Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wrap Up - March

March wasn't a bad month but it wasn't terribly great either. I will have to put a bit more effort into things for April. Here's what I did accomplish this month:

  • completed two commissions
  • designed and made new bunners which are now in a new shop
  • read one book - Peter Pan by JM Barrie (yeah, I'm just now reading it)
  • made Easter ornament for doll group swap
Here's what I worked on:
  • Bless This House top panel
  • second pair of socks
  • 14 out of 16 days of writing 350 + new words those days
  • cut out summer blouse for me
Working really hard not to fall into the 'shoulda, coulda, woulda' trap. Which by-the-way is pretty easy to do. It's very difficult to think about what I have done and accomplished because I'm always thinking I should be doing more. Like Mt Everest more. Really? It's just me. I have done better at cutting myself some slack. That is also a work in progress. Next month I will have to kick it up a notch. I've got three commissions to do, new work for an art show on the 27th, keep working on my manuscript, and start thinking about Halloween and the Christmas. Okay, now my head hurts. 

Hang tight!

Ornament Swap

I got a pretty cool Easter ornament in a swap I participated in with the ADA (Art Doll Artists) on Facebook. This is my second swap with the group and it's a way for me to collect other artist's work.

This little guy is by Trisha Powell. The next swap is an actual doll and that deadline is in June. And there are two more ornament swaps, one for Halloween and one for Christmas. I'm also thinking about participating in DollStreet Dreamers mermaid doll challenge. Not so much for the prize (which they do offer) but to stretch myself and work on deadlines.


My latest commission is done. It's a business card holder for a smoked meat business. They do lots of festivals and needed something for their business cards.

Yes, he has a pig butt and a curly tail.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Works in Progress

Here's something quick. The piggy is coming along. After adding more Paper Clay, I stuck him in the oven on warm all day so he could dry. What a concept. Now he's getting a paint job.

You can see his little squiggly tail.

I finally got back to my Bless This House quilt top. I'm working on the top panel. The two black looking circles are going to be a huge spider. My theme is, you guessed it, Halloween.

These are going to be sister bunner dolls. I've got to get more Paper Clay and fix up two wood bases I have that were going to be for something else.  I also, finally, fixed my sock. Silly me decided to work on it at night, when I was tired and I messed one of them up. Then I tried to fix it and made it even worse. So I put it away for almost a month and now, it's fixed. Time for the heels this weekend.

Monday, March 25, 2013


I'm still working on the piggy and he's starting to get some skin. I had to stop covering him until one side dries and I can handle him better without messing things up.

You can see his head is kind of smooth (it's been covered with Creative Paperclay) and his belly, you can still see some of the Rigid Wrap.

He's got air holes!

After I finish covering him, he'll get a sanding.

You can barely see his butt cheeks. Will take care of a lot of that with painting. Plus he'll get a curly tail.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Good Things Jar

Back in January I made the cover for my Good Things Jar. I'm to write down when good things happen and put them in the jar to read at the end of the year. Well... the bottom is covered. At times I forget that I have the jar but some good things have happened recently and my friend Maya reminded me of my jar. I've been asked to teach some art classes at an art community center, I got a compliment on my personality when I do teach, booked my first art show of 2013, and may have another costume commission. This time for a male who wants a Colonial outfit. Woo hoo!


I just finished Carla for a swap with another artist. Yes, I am behind on making dolls but will get back to them.

Monday, March 18, 2013

2 Weeks

In a way I'm glad that March is long this year. I have two weeks left to finish up some more projects, start some, and plan even more. I've got to get back to my piggy but have errands to run in the morn. That just really puts a damper on my creative day when I have to do mundane things. Oh well, I'll deal with it and move on.

I haven't worked on a doll in a month of Sundays and I've got to fix that. I have been writing new material and pretty soon I will have to start filling things in to make better stories. I'm quite pleased how so many different ideas are flowing from my grey matter. My goal is to get two more commissions done, my first blouse for spring/summer, two dolls, and keep writing. There are other projects still in development and I'll let you in on those in the near future. I'm behind on my second pair of socks. I goofed and have to fix it. This weather along with the stupid time change is just messing me up. I also think that once I get my taxes out of the way, I'd feel loads better too. So, stay tuned.

Basket of Bunners

Finally finished my bunners just in the nick of time. I think that's my years quota for really cute. The smaller ones are ornaments.

They have button eyes because I have tons of buttons and I just love Coraline.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lola is ready for Easter

This is a ornament for an ADA art doll ornament swap. I hope she finds a nice home.

Don't worry. I've got more zombies, ghouls, and other creepies coming.

Costume Done!

One of my commissions was to make my version of the White Queen for a little girl's dance recital. When I should it to her her face lit up. Both she and her mom went "Awwww..." She tried it on and it fit and she's got room to dance. Right before they stopped by to pick up the dress, they stopped by a store to pick up shoes, which match the trim on the dress perfectly. I forgot to get a pic of the choker that I also made but mom will send me more pics.

Love the sleeves.

I love that face!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New Project Done

Okay, remember when I told you of all the projects I wanted to get to because they're just sitting around? Well, I finally made my flannel pajama pants. The fabric was for a quilt but didn't get used and I really liked it and didn't want to get rid of it. So I bought a pattern for pajama pants and finally made them. One thing off my list and one piece of folded fabric out of my studio. And they are quite comfy.

And Zanna is a week old. Yep, we celebrated.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Birth Coaching in a Nutshell

I just want to say that watching a child come into this world is an amazing thing. This is not for the faint of heart and swear words will be abbreviated. If you don't have a sense of humor and are too PC, stop reading. I had been on call for about a week when Amanda started leaking. Sometimes a woman's water really breaks, and sometimes it doesn't. The latter was one of those times.

Amanda went into the hospital on a Wednesday, so I picked up Maya and dad Dennis and we made our way to the hospital. From Dennis' place the GPS took us on a different route to the birthing center. It was getting dark and we were going through a not-so-great area. You could feel the tension in the car grow. Maya and I both noticed the rundown homes, idling cars by the curb, furniture on the curb. I was praying that my very old vehicle would not die on us. A vehicle with a black woman, a white woman, and a white guy. The next comment will set the tone for the rest of the hospital stay. I said, "We're in a dodgy neighborhood with a lot of shiny rims." There was a pause. I could hear the gears in Dennis' head turning and him wondering if he should laugh. Then Maya burst out laughing and then Dennis. We laughed the rest of the ten minutes to the center.

Now don't go getting your undies in a bunch. I'm originally from Detroit and there were some parts of it I didn't want to be in in the broad daylight.

We're still laughing when we check in at the desk, just about crying. We had our own personal bags, bags of juice and food for Amanda. People looked at us and thought we were staying for a week. We make it to Amanda's room and she's crying because they couldn't find a vein to start an IV. We were looking for that nurse. She settled down as soon as she saw us in a good mood. That night in the hospital was rough. Dennis had the sofa, I had a chair and Maya had a chair but ended up on the floor. And it was freezing in the room, something to do with putting the mom-to-be on ice. The next morning she hadn't dilated anymore and her doctor suggested to induce. The good thing was that she could get started on a low dosage and then have it go up. Amanda still didn't want an epidural, wanting the experience to be as natural as possible. Of course that first night the trio that was late to the party were cutting up something fierce and we were the loudest ones in the wing. There was an information board on the wall for the name of the patient, nurses, any special diet needs and questions. So Dennis wrote under diet, bacon and under questions, Who let the dogs out? We all laughed at that and in a very serious tone he said, "No, really... who let them out? No one knows for sure." The nurses wanted to be in our room and we also had fun teasing them. Thank goodness, most of them had a sense of humor and knew how to give it back. Amanda's team of nurses all rocked.

The next day and first part of labor went quite well. When the contractions were getting closer, Amanda would breathe, stand, walk, squat, sit on an egg ball, bend down on the floor, and do a position on the bed with her butt in the air. That one was most comfortable for her. Maya and I encouraged her and reassured her that she was doing well. Amanda's doctor showed up again and told her that she had to leave early because of a death in the family and that another doctor would be taking over the delivery and that she wanted Amanda well underway because the next doc was old school and wouldn't be too privy to a more natural birth. So the inducing drug was upped. The doc said that once Amanda started yelling and thinking about clipping her husband, that's when she would really be in hard labor. That's when things got interesting.

The contractions got a bit more intense and Amanda was really starting to feel it. She wanted to push but it wasn't time to push. The baby wasn't engaged just yet. Again, we were telling her what a great job she was doing and helping her breathe through her contractions. She had on an external monitor to get the baby's heartbeat and see what her contractions were like. And then we saw it on the monitor when the real, good contractions started. One huge spike on the monitor. Amanda still wanted to push and we told her she couldn't. She told Maya that she didn't like her. And Maya said that it was okay and we both said that we loved her. That's when she said it was okay for Dennis to get clipped. He responded as to why he had to get clipped and she yelled, "You're the one who's gonna get clipped because I'm the one having the baby and I'm not going to get my tubes tied after all of this!" Then he said, "Okay then, I guess I'll be the one to get clipped."

Amanda had gone to the bathroom and on her way out the doc came in and Amanda lost it. The doc helped her gain control and got her back in bed. The head nurse at the time told the doc about the clipping conversation and the doc said, "Yes!" Once again, the doc told Amanda that she had to leave and Amanda said, "No, you can't leave." Up until that time Amanda was being a trooper and the monitor kept dislodging because of the position that was most comfortable for Amanda wasn't suited for it. So the doc decided to put in an internal monitor on the baby's head. The baby's head! Yeah, I watched. That was pretty fascinating. I even asked the doc about it. That's when we really got the baby's heartbeat and the contractions. Contractions that finally started coming in consistent waves. I should've gotten a pic of it because that was kind of cool too. And that's when Pulp Fiction met Deadwood.

Here are some of the things Amanda said during the three hours of hard labor. She was given a pain medication so she could rest between mega contractions and we knew one was coming because she started swearing.
"I made a mistake." We told her that she didn't.
"I don't want to do this." Well, it was a bit late for that one.
"I don't want her in me."
"Get her the f*** out of me!"
"Cut her out!"
"Oh sh**, hell no!"
"F*** this!"
We continued to work with her breathing and Maya told Dennis to stand by her, hold onto her arm and tell her she's doing a great job. Dennis: You're doing a great job honey.
And in her most sweet angelic voice with a golden aura around her head she said, "Thank you." She did that several times.
Now Maya and I just looked at each other and wondered where our love was because the next contraction Amanda started swearing at us again. Little 5 feet 1 inch Amanda. I never thought I'd hear her swear like two drunken sailors on shore leave. It gets better.

In between those massive contractions shes rests but when one came around, look out.
"F*** hell no!"
Along with more of wanting the baby out, why was she doing this, she made a mistake. The coup de grace was... drum roll please...
"Oh f*** hell, m*****f***** G**d*** Je***Chr***!"

My eyebrows were singed off. That was totally EPIC!

There were a couple of times Dennis had to leave for air but he was right back at Amanda's side, telling her she was doing a great job. Maya and I wanted Dennis to concentrate on being husband and dad and not having him to worry about telling her to push. Having her hate him because of the work she had to do. Then it was time to really push. And we could see the wire to the internal monitor sliding out bit by bit. I saw the baby's head crown and continue to come out. Amazing! The new doc finally came in, poked around and asked for her chair. They gave her her chair on wheels. She poked around again. Amanda screamed and the doc asked for a mask. Another nurse came in and asked Amanda if a newbie nurse could watch the delivery and Amanda said, "I wouldn't have known if you hadn't said anything." Which was a yes. Watching the newbie's face was classic in itself. She was in her early twenties and probably won't be having any kids any time soon.

Amanda pushed for the third time with new doc and Zanna Joy flew out like the squid baby in Men In Black. 
The doc caught her and her chair had rolled back several inches. Totally amazing! What a catch! Then Zanna cried. That was the most beautiful sound. I started crying, Maya was crying, Dennis was crying and cut the cord. I almost hugged the newbie. It was just great! I saw the placenta and it looked like liver. I will cherish that time for the rest of my life. She's a beautiful baby, with dimples to die for. I get a baby fix one more time. I am so grateful that Amanda and Dennis let me be a part of that. My new family.

And she did it all without an epidural. The nurses were all impressed. It took a couple of hours to clean up and check the baby and clean up Amanda. When she was allowed to go to the bathroom, we told her some of the things she said. Do you know what she said? "Oh, no... I would never say anything like that." We all laughed. Boy do we have stories to tell. Thanksgiving will never be the same.

Work in Progress

Yep, I'm still working on catching up. Here is my warren of bunners and I cleaned off my art table so I could cut out a kid's dance costume a la White Queen.

The bunners will be stuffed to go into baskets and the smaller ones will be ornaments. They can also go in baskets.

Very seldom do I see my whole art table. The gown has now been cut out. See, behind. Ha! I have also been writing new material for the past couple of days. My goal is 350 words a day but I've been hitting 700+  a few times. I'm still working on the piggy and hope to get more pics of him up soon. Need to finish him so I can get paid.

I don't know what's going on but my creative juices have been going crazy. So many great ideas for stories and dolls. Only so many hours right? One day at a time and one bit at a time will get me to where I want to be and the wonderful things I want to make. Eek!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

One Picture Post

I have a darn good reason for missing the last three faces of my 29 Faces challenge. I'm an auntie!!!! Amanda started leaking on Wednesday and went into the hospital. Thursday night, I got a squishy. Zanna Joy made her debut to the world. My eyeballs are still sandy and my brain still fuzzy after having only six hours of sleep in 48 hours. I did manage to get 14 in since last night. Very soon I will post about those days. It was exciting, funny, intense, and I'm glad I got a chance to see it.

                                                             Please welcome!

                                Zanna Joy

                          And Aunt Wendy

20 of 29 Faces

They aren't the best pics because I'm still a bit exhausted and the brain is still fuzzy. I missed the challenge by three faces but I had a good excuse. See next post.

Now it's November

Yes sirree, it's November. Second to the last month of the year. What happened? Don't know but I'm still hanging around. Still w...