Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's going to be a 4 1/2 day weekend!

And it starts this afternoon!

My husband gets off at noon today because he filled in for another worker last Saturday on HIS day off. Well....any of you married ladies know how difficult it can be to work on our art with a dear husband around.

Our 7 1/2 yr old grand daughter is here for two weeks :) So with this afternoon and the Man around, and our days off starting tomorrow through Saturday AND with the 4th of July holiday and a grand daughter here, I will be taking Sunday off too. Grandpa (DH) has to work on Sunday the 4th but we girls are going to enjoy all of the festivities starting with the God and Country Rally in the park featuring the Liberty Quartet~my favorite!

So...what is the status in the dolly world?
Well, Noah is finished! I will be taking his pictures this morning provided the light will work for me. Morning light usually is not good but I will take him outside and try that. If that does not work, Grandpa and Grand Child will have to go and play without me this afternoon and I will try then. (Send good luck wishes my way!)

Come Monday, I will begin work on custom orders as the next prototypes are still three to four weeks out. The 4 customs that are due are all prepped and ready to paint. Oh and I must get going on some mohair too! I've got those wonderful new pots to try out :)

I have been in such a lull the last couple of weeks. Usually I work in the evenings but I've just been too tired. We work until 6 pm, then either fix dinner (me...DH does not cook) or go out and work the horses. By time all of that is over, it's after 8 pm and all I want to do is veg by chatting with my girlfriends on line. I need to get with it to keep up with things and get ready for Expo. I've got an new line up of dolls for that show. I am ready for the Portland show in September so that is good :)

With that...I am off to work!

Hugs for Wednesday!
Happy 4th of July if I don't blog at you then!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shading, depth, detail and techinques~Painting

Although I don't really have too many pictures to show you on the blog, I have lot's of pictures on my free LDC tutorial on the Doll Dreams site:

~LDC Tutorial~

I wrote the tutorial about 2 yrs ago now and some things have changed...especially in the amount of details that I do now, however, there is nothing super drastic that has changed and it is still a good basic foundation for learning to paint, no matter what paint you use.

(I am not posting these topics in any particular order...for order, see my free tutorial)

Many ask: "How do you make dolls so life-like?". Well, it's all in the amount of painting that you do. Usually one layer of anything just is not enough.

So let's start with shading. This can be described as coloring the creases and folds but it's even more than that. To make human looking skin on a vinyl part, close attention must be paid to deepen those creases and folds and to "shade" them...bringing that color outside of the fold and softening it into the rest of the "skin". Shading provides for depth and also makes features, like noses, stand out and look more natural.

I typically can shade my babies 3 times, using a brush and wedge method~usually using the same color but not always. My basic shading color is burgundy, brown and black~no matter which paint I am using. Most babies do not have blood red creases~but rather creases that are more of the brown tone and "shaded". The finger creases usually are more red though. So change up color for them. I use red, rose and black mixed for those and for the ends of the fingers and toes.

Depth comes from layers and layers of different colors AND different application techniques. To start my tones and depth, I use a sponge that I can no longer find. In fact, I think I found this one at a yard sale in a bag of new sponges. It has oval pours and I just love it.

If you look very close, you can see the marks the sponge makes on the limb. This is my first color layer on this doll. Notice how I do not fully color the limb with this brown color? THAT is key to building skin like looking colors. It's important to not saturate the damp sponge with the paint (these are LDC paints here) as if you do that, the paint will just run together and the color will be monotone. Apply it very light~so light that you really do not have to pounce any in with a dry wedge (but keep one handy in the event that you do~I usually DO have to but many of my students to not. Each person has her own style).

I use the same sponge for the next layer, a layer I call newborn flush. It's a combination of red, brown and flesh.

Then I will switch to a less porous sponge for the remaining layers and colors. A new found friend sent me some sponges a few weeks ago...WOW was I excited! (I've told you I get excited about packages in the mail~no matter WHAT is in them~LOL) These are great sponges with different porous patterns and I can't wait to try them! I did not want to use them on my AA baby I am working on as I usually can't reuse sponges when using Genesis paints. I'll be starting a LDC painted baby soon though :)

Much of a dolls detail is painted on with a brush but, when using different sponges, you can achieve a lot of capillaries, blemishes and natural pigment as you build. But do use a small brush to add more capillaries, veins and blemishes in all the area's that real babies have them.

