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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Anybody else remember these sewing cards? on: November 01, 2017 01:41:17 PM
I can recall that one of my younger sisters had some of these when we were kids, but, when I asked my Aunt about them, she insisted that they were animal-themed, not these Barbie ones.

Anyhoo, Monday morning I found this complete Barbie set at a local thrift store, and it was free to boot!  The box is pretty banged up, but all six cards and the yarn threads (which have shoelace ends to make them easier to thread through the holes) were all there and in nice shape.  The six cards were already finished except for the Ken/Barbie one with the yellow yarn, so, I completed that one before shooting these photos (finally: a sewing project that even I can't screw up!)  I bet, for a lot of young girls around my age (there's no date on the box, but I'm guessing it's from the 80s), this may have been their very first sewing experience.

The one above with roses in Barbie's hair is my favorite.  I wish that ColorForms/Mattel had tried something a little more creative than just outlining the figures, like making some simple shapes, but, for aspiring artists, it's as good a start as any.
2  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / Forget the wolf, feeding them after midnight is 1,000 times worse! on: October 18, 2017 07:39:43 AM
Here are a couple more ATCs, but, rather than exchanging them as usual, this time they were just gifts. A fellow Craftster member is having some serious health difficulties in her life, so, some individuals put their heads together and decided that it'd be nice to send Gozer a little care package of cards, to boost her spirits, and asked me to contribute an ATC(s), which I did.

I'm not very good at touchy-feely stuff, nor do I really know Gozer all that well, so, I didn't want to end up inadvertently saying the wrong thing, as such, I decided to just pick a couple of themes that Gozer had listed when she participated in Craftster's July 2017 ATC swap.

For the first card, I made Gizmo from the Gremlins films. Who doesn't love fuzzy little mogwai?

And for the second card I selected Red Riding Hood.

3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Jem Misfits fan art on: September 23, 2017 07:17:37 AM
I got a PM asking about my new avatar, but, since Photobucket changed their image sharing policies recently, all the images on the Jem fan art page on my web site don't work anymore, so, I'm uploading those four drawings that I used to make said animated GIF here, even though they're pretty old (I did most of them back in college, well over a decade ago).  Since it's been a while, I don't remember for sure, but I think they were done with colored pencils, markers, and watercolor paint.





I uploaded a bunch more to my gallery, but even that isn't all of them Tongue
4  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / August ATC quartet on: August 25, 2017 11:05:00 AM
All my swap partners have received their cards, so, it's safe to post a thread without ruining anyone's surprise now.

For my first card, which went to Ohio, I chose BigBangMomma's "Cute Monsters" theme (she also listed "Cute Animals" as another option on her list, and, as you can see below, for some reason, I got the two mixed up while I was filling out the back of the card). I decided to illustrate a Nacht Kobold (German for "Night Sprite/Spirit"), based on the adorable design found in the Shin Megami Tensei (Super Reincarnation of the Goddess): Devil Children (renamed DemiKids in North America, doubtlessly to avoid controversy) Gameboy Color/Advance video games. The Devil Children titles are intended for a younger audience, thus, the mythological monsters are significantly "cute-fied" compared to the more realistic/graphic artwork used in the "normal" Megami Tensei games.

In German folklore, Kobolds are entities that take up residence in houses, mines, and on ships. If their human "hosts" treat them well and with respect, the Kobolds will bring them good luck and even do chores or provide other helpful assistance, but, if you behave badly towards them, then the angry Kobolds will cause all sorts of misery and misfortune instead. Regardless of how you feel about the supernatural, the lesson in clear: Do onto others as you'd have them do onto you.

