Wednesday, August 29, 2007

ACEO's... ATC's..........

If you find a little gem that you wish to display rather than stuffing it into a box or putting it in a seldom viewed album.... here is an answer.

Find a pretty frame ... it does not even need to be an expensive one .... mine is a special find that makes me grin .... a deep burgundy with a hint of brown..rubbed with gold on the raised ribbing. I really like it and it fits perfectly with other decor in the room where I display this little girl. The outside measurement is 7 X 9 ..... the inside is 5 X 7 .....

If you are into paper things, I bet you have literally pounds of paper hanging around to choose from ... as a matter of fact ... it is sold by the pound at scrapbooking shops .. Michaels'... etc.

Try several sheets of coloured paper behind your treasure... Of course, you may use any colour you like ...but I suggest some of the actual colours used in the painting ...different hues but still the same colour often make colours within the work itself really "pop". I have one of those small cutters (they call them personal cutters... lol) .... and just place the piece of coloured paper behind my little ACEO... place it onto the cutter and decide how much of a margin I want to see .......... then, cut. Sometimes it takes a few tries for me to decide on which colours I like best on a particular small painting, but paper is pretty cheap compared to matting and actually having it framed professionally ..... so, no big deal.

On this little gem by Tatiana Oles ...I used two small pieces directly behind ... one of deep forest green and the other of the brightest mustard gold; then placed the whole thing onto a sheet of the palest custard colour . Sadly, the pale colour does not show as well as it could on this pic and therefore does not look as good here as in "the flesh". Trust me is lovely... and by the time you are done... yours will be lovely as well. It will look almost like it was triple matted. It gets a lot of attention from everyone who sees it, which is a surprise to me and therefore the reason I am letting you in on my little secret. It is such a shame to have these little beauties and not be able to showcase them, but who wants to pay to have them framed?

I don't like to put glue on my originals I use tiny bits of double sided tape. It holds it perfectly flat. For the other sheets I just use a glue stick. Surprisingly, it stays put really well. If you want to change colours at a later date.... just take it out of the frame and play with different colours!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Love and leave you tonight I am afraid....

Here are some clouds ...

and some new rocks that I planted .... yep...was actually planting rocks trying to get my rock garden looking more like a rock garden . ...

more clouds.... who doesn't like clouds? ... some days I take a few pics of thems.... some days they go by and I forget til just that second too late and they have changed already .........

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some toe info for a friend......

Here it is Allison,....... with a few simple pics and my own pretty simple explanation ....... ( I am a pretty simple I don't want to confuse myself if possible !!) some people call them sculpted toes...some call them "pulled" toes. I can't even say for sure what they are, but here are Leonard's toes as promised.

Thread a needle with a length of upholstery or button thread in choice of colour;..knot on the end. Insert the needle into the foot somewhere near the heel.. sort of below the ankle bone area...then exit the needle on the same side of the foot a bit higher up toward the arch area but still out a bit away from the actual footpad. Gently pull the thread grasping the thread (not using the needle to pull the thread as it could break the thread after awhile from sawing on the rough inside of the eye of a needle) until the knot disappears inside the fabric. Reinsert the needle almost in the same hole... and exit at the top of the foot at the spot that you want to use for the size and number of toes you have planned. I like to do big toes first and then do smaller ones. Take a large (external )stitch on top of the fabric..out over the tip of the foot..down to where on the footpad you want to make the base of the big toe……..insert needle and go back up (fairly deep inside the fabric.).to the top of the foot for the second stitch (mine will come out where the orange pin head is) Gently but firmly push the top of foot down a bit and almost roll it toward the sole of the foot.. (kind of tucking the toes under a bit)… gently pull on the thread where you exited… pushing down with the other hand..till it holds the shape you are looking for...take the thread down to the space on the foot where
you want the second toe crevice/base …... inserting the needle there and again going back up to the top of the foot inside the fabric. Just those two stitches will give you three toes .. so .. go back into the fabric almost where you exited and now go down to the side of the foot near the big or little toe and you can begin the creases if you want some. A longer piece of thread will be plenty to do creases as well … but if not … anchor it off and get a new piece of thread.

Do a couple of discreet stitches that will hold the pressure of the stitches...then, bury the end of the thread by cutting it close while pressing firmly on the foot or leg where you end.

