Saturday, September 15, 2012

Monster High Photoshoot

When I decided to head across the street into  the woods, it was quickly apparent which Monster High ghoul I should take with me.  Who better than a 'plant monster'!  Venus McFlytrap is billed as the daughter of 'a plant monster' and an eco-punk.  Personally I prefer to think of her as the daughter of Mother Nature herself. :-)

Now, I must be honest, I never truly intended to purchase Venus, her promo photo's didn't call to me like Rochelle Goyle and Robecca Steam did.  But when I found Robecca in a local store for a super cheap price I knew I'd be silly not to go back and grab the one Venus they had too.  I even flirted with the idea of selling her online for a bit of a profit.  But in person she intrigued me more than I figured she would and well she quickly found herself released from her box.

Our first stop was this Red Oak tree next to the playground. Venus found a nice branch quickly settled in.

I decided I wanted to kind of do a 'Senior Portrait'  type 'shoot with her.

For a doll that initially didn't intrigue me, well I must say I think she photographs really well!

We headed down the path and I caught her in this patch of sunlight.  Aside from a few stray hairs, I really like this picture.

Venus communes with a tree.

This is another of those shots that I think turned out really well.

Here is Venus perched on that fallen tree with the spiral bark I mentioned yesterday.  Normally I wouldn't have kept this shot since Venus is a bit blurred, but this was the best of the bunch and I still like it a lot!

Just relaxing in the woods

Standing tall top the look out tower.

(This shot and the others I took of her here kept me nervous as she was standing on her own atop the look out tower a good 30 feet above the ground! Thankfully the wind chose to stay still while I was shooting them!)

Glorying in the sunshine

Sometimes even a plant needs to pull up roots.

Such pretty flowers

Shall we go this way?

Hopefully no one gets offended by this or the next picture.  I found this really neat patch of moss and thought a few shots of my Nature Ghoul au naturele wouldn't be amiss.

Personally I think these are lovely  shots and I hope you do too!

Nature Ghoul au Naturele

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another 'Work' week Done!

I did end up taking Scruffy for a walk Wednesday afternoon and I did indeed take a doll out for a hike!  I had a fantastic time and got some great shots.  Of course it helps to remember that however far you walk one have to return that same distance! LOL  I was tired, but very happy! :-)

 I'll start with some great landscape shots.  I am really blessed to live in an area that is 'wild' right across the street.  We live in the Hudson River Valley area of New York and the scenery truly is gorgeous.

This is the view when I walk out my front door! =D  I simply cannot wait for the leaves to start changing colors!  I hope to try and get out every couple of weeks to take pictures.
 As I was taking a few shots of my doll, I noticed the spot of reddish in the base of the tree.  Getting down to take a closer look I discovered this.  I am pretty sure it is a mushroom, although I haven't a clue about it's variety.  And since I do know that many, many mushrooms are highly toxic, I chose to leave him be.  But not with out snapping a few shots.

Next stop on my hike was this really neat fallen tree.  The bark is peeling off in an almost perfect spiral. 

I stopped here to get a few shots as well.  I just love how lush and green everything is right now. So beautiful. :-)

Next up was this spot...not sure what it was that called to me about it, but it just did.  That boulder on the left is huge! Probably about 3 feet tall.

And this shot, well, it gave me the heebie-jeebies! But at the same time I found it incredibly fascinating.  I will be the first to tell you that spiders rank right up there with snakes of critters I try to avoid at all costs!!!
But I can certainly appreciate the beauty of a spider web.  This hollowed out stump was maybe 3 feet in diameter and was just chock full of this spider 'nets'.

As I trekked farther into the woods than I'd ever been, I came upon this marshy area that I didn't know existed.  Now if we still lived in Georgia, I would definitely have been concerned about alligators in the water, but I'm pretty sure here in New York, that is not really a problem! lol (But since I had no desire to slip of come across any snakes or other things, I chose to use my Zoom! LOL)

This image is of the Hudson River, from high atop a look out tower in the woods.  It looks so calm and serene and I could honestly sit up here for hours and just relax. 

But that day I stayed for a short while and took some landscape shots as well as some doll shots.

