Byuri arrived back home just in time to celebrate Native American Day. She's wearing her traditional Pacific Northwest regalia, while Elin is wearing the traditional Cheyenne outfit. Together they pose with the all-powerful, legendary Thunderbird.
I'm ever so slowly getting used to the new Weebly system. My website may still look the same from the outside, but the internal behind-the-scenes workings have been completely overhauled and changed. I had my Favourite Photos page with Jim Henson's party all set to go, but couldn't figure out how to add captions or make links from a photo. I was starting to panic, wondering how I'd be able to get people to see albums in the Galleries and Favourite Photos if I couldn't make links anymore, so took a break for lunch. When I came back, I had to search the Internet to find an instruction manual for the new system. Okay, so that's how it's done now! Simple enough IF you know how. I doubt I'd ever have figured it out on my own. I hate change!!
Anyway, I figured it out, and everything is working fine for me again, so you can see all the party pictures by clicking on the image below.....
I picked up all my dolls from Charie's last night. I was so happy that she had been able to remove all the white hairspray spots from Aeran, my tan Narae without damaging her original faceup. She was good as new!
Not wanting to put her back into her Celtic Maiden outfit that she's been wearing the past year and a half, and not having many slim MSD outfits, I put her into the Mother Nature outfit, and just pinned the back so it wouldn't fall off. A nice red wig, and she has a whole fresh new look.
And then there's Asa. I had asked Charie to give her a new, more dramatic look, with smokey eyes, and dark lips, but not to go too far overboard. I've often liked other people's more dramatic faceups, but when I had just a few dolls, it would have been too limiting as a costume model. But now, with Soa joining the Iple doll family, and able to stand in as model for costumes Asa would have in the past, I could finally take the plunge. Asa was going to become Queen of the Night and needed something stronger and more assertive. Well, Charie did a great job!
At first I wasn't going to take a photo and share Asa's new look until I had her costume completed - and then I'd reveal her new faceup. I even considered keeping her boxed away in order to resist temptation. But that only lasted a few hours too. So here she is....old and new....
She's gone from shy young teen to glamour babe. We even gave her some smaller sized eyes - 8 mm - in order to give her a more direct, piercing gaze. Now I have to hurry up with the three outfits I'm working on so I can get to Asa's gown. She doesn't look like the type of person who'd appreciate having to stand around waiting for too long.
The Iplekids Yahoo group I belong to just started a new photo challenge - a Colour Game. Photos have to be new, taken especially for the challenge. We aren't supposed to use older photos from our archives. This week's colour is White, and only one of my Iple dolls has anything white.
Well, Soa was standing around being substitute model for Asa the past few weeks, and she was all in white, wearing pantaloons, a white wig, and test bodice. Well, that's not particularly attractive, so I added some lace, tulle and flowers. Much better!
Charie is finished all my dolls. Byuri had a fresh spray of matte sealer to get rid of all her shiny spots. Maya was tightened, glue-sueded and given a fresh coat of sealer. Aeran, my lovely Narae with the hair spray damage was reluctantly supposed to be stripped and redone, but Charie managed to remove all the white spots on her face and neck without any damage to her original faceup - which is wonderful news - she just needed a fresh spray of sealer afterwards. Asa has been given a whole new faceup and manicure, but I've not been sent any photos because she's supposed to be a surprise. I'm hoping to be able to go and pick them all up this evening.
My girls are still having loads of fun with Jim Henson, but they agreed to stop and pose for a group photo. Everyone look at the camera! I just wish Byuri had been here to join in the fun.
I'm frustrated my sewing isn't going as fast as I'd like, but it's not been a normal week. Jan's been home sick all week, and working from home. Which means my kitchen, which is still under renovations (for the past six months already) isn't getting anywhere either. I'm having to alternate between my sewing and touching up some stained glass windows for the upper kitchen, and the glass stain has terrible fumes. At least it's nice weather so my plants can still be outside.
Weebly decided to update and 'improve' their system, which means lots of new icons and things to figure out and get used to. I knew it was coming and had opted to stay with the old system way back when they asked us a few months back, but now there's no choice. I HATE change!!!
The very first male head my sister ever sculpted was Jim Henson. When she brought it over on that Sunday afternoon in March of 1991, we were so excited, I spent the rest of the day gluing on his hair and beard, one tiny bit a a time. Bits of mohair, human hair, and synthetic hair, trying to recreate that 'salt & pepper' hairstyle and beard. I dressed him as he always appeared at the beginning of every Jim Henson Hour episode - a knit sweater, slacks, and white sneakers. The finished figure has had a prized place in my collection ever since. Well, since today would have been Jim Henson's birthday, my girls decided to throw him a puppet party.
Even the Storyteller's dog came. In fact he was invited as a nod to Brian Henson, Jim's son,
who was the voice and puppeteer who played the dog in the Storyteller series, and later
took control of the Muppet empire after the death of his father.
The party is set up on my dining room table, and this is just the very first shot,
but I was so excited to see how the firs photo turned out, that I just had to share.
