Friday, May 15, 2009

Of Birthdays and Blythe Dolls

I just uploaded the baby's birthday photos from last week, and look how sweet this one is:

She just looks ABSOLUTELY thrilled that it is her birthday, as she should be! It was a fun day spent eating just treats, no regular dog food. That's how a birthday should be, right?!

I dug some old goodies out of storage at my parents' house the other day, including three Blythes that I got for about $5 each (!!!) back in the early 90's when I was around 10 or 11. Blythes weren't popular then, but as soon as I saw one at a flea market, I had to had her. Here are some photos of one of them; I made the outfit for her around the same time as when I bought her out of some vintage barbie pants and trims.

What's interesting is how my paintings now have lots of big eyed girls that look like these and other dolls I collected when I was little. My parents used to drag me to flea markets when I was younger, and I hated every second of it until I started to see big eyed dolls from the 60's and began to collect them, then flea markets became hugely fun treasure hunts! From time to time I like to draw these dolls; their faces are just so expressive and kitschy! I'll post more photos of dolls I uncover at their house in the next few days. It's so funny that my childhood toys were really not from my childhood in the 80's at all, but from that of the 1960's...

I'm trying to get a handle on the little "displays" of cute stuff that are all around the apartment, and this one is going to get a facelift today:

It's a mix of antique dolls, dolls made by Etsy friends and artists, and dolls I've made myself. I'm thinking of rearranging lots of little things in my house to give it a bit of a new look. I should really take some before and after photos! Change is good...

I've been working on a new multi-layered screenprint of a big-eyed girl with bear ears, but I need to figure out how to connect my old scanner/copier to my new computer. I think I will need to search my "random computer crap" drawer to find the software, sigh. Pictures soon, I hope!

I'll leave you with one last photo of a doll I found online a while ago. She, of course, has big eyes but is a lot older than the Blythe dolls. She is a composition doll from around the 1920's or so, and I got her on eBay for under $10 including shipping a few years ago! They didn't mention any dimensions in the auction description, so I assumed she would be about 8" tall - she came in the mail in a huge box and turned out to be 2 feet tall! Awesome! She also arrived in this hand embroidered outfit, cutest thing ever.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sketchbook: May 2009

Pages from my unbound sketchbook... I like to work this way: filling up all the pages first, being messy, changing around the order, and then binding the whole thing in the end when I am done with it. I have big plans for how I want this one to look when I bind it...

I started another small, carry around sketchbook yesterday because the one in the video is getting too huge and unmanageable. It's also getting toward its final stages, and has start to become more "precious" - meaning I want everything in there to look nice, so I have begun to fear working in it a little bit. Don't you hate it when that happens? I think I will scribble on a few of the blank pages as a bottom layer and to combat that problem.

There has been a lot of MAKING going on lately, and I love it. Drawing, painting, screenprinting, planning videos and books, baking bread, and I even started an epic zine project which will probably take years to finish. I feel up to it! Wish me luck...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Happy Third Birthday, Ruby Roo!!

Why did Julie and I bake these special peanut butter doggy biscuits last night?

Because today, Ruby Roo turns THREE years old! I think that is kind of insane. It seems like only yesterday she came into my life so tiny that she didn't even fill up the bottom of my purse! Today has been filled with treats, walks, and playing all her favorite games...fetch...yellow ball...etc. She is having a fun day and is excited for anything else the big day might hold!

Here she is in between begging for food. On her birthday, she gets way more people food than she really should... But she is so cute, it's hard to resist!

In between baking treats for Roo, we also found the time to make some homemade deodorant using the recipe we found on Angry Chicken, and we even made some homemade lip balm. Below is the filling tray we use when pouring the lip balm; it makes it so easy and fun!

We made lip balm that tasted like sugared strawberries, yum! Here are two different recipe experiments hanging out with my pretty Orla Kiely mug from Target:

And I keep forgetting to post about my metal clay experiments... Julie and I found the clay kind of stressful to work with, since the initial setup cost and cost of the clay was so high, but firing it was tons of fun! I made a stump, a deer, and kind of botched up the last pendant I made, which says "mom." I think we may try to get some custom stamps made and try the clay again one day, but we have to work up the nerve (and save up the money...) to buy more clay first!

Oh, and someone requested the recipe for peanut butter bread, so I thought I'd post it here:

Peanut Butter Bread Recipe

(This is for bread machines, so I have no idea how it would translate to non-bread machine bread making... It is delicious, though, and definitely worth a try!)
1 1/8 cup tap water
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast