Taking a break with Little Meggie

Taking a break from poppets and sketching because my Little Meggie Kick Spindle is here! This is what I asked my dear husband for, in addition to a cook book, for Mother's Day. This little baby makes spinning super easy for me, especially when the lil' 4-yr-old is kicking the spindle. In fact it was so funny I kinda lost the hang of it when she went away because I got spoiled.

DD and I took out the wax I ordered from the same vendor and rubbed her till she shined. Ah, nothing like live wood glow! She is made of oak and I'll try and get better pics when the sun is shining outside. She spins nicely with a soft whirring sound. I have yet to name her.

Our first try.

for size reference.

And the next roving up for spinning, along with my solution for keeping it from moving around too much -- shelf liner!

Thanks to Jan of Heavenly Handspinning. Visit her website: heavenlyhandspinning.com and her Etsy store (where I bought the kick spindle and the lovely wood polish. I love it on my hands too by the way!) You can follow her on Facebook and Ravelry too! I did. ;)



More Silly

This week was finals week. I had a paper and two exams in three days, and after recuperating on Thursday I can now try to catch up. I plan to do one old worksheet and the current day's one until I'm current.

Here is 4.2, before and after:

and worksheet 4.8:

and what the back yard looks like:



Celestine Poppet Chooses her Hair

Celestine Poppet was born this April and consumed my life for an hour or so every night a quite a few afternoons for almost a month. Her post is here, on Craftster.org . She was made for Squire_Inaria for the Plethora of Poppets Swap. Here is what Squire says about the swap package she got in the Plethora Swap's Gallery.

I'll elaborate more if anyone wants, but I just wanted to show you a couple of pics regarding my hair process. Seems I always get hung up on the hair. :)

<-Here she is without hair. Her eyes came clear and I painted them with iridescent pearl nail polish. Her glitter eyelashes are from the drugstore.

I envisioned her masquerading as a moon goddess so since she was already bright as the moon I thought that maybe her hair should be dark like a cloud or the night sky:
<- I love blue. Somehow I always start with blue. This is a thick and thin single ply yarn that was sent to me along with a poppet I received for a swap last year. I believe it came with Alice. Although I love the look, it wasn't right for the theme. So next I try silvery hair.

<- Straight or curly? Up or down? This is Lion Brand Glitterspun, a soft metallic yarn in silver. I use pins to simulate how the hair might be attached. She tried it on twice - once while wearing my Pink poppet's white lace dress and again after the night sky gown was done. With a flower in her hair even! She was almost sold on it. *sigh*

Close but not quite. While I am waiting for my wool locks to arrive in the mail, I try to spin up a solution. This is a white roving that I received with my spinning kit that I received in a DIY kit last year. It is actually a wonderful creamy white, spun thick and thin then plyed with silver thread:
<- note that this is my first ever handspun, done on a bottom whorl drop spindle. I only did a little bit and actually sent it along with the doll for the swap. I'll have to make more as I really love it, especially with the bit of sparkle from the silver thread. I do like her in it, as it gives her a soft glowy feeling it felt a little too warm earthy/lovey/mother-y and not moon/night/cold silver light-enough, so that didn't fly.

When the box from Shepherd's Lane came I couldn't eat dinner fast enough! I had to try on a bunch of locks straight out of the box. Just for fun, the blue... ooh so glam!

Then down to real business.
<-here on her right is the Miss Priss. I chose the shortest of the locks. They are a shimmery white and darken to a creamy gold at the tips. I thought that would be choice #1. On her left is Silverado's silky. It was amazingly silky, and so silvery! (Silverado also has a darker shorter lock from a different area on his body. I'll have to order some of that because I LOVE these - sooo soft and full!)

<- here is the natural lincoln locks. I love these! In fact another doll artist used these from the same vendor on one of her sculpted dolls and she was beautiful. If she wasn't a moon goddess I'd have said ok. It had great color, perfect length and the thickness of each lock made for a chunky texture that I really liked.

In the end, we went with Silverado. Here it is down, front view and back. I soooo love her hair down but you can't go to a ball with your hair Down, you need an Updo. The last pic is with her hair up. I used 4 bobby pins to hold it in place, and put in a mother-of-pearl button comb that I made as an accent.

We took a family pic before she left us. L-R: Alice & Hatter (received from swap partners), Celestine, Violet & Pink (fka Kat).

Hope you enjoyed that little side-trip into my process.


I will be silly.

Yes, I will. Join me, will you?

"The Art of Silliness 4," an Online Drawing Workshop with Carla Sonheim.

Here's the first day's worksheet:

My turtle on coffee:
My turtle trying to stay awake:
My turtle at the end of the day:

29 more glorious silly-full days. So much fun!

Baa baa black sheep....

Have you any wool? I do!
I've been thinking about using wool locks for doll hair for a long while and I finally sucked it up and went for it. One of the best things I ever did!

I ordered from a new vendor, enticed by the locks of a Wensleydale sheep called Miss Priss. They are long, white and lustrous. They are Amazing. I kid you not:

The would make awesome hair I thought. It took 14 days. No, it was not coming from some foreign country. Shepherd's Lane is in Lebanon, OR. It's just that sometimes the postal service likes to take a while. :P Suffice to say I was dying. Meanwhile the owner Joy and I had some nice conversations by convo. Very nice and helpful lady!

When the box came, I was at work, so I didn't know it was there till after dinner. I carefully opened it and marveled. Here is the box, bursting after I cut the tape! You can see Miss Priss' locks on top, marked with yellow locks.

