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!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Almost a New Year

Wow 2016 went by fast. So much happened, but I had too many obligations and not enough time to write and play. I hope that 2017 will be different. I plan to make 2017 different.


I've cut back on outside obligations though I did go back to school. I realized that while I enjoyed some of the things I had joined in on, I was not working on what inspires me - namely figurative sculpture.


So, with that thought on my mind, I chose to bow out of the major craft fair I have been doing for the past few years. It is (in my opinion) one of the best in the area but I found that while I enjoyed the booth and the people, the things I was making were not what I wanted to work on. I found that I was making small items to fill my booth rather than working on my art. So, though I am sure I will miss it come October, I did not commit myself for the upcoming year. I am taking a break from craft fairs and working on sculpting.


I did finish another sculpture and submitted her for Art Doll Quarterly's County Fair challenge. The sculpture's name is: Grandma Molly's Blue Ribbon Blueberry Pie. Here is a sneak peek. I checked the rules and I am able to share her on my personal blog.



Please excuse the poor picture quality and wrinkled background!!


She was inspired by my grandmother and I think of her as the fisherman's wife (Fish Tales: Check him out here). I haven't heard back yet as to whether or not they want to use her but I sure had a great time making her and sending her off for consideration. I've made it a goal this coming year to enter their challenges and I am already storyboarding my ideas for their next challenge - "I am Woman" which is due in March of 2017.


2017 will bring more posts to this blog. I am setting aside a couple of hours per month to write for my blog. This is something that I enjoy and want to do. I have several tutorials that are just about done and I finally want to share them. I have other projects that I am working on that need to be here :0) I have the results of my first serious batch of wine that I made all by myself - start to finish - and it is drinkable. That story needs to be shared and I still have some amazing vacation pictures to show you.


Right now, I am sitting at work on my lunch hour. I was trying to focus on my current college course - Business Law - but my brain just isn't there right now. My middle son and his family arrived here today, the holidays are in full swing and last night I finally got my house decorated. I am ready to take a break and just enjoy my family and the holidays.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Coffee Zombie...A Fun and Interesting Zombie

Missing Zombie Swap

This year's Zombie swap, hosted by Val over at Yarnigras Swapper Spot, was called Missing Zombie and you were supposed to give your partner an idea for a zombie that you were missing from your collection. My partner really wanted a Coffee Zombie.

When I first read that she wanted a Coffee Zombie, I was stumped. What is a coffee zombie? How do I translate coffee into a zombie doll? I had no idea where to start... so I went to Starbucks for some iced coffee.

Finally, after much fruitless brainstorming, I started sculpting a zombie. I figured I would be able to flesh out my concept as I went along.

Zombies are fun to sculpt, you don't have to really worry if they are pretty, seriously, not at all! Lumps and bumps, no problem (just think decomposing), cracks are intentional, hair can be thin and falling out, lips can be sheared off, teeth crooked and blood stained. The less you worry about them the better they become, at least that is how I look at it. Oh, and adding an exposed brain is so much fun!


I started with 2 zombies, one guy and one girl. I originally thought I would make one holding a Barista's severed arm, which in turn would be holding a cup of coffee. Then I started dressing them.

Leather boots, suede pants, Ralph Lauren sweater (really, I found one at Goodwill for $5 and have been cutting it up for costumes. I LOVE it), hmmm, what kind of zombie is this? Starbucks customer?

 Nope, how about a Starbucks Barista.



The apron was created with the directions I found through Pinterest from this Doll Diaries blog post which talked about making a doll sized coffee shop. Brandy, the guest blogger details making Starbucks aprons for dolls to go along with the coffee shop they are making. Amazing! I got lucky and Michael's had everything I needed.


Coffee Zombie

I also sent along some sweet treats, a skull candle stick and a few ornaments for my swap partner's Halloween tree:

Halloween Tree Ornaments

I had such a hard time sending this sweet (yes I think she is sweet) zombie to her new home. I hope her new mom loves her!

I am so happy to be a part of this amazing swap group. If you like to create you should check out Yarnigras Swapper Spot. Right now she is hosting an ornament swap. You have until October 28th to sign up for the fun.