I selected "Figure Study or Nude", from Texan Rockingbearranch's list of themes, as my second ATC project. I had to do similar, albeit much larger, figure studies quite often when I took illustration classes in college, but my professor could never get any naked models to pose (and, at times, nobody at all, which resulted in my classmates and myself being the models instead--fully clothed mind you). You see, my alma mater was cheap and only paid minimum wage for both clad and unclad models. Short of being an exhibitionist, why would you take your clothes off when you got exactly the same amount of money for keeping them on? Obviously, none of the faculty in the art department minored in business. But, then again, I often skipped class anyway, so maybe I missed out on all the full frontal nudity. Speaking of which, a former friend of mine, whom also took the same illustration classes that I did, but during different semesters, claimed that he was present when our professor did manage to somehow find a male nude model, who became aroused on the job, and our saintly teacher felt compelled to hide the offending member with an (artfully) placed towel. My ex-friend was a habitual liar though, so, I put little faith in his story being true.

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My third card went to BigBangMomma again, this time for her "owls" theme. I used several photos of those birds, that I have saved on my hard drive as reference images for modeling, as a basis for this piece. I really liked this one and had a hard time parting with it, but, I told myself: "You can always just print yourself out a copy and glue it onto cardstock if you really want to."

My third card went to BigBangMama again, this time for her "owls" theme. I used several photos of those birds, that I have saved on my hard drive as reference images for modeling, as a basis for this piece. I really liked this one and had a hard time parting with it, but, I told myself: "You can always just print yourself out a copy and glue it onto cardstock if you really want to."

And one final picture of them all scanned together before I sent them off to the four (okay, three) winds:

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5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Something smells fowl in here! on: July 17, 2017 12:57:42 PM

I "fake-joined" the "Bird Bee Butterfly" Swap at Craftster, which simply means that, while you still have to follow the rules for said event, instead of actually exchanging the item(s) that you made with another member, you're creating them for yourself. The object of said swap was to create three items, one focusing on each of the three critter types named in the swap's title.

For my bird project, I decided to make a "Skeleton Duck" enemy monster from Capcom's classic 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) video game DuckTales (it was also ported to the original black-and-white Gameboy in 1990), which was based on the hit Disney cartoon show of the same name. A hi-definition, remastered version of said title was also released for the PC, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii U in 2013.

In the game, billionaire Uncle Scrooge McDuck travels the world (The Amazon, The Himalayas, Transylvania, African Mines, and even the Moon!) collecting even more riches to line his already super deep pockets (the Japanese adaptation was re-named Naughty Duck's Dream Adventures which is much more descriptive of that greedy old bird's activities if you ask me!) And, naturally, Scrooge's many enemies, including The Beagle Boys, Magica DeSpell, and Flintheart Glomgold, try to thwart Scrooge's efforts to maintain his status as the richest duck in the world.

Only found in the Transylvania stage, Skeleton Ducks mindlessly scamper about the rooms and corridors of Dracula Duck's crumbling castle. None too smart (their brains rotted away a long time ago after all), Skeleton Ducks frequently collide with walls, and other solid structures, and those impacts cause them to fall apart into a pile of bones, but that's only a temporary setback, as they soon magically reassemble themselves and give chase once again. Like most of the enemies in the DuckTales video game, Scrooge can easily dispatch them with a single blow from his versatile pogo cane, so, these bony adversaries aren't much of a threat to the rich old bird, who's surprisingly agile for a geriatric fowl. I'm sure he'd tell us that the pursuit of money always makes him feel and move like a spry duckling again . . .

Here's a closer look at the Skeleton Duck game sprite, without the background graphics, that I animated. The poor thing can't seem to keep it together:

Following are some photos of the papier mache modeling process I used to create this action figure:

And this is the completed model:

Newsprint, tissue paper, cardboard from a box of cereal, wire twist ties, white glue, and acrylic paint.

5.1 cm (2.0") wide x 6.0 cm (2.4") tall.
(*Please note that the numbers given can vary a bit, depending on how the figure's joints are positioned.)

Neck, ribs, vertebrae column, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips.

Three days: July 4th, 7th, and 9th, 2017.
6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / It's good to bee queen! on: July 17, 2017 12:45:39 PM
I "fake-joined" the "Bird Bee Butterfly" Swap at Craftster, which simply means that, while you still have to follow the rules for said event, instead of actually exchanging the item(s) that you made with another member, you're creating them for yourself. The object of said swap was to create three items, one focusing on each of the three critter types named in the swap's title.

