A little blog about the life of a somewhat lost dreamer....looking for my grace in this crazy world.

07 February 2016

So, you remember the photo I left you with last week? 

This is what I did with that...

First, I tore her apart...

Then I tried using acetone to remove her painted on face, but that didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped it would (or as others have made it seem), but that's ok, I have plans that I think will overcome this problem.

I spread white glue in her hair and arranged it, securing it with clear rubber bands to hold it until it dried.

In the meantime, I scuffed the very smooth surface of the cage I had found at Lowe's (they always look at me with a puzzled face when they ask if they can help me find something and I tell them I am looking for doll parts).

The plastic boobs were just a bit too prominent for what I wanted, so I decided to use strips of book pages to create a bit of a covering.

And kept adding strips as covering and to widen the hips a bit... then I covered her arms as well.  Since I had used text on the body I also covered the outside of the cage with the same strips to bring continuity to it.

A few coats of an off white paint, and a wee bit of antiquing, some twigs from the dogwood tree sprayed with the same paint,  a heart full of bling that I had bought on clearance...

A pair of wings and a halo that were part of a Christmas ornament I had taken apart, some paper beads, and a coat or two of a polymer acrylic to protect all that paint, and here is what I ended up with.

I have to admit, I had expected this to take very little time, I mean, I was just going to glue things together and spray it all, but it took a great deal longer than I had expected her to.

Originally, I had created her for the exchange with the Facebook group, but that swap has been delayed since only four had signed up. I'm not sure that I'm going to participate in the swap now, but I'm going to have lunch with a friend and her mother this afternoon, so I think I'm going to abandon her while I'm out.  

Now, a couple of questions, does anyone know what that cage is technically called?  Even the folks at Lowe's couldn't tell me.  And, anyone have tips for removing the color from doll faces?

31 January 2016

On hold this week...

It's been a week.  Some has been bad, a co-worker went home after work and found her husband had passed away (unexpectedly), so there was great loss.  My credit card was apparently compromised (they caught it before it went through), so there was a sense of frustration.  But, my children visited, so there was also great joy. 

Here they are doing their best "American Gothic" imitations.  One of them obviously failing at it, but having a great time.

It's impossible to put into words how much I love these guys.

There's also something on the table though, so I'll be back next week with the outcome.  Hope all of you had creative and productive weeks!

24 January 2016

So...did you know this was a thing?

A couple of months ago I was invited to join a group on Facebook called "Altered Egos". It's a unique bunch, a talented one, that hosts all sorts of exchanges...or, swaps.  I've signed up to participate in a Spirit Doll Swap (done), a Winter Themed Ribbon Doll (sending as soon as the snow abates), an Altered Heart swap (don't know my partner yet) and a Santos Cage Doll (still a bit off).

Last week another exchange was posted... an altered mouse trap swap.  Seriously?  An altered mouse trap?  Who in the world would have thought of that?  Apparently, a great many folks, just search Pinterest or google it to see.  I'd never heard of such a thing.

Ever up for an adventure though, and knowing that there would be no work on Friday (it was already called due to the expected storm), I dropped by WalMart to grab a mouse trap.  They seem to be packaged in groups of four, and I think they were a whopping $2.00.

Honestly, I'd never seen this sort of a mouse trap up close.  I have had a couple of traps, but they were the catch and release sort, and they don't look anything like this.  There are a lot of little pieces that make up a mouse trap, some of them that really didn't seem like they'd be of much use to me for this project, so the first thing I needed to do was strip the trap.

Here it is naked.  Notice I didn't take off that huge spring...I was afraid I'd never get it back on there if I did.  The other pieces were easy enough to remove, they're basically just heavy wire bent and pounded into the wood (thin, very thin, pine wood).  It's worth mentioning that these things snap.  Hard.  I might have yelled ouch more than once while I was learning this particular lesson.  So, let me share some of the things I learned and the outcome of my very first altered mouse trip.

First thing I did was look around to see what I had on hand that I could use.  A bit of decorative papers, a set of wings, a set of legs and arms (I often make several sets of arms and legs at a time just so I'll have some waiting just for this sort of project).  Once these things were assembled I figured I could find whatever else I needed. (That's code for "I have no idea what I'm doing and have no plan".)

I did paint the face, and created a wee painting to use somewhere on the trap. And, I found that the binder clips are great for holding that bar that snaps... a really good thing since I only have two hands and really needed three for this project.

These things are really kinda small, I measured them to cut papers for each side and one for the back.  Regardless of my careful measuring, I had to do trim work once the papers were glued down.  It took some work to get the paper under that wire that is to the right of the R up there, I could have used a fourth hand, but instead used a pair of old scissors to wedge under there to slide the paper in.

When everything was glued into place I watered some black paint down and used a make up sponge to distress the edges of the trap and the papers glued to it.  Then I bent a bit of brass wire and used it to create a hanger/halo through some of the holes in the trap that had originally housed a loop of wire.

Well, check it out, now I have a mouse trap covered in decorative paper. This is just about the time where I was shaking my head wondering what in the world I was doing with this, yet I soldiered on.

I glued the wee painting on it, added some of the pieces back (I thought they might support the head I planned to use), painted the legs and arms rather decoratively.