I am almost ready for the October 14th craft fair... then I can relax and post more things here, like more vacation pictures, the tutorials I have been promising (I really have not forgotten) and more.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Zombie Swap Complete

I sent my swap partner her zombie today. It was really hard to say goodbye. I can't wait to show you what I sent. This one was challenging in subject but totally fun once I came up with a concept. Here is a sneak peek:

It should be delivered Monday or Tuesday, as soon as it is delivered I will share with you the gruesome zombie I created for this year's swap.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fun Things in my Etsy Shop

Until recently I just haven't had the time to put my jewelry in my Etsy Shop. I have been working hard to get things in there before the start of the holiday season this year. Currently there are several styles of earrings and some embroidered Skull and Cross Bone napkins. I hope to have some mermaids, ornaments and pumpkins in there by the first week of October - fingers crossed!

Here are a pair of the Angel earrings:


They are currently available in Yellow, Blue, Orange, Rose, Pink, and Fuchsia. I only have one or two pairs of each available and they are so cute! I also have Bohemian style earrings and some darling faceted glass fall earrings. 

I have so much to share and not enough time in the day to do it! Next up I'll be posting more vacation pictures.

Have a lovely day,

Debbie

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Weekend Sculpting Class with Kate Church

This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend with Kate Church, a fabulous doll artist, sculptor and painter. She is down to earth, soft spoken and just an amazing person. This is the third class I have taken with Kate and it was so much fun. The theme of the class was transformation and we each choose a figure that was part animal and part human so of course I HAD to make a mermaid...



She definitely was made using Kate's techniques and her style. I am thrilled with how she turned out and will be making more mermaids for my booth at the McQueen Craft fair which is coming up October 14-16 - YIKES!

She hasn't told me her name yet but now that she is home I am sure she will soon.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Yarnigras Swapper Spot's 8th Annual Zombie Doll Swap


I am so excited! Val over at Yarnigras Swapper Spot has returned with another Zombie doll swap. I had to join. This swap is so much fun and I have never been disappointed in the amazing creations I have received from this group. I know I should have passed since I am frantically working on items for the craft fair I am doing in October but I couldn't pass this up. It is just too much fun. Click here or click the picture above to learn more and to join in on the fun.

I'll share some sneak peeks of my zombie as I sculpt it. Here is a post about a previous Zombie swap and my all time favorite zombie doll that I made. To see more of them click on the Zombie tag in the list on the left.

More travel pics coming soon, as well as some pics of some new things I've been working on. So much fun stuff is going on here, I can't wait to share and if all goes as planned... I may be be to do it this weekend! Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Limerick

We didn't plan to go to limerick, it was kind of on our way back to Dublin. We arrived a little later than we would have liked but we did see quite a bit of this adorable little town.


They don't make them like this anymore. Such lovely tributes!


One of the many stunning churches we saw.






We didn't get to go into the castle but it was a beautiful sight to see. One of my favorite things about Ireland and Scotland is the abundance of flowers. There are hanging baskets of flowers everywhere and they make everything fresh and colorful.

I can't imagine living in a town that has a castle in the center of it. The closest I have been was when I lived in Lancaster PA and the prison which is in the center of town looks like a castle :0) NOT the same!
http://www.pacountycorrections.org/Pages/Home.aspx
Lancaster Country Prison

Wandering through Ireland and Scotland really put into perspective how young my own country is. So many of the buildings we visited were built before my country was even born. It's pretty spectacular to walk in buildings that are hundreds of years old.

I am finally getting back in the groove of life. I am preparing for the craft fair that I do in October so I should have some projects to share soon. This trip was energizing and so inspiring. You can feel the magic in the air and you know that the fairies and nearby.

More vacation pics to follow... next stops Temple Bar area in Dublin, Edinburgh Scotland and Rosslyn Chapel.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Vacation Part 1 - Blarney

Blarney Castle

I can not begin to describe how beautiful Ireland is. There are not enough words for all of the shades of green that I saw, seriously, it is stunning. Not only is it a beautiful country, the people are friendly and the beer is good. I am a big fan of Guinness and enjoyed my share of pints while touring through the Irish countryside. I am ready to go back, in fact I am ready to buy property there and call it my second home :0) Now to win the lottery so I can afford that...

