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Friday, January 25, 2013

Tutorial ~ How To Paint A Black Doll

I am working on my next pattern, a black doll! I thought I would snap some pictures while I was painting her and make it into a tutorial. It is always interesting to me how a doll's personality comes to life one step at a time. She really makes me laugh, I was thinking she may have a different look than she does, but these dolls just end up being who they want to be! This little black girl has the name of Belle, her pattern will be available very soon!

This is Belle sewn, stuffed and ready to be painted. She is made of muslin. Her features were drawn with black pen so they could easily be seen for sewing. Her nose, mouth and eyebrows are stuffed separately so they have dimension on her face. 
I first dampen the fabric by brushing on some water, this will help the paint to go on smoothly. I also thin the paint down with water so it will go on more like a wash and not heavy. The goal is to stain the fabric instead of putting on a thick layer of paint. 
Put two puddles of paint on a foam plate, one burnt umber and one black. Saturate a sea sponge with water and lightly ring out the excess water. 

Pounce your wet sponge in the burnt umber, dip only very small amount of black onto one small corner of your sponge. Pounce these colors so they mesh together. If you don't want your doll as black, just use burnt umber only. 
Now with an up and down pouncing motion apply the paint to your dolls face, neck and upper body. I will be leaving the arm area clear because it is easier to apply arms with no paint. As you can see there is mostly brown with jut a hint of black.
Her skin is coming along nicely! I will admit, she is looking a bit scary too!
Your plate helps you to see how the colors are going to come off!
Now that she is painted, I speed the process of drying up by using my heat gun.

Now that she is dry, I am taking a piece of 400 grit sandpaper and sanding Belle's face to give her a worn look. I like to sand more on the nose, eyebrows and mouth to give the face more dimension. I also like to sand above the eyes, below the eyes or wherever the face needs highlights. By sanding above the eyes, it will be easier to define eyelids later.
Her is Belle sanded and ready for painting. First we must place our eyes and then draw the pattern on.
For this doll I cut the eyes out of card stock to use as my template. Find the position you like for your first eye and hold in place with a straight pin. I took a black pen and drew around the first eye.
Here you can see the outline of the eye I drew in. Now I measure with my caliper the width from the inside of the first eye to help place my second eye correctly. 
I am also checking to see if the width from the eyebrow to the top of the eye measures the same as the first eye. Once positioned correctly I trace around eye number 2.
Here you see both eyes drawn in and ready for paint.
I used a warm white to fill in the eyes, bright white would be too much on a dark doll.
I know at this point she is looking a bit strange! Fill in the Iris with a brown such as autumn brown. 
Like spokes on a bike tire, use a liner brush and make lines in burnt umber, white and green starting  from the inside and out toward the edges. All this fine detail work is done wearing an opti visor, this  fits on your head and magnifies your work so you can see it close up!
Here I have loaded a small flat brush in burnt umber and added some shading around the outer edges of the eyes and directly under each eyelid. Adding the shadows under the eyelids is important, it takes that wide eyed stare away and looks more natural. 
I have added the black pupils, added a float of black (lightly) under the eyelids. I did not think they were dark enough. I also added a float of straight black above the eyes to define eyelids. I painted the inside corners of each eye with red iron oxide. I added a float of black around the nose to make it pop a bit. Anywhere you want to make a feature pop, you can also take a liner brush and line it. I did this with the nose, mouth and eyes. I also added white highlights in each eye.
They do not show up too well on the black, but I did add some eyelashes. I made them more heavy than normal so they would show up. 
I have mixed heritage brick and red iron oxide for the blush. I have my medium scruffy brush ready to apply the cheek and mouth color. Dip a dry brush into the paint puddle and swirl most of the paint off onto a paper towel until most of it is gone. You can either apply the color to a dry cheek or put a light sheen of antiquing medium on first to help the color come off softly.
Here is Belle with a little color on her cheeks and lips. Her personality is emerging! I also added two coats of 3D Crystal lacquer to each eye and a single light coat to the lips. This adds some realistic shine!

She is ready for the rest of her body and some hair. 

Here she is all finished with all kinds of crazy cork screw hair. Isn't she a funny little thing? :-) 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Buttermilk Creek Farm Facebook Giveaway!

Carol's facebook giveaway has been going on for awhile but I do not think it is too late to go to her page and enter the drawing for this adorable bunny! Just go to and like her page!

Carol's work is simply wonderful... how do I know? Well I own several pieces myself. She uses only the best fabrics and her detail work is perfect!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pattern Available

I know I have posted a picture of this bunny before, but I wanted you all to know that I have it available as a pattern now. I got this ready to submit for the May Prim's issue and figured I would go ahead and offer the pattern to everyone. This is Emma... Clover's sister!

 It is basically the same as Clover's pattern but with a completely different head, ears and a slightly different apron. The head is a 4 piece round head construction and the ears are wired. Because this is closely the same as my Clover pattern, I am offering it at a special price! It can be purchased for only 4.00. I am doing this so anyone who already bought Clover can try this version without having to spend full pattern price.

I will be getting myself in pattern creating gear soon! After Christmas laziness is officially over! LOL I am trying to decide what I may want to create, what I am thinking is possibly a chicken, raggedy ann or a black doll. We shall see! 

