Hello my lovelies!
It’s been 2 weeks since the last post, and while I sit here I wonder why it is that it’s been 2 weeks, why didn’t I just sit and do this last weekend? I was sitting her trying to figure out what it is that kept me…ooooooh… I had my creation blinders on! With most of my projects, I can put the doll down, and pick up something else, a different project, a different activity, and I’m fine. I can switch gears and make something else, or do something else, and the project is safely tucked away in part of my brain, I make/take notes for myself about the current state of things, and what I’d like to do next time I pick it up. But not my last order. I was making a Pink-toe Tarantula and Samara Morgan from the movie The Ring, for Rick, a really cool artist and tattoo artist friend. Rick is a creepy-crawly lover, so the spider was going to be life-sized, which is slightly harder than one thinks. Most measurements are note exact, spiders don’t seem to love to be measured, PLUS, straight leg-length is hard to get on a spider since they’re bent, in life (straight leg measurements are usually post-mortem activities) Well with all the knowledge a non-spider person can get (at least 2 hours searching and tarantula sites) I started on the PinkToe. They’re actually quite lovely, with long, vibrant pink hairs all over their bodies, my thoughts turned to how to get those right. This was not going to be a project where fun-fur could be used, that would NOT be ok. I got very shiny, very fine, polyester thread, black and hot pink, and sewed them in by hand. Crazy, obsessed? Maybe. But my tarantula looks quite like a real tarantula rather than a crocheted spider, even though it’s slightly larger than life-sized.
When I was working on the spider, I was obsessed. Possibly because sewing in the hairs on the legs and body just took a long time, but I don’t think I could have done it any other way. The spider needed to look big and hairy, like it did in my head I really wanted to take some forced perspective pictures of her destroying Sacramento, but my next project was Samara Morgan, and I was more obsessed.
When I say obsessed, I really mean it. I didn’t want to work on other projects, and even upcoming projects didn’t interest me, and I always am excited about what I’ll be working on coming up!!! I didn’t want to read, and I never seem to get enough regular reading time,, certainly not daily, and almost not at all while working on her. If I was going to sit down, I wanted to work on her. OBSESSED!!!
The other part of my obsession is that when I’m making something that has a definite look, but more than that, an absolute look. Frankenstein’s monster has a look, but he’s changed a bit here and there, due to artist interpretation. Samara Morgan has an absolute look, super creepy, pale blue-ish with deep black cracks and slimy grey-ish black gunk on her skin, a long dress that is blackened with slime at the hem and bottom of the sleeves, and long, hanging black hair…but it more than just hangs, it has some eerie, creepiness to it… This was not going to be a doll that could have yarn hair, it had to be fine, and hang just the right way. Crochet thread approached the right look, but wasn’t as shiny as I needed this to be (shiny thread makes her hair look a bit like it’s wet, like it does in the movies)
(When I start a new doll, I often give a cursory look out there at other artists’ dolls of the same characters, looking for inspiration, but rarely do I look at crochet versions, those aren’t what I want mine to look like. Let me qualify that~ When I searched for Samara Morgan art dolls there were the plastic/vinyl/clay/porcelain versions, the ones that really tried to grasp the creepiness, really tried to get her look. Crochet versions were pale in color, with some sort of dress, black hair, sometimes safety eyes, sometimes just a frowny face……many I wouldn’t have known they were Samara Morgan except that’s what I searched for. I realize, I really do, that it’s MY craziness/vision/obsession. I need my version to look as much like the thing as I can get it to. Part of that is the details. “Details, baby, details.”)
First off, she’s small, Not my smallest doll yet, I think the zombie fairy I made for my friend Teeni is my smallest whole doll (I’ve made small zombie torsos, but Zombie fairy, Pipette, is small.
