craft, sewing

Capelette: I’m ready to be extra at your funeral.

Over a year ago I bought two kinds of fake fur when lining and updating my vintage coat.

Last summer, when making a Gothic Emily Doll for my friend Emily I saw a capelette pattern at Yuzawaya while I was trim shopping. It looked like it’d be a great way to use up my black fake fur.

It was the Japanese version of this pattern, just the three capelettes and none of the shrugs. It was cheap as well. I figured I could draft a pattern or just buy one and whip it together when I had time.

This month I stash-busted leftovers for finish it February.

I’m putting a hook and eye closure you can’t see for now, but when I find the right dramatic closure or vintage buttons I’ll use those instead.

Tada, I’m ready to be extra!

It’s not the most extra fake fur capelette I’ve ever made…I made this and a matching purse and gave it to a friend about 10 years ago.

But, I don’t think the black capelette needs eyes…yet.

And, having a wire pet brush (for doll hair) was really helpful in brushing the seams of this coat.

Standard
craft, Doll, monster high, Uncategorized

JINX!

I just can’t stop making Teen Titans Go dolls.

This should be no surprise to anyone who knew me shortly after college when I started to amass a collection of female action figures. It seemed like a hobby that had limits because action figures were even worse back then about not producing or short packing female figures.

I moved away from my collection and, behold, 16 years later realized I COULD MAKE MY ARMY MYSELF.

img_4191-1

JINX in the works!

I mean, Starfire and Raven need to have a (woot woot) GIRLS NIGHT OUT.

I found this used, bagged, Monster High Doll, Operetta, at Dollyteria when I went in last week to cash in my point card before it expired. She was stuck into one of the bins as I was browsing.

img_3952

And her previous owner had melted some of her hair, so I knew I’d be rerooting her.

img_3954

I wrote about her hair rerooting in “Hair Meditation

img_4197-2

Does Jinx have pink skin? Not really. It’s kind of a dusty gray/purple but when you put SHOCKING PINK hair on her it bumps the skin tone down a notch.

Does Jinx have swirls carved into part of her face and arms? Not to my knowledge but it didn’t seem it’d be that odd for her to have some sort of “jinxing” marks. Jinx in animation like Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go is WORLDS away from her original character…who was a cancer-bald badass Indian super villain in a loin cloth…and serves more as a naughty super powered teen who has moments of just fun.

She’s generally Perky Goth to Raven’s more classic goth…but you know when Dead or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Round’ drops they both can’t resist dancing…and that’s what I’m going for.

Again I used photoshop express to mirror flip images to get symmetry close.

ead830c9-56be-443c-b75f-c3043e24e6b6

I still struggle working on this scale. I used to draw on huge rolls of paper and work much looser.

img_4459-2

Close to finished.

I also noticed the neck peg was showing signs of wear so I put a layer of Tamiya Epoxy Putty on it. Don’t want the peg to snap after I’ve worked hard.

And this brings us to the hair. How was I going to shape Jinx’s hair? Well, I decided to make soft horns out of felt and stuffing. I wrapped and stitched down some of the shed acrylic fuzz left after brushing out her yarn (SO MUCH OF THAT).

I left a patch of scalp un-rooted on both sides of the head.

I coated the patch, and the felt base of the horns with liquid fusion and allowed to dry. I wanted to build up that glue base on the horn a bit.

img_4557

This horn will later be attached to the remaining horn-hole, pinned until the bond is formed, and the hair will be shapped around it and joined with elastic. I’m still figuring out if I want to color a band of hair black between the holders or use an elastic black band for the area near her hair point. It’s temporarily elasticed on one side to keep it out of the way but I have bang/trim shaping to tidy up and some last minute face touches to apply.

But now I rest and let things dry.

Standard
costuming, craft, sewing, Uncategorized

Costume Finished!

I hope to get better photos at the show on Sunday but here we go!

RomaFest is this Sunday. I am having some strong imposter syndrome feelings but I know I love to dance.

I didn’t have time to make something from scratch nor the money to buy anything that would be of  the same quality as my handmade skirts.

And when I make skirts I generally make GIANT HUGE SKIRTS.

skirt

So I took an existing skirt I’d bought used and changed it up instead. I also made it a narrower skirt, more like my favorite teacher Reyhan Tuzsuz would wear.

 

I think I invested about 20$ in trim for this project, which is cheap.

Final skirt and general outfit (sans accessories):

img_4466

I’d also literally made the vest top from pieced together fabric scraps from a too-small pair of fancy dance pants someone gave me for the fabric. I did that in 2017 here.

I’ve decided to give a body stocking a try. Not out of feeling insecure about my tummy but because Turkish Roma women who dance often do NOT show their stomachs and feel like that’s a better choice for me to make when participating in a festival about Roma music and dance.

If you’re wondering about Roma/Romani people and wonder why my dance costumes look like what you’d describe as “g*psy” costuming, here’s a fine start to why I don’t use that word and you probably shouldn’t either.

Standard
craft, Doll, sewing

Diana Prince pt 2

I’m doing fairly well with the “finish it” goal of February and so-so on the frugal one.

