Monday, August 31, 2009

It must be Monday! Woke up thinking of goats!

Please meet Glory. She is a coming yearling angora goat. Her first clip fiber was just about the most amazing mohair I have ever worked with. Her second clip, this last spring, was gorgeous as well but so hard to comb through at the cut end of the locks that I did not keep her hair. That was a very, very sad thing for me.

But this is how Glory is looking this summer. My goat raiser, Sue, and I are VERY excited about her fall clipping. It may not be long enough for me to purchase but by the spring, we hope her fiber is beyond excellent. We had both, at one time, decided that Glory needed to be removed from the farm because that second clip was so matted at the cut end of the lock. But Sue just had a feeling that Glory should stay around for a while. It is looking like Sue made the right choice.

If Glory's hair will be as wonderful as it is looking now, then Glory should produce some fabulous offspring with amazing hair. I am looking forward to her generations to come!

**************Nursery Notes******************

Today I will finish the paint on the last baby for this weekend's show. It is a good thing that she has a small head to root! I will also finish the paint on baby Jena's legs too.

I have been putting together the things I will need for the show this weekend. I do not want to forget anything and lately, if I leave things for the last minute, I do forget a lot of things!

Several babies from my collection will be accompanying me on the trip. I have started gathering clothes and packing their suit case.

Have a wonderful Monday!

And that's all I can think of to share today!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Painted hair and a gift in the mail!

Hello and happy Sunday! I am home now for the next four days and have MUCH to do to get ready for the Portland Doll Show.

The picture above, although not a great picture, shows some nicely done painted hair. That painted hair is on a doll reborn by Selena Saxton, the first lady, in my opinion, to master the painted hair technique. And...that head of hair belongs to ME!

This sweet little girl, Louisa my Manuela Muth, was gifted to me by one of my very sweet and huge hearted customers. My customer-turned-friend knew that I loved this precious baby doll and she strongly felt that I needed to have her. Sweet Louisa arrived on Thursday and shall be a forever baby of mine.

I cannot tell you just how thrilled I am to have a piece of Selena Saxton's beautiful artwork in my collection!

Another shot of Louisa's painted hair. Selena did master the painted hair and has a special gift for creating it however, more and more artists are mastering a beautiful head of painted hair. (I still have a ways to go before mine look this good! I am not ready to do a tutorial on painted hair.)

Louisa promises that you will get to see her again and in better lighting. She is just precious and has my heart wrapped around her itty bitty finger!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On the road again....

Oh my! I have been home just 4 days and today had to travel 200 miles round trip for grocery shopping and tomorrow...well, we are traveling out of town again for an overnight stay near family members for a family reunion. We had only expected to drive there and back on Saturday but then realized that we did that last year (almost 800 mile round trip) and it was NOT fun! LOL So, I am sorry to say that since we are leaving early and I am NOT an early person (most artists aren't...have you noticed?) there will not be a Friday Funnies tomorrow and, since I will be out of town next Friday for the Portland Doll Show, I will skip that Friday too. Soooo sorry! I will publish the Horse Training Story featuring our little Matthew in September.

I'll see if I can come up with something small and special for Sunday~Have a great weekend!

Arianna (Ari) is FINISHED!

Please welcome Ari into the world! She is finally finished and ready to go home to her mommy, whom I will see next Thursday. I love doing home deliveries!

Ari has a light complexion full of subtle details. Even though the day was sunny yesterday when I took her pictures, she looks pale to me in the pictures. I am not sure I dig this "natural light thing!" I want my pictures to show the details and color of the doll. Someday I will figure this photography science out!

Notice Ari's painted hair in the mirror image~Painted hair really adds to the overall look of the head of hair. You cannot see it as well in pictures but I gave her textured hair as well with Genesis Matte Varnish applied before I painted her.

Ari also has textured eye brows created with the Genesis Matte Varnish too. I simply love this effect.


The October show is sponsored by the Hello Dolly Doll Club from the Boise/Nampa/Caldwell Idaho area.

It is Saturday Oct 3, 2009 from 10 am-4pm
My painting class is from 1pm-3pm
Please rsvp for the class at The cost is $15

The show is at the Caldwell Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church on the corner of Linden and Farmway
1122 West Linden Street
Caldwell, Idaho.

Entrance: Adults $3 and children $2

See you there!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Applied Eyelash tutorial!

Gather all supplies needed:

Gloss: I use a few different kinds depending on the results I want. For this baby, I selected Ceramacoat Gloss Varnish. I used to buy it at Walmart but it is getting hard to find.

Small lint free cloth

Small Pallet

Coffee cup

Two sized of paint brushes used just for glossing

Tiny scissors

Pointed Tweezers

Choice of lashes. For this doll, I selected Prilly Charmin "Preemie" lashes

To help stabilize the head, I roll up a receiving blanket and place it in my lap. This keeps the head from rolling and also I can tuck the edges of the blanket to help tip her head up to get the right angle when applying the lash or the gloss.

