Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sculpting, doll 2, a fairy

Little Flower Fairy polymer clay, crochet, needle felt 

I am having so much fun learning how to sculpt in polymer clay.  Meet my second creation, tentatively named Sparkles.
Polymer clay doll head 2
 For this doll, I sculpted a bit bigger than my first, and gave her exaggerated features because I'm learning how to do them.  Noses are very hard for me, lol.  I painted this doll with chalk and eyeshadow.  I love fairies and elves and think I will sculpt as many as possible, lol, hopefully improving with each one.
Polymer clay fairy

She was sculpted without molds, in Sculpey Living Baby clay.
 I did her head first, on an armature made of wire embedded in a tinfoil ball, then covered with tape.
Then I sculpted her hands and feet and placed them on an wire armature that i made myself. Then I sculpted her hands and feet again because I ruined them while putting them on the armature :-).

Armature for polymer clay doll
 I needle felted her a body, around the wire.  That was the easiest part of dollmaking, for me.  The wire armature gave me the most trouble.
Needle felted body for polymer clay doll
 She's very bendy and poseable, but with closed eyes her poses are limited.  I want to learn to do an open eyed doll next.
Needle felted armature for polymer clay doll

Poseable polymer clay doll without clothes
 She looks very comfy, doesn't she?  I am very happy with her, considering she's only my second try.

Crocheted outfit for polymer clay mini doll
 I glued on some mohair for her hair.  It's a bit of a mess. I've trimmed the bangs since these photos were taken and she looks nicer now.

I crocheted this cute outfit using embroidery floss instead of yarn, and gave her flower "wings". I didn't have enough of the light green, or I would have made most of the outfit in green, with only a bit of the orange.   I've ordered some crochet cotton in pretty colors and it should be in next week. I can't wait!
Polymer clay fairy asleep

I do like the vibrant oranges and yellows of the embroidery floss, even though they were my second choice for colors.  This little doll makes me smile.  My aunt loved her.

I am really excited about learning how to sculpt because it's allowing me to combine so many of the crafts I already do (needle felting and crochet, reborning (the painting).  I can even make some plastic canvas furniture for the dolls.

Thanks for taking a peek at my flower fairy.  Should I keep calling her Sparkles, or can you help me with a better name?

Take care!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sculpting my first mini baby out of polymer clay

Boo boo baby with burned head
I was so pleased with the way my first sculpt looked, and then I baked her.  She still looked good, for my first time, but I noticed her nostrils had closed during baking. I decided to try to poke them open, and the wee nose fell off.  I had to build the nose up again, and rebake, and when I did ,the head color changed to orange instead of the lovely strawberries and cream of the limbs.
Crocheted outfit for tiny 3 inch baby doll
I crocheted this tiny outfit for her, and she's cute, but she could have been so much better had I not messed about with her nose.  Lesson learned; I shall not mess about with tiny baked noses again, lol.

Her little hands and feet were so hard to do; I had to use a magnifying glass to see them.
First sculpt with hair
 When I first started reborning, my first reborn was so ugly I named him Frankie, short for Frankenstein's baby.  I rooted Frankie with Mac's (my standard poodle) hair, so wanted to give my first sculpt Mac's hair as well. I tried but the glue looked too messy so I pulled it off.  Her head's too tiny to think about rooting.
First polymer clay baby with needle felted bunny
 The little needle felted bunny is 4 inches long, and the littlepolymer doll is 3 inches long.  Her body and hat were made from the baby finger of a loofah glove.
Bunny doesn't want to share the teacup
I'm having fun learning how to sculpt, but it's very frustrating as well.  I'm working on a little elf child today.  I am planning to do it on a wire armature, with polymer clay head, feet, and hands. I have the head and feet done and was almost finished the hands when I ruined them by putting them on the armature.  I'll have to try again later.  I plan to needle felt a body around the wire, then crochet an elf outfit for him/her.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sculpting a mini baby out of polymer clay

I am so excited!  I am finally learning how to sculpt babies out of polymer clay!  Here's my first shot;the baby parts are in the oven here.  I did the torso as practice; I'm planning on using the head and limbs with a soft body, probably a crocheted one.

