Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Pirate Doll for Benjamin

This is Jessica's son, Benjamin. She wants to give him a pirate doll! I started work on his pirate a couple of days ago.

After I cut out and sewed the body, I made the inner head using tubular bandage and crochet thread. Then I sewed on his golden skin covering, and attached the head to the stuffed body. This part of doll making is like petting a porcupine for me. I frequently jab myself because of the tricky sewing in the creases of the neck.

Wool is one of the reasons waldorf dolls are so pleasant to make and so wonderful to cuddle. Because waldorf dolls are stuffed with wool, they warm up when you hold them. Some of my nieces say their dolls keep them warm at night.

Here is what the assembled doll looked like. I enjoy commissioned doll work. I like thinking about the child for whom I am making a doll.

Using a doll needle, I embroidered the face with cotton, and the hair with mohair. I was thinking about Benjamin's sweet little face while making the face of his pirate buddy. I was also thinking about Jessica, who had surgery today.

Once his hair was finished and his cheeks pinked up with non-toxic German blush, he came alive.

I suggested ears with the shape of his hair. I like to embroider the hair in a way which suggests real hair and the way it grows.

I have two sons, so I know all about cowlicks.

Here he is, ready for some clothes!

Yo, ho, ho!

I wrap my dolls in tissue paper before shipping, and tie boy dolls with hemp string and an acorn cap or two. Girl dolls get a flower.

This cheerful little pirate will be on his way to meet Benjamin tomorrow!

Jessica's blog is Foursquare Schoolhouse. Send her a word of encouragement!

Friday, January 29, 2010


It is bitterly cold outside today, and I am grateful for my warm and cozy home.

For knitting by the fire,

For a comfy place to read new library books, and a very lovable child to read them with,

for salty, hot popcorn,

for steaming hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows,

and for that warm feeling inside that all this goodness gives us.

We are cozy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Make a Jumping Jill

This little toy will teach your child how a cartoon is made. All you need is scissors, paper, tape, and some pens or a pencil.

Trace four circles which are all the same size.

Now draw Jumping Jill. It is perfectly fine to use stick figures. Jill is doing jumping jacks. There are three positions. There is a transitional position, with arms out to the side the and feet slightly apart, followed by arms up and feet wide apart, a second transitional position, and the last position, in which Jill's arms are down and her feet are together.

To make all the Jills the same size, I used the window for tracing.

Now fold all the circles in half lengthwise, and

tape them together like so.

Add a pencil as a handle and tape the paper to the pencil.

To see Jill do jumping jacks, twirl the pencil slowly between your hands. Jill will start to go! You made a little cartoon!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Punkin and Sweetie Pie

This is Punkin.

This is Sweetie Pie.

They are Patchy Dolls I recently put in my on-line store. I'm selling them separately. Punkin and Sweetie Pie's names are favorite endearments in my family.

Their favorite word is Zeeble. We don't know what it means, but each time they say it, they laugh.

This is what they do when they are supposed to be napping.

This is what they do when one of them gets hurt.

They have a lot of trouble sharing, though. I saw them them play well together for a few minutes today. Maybe they should stay together as twins, I was thinking, when suddenly,

Sweetie Pie hid the ball.


Sweetie Pie!

I guess I will keep them separated as planned......

Update: Punkin has found a home with Imene and Layla!!!!!! Hooray!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Cookout

It was cold, but not too cold. The sun was shining. My boy had a day of school vacation. It was a perfect day for a winter cookout.

We put on our warmest clothes. The boys collected extra dry sticks for the campfire. Sometimes even collecting sticks can be a big adventure.

My friend was the campfire meister. Everyone wanted to help.

We set up camp around our favorite chimney in the park.

We were all very hungry, so we made a skillet of hot beans to eat while we cooked hot dogs.

Then...s'mores! S'mores are a sticky American campfire favorite. You roast a marshmallow and squish it between two layers of graham cracker with a piece of Hershey's chocolate. It all melts together, and ends up all over the children's little mouths and fingers.

The boys chopped ice from the lake to put out the fire.

I can't wait to have another winter cookout!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Visit To My Studio

I'm doing some experiments in the studio using Caran D'Ache crayons, acrylic, color-aid paper, pastel, watercolor pencil, lead pencil, and more. Landscape is nudging its way into my art. I think that's interesting. I love looking at landscapes, but have never liked drawing them. I think it is because of the Beautiful Place. To see the Beautiful Place, scroll down to my recent posting, Icy Walk.

I haven't used Caran D'Ache much, but I love their slippery waxy texture, and the way you can use water with them.

These are the lead artist's colored pencils I love to use for drawing portraits.

Here is a commissioned portrait I finished before Christmas. You can click on the title of this post to see my Disguises Project, a series of portraits of children wearing costumes.

There is something so tantalizing about the two layers of colorful watercolor pencils in this set below. I get excited every time I open the black metal box and touch the shiny pencils.

These acrylics are nice and juicy and easy to move around with the brush.

I like way used palettes look. Usually I just use aluminum foil on a dish, just like my grandfather did.

This is the first pastel I have done for about eight years. I have been working with artist's colored pencils all this time with great intensity. As I worked on this painting, I was thinking about seaside landscapes and bioluminescence. I felt very happy. I love pastel. I've missed it.

Here are my wonderful Sennelier soft pastels. If I change my mind about a color I have painted in hard pastel, I can cover it with the buttery Sennelier soft pastels.

I hope this makes you want to get out some art supplies and make something!

Copyright 2010 Beth Curtin Please help me protect my art. Don't copy.