Happy Birthday Jim Henson! We all miss you!
For years - all my life, in fact - I've been frustrated by how the nap on velvet and velour makes it travel, necessitating the need for hand-basting every seam first. But worse than the hand-basting is the frustration of trying to fit a pre-cut lining to the velvet pieces. Even when the lining has been cut the exact same shape as the velvet, the velvet squirms and moves and in the end it's never a neat fit. So the other day I thought I'd try cutting the lining a bit bigger in places, and then trying to fit things together, but that didn't work out very well either. See green vest below.
Okay, if that didn't work either, then how about just pinning the reinforced velvet face-down onto the lining fabric, and cutting loosely around it? Which I did with the vest on the right. Then it doesn't matter how much the velvet travels, and there's no trying to make a pre-cut lining fit. After sewing the neck and armhole seams, I can trim the lining to fit. Works much better! Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
I've decided to make a third 'Jennet" outfit - this one in browns. Everything for all three outfits has been cut out, but the sewing is on hold at the moment, as my dolls get ready for a special birthday party tomorrow.
Today is National Appreciate an Elephant Day, and what better way to celebrate than to have the opportunity to play with some baby elephants? Good thing Erzulie has been practicing her weights, because one of them kept wandering off, and couldn't be coaxed back voluntarily......
Speaking of appreciating elephants, the three at the Toronto Zoo are finally going to be sent to PAWS elephant sanctuary in California. They are scheduled to leave right after Thanksgiving, so if anyone wants to go to the zoo and see them one last time, it better be in the next three weeks.
I'm working on pantaloons; one pair for a JID, two for Kaye Wiggs outfits, and one for my Queen of the Night. I have three Jennet outfits in different colours that I'm working on, and for now my Queen of the Night is being fit in between. I'm sure that may change once I get past the shoes and into the skirt embellishment, and I get addicted to the beading and can't put it down, but I'm going to see if this working on something for myself between outfits for sale will actually work.
Scale is a big consideration in doll costuming. Even though they are about the same height, Kaye Wiggs dolls are little girls, and therefore a much larger scale than a JID, so they can have heavier fabrics, and larger scale laces. A JID needs finer fabrics and laces. Here's a comparison of two pairs of pantaloons under construction.....
The one on the right is just standard cotton broadcloth. The one on the left is a much finer cotton 'gauze', which crinkles very nicely, so suits a smaller scale figure. I also sewed a fine light blue lace insert into the pantaloon legs - after all, being royalty, she deserves fancier underwear.
The finished pantaloons.....
I found a cotton test bodice and put it on Soa in order to protect her modesty as long as she doesn't have anything proper to wear above the waist - which won't be for some time.
I embellished the pantaloon cuffs with blue ribbon, matching silk ribbon bows and a mulberry paper rose, then brushed on some glitter.....
I was so incredibly relieved to find the little paper roses. I knew I had a zip-lock bag with purple and blue mulberry paper roses, which I'd been saving specially for this project, but when I went to get the baggie out of my "Queen of the Night Supply Bin", they weren't there. I checked the bin twice. I checked my miniature flowers box twice. I looked under my desk, in all the little corners, but they were nowhere to be found. I started looking online for sources to buy them - and found them available at very good prices in the UK and Thailand. But it would take a month for them to come, and I wanted them NOW. I know of only one place to get them here, and that's at Sussman's Bridal on Queen Street in downtown Toronto. Well, that's one huge time-consuming, and expensive jaunt, plus Jan was too ill to go there. I recently got some paper flowers at Michael's but don't know if they come in purples and blues, plus they are extremely expensive there. But it was the closest solution. So I tried seeing if I could print out the weekly coupons, but they wouldn't load - "no coupons available". The Internet kept sending me to the local Pickering store - which doesn't open until this coming Friday - so of course, there weren't any valid coupons to be had there yet. Finally printed some for the Whitby store, but by then it was too late to go. Feeling totally frustrated, I sat down in my work space, and noticed the corner of a little baggie peeking out from under the lavender T-shirt laying there waiting to be cut up for tights fabric. My flowers!!! They were on my work table the whole time!!!
Today is 'International Banana Festival Day', and as luck would have it, I found some real miniature bananas at the grocery store this past week - so bought a small bunch.
"Look, Mom got us some bananas, and they are getting too ripe, so we need to eat them"
Miki wasn't impressed, "This one is too ripe! I't's kind of mushy!"
But Layla knew exactly what to do with an overly ripe banana......
Went to Fabricland last night to stock up on some thread and sewing machine needles. Figured we'd better go ASAP since Jan will probably be too ill on the weekend to go out. I also found some pink fabrics for an upcoming 'Summer Goddess'. then went to Value Village and found a large black and white striped top to cut up for tights. I also scored some small stuffed toys for some upcoming Special Days photos.
Today I'd like to finish Soa's pantaloons, and get started on sewing two 'Jennet' outfits - one blue, the other green.
Martha Boers is an award-winning Canadian doll maker and costumer specializing in fantasy and historical-style costumes.