Color differences are a great way to bring life to vinyl. What I mean is that when I pain on veins, I don't make them one solid color OR line. I variate the color using blue and blue-green and have some areas more colorful and some almost not visible. When I do nails, not only do I do the tips and "half moons", I also take a fine brush and add more color to the nail bed right above the nail tip and just below the moon.

Angelica's hands:

Notice also a little mole on her finger? Just a little realistic touch.

Speaking of moons. On a doll like Angelica, yes she should have them for sure. But what about babies? I used to NOT put moons on babies~and on some I still do not, depending on the sculpt. I used to spout off that real, young babies do not have moons, which they do not. They might have one or two but not all five on one limb. However, I've changed my way of thinking. This is why: The goal of the artist to the collector is to make that vinyl look HUMAN. When an adult human looks at herself and the people around her, she sees nails and moons on those nails. This is normal to her. So with a piece of vinyl, when moons are added, the vinyl now looks more human~even if the moon is not fully accurate, the collector is going to relate the moons and the detail of the moons to herself, a real human being. Otherwise, on most dolls, the fingers and toes just look like a dolls. And I paint all five moons because even though more accurate to have just a couple, it would call attention to the lack thereof and look more like a defect.

To build more depth on a doll, I use blue~lot's of blue~in the "thin" areas of the doll such as the temples, bridge, inside corners of the eyes, around the nose, in the ears, behind the ears, at the neck, over the knuckles of both hands and feet, under the fingers and toes, in the arches and palms, behind and beside the knees and elbows and anywhere else that I think is too flat looking.

Sometimes I also use purple there.

And YELLOW! I love yellow! Yellow is probably the most important factor in finishing up the skin tone of a doll. It tones down reds where there is too much red. It adds dimension when applied with a sponge. I use yellow pretty much in all the areas that I applied veins~I basically go over those areas and then touch on areas that I think need more definition and also areas that need toned down just a bit. Yellow is the last color that I use on my dolls.

For added details, I will use Genesis Matte Varnish for hair strokes, eyebrows and sometimes milk spots. I will use Genesis Glazing Gel on nail beds to add nail lines and sheen. (When using LDC paints, I do all my Genesis work first and bake that in, allowing the vinyl to cool before painting.)

That is all I can think of for today! I hope that helps and hope that it's not too confusingly out of order!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Great question about pay for prototypes~

This question was posted as a comment on the blog yesterday:

Hi Debbie,
I hope it's alright to pose questions to you here. It must be such an honor to be asked to create a finished prototype. I know that much of the success of a new kits sales are due to the wonderful job you do bringing these little ones to life.
I have been wondering about the artists that paint prototypes. Do they have to buy the kit they paint? Do they have to split the money they make from the sale with the sculptor or is that their fee? If so is that their only payment?
Thanks for sharing all you do with us.

This is a great topic question! So instead of blogging about shading and painting techniques today, I will answer the question on the blog.

When a reborn artist is asked to reborn a prototype, the sculpting artist sends her the kit at no charge. Sometimes a body is supplied, and sometimes not. The reborn artists job is to do the best she can on that prototype in order to call attention to the kit and get the kit sold for the sculpting artist. It is very exciting for both the reborn artists doing the prototypes and the sculpting artist to have an entire edition of kits sold out in the pre-order stage. Communication with the sculpting artist throughout the process is a good idea. Sometime the sculpting artist has requests for the reborn prototype kit but most of the times, the sculpting artist just loves seeing her work of art come to life.

On a side note, a lot of people ask me HOW one gets selected to do a prototype. Well, most of the times, the sculpting artist has had the chance to see the reborn artists work in person so she feels confident to ask that reborn artist to reborn her prototype but sometimes, reborn artists can ask the sculpting artist, and if she has no other artists lined up for the next prototype, she might choose from the requests. Usually, there are 1-4 prototypes for each kit. It is a HUGE honor to be asked to reborn a prototype!

It can be very stressful getting the prototype done, in the best way possible, within the time frame that is allotted. The sculpting artist tries to get the prototype kit to the reborn artist in plenty of time, however, more times than not, there are production issues at the kit factory and the prototypes arrive just a week or so before the production kits that will be shipped out to the rest of the reborn community. The goal is to have the prototypes on eBay before the production kits arrive.

