Sneaky Peeky

Here's a little sneek peek
at what I've been working on all week.
(Hint: He lives with seven friends and a giant pretty girl.)


Eat Your Veggies

My favorite this week
has to be my funny little artichoke head.

Aren't artichokes just the oddest veggies ever?
I love 'em though, prehistoric-cactus-looking things.
Leaf by leaf, dip 'em in butter and eat 'em up!


I felt a bit ambitious taking on the task of sculpting an artichoke head in cloth. She's 99% cotton batting, with Paperclay facial features and lots of paint. Click HERE if you wanna see more of her. I've been having fun experimenting with the sculptural possibilities of painted cotton batting. It's quite forgiving, and surprisingly easy to work with. I think I'll tackle a pineapple next! Not this week though. This week I'm preoccupied with Snow White and her 7 little friends.


Through the Looking Glass

A favorite muse of mine over the last few years has been sweet, fair-haired Alice. I know the original Alice, for which Lewis Carroll first wrote his fantastic tales, was dark-haired; but for me Alice shall forever be blonde and sky blue.
Here are some of the many faces of Alice that I've made and parted with over the last three years.




Where would Alice be

without her colorful compainions?

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb

(or is that Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee?)


The White Rabbit, forever running late


And of course, the Great Decapitator herself,

The Queen of Hearts.

(I've made a fair number of Heartly Queens

over the years as well, but that's for another post.)


Who acts as your muse?


We're in a Book!

We're so excited to finally be
published artists!
It just sounds so respectable, don't you think?
Here's the book we're in-


And here's our Frida Kahlo doll that was included.


We're on page 101, which is cool cuz we live just off Highway 101. It's a nice picture too, but I'm afraid of violating some sort of copyrite laws by showing it.


Birds on the Brain

I've got birds on the brain this week.

Must be a longing for Spring.

I made this one with a mask.

The brilliant adjustable wing design is my sweet Dylan's doing, clever man. The mask started as a plastic yogurt container. Then I made an armature with aluminum foil and paper mache'd the whole thing with paper towels and white glue. I like the single-ply cheap brown paper towels (the ones they have in public schools) best for this. I soak the strips of towels in water first, then paint them with white glue and build up 3 or 4 overlapping layers. After that was dry (with a little help from the radiator), I evened everything out with paper clay. Then sculpted the eyes and stuff. The little "feathers" peeking out are made with cotton batting.

For more pictures of her you can click here.


Remember that conjoined pair from last week?

Well I liked them so much I had to make a lino block out of them. Haven't done one of those since I was a kid (which was longer ago than it feels). I actually made three blocks, one for the conjoined cuteness, and one for each arm.

I printed it on fabric and made a little softie. Aren't they sweet? I think they need something to hold though. That'll be a project for next week.

I had so much fun playing with the carving tools,

that I made another one too--

A bird (of course) with a button-jointed wing.

How have you stepped outta the box lately?


And now for something completely different. . .

Here's my fave this week-

Funny little conjoined cuteness.

Making this was little different for me,
what with having splinter possibilities
instead of just the usual pin pokes.
I had to make their little arms move, of course.
Gotta be able to play with it.
I liked the image so much
I made a linoleum block print with it too.
Can't show you that yet though,
I'm still experimenting. (Mwah ha ha!)


Bunnies Bunnies Bunnies!

Easter is sneaking up
on quiet little bunny paws.
It's so early this year! But the daffodils
are peeking their cute yellow heads out of the ground,
so I suppose it's reasonable timing.
I've got bunnies on the brain this week, trying to fit in some Eastery ones before the day is upon us.
I love bunnies and will make them all year,
fertile little softies that they are. They bring out my girly-ness.
Here are some that we made this past week:

Easter always makes me think of white patent leather shoes, and that horrible plastic Easter basket grass, and those plastic eggs that break in half to reveal half-melted jelly beans, and the smell of vinegar in mugs full of Paas egg dye.

Even though my kids are getting big now (12 & 15) they still insist upon the yearly Easter egg hunt. And of course, I put Easter baskets together every year; although I must admit the baskets have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. (How many black jelly beans must I find tucked in odd corners and half-eaten chocolate bunnies toss out before I get the hint?)
How 'bout you? What are your traditions?


Cheater Quilt Step-by-Step

So I got this idea that I wanted to do a painting, but more dimensional, and kinda quiltish. And I'm a sucker for texture. And I really love the look of applique quilting, but I don't have that kind of patience. Anyway, I came up with this idea of painting like I do on my dollies, only more flat. I've made a few of them now, and they are very fun. I call them Cheater Quilts. Here's the latest, in a step-by-step scenario:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
They start with a doodle. This particular cheater started with that funny tree down there in the right corner. I saw it (or something like it) on an old apron. Then I doodled a little stand of trees and Grandma's house, and figured I'd need a little place for Red and Wolfie to hang out when they're not wandering through the woods.

So then I made a drawing the size I wanted the quilt to be,
and cut out little templates for Red and the wolf.
Then I made a fabric sandwich with cotton batting innards and drew out all the lines I wanted stitched. Then I handed it over to Dylan and he sewed all the lines. He also stitched and stuffed up the Red and wolf dollies.
Next I painted everything with its base color.
It looks so bright in this stage, but not for long. . .
After painting I lightly sand everything and stain with a dark umber. After that dries, I sand again, giving this nice textural quality to everything. After painting in some details and shading, I add all the stitching and buttons and whatnot to liven up the piece.
Wolfie and Red go through the same sanding, staining, and sanding process. Then I paint their wee little features on.
Of course, Red gets more clothes than her canine counterpart.

Then I tuck the pair in their cozy little pocket. . .

. . .and voila!

Now you make one!
(And show it to me, cuz I'm nosey like that.)
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