Friday, January 29, 2016

Wanted: A New Home!

At just one day old and 13 inches tall... 
The Bear Blizzard Child is ready to "leave home!"
(I hope to offer him in the Gallery later this weekend)

He is made using sparse, distressed German mohair 
and a paper clay head inserted in the fabric.
He also has five traditional "crown joints" using cotter pins.
If you are not familiar with traditional teddy bear making; 
this allows his head, arms, and legs to turn 360 degrees...
(though I do not recommend this, as he gets dizzy... wink!)
He is stuffed with washed raw wool and wood wool (excelsior),
giving him a soft vintage, and yet, "crunchy" feel.

He carries his Little Leather Library book: 
"The Bear Hunt and Other Stories" by Leo Tolstoy
and dons three coffee-stained  hang tags. 
(Wednesday's Whimsy post... for January 13th!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It Must Be... Wednesday!

"Snap!" "Crackle" Pop!"

Let's talk: "Crackle"

I am asked time-and-again... "How do you achieve such
consistent crackling, in your dolls?"

The truth is... It's not about me!  It's all about
the crackle medium I have been applying to 
my dolls for years:

I use DecoArt One Step Crackle.

I have found that this medium consistently produces a desirable 
crackle finish on both paper clay 
(my primary doll sculpting medium) and wood.

I brush it on thick and am often guilty of over-brushing it; 
a big taboo with other crackle mediums. 
And yet, it consistently produces nice, even crackling. 

It is truly a "one-step" application:
Step #1. 
I apply the crackle medium to the doll/surface 
after the doll is painted and completely dry. 
Then, I allow the crackle medium to dry overnight. 
The product label suggests a 2-4 hour dry time; 
but I always allow it to dry overnight, 
even though you see “crackling” almost immediately.

Step #2.
Next, I brush contrasting acrylic paint over the entire surface
(that has the dried crackle medium applied to it). 
I choose a color that I want to fill all of the little cracks 
that have appeared.
Two of my favorite contrasting colors are: 
raw umber and raw sienna. 

Step #3.
Then... I immediately begin to wipe off the acrylic
paint that was just applied, using a soft cloth... to reveal 
the crackled finish.  I often leave some of the acrylic paint 
in cracks and crevices to give the finish a time-worn look.

Step #4. 
(Optional... only if you want a matte/dull finish)
The only thing that I do not like about DecoArt is 
it leaves a very high sheen/gloss finish, when dry.  
To remedy this... as an additional step, I use 
Plaid FolkArt Outdoor Matte Sealer as a top-coat (last step). 
Apply the Matte Sealer only after after Step #3 is dry.

My suggestion is:  You try this product on your lovely doll,
only AFTER you have first applied it to a "sample piece"...
to make sure you are satisfied with your results.

(Ben Franklin said it first: "Only two things are certain in life...")
Have fun! Daryle

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Der Bär... Cotter Pins and Raw Wool!

Well, after popping the seam in one of his arms, not once...
but twice (thank you "ladder stitch" to the rescue!)
Der Bär has raw wool stuffing and cotter pin crown jointed arms 
and a snuggly jointed head!

Next: stuff those little legs of his with raw wool,
then insert the cotter pins and washers,
fill his belly with wood wool and some soft raw wool,
sew his tiny ears on (Ugh! all thumbs here) 
and stitch up his back seam!

I'm planning on a bit of a wobble, under-stuffed neck... 
to give him a little added character.  Sigh!

Blizzard Boy... Meets Crackle Medium!

It has been well over a year since I "crackled" a doll!
Der Bär was just screaming for some crackle medium.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Barely Der Bär... Has a Face!

This is head sculpt #2... 
My original sculpt (alter-ego on the shelf) didn't make the cut!

After applying a base coat of soft black & raw umber...
I have started to top coat with
my three favorite "flesh" colors:
medium flesh tone, soft white(and always) yellow ochre.

He has taken on a bit of "ghoulishness"... hasn't he?
That will soften with time and more layering of color
and the addition of some eyes in those big sockets (I hope!)
He is holding some local wool and wood wool...
for his stuffing-party, a little later today!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Bear Blizzard Child... Has a Body!

All of his limbs are sewn and ready to stuff...
His skinny little torso too!
(even his wee ears are sewn and turned)
I ended up hand-sewing his wool felt foot pads on... Ugh!
I also decided mid-stream to take 3/4-of-an-inch off each side 
of his torso, (after it was already sewn and turned!) 
in order to give him a bit more of an elongated form and look.  
Next? sculpt and insert his paper clay head!

Der Bär Blizzard Kind

Out of the "Blizzard of 2016" is born:
Der Bär Blizzard Kind

(translated from the German: "the bear blizzard child")

Being "stuck inside because of the storm" has its benefits!
I pulled out some German mohair and wool felt that I had on hand.
Then... "tweaked" one of my original jointed teddy bear patterns.

I created this particular pattern for a bear published in the 
2006 Teddy Bear Calendar by Workman Publishing Company.

I found this vintage Little Leather Library book: 
"The Bear Hunt and Other Stories" by Leo Tolstoy... 
Well... how could one not be inspired!

The plan? 
Sculpt a whimsical paper clay head.
Sew and stuff (with excelsior and wool) the German mohair body and limbs.
Incorporate (5) cotter pins and wooden disk joints.
All before the sunset... on this, the Lord's Day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday's Whimsy... Paper Maché

How do you spell it?  (Does it really matter?)