I thought I would be all about the Miss Priss. They are truly amazing, but in the end I was captivated by the silky locks of Silverado. They are soooo silky and silvery, from dark silver grey to lighter tips. I looove them! I also got natural colored Lincoln locks because I loved the colors. I tried all three on my newest doll (the reason I bought the locks in the first place).
<- Left to right: wensleydale "Miss Priss", natural lincoln locks, wensleydale "Silverado" silky.

<- Here I am putting on the natural Lincoln locks. On her left she is wearing the Silverado's silky. In the end she said she'd like Silverado's silky locks please!

<- washed wool samples. I love the colors on the right, but I love the feel of the wensleydale.

<- I also got some great samples of rovings and Marley's locks. I LOVE these little dark locks - Definitely need a doll with these locks!

<- At the last minute I purchased green and blue locks too. These are very short, but cute! I see a vision of a mermaid growing in my head!

I'll be shopping again soon! Thank you so much Joy! Please visit her shop Shepherd's Lane and tell her I said HI!


The Lauhala Experiment Pt. 5

The last few leaves, and some steps of processing!
<-Here I am, straightening leaves on the edge of my table. I start at the base and pull while holding the leaf down with a damp cloth, till I get the tip.... then turn over and do the other side. And then do that a couple more times till the midrib softens. Below is before and after the first pass.

I will still have to strip out the midrib before I strip the leaves prior to weaving. Below-left is a bamboo stripper hand-made by my kumu's father. Below-right is the one leaf I stripped. Great care has to be taken to remove as little leaf as possible because the best part of the leaf is next to the midrib. The thickness of the leaf decreases as you get near the edge, so the edges are usually discarded.

Below are pics so you can see that the "right" side is the shiny upper side of the leaf, and the "wrong" side is the dull underside.

And the final product.... I arranged them by width. And now, what shall we make?

The clothespins are so they don't unravel. I removed them before they left an imprint on the leaf. They are waiting in a brown paper bag in the garage.


The Lauhala Experiment Pt. 4 - Hoike!

We went to the Prince Kuhio Day Parade in Waikiki, and Ho`ike`ike at Kapi`olani Park. The kids love parades, and I went to visit my Lauhala group in the cultural craft booth.

<- the Weavers!

We came away with a fish - my second ever project! My first ever lauhala craft was a bracelet long ago at a Summer Fun Program. Have to dig that up to post!


The Lauhala Experiment Pt. 3

I had sick kids at home, and I had to go to work, so the lau (leaves) had to wait.

The next day, first thing after coffee, I was out in the garage. The water in the bucket went from crystal clear to darker than my cuppa joe. It's very tiring on your hands, especially your thumb. You run the wet cloth down the length, wiping with your thumb in the middle groove. Wipe, rinse. Wipe, rinse. This cleans the leaf and softens it for rolling at the same time.
<- note water before. See last pic for water after.

Kumu said they were relatively clean, considering. I had a handful that just had to go straight to the water house, there were so many ants and junk! It took several hours just the first day. I did ten leaves. Ten. See how tiny my roll is?

Here is the bundle before starting, on day 1 on the left, and before starting on day 2 on the right. Not a dent, baby, not a dent. *sigh*

It took a little more than 4 days of several hours each to finish. I am slow. And I have 2 kids running around. Even after I threw out about a dozen leaves that were too old and brittle to withstand the cleaning, flattening and rolling. I didn't have anything suitable to flatten, so I ran it over the edge of my table.

Here is end of day 2:

One more day.


The Lauhala Experiment Pt. 2

I can never say no. So when they said, "wanna come pick?" I said sure, before I even knew when or where. Of course it had to be 7am on a weekday, out in Kapolei (45 minutes away). That's not so bad, you say? I is when I normally wake up at 8 or 9, and everything is no more than 15 minutes away, if that.

So we met at Starbucks in Kapolei, and the 5 of us carpooled over to a grove of hala trees to "clean the tree" and gather leaves.

After only a couple of hours of hot sweaty dirty work, we cleaned up our mess and loaded up the truck to take it to the kumu's house (kumu = teacher). I thought we were done, but I got invited to the house to learn how to clean, flatten and roll the leaves. Oh boy, it's 9am and I work at 2... Sure! So we go back to Starbucks to get my car and drive to Wahiawa. It's only at the end of the freeway, only 20 minutes away. Which makes it more than an hour from home. Hm.

Kumu has a great place, with a large driveway for working on cleaning leaves. We had cut the ends off at the grove, so all's we need is to clean, de-bone (or not, your choice. Definitely yes if we were working with the thorned variety - thorns on the spine and both edges of the leaf.) and roll the leaves to sit and wait for the next step. We use a home-made bamboo tool to strip/de-bone, made by kumu's father. After a few leaves, kumu gives a tour of her yard and her hala trees, then I bow out gracefully. She hands me a bundle of leaves to take home - she tells me "practice cleaning... so look like you did something today".

And the pics:
The thorned variety... Aunty says they are stronger to weave with.

The beginner's tree. Thornless. Three of us cleaned it. Still took forever. Next time will be easier. Kumu says, go every 3 weeks, not every 3 months, it stays clean and you don't have to work so hard.

Our mess. We pick up fallen leaves, and pull the brown leaves from the tree. Eeew... dirt, bugs, gecko eggs, ants, roaches. Thankfully no centipedes today. I can't stand centipedes.

One bundle. This one has more than just string around because it has razor sharp THORNS!

Aunty's truck, loaded up. See the orange construction barrier? best thing for wrapping leaves in!

Sorry no pics from kumu's house - my phone died. Along with my built in camera and GPS. *sigh* I need a charger for the Wrangler! I finally left around 11:30 and was home in just over an hour.