Sculpting a mini baby in polymer clay,  for the first time

I had a lot of fun working doing this little guy, but it was also very frustrating because the clay kept getting so  hot in my hands that it was melting, lol.  A new sculpting friend from facebook gave me some good pointers; to put the clay in the fridge for awhile, or roll it between white paper to leach out the extra oils.  I tried the fridge and it worked so I didn't bother leaching the clay but will do so next time.
mini baby in polymer clay, parts in oven
The other problem I ran into was sculpting in such a tiny size.  My eyesight isn't great, and I wear glasses.  I couldn't see what I was doing on this doll's features until I borrowed my Dad's reading glasses, and then I could only see if I held the clay an inch away from my face, lol.
Tiny polymer clay baby bum, lol
Here's a shot of the little torso, with it's cute little baby bottom, in my hand  The torso is the same size as two joints on my baby finger, so very tiny. The head is even smaller.
Putting polymer clay baby doll parts in oven

Smoothing the head
 Here's the head, next to my finger tip, for scale. It's sitting on a toothpick.  I had to sculpt this head twice because the first time, it fell off the toothpick and splatted on the floor after I had it the way I liked it, lol.  Live and learn :-).
Cute little elf or fairy head
From this angle you can see his features.  I really like his cute little face, and was really surprised that I could get it the way I wanted my first time.  I was thinking I'd like the nose a bit smaller but it grew on me, so I'll probably leave it as is. It's really hard to get nice shots of such a tiny head. 

I ran out today to get an oven thermometer because my toaster oven wasn't getting hot enough when I set it at 275.  After I came home with the thermometer, I found out why; my oven, set at 275, only really heats up to 100 F!  I had to set it at just under 400 to get 275.  The baby is rebaking now.  I put some foil over him so the smaller parts won't burn.  I hope it works; I'd hate to ruin them. The little arms and lets are sooo tiny.

I also bought a hands free magnifying glass while I was out. I can't wait to try it!  Polymer clay was on for half price so I bought more clay as well.  My friend Albert wants me to try to make Smaug the dragon from Lord of the rings. That should be fun!

I can't wait to try to paint this baby.  I sure wish I had my genesis heat set paints and all of my good artist brushes, but they're in storage, along with my good convection oven and oven thermometer.  This is so addictive, and since I can't reborn here, I'm glad I'll still be able to get my baby fix!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Crochet, 2 dragons and an evil wizard (bwahahah)

Little bendy crocheted dragon
 I love crocheting critters, and don't usually buy patterns but when I saw this poseable  dragon on Ravelry, I couldn't resist.  I highly recommend the pattern. This little guy can be posed in so many ways, and his tail helps with balance.
Little bendy dragon
 His wings can be open or closed, his head can be up or down or tilted, and his tail can be curled up like a dog or left down like a lizard.  I'd love to try this pattern again with variegated yarn for the body and shimmery yarn for the wings.                                                                      
Poseable crocheted dragon
cute little dragon ami
 This green little dragon has been in my project queue for ages.  It's a free pattern, written more like a tutorial than a plain old pattern, and it's very detailed and easy to follow. Click on the highlighted words if you want to check it out.
little crocheted dragon

Greyback ami
 I did all of these projects as entrees for my Hogwarts at Ravelry group.  The little fellow weilding my darning needle as a wand is supposed to be Greyback from Harry potter, complete with hairy chest, lol. He's an adaptation of the 11th Doctor Who pattern on Ravelry...another cute free pattern. changed the hair, added a beard, and some chest hair, but otherwise followed the pattern.  It's a cute pattern.
crocheted dragon and doll amigurumi
The green dragon is the biggest of the lot; the mini dragon and Greyback fit in my palm. 
My birds love the green dragon. 
Well, that's it for now; Have a great day!

Bunny outfits, girl or boy?

Needle felted bunny with hand made dress (crocheted bodice, ribbon and crinoline skirt)
 Bunny was looking naked so I made some clothes for him/her.  I've always wanted to try to combine sewing and crochet but hate hand sewing and strongly dislike thread crochet so put it off until I decided to bite the bullet for an entree for my Hogwarts at Ravelry group (we were asked to crochet something that causes us pain...they didn't say it couldn't be a pain in the butt, lol). Anyway, I did this dress as part of the challenge, and I think the bunny looks adorable in it.  Thing is, I kept seeing bunny as a boy as I was making him.

Yesterday I decided to do the pattern again, except
this time, I'd do the entire pattern, not just the
first bit, and I ended up with this cute outfit.                                                                          
Needle felted bunny in crocheted boy outfit

needle felted bunny as boy
                                                                                    Both outfits are cute but I think I like the  little boy outfit the best, even though I generally gravitate more toward frilly things.  My friend Christine suggested that I should make another bunny so I can have both, so I think I'll take her up on it. First I have to give my poor hands a rest.  Between modelling, needle sculpting, crochet, and typing, they get quite sore, especially when I'm retaining water. 

I think I like needle felted bunny as a boy best.  His jointed limbs make posing him easy.

The pattern for the dress bodice and boy outfit can be found at epatterns.com. It's in the book,
Itsy Bitsy Babies and their Bassinet Purses

wool batting
 My friend bought this pretty Corriedale fibre and blue silk and decided she didn't want to do the project she bought it for, so she's selling it to me.  Isn't it pretty?  I especially love the blue silk; it will make pretty doll hair for my crocheted or needle felted critters, I think.

