Category Archives: kids

Creativity: Disappointment

New doll pattern cut out of linen canvas material

New doll pattern cut out of linen canvas material

Today I was working on a new doll pattern. This exploration has given me the opportunity to share a piece of the artist’s life with my readers. Not everything comes out the way you hope it will. I have experienced disappointment before. I’m used to it. For those young (or young at art), beginning artists out there, you are not alone! Even seasoned artists have to face disappointment from time to time. All you can do is try, and try again.

I wanted to cut some of the steps in my pattern, so today I drew up a new pattern with the arms and legs connected from the beginning. My other pattern had to be sewn piece by piece with the arms and legs connected to the body after they were sewn and stuffed. I am not thrilled with the result. The legs kinda look like chicken drumsticks!

New pattern, sewn and turned, you can see the holes in the leg seam

New pattern, sewn and turned, you can see the holes in the leg seam

One issue I hadn’t considered, is having to sew up the doll at the top of the head instead of at the bottom where the legs are connected. The head is rounded, which makes it really difficult to hand sew it shut. There is a reason the pattern was made the way it is.

The first doll I started today didn’t work out because I stitched the seams too close to the edge. I ended up with holes in the seam. The linen canvas I used was also a bit too stiff, hard to turn right side out after sewing. The red cotton fabric was easier to work with, but I still have the issue of sewing up the head. I may still be able to salvage that one, we shall see.

New pattern using the red cotton fabric, this one may still be salvageable.

New pattern using the red cotton fabric, this one may still be salvageable.

Another problem I discovered was putting the body together from the beginning was not a good use of my fabric. I had to use a much bigger piece to get the whole body cut out. When the arms and legs are detached, I can use more scrap pieces and less fabric overall.

I learned my lesson today. Back to the drawing board for another idea. Next time, I think I will keep the arms connected to the body, but leave the legs detached so I can sew them to the flat bottom and then sew up the body from there.

Both unfinished dolls, with stuffing the legs look even more like a chicken drumstick! LOL!

Both unfinished dolls, with stuffing the legs look even more like a chicken drumstick! LOL!

I hope to have something more interesting to share with y’all on Thursday. Today? It’s a wash, I will chalk it up to a learning experience and move on.

Advertisements

Creativity: Throwback Thursday

 

We have a friend visiting from out of town today, so I haven’t had any time for creating. What better time to share a #TBT post?! A couple of weeks ago I posted about my 25 years as an Artist.

Clarksville Methodist Church, pencil drawing

Clarksville Methodist Church, pencil drawing. Not the greatest photo, it was sent to me by a fan. I honestly don’t think I have a photo/copy of this drawing anymore.

In that post I talked about my first drawings being of historical buildings in Tennessee. For today’s Throwback Thursday post, I decided I would share some of my pencil/charcoal drawings and portraits. The church was done when I was 21 years old, just a baby as an artist. All I knew was drawing with pencil, I hadn’t had any experience with painting or selling my art.

"Nate sticking out his tongue", pencil drawing of my youngest son at around 2 years old, 2003

“Nate sticking out his tongue”, charcoal drawing of my youngest son at around 2 years old, 2003.

I surely didn’t know anything about computers back then. The World Wide Web barely existed then, at least the way we know it now. I was still 6 years away from owning my own first computer. At the time, I still had dreams of becoming an architect someday. I’ve always loved drawing buildings. I love architecture, especially older buildings. It fascinates me how much detail and work was put into buildings before the turn of the 20th century. Nothing was rushed, it was art. It’s sad to me that in today’s rushed world, buildings are put up in record time, with little to no architectural details. Little boxes everywhere you look. Big box stores, little box suburban sprawl. Boxes everywhere. I could go on forever about the loss of beautiful architectural pieces.

"Bryan and his big wheel", pencil drawing of my eldest son at around 2 years old. Circa 1997

“Bryan and his big wheel”, charcoal drawing of my eldest son at around 2 years old. Circa 2002

At the same time I was drawing historical buildings, I was always working on a portrait. Whether it was one of my own kids or commissions of other people’s kids, I used to really enjoy portraits. After drawing who knows how many portraits, I took a portrait painting class and did several watercolor and then oil portraits. Then one day, I was tired of painting portraits. I was good at it, not to toot my own horn, but faces are really not all that different. I knew I needed something more.

"Can I Hold the Baby?", watercolor portrait of my middle son holding his newborn cousin, 1997.

“Can I Hold the Baby?”, watercolor portrait of my middle son holding his newborn cousin, 1997.

For years after that, I drew and painted landscapes. Actually, all of these phases overlapped each other. I was unsure for many years which direction my art was headed. Portraits were always the best way to make a living as an artist, but also the most nerve wracking process. It was stressful doing commissions and never knowing if the person paying for the commission would be happy with the end result.They usually were, but that stress of self-doubt was hard for me to deal with.

