Tuesday, December 09, 2014

'Tis the Season

Around the House:  
I finally got around to doing a little Christmas decorating.  The tree is done, the Santas are out.  More to do, of course, but an improvement over last week's bare-nekkid tree.

In the Studio:  
I've finished working on the first head for the Facial Expressions online class.  Shaping and re-shaping, adding and subtracting, sculpting and blending as best I could.  I'm pleased with it, although I used the wrong size styrofoam ball for the head and a mixture of clays because I didn't have enough of one kind.   Because I used a mixture of clays, the color varied in spots, and I used a watered down acrylic paint to help it blend together.  

The use of acrylic paint  is another example of not following directions--because Marlaine Verhelst paints directly on the air-dried clay with water colors. Watered down acrylic makes a big difference when painting over it, resisting the water colors that the raw clay would eagerly drink in.

 I call this experimenting, and it is, but it is also a case of not having all of the necessary supplies and just jumping in anyway.  I made the bonnet several years ago for another doll (who did not want it, emphatically, did not want it), but it does a good job of covering the bald head until something better comes up.

Now, I have some styrofoam eggs, a new package of Paper Clay, and an order of Darwi clay on the way.  Darwi is the brand Marlaine uses; Michael's doesn't carry this brand, so I ordered it from Clay Alley.  Hope to follow the second lesson more closely, but I learned a lot from this first lesson in spite of all the ways I didn't follow the plan.

In the Mail: 
 Debra at Monnie Bean recommended Vintage Gypsy Girl for sari ribbon, and I ordered some.  Wow, very fast turn around.  I wish, now, that I had ordered the mixed brights as well.  Aren't the little brass horses neat?  Love 'em.

Last two gnomes.  
I've looked at several gnomes on Pinterest and in those lovely catalogs that arrive daily in the mail.  You know the kind-- the ones with perfect houses and gorgeous vignettes and wonderful Christmas decorations and ornaments.   The atmosphere you imagine, but at least in my case, the atmosphere that remains in the imagination.

Anyway, I looked at bunches of gnomes and tomtens 
and made three different versions for myself.  

They are tiny things, just a few inches tall, and I experimented with different shapes and methods.   These fellows have been done for about a week--with the exception of noses. 

Nothing I tried was what I wanted.  Yesterday I snipped artificial berries from some greenery, and these two got red noses.  The red noses could be a result of cold or alcoholic beverages, perhaps both; we all need a little Christmas cheer now and then.

The one I showed you in my last post has a brown bead for a nose, but the red noses have a certain spirit that I like, so I may replace his brown bead with the red berry.  The three of them can go wassailing together.

Finished Reading: 

Life or Death by Michael Robotham.  A stand alone novel, not a part of the O'Loughlin/Ruiz series, it kept me turning pages until late at night.  

Book Description (partial):  Why would a man serving a long prison sentence escape the day before he's due to be released?

Audie Palmer has spent ten years in a Texas prison after pleading guilty to a robbery in which four people died and seven million dollars went missing. During that time he has suffered repeated beatings, stabbings and threats by inmates and guards, all desperate to answer the same question: where's the money?

Broadchurch by Erin Kelly and Chris Chibnall.  

Book Description (partial):   In the sleepy British seaside town of Broadchurch, Detective Ellie Miller has just returned from vacation, only to learn that she’s been passed over for a promotion at work in favor of outsider Alec Hardy. He, escaping the spectacular failure of his last case, is having trouble finding his way into this tight-knit community wary of new faces. But professional rivalry aside, both detectives are about to receive some terrible news: 11-year-old Danny Latimer has been found murdered on the beach.

I have not reviewed these on my book blog yet, but both of these are intense and kept me engrossed from start to finish!


  1. The bright noses are a great idea - they do bring the pair of them to life!

    1. Thanks, Rachel! It was frustrating to find out how important the detail of the noses turned out to be; I tried making them out of clay and using beads before finally finding the "berries." :)

  2. You get really good mail. All we get is bills.

    1. Oh, I get bills, too. I need something good to balance them out!

  3. Love the gnomes. I have only seen the tv series of Broadchurch, it was filmed a few miles down the road from us.

    1. Thanks, Debbie! I may try to watch the series, but the book was so intense that I may have to wait before tackling it. How interesting that you are so familiar with the setting!

  4. My order from Vintage Gypsy Girl arrived yesterday. I'm in heaven!! I ordered several colors and for now I'm just looking at them and dreaming of things to come.

    1. Oh, I wish I'd ordered more colors! And I probably will--without even knowing what I'll do with them. :)

  5. wow, you're so creative! I love all your creations! I haven't done anything at all towards Christmas yet! But, I'm the same every year. I'll eventually just go into a frenzy and everything will work out in the end.
    Lynn :D

    1. Thanks, Lynn! I'm always hoping that things will work out in the end...about almost everything!


Good to hear from you!