Friday, May 20, 2011

My new obsession

I have become totally obsessed with Robert Tonner fashion dolls, and I've spent the last two days making my first outfit for this exquisite doll.  Though I've got a lot to learn, I'm happy with my first outfit, which is a hybrid of a McCall's pattern I bought at an Etsy shop and my own design. The skirt has ten layers of tulle (sp?) over a satin petticoat, and the bodice and skirt yoke are a gauzy material with silver sparkles over the same satin. The wrap around her hips is more tulle, twisted and knotted.
I'm hopelessly hooked.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 110: Two Flamingos and Two Parakeets

I got home from Florida a couple of nights ago.  It's always so hard saying good-bye to my Mom and my Dad.  They are both almost ninety-three years old, and my heroes in life.  There were a lot of tears this time.
Last night Watson and I were invited to Ollie the dog's birthday party.  It was a fun thing to do when I was feeling very weepy. There was even a liver-flavored birthday cake (which I politely declined to sample).  Watson had a piece, and enjoyed it wholeheartedly.  I got to give Grace her present from Florida, which was a huge hit.  Everybody wanted one!
This afternoon, Janneke came over with some new origami paper, beautifully patterned, and we made these parakeets, and the paper box one of them is sitting on.  We're still stumped by the hummingbird; we keep getting to step 18, and can go no further.  I think we're going to have to find some Origami Master to show us how.  But we had a lot of fun, and since it's still cold and rainy here, all the dogs were happy to stay inside with us.
It's good to be home, but my heart is still in Florida, with Mom and Dad.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 109: Sketchbook Birds

I did these two sketchbook pages last night while I was watching the news with my Dad.  I was sitting at the computer, and I did a Google Images search for "Birds", and picked two photos out of the literally hundreds of thousands available.  Before the internet, I spent most of my down time in libraries and bookstores, looking for reference photos.  Now, sadly, a good number of the libraries and bookstores are gone, and with them the chance of stumbling upon something really interesting--though totally irrelevent--that transports one to a whole new world.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 108: A Parrot at the Airport

Yesterday I spent the day in airports, travelling down to Florida to visit my folks.  Since there's a lot of hanging around at the airport, it's an ideal place to doodle.  This pen and ink drawing is based on a watercolor by an artist named Anna Heyward Taylor.  My friend Felicia, an alum of the University of South Carolina, gave me a newsletter announcing the publication of a book about this "South Carolina Artist and World Traveler."  Taylor lived from 1879 to 1956, and did paintings, drawings, woodblocks, and book cover design.  I tore this scrap from the newsletter, and it seemed appropriate that I do a sketch based on her art, as I headed south.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 107: A Bird for my Mom

Today was Mother's Day, so naturally I had to make a bird for my Mom.  I'm going down to visit my parents this Thursday, so I'll bring it with me.
This pattern was from Carolyn Vosburg Hall's book, Sewing Tiny Toys, see the bat on Day 42 for another pattern from this book.  This little bird was a surprisingly complex and intricate design:  with darts, slots, and curves, and it took all day to make up.  Vosburg Hall is a very accomplished pattern-draftsman.  I was amazed to see how her very odd-shaped pattern pieces all came together to make a very charming little creature.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 106: Another Zentangle Bird

I haven't 'tangled' for a while (that's the verb to use when creating a Zentangle), so tonight I decided to make another bird with this technique.  The fun thing about Zentangles is that you never know quite how they will come out.  This bird seems to be wearing an Elizabethan ruffed collar and cap--quite unplanned. 
When I signed and dated my Zentangle, which you are always supposed to do, I noticed that today is 5/5/11.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 105: A Kindle Bird

Quentin stopped by this noon with his Kindle, which he is loaning me for my upcoming trip to Florida to visit my parents.  I was sitting at the table tonight looking at it, and wishing I could just crawl into bed and read, but I hadn't made my bird for the day yet.  Suddenly I got the idea to make a bird patch for the Kindle cover.  Every Kindle needs a cover, and every cover needs a bird, right?
Now I can go to bed!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 104: A Collaged and Layered Bird

For me to get to the point where I can work this haphazardly means that either I'm really, really tired, or that I've finally gotten to a place in the artistic process where I don't care how the piece comes out.  This bird, created from layers of cut and torn paper, glue, white acrylic paint, and brush  markers, is a real stretch for me.  With my background in illustration, I'm far more comfortable working with very controlled watercolor washes, over a tight pencil drawing, with all the 'bugs' already dealt with on scraps of trace, and certainly NOT on the final piece of art.  Getting my hands, my work table, and especially the art itself all messy and wet and sticky just isn't in my comfort zone as an artist.
But part of my reason for doing the 365 Bird Project is to get away from my tightly controlled environment, to get my fingernails dirty--literally--and to try new things.
Actually, once I got going with this, and had abandoned all hope of a satisfactory outcome, I started having fun.  It just took long time of neatly gluing down fiddly little pieces of paper before I finally rolled up my sleeves and just plunged in.
Now that I'm finished, I'm rather pleased with this little guy, and with myself!
I'll clean up the mess in the morning.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 103: A Tiny Coin Purse

I am delighted to report that today I appeared on Noah Scalin's Make Something 365 Blog!  You may recall that Noah is the guy who started this whole thing, with his project of making a skull a day for a whole year.  You'll want to be sure to check out his blog, where you'll see folks from all over the world who are making all kinds of fantastic things, every day.  It is truly inspiring.
Noah himself has published a book, has appeared on  Martha Stewart, and is going around the country giving workshops.  He is a phenomenon!  My own fame hasn't spread quite so far, but I must say it was fun to see my work on Noah's site.
Today's bird, a tiny coin purse, is a pattern by Naomi Tabatha, from her book Felt Friends from Japan.  You can see two other little birds I made from her designs on my St. Patrick's Day post, March 17th.
Oh, and don't forget to check out Noah's blog.  My fifteen minutes of fame!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 102: Love is in the Air

Royal Weddings, Springtime, the beginning of May, love is in the air! This little bird carries a heart in his beak to celebrate the season. The pattern comes from Elizabeth Ruffing
who found a pattern on Martha Stewart's website, then adapted it for a charming little bird of her own. I was looking around the internet for inspiration, and found Elizabeth's bird in Google Images using the keywords "Bird Patterns for Sewing". What did we do before the internet?
Now I'm going to google: "Who paid for the Royal Wedding?" I'll let you know what I find out.