For my bee project, I decided to paint/draw a "Queen Bee" enemy monster from Vic Tokai's 1995 Super Famicom ("Family + Computer", the original Japanese name for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System) video game Princess Minerva [other versions are also available on the PC-98 computer (1992) and PC Engine CD console (1994); however, none of said variations were ever released outside of Japan].

The titular character, Minerva, not content with the "normal" boring life of a princess, sets out on an epic adventure, with her entourage of eight friends in tow, to save the land from the forces of evil. Princess Minerva is equal parts pro-feminist and cheesecake, as the vast majority of the characters in the game are female, including all nine of the protagonists you control, as well as most of the "monsters" you fight, but they also tend to be scantily-clad or topless/naked.

In the screenshot above, "Kui-n Bi-" is the Japanese katakana phonetic equivalent of the English "Queen Bee", and the player characters surrounded by the quartet of Queen Bees are three of Princess Minerva's comrades, Blue Morris (center), Tyrolia (left), and Elan (right) ["Buru- Morisu", "Chiroria", and "Eran", in Japanese katakana, respectively].

I was going to make a 3-dimensional figurine of the Queen Bee, but I ran out of time (and ambition), so, I just painted/drew her instead, using a photograph of a real woman, from an issue of Vogue, as my still-life reference model (obviously, I added the wings, stinger, etc., as she certainly didn't have those!) The actual illustration faces left, but I decided I liked the Queen Bee better facing right, so I horizontally mirrored the image in an art program.

Acrylic paint, graphite/colored pencil, and ink, on white paper.

10.0 cm (3.9") wide x 17.0 cm (6.7") tall.

One morning on July 10th, 2017.
(A day past my deadline--don't tell anybody!)

This isn't really relevant, but, I'll stick it here anyway. It's just a quick portrait of a woman, that I did completely in permanent marker, which was the last thing that I drew prior to the Queen Bee:

Now, for some bee extras. In my experience, bee stuff is a bit harder to come by than birds and butterflies, probably because people tend to not like things that can harm them, which makes them presumably less popular subject matter for merchandising (well, birds can hurt you too, as anyone who's ever been pecked or nipped can tell you, but they rarely do that, so, for most individuals, the worst you have to fear from a bird is perhaps having some bird poop dropped on you or your car).

First off is a 2012 Bakery Crafts bee ring. This likely originated as a cupcake decoration and was obviously intended for children (it only fits all the way down on my pinky fingers, I can't even get it past the second knuckles on either of my ring fingers!)

Next are a pair of Bumblebee dolls from Mattel/McDonald's 2016 DC Superhero Girls collaboration (why don't they just call them Superheroines?). While it looks like they'd swivel, their left arms are permanently raised in the air, which is kind of annoying, and something that Mattel has been doing for a while now with their fast food dolls, especially Barbie. I've also got a couple of Katanas and Supergirl, but I still need to get a Wonder Woman and Batgirl to complete this assortment.

Speaking of Barbie, here's her 2013 "A Boo-tiful Halloween!" storybook (not to be confused with "booty-ful" Cheesy). This is relevant because one of her younger sisters, Stacie, dresses up as a bumblebee, which Barbie describes as "bee-utiful", of course. And Barbie couldn't decide if she wanted to be a bat or a ballerina so she decided to combine the two and become a "baterina" which is kind of clever. Even better, various elements on the pages glow-in-the-dark and two sheets of glow-in-the-dark stickers are also included. It's Halloween in July, y'all!

If you prefer more scientific literature, here's the 1997 "Insects and other Invertebrates" volume of "Wonderful World of Animals". Bees are addressed in the chapter on communication, and their "bee dancing" in particular. This book is okay, but it's intended for younger readers, so, it's pretty general in scope and doesn't contain enough in-depth information for my tastes, but budding scientists gotta start somewhere.

Lastly here's a simple, rubbery bee toy figurine. There's no copyright information molded on its body, so, I have absolutely no idea where it came from, who made it, or when it was manufactured. It may just be a cheap prize from one of those vending machine things. It's cute, but I wish it had some antennae.