The reborn artist should advertise the kit all during her reborn process in any avenues she has such as blogs and forums that she belongs to.

She purchases all the clothing and supplies needed for the prototype and it's advisable to select more than the ordinary in outfits and of course, top notch supplies. She must take good, large pictures and supply them back to the sculpting artist for her own website and also for the websites of any dealers that will be carrying the kits.

Since eBay is the largest selling avenue available to the reborn market, she must place the finished prototype on eBay for sale. She also should share the eBay link with all her customers, blogs and forums. All proceeds from the sale are for the reborn artist to keep. It is her pay for doing a great job and for promoting the kit in all ways possible. It is her only pay for this job~in answer to the posted question.

Kate thank you for a great question!

Well try the shading and painting techniques again tomorrow.
I'll be rooting hair on prototype Noah today :)

God Bless~

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No direction in the blog today.

I know that I must have a lot of things to post about but I just can't find direction today. I've been on the computer now for almost 2 hours just waiting for THE subject to hit me. It hasn't.

So I guess I will just show off some quick shots of Angelica/Kendall and Kristaleta that I took yesterday. I had a free dolly afternoon so changed some of my babies and moved babies around, including these two.

I've got miles and miles yet to go on Kendall's hair. I've started putting my mohair at the entire front/bang line of her hair while the rest will be human hair. I am loving the combined look.

I had a good time playing with them! I wish I had more room! Of course, Kristaleta will go home when her layaway is complete and Kendall will find a home someday too~if I EVER get her done! LOL And IF I can part with her!

Maybe tomorrow I'll talk about shading and painting techniques. Not into it today but tomorrow might be good :) Are there any subjects on the minds of my followers that I can post on?

Hugs for Sunday~

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sharing my collection~Prototype Rory

It's been so long since I have been able to write a picture story for "Friday Funnies" that I thought I would just start sharing babies from my collection on Fridays.

This is Rory. He is a vinyl prototype sculpted by AND reborned by Dawn Donofrio. I adopted him in person from Dawn at IDEX 2008. Rory is Dawns second reborn. I think she is doing magnificent and I love this photogenic little boy.

He is 20 inches long with 3/4 arms and full legs.

And as you can see, he is just a wee bit spoiled!

Thank you for enjoying sweet Rory with me.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Prototype Noah progress pictures

Yes, he is AA/Ethnic! From the first time I saw his sweet little face, I saw an AA baby in him.

I had drug out the Genesis paints for him.

This is his first picture after day one. His head is not colored yet as I had to strip it. The color just want not going on well and I ran out of time.

Day two picture~I had to strip his head TWO more times! I was just having problems. I told myself after stripping that head the first time this day that if I had to strip it again, I was going to strip his limbs and make him a white baby. I had to strip it again. I took the head and the limbs to the kitchen, got out the LDC cleaner, picked up a cotton ball and a leg but just could not bring myself to stripping his limbs! So back to the nursery I went (after stripping his head for a third time) and finally, I got my paint mixture right and colored his head.

And here he is after day 3. He's got more shading and detail overall but I have quite a bit yet to do. I hope to finish his paint on Sunday.

His little custom knit sweater from the UK. I THOUGHT it was coming from Australia. I was just confused.

Noah's base color is made up of Flesh #2, Burnt Umber and Carbon Black. Of course, I have a couple different shades of this mixture made up...some more brown, some more black and I have my full pallet of all the other colors available to dabble as I go. I use Genesis Thinning Gel, not odorless thinner on my babies.

Dolly hugs!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No longer a registered user??

Well that's interesting. The person who "bought" Capri is no longer a registered user on eBay. I can close my case tomorrow and get my final value fee back. Poor, poor baby has no mommy again.

Whooooo...want to see progress pictures of prototype Noah?
I think I will make you wait! :) I'm SOOOO bad!

I did not go and work my other horse last night as my husband was tired so we did a little shopping and went out for a bean Taco Salad. Yum. I SHOULD be combing mohair in the evenings but I have just wanted to root on Angelica/Kendall.

