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Melinda the Dancing Frog

This is my second dancing frog.

Melinda the Dancing Frog

Melinda the Dancing Frog

For the first frog (Mikhail) I dyed the fabric with coloured India inks.  This time I used Derwent Inktense Blocks.

I dampened a sponge, coloured it with the broad side of the Inktense block and then wiped it on the  fabric.  I then heat set the fabric with an iron.

Melinda - Detail

Melinda – Detail

For the frog skin, I used 2 different shades of green. The original fabric was white and blue. The leotard was a cream-cloloured 4 way stretch fabric.

Melinda the Dancing Frog

Melinda the Dancing Frog

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Dancing on Air

The  first All Dolled Up meeting of the season is this weekend and I have to have my summer challenge piece ready.   Last spring we picked two colour chips out of a bag and our challenge was to create a fibre art piece (it doesn’t have to be a doll) using those 2 colours.  It should be obvious from our piece what the 2 colours were.  I decided to do a wet  felted wall hanging.  I didn’t have the right colours but thought that if I mixed what I had it might come close.  It didn’t.  Then I lost the 2 colour chips.  I’m pretty sure that I know what the colours are.  I have embroidery threads that are pretty close, so I decided to do one of my free motion dancers using the 2 colours.   I used the lighter blue for the background and the aqua green for the figure.

I photographed the figure on a white wall as well as outside. 

Free Motion Dancer Detail

Then I had the idea to do a black figure on a white background.

On a white wall, the white lace almost disappears.

Free Motion Dancer Detail

Whatever Lola Wants…

Lola wants to dance.

This is what Lola looked like a few weeks ago.

Lola in progress

Lola: Work in Progress

Since then I have had to make several versions of some of her body parts before I could get them to look the way I wanted.

Lola detail

Lola

Lola profile

Lola: Detail Profile

I usually have a standard order in which I sew the different parts of a doll together.  I sew the legs to the torso first.  I sew the arms on after the clothes.   I usually sew the head on before I put on the hair and then paint the face.  This time I put the hair on first.  Big mistake!  The hair kept getting in the way as I was sewing on the head.

Painting the face comes last.

Lola: Face Painting 1

Lola: Outlining features with air erasable pen

The first thing I do  is draw in the features with an air erasable pen.  I cover her hair with a piece of cloth to keep it out of the way and to protect it when I spray the face with fixative.

Lola: Face Painting 2

Lola: Outlining features with permanent ink

Once I get the features correct, I go over some of it with a Pigma Micron 005 brown pen.  This is permanent ink.

Except for the high light in the eye, the face is painted with pastel pencils.

Lola: Face Painting with chalk pastels

Lola: Adding colour with chalk pastels

I use 2- 3 colours for the eyes and eyeshadow and 2 colours for the lips. The top lip is always darker than the bottom, which catches more light.  I add the highlight to the eye last.  I use acrylic paint applied with the tip of a needle.

Lola: Face painting shadows and blush

Lola: More colour

Lola: Finished Face

Lola: Face

I also paint the fingernails.

Lola: Painted fingernails

Lola: Painted Fingernails

So here she is, practicing her routine to be  ready for her audition for So You Think You Can Dance.

Lola

Dancing on a White Wall

I worked on some more free motion embroidery dancers.  The previous ones  (see here) were done in off-white thread and looked good against a coloured wall or back ground.  I decided to do some that looked good against a white wall.

As I did before, I photographed them outside and then inside on a wall.

free motion lace dancer multicoloured

Multicolored hand dyed thread

Free motion dancer - detail

Detail

After I had done the first one outside, the wind blew both frames over and broke the glass in one of them.  As both mats  are the same size I took the rest of the pictures using the glass-less frame.

The multicoloured cotton thread was hand dyed by Linda Palaisy.  I use a lot of her thread in my work.

black thread free motion dancer

Dancer done in black thread

Dancer - black thread - on wall

Black embroidery on white wall

multicoloured figure on white wall

Multicoloured embroidery on white wall

Do You Wanna Dance?

I love So You Think You Can Dance.  This season I have been trying to sketch while watching it on TV.  I have no way to record the program and stop the action, so I make very crude stick figures in various positions all over the page of my sketchbook.  Afterwards, I use my little artist’s manikin and put it in the position of one of my stick figures and draw a slightly better sketch of the dancer.

Once I have a sketch I like I trace it onto water soluble stabilizer.  I use  free motion embroidery  to fill in the figure and then add a lacy grid pattern around it to  make a rectangle.  In my first embroidery, I filled the background in a little more than I intended so I  added some gold metallic thread to the figure to help it stand out.embroidery on pink background

I left it for a time while I decided what to do about it.  It needs a back ground in order to see the figure.  Hanging it in a window also works, but the sun would not be good for it.

Meanwhile I had done some more sketches and was ready to try again. I figured, as long as I have to add a background I might as well embroider it on a background and then I don’t have to make sure all the bits of the background lace is attached to other stitches.  So I went off to my favourite sewing store, Yarn Forward & Sew On, to get some suitable stabilizer.   Well, I did buy a little bit of stabilizer, just in case, but Jo-Ann Raven persuaded me that I should frame it in a deep frame with the fabric close to the glass leaving space behind the embroidery for light. So that is what I did.  Thanks Jo-Ann.

framed embroidery on blue wall

At the moment  I have not put any backing on the frame.  I have photographed it hanging on a blue wall (at an angle to avoid reflections) and again out in the garden.

embroidery, matted, outside

For my second embroidery, also on water soluble stabilizer,  I did less background stitches.  I think too few.  In future, I will do something in between, less than the first attempt and more stitches than the second.

second embroidery on green fabric

Free motion embroidery laid on fabric

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