Sometimes I put stitches horizontally for creases as well ... but mostly I just use a bit of shading and because you pulled and tucked them a bit .. sometimes that is plenty and almost appears as creases.

This little guy has been around on my blog before...because he has a boo boo....... yep. At the point where I turned the leg and foot...I poked a hole in the fabric...yikes! Poor, poor Leonard! I didn't want to toss his, instead I repaired the tiny hole.... with some invisible mending and then... glued on his ladybug. Since he is my own..I don't mind that he has a slight imperfection.... he is still really cute to me!!

Let me know how it works for you.

It's a wrestling match. I am now working in my "new" space... and it is still a bit awkward. Forget to take things in there with me and have to trot right back out to get them. So... keep moving a few more things into the room. Seems I had bits and pieces in waaaay too many nooks and crannies and am still finding them as I need to use them..which is a lot of "upping" and "downing" so far. In and out of my chair.

The other thing that is a wrestling match is trying to glue some fabric onto the clay face that I have made for the new doll. I do want it to have a bit of stretch...but too much is not good either... and the only choices I have right now for fabric are ... really stretchy and slightly ribbed T-shirt type material...or ... stretch poplin... feels as strong as the strongest spandex to me. I want to try colouring it a bit...wonder if it will tea dye? Don't know...must give it a try tonight.

I want to have the face ready to draw on by tomorrow.....

Okay...have to tell you about this silly chicken. It is a stuffed toy that was in a huge collection of "stuffies" that my brother gave me when my sis and I visited him in July. He had bags of them that he was going to toss and I said I would be more than happy to take them off his hands as I like to do dozens of Christmas Shoeboxes. I got involved with the shoeboxes years ago and still love to do them each year. Anyway.... remember those little cranes they used to have at the fairgrounds?..... and also it appears in cheesy little the one in a tiny town near where he lives...and he got dozens of the toys out of their machine over the years. Now..he is downsizing..... we were looking through them all and he took the chicken over to where his own chickens were pecking around..leaned it against the post and left it. I had to sprint for my camera. They figured it out pretty quickly ........ by the time I got back, only one of 4 chickens was still checking out the new kid on the block...but they looked!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

............................ a few pics for your Sunday ...................

Friday, August 17, 2007

my new "fun room"...

In all honesty, it was getting pretty bad. So, when "someone" (you know who) offered to help me get organized ... erm ... or was that ...." get me organized" ... I was more than happy to take him up on his offer.
It really was complete chaos by the night before the Calgary Bear Show. There was doll, bear and paper making supply clutter on every surface of every room in the house !! All I can say is ... I sure am glad he is such a good sport about my hobbies. Some days he has to clear fluff and fur off a space big enough to eat supper ...oh, the shame of it all......sigh.....

IKEA was definitely the answer. My little used 'sitting room" ... which hardly ever got used for sitting, and had become more of a catch-all ... was transformed over the past two weeks. Yep .. one week turned into two; of tidying and then re-organizing my life. It took that long, cuz I had a lot of "stuff" and it was haphazardly stacked and spread around in that room. Plus, of course, there was furniture to assemble .. things to move ... decisions to be made. We have to add here that we have not previously been big on IKEA furniture because Greg builds things and usually loves to be within 1/6400 tolerances if you get my drift.....but when the first assembling job was complete...and everything was square and even level right off the bat... we changed our minds. He was more than impressed. For the money... it was a bargain. And it matched up nicely with some of the other small furniture in there. The room is only 10 X 12...but still seems large even with all the furniture in there. Just need to paint baseboards and put them on and it will be one of the totally finished rooms in this Reno Project.

So .... my shiny new "bear, doll and paper stuff/craft/making" space. Absolutely not, repeat NOT... moving into it just yet either. I'm just going to feast my eyes on SHINY for at least a day or two ! Maybe even sit in the love seat or chair every so often and take my time deciding where to put things.

