Tuesday, January 3, 2017

One more time...

I'm gearing up to try dollmaking one more time. I need to organize my thoughts, and I guess that's why I'm posting. I don't think anyone is as interested in this process as I am, so there's really no one to talk to about it.

I've thought a lot about my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to dollmaking techniques, and a few recent discoveries have inspired me. First I was looking in a book of China head dolls and saw a body construction that's not too difficult to replicate and would give me the shape I'm looking for. The whole idea of the body has shut me down many times in the past.

Propelled by that discovery, I decided to look up Susie McMahon's tutorials, and this time they clicked. First the bust construction, and the incorporation of the face mask into a bust. I can make masks, but I never knew how to make a doll from one. I'm uncomfortable direct sculpting a doll face in air drying clay. The whole idea stresses me out, and that's bad because of my fragile mental health. I can make the face from oil clay, make a mold and press a mask, then make it into a bust. Perfect.

I don't want to jump completely in, so I'm going to just buy a few supplies at a time. Next paycheck, I will get some oil clay, plaster, and air dry clay. Then we'll see what I can do with them.

I have so many ideas. I have too many ideas. I need some peace with all this.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Is Knitting King?

I had a little crisis last night. All of a sudden, dolls were frivolous, silly, a waste of time. Knitting was unquestionably the most worthy of all crafts. I'm not interested in my dolls right now at all. Just knitting.

So now I want to knit socks and start the master knitter program. Become a master knitter and give private lessons on various techniques within my sphere of knowledge. I would love to teach a beginning to end doll dressing class which will take weeks to finish. I would love to teach sweater design. Of course, first I would need to become an expert in sweater design, lol.

So, to recap, dolls on hold, knitting takes foreground. I'll take socks and scarf on vacation to work.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Doing Math

I'm finally to the point in this outfit where I have to sew the dress together. I've been dreading this step! I'm still working on seaming by hand, and it's not a pretty site! Yet!

Another part I was dreading is the math part. Yes I have a degree in math. This is different. Or maybe it isn't.

Attach collar
After sewing front to back and lining front to lining back
After inserting sash
After adding extension
After piecing extension

And then embroidery, and then hemming

It's a lot of brain fumbling, and once you start, you have to keep going until you finish it, so you don't forget everything!

I've made some shoes that satisfy me. I've made one pair of pretty socks, but I'll probably make another, longer pair for the final presentation. And I love the sweater I've made. Plus the extra full slip with attached pantaloons and lazy daisies all along the ruffle edge. I'll make the dress shorter so the embroidery shows.

I really love working with these larger dolls, and I have five now that need homemade clothes. One doesn't need homemade clothes. I need to work faster! And there are at least three more dolls that I want to buy. Or four. Hopefully I get Christmas money this year!

And here I go!

Monday, August 25, 2014

If you build it, they will come!

I've been looking for an embroidery group on meetup for the longest time, so today I took it upon myself to create one! I got my favorite cross stitch project out and started back up in a very conspicuous place. And then I fucked it up in a way that can't be fixed. Oh well. I've done too much to turn back now! I must have started this in 2000. I've done other things since then. This one has a lot of very tedious stitches, but I love the design. The original was featured on Antiques Roadshow. Anyway, I remember how much I love cross stitch, so I'm having a really nice time.


My focus since last Wednesday has been piano interspersed with reading. I have no interest in knitting, sewing, or dolls, but a vague interest in taking up cross-stitch again. I don't know how long this will last. It takes a while to create a habit, I should look it up, but my excitement with playing piano is carrying me through. I have my little goals and I've been meeting them everyday. It's hard on my spirit to be playing such easy music compared to what I played in college, but I believe I can reach a very high level if I can keep at it.

I think music and math are the highest pursuits, and I feel invigorated by trying to fulfill my potential. Math isn't going anywhere for me, but music could fill the rest of my life. I may take lessons on my own terms next year. I have terms, lol. One hour every other week, my choice in literature, no writing on my music unless I do it, and no recitals. A lot of teachers won't accept those terms.

I've been really happy. I've wanted to read a lot lately. I read Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility. I wanted more, so I found a list of classics on Good Reads that I'm going to work on. I've always regretted not reading the classics. I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird now. Next on their list is Pride and Prejudice, if you can believe that! Yes please! Many of the books will be free on Gutenberg, but I had to pay for Mockingbird, not much.

I am retrenching in some areas of my life, reducing the drama I was exposed to, but I'm still going to get out once a week, to keep my psychiatrist happy. I guess it will be knitting for now, but I may look into cross-stitch and see if there are any groups.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Old Friend

I've been alternating piano and Jane Austen today and it's been wonderful! What a perfect day! I'm going to buy some hard to find music tomorrow for my someday stack of music, music that was accessible to me on my other instruments that I hope to someday play on piano. I hope I can stick with it this time. I was quite advanced on woodwinds and I know if I just stick with it, I'll have that fluency with piano, too, and nothing feels as good as that, having the vast repertoire of piano at my fingertips.

But today I'm playing level four, lol.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I put my dolls away. I haven't been interested in them or sewing for several days. I'm all focused on knitting now, and from the depths of memory comes a renewed longing to make music. I'm so distracted right now. We plan to move when our lease is up in June. That is very definite. But where to changes daily. I've renewed my plea for climate over housing. Housing in the Texas valley is extremely affordable, housing in other places that interest me is prohibitive. I'm tired of being hot most of the time. I need to move.