Thank you for stopping by. If you are looking for my Grow Your Blog party post click "here". I hope you'll explore a bit while you are here. If you have any questions leave me a comment or send me an email!

Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Resolutions

Remember, I warned you that these were coming. As I reviewed my priorities for last year, yes I actually said priorities not resolutions, I found that while my life took a horrible turn I still managed to do some things on that list. I did sculpt more and I really tried to take better care of me. All of that flew out the window for the middle part of the year but as 2010 ended I was able to slowly work on those things again.
 
So here is my list of 11 (I don't know why 11, it just seems like a good number) Resolutions for 2011.

1) Purge - art supplies that I no longer use, clothing that no longer fits, kitchen items that I have lots of.... I have started this task and it feels GREAT already!
2) Spend time with my family and friends - Time is the one commodity that we NEVER get back, this year I hope to spend it wisely on the people in my life who mean the most to me!
3) Live healthier
4) Journal - this has been an important part of regaining my creativity!
5) Explore - the museum, the river, the city I live in... just explore
6) Create - whatever strikes me whether it is sculpted, embroidered, sewn, written or baked.
7) Imagine - imagination is the key to MY creativity, I need to keep it working.
8) Be Frugal - this is a trend that I have already noticed in my life and I like it!
9) Reconnect with Nature - another important part of my life that I have neglected... look out garden, here I come!
10) Enjoy more and stress less - need I say more ;0)
11) Allow my spiritual side to shine through - this has been slowly happening, now I want it to be intentional.

As you can see, my resolutions are not tasks that set me up for failure, they are more like guidelines that I hope to live by, things I hope to bring into my life, things that will make it a richer, more rewarding life to live.

Here is a quote I found that I feel everyone should embrace:

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman

Have a wonderful New Year!

D

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 Remembered

Greetings,

Looking back over the past year has been an interesting process, I am usually rather introspective during the last week of the year and this year is no different. The last year of my life has taught me a great deal about the people I knew, or thought I knew, the people I love and especially about myself. Some things were good, some horrible, but all of the lessons I have learned will make me stronger and happier in the years to come. I wouldn't wish my last year on anyone! It was truly, truly bad!! But the knowledge I gained was priceless and worth my little walk through hell.

This year, I learned not only who my friends really were but what I valued most in a friend. I learned that true friendship is not as rare as people seem to think, you just have to know what you really want in a friend and how to really be a friend. I lost a couple of people that I thought were friends. When it happened, I was devastated! Then as I slowly healed and was able to step out of the wreckage that was my life, I realized that I had good, true friends standing all around me. True, honest, got your back, real friends. Most were not the people I expected to be there, some live 1000's of miles away from me, some I have only known a couple of years, some I only get to see occasionally, but when the dust settled, I was humbled by the people that were in my life. These people have been with me at my worst and will be with me at my best. They are the very definition of friend, they are loving and kind, caring and supportive, and will kick you in the ass when you need it. They are honest even when you don't want them to be and supportive when you don't realize you need it. They are funny, creative, calming and living life. They don't judge even if they don't understand or approve, they stand steady and strong - not only at my back when I need it, but at my side. They support me when I need them and lean on me when they need my strength.  As I sit here in my pretty little studio reflecting on the carnage that was my 2010 I realize that, all in all, I am a very lucky girl! I am blessed to have these amazing women (and even a couple of really great men) in my life and know that in 2011 I will do everything I can to be the friend that they deserve. I no longer mourn the friends who are gone from my life because life must be lived in the present. It was a hard, eye opening year but I have come through it whole and am actively working on Healthy and Happy! So as I ring out 2010 and ring in 2011 I will be focusing on the wonderful people in my life and the lessons I have learned!

WOW, what a ride it has been. Whom ever said "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" was right, it isn't a fun ride but in the end, if you survive it - so totally worth it!

And now for some less serious, fun news :-)

The past month has been quite productive. I have finished several gifts, cleaned up some projects that needed to be done and out the door and have organized my studio so that the limited time I currently have to create is used wisely.