Which I think I will do as a 2nd post, so as not to make this one 8 miles long! ;-)

Stay tuned for a Monster High photoshoot!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's up Wednesay

Today has been a 'blah, don't feel like doing anything' kind of day! :-(  Months ago I mentioned that when I keep on track and force myself to a schedule I do pretty well, however disrupt my schedule even one day and I find it really hard to get back on track.  I've run into that this week.  I just can't seem to get back into  the groove! *sigh*

That being said I did start walking my dog yesterday.  We did one lap around our Loop, and it was enough.  I am woefully out of shape. :-(  Hopefully if we keep it up everyday we'll soon be walking further and further! I am going to ask my husband to help me rearrange our living room this weekend so we can get our home gym equipment set up again. AND start using it too!

 I haven't listed anything new in my shop yet, but I'll leave you with a few pictures of the pieces coming soon!

 This outfit came about when  Facebook friend mentioned her granddaughter loved tie-dye and Monster High.  So of course knowing I had this ribbon in my stash I had to do something.  It's cute, flirty and fun!  Lala wears it with a velvety top made from a drapery fabric sample.

Cleo wears a hand painted halter top.  I liked the plain pink top, but felt it needed a little something.  I didn't want to add beads or sequins, which I thought would make the top seem heavier, so I pulled out some paints and added the solid strip at the neckline and then embellished it with polka dots.  This paint has a shimmer to it, so there is a light sparkle too!
 Here is Rochelle, my Parisian gargoyle.  She is wearing an outfit brought about by both my mom and my aunt.  The solid blue fabric in the top came from my mom.  It is a single shoulder tank top accented with coordinating blanket stitching and sequins at the shoulder.  The skirt is a super cute cherry print fabric that came from my aunt.  She had previously hemmed and gathered it. (Which OMG I have to get a gathering foot for my sewing machine!!!!)  I simply folded the fabric in half and added the waistband to create this bubble skirt.

Thinking about it know I wish I had added the pair of hot pink Mattel made tights I have to this outfit! lol

Ah my dear Cleo...this might be my most favorite outfit I've put her in so far!  This fabric also came from my mom.  Its a retro-ish floral stretch knit.  Because of the stretch this slim strapless dress fit beautifully!  And the colors look amazing on Cleo as well!

Miss Ghoulia wears a Bratz denim mini skirt with a top I almost didn't make.  This top gave me no end of headaches and I think this final version was about the 18th reincarnation... and of course it ended up looking nothing at all like my original plans.  But I'm ok with that, as I really like the final result1

Ghoulia models for me again here, wearing one of the black faux suede pencils skirts I've made, plus a Mattel made top.  The denim shrug I decorated by first sewing some decorative stitches with my sewing machine THEN cutting out my pattern piece.  I finished the edges with a matching gold blanket stitch.

I plan on having lots of these shrugs in my shop in several different shades of denim, fleece and faux suede.  They sew up super quick, there are just 2 seams.  The longest part in the blanket stitching around the edges, but even that doesn't take too long.  Plus I like doing it as it's kind of mindless work.  Good for days when I don't feel like doing anything...Hmmm like today!  I think I'll do some stitching after I take the dog for a walk! =D

Well my friends I'm off.  Scruffy is gettting antsy to go on a walk.  I might just take a doll and my camera with me too! We shall see!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Eeep! Sunday already???

I meant to post this yesterday, but well Saturday just kind of slept away from me...nope not slipped, slept! LOL  I was up at a decent hour this morning even got some things done online. but by noon I was feeling lousy and went and crawled back into bed. I think the weather played a big role in how I felt too.  It was cool, grey and stormy all day.  (To include a tornado warning!) Thankfully nothing more than heavy rains and some blustery winds though.  But it ended up being 5pm when I woke up, then of course I had to figure out something for dinner. (guess who needs to go grocery shopping tomorrow? o_O)  Ended up picking up McDonald's chicken nuggets and a couple of salads.  I enhanced the salads with extra veggies and added some french bread.  Was actually a pretty nice dinner.

But needless to say I accomplished nothing today! :-(  Although I suppose I should feel good because Friday I got 9 items of Monster High clothing listed in my shop. I still have loads more to list though.  I don't know if I'll get any in tomorrow, what with grocery shopping and all, but I'm going to try.  If not I will start first thing Monday morning.
 I figured I would share some of my favorite pictures from my 'product' shoot the other day.

