Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Of my experiment that is.

I've finished the last of the four Santa figures that were a part of my experimenting with paper mache clay and am now working on getting the bodies finished for the three Santa heads that I showed you in a previous post. 

Santa has one little bear left to be delivered.

I painted this Santa red using the same technique as I used painting the last two but with a whole different outcome. On the last two Santas the paint appeared to be worn off and faded but on this Santa it looks deeper as if years of handling have left the piece with a grimy film sometimes referred to as a patina.

I'm happy with the way they turned out and wish my photography skills were better.

My four test subjects have been very helpful in my attempts to develop a paper mache clay recipe that is so far working very well for my needs. That was my goal  when I started this experiment so I would say it was a huge success. I'll be making another batch of PMC today to use on those three Santas I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

I'm also working on a few dolls one of which is for a challenge and another one that I got the idea for last March and hopefully will be finished within the next week.

As always, thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Experimental Santa Numbers 2 & 3

It's been dreary and raining here so there's nothing for me to do in the yard and I haven't felt like going out much so I've had plenty of time for my experiment. As I mentioned in my last post I have been tweaking my paper mache recipe and experimenting with the way I paint my little sculpts. I'm not sure if I'm learning anything from these experiments but who knows, maybe I'll stumble onto something that really works for me. 

Here's Santa control subject #2

When picking a color palette for Santa I usually go with  warm colors but from time to time I like to try something a bit different just to keep things interesting for me. I'm one of those people who has a short attention span and I get bored unless I can stir things up a little.

With this Santa I went about giving him that antiqued look in a different way. Instead of using a gel stain I painted him in a way to present a worn appearence. I also thought it was high time I gave Santa something besides bears and dolls to be part of his delivery so here he is with a sweet little ellie. For those of you who are triditionalists, he also has a teddy and a doll in his bag.

I really do like the blues and grays. They have such a calming feel about them.

I did a close-up in hopes it would show more of the shading and colors and since I've used the same method of painting #3 I'm including him in the photo as well. 

Showing the two side by side you can see that even though I painted the cloak for #3 with red this is also a cool palette.

It's going to be another dreary rainy day again today so I'm planning on doing some more painting. I have one more Santa and then the four test subjects will be completed and I will have more time to concentrate on getting bodies made for some of these heads.

I'm sure many of you have plans for this weekend. Unless there's a change in the weather I plan on staying home and keeping warm and dry. Whatever your plans are, enjoy your weekend and as always, thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


It's been a busy week since my last post with lots of things happening. I love staying busy but sometimes things get almost too busy.  If you read my last post you know that my granddaughter Ariel and her friends were arriving for a visit. They arrived a week ago Monday evening and stayed until this past Monday morning. We had a wonderful time visiting and the weather was perfect for most of the time they were here.

Since the weather was so warm I decided to do some much needed yard cleanup and got a few vegetables and strawberries planted. It's starting to look less scary out there. I was even enjoying sitting out on the patio in the early morning with my first cup of coffee. Note the past tense. 

On the days the kids went site seeing I either worked in the yard or worked with my paper mache.  I'm now up to 21 heads, don't ask, and with everything happening the week went by too fast.

We decided to have a cookout on Sunday evening since they were leaving Monday morning so of course the weather decided to revert back to our norm for this time of year which is cold and windy with plenty of rain. We didn't let that get in our way and went ahead and had a fantastic time. I ate too much and my fridge is packed with leftovers that I'll be eating for the rest of the week. Leftover fruit salad makes great tasting smoothies and I like pasta salad better when it's been in the fridge for a day or two. I'm going to enjoy the heck out of these leftovers.

I did manage to get two Santa figures finished during this time. One I had started last November and it has taken me longer to get this one done than any of my other pieces. It's not that he's any different or more special than the others, I think it was more a matter of getting side tracked with other things.

I've been calling him the "Last November Santa" not the most original name.

When I first started on him I had left his hat off and he had a bald head. His beard was longer and thinner and his cloak collar was laying flat in the back. He also wasn't holding this puppy. I also tried a new way of making boots that was an offshoot of what I did with Dory and Donner's shoes. They're a combination of fabric and paper mache. I'm quite happy with the way he turned out.

The other Santa I finished is a smaller figure. He's shorter and thinner and less complex. I have been experimenting with the paper mache recipe and have four test subjects. This is the first one that I've finished and I'm happy with the recipe I used. Too bad I didn't document things better.

This Santa was sculpted over a small creamer bottle. His head was sculpted directly onto the top of the bottle. The reason I mentioned this is the next three pieces that are part of my experiment are done with the heads sculpted separately and then attached to the body. I also did a bit of experimenting with my painting technique. His hair and beard have a pearlized finish and there is glitter on the stocking and the ruffle around the bunny's neck. I haven't used glitter on any of my previous Santa figures and have never used anything other than a clear matte finish.

I have been trying to achieve a paper mache clay that is as hard and durable as the original recipe that I started with but one that holds it's shape better during the sculpting process and is easier to smooth while sculpting to cut down on the filing and sanding that is so hard on my hands. I think I'm heading in the right direction. Now if I'd only remember to write things down.......