"Martinez grandkids", commissioned portrait painted in oils, circa 2004

“The Grandkids”, commissioned portrait painted in oils, circa 2004

What it eventually came down to was I was searching for something deep down inside me that was MINE. My truest form of expressing my creativity. Not something I saw and wanted to copy, but something that came from my soul. I finally found that expression with my peace paintings and my spiral abstract series.

I will share my landscapes and Peace works in another post. Stay tuned for my next #TBT Creativity post! πŸ™‚ Thank you for reading my blog! If you like what you see here, please subscribe to my blog in the upper right hand corner of this page. πŸ™‚

Creativity: Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl Doll, DONE!

I worked on her for a few days, but she is finally done! My first Love doll made with my own custom art fabric. Daisy Sunshine was made using my Yellow Daisy fabric design.

She is just as I imagined her, I hope you love her too!

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Love Doll

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Love Doll πŸ™‚

My next creativity project will be another painting! I must admit, I’ve missed my daily painting sessions. I also need to make more dolls, they are much more popular than I thought they could be. I’m so grateful to all the people who have adopted my sweet babies! It’s time for some new fabric designs as well. I have so much work to do, I guess I’d better get to it! Have a fantastic rest of your day! Please subscribe to my blog up in the upper right corner. Thank you! πŸ™‚

Living in the Land of Enchantment: 10 Things to do in Albuquerque

There are so many places to see and things to do around here, it’s really hard to pick just one to write about! This week, I decided to write about 10 (make that 11)Β  things to do in the area. Technically, it’s more than ten, as I fit more than one into each number. Next time someone tells you there is nothing to do in Albuquerque, direct them to this post! πŸ™‚

  1. Ride the Rail Runner from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.

    The ride alone is worth the trip as it takes you through the lovely New Mexico landscape. The tickets will only cost you $16 round trip! There are many stops along the route to start and if you take the train to the end of the line, you end up in the Santa Fe Railyard which is only a few short blocks away from the Plaza. The Railyard also has galleries and the famous Tomasita’s restaurant.

  2. Ride the Sandia Peak Tramway.

    This May will be the Tram’s 50th anniversary, and though I have lived in NM most of my life, I STILL have not ridden the Tram up the mountain. It’s just one of those tourist things locals rarely do. One day very soon, I plan on it! I have heard from MANY sources that it’s something one MUST do. I guess I prefer hiking up the mountain to riding up! UPDATE, Oct. 2016: I finally rode the Tram! It was awesome!

  3. Hiking the Sandia Mountains.

    Speaking of hiking, the Sandia mountains just East of Albuquerque have many, many miles of hiking trails! It can take a full day to hike to the peak, where the tram takes only 15 minutes. I have hiked to the South Crest several times and LOVE it! Please, make sure you go prepared. Water, jacket, hat. Many people have had to be rescued from these mountains because they don’t realize how quickly weather can change in NM. The weather can be warm and sunny in town and cold and rainy at the top of the peak.

  4. Petroglyphs National Monument.

    This is one of the largest petroglyph sites in Northern America. Volcanic rocks were carved by Native Americans and Spanish settlers up to 700 years ago, leaving behind interesting designs and symbols for us to ponder over. Another cool place to visit, related to the petroglyphs, are the volcanoes on the west mesa overlooking Albuquerque.

  5. Bio Park, Botanical Gardens/Aquarium/Zoo.

    Albuquerque has an awesome botanical garden with an indoor aquarium. The gardens are attached to the city zoo by a cool little open air train line that you ride between the two with out having to get in your car and drive. Also, while riding the train between the zoo and gardens, you will pass by Tingley Beach which is a series of three ponds, man made for fishing and remote control boats. In the summer months they have paddle boats you can rent for $10 an hour to paddle around the big pond in. The kids will also enjoy feeding the ducks and geese that call the ponds and river area home. The gardens are my favorite part, they have several different gardens, including a rose garden, Japanese garden and a farm with barn animals and New Mexico homestead. Great place to take the kiddos!

  6. Bike Ride on the Bosque Trail.

    While you are down near the Bio Park, right next door in fact, is the Central Ave. entrance to the Bosque bike and walking trail. The Bosque is the area of trees and open space that surrounds the Rio Grande River.

  7. See a Play.

    Albuquerque has MANY theatres, over 35 to be more specific! We can boast that we have the most live performance theatres per capita than any other city in the country. Just about ANY weekend in Albuquerque, you can find a show you might be interested in. The Albuquerque Theatre Guild website is a great place to start your search for that perfect play!

