I finished all my Wizard's props. I had already decided that he'd have a cord 'belt' as opposed to a leather one, and I made him a cloth bag for all his 'magic talisman', to hang from it. The bag has long fringes on the bottom, into which I tied even more 'magic' objects. I chose a nice letter opener sword, and it needed a scabbard, which I suspended from a leather strap tied around his waist.
Next, he needed a staff. Jan drilled a couple of small holes into the end of a thin wooden dowel so i could make a wire armature for the sculpted end. The decorative end that holds a small fancy marble, was sculpted of Apoxie. In the past I've always made the tops of the staff out of polymer clay, and that does make for better details, as it's easier to form into fine details, but I wanted the strength of Apoxie, so went with that this time.
All his props completed....
Like I'm not stressed out enough trying to work some magic on my Wizard's hair, I'm also trying to make a bodice pattern for Miho. I started way back in early January, then promptly dropped the ball when I got sick. When I tried to work with the patterns I'd designed back then, nothing would come together properly. I needed to start completely from scratch, so last night Jan helped me do a second duct tape form. I drew on the seam lines, and numbered all the sections....
I tucked in a Kleenex skirt, so she could maintain her modesty.
I think I seriously need to make her some panties.
After cutting apart the duct tape sections, I created the paper patterns, by tracing and
modifying some sections as I went along. Then I traced the patterns onto iron-on
interfacing, and ironed them onto red cotton to make the first test bodice....
Ready or not, it was time to glue on the wefting on my Wizard's wig cap. I used my trusty hot glue gun, knowing there's just the one chance to get it right. I started with the fringe around the inside front edge. Then started adding layers on the back....
I had made some wefting out of the combed 'Mandrake' mohair, and afterwards I wish I hadn't used that for the inside front edge, as the mohair wanted to stay in clumps and not spread evenly across
Oh well. Once it's glued on, it's too late. Just proceed and hope for the best....
Finally, with all the mohair strips glued on, and after a bit of initial combing......
His crazy, wild hairdo reminds me of the witch in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. It definitely needs some serious styling. The trick is getting him to look like what I want him to.
I've never liked making wigs, or styling my doll's hair. But I've done everything I could on my Wizard, so now I'm at the point where I have no choice anymore. I sewed some wefting....
After removing the paper backing, I applied some Gem Tack glue. It's supposed to be
permanent, and washable, so should hold the mohair fibres permanently in place.
When the glue dries, I will cut up the middle to make two rows of wefting...
The Whispering Grass wig tutorial suggests stitching around the outside
edge of the wig, to keep it from stretching out of shape. So I did.
Well, I'm finally at the point where I have to start on my Wizard's hair and beard. To help inspire, and give me confidence, I got out another old Wizard figure I made. This one isn't as old as the first one. Plus he has a much neater beard...Okay....I think I can do this.....
Time to choose the mohair. And just a quick word about "mohair". Many people mistakenly call Tibetan Lambskin 'mohair', but it's not. Tibetan lambskin is the pelt of the Tibetan sheep, and it's a by-product of when they are killed for their meat. Mohair, on the other hand, is sheared off a live goat - just like sheep - and then he (or she) goes on to grow another coat to be sheared again the following year. The length of the mohair is determined by how long a goat is left between shearing.
I have quite a large collection of mohair. It was all purchased from Edgewood Angoras a long time ago. They used to sell at doll shows, but went out of business many years ago. They had a farm with several mohair goats, and each one had a name. Each goat had it's own distinctive curl in their mohair. Younger goats had curlier hair, while the oldest goats hair was almost straight. After they sheared, cleaned and dyed their mohair, it was all packaged in baggies with the name of the goat it came from.
So, I've taken out all my white mohair to see which one I want to use. There is quite a difference between the different locks, as would be expected, since they come from different goats....
From the left - 'Mandrake' (uncombed), 'Mandrake' (combed), 'Gideon', and 'Cleopatra'.
If my guy was just going to be a Wizard, I'd go for the locks from 'Gideon' as they are the straightest, and suggest a very old man - like my little Wizard above. But he's also going to play the various Santa characters, so I'm not going to use the really straight mohair. The 'Cleopatra' locks are too curly. That leaves 'Mandrake'. I think I'll forgo the combed locks, and leave them for whenever I need to make a nice elegant Rococo wig. So that means using the uncombed ones from 'Mandrake'. The individual locks average 8 to 10" long, so I can cut them in half (or thirds) to make the wefting.
Well, enough time spent at my computer, putting off the inevitable....I better start sewing wefting.
Peach and Lisa took a walk down at the Bay, on a nice blustery winter day.
They are still dressed nice and warm, in the outfits intended for Paige and Angela.
I was catching up on the 'Iplekids Everyday' album, where all the single photos and pictures from the smaller photos shoots get posted, and I realized that I never posted the 'Don't cry over Spilled Milk' Day photos. That was back on February 11th.
Every day I have so many places to post things, and Facebook is so much
faster and easier, that this website sometimes gets forgotten.
Another photo I forgot to post was the Aquarium shot from Christmas...
While I'm working on updating my pictures, I've also opened the Wizard-Santa Creative Journey page to the public. I had been updating it whenever I did anything on him, but it was just private. But now it's open to everyone. However, I've used a temporary picture as the thumbnail for now, and will replace it with the final thumbnail when he's all done and photographed.
Now that I'm finally starting to feel better again, I'm trying to catch up with my photos.
I've made two albums so far - the 'Christmas 2016', and 'Under the Weather' albums....
I've also started a couple of other ongoing albums, but they aren't live yet.
One thing at a time. But at least I'm starting to catch up.
I decided that my Wizard wasn't going to be wearing the 'fat suit', that I made for when he's 'Santa', but that he needed to be his own skinny self. Which meant he needed something to wear under his robes. I decided on some tights and a long-sleeve shirt, so they wouldn't be adding a lot of extra bulk. The ragged ends of his sleeves will hide his rather unattractive, huge wrist joints.
Then I made the inner robe. He still looks nice and slim.
As much as I had been seriously tempted to steal my old OOAK Wizard's robes, I decided to make my new guy ones of his own. After all, That old Wizard was one of the very dolls I ever made, and I still really like him. I didn't have much in the way of interesting old brocades left - the ones I still have are 25 years old, and stores no longer carry anything like them. The only brocade fabric I had that was big enough, was a deep purple with dark green designs woven through it. It was left over from one of my large lady's gowns. Both sides of the brocade looked rather similar, and I had wanted something more contrasting for the insides of the sleeves and for the front facings. So I lined them with a purple tricot. It's very thin, and fine enough not to add any extra weight or thickness, and it's transparent enough to let some of the brocade design through.....
So now I'm working on his bag, and sword scabbard and belt. He'll need a staff too. I'm
not sure yet if I'll give him an 'over-cloak with hood', or a wizard hat - or both.
And then when all his clothes and accessories are done, he'll need his hair and beard.
We went to Value Village on Tuesday when it was Senior's Discount Day, and there had obviously been a huge donation of magnificent saris and other sparkly ethnic clothing since we'd last been there. There were woven saris, embroidered saris, and saris with yards and yards of heavily beaded edges. However, I did manage to control myself and only these four followed me home.
I have no idea what I'm going to make with them yet, as I still have way too many other things
I'm either working on, or want to make first. But at least I have them for when inspiration hits.
Martha Boers is an award-winning Canadian doll maker and costumer specializing in fantasy and historical-style costumes.