Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's late but...

I hope everyone here in the States had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a calm Black Friday.  Ours was a quiet day spent just hanging out doing what we normally do.  I did cook a turkey and all the fixings (except the stuffing/dressing and green bean casserole as the rest of the family vetoed those) One one hand it was weird cooking a full meal and not having a house full of people, but we enjoyed it.  Especially since this will most likely be our oldest son's last Thanksgiving at home.  He is currently midway through the enlistment process to join the Army.  We are very proud of him and considering he wants to become a Veterinary Tech, we think he will do fabulously!  He has quite a knack with

As far as yesterday went... I stayed home...I have gone out shopping a few times in the past the day after Thanksgiving, but it doesn't hold any real draw for I slept in and then made homemade donuts when the kids got up! ;-)

Today started off with a trip the post office...I had 2 orders for my miniature resin hot chocolates, a box of extra clay and a gorgeous custom Monster High dress!

My customer asked me to create an all white Winter Fairy-Princess style dress with a corset style top.

I love corsets and really was excited about this one.  Granted it took me 3 tries to get the top almost how I wanted it.  I tend to get frustrated with myself because I think I set my expectations too high.  There are so many things that just cannot be done in this size because properly scaled materials are just not available. :-(  But in the end I am very happy with this piece, but more importantly my customer is happy as well!  

I used a crepe satin that I at some point had stiffened (possibly to make wings ?!?)  But the stiffer fabric worked really well for the corset.  I created 2 parallel lines of stitching down the front and the wove white crochet thread through to create the faux corset lacings.

The skirt is 3 layers, well technically 4 as the bottom layer of tone on tone white cotton is folded in half. The next layer is an iridescent mesh layer and the top is a layer of white tulle.

I think it creates a fanciful skirt without looking like a tutu!

The dress closes in the back with 2 snaps and has a permanently tied over sized white satin ribbon bow at the back!

I also create a Swarovski crystal drop necklace and a couple of bracelets for this outfit.

The dress is destined to become part of a customized Monster High doll that will be a Christmas gift to the customer's adult daughter.

I hope she will share pictures of the final doll with me!

I spent last night after I finished packing up all my orders playing with repainting doll shoes. i am having a blast turning out lots of pairs of customized shoes...I think I am going to start offering them for sale, but I'm not sure.  Shoes can get rather pricey for the stock pieces and I'm not sure if it will be worth it for me to replace them to continue offering more.   Yet another thing to ponder for 2013.

Well time for me to get back to work...I seem to have misplaced the rest of the tiny mini marshmallows I made for hot cocoas and I'd honestly rather just make more than tear my desk apart trying to find the other bag! LOL

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Missed it by THAT much.

So last week's goals were:
  1. finish the Barbie dress DONE!!!
  2. list 10 items in my shop  *um nope not even close...although I listed another Reserved piece...does that count?*
  3. sculpt a dragon (commission) *shifted to THIS weeks list*
  4. design & sew a Glam Hotel/Vacation outfit (commission)-- FINISHED!!!!
  5. complete Parisian Picnic with Monster High Theme-- FINISHED!!!! 
So I didn't get nearly everything finished, and I'm not even going to make excuses although I could. BUT I won' do you wanna see what I did get done?  I hope so! The Glam Hotel/Vacation outfit was a commissioned set for a friend to use as a Secret Santa gift.  Her recipient loves Monster High and is going a glamorous hotel setting, so my customer wanted some kind of travel outfit.  The color requested was turquoise with accents of yellow. 

Originally I had planned a top and skirt, but when my friend saw the sketch she asked about trousers instead.  The main outfit I created was this matching pants suit in a mottled turquoise cotton. I trimmed the top with black satin ribbon.  To complete the main look I added teh yellow and turquoise strappy heels, a chunky yellow bangle, a gold bangle, the yellow Swarovski crystal pendant and the gold trimmed sunglasses.

I love the shape of that top but ended up sewing it 3 times!!!  I had forgotten, until I was nearly done, that the original pattern fit the MH girls rather poorly and I needed to alter it.  Thankfully version one fits my larger bodied girl Nefera very well!

I also sewed up this black trimmed halter top as an alternative top.  I honestly think I prefer this second piece more than I like the original one! LOL

My friend likes everything and is looking forward to sending it to her Secret Santa partner!

