Today we are experiencing another of our 'mini-blizzards' - a bit of snow, soon to be followed by rain so it all gets washed away - again. It looks pretty outside right now, so I thought I'd better go take advantage of it. So, out went Narae and Maya.
Went to pick up Kyle this evening. Charie did a great job - like usual. She gave him a touch of a five-o'clock shadow like a 15-year old just starting to grow facial hair. I stole Maya's wig to see how Kyle would look with hair. I'm thinking I should make him a brown or dark auburn wig.
I also stole Maya's shirt, but it was too small. Kyle is way bigger, and much more muscular, so the two cannot share their clothes at all (is that a sigh of relief coming from Maya?)
Kyle has the eyes he came with, and I really like the colour, but I want to try one size smaller to see if it makes him look a little more alert.
The first of the two 'Christine' ensembles is finally done! What I really want is to take
some 'mood shots' in a theatrical setting, but for now this studio shot will have to do.
I couldn't believe my eyes this morning when I spotted two robins out in the backyard. I've NEVER seen robins so early in the year, but then this has been one non-winter for the record books. I just hope they didn't come back too soon, as we can still get a lot of lousy weather, and if past decades are any proof, spring is nowhere near yet.
I had to grab my camera and put on the tele-photo lens, and try take some photos. The robin in the urn has snow all over his beak, as he was looking for something to eat. It's going to be some time still before there's any worms or bugs.
I'm still slogging along on the two Christine outfits. I really hadn't expected them to take so long, but then we've been sick a lot lately. It's Jan's third week working from home. Is this what retirement is going to be like? Anyway, the first dress is almost done, and it's looking very impressive. I washed the second set of shawls today and the colour held this time. The gold glitter is still a bit stiff, but otherwise the shawls are quite nice. I still need to figure out how to make a tiara. I don't do metal-work, so it will probably have to be embellished fabric - gold lame backed with interfacing, and all beaded up.
Why is it that whenever someone sees one of your photos that they think is amazing, the first thing they always say is "Wow! What kind of camera do you use?" I've been asked that so many times in the last week it's really starting to get to me.
If someone shows up at a potluck dinner with the most delicious desert, do people say "Wow, that was amazing! What kind of oven do you use?" Or if you sew something really spectacular do people say "Wow, that's gorgeous! What kind of sewing machine did you use?"
No, they don't! But with photography it's almost a given. Maybe it's because almost everyone can snap a picture these days - including with their phones.
Photography is so much more than just "snapping a picture". It's about lighting, focus, composition, watching for background and tension points, and it requires a lot of patience - and learning to really "see". The camera is just part of the whole deal. It's a tool, and just like a computer, it can only do what it's told. Yes, it helps to have a decent camera, but the quality of the photos taken with it is not directly proportional to the cost of the equipment.
I bought a great little book once; "How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies" by Darwin Wiggett. I bought it mainly for tips on where to be at what time of day for the best shots. In his book he says it's not expense of the camera, but the person behind it that makes the photograph. He relates a story of one time when he was set up with his tri-pod waiting for the sun to set, and someone came over and asked what he was taking a photo of. Darwin told him to look through the view-finder. The other tourist immediately exclaimed "Wow! That is one amazing camera you have there!", while around his neck he had a camera easily worth double the one Darwin was using.
Anyway, that's enough of a rant for today - I just had to get that off my chest. And the next time someone wants to know what camera I use, I'll just tell them - again - it's a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. My main lens is a Canon Ultrasonic EFS 17-85mm zoom with Image Stabilizer. My tele-photo lens is a Canon Ultrasonic 70-300mm zoom with Image Stabilizer. Both lenses have UV filters on them.
I was taught picot beading by my friend Lucy Garvin many years ago, and I've used it a lot ever
since. Picot beading is a wonderful decorative technique to finish a neckline or sleeve edge on
that special outfit. It's also a great way to camouflage a thick fabric edge at the neck opening.
I've put together a free tutorial on how to make a Picot Beaded edge, for BJDCollectasy,
a free online BJD news magazine. To go directly to the tutorial, click on photo above.
Maya's 'Hobbit' outfit is now complete - he now has a coat along with his scarf and mittens.
That should keep him warm. I also tried on a different wig just for a change. The coat isn't perfect, especially in the back, and it's a bit big, so the pattern will need some adjusting
before I ever make another. I embroidered the 'button-holes' as I wasn't going to try
make real ones. I think the coat has a distinct 'colonial' feel to it
I'm still slogging along on the panels for Christine's overskirt. I thought her wig wasn't perfect for the character, so decided to make a few changes to it. I'm not a big fan of making wigs, so just adding a few extensions and curly bangs to the existing wig will hopefully be good enough. A few hours on the heating duct and I can take out the curlers and see how it turned out.
I've decided Maya's 'Hobbit' outfit needs an overcoat, so I drafted up a pattern. I had thought if we got the snow they were predicting, and we felt up to it this weekend, we could go out and take some doll photos in the snow. Well, the snow didn't materialize, and the coat isn't very far either. Better go take some more Advil, and see about that coat!
Ordered my "birthday doll" today. She's the limited release Isar, Archer of Fire from Iplehouse - the first JID in their Elemental Guardian series. I'm getting her in real skin, with the large bust. There were only two choices - Glamour and Big (which is the smaller of the two). No costume or weapons, or faceup. She's supposed to take 50-60 days to ship, so that puts her nicely in mid to late April - just in time for my birthday.
Martha Boers is an award-winning Canadian doll maker and costumer specializing in fantasy and historical-style costumes.