Making of a Doll
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Part of the doll

Part of the doll

That last head was a dead-end but then I turned the other way.  I started over and tried again. I have the polymer clay parts and the frame completed, now I have to work on the soft stuff, like her clothes and hair. It starts with the head, hands and feet.

Unpainted head

Unpainted head

I molded the hands and feet, I was pretty happy with the results sculpturally wise but of course, she’ll need some color and some hair. I used acrylics paints to add some color.

Painted Head

Painted Head

This the head after I added the paint and the hair. What a change. I still need to style the hair but there is a little life now. I felt like the original head could go in many ways – male or female. I wanted to do a woman. She’s older but not old witch old, she’s got wisdom but she’s still got spark with those pink cheeks, freckles and ginger hair.

Finished pieces

Finished pieces

I sculpted the hands and feet. I didn’t use armature in the hands but I did let them cool down and wait to keep them more even; I have a bad problem of rushing and the clay gets too soft – thus mushing the features. I sculpted and baked the feet before adding the sandals. I like the finished look. I decided on the style with the toe mainly because these would be the sandals I want.

After completed all this I built the skeleton/armature using aluminum wire. The head is sculpted on piece with a spiral on each end so the head is on securely and then I use 1 piece for the 2 arms and shoulders and another for the legs and hips. The wire from the head helps form the body. After using wire to secure it all together I bound it with floral tape for more security and to get the wires from getting loose.

The next step will be to glue the hands and feet onto the skeleton. As you can see from the feet, there is a hole in each – the thick wire fits in there exactly and I will add super glue to secure them in place. One they are in place I will be a soft body. Then the real fun – dress up time! I have some vague ideas but I now I need to make them real.

Critical look at Doll Head
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100_4820

100_4818I found a just about finished doll head the other day and was inspired to move forward and finish it.I wanted to fix some details and then add an armature and body. It wasn’t bad but was lacking an character. So I decided to do some work on it. BTW  I should have taken a “before” pic to compare this to but I forgot. I had already added acrylic paint so I looks messy in place.

A good rule to follow is to take photos before baking to get a good idea of mistakes, places that still need work and proportion. A second good rule is to let it sit a day before baking, just to so you can take a second look.

Like I said, I broke both rules. The proportions aren’t bad, it looks good from the front and both side but I can see I missed a lot of places I that I really needed to work on more. The side facing right needs to have blended more completely, I can fix that by sanding and filling in. The profile facing left looks really nice.

Doll head

Doll head

However the from the front – this face really fails. Trying to resculpt the eyes to add age and they just look bizarre. I may just have to take this as a good lesson – take pictures and not be in a rush to get things done. Patience is not my strong suit. But I feel like I want to keep this going.

Lesson learned: Mistakes should be learned from, not end a project. But even better, keep old work, you never know what will inspire you later on or what can be used in a new way.

Either way, on to work on a new head and a new doll. I want to go slowly and make one I will truly be proud of.

 

It’s a new year!
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Hinged polymer clay heart

Hinged polymer clay heart

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Open heart

 

Happy New Years, it 19  2015 – damn I still keep writing 19 even though we are well into the 2000’s. Either way it’s a new year and a hopefully a new start. As far what’s been going on, I restarted the sweater with the right color but a different pattern. My biggest fear was how to get the sleeves the same color and not run out of the right color so I decided to stop after a few rows of the bodice and do the arms, so that is coming along well since I am not worrying. Another pair of socks are on the way- these are for me yay! Maybe if I can do these faster I may start selling them. The yarn comes out to about 6/pair and I can easily sell them for 40 but that’s for the future.

I don’t have any real resolutions – I have gotten a few projects done – like this heart inspired by Christi Friesen’s tutorial from her steampunk book from many years ago. I tried it then and couldn’t get it right. I think I got it this time. Check it out in my shop here.

More stuff we(my hubby and 2 semi adult children) are going to Disney on the 4th; this will be my husband and I’s first time in 25 years but my mom has taken my kids several times so this will be fun. We have been talking about this for years so I just want to get there!

This month is REALLY busy. Thanks to an anime convention work my husband has been doing (namely getting the con to move to AC in 2016) we’re getting comped for a much of stuff. They offered us free Fleetwood Mac tickets (really showing my age) with VIP seating and the whole weekend paid for so it was hard to say no. I know Atlantic City is a dump these days but they are so happy to have a contract for the next 5 years- we’re reaping some nice benefits.

And I’m finally finishing up a doll I’ve had in the works for a while so things are churning. I don’t know how I suddenly got so busy but I like it. If I have to make on resolution it would be to keep being busying like this. More specifally if I don’t I have a project, start one or better 2 and keep going.

