Monday, September 28, 2009

Meet my clay dolls

LABYRINTH!! Such an awesome movie. Every now and again I'll get Magic Dance stuck in my head.

And now, an incredibly long, rambling story about my journey to the world of clay dolls.

It started with an urge. Still considering myself a beginner with clay, I had an overwhelming urge to try and make a doll. It was about a year ago. My plans were simple, I would try and use the dimensions on the ED site - because I would have rather not even tried to make my own dimensions. She would not have any detailed features, because I first wanted to see if making a doll was even possible. She would be joined much like the way Marina's first Cinderella's neck was:
But the way in which I tried to make the joints were incorrect. I had strung up the joints with heavy fishing wire, and soon enough, every joint broke. As a result, she is almost completely glued in place - the only exception being at her waist, here legs here have still stayed together with the string. But, the thighs-to-the-hip were not jointed like her arms and legs were, there was just a hole through each leg and some holes in the pelvis, and I tied them all together.

Seeing the way that bit of her held together gave me the idea of how to put together a second doll. The second doll was also the first time I used aluminum foil as a skeleton in any clay project - something I wish I'd done often in the past. I made her using my first doll for scale, and as a result of my... inability to stay focused on only one thing at a time, I ended up making her forearms 4 cm too long. Very noticeable to me. But I won't redo them. They are a part of her now. I made this doll, again, with an aluminum skeleton. So she's a bit lighter than her sister. Her joints all have holes through them, and are held together with very thin wire - the wire from twisty ties. I learned almost immediately that she would be more delicate, because the twisty tie wire is very fragile. Try and bend it too much and it will snap. Had to rewire a couple of her joints. But other than that she's held together rather nicely. I had actually given this doll a bit more detail - she has fingers and toes and a nose and mouth. Even though I don't much like them. Her fingers are so dang chubby... I think they are because mine are. I hate my hands.

And that was the end of my doll makings. I had sworn my second doll would be the last. While I had fun making her, her joints were too finicky, and she couldn't hold a pose because there just wasn't anything in her joints to make them hold. She is essentially, a rag doll made of clay.

I lied. I swore to myself the second doll was the last, and I lied. After a few months with only those two dolls, and after staring at various BJDs from different sites, I got the urge to try again. This time, she was made entirely different. I used my second doll for scale, but didn't follow it as closely as I had in the past. Her skeleton was hollow. I created each limb over straws. The straws were wrapped in a thin sheet of aluminum foil, so the pieces could slide off them easily. Her torso was made with a paper towel tube as it's inner. I made rounded joints at the thigh, shoulder, elbow and knee. I attempted to make her hands a little less chubby. She also had a nose, lips, and feet. Her hands and feet are attached to eye hooks, the smallest ones I could find at Home Depot. (an idea I got from the doll house my dad made me when I was five. He used eye hooks for the doorknobs. I still have the house, though it's a bit torn up because of my accidental destructive behavior, but it's probably closer to 1/12 scale, so it doesn't get used.)

I was incredibly nervous about this whole ordeal. While I'd seen plenty of pictures of BJDs, I wasn't comfortable with them. I really wasn't sure if any of this would even work, and then I'd have made a doll that would never come to be. The stringing up of the doll was the worst for me. I'd watched a youtube video on how to re-string a BJD, so I understood how it all goes together, but this was all new to me. I couldn't find the tool I know I have somewhere, that would have worked well to pull the elastic through the limbs, so I ended up pushing the elastic through with a bamboo stick. ROFL. That sounds so ghetto-ish to me. But it did work, and at the top of her head, all the strings are held there with a piece of that same bamboo stick, cut to size so it would notch itself in to the held nice and tightly. Before stringing it all up, I did something else I had never done to clay before - I sanded it. So she's a LOT smoother than my other two dolls.

I'm a lot happier with the way this lady came out. She can actually hold a pose, and I love that. She makes me want to eventually try making more dolls.

And that's enough rambling without pictures. Now I'll ramble with pictures. Hahaha. Most of these pictures are of them clothed and wigged, because I didn't have a camera to picture them beforehand. (the pics of the first two dolls were all taken with a borrowed camera)

One of the many annoying things I did: I glued her head on sideways. D'oh.

