Wednesday 23 November 2016

Alcohol Ink and ProMarker Compact - PaperArtsy Challenge

It's been an odd few days and I only got back from my normal weekend of looking after Mum yesterday. I arrived on Saturday morning to find an ambulance on the driveway; my worst nightmare. Mum had been found unconscious with a head injury, her bed not slept in. My legs went from under me as I got out of the car. I went with her in the ambulance to Kingston Hospital A and E, a year to the day since the fifteen days I spend there ending in David's death. I had been wondering how I would get through this difficult weekend and this sure distracted me. I didn't want any other family members to have to be there with me, especially my sister in law. Five hours later we are heading home, with my adored Mum very chipper and looking forward to some decent grub.

I couldn't believe that I still managed to go out with Julie Ann as planned on Monday. It meant I could be with Mum first thing and stay the night with her, and she had care all day. We had a wonderful day together, visiting the brand new Great Art superstore in Shoreditch, which is a very interesting area of London. We had a delicious lunch of avocado and chilli on toast in a steamy cafe and cake in the afternoon, and I had palpitations stroking the pencils in the shop. It was such a normalising day after a traumatic time, and a great tonic to see lovely Julie Ann as you can imagine. I had nightmares last night and Colin had to wake me up from them twice, but I'm glad I made myself go out for the day. Sometimes you have to.

So, back at the 'art'. I bought a couple of those compacts that have two mirrors inside, one of them magnifying. I dabbed alcohol inks on in Wild Plum, Shell Pink, Purple Twilight, Eggplant, Currant, and Raspberry, and a little blending solution. I stamped the Lynne Perrella images and added a little colour with alcohol based promarkers and die cut. I then added resin which in fact was the epoxy resin Darcy had tried out for us some time ago from Poundland. Thanks Darcy! It does smell of fish though! It reminded me of Mum getting me to feed the neighbour's cat. Not that I feed her with superglue, that would be cruel.

I am hoping these will be good Christmas presents. They don't smell of fish now they are set hard. Honest.

Mum has no recollection at all of falling, or anything at all that happened on Saturday. So I will hold one of these mirrors up so she can see her bonce. She is not tall enough to reach any of the mirrors in the house. She thinks I have made it all up. Honestly I have better things to do.

I am entering these into the PaperArtsy alcohol inks challenge.

Thursday 27 October 2016

Stampbord Mirror - PaperArtsy Squares and Grids Challenge

A great challenge over on PaperArtsy with some great inspiration so far! I thought I would make something that would be useful and I needed a mirror for my dressing table at Mum's, you know, the kind of thing you can grab and hold up a nose length to myopically put on mascara! I've had some wooden ones for ages from the pound stand at shows, which I thought would be perfect surrounded by Stampbord inchies.

I'm having a phase of watercolouring at the moment. Nothing to show you, and probably never will be, but I am improving. Anyway, as an offshoot, I decided to use some dabs of watercolour on the tiles as a change from inks. I have been using one of those mini travel palettes with a small number of colours in that you are supposed to use whilst sitting in a field of poppies. They are ideal for me when sitting in an armchair next to Mum at weekends or for taking to France. I used a selection of Hot Picks stamps for an eclectic look, and embossed them with a purpley-black embossing powder. As I've mentioned before, my room at Mum's is mainly purple, chosen because Col would hate it and I can please myself there. I tidied up the sides and the inner edge of the frame with some heathery-purple velvet ribbon which really finished off the boudoir look.

 I found the watercolours worked really well because where I found I had a blob of purple where a facial feature needed to be prominent, I could take a damp paintbrush and lift some of the colour away.

I am entering this into the PaperArtsy Squares and Grids Challenge which is here.

