Monday, May 28, 2012

First pour, Second pour, Third pour, More!

Good Day To You All!
I never know whether to say 'Happy' Memorial Day or not......because some times it's not. I mean, the memories of those gone by are almost always happy. But the void left behind is most often not. So I will leave the 'happy' to your discretion. At any rate, I hope you all are well.

I think we will pick up where we left off last post.......
RenFest...didn't happen again this weekend. Family issues that needed tending took precedence. So my manikin is still fully dressed staring at me from across the room. Next weekend is the last weekend for this season.....and it's not shaping up well. I may just have to put my garb on and go play in the backyard. :)
My neighbors already think I'm crazy...this will just give them the proof. LOL!

The Wee Stuffies are coming along nicely. I have done four pours of the first mold. Two white (cream), two black. I have pinned the faces onto some of the Stuffies. Looks pretty good. I have yet to clean them up. I have to do a little sanding and get some acetone to smooth out all the little bumps. Then I have to wait for them to tell me what they want to be. :) Below are a few of the pics I've taken so far. I believe there will be two more sculpts for the Wee Stuffies. And I'm not sure that the faces and bodies will be the ones in the pictures. I may swap them around depending on which one demands which face. We'll have to wait and see.

the first pour (before trimming)

first pour test - before i made any more....

the four (horsemen?) from the first sculpt

Ok, that gets us up to date from last post......I know, there was a lot more in the last post. Don't deny it, I can hear you thinking it. Well, there's a whole (long) list of things that I didn't work on from last post. I have yet to start my batch of mead - haven't gone grocery shopping yet. My Scare-Me-Crow hands are still waiting for their bones/veins. Had no urge to paint this past week. And my Halloween Panels are still sitting with their chalk outlines waiting to be filled in. Again, no urge what so ever to paint.
I'm hoping this coming week will be much more productive and back to some normality. Work this past week just really SUCKED! I will be glad my boss will be back on Tuesday. He can cope with the attitude and egos. So here's fingers crossed for a better week ahead!

This past week did bring me goodies in my mailbox! My book - Dollmaking, One Artist's approach - came in the mail. The morning I sent an email to the seller asking if it was sent out - it was waiting for me when I came home! I've read 3/4 of  it already! Quite enlightening. Overwhelming at points, but very educational.
The seeds - from Harris Seeds - came in as well. I got Broom Corn (Sorghum Grass), Kale and Wild Flower. The Kale is seeding in Jiffy pots at this moment. I have some of them in my yard already so I know what they will look like, well, in general. I ordered Flowering Red Kale which is a different type then the ones I already have. Can't wait to see them! The Broom Corn is planted....but that's coming up here in a minute.
I spent a good portion of Saturday tiling the side yard. Yes, I'm still working on grass. My yard is a disaster. I still have at least half the yard to get through. I was really irritated this weekend, just a lot of things going on that needed to be 'fixed'. I tore the yard up as a way to relieve the aggravation. At the very least it wore me out. I've been watching the sun fall across the yard to see where the best place to plant my broom corn and my PUMPKINS would be. Yes, I said it - PUMPKINS!! I have decided on the corner just in front of my fence. That seems to get the best light. And so far my pumpkins seem to be agreeing with me.
I tilled the yard up, added a large bag of Miracle Grow to the dirt and tilled again. Then I put the broom corn seeds in and the pumpkins - which I started last week in Jiffy Pellets. When they were planted you could barely see them.....this morning - 2 days later - they can be seen clearly! From my dinning room window! I was really excited! Maybe this year I will actually get some pumpkins. My wife just looks at me and shakes her head......'Why?' she says constantly. 'Because I want to' I reply. Anyway, the Broom Corn is something I'm looking forward to as well. It's a black and red mixed variety. What is broom corn you ask? Well, it kinda resembles corn while it's growing but it breaks into colored (black and red) fans instead of ears of corn. It's literally what brooms are made of...well, at least what they used to be made from. I intend to make some besoms from my little batch of broom corn. Something to 'sweep' away all the bad, negative energies that seem to be hanging around. Keep your eye out for these. It won't be until September or October until this happens but I'll be learning and reading up on it til then. If I find anything interesting I'll share it. 

amazing book!

my Harris Seeds packages

coolest little mushroom in my yard.
it was 'cupped' upward.
i know it's hard to see.

a besom

I've begun getting the ideas for my DragonCon costume together. The ideas are still coming but I have a general direction now. And for me that's good! LOL. I won't explain it because at this point it probably wouldn't make sense to anyone who isn't stuck in my head. Hhhhhmmmmm, not sure if that's a good place to be or not. :)  Anyway, here's a couple of teasers....

a pinch of this......

a pat of that.....

and a toss of this for good measure....
this is only the start. i have no doubt it will
change many times before September. LOL!

or maybe closer to this. hhhhmmmmmm

Well, I do believe that's all for this week. I hope your upcoming week is full of happiness, joy and magic!

