Thursday, March 29, 2012

Child Proportion Chart

I have a PDF of the child proportion chart that many artists use. I hope it will be helpful. It is from an non copyright source called How to Draw and Paint Children by Viola French. I don't know how to post it here, but if you e-mail me, I will send it to you. I won't keep your e-mail address.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lace Lace Lace

It's all about lace lately. I've been working on my bobbin lace. I'm going to try the finest thread on my next lesson. I hope I like it! I may have to increase the holes-per-inch, but we'll see!

Also, during the move, I found this piece of tatting. I don't think the scale is too large for my doll ideas, so I'll finish it out eventually and use it.

And this also shows the fabric color I finally got right!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dye Experiment

I made my mold this morning and then went right to dyeing. I usually use 1/8 teaspoon of dye because I like just hints of color. But I was using a light color and thought, gee, maybe I need to double it. That was a bad idea. I do not like the way the color came out. So straight away I dyed another piece with 1/8th, like normal. I still don't know if it's as pale as I want it, though.

I use Dharma Trading fiber reactive procion dyes. Here are the quantities I use--instructions on are their website:

2 gallons of water for up to 2 yards of pre-washed fabric
1 lb non-iodized salt
1/8 teaspoon dye dissolved in water
1/2 cup soda ash

Every time I've used 1/4 teaspoon I've been unsatisfied with the result.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New Supplies!

I've been working on my lace skills lately. I have a book called A Visual Guide to Bucks Point Lacemaking, and I worked up to number 9 when I first started about eight years ago before I gave it up. It takes patience! I think I'll stick with it this time. I'm planning to spend half my day lacemaking and half my day dollmaking. Yesterday I woke up at 3:30 and wanted to make lace! I worked at it for ten hours. I think it will be perfect for my dolls. I have reduced the pattern 67% and switched to the next to finest thread. I ordered the finest, just so that I can say I use the finest cotton thread available. I can actually see the pattern with my regular glasses, and the fine thread looks so beautiful.

Why haven't I started my dollmaking yet?! I've been unpacked now for two whole days! I needed some PFD Kona Cotton and it came in today from Dharma Trading. They have new dyes in skin tones and I picked them up, too. I have planned from the beginning to dye my own fabric, but I was going to use RIT. RIT has recipes on their websites for hundreds of colors, but they are given for 1 cup measurements. I already know how to use Dharma dyes, so I feel much more comfortable with this method. I'm washing the fabric now and maybe tonight I'll dye it. Tomorrow I'll make my mold.

I'm wishing now that I wasn't taking Spanish, but at the time I really needed a big distraction from dollmaking. Now I want less distraction! I'm totally going to get an A, so I'm not going to drop. I've just lost all interest in the subject. Although it's a good thing to know Spanish in Texas.

Here are my supply links:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Name Change

Well, I decided to change the name of my business, since it hasn't really established itself yet. I'm going to call it Simon Purple instead of Purple Dolls. I might like to make other things, and I think it sounds nicer. I created a logo idea and a friend made it professional looking. I have little labels with it. I did all this before my hiatus.

My hiatus. I suffer from a few mental illnesses. It makes it very difficult to keep a "real" job, but it also makes it difficult for me to follow through with my doll work. I had to take a few months away from it. I did some cross-stitch. I'm taking a Spanish class. I'm just chilling and recharging. I start some cognitive-behavioral therapy this week. I'm really hopeful that it will help me.

My first doll, however, is very close to completion. I've finished sculpting the head and I have it all ready to make a mold. I'll only make one doll from the mold. I've designed the cloth body, too. I'm using an artist age progression chart for children and tried to make the doll in the correct proportions for a six-year-old. My plan is to make dolls in lots of different ages, all in the same scale.

I'd like to make furniture for the dolls, too. I'm going to start a woodworking program in the Fall. Don't know how soon or even if I'd be able to make this furniture. It's just one of those things I really like to dream about, like bobbin lace. Actually, I would like to learn to make bobbins, too! I like the square ones because they don't roll around on the pillow. I have a long piece of lace made that I would like to put on a very special doll sometime, and hopefully make more lace for dolls. Maybe one piece a year. Bobbin lace takes me, at least, a very long time.

Anyway, I moved this weekend from a first floor apartment to a third floor apartment. I have a lot of pain now! I have the muscular pain, but I also have a pain called claudication which comes from poor circulation. I'm hoping the claudication resolves soon because it makes it very difficult to move around my apartment. I'm on Spring Break at school, so I have a whole week to unpack and get settled.

We're in a much larger apartment--300 extra feet!--in a pleasant neighborhood, up on a hill, facing the city. I have a huge window in my workroom (the master room, of course--why sleep in such a beautiful room when you can enjoy it all day?) and I can see downtown in the distance. It will probably be very hot in the summer!

Well, that's enough. I'll change the name of the blog soon to reflect my new dba.