And I used a TON of glue, I hate how it's just gobbed in there. Her hair is mine, form my last hair cut. I saved the hair with intent on using it as wig hair in the future.

A pic of her entire body... before she began to break further. Her outfit is sewn by hand.

When I first glued her together, I was not happy about it. I was basically killing any chance to pose her. Mayhaps for that reason, I didn't do a very good job. One of her feet broke off, and I was so frustrated, that I didn't glue it back on. She went months being footless.

Doll number two.

I made her outfit with the intention of covering up all of her joints. She also has a long pink skirt. Eventually though, I began to despise the restrain the skirt had, so I got rid of it. I added embellishment to the bottom of the shirt, and called it a dress.

Here she is with a necklace I lost. I made Biscuitbear a similar one for Christmas. Don't have a clue where that blasted necklace went. I also lost a hat and scarf I made this doll, and mittens and a scarf I made for my first doll. So frustrating that I can't keep track of things. UGH. Her belt is actually a bra strap from one of my bras. It was a convertible bra, and I only bought it to serve as a strapless. But the straps were cute so I saved them.

I hate her lips, but I couldn't make them any better... not for lack of trying though.

Chubby hands

Full shot of her

Some pics of doll one and two together:

Side by side with the broken foot. Haha

Hand comparison

Foot comparison

Always thought this was a cute shot.

The next pics are of doll three, there's more to her, because this was after Christmas. My dad got me a camera for Christmas.

The claystation. On a folding card table, with was paper taped on. You can see the straws wrapped in aluminum foil and the exacto knife on the right, on the left you can barely see my stylus tool, upper left you can see a paintbrush I also use, (the thing with the rubber grip) and upper right you can see doll number two, (with a broken leg... the wire snapped and I left it off to be able to use the leg freely for scale) the perfume bottle I use for a rolling pin and some pencils, that I also use. Beyond doll number two was my painting station. Haha.

Working on the limbs, and there's the second doll's leg, to better compare.

From left to right: foot, upper arm, lower leg, upper leg, lower arm. Bottom: hand
I ended up adding to make the upper legs slightly thicker, but not by much.

Bottom of torso

Beginning the upper torso

All the pieces baked and beginning to be sanded

Doll three, strung up, sanded, and painted. I feel her forearms are long too... serves me right for using number two for scale.

Here she is, chillin' with Ethan's instrument before it got strings. Looks like a guitar to her. That's intentional. It's why I made it more shallow...

than normal ukuleles.

Close up of her face. No lashes. Forgot them.

And here's some pics of the three of them, wearing crowns biscuitbear made me.

They do have names ya know, I just didn't feel like using them in the story. Doll number 1 is named Corinne. You can see here that she's changed a bit. Well, I couldn't find the foot that fell off all those months before, and then one of her hands broke. So, I made a "cast" for her hand and her leg. But then I didn't like her other foot, so I ripped that off and made her a boot.... yeah... I know, I could have just made her TWO boots instead of a cast and a boot. But yeah, that's me not thinking clearly. Then I broke the glue at the knees and her broken arm elbow, to bend the joints a bit before regluing, so she could sit a little more naturally. I had originally planned on making her a wheelchair. But that's on hold. For when I feel a little more confident in making one.

Doll number two is named Gemma. I had lost the necklace I made her by now, so she's wearing a silly plastic necklace that was on a My Scene Barbie I have. And she's no longer wearing that skirt. Her belt has an embellishment now too, I really don't remember what it used to be. Some form of jewelry that had broken. It lost the center gem too, so I glued a pink pearl there, and glued a safety pin to the back of it.

Doll number three is named Arietti. Etti for short. She's wearing "knee highs" that are actually supposed to be thigh high and for an ED. Fitz sent them to me.

I like this picture... not quite sure why. LOL

Three closeups. You can't much tell from these pics, but Corinne has a pink complexion, Gemma's is paler, and Etti's is the palest. She was made with Twilight vampires in mind. Hence the gold eyes.

And... I think that's it. Yep. Those are my clay dolls. Corinne, Gemma, and Arietti. I could tell ya how I came across the names I guess.