It rained a lot during our trip, starting with our first excursion to Blarney. I thought a lot about the rain on our flight to Dublin. How would it affect our trip? Would we still be able to explore all the out door sites? The weather channel predicted rain for most of our trip. Here is what I can tell you, an Irish rain in August is completely different from a Nevada rain in any month. The rain was not cold, it was just wet. We explored the castle grounds, in the rain, for hours. We were soaked but not cold. Now, to be fair the rain was more of a hard mist or very light drizzle, not a driving rain, but it was still not cold and actually added to our experiences. I recommend good, light weight umbrellas but I put mine away and just had fun. If you are carrying a backpack make sure it is waterproof or be sure to pack a larger plastic bag to protect its contents.

Bench just Outside of the Castle

View from the top of Blarney Castle

Me kissing the Blarney Stone

Tribute for the Fairies

WOW! This was natural. 

Walking back to the Gardens

Trees in Sweaters

The Witches Stone

One of the many flower gardens

All of the above pictures were taken in the gardens of Blarney Castle. We had no idea how much there was to see, we thought we'd climb to the top of the castle, kiss the stone and move on. Nope! We loved exploring all the nooks and crannies of this amazing place. After playing we did stop for lunch and shopping at the Blarney Woolen Mills shop which is situated right next to the castle grounds. 

If you are planning a trip to kiss the Blarney Stone be sure to allow yourself several hours to explore the extensive gardens. There are so many things to see as you wander around, you just never know what you will find, from wooden mushrooms and the Witches stone, to trees with sweaters and lush flowers. It is an experience that should not be rushed!

Next stop... Limerick

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Winner, Winner...

Well I am almost recovered from my trip. It was a most amazing adventure. We kayaked on Loch Ness, kissed the Blarney Stone, explored the gardens of Blarney Castle, danced with a group of stunningly beautiful kids from Brazil, drank really good beer and generally had a blast!

I will post pictures later this week, but for now… the winner of my Alice in Wonderful Custom Sign Post is… Kerry, Comment # 5

Congratulations Kerry! If you could email me your address and the list of 5 words/short phrases you would like on your post to me at sunflwrhouseart@ aol.com I will get it created and mailed out to you by the end of this month.


Thank you to everyone who visited, I’m still making the rounds and can't wait to see the rest of the amazing Tea Parties :0)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Ireland... Here I Come

Dublin

I can't wait!! Soon we'll be heading to Ireland and Scotland. We'll be spending a few days in Dublin, Ireland and then a few in Edinburgh, Scotland. We are traveling with our son and his best friend who both just graduated from High School as well as our friends (my son's friend's parents:-). 

This is a graduation present for the boys and for all of us. These are both the baby of the family and we are celebrating! Finding someone I know and trust to agree to stay at the house and watch my dogs was challenging but thankfully my babies will have someone there to care for them. (Whew!) 

We'll be exploring Dublin and the surrounding area as well as visiting 
Inverness, Loch Ness and Rosslyn Chapel. 
I have discovered that I have family in Roscommon. 
My mother's family (both sides) are from Ireland and several still live there.

Here is a place I'd like to see from Roscommon:

McDermott Castle, Castle Island, Lough Key
Click on the Picture to be taken 
to a pictorial article on beautiful castles

Check back soon for pictures. I can't wait to see how these countries influence my art. I plan on visiting second hand shops if possible. Last time I was in Ireland I found a single panel of an antique lace curtain in a thrift store - I brought it home and used the lace on several dolls. There is nothing like antique lace when costuming a doll. I'm hoping to bring back more treasures this trip.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Welcome to my Mad Tea Party

Mad Tea Party 2016

Welcome to my Mad Tea Party 2016. 
A BIG thank you to Vanessa from A Fanciful Twist 
for hosting this wonderful party once again. 
Every year I look forward to this event. 
It is fun to participate in and a joy to explore. 

Be sure to stop by Vanessa's party for a visual treat as well as 
links to all of the parties being held today.


The tarts are fresh and the cupcake rich and creamy. Both are perfect with tea. 


Be careful of the tiny bottle you see tucked among the flowers. 
It's pretty and the flavor is most delicious but also quite potent. 
Drink at your own risk!


The Flamingos are always happy to see you. 
They love a good party, especially if there are treats. 
This one put on his best scarves for the day.


