SO sorry it took me so long to post pics of the GORGEOUS flag I received from IsikkahJai! I was busy with work, then I hurt my hand, then...anyway! Here they are!
She chose one of my favorite sayings, "Follow Your Bliss", and created this colorful, sparkly prayer flag for me! I am going to hang it over my main craft space so that I will be inspired. She even stitched on the sequin trim by hand (tons of neat stitches, visible from the back side), gave the figure pretty long acrylic yarn hair, and embroidered on the ribbons...u can see better in this pic:
i LOVE it so much! Thanks IsikkahJai! Can't wait to keep making and receiving more prayer flags in future flag swaps
Here's the flag I made for IsikkahJai (I happened to have some pics of it already):
Long story short, the quote: "I am here. I love you" from Eat, Pray, Love held a lot of significance for my partner, so I went with that. I also "bolded" the words "I AM" and "LOVE" so that the flag can also simply read "I AM LOVE", and also to evoke "I AM" as one of the names for Higher Power or God.
The dots around the letters are puffy fabric paint. The heart is from a bag of junk jewelry: painted with copper paint and patina solution. Other than that: scraps, markers, clearance ribbon. My little sister taught me how to embroider so that I could do the hands; found a reference image of hands by doing google image search "got the whole world in his hands".
Okayyyy...so, joining the Junker Jane Swap has given me DOLL FEVER!
I went to the Goodwill yesterday, and bought up some crappy cloth dolls in need of a make-over. Using one of the dolls I bought, a tacky little "country angel" type thing, I crafted all day today and transformed her into this:
But wait! Get this: the doll started out looking like THIS: (drumroll, please!)
What would possess me to buy such a thing, you might ask? First, it was only $1.00, and second, it had these really cool little "laces" stitched onto the front of its feet. From that one detail, it knew it was meant to be re-born. Here's a better shot of its feet; it is sitting with other dolls that will be recon-ed very soon:
--I stripped the doll of all its accoutrements: cut the dress off, threw out the twig-wings ( ), and generally stripped it down to its bare body. This was not hard; it was mostly held together with hot glue.
--I also washed it by hand, and put it through the dryer. Here is was when it was all clean and ready to be crafted:
RECON: I basically just crafted in frenzy all day. Here's the essence of what I did:
--Hot glue ribbons and fabric to the dolls body to make clothes. --Paint the face with acrylic, after shaping a bit with stitches. --Replace its arms with steel wire and seed-beads (thanks for the idea, LovesClutter!) --Crackle finish. --Make and glue on "wig" made of this great yarn I got at the Dollar Store...PLUS, the yarn is acrylic and nylon, so it's VEGAN, yet looks like wool!!! --Wrap wire to define doll's "waist" and create a loop on back for hanging.
Here's more shots of the doll. It is over a foot long; one of the pics shows the doll near large tarot cards on the wall to help with scale:
And the little shoe laces detail which first drew me to the doll, and which I preserved:
Thanks for looking! C&C and questions welcome
#######EDITED TO ADD:
UPDATE ON THE DOLL:
a couple weeks after posting this last summer, i was contacted by a woman in the UK (i am in US) who titled her message with "Your Doll Looks Like Me!"...long story short, a friend of hers had been searching craftster, and stumbled on my doll, which apparently looks a lot like the woman (Ginger).
anywho, Ginger arranged to buy the doll, and I packed her up for her long trip across the pond. I asked Ginger to send me a pic of her WITH the doll, but she never did
Hey everyone!!! I recently participated in the Junker-Jane-inspired doll swap, and in gearing up to make my first real "art doll", I did TONS of research, learned a lot through trial and error, and generally had a blast. My swap-mates really liked the doll I made, and seemed interested in some of the techniques I used, so here is a very informal (written) tute...no real "process" photos, so if u have questions or just need clarification, just post in the comments section.
Also, I HIGHLY recommend u visit the site: http://clothclaydolls.ning.com/ You DO have to pay to access the content, bit it's only $8 or so for the year, and I learned A LOT!
Here is the Junker Jane inspired doll I made:
And, the JJ-Doll had a friend, the "practice doll" (see explanation below):
BASIC ASSEMBLY PROCESS:
--Gather some non-stretch woven fabrics to make the base of your doll. I used scrap linen from a thrift store dress, but any linen/cotton/silk/woven would work.