This month I have created Voodoo dolls (see below), a pretty paper covered cigar box, some embroidered Thumb Wars puppets, a covered journal, a scrapbook, some embroidered kitchen towels and an embroidered chair cushion - some just for fun, some as gifts, all with love. Most of these items have been sent off to their new homes and now I get to start working on my personal fun things! I haven't sculpted much or finished my sculpted projects but I am going to work on some of that today.

Life is sort of slowing down and my creativity is finally flowing again! Who knew that the darkest times of my life could yield such amazing insight into what I really want and need. I am still wading through some pretty nasty things but slowly life is starting to balance out. The time I am spending with my young son has certainly helped. He has managed to put lots of things into perspective with his hilarious take on the world. Sometimes all I need to do is listen to him rambling on, usually to himself, to realize that not only is life worth living, it is also worth enjoying!

Here are the Voodoo dolls that I made. I found this adorable machine embroidery pattern at my new favorite embroidery site called UrbanThreads.com. They have the coolest machine embroidery patterns I have ever seen!


Please note, I am a firm believer in Karma! All of the Voodoo dolls that I create are meant to help the person they are gifted to NOT hurt the person they represent. There is enough negativity in the world, I don't want to add to it! If you are interested in the how and why of these cute little guys send me an email and I'll send you the poem that goes with them. Send the email to  debbielynn.w@gmail.com to be sure I get it.

To those of you who have been with me through this past year, I thank you, to those of you just reading my saga, welcome and I hope to get to know you.

2011 Resolutions coming soon... yes, of course I have to =D

D

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Never Apologize for Your ART

Whomever said that an Artist had to suffer to produce good ART needs to get a clue! Suffering, while it may be good for the soul, is not conducive to creativity. At least it isn't conducive to MY creativity! I have had a very trying year and while I have been working sporadically on my various creative endeavors it hasn't been until very recently have I been able to enjoy the process of creating and the things I am creating... well they are a'changing ;-) My take on that old adage is that while an Artist need not suffer to produce amazing art, suffering does indeed change an Artist's perspective and often times their vision and work.

I have found the darker side to my creative journey. Some of it is a natural interweaving of my love of everything Halloween with my sculpting, some of it is the by-product of the circumstances that were my life this past year, and the rest...well lets just say that my true personality is starting to shine through into my art. I hope to share those darker things with you in the very near future. They will have their own place to live in Cyberspace, check back for a link to Dark Horizon Arts soon.

I am finishing up a couple of projects that I posted here before my life took a hard left turn, my Goblin is finally going to have some clothes (he is thrilled), the Goddess is actually an Egyptian Queen (who knew??) and Jordan's fairy will be getting her wings. Once those projects are complete I will introduce you to 2 recent characters that I have sculpted. One is a holiday Elf that I plan to deck out in red and green finery with bells, holly and what ever else I can find while the other is a marvelous horned jester who will be dressed in lush rich colors, think Mardi Gras - plum, emerald, gold... we shall see. That is my plan but as the Queen and the Goblin will tell you... they get final say!

For now, thanks for checking up on me.

Ciao


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wings

Jordan's fairy will be getting her wings soon.
Here are a couple of updated progress pictures.


She has more hair than last time but I will still add a few more tresses to give her hair that extra something Below are her wings before any decoration.


These wings have a good strong base to build on. They were created using Fantasy Film and wire. I have lots to choose from when decorating the wings: feathers, jewels, beads, glitter and what ever else catches my eye. This sweet little fairy can't have plain or naked wings!

Just a few more things to complete besides the wings. She needs boots, a shirt and jacket, hair bands, maybe a guitar or skateboard and then the bling! I have lots of shiny things to add. Another week or so and she should be complete and ready to go to her new home.

check back soon

Debbie

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Check out The Nevada Museum of Art

If you are a Reno local, or in the Reno area, join me at The Nevada Museum of Art tonight for my friend, artist Linda Yaxley's trunk show which is showcasing her original jewelry. Her work will be featured at the gift shop throughout the month of February.

