What a lovely week it has been. There is a certain calmness that I haven't felt for much too long. All of the illness and residual lethargy that follows has evaporated, outside has been touched by gentle warmth, and all of the charcoal & oatmeal mimics will be flying the nest. I have been busy packing up all the dolls for their journey to the post this weekend while finding time for outdoor romping with my lit'le.
Excitingly all of this cheer (and getting a few consecutive full nights sleep) has boosted my energy levels and I have jumped right into starting the next batch of mimics. With the last group being rather dark and having quite a bit of avocado and cranberry dyed fabric piled up, I want to give the new batch a bit of color (faded color, but color nonetheless!). I am going to have a go at dyeing more fabric this weekend with turmeric. As of now, I am calling the batch Vermilion and Honey based on the threads I am using for the embroidery. I have completed a set of vermilion arms and legs and am working on a set of honey limbs. The shop update for these will be in early June. I will have a table at Awesome Con in Washington DC the first weekend in June and will be debuting this group there, the online shop update will be immediately after that weekend.
One last thing, I want to try adding something a little new to my weekly updates. From time to time I am asked about what my influences are. While I sometimes have images I reference for when I have specific ideas (for instance, fungi pictures when I made Humi and images of Great Depression era children for the charcoal & oatmeal mimics), always my biggest influence is music. I like to think I have a fairly diverse musical palette. Anyway, I figured I would post the music I am currently playing while working to help give a better look at what is actively influencing the dolls being created.
This week I've been playing the soundtrack from The Wicker Man (the original, not the laughable Nicholas Cage remake). Specifically, Willow's Song has been on repeat quite a bit. It's such a feminine and beautiful song (although fairly naughty), one that just screams out "Spring" to me.
Because everything has been going so smoothly these past few weeks (insert sarcasm filter), almost down to the moment I finished up the mimics and started to take photographs my daughter came down with a fever. I was able to capture a few shots of the oatmeal mimic before illness struck. So, while I had announced the shop update for this Friday, I am going to push it back to Sunday the 20th.
Photographs of the others will be trickling in over the next couple of days.
I am finally nearing the finish line for this batch of mimics. I have the third one mostly wrapped up; I still need to finish her apron/over dress tonight. Oh, and of course the wig. I should be able to finish the fourth and final mimic over the weekend. So, stayed tuned as next week I will announce the shop update. The pricing will vary for each doll, but will range from $500 to $600 USD.
My daughter helped me take these photographs this morning. The dried beans were her edition. She is amazingly sweet with the dolls. She understands they are fragile and "mommy's work"; so while she is fascinated by them, she doesn't touch them. Instead she just hovers around them and soothingly coos at them as if they needed to be reassured. It warms my heart.
What a week... I am sewing my fingers off whenever I have a moment to do so in an attempt to have everything finished by next week. A number of sleepless nights due to toddler nightmares, a battle with a cold virus, and a horrific flare up of pain from TMJ has made my progress less than what I had hoped by the end of this week. I just cannot seem to "get it together" this winter. I am hopeful that spring will bring with it a little order and energy into my life.
Anyway, I have finished up one of the charcoal mimics (well, minus the wig). The stitching is a lot more time consuming than I had anticipated, however I think the effect has been worth all the effort. I have not scheduled anything for this weekend besides finishing up the other two, so I should still be on track for having everything finished and the ready to be posted for sale by the second week of March.
Also, as a side note, if you have e-mailed me over the last couple of months and I have not written you back, I will get on it sometime in the next week or two. I have the horrible habit of reading messages then answering them in my head, all the while neglecting to actually type out my response. When I am in the throes of working on pieces I tend to be even worse with this habit. So, once everything is finished and I have a little clarity I will set aside time to write everyone back.
Progress this week has moved so incredibly slowly. I finished the paint work on two more mimics, stained some fabric, finished up one set of limbs and nearly finished a second set. My little one is going through a lot of life changes this past month and it has rendered her understandably slightly more clingy than usual. Most of my time is being spent with her and when she finally falls asleep I have very little energy left for anything besides laying in my bed and staring off into space. My goal is to have the four mimics + three sprouting tuber ornaments finished and ready for a shop update by the first week in March. The threadbare doll I had started won't be finished by then, so I'll save finishing her for the following shop update in early June.
I had the goal of posting a blog update once a week; so far I have failed miserably. This winter has left me rather listless. The general malaise brought on by the nature of January mixed with recent hormone changes has created the perfect storm of stagnation. To be fair to myself, not total stagnation as I have made progress on the mimics - I just haven't felt like writing about it. I am slowly coming around and hope I can be a little more visible in the coming weeks.
I had five mimics cast; however, cold fingers + distraction led one to meet an untimely end with the concrete floor. Now there are four. The theme for this batch, which isn't so much a theme as a color scheme, is charcoal & oatmeal (which I believe I may have posted about already). I have one finished, well finished except for her hair - which, I suppose is a pretty critical part. This will be the only completely pale (or oatmeal) one. The rest will be on the dark side. Everything is hand stitched and embroidered, which took me quite a bit of time - longer than I had originally thought it would anyway.
In other news, another issue of the DC Conspiracy's comic newspaper, Magic Bullet, just came out and I have a story (illustrated by the talented Hobbes Holluck) featured in it. The piece is titled 'Verdun', and if you have any knowledge of The Great War, you should pick up on the strong influence that horrific and eye opening moment in history has recently had on me.
Last month I finally got around to creating a newsletter and number of people signed up. I went to send out my first letter this week and everything was gone from my account - my list and all of the subscribers. I am not entirely sure how it happened. However, I believe I have fixed the problem. I have created a new list and did a test run message and everything appears to be working properly now. So, if you had signed up please do so again - and I deeply apologize for the inconvenience. I'll be waiting til sometime next week to send out the January message to give people time to sign up again.
And if this is all fresh news to you, I've created a mailing list! I will be sending out a monthly message with an update of what I am working on as well as notifications of any upcoming events, publications, etc. Prior to a shop update I will send out a message with the update day & time as well as preview photos.
Well, the holidays are at last over and the dust has settled. The entire month of December is always such a blur for me. Every year I tell myself I'll have time to do all the things I want to, and it has yet to turn out that way. In all honestly I was not able to do very much work. Now that things are back to normal I have been able to roll up my sleeves again. With a new year comes new ideas and plans and a desire to restructure. In the past I've focused on making a small amount of pieces without any real schedule. Being the ultimate procrastinator, I don't think this system works well for me. I need a deadline. This year I will be setting deadlines for myself in the form of four set shop updates throughout the year. The first shop update will be sometime in mid-March. I'll set a specific day in early March. The following dates will be in June, September, and late November. All the pieces in the update will (more than likely) be within the same theme or color scheme. I will be posting lots of updates along the way so you can get a good idea what will be available well before the update.
...With that said, let me show you the beginnings of what will be in the March update...
I have continually received e-mails inquiring about the doll 'Dounia' that I made back in 2011. I understand her appeal; I have never been able to part with her. While I won't recreate any previous dolls that I've made (it would take away from the original being a one of a kind piece and it's just not enjoyable trying to recreate something I've already done), I have decided that the design of my current batch of mimics will use Dounia as a jumping off point. I am also pulling heavily from the overall atmosphere of this time of year and going with a color palette of oatmeal and charcoal. I have sculpted and molded a standard doll head for this batch of mimics. There are five mimics I am working on and one larger threadbare (she will measure about 18 inches). Enough chatter, on to pictures!
hand sewn & embroidered cloth limbs for the mimics
hand sewn & embroidered threadbare body