Friday, October 20, 2006

Full of inspiration

I had the day pretty well to myself today. The little guy stayed the night at the grandparents' place last night, and once I dropped the big guy off at school this morning, I was without child...well, on the outside anyway. I had to do some prep work for a teachback this afternoon, so that took up the bulk of my day, but once that was finished, I didn't have anything else pressing to do.

I slowly perused the school bookstore this morning, as I didn't have an extra set of hands dismantling the wooden toy display, and somehow I managed to come out of the store with felt in every color under the rainbow, more doll skin fabric, cotton velour in two shades, and some felting wool.

I'm so inspired right now by the absolute explosion of color going on that I just must create. For some reason this year, whatever combination of sun, rain, and temperature has yielded one of the most stunning fall displays I can remember. The trees around here all seem to have turned nearly simultaneously, rather than the trees changing color so slowly that they're half naked before they're done metamorphosing. So many of the leaves aren't just one color, either. They run in gradation from the stem to the tips, green to gold, crimson, or red. The gray skies around here as of late just seem to make the colors pop so much more crisply.

So first, here's a small taste of the color around here. The weather was wet for most of the day today, so snapping these pictures was tricky. It may have involved some rapid fire shooting while pausing at stop signs/stop lights, etc., so there may be a bit of windshield haze.

So tonight after getting home, being sans little ones, I immediately hopped into creative mode. I pulled out all the goodies I picked up today and started working on the Mother Earth from Crafts through the Year. I've never made a doll from nothing but unspun wool before, so this was a new skill, and the instructions were a bit ambiguous. I had a hard time getting it all sorted out, but I don't think she turned out too bad for a first go at it.

This is what she's supposed to look like (sorry for the lousy pics, but it's the middle of the night here, and it's a little dark):

And this is what I came up with (phone included for scale):

And a side view:

She turned out very, um, roomy. I had a hard time getting her head as round as it needed to be. I think her bottom is supposed to be round too (but maybe not so fat or tall?). I think it's all in my technique. Unfortunately, I can't think of anyone off the top of my head to ask to see what I could do differently next time. I'll have to scout around at school to see if someone has made these kind of dolls before (and I'm sure someone has...). Because there is nothing securing the wool down (wool is "sticky" and unspun wool will "stick" to itself), she's very soft, squooshy, and fragile -- wispy even. Definitely not a doll for the kiddos to play with. I made her in typical fall colors - dark green and burgundy. She has brown cuffs on her sleeves and golden hair (the colors aren't exactly true in the pic b/c of the flash). She's now perched in our nature scene, making sure the gnomes don't get out of hand.

The school's Children's Festival is coming soon, and some of the parents are going to get together and sell some of their handmade crafts. I may just have to make a few things to put out. Hmm.....

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