It is messy... so very ooey-gooey... 
and oh so much fun to work with:
Paper Maché 

Several years ago I was reintroduced and inspired 
by the extraordinary paper maché work of Russian born doll artist, 
Roman Shustrov

I created a “bird boy” for one of Art Doll Quarterly's challenges...
using a mélange of handmade mulberry papers, tissue papers, 
fabric and... this recipe for the paste:

Zinsser SureGrip all-purpose adhesive and wall size
 Elmer’s Glue-All white glue 
and tap water

 Mix these three together to the consistency of thick pancake batter. 
After mixing, allow the paste to “rest” for 30 minutes 
before using it. 
The mixture will keep for over a week 
in an airtight container, if refrigerated.

Have fun... get ooey-gooey and creative!

Here's a link to one of Roman's instructional videos... be inspired!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Two new Dolls at the Gallery!

I just added two new dolls 
over at the Gallery of Woodstown Whimsies...
(had a tad of trouble with the payPal buttons... but all is well)

"Emily Dickinson" Mixed-Media Doll

"Saint Nicholas" Doll...

A link is provided  here on the right side-bar.

Did I mention?  It is snowing here in South Jersey!
(our first snowfall of the season)
Time to bring in some wood for the fireplace!

Friday, January 15, 2016

In My Gardens... January 15th?

Lenten Rose... Winter Aconite...
Easter Lilies... Daffodils...

I just snapped these pics late this morning.
Do tell... what are they thinking 
poking up and looking so perky in mid-January?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wednesday's Whimsy!

A new feature here at Woodstown Whimsies... (a little drum roll)

A weekly post, right in the middle of the week... 
offering a quote, or perhaps a photo to think on, 
a link to a favorite blog or inspiring place to visit,
an instructional video... you get the idea. 

You have to chuckle with me... 
because I'm already off to a shaky start
(given it is THURSDAY morning!)  Sigh!

I hope that you'll stop by each week and take a peek...
and then, be happy that you did!   Daryle

This week's "whimsy" is a mini tutorial 
for making your very own primitive hang tags.
Who doesn’t love the warm… worn appeal of a primitive hang tag?
The applications… are virtually endless! 
Their simplicity in form… timeless!

Please note: I have posted a little video
which accompanies these written instructions
 over at "Cloth and Clay Doll Makers"
(a link is provided here, on the right side-bar)

Creating a Primitive Hang Tag
(these instructions are for use only by adults...
they are not intended to be used by or with children)

Here’s what you’ll need:

• access to a toner-base photocopy machine.
• manila card-stock paper or an old manila file folder.
• instant coffee & some boiling water.
• a microwave oven.
• paper toweling & a spoon.
• a paper hole punch.                 
• white glue.

1. Decide on your script– what it is you wish to print on the tag and then print it, using your favorite font, from your computer.

2. Print the image on the manila card-stock paper or manila folder **using a toner based copier. (ink-jet copies will “run” during the coffee staining process)

3. Cut the hang tag to the size you want and then add a paper “cap” to the top of the tag, glue the “cap” in place and then punch a hole in the center. **(the video is helpful here)

4. Carefully add a small amount (1/2 cup) of boiling water to a Tablespoon of instant coffee (I use a metal bowl)...  

5. Mix it up and then place the hang tag(s) in the hot water for a short time (30 seconds).

6. Take the hang tag(s) out and place it on paper toweling– immediately microwave on a low setting (while still wet) for about 15 seconds to dry it.    
**(DO NOT LEAVE the microwave unattended)**

Optional: Dribble some drops of coffee on the tag and repeat– 15 seconds in the microwave. Then “sprinkle” the tag with some drops of water and microwave for another 15 seconds.    

Fini!    You have a primitive hang tag! 

**I coffee-stain some jute or hemp cord to use with the tag, at the same time... that I’m making the hang tags.
**Always use caution when heating water and using a microwave for craft purposes.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Three Dolls Just Listed at the Gallery

I hope you will take a minute to visit 
The Gallery at Woodstown Whimsies...

I just listed these three dolls, each for sale at the Gallery!
**a link provided just below our blog header**
**and also on the right side-bar**

"Keeper of the Dolls Cage Doll"
"Forlorn Angel Boy"
"Angel of Rebirth Santos"

My Thanks, for stopping by! Daryle

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Our NEW Gallery is (unofficially) Open!

Use the page link that is directly under our header 
here at Woodstown Whimsies...
SHOP: the Gallery at Woodstown Whimsies
and it will redirect you to a link to the new gallery!

I am hoping to add several more dolls, over the next few days.
"The Keeper of the Dolls" (a Santos cage doll)
"Saint Nicholas" (a late season offer)
"Emily Dickinson" (mixed media doll)
"Angel of Rebirth" (a Santos "re-do" cage doll)
"Forlorn Angel Boy" (just off the worktable!)

At this time I am only able to ship to the 48 contiguous states...
(shipping is included in the price of the doll)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Angel Boy... Fini!

 The Forlorn Angel Boy is finished!

It all came together with the addition of the
wooden buttons on his britches, the bird
on the perch, the natural nest with a hang-tag
and that vintage brass heart-shaped padlock
recently found at a local antique shop in Salem. 

His wings are covered with some music and lyrics from
an 1873 song book: "Temple Anthems"
and his halo is made with vintage buttons and rusty wire.

His head is not glued in place; allowing it to be turned!

He stands about 18 inches high 
and measures 7.5 inches from wing-to-wing

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Box Full of Goodies Goes to....

My newest Angel Boy Doll (who is still a W.I.P.) 
wanted to announce on this New Year's Day...

The winner of our December, 2015 Give-Away:
A wee, 6" high grunge-board house, a 3" vintage bisque doll,
a small tin funnel, an old clock-face rubber stamp,
a doll face mold, a box full of fun "stuff" and some decorative clips.

Congrats Jan!
(Please e-mail us your postal mailing address 
and the box of stuff will be on its way to you!)

Happy New Year Blessings and Best Wishes to All...
Daryle & Katie