Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blog Hop–Update

I would like to introduce you to Lisa of Scherer Art ~ Beautiful Living. Lisa does some beautiful work, from creating custom banners for your own blog, to working with fabric, designing and writing wonderful articles based on her love of nature and so much more.

Lisa was happy to be able to participate in the blog hop and you will love what she creates. Just click on the banner below to be instantly transported to this wonderful artist.

scherer living

Monday, November 24, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was tagged by Deb to join in on the Around the World Blog Hop.  Deb is in the interior of BC, not much more than a ferry ride and then a few hours by car from here.Wouldn’t it be fun to actually meet some of your online friends. Be sure to click on her banner to zoom over to her blog and see what she’s working on.

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I went back and back and back through a few blogs to see where the blog hop began but soon realized it’s been going on for a while, and I would probably spend all day reading about all these amazing artists from around the world, and get nothing else done.. ;o) so here I go with my post.

1. What am I working on?

At this time of year, it’s full on Christmas. I just finished this Santa this morning… This is a design by Patterns by Elaine and is her All Dressed Up Santa.

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Last night I finished these fairies. They are from a design called “Damsel” by Karen Shifton. In the pattern, Karen encourages you to add your own twist to the basic pattern. Last year I created my Shabby Rose Fairies and they were so well received. This year they have shaggy hair instead of roses on their heads. I made them to hang from high places, and they aren’t in Christmas fabric, so they could stay out all year.

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I had requests for more this year, but just made a few, I may come to regret that decision. I will have to set aside time again for next years fairies, everyone seems to love them, so if you want something that sells well, this little pattern lends itself to all kinds of creative avenues. In this picture they don’t have their blushed cheeks, but they do now and are packed away for tomorrow when my friend and I will be dressing up her store for Christmas.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think if there is a difference in my work, it’s in my own voice and how I visualize the end result. I think you could give a room full of artists the same theme for a project and you would get a different look from each and every person in the room.

3. Why do I create what I do?

I have certain themes that I really love, jesters being high on the list. I can’t work on projects just for the sake of making something, I have to really love whatever it is. If I don’t work on something, even for a few minutes on a busy day, something feels like it’s missing. It’s a passion.

People have been asking me lately why I make dolls. Without answering them, I ask them, “what is it you feel passionate about?”. One lady told me she loves photography, so I asked her, “what is it you like about that?”. She said it’s a passion of hers. So there you are. It’s a passion to create what we do, we can’t explain it more than that. You either have passion for something or you don’t.

4. How does my creating process work?

I probably have the same kind of crazy creating process that others have. I see inspiration all around me. It might be in a colour, a pattern in fabric, a scene in nature. I just see in my minds eye, a finished art piece that came from that one inspired moment. I get the strangest looks when I see something nobody else noticed and I’ve come up with an idea for a finished art piece just standing there… ;o)

When I work on an idea of my own making, rather than a design that I’ve purchased, I have thoughts of where I want to take that. It never goes where I want it to. That’s the beauty of being free and creative. You don’t have to stick to any rules. I made this doll in a class and it was supposed to be a Steampunk character, but he had others ideas, so this is Grampa Charlie.

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When I was about 10 or so, I was in an art class. We were given some stencils to use and just told to make some kind of picture with oil pastels. I decided on birds and I made them teal and rust coloured. The teacher was kind of taken aback, where the heck did I get the idea of teal and rust coloured birds. I didn’t know either, but I loved those colours so much.

It’s a very free feeling, as an adult, when you unload all the things you’ve been taught “to do this way” and just set about finding your own voice. I haven’t found my “personal style” yet, but this next year I want to spend more time working with clay and maybe find that style. I work as a solitary artist and find that very relaxing and I can lose myself in what I’m doing.

In closing, I am still waiting to hear from some artists I’ve written to, so I can pass along their blog sites to all of you. As soon as I hear back, I will post an update. Have a creative week, and for my US readers, Happy Turkey Day…. ;o)

For anyone living in the Greater Victoria area, I will be at Janet’s Special Teas in Sidney tomorrow morning, decorating her shop and putting up the ornaments and dolls for Christmas. Stop by if you’re in the area. Bye for now….

