Monday, August 23, 2010

Doll in a Day

Rarely have I been able to create a doll in a day, but I did this wise old man last Friday with the help of my friend, Bobbi from "LamboArt" . Please look at Bobbi's blog. Bobbi shared her technique of making a wire armature, wrapped with polyester fibre fill and fabric and of course, with polymer clay head, hands and shoes. Bobbi and I have discussed at length whether these creations should be called art dolls or mixed media sculptures?  I was still undecided until late in the afternoon whether this doll in fact was male or female. I did make the scroll later during the night , but I was really happy with this finishing touch, giving the doll some purpose.

As for wrapping, while my mother was visiting, I was inspired to try some simple temari from a book she lent me. Here they are - nothing as beautiful or complicated as my mother's or niece's temari, but I enjoyed the whole process of measuring and dividing the ball , wrapping and embroidering.  
 As promised here is a glimpse of all of the wonderful contributions to my birthday quilt. Friends and my family have made this such a special birthday, with each square telling a special story and together making me feel very blessed, fortunate and privileged to have such great friends and relatives in my life.  The following photos do not really do justice to the work, thought and care put into each of these squares. Thank you everyone. I can hardly wait to put it all together when we return from our volunteer project in Papua New Guinea. 

I will be off line for about 4 weeks.  We are very soon off to our "home away from home" ( pictured)  in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea to help with our Rotary project providing better education and heatlh facilities in a more remote and developing part of the world..


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Catching up- Caught up?

 I’m still catching up from the hectic but great time we enjoyed during my birthday “weeks” and family visits. Before my mother left, I finally finished the black bag I promised last Christmas.
 I was finally happy with it, and I think it will be good for Mum when she goes out at night, as it is large enough to fit her folding walking stick. It is a “scrumbled” bag, and although I have now made quite a few, the last two – Ruth’s green bag and this one took ages. I started them both with great enthusiasm, and then came to a sudden standstill, just adding a tiny bit week by week without making any real progress, creative or otherwise!. Anyway both are now completed, and feature lots of bullion crochet, fluffy and sparkly yarns in various knitting and crochet stitches. I made this one on a base of tapestry mesh canvas, and I found it a better and firmer base for this kind of handbag than rug canvas. And a happy surprise - I accidentally found a fake suede “cord” which made perfect handles.

 Some moths ago, I also signed up for the Trolly Dolly Club’s international pin doll swap. The theme was “All Creatures Great and Small”. The dolls had to be sent to the coordinator by this week, and I am happy to say that I did catch up and hopefully they arrived days before the deadline if Australia Post did their bit. I am now looking forward to the pin dolls I may receive in turn. My contributions were all felt – a googly eyed frog, a friendly witch, a tyvek winged owl, and a bewildered buzzy bee. I hope the recipients like them?

And having also committed to helping at Hello Dollies this Saturday, I prepared some samples of simple needle felted creatures, with polymer clay faces. I used the moulds created by Kathy Davis. I used one of the moulds to create four different faces. It even amazes me that from the one mould such different faces can be created.

 The worm is also one of Kathy’s patterns which I really enjoyed making. The photos show the creatures in various stages of progress and two experiments - a girl and her pet owl, made from needle felted balls made from scraps of wadding rolled with woollen yarn.  Wow, I have these ready a few days before the event – I have caught up! No not really – still have nothing ready yet for our month away with our volunteer project in Papua New Guinea, starting next week!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Big Birthday

I recently had my big birthday party - becoming a "senior" is something to celebrate. I think I did get a bit carried away, but wanted to have a special time with family and friends. And it was a special time with my family - my mother, my aunts and uncle, my sister and her family, cousins, nieces, nephews, my own children and grandchildren.... that was only part of the crowd . Old friends and new friends made the day even more special by just coming together and having a good time.
Sisters and daughters
Granddaughter wearing my own baby dress (60 years old) with her other grandfather
Oldest grandson enjoying the party
Friends and family

Scene BEFORE the downpour of rain and panic!
The sun did shine eventually.
FOOD? This was just the dessert, supplied by friends and my daughter-in-law with the fabulous birthday cake made by my aunt. Members of my Rotary Club ( Rotary Club of Wallsend-Maryland) cooked and prepared the main course - delicious roasted meats with accompaniments.
   Never short of a word or two ...
This photo (above) seemed to sum up for me what this special day was all about . Various people  from diverse groups but all special to me coming together... Here is my brother-in-law, a new friend we met for the first time last year in Papua New Guinea, and Jim's niece - I am so fortunate to have such great friends and a fantastic family. What was also special was the amazing collection of "quilt" contributions everyone has either delivered or sent to me. I am so looking forward to putting them all together. Each square is unique, not only in its decoration and embellshment, but also for the story it tells, and the the very special memory each one invokes and the precious relationship it signifies. In subsequent blog posts, I hope to feature a few  of the squares each post so that you can share the joy of putting my birthday quilt together.
Thanks to everyone who came to the party, and especially Rotarians from the Wallsend-Maryland Club who catered and my wonderful friends, family and husband who did so much preparing for the day  and providing great food and celebratory spirit.  I also want to thank my friends at Hello Dollies who also gave me a beautiful party at the Sydney meeting. What a great birthday - thanks everyone - I've enjoyed such a wonderful time.