Hope to see you there tonight!

Debbie

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Goddess Has Eyes


The Goddess is starting to look Egyptian to me.

I can see her in a white flowing dress with gold and black accents. Since I won't have much time to work on her this week she has time to decide if she likes the idea of being an Egyptian style Goddess. She looks so real standing on my desk and is very intense looking as well. I can assure you, she will not wait long to be finished!! Hopefully sometime next week I can work on here. I still need to finish Jordan's fairy then will be able to devote some time to her.

Check back soon for more updates.

Debbie

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Never Sculpt While Drinking!




This sweet little fairy (She’ll have her wings soon) was born during our Christmas Party this year. My amazing niece Jordan really wanted me to make her one of “My Dolls” and thinking that she meant for me to make her one at a later date I told her I would love to. She then sat down and said, “OK, what do we do first?” Since I had had a glass or two of wine and most of the other adults were playing cards I figured – what the heck - and got everything we needed from my studio to sculpt the head, hands and feet and brought it to the kitchen table. 


Here is what she looked like just after we baked her the night of the Christmas Party.

The next morning, as I looked at our creation I realized that I should never sculpt while drinking!! Her eyes were crooked, her nose was misshapen and her chest was flat and sunk in. I tried to paint her face once and was so unhappy with it that I put her away for a couple of weeks so I could pondered what to do with her to make her pretty enough for Jordan.

Fast forward to my last sculpting group meeting when I gathered up this poor little doll and everything I could find in Lime green – Jordan’s favorite color, and decided to do what I could to make her pretty. I used a lot of acetone to smooth her face, then scraped it down and smoothed again and finally, I was able to start working on her again.


Here she has her bones, muscle, hands and feet.


Here is what she looks like right now. She stands only 8" tall and I have painted her face. She has some hair and a partial outfit but she still needs quite a bit of work including more hair, accessories, a completed costume, wings and finished shoes. I hope to have her ready to go to her new home by Friday. I think she will be very happy with Jordan and hopefully Jordan will be happy with her.

I believe that she is coming along quite well in spite of her dubious beginnings and will be proud to have my niece tell people that she and I created her together.

Check back soon to see her before she moves to her new home.

Debbie

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hopfully my days as a Taxi driver are over...

My son is currently at an auto auction with the intention of purchasing a car to replace the one he totaled a couple of weeks ago. He has been handling his dependence on others pretty well though I will be glad when he is once again independent! I have to admit, we have had some amusing conversations on our way home from school lately and I will miss listening to my son’s interesting perspective on the world at large. He tells me about college, I tell him about work and all in all it is not a bad way to spend a half an hour in the evening. He sure is turning into an amazing young man and while I will be happy he has his own wheels, I think I will miss our after work conversations.

On the creative front...

I will post some updates on my creative endeavors later this week. Progress has been slow in the sculpting side of my life as I sort through the many things going on right now. I have been cleaning my studio (and it seems my life) so I can actually get some work done and now I can hear them calling for me to complete them, it is definitely time to do some creative work again.

Life sometimes takes you on a detour from your chosen path, it may last only an hour but sometimes it lasts much longer and is such a profound change that you find yourself re-evaluating where you were and where you are now heading. The detour that my life has taken has lasted a long time (almost 3 years now) but I am finally beginning to see the path I feel I am supposed to be on. While it isn’t the path I started out on, and it isn’t completely clear yet, I feel good - really, really good, about where my life is heading.

Thanks for letting me get sentimental…


Debbie

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Car Accidents, Insurance and School - Oh My!

This week I have been overwhelmed with insurance issues stemming from my oldest son's car accident as well as taxing said son to and from college since he is currently without a vehicle after he totaled his car in above mentioned accident. Fortunately, no one was hurt so the minor inconveneinces of  insurance paperwork and being a taxi driver for a couple of weeks are fine with me! I plan to be back to work on my creative projects this week so check back soon for some updates.

