Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Prizes! Prizes!" A Gift Away

This is my first gift away, with only one prize actually, but you know I couldn't resist a chance to stick in an Alice quote. I decided to call it a gift away because I just didn't like "give away" for some reason, I'm quirky like that, but "gift away" immediately brought to my mind a picture of a brightly wrapped package with a red balloon attached, wafting its merry way across a starry sky. Can't you just see that? "Why are you giving away a doll", you might ask. And I would have to say..."I haven't the slightest idea." Thus giving me the chance to stick in yet another Wonderland quote. Fun, so far! But seriously it's because I wanted to say thank-you to all my wonderful blog readers, you fabulous folk who put up with my ramblings and Alice quotes and make lovely comments about my dolls. Thank-you so much, you all are the best!

So here's the prize, a sweet little Valentine Spice Girl made from natural materials and stuffed with lavender and flax seeds. She smells divine and she won't sing! Well, unless you make her dance and sing yourself...but that's strictly up to you. My dolls all seem to spend at least some time singing and dancing across my work table while they're being made..LaDeDaDeDa....but that's another story...
And here's my plan. I adore childrens' books and I love to create dolls of their wonderful characters, so to win this little dolly all you need to do is leave me a comment telling me what character from childrens' literature you'd like to see me make. Easy Peasy, right? Feel free to let me know about anything else you might like to see in the shop or here on the blog too. Tutorials of any sort you'd particularly like? Tell me about it! I know I'll love all the answers! You have until Feb. 10th to leave a comment and then I'll use a random number generator to choose a number and pick a winner. Make sure that if you do not have a blogger profile, that when you comment, you leave some way for me to contact you. Leave an email, link, DA account or perhaps convo me through my Etsy shop and let me know what you posted here. You must post on this blog to be counted...right down there where it says comments...okay?

So have fun and remember "Curtsey while you're thinking what to say. It saves time."-the Red Queen, Through the Looking Glass....yea I couldn't resist.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spice Girls!

Okay it's not really the Spice Girls. But new in the shop, some sweet little lavender sachet babies that I promise do not sing.

And I'm planning my first little freebie give away on my blog. More info in the next post.....
(Yea, I am so leaving you hanging!)

(Wow, that has to be the fastest that dolls have ever gone out of the shop! Thanks FB! I am happy to make more though, so if anyone else wants one just let me know.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wing Tutorial at Last!

I promised this tutorial ages ago and since I was making a pile of wings this week, I decided now was the time. "Pile of wings" there a collective noun for a group of wings? Ack, I've been distracted by my inner word geek...back to the tutorial.

There are a few supplies that you'll need to make fairy wings:
plain white paper (copy, notebook, whatever)
32 gauge Florist's cloth covered wire ( the kind on a spool is best link )
small sharp scissors
non-toxic craft glue (I use Aleene's Tacky glue)
textile paint (I love Lumiere!)
a sheer shimmery fabric
dimensional or puffy fabric paint
applicator bottle and metal tip ( This is very important for those fine lines. Available here.)
an old towel
wax paper

Now that you have your tools assembled let's go! The first thing you need is a wing design.
Look at pictures of butterflies and just make one that works for you. Here's one of mine:
You'll need to have veins drawn on your wing and you will need to have a reverse copy. You can make this with your printer or simply tape the drawing to a sunny window and trace the pattern on the back side of the paper. (I like this; less wasteful of paper.)

Now take your wire and shape it to the outer lines of your pattern. Twist the ends together at the base of the wing and leave a tail. Easy peasy! How long of a "tail" depends on what type of doll I'm making. For the small dollhouse size pixies I need about 3" so I can wrap it around the doll.
 Now paint the wing on both sides with the textile paint and let it dry. I like to use an egg carton with small holes punched in the bottom for my drying rack, it works great!
When the wings are dry, you'll need to cut a piece of the sheer fabric. Cut it bigger than the wing on all sides.

Here's where the old towel comes in. Apply the glue to ONE side of the wing. Remember you need a right and left wing so make sure you take this into account when gluing. I do this on top of an old towel and then gently blot the glue so it is evenly distributed and not too thick. Then lay the wing on the sheer fabric and gently press together (I use the towel for this as well.)

Now put your wing on a piece of wax paper. Once you've finished gluing all your wings, place another piece of wax paper on top and then weight them all down with a heavy book or last those high school year books come in handy! You'll need to let these dry for 4-6 hours and then open the wax paper and give them an additional 30 mins or so. The glue needs to be completely dry.

Okay, now it's time to cut away the excess fabric from the outside of the wing. Be patient and cut carefully, right next to the wire. If the fabric is not sticking in any areas apply a tiny bit of glue and press together with your fingers; let dry again and then trim.

The next step is to mark the veins on the wing, this is why you needed a reverse pattern. I do this in pencil, but it depends on the fabric, a dark silk may require a white marking pen.
 Now for the tricky part. You can use the tip that is already on the dimensional paint but I just don't think that they have a fine enough line. I switch out the tip on the bottle for a one of these in a size 5. This makes a very fine line.
 Hold the wing slightly up and go carefully here when applying your lines as it's easy to make a mistake. If you really mess up you can blot the wing with a wet cloth, let it dry, and start over.
When you're done place the wing in a slightly bent position to dry. You don't want the wing lying flat at any point in this part of the process as the paint will soak through and spread.

 Once the wings are dry, which takes about an hour, you're ready to go!
I hope this is helpful, please ask away in the comments section if you have any questions.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
-from "In Memoriam"
by Alfred Tennyson

I wish all of you an abundance of Peace, Love and Joy in the new year!