7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Mom told me about the birds and bees but neglected the butter-smeared insects on: July 14, 2017 11:23:03 AM

I "fake-joined" the "Bird Bee Butterfly" Swap at Craftster, which simply means that, while you still have to follow the rules for said event, instead of actually exchanging the item(s) that you made with another member, you're creating them for yourself. The object of said swap was to create three items, one focusing on each of the three critter types named in the swap's title.

For my butterfly project, I decided to make a "Bread-and-Butterfly" from Disney's 1951 animated adaptation of Lewis Carroll's (the well-known pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) 1871 Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. While mostly on target, Disney's interpretation of the insect's physiology varies a bit from the description Carroll gave in his book:

'Crawling at your feet,' said the Gnat (Alice drew her feet back in some alarm), 'you may observe a Bread-and-Butterfly. Its wings are thin slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar.'

'And what does IT live on?'

'Weak tea with cream in it.'

A new difficulty came into Alice's head. 'Supposing it couldn't find any?' she suggested.

'Then it would die, of course.'

'But that must happen very often,' Alice remarked thoughtfully.

'It always happens,' said the Gnat.

Following are some photos of the papier mache modeling process that I used to create this figurine:

And this is the completed figurine:

I still don't have a "proper" Alice doll, so Liv Sophie gets to do the honors this time. I think the dress is a Beauty and the Beast Belle one, but, I'm not certain. It's blue and white, which is close enough to what Alice wears in the Disney film to suit my purposes. I had a black satin hair ribbon . . . somewhere . . . but, I don't remember where I stuck it after my last Alice photo shoot, as such, I made her a "new" one out of a combination of an elastic hair band and some electrical tape--MacGyver eat your heart out! Technically, there was a Target-exclusive Liv Sophie doll done up as Alice, but I don't have her, or, at least, if I do, I don't have her Alice outfit (I've accumulated a LOT of Sophie dolls over the last 3-4 years, so, I honestly don't even know anymore).

Newsprint, tissue paper, white paper, cardboard from a box of cereal, wire twist ties, white glue, acrylic paint, and permanent marker.

5.7 cm (2.2") long x 5.7 cm (2.2") tall x 5.1 cm (2.0") wide.

Three days: June 29th, July 2nd and 9th, 2017.

Rainbow Dash isn't allowed in Wonderland anymore . . .

8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Brooch the subject of potato chips and you'll get burned! on: June 22, 2017 12:05:10 PM
At the tail end of May, I bought a stack of 27 books, including Sally Norton's The Girls' Book of Excellence! Leafing through that volume, I saw a project for making potato chip bag brooches which looked pretty cool, so, I decided to give that a try.

The idea was that you'd stick empty mini chip bags into your oven for 10 minutes, and, much like Shrinky Dinks, they'd magically reduce in size, become thicker, and you could then attach safety pins onto the backs of the bags and wear them as brooches. Who doesn't want to sport tiny bags of chips on their chest? All the cool kids are doing it; don't you want to be cool?

Spoiler alert: that didn't happen.

I happened to have some little bags of Lay's kettle-cooked potato chips and Pampa honey/chocolate chip mini teddy bear graham crackers lying around the house, so, those are what I consumed and used (a noble sacrifice on my part, solely in the interest of art).

We have a natural gas range, and the book said to put your oven on the highest setting, which is 500 degrees Fahrenheit on ours, thusly, that's what I did, although I did have some misgivings about that, and would have much preferred that the instructions gave a specific temperature number instead.

The baking kettle chip bag seemed promising at first. It curled and shrank a bit, much like Shrinky Dinks are supposed to do, but then things went horribly wrong, as the bag collapsed in upon itself and became a mishappen lump. More than anything, it resembles a human heart to me (maybe I'll give it a red/pink paint job one of these days if I'm bored):

Meanwhile, the teddy graham bags weren't doing anything, but, I patiently waited, and they eventually began to shrink too, but only by about 25% (the book indicated that the bags should shrink by about two-thirds and become around 2 inches wide). They also remained relatively flat, like they were supposed to, unlike the kettle chip bag. I waited and waited, but the bags were starting to get noticeably darker, which I was afraid meant burning was imminent, so I gave up and stopped.

