Thank you for stopping by. If you are looking for my Grow Your Blog party post click "here". I hope you'll explore a bit while you are here. If you have any questions leave me a comment or send me an email!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Resolutions, Kinda Sorta

The past year has been very fruitful for me creatively! I've branched out in my craft and I have taken a giant leap outside of my comfort zone and have started selling my work – yay! I am so grateful to have this passion, this fabulous creative outlet. It makes other, not so fun areas of my life bearable!

This year I plan to expand my craft again. I have started the mass New Year’s cleaning spree of the studio and so far I am pleased. Of course it looked better before I started making Fairy Doors (check back for my Grow Your Blog post January 25th for a chance to win one!) but overall I am happy that I can see the tables and find what I am looking for once again.

Every year I (and lots of other folks) look towards the future and make resolutions that will, hopefully, make it better. Last year for this blog I only had one, to post on here once a month and I did it! This year I do have a few more and I think they are totally achievable. So here they are:
I plan to post on this blog at least once a month! That is not overwhelming and I know that I can do it again this year!

I hope to increase my followers by participating in blog parties and by meeting people at craft fairs and through the Buy Nevada First shop. I love the online community. I have met so many amazing people and talented artists who inspire me to keep moving forward with my art!

Create more and stress less. My day job is stressful. There’s nothing I can do about that. It is what it is and since I need a job (and I actually like what I do) I will work with what I have to make sure that the stresses of my day do not spill over into the time I have with my family and friends. Art helps!

Finally, I plan on spending more time with my family and friends. This past year was filled to the brim with get-togethers, parties, trips and meals with those who mean the most to me and my life is richer because of it, I want to fill 2015 with more of the same.

That is my list. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful and safe New Year’s eve and a prosperous and healthy 2015!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

What a fabulous year!

I was looking at my first post of the this year and realized that while I have come so far I have several projects from quite some time ago that are still just waiting to be finished!


The mermaid hasn't changed at all


 my goblin detective did get new fabric for his hat and coat 
but it is still waiting to be made into those necessary items


 and poor Alice still has pins in her dress. 


The bird cage fairy is just about done, all she needs are her wings and 
then I'll try to get her into her home. We'll see how that goes.

I look at these projects and know that they are just waiting for their turn. This year I am using a cool little artist's planning calendar that I received from Adele at A for Artistic. It is such a wonderful tool. If you would like a copy email me at sunflwrhouseart @ aol.com and I will forward it to you. She has stated that it is meant to be shared and I am happy to spread the word. If you haven't visited AforArtistic you really should stop in. There are lots of classes and Adele also publishes an online quarterly newsletter that is phenomenal!

Of course I did accomplish a lot in 2014! I have my work in the local Artist's Co-Op and Visitor's Center, I did a major Arts and Crafts fair and I have about a dozen project designs in the works, including a cool little pin cushion giraffe that I am so excited about!

The end of the year was busy as usual , of course there was the added stress of an inhalation injury I suffered at work - darn bathroom spray, and while I didn't get all that I wanted complete, I did manage to make quite a few gifts and sketch out the details for some fun new things,

I am taking the next few days to clean the studio, organize the supplies that I have been rooting through and prepare the space for the new year. Right now it looks like a bomb went off in here! I tend to make a mess during my creative process and I have been busy creating in the studio, since July. Yep, it is time to clean!




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays


Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a joyous Holiday season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I just joind the Grow Your Blog Party!


I am so excited to be taking part in the Grow Your Bog Party scheduled for January 25th 2015. I visited so many wonderful blogs last year that I couldn't wait to join in on the fun this year.

Vicki over at 2 Bags Full hosts this amazing event and has brought lots of bloggers together.

I hope you'll stop by on the 25th to check out my post and see what fun goodies I've created to give away for the party - let's face it, a party just needs presents!

Debbie

Friday, November 21, 2014

Exciting Happenings!

I posted recently that I was meeting with the manager at the Buy Nevada First gift shop and visitors center to see about getting my work in the shop. It was such a rewarding visit for me. They loved my work. Currently I have 4 pieces in the shop and I'll be taking 4 more in this week.

The Woodsman, Iris and Afternoon Picnic 

Santa on the Christmas table

I can not even begin to tell you how amazing it felt to have my work accepted for placement. I'll be working there one day a month and look forward to meeting the other artists and the customers.

I have lots of things planned and have set up a regular sculpting schedule. I am currently doing some research for the 2 large pieces I want to make, They are Baba Yaga, complete with her house with chicken feet, and a fortune teller sitting at a table with her cards and crystal ball. Both of these have been mulling around in my head for a while and I am excited to get started. 

I've been slowly gathering trims and fabrics for these two projects and hope to find some intersting trims over the Thanksgiving holiday when I'll be in Las Angeles and will have the opportunity to visit the fabric distric!! I'll definitely post pictures of that excursion! 

Check back soon for a sneak peek at the snowmen I've been working on. They'll be debuted here before they go to the store or my (currently empty!) Etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Taming Tibetan Lamb for Wigging

Afternoon Picnic

I’ve used many types of materials for hair over the course of my sculpting/doll making career. I’ve used yarn, straw, mohair, clay, cotton and, my favorite, Tibetan lamb. For this post I am going to show you the process I use to make some of the “second” quality pelts I’ve purchased look fantastic!


