Saturday, August 30, 2008

Aqua Red Doll

What's this you ask?

I don't love her, but I still kind of like her. I was experimenting. I don't always post my experiments. It surprises me when I create something I'm not entirely happy with, others seem to like. For example, I got a lot of positive response with my Trillium Dotee and that was my least favourite Dotee doll (not counting my first two disasters). So I'm posting the Aqua Red Doll. Maybe you'll like her.

This is the best photo I could manage given the indoor lighting conditions of the day. I would have gone outside for the photo but there's a new killer crop of vicious little mosquitoes out there that attack the minute you step out the door. The colours in reality are quite a bit deeper and more dramatic.

The problem is that I think that the shape of this doll looked good flat, but once I stuffed it, the shape changed. I guess the more I look at her, the more she's starting to grow on me.

Pink Goddess

Just to relax a bit last night, I made this little Goddess Doll while playing "I Love Lucy" DVDs on my laptop. Someone sent me a swatch of butterfly fabric during a swap (I wish I could remember who). I have to thank that person as that fabric has been useful. Miss Pink Goddess is wearing one of those butterflies.

We have an upcoming Community Art Show in our area which is a part of a much larger arts programme that includes visual artists, artists' studio tours, musicians, actors, authors and film. Most of the participants are accomplished and respected in their field. I, who am self-taught and virtually unknown, see a great opportunity to take part in the Community Art Show. According to their flyer, the show is "open to all artists, young and old, to exhibit their work". So why not?

Also, it just occurred to me that I could display a few of my dolls at our local Fall Fair. So lots to keep me busy and out of trouble.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beginnings of a New Dotee Doll

I spotted a piece of tea dyed muslin in my studio this morning. I'm sure I must have dyed that fabric about 10 years ago. Just for fun, I picked up a brown Sharpie and started drawing a face. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, I was cutting out a new Dotee doll. I haven't made a Dotee for months.

I will finish her up tomorrow when I have some more time. Instead of the usual beads for the tail and loop hanger, I'm going to use some beautiful textured brown yarn.

I really like this little gal. I guess I had forgotten how much fun they are to make.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Successful Weekend

Well, well, well. At the end of the day and a half jazz festival (JK Jazz in Udora, Ontario), I came home with 20% less inventory and a bit of cash. There are some people out there who liked my cards enough to buy them. The one posted above was my best seller.

As happy as I am about my personal success, I'm even happier about the whole weekend. I heard that there were about 1,000 people in attendance, which I think is pretty darn good for a second annual festival in a remote area without benefit of a large advertising budget. No question that the attendance was up from last year.

The weather was excellent - warm and sunny and not a drop of rain in sight. Quite the relief from a very rainy summer.

The musicians were world class, in fact, travelling in from various parts of the globe. The music was continuous with very little break between acts. In some ways I consider Saturday to be the warm up day giving the musicians a chance to find their vibe. I knew that Sunday's audience would be smaller, more attentive (perhaps the more devoted jazz lovers)and that the musicians would really let their hair down. And sure enough, it was much more casual with some incredible improvisation.

A highlight for me on Sunday was when one of the pianists invited his fiancee on the stage to sing because she "has a beautiful voice". She was not a scheduled performer and so I wasn't prepared for what followed. She did a couple of songs including a splendid rendition of Paul Simon's "Diamonds On the Soles Of Her Shoes". For "Diamonds," she called to the saxophonist (who was relaxing with a beer in the audience at that time) to join her. "It's only three chords" she said when he seemed reluctant. She started to sing and you could see that he immediately was captivated by her huge talent and style. He put down his beer, slowly making his way back on stage. He seemed unsure of the melody and let her do a couple of verses before he dived into his lengthy improv sax solo. Everyone stopped talking to witness this amazing performance. It brought the house down.

Another reason it was such an enjoyable weekend is because I got to visit with some old friends. My sister and brother-in-law were there along with my good friend, J. Actually, this is the last time I will refer to her as J. She has given me permission to use her name. She is Julia and now lives on top of a mountain overlooking the Ottawa Valley. Julia is a glass artist about whom I will write more in the future.

The only sad thing was that I was unable to attend a memorial service for my friend Susan who died a year and an half ago of ovarian cancer. She passed away in London England. Her final wish was that her ashes be brought back to Canada for scattering in the Northern Ontario town that she loved and lived in for many years. Her son brought the ashes over and unfortunately, the memorial was scheduled with only three weeks notice while my committment to the Jazz Festival was made months ago. I tried to find a way but it was not possible for me to be in two places during the weekend.

A couple of things I will be looking forward to is our Second Annual Scarecrow making weekend on the third weekend of October, at the time of the Canadian Thanksgiving. I will be hosting and so far in attendance will be friends Julia, Jackie and Coco and maybe more. We did this last year and had so much fun that we decided to do it again.