I have favorite books that I read often, some more than others. The Twilight and Harry Potter series I read four or fives times, while I've read the Flowers in the Attic Series only twice. I was in the middle of reading the Flowers series around the same time as I made doll number one. Corinne is their mother's name. I thought it was a lovely name. Mind you, she's not named "after" her, because really, that mother was horrid. Rather they happen to share the same name. LOL.

Gemma was a name I came across when I was addicted to Lonelygirl15. Do you know of the series? It was a pioneer of it's kind I suppose. A blog show. People went insane when they found out "Lonelygirl" wasn't real, but whatever, I loved it. But then they killed Bree. (the main character) And I was sad. I tried watching further, and got slightly hooked again, when "Bree's sister" was introduced on the show. But... then they killed HER too. UGH. I was so frustrated. I sorta watched one more season? I think.. but I lost it. I didn't like the direction it was going, they split up the characters to the point of me not even liking the show. I haven't watched it since... last August?
Er... ANYWAY... Gemma was a short lived character on the show. She was a friend of Bree's, only to find out she was part of the bad guys or something like that. But her name stuck with me, and I had originally thought of naming doll number one Gemma. The name just didn't suit her. So doll number two became Gemma.

Arietti was founded due to my obsession with Harry Potter. I think Draco Malfoy in the movie, i.e. Tom Felton, is a cutie. I had looked him up on IMDB and found out the first movie he ever did was The Borrowers. I never forgot that, and remember seeing the movie once, but I don't own it, nor do I know anyone who does, and didn't want to rent it. I came across the movie earlier this year. It was on Starz. Yay! In the movie, Tom Felton's sister is named Arrietty, Ett for short. I like my spelling and nickname better, but I still think it's a cute name.

Now what... now... well, okay, we've reached an end. It's not the end of my attempts in dollmaking however. I do plan on trying to make another few dolls in the future. Just, not sure when. I'm fairly happy with the way Arietti came out, so I believe I'll be using similar techniques. I'd like to try making a child or two, and then mayhaps a faun. We'll see.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Boring TV Talk and a fake ED.

Ginny. Hehe haha. Okay, all of my friends, and their siblings, and relatives... all seem to have a problem with Ginny. Well, not Ginny, they have a problem with Bonnie Wright. I suppose I am the only person in the world who likes Bonnie as Ginny. I think she's adorable, and really has grown up nicely. But apparently, no one else agrees. I'm also alone in saying I like this Dumbledore. Everyone else has a problem with this Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). They say he's nothing compared to the Dumbledore in the first two movies. Is it really Michael Gambon's fault that Richard Harris passed away? No. And while I loved how Harris seemed to take Dumbledore right out of the book, I don't mind the more... passionate Gambon. I know Dumbledore isn't supposed to get heated. He's supposed to be calm for most of his life. But really, when it comes down to it, I think Gambon plays Dumbledore beautifully. Sure he shows more emotion than Harris, but honestly, when you read the sixth book, could you imagine Harris (the first Dumbledore) sputtering and begging and crying like a baby whilst he drank that liquid?? I know I couldn't. I could, however, picture Gambon doing it. Even though he didn't do much of it in the movie version, I could still picture him doing it if it called for it. Okay... lemme stop with the Potter talk.

Not much to talk about today, and yet here I am. Why? Because I feel like rambling. So forgive me, I'll likely be spending my time talking about.... television shows. Because that's what I've been up to lately - watching tv.

First off, NCIS. I LOVED the premiere. LOVED it. It was just what I'd hoped for. NCIS rocks. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Naturally, I had an urge to quench curiosity, and so I stayed tuned in to watch NCIS LA. *tangent* Now, normally, I don't go for spin offs. When Angel spun off Buffy, I stuck with Buffy. When Stargate Atlantis spun off of Stargate SG1, I stuck with SG1. When CSI became two more shows, I stuck with the fellas in Las Vegas. Now, mind you, in all of these shows, I eventually lost interest in them. Buffy got too ridiculous, SG1 kept killing off my favorite character, (Daniel Jackson... whom I think died four or five times) and CSI... well, I just stopped watching it.