I said "MY other horse" didn't I? Well see, it's like this: This spring my husband got "baby" fever and wanted another young horse to train. He had a 5 yr old that he trained and he just wanted a challenge. So we bought 2 1/2 yr old Ruger. And he began training him. Ruger had been the "boss" of his previous owner all his life...pushing, biting and just being, well, boss. But he has been working up pretty nice. The biting thing is nearly gone but he still can be a bit pushy, especially with me. He just needs more reminders of who is boss.

Anyway, about a month after Ruger came to live with us, my old horse, Toby (28yrs old and in prime health) was put on summer rest due to a pulled tendon in his lower leg. I can't ride him or work him at all for the whole summer. So now Ruger has become "my" horse to use for whatever horsie things we might be doing. It occurred to me this weekend that he and I need a lot more time together! I spent all of Saturday ground working him as he was just totally out of his element at this event we went to. I want not figuring this scenario into my life but he is a sweet horse and we get along pretty good. He is NOT my laid back Toby but maybe this old dog needs to learn new tricks. I've been pretty spoiled on my calm Quarter Horse gelding for many, many years. ( dear husband will still do the majority of training on Ruger but I need to be pretty involved too so that Ruger respects me and I can use him for this summer. Oh and Toby is recovering very nicely!)

I usually don't post things about my private life on my blog~I just felt like it today :)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back in the saddle

Or rather in the nursery! I've been slacking but I am back in gear again!

I did a lot of prep work last week, including sanding 3 heads. That took an entire day. And I realized the limbs were wrong on one custom order kit and that the legs another custom order doll were not going to work as they are Secrist limbs~the oily ones. One can overcome the oily thing with Genesis Matte Varnish but my custom order customer hates the GMV. So I've ordered all appropriate limbs for these two customs and they are on the way here.

Yesterday, I began the painting on Prototype Noah. He will be different than the other two out there :)

Two of the glass pots arrived yesterday! YIPPPEEEEEE! They are all cleaned now and ready to go to work, but I don't have any mohair ready to work up. :(

Last night I rooted on Angelica. Yes, she is still here! And hairless~well, almost. I am using a combination of angora mohair and human hair and am loving the results.

Today I will continue the work on Noah. And play with my horses from 6:30-8. Today will be the first "hot" day of our summer. It will be about 75 so this evening will be perfect for a little training on Ruger~the 2 year old who keep my feet moving during Saturday's event. He was high strung that day!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rolling in the Dough??? NOT hardly~

Yes, I know, I know. TNGUN has had some good sales lately but I'm going to take a moment and break those sales down just a little bit~just for a reality check. This is for ALL the reborn artists out there~especially the ones who make a good sale and get harassed because of it.

WHY do I want to or feel need to do this? Well~because I've seen posts where good artists have been criticized from having good sales even though the starting bid was low, I've had one lady write me and harshly criticize me for even asking for $$ for one of my dolls and because I never got paid for selling prototype Capri and am now having to proceed with the non paying bidder claims through eBay. And I can't leave that buyer negative feedback. SHE can leave ME negative feedback, but I can't her. And I've done all I can to work with her by changing the auction payment plan to make it easy for her.

Back to the lady who had harsh words. When she asked for a price on the doll, she said that she wanted it for a baby shower. I gave her the price, ($1000) she asked for a lower price ($600), I told her that I could not do that price as I had too much time into her. She responded with well heck, I'll just post it here:

"Well Thanks for your time now I don't need your help anymore because now I see you just try to use people really 1,000 for a lifelike doll all because you put time into it many people can love it like I wanted a doll because I cant have children and I looked on a million websites and your the best one so just forget about it and really wanted Kristen you just hurt me even more"

This has bugged me all month long, then to add a non paying bidder on top of it all. NOW that lady who wanted the doll claims she cannot have children??~that was not the case before. But even so, why should *I* work myself to half death and then just give my work away? I am a very compassionate person but I simply cannot run my business by other people's circumstances. I would not expect to go back to my old job at Safeway and work for no pay. Heck...I'd have MORE money if I went "back to work" because I would not have the expenses that I have. I'd get more sleep too, play with my horses, husband, children, grandchildren and dollies more as well because I can tell you~I've never worked so hard and for so many hours a day in my life. I am not trying to be mean or smart. But I'm tired and frustrated.

