Thursday, December 25, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Food Exchange

I hate cooking. There. I've said it, and I feel better for it! I know so many creative people who relish the opportunity to provide a tasty and nourishing meal for their families, and see cooking as yet another creative outlet. I don't. I should, but I don't. To me, cooking is a chore. It is something which must be done, and which takes time away from things I would rather be doing, like sculpting, sewing, drawing, reading, playing with the kids, or cleaning. Yes, I would rather clean than cook. Not that I am particularly fond of cleaning either, but you have to clean up after you cook, so I'd rather get straight to the cleaning and be done with it.

So, since I don't like to cook, I've joined a food exchange group. How much sense does that make?! At first glance that doesn't make much sense at all. The way the food exchange works is once a month each member (there are five families) makes five of the same dish. It needs to be something that will freeze well. Then we get together and everyone takes home five different meals to put in their freezer. So on the big cooking day, (which was today) I stress out. First, I stress out about what recipe to choose, wondering what everyone will like. Then, I stress about the grocery bill, when I shop for ingredients for a meal for four families of four, and one family of six. Then I stress out as I trash my tiny kitchen and dirty all biggest cooking pots I own.

But then the reward comes! My son Brendan arrives home from school and says, "What's that good, good, good, good smell?" (That's a direct quote!) Ha ha, it's called cooking, Brendan. Good moms do it all the time! And the rewards will continue through the rest of the month as we pull ready made meals out of the freezer so even on our busiest days we can have a nice home-cooked meal. Another reward is that we get to try new foods! Even though I was feeling the stress earlier today, now I feel like I have accomplished something. Now I'd better go clean my kitchen, so I can go downstairs to my studio and sew the night away. I don't have to stop to make dinner--I only need to stop to eat it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Meet Avi

Avi is a special order panda. I was very pleased with him and my collector is thrilled to pieces with him, which means the world to me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chloe's New Dress

Chloe is modeling a new dress I purchased for her from Den of Angels member Spampy. She makes adorable and very reasonably priced clothes for tiny BJDs.
I was going to make all of her clothes myself, but who could say no to this adorable dress and tights. I did make her a tiny bear this past weekend though! It is the smallest bear I have made in a LONG time. I also made another tiny bear this weekend for Chloe's Secret Santa partner...Shhh! Don't tell!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dream Studio

This is the studio I have always wanted!!!

No, I don't mean one that is a great big mess. But one where my loved ones can join me working on their own creative persuits!

Alex is sewing the body for a Leonardo Da Vinci pop-up puppet...

And Brendan is drawing a family crest.

And no doubt Missy's creative endeavor involves dreaming up new ways to annoy Cinder (our other kitty)

I guess in my true dream studio, we would all have table space to work and big windows would drench us in natural light...Oh, and it would be clean... But any studio is a very nice place to work with such wonderful company!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hunt Valley Teddy Bear Show

On November 2, I went to the Handmade Treasures Teddy Bear Show and Sale in Hunt Valley Maryland. The Christmas theme made this a wonderful show with a very festive atmosphere. It is put on by Teddy Bears on Vacation.I enjoyed meeting artists and collectors like I always do, and I sold all of my bears!
I was sick the week before the show and, as usual, I was making bears right up until the moment I left (actually I even sewed on the drive up)so I didn't get to create a preview here on my blog like I had hoped. But here is a REview in pictures!

First, here are a few close-ups I took while planning my table display.

I enjoyed making these traditional Teddies with a brand new pattern.

These Beatrix Potter inspired bunnies were among the first things to "hop" off my table.

The Little Drummer Boy was published in the December issue of Teddy Bear and Friends magazine.

Polar Santa

My Dad was my assistant. He was great! He drove the whole way so I could finish the tiny bear for Polar Santa's toy bag, and he carried all the boxes. Everyone loved Dad's "costume"! Ha, Ha! My dad always looks like Santa!

Many of the artists did wear Chrsitmas themed costumes (I would have, but I was too busy getting bears finished!) Here is something you don't see every day...Christmas pirates!