Next up was the Scarisian Picnic.  To those not in the Monster High loop...Scaris, (the city of frights) is the setting for the newest line of dolls as well as a new movie due out next year Trailer here. Scaris is the monster take on Paris.  My very patient customer has been waiting several months for this bit as I searched for, and created the various pieces.  In this picnic we have 2 bottles of Spark-ing cider, 2 empty goblets, 2 baguettes, a wheel of Scree! cheese (brie), 2 square plates and a bunch of grapes.

One of the thinks that held up the process on this commission was the basket...It was very hard to find a basket that was the size I needed that didn't have either a giant Barbie head emblem or ridiculous molded bows on it...or that fit our budget!  At one point I thought I was going to have to make the basket myself!  (I was not looking forward to that process!)  But in the end I found the perfect piece!  ------->

It was originally a very pale pink, I use acrylic model paints and custom painted it in the Monster High colors at my customer's request!  I just LOVE the way it turned out!
 The other delaying factor was dessert...I had one heck of a time coming up with a dessert that screamed "Scaris!". Of course it also needed to be something that was wouldn't necessarily take a slice of cake or pie on a picnic and cupcakes don't really give off a French vibe...and them it hit me: macarons!!!

A lot of people when asked about french pastries will often bring up macarons from Laduree.  So I created the monsterfied version...Muckarons from Clawduree! :-)

My mini versions definitely need to be perfected better as the shape isn't quite right...but I think they are adorable!  To monster them up a bit I added a spiderweb design to the pink's filled with shock-late ganache, the black one filled with slime cream for a skull and the white one with strawscary jam got a hot pink lightning bolt! I created 2 custom little boxes lined with gold tissue paper to house them.  

This set is winging it's way to New Zealand as you read this...It's going to live with an amazing photographer and I simply cannot wait to see what he does with them! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And a big old check mark goes through...

 The Barbie dress I mentioned yesterday!  Yeppers I got it finished today and it looks gorgeous! This fabric is just fabulous and very Fall worthy.  Ironically this dress has been cut out and ready to be sewn for over a year!  I decided not to add any kind of embellishments to it as I thought the pattern was enough...although now I'm thinking a black velvet belt might look really good!

This dress is being modeled by the lovely Anja who is an Integrity Playline head on a Barbie Fashionista body.  Integrity is the parent company (I think) of those VERY expensive, often haughty looking Fashion Royalty girls.  While I cannot afford a FR girl and never thought to look for these playline versions online as I never really cared for their snooty looks, this beautiful girl was sent to me by an awesome friend as a gift...and well what can I say, I am in love with her!  My Anja doesn't look snooty at all, just more serious that her smiling Barbie counter-parts.

Here is a close-up of the dress.  It's made from a printed quilter's cotton in black with the cream, goldenrod, sage and burgundy accent colors.

This dress has a rather large flair at the hemline, and I am debating making her a crinoline/tutu type under skirt, just for a little playful edge.

I have about 5 or 6 more of this same design cut out and prepped to go. (also from that same year ago pre-move period)  Over the next few weeks I want to finish them all and get them listed as well!

Here is another shot of Anja...isn't her hair fabulous???  The only problem I have with her is that her head is a bit loose on this body and all that hair tends to pull her head back, making any pose other than this chin-down one VERY difficult to do!

But I had to get her off her original body, as she had the old style solid arms and click kneed rubber legs!  This body suits her so much better! 

Now if only I can figure out how to weight the front of her head a bit to allow better posing.  Being shy only lasts so long!  This girl needs to SHINE!

And in other news...I shockingly played around this morning...but I was productive and made a couple dozen more colored in 26 different colors!!!

Plus I decided that instead of just coating each one with clear nail polish, I'd use a coat or two of a corresponding color instead!  And um yes, I have more than enough colors of polish to create and entire palette of artist's colors!

I think I should be embarrassed by how many bottles of polish I actually have, especially since my nails are naked more often than not!

I really need to get back into the habit of doing my nails at least once a week!  But that is neither here nor there.  I think I have decided to offer the pencils loosely, in groups of 12, 24 and custom sets. A custom set will allow the customer to order certain shades...say all greens, or all purples of such.  I am also going to be working on tubes of paints, paint palettes, possibly bottles of paint as well as things like sketch pads, and eventually easels as well! Oooh and drawing pencils too!

Well friends I'm off to plan my day tomorrow, and then off to bed!  Thanks for reading along!