  8. Museums.

    Albuquerque has a great variety of museums for everyone in the family! There is the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Explora, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the Maxwell Museum of Anthopology, the Unser Racing Museum and several more can be found HERE. I’ve linked to all their websites so you can learn more about each one you may have an interest in.

  9. Antique/Thrift Store shopping.

    Albuquerque has large variety of Antique shops and Thrift stores. Most are concentrated on Central Ave between Carlisle and San Mateo or on Menaul Ave. between Carlisle and San Mateo, but there are others all over town. You can find some really great deals on a variety of stuff. I could write a post about all the awesome thrift stores in this city. I have spent many hours sifting through the many shops.

  10. Ghost Tours of Old Town.

    This is another attraction I’ve never experienced, but I personally know one of the tour guides and KNOW it’s worth it! Yet another thing I plan to do someday. The Old Town of Albuquerque is VERY old! Over 300 years! There are rumored to be many ghosts living in the back alleys and old adobe buildings.

  11. Visit MY Studio!

    I hope you will get in touch and come visit me in my studio when you are in the area. I don’t hold retail hours, but I am always happy to open up the studio for out of town guests! You don’t have to buy anything, but I’m always pleased to send an Albuquerque memento home with a fan. πŸ™‚

Creativity: Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl with hand drawn eyes

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl with hand drawn eyes

Working on a new doll today. Using my custom art Daisy fabric. I’m also trying something a bit different with her face. Using fabric markers to draw her features. What do you think? My previous dolls had embroidered faces, but the fabric on this one left the center of the daisies in the perfect spot for eyes. I considered leaving them alone, after looking long and hard at her face I decided she needed eyes. Unfortunately, I had already sewn up her body which makes it more difficult to embroider the face. Solution? Use my fabric markers to draw her cute little face on! I’m calling her a hippie girl, so she will have rainbow yarn hair. She is going to be adorable when finished! Stay tuned for more pics of the finished doll in my Thursday Creativity post. πŸ™‚

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl before face, kicking back on one of my heart pillows

Daisy Sunshine Hippie Girl before face, kicking back on one of my heart pillows

 

More Rag dolls

fourgirls

The “girls”, though we are NOT gender biased here, they can also be long haired boys or transgender dolls.

My Etsy shop is now stocked with my new “Love” ragdolls. These cute little dolls have been so much fun to make, I must admit I hug them regularly! I have to! I named them “Love” dolls for a reason. They are given tons of love before they are sent out to their new mommies and daddies, where they will give love for years and years to come.

fourboys

The “boys” and bald babies, like the “girls” there is no gender bias here, they can be whatever YOU want them to be.

They are made with multicolored fabrics and yarns to represent all the ethnicities of the world. Their bright colors are meant to make them happy, loving dolls. They all have a cute little smile on their faces and an embroidered heart on their chest.

I realized yesterday that I made my “love” dolls just in time for Valentine’s Day. What girl or lady wouldn’t want a cute, hugable Love doll from their Valentine? I would! πŸ˜‰

I am also offering a custom, “memorial” doll. What exactly is a memorial doll you ask? A memorial doll is made in memory of a deceased loved one, using a piece of clothing that belonged to the loved one. It is an upcycled doll that will keep giving love long after a loved one is gone. The doll can be made with the same hair color and eye color as your loved one and will also have the person’s name embroidered within the heart on the chest. These are special order dolls, so contact me directly if you are interested and we can work out the logistics, ie sending me the item of clothing and determining custom elements for the doll.

I am also happy to make regular custom dolls with specific colors. These dolls are selling quick! Get yours while you can! Thank you! πŸ™‚

Rag Doll

Rag doll finished photo

All done and dressed!

Here it is! My latest creative project. I’m now making rag dolls, or fabric dolls, since they aren’t really made with “rags”. This cute little girl doll was made with fabric scraps I had left over from years ago. She was meant to be my prototype, but one of my followers on my facebook art page has already snatched her up!

fabric doll photo

Body finished with no hair, eyes or clothes!

I still have a few adjustments to make to the pattern. I’m sure she will evolve and change with each doll I make. This little cutie has been given the name “Abby” and she will be going to a baby girl that hasn’t actually been born yet! Her mom is due to give birth in February and her grandma couldn’t resist buying her first doll. It makes me so happy to know she has a home! This cutie is an 11″ tall doll with blue yarn hair and blue button eyes.

rag doll photo

After hair and eyes were attached.

Rather than calling my creations “rag dolls”, I’ve decided they will be called “love dolls”. They are created with love, will be purchased with love and will give love to their mamas or daddies forever! If you have a special someone who you think would like one of my “love dolls”, let me know! I’m more than happy to create special order dolls.