--***SAVE A PIECE OF YOUR MATERIAL TO USE AS A "TEST" SWATCH FOR ALL PAINTS OR FINISHES U WILL APPLY TO DOLL. Having a test piece of linen prevented me from RUINING the doll when I accidentally bought the wrong crackle finish.
--Draft your pattern on paper. Lay on fabric, and cut out. Sew right-sides-together, clip and turn, and stuff and assemble doll (arms should be kept as separate pieces until very end). THIS IS YOUR PRACTICE DOLL. Now, decide if u like how the pattern shapes up. Make revisions to pattern, cut out and sew once again: THIS IS YOUR "REAL" DOLL.
--You should have a body with head (one piece), with legs attached. Arms will be put on practically last.
EARLY SURFACE TECHNIQUES:
--You need to prep the doll to receive paint and finishes: SEAL DOLL COMPLETELY WITH CLEAR ACRYLIC GESSO (LIQUITEX BRAND). Apply one coat, let dry. Apply another coat, let dry. Repeat until u have 3 or 4 coats of gesso on doll...allow about 24 HOURS DRY-TIME between coats.
--SAND doll with very fine grit sandpaper (what u would use on polymer clay; can be found in auto repair shops)...400 grit or higher. Sanding with result in a silky smooth finish to the dried gesso. Doll is ready to receive paint.
--Paint the doll using acrylics...create a striped shirt, basic facial features (as seen on my "practice" doll), stockings, anything. Always test on scrap fabric, let dry between colors, and be bold!
FINAL SURFACE TECHNIQUES: DISTRESSED CRACKLE: (JJ doll has crackle, "practice" doll is left with naked acrylic paint job)
--To achieve the crackle finish on my doll, only ONE crackle product worked properly (always test on scrap fabric): "DECO ART: ONE STEP CRACKLE: CRACKLE FINISH". Others were gummy on scrap, did not crack, etc.
--How to: on a completely dry and clean doll, apply a generous coat of Deco Art crackle with a wide flat brush. Work quickly...do NOT keep brushing or smoothing the clear liquid, u will disrupt the crackling.
--A few hours later, when crackle has dried, it looks like shiny "crazed" glass with webs of cracks all over. Perfect!
--Mix brown or black, or copper, acrylic paint with water until u have a wash about the consistency of milk. Working in small sections, brush this dark watery wash over sections of the doll, and IMMEDIATELY wipe away with a slightly damp dish towel. The "stain" will remain in the cracks.
--The doll does not need to be sealed in any other way.
OTHER MATERIALS AND EMBELLISHMENTS:
--There are LOTS of materials used in these dolls: JJ Doll: eyes are made of polymer clay and attached with crazy glue, center chest ornament is a bottle cap and vintage button, rubbed parts with Rub N Buff Blue Patina, skirt made of wire edged ribbon, bits and stuff everywhere...
--The main goal is to do what YOU like, use the objects around you, and experiment
OMG!!! I just received from LesliesHappyHeart, and all i can say is WOW!
I literally started screaming with joy when I saw the doll and the extra! Even the package she shipped it was so colorful and cool! I am literally IN AWE of what you made for me, Leslie!
The doll plus the extra:
First of all, even the "extra" is swap-worthy on its own!!! This pillow is SO well made and precious! I love bunnies, this goes with my house, and again, photos cannot capture the details and polished finishing of this extra pillow:
THE DOLL...OMG! "Fluffy" is this perfect JJ style bunny, holding its own LITTLE bunny, sewn from a really cool palette of cotton prints with stripes, dots, tiny bunny images, etc. The teeth (clay?) are so textured and really just complete the piece. Long floss whiskers, tiny buttons, a singed ear (poor bunny) , lines of stitching, and details galore:
Photos totally do not capture the beauty of the doll and the extra. Fluffy and the bunny pillow are gonna be two of my most treasured possessions...thank u SO MUCH Leslie for making so cool items for me.
