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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!


  • 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.



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 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.