So I sold Jayden~at the time my highest sale, of $1475. Whoooooo that was SOOOO great as it had been so long since I had a sale in the first place. That was my income for May, other than some mohair sales. Let me tell you~it did not last long! I don't have time to go and pull up all the expenses for last month but just my month to month operating expenses are around $500 a month. Then add supplies, annual fees, ebay fees (yes that has to come out of that $1475 PLUS remember that Paypal would keep their 4.3% (I think that is what it is now~it could be more or less) so even to start, that $1475 is only a GROSS pay, not net.

So then Capri sold for $800. Paypal did not take any fees because there was no money paid for her. I was asked to cancel an e-check once through the sale of Capri, which I did and made other arrangements for payment but that payment never came. And the lady will not respond to my emails and contacts. I did have $63.30 in ebay fees to pay on that sale though. So, the income remained $1475 GROSS.

Then Kristaleta sold in June~Whoooooo! And she topped Jayden's sale and is now my highest sale and things are going well with her sale. She is on layaway so I've received the first layaway payment of $589. That will cover June's monthly operating expenses. Remember, this is a business. I pay taxes, internet fees, phone fees and a whole slew of fees!

So I am fully thankful that I am NOT going to Dubai as I would not have a dime to stand on. My current cash reserve is under $400. I am thankful too that the trip to Missouri with Dianna Effner is postponed (there are production delays in her kits) as I barely have enough to cover a flight. Ugh, but I do need to purchase a flight to North Carolina for Expo.

I guess the point is~I work. I work hard. I cover all the expenses of this business. I do not work for a company that gives me paid vacations nor sick pay. I don't get time and a half. If I don't work~I don't get paid...oh dear...I do have to add this chuckle.....LOL....Even when I DO work, sometimes I don't get paid! Ahhh...a sense of humor always helps!

I do not work for a company that pays all my expenses when I go to a convention/show. (Dubai was another story...I have NO idea how they were going to manage the travel for the artists~and obviously, they were NOT as it all fell through). I pay them. Have you ever checked out the price of a show table at a show like EXPO or IDEX? (I will say that at IDEX 2010, my show table WAS sponsored for me~but not the shipping, hotel, food and other hidden expenses). A table runs around $650 and a booth $1650. Who knew, right? Add a flight and a week at a hotel with food and a good sale is gone before it ever came!

Oh and teaching! Do I make money from teaching? Well, it really depends on where I teach but even so, not much. Last year at IDEX, IDEX kept 25% of my students fees. I provided the majority of supplies for each student, including a doll kit so that 25% came off the cost for supplies that I already paid. EXPO will not charge me for teaching, which is a HUGE blessing but even then, I will have about $145 in supplies for each student for the day and a half class. I won't be teaching at IDEX this year as I am not exhibiting at IDEX this year and the % when one is not exhibiting is 40%!!!! IDEX will be my vacation. My husband usually buys my flight as my birthday and Christmas gift. :)

So when it comes to the prices on my dolls, they shall remain. They ARE worth it and I put everything I have, and more, into them. If I am asked to drop the prices I will simply turn around and ask the asker what they would think if their boss asked them to just give up 1/4, 1/3 or more of their pay this month. Do you think they would say "Sure!"???? Not hardly.

And that's me. Not hardly rolling in the dough. Just a reality check for those who don't give the life/business of a reborn artist much thought.

What I AM hardly is this. I love my work. I am blessed. I am excited for the future~and I won't be casting my gift to the trash and "going back to work". :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mohair available and update on test of Delta sealer and Sili/vinyl

Well we had a grand time away yesterday with the horses and now I am back to work??? No, not really! I am taking today off from nursery work to tackle clutter and dust bunnies in this house! I just can't stand it any more!

But~I'll do this much work; my blog!

I have some gorgeous colors of mohair available:

~Mohair on Artfire~

and I want to talk a little bit about the test I did with the Delta All Purpose sealer on Silicone/vinyl dolls. The test failed. Miserably!