The White Rabbit was here for a while 
but he was late for another engagement and had to run,
If you happen to see him please let him know he left his hat!


The tea is ready. 


Please help yourself to some treats. 


I hope you enjoy your time with me this year. 
The weather is beautiful and the company is quirky and fabulous.  


Thank you for stopping by. I hope to see you at the next stop.

This year I am giving away a clay Alice in Wonderland themed directional sign post. Below is a sample that I am still finishing :0). Its ROUGH (obviously)! The winner will get to choose 5 words or short phrases for their sign post. Colors will be the same or similar to those shown.


To be entered into this random drawing you must be a follower of this blog and leave a comment below. I will draw a name using a random number generator (number is based on the number of your comment) on Saturday August 13th. Winner must claim their prize by August 20th or another name will be drawn.

Before you leave let me share with you a silly story about something that happened this morning, as I was setting up my party...

My son and his friend (both 19) were sitting in our living room playing a game when I walked through the house with a life sized flamingo in one hand, a table in the other while wearing a white rabbit top hat. Normally, they never pay attention to me when they are playing games. Today they both looked up as I was heading towards the back door. They looked at me, looked each other and went back to their game. Since I've been doing blog parties not much surprises my son or his friends. They know that they get to play too and help sample the goodies that are left over.

See you at the next party...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Heading to Petaluma


I am so excited. I am heading to Petaluma, CA for the Journeys Through Light & Dark: Dolls as Tellers of Stories show being held at the Petaluma Arts Center.

Fish Tales

My doll, Fish Tales, is one of the dolls in the show and I couldn't be happier. I also have two other dolls in the show. They were not juried but are part of our doll club's table and also part of the exhibit.

I'll be posting pictures from the show this weekend. I can't wait to see my guy in the exhibit.

 Don't forget to stop by for the Tea Party tomorrow.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I just Joined the Mad Tea Party

A Fanciful Twist - Mad Tea Party

I am so excited to be participating in the Mad Tea Party being hosted by Vanessa over at A Fanciful Twist.

I've been planning things all year and I can't wait to share them with you! Check back soon for a sneak peak. It's going to be so much fun.

Don't be late... ;0)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sculpting Retreat

I am finally working in the studio again, after graduation, kid visits, new job (which I LOVE), and one thing after another I am finally playing with clay.

This weekend I am heading to Portola to my sculpting groups annual retreat. It is something that I really enjoy, a weekend in lovely northern California with my friends, playing with clay, being silly and just enjoying life. At the retreat I'll be sharing the polymer eye cane with my group. I have used ideas and techniques from both Lisa Renner and Lisa Pavelka to create a realistic looking clay eye for my sculptures which I do not have to paint! I used this new (to me) eye technique in the sculpture below and I have since refined it quite a bit. Once I get it photographed I'll share here as well.

Work in Progress
 
This weekend I will also be starting to work on items for my booth in the McQueen High School annual Arts and Craft fair this October. My pumpkins will be there again. I'll be making snowballs this year and I have lots of ideas that I will be starting to create. I've been writing things down as I go so that I would remember what I wanted to do.

I anticipate that I'll have lots of fun things to share soon.

Thanks for being here!

Debbie

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Petaluma Doll Show Update

 
Greetings, I am a little awe struck. Last week I received the official postcard advertisement for the Petaluma Doll show. My name is not on the postcard as I am included in the "additional juried artists" but when I submitted my work I had no idea the scope of artists that would be invited.

I have taken several classes from both Wendy and Toby Froud and their skill, love of teaching and overall love of the doll as an artistic medium is really what got me hooked on sculpting. I knew they were invited artists. Christine Shively and Linda Yaxley are  friends of mine and their work is stunning, I knew they would be there as well. I have taken classes from Kate Church and will be taking another one from her in September, she is another artist that I enjoy and have worked with personally and I knew she would be there.

With all that said, I had no idea how many other artists that I admire were included in this show! Lisa Renner, EJ Taylor, Elinor Peace Baily and Marilyn Radzat (to name just a few) are all artists whose work inspires me. I can not even begin to express how excited I am about just going to this show. The fact that my work is going to be included in the show just makes my whole year!