Diana Prince, the groovy boutique owning super spy WW with no powers, is almost finished. Removed the Barbie lining of her jacket and I relined with leftover kimono silk from my own jacket re-lining project last year.

She still needs jewelry and boots, because this Diana Prince understands the essential nature of good accessories.

Alas it seems to be hard to get a good even white on her existing boots.

I may need to make her a pair. Making shoes/boots is probably in my future. The “Bratzilla” doll I remade has irregular sized feet (for a doll). Unlike the snap-off shoe-feet of Bratz, Brazilla have feet-feet…but larger than your average fashion doll.

Same for the DC Superhero girls dolls. I love the fact they have more realistically proportioned feet but am sad that this means a dearth of ready-to-wear shoes. These dolls can wear other doll’s clothing but it’s mighty hard for Wonder Woman to find civilian clothes that work with her red boots with WW gold accents. How’s she supposed to have a secret identity once she gets her super powers back?

Bruce Wayne doesn’t have to wear Batboots in the boardroom. It’d make things obvious.

Bruce Wayne, I imagine, has to be mighty good with makeup/concealer. That cowl doesn’t protect his whole face from bruises. Does he send Alfred to buy it? “It’s for Master Bruce’s….mistress”

That’s a montage I want. Superhero dudes learning bruise concealing makeup techniques.

And I want more doll shoes.

And if I want either of those things, I’ll need to pay someone or make them myself.

Standard
craft, Doll

Color Blocked to fight crime: Diana Prince part 1

The day after I wrote about craft as meditation the world decided to throw me a curve. Someone I had once been friends with has done something I can’t stomach and legal action against him has thus been thwarted.

I blocked him. I posted the information and screenshots I’d received as proof of his actions. I took a tea cup he’d once given me outside and smashed it with a broom and then swept up the shards.

I went inside and worked on Diana Prince.

In the 70’s, after Wonder Woman’s original creator had passed away, her readership had been flagging. Then Wonder Woman became the New Wonder Woman for a while. She gave up her super powers and became Diana Prince who ran a mod clothing shop, was a martial arts expert, and a ass kicking super spy who’d get dropped into any 70’s issue or fad: cults, biker gangs, occult witches, drug running, violent hippies and more.

And she might have been stripped of her powers but, damn, she embraced color blocked fashion and was styling. The look of these issues were lush, blending true romance comic art, 70’s ads, up to date fashion, and ass kickings

More info on this run.

I once bought a 1970’s chiffon dress in pink and yellow because it reminded me of her outfits.

In early December when my Step mother sent me three random used dolls, and one of them was a DC superhero girl Wonder Woman I knew I wanted to make Groovy and Hip Diana Prince.

She’s not my favourite version of WW but she’s the most visually compelling for me.

First I cleaned up her hair and gave it some curl.

I removed her face with Acetone and adjusted a Barbie jacket and dress to better fit her. I still need to reline the jacket in something without a Barbie print.

I’m still getting used to working this small and getting the eyes smooth (without some lumpiness of the white acrylics) is alluding me. Still, each time gets better.

To troubleshoot wonky symmetry I’ve been taking photos and mirror flipping them to better see shape differences.

And I added false 3-D lashes because if ever there was a Diana who was lashtastic it’s Romantic Spy Boutique Diana.

At a friend’s suggestion I used a black pipe cleaner as a “bump it” to increase hair volume. I realized my previous hair curling wouldn’t quite work for the new “bumped” style so she’s been gently boil permed again and is now waiting for everything to dry.

Which is fine because tonight and tomorrow I’m at live music and dance rehearsals where I am feeling imposter syndrome revving up as nervousness starts to shut down my second language skills.

I’m in a coffee shop on break to get some food and caffeine in me before I go back.

But, when I finish tonight, and spend an hour on the train getting home, I know the dolls in doll spa, like Diana, will be happy to see me.

Standard
craft, Doll, Uncategorized

Hair Meditation.

A common reaction to my arts and crafts is: “I wouldn’t have the patience”

I don’t. I am not a patient person.

I am a scattered mind with so many ideas and thoughts that teaching myself organizational skills has been essential to get anything done. When I am not hyper-focused I am easily distracted and have a hard time prioritizing tasks. When I am hyper-focused on something I need to do…great…but that is rarely the case.

I have anxiety and depression which creates powerful emotions that can derail my life if left unchecked. I require grounding on a regular basis.

Let’s look at what this has to do with craft. I’ll be using doll hair here but the same is true of sewing, knitting, beading, stitching individual sequins and more.

This is an EAH doll I’m turning into Teen Titans Go Raven.

img_3842

This is a traditional reroot. I’ve hand mixed three colors of hair, cut them to length, and started the process. For each hole I’m wrapping about 10 strands of hair around a two pronged needle, holding them in place along the needle’s shaft with a finger, and plunging them into the head from the outside. Then I release the finger holding strands,twist the needle slightly, and remove the needle.

Later I will apply glue to the inside of the head to keep the plugs in place.

Let’s check out a yarn re-root.

