Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Project : Skull Bear

Project : Skull Bear
Date : January 2008
Materials : Wire, tin foil, clay, white out, hot-glue, a pinch of fabric, yarn (2 types), thread, beads (temporarily)
Tools : Crochet hook, needle, hot glue gun, oven
Finished Product:
Skull Bear FinalSkull Bear Final

Skull Bear : rough finishSkull MonsterSkull Bear : rough finish

Given that I'm a poor sculptor, I started with the head. Looking back, I would have started with the body- as I do with almost all my projects- and *then* done the head. Sigh. Live and learn. Anyway, I bent some wire and used some tinfoil and then some clay and BAM, I made a skull. Of course I was desperately looking at photos while I did this and it still sucked. There's a skull top and seperate jaw, mind you. Baked them, then painted 'em with white-out. Started crocheting the bear. Had massive, massive, *massive* problems sculpting it correctly. Left a gap at the bottom and also inserted a wire spine. Got glued a scrap of fabric to the clay bits and then sewed that to the yarn. Had difficulties sewing it such that the two would line up. Then I crocheted the limbs. Put very stupid looking beads on as claws, closed up the rump and called it good. Went away for a while, then came back to it. Sculpted clay claws and then went over the chest with some re-shaping crochet and added an (ugly) tail. During this all one of the teeth broke off but was easily hot glued back on and then repainted with whiteout. Several paint touch-ups were needed throughout but luckily whiteout is easy to find, use, and dries fast (the reasons I picked it)

Thoughts :
Good first try. Interesting idea I will have to try again. Skulls are a bitch though- hard to draw, hard to sculpt. Toy was made upon request for Moonykins for the Ohantra character. You can see I was less successful adapting this one- moved it from an on-all-fours character to a more doll-like form. Also the shaping around the jawline failed despite my best efforts. Really, I blame working head-first for most these problems. It's actually really fun to play with. I like making the mouth open and close to sing along with whatever I'm listening to. The sculpted claws are also quite awesome- the hands are individual claws while the toes are fixed in a row.

Project : Furry Doll

Project : Furry Doll
Date : Feburary 2008-March 2008
Materials : Fabric (white, pink, orange, green), pink wool, yarn, thread, stuffing, embroidery floss (green, black, pink), rice?
Tools : sewing machine, needle, scissors
Finished Product:
Furry Toy


Shockingly simple once the basic form of the head was settled on. Unfortunately I shipped the toy of months ago and cannot remember/figure out from photos how the head was shaped... I think there was a connection between head and neck, but maybe not? You can tell there is a clear connection between neck and body. Head and body were connected, then the legs made, compared, and then connected. Next the arms were made, compared, and connected. In both cases an incorrect limb was made that was discarded. Filled with rice (I think?) to achieve a heavier feeling. Very basic. The hair was small chunks of wool pulled through the fabric. The eyes, eyebrows, and mouth were embroidered on while the nose was an actual scrap of fabric. The headband and tank-top straps were yarn. The cloths were extremely basic in design- basically just tubes and the straps are only tucked into the shirt, not sewn.

Thoughts :
So much disdain for this project! Ick! It was an interesting practice on matching a photo and doing something I didn't find interesting. The character was made for the real-media-exchange and then mailed off. It was based off this character. I know a lot of what I would call furry artists on the net and a couple mild "furries" but the more hardcore furries freak me out.

Despite my loathing of it, I *do* think it turned out really well. There just some poor puckering around the snout but other then that it's a good match. It's important to note how much better the doll looks with the cloths- a major improvement for minor work. The hair was sooooo much fun to do! I'm excited to try it again. The fabric was of poor quality and it took quite a beating pulling those chunks of wool through it, but it survived and playing with the hair is by far the best part of the doll.

"Glowsheep : Most cursed project ever?
I should honestly just mail this off ASAP before my house burns down or something.

Started off by losing the needles I was using/needed for it.
Spent half an evening searching for my white thread.
Then I lost the vibrant orange fabric for the pants.
Then I lost the right thread for the blouse top.
Then I lost my CAMERA to take pictures of it."
-- excerpt from my post saying I'd finished the project. I lost something else as well, but can't remember it at the moment

Project : Mook-Mook

Project : Mook-Mook
Date : February 2008
Materials : Yarn (2 colors), wire, stuffing, embroidery floss (black), fabric, thread, beads
Tools : crochet hook, needle, sissors
Finished Product:

MookMook : Early Stage

With the crochet monsters there is both a technique and a wild attack that goes beyond words. Some day, I'll write up the technique...
I started at the throat and crocheted down. Giving a monster a "tummy" may make it look better, but switching back and forth between the yarns as you makes for a less fluid flow. The mid-section has only a minor bulge relative to the thickness of the neck. Went from the neck and crocheted up one throat, then back to the neck and up a throat and most of a head. I switched back to the first head, finished that, and then finished the second head. Then the hind legs were added, the bottoms staying open. A two pieces of pipe-cleaner were stuck through the body and then crocheted (tightly) over on both sides to create the front arms. Little circles of fabric were cut and then sewn to the bottom of the feet. Some stuffing was affixed to the rump- I can't remember if it was pulled through with a hook or needle or flat out needle felted on. The ears were added- nubs of crochet with a tiny triangle of fabric sewn on the back. Eyes were added and then little triangle noses sewn on with floss. Somewhere in there I went back and crocheted over the chest a bit to correct the shaping.

Thoughts :
I don't know where the name Mook-mook came from, but it struck me day one and stuck. He was created for a Ravelry craft exchange based on someone else's sketch and I'm very, very sorry to see him go. I'm fond of the girl he went to though and I got a *fantastic* creature in return so I don't regret doing so... but still there's sadness. This is the first of my monsters that both the Greatest Living Philosopher and I like.
Despite looking so cute at the end, he went through some rough times. At a Dr. Sketchy's session, the lady next to me said it looked like a penis wishbone mid-way through. And when I was picking up eyes, my friend claimed to be highly skeptical of how it would look... although seeing the final product I know that the eyes are the key to the "cute" look. Relatively easy to make... the rabbit tail idea was random and I should do pipe-cleaner arms like that more often. Last thing to note is the tag. I saw many tags like this at the Swedish Natural History museum, hanging from the legs of long dead creatures, some times typed, sometimes handwritten. I feel they bring a sort of credible, sophisticated look to the creatures that I strive for. This one was lovingly made and I feel really adds to the look. (The tag was nabbed from work... I NEED to find where it comes from so I can buy handfuls of them)
The tag reads:
   Mookion mookus (in italics)
   First seen by Pam M
   Caputred by Rebecca
   Winter 2007-2008 (in italics)