She also told me about a new wool shop in town, that not only sells wool and felting supplies, it also doubles as a coffee shop! Woohoo!  I can't wait to see it!

I've been thinking of dying some of my core batt using kool-aide and the microwave.  I'd have to do it in the basement though, which means bringing my microwave in from storage (in the garage), because my Mom would have fits if I stained her pretty kitchen counters.  Maybe I should just buy some orange and flesh batting (the two colors I really want.)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tiny dress for little bunny

Needle felted bunny ad carrot, crocheted radish, crocheted and sewn dress, needle felted napkin holder
I made this dress for my bunny today.  I hate crocheting with thread because my eyesight is such that I see things better at a distance and I have to hold the tiny hook and thread so far away that my arms get sore in order to see what I'm doing, lol.  Time for bifocals, I guess :-).
Needle felted bunny with crocheted carrot
 This outfit started out as a little tank top with shorts for a boy bunny but after doing that one row, I decided to sew it on to some ribbon and lace to make a dress.  I've never done that before but have always wanted to try, and I'm pleased with my first attempt.  I probably could have just used the first, short layer of lace to make a "younger" look, but I wanted to see how this would turn out.  I was thinking of crocheting a little hair band, bow, or flower, but wonder if it would be too much considering the large ears?
Needle felted bunny
Needle felted bunny in a teacup
 Here's bunny in a teacup, to show scale.  She's rather small; about the size of a Mommy dollhouse sized doll. I wanted her to be a baby bunny, so she's too big for dollhouse size, but perfect for Barbie size.  I have some plastic canvas Barbie furniture patterns; maybe I'll make a little cradle for her.  Either that or I was thinking I could crochet one bootie and she could use that as a bed.
Needle felted bunny in teacup

She's small enough that I had to line the cup with a handful of wool batting so she wouldn't disappear inside, lol.

I ordered a tutorial for sculpting mini babies out of polymer clay and am disappointed with the tutorial. It's not a real tutorial; more photos showing how someone sculpts their dolls.  That's the trouble with buying online tutorials; there's no way to know the person's writing style before hand.  The lady is a great sculptor and her babies are beautiful, but she's not a good teacher, and she didn't really explain how to sculpt.  I guess it's a good starting off point though.  I also ordered a tutorial for making Little Mo dolls, and that one was wonderful; very detailed and instructive.  I really want to learn how to sculpt; I got a taste for it when I did that little baby mandrake, and the wands, etc., for my Hagrid's Hut.

I used to have a cute tutorial for sculpting a baby fairy but have no idea where it is.  I should have saved it to mediafire.  I wonder if it's on my external harddrive?  I'll have to check.

Well, that's it for today.  Thanks for checking in.  Take care!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Needle felted bunny

Needle felted bunny with crocheted radish

Hello, friends.  I've been negligent with my blog for awhile; so sorry.  I sold my house, moved back home, and things were kind of hectic but life is getting back into a routine now.

I'm sitting in my parent's spare room with my parrot Smokey and cockatiel Noel.  The birds are sleeping, and I guess I should be too, considering it's 2:12 AM.  I spent the entire day needle felting though, and wanted to share some shots of my latest creation before I follow the birds' example and call it a day.

Needle felted bunny and carrot, crocheted radish
 It took me 9-10 hours of almost non stop needle felting to make this little gal or guy (I haven't decided yet but am thinking "he" so it will probably be a boy, lol).  I did stop for supper, and to let the dogs out twice.
Needle felted bunny crawling

 I wanted to see if I could do a "ball jointed" type of doll in needle felt, and was happily surprised by the results.  My bunny can be posed in so many positions because his arm, elbow, wrist, thigh, knee and ankles are jointed.  His head is to, so it can move from side to side.  I felted a cute little tushie and then added a tail so it wouldn't look too baby-like.
Needle felted bunny, crocheted radish
 The above photo is my favorite...his expression is so cute and cheeky in that pose. 
Needle felted bunny, crocheted radish
 I crocheted the radish for my Harry Potter at Ravelry group...it was my entree for "dirigible plum".
Needle felted bunny, crocheted radish
 Bunny's hands are slightly cupped and he can hold his needle felted carrot.  I didn't have orange needle felt so I mixed some red and yellow.  I'm going to buy some koolaid so I can try dying my core wool.  It's too expensive to keep buying different colors, and I really love the core wool (the bunny's is made from core wool, except for his nose, palms, and inner ears).
Needle felted bunny, crocheted radish
I don't know how big the bunny is, but I'd guess 3-4 inches.  I tend to needle felt everything in that size for some reason, lol.  I'll measure tomorrow.

I sure wish I could sew so I could make a little diaper, hat, and bib for him.  I can always crochet it but I hate crocheting with thread, and that's what it would take for this size doll.

I hope you enjoyed looking at photos of my latest critter.