Jan 30, 2011

Almost there!

Ta-Da! She's