first sculpted - so I wouldn't mind getting rid of them.
Well, better get to it......it's going to be another hot day.
I finished the Saffron ensemble for Nelly last night, and took a few quick photos this morning.
Now to take all the studio shots and put it up for sale.
Nelly's sari outfit is coming along nicely. I just need to sew on some flowers, make her a necklace and the hair ornament. Then she'll be done. In the meantime I have a few more photos from the trip. The first one was one of the very first doll photos taken on our trip. It was taken at the Badlands in South Dakota. It was so hot and sunny, and I was really worried about too much sun on Kyle and Aeran. It was also the first place I tested out my newly-made tri-pod doll stands, which were only moderately successful, so this shot was taken using the standard old-fashioned stands with supports hidden behind a doll's leg, and the bases covered with "local gravel".
Then, another photo of Byuri with the totem poles at Thunderbird Park in Victoria. We had just come off the ferry and breezed through Customs. The ferry from Port Angeles at the north of Washington state sails right into the inner harbour of downtown Victoria. I had been nervous about Customs - I always am - but the entire re-entry area was extremely tiny and Customs had already pulled aside two RVs and the search area was full. I was surprised and relieved to just be waved through. So, in that stunned state of mind we parked in the nearby Museum parking lot and took two dolls to the totem poles for some photos. We were downtown in a busy location, but I was oblivious to any passers-by. That was one of the only times I shot the dolls in public.
And finally, the first photo I've processed from a series of Aeran taken in the
debris field of the Athabasca Glacier, at the Columbia Icefields in Jasper.
Well, I better get back to Nelly's costume. When she's done, I'll take some photos.
Nelly's Sari outfit is coming along nicely. The pink ruffled slip, the veil, and her separate sleeves are finished. The sleeves had to remain open for their entire length because her hands are too wide open for a tight-fitting closed sleeve, so they have snap closures all the way from top to bottom. Top and bottom edges have been beaded with picot stitch.
I made a bodice pattern and sewed the basic bodice. The neckline has been beaded and the shoulder trim sewn on - I was surprised to see when I picked the trim off the waistband of the original skirt, that it had been sewn on wrong side out. The beaded front panel for the bodice is all ready too, but it won't get sewn on until the skirt is attached - which is the next step - cut out and sew the skirt on. The skirt will need to be lined to cover all the loose threads and messy sewing on the back-side from when the original garment was made in India. It's amazing just how badly the original sari outfit was sewn. Sure, it looks beautiful and sparkly with all the embroidery and sequins, but when I took a really close look the sewing of the garment itself was very poor. Most trim edges have to be reinforced with zig-zag. The fine fabrics are 100% polyester so I can't iron it directly, but need to always press from the inside or with a cloth.
Thought I'd post a photo of my four grandchildren. Yesterday was Natalia's fourth birthday,
so everyone was together to celebrate. I really liked this photo of the four of them.
From left to right; Rachel (5 1/2) Teagan (4 1/2), Andrew (2), and Natalya (4).
Cake & photo by Marianne.
I'm well on my way to making Nelly an outfit from the orange Indian sari ensemble I bought years ago. There's already been two other outfits made from this same sari - one for SD and another for MSD. There will still be plenty of embroidered and sequined sections as well as decorative medallions left over, so if I really wanted to I could piece together something totally different, but I don't feel like doing that - at least not right now - so this will probably be the last.
I have so many more great fabrics like this just waiting to be made into doll costumes, but my commission list keeps me from getting to them. Which only confirms my decision to stop taking any more commissions. I need the freedom to be able to make what inspires me, when inspiration hits, and not have to put away cool new fabrics for years and hope I'm still motivated by it if and when I ever get a chance to use them. I love shopping for fabrics, but there's no point when I never get to use anything new I buy. I have a box full of white Rococo wigs I bought two years ago, which are meant to be decorated to go with fancy Rococo gowns - which I even have all the fabrics for. There's a large selection of amazing brocades for Renaissance gowns for all sizes of dolls. So far I've made a few for the big EIDs, but I think they'd look amazing on MSD dolls too. I'd really like to make a series of dark fairies with bat or raven wings, and I'd love to make some sets of cute Hallowe'en costumes. I'd like to try Elizabethan, Tudor, and elaborate ballet costumes too. I even found a source for doll-size tiaras so I could make a set of high glitz pageant outfits. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but I everything takes time, and ideas flood in way faster than I can turn anything out. Right now all those costumes are just dreams. I better just get back to Nelly's orange dress......
Well, all my stuff has been unpacked and put away, I've done all the preliminary photo work I was planning, posted a selection of doll photos from the trip, updated my other photo webpage, and am finally ready to get back to work. Problem is, the first two outfits on my commission list are rather complicated labour-intensive items needing patterns designed from scratch, so I think I'll start with a simple Nelly outfit first, just to get me back into sewing again.
Actually she arrived yesterday. Cinnamon is happy to finally have an elf-friend of her very own.
The only outfit I had available for Tilly was the last pink lace ensemble, so it will be her's for the foreseeable future. She has huge eyes, and came with size 12 glass eyes with colourless irises, which I didn't care for. I tried other size ten eyes, but they were definitely too small. The size twelves are a bit big in my opinion, so I put them in side-glancing. I don't think they make size eleven eyes, but if they do, then I should get her some. Tilly is such a lovely sculpt, with her delicate features and cute pointy elf ears. Both girls are by Kaye Wiggs, and eventually I'll make them some cute elf
My Aeran had an "accident" while we were on our trip. Because it was so windy everywhere, everyone's wigs often got very messy. Every once in awhile I'd have to "reset" their wigs. I'd take the wigs off, put a clear plastic bag over the doll's head, put the wig back on, then spray with hair spray and let it dry somewhat before taking off the bag.
Well, one morning Aeran's wig had been freshly washed the night before, so it was all soft and fluffy. When I went outside to take a few scenery shots it was very windy - not good for a soft Tibetan lambskin wig! I was in a hurry and just put a paper towel around Aeran's neck and folded another to cover face - then sprayed the hair spray. I had to hold her as we drove to our first photo location, but when we got out of the vehicle I was shocked to see white spots all over the side of Aeran's head. I felt devastated! The spots were permanent. I had ruined my doll! I almost felt like quitting with the photography, but I was lucky, the paper towel over Aeran's face had limited the white spots to the side of her face and neck where I could cover them with her hair. I loved my Aeran the way she was, and now she's going to need a brand new faceup and body blush.
It's embarrassing to admit I did this to my own doll, but I figured I'd better post a warning to anyone else contemplating using hair spray on their doll while they have the wig on. I don't know about MSC, but hair spray and Testor's dull cote definitely react with each other. Be warned!
This past winter I submitted several photos for Springbok's annual puzzle contest, and one of my photos tied for second place, and will be available as one of their puzzles soon. I took this photo a few Christmases ago - it's a combination of some very fancy cookies I'd received from both my daughter and my sister as Christmas gifts. As one of this year's winners, I receive a cash prize, and two free puzzles with my design - just what I need thank my two cookie contributors! With the cash prize I can afford to buy another one for myself.