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pepper a Christmas Fairy

Here is Pepper. She’s gone off to the tea shop with Sigmund and Candace. Who knows what mischief they will get into. The is also the same pattern as Candace. The hat for this one was meant to be more like a pill box style hat, but I really like the one I made for Candace, so I stayed with that theme.

Pepper has her own chair. This one was kind of an extra when I ordered some larger sized ones. But it turned out to be perfect for this.

One good thing about being busy, I’ve been able to catch up on my project runway episodes while working on my projects. Last season, instead of Project Runway, they had Under the Gunn Season 1 with Tim Gunn. Who doesn’t love Tim Gunn, the last of the real gentlemen… love that man.. ;o) Hopefully they will give Tim another season. It was an interesting concept where he had three mentors, designers from past seasons working with new designers.

Then I caught up on Project Runway Season 13, more drama as there always is, and just love to watch it all. I get so motivated watching them pull together all these fashions from barely a moments notice. Now, I’m following along with Project Runway All Stars Season 4. I’m such a junkie….. Anyway, more to show you soon, come back again.

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And here’s the three of them together.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Candace a Christmas Fairy

Every Christmas has some kind of fairies popping in here and there and helping out with decorating the tree or adding a finishing touch to the presents under the tree. You just never know where fairies will be, they don’t like to be seen doing their work. It’s a special moment for anyone who has that rare opportunity to see them.

This is the first of two fairies I’ve sent to the tea shop to help out. This is Candace. She’s very colourful and fun. A Billie Heisler design, you can find the pattern on Dollmakers Journey. Tomorrow I’ll post her friend Pepper.

The chair Candace is sitting in, was given to me by a friend who isn’t making dolls at this time. She’s more involved in her group of Fibre Artists and she does some amazing things, so I think she’s found her calling. I’m really into a lime green and red mood this year, so I have to see it through. Wonder what colours will jump out at me next time….

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sigmund Von Snelf

What a two weeks it’s been, oh my. After the concert I ended up flat on my back sick. Haven’t been that sick in years. There were people coughing in one part of the room, the woman next to me kept wiping her nose. What is the matter with people.

If you’re sick, sacrifice the event for the sake of others who will be there. There were 400 people in that theatre, and I wonder how many ended up sick and  made their family members sick. If you stop and think about this too, how many of you or family members have compromised immune systems, a bug like this could be far more dangerous than someone whose immune system is healthy.

This is how viruses are spread, common sense would dictate, take the loss of the concert for good of those who aren’t sick. I can’t believe people need to be told that….

Anyway, it’s a new day and I’m over the worst of it. I kept busy with slow progress of the last of my Christmas projects. Today I have Sigmund Von Snelf to show you. He comes from Sparkles N Spirit designs. If you aren’t  familiar with them, click here. She also sells the wood kits if you don’t have someone who can cut the wood for you.

Sigmund was like all Sparkles N Spirit patterns, just too much fun to make. Simple to do and you can make them to your own style just with simple tweaks of fabric and trims. He’s bright and cheerful and just waiting to light up a corner of the room. He was especially happy when I brought in a couple of Christmas fairies to keep him company. They will make their appearance here, soon.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Holly and Jake

Here are two more of the prim dolls. I’ve decided to hold off on making the last two for now, to see how they are received at the shop. I’ve been working on other projects so there is a good mix of items for the holiday shoppers.

Holly is what you would expect in her traditional colours. Her hat, muff and boots are made with a textured minky fabric. The top and sleeves are from a toque. Her pants (you can’t see them,sorry) but they are made from a mini polka dot print cotton.

The scarf is wool felt, the trim around the hat is fake fur. The little sack is made with cotton and stuffed with a few sprigs of berry branches.

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This is Jake. The only boy in the crowd so far. His hat is made from a sock, the grey band is another sock. The pompom is a scrap of hairy black fabric. The top is a toque, the sleeves and his pants are a cotton print.

The scarf is the lower part of another toque, his shoes socks and mittens are from socks. He’s ready with his broom. On his hat I stitched on a silver stocking charm and an anchor charm on his scarf. ;o~ If you want to check out the patterns for yourself, they can be found on Patternmart. Cotton Candy Designs. Enjoy.