The limb looked good at first, even though after I painted it with the LDC paints, I had to apply another 3 layers of Delta to it to take away the sheen and stickiness. (the sheen and sticky was not from the paints but from the Delta) I let the leg sit on the shelf until the other day. EWE! It was terrible! The limb was sticky and the paint had gooed together showing no definition. It looked nothing like the limb I had tested on last spring using the Genesis Matte Varnish and LDC paints. That leg still looks and feels beautiful. So, if you want to use LDC paints on a silicone/vinyl doll, you really do have to coat the doll with Genesis Matte Varnish first, bake it, allow it to cool and then paint with LDC paints. Here is a doll I first tried this with, an Alex sculpt by Linda Webb. She was beautiful and won the 2009 Tiny Treasure Reborn of the year award.

Have a super Sunday and give all those Dads a hug!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Funnies! I had a great dream this morning

Ahhhhh...don't you just love dreams? I love most of mine! This morning, I had a dream about teaching an LDC painting class. I don't know where this class was in the dream but there were about 75 students in the class!

About 20 of those students were there not by their own choosing. They were doll artists~creators of Character Art Dolls (this must have come from a conversation I had with my good friend Angie last night~LOL) and most of them were men. Oh my gosh they were hysterical and again, forced to be there for some reason. You never get ALL the details in a dream~hahahahahahaha.

I am very detailed when preparing for a class but for this class I was not pre-set up nor did I expect 75 people! The Art Doll men had helped themselves to the practice limbs that I had for the class and had really painted them up in all kinds of mystical and pre-historic colors while I proceeded to set up for the class. What a kink in plans that was!

So while someone went to the show floor (whatever show we were at) to find doll kits that were on clearance special so that we could actually use the LDC paints, I began the intro to the class. Wow...I just love that! I'll have to ask my husband if he heard me "giving my spiel" in my sleep because in the dream I was going full force.

And then I woke up....early. Like 5 am early. Did you know that the sun is up at 5 am?? Huh...who would have guessed because I don't get up until 6 on our "work" days and ohhhh...between 7 and 8 on our "days off" which is what today is...but here I am! UP! :)

But back to teaching classes. I am energized now for the day! Teaching just thrills me to the bone and well, we have a lot of fun in my classes. Here are a couple of funny shots from prior classes:

This one is real blurry but that is me on the left. I don't remember what I was talking about by my arms were on the fly! It looks like I am trying to lunge a horse! Speaking of horses, tomorrow we are going to a horse "Play Day"~a day where you go to practice running the barrel race, pole bending and events like that. I will be training our youngest horse Ruger, age 2 1/2, on the events. He is not ready to compete and my old boy, Toby is on summer rest due to a lower leg injury. Oh how I will miss doing these events on him as we have had a lot of time in our younger years playing at events like this. Anyway...funny picture from an LDC painting demonstration at Tiny Treasures 2009 in San Antonio Texas:
And then this one is my all time favorite! I look like some kind of exotic bird! LOL
This picture was taken at IDEX 2010 in Orlando Florida. is fun and it's great to laugh at ourselves.

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Scheduled shows for the remainder of 2010

Now that the Dubai show is canceled, I can turn my focus and energies toward the fall shows and the last ones on schedule for 2010.

On September 4, 2010, I will be in Portland Oregon for the Dolls 4 All Doll and Teddy Bear Show. I always enjoy these shows so much! Dorothy Drake does a fine job organizing the shows and she's so accommodating to we artists. This is Labor Day Weekend

~September Show Info~

On September 28, I will travel to North Caroline for the 2010 Doll and Teddy Expo! I am really excited about this show. I've never been to North Carolina before, my two wonderful friends will be going with me to support me at the show (they really are underpaid as they are amazing help!!!), we are also sharing our room with sculpting artist Sharon Robinson, one of our very dear friends~we just love that lady~and her babies!! I am exhibiting a table adorable reborns selected especially for the theme of this show and, I am teaching a day and a half LDC painting class!

~Direct link to the class~

The above link will also allow you to navigate the entire EXPO site so take a peek around.

Pre-registration for my class is direct with me. My contact information is on the site. My classes are always very informative and a lot of fun!

Mark you calendars!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Random thoughts~

Well wow. Today is the first day in a LONG time that I don't have to have each and every little detail of this day planned and scheduled out. In a way, it makes it hard for me to function! Part of that could be that I am dead tired. The weekend proved to be full of very intense labor with every moment of time needed to finish those twins. I should be tired...I am eternally pregnant! LOL

The first Noah prototype is on eBay now:

~Noah by Rachel Maynard~

I've been asked to hold off on mine until the other two are listed, one at a time. I have ordered a custom knit set for him from Australia~I can't wait!