Monday, November 12, 2012


 Feels good to breath...a nice sigh of relief!  I over came the dreaded Karmic Phrases and completed my Barbie bolero/shrug!
 I did end up making one more 'alteration after I took these pictures and then forgot to take new ones before I packaged up the box yesterday.  I added some black velvet ribbon to the cuffs.

I think that little touch really finished off the bolero/shrug.  For as much trouble as this piece gave me, I am jut thrilled with the way it turned out.  This piece (and the other 3 dresses) also made me start on a few more Barbie sized pieces as well.  I've got about 6 dresses that have been prepped and ready to sew ever since we moved back in December...almost a year now!  Um, crap...they've been prepped since our household goods were packed in October!!!
 The first one is about 85% of the way finished...I need to sew the hem, the back seam and then add a snap.  So hopefully I will be able to share that one tomorrow.

While I really LOVE sewing for Monster High, I truly do enjoy sewing for Barbie as well.  Once of my goals for 2013 is to sew for BOTH dolls equally.

This weeks goals will be:
  1. finish the Barbie dress
  2. list 10 items in my shop
  3. sculpt a dragon (commission)
  4. design & sew a Glam Hotel/Vacation outfit (commission)
  5. complete Parisian Picnic with Monster High Theme
Which includes:
  • bunch of grapes
  • baguettes
  • Skree! cheese (round of Brie)
  • Muckarons from Clawduree (play on macarons from LaDuree)
  • Spark-ing Cider bottle
  • as well as 3 filled glasses
  • And painting a custom picnic basket
So I've got 5 things to do this week... I REALLY want to accomplish them!

 Since I finished my Barbie commission late Saturday I decided to do a little goofing off on Sunday.

I found a tutorial on youtube for a 1/12th scale artist's's really cool and can't wait to find my tiny drill bits so I can make one for 1/6th (playscale) size.  I've decided that my Lagoona Blue (monster high) mer-gal is an artist and would really enjoy having a studio!  (Plus it gives me a reason to make a bunch of cool art supplies!) 

Sorry got the end of the easel video the artist shows how she makes miniature paint brushes out of toothpicks...well wouldn't you know I have 2 boxes of toothpicks sitting in my desk right at my fingertips.

So I grabbed a few and followed along, then created a couple of different shaped brushes too! Then I remembered another tutorial I had seen somewhere to make colored pencils from toothpicks!  So I grabbed my handy dandy Sharpie markers and set to making a lovely set of 15 colors!  For this first set I made:  red, pink, orange, yellow, 2 shades of green, turquoise, dk blue, purple, black, brown, white and the 3 main metallics: silver, gold and copper.                          Each pencil is about 1.25 inches long (32-38mm) I varied the length on them a bit as I wanted them to look like they've been sharpened and ready to use!
I have already started creating more as I plan to add these to my shop this week! The original set still needs a coat of gloss on the 'skin' part of the pencil, to not only protect the color but to give it a little shine and also help protect against possible splinters!

I have not decided how I am going to package these... at the moment loose is my biggest option as the containers I have them in are rement pieces and on the pricey side.  I am going to look and see if I can find any printable boxes for colored pencils, but I am honestly not sure I want to go that route. I am also considering checking out the travel sized products at the store for clear caps of the right diameter. (I can always cut them down if they are too tall.  I'm in need of hairspray any ways... lol

See y'all tomorrow, hopefully with more goodies to share!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Almost forgot...

That I had more things to share yesterday!  But hey it's still Saturday so I'm good, right? :-)   Well crap, I wasn't able to finish this post Saturday night, and here it is 8:30 Sunday already! Sorry. :-(

I have been working on several pieces for a trade for um... I'm ashamed to say I'm not even sure how long...but I am finally in the home stretch.  The gal I'm trading with has 3 Monster High dolls, that will basically complete my collection!  (Well until the 2 I want from the 2013 releases come out.)  In exchange I am making her 3 toga style sheath dresses as well as trading a Ken doll and some Barbie accessories.  I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get these dresses finished as they really aren't that dificult, other than poor time management skills on my part.   I'm not proud of that, but well, sadly it is what it is.  :-(

 This afternoon I finished the 2nd of the 3. I haven't had a chance to photograph that one yet,  Pics coming in a minute! =D But it is a Barbie version of THIS DRESS.  I also used a similar purple crinkled ribbon to create this piece.