Friday 23 September 2016

Demo at Ally Pally - and PaperArtsy Autumn Leaves Challenge

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to demo on the PaperArtsy stand at Ally Pally which was great fun. The customers were great and took such an interest in finding out more about the products. A while ago my friend, Pauline, had mentioned that Lesley Wharton had been on The Craft Channel for Chocolate Baroque promoting Brushos so I tuned in to see this lovely lady on one of her shows. She did a great technique where she sprinkled the Brushos onto tissue paper, spritzed it with water, then when it was dry she scrunched it up then tore it into tiny pieces, decoupaged it onto various surfaces such as a frame, and then highlighted the crinkles with embossing powder. I thought I would try this with PaperArtsy Infusions but keeping the tissue in one whole piece. The result is above, on the lid of one of those wonderful boxes you can get from the MDF man, Rob, at the shows (although I think he may not be coming anymore unless we send him some love?!). I think the colours I used were Are You Cerise, Royal Blood, Violet Storm, Black Knight, and Sunset Beach. I patted a Versamark Pad over it and around the lovely shaped edges and used a special dual toned sapphire embossing powder I bought years ago from Gill at the Stamp Man.

So I thought this would be a good technique to show at Ally Pally as it translates so well into the Infusions and I thought Treasure Gold would work well instead of embossing powder, and it works a treat. Pauline had given me a huge pile of wooden blocks some time ago when she took the rubber stamps off in the microwave. They are so useful although they need a bit of prepping. I gessoed them first so that the true colours showed up, and wrapped the tissue paper around them. Before I dried the spritzed tissue I plonked some cardstock down to pick up the excess and to use for stamping on and matching everything up.

 You can see what the tissue looks like here. I think it's lush, but the customers were oohing and aahing when I added the treasure gold to highlight the crinkles. I only used brass but it would be fun to use different colours, maybe a sapphire like the box lid I did?

This is the moppy-uppy card. I stamped some of the gorgeous stamps from Lin Brown's new Eclectica ELB 29/30. These stamps are so lush!!! I found when I was using the Infusions to paint with that if I used gel medium instead of water, the colours were much more intense. I am new to Infusions, is this a known fact? Very nice anyway!

It's lots of very special people's birthdays this week - lovely Julie Ann, one of my other best friends, Elaine, my bro John, and our lovely David would have been 57. I decided to make some Autumn Leaves birthday cards and this one is for John as he won't look on here. I thought it would be suitable for the PaperArtsy Autumn Leaves challenge, and just right for a horticulturalist. I used the tissue as the background glued to some cardstock and the sentiment is from JoFY 26. I am entering the challenge which is here.

One final thing I was showing at Ally Pally. A couple of years ago, Anneke de Clerck, who I greatly admire, did a blog post for PaperArtsy which I adored, using little pieces of scrunched up tissue on this particular flower, a hollyhock I think, from JoFY 26. As you get lots of tiny scraps of coloured tissue left from the Infusions technique, I thought I would revisit it with this card. The background has been made with Crayola Slick Stix. Hope you like.

Monday 29 August 2016

Charm Box for PaperArtsy

I'm delighted to have a post on the PaperArtsy blog featuring the theme Beads, Charms and Dangles. For more information on how I made this box with Crayola Slick Stix and Lynne Perrella stamps, with clay and shrink plastic charms, please hop on over to PaperArtsy. I'd be thrilled if you left a comment there or here. I hope you will join in the challenge!

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Zesty Zing Patterns

At the moment, Paper Artsy have a Patterns theme challenge, and the challenge on That's Crafty is Zesty Zing. I thought it would be fun to combine the two. I had in my mind's eye to do rows of brightly coloured Fresco paint colours with a different pattern on each colour, going across. I wanted the rows to be definite but not neat lines, and for the colour to be a bit patchy. I also wanted a little bit of white to separate the rows. I found the idea much easier than the reality! I wanted to use my brayer, with different widths of masking tape to divide up the rows, removing them when I had done a particular colour. Above is what I finally came up with, on a canvas board. For the colours I used Zesty Zing, Granny Smith, Limelight, Coral, Cherry Red, Bougainvillea, and Tango. For the stamping I used EEV05 and 06, ELB 23, and ESN17. IRL it is incredibly Zingy!!

As I was working I cleaned off my brayer and my stamps onto a piece of stamping card and then stamped the leaves from EEV02 and the Flower from JoFY36 and layered them up to finish the piece off.

This card was a result of my first, trial attempt which was a masterboard on cardstock, which I cut up into pieces and have made several cards. It was tricky working out which colours of stamping would show up on the paint lines. The main disaster though was that I had various types and widths of masking tape and one of them was very high tack and lifted off some of the surface of the card. This made it very 'textural' in one spot! It wasn't a complete waste though as I've been able to use it, and it was good fun. 