 

Journey of a sweater
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Decadent Fibers Marshmallow YArnA few months ago when I when to the sheep and yarn fest in Reinbeck, I picks up about 1500 yards of this super soft yarn – from Decadent Fibers- can anything be more fitting a name? Going through their discount bin I found enough hanks to make a sweater and all would work together. They are all variegated hand dyed yarns with the same basic greens and browns. One of my biggest addictions is buying yarn and then not knowing what to do with it or because I only bought a ball or two or rainbow of colors that don’t match.

I wasn’t sure at first what I wanted to make, I checked every place for ideas for patterns. After much searching and thinking I knew what I wanted. I looked at cardigans and pullovers and what have you. Finally an idea came to me based on a sweater I bought recently. It had a ribbed bodice and sleeves and then a plain knknitted bottom for a nice empire waist. Sometimes knowing what you want is harder than not knowing. I checked everyone for a similar pattern, even in different yarn weights since I really have no problem with “adjusting” patterns. I am Ravelry addict but still no luck there.
I knew I could figure one out, I’m used to top down knitting so I knew I could do this.
Sometimes when you know what you want it’s harder to find the pattern.

Basic Sweater Design

Basic Sweater Design

 

Finally now that I finished Jess’s socks, I had to get serious on finding a pattern. I found one close to what I wanted but it was made using cabling and it wasn’t quite right. I really just wanted to do a top down Raglan since that is much easier. Finally after much searching, I realized what I was looking for wasn’t there. I was on my own, sort of.

I used to figure out the math for top down but now there are online generators for that.  I decided to go with Knitting Fool Generator. It is pretty basic but I just wanted one to figure out beginning stitch counts. So I go my gauges and my measurements and just put them in. I fudged a little since I didn’t want any ease in the bodice (it automatically adds 2,4,or 6 inches).

marshmellow sweater 1To begin,  with I am using a broken rib for the bodice and arms and am finally at a point where it all stretches out to the circular needle. As I went to take a pick of all the yarn, I realized I started with the wrong green. I meant to start with the green I had 2 of, it’s also lighter, so  I will probably spend the night ripping out and starting over again. I want this to come out right, so I will bite the bullet and do it right,

Another detail – I love an empire waist and snug bodice but I have noticed with frustration all to often that too often that bodice is too short – either if it’s cups, smocking, surplice style. That style works so well with my shape but not when the cups end mid way across the girls.Even  in the sweater I like that, the ribbing ends about half way across my boobs. It just ruins the effect. At list if I knit it I can fix that.

After I finish the bodice and the top of the arms(?) I plan to switch to stst and a larger needle for a looser drapyer fabric. I promise I will keep you updated on this journey.

I finally did it
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hufflepuff sockI finally just went to my boss and said I can’t take this any longer. I let my direct supervisor know last week how I was feeling but honestly I didn’t expect a change. The project is a sinking ship and now at the end they are changing the method now. I stayed on until he got his company computer and all access, but then I said no more.

The real overall executive manager was really nice and spoke to his boss at Novartis (it is a mess a contracts and crap) I was supposed to work till Wednesday but I cleared all my stuff out on Monday and Tuesday I was still a mess, so I just didn’t go in. I change him all my notes, templates, contacts etc that I gleaned from the mess of info they had.

Finally today I am feeling better. I spent last night spinning yarn and knitting my daughter’s socks. I’m a bit behind but they are coming along. Now I can settle in and knit,

Making the same mistake….
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Minion Keychain

Definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I finally got a job this fall – working for a PMO office in a large company. If you don’t know what a PMO office is, it’s the project managers who manage the head project manager of several streams of work. Those managers are usually overseeing several more. It is mostly about meetings and executives and is getting me crazy.

My last few jobs – well the few I’ve had since 2011 – have all been all this level, none of which lasted long nor have I been very good at them. I am a project coordinator which at that level usually means taking minutes and making stuff look good for the executives. Honestly you really aren’t “doing” anything. Even the people being managed aren’t the ones doing anything.

I’m more of just get to the point and I really hate the politics of it all. I loved working deep down actually interacting with the technicians – even when it was scheduling them. I like being part of the team, not the one being handed minutes and spending an hour trying to get the bullets to line up.

I need to get out of this and stop making this mistake. I finished my tax prep class and hopefully will be offered a job. It’s a small business and relaxed. Yes those tax places are all independent. And I’m actually good at it. I need to break away from the suits and making things look pretty to doing real stuff.

I know taxes aren’t too real but it is actually doing something and I will have time to have a life. Right now, even managing my schedule, I am too tense at the end of the day to do more that curl up and sleep. I have a pair of Hufflepuff socks that need finishing for Christmas and I still have a way to go.

My real takeaway is that I will finish up this job (if I don’t get the tax prep one but it seems likely I will) and not matter what, I am staying away from executives and PMOs and hopefully big companies. I need a human touch at work, not executives, let someone else handle them, I am too straight forward for them.