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!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sculpt 7, Pouty girl in polymer clay

OOAK baby girl in polymer clay
 This is my latest attempt at sculpting, and my biggest baby doll yet (I still have to measure her).
OOAK baby girl, sculpey living baby
 I wanted to make a pouty faced toddler and this is what I came up with.  I made her eyes by hand, and they're a pretty green, but I ended up covering most of the whites as I sculpted.
OOAK pouty baby
 I made a scull for her first, out of tinfoil and polymer clay; baked it, added the eyes, baked it again so the eyes wouldn't move while I sculpted.  I think I'll do it again this way as it's the only way I can make sure the pupils are facing the same way, lol. 
 I ran out of the normal wire that I use to put loops in the limbs so they can be sewn to the body and the wire I used broke as soon as I pulled the sewing thread tight.  I had to saw off the end of all of the limbs and redo them.  I had to open another bar of clay, and even though I used the exact same brand and color, the  new clay was several shades darker so this poor baby has limbs that are darker on all of the ends. 
OOAK baby girl
I tried adding a layer of clay to her head so I could root it and it was a huge disaster.  Not only did the hair look awful, the extra clay distorted her poor head, so I had to use a big wig to cover it up.
 Thankfully, the wig does a great job of returning her head to normal proportions, especially after I trimmed it.  The wig suits her, too.  In my mind, she's about 2 years old.
 Her feet are so cute; these have to be the best feet I've made yet.  I love her little round toes, lol.
Peek a boo!
 Here she is showing off her discolored upper thighs while playing peek a boo, although her diaper (pull ups, lol!) and panties cover most of the worst of it.
 I really am going to have to learn how to sew as I'd like to be able to make some nice doll bodies, and clothes, too.  I love crocheting but it would be nice to be able to make some cute little onesies for the dolls.
All in all, I'm very happy with the way this one turned out.  Now she  just needs a name.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Buttered Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting

Buttered pancake cupcakes with maple bacon frosting
 These cupcakes are to die for.  Seriously.  I know they sound weird, and they look weird, but they smell and taste like heaven.
Buttered pancake cupcakes with maple bacon frosting
 Ever since I watched the episode of 2 Broke Girls, where Max made beer battered chocolate cupcakes with maple bacon frosting, I've wanted to try them.  My parents and aunt went to Punta Cana for a week and they'll be arriving home at 1:30 AM.  By the time they get their luggage and get a cab back home it will be about 2:30 AM.  I don't know if they'll get fed on the plane considering it's flying so late, so I figured it would be a good time to try those cupcakes I've always wanted to try, but with a few changes.  Instead of chocolate, I'd do butter pecan, so they'd taste more like pancakes.
 I went shopping yesterday and dropped my grocery list and couldn't find it again so I ended up cheating and using a cake mix for the actual cupcake.  Duncan Hines, butter pecan, on sale for only a dollar at Walmart; woohoo! 

The cream cheese frosting recipe called for an entire brick of cream cheese, half a cup of butter, and a cup and a half of icing sugar, but my Dad is a diabetic so I used only half a cup of icing sugar and half a cup of splenda.  I didn't want to use a whole cup of splenda because I didn't want the icing to be sickly sweet.  I used a half cup of butter and added the drippings from the maple bacon to make up the rest of the fat content.  I should have used half a brick of cream cheese because I ended up with a LOT of icing.
Buttered pancake cupcakes with maple bacon frosting
 The maple bacon recipes said to either dip bacon in maple syrup or a mixture of brown sugar and water with cinnamon, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 350.  I did two batches; one with pure maple syrup and one with the brown sugar water/cinnamon mix, and they both came out great but I think I like the maple syrup ones better.  My dog did, too, lol.
 Here's Mac, giving his smile of approval for the cupcakes (I keep wanting to call them muffins). He enjoyed licking the bowl from the cream cheese mixture very much, lol.  That little bit of white fuzz next tot he plant is my other dog, Benji, fast asleep in the sunshine.  He was up with tummy problems last night so he didn't get to try the cupcakes and he's angry with me.
Mac, on the other hand, is thrilled, lol.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sculpt 6, Philip, a polymer clay baby boy

