Thursday, June 13, 2019

Shakes Head

This is still turning into a very strange year. Don't know why or what going on but... I've been getting more hours on the job but it doesn't seem to work out. Pay one bill off and here comes another. So I'm back to looking for more work. Slowly getting back to some sort of creative schedule and I'm doing more hand sewing again. Making hexies and picked up embroidery. I've done embroidery before, many moons ago, and wanted to get back to it because I've seen beautiful work done by various artists. What I want to do and trying to figure it out, was causing me fits. So I didn't do it. But then I found a group out of the UK and they suggested to do a piece with only a few basic stitches. That you don't have to learn how to do thousands of stitches to create unique work. Running stitch, backstitch, seed stitch, French knots, I only need a few to get started.


Right now I'm doing half-inch hexies, a type of English Paper Piecing. I recently found smaller ones that will probably suit my design purposes even more. I'm on the lookout for where to order them.


Seems like every time I have time to be creative and I have a little schedule, something comes up and throws everything out of whack. It's annoying but what are you gonna do? Keep going. Do a little of something on the schedule and list. I do have some time off coming up and will have to dig in and get things done.

Spring has turned into summer, then fall, and back again. I have no idea what season it really is. Again, you just roll with the punches. Have a great day.

Friday, June 7, 2019

June

Yep, it's June. My birthday month and I got nothing. Last month was a good month for working on creative things but nothing was finished. I guess that's good. It started out slow, then I got more hours at the job, took a live online workshop, got ready for a yard sale, was MC for a relative's funeral, had the yard sale and I was exhausted. So my big bang for the end of May fizzled out.

Plan for this month is to finish pieces for the Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Get back to some sort of schedule, which I was really doing well at at the beginning of May. I'm getting back to being consistent in what I want to do. First, the exercising and then my hand stitching. I've been doing little sketches on the Dry Erase calendar on the refrigerator just about everyday and I'm claiming that as being creative. But I do need to get back to regular sketching and drawing. Still downsizing and tossing out things.

This morning I sauteed some veggies, made up some brown rice, and will bake some chicken when I get back from work. This should last a couple of days. I'm looking at cooking as creative too.


I also made up a front page for June in my Bullet Journal. I haven't done one in months. I made myself just stop and sit in one place and draw. There is no theme, just things I like and like to do. Sewing, art, Halloween, travel, lighthouses... It is making me want to draw more because if you don't use it, you lose it.


I don't know what I'll do for my birthday. Not really feeling anything right now about it. Just another I guess. Gotta go to the job. See ya.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Okay Then...

Yep, I thought I would be doing better at posting but this has also been a weird month. Heck, a weird year. The one thing I have been doing is keeping up in my Bullet Journal but the creative wheels are a turning. Since my last post I've:

  • had 2 panic attacks
  • took 3 days to clear out one room of my mother's house - still not done. Have to go through built in drawers and finish off the closet.
  • got things together for an upcoming yard sale
  • stuffed and put together 5 new dolls
  • got a little knitting in - that kind of calms me down
  • been doing some little sketches
  • started making hexies for upcoming projects
  • went on my first day trip of the spring/summer
  • bought some doll supplies
  • working on designs for a new doll
  • figuring out which doll shows to do at the end of the year
  • worked on a watercolor mermaid painting
  • added my first piece to my wardrobe with a blue jean jacket (not new)
Okay, looking at the list, it hasn't been bad. There is always room for improvement. My blue jean jacket I got at The Michigan Antiques Festival and I love it. My first ever blue jean jacket. It was my first time going and there were also antique cars on display and I love the antique spinning wheels.



New Long Legs dolls.

The what used to be my art room. Knotted pine paneling. Those were the days. I used to pretend I was in a log cabin when I worked in there. I have to go through my books too. I washed the curtains, which I guess hadn't been done in awhile and when I pulled them out of the dryer, they looked like a tiger had gotten some claws on them. So... new curtains will be made. And a window needs to be repaired.


My version of Feegee Mermaids.

I'm making hexies. Using a template, they are made out of fabric. Because I have lots of scraps and some crazy ideas for these little things. I have seen some smaller than this and I'm seeking out those templates. Yes, that's a quarter next to them.


And this will be the second garment I add to my wardrobe. I read of one young lady who had so many different crafts she liked to do (sewing, knitting) that she decided to make one garment a month. I liked that idea and will try it. But the new garment will replace an old one.

So, that's my update. Will work on another post a lot sooner.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Thoughts

May hasn't been that good to me. And half the year is almost over. It's been trying. Working in retail during big holidays takes a lot out of a person. But at least, I didn't need bail money. I think that everyone should have to work retail for a year, including holidays. It boggles my mind why people insist on being rude and inconsiderate to others who are truly trying to do their job. I survived Mother's Day. Not really looking forward to Christmas.

And the world continues to turn.

I also had a panic attack yesterday. It wasn't as bad as some I've had in the past but it did scare me. Feeling better now. I've decided that I will forget and forego making things according to what's hot at the moment or what people think I should make that will sell. No more. Life is way too short. Starting today, I will make what makes me happy. Something that might creep me out a little. If others like what I make, great! But I'm making work for me. Work that I was afraid to try. It's time to 'Make It Suck' again.

I have been blessed with a wacky and creative mind. I have the means and know how to pull some things off. If not, I'll learn something new. So if you're still hanging around, thanks. It's time to take some Transformer action. I will be back soon.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

It's May!

April was okay. I guess pretty good. My first doll show went well and I sold several pieces, including some new pieces. After the show, the adrenaline rush crashed in a pretty bad way and I got a little depressed. Again, it was, now what? I did take a bit of time off to regroup and then life got in the way again. More hours at the job, taxes done, a good friend passed away, and I just continued to work on the new creative habits I started. I finally got my mini witches done three have already sold.




Now it's May and into the second quarter of the year. And got notice of another previous co-worker passed unexpectedly. Married for only about three years and had a six month old son. That kind of throws a whammy on you. Two sweet people have left this world way too soon. And I'm still struggling to get... something... together.

I have two new habits that are still going. After reading 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear, I liked how he said that it's not so much as how many days it takes to create a new habit but being consistent. And if you miss a day, get back to it as quickly as possible. Even if it's just for a short period of time. That way, does take the pressure off of working on something new. So I've been sketching more (it's been on the calendar on the refrigerator) and practicing hand sewing because I would like to make a Regency costume sewn by hand. I'm working out getting more consistent with my writing and I've started making hexies for some upcoming Halloween wall hangings. For my Regency wardrobe, I did find my chemise I made and my short stays that still fit. I will probably make another chemise with a lower cut neckline.


Hexies are a type of English Paper Piecing used to make quilts or appliques. I'm nuts and am doing very small ones. You get all of them made up and then sew them together.


I've also pre-washed fabric for a summer top I'm going to make. That way, I know things will fit.


And I'm ready to make more church lady aprons.


That's my update. I don't know if things will get to normal, whatever that is. I know what I like to do and what I want to do and what I get to do. Because we never know when our number is up. I found this quote from Roald Dahl (read a lot of his work):

"I began to realize how important it was
to be enthusiastic in life.
If you are interested in something, no matter what it is.
Go at it Full Speed.
Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all
Become Passionate about it.
Lukewarm is no good."

Friday, April 5, 2019

Ha!

Just a wee bit late on a new post. It's April. We got fooled a day early by more snow. A very bad joke.


I'm in the last stages of finishing up some pieces for the Toledo Doll Show on Sunday. I'm excited but I've also sold some pieces before the show. Works for me.


Finally got my Long Legs almost done. Sold. I will take them to the show for orders.


Mini witches are almost done too. Working on hats right now or at least after lunch. They turned out better than expected and I don't know if I will make anymore. I do have one and a half bags of stuffing left, so maybe I'll make more to use it up.


Some new things going on in my weird little life. New habits are being established and I've got lots of planning to do this month. The big girl pants are on and it's time to rock a few things. See ya after the show.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Moving Right Along

Still working on new habits. It's all about being consistent. So far, I can get to two of the three things I really want to do each day. Right now, I'm okay with that. I'll just keep going. Some mini witches finally have some clothes on. Next up will be hair and hats.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Working

Like many, I have wanted to start more positive habits. Which I didn't a week ago today. It's difficult to try something that is good for you. I have fallen off the creative truck a few times but I tell myself that's okay. It didn't take overnight to create bad habits and it not going to be overnight to create new better habits. In other words, cut myself some slack, get back on the truck when I fall off and keep going. Our brain is one thing we really don't use much. So when I'm working on the new habits or a new schedule my brain just wants to quit. Um... no. I push on. If I'm tired, I take a break. So I've been creating. Working on things started months, years ago, and some new projects.

More work on my gourd heads out of Creative Paperclay. Still making things suck and just seeing what happens.


The clay heads I started. Some are starting to take on personalities.


Bloomers for three dolls.

And stitch work on my pumpkin applique started last year. I haven't appliqued in so long, I didn't know exactly what I was doing. Common thread here. So I worked on it anyway and it's not bad. Now I've got to find a backing for it and finish it. I know now what not to do the next time.


Have a good week.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

It's Spring, I Think

Yes, the calendar says spring but we got snow yesterday and I lit a fire in the fireplace. Working on some new habits and I'm doing okay. As long as I don't beat myself up for not being perfect. Starting new habits is hard. It's not so much as how many days you do them to get them established but how consistent you are in doing them. I've fallen off the boat a couple of times. I told myself to cut me some slack seeing that I only started Tuesday. This is what I've been up to.

I finished the faces of these two dolls. It's a little different from what I have been painting.


And I started some gourd heads. Never too early to think Halloween. I drew some sketches of gourds and pumpkins last year and added facial features. We'll see what happens.


When I make myself sit down and work with the clay, how it feels, how much water to use, where to put eyes, it feels really good. So I tell myself to do it more, keep doing it. It's so different from cloth. But this is where my creativity is screaming to go next. I'm hanging in there.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

And She's Off

Got to the next step on my new pieces. Making things suck. That way, if they do suck, I won't be too disappointed. If they don't, I'll be pleasantly surprised. Already I'm figuring out how to do things differently the next time around. After dinner I will put in eyeballs.


I also started heads using a foil base. Because of drying time, I figured I'd get a bunch going at a time.


I also started painting two new dolls I created last year. Better late than never. I don't know if I'll make anymore.


So that's where I have stopped for today. At least until after I eat. My stomach is growling. Catch ya later.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Okay Then

I refuse to allow this year to be like last year. Nope, not gonna happen. But I tell you, the past couple of months and this week has been testing me something fierce. I am a human lightning rod and weather forecaster. Because of a childhood injury, I can tell when a storm is coming. So the body was not feeling it Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. Yes, I knew two storms were coming our way. One skirted a little to the south of where I am, the next one was a hit. Okay fine. But I didn't feel any better. Then I woke up Wednesday and heard about that horrible land hurricane. Yes, it looked like a hurricane over land. Slammed the West and it was heading my way. It lost some of the power by the time it got here but the winds were wicked and the thunder and lightning... wow. If this is a sign of future spring storms, we're in for it.

So that went by and I was still feeling miserable. I know Mercury in Retrograde likes to mess things up and I was doing quite well as to see certain triggers and work around them. This was something different. Got online and read about the massive solar storms we were having and were to end today. Seriously? A huge celestial and earthly trifecta of 'LET'S MESS STUFF UP'.

I survived. I'm so glad I wasn't at work, because I probably would've done something very stupid. We still have rain, Mercury is still around, the solar flares are expected to stop today, and I managed to get something worked on. I started my new projects. Making things suck. And I got one apron for the church lady's cut out and wrote in my journal. Not bad for the morning and I'm closing tonight. Co-worker is sick. Whatever.

Here's the first step. I covered Styrofoam halves with Creative Paperclay. They should be dry by tomorrow and I'll do the second step. Not counting on them being anything but I've got to learn how to work with this new medium.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

One Tiny Step

At a time will get you closer to where you want to be. The past two days were horrid. Storm fronts passing by, temps going up and down to quickly, high winds just didn't like my body. Feeling a bit better today and finally got some things worked on. Painted some little faces and everyone got bloomers except Frida. Her's are coming.


It felt good pulling out and working with paints even though part of me forgot what to do first. That will change. But I'm liking my little group. It's supposed to get warmer as the week continues and I hope we don't get anymore storms for awhile.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Transition

That word can mean many things to different people. For me it's crossing a river from comfortable place to a very strange and unusual land. A nice, creative one with lots of bright colors. I love color. I love all types of art. Getting a little ahead of myself.

I am transitioning from being one type of artist to another. For the past 30 or so years (jeepers, I'm divulging how many trips I've been around the sun) I've been a traditional cloth doll artist. I'd design a doll, make the pattern, find fabric, cut out the doll, sew it, stuff it, paint the face, and then dress it. I've done everything from cottage industry type things, to limited editions, to one-of-a-kinds. I've made play dolls for both boys and girls and dolls you just put on a shelf and look at how pretty and cool they are. That was way back when fabric was good. Now it's hard to find a fabric that will hold up to what I did to it. Fabric that's the right color for brown dolls, fabric that doesn't feel slippery. Because when I found something that worked, they'd go and change it. And the search would be on again. Then the fabric stores started closing or moving further away.

Now don't get me wrong. I love cloth dolls. I've won ribbons, had one woman art shows; been in galleries and cool little shops; taught classes; been in local newspapers; photos of my dolls have shown up in doll magazines; made dolls, that were a huge part of the story in an independent movie (still on the shelf), the main character was a doll maker; had my dolls in an exhibit in a museum (The Delta Fine Arts Museum); and had an interview on the local public radio station because of that exhibit; have a doll on permanent display in a children's museum; and had my dolls decorate the set of a stage production along with making a doll used in the play. I have done a lot with cloth and I am proud of what I have accomplished with them but now I want to move on.

I couldn't understand how I could still design, sew, and stuff the doll but after that, I lost interest. I wouldn't finish the doll. Why? Well, it's the stuffing part. I've stuffed a lot and oh... the right stuffing I like to use is getting more difficult to find. Why do they have to change formulas? Stuffing takes a lot of time. I love painting the faces and dressing the dolls; putting on the final touches of beads, buttons, or feathers. But once I was done with the stuffing, the dolls just sat. And it was a chore getting back to them. Plus my hands are having a hard time doing that part nowadays. I longed to do dolls or figures that I could pose, put on a stand, in a vignette. Tell a story. I tried porcelain (finicky), needle felting (a lot like stuffing), polymer or oven bake clay (no place to do that now), and air dry clay.

For right now, I've settled on the air dry clay. It's not as portable as cloth but easy to clean up. I can sand the dried piece, drill it, paint it, stain it, whatever. And I have started a couple of pieces. I'm terrified that they won't come out. That no one will like them. So I've decided to just make them for me. Just do it. Learn the new medium. There will be a learning curve and it will take a lot longer if I don't open up the bag of clay. I have so many ideas sketched out. On paper, in sketchbooks, on napkins. It's something SOOOOOO totally different.

But I've given myself permission to 'Make It Suck' and then I'll let others decide if they like it or not. That's what a friend of mine told me to do. Make it Suck. I will wrap up the few cloth dolls that I have waiting to be finished. Then step on the next stone leading to the other side of the river. It's scary but I'm getting excited. Until then, here are some bloomers.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Another One Bites the Dust

I more ways than one. Two years ago I moved back to Michigan. There were many reasons for the move and today I really want to bury them. I do miss the south. I never thought I would say that but I do. Would I move back if I could? In a heartbeat. But that's not going to happen right now. I battled severe depression. Not knowing what I was going to do. Not sure of anything. I kept going, struggling to keep my head above water and I found some work. Last year I got back to doing doll shows. I was able to have my work in a stage production. Travel a bit up north with an old friend and a new one. There were lots of creative stops and starts. Nothing concrete, nothing serious, just going through the motions.

Two years. I keep telling myself that they weren't wasted. That I had to rediscover me again. Figure out what I want to do the rest of whatever number of days I'm given. It's hard. Being nice to me. Figuring out what I want and telling myself that it's okay to go for it. I'm looking for another job. The work that's out there and what I can do don't match up. That is unfortunate and the struggle is real. But I'm in a better place than I was two years ago. I gotta live for me now. Create some kick butt art. Learn how to play an instrument. Sew for me. Make really cool things for me and the people who love me. I'm not done yet. Just heating up.

So today I wrap up February. The first two months of this new year have been quite challenging. But the days are getting longer and spring is coming. I did manage to finish the art challenge 29 Faces. I was determined to do so. Now I've got to put that determination in other creative areas. Cow pies happen. You step in them, they're thrown at you, dumped on your head and you ask the universe, "Really?" But then you can mix those cow pies with mud and make a hut. Paint it with pretty colors and have a garden out front. It's all how you think about things. Here are the rest of my faces.



I will continue to do faces because they are part of a project that I want to do. I will pack up books I'm not using, straighten my work area for projects old and new, draw and paint more, and work on a nice summer wardrobe for me. I started writing down places to go for day trips this spring and summer.

My journey continues.

#29faces

Saturday, February 16, 2019

More Faces

The one thing that I'm staying abreast of is drawing these faces. So here are some more until Monday when I can really get back to creating things.



I also bought fabric for aprons for mom's church ladies. That's all washed and ready to be cut out.


This has been the weirdest month and a half for a new year. I don't know... the Polar Vortex probably messed up things. Can't truly trust forecasters because when they say things will be clear, there's more snow. Being stuck in has given me some time to think about where to permanently reside. That's a tough one.

#29faces

Monday, February 11, 2019

Today

My first day off to be creative and I got a little ahead on my art challenge. Faces 9 thru 12. And I got the last batch of cloth dolls stuffed and ready to get faces on. Probably tomorrow. My goal is to have them finished by the end of the week.





#29faces

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Onward

Well it looks like Google+ and Blogger are changing up things. More reading I guess. Kind of hate change but what are ya gonna do? Okay then...

I'm working on keeping up with the art challenge 29 Faces and I'm up to 8. Seems like the guys are getting more attention than the ladies. That's all right, I need to practice on male faces anyway. I have no idea if there is any direction with these guys or things are just happening. We shall see.




I like guys in most beards. LOL

#29faces

Shakes Head

This is still turning into a very strange year. Don't know why or what going on but... I've been getting more hours on the job but i...