Monday, December 29, 2008

A Mini Wonderland

The "big" version of Wonderland was so much fun to make, I decided to do a Pocket Prim version of its characters (complete with a raggedy little pouch all their own).

Mini Alice is handpainted from her blue bodice to her tiny stockings and shoes, her raggedy blue skirt hand-sewn. Her face is hand-drawn with detail from colored pencils.

The little White Rabbit has an awfully big pocketwatch (and lots of grungy tea stains)...

The Mad Hatter just looks .... well, mad.

Oh, my, don't tell the Queen I'm here!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Creche, part II

This time I have photos of the finished project ... after a lot of paint and "elbow grease" last week. Because of the weather, I spread the floor of the living room in old vinyl tablecloths and painted inside for a change ...

Mary is by far the most detailed (and most colorful).

There's still a few spots of white showing on her dress and cloak ...

Baby Jesus has the least amount of facial sculpting, unfortunately, since I didn't get time to fully form his features before I painted him.

His face is fairly expressive, once painted ...

His robes are green to match Mary's.

Joseph's face, the largest, has rather broad features (his arm is proportionally too small if you look closely).
His hand is curved to hold a staff or a lantern ...

I love the mottled effect of the paint that covers his cloak.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas ....

(As read by Reggie-the-Crow)

'Twas the Night before Christmas, when all throught the house ...

not a creature was stirring, not even a Mouse ...
'What Mouse?' Where??? Point it out to me, quick!"

"Will you stop it already? I just said there were no Mice -- You're interrupting the story! Anyway ... The stockings were hung by the chimney with care ...

... in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

"Should we have hung up stockings?? What if Santa doesn't leave us any presents?"

"We're birds; we don't have any stockings. Besides, Santa mostly leaves presents under the tree now. Now let's skip the sugar plums and move on."
... And mama in her kerchief and I in my cap, had just settle down for a long winter's nap...
When outside my window arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter! I opened the window and threw back the sash ...
"Can we skip to the part where Santa comes in?"

... When what, to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer!

...With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer ...

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot; and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had thrown on his back, and he looked like a peddlar just opening his pack.

His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

"Why does Santa shake like a bowl full of jelly? Why not shake like a snow globe? Or a leaf?"

"Go to sleep; or else Santa won't be visiting this nest when he moves on!"

I heard him exclaim, ere he flew out of sight ...

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Further Advice from Mouse

When out walking this winter, always watch where you're going, to avoid thorns or burrs in the paws ...

... and always look for an opportunity to pounce on a snack, since tiny, furry creatures often hide beneath the dead leaves when they see you (many a tasty mole goes unnoticed by the unobserving cat).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hard Times Saints

Jolly old St. Nicholas, lend your ear this way .....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Milty ... (or the Emporer Penguin's New Groove)

This cute little baby had my heart before I made the last stitch. I call him "Milty" for no reason other than he looked like a Milty when I was finished (or maybe I've been watching too many Jack Benny reruns lately).

(Milty props his wings in a big "hello" gesture)

His felt scarf is removable (the little snowflakes are painted on). The little quilt batting wings flap about on their own ... Milty is almost entirely quilt batting, minus his bead-and-sequin eyes, Christmas glitter, and cotton stuffing.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rockin' Reindeer

Here's a little something we Google up during the Yuletide season (the Drifter's version is by far my favorite 'White Christmas' ... and I, shamefully, watch this even in July and August). Enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Angels We Have Heard On High ....

These are the latest in the "Hard Times, Old Times" series ... the angels are my favorite:

But the grungy Christmas stars by far were the most effort (with lots of glitter involved).

These little guys were the last finished. The "gumball" eyes are paint and glitter; both the snowmen and Gingerbread are wearing fraying felt scarves.

The glittery little carrot noses are my favorite feature on these (they're painted paper-mache, in case you're wondering). Click the Cheshire Cat on the right side and visit these little fellows on Ebay (there are more photos uploaded to the auctions).

Merry Christmas to All (including the real Santa, of course).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Creche

During the holiday vacation, I began work on the Christmas Nativity for the front porch. While not exactly a sculpter in the true sense of the word, I decided to try my hand at molding the figures from wire and paper-mache.

The result was a chicken-wire form stuffed with paper ....

Layered over with newspaper strips and a flour-based glue ...

I sculpted facial features from paper pulp for Mary's face, trying to create as much detail as possible (my limited skill shows here, since Mary's features seem two-dimensional when you look at her from the side.
Joseph's face still leaves a little something to be desired....

Sabrina watches me work, pretending she's dropped by for some other reason ... she's such a camera ham.

Photos of the finished pieces will be coming as soon as I add a little paint (and that base coat of smoothing white). Cross your fingers that all goes well (and they're settled on the porch before Christmas, of course!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Creations for "Hard Times"

With everyone feeling the crunch of the economic downturn, we decided to create a line of inexpensive or "recession-friendly" Christmas ornaments like those adorning trees of Christmas past. With a banner decorated like old-fashioned Christmas candy tins, we pay homage to the ultimate in tough economic times, the 20's and 30's.

The first in the series is the Santa trio below. Faded red paint on muslin, old quilt batting trim, with make-do patches and knots abounding, each Santa Claus hangs by a gold thread loop knotted through his hood.

The "Hard Times, Old Times" ornaments are handmade primitives, inexpensive and old-fashioned, like the ornaments people made by hand in "hard times" and treasured through the generations.

We've been inspired by several pieces our own family has passed down through the years, and by examples found in old ornament collections, traditional patterns, and Christmas card scenes of long ago.

Santa and Mrs. Claus, courtesy of my great-grandmother

Check our listings on Ebay to see more pictures of the "Hard Times, Old Times" line, including the little Santas above.