Polymer clay OOAK baby boy
 Meet Philip, my little One of a kind polymer clay baby boy. 
OOAK baby boy
Polymer clay OOAK sculpt
I made Philip today, out of Sculpey Living baby clay.  His eyes were hand made by me the other day.  They're not perfect but they're OK, I think.  I love the color.
He's wearing an outfit that belongs to my Blue tufted Elf, so I'll have to crochet something for him tomorrow.
His hair is soft blonde mohair.  The first layer was baked right into the clay and the rest was left loose, but I didn't like it so I glued the second layer down as well.

For some reason, I have an easier time doing the left hand and foot, and the left side of doll faces.  Maybe because I'm right handed?  I'll just have to keep practicing.  I don't know how the pros manage to sculpt an entire little doll in two hours...I tried to follow along with a DVD and must have watched it 10 times in total because I kept having to go back, lol.  It took me the entire day and evening to do this doll.

I really enjoy making these babies.  I'm going to have to make more eyes in this size.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sculpt 5, Little Mo type doll, Flower child, polymer clay

Polymer clay hippy girl
 I bought this tutorial for making A Little Mo doll about two months ago, way before I started sculpting, and finally gave it a go.

The tutorial is excellent; well written and detailed, and the doll artist, Paulette Morrissey,  has an entire town full of adorable little dolls, called Fern Lake
Polymer clay hippy girl
 I had the idea in my head of a little girl watching her big sister get ready for a 70's party, then demanding to be dressed up too.  This resulted in Melanie, a little girl with attitude, even though she's doing the peace sign with her right hand.

If the photos were better you'd see she got into her sister's makup and put cover up all around her eyes, like a raccoon, then put not one but two sparkly flowers on her face.  She threw a tantrum until her sister made her a headband to match her dress, too.
Polymer clay girl
 Melanie has long wavy super soft strawberry blonde mohair, a dusting of freckles that don't show up in photos, and baby blue eyes.  Her entire body is polymer clay, as are her slippers and socks.  She can stand but is wobbly so is better off leaning against something.

Little Mo dolls normally have clay hair but I wanted to try mohair, and am pleased with the results.
Polymer clay little Mo type doll
I crocheted the dress with matching undies and headband for her. 

Polymer clay flower child
She's bigger than my other sculpts, but still a tiny thing.

I love my little flower child, especially her long soft hair, and the expression on her face.  I wish I could get good pictures of her; I tried at night, and again early in the morning.  Maybe afternoon light would be better?

Polymer Clay doll eyes and Crocheted doll cradle

 I had a blast trying various polymer clay eye tutorials, even though most didn't turn out right, lol.

Polymer clay eyes
 The yellow and brown eyes were made with polymer clay, printed irises, cut  out and centered on the clay, then covered with Sculpey bake and bond, which I accidentally bought thinking it was liquid sculpey.  They were cloudy until I used the heat gun on them, and then they turned glassy pretty quickly.

My heat gun, made especially for polymer clay, is in storage so I had to use my Dad's heat gun, which is much hotter than mine, and it blows things around, so I lost some of the smaller eyes, lol, and burned others before I got used to the heat settings.

 I can't wait until the weather gets warm enough that I can dig through my stuff in the garage and find my art supplies.  I did find my genesis heat set paints on the last day that was warm enough (-10 C) to brave the garage, but it's -24 C with the windchill today so there's no way I'm going back in , lol.

I had to cut the irises out with tiny curved manicure scissors.  I blew them up in a major way for the photo; all of these eyes are smaller than the head of a sewing pin.  I ordered some hollow hole punches so I'll be able to cut things out better when they arrive.