Look at that great little rolling set of storage drawers.. .. lovely casters that are kind to the hardwood... and it would even fit under the table if I want..but I am going to put a lamp on it instead for more light and .. hey ..even add a bit more elegance to my "studio" .. la dee dah.... It is creamy coloured... too bad they didn't have black, but if I leave it beside the little love seat..I kinda like the cream better. Even found the perfect display cabinet that has space tall enough to fit my tallest doll. She is 26 inches and too tall for any shelved unit that doesn't have movable shelving. Now they will be dust free and easier to see ...not in plastic baggies...sure hated to have those things draped on my dolls.

other side of the love seat...a small "bearister" bookcase. Books, dolls, bears safely behind more glass..clean and visible.. easy to get at for show and tell.

looking into the sitting room from the master bedroom... where we cut an archway through the wall to extend into there years ago. There is a fair sized walk in closet on the right hand wall at the edge of the pic... lots of shelving unused..but, now.... there are clear plastic craft cases on it. Easy to find..yet out of the way.
Ooooohhhh I love my new room!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Well, it has been a very pleasant week. No deadlines ... no creating ... just lots of cleaning, tidying, re-organizing and re-arranging. My craft stuff is now all in one craft room@! Let's see how long that lasts! I can actually see my kitchen table.

Tomorrow I still have a bit more to do with the other storage space now that I have moved so much "stuff".... and then...I begin the new doll. Let's hope I have not short changed myself on time.....

Still have not had "show and tell" with little Kait yet! A micro mini by Edie Barlishen. She is my treasure from the bear show ... the first time I have actually seen one of Edie's bears in person. ~~p.s ~~ forgot to say that she is completely jointed; which means her head, arms and legs all move! My friend Kim, of Shonki Bears ... who got me started making bears ... says we always have to buy at least one bear at every show we attend. Whether we attend as a vendor or as a collector. I remember how she had trouble buying only I just know that could be a problem for me too Kim.

There are so many great bears, large and small, to see and hold. It is the "holding" that does you in. Trust me. Once you hold "it"?? ... you know what I am talking about .... once you hold "the one" ? .... once you hold "IT" in your hand ? .. you are done for!

And, in actuality ..... who collects bears more so than other bear makers? As a matter of fact...who, other than a bear maker, will ever understand the subtleties of stitching them; of turning the tiny bits; of attempting to embroider the perfect nose; choosing just the right eyes; sculpting or shading? Struggling with them; and finally having that amazing little face show up that melts your heart and actually makes you say "awwwww" ....... right out loud, to nobody in particular but yourself.

She is only just over one inch seated and not as big as Leonard's foot.

Posie, the pink needle felt, is "bearly" 1 3/4" tall and looks huge by comparison. Kait is very tiny!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

more pics of the road trip

Just adding a few more shots of the drive .. usually 5 1/2 hours of amazing scenery. Although as it happened on this particular day.... we had to turn back to the Eisenhower Junction after waiting in grid-locked line up over an hour (just to be told personally by one person with a stop sign ... that there had been a chemical spill.

This is a snowshed and slide area in the mountainous portion of the road. There are several of them through this particular section of the highway. In the winter it is covered with many feet of snow...plenty more if there is a big slide .... in summer it grows lush vegetation as you can see. There are other areas of sliding snow, mud and the like as well of course...but these are built in known problem areas and do help to keep traffic moving when Mother Nature is at work.

Lately they have been installing lovely, new lighting in most of them; they used to be just black holes to drive into. Some have open slatted sides...some are closed right in and very dark. If there is a huge snow build up on the lower side, it closes off the lit area the lights are wonderful. It is pretty bad in summer as well, especially if the day is brilliant and are wearing sunglasses..and then hit a black tunnel. Whip off the glasses and try to adjust...not good. This is the perfect solution. Another way to cut down on the many accidents along this treacherous highway. Much of it is very twisty and there are hundreds of big semi trucks doing their jobs of hauling all sorts of goods. People don't want to be stuck behind them on hills..twisty roads and the like.... Most people speed ... usually overdriving their own ability or that of their vehicle ..........which is silly, because they are usually the same guys beside you when you arrive at each small town along the way...or... the guy you sometimes see in a ditch, or getting a speeding ticket as you go by at, or near, road speed...which is already 110 kmh. in Alberta and 90 - 100 in B.C. Fast enough when you are driving for every other driver on the road as well as yourself.

The further west we went... the uglier the sky got and we could see it raining on the peaks ... or is that snow?