Oh Oh oh!!! I have to share in my most recent excitement!!! It's about GLASS POTS!
Now doesn't that just crack you up??? Yes, it's true, I am easily excitable especially when things come in the mail! Yesterday I got sponges in the mail~sent by a reborner who I've been chatting with via email about sponges and pots and all kinds of stuff. Anyway, GLASS POTS! Back in the early 90's, Corning Ware came out with a line of amber glass pots called "Vision Wear" I had a full set back then but in 98, I married my DH and we bought a new set of cookware that I had been dreaming of so I either gave my glass pots away or sold them at a gigantic yard sale we had. I have regretted that move ever since I started dying mohair as you see, metals in pots can taint the acid dyes causing off colors in the hair. Now I did find an enamel coated pot that worked really well for me for a long time and I've been looking for the elusive glass pots for about a year or so. Here of late, that enamel coated pot has been causing more and more problems as the enamel is wearing off and the metal is exposed. I've looked in every thrift store and flea market for these glass pots and finally, last week a bunch of them were listed on ebay and I won 3 glass pots! 2 large 4.5 quart pots and one 2.5 quart pot~Whoooo-Hoooooo I am so excited!!! Seems the pots were discontinued due to some exploding on the stove. I am going to chalk that up with people putting a cold pot onto a hot burner or adding cold food to a hot pot, or cooking on high. I never cook on I will be fine and I do have good common sense. Duh.

Okay that's enough random thoughts for today. Tomorrow I'll share my show schedule.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Logan and Leah auctions~

Such SWEET babies!!!

~Leah's Auction~

I have really enjoyed working with the full vinyl torsos!
You all should get one...or two!

So...who is next??? Well, I've got three customs that are paid for and have been waiting...and one wee little prototype by Jessica Schenk. I had put him together just to find out his true size so that I could see if the outfit I had planned for him would work and to order a custom sweater set. I've not done a thing to him and already I love him!

And I have agreed to do two other prototypes from two other artists...more on those later. I've got to run to the airport and pick up my DH :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Prototypes Logan and Leah are done!

Wow they are finally done!

Please meet Logan.....

And Leah....

Prototype siblings by Cathy Rowland going on eBay tomorrow.

Today is the official photo shoot and then the listing begins. As always, the "births" have been a lot of work and I am amazed that I have them done!

To order these adorable, full size, anatomically correct, full vinyl torso babies, go to Creative Impressions:

~Creative Impressions~

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Matthew is Bad to the Bone

THIS Matthew is bad to the bone??? How could that be?

He is a horse loving cowboy after all.....
with a secret passion!

Yup, he has a wild streak and loves to play the Bad Boy Motorcycle role!

I believe it happend in 2009 when I took him to the Harley Davidson Shop in Down Town Disney Orlando. He's been hooked ever since!

This weekend in my little city of 10,000 people, the streets swell with thousands of Harley's, Honda's, and Kawasaki's for the annual Hell's Canyon Motorcycle Rally. I love this event so I dressed Matthew up in his Bad to the Bone attire, took him down to our local art gallery and displayed him in the window so that he would draw "Hoggers" into the gallery to admire the amazing art of the talented people of Oregon. We have several fabulous pieces of art that Motorcycle enthusiasts would enjoy...and they might get a kick out of Matthew too!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mohair processing tutorial

Welcome to my mohair processing tutorial! Ready to get your hands dirty??

This is a box of "raw" curly, 2nd clip angora mohair that I hand selected from the farm. Come with me on a journey to take this mangled mess through the process to create luscious locks for your reborn dolls.

The first step to processing mohair is to sort out the locks. This box full of hair is about 4 pounds of locks but I won't get that weight in completed hair.

From that wad of hair, I hand select locks, sorting them into similar lengths and curl or wave. Then I band the sorted locks together at the cut end of the lock. I usually put 2-3 locks together, depending on the thickness of the locks.

Now it is time to wash the locks. Fill a sink with hot water and Dawn Dish soap. Dawn is important to cut the lanolin/grease from the hair.