Tip the head....

Hold the lash with the tweezer....

Place it in the correct spot. Many first-time reborners place the lash in the crease on the lid~this is the WRONG place for you lash. The lash goes down into the eye, usually all the way back to where the eye meets the lid, however, it is different with each sculpt.

Use toothpicks and the tweezers to help "set" the lash and gain an idea on the size needed.

Trim the lash in small trimmings until you are happy with the size. You may trim from either side depending on how the lash looks on the doll. I trimmed the nasal side of the lash. Place the lash into the eye pushing the edged of the lash back into the correct place. Notice that I do not use glue for the lash. We will use the gloss to seal the lash in. Most pre-made lashes have a bit of two sided glue that helps hold the lash in place. This glue is NOT enough to hold that lash in for good on your reborn.

Fill your coffee cup with HOT water, place the brushes in the hot water and pour a pool of gloss in the pallet.

Remove the largest brush from the water and blot it out on the lint free cloth. Dip in into the well of gloss and steadily let a dollop of the gloss fall into the center of the eye. Do not use your brush on the eye ball itself. Let the gloss naturally fall into place. (This is why you need the rolled up blanket and why you need the head to be laying down. Adjust the blanket as needed)

Continue to add gloss until the eye is fully covered being careful to not brush the eye ball. Rinse your brush as needed in this process and blot with the cloth.

Use the small brush and or a toothpick to help adjust the pools of gloss to be even around the edges of the eye.

There is just a bit more gloss in this eye than desired....

I used the small brush to remove some of the gloss from the nasal side. I removed the gloss, rinsed and blotted the brush and continued until I was satisfied with the amount of gloss in the eye.
Let the gloss set for a short time and then use toothpicks to assure that the lash is placed in the correct place, pushing the lash against the eye lid to secure it. Be very careful not to touch the eye ball with the toothpick.

Bring some gloss to the outside crease of the eye and also to the tear duct. This gives your dolls eye a very life-like appeal.

Repeat the procedure for the other lash and eye.

Place the head still in the blanket in a safe area where the head will not be bumped. Adjust the angle of the head so that the gloss will dry where you desire it to. Check the eyes often and adjust the head if the gloss is running in areas you don't want it too. Check for bubbles and check the lash to make sure that it is in the correct place and that it is sealing to the eye lid.

For this head, after the gloss dried, I desired more gloss. I added more gloss in the same procedure as above.

Here is the finished result. For newborn babies, I usually add 3-4 layers of gloss but this baby is older so only two were needed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jena is getting new legs

Please meet my real granddaughter, Jenalyne (AKA Jena). She was 2 months old when this picture was taken. She is now 6 1/2 and starting FIRST grade tomorrow! Ikes~how did that happen?

This is the "portrait" baby I made of Jena from that picture of her taken at 2 months. It is wonderful to have this dolly that looks just like her and wears all her clothes that were passed down to me. But, I have never been happy with how her legs turned out, especially her feet. I used an Antonio Juan "Lillian" doll as my canvas for Jena and the head was a different color of vinyl from the arms and legs and the arms and legs their own separate color from the head. So I was working with 3 colors of vinyl! Ugh it was hard work to match it as close as I did. But, it's time for a change!

Here is a close up of her little piggies. You can see how lifeless they are in color and well, they never really looked like Jena's feet. This morning I stripped a set of Secrist "Corey" legs to use for her new legs. It will be a real challenge to get the skin tone to match her head but I will give it a good effort!

Wow, those Secrist limbs were oily! They were the "painted translucent" parts and were wrapped in plastic bags. The bags were oily too~like vegetable oil oily! They were blushed on the knee cap, tops and bottoms of the feet so were easy to strip. I used the LDC cleaner on them and it worked like a charm on both the paint and the oil.

I will have to coat the legs with Genesis Matte Varnish before I begin painting with the LDC paints. This stands to be another challenge: I originally painted baby Jena with Genesis Heat Set Paints. The color pigments are different between the two but I think I stand a better chance of matching the color of her head with the LDC paints on this Secrist vinyl.

Other events in the nursery are (in no particular order):

Big baby Arianna (Ari) now has beautiful lashes and has lovely gloss in her eyes! Yay! Her photo session is set for tomorrow afternoon.

I did not work on the big Latino Arianna yesterday, other than to give her textured eye brows which is done before painting is started. I began painting the "Trey" kit by Michelle Fagan. This is one of Bountiful Baby's "peach" vinyl kits. This is a strange color so I am taking notes on what colors of LDC paints I am using. I will publish a "Color Guide" for Bountiful Baby's Peach Vinyl that will be available for a small fee. I currently have one color guide available for the Newborn Skin Tone.