I am entering the card and canvas into the That's Crafty Zesty Zing challenge and the Paper Artsy Patterns challenge.

Friday 24 June 2016

Fabric Vase for PaperArtsy

I am delighted to have a project on PaperArtsy for the fabric challenge. I have made a vase out of a bottle, using transparent Powertex and calico. I'm not completely happy with how it turned out but I'm pleased I did what I set out to do which was to experiment with showing how stamps and Frescos could be introduced into Powertex and fabric work by using the transparent version. There is loads and loads more scope to use these components together on future projects and it was such fun.

I had originally intended the rose to have leaves so I thought I would give you a couple of photos here as an additional idea. It didn't look right on the final vase but I think it would look nice on maybe a flatter project such as a box.

I used the leaf from Ellen Vargo Eclectica 02 and stamped it on the calico with a mixture of Granny Smith and Toad Hall Frescos. I cut some out full size and some I cut a shaving off, following the lines as shown, to make smaller leaves. I coated them in the transparent Powertex and shaped them a little when they were sticky.

I also stamped Cogs in Slate as I had thought they would work well as flower centres. I made some flowers using the large Spiral from Ellen Vargo Eclectica 02 and they turned out fantastic but again I didn't need them. Lots of ideas for future projects though!

I do hope you will hop on over to see me at PaperArtsy and let me know what you thought!

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Powertex Bronze Plaque - PaperArtsy Fabric Challenge

I have made a Powertex reverse canvas for the PaperArtsy Fabric challenge theme which I thought could act as a plaque on the side of a house as it will be weatherproof. In fact, although it doesn't look it, it is mainly bronze and will match the fairy I made before so I will give it to Mum's wonderful carer. Maybe she would like it for the outside of her summerhouse for her daughter. Daughter is coming home from Uni for the holidays and her boys have got so used to not having to share a bedroom where the younger one moves into her room during termtime, that Mum has created this amazing den in the garden with her own hands for her to sleep in. I guess it means she keeps a bit of the independence and privacy she has become used to, too. In termtime, when the now all male household gets too much for Mum, she goes out there to ring me for our natters.

It was really hard to get a photo as the colours are really bronze, copper, green, and rose gold, with touches of white. I love the texture but in the photo it looks a bit tatty because you can't really see the depth of the canvas so it looks as though the  lovely trailing pieces round the edges are layered on top of everything else in a haphazard way. I made the face with clay and the flower is die cut and filled with little balls.

I'm not totally happy with it, but it does look quite pretty in real life and will be a good companion for the fairy. I am linking this up to the PaperArtsy fabric challenge.

Saturday 11 June 2016

Secret Garden Bird House for PaperArtsy Our House Challenge

I mentioned on the post I did for PaperArtsy here that I wanted to do a house with a tiled roof with the Lynne Perrella collage pieces I had left over so here it is!

I had a little stuffed fabric bird in my stash from when dear Petra had her clear out before going to La Palma so I gave him some new Lynne Perrella feathers.

Just nearly broke my neck climbing on the bench to hang it up, just for fun! I'm entering this into the PaperArtsy 'Our House' challenge.

Monday 30 May 2016

Our Castle and Our Keep for Paper Artsy

Over on the PaperArtsy blog I'm delighted to have a piece for the Our House challenge. I have featured a little row of wooden houses with the central one depicting, 'Our House, in the Middle of Our Street'. I have used Lynne Perrella stamps throughout.

The roof has been made up of one inch stampbord tiles with a selection of Lynne Perrella faces.

I then made a chimney out of turrets from one of the lady's heads to suggest, 'Our Castle and our Keep', the words from the 1982 song by Madness.

I really hope you will like what I have made and leave a comment! Thank you.