Taking one lock at a time, wash the lock by manipulating the water and soap through the hair. Rinse in a clean basin of hot water.
Allow the locks to air dry. When they are dry, comb out the locks, protecting yourself and the floor with a large sheet to catch the debris that falls out during combing.

While the hair is being combed out, I have my acid dye bath on the stove bringing it up to temperature. I keep a bottle of spray cleaner handy to wipe up any spills that might happen.
I get my acid dyes from these two places:


~Mohair by Debbie (Not ME Debbie, another Debbie, LOL)~

I always have problems with the ordering process from so if you do too, just email them.

I am not going to go over the processes of actually getting the dyes ready and using them as they all differ by company so just read the instructions that come with the dyes.

I've fixed up brown/black dye by combining colors:

Once all the hair is washed and the dye bath is ready, It is time to cook! The dye I am using here takes about 40 minutes to process. You see in the picture above that the water actually was very dark and here, after I've cooked it and added vinegar at the proper time, the water has turned clear and the dye is now soaked into the hair.

I let the dye and hair cool in the pot. When it is cool, it is hand washed again in a hot, Dawn dish soap bath, rinsed, and then conditioned. I used to use Downy Fabric Softener to condition but now am using human hair conditioner. The brand does not matter as long as it is a moisture conditioning formula. The last product I bought was the Kirkland brand from Costco. The conditioner helps to comb the hair out without added loss.

Here the locks are soaking in conditioner waiting to be combed and for the bands to be removed.

Comb the locks again with the conditioner on them. Again you will lose a lot of hair during this process. Rinse and then remove the bands with a small scissors. I cut the whole top of the lock off to the band, leaving just a small section of the light "band" area on the lock so that it is easy to verify that this is the cut end of the lock.

Place the hair on racks and allow to air dry.

Whew....that was a lot of work! Yes, processing mohair IS a lot of work. But doing it right makes it worth it in the end.

Happy mohair processing!

WOW! Dubai shock!

This was in my inbox this morning:

Dear Debbie

First of all I would like to thank you for responding so quickly to our requests regarding participation in the Dubai Doll Exhibition during Dubai Summer Festival.

Unfortunately, after months of organization and preparation on our part, the Dubai Shopping Festival has decided to cancel the Doll Exhibition for this season. I realize this has caused many of you some inconvenience.

I apologize for the late information, as we were only informed today that due to decreases in the Shopping Festival Committee's budget, this event along with others have been cancelled.

I hope that Enigma can continue to look to you for support in the projects we have in the future.

Warmest Regards & Sincerest Apologies,

Fatma Ebrahim
Chief Executive Officer
Enigma Event Management & Floral Design

What can I say? I am some manner, but since I had not heard from the organizers for two weeks, I did have a feeling things were not going well.

I can say that I will have a whole lot more money now and TIME! Whoooo-Hooooo! (Huh..I JUST took all the tags off my new clothes yesterday. I should have kept them on one more day to return the items that I probably won't wear in my everyday life. Buggers.)
I love time by the way! I think I will see if I can reschedule my trip to Missouri to teach Dianna Effner to reborn later this month. That will be awesome!

I will have my passport and can go visit my dear friend Angie in Canada now. :)

I can offer babies up for sale again outside of eBay. :)

I can take my DH to the airport this weekend for his trip to Vegas. I had told him I would not because I had so much to do to get ready for Dubai.

~sigh~ No longer a world traveler. This too shall pass.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Progress on that swirl crown thing! Logan's hair

I WILL master the swirl crown....I WILL master the swirl crown....I AM getting closer!

Logan has hair now and a pretty good swirl...well good for me anyway! I have struggled and struggled with that swirl crown but I finally think I figured out that if you want the bangs to go to the right, you have to make the swirl go to the left! Duh. Another artist "duh" moment! I'll admit, I am a bit dyslexic and it DOES show~often!

So now the sweet boy just need lashes and finishing touches. He is a nice sized baby and I am thrilled with him!

Oh and look who won a Top 5 award! Little Miss Ellie!

This was a contest on one of my guilds and there were 133 entries. Good job Ellie!

I am working on mohair this morning and then finishing up Logan and starting hair on Leah. Life is good!

Hugs for the day~