Back again soon with more projects. I’m a woman possessed I think. I’ve had so many fits and starts this year, it’s a miracle I’ve gotten done what I have….. See you soon.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Peggy and Sara

A couple of posts ago I mentioned a doll from a magazine I wanted to make. Well I actually ordered the rest of the series from the designer. There are 6 dolls in the series. Easy to make and just so cute. I’ll post two today, and another two in a couple of days.

Candy used old sweater, scarf and miscellaneous bits of fabric for hers. I don’t have any of that, that would be suitable so I headed to the $ store. We’re so close, that $ store and I. ;o~  For all the dolls main costuming,  I have used toques and socks, cotton fabric for the sleeves and pants on some, remnants for the sleeves on others. As I post them, I will let you know what’s what for each one.

The wood I mentioned getting hubby to cut for me, was cutting some rounders into slices and the dowels to the size I need. I’m quite certain that have had him cut his share of dowels, drill holes and cut slices of rounders that if I ask for more, he would probably do it, but quietly asking himself how many more are coming… ;o~

Here is Peggy. Her top is made from a toque as are the sleeves.Her hat is made from some fleece I just got, but for the amount the hat calls for it was worth cutting into it. The scarf is wool felt, the mittens, socks and shoes are made from the same pair of socks just cutting into the toes to get the blue part, The pants that you can’t see, are made from the lower part of hubbies pj bottoms. I cut them into shorts, I knew the flannel would come in handy. She was very happy when I stitched on her sock monkey button.

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This is Sara. Her top is from a toque. The hat and shoes are made with pink minky. The bow on her hat, the band on her hat, the mittens and her socks are made from a pair of socks. The scarf is pink felt, the sleeves and pants are made from cotton and I’ve trimmed the sleeves and shirt bottom with cotton lace.

She was mortified when I took this picture, but I just had to show you how cute they look from underneath. Stay tuned in a couple of days for the next ones.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Connie Kaldor ~ What a Night!

Last June I posted a presentation doll I was working on. This one. I didn’t want to say at the time who this doll was being presented to, because it may have gotten back to her in some innocent way, but now I can tell you. She is Connie Kaldor, a folk musician and an amazing talent. She sings about the west, and primarily Saskatchewan and Alberta. She writes and performs all her own music, along with her husband Paul. More about Connie here.

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I admit ashamedly that I did not know this Canadian artist when I was first presented with the commission to make this doll, so I got busy and did some research. The very first video I saw of her performing, was this concert, where she performed “You’re All Right”. I used this as my inspiration. I was to cover 3 things, of course the artist herself, the western culture and some humour. Because of this video, that just made things a whole lot easier for me. This is it.  “You’re All Right” 

I had an email a few weeks ago letting me know there would be a ticket waiting for me at the door to the concert, and so the butterflies in me began their journey of growth… ;o)  The concert was last night. Yes I did keep my ticket stub, I’m such a geek. This may never happen again and it’s a memory that will last me forever, the experience was top shelf.

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After a few announcements, the concert began. I didn’t take pictures during that, not sure that was allowed anyway. Connie is the consummate performer, she holds your attention, she’s regales you with hilarious stories before each song and just draws you into each one. There were hoots and howls all through the night, we all clapped along through some songs, sang along with others. There was just Connie and her husband and a long time friend and musician on stage, sadly his name escapes me  because he was so talented, and I would have loved to recognize him here. He played the fiddle, squeeze box and a saw and bow. That was amazing how he played the saw, which evoked huge applause at the end.

During the intermission just before the second half of the show, they made the presentation. The Western Literature Association has always given awards to those who write books or other forms of literature. Connie is the first ever singer/songwriter to be given the award for her contributions to Western Literature. They presented the written award, then the doll to her and I heard her comment, “oh it does look like me”, and then they put it on the piano where it sat for the rest of the performance. When she sat down to play the piano, she commented again, so I think she really liked it. ;o) She told me after, that she didn’t have anything like that in her home and that made it even more special.

After the show, I was waiting in the main area to get my cd signed. Then I decided that because this was so important to me, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to speak with her, I went back into the theater. Connie was down near the stage speaking to a few friends. I went down and waited my turn.

