Friday, December 10, 2010

I caught this little fairy mid-flight! She is actually the first set of parts I strung together and painted with watercolor just to see how everything looked. I wanted to paint her very very pale. The results please me very much! China painting is becoming easier, and stringing is getting easier. My next doll is a new skin tone, a more yellow tone that I'm going to try blushing it with a warm brown, paint dark eyes, black hair- totally different direction. This little lady has found a home! My first little one to leave the nest!

Please leave me feedback, comments, I love comments! I am still learning this process, learning blogging, photography, etc. I hope to improve on both as much as I can. Tell me who are your favorite doll artists, or just artists. I love to see what others are doing.

Thanks for following!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Belle and Destiny finished. They are both from a pink/Dresden (Ultras Chic) slip. The Belle doll is the same one below and above with a different wig.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Destiny, finished. I finally got springs that are just right for stringing my doll. They had to be custom made to be strong enough to hold but narrow enough to fit in the tiny forearm. I am delighted to see this girl finished. She's wearing a pretty vintage handkerchief that I'll ake into a dress when I get the time. The second pink/ peach (Dresden) doll will be finished this week, and she may be for sale. Two white dolls are in the works and will be ready in December.

Friday, November 19, 2010

New girls: new slip color (Dresden), new face (in the white hair). The top unpainted head is white, the lower dresden. The left body is painted, the right is unpainted. I'm tried to keep a light and natural complexion on these faces. These girls are based on my beautiful daughter (right) and niece (left). What do you think? Honest feedback is fine with me.

I have my new springs!!!! They are just right--after searching for months and then having to place a custom order. Hopefully there will be some progress this weekend. I'm hoping to have a few girls ready to sell by December. This has been such a learning experience. Every step has had multiple setbacks, and there have been so many steps in the process! Keep watching for updates, they will be more often now. Thanks for following! -----Kelly

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I am not currently able to put photos on my computer so I haven't bothered to update in a while! I will have a new doll finished in a week or two, depending on when my new springs arrive. I am hoping to have a few dolls ready to sell. I am going to put one on ebay at some point, too, just for fun. That will be after the first 5 people who are on my list have their dolls. It is exciting to get to this point! So stay tuned, new photos soon!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'm hoping to really pull together some nice dolls soon. I'm still looking for the right materials and working out the finer points of the techniques involved. It's all getting easier. New face! I think this face will be cute. It's based on my niece, who is an absolutely beautiful child. I love her dearly. I can't wait to get a few painted.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So... not much new to show, life happens. I built some new molds, including a new face, this weekend. Monday I went to an overnight conservation camp with my daughter and our home schooling group. We had great fun. In 32 hours we practiced archery, went canoeing, kayaking, fishing, stargazing (with a professional astronomer), told "scar stories," went on a nature hike, and did a craft project... I won an award for best craft project! Parents were considered campers too so we got to participate in everything.

So I expected to come back and make a hand mold but I spent yesterday in the ER with my son who was hit in the face with a baseball bat by his cousin while I was at camp. Today was spent at doctor's offices. He's fine, the worst of the damage is a few teeth knocked out of place that should heal, and a busted lip. I am not sure when more doll work will happen! I need to catch up on school work with my girl, then maybe I can justify some china painting. The molds should be dry enough to cast some new parts soon. The I'll have some new things to work with. Thanks for following my work, feedback and friendly words keep me motivated!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The other head. A few words about mohair and sewing machines... bad, naughty, evil... not really being fair to the mohair, it';s the sewing machine I dislike... or it dislikes me. As usual, the first bit I tried to weft came out fine. The machine likes to lure me into a false sense of success. Then it gets ugly, it jams, the thread snaps, and 45 minutes later I give up and do it by hand. Never fails.

I have to say that the face looks remarkably like an older version of my little girl. I held it up to her and noticed one thing with the eyes that would make a big difference in the likeness. I want to make a younger proportioned body on day, one that could work for a little boy or girl. My son asks me often, Where is the doll of me?" He would be soooo cute. i also want to make a little 5 year-ish faun doll, a young lady centaur, a dryad, an older young woman, a man... augh! No time! One day...

I will take a better photo outside tomorrow. When I have more to photo I will get a better camera to use. I use a snapshot Canon, and with poor light the photos are pretty crappy. But I can't wait to share! Please comment, friends! Am I gonna hafta have a contest to lure people into my blog?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My second doll

Here are my two finished girls together, having a chat. The darker body was actually made for a different head, which needed more paint touch-ups, so I put this head on , that's why its a little lighter than the body. I learned more, need to still iron out some issues. Mostly I need more sizes of springs. Feedback is appreciated. My family, children included, have given me lots already. Xavier, 5, does not like the head that looks like his sister (not shown). More photos on Flickr.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Doll #2 and an extra head, paint layer 2. The 3rd layer of paint is on, and it is in the kiln. I'm working out my issues with china paint, we're learning to get along.