<-- This one here is of (Left to Right) Ghoulia, wearing a custom skirt with a Mattel made top. Cleo in the middle is wearing a custom denim mini and Mattel Made top. Nefera (seated in the back) wears a custom top and leggings.  Lala wears a custom top and Bratz skirt.

I want to check out Lowe's or Home Depot to see if either place carries 24" peel n stick tiles.  These are 18" and for most things work great. But since my photo set-up is 24" wide a nice solid tile would be awesome.  My other thought would be to buy a pack of smaller tiles and adhere them in a pattern to a sheet of either matt board, cardboard or foam core.  I think I'd also like to get some wood grained paper or shelf liner to do a simulated wood floor. as well.

Here is Lala modelling a full outfit by me. She wears a faux suede mini, a cute tulip print flair top and a bright red mesh shrug.  This might just be one of my favorite outfits. :-)  I wish I knew how to sew super thin knit material, as I love the way these bright green Mattel made tights look with this outfit.  So instead I try to watch ebay for listings that include the tights.  They can be expensive, but I've gotten some good deals. :-)
(Plus an awesome friend who sent me this pair as well as a couple of others! Mwah! =D)

Here we have my dragon twins. (who are still bald and awaiting rooting)  One of these days I will get their hair ordered and get them finished!

Brinnande (with pink lips) is wearing Pink Pleasure, a mini dress I made from a fun print with shimmery silver accents. Her sister Kaitrus (with green lips) wears Glorious Green, a  neat Grecian inspired dress, made from the coolest crinkled ribbon!

Next up is the adorable Abbey Bominable!  I just adore this figure, and her character in the cartoon is fabulous too! She's a no nonsense kind of ghoul!  She is wearing a pair of Bratz jeans, that I paired with a teal floral top I made from an upcycled little girls top I found on clearance and fabric given to me by my mom.  The solid blue came from Mom and is really unique.  It has the appearance of felt, but only on one side.  The other side is really smooth.  It's weird, but really cool!

Here are the GFF's (ghoul friends forever).All three ghouls are wearing Mattel made tops with my custom faux suede skirts in 3 different lengths. 

I love this faux suede material a ton!  It is perfect for clothing, but also works great for upholstery. I think I have it in red, olive green and purple.  I need to pull some of the other colors out and make some more skirts and such!
 Here Lala and Cleo are modeling skirts I made in different lengths from the same material.  Lala's mini skirt is trimmed at the top with some antique cream lace that came from my husband's aunt's sewing stash.  She sadly passed away a few years ago, but I think she'd be thrilled to see her supplies being given new life! :-)

Cleo's skirt is unembellished, but she wears a deep maroon strapless top I created.  Lala's top is also made by me and is from a sample of 'velvet' drapery material
 This is Rochelle, my Parisian gargoyle.  she has such a sweet face!  I paired her stock skirt with a grey denim off the shoulder top.  I used a wire mesh 'ribbon' that I twisted up to make the strap.  I added a Swarovski cyrstal to the corner for a little bit of pizazz. :-)
Last but not least is Cleo again.  Here she is wearing a denim mini made by me and a cute white 'baby doll' style top.  This material was sent to me in a box chock full of goodies from my aunt!  (It's so awesome to have relatives who sew! =D)  She had already serged this piece so I just did a casing for the elastic at the top and added a piece under the bust as well.  I topped it off with the pretty coral pink bow because there are small VERY subtle pink polka dots in this fabric! 

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend.  I'm off to bed now!

Much love,

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday already!

Where has this week gone???  I've not been nearly as productive as I would have liked to have been this week, but I did get quite a bit done.  I finished off several items of clothing for my shop and spent all day Wednesday setting up my scene and then photographing each item. (I still have about a half a dozen pieces to shoot as well as some pieces that I need to shoot on Nefera as she has a slightly larger body size. Those shots will allow me to market those pieces for her as well!)

First off here is Cleo De Nile's walk-in closet! =D  Is it wrong to envy a doll? lol
Essentially being an Egyptian mummy princess, Cleo is used to...hmm...excess, maybe is a good word to describe Cleo. Her favorite colors are teal/aqua (as Cleo would say, the color of an Egyptian sky on a clear day) and GOLD lots and lots of gold!