Here are some scrap pieces I received in a large bundle of assorted colors of Tibetan Lamb I ordered from Morezmore on Ebay. These were seconds. She has some great deals and beautiful quality items. These were from a grab bag style auction which I won many (probably over 5) years ago. So they have been sitting in the box of pelts I use for hair. I like to have a variety of colors on hand since I never know what I'll need! These look a little scary right now (they looked much better when I bought them!) but pretty soon they'll be ready for use!


Combs
Tools:

  • 3 sizes of combs. I use a wide tooth comb (white) a not quite as wide comb (pink) and then a standard comb (black) to remove the tangles and knots. 
  • Shampoo & Condition of your choice
  • Styling products for the final style you are going to use (I am using a curling lotion in this tutorial)
  • Iron (for straight hair)
  • Towel
  • Hanger
  • Close pins
  • Sink or bin for washing
  • Towel

The first thing I do is gently comb through the pelt using the widest comb. This will usually be enough to remove tangles.Start at the bottom of the hair and slowly work your way to the top. This helps prevent breakage.


Once I have removed the worst tangles I wash the pelts in cool water. Do not use hot water or you run the risk of the pelt "felting"!


Gently shampoo each pelt, rinse and condition. I rinse the first pelt, add the conditioner and leave it on while I move the the next. After I have the last pelt conditioned I return to the first and rinse out the conditioner. 


Next I gently comb each pelt again. Starting at the bottom and working my way up the pelt and again starting with the largest tooth comb and working to the smallest.


As you can see  I still get quite a bit of hair during the second combing. That is OK, the pelt will look much better without this loose and damaged hair.


Usually I blot the pelt to remove some of the excess water, however, if I will be using a product to control a particularly frizzy pelt, like Frizz Ease, you add the product while the hair is very wet.


Since I want these pelts to be curly I rub some curling lotion on my hands and rub it gently into the hair. I take my widest tooth comb and comb the lotion through then I hang it to air dry.


Here is my high-tech pelt drying system! A wire hanger and clothes pins. Easy peasy and I can hang it almost anywhere.  I leave my pelts to air dry though I have on occasion used a hair dryer on the cool setting when I was in a hurry, keep in mind that using a hair dryer will make the hair much straighter than letting it air dry.

Before

After

The top three pelts I applied the curling lotion to and you can see the difference.  All six are soft and ready to use. Once on a sculpture I will curl, trim, straighten, etc... as necessary.

Once your pelt is dry, if it is still a little frizzy you can spritz it heavily with water and iron it dry. This will straighten the hair and remove the frizzies. After it is ironed you can re-wet it and let it curl back up if you want curls. 


Here is the lady who got some of the above hair for her own. She is "in progress" and will hopefully be done soon. Here hair was curly but she and I have been through 3 outfit changes so I finally clipped it on top of her head and we'll wet it down to restore the curl once she decides what to wear!

The great thing about Tibetan lamb hair is that it reacts very much like human hair so you can curl it, straighten it, wash it... If you don't like a style, wet it down and start again. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Show Re-Cap

Show Booth

I had such a great time at the Arts & Crafts Show in October. But before I get into that I have to share with you one of the (many) reasons I have been missing lately!

About 1 1/2 weeks before the show my son was visiting his friend. About 9:00 that night we get a call from him letting us know he fell. He then handed the phone his buddy's step-dad, who proceeded to tell us that our baby, our youngest child, my sweet boy (OK, he's 17 but still my baby) fell and probably broke his wrist. They bring my child home and off we go to the ER.

My Sweet Boy

Yep, it's broken. ER puts a cast on him and refers us to an Orthopedic Surgeon, who we are supposed to see within 3 days (that would be Monday) but who we can't see for a week. Longish story a bit shorter, my son went in to surgery the Thursday before the Arts & Crafts show - Ahhhh!

He's had a cast on for several weeks now and goes in on Tuesday to have the wire (or pole - depending on who you ask) and cast removed from his wrist. He's been a great sport. In fact, while sitting in the ER he looked at me and said Mom, I think I'll tell everyone I broke it playing rugby, that sounds more manly than roller skating. He actually told people he was skating but I love that rugby story!

Since that week my life has been crazy busy! Between the show, the surgery, catching up at work, Halloween, catching up at work and now, being accepted into the Buy Nevada First Artist Co-Op - I feel as though I've been running in circles. Other than the surgery and work it's been lots of wonderful things!

OK, on to the show

It was a wonderful experience! I had to make more pumpkins, sold a ton of my ornaments, and actually made money, seriously, I didn't just break even I made a little bit! How cool is that. My sculptures were very well received though I didn't sell any of them. Fortunately, I really didn't expect to in that venue but having the sculptures on the table definitely stopped people in their tracks and they would then come over to check out my booth.

I met so many wonderful people. It was a great atmosphere, everyone was happy and having fun. I had several people stop by from other craft fairs and ask me to be a part of their events - cool - but not this year!