Welcome to Canada....even in the summertime....

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Trip from the foothills of the Rockies to the Okanagan

From the Foothills heading towards the mountains ....

This is what they term an "animal crossing". In all the times I have driven through it I have yet to see an animal using it. Perhaps they are waiting for even more safety...crossing guards? ...lights? ...

Getting closer to the taller ones....

oooh ... now we are in them ... always so difficult to get the scope of things this big in any pic isnt it? ...... but looking straight up ....

Unusual colours.... near Radium Hot Springs, B.C.

And this is the entrance to the town...this is truly as skinny as it looks... towering inwards above the highway as you drive through it.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

It's all over ........ already!!

My first Bear Show.

I hardly slept on Friday night cuz I was nervous; had been busy all week trying to finish up a couple of things for the display .. was trying to make sure I got all my stuff safely packed ..didn't forget anything ... but how to do that when I wasn't even really sure what I needed to take with me?

Up early on Saturday...totally groggy.... oh, don't ya hate that feeling? I got to the hotel just a bit later than I wanted to..but still with plenty of time to set up. Krista of K Paws had the table right next to me...and we chatted away whilst setting up. She did say that she had not had much sleep either. As a matter of fact..I must have been yakking a bit too much..and visiting with several folks near by... Cheryl of Bruinwerks... Laura Unrau... Edie... Ginny, Evelyn....and/or dawdling or something while looking at some great mohairs.... ...because even though I kept smelling great coffee...and kept telling myself I must get over to the corner and get me some....all of a sudden.... it was time to open the doors and I still had not found my cup of coffee!! Too late! Darn it.

In strolled the early birds and the first few hours of the day sped by in a blur. A friend from our doll club, who is interested in learning to make bears, showed up to keep me company and also brought me some coffee...thanks Maggi!

It was not crowded, but there seemed to be a steady small stream of folks stopping by the table to chat about my dolls and the bears. It was great to meet fellow Teddy Talk members .... Mel from Edmonton wasn't an exhibitor this year, but she did drive over just for the show...and then drove all the way back home again the same day.

I met some great people, had a fun day and sold several bears. I had no idea what to expect for sales at a first show, but was very happy with the results. I made a few trades..bought a few some email addresses and have already heard from a few new friends....what a great day it was!! Next year ......the Second Annual Calgary Bear Show. All of us that were there are looking forward to it already!

I was exhausted by the time I got home... but couldn't really seem to wind down at bedtime ... still did not get much sleep on Saturday night...and all today..had no energy at all. My sister declared it to be sort of like "empty nest syndrome"..but more like "after the party syndrome" instead this time. Yeh...I guess I can go with that. is sort of empty nest too as some of those little bears have lived with me for some time now and I am not great at parting with any of my little guys it seems. She also reminded me that we always seem to "give it our all", so to speak, with whatever project we happen to have at hand, no matter the importance or size of said project to others. Large or small. Sometimes it may seem pretty insignificant to others..but to is always monumental and foremost in our heart and head. Thanks for that reminder Vikki.

Today was spent looking for some cabinets and storage try to make some semblance of order out of the chaos that is my "craft room".... I am having a tidy up week. Or else.

A wonderful lady named Antonina took many pics of my table and the bears and dolls...and sent them all to me already. I laughed at these guys most of the day...they reminded me of the two old guys on the Muppets.... looked like they were talking about all sorts of silly things they saw as the day went by...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

It's midnight....

my eyes iz tired .... they iz so dry feeling I can hardly blink! too much poodle trimming ..... or too much looking at this computer printing out hang tags and just doing "stuff" for the Bear Show.

By this time tomorrow night I hope I am sound asleep.... and by Saturday night at this time it will all be over and we will wonder what the heck all the fuss was about I am sure.

Next week, I am not even looking at bears or dolls or anything related to either of them. I am cleaning up my Disaster Zone; cooking some decent meals: doing some baking; and taking some down time.

Immediately following which, I better make a start on the Lotus Doll Challenge which I have entered on Doll Street. That should be a fun one. I will have less than a month to do it. Arrgghhh... pressure...once again! Hahahahahahhah....ooooh.... I must be crazy! Oh, well, who has more fun than crazy people?