Take care and drive safe :)

Debbie

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mermaid Armature: Part 2


Here is the mermaid with her arm tube attached and cemented in place. I love sculpts at this stage, they have the form and feel of what the finished piece can become. I had a slight mishap while preparing her for the tube. I wanted to place it higher on her arm than I had room for due to the epoxy so I went crush off some of the epoxy and ended up snipping off her arm at the elbow – oops! Fortunately I don’t think it will be too noticeable once she is complete since she is reaching for something and her arm is supposed to be fully extended. I will just have to make sure I sculpt in an elbow so she looks natural. More epoxy is needed over the tube to add extra strength and then she is ready for clay! I hope I can do her justice.

Have a great day,

Debbie

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Goddess



Here is my partially sculpted goddess. She will have a cloth body over the wire armature with sculpted head, hands and feet. I was thinking of Athena when I sculpted her but won't really know which Goddess she resembles until I paint her features and give her hair. She will be holding a crystal ball up to the sky once she is completed. She is the first figurative sculpt that I have made without Mick Jaggeresque lips. I am hoping to paint her today and sculpt her hands and feet as well. She has been waiting patiently, wrapped in the black silk chiffon for modesty, for over a month to have her skin and eyes painted. I’ll update with a picture soon.

I am pretty happy with how her features came out. I think her eyes are roughly the same size and shape ( a lot harder to do that you would think) and her lips are not too crooked LOL I am not happy with her ears but I have a few techniques to try on my next piece to correct what I am unhappy with. Overall all I have really loved every piece I have made. Each one is better technically than the last.

If you have been reading my posts, you can see that I seriously suffer from ADHD so I am always working on more than one project. Keep checking back, I will finish them all eventually.

I have to add a disclaimer here: as much as I want this sculpt to be a Goddess, she may not be, she may have a different opinion. So, if I post her completed pictures and she ends us as a volleyball player you'll know that it was what she wanted LOL. If you create dolls you know what I mean!

Have a great day,

Debbie

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Goblin



This is one of my favorite sculpts to date. He has a soft body over a wire armature with head, hands and feet sculpted out of Prosculpt polymer clay. Right now he has on wool pants and leather shoes and is waiting patiently for his shirt, vest, hat, cape and accessories. He is a young goblin explorer and will be quite dapper when I am done with him. I need to fix both of his ears. The tips broke off when he tumbled off my desk. Apparently he is ready to head out into the world and start exploring.

You can't really see the warm green tone of his skin in these pictures. Once his costume is complete I'll post more pictures of him.

Debbie

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mermaid Armature


Here is the armature for my first ever mermaid. Her armature was created using aluminum wire. I have used epoxy sculpt to fill out her tail and rib cage areas so the clay on those areas will not get too thick. I still need to add more epoxy sculpt to her arms and wrist so that she can support herself on the stand and add the tube in her arm that will be where she is attached to her sea shell base. Her tail is heavy and I would hate for her wrist to crack under the pressure!

I am still contemplating which color scheme to use on her. I have a beautiful ice blue, lush sea greens and then a mix of pastel pinks, purples and blues. I am currently leaning towards the blues. I guess we’ll see what she wants when it is time

Have a wonderful day,
 
Debbie

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fairy Hats?

The treasure chest is almost complete. I have to finish the treasure map that goes inside the bottle then make the sea shell base the chest will rest on. I also have to figure out the angle that I need to secure the post that the mermaid will be attached to through the chest and in to the sea shell base so she looks like she is reaching for something in the chest. I’ll have more pictures of that later this week or so depending on time. I wanted to share the last of my After-Christmas Sale finds.

These beautiful jeweled cones were at Michaels. I have no idea what they were used for but there was apparently an entire line of matching items. When my son walked in to my office he asked “Where’d you get the Fairy hats?” Of course that comment sent me on many fun tangents but I purchased these to make Christmas Tree Angels. I thought to use the cone as a base and plan to sculpt the head and hands out of polymer clay and then dress them in matching fabrics and jewels. I may have to make one fairy hat though, in honor of my boy.