I do hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Well here we are it is mid January and yes I have been missing in blog land. I realized today that at least I am consistent, I get the January blues every year at this time. I don't know what it is, but it happens without fail. The good news is that eventually it passes and I do perk up. I think the holiday activities end and then the full cold winter weather sets in, then here comes the January funk. I am certain I am not alone here, am I? What do the January blues look like? I don't even know if I can explain it, I just have no enthusiasm or ambition for awhile. I let things go like my blog, emails, housework. I can't concentrate in the craft room, I walk in, fiddle a bit on something and then walk out. I will snap out of this, I have patterns and hand made goodies to create. 

What have I been doing up until now? Well January started out with a bang, first my hubby got sick and then 4 days later it hit me. I am at the tail end of it now, but this has not helped to set the stage for a productive month so far. Laying on the couch with my tissue box was mostly what was happening. Ha! I just the other day finally had the energy to at least get all my Christmas decor from the main level to my upstairs storage, I still need to put it all away in it's proper spots however. 

This is the first year I am having to deal with tax stuff for my home business. I am not great with  paper work and mostly don't understand it. I finally got my excise tax return done after several calls to the IRS, yes I know that is pathetic but I did finally get it done. Oh but the fun is not over! I now am tackling inventory for the Schedule C I will need to submit for taxes. Hmmmm how does one inventory over 20 years worth of crafting supplies.... I think the word nightmare applies here. Oh but I am being a good girl and documenting everything I have... yep I may still be doing inventory by the time taxes are due April, but I am determined to get this done. I seriously am kicking myself for buying so much stuff!!! I do think this is putting a cramp in my being able to relax and start creating, I feel I cannot move on until I tackle this huge elephant in the room. I haven't mentioned that I have no idea how to fill this thing out, that will be my next problem or possible a call to our tax accountant will be in order. 

I have also been writing my article for the Prim's publication I will be in this May. I am struggling a little bit with it, but I will get it done. I have until Feb. 1st to submit it. I will also be offering the pattern for my bunny for submission as well. I am truly excited about this!

The weather here is something in the likeness of the North Pole. The snow is beautiful for awhile, but one does get tired of this icy world and longs for Spring to come. We have been in the teens and 20's, now that is cold! My dogs are not sure that going potty in this weather is anything they should have to be subjected too. Good thing they can't talk! We have our snow through February and sometimes into March. I really do miss seeing color after the winter is over, to see green grass again is amazing! Look at this beautiful picture!! I think it is breathtaking.

For the past 4 years I have worked part time in a coffee and books shop. The economy has finally put the death knell to my job. My very sweet boss had to let me go so she could run the shop with as little overhead as possible. This has been a mental adjustment for me, but it will be okay, just sad is all. I live out in the county, have very few neighbors so getting out was good mental therapy. I am a little concerned about being isolated and perhaps a bit lonely, but I will just have to work on that. God opens doors and then he can close them just as fast. Who knows what is in store for the future! 

I do look forward to the new year and it's possibilities. My goal is to create more patterns than I did last year! I also would like to get more hand made items actually done and for sale as well. I launched my pattern line February of 2012, I am pleased with the way they have been received so far! I am enjoying sharing my patterns with the creative community. To all my customers... Thank You! 

Here is a crafting tip I'll share with you. If you want to add sparkle to your painted eyes... brush on two coats of 3D crystal lacquer and see them shine. I love how this adds more life to the eyes. 

Because I have had so much time to watch tv. I have discovered a wonderful series called Once Upon A Time. I watched the whole first season on netflix and am caught up now. It is on every Sunday evening. This is so addicting and such a good show! I am amazed that there is anything still out there that is just good entertainment and nothing else. 

I will sign off now, I realize that this was a long post and a risky one for possibly boring you all to death so I'll finish it. 


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year!

Christmas is over and a new year is upon us! How did Christmas come and go so darned fast? There is always a bit of sadness for me when the festivities come to an end and all is quiet again. My home was alive with visits from friends and family, baking, Christmas lights and happy holiday songs! The highlight for me was having my two sons home, it reminds me of how much I miss the old days of having them around all the time. Life marches on though and there is no holding back time.

The most wonderful gift I recieved was from my hubby, he replaced my wedding band with a beautiful new ring! My old band had lost it's diamond about three years ago and I have not had a ring since. I am happy to be wearing a ring again! The other gift I got was an after Christmas COLD! As I write this the stack of tissues is growing like a mountain beside me. Oh well, this too shall pass...

I just got my latest pattern done, my first for 2013! I tried to finish this before the Holidays were over but it just wasn't going to happen with all the busy stuff going on around here. Better late than never. This pattern is now available on my website. The actual handmade Santa and reindeer will be for sale this month on PFATT  Marketplace on the 10th.

These little guys are about 9 - 10" tall and could be ornaments, bowl fillers or wall hangers. In my pattern you will learn my trick for preparing and applying Santa's beard. You will also learn how to make nifty reindeer antlers.

I see I need to get on the ball and change my blog background from Christmas to something else! There just doesn't seem to be enough time in a day. 

I hope the new year brings you many new opportunities! May the Lord open our eyes to find the blessings even if small in each new day. Let us not focus on what's wrong, but what is good, lovely and true. Gather the blessings of the day like a harvest, and see how full your basket ends up being by days end!

Thank you for stopping by...


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