Anyway, Samara is just 6′ tall, and made thin. She’s also, at the suggestion of my friend Teeni, pale blue. In the movie she always had a pale blue to her skin, and though the yarn I used is paler than she is, it did the trick. She also seemed to me to have a definite order, mostly for convenience, but I had to do her face first, I needed some creepiness. I used black embroidery floss for some of the cracks in her face. Her eyes were grey, with a line of red and tan threads under each eye, because her eyes are reddish underneath. I also painted on, with acrylic paints, some of the black and greyish slime that covers her skin…she really is dirty from being down in the well. While the hair, the very last thing I did was the most time-consuming, the dress is the thing that caused me the most freakouts, not big ones mind you, but ones that cause me to need another pair of eyes to tell me it’s ok…thanks T! I don’t sew. Ok, let me re-phrase that. I don’t have a machine, or real sewing skills–since I’ve never had a machine of my own, I’ve never really practiced, and though I’m certain I could learn to follow fairly simple patterns, the fact remains that all my sewing is done by hand, and kind on-the-fly. Like in most of my creations, I don’t really make patterns for the pieces I have to sew, I just do a quick sketch on the wrong side of the fabric and sew–which is a lot harder to do for the unskilled when the dress is for a 6″ doll! UGH, TURNING THE DRESS RIGHT SIDE OUT SUCKED DONKEY BALLS! (Disclaimer: I don’t REALLY know what that is like, but I’m sure it’s bad! I coffee stained her dress. and used black acrylic paint to get the right color. Then finally time to sew in her hair! I used the same black polyester thread i did for the tarantula, it’s really shiny, and hangs just the right way. I’d sew in 4-4 thicknesses of thread at a time, just to increase the coverage, but it still took quite awhile, since I used superfine thread.
I put her away for a day, I usually put dolls I spend a lot of time on away for a day. I need fresher eyes. I get detail blind–I only focus on the small things…the dress probably came out a bit too dark and still smells a bit like coffee… her skin isn’t quite the right blue… her face could have been attended to a bit more… There are always things that eat at me, sometimes way past the message that they’ve arrived and are currently being adored! Yep, some of my dolls haunt me! Usually once I get the message, I’m good…but there are a few of my spawn that I just…want to……leave just the way they are because they are loved, and that sheer fact amazes me every single time. I am always so in awe that people come to me, and often tell me they’ve wanted something like this for awhile and trust me to help create their vision… which is always always always, all in the details.
So here she is, I love her, I think she’s the creepiest doll I’ve made yet. My creepy little dead girl
And here are the PinkToe and Samara leaving me Friday
I’ve since started a new project, a witch similar to one I made a couple of years ago for a very lovely lady. The witch is a lot of fun, being much more subjective, with just some color specificities. I love the project, am not obsessed, and it feels easier, *sigh*. Not that I don’t like creating specific characters, I SO do! I love working on really specific creations, they really make me work and push myself, but I do also like a break of other creations in between. Also, I started trying to come up with a crochet skull pattern of my very own, one that will look good as just a skull, but also will be good for creating sugar skulls with! i want to yarn bomb with some, hopefully for Dia de los Muertos! Oh, and I need to make some more mary-jane slippers, my toes are chilly in the morning, it’s almost fall here in northern-california!
So, I guess this was all the stuff that’s been in my head the last couple of weeks. I was really too “all about the spawn” to even sit down and write about how much they can take over my life. Luckily I have a really understanding husband who doesn’t mind so much that he has to remind me to come up for air and get out of my head for a bit (his words are different, same sentiment…he’s not gonna read this).
It’s September now, which means it’s almost time for me to announce my contest. Also have to get to making those prizes. Stay tuned for occasional pictures of those, and for the halloween story contest, I’ll be reminding folks here and on my page, and will be posting all the entries here on my blog just like for the Easter Bunny stories. OOOO, just for what’s going to happen in the future, I’M GOING TO BE MAKING A KRAMPUS THIS YEAR, WOOHOO!!!
Thanks for reading and commenting and putting up with the weirdness! and KEEP IT CREEPY!!!