I also found these great sparkley, golden curlies. These are from the floral section at Michaels and will be fantastic additions for wings and things!

Have a wonderful day,

Debbie

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Treasure Chest Part 2

Working with gold leaf is so much fun. If you want to get a “WOW’ result, gold leafing is the way to go.


Taped and ready for gold leaf


Gold leafed  bands complete.



Here is the treasure chest with gold leafed bands and 2 coats of sealant. Now for the final phase of detailing, antiquing and distressing

Black paint is added to give a distressed, aged look. I applied a heavy coat of paint then used a Q-tip to remove the excess and get the look I wanted.



I have burnished the bands with black paint, let it mostly dry then wiped off the excess to give an aged appearance. I added a few lines on the wood to age the chest itself then the hardware got the same treatment and was re-attached to the chest.



Here is a side by side comparison of the chests, before and after. Not to shabby for a chest that cost less than a dollar at Michaels!



These are some of the goodies that will make up the treasure for this cute little chest.

Check back soon to see the completed chest filled with goodies. The bottle will have a treasure map inside and I have some tiny pearls and gold chains to drape through it. Then on to build the rest of the base for this.

Thanks for looking :)

Debbie

Monday, January 11, 2010

Making a Treasure Chest

One of the most attractive things about doll making is that it can incorporate almost any type of art or craft that you enjoy. While making dolls I have incorporated sewing, embroidery, sculpting, painting, wood working, miniatures, rubber stamping and more.

As a child I loved doll houses and all the tiny stuff you could buy or make for them. I spent hours reading miniature magazines and sewing tiny clothes or teddy bears for the tiny people I had. Those tiny accessories were so amazing to me. As an adult, I have delved into the miniature arena as a part of my doll making. My scale is not the traditional dollhouse scale of 1:12 but the items I create for my sculptures are still on the small side and so fun to make I could do it all day.

Currently I am working on several projects but one of them keeps calling my name! She is a tiny 8” mermaid that is in the very beginning of the sculpting process. She has a body armature and I have a plan. I am so excited about making a mermaid. My grandparents lived across the street (literally) from the Rehobeth Bay in Delaware and I spent every summer with them until I went to college – and even a couple after that. When I was growing up, my grandfather was out on the ocean by 6:00 am every morning, sometimes earlier and if I was up, I was out there with him. I learned to swim when I was tiny and could drive and dock a boat by the age of 8, fillet a fish by 9 and caught and landed a 20 pound tuna at age 11 (a lot tougher than it sounds!!)

The ocean is a haven for me. I love the sounds and smells of it and feel as at home on the deck of a boat as I do on land. I think, because I have other sculptures that I have to finish before I can start on her, I am seeing things for her everywhere so as a compromise with myself (yeah, I know silly – but I hate the guilt of an unfinished gift!!) I am working on the display that she will be in. I have shells and sand, a pretty round base and I am making a treasure chest for her.

Here are some in progress pictures…

I bought the chest below from Michael’s for $1 (Ok, I really only paid .80 for it since I had a 20% off coupon!) It is a simple pine box.


The first thing I did was to remove all of the hardware from the box and sand it down so that it was fairly smooth (not too smooth, it is a pirate chest after all).


I added a nice base coat of Raw Umber paint.


Once the paint was dry, I sculpted the “metal bands” out of Prosculpt clay. I then baked the bands right on the piece. I had to stand in the kitchen watching the oven to make sure that my little treasure chest didn’t burst into flames.


Now comes the fun part, painting some details on the chest, gold leafing and antiquing the bands and hardware then filling the chest up with treasure. I already have a treasure map that will fit into a tiny bottle, some tiny strung pearls and a mini strand of real garnets that will be calling the chest home. I am searching for more fun things to put in there. Check back soon to see the finished chest.

Thanks for visiting,

Debbie

Saturday, January 9, 2010

More Fabulous Finds

Being broke can be a huge drawback when you are beginning to create and looking for the perfect stuff to embellish with. This past year has been a tough one but creating is one of the few things that has kept me sane (ok, mostly sane) so I have had to become very resourceful.

