Thursday, May 28, 2009

Apologies

Sorry I haven't been around for awhile. Barnabus, the baby bird I've been taking care of, developed some swelling around his eyes last week. I took him to the Wildlife Rehab Center in Fort Lauderdale since they have excellent wildlife vets. Unfortunately he has Avian Pox. It's untreatable in wild birds and usually fatal. They suspect his parents may have succumbed to the disease which is why he was orphaned. Poor Barny. I left him at the rehab center since they have the facilities to make him more comfortable than I could.

I did manage to complete a cloth doll for my Aunt this week. Amelia, is for a woman who is a certified pilot and enjoys Winnie the Pooh.



She needs a little bit of cleaning up and then she'll be off.

I've decided to make the little girl from my last post into a hulder. My grandfather grew up in Norway and when he would go back to visit his family he would bring my sister and I books on Trolls and the Huldra. Hulders are a mountain people, the women are very beautiful but depending on where you are they are rumored to have either cow's tails, fox tails or to be hollow from behind. When a hulder marries a farm boy in a Christian church her tail falls off and she becomes a normal wife although some say she will not age and when the husband dies she will return to the mountains. My little hulder will have a cow's tail peeking out from under her bunad (the traditional folk dress of Norway). Unfortunately her bunad will have to be very plain compared to the actual thing considering the years of intricate embroidery that can go into one. Maybe I'll liven it up with ribbon instead since I definitely lack embroidery skill.



The illustration of a hulder that was actually in my book as a little girl! Brings back memories, I remember how shocked my 6 year old self was with the nudity.



One type of local bunad. Like Scottish tartans they vary from region to region.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Works in Progress

Sorry for the shoddy camera work. Just some quick pics of some on-going projects. Also excuse the disaster area that is my work space.



Little girl's head, still being sculpted.



Swan princess, sanding and painting phase.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lucinda






Ahh finally got something (almost!) done. This is Lucinda she is a naughty girl who does not play well with her toys including the unfortunate Wilbur. I need to take a little bit better photos to get her bloomers in the shot. I think they may be my favorite part. I think I might tweak her hair a it more, get rid of some of the strays but otherwise she is done phew. My super mother-in-law loaned me her camera so I'm not out of commission after all!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Short Update!



I haven't been around much as a mentioned in my previous post because of Barnabus my little adoptee. Fredrica went to a new home this week so I'm down to only Martha in my shop and I need to up production, unfortunately its difficult with feedings more than every hour. On top of that my camera stopped working this afternoon for the second time since February. Sigh just one of those days.

This is my baby, Ms. A, resting her head on my arm. She is not fond of the bird.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

It's been awhile since I've posted...Sorry! I was driving home the other day ad I found a baby bird in the road being stalked by one of our local feral cats. I shoo'ed the cat away but of course he didn't go far and I moved the bird out of the road. I hunted high and low for the nest he had fallen out of but no luck. I could have left him there and let the cat have his meal but I'm a softy and I took poor Barnabus home. I wish I could have found the nest to pop him back in but most of the trees there are Royal Palms so if the nest were up there it would be about 15 feet out of my reach.

I'm not condoning taking fledglings and nestlings home, please don't get me wrong. Many times parent birds will tend to the young while they are on the ground. The idea that if you touch a baby bird the parents won't care for it anymore is not true. If the bird is in danger and you can place it back in it's nest do so! The parents have a poor sense of smell and are more than happy to continue caring for their young. Unfortunately in this case it was either leave him to die or take him home. So far Barny is doing well, he's eating hamburger meat and hopping around. He has feathers on his back but still has down on his head and breast. Because he has infant plummage I have no idea what species he is although probably blackbird or cowbird based on the most common types here.I'm doing my best not to stress him out by just letting him be when he isn't being fed. Hopefully he'll make it although I have read baby birds have a 90% fatality rate. Once he's able to fly a bit I'll release him back into the wild. Well back to my round the clock feedings!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Advice Please!


I have a recent commission to create a doll for a woman who is a certified pilot and a Winnie the Pooh fan. I was thinking a cloth doll dressed as an aviatrix like Amelia Earhart and her companion Pooh with his own aviator goggles. I'm trying to figure out how to make the goggles, I have no experience with metal crafts so soldering together frames will be beyond my capabilities. Does anyone have any experience with constructing something like this?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mittens



Finally I pulled out an unfinished piece and have been working on it! Huzzah! Lucinda is something of a troublemaker but she has an oh-so-sweet expression down to an art form. She's been sitting around for a few weeks unpainted but she finally is getting a little color and believe it or not I'm happy with her thus far.

I also wanted a chance to showcase my favorite doll of all time Mittens the Thunderkitten. While dating my now husband we saw an episode of American Dad where the family moves to Iran and Stan takes on a second wife he introduces her to his American wife saying "This is my second wife. Her name is unpronounceable so I just call her Thundercat." J and I started calling each other Thundercat. Then on a trip to Mexico with my parents and sister I purchased Mittens from a man selling hand-carved pieces at Chichen Itza and Mittens the Thunderkitten was born. I can't think of anything I don't love about my Mittens.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fredrica is finally done



Here is the beautiful Fredrica finally finished. Hoping to get her up on my etsy shop by this afternoon.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Schizo



Here's another WIP picture of Fredrica. As you can see her costuming is beginning to take shape. I wanted her to wear something soft and feminine. The material is actually from my husband's shirt which had an unfortunate accident regarding laundry and bleach. He likes to point out the irony of making a feminine dress for a bearded lady from a man's shirt. Let him scoff, I'm very happy with how it's turning out. To me the fabric is almost Renoir-ish, I imagine it would be the type of thing one of his ladies would wear to the river on a weekend away from Paris. I like the dichotomy of the true 19th century bearded ladies. By today's standards their behavior and sensibilities would be hyper-feminine. I read a story once about a real bearded lady who also had the most beautiful operatic voice, audiences were stunned. That's the kind of softness and power I want Fredrica to have. I like the idea that she may be an incorrigible flirt.

At the same time I'm being incredibly schizophrenic with my projects. I'm starting a large number of them and having trouble finishing some. Some are not my fault, my little snow girl with candle had a crack I didn't notice until after I started painting her. Now I can't repair her with Super Sculpey because the paint is not meant to be baked. I was hoping to keep her skin tone from the clay but it looks like now I'll have to repair her with a strong laquer and paint her whole body. Rawr. Snow White's unfinished condition is entirely my fault, I've lost confidence. I've started painting her and now I freeze, I'm certain one more brush stroke will ruin her. She'll have to wait until the muse strikes again. My muse is not the graceful bestower of gifts seen in traditional art. She is a vicious harpy who smacks me over the head with her lyre and then once the project is going she throws a tantrum. It's like living with a teenager.