Friday, October 29, 2010

The Birthday Present is Completed!!!

OH MY GOSH....I just knew that I was going to be up most the night trying to finish the birthday girls felt purse. I have been working my hiney off....well, we all know that isn't true....wish it was...if I could I would...would so do it...believe me...I would!! Hummmmm.....started out talking about a purse and then jumped to a hiney topic. I think my brain has long left the normal, sane thinking process...so let's finish this before my head hits the keyboard and my drool shorts it out.

I am rather proud of this little bag. Just the perfect size for a little girl. It's 11 1/2 x 11 1/2. I even put a felt lining in it for added strength. Think she will care that she has a one of a kind bag...nahhhhh....but that's alright. I know that she will have one cute lil tote that all her friends will be so jealous of...hehehe!! All the appliques are made from felt. They were applied using a blanket stitch all around and a bit of straight stitching to add some highlights. On the little yellow fish I used some of my antique glass beads. He is also blowing bubbles....the bubbles are some of my moonstones. I think they make some most excellent bubbles, don't you?  If you look closely at the sea urchin (fluffy purple stuff) you will see a sea shell. It's one that the Chazman found on one of our beach walks. The strap I did by doing some of my macrame twisted knots using green hemp rope.
Chaz is really excited about the party. Even said that he knew that the gift would be a favorite. (and he expected me to make him a felt character next week) The party is going to be at the corn maze. Yes, I said corn maze....a real maze that you have to find your way out of....of course it's Halloween time so there is no telling who or what else is trying to escape from the maze. MUAHAHA!! There will be a hayride and some awesome pumpkin tossing. A day filled with fun!! I'm happy that I can take my book and just sit and read.

Until next time.....Hugs,
Regi

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Needle Felting is so much....OUCHIE!!!!

Where are the band aides? Ohhhh noooooo....the Chazman used the last one on that booboo that only he could see. Nope...couldn't see it no matter how hard I looked. Even got the magnifying glasses out and still couldn't see it but it was there and it was "killing" him. Guess I need to get me a box and hide them in the studio. I love to needle felt but OMGOSH all the ouchies I get. Sharp, sharp needles. Chaz wants to learn but I do believe this is one thing that I will follow what the guidelines say.....no one under 12 should attempt. Really, they shouldn't and on some days I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't either...ROFL!!!


I finished the little mermaid. Yep..that's what all the lovely felt was used for in my Wordless Wednesday post. I am making a birthday gift for the Chazman to take to his first official non family birthday party. She is a pin that is going to be attached to the front of a felt purse. An underwater scene....a unique one of a kind purse for an 8 year old. Chaz said he thinks she will LOVE it and if she doesn't then he will bring it home and I can make an octopus to go with the mermaid and he can just pretend with it. After that statement he asked which one did I think would win a water race...the mermaid or the octopus. Well...duhhhhhh...the mermaid of course. He didn't agree!!! Then he said that I could needle felt him a pirate ship and the mermaid could be the wooden statue on the front because she has that old, wooden antique look. What a compliment and coming from a 7 year old........who apparently watches wayyyy to much television.





I do hope that Bryanna likes her gift. I love making gifts and giving them. If I have time I'm planning on making her a seashell barrett but we will have to see if I can finish the purse by "gulp" Saturday. No more using the felting needles for I'm going to hand stitch the ocean scene on the front of the purse and then stitch it up on my machine. That is if I can hand sew with all these dang band aides!!!

Until next time.....Hugs,
Regi (the Needle Felt pin cushion)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Suggestions requested....

My muse is chattering so loudly that she is overwhelming this artist to the point of complete and total INSANITY. Ok ok I heard that.....yes maybe I should have said to the point of being MORE insane. HEY...it's what makes me...ME!!!

I love designing my Santa series and have several ones planned for this year. One of them is going to be Santa riding on a carousel horse. I don't dare ask the muse because she is already "overflowing" with suggestions. So, I'm asking YOU. What colors would you like to see the horse painted? Perhaps traditional old time colors like were found on the carousels from days past....or perhaps painted in bright Christmas colors...or perhaps colors from the fabric I will use for Santa's coat?  Or perhaps........ohhhhh see what I mean...."overflowing" with ideas. I need a soft, quiet whisper of suggestions.