I don't count certain shows as spinoffs, because to me, I never really watched the original. Like The Simpsons spinning off of the Tracey Ullman Show. I don't recall that show.... but I was born in '85, so I don't know if I was old enough to remember it. And Frasier. While I actually have watched Cheers - quite a bit really - I watched reruns of Cheers. I'd seen Frasier first, and never would have realized it was a spin off show had I not seen Frasier on a couple of episodes of Cheers. lol. There are probably others I can't think of right now too.

But anyway. Only one exception to my no-spinoff rule: NCIS. I loved JAG. David James Elliot was just sooo cute. My favorite character was Bud. Hehe. I'm actually dropping hints that my dad should get himself the seasons of JAG. lol. I missed so much of it. So when I found out there was going to be a spin off, I was hesitant. I actually missed the JAG shows that first introduced NCIS in to being. I wonder if I can find them online... bah too difficult. But yeah, so I wasn't certain I wanted to watch it. I gave it a chance though, and fell in love by the end of the first episode. Granted, it may have had a bit more to do with Logan from Dark Angel and Pacey's sister from Dawson's Creek both being on the show... eventually, though, the high I got from seeing familiar faces wore off... and what was left was an awesome show. I'm still in love with it, I happily watched all 6 seasons (and the episodes with commentary and special features) before excitedly watching the 7th season premiere. *end tangent*

Wish I could say I fell in love with NCIS LA like that. While I do like LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell, I was just a tid bit disappointed. I suppose... I was more than a tid bit disappointed. NCIS LA's introduction episodes on NCIS showed promise. I began to like all the characters from the get go, and I LOVED their headquarters. Two strikes right there. The blonde from those episodes are not in this series. And they move their headquarters to what looks like some flippin' sleazy hotel. What a disappointment. The original place was neat. This place looks like it should be part of a romantic getaway package that you win tickets for on Wheel of Fortune. And I do NOT like how Edna Mode from The Incredibles hopped outta the Disney film, dropped her accent, and climbed on board as Hetty on this show. Her look is entirely too comical for me to take her seriously.

I mean, really? Can't she have like.... smaller glasses? A different hairstyle? WORK with me people! Now, mind you, I'm sure this actress has probably donned this look before, maybe they didn't even need to change her look to look like this, but all *I* can picture is Edna. How can I take this show seriously when all I picture is adorable little Edna Mode scuttling about?!

How indeed. NCIS LA lacks the comedy I love NCIS for. I've realized I like dramedies. Very much so, and LA just isn't cutting it. I don't think I laughed once. Not a smile, not a giggle... nothing. While the show seems to be a lot less... dramatic? as say... CSI. (talking about the las vegas show) It still lacks the laughter. Sure it's a light drama, but dammit, I want a funny drama. And then the plot itself was sort of a downer. NCIS is all about investigating the navy and the marines. This episode had a dead navy dude at the beginning, which lead to a kidnapped child. It felt like they brushed over the navy part of it so quickly I can't even remember the dead dude's involvement. The story itself just didn't feel much like it was navy or marine involved at all. Now, occasionally NCIS has an episode or two like that, but atleast it's funny... and it certainly didn't start out that way with its first episode. I was incredibly disappointed. I had high hopes for this spin off, thought it would make another exception to my no-spinoff rule, but alas, no. I'll give it a couple more episodes. See if I really hate it, or if it grows on me. *shrug*

Ha... hahaha.... I just rambled loooong pointless nonsense... about a show I don't even like right now, and only a handful of sentences for a show I love. Yep, that makes sense. Oh well. Moving on... bored yet? haha

Castle was also awesome. I was so happy to see it, though I thought Beckett made a lousy "sleazy Russian girlfriend". lol. I had been so afraid the show wouldn't be picked up for another season. I'd heard it had been dropped. So I'm incredibly relieved to see it, because it is a dramedy that I LOVE. ("atleast let me know what I can do to make it up to you... I could buy you a pony!")

Dancing with the Stars is always a fun show. I had no problem with who they let go (watched the third episode earlier) and I do have faves. Aaron Carter, Mya, Melissa Joan Hart, Kelly Osbourne... and the Chairman from Iron Chef. LOL. Aaron is probably top of the list, followed by the Chairman.