Friday 15 April 2016

Crafting At Ally Pally

 I had a wonderful time at Crafting at Ally Pally last Saturday! It was so great to have a day out and to be at this beautiful venue and to meet up with such lovely friends, old and new! My good friend, Helen, did this write up of the day, as always with her brilliant photography:-

This was her photo of me, my first time demoing:-

Thank you, Helen, for the photo! I really, really enjoyed demoing and the time went by so quickly. It was great meeting the lovely members of the public who came over to chat and ask questions. Jo Firth Young was on before me and I was so pleased to see her again. Then it was time for Kim Dellow to take over. I have been wanting to meet Kim forever, and our paths just never seem to have crossed. It was such a great day.

As Helen pointed out, I'm wearing an apron I made with Lin Brown stamps. I didn't manage to get any of my canvas boards finished as everyone who came over wanted to see the image transfer being done, so I came home with a pile of canvases just with catalogue images on them! So this one I finished at home, using the most recent Lin Brown stamp releases. And my current fave Fresco paint, Coral!

Roll on September Ally Pally!!!

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Crafting at Ally Pally - 9/10 April 2016 - I'm Demoing - Yay!!!

I'm so excited! It's Ally Pally time again! It's always been one of my favourite shows as it's such a stunning venue and a chance to meet up with so many people, but this year I am demonstrating for the first time. I will be on the PaperArtsy stand from 12.30 pm to 2 pm on Saturday 9 April. I would be thrilled if you can come along and say Hello. Of course, if you are there at other times over the weekend, there are some great demonstrators and make and takes, and you can see the full schedule here. For those of you who will be seeing PaperArtsy but over in Paris, well I am just green with envy!

I am going to be decorating small canvas panels using image transfer. It was such fun when I recently discovered transferring images from catalogues and magazines onto canvas using Golden Gel Matte Medium that I thought it would be a fun thing to show everyone so you can see for yourselves how easy and effective it is. I will be using the latest Fresco paint colours and the most recent Lin Brown Eclectica stamp releases and stencils to blend the transfers into a cohesive design.

If you can't get there but wanted to, I sympathize - normally at the weekends I'm busy looking after my lovely Mum. I hope whatever you are doing you have a great weekend and we will have lots of photos to show you afterwards I'm sure!

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Angel of the South - PaperArtsy Liquid Fabric Sculpting Medium Challenge

This is my second go with Powertex and on Friday it was a beautiful day and I got gloriously messy at the garden table while Colin did the gardening near by and it was blissful! I was a bit more ambitious this time than my moth, and needed to do a serious Armature! I made the face out of clay and a mould and attached it with masking tape but because it didn't have a neck or shoulders I felt it was a bit wobbly at first, but by the time all the layers started to harden, everything was fine. That's what I really love about the discovery of this new medium! I think, though, I could easily add a bit of extra clay when I pop it out of the mould.

I don't think I really have enough old clothes for this malarkey! You need old clothes to wear, plus old tee shirts to cut up to use. I used a perfectly good fuchsia tee shirt for the drapey bit. I used Bronze Powertex by the way. I used stockinette for the base layer which you can see round her middle. 

For the wings, which I am really pleased with, I used stockinette (over my armature of course!) followed by loads of drapey cheesecloth. I used a heavy layer of Green Amber Treasure Gold on the wings to really colour them, with a bit of blue rub-on. I wanted her to have bright red lips but the nearest colour I had was copper which was in the little sample I had in my Powertex starter kit so I used a bit on her cheeks as well, and some of their blue on her eye lids. I used Treasure Gold in Brass for the high spots of her robe and shawl but used it more heavily for the stockinette underlayer.

On the whole I'm pleased with how this turned out, considering it's only my second attempt. I definitely found some learning points for myself and definitely want to improve with the face but I'm going to get this thoroughly varnished once it's cured and give it as a present to someone very special who has a summerhouse she made herself. She is my angel.

I am entering this into the PaperArtsy Liquid Fabric Sculpting Medium Challenge, and the That's Crafty Challenge 'Red and Green should never be Seen' because she has green wings and red lips!

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Powertex Moth for PaperArtsy Liquid Fabric Hardener Challenge

Don't laugh, this is my first attempt at Powertex other than the Make N Take I did at the Farnborough show. I'm really excited by this medium though, and I'm delighted PaperArtsy are doing a challenge on Liquid Fabric Hardeners, meaning I have to open the Starter Kit I bought at the show and face my fear.