Sometimes the best inspiration really does strike at the most unexpected moment:
I sat down last night to make an ornament for a friend/fellow polymer artist that I am doing a private swap with. I was planning to make a flat ornament shaped like a bird. Yet, before I even knew what I was doing, I grabbed a vintage red glass ornament from my ever expanding "To-Use-Soon" craft closet, and began covering with polymer clay. After some experimentation, and a whole lot of patina, here are the results:
To make your own:
--Cover glass Christmas ball in thin sheets of polymer clay, blending edges of "joins" with finger tips --Once whole ball is covered, use a pointy tool (needle, paint brush handle) and, "stabbing into" clay, swirl around and outward to create jagged "barnacle" holes. --BAKE --Paint entire clay surface with Sophisticated Finishes copper paint (real bits of copper in there). --IMMEDIATELY follow with SF's Copper Patina solution (green) as per the directions on bottle. --You are DONE!
Amazing double-sided Boston Bull wall art! Yay!!!!!
The little collar has a real patina penny:
AND, the other side is so cute too!
It even has a little shadow-box type effect on that side:
The details are incredible, and SO many mediums used...I can see collaged paper, some kind of tape or vinyl, plastic or acetate, colored pencil, wire, beads, A PENNY (my fave detail) and much much much more!
THANK YOU THRIFTY!!! You have seriously blown me away! (I am gonna hang this in my breakfast nook where it will be visible on BOTH sides all the time...too cute to choose just one side!!!!
As a mask-maker, I KNEW I wanted to give myself the challenge of creating a mask using THREAD for the Just Thread It challenge. Here's what I came up with: a "thread-mache" mask that uses only black crochet thread, Elmer's glue, gold wax paste, and a little ribbon and elastic (which are made of thread mostly!)
Close-up detail of the mask, to show thread texture:
YOU can make this super-easy mask as well...all you need is patience for drying time! And the following supplies: --1 plastic mask face from craft store --some crochet thread or ANY OTHER THREAD (thick is better and faster) --Elmer's Glue All --scissors --Treasure Gold Wax Paste (the faux gold leafing type stuff, comes in a tiny circular jar) --elastic and ribbon, hot glue gun
First, you need to cut the thread into a bunch of short, even-length strands...this is much easier if you wind the thread around something (I have used a small picture frame here) and then shimmy it off and cut both sides...u will know what I mean when u do it
(you can see the tiny jar of Treasure Gold in this picture here: up near the top inside a round cookie cutter)
Next: --Make a mixture of 3 parts glue to one part water in a disposable tupperware. --Grab a hank of threads, and dredge through the watery glue. --Lay across the face in any pattern you like (I created a kind of basket weave, celtic knot, over-under kinda thing...this only "came" to me after several tries doing other patterns I did not like. If you wanna imitate my pattern, just refer to the photo...or, try creating your OWN pattern--that's the fun of it!) --Keep adding glue/water soaked clumps of thread until you create a pattern you like:
As you can probably tell from that picture and the next, after the pattern is done, u wanna squirt EVEN MORE GLUE over all the strands, adding extra at any joins or overlaps...don't worry, this stuff dries crystal clear.
FOR THE FIRST 3 OR 4 HOURS: keep adding new glue whenever it looks like it has all soaked in. I used 3/4 of a bottle on this project.
FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS: Let your mask dry until it is BONE-DRY...u will tempted to take it off and try it on: don't! You CAN move things along with a warm hair dryer...but the mask needs at least a couple days to dry!
FINALLY: Carefully pry the mask off the mask form. This is a time to added any needed glue (and blow dry it), etc.
FINISHING: Hot glue gun two pieces of elastic onto either side of mask. Wrap with matching ribbon (and more hot glue) to hide the elastic join.
ADD GOLD: Rub some Treasure Gold on your finger, and pass over the mask, highlighting the thread-y texture.
Enjoy! Show me your thread masks too--have fun crafting! Great to wear to a ren-fair or something! Kinda looks like leather--nice and cruelty-free leather!
OMG---just received my art from FOXYBLUE, and I almost CRIED! She made the most gorgeous, textur-y mask painting: and I can tell that she looked at my masks (i am a mask maker) to get a sense of my style, and then made something with the same aesthetic....
i am so HONORED that she made this for me! (and since this is my first swap, i am so in awe of the process: a stranger sends you beautiful handmade art...where else does this happen in the world other than craftster?! so appreciative)
this photo does NOT do the piece justice...gonna take a better one soon...just wanted to get the image up before i go to sleep
tons of texture and metallic sheen, tiny details (the background is made of decoupaged sewing pattern envelopes), and my favorite part is the wispy, barely-there white ties coming off the sides of the mask.