Other shows I checked out:
Modern Family - a very cute show that I won't mind seeing again. In fact I'd love to catch it again.
Cougar Town - ditto
Glee - not so sure about this one. It had its moments... but I dunno if the few moments it had was enough for me to keep watching.... and I've already seen 4 episodes. How many more can I watch to get in to it? lol.

Enough television talk. Onward. To my friend's kitty. The stupid animal shelter she went to to place the hold on Rio? They told her Saturday that they "forgot" Rio was already on hold for someone else. So when my friend got there, Rio was gone. That just urks me. Really. She spent weeks looking for the right kitty for her. The ones she was interested in were mostly listed as on hold, EXCEPT RIO! And then all of a sudden there WAS a hold on her?! RIDICULOUS. I bet my friend would love to take her business elsewhere, and she just might, but this place is the most... affordable shelter. To adopt from them, no matter the age, nor whether it is a dog or cat, it only costs $90. The other places we wandered to were $125 and up. For a kitten at the one Humane Society we went to, it costs $175. That's almost enough for TWO kittens at the $90 shelter. Craziness. And a shame. So my friend's search for a kitten is still on I guess. Unless she ends up with McNugget. He's a $175 kitten. She had it narrowed down to Rio or McNugget, and chose Rio based on affordability. But, she might end up getting McNugget now that she doesn't have Rio as a choice. I hope she gets him. Because... he has an awesome name. And he's darned cute. Hahaha.

Moving on... so on the ED Forum I frequent, there is an "ED Photo Project". It sounds like fun, and I was bummed because I don't have an ED to participate with. But then I found out I could participate, just so long as I don't post the picture in the forum, and rather just post a link to my picture instead. Hehe. Sooooo I'm using Gemma and participating. Hee hee haha.

I actually just grabbed Gemma, and the stuff I wanted to make my picture. It was tricky, and sad, because I had made the "smoke", (i.e. I boiled a large pot of water for the steam) but it just wasn't showing up in the pictures, so I ended up having to put fake smoke in, and that bothers me cuz I kinda suck at stuff like that. Oh well. Here's the picture I went with:

The blanket she's lying on is actually a rather loud shade of pink. The color didn't work for my picture, but I liked the texture. *shrug* Here's some of the other pics I took:


That was fun. And I only slightly burned myself, so all is well. Actually, JUST NOW, I realized... I had this glass table I set Gemma under, so I could better direct the "smoke"... but durrr.... steam fogs up glass. So my solution was to grab the glass part of the table and take it away, leaving the base.... for WHAT!? I spent all this time rearranging the base and trying to work it so it wouldn't leave such a shadow... when I could have just TAKEN THE BASE OUT ALTOGETHER! I am just so smart sometimes it kills me. Ugh. ANYWAY...

Do you like my pretend ED? I felt adding an ED face to Gemma would help with the pretending, since I don't actually have an ED right now to participate. Shhh it makes sense in my mind. At the moment, Noire with gold eyes and black hair is my current dream doll, but that changes often. In fact, I think it's in the process of changing right now. But the changing of my dream doll doesn't happen instantly, it gets worked on in my head for days before changing officially. So it might be a while yet to find out whether my dream doll changes.

I um... can't seem to recall if I've introduced Gemma to you guys in Blog World. She is the second clay doll I made. Actually, if I manage to come back to this here blog tomorrow, I shall introduce her, and my other two clay dolls. Along with my other plans in the far away future about making more clay dolls.

For right now though, I'm tired. And I still have to take a shower yet and head over to the gas station to put air in my tires and apply for a job. Then I can sleep. Ha.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My last clay creation

Castle Castle Castle. Gosh I love that show. And NCIS. Oh the love I feel for those shows. I was delighted to see their season premieres this past week.

I saw the first night of the three day premiere of DwtS, but not the second night, because that was NCIS and NCIS LA. Then I couldn't see the third night cuz I hadn't seen the second. I've watched the second one online, but not the third one yet, so don't tell me how it ends!! *plugs ears* I feel bad for abandoning House, but I've missed so much of it, I'm not sure I want to see the new season yet. Not until I've seen all I've missed at least. And I can't seem to convince my dad to get himself the seasons... so I'm stuck. No one else I know likes house nor has the seasons for me to borrow them from. Dammit.