I will be entering two babies in the Colliii awards :)

I have decided what and who I will reborn for the IDEX reborn contest :)

I have to do a write up for the Caldwell Idaho doll show to be published in the local newspaper. The biggest task of this project is getting a good picture taken of me holding big baby Ari as they request a picture of me and one of my reborns.

I spoke with my sponsor for IDEX yesterday. We are SO excited about IDEX we can hardly stand it! Our booths will be booths 100 and 201....right on the front row and to the left as you enter the showroom floor! I will have all new releases on my show will be a VERY special prototype that will hopefully be released during the IDEX show.

The next few months will be VERY busy as I gear up for IDEX. I have had the blessing of going to IDEX for the last three years but this will be the first time I will be showing there. And teaching! But first, the Portland Doll Show! I spent last night getting birth certificates and show price sheets ready. I will have 6 babies for sale and baby Jena will be on hand as a sample of my portrait work. And I will have three very awesome assistants with me. They are the BEST friends in the world!

Okay~enough blabbering! Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Amazing vacation: Rested and ready to go!

WOW! We had an amazing time in the Wilderness! That's my dear husband, Calvin, on his 4 yr old gelding, Scout. This was Scouts first rugged trail ride and he did fabulous.

That's me on my 25 yr old gelding, Toby. Toby has pretty much "been there, done that" on just about all things. But these two pictures are taken at 7800 feet in elevation. Five miles before this picture, we were at 5800 feet at the lodge. That was quite a climb!

Of course as a doll lover, collector and artist, I almost always take a doll with me where ever I go. Since this was a horse outing, Matthew, the Little Cowboy got to come along. This is the same 'weawl Towboy" as in the horse riding story. I have just reborn him since that story was wrote. He has hair now! He brought along all his favorite toys to play with while we rode the trails.

But he longed to go and see the horses.

So, we took him to see them! He was thrilled!

I am very refreshed after a fabulous weekend and am ready to head to the nursery. I may switch gears and begin painting another doll kit and set the Latino Arianna aside for a bit. The Portland doll show is coming right up and I would like to get another small baby done for that show.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The proof is in the pictures!

Good Day every one!

As you see, before I stripped the big Latino Arianna down, I did manage to soften the dark area's on her face however, I ended up with a purple tone. I tried to neutralize that with a green wash but it was just too purple. She also had too many areas that were not coating well. So, with a relief of stress, I am back to square one.

Today I will re do the matte varnish. I probably won't start any painting on her. I need a brain break. And I am taking one~We are leaving in the morning for a 4 day rest at a high mountain lodge at the edge of the wilderness. It's our anniversary weekend! :) There won't be any Friday Funnies this week and I will see you all next week.

Take care!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

She's stripped!

Okay...that seems to have lessened my stress some, but my arm sure hurts! LOL Only AFTER I stripped the head through the paint and Genesis Matte Varnish did I realize~HEY! These paints are pretty fresh...I wonder how much I can get off the limbs with a cool, soapy bath?" The answer.....ALL OF IT! Duh. And the Matte Varnish did not come off in the water, which I knew it would not.

Now don't all you LDC users freak out on me. Hold tight for one moment while I touch on the subject of removing paints.

Contrary to popular belief, ALL paints can be removed~YES, even Genesis Heat Set Paints. When a paint is called "permanent" that means that it is permanent under normal collector's use. I contend that any collector can get out any paint remover and remove ANY paint from her dolls. But why would she? However, she certainly can use a damp cloth and clean her doll's vinyl without paint loss, even the LDC paints.

Okay Freaked Out LDC Users: Don't panic! Yes, I DID remove ALL of my FRESH paint with a cool soapy bath (be sure to use cool water with your LDC paints as hot water has been know to turn the pigments orange on the vinyl and CANNOT be removed~same goes with GOOF OFF with ANY doll kits and ANY paints~don't use that stuff, it's poison). But, I am watching out for all of us and went to the nursery and got a limb that I painted a couple of months ago. It had been first coated with Genesis Matte Varnish. I use it when I teach classes and I thought it time to put it to the test. I gave it a bath in the same water as I removed the color from my Latino doll parts. NONE of the paint came off. NONE of it. Now all of you panicky and paranoid people who still doubt the LDC paints, relax~ :) Just don't be giving your freshly painted kits a bubble bath! Your customer is not going to be doing so and she won't need to wash up her baby for several months after she gets it so let me do the testing for you so that you don't ruin your beautifully painted baby. OR get your own test part...better yet, make yourself a baby to keep around and test once in a while. See how it holds up to changed clothes and outings in the park. None of my customers have complained about their LDC painted babies, even the ones that were not coated with Matte Varnish first.