Added things, took them away, tried a few other things, kept some, hated others, and finally, when I was relatively happy, put it all together.  This is what I got... a mouse trap altered into an art doll.  Sorta cool, huh?

You know me though, one is not enough...so I made another...

This time I knew a bit more about what I would need, so the gathering was much easier.

Pretty much the same process.  Still ended up trimming the paper even if I did measure carefully.

This time a crown was involved instead of wings.
This was the first time I'd used Aleen's Super Gel... was not impressed.

In the end though, she makes me giggle. (Yes, she does say "God save the Queen".  I woke up with that running in my head when I was finishing her up.)

And here we have it... sisters.  Both make me giggle.  Not bad for a first attempt I think.  Now I need to try some that are altered, but not into dolls, wonder what they'll turn out like?  For now I guess I'd best go sign up for the Altered Mouse Trap Swap, it seems like something I can pull off. 

If you guys are interested in participating, come check out the group.  It's a closed group, but we'll be happy to send you an invite...

17 January 2016

Finally, something begun...

It's been a busy and very long week.  Work is crazy, but it always is this time of the year, and that seems to sap my creative energy.  I did manage to get a few things in though.  I read a couple of books and I created some little worlds...

I found some glass globes with large openings, and when in the country I gathered several sorts of moss, and tucked them into the globes with some tiny stones and a few wee succulents. Crossing my fingers that they will grow.

I mailed off a spirit doll that I created for a swap, and received on in exchange. I forgot to take a photo though.  Did a bit of sewing, and am thinking about trying to stitch up a quilt.  They are such a commitment that they scare me though, so I'm on the fence about that.

I did begin a new painting though...

After MANY layers of paint, the background looked like this.  After that, nothing came so I sat it aside for a couple of days.  Last night more happened...

I am in awe of folks who sit down with a plan when it comes to painting.  It doesn't work that way for me. When I want to paint I grab a canvas and begin, whatever comes...comes.

I'm not at all sure where this one is going, or if it will even go, in the end I may layer more paint over here and come up with something entirely new.  My energy is very fickle right now so we'll have to wait and see I guess.

What sort of a method do all you creative types out there use to create?  Do you plan, or do you allow it to just happen...or something in between?

10 January 2016

So, here we are with the first full week of January 2016 under our belts.  My accomplishments... not many.  Unless you count how many books I've read... then I'm up to seven for the year.  I've suddenly become very fond of Ken Follett.

I have a new laptop that I STILL do not understand...Windows 10 is a whole new thing, and, while it has its good points, there is so much I cannot seem to do that I could with Windows 8.  My desk is a mess (nothing new there though, right?), and I still feel sort of a stranger in this new space of mine. However, I have discovered that lots and lots of folks think nothing of hanging out in their pj's in the neighborhood... not entirely sure what to make of that.

Last week was the first full week back to work, and it seemed excessively long, but then again, those first weeks back always do.

I did not win the lottery.  Sigh...

As far as creating, let's see...  I've joined a group over on Facebook that does creative swaps, so I've finished a "junk doll", a ribbon doll, and I've just finished setting intentions on a spirit doll and will now be finishing up a Santos cage doll.  Good thing I've "got" to do these things, because my creative mojo just has not yet shown up.  It must have run off to some warmer and sunnier clime...

Up until today we've had a relatively warm, even if often bleak, winter, but the coldness has descended and there is a dusting of snow on the ground, so I think I'll make a big old pot if soup today... maybe finish the book I'm reading... wait for the mojo to return.

What are y'all up to out there?

03 January 2016

Another new year...

Well, it's here, 2016.  My hiatus is done, a new year is here filled with possibilities.  I've taken the practice of choosing a new word for a new year.  Last year my word was "ME".  My plan was to concentrate on me more, take a class or two, maybe teach a class or two, work on my art, maybe go someplace I'd not yet been.

It didn't work out so well.

In February, just about six months after my father died, I had to have my sweet boy Joey put down.  In May my niece took more of a turn for the worse and she spent a few days with me.  She had good days and bad days after that, but the cancer finally won and we buried her in November.  And, just to toss a cherry on the top, in October I moved.

Honestly, I feel as though I've barely had time to breathe much less really recover from all of it.  I was thinking about all of this a few weeks ago and a voice in my head said that it was time to heal. (Sometimes those voices are pretty darn perceptive.)  So my word for 2016 is heal...

This year I need to heal from all the heartache, all the loss, all of the sadness.  I'm going to be working on regaining my balance and aligning my north again.

What are your goals for 2016?  Do you choose a word, or do you make resolutions?  Or do you have another way that works for you?

I'll be posting on the blog once each week, on Sundays (probably more often on Facebook), and I'll look forward to sharing my path with those who care to accompany me for part of it.  I'll look forward to seeing you all then...

15 October 2015

ACreativeDream...the re-boot...

Hello Everyone,

When I created this blog several years ago I don't know that I would be writing so long. During the past couple of years I've had a great many major life happenings and I haven't been able to keep up with it as I should.  I'm ready now to begin again, not on a daily basis, but more of a weekly one.

But, I want a whole new "feel" for this.  So, to that end, I will be closing the blog for a bit so I can redesign it.  I'll be back on January 1, 2016.

Many thanks for following, and I hope I get to see all of you in the new year!



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