Monday, February 23, 2009

Selling stuff so I can justify making more messes around here!

Here's a little 11x 14 painting I did based on a Civil War CDV in my collection. I was looking at these the other day, and I thought t'was a shame they weren't in color! Got bored and thought about 'colorizing' one. So I trotted off to Michael's and bought some canvas boards and came home to doodle. I had a lot of fun sitting and painting this weekend. Tried to represent the cdv this image came from and also was sort of going for a slightly 'primitive' look. 'Cept I don't do primitive terribly well. You have to have a real feel for that type of art and I really don't think I've got that ability.
At any rate, I thought I'd list this on Ebay to see if anyone might consider giving it a home. I don't have any wall space, and besides, the gentleman I share my shoebox with wasn't exactly giving me any feedback on this, meaning he's afraid if he gives it a compliment it'll wind up on the walls around here. He's such a chicken.

Since it's Black History Month, and I have to clear out some space around here, and Marie's not having the best time laying in a box shoved in the closet, I thought I'd put her on Ebay too. I am hoping someone will like her enough to give her a good home.

Unfortunately, Hope saw how I have been treating Marie Laveau and the other dolls around here...and she is afraid I am going to put her in a box and stuff her in the closet as well, so she is running away from home with Marie. I think she feels safer doing this with an adult accompanying her. She'd never try it alone. She's a smart girl.
At any rate, I listed these poor girls tonight on Ebay, so if anyone's interested, look up robinseggbleu to see the listings! If I can sell them, I can justify to Dave my need to make another enormous mess around here. He doesn't mind the messes, but I think he's afraid of living surrounded by dolls staring at him. He's a bartender, so you'd think he'd be used to folks sitting around all day staring at him with blank expressions... but I suppose it's just too creepy for him to have this at home as well.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Well, I've just got the sweetest man around. Am so thankful for that! I was on my little Barbara Gaskill round-up addiction, having just watched Cranford and Wives and Daughters. I decided that when I got around to it, I'd try and see if I could find her North and South on Netflix.

Low and behold I find our latest netflix in the mail yesterday, North and South. I know that I was not the one who ordered it, and I didn't even know Dave knew about it. What a sweetie. He knew how much I enjoyed the first two films, and looked up Barbara Gaskill and discovered the North and South series and ordered them in secret.

This morning I woke up to find a lovely card and FOUR new books!!!!!! Mary Barton, Ruth, Wives and Daughters, and North and South. Someone knows his gal to a tee! I'd never read any of them, nor heard of Barbara Gaskill until Cranford. I might not get anything done for awhile now that I've got these books to dive into.

Unfortunately, Dave has to work today, but the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and I have all day to do nothing but sit on my fat derriere (sp?) and read! I'm a lucky girl!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Theda Bara.....The Vamp

Theda Bara aka "The Vamp"
of the Silent Film Era

Theda was born Theodosia Burr Goodman in Cincinnati in 1885, to a prominent Jewish tailor. She went into the pictures with the intention of being known as a conventional romantic heroine in the silent film era. Unfortunately, her attempt at a 'sweetness and light' role in 'Kathleen Mauvorneen' in 1919 was a complete flop. Hollywood had already manufactured her in the image of "the Vamp" and this could not be undone.

She became Theda Bara, which is an anagram for 'Arab Death'. She was rumored to be the daughter of a French painter and his Egyptian mistress. Don't you just love historical 'spin'? She portrayed an often wicked 'siren' in nearly 40 films, her first in 1915 in "A Fool There Was", which was an adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling novel, "The Vampire". This role sealed her fate in Hollywood. Theodosia Goodman would forever be known as "The Vamp".

I made Theda Bara for an IOLCC (Imitation of Life Construction Company) Dimensions in Dollmaking show. This is an annual international show in San Diego, and a fabulous honor to be involved in.

I made Theda a full body sculpt in Paperclay with a wire skeleton. For the first time, I had to make a 'bottom', breasts, stomach, thighs, ankles, etc. I was going for her most famous image of The Vamp and knew that her clothing would cling so I'd better try real hard to get the body semi-human in scale. Nothing I wrapped her in seemed to fit right, then I settled on the idea of using an antique mantilla I had. I draped this on and liked it, but then there was the problem of certain things showing through the lace. So I began to bead the mantilla in strategic places. You could still see through a bit so I decided rather than paint her in a 'smooth' fashion, she'd get some real parts. Just to make it look more real.

I was going to use black mohair but worried that since it was supposed to stay pulled up in her hands, that it wouldn't remain that way in transit and setting up for the show. So I decided on a beaded headdress, thinking that would be safer and EASIER. What a dummy I was. I hand strung about a bazillion strands of glass bugle beads for 'hair'. A total pain, but I do like how the headdress turned out over all.

