So I signed up for the Art Doll Swap organized by our darling Smmarrt. I can do this, piece of cake! I check out the various galleries for prior swaps. No problem. When I get my partner's questionnaire, everything changes. PilarFarmer wants a mermaid. I can do it. The mermaid face comes out looking like a psychotic skunk. Gaaah! I cut the thing in half. Panic sets in. I'm waking up in the middle of the night thinking... Gaaah! They're gonna kick me out of craftster. Can I send half an art doll?
Plan B. What does a mermaid ride? A seahorse. I can do it. I can do it. Like the train that could get up the mountain. I scour the internet for a cool pattern and find one on liaspace. Just one of the numerous choices of free seahorse patterns out there. I print that baby out and using leftover green fabric from the fabric printing swap, I cut my seahorse out and sew right over the pattern leaving a generous space to turn it inside out. Easy breezy.
I can't get the nose to turn inside out. Much less the tail. Gaaah! Can I just stuff it with all the edges showing? I'm really gonna get kicked out of craftster. What the heck. Just stuff the dern thing. Make it work. Why oh why did I ever join craftster? I stuff the seahorse nose. No problem. I go to stuff the tail and notice how looped around it is? This pattern is impossible. So I take out the trusty seam ripper and rip out one side of the tail. Notice how tiny the stitches are and how I've double stitched for stability? Yep, that all has to be ripped out.
I stuff the tail an inch at a time and sew. Another inch and sew. The tail looks a little floppy so I rummage through the supplies and find a couple of pipe cleaners to stick in for sturdiness.
It's coming along well and I'm finally thinking that I will have a suitable doll to send to PilarFarmer. Something that I am proud to send out. Not bad, eh?
I go back and double check Pilar's questionnaire just cause.
She doesn't like green. Gaaah! At this point, I need to tell you that my husband supports me tremendously when I get to this place. He actually sits with me and brainstorms. He says, "Why don't you wrap it?" I get online yet again and start googling art doll seahorses. I come upon this artist Joy Kirkwood who has amazing dolls. I wanna take a class with her at some point. But that's an aside. I need to get this doll done by the send-out deadline. I need to focus and start wrapping.
And many hours later...
I start to relax and enjoy the creating process. I have a presentable doll that I hope my swap partner will be happy with. Whew. Big sigh of relief. Am I the only one that goes through this?
Now it's time to play. I add all sorts of embellishments from my stash. Between each wrap, I embroider or add a string of fuzzy yarn or stone beads. I wrap the nose with an old broken necklace chain. I wrap a pipe cleaner with more fabric and embroider it down the back. I use a old washer and wrap it with fabric for the eyeball. I find some ribbon for the seahorse wings. When I'm finally done, my husband insists that I add a seahorse baby and a pouch as it's the male seahorses that raise the young. And I'm glad I did, cause it's one of the best elements, don't you think? It was really hard to put this art doll in the mail.