I used the Mattel made vanity as my jumping off point for this diorama.  I wanted to use this 'room' as the backdrop for the clothing items in my shop. I used plain white walls (matt board from the craft store) and added the large butterfly image (cut in a square on the back wall and 'fussy-cutted' on the left wall.), the butteflies came from a couple sheets of glittery scrapbooking paper.  On the left wall I used the Mattel made Coffin Bean loveseat and added a small end table made from a Dollar Tree office supply cup. (this one I think would be for like paper clips, tacks or rubber bands). 

Along the back wall I used 3 pencil organizers I also picked up from the DT as bookshelves/shoe racks.  I stacked 2 on their sides and filled them with shoes, books, and a few other items
 The third pencil organizer I stood up on end and used the large middle section for the tall boots.  On tops the of the shelves I have a globe, some handmade candles, a pair of black cat statues, the dock and Cleo's Icoffin, a tray filled with necklaces, a fan and of course the world's largest diamond! ;-)  In the vertical shelf there is a polymer clay 'tablet' with a peacock design and a miniature Sphinx.  On top of that shelf is a basket with Cleo's crowns.  On the floor is a beige purse and Cleo's Fearleading duffel bag.
 This is Cleo's vanity.  It's a bit busy with all the gold, so eventually I might try to tone some of it down with a bit of dry brushing or painting to highlight certain area.  There really is a lot of detail in this piece and it'd be nice to really show it off to its fullest potential.  There are 4 shelves on either side of the mirror.  On these I've used MH items, rement, as well as Barbie and Bratz accessories. There is a little black bird statue, a clear cup with make-up brushes, a bottle of scented talc, and several perfume bottles.

On the surface of the vanity sits more perfume bottles, a tray of jewelry, a lantern, some votive candles, the dragon egg Cleo is supposed to be hatching for Mad Science and her sister Nefera's pet scarab beetle Azula.
The last area I put together is Cleo's purse shelf.  I've used various MH, Barbie and Bratz purses here. On the top is a smaller golden cat statue, a chunk of gold, a sphere of (I think) serpentine jade, a piece of tigereye, and a potted plant.  In the forefront is a black corduroy club chair that desperately needs lint rolled! o_o Eep!

I hope you enjoyed a tour through Cleo's Walk-in Closet.  I will do another post later with some images from the ghouls 'fashion show', in the meantime, though, if you'd like to see more, please visit my photostream over on Flickr! =D

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day

So here in the States we celebrate our work force with Labor Day.  I will be honest, I'm not entirely sure what the original meaning behind it was but these day's it's a day off from work and school and the unofficial end to summer.

We all just kind of kicked back and relaxed.  Hubby and I went to a local farmers market on Saturday and had a lovely time.  We brought home lots of gorgeous fresh veggies, some artisan cheese as well as a good bit of local raw honey.  Middle son and I got our butts handed to us this past spring by the local pollen.  It's so different from what we were used to down in GA!  So I have decided that he and I will start a local honey regimen to hopefully get us used to the pollen by this next spring.

After that I came home and finished off a commission for table gifts for an up coming Fashion Doll convention.  I am not a fan of sculpting whole strawberries (or doing canes for sliced ones), as they never seem to come out right.  Of course that was what my customer decided she wanted.  So I pressed onwards and made myself make them.  While I am not entirely happy with the way the strawberries turned out I think these personal tropical cheesecakes turned out adorable.

Each tiny cheesecake has a graham cracker crust, a layer of rich creamy cheesecake, a spilling of pineapple jelly then topped with a slice of sweet, tart pineapple and a whole ripe strawberry!

The rest of her order consisted of goblets of iced tea with lemon.

It truly amazes me to think that some of my creations will be going home with some folks at a major doll convention! =D

After finishing the cheesecakes, I decided to take a break from clay and get back to my fabric.  I found a pattern online for a shrug.  The pattern was actually designed to be enlarge to fit a real person, but I ended up shrinking it down and altering the shape a bit to suit the Monster High ghouls.  So the last 2 days have been spent playing around with fabric and designs for that pattern as well as a serendipitous 'pattern' for a halter top that was the result of trimming out the shrug. =D  Gotta love happy accident!

After I hit the post office and Walmart tomorrow, I plan on trying to get as many pieces of the new clothing I have sewn, photographed so that I can list a piece or three every day.  I'd like to get everything listed in my shop by this coming weekend.

Hope you all have had a good week. Talk to you later!