I love how the purple looks and I will definitely be making one of these in Monster High size!  The dress is made with wire edged ribbon. I took this concept: HERE and used strips of ribbon in it's place.  By using ribbon this dress goes together really quickly and easily and honestly by varying the width of ribbon or adding additional strips you could probably make this dress for dolls from 6" to well any size really! 
I decided to add some topaz Swarovski flat back crystal 'buttons' to this one to accent the gold ribbon edging.  I will admit after spending the last year sewing primarily for the Monster High gang, that Barbie seems...well almost Rubenesque or plump! O_O  Never in a million years did I imagine I'd say that!  But well compared to the MH girls, she is!  I really enjoyed sewing these dresses and plan to do more Barbie/Fashion Doll pieces next year.

I am also committing myself to a 'work' schedule...from now on after 9:30 am weekdays...if you see me online, please feel free to ask me why I'm not at Work! I get so easily distracted by talking with friends online (which don't get me wrong I LOVE), playing games, reading blogs or gosh don't get me started on browsing Pinterest!  Which btw you can find my boards HERE

So I am going to turn off my computer each morning and crank up the tunes and either sew or sculpt my little heart out!  I am also going to alternate between sewing and sculpting to help build my stock back up.  Sewing days will be either Barbie or Monster High, or hopefully some of both.  And on the other days I will work on polymer clay foods, or home decor items like lamps, holiday decorations as well as fully decorated Christmas trees.

 And here we have the green version!  This one has a silver faceted 'button' and a black velvet belt.

I went in to work with my husband today, honestly because I needed to get out of the house.  Spent about 20 minutes in line at the one local gas station that actually had gas. Then headed over to Kmart to pick up a few Christmas items.  While perusing their Christmas decor I found 2 rolls of the crinkle ribbon I used in both of these dresses, only in ice blue and white...I wanted them both, but at the moment couldn't warrant the $5 a spool. Hopefully I can get them in 2 weeks!

The other thing I did late last week was make a few more Hot Chocolates for both a couple custom orders as well as just to have available.  They were really popular last winter, so I hope they will be again this year!

I've created (so far) 3 different 'flavored' candy sticks... the 1st and 3rd mugs have orange cream, the 2nd is wintergreen, and the 4th is peppermint.  Each mug is created from a custom colored resin and topped with either a candy stick and whipped cream, mini marshmellows or whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

The smaller mugs in the front can be found in my shop HERE  and the larger ones HERE.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Been an interesting week...

So let's see this time last week I was showing off my MH Guy shirts and only briefly mentioned Hurricane Sandy.  Believe it or not at that point I wasn't sure how it would affect us, if at all.  By Sunday were were bracing for the worst. School had been cancelled by Sunday afternoon. By Monday afternoon I had 2 days worth of water stashed for us as well as both bath tubs filled in case we lost power and therefore lost out water pump and my hubby had been let off work early to come home.  By Monday evening we were all kind of tentatively watching the weather get worse and worse. School for Tuesday was cancelled as well as Donnie's work. We ended up losing power about 4 times Monday evening, but each time only lasted about 30 minutes then the power was back up, and well then about half an hour later it would go out again.  The wind howled something fierce and the rain came down in stunning deluges.  By about 11pm though things had started to calm down. By Tuesday morning all was 'clear', although actually it was cold, grey and over cast.  There was a light misty rain falling, that I am pretty sure had it been a few degrees colder would have been snow! 

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by Sandy. We were blessed to have gotten off with very little relative damage. 

 The kids were back in school on Wednesday, so I took the chance and headed out to the nearest town to run some errands.  I stopped at the overlook above West Point and the Hudson River to survey my 'world' from a different angle.

This is our little portion of the Hudson River...see that line that cuts it in 'half', well that's a road/train track.  The area on the 'back' part of it is normally bone dry!!!

This is the area to the right of the above picture.  This is West Point Military Academy and the post surrounding it.  Again you can see that road/train track and the over flow of water!  I cannot even begin to image that much additional water.  On the plus side the developers many years ago obviously knew it was a flood plain as that area has no houses or business built on it!

