So I made a dragon. She’s made from wire, glue gun glue, floristry tape, fabric, emulsion, vast quantities of cornflour paste, and tissue paper, pretty much in that order. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera when I was doing the construction bit, so I haven’t got any photos of that.
So I do this thing on the internet, where I’ll start an account on a new site, think ‘ah, this is amazing’, proceed to make a load of posts on it, then… quietly abandon it some months later.
I think a lot of the reason that happens is simply shyness. I don’t quite understand why people feel anonymous when they post things on the internet. Even if I were to post something completely and utterly anonymous on some random site I’m never coming back to, it’s still me saying something, in front of people, and that’s slightly scary. And if I have an established account, well, even more so.
I’m saying this in the hopes that admitting it will make it less of a problem.
(A few years ago, I went on a walking weekend where I didn’t know anyone. At one point on Saturday evening, one of the people there asked me if I found everyone really intimidating, or I was just naturally quiet. I’m just really quiet, I said. And for the rest of the trip, I didn’t feel remotely self-conscious or nervous.)
The other reason, of course, is that I’m a student, so during term time it’s very easy to put off these sorts of things in favour of work, because I must always do more work. Hence I dropped it around the start of the Autumn term, and am picking it up again in May.
What I’m not going to do now is make a promise to keep up this blog, because that’ll just make me feel horrendously guilty if I do need or want to drop it again. But I’ll make this post to get the awkward ‘oh, I’m alive’ bit out of the way.
And also, here’s a drawing.
It occurred to me that since my first post, I haven’t put any drawings up here…
And then this, which will probably look weirdly bright on most monitors, because my laptop screen has a funny way of dealing with colours.
In the past, I’ve always done digital art larger than it needs to be, with the intention of resizing later. Whilst this is fine for turning scans into final illustrations like the ones at the top, it’s rubbish for doing anything from scratch. Most digital drawings that I begin get abandoned part way through, usually when I zoom out from doing the details on the face, and realise that it no longer matches the body, which has really distorted proportions anyway.
This one I did entirely at 100%, with no zooming at any point. This makes things so much easier, in a ‘why did I not do this before’ way. Admittedly it’s very rough, and it wouldn’t be suitable for printing, but it’s a sketch, so I’m fine with that. It’s worth the roughness to actually finish something, and to be able to draw with all the benefits of a computer (the magic of undo! layers! a rubber that doesn’t remove the paper! I can add colour without wrecking anything! I can move and resize parts of it if I need to!).
I’m gradually making progress with this new BJD. I found this really excellent tutorial for the hair. It uses acrylic yarn, which I have loads of, and rarely use – and it’s always nice to be able to use something you’ve already got, rather than buying something specially. I had previously been very tempted to get some mohair from eBay, but I think I prefer this technique anyway!
This is the yarn I used – not terribly exciting looking to begin with.
Making it into wefts. I found fastening the main bit of yarn across a box so it was taut made this bit much easier.
The weft after brushing and straightening it. I used an iron instead of hair straighteners because, well, no hair straighteners. It’s pretty amazing how smooth it turns out.
And with the weft sewn onto the wig cap. I only needed the one weft, plus the bit for the parting. Even then it’s a bit too thick – I would definitely spread out the yarn on the weft a bit more if I was doing another wig for a doll this size.
And finally a face! It’s just acrylic paint – I don’t have any kind of sealant, so I didn’t want to use pastels or watercolours.
It’s odd; now she’s got hair and a face it suddenly seems very awkward that she hasn’t got any clothes… I’d better get on with amending that!
After a lot of unravelling where I did something weird with the increases and decreases, this thing is done at last! I really like how this yarn came out slightly stripy, but not in an overbearing way.
(Of course, thanks to the weather being weirdly hot at the moment, it won’t be useful for a while…)
I’ve now started on some slightly more ambitious lace… more on that later 🙂
Because when I hit a problem with a project, I start a new one. Actually, in this case, I hoped making another might help solve the problems with the first one.
I’ve finished the sculpey bit now – and I remembered to take photos pretty much all the way through! For this one I pretty much baked stuff as soon as it was done, so I could fit the joints better. They still need work – trying to get them to fit well on this scale is pretty tricky (she’s just over 4″ high).
Now, onto the painting & hair. And brilliantly, because she’s not an existing character I can use whatever I like for the hair 😀
Today my sister and I made bread muffins, otherwise known as bruffins (I’d like to point out that she came up the the portmanteau).
The method is simple: follow any basic bread recipe, but put the dough in muffin cases rather than a loaf tin, and bake for about 10 minutes.
The best way to eat them is when still warm, sliced vertically down the middle and filled with butter/herbs/jam/etc.
(The downside of bruffins is that they always stick to the muffin case, so you lose a bit off the bottom of each one, but it’s worth it for the silly).