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Braid Girl

I don’t have any updated Life Book or Express Yourself pages.  I’m in the middle of Week 12 with Finnabaer. My first attempt was not quite what I wanted but I liked the technique.  I started a new page and like where it’s going but is not ready for sharing just yet.  I didn’t work on Week 13 using Transfer Artist Paper, which I don’t have on hand.

Instead, I got sidetracked this weekend with an incoming dolls: Dollstown Elf body Arin. She is shipping right now but I wanted to have an outfit ready for her.  Gracefaerie Patterns offers 3 patterns designed specifically for that body, so I spent the weekend making an outfit. Pics to come after she arrives.

So, who is this Braid Girl anyway?

Glad you asked.  This is a page from Week 5 of Supplies Me, which was Marker Week. She is on the class Teesha Moore-style journal, gessoed page, face drawn with colored pencil and the rest done with markers.  Pitts and Copics, since I didn’t have my Spectrum Noirs when I did this page.

I liked this gal but something about her was bugging me. Her eyes are a bit uneven, but close enough.  The space between the eyes if fine. I like her shading.  Finally, I saw it when scaling the photo – her mouth is just a bit to the right of her nose.

I do not tend to cover over pages that don’t quite work and I like the image on the other side. I have also been meaning to go back to Marker Week, while I have access to Supplies Me, so maybe I will start a new page and re-create this gal.


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LB Week 11 – Trees of Life

This past week was a bonus week with Tam and Gracie.  My initial, art journal, page was trying to incorporate their two styles, but when I sat down to work on it this weekend, I ended up using their basic composition and images.

For my page with Tam, I used my usual art supplies: Neocolor II, acrylics, Prisma pencils, handmade paper, a new book I picked up for free at the Go Center – someone gave up their copy of the 2000 edition of Washington Discovery Guide.  Also used two Stampin’ Up stamps – the bird and butterfly, Spectrum Noir and Auqamarkers, circle and fluer de lis stencils, and small bubble wrap.  I am pretty happy with the page and really like the texture I got on the tree from the handmade paper.

For my page with Gracie, I decided to go monochrome, in my color of this year: blue.  Gracie’s page was landscape so I rotated mine to portrait.  Once I bind my pages, I want to be able to thumb through them without turning the book.  The tree is from a recent tangle pattern that I started drawing a couple weeks ago, so I am enjoying the synchronicity that they both used a similar style tree recently. For the page, I used nearly the same materials, with the addition of Pitt pens. I like the more abstractness of this page, that it is more doodle-ish, and that it is more flat. I spent very little time shading elements, but the layering gives a bit of depth.  I used a little black for the stamped images. My black ink pad needs refreshing, which works out in for this page. I like the faintness of the stamped images.

I was hoping to have time to work on the 9×12 version of Jane’s popup page, which remains a favorite page in my class journal.  Alas, time has run out for tonight.  Tam posted a supply list for tomorrow’s teacher and I’m happy to see that I have nearly everything on the list and what I don’t have, I hope I can substitute with supplies on hand.

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LB Week 10

This week’s technique was paint over collage, a new one for me. I made the collage from photos from Vogue, handmade papers and my trusty Practice Householder vintage magazine. As Tam suggested, I took a photo after finishing the collage.


Following Tam’s instructions, I used Neocolor 2s, acrylic paints, colored pencil to redraw the face, stamps, Pitt pens, Sakura pens, and a little Peerless watercolor. Here is my finished page:


Had some trouble with the colored pencil scatching off the magazine layers. I used Modge Podge to glue it down and am glad I bought the smallest bottle. I don’t like the scent, it’s thickness, and it doesn ‘t work as well for me as matte gel medium. I have  bit left and will reserve it for journal pages.

I also used clear gesso for the first time and love it.

I mostly like the page.  I really like how the layers build on each other. I even like the pastel-ish background.  Had some trouble with the face – her mouth is just a bit off center. Her original hand did not vanish as much as I would have liked, but not bad for a second try. The first try being in my class art journal, of course.

I am really enjoying Life Book and very glad I signed up for it. I am also pretty happy with my art progress after 7 months.

I haven’t posted much on the Express Yourself assignmnents. I am still on Expressive Eyes, which has a lot of homework and I love eyes, so I admit to a certain amount of savoring the work.