Also coming up soon will be my 200th post. As a lot of arts and crafts bloggers do on their milestone posts, I will be offering a prize. You will be invited to leave a comment for a chance to win something made by moi.

I've gone on long enough. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Butterflies Fixed Up (I Hope)

I was very disappointed with the butterflies when I got my prints back last night. The images were too small and the Blue Yellow Butterfly just got lost in the busy background. I photographed them again this morning and with the aid of Nero PhotoSnap, this is the result. I hope when I look at the prints tonight, these will be useable.

There isn't much time left. The artwork is due early Friday morning and I still have some work to do with my display.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Green Butterfly

African Orange

Flower On Red

Blue Yellow Butterfly

Here is another card completed this morning. I am working on a green butterfly which I hope to post later today.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Estonian Colours

I just finished another image for my cards which contains the colours of the Estonian flag - blue, black and white. This might have some appeal at the Jazz Festival art sale because the festival is in aid of the Estonian Children's Camp and a lot of Estonian folks are naturally going to attend.

I may have to photograph this again tomorrow in early daylight as the blue looks more turquoise than the sky blue it's supposed to be.

Today is the DVD release date for the old TV series - Perry Mason, Season Three, Volume One. Hubby is going to pick it up on his way home this evening. It's one of my favourite TV shows and certainly my favourite ever TV theme music.

Lady In Pastels

Here is the Africa Gold face in another setting. It looks very simple right now but I have all these sheets of cardstock in gorgeous pastels which I think will really make this design look good.

Africa Gold

I have been devoting most of my time assembling cards to sell at our local Jazz Festival this weekend. I am still hoping to add at at least a half dozen more designs to the collection. This one I call Africa Gold because the colours make me think of Africa.

I am thinking of using this face on another card and then she will end up on a future doll. As fall approaches (egads!) I plan to join a few new art doll swaps.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Display For Jazz Festival

Below is the write up I did as part of my display for the Art Cards I will be selling at our upcoming Jazz Festival. I wanted to keep it short and sweet. My sister says I did just that and gives it a "10". I don't know about that but I thank her for her kind words.

The scan is probably too small to read, so if you're interested in having a closer look, just click on the image to enlarge it.

There certainly is a lot of work involved in getting ready. I have to assemble all the cards by hand which is time consuming. And I still want to come up with at least three more designs. I have never sold any of my work before. It will be interesting so see what the response will be.

Friends, relatives, beware! If I don't sell any cards, you guys will be getting these things for birthdays, thank-yous, etc. for the next five years. Or I'll have to get hubby (the natural born professional salesman) to start peddling them for me.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Another Greeting Card

The trouble with making compositions out of fabric scraps is that you have to spread everything out all over the place and work in a real mess. I keep losing bits and pieces and spend half my time looking for them. But there's a real satisfaction when you find the right colour combinations and it all comes together.

So far, I've got 26 images to print out to see which ones will work on greeting cards and which won't.

Yesterday I wasted time preparing (painting) some muslin so I could draw some new faces, but I used a coarse canvas-like fabric that didn't like my Sharpies and pencil crayons. Today I have to do it all over again with the finer, smoother fabric that I've used in the past. I should have just used the tried and true to begin with.

I am happy with my latest image and hope it will be among the ones that make the final cut for my card sale.

Friday, August 8, 2008

New Greeting Card

This is the image for my latest greeting card. I have to get a photo printed to know for sure, but I think it's going to look great with some new cardstock I bought in lots and lots of neat colours. I'm going to be selling my cards at a local jazz festival in a couple of weeks. I want to come up with a few new designs and as usual, have left it kind of late. Oh well, I do work better under a little pressure.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Second New Look 6352

(Click on above image to enlarge)

This is my second New Look 6352, completed this morning. The fabric is 100% cotton with a looser weave, giving it a linen feel.

New Project

I've done a lot of simple sewing recently. Pullover stuff requiring no zippers, no buttons and minimal darts. I'm ready to move on to more fitted (shapely) garments. Today I traced out and made some changes to the following pattern, McCalls 4346. I am making View C, the sleeveless version. I prefer no sleeves when it's hot and humid. I did an FBA (full bust adjustment) via the pivot and slide method and I shortened the back waist length for petite sizing even though I am not petite. I am short waisted and I think (I hope) this alteration will do the trick. Also, the finished length is too long - it would end up at my ankles. I shortened the dress about halfway between View A and Views B and C.

So far, I've cut out the dress front and back. I haven't cut out the facings yet because I suspect I may have to add darts at the back of the neck. If that's the case, then I will have to redraft the facings. It's all trial and error now and I am hopeful that I can make a wearable muslin.

I've chosen a fun cotton blend print for my muslin which cost me just under $12. Not a huge amount of money to lose if I mess up, but 12 bucks is 12 bucks. I think I've got to start scouring thrift shops for $2 sheets for trial garments.