Ordering springs today did not go well. The man on the phone, Bob from Kentucky, treated me like I was stupid. I probably sounded stupid, maybe because I'm from Kentucky, and also because I had no idea what to ask for, and also because I was yelling at my five-year-old. I started to explain what I needed them for and he interrupted with, "I don't care what they're for." I hate people like that. He wants me to mail him the springs I have ( which are too small) so he can determine what I need, even though he doesn't know what they're for. Sigh.

Molding the new parts... another sigh. More work needed there. I also can't keep the cat out of my mohair, I'm back to one wig.

Thanks for kind words and support from everyone. I showed my first doll to a lady and she exclaimed with delight that it was like a little fairy. That's exactly what I want to hear!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Last weekend I took my family to a working historical farm where they were having an 1850's county fair "interpretation." A man was set up taking ambrotypes so I had my daughter, Belle, photographed. I LOVE this image. It was taken with a big camera on wooden legs, the accordion-shaped body, the black cape and all, and was developed on glass with a silver solution. Belle was playing cricket and the photographer had the idea to include a cricket bat and ball in the picture. She enjoyed the whole thing, the attention mostly, and she stood very still for so the photo didn't blur. The actual exposure was four seconds, but she stood still for a good while waiting for the set up. I will always treasure this!
I have been so happy how many people who know my daughter have seen my doll and told me immediately that it looks just like Belle. I must have got it right! Even with the extremely different coloring the features are right. My next set of parts will be painted to look like Belle. With the first doll I was afraid to do much with the paint so I left it very pale. I will start a new one this weekend. Watch for new posts soon!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Hands in Wax

Just slightly different, mostly the right one. I straitened the fingers and spread them a bit. I am working on new legs. They're almost finished but progress is slow, not much time to work on them with so much else to do. I moved the thumbs in a bit after this photo was taken. I looked at my doll last night and realized that her hands reminded me of C3PO, with his oddly protruding thumbs. They will be easier to get through a dress sleeve too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It took all summer to order a kiln, get it here, and get it up and running. I'm so glad to be able to fire things when I want to now!
I opened the box when the kiln arrived, but I left it in the box until the electrical hookup was ready. It then took a few weeks to get an electrician to come. I read the instruction manual, the control box manual, loaded the kiln, hit the buttons to get to cone firing mode, and... there is no cone firing mode. Crap. I had noticed that the controller didn't look like the one I thought I was getting, but I figured it would work. Without cone firing mode, I would have to figure out how to program ramp/hold programs, and I'm not going to begin to try and explain that here, but I'll say it's a bit more difficult to a person with no prior kiln or porcelain firing experience. So I call the distributor, they call the kiln company, I got a call back saying they sent me the wrong controller and they're going to send me a new controller. Don't worry, the man said, it will be easy to re-wire. In sets the panic... anything involving wires and electricity terrify me! But really, it wasn't bad. It was like pulling plugs and reconnecting them, and the support guy talked me through the whole thing. The worst part was that some of the connections were really hard to get off, I ended up prying them off with a butter knife, and it took a half hour. But then I was able to hit a few buttons and start firing doll parts. All's well that ends well, but everything I do has a few road blocks along the way.
My kiln's name is Calcifer, BTW. I always name pets after characters from books or movies, so my kiln too gets a literary name. Calcifer is a "fire demon" from Howl's moving Castle. Fun book. Good movie too
More coming later. I am still trying to figure out the finer points of blogging, getting things laid out the way I want and such.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Here's a view of my girl that shows her legs. I'm working on re-sculpting the legs, they just don't pose right. The joints don't lock and they slide around. They should be just right before I make any more. Hopefully I will re-mold them this week.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So now that I've finished my first porcelain ball-jointed-doll, I decided to start a blog about it... I know it's about time, everything takes me a long time. It took me a month to decide on a blog name. "Higher Delights" are some words I plucked from a Jane Austen quote. I liked it. Clever is not my strong point. But hopefully doll making is... thanks to all who have followed me in my doll making thread on Enchanted, Marina Bychkova's fan forum. Thanks for the encouragement and kind words. I would love to own and Enchanted Doll one day, I envy those of you who do. But my own creations will have to do for me for now. I will be changing the look of the blog as I go- computer skills are not my strong point either, I'm proud of my progress thus far... stay with me, better things are to come.