Many of my materials have been scavenged, first from my own closet then from thrift stores. Here are some of my favorite finds which I will be using in the next few weeks. The dark one is actually a pillow cover. It has a gold, embossed pattern of satin covered with a matching sheer organza over the center and only cost me $1. The lace is an old curtain I got in Canterbury, UK for about $1.50 (I was rummaging through thrift and antique stores for just this kind of stuff) and the cream colored fabric is a dress I got at Savers when I found the pillow cover. It set me back about $6 but it is large and I will get a lot of use out of it. Once I clean these I will cut them into usable pieces.



I am off to do some laundry so I can start playing with these, have a great day!!

Debbie



Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fabulous Find

I just love book boxes. I have one that I got while in London from the Museum of Natural History. The title of mine is “On the Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin. Isn’t it is just wonderful?




Well, I am currently working on a fairy that was supposed to be a Christmas gift and while I was out today I found the coolest box to put her in when she is finished.



This pretty little book box is just perfect to hold a complete fairy. I can’t wait to finish her and send her to her new home.

None of my sculptures have ever left me, but right now I am putting the finishing touches on 2 that will be leaving for new homes. I am not sure how I feel about that yet. It makes me sad, nervous and happy all at the same time. Yikes!

 I’ll post a picture of the complete fairy in her box before she leaves.

Take care

Debbie

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Inspiration...

Official Movie Poster

I went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie with my husband on Saturday. Of course Robert Downey Jr. is quite inspiring - the ladies will completely understand what I am saying here, but what really inspired me about this movie were the sets. I want to create something that resembles the aged, victorian, soot covered sets in this movie. The rich colors and textures, brick, leather, velvet, metal... I was so inspired by the visual aspects of this movie that I almost couldn't wait to get home to sketch some ideas. Now I am going to have to go see the movie again so I can actually watch it. But for now.... off to sketch out some more ideas.

Debbie

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fun find in the clearance aisle

Don't you just love the after Christmas sales? I found these gorgeous flowers for 60% off.



What do you think?? Won't they make fabulous Fairy wings? I can't wait to try them out. I should be able to get at least 2 sets of wings per flower.

Right now I am planning out my next few sculpts. I have a mermaid, a goddess, and a couple of fairies in the works. At least that is what I am planning. We'll see what they think as I move along, well except for the mermaid; she gets a tail no matter what :)

I'll update more as I go.

Have a wonderful day,

Debbie

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Priorities

Yes, it is that time of year again....
New Year's resolutions

This year rather than making resolutions I have made a list of my priorities. It seems to me that resolutions are so easy to let go of or forget about but a priority, well just the term priority gives it little more weight, makes it something that is important.

So here are my priorities for 2010

• To spend more time with my family and less time worrying about things that I have no control over
• To sculpt, stamp and garden more and stress less
• To spend more time living and playing out in the real world and less time (just more productive time) on my computer - I will blog more and "surf" less :)
• To take care of me (yes, I see the cliché weight loss "resolution" as well but the better I feel the more fun I can have in life!!)

As you can see I have not made a lot of things priorities, only the things that I feel will make my life better. I am blessed with a wonderful family and amazing friends and this year I'd like to spend more time with them.

A final thought.... as I was catching up with my favorite artistic guru Tim Holtz's blog this afternoon I found a picture of a doll he has hanging in his room (see his November 2009 archives). It resembles a voodoo doll but probably isn't. Anyway, this doll has a button on it with the following sentiment -

"Never Apologize for Your Art"

How beautiful is that thought. I have always been drawn to the odd and offbeat, to the dark and strange and unusual. Because my taste in, well pretty much everything, is off the beaten path I have always apologized for it. Not anymore. When I saw that button stuck to Tim's doll I felt my creativity stir. I can't wait to see what I create (or maybe unleash is a better word) in this New Year.

Stay tuned.... it could be a wild artistic ride!

Happy New Year!

Debbie