I turned around to get back in my truck and notices this stand of trees that was, well not standing any more!  It's my understanding that this is caused when the ground gets saturated too quickly and trees with shallow roots get hit with high winds...they just kind of pop out of the ground.  It's kind of sad to think that this tree will eventually die because no one will be out to settle it back into the ground. :-(

As I headed further into town I saw the evidence of lots of downed trees, but crews had already been through and did an amazing job of clearing and cleaning the roads.  I was impressed to see a majority of homes and businesses had had their power restored already (On Tuesday upwards of 50,000 customers were without power in our area!)  However I was surprised to see that our local Kmart was closed due to lack of power even though several of the shops in the same plaza had power...although they were smaller ones, so maybe they had generators.

I headed off to Walmart to pick up things for the boys costumes...yes I am well aware that Wednesday WAS Halloween and I REALLY waited until the last minute.  What can I say, Sandy kind of threw me for a loop!  For the most part my experience at Walmart was like any other trip...although there was some kind of scuffle at the checkouts, that I think involved someone trying to shoplift something.  But the weird thing for me was to see every single refrigerator and freezer case completely EMPTY!  I mean good on them for chucking everything that was in them, but that was an odd, odd sight!

 Of course when I got home and got ready to throw together the boys costumes, my oldest son told me that Trick or treating had been pushed back until Thursday!  Sweet I had an extra day!  So I spent Wednesday evening creating my boys costumes.

My 8yr old originally wanted to be a black ninja, but I nixed that as I wasn't comfortable with him being dressed all in black. O_O  So we compromised and went with red.  Turns out his favorite character for the Lego Ninjago cartoon and toy series is the red ninja Kai.  B asked if I could draw a symbol on his in searching for designs we found a decent picture of the one on Kai's gi. I hand painted it onto the front of the sweatshirt turned gi.  I also added a line drawing of the same image onto the back.  I used a pair of red fleece PJ pants for his bottoms.  The head scarf came from the remains of my middle son's costume.

My 11yr old is still Pokemon crazy, so he wanted to be a Pokemon Ranger.  He brought me a picture from his favorite DS game to use as the basis for his costume.  He already had the jeans (it is way too cold for shorts), the white long sleeved shirt and the light blue tshirt; so all he needed was the red vest, blue gloves and goggles. I picked up a cheap red tshirt from WM and cut off the sleeves and bottom portion. (which became B's ninja headscarf! =D)  Wednesday night I couldn't sleep, so I used felt and made the small pokeball patch for the front of the vest as well as a larger one for the back.  I gave them each a coat of glow in the dark paint. (although it ended up being too bright from all the street lights {good thing!} for them to really glow. C'est la vie!)

About 30 minutes before Trick or Treating was supposed to start I heard sirens coming up our street...and being curious I headed to the door in time to see the West Point Band, a fire truck, and Black Knights mascot and a bunch of Army soldiers parading through the neighborhood tossing out HUGE handfuls of candy for the kids.  The boys had a blast scooping it all up! =D  The orange bucket B is holding was 3/4 full before we even left the house!

Since my husband had to work late my oldest son opted to stay home and pass out candy while I took the boys around the neighborhood. We walked for 2 hours and hit all but maybe 3 or 4 streets.  The boys had a great time, and I say some truly creative costumes.  My favorites were the 3 sisters dressed as Barbie, Skipper and Kelly in BOXES!!!  Then there was the adorable little guy in a wheelchair, his parents had decorated his chair to look like a front end loader!  It was fantastic!  Oh and then there was the boy who had his head in a jar in front of his chest!  Very creative!

By the time we got home the boys were cold and tired, so I made them some nice hot chocolate and they each got to pick 3 pieces of candy after I went through it. 

This is our loot with my oldest son's hand for scale. This basket weighs a ton!  I think we are set on candy for quite a while!

I honestly don't think we've ever gotten this much candy before. I was very impressed by most of the kids out as there were a lot of houses that had simply left a bowl with a sign saying "Take One" or in some cases 2.  And for the most part most of the kids we saw did just that.  There were a couple we saw that were grabbing handfuls and the parent just kind of laughed it off saying there were planning to put most of the candy into care packages to send to Afghanistan. While I commend them for that, the fact that she allowed her child to grab some times 2 or 3 handfuls bothered me.  Oh well...what are you going to do. :-(  My boys were awesome and used their manners to the point of impressing several people when they skipped crossing through someone's yard to use the sidewalk instead!  We got plenty of stunned thank yous.

I've got a couple other things to how you but I think I've rambled long enough so I will save my latest Monster High doll and barbie outfit until tomorrow! Take care!