The weather is dreary again so no more sitting out on the patio day dreaming. I guess that means I'll have plenty of time to work on bodies and clothes for all of those heads.

Have a wonderful week and as always, thanks for stopping by.


Monday, May 14, 2012


Donner O'Dell is finally ready for you to meet. This little boy is Dory O'Dell's  younger brother and should have been finished days ago but I kept putting off giving him hair. I couldn't make up my mind as to how I wanted to proceed with this part of him. I had originally thought to give him crepe wool hair like his sister but then I had to decide what color to give him. I'd been leaning towards blond but it wasn't set in stone even with his blond eyebrows and blue eyes. Then I had to decide how to style his do.  Should it be short or should it be longer? Was it going to be thin and straight or thick and curly. I'd almost decided on shading his scalp with paint and then giving him a few loose curls on top. Because I couldn't decide he sat patiently in the little rocker waiting for me to make up my mind.

Here's what I finally went with....

He has been given a short thin do with a side part, and he's blond like I thought he might be. I see he's been to visit Mrs. Claus because he has two of her gingerbread boy cookies in the pocket of his romper.

For days Donner sat on my work table wearing nothing but his socks and shoes and his white hoodie. I finally got around to designing and sewing him a blue denim romper and red knit
T-shirt for that patriotic look.

Here are some photos of Donner with his sister. Dory takes after their father in looks while Donner favors their mother. Dory is nearly 13 inches tall and little Donner is nearly an inch and a half shorter.


Both dolls have paper mache clay heads and both are wearing paper mache clay shoes. Their bodies are made of muslin with painted arms and legs. Their rompers are sewn from the same blue denim that was a work shirt in a former life. Both dolls have movable arms and legs and can stand on their own if carefully positioned. Their heads can be turned side to side.

Speaking of heads. They keep multiplying and I now have 19 heads sitting there giving me dirty looks. Making bodies and clothing should keep me busy and out of trouble for a very long time. Especially if the heads keep multiplying.

We've been having some unseasonably warm weather this past week and the forecast is for another day or two of this before it cools off. I couldn't resist taking a trip to the nursery for tomato, pepper and strawberry plants. What I really wanted to find was an Italian plum tree but can't seem to find one. I know they grow here because my brother-in-law's mother had one on her property so I'll keep looking.

My granddaughter Ariel who is going to school in Colorado will be here for a visit and should be getting here sometime tonight so I may not have much time in the next few days to visit your blogs but will catch up when I can.

Have a great week and as always thanks for stopping by.


Friday, May 11, 2012


 Wendy has been working on a special project and hasn’t wanted to share what it is until now. Our mom won some wonderful origami papers and a book on making origami figures in a giveaway from Orchid’s Daily Voice . Wendy wanted to see if she could teach herself origami so she has been working at it a few hours each day for the past two weeks.
You have no idea how hard it is for a polar bear to do something like this. Polar bears have rather large paws and making the folds takes a lot of patience and practice. It took lots and lots of practice, every day, and tons of patience. There were times when Wendy wanted to give up and admit defeat, but that’s not our Wendy. Nope, not our Wendy, she stuck with it.
First she used plain paper so she wouldn’t waste Mom’s special paper.
Once she had mastered a few of the figures she tried making a figure using the pretty paper.
And then she made more figures..
  Here she is making a turtle.

Here she is finishing up a cute little kitty.

Then she started teaching some of the rest of us to make origami cranes and frogs and turtles and after many failures a few pieces actually turned out looking like the pictures in the book.

Here's Bartholomew with his puppy that he is rather proud of.

Robbie and his pink bunny. It doesn't stand up by itself but it almost looks like the picture in the book.

Look at the cute beetle or whatever it is. Mom said she thought it was a beetle or a June bug.  Wendy likes the way the blue kitty turned out so she's going to give it to Mom for Mother's Day.

Even Mom got in on the fun and tried making a crane and then she made a turtle. Wendy said it was easier for Mom since she doesn’t have large paws. You should see the shelf above our TV. There are dozens of origami animals and birds.
Now we have another fun thing to do when we can’t go outside and play. It’s always a good thing to have plenty of options for having fun don’t you agree?
Since it is Friday some of our bear friends are posting so we’re going to spend an hour or so visiting with them. There are still 63 more sleeps until we’re going to be seeing everyone at camp. You all know we’re ticking off the sleeps on our calendar and wishing it wasn’t such a long time but Mom says that the time will fly by once the weather get nice enough for us to play outside.
See you soon.
Bellamine & Wendy

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Prince Caden Turns One

Yesterday a young prince named Caden celebrated his first birthday at a party given in his honor. It took place in a park and there were many guest who brought the young prince gifts to show their love for the sweet boy.

The bottom photo  I couldn't get him to look at the camera no matter what bit of silliness I managed to do. This sweet little boy is my sister Maggie's great-grandson and my great-great nephew. Does that make us seem old? Or just great?

Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by.