Until next time....HUGS,

Regi

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Weebie making time!!!

What's a weebie....some of you may be asking. Those that come to visit and sit under the old Southern ooaks tree know already but I will tell for those that are visiting for the first time. Weebies are the name I call my small ornaments that I design and sculpt. Each one is hand sculpted which makes them unique but I do repeat some of them if requested. They make great ornaments for your Christmas tree. Each comes with it's own fancy smancy twisted wire holder. The wire holder can be removed and then the weebie becomes a desk sitter. What's a desk sitter you may ask? Yes...you can ask...go ahead!! Ask already...ok then...desk sitters are what I call  my weebies that can sit on a desk and not fall over. Since they can do this they make great gifts to give to co-workers. Hint Hint!! I love making these lil critters....well...not all are critters....some are of Santa but you get my drift. Here is a sampling of some of my weebies.

There is the cute Bear Family. I love making Ted E Bear hold things from Christmas past....like the great twirl hard candy most of us can remember as a child or maybe a big lollipop or a large peppermint cane. Perhaps a wreath or some garland. Sometimes Ted E is ready for his Christmas story and has his blankie and cute lil rabbit slippers or bear slippers or perhaps a pair of slippers that someone has requested specially for their weebie. What's Christmas time without some singing Bears. This cute pair put their differences behind them...see....Alabama and Auburn fans can get along!!! Each of my weebies stand on a small base that is made up of some of my goop snow mixture. I put pieces of german glass in it to make it glimmer like snow.
There is also my Snowmen and Penguin weebies. Such characters these guys can be. Better watch out when turning your back on the snowman....he loves a fight. Of course, if you turn around to see...he just gives you that "HEY...I didn't throw it". Ri iiight!!! Lil P the penguin loves to try and help but those tiny flippers can cause such a mess.
Now who can forget the jolly old elf himself and I'm talking about Santa ya know. He so loves Christmas Eve when passing out the gifts but oh the joys of playing with the little puppy that has been hiding in his hat until he got to Julee's house. Santa also has to take some vacation time after the holidays and what better way than a visit to the beach and get buried in the sand...HoHoHo!!!
Last year I made over 50 weebies and these are the few I had remaining. I make up several each year but most are made by placing orders. Do you have someone that you want to give a small gift to this year? A new baby in the family that needs that "First" ornament. A teacher. A co-worker. That crossing guard that keeps your children safe. Your hairdresser or barber. A special item to put in a homemade basket of goodies for your neighbor. The list could go on and on. Oh one last suggestion....they make great ornaments for sports fans. Here are two popular ones from last year.....funny...I didn't have any Bama ones left!!!
If you would be interested in purchasing some of these cute lil weebies just leave a comment and make sure you include your email addy. Once they are complete I will send you an email and then I will set them up in my Etsy shoppe with a reserved notice just for YOU!!! They sell for $15 each. If you order 5 or more I will give you a discount...like buy 4 and get the 5th free. Free is good!! Christmas is just around the corner and didn't you make a resolution NOT to wait until the last minute to start buying gifts this year. ^_^

Until next time................HUGS,
Regi

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And the Muse said..........





I was sitting quietly this morning having my cup of coffee and watching all the wonderful creatures playing and frolicking outside my studio window. I love my time to let my mind wander for this is NORMALLY when my whimsical characters are imagined. Notice I capped the word normally....you did notice....good!!! It seems that my muse wanted to put her two cents worth in and completely banished all the quietness I was soooo enjoying. For those that are new to my whimsical world, please let me introduce you. This is DIVA and OMGOSH she so lives up to her name in every way.