Mystery author, John Lamb, and his wife Joyce dressed as Sugar Plums! John wanted to make it clear that while he was a Sugar Plum, he was not a fairy!!!

I was pleased to meet, in person, Jamie, a lovely collector who discovered my work on ebay. She adopted Little Drummer Boy.

All of my bears found homes but I didn't go home empty handed. I adopted this little darling from artist Donna Griffin! I was so happy to see Donna again. We met in 2005 at the TOBY Awards where we both won a TOBY Public's Choice Award! Donna has gone on to win a few more!

All in all it was a great show.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Halloween Cuties

I am a little behind in posting, so I will be making two posts today. I just had to include these photos of Halloween. Isn't this the cutest little bear ever? This is my nephew and Godson, Nolan wearing a costume I made when Alex was a baby.

And these big boys are my babies--no longer babies of course. Somehow, it seems like forever ago and yesterday at once that they wore the little Teddy Bear suit. I have no pictures to post of them in it, though, since it was before I went digital. Anyway, here are my sons in their Halloween attire!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Halloween, Chloe!

I have given my BJD, Chloe, a face up! It's not perfect, but I think she looks sweet. The biggest challenge was the eyelashes, but making the mouth look defined without looking like lipstick was a challenge too.

Chloe shows off the Kitty on the Halloween dress I made her.

So many of my dolls are posed holding a Teddy Bear. (No surprise there!) Chloe has fallen for this one made by Terri Effan.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My BJD is Here!

Meet Chloe. Isn't she sweet?

I had to start with that photograph because it is my favorite, but I suppose I should back up a bit. I have been reading the BJD forums and I noticed it is customary to document the arrival of a new BJD with a "box opening" photo shoot. Since this is my first ball-jointed doll, I decided to participate in this custom so here goes:

The box arrives.

(I've also noticed on the forums that it is also customary for the family pet to inspect the box and make sure all paperwork is in order. Missy seemed to instinctively know this was her job, and she went right to work as soon as I put the box down.)


Is all this stuff for me?

Cinder had to get into the photos too. (How come I can't get a good shot of just him when I want to?)

I like my dress.

Could you make my ears smaller, please? I think they are too big for me.

That's all for now. I'll take more pictures when I get her face done (which may be a little while)
For those waiting to see bears on this blog, you will soon!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ball-Jointed Doll Artists Retreat!

I'm back from my retreat and it was great! It was a great learning experience, it was fun, and even exhausting. We sculpted a head, created the molds for it, and cast it in just three days. We also had a wonderful airbrush painting demonstration. I was very busy but I did manage to snap a few pictures. So here they are!

This is what I came home with--my original sculpt and the casted head. We used ball barings for eyes so the original looks quite creepy. I had wanted to sculpt a girl, but my head decided to be a boy! We only had four hours or so to sculpt the head, so I thought it came out pretty good considering.

Making the clay bed for the molding process...

Making the mold box...

Our classroom. (The lovely and talented Lori Metcalf, seated in front, was my roommate for the weekend! Thanks for everything, Lori!)

Our wonderful sculpting instructor, NIADA artist, Pat Lilich talks with Lori.

This is Donn Kinney of Bishonen House, our mold making instructor.

Here are two of Donn's amazing dolls...

And some alternate face plates for them.

I met so many wonderful (and talented) people, I really wish I were better at remembering names.

On the left is Yia Putman. She sat right in front of me and was a delight to talk to.

Lori and I pose with Yia's doll.

Sarah, AKA Batchix, with her incredible Machina dolls.

One person's trash is another person's treasure! The mohair scraps I brought were a hit with the dollmakers.

One tiny doll gets a new look from an unused mohair Teddy ear!

And look who I found at the BJD Artists' Retreat! Famous fellow Teddy Bear Artist, Art Rogers of Chatham Village Bears!

Saturday evening there was a Steampunk Ball and I took some pictures there too, but I'll have to post them later. I want to spend some time in my studio today...the bears are calling!