When my turn came, I introduced myself as the person who made the doll for her and we had a few minutes to chat. I felt a tap on my shoulder and when I turned around, a lady was standing there. She introduced herself as the one who first saw my dolls at Janet’s Tea Shop and who put my name forward to create this doll, and so now i have that puzzle figured out as I didn’t know who it was, just that a lady had come in and taken one of my cards. ;o)

Connie signed my cd (her newest one) and if you have trouble making out what it says, it reads… “Thank you for the beautiful gift – you are incredible! Connie”

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I asked if I could have a picture taken with her and she said of course, another lady quickly offered to take the picture, so here you are. I of course am the one who won’t be able to wipe off that silly grim for days now. It was a truly magical experience. First being asked to create this doll for her and then to be able to meet her and have a few precious minutes to talk to her. I will never ever forget this experience.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Art of Stillness

In our local paper this morning, there is a very interesting article by Jenny Barchfield about a man by the name of Pico Iyer. A world traveller who has found that he’s had enough of the insane pace of travelling from one place on the planet to the other and in this article he explains why. The case for staying put.

I was so heartened by this article because it’s exactly how I feel. Time and time again I’m asked are you going anywhere this summer or winter or whatever season it happens to be. When I answer, no, it’s met with a silence that’s deafening and a look of confusion on the face of the person asking the question.

Why don’t you travel, why not circumvent the globe, go to all these wonderful places. Ummm, NOT!!!  I’m quite happy to live vicariously through those who do that sort of thing and enjoy the stress of plane hopping, missed flights, expense of course and plans that don’t always work out, and let’s not forget the groping you get at every security area, the body scans, the temp. taking, and oh joy, how much does it cost you just to leave every point of departure. Why would I want to miss out on that. ???

Sorry world travellers, I am content to be at home, taking weekend trips to the gulf islands now and then, or up the island to explore our amazing local sights and sounds. The gulf islands are beautiful, like our own piece of heaven, just a short ferry ride away and so many to choose from. Each offers it’s own wonderful array of artisans, scenery and events depending on the time of year. I am very content to live a simple life with hubby, and just a few friends that I can depend on and whose company I enjoy day after day.

We bought a house to live in it, it’s home, it’s comfortable, it’s our own private place where we enjoy being. For me, there is no place like home as Dorothy so eloquently exclaimed when she woke up from her knock on the head.

If you like Ted Talks, please click here to listen to Pico Iyer and hear his views on slowing down and just be still. In one part of the talk, near the end, he refers to a sanctuary he went to and it was there that he realized what standing still and being quiet really meant.

I knew someone who went to a similar sanctuary. A cabin that was in a remote area on land owned by the Catholic church. She also was not a religious person, but the sanctuary was provided by the church regardless.

The same scenario as described by Pico Iyer, no amenities of any kind, just quiet and sounds of nature and only a single small lamp for light. If I remember correctly, she had to bring a sleeping bag as there was no bedding, just a very hard cot to sleep on. She told me that she never realized how much noise was in her head until she went somewhere that she was forced to hear it.

I hope you are living your life the way it makes you happiest, not the way others think you should. Do what keeps you happy, content and motivated. It’s such a great feeling.

Back to my dolls, and soon I’ll have pictures to show you. Have a great day with a bit of time for peace and quiet.

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Brunette

These are my brunette girls. I have 12 of these ornaments made now, but am going to put them aside for a bit, and work on some dolls. Working on teeny tiny does require a break now and then and really gives me an appreciation for those who create 1:12th scale mini’s. These are nowhere near that, but they are still lots of work, almost more than a regular size doll. I think it’s the fiddly factor, I also like to make sure there are no unfinished areas where something is missing and needs just a little something to complete it.

I have a really cute doll pattern I found in a magazine a while ago and have been itching to get to her, so have delegated some work to my hubby to cut some wood for me so I can get this done. I hope to do a few because they are so different than what I’m currently making, are easy to make, prims, and the design lends itself to other looks just by changing the fabrics and things the dolls are doing.

Today is a definitely a day of rest, no yard work, no running here and there, simple meals and relaxation at the top of the list. Sounds good to me. Hope you’re all into the throws of your Christmas projects or about to be.

I see in the paper tons of craft fairs going on and the stores starting to unpack Christmas decorations and potential gifts for others, so of course, guess who will be prowling around on a regular basis for those must have doll adornments….It’s amazing what you can find if you just stroll around and keep your thinking cap on. Your dolls will appreciate it too. ;o)

Back soon with my next project.

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