[EDIT 9:23am:] I'd like to say right now, that I am officially urked at blogger. More than twice now, it will say something along the lines of "Error! this blah blah code doesn't have it's blah blah code partner" And I'll go to find where the stupid thing messed up, and find that a /span doesn't have a span to go with it, that the word "span" has been replaced with the number "3" and that an entire flipping PARAGRAPH is now missing from my entry. I'm going to have to start writing my entries in notepad or gmail, then transferring it to here. Ugh. [/edit]

Anyhoo... haven't been writing on this here blog much. Haven't been doing much of anything. It's worse than I'd thought with my last post. It's not just me blocking myself. Lately I haven't felt like doing anything. I've been online in two shakes, done the very least of what I normally do, then hop off, and veg out in front of the tv.

And now I'm not sure if I even want to veg out in front of the tv. I'm not sure I really want to do anything. Sometimes I feel like curling up in a corner and staring absently, sometimes I feel like I don't want to do even that.

I'm so frustrated. I'm jobless and lazy... I just feel worthless. Like, I could fail anything right now. I could throw myself off a 97 foot tall cliff while shooting myself in the head just after I swallowed a bottle of prescription drugs and washed it down with a liter of whiskey... and I'd stand up at the end of my fall like I'd accidentally tripped on a rock. FAIL.

I've wanted for months to start saving to own my very own ED, and I'm failing. FAILING. What happens when Marina emails and tells me she has a slot open? Nothing. I cry, refuse the slot, and stare on.

I don't want to talk about this anymore. It's frustrating me beyond belief. Not to mention the physical pain I'm in. I get headaches daily now. And toothaches almost constantly. The headaches leave after taking ibuprofen, and the toothaches subside for a bit, but the toothaches come right back.

Okay, no more talk about the dark side. What was I originally going to say?

My buddy Ruth and her lovely ED Yren took pictures with my presents the other day. Here's a pic of Yren lying on the pillow and comforter:

Awww, isn't Yren gorgeous? It's definitely a kick to see her lounging on something I made for her just a couple weeks ago. I'm glad to see Yren likes her presents, and Ruth has mentioned the little clay "balloon animal" I made has become a mascot now. So cute.

So my friend is adopting a cat. Hopefully I believe she'll be adopting her today. I took a pic of the cute kitty. It's sort of out of blurry cuz she moved so much, but the better pic is still on my camera.

Her name is Rio, but I believe that will change once she's adopted. Rio just doesn't seem like a good name for this girl.

Oh, back to my last post. So my dad makes sticks. And well, I decided I wanted to make him a stick. But, I fail at woodworking. So I made a little one. Out of clay. It was my last clay creation, before my mind went kaput.
This is a pic of my dad's sticks:

And here's the little box I put it in. I made the bow out of clay too, but that was done before I finished the stick.

And here's the stick:
The Stickmaker... and the little stick man is holding a stick! Hahaha... I entertain myself Holding it to better gauge scale:

The darned thing was a pain in the butt, but altogether fun to create. The handle broke, so it had to be super glued back together. And I don't quite like the "wood grain" color I vaguely threw in, it's not red enough, but I didn't notice that until I held it in the sunlight. Serves me right for not using acceptable lighting when painting it. But it isn't all that noticeable, just to me. I still think it's cute. And I think he liked it. hehe. I had meant to wait til morning to give it to him that night, but couldn't wait, and gave it to him while glue holding the bow to the box was still drying, at around 230am. lol.

And this is all I'll write for the time being. I'm incredibly tired, and have to finish dishes before I wander in to bed. Not to mention all this time I've been trying to write this, I've been holding convos with three old internet friends. One convo ended hours ago, one closer to one hour ago, and one is still going. Sadly, it's the one full of the most drama. Relationships man... they can pull at a friendship blanket until it's all but completely unwoven. Then all you got is a pile of string. And there's no effin' way you can get that blanket back exactly the way it was. The string's all worn out by now. It won't ever be the same. Guess me and this friend are just going to have to be more careful this time around. Dunno how many times a blanket can be remade.... well no... maybe I do...

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