Using acrylic yarn threaded through a wide-eyed and long needle, this process also starts outside the head. I push the needle into the head but then, unlike the previous re-rooting, push the needle until it emerges from the neck hole.

img_3959.jpg

Pulling the needle out through the neck usually takes the use of a Leatherman or similar gripping/pulling tool.

Please excuse my fingers, these are the cuticles of my anxiety.

Once the yarn is in through the hair hole and out the neck hole and the hair is the general length I need, I knot it. I cut the yarn below the knot and pull the knot into the head by pulling on the hair above the hair hole. No need to glue later.

img_3961

Once it’s all threaded and knotted and pulled it’s time for the pet brush, unless you’re using yarn to replicate locks or twists and want the yarn to remain as is.0e31812c-46b0-4ebe-9c9d-bd1ca35a23e0-9539-000007bc8c1d236d_file

You brush and brush and brush that yarn until it separates into fluffy strands (you’ll loose a LOT of fiber and some length, that’s ok). Below shows before and after brushing. If you were replicating locks/twists you’d fill fewer hair-holes (after doing the edges) to control the amount of hair mass.

img_4149

Now what does this have to do with anxiety and my lack of patience?

For most of my lifetime this (and dance) was as close as I could get to a meditative state of mind clarity.

The repetition of movement, the precision needed, and the concentration used helps clear my head. It’s not that I don’t think while doing this, I do, but it’s a quieter thinking. I don’t have the time to chase strong emotions or berate myself. With my hands busy a strong emotion may easily be noted and pass and I won’t be tempted to chase down its cause right then and there.

Anxiety and Depression cause feelings/emotions that are real. Your body reacts. You can feel your heart rate change. There’s a buzzing. There can be anger flares and tears. You can feel your chest deflate and your shoulder slump forward and the heaviness of everything. It’s not in your mind, it is your mind and body.

These emotions are Real.

They aren’t necessarily TRUE.

Without having ways to ground myself, these emotions take me to terrible places. If I feel worthless, I’ll internally dig into myself find a list reasons why I should feel worthless. I’ll justify that feeling and label it real. If I feel the buzzing of anxiety and search externally, I’ll find a million things to believe are the cause and set to “fixing them” as if that will lift the surging panic: I’ll rehash settled issues with friends and loved ones, hurting them and bringing no peace to any of us. I’ll spend 2 days thinking that I need to re-order my kitchen and it’ll bring me calm.  I’ll fixate on the past. I’ll ignore boundaries. I’ll lash out, believing my rage is justified. I’ll be all reaction and no calm, rational, reflection.

I’ll spend my nights awake in self-torturing thought loops chasing each emotion until it is dawn.
When I’m doing detail work I’ll be able to do what I’m supposed to do in meditation.

  • Breathe
  • Note emotions, memories, thoughts and let them pass without action.
  • Calm myself.
  • Give myself permission to do one thing at a time.
  • Give myself permission to be quiet.

I am not patient. I am a complex emotional woman whose lack of patience and desire to do things RIGHT NOW when my emotions flare up who has found ways to calm herself and create in the process.

You don’t need to be patient to do these things. You just have to enjoy the process and what it brings you. If you don’t enjoy knitting, or sequins, or beads, or plunging needles into dolls heads (but enjoy the results when others do it)…it’s not because of any failing in your patience, it’s just it isn’t a process that suits you. That’s ok.

And to all my crafting friends…who, like me, know that crafting does have emotional highs and lows but who love it for what it brings you. I’m glad you have craft and it brings me joy when you share it.

-K

Standard
craft, Doll, monster high, sewing, Uncategorized

Heads up! Finish it February!

I haven’t been around because illness took me DOWN. After two rounds of antibiotics, more nasal steroids, and the joy of three days in a row  without kerosene fumes I’m almost better.

Welcome to Finish-it-February, wherein I try to be frugal by focusing on finishing projects instead of starting them.

Of course, as soon as I proclaimed this on February first and my buddy Ebony said hell-yeah! (she’d suggested Frugal Febuary and I added the ‘ffing Finish It)…I came home and started a new project.

Luckily the Hedgehog bonding scarf worked up quickly with items I had and I could count it as ‘Finished’ and decide to be more mindful in the following days. After February I could easily see myself making a second one and doing a tutorial on it.

 

Right now I have two focuses for the first half of this month:

1.Put faces on smaller dolls.

On my small balcony you can find these heads right now…plus one more.

Top to bottom:

  • Wednesday Adams via EAH Raven Queen
  • Teen Titans Go Jinx via Monster High Operetta
  • Groovy 70’s Diana Prince via DC Superheros Girls Wonder woman.
  • (not shown) Raven via EAH Royal Faybelle

img_4212

More on individual dolls later.

2. New Skirt for Romafest on February 17th. Roma Fest is the 8th annual Japanese festival highlighting Roma Music and dance. It’s my first year participating and I’ll be performing with live music….which I haven’t heard yet, that happens this week in rehearsals.

To save myself time and money, I’m altering an existing skirt I don’t wear…again, more details to follow.

img_4082

wish me luck for the first half of the month. If succesfull, the second half I’ll start tackling the larger doll heads and faces: Sally, Squirrel Girl, and Melody.

Standard