It's a good follow-on topic to art dolls as I did wire-working for the first time, which is a useful skill with this product, but it would have been useful if I had thought to use it then as it would have been great for making skirts for the dolls bodies. Also I wish PaperArtsy had chosen a more consistently sunny time of year as it is so messy I really need to work in the garden. Honestly Leandra, you do need to order the weather!

The first thing I did was to make an armature. This word wasn't in my vocabulary until two weeks ago and now it is my most commonly used word. It's got a really good rhythm to it. Armature. Arm-ature. I'm Mature. Anyhow, I made an armature with 2 mm aluminium wire and it was meant to be a dragonfly but for some unknown reason I extended the body too far above the wings, so Colin said it's a moth. Apart from that, I quite like the shaping of the wings. I filled out the body with foil and masking tape, and criss-crossed the wings with masking tape and painted everything with Bronze powertex.

I then mixed a little bit of the Powertex varnish (you get a weeny bottle like an eye dropper in the starter kit) with some Cosmic Shimmer powders and dusted them on.

Since I got back from Mum's yesterday I've finished Treasure gilding the garden fairy I started on Friday which has hardened nicely over the weekend so I'll get that photographed and blogged. It's got a nice bit of Armature.

I'm entering this into the PaperArtsy Liquid Fabric Hardener Challenge. Can't wait to see all the entries and learn from what everyone does!

Saturday 19 March 2016

These Boots were Made for Walking for PaperArtsy Art Dolls Challenge

 This is honestly the last doll as I'm off in a minute. Spent yesterday walking round the house clutching various dolls between my thumb and forefinger where sections of glue were drying, as you do! I made this one by using one of the Jean Paul Gaultier bottles to make a papier mache torso with a false base (rather than the smaller dolls house mannequin ones I did before). If I had thought through the whole doll (I had no plan at that stage) I would have made the papier mache right up to the chin but unfortunately I ended up making shoulders and neck from paper clay and as I've not used paper clay before, I didn't do it very well. I then painted it Blush and shoved it into the neckline of the 'dress' portion.

You get a lovely base from the bottle. I'm sure I'll be making more of these!

The doll has a wire framework hoop skirt as before, with 2mm wire attached around her waist. I just love her boots which I made from clay stamped in black. They are Lynne Perrella as you can probably guess. So she can walk and fly! It was a bit fiddly as I used lolly sticks (it's been a very Blue Peter week!) for her legs and I made a slit with my craft knife into the base of the torso and shoved the sticks up there and covered the bits that showed with lace, then glued the boots on so she was standing.

The bodice is gorgeous, sequinned flowers in pastel shades attached to taffeta which covers the rest of her torso which you can't see. The fabric for the skirt is beautiful and was given to me many years ago by my dear friend Lynne of Adorn, and I have eked it out on many projects. I just made an elasticated waist and it flared out nicely over the hooped skirt. The cameo is a Primark earring.

 Her wings are grungeboard covered in adhesive metal sheet then put through a cogs folder then rubbed with Chocolate Pudding which was then rubbed off and highlighted with the new Copper. I did the same with two large metal flowers. I stamped the Lynne Perrella face onto a large flat wood bead with Versafine Onyx Black and added some black wool hair and glued (!) it to the two metal flowers and glued it to the wings and the whole lot to the neck of the doll, with some copper wire threaded through the bead and the holes in the flowers for added security. Oh yes I had fun getting everything to stay put!

Wish you could see all the dolls IRL. Will have to find a corner for them to live together. Thank you PaperArtsy for the fun challenge which I am joining in here.

Friday 18 March 2016

Lynne Perrella Bird Cage Art Doll for PaperArtsy Challenge

I made this art doll with another of the Jean Paul Gaultier perfume bottles but this one has an embossed bronze corset design on it which is really pretty and I wanted to preserve it. I had intended to use this one as my make for PaperArtsy and to fill it with paint to keep the glossy surface but it proved to be impossible to remove the stopper. In trying to do so I broke the glass, quite neatly, but it was a bit too dangerous to recommend anyone to do on someone else's blog! So here I have filled it with Blush Fresco which looks so pretty and then sealed the top up again by making a 'neck' out of paper clay (only ever used oven bake before) and painted that with Blush too. I then stuck with bronze for the colour of my wings which are paper clay, made in a mould. I mixed Chocolate Pudding with some of new lush Copper Fresco, then used a little Copper on my finger for highlights.