Say 'Welcome' to CWPoppets this week too! You can see more here. Thanks for visiting!!

Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!!!

that's one hundred twelve and thirty-two!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mead drinking Vampires wearing Doublets!

Well Now...
Here it is two weeks....again. I promised myself I would do a post every week. Don't know what happened, time just got away from me. I feel like that little kid (from many, many years ago) sledding down the big hill at the end of our neighborhood.........SWOOSH!!!!  And it was over. Oh well, no use in crying about it now. It's done and I have no excuse. I can only hope that I won't do it again (yeah, right).


Let's see now....
I've been quite busy actually. My boss is out of the country (Italy). So I've spent the last week running the department by myself and I have another week to look forward to.

Last Saturday night I had a date.....with my daughter. :)
We went to the movies (when did they get so expensive?). Guess what we saw?? Want a hint? Ok...hhhmmmm, Pasty faced big name actor. No? Uummmmm, Television remake. Still No? Ok....the director likes to play with clay. Yep! We saw Dark Shadows. We went to the 10 O'clock show. There was a fairly large line when we got there. But when we got to our seats there was only about a dozen people there. Not sure where everyone was. But, The Raven was showing too. We both want to go see that one. It looks pretty good! Dark Shadows was pretty good. Not quite what I was expecting but decent. The ending was god-awful terrible. They really need to go back to making movies to make movies....not to leave it open for a sequel. OMG! I had to laugh during the previews.....I seriously thought this was a joke for like the last 6 months (since I first heard the rumors). Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter! It actually looks like it might be good. Only time will tell! I want to see The Raven in the theatre. Big, creepy story lines with vicious killers need to be seen on the big screen! :)

Today was the deadline for my doublet. Well, actually yesterday was. I got it almost finished last night. But by quarter after twelve my eyes were crossing and I was making too many stupid mistakes. So I said enough and put it up. I finished it this afternoon. YAY! However, we were going to go tomorrow, but it seems that I'm not supposed to be there this weekend. There have been many obstacles preventing me from making an appearance. We still have a few weekends left....hopefully! Keep your fingers crossed for me. :)
Wanna see how it turned out?? Ok, I guess it's only fair since I've been making everyone wait.

not too shabby! :) it fits me better than the manikin

do you like my hat? had to have something for my head
it even has a dingle dangle  LOL

had to show off the back too
i am happy with the final product

close up of the hat - can be worn up, back or forward

close up of the sleeve cap

I have also worked on the hands for my Scare-me-crow! They are coming along quite well. I still have to do some minor touches. I think I may add 'bones' on the back of the hands. So they show up more in the night. I've gotten some really great comments on the hands. Thanks for all the positive vibes from everyone!
And on top of that......I started working on 2 of the 8 panels that I (my daughter and me) will be doing to go 'around' the table we usually set up. They're fairly large. They measure 38 inches x 8 foot. I think the next ones will have the frame work painted black before I stretch the yard fabric. I'm not happy with the 'see thru' of the fabric but I'm hoping I can cover it up during the painting process. Here's a couple of photos (so you can be impressed - HA!)

this is after about 4 layers of dry brushing. i lost count of the colors

2 of 8 (Star Trek thing - HA!) if you look you
can see the designs on each one. they will all
be painted white to really glow under black light

I've been working on my Wee Stuffies during this time period too. I have one face sculpted, molded, poured and sitting on the table right now while the neoprene solidifies. I think at this point I may do three faces - possibly four. Not sure yet. The face came out least the sculpting. Still out on the pour. It has another couple hours of dry time until I find out. Damn I'm impatient! Then it has another 24-48 hours before I can do anything with it. Oh well, I'm sure it will be worth the wait. I hope! :)

the sculpt - in progress

the mold process - in progress

the mold - waiting to be cleaned.
the top edge broke - could you hear me cussing? LOL!
no pic of the pour....maybe next time

My honey came in this past week too! I'm so excited!! Why?? I am going to start a batch of Mead. Yes, Mead! I look forward to having a glass each year at the RenFest. So I thought I'd make my own. It will be a lesson in patience. It won't be ready until this time next year. Yes.....NEXT YEAR. Anyway, mead is basically honey wine. I ordered my honey from The Bee Folks. I ordered Blackberry honey, Blueberry honey and Meadowfarm honey. So I have the honey, the gallon jug, the filter, the yeast, hoses, stoppers, etc. Now I have to set aside the time to get it going! I've been reading up on mead making and all things Mead! If you want more information on mead making go to Storm the Castle. A lot of useful information. You can get a lot of good info and ideas at Got Mead? too. This stuff is gonna be good! No, wait, Great!!

