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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The restoration of Claudine



Old Claudine was in bad shape. She needed a makeover to feel good about herself again. The years had taken their toll on her skin and it was dry and flaky! Back in February I mentioned fixing her back up.

I had tried to put an antique blouse on her, and it got ripped and snagged on the nails and uneven surfaces. This new "skin" covers the upper half of the dressform, while preserving the original markings.


Padding was added to the areas that were missing, to build up the surface. Some of the deep dents were left alone. The pattern was traced on tissue by laying it over the existing cover. There were 8 pieces to form the upper area, plus 2 pieces for the arm area.

The cover was then hand sewn over the old one, and a new waist band added.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New painting-Russell Steam Engine



I took a brief segue from the Doll Party painting to work on something else. Here is a new piece I finished last night. It is a 24x24 oil on linen canvas. I hope to enter it into a competition. This was very fun to paint, with a variety of textures and effects. The drawing process, however was not fun, and I almost lost "steam" during that phase. It is a new subject for me, and deciphering the various parts was confusing.

Ellipses are difficult, and any vehicle is a series of ellipses:

I went to the steam engine museum for plein air painting a while back, thinking how fun it would be to paint an old tractor. Three hours went by and I was still trying to correct the drawing of ONE tire. Simultaneously my friend Ben was doing an amazing painting of a huge Caterpillar tractor. That only made my tire look worse!
Challenging subjects are very rewarding in the long run. I hope to paint a couple more steam engines in the future.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mammoth camping/Bodie ghost town


The husband and I just took a quick camping trip up to Mammoth. Wanting to get some reference of the old ghost town Bodie called for such an occasion. We stayed at a great place called Twin Lakes. There was still a lot of snow on the ground, and the campsites had just opened for the season, after an unusually long snow session.

Our spot was very close to the lake, which is fed by this huge waterfall.


We took a day trip out to Bodie, which was the second largest city in its day in California.


5% of the original buildings remain in Bodie, after fires and the test of time have taken their toll. There are many buildings left, including a great gold mill. The town is left in a time warp, you can peer inside buildings and see them in the condition they were left in.

It is very creepy, yet hard to stop looking, in a voyeuristic fashion.

Bodie is a great park to visit, bring good shoes, there's lots to see, and lots of walking.


The great outdoors reminds you of the beauty of nature. This little guy came right up to me, he liked the beep sound of my camera, and almost posed for some action shots.


This deer ran through our campsite, Erik got a quick shot of him.

The last night, we awoke to a loud rustling sound-a bear was in our camp! Erik and I turned our flashlight on, and he made a loud growling sound. He tried to crouch down behind the picnic table, but Erik saw his eyes in the light. It was very hard to get back to sleep after that. The next morning we found he had bitten and clawed through our camp stuff looking for food. They give you a big metal lock box for your food, and he was probably desperate for some smores or something!



All in all a very relaxing trip!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Another Regency bonnet-stove pipe purple and green

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This is the finish to a tall Regency bonnet. Made from deep black cherry silk taffeta and lined in poison green silk taffeta fabrics.

The back has striped rosettes and a curled chartreuse green ostrich feather:


The front has a green antique silk ribbon, antique metal lace, an antique bullion star, and deep red feather sprays:

I wanted to make a bonnet in a darker colorway and chose this combination.