Now, my kettle chip lump popped right off of the cooking sheet with no problems and had a nice, smooth bottom where it had been in contact with the metal. The teddy grahams, on the other hand, melted to and adhered to the metal and were nearly impossible to remove. I scraped and I prodded, but could do very little with just my hands and nails. I then broke out the steel wool scouring pads, which helped some, but those still weren't removing much either, so, I had to ratchet things up still another notch and grabbed some large-grit sandpaper. Yes, I seriously sanded a cookie sheet. It took around half an hour to accomplish, a lot of elbow grease, and scratched the sheet's surface up horribly, but I eventually got all of that melted plastic off. Even so, given the possibility of chemical residue, it probably wouldn't be too smart for me to eat anything cooked directly on that surface ever again. Oh, how I wish I had put the chip and graham bags on a sheet of aluminum foil instead, which was my first inclination, as I could have just simply wadded the whole botched mess up into a ball and thrown it away!

Those teddy grahams were a cheap brand from Dollar Tree (they were delicious though), manufactured in India, so, I would guess that those bags may have been made from a lower grade of plastic than the Lay's kettle chips (also yummy), which I would further speculate accounts for the vast difference in how they reacted to the heat. I'm really not sure what I did wrong though, as I followed the book's instructions to the letter . . .

9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Bamboozled on: May 20, 2017 07:00:25 AM

I "fake-joined" the I Love Monsters" Swap at Craftster, which simply means that, while you still have to follow the rules for said event, instead of actually exchanging the item(s) that you made with another member, you're creating them for yourself. The object of said swap was to create one "medium" monstrous item. Creature projects are always a safe bet for me as that's mostly all I ever do anyway.

 Initially, I was leaning towards modeling a Weretree (one-eyed, four-legged wood beasts) from the Nintendo DS RPG Glory of Heracles, but then I read a recent Hardcore Gaming 101 article about the old Famicom (a contraction of "Family Computer", the original Japanese name for the Nintendo Entertainment System) RPG Musashi no Bouken ("The Adventures of Musashi") and fell in love with a screenshot of a zany bamboo monster instead. I've made several tree creatures over the years, but never a bamboo one, so that was also a factor in my decision. While said game was never released in North America, thankfully, Musashi no Bouken received an English fan translation, which can easily be found online, so, I was able to experience things in my language.

The protagonist of the game, Musashi (Junior), is the fictional son of the legendary real Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Senior Musashi's arch rival, Sasaki Kojiro, whom he slew during their famous duel on Ganryu Island, has risen from the dead and brought a host of demons with him to terrorize Japan. Naturally, Junior wants to follow in his father's footsteps and bring glory to his family, save the country, and apparently lose his virginity in the process. Let in never be said that this young man doesn't understand what's important in life!

Like most classic RPGs, the vast majority of your time in Musashi no Bouken will be spent fighting and killing the monsters that ambush you with disturbing frequency whenever you dare to set foot outside of the safety of a village. Doing so gets you money, experience points, and occasionally items, that will strengthen Musashi over time and/or help him progress further into his journey. As a novice, outside his hometown, Junior will find himself struggling against sentient and vicious pine cones, corn cobs, and, of course, stalks of bamboo! While those aren't exactly the most intimidating opponents, every hero has to start somewhere, and beating on his veggies is apparently how Musashi aims to make his mark in the world. Surely you'd be impressed if I told you that I once singlehandedly slew an entire army of rabid potatoes on my way to school one morning? By slew I mean ate, and by army of potatoes I mean a bag of chips. Okay, I'm not impressed either; Musashi and I are both losers!