After going through more photos of Theda, I found one where she's pretty much draped in lace and it's beaded in all the right spots. This made me feel better about my choice in deviating from the original image of her as The Vamp.

As it's another cold, gray day unworthy of taking better photos of my Hope doll, I thought I'd drag Theda out of the old photo cupboard to share with everyone. And she's still wondering where the hell her bloody little finger crawled off to.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Elizabeth Gaskill Worthy Weather

"Wives and Daughters"

After a quite emotional and exhausting week, and the depressing rain didn't help (although I am grateful for the rain...especially at night whilst going to sleep), I decided to treat myself last night and tonight with a viewing of Elizabeth Gaskill's "Wives and Daughters". I netflixed this right after seeing "Cranford" which I LOVED. Have to say that Wives and Daughters, while still a treat on a quiet rainy evening, didn't quite measure up to Cranford. It was just....heavier. It took a while to get into it. But by the end of this evening, I was really enjoying it. Not in the same way as I did Cranford. Now I have to go about finding "North and South" to see how that measures up!

I was hoping to take some better photos of my Hope doll, but with all this rain, it's been pretty dark and gloomy around here. Just waiting for that sunny day to come along. So instead of worrying about that, I will spend the rest of this evening watching Antiques Road Show and hitting the sack early...and hopefully the storm outside will cooperate with me and it will rain enough to lull me to sleep! Oh wait....Antiques Road Show is over, and instead it's a show on Abraham Lincoln. Well, I cannot exactly miss that, can I? Think I'll brew a little pot of Queen Victoria tea (my favourite!) and cozy up with Mr. Lincoln.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A rainy day filled with Hope


I finally finished Hope early this morning, while listening to the rain fall, and I wondered if sometimes, the rain is God crying. After I took Hope's photos, I left to go work on photos of another kind. My friend's 16 year old daughter was murdered this week. I just got home from a very, very long day putting together photo boards for her funeral tomorrow morning.

So I got to thinking about "HOPE" and what that means. Hope for our country, our families, friends and the future. Hope for freedom from oppression from all sorts of evils. You just never think you will have to hope for your children's freedom from oppression from their own peers. My hope for Hannah is that she is in a better place free now from that kind of oppression, from CHILDREN who would shoot a girl in the stomach for the crime of trying to better her life and disassociate herself from those so impassive and desensitised to violence that taking another life is as simple as point and click. Just like a video game.

I made Hope in honor of Black History Month, and sort of an homage to our country in the hope of no longer seeing things solely in terms of black and white. Now I think she also represents hope for our little girls, to be able to grow up and become women, mothers, grandmothers, friends, confidants, companions. Little girls are necessary. The world would be lost without them. So I hope that gun laws are made stronger, that people raise their children to respect human life, and hope that the concept of judging someone for the way they dress, the language they speak and the color of their skin becomes extinct.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Finally getting some progress on my Hope doll!

FINALLY got started on my Hope doll, making some progress! She's got a paperclay head and arms, and a cloth body. I usually make paperclay feet, but this time I thought I'd just try to make do with the cloth feet and paint them.
She's getting striped stockings, red 'balmoral' boots with black 'patent leather' foxing at the toes and heels. A nice paint job is what Hope will be getting tonight!

Made some progress on her dress, the fabric's white with a blue design with tiny red circles. It's got the bell sleeves and will have a very full skirt with two rows of growth pleats. After seeing a recent posting about tea staining fabric....I am thinking of doing the same with Hope's dress. It's a tough decision. I like the bright white, it's so fresh looking. Then again, there's something to be said for gently 'aged' fabric. I like the primitive look of it, so here I sit, unable to make a decision!
It must be the darned San Diego heat causing my brain to malfunction. Can you believe it? It's been like summer all week! Last week too! My gosh, we're spoiled. Sure, we may slide into the ocean in a few years, but we aren't trapped indoors freezing our tushies off like most of the US. We are very fortunate and also thankful for this wonderful weather. I feel terrible for those who are having such a difficult winter. My sister recently left Kentucky to return to San Diego and I bet she's thanking the good Lord she moved here when she did. Those poor people back east. I sure hope they get a break and soon. Mother Nature needs to share the wealth a bit on all fronts...spread the cold around evenly, so we all get a nice chilly winter, but not so much that we are stuck home with kids on snow days with no power. Yikes. It's supposed to rain here tomorrow.....ha! I'll believe it when I see it. They're always so wrong about the rain.