So my next plan of action with the Latino baby is this: I will re-coat the parts with Genesis Matte Varnish paying special attention to the head which now has the first matte varnish removed. I will give a very light coat to the limbs that have the original MV coat on. There are places that I missed during the first coat so I will be sure that they are coated. The Arianna kit is a very very soft and slick kit. I highly recommend the Matte Varnish first for the LDC paints, especially for an Ethnic doll.

Thanks Ethnic Cuddles for your encouragement! I do tend to forget how difficult Ethnic babies are! ((((((Hugs))))))


UGH!!! Things JUST are not going well with the Latino baby. I usually don't give up but this one has too many problems to overcome. Paint is not sticking, now her face is purple as I tried to tone down the dark areas (thank you Sweet Memory Reborns for your comments~I AM my own very worse critic but this baby is so bad that I cannot be proud of her at all.) so to the stripping pot she goes. And that may pose even more problems as she has a matte varnish as a base coat. I am not even sure if I have the heart to try on her again for a little while. I might have to start something else. I have invested too much time and money to put her out looking like she is. Whaaaaahhhhaaa.....even professionals have HORRIBLE experiences so you beginners~hang in there!

In total humility~

Let me first start off by saying that I am a professional reborn artist who has mastered the art. And next let me say that things don't always go as planned! LOL

It's hard for me to post pictures like I am today as I am SO not happy with the way this baby is looking BUT, I want all of us to share in this journey together and see this project from the trouble stages to the final outcome.

I intend this baby to be a Latino baby. Her tone SHOULD be smooth and even and it is NOT! For those of you using the LDC air dry paints, learn from me! Make sure those brown colors are thinned down, a lot! I had too much pigment in my pallet but did not figure out what the problem was until after I had worked on her for two days. Can you see the dark and blotchy area around the center part of her face? Today I am going to see if I can smooth that out. I have asked another reborn artist who is exceptional in the application of ethnic colors to advise me on what to do next.

I do think the palms of her hands are lovely as are her lips! (I see that I need to fix the tip of a left finger)

Stay tuned as the project continues....and pray that I don't rip all my hair out during it! Oh...speaking of hair~I colored up the hair that I will use for this big baby this morning. Oh my it is gorgeous!

Monday, August 17, 2009

One should not place orders at 2 am!

I am so sorry but the eye lash tutorial is going to be delayed. I ordered the wrong lashes for Arianna. That will teach me to place orders at 2 am!

I did, however, get this little darling, Emily ready to go home to her mommy. She is a custom order of Linda Webb's "Tiny Miracles Emily" from the Ashton Drake Company.

She is 10 1/2 inches long. I just love these little ones!

I love them so much that I made myself one back in 2007. Mine is on the left, the one in the center is the original doll and the new reborn going home is on the right.

My Emily (now called Emmy) was painted with Genesis Heat Set paints and Matte Varnish. The new Emily was first coated with the Genesis Heat Set Matte Varnish and then painted with the LDC air dry paints. She is soft and delicate.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Arianna has been so helpful in the nursery!

Arianna has been such a big helper! She helped care for Phoebe, the tiny reborn Berenguer.

And she assured her Auntie Debbie that the new, Latino Arianna was coming along nicely.
I had a horrible time with my paints the other day when I was working on the Latino baby but I worked them out and she is coming along. I have much work to do on her yet.

Ari is getting her eyelashes today! I think I shall take pictures of that process and post them to help those out who need help with eyelashes.

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Time to give these little cowpokes a bath~Friday Funnies!

What do horse riding and little people have in common?
Dirty kids and dirty clothes! It's time for a bath!
My oh my....look at that pile of dirty clothes!

Every family has a "Naked Baby in the Bath" picture....that one is ours!

"Ha Ha.....Maffew has no hair!!!!!"
Alright boys, mommy says. Be nice to Matthew.

Come on's time for bed.

What a lovely and peaceful sight after a long and busy day~sleeping babies!
But wait! Someone is still awake!

Sweet Pickles, why are you still awake?

"Mommy, I is saying prayers for all of us! We had such a dood day dat I is thanking God for it. Now we way us down to sweep...."

Okay sweetheart. You sure are the nurturer of our bunch.

Uh oh...I see one more set of unsleeping eyes.....It's little Josh!

Oh my dear! We forgot to take him with us and he was all dressed and ready for the big horse day.

Poor Baby!


This concludes the end of the Horse Riding adventure. I do hope you enjoyed our adventure with us!


There will not be any Friday Funnies next week, August 21. I will be well away from any computers, phones and well...everything as I roam the wilderness of Oregon with my dear husband and our horses. We will be celebrating our anniversary! But coming up in the Friday Funnies line up is a great horse training story. Are there any Clinton Anderson fans out there? Matthew has been lucky enough to meet Clinton and sit on his wonderful horse, Mindy :)

Stay tuned.......