Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Cloth to Clay

Almost a year ago, I started 4 cloth dolls (actually more than these 4, but the 4 I'm talking about are in the top right-hand corner.  I only finished two of them at the time (here and huh?  I never posted a picture of the other one?).

Recently, I finished the Santos style cage doll that you've seen recently with her beaded bodice.

The one below is still in progress.  When I covered her with paper clay, I intentionally left her pretty rough, but the paint and sealer have smoothed her out some.  Hmmm.  Not sure if I should have gone this dark.

I'd made her hands last year while I was making hands for the other dolls, but I used her hands for the Baker.  Now I'm not even giving her arms.

I didn't like her.  I've gessoed over her again and added clay to her hips.  Not sure if I'm going to like this version any better.  Because this one has no arms or leg, she is really just a bust. (Ha! didn't realize the play on words until I saw it).

Don't like her new look either.  One more thing to try, and if I still don't like her, she goes back into the land of neglect and abandonment.

I'm thoroughly enjoying  The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving:  A Novel by Jonathan Evison.  Love his writing; he reaches you emotionally and involves you in the characters and their situations.  Witty, human, funny, touching.  Don't want it to end, which is why I've taken time with it, savoring the writing and the characters, who don't feel like characters, but real people.  (warning:  language.  One character is an 18 year old boy and his conversation frequently focuses on sex--despite the fact that his crippled body ( an advanced state of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy ) is confined to a wheel chair, his male adolescent mind is definitely in working order.  I don't even know exactly what a lot of the expressions mean...but I get the gist of it)

The novel was an Advanced Reader's Copy from Algonquin, and when Suzie was here, I promised to send it to her when I finished.  Then I found another copy (it may have been an uncorrected proof) that Algonquin had sent earlier and gave her that one.  Can't wait to see if she feels the same way about it.  We both loved West of Here, also by Evison, but we don't always enjoy the same books.  I'm a greedy and eclectic reader, reading from every genre including fantasy.  She is more focused in her choices, but we  frequently land on the same wave-length and share the same enthusiasm for certain books.

Finally, two basils rooted.  Out of about 10 or 12 cuttings, only two rooted in water.  The others are still fresh looking, but no sign of roots.  This is really a pretty good per centage for my experience of rooting basil.  Coleus and sweet potato vine cuttings root beautifully and quickly in water, but basil is slower, and I have a mixed success rate.  Begonias-- nothing.    The two rosemary cuttings I put directly in soil are doing well, but those in water, nothing so far.

Some of the perennials I've ordered from Wayside Gardens will arrive mid-September.  Wayside ships at planting time for your zone, and I'll have to wait until spring for other plants I've ordered.  Locating some of the dye plants I'm looking for has been more difficult.


  1. You know I think she looks like an egyptian mummy esque......I quite like her effect.....!
    maybe her shortform figure could be laid in a coffin or partially wrapped in funery wraps lol

  2. Jenclair, I think she is quite unique and creative! I don't make dolls (yet) but I never thought about creating her in cloth and then adding paper clay. I really like that she is so different from the norm.

  3. I like her and agree about her very aged look. I like the dark. I am almost finished with Joan Didion's "Blue Nights"...checked out of the library near the blue moon! It is an interesting book with a unique style. But it is not easy reading emotionally.

  4. I like how you keep working it a little when you're not happy with it. If you are still not happy with it, put it away for later, as planned. Some day you'll be ready to do something with it!

  5. Liniecat - She does look preserved past her due date. Well, actually, she looked better then than she does now! I may put her in a shoe box and bury her in the garden. :) That would be kind of interesting for someone to find years from now!

    Connie - Thanks! Usually I just cover the parts that won't be under her clothes with clay. Using the cloth as a kind of armature means using much less clay!

    Nancy - :) Love the serendipity of your reading! I'll have to check on this one; Didion is one of those authors I'm always "going" to read, but haven't.

    Stephie - You should see her now. I'm not sure anything will help. I tried crackling with Elmer's glue (I've done it before for a different look), but this time she looks more like a Halloween possibility. :\

  6. What a fascinating blog - so many clever crafty things happening! Thanks for visiting mine too.

  7. I really like her! She looks antique! Maybe give her a name, like Antie-Q, & think about her from a different perspective...

    Do you use rooting powder on your cuttings before putting them in water.?

  8. :0 I liked her a lot better like this! My latest attempts to get what I wanted were not at all successful.

    I usually use rooting powder if I'm rooting in soil, but couldn't find it this time. A lot of things root so easily that the rooting powder isn't necessary. Other things, I have trouble with even with the powder. I've never used it with water, though. Have you? Just thought it would wash off, but I guess it might still have benefit in the water.


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