The face is clay and is a gorgeous Lynne Perrella stamp, which I've coloured with Frescos and white gel pen. The base for the construction is a bird cage and bird I had in my stash (from Dunelm, I think) and a large spool. My dear friend, Julie Ann, had kindly lent me two feather Ink and the Dog minis. I had some brayered fabric left from when I made the fabric board for the transfer challenge a couple of weeks ago so I stamped them and cut them out and deliberately let the edges fray in a feathery sort of way. I wanted to follow through the bird/wings/feathers/bird cage theme. The feathers made a perfect skirt as they allow the cage to show. It's a shame you can't really see the colours in the fabric. The cage makes the skirt flare out nicely.

I finished off with some pearls and a button which I gave the choc pudding/copper paint treatment. I am entering this into the PaperArtsy art doll challenge.

Turning Japanese - Another Art Doll for PaperArtsy Challenge

I'm still really enjoying the Art Dolls challenge on PaperArtsy, just not sure if I will finish all the UFOs on my table as Friday is always my deadline as I go to Mum at the weekend. This one, who seems to have decided she wants to look a little Japanese, unintentionally, was made with the same Ink and the Dog mini of the Victorian lady I used for the one I did on behalf of PaperArtsy, but this time on tissue paper on a polystyrene egg. Not sure I like working on polystyrene, I mentioned to one person, it's like working with marshmallows. Not as tasty though.

Sorry the photos are so dark. I made a papier mache mould as before, using the dolls house mannekin but elongated it in the end with a toilet roll to fit onto the bird cage base, which has a little birdie dangling in it. I used cheesecloth over the papier mache for the first time, which I loved, and added Limelight, London Bus, Zesty Zing, and Tango. When I was looking through my moulds for some wings, I found this hand I had forgotten I had, which I had painted, including the nails of course! I used a bead for the neck as it helps to attach everything together. Still a bit whiplash-like maybe?

I got the eggs and the hat from The Works. I love The Works! The hat was a horrible yellow but a few coats of Snowflake did the trick, and it was easy to manipulate into a bonnet shape. I had my lovely friend, Jean, here yesterday and she was doing some knitting and provided two kinds of wool for hair, so I made her a long plait and added a bow at the end.

There have been some amazing creations by the designers and some incredible challenge entries. I am enjoying seeing them so, so much and have really been stretching myself with my learning and enjoying myself. I am entering this into the challenge here.

This weekend I am leaving Mum for a few hours on Sunday which I feel really guilty about but her wonderful weekday carer is stepping in, as I have been invited to take David's place at a concert at a jazz club for my niece's school. My sweet, beautiful and talented niece plays the saxophone in a band, as did her Dad, and I'm honoured her Mum has asked me to come along and support her. She is just about to do her 'A' levels and I am very proud of her in every way.

Monday 14 March 2016

Victorian Art Doll for PaperArtsy

 Over on the PaperArtsy blog I'm delighted to have an Art Doll featured for the current theme. I wanted one that was three dimensional and stood on its own. I was asked to use the Ink and the Dog minis for my project and  so I used this gorgeous stamp of a Victorian lady for the face, which I isolated onto clay:-

I used a Jean Paul Gaultier glass perfume bottle for the torso, although it had its own challenges, working with glass, in terms of attaching things and not wanting to scratch the paint, and its weight.

I wasn't sure if I would make a mess of making my own wire hoop skirt and I also wasn't sure if it would be self-supporting. I had some bird cages in my stash but I wanted something I could attach around the waist of the glass bottle. If you want to make one, there is a video on the challenge intro post on PaperArtsy but I hadn't seen this unfortunately as we work two weeks ahead, but I love that Linda Petersen project! I'm glad my doll stood up though so at least I managed it!

I would love to see what you make for the challenge!

