I'm starting to get inspired to make something other than fairies, so last night I ordered some boots for Tedros - some nice brown boots that will go with several of the outfits I would eventually like to make for him. When the boots arrive, maybe they will be the push I need to finally make him something. I checked my order status this morning and the boots are already "on shipping". I better hurry and finish those last fairies!
Mae at BJDCollectasy has written an article about my doll costuming, and it went up this morning! She even put up a link to the old M&M dolls. Looking through them it made me wish I had some of those outfits for my Tedros. I could picture him as a Musketeer, or Robin Hood, or MacBeth, or even Sinbad or the Buccaneer. And of course he'd need some beauties in matching period outfits to go with him. Some day...
Late yesterday afternoon I took advantage of a break in the weather to set up a little tea party in the garden among all the fallen crabapple petals. I hauled out all my old doll furniture my Dad made for me when I was just 3, and set them up on the patio. I sewed a nice tablecloth, but didn't have the patience to boil water to make real tea, so gave them instant coffee - with cookies and brownies. It was a lot of fun to photograph. (see more photos)
Good photos often require some help. Last weekend we took advantage of a break in the weather to go down to the lake with my three Celtic ladies and take some photos. I had discovered some old concrete retaining walls in the water's edge that could stand in for old castle ruins. Every time the sun came out Jan would have to shade everyone with the big umbrella - he had to hold it upside down so the handle wouldn't get in the photographs.
I've started my final fairy commission, and it will be the last time I'll be making that particular outfit since I've run out of most of the fabrics. I keep getting requests to remake some of my earlier SD fairy outfits in a different size but all those early fairy outfit fabrics are now depleted to the point where I can't make any more out of them. But I'm ready to move on to new designs anyway, so thought I'd make a few other new MSD fairy outfits while I was working on the commission. I found a soft, silky, variegated green scarf at the discount store last week and it needs to be made into a fairy outfit - I'm thinking a pale green butterfly fairy - a Luna Moth Fairy. I need to find a new fabric for wings since the fabric I've been using the last 6 months is finally all used up, and I have no idea what it was. I bought real silk last summer with the intent of learning how to make dyed silk wings, but I've never taken the time to learn how to do it, so it's still laying folded on my dining room table. One day I'll figure it out and then I'll probably wonder why I didn't try it sooner.
This week I'm busy tying up loose ends - packing up commissions and creating new Gallery pages for them, and making new tutorials and Favourite Photos pages to be posted this coming Sunday. Mae at BJDCollectasy will be doing an article on my work, and it goes up Sunday, so I thought I'd make some new photo pages and tutorials to coincide with the article. I've been doing a lot of doll costume photography this spring and sometimes it's a challenge to keep things neatly sorted, especially when doing photo sessions with multiple dolls with interchangeable outfits. Anyway, I think I finally have everything neatly sorted out, and there's still one more page to make - the 'Celtic Invasion' - a series of photos of three of my models, all in similar outfits photographed in several locations.
One of my new tutorials will be on making a Tibetan Lambskin wig in three different sizes. The other will be a more advanced wired wing tutorial with lots of different patterns.
Well, gotta go pack up that last new outfit, and then start my last commission and when that's done, then I can start something new again. I'd better work fast since I have four dolls standing around in their undies just waiting for something new to wear, and I always said I didn't want dolls standing around 'naked'. But now that we finally have spring, I also need to take time out to plant some flowers in my garden! Busy, busy, busy...!!
When the sky cleared we went down to the lake to take doll photos. I had spotted a crabapple tree on the spit there the other day, and it had branches right down at ground level - perfect for a photo! And sure enough Layla looked lovely there in her spring dress.
It's funny how the places you always overlook can be just the perfect spot for taking photos. I was very disappointed with the photos taken at the lake down at Lakeridge Rd where Marianne and I used to always take our doll photos years ago. So, while exploring closer to home the other day, we went to the Frenchmen's Bay spit and found an even better spot. There's a nice reasonable wide stoney beach, rocks in the water, and the shore curves so there are trees in the background across the water. And in the easterly direction towards the nuclear plant there's some old concrete retaining walls partly in the water which look an awful lot like castle ruins. It's also nice and private so I don't have to worry about on-lookers gawking at what we are doing.
Finished Cuprit's Celtic outfit and went to the lake to take some photos. Unfortunately with the water levels being so high from all the rain this spring, there wasn't much of a beach, and all the rocks were well in the water. But I did manage to take a few good photos. I'm saving the full-length views, but just had to share one close-up. Maybe tomorrow I can find a spot in the backyard to take some more photos, and then it's down to the studio for 'official' photos of all the different layers.
I've always used seed beads to simulate tiny studs on my doll's leather armour in the past, but for the larger BJDs the irregular seed beads seem too 'messy'. So for my new Celtic Maiden outfits I'm using perfectly round gold and silver beads to simulate the studs on the edges of the belt and wrist guards. I find the roundness of the beads looks much better. I had wanted to do both of the new outfits with 'gold studs', but I don't have enough gold beads, and couldn't find more anywhere within a reasonable distance, so the second outfit will have 'silver studs'.
I'm finally getting around to finishing the last two Celtic Maiden outfits I started last summer. Since then Cuprit has joined the family, so one of the outfits will be for her. I cut the waistband off the shorter of the two skirts, both of which were intended to be SD-size, and added a fitted yoke at the top to make the skirt long enough for a Super Gem. Now I have to make all the accessories - the belts, wrist guards, leather bags, and jewelry. To keep the cost down, I will not be including any swords or shields with the outfit. If someone really wants them, they will be made separately and cost extra.
My tutorial on making a ragged-edged, stained fairy skirt went online at BJDCollectasy today too.
I finally finished the new dresses for Miki and Layla, although they fit Asa as well. The Kaye Wiggs MSD and the Iplehouse JID have similar sized torsos, so if the dresses have short sleeves with elastic, then any one of them can wear them.
It's supposed to rain the next six days so I'm trying to take photos today before the plants in the garden get too big. So far I've only taken Asa outside for photos, and I'm really liking the results. Here's Asa in one of her friend's new dresses......
...and here are the other two little cuties......
Martha Boers is an award-winning Canadian doll maker and costumer specializing in fantasy and historical-style costumes.