I also ordered a book this past week. Some of you may already have it. It's a second print of 'Dollmaking. One artist's approach' by Robert Mckinley. I ordered mine from Bill Nelson. I've read a lot of good reviews on this book and I can't wait for it to come! Hopefully it will be here this coming week. Fingers crossed!!

I am also in the process of redoing my website. I've been using Front Page to do all the work with. And now they (the web host) doesn't support Front Page anymore. So now I have to learn their software. It's not's just something I really don't want to do at this time. However, it has to be done. yay.

Well, I think that's all for now. I'm pretty sure that's all that I wanted to tell you.....I'm sure I've forgotten something. I'll remember it, as soon as I hit publish. That's how it usually works. :)

I see one more new member. Yay! Welcome Charles!
Charles has some great work. You should go look!

p.s. - that puts us at 31 members and 111 posts. I hear Wee Stuffies whispering in my ears. Hhhhmmmmmm. :)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Full Moons and Scare-Me-Crows!

Good Sunday To You All!
Hope your week was great! And the new one promises to be fantastic!

As you may know (or may not) Forrest was completed and listed on Etsy 8 days ago. In my exuberance to get him posted and inform everyone I inadvertently blew up some of my friends FaceBook pages. Opps. When I sent out the message that Forrest was done it grouped everyone together. Which means that every time someone responds to the post - and there were many responses, I thank you all for the positive comments - it posts to every one's page that was one the list. I do apologize to those of you who were inundated with comments. Next time I'll know better. :)
Speaking of Forrest, and Harley, in the ten days that my Etsy shop has been open for business I have had 125 views. I am very happy with the number of people who have stopped by and given me feedback on Forrest and Harley. It's GREAT!! I'm kind of curious about the 'numbers game' now. Of those of you who have Etsy shops, has any one noticed the amount of views before a sale is made? There is a direct correlation between views and sales. I was just curious if anyone has been tracking this number? Ok, be honest, how many of you just went and looked to see? I know you did! :)

Did anyone get to see the 'super moon' last night? I did, it was gorgeous. My camera takes excellent photos, of everything, except the moon. I can't seem to get one 'clear' shot of the surface. It makes me crazy(er). I've tried different settings, different angles, telephoto friggin' luck! Oh well, at least I got to see the moon at it's closest pass to Earth....
I was taking pictures off my front porch. I'm sure my neighbor thought I was taking pictures of his house.....his porch & garage lights came on suddenly. :)

Super Moon 5-05-2012

I did mange to get some work done on my doublet. YAY! I had to take in over an inch on the side seams and another inch and a half on the back. I know it wasn't that big when I started this. Yesterday was the first time back to the gym in two weeks....I was amazed that I only gained 3 pounds. Anyway, the doublet is coming along well. I have until May 18th to be ready. That's the weekend we are going. I can't wait! I still have to get some trim for the doublet. I will have to go and look to see what I want. I tried on my Ren (poet) shirt that I got a couple years ago. It's huge. The sleeve seam is half way down my arm. Don't yet know what I'm going to do about that one.

back view - the front one was so blurry you
couldn't make out anything. i'll have to take
another one. and no, i will not be wearing
the shorts to the RenFest   :)

I got a bug-up-my-butt this past week too....I decided that my Scare-me-crows needed new hands. The one on my skeleton crow are made from canned expanding foam. They have turned an orange-y  color. They are bulky and I wasn't happy with them. So......I'm making new ones. So far they are freaking fantastic. I saw an article on making hands from rolled up newspaper and tape. Then they were paper mache'-ed. Then I added my own touch....Neoprene! They look great but I wish you could feel them. They feel like rubber gloves. And they are huge! They are approximately 22 inches from the bottom of the palm to the top of the bent fingers. They would probably be closer to 28 inches if the fingers were extended. I still have to 'white wash' them so they will match the skull. I have to give them a few more days before I do the white wash so the neoprene has a chance to fully dry and set. Then I have to do surgery and remove the old hands and then add the new ones. Can't wait! They're gonna look awesome!

cardboard, newspaper and masking tape

first pass of paper mache' - just newspaper
if you look in the background you will see the hands
that are being replaced. it's the orange blob in the
center towards the top of the photo

next pass paper mache' - brown 'wrapping' paper

this is the third pass of neoprene applied with a brush.
the first one was a thin coat and the following two were
heavier to thoroughly coat the paper mache'.
and yes, they are shinny and wet looking.

I do believe that is all for this installment. I will continue working on my doublet, hopefully it will be completed by next weekend. Hey - I can dream, can't I? :)  I will probably white was the scare-me-crow's hands this week sometime as well. My Wee Stuffies are sitting on the shelf whining and whimpering every time I walk past. I have assured them that they are next on my list. I had a great idea for my give away...unfortunately my corel draw/paint decided to crash and not save anything that I had been working on....time to start over. I'll keep you posted on that one.

til next time...
Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!