Friday 11 March 2016

Bad Hair Day Fairy For PaperArtsy Challenge

I have had such fun this week making Art Dolls! It's the current theme on PaperArtsy and is one of my favourite things! I love that they can be anything you want them to be. I have a few in the pipeline on my desk, but I don't know what I will get finished. The hardest aspect I find is the engineering, as it needs a bit of planning to make sure they are going to be sturdy if you want something that will stand up on its own. I'm not very good at construction.

I started off with this lovely quality wooden mannequin which is part of the dolls house furniture range from the Sue Ryder charity shops. I wanted it for one of my other dolls so on this occasion I used it to make a papier mache base. It's good to get double-duty out of something.

I wrapped it in clingfilm and then used Tim Holtz Composer tissue wrap and gel medium for the papier mache. When it had dried I cut in a straight line up the back, which was really easy, and slipped off well. You can glue the edges back together after you have stuffed it (I used wadding) or you can make a feature of it by doing corset-style lacing. I made a false base for it by drawing around the bottom onto card then cutting it out slightly larger and snipping into it and gluing the snipped bits.
However, before I did all of this, I took a coffee stirrer, the ones you get in the coffee shop are the perfect length, and pushed it up the middle so it was held in place and came out at the neck of the 'dress' and out of the bottom base card.

I rolled a ball of translucent oven bake fimo and inked up a Lynne Perrella stamp and pressed it into the face. I found if you get any of the stamp you don't want, you can wipe it away with a baby wipe at this stage. I then pushed a coffee stirrer part way into the ball of clay at the neck and pulled it out again to make it easier to glue later and then baked it. Thinking about things in advance is the bit I have trouble with but otherwise glueing a ball onto a stick is going to be tricky!

Oh whoops, sorry meant to say, you also need to do the pipe cleaners before you stuff and glue the body. I used two cream ones and folded them in half, made a hole in the papier mache and pushed the folded end through to the front, adjusted the length, and twisted and folded and glued down inside until they were secured. I then twisted the ends into a hand shape and I really liked the arms at this stage and wondered about leaving them, which is why I ended up taking process photos.

The neck is one of the half spools PaperArtsy sell at the shows, which I have painted in Blush Fresco. The necklace is actually a joining piece for jewellery making, a connector. Not sure I like it though. Col thought the neck looked like she had whiplash, so I added a bit of lace to make it more feminine. It added a lot of stability though as it held lots of the components together. Once I'd taken the fimo out of the oven and cooled it, I painted the face and pushed it onto the end of the coffee stick with Golden matte medium and let it set up overnight, so it was really solid.

Next job, something for her to stand on. I had a very old wooden cotton reel in my sewing basket and I painted it with the new Fresco White Fire. OMG this is gorgeous! I decided not to cover it up on the sides as it was so lush, but for the top and bottom I stamped the spool from Hot Picks HP1211 and washed over a bit of Limelight, Tango, and Banana translucents and glued these on. I stuck the coffee stirrer through with the Golden Medium again, which is really strong, and covered the rest of the pogo stick with adhesive lace.

OK where have I got to? Right, I decided to cover the arms with the adhesive lace too. I bought some hand buttons at the Farnborough Make It show which my friend, Jean, spotted for me and they are just perfect! I painted them with Blush, followed by some Pearl Glaze, and then my dolly asked if she could have her nails painted too, so what could be a better shade than London Bus! The pipecleaners were quite a strong base to glue them on to.

Ahem, now the hair! Well, this was just hemp and I cut some rough lengths and glued them on and also coiled some round by her ears. A bit of a bad hair day I'm afraid. As I was going along, I ran my dirty paint brushes through it so she has some highlights of White Fire and Nougat. I was a bit worried that at this stage she would have to hop to the hairdressers so I thought I had better give her some wings, although this will only make her hair more flyaway. So I gave her some fairy grungepaper wings with White Fire paint. And just for her, a touch of matching Treasure Gold. Because You're Worth It.

Here's her wild hair while I was working on her! She can fly to the hairdressers now.

I finished off the back with some tiny blue buttons.

An angled photo showing those all-important painted nails.

A shot of her face which I tweaked a bit. The cotton reel helped a lot with holding the body parts together as the coffee stirrer lodged in the centre of the spool.

I am entering this into the PaperArtsy Art Dolls challenge. There's still another week and a couple of days to go so I hope there will be lots of entries as I'm dying to see!