Since they're enemies encountered very early in the game, Bamboos aren't too tough (they only have 12 hit points, but Musashi will still have some trouble dealing with them until he gains a few experience levels and/or some better gear). In addition to smacking you upside the head with their branches, Bamboos can also cast the "Skunker" spell which may cause our hero to involuntarily fall asleep, whereupon the Bamboo will gleefully beat upon Musashi's comatose and defenseless body until he awakens (if you were already low on hit points before nap time, you're probably screwed). Defeated Bamboos are only worth a measly two experience points and nine ryo (the in-game currency); however, if you get really lucky, these foes also sometimes drop a Bamboo Sword when they die, which just happens to be the worst weapon in the entire game, but then, it's a glorified pointy wooden stick, what did you expect? It's kind of tasteless to smack around other monsters with a piece of Bamboo's corpse, so sell it for some extra cash to the gullible town shopkeepers and buy a real blade instead.

Here's a closer look at the Bamboo game sprite without the background graphics. I believe that this was the first time I'd ever fought a bamboo monster in a RPG, and that novelty was one of the reasons I found the plant creature appealing. The idea of malicious bamboo is so ridiculous that it's hard to take it seriously as a threat and I love the thing's goofy expression. Please note that the monster sprite is immobile and doesn't move at all like this in the game, I just animated it here for fun.

Back in the day, conserving memory in video games was very important, as the capacity of game cartridges was very limited in comparison to the newer media we enjoy now (i.e., DVDs), as such, monsters were often "recycled" by changing their names and color schemes (although, to be fair, that's often still done today, in the form of reskinned polygons, to save time/resources, or, if you're being less charitable, out of sheer laziness). That being the case, the mustard-hued "Bamboo" enemy was also re-used as the red "Akagare" (literally "Red Wilting", which is a disease that afflicts rice plants and causes rust-colored spots to appear on their leaves--who says you can't learn anything from video games, albeit indirectly?) and the green "Kuzama" [I couldn't figure out a definitive translation for that one, but my best guess is "Honorable Kudzu" (a contraction of the "kudzu" plant name coupled with the "-sama" honoriffic suffix)]. And, yes, I realize that rice and kudzu aren't bamboo, but game programmers tend to interpret monster sprites in a very loose general sense when it comes to recoloring/renaming them--if there's some thematic connection (in this case, they're obviously all plants), that's usually enough, even if the game sprite's anatomy doesn't necessarily match all of the species in question.

While the standard mustard version is my favorite, trust me, if making a mold and doing casts wasn't so time-consuming (or, alternatively, modeling the figure in triplicate from scratch), I would have done all three monster species. Kind of Christmas-y, no?

Below is the progress I had made on the body/face at the end of the first day of work. I modeled the figure around a metal rod attachment (one of the gazillion bits and pieces that came with the last power drill I bought, half of which I don't even know what they're for--I'm no handy man!) in order to make the bamboo shaft hollow. Funny story: there used to be a rubber bulb thingy on one end of that metal shaft, but, I once modeled a bread clay bust of a woman on it, and that darn part came off inside of her head and I wasn't about to destroy my work just to get it back out again (like I said, it's not like I even understand what sticking that thing on my power drill is supposed to accomplish anyway), so it became a permanent part of her.

 While it's arguably appropriate, given the subject matter of the model, the "Monster Lab" you see written down the side of the shaft has absolutely nothing to do with this project. It's just the name of a Nintendo DS video game, that was on a handwritten shopping list of titles that I recently bought from GameStop.com, and I just happened to use that sheet of paper to make this figure. It's kind of amusing how words, whether written or printed, unintentionally end up in conspicuous spots like that when you're working on a papier mache project. I really should have used a clean piece of paper though (or at the very least put some light-colored primer on first), as I had to apply extra coats of mustard acrylic paint to cover that text up, as it kept showing through!

In this photo, I've added the four root "legs" and one of the branch "arms" to the figure. The eyes you see here are actually the third set. After trying to adjust their positioning, I lost the first two, seen in the photos above, somewhere on the carpet and, as is often the case when your floors are already messy to begin with, couldn't find them again. The second replacement pair I made (not pictured) turned out too small, so those got tossed too.