Here is another photo of my booth. I did win an award for my booth, one of only 10 they gave out. Out of a total of 180 vendors I think I did pretty good!! I am making more of the ribbon garland for the backdrop for next time and will also have several additional styles of ornaments. The butler holding my business cards used to be my middle son's. One year all he wanted for his birthday was a butler. We found this guy at an auction and got him a butler. He loved it but didn't take it with him to college so now he hangs out in the studio with me.

Mortimer's Friends

The pumpkin heads sold very well. I had to make more on Saturday night so I would have a good selection on Sunday. All in all it was a great experience. I look forward to doing it again!

But wait... there's more

I met with the people at the Buy Nevada First store which is an Artist's co-op and gift shop as well as a visitor center located across from the Reno Convention center. I will be putting my sculptures in there on Monday and will be working there one day a month. I am so excited to become an active member of the arts community in Reno. 


Santa and my purple fairy will be going into the store on Monday! I will be working on a Mrs. Claus and a couple of elves to join them over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully they will be in there before I leave for So. Cal for Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Better Late than Never *** And the Winner is***

I can not believe I haven't drawn a winner for my Halloween Party! Time has flown by, a lot has happend, I have LOTS to share(soon), and while a pumpkin is a little out of season the winner will have a choice of a sculpted pumpkin head or a sculpted snowball head (kind of like a single story snowman :0) Winner's choice.

Without further ado...

The winner is Lindy Ward

Congratulations Lindy! Email me at Sunflwrhouseart@aol.com with you choice of snowman or pumpkin along with your mailing address.

Thank you to everyone who stopped in for a visit. I am still making the rounds or parties. Halloween is my favorite and I will celebrate it all year if possible so I am having a blast visiting the parties still.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween Blog Party and a Give-Away


Welcome to my Halloween Party. This is part of the larger Halloween Blog Party being hosted by Vanessa over at A Fanciful Twist Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit AFancifulTwist.com to see Vanessa's party, which is always a stunning visual treat, as well as the place to find links to all of the other amazing Halloween Blog parties!

I am so glad you were able to stop in for a visit...
we're leaving a light on for anyone arriving after dark, just to be safe!

 Mortimer and Jack are thrilled you stopped by.

The house is decked out in its Halloween finery


The Table is set

I hope you'll have a seat and stay a while for a treat or two

 A couple of the guests have been here a while but they are happy you've arrived

Anyone for tea? There's plenty to go around!


Or would you prefer some wine, it's has a unique taste but 
I've been told it's a wickedly, or should I say a deadly, fine wine!


 Here are some treats, dig in! There's plenty to go around!

For those of you who managed to stop in for a visit, be sure to follow the blog and leave a comment for a chance to win one of Mortimer and Jack's friends. I'll be giving away one of my hand sculpted pumpkins to one lucky winner. Drawing will be on Monday, November 3rd, 2014

In the meantime...



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sneak Peek

Here are a couple of sneak peeks of some items I have been working on for the Arts & Craft Show - which is less that 3 weeks from today - Yikes!




As you can see each of these is in a different stage of completion. The center piece will be a fairy sitting on a swing in a bird cage - yes, I have a think about bird cages who knew!

Santa is ready to go and the pumpkin head sculpt is getting the finishing touches this weekend. I have a magnificent cone fairy that is almost done, I'll share her soon. Her base was made with one of the cones I wrote about here. I had no idea what I was going to do with them but I am so glad they've been sitting in my studio all this time!

Check back soon for some fun glimpses of the "less that 3 weeks to go" chaos!



Friday, September 19, 2014

Here is the Amazing Zombie I Received in the Swap


Isn't he just the cutest guy ever! My swap partner made me this cool zombie based on Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Here are the rest of the goodies I received:


Thank you to my wonderful swap partner Jill for such a fun zombie and amazing box of zombie goodies!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

AFancifulTwist.com is Hosting a Halloween Party!


I am so excited! Vanessa over at AFancifulTwist.com is hosting her 7th annual Halloween Party and I am definitely joining in on the fun! Halloween is my favorite holiday and I have lots of spooky cool ideas already in the works... I've kind of been waiting for her to announce this :0)

Be sure to check out Vanessa's site for inspiration, amazing photographs and of course for all the information on this hauntingly good blog party - then on October 25th come on over and join me as I celebrate my favorite time of the year. There will be good fun, tempting food and of course a really cool give-away!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Here She is... My Creation for the Zombie Swap


Coraline Doll



One of the "zombies" my swap partner was interested in was a Coraline doll. Coraline - the doll - is sort of a zombie and I had so much fun making her. I know she isn't gory and dripping blood but she really didn't want to be and I couldn't risk making her mad!! I'll post a lot more pictures of the making of this sweet girl soon.

Also,  My studio looks like a fabric/craft store exploded in it but lots of great things are happening, I can't wait to share some of them with you. I have a Santa Claus that is sculpted and ready for clothes, an angel that started out as a Santa but took a girly turn and two fun pumpkin head dolls that will be getting their costumes this weekend.

Check back soon