When I began my blog I wanted to merge two of my passions, one for gardening and the other for my creations. I don’t call them ‘dolls’ because not all of them take the human form. They are very impressionistic. They’re not perfect in proportion and my sewing can be impatient. I still haven’t found the language to express my ideas, (I don’t know what to tag them), but the images might tell my story.
When I began my blog I was frustrated with the quality of my photos. I have been fixated on trying to improve them. I’ve studied lots of other blog and watched countless videos. Now, I have a new challenge taking inside photos indoors. I cheated and went outside in the brief sunshine we’ve had. Who to take first? This one seemed appropriate for the sunshine.
As I was playing around with the sun and the pesky shadows, (there is a downside when the sun comes out), I noticed something through the viewfinder. Oh wow, blossom. Here, as I’ve said often lately, it’s the end of Winter. Wait on, maybe I should say the start of Spring
I used to believe that toys came to life when you weren’t watching them. All right I’ll be honest I still do. I have proof. I make dolls, maybe you’d call them creatures. For years when I got home from work I’d find them, frozen with guilt. Sometimes they’s meet me at the door, sometimes they’d stray outside, sometimes they would occupy my favorite chair. I’d even caught them mid climb out the window. Yes, caught in the act. Sometimes I’d find them pair off and cuddle up. Othertimes, they might be in inappropriate poses. Enough about that! What’s that story or movie where the toys come to life at night and get up to all sorts of hi-jinx? You’re right there were lots of them. My favorite was Pinocchio. Recently there’s been Toy Story, Fantasia, The Nutcracker and lots more to prove my point.
Rereading my last few posts, I finally put 1 and 1 together. I have a suspect for the degradation of my gum tree. He’s not a reindeer, he’s a rabbit in disguise… and he was hungry when he got here from the North Pole. What do you think?
While I was sorting the fabric, I rediscovered lots of Christmas prints and wondered what Christmas,post COVID, might be like this year. Will we all be free of it? Will the virus be under control or will we still be on this awful roller coaster surfing the waves? I really wasn’t feeling optimistic enough to launch myself into a complex Christmas project. As I was pondering where to start, the little guys behind me suggested I make them another friend, after all it gets pretty lonely living up in an attic studio, the pattern is simple and another reindeer for Christmas might be useful.
So….I followed the usual process. Here comes Reindeer no 4.
I gathered the pattern pieces and… as I make a ‘doll’ it usually starts to take on its own characteristics. Rarely, do I slavishly follow the original pattern. This one though really had a mind of his own. He had just dodged the border controls and escaped from the North Pole. Apparently, Santa’s mob are very concerned about the virus too. Yes, even there. They have it too. There is a lot of dissent about working conditions in the next 6 months. He wasn’t looking forward to Christmas 2020, in fact, it was already taking its toll. He was exhausted. Between lock downs, there was a lot of travel and preparation. Sourcing the materials that they need for the workshops was becoming stressful. Santa was admitting to being more than a little anxious. The elves were all hoping that they’d stay in good health. Some of them were finding it difficult to think about spreading joy and presents. I mean, think about it. The risks involved in landing on all the roofs. Someone had to go down all those chimneys. Who knows what germs might be lurking below. Did they really have to go to every continent? Even…? This one just couldn’t take it anymore. He needed a break. (Don’t we all?), so he dropped in to stay with the other lads for a while. I must say he looked in bad shape.
He seems to be settling in well, enjoying the company of the others. Hopefully he’ll make a full recovery and disappear, with his new buddies, to help Santa with the Christmas rush.
So it is easy to make a resolution to blog regularly, but it’s much harder to keep going. I’ll bet that’s been said before? The weather and the threat of the second wave of COVID isn’t helping. Cold, rain, border closures, lock downs, endless TV images. It sucked any creativity and get up and go right away. Nothing happening, nothing to say, no reason to get out of bed, not going anywhere soon. BUT…
I did manage to throw myself into cleaning and sorting. I wonder if it’s satisfying my need for order and control of my life. An orderly cupboard, lots of full ordered drawers, an empty drawer, lots of empty plastic tubs and an empty work space. It’s taken quite a lot more time than I thought but I did it. Well, to be honest I can say that I sorted the cotton pieces. There is still lots more of the more interesting pieces to sort. I quite enjoyed the ironing and folding, rediscovering lots of lovely fabric pieces that I have collected over many years. I even ‘sanded’ the work table, trying to remove the creative efforts of the grandchild, who had put more texta and paint on the table than on the many art pieces he has contributed.
Strange, how the trio perched on the railing behind me watched my efforts, with wry grins on their faces. Curious creatures… they’re my cross between a reindeer and a rabbit. They emerge to add to the decor in both seasons, Christmas and Easter. It might be a stretch, but holding a big Easter egg, they could pass for a rabbit.
So how long did the work table stay in its pristine condition? Well, lets just say that before the sanding has been effectively finished….the table has a new project. Funny how a clean work bench just seems to call out to me. Or was it the idle chattering of those three watching me? More on that soon.
It’s all happening. I have two time consuming projects on the go. One is learning to blog and the other is the BIG CLEANUP. Now that the grandkids are back at school and I’ve stopped home schooling, I have no excuse.
My blogging skills are developing. Today I changed my template to allow me to show my posts on the home page. Yes, I know, they’re not there yet, but look again tomorrow!!! It does mean messing things around a bit, so stay with me. I made a few brief new posts to play with. I learnt to reorder posts, so I have more control.
I have a follower!!! I’d love some more (hint, hint). The FOLLOW button is now displayed more prominently. My new challenge is to find a quicker way to get to get my photos from my phone to here. I’ll work on it. Back to today’s post.
My attic studio has, I admit, been neglected for years. Fabric piled up in heaps wherever it landed. As a doll maker I have stored everything useful from fabric, doll hair, eyes, eyelashes, buttons, cottons etc. I save everything. Some may say compulsive. There was some vague order, but…..
Sorting and Storing the Stash
I’ve decided to start the clean up by sorting my fabric stash. After some experimentation and lots of mess I have a new system. Firstly I’ve sorted fabric by type, chiffon, velvet, cotton, fur etc into groups. Then the fun started. I’d all but put my iron and ironing board into moth balls years ago. I dragged it all upstairs and started to iron maniacally. But I was disappointed after trying to put it back into the cupboard drawers. It still ended up being a crumpled mess. Now, I think I’ve found a solution. I’ve started with the cottons. I sorted it into sizes as I ironed. I bought office filing cards in two sizes and wound the strips, fat quarters, and other lengths around the different cards. It stays firm and I can see all the different colours more easily.
I could take another studio photo… but I I’ve only made a miniscule difference so far.