Getting into the show has been a highlight of my sculpting career. I feel validated and I am inspired to continue to work and grow my art. Stay tuned for some new works in progress!

Thanks for stopping by,

Debbie



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It's Official - One of my Dolls Made it!

I am over the moon happy today. My figurative sculpture "Fish Tales" was selected to be in the 2016 Petaluma Doll Show ~ Journeys through Light and Dark: Dolls as Tellers of Stories.

I can not even begin to express how excited I am. He is a work of love and was inspired by my grandfather who shared with me his love for the ocean and fishing.

Here he is:

Fish Tales
 
 
Now that my submissions for the show are complete, I will be able to jump back into the Polymer Clay Adventure Retreat and the 2016 Polymer Clay Challenge! I have so many ideas for new work, I can't wait to get my hands on some clay!
 
Debbie
 



Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Minstrel

Here is one of my submissions for the Petaluma Doll show. He is called Minstrel.

I find out on the 16th if either of my dolls are selected to be in the show. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

So Much to Share!

Hi everyone,

I've been super busy preparing my submissions for the Petaluma doll show. Monday is the deadline so after that you'll see more of me - yay!

I've had so much going on I thought I would stop in and share some good news.

I turned 50 this month - woo hoo! Made it!

I got a new job and start on Monday - woo hoo again! I am so excited. It comes with a raise and I can't wait to start that new adventure :0) This is one of the reasons I have been extra super busy. I am trying to get everything that I have on my plate in my current position done.

I have 2 dolls almost finished and ready to be submitted for the Petaluma Doll Show jury process. I'm doing the final touches on Saturday then taking pictures and uploading on Sunday.

I'll keep you posted!

I'll have progress pictures on the blog soon.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sculpture Updates

This weekend I finally got to work on a few of my sculptures. I am deciding which to enter into the Petaluma Doll Show. Here are the 3 I am working on:

My "World Traveler" or "Realm Traveler" (haven't decided on his title yet). This guy has been not only around the world but through different realms. The stories he has to share are amazing!

World Traveler

You may remember him from when I returned from the Wendy and Toby Froud workshop in Portland. I came back inspired and ready to create. I sculpted him, gave him a body, hands and feet and then life got in the way. He has been sitting patiently on a shelf waiting for me to finish him. Today I started on his clothes. I see him in earth tones with lots of natural fabrics and fibers.

I've been hording a scrap of "Wild Thing" hair that I got from Toby Froud during a puppet making workshop several years ago. The hair is actually a scrap of the hair that they used to make the Wild Things in the "Where the Wild Things Are" movie. This guy will have some of that precious hair on his head. Just a wee bit though because I only have a small scrap and since I am a huge fan of that book I have to keep that lock of hair :0)

World Traveler Clothes 

One of the great things about doll making is the ability to experiment with different fabrics and distressing techniques. The pants started out as a tan leather skirt and the tiny pieces were thin white suede. Neither worked with my vision so I pulled out my paints and started playing. We'll see how well that worked once they dry.

Next up is my Fairy.

Trying out Hair

Style Please!

Trying on a Tiara

She is struggling with this outfit so I had to put her aside. The tiara is just a holder until I decide what color scheme she wants. Then I'll create her crown/tiara/hat/headpiece. It may be made of crystals or possibly flowers, or something else altogether. It really depends on what she wants to wear and right now she is being stubborn! Her hair is wild but once I get her costumed I'll style it to suite her headpiece. And don't even get me started on wings! I can't make them until the outfit is done... stubborn fairy!

Finally, my Fisherman

 The Fisherman


This guy is a happy fisherman. As you can see above I filled out his head. I may need to add a bit more before I put hair on him, He'll be wearing jeans and a sweater (my guy sacrificed a lovely worn-out pair of Levis for the cause). I see him sitting on a dock with a fishing pole and a bucket of tiny fish, he'll, of course, be telling you a tale about the big one that got away, which is why the piece is going to be called "Fish Tales" I'm really excited about him but I have to wait until tomorrow to go to Goodwill and get him a sweater. Then he should come together quickly - I hope!

So that is where I am. I have to finish these by the end of April in order to submit them to be juried for the show. Once I have them done I'll be getting back to the Polymer Clay Challenge. I miss it but I can't concentrate on new work when I have these three and a deadline!