DIVA is one of my soft body ooaks. She is gently poseable.Her face, hands and feet are sculpted using Prosculpt clay. Her body is wrapped in soft angora wool yarn. Her face, hands and feet have been washed with an acrylic mixture to give her a porcelain look. Her face has been detailed using acrylic paints. Her eyes are bone beads that have been hand painted. Her hair is faux fur along with the fur on her hands,feet and tail. She is wearing a sweater made from a wool sock. Her buttons are tiny crystals. Her wings are made from brass wire that has been wrapped in silk embroidery thread. There are tiny vintage Swarvoski crystals hanging from the tips. Her stand is silver and is twisted like a silver lining on her way up to cat heaven. She stands at 8 1/2 inches tall and is 3 1/2 inches in width.

 Until a few days ago my muse lived quietly in my head...whispering ideas. I was dusting the ooaks shelves and for some reason I kept going back to DIVA. It seems my muse wanted to be more than just a whisper...so she has for the time being taken up residency in one of my ooaks. Not that I can blame her for using this particular ooaks because for those of you that follow my blog you know that this is one that started out as one thing and so ended up something completely different. So the muse said..........change me...and my little DIVA was.

The conversation we are having in the first photo is one that I think I need some HUMAN input on. She seems to think that I need to only make ooaks that sit 14 inches or taller. I want to start making more of my smaller ones.....like my weebies...6 inches or under. Give it some thought.....then let me know what you think.....please....so I can keep her out of my ear and get some work done. For those that don't know what one of my weebies look like, here are a few examples:


Let me know what you think......what you would be more likely to purchase....I need some input people...pppplease!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Ooaks

Due to several emails asking that I not take my Halloween ooaks out of the shoppe yet.....they will stay. I guess folks like looking at them.....my sweet ooaks must be working their magic.  I'm working on a few ornies/weebies and hopefully will get some photos posted soon. The batteries in my camera DIED.....funny too...because I just charged them. Either my muse is playing games or I have someone else playing. What do YOU think?

Until next time....HUGS,
Regi

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Only Two days remaining...

Only two more days remaining to purchase one of the Southern Ooaks Halloween collectibles in my Etsy shoppe. Don't you know someone that would love to add to their Halloween decor? Maybe you need to add that witch to the mantel or sitting on the table with a carved pumpkin close by. Maybe you know someone who might have a birthday in October? What better gift to give than a Halloween collectible!! I only have a few remaining and would love for one of them to put a spell on YOU. Come and shop....I promise...they will behave so you can look around. "wink...wink"


Batilda...the Batty Witch


Vanity Voodoo

Broohilda..the ancient witch

Goslin..the Ghost Child
Hagitha..the witch

Come and shop...what could it hurt? You might just find another collectible that calls to you. For anyone that makes a purchase in the next two days then I will include one of my weebie Christmas ornies for free. Happy Shopping!!!

Until next time.....HUGS,
Regi


Monday, October 11, 2010

Making clay Hands

I have received several compliments about my doll hands and thought I might pass along how I do them again for those that have asked here recently. Mind you, I'm not a teacher or one of the great doll artist... yet ;)...but I think that I can show how you can use everyday supplies that most artist have on hand. So, here goes, my first ummmm second EVER tutorial. I hope it helps someone with the making of hands.

Materials Needed: 22 gauge wire....wire cutters...floral tape....toothpick....sculpting tools (what I use: large doll sewing needle, wooden knitting needle, sculpting tool, stiffened paint brush) sculpting clay in flesh and in transparent (not going to mention what kind...we all have our favorites)