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Wardrobe Project

For many years, I’ve had the goal of making my own wardrobe.  This goal has been recently hampered by my bilateral carpal tunnel surgery. It has also been hampered by my lack of discipline to sort out my personal style. That is about to change, thanks to Coletterie (which offers adorbs retro-inspired sewing patterns), I am following her Wardrobe Architect plan to realize it in an organized, thoughtful manner.  The intro post is here.

How, you may ask, does this relate to my visual world? The Wardrobe Architect has weekly assignments, some writing and contemplative and others image-collecting.  Week 2 is Defining Core Style, so I followed her suggestion and created a Pinterest Board for my Core Style.

Week 4 is Proportions and she suggested making a collection with Polyvore, which I’ve been wanting to try for quite some time, so here is my Sillouette Collection.

The photos in these sets do not yet address color, but there is clearly a style emerging, based on the clothing styles and shapes I feel best in.  The trick will be in combining my Bohemian, Ethnic, Retro, Eclectic stylings into my own style. I had called it Eclectic Ethnic, but I like Bohemian Retro.  Still, not sure how to merge those. These two pins, in particular, begin to capture the look I’m going for:

While working through the journaling exercises, it occurred to me that while I may not be able to sew everything, I can alter pieces to fit my sillouette.  I enjoyed the altered pieces I made as Costume Designer for a fringe production of Anna Karenina. I was particularly happy with Anna’s party dress, where she meets Vronksy, made by combining 2 thrift store gowns.

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Double Exposure


I found a phone app called photo blender that, you guessed it, allows you to merge 2 photos. This was my first attempt using  2 of my gals drawn by me for Jane Davenport’s Express Yourself class, edited with Photo Blender, Pixlr-o-matic, and Aviary. 

I am enjoying exploring ways to recycle my various creations.

Edited with #aviary >

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My Second Soft Doll

My first doll of this sort I gave to a carpenter friend to make a chair for my bjds.  I used Hiro to trace a bjd-sized pattern, then made a simple doll, stuffed it, and attached one of my bjd mohair wigs to it.  I wasn’t completely happy with it, but it did the job of standing in for my bjds.

With all the girl drawings, I’ve been hankering to paint one on a doll. I considered wiping one of my face-ups and repainting one of my bjds, but that is not the same as realizing my style of face on a doll, so I decided to make use of my fabric stash, much of it fat quarters, given to me by the mom of my dear friend Kim.

For this project, I used the book, Cloth Doll Workshop, by elinor peace bailey, Patti Medaris Culea, and Barabara Willis.  This doll is based on the first project in the book, Ginger, a simple, un-jointed doll.  I have the Kindle version, so I had to freehand draw the pattern pieces myself.  In the end, I think she looks a lot like my Jane Davenport style mitten-handed, simple-footed figure.

Most of the patterns in the book are free with mixing patterns and bold colors, so I tried to do this for my doll, named Luci. All the fabrics are cotton, with unbleached muslin for the body. Her hair is from a small skein of my own hand spun wool yarn, Corriedale, Navajo-plied.


Following the doll instructions, I stitched the sleeves, bodice top and upper leggings onto the doll body.  I wasn’t sure how she’d turn out at this point….


Pretty happy with the result, I pressed on.  Stuffing was a bit tougher than I expected, particularly the hands and feet. I think a stuffing fork would be handy, but I made do with the small tube turnings I have on hand. I free-hand drew the vest pattern, modifying it from the one in the book so there was more of a collar and longer. I also made up the tiered skirt pattern from memory. Added lace to cover some of the more questionable seams.


For her face, I used Pitt pens, Sakura Micron pens and Spectrum Noir for shading.  I’ll need to figure out alternatives for the Pitt and Noir pens, as they spread a little further on the fabric than I expected. I’m pretty happy with her, but having played with her a little, I did not stuff her neck firmly enough, so her head does tend to roll back and forth. However, not bad for my second doll.  She’s about Ginger’s height, 58 cm, or about 22″ tall.

luci_4509_v1For reference, here is my Wide-eyed Pucker face from Jane Davenport’s Express Yourself, which I completed last week.  Luci would have had green eyes, but I don’t have a green Sakura pen.


I am eager to transform some of my other drawings into dolls: Squid lady, my Unnamed Peaceful looking Creature, and one of my vintage-inspired girls.  Not sure when I’ll get to another doll, given that there will be new assignments for both Life Book and Express Yourself.  I will need more flesh-colored fabric and that stuffing fork mentioned earlier.  I will work through the book projects, which get increasingly complex.