Here's a front and back view of the finished, unpainted figure at the end of the second day of work. The roots, branches, and leaves all have internal bendable wire reinforcement to prevent them from snapping off during handling. While I could make all of those shapes without said wire, it wouldn't be very smart, as I can guarantee you, from past experience, that those thin structures would have broken off multiple times during the modeling and painting processes. With that wire inside, nothing will snap off when I inevitably drop my Bamboo on the floor either!

And this is the completed figure. The eyes are a tad wonky (although that arguably adds to its goofy expression), but, other than that, I think I stayed on-model pretty well. I considered applying a darker brown or green paint wash to the figure, to make it a bit more realistic in appearance, but I worried that would also make the Bamboo look muddy and I'd lose the cartoon-y aspect of the design in the process. I also thought about strategically drawing or painting some "hard" shadows on the figure too but I didn't think that would work out too well either so I ultimately just left well enough alone.

Newsprint, white paper, wire twist ties, white glue, permanent marker, and acrylic paint.

5.0 cm (2.0") wide x 6.8 cm (2.7") tall x 3.8 cm (1.5") deep.

Four days: May 8th, 16th-18th, 2017.
Yup, in my typical industrious fashion, I took an eight day vacation to do super important stuff like digging up and cleaning virtual dinosaur fossils (Fossil Fighters on the Nintendo DS). Modeling the figure was only a two-day process; I was just super lazy about painting and sealing it, which took me another two days, even though neither task was terribly time-consuming (the figure is only three colors after all).

10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / April ATCs on: May 04, 2017 08:31:42 AM
So . . . it's already May and these are only the second art project that I've done all year; 2017 hasn't been terribly creative/productive for me thus far. Tongue  Anyhoo, here are the four cards that I did for Craftster's April ATC swap:

For my first card, which went to Texas, I chose Smileyyogini's "unicorns" theme. I based this on a black and white photo from one of my many horse books (adding the horns of course). I must have been subconsciously thinking of the My Little Pony pegasus Lily Blossom (my second favorite flying horse after Rainbow Dash) when I gave the unicorn in the front a lilac coat and a blonde mane.

The second card I made focused on Emilywilde's "goth" theme. I used a photo of a real woman as my reference model, changing her outfit into a more goth-like affair and adding jewelry/piercings and a shoulder tattoo. Dripping black ink/paint seemed like a good thing to use for the background, so, that's what I went with.

My third ATC, also for Emilywilde in Oregon, tackled her "8-bit Nintendo games" theme. She indicated Kirby was her favorite, and I'm also fond of said little rotund pink vaccuum, so, that's what I did. I tend to like the monsters and enemies in video games a lot more than the protagonist(s) though, so, rather than doing Kirby alone, I had him struggling against, and losing to, the cyclopean storm cloud boss, Kracko. It occurred to me that "Kracko" and "wacko" rhyme, so I just had to put that phrase on there.

My fourth and final ATC of the month went off to Florida to live with Greybird. I love paper dolls, but I seldom ever make any of my own, so, Greybird listing that as one of her ATC themes was a golden opportunity for me to do so. Besides, I've gotten several paper doll ATCs from other Craftster members, so, it was about time that I returned the favor!  Rather than a full figure, given an ATC's relatively small size, I felt it was better to do a zoomed-in view of the torso instead. The little triangle on the back is a stand that folds out so that the card can be displayed upright on a flat surface.  As I have no fashion sense whatsoever (I'm lucky if my socks match) I used photos of real women and clothing from various fashion magazines (Vogue, Seventeen, Glamour, & Allure) for inspiration.

Here's an animated GIF of some of the paper doll's possible looks. I put the frames in the same order that I made the pairs of outfits/wigs.

And this is a broader view of all the separate components.  The wigs are helmet-like affairs (there's a piece of white paper glued to their backs), inspired by my Liv and Moxie Teenz dolls, that slip over the head (there's a slit cut there, between the top of her hairline and the green border, which you can see on the back view of the card above, to accommodate that).

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