It's always best to make the head first so that the hand proportions will be correct. I myself make the hands a bit larger than life because that's how I see Santa and I am a hand person. Hands can show so much of a person. OK, back to the tut.....cut six pieces of wire. Five are for your fingers and one is to make a small holder for the fingers. Wrap this piece around a toothpick to make about 8-10 loops...keep them close together. Make sure to leave some of the ends hanging....it makes it easier to hold onto when removing from the toothpick.
Hold the toothpick at one end and one of the long pieces of wire in your fingers and simply twist the toothpick until the wire slides off. Of course if you use a different gauge wire then you might have to use something other than a toothpick to make your holder. I have just discovered that the toothpick is perfect for the 22 gauge. Trial and error...we all know that phrase ;)
Take your five pieces of wire and place them inside your holder. Crimp the holder to lock the wires in place. Spread the fingers apart. Take about 12-15 inches of your floral tape and wrap around the holder first and work your way up to the palm area. Stretch the tape as you go so you will get a nice snug fit. Wrap it around the palm and then start wrapping around the base of the fingers. Like a basket weave pattern until all the tape is gone. Cut the wires to the desired lengths. I like to take the tips of the fingers and gently bend the ends down and then crimp. This helps you not to get stuck and to keep it from poking through the clay so easily.
Take your flesh colored clay and make a thin roll twice the length of each finger. Take one and fold it in half and place over one of the finger wires. Smooth the seams on each side until the finger is shaped and secured to the palm of the hand. Repeat this for each finger. Shape two pieces of clay into a balls about the size of a quarter. Flatten them in the middle and place one in the palm of the hand. Gentle push with your thumb to give it a palm look. Place the other in the front of the hand...make sure you place this at the base of the fingers (this helps make knuckles) and against the inside of the thumb. Make another ball about the size of the bottom of a acrylic paint bottle. Roll the ball into a cylinder shape and cut in half. Place a piece on each side to make up the wrist and partial arm. Smooth and blend until no seams show. Remember, these are Santa's hand...a man with some age so if there are a few imperfections then it will just add to the aging of them. Using your sculpting tools and looking at your hands make the details for the knuckles, wrist and fingers. I like to add vein lines to mine. Look at your hands also in the position that you are going to place Santa's in.

Don't forget to give the palm some detail. I like to make sure that his hands look real. I do this even if they won't show. I love to do as much detail as I can...no one may see all of them when they are complete but I will know.
Here is where the large sewing needle comes in. I use one of the big needles I use when making teddy bears and large cloth dolls. Take the eye part and gently push back the cuticle of each finger. Again, look at your own fingers to see what they look like. Take the transparent clay to make the fingernails. Roll a long piece out and cut tiny pieces off. Shape the piece into a tiny fingernail. Make sure you blunt cut the tip before you place on the finger. Take your sculpting tool or stiffened paint brush and gently push the nail into place. Once you have all the details of your hands complete, it's time to bake. Bake according to the clay manufacturer's directions. Once hands are cooled then if you need to you can file Santa's nails...just in case he got a hangnail during baking. I put several coats of varnish over the nails...make sure that each coat is thoroughly dry before adding another coat.



I hope that this helps in trying to make hands. They aren't hard...they just take some time and patience. Take an afternoon and just work on hands. Practice makes perfect....well....not perfect but close....besides the small imperfections are what makes each artist works unique and their own!!

Until next time.......Hugs,
Regi

Monday, October 4, 2010

Whoopsie Oopsie

Poor Whoopsie Oopsie....her name given at birth. It was cast upon her by her older sister Mirth. She loves to concoct her potions and cast a spell or two but poor Whoopsie Oopsie just doesn't know what to do. For every time she mixes a potion and recites the spell to bind, it seems her namesake takes her over and sits her on her behind. Do not fear that she has sat into her cauldron of potion for a little bat is here to put her back in forward motion. A spell she needs to place on Mirth for giving her that awful name so once and for all Whoopsie Oopsie can end this ancient game.

Whoopsie has such a great sense of humor and falling into her cauldron of potion has let the laughter out even more. Little Bat is trying his hardest to pull her free but I don't think that's going to happen. Whoopsie is one of my Halloween Tree toppers. She is of course stuck in a papier mache cauldron that is attached to a black feathered tree. Her face, hands, legs/feet/shoes were hand sculpted out of Living Doll clay...baked and then hand painted using acrylic paints. Her outfit is hand sewn using some wonderful vintage fabrics. The tree and the witch sit at a tad over 15 inches. Whoopsie if standing would be around 6 inches tall.

Without further adue.....here is she is...the newest addition to Southern Ooaks whimsical world...Whoopsie Oopsie the comical witch.










Whoopsie is enjoying being a part of the Southern Ooaks Witchie Coven but she would be happy living with YOU too.


Until next time.....HUGS, Regi