 I also made this bassinet for my little girl doll; she still doesn't have a name, poor thing.  Some friends suggested Lily, others Violet.  She looks more like an Emma to me though.

Crocheted bassinet

crocheted bassinet

Crocheted bassinet
 The yellow and brown eyes were made with bake and bond, and the rest were made with translucent liquid sculpey.  The bake and bond actually came out nicer!
Polymer Clay eyes
 Various eyes, following various tutorials I found online. 
Polymer clay eyes
 I made these eyes (below) without following a tutorial.  I have a zillion tiny clear glass bear eyes, so I painted some blue, green, and brown, and after they dried, cut off most of the wire and shoved them into slightly flattened clay balls to make the ones on the top of the white plate (below).  The rest were made in the same manner but with fish lure eyes instead of glass bear eyes. They came out great, even though the colors are weird (red, gold, clear).  I liked the way they came out so much that I ordered 100 blue lure eyes, and 100 green ones.  I think they'll make lovely fairy eyes with the whites, and without, they can make cute animal or dragon eyes.
Polymer clay eyes
 The blue cloudy eyes in on the white plate, below, are the same as the blue clear eyes in the photo on the brown ceramic tile, above.  I had to use the heat gun to make them clear.  The ones in the middle of the brown tile were made just by adding liquid sculpey on top.  The blue and green ones in the lower left corner of the brown tile were made by making a little hollow using a round tool on the clay, then adding the iris, then adding the liquid sculpey.  I like the look of the eyes without the depression better, and I like the bake and bond eyes (yellow and brown, upper right corner) better than the liquid sculpey eyes.
Polymer clay eyes

My favorite eyes are the red, gold, and clear lure eyes, baked into clay.  They're sparkly, lol.The blue and green glass eyes came out nice too.  The brown eyes look dull.  When they're in a face, maybe they'll look better as only a bit of the whites will show.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sculpting baby dolls, 4, First human: It's a girl!

OOAK baby girl
This is my first baby human, and I'm so pleased with her .
Tiny Ooak baby girl
She's another tiny girl, and I really struggled with her facial features as I had to use a 5 times magnifying glass just to see what I was doing.  I should have bought more clay when it was on sale for half off, as I'm running out, and thus have to sculpt small, lol.

It took me more than 12 hours to sculpt her head.  I rushed on her arms and legs because I was so tired, and just wanted to get them done, but they still came out OK.  Not perfect by any means, but my camera still selects infant setting for her, lol.

Tomorrow I'll add more, but for now, I just wanted to get some photos of her new outfit, which I finished this evening.  Isn't it adorable?  She chose the colors herself ;-).

Good night!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Plastic canvas fantasy boat cradle

I wanted to make a cradle for my baby blue tufted elf, but none of the plastic canvas patterns i have seemed to suit him, so I designed this little fantasy cradle for him.

Fantasy plastic canvas boat-cradle
 I basically lay the doll next to my plastic canvas to measure the size, and cut with the scissors, freehand.
Crocheted blankie for boat cradle
 I crocheted a matching blanket for him as well.
Little mobile for fantasy cradle
 His mobile is made from an earring backing and beads.  I was lucky I had some leaf shaped beads, as they go with the leaves on the cradle so nicely.

I did the flowers and leaves in long stitch, freestyle. In my mind, this little baby is a rare blue tufted  elf, living in the Forbidden Forest near Hogwarts.
 The mother elves weave a magical tapestry around the boat cradles can drift among the pond flowers and remain hidden.
Blue tufted elf babies can drift off to dreamland in style in their little flowered boat cradles.

 I didn't write out the pattern for the boat, but I did take a photo of the pieces after I cut them out. 
Plastic canvas fantasy cradle pieces

If you decide to make it, I suggest cutting the sides and back out of stiff canvas, but use bendy canvas for the bottom (the piece that looks like a thick sharp pencil, lol).  The little piece was going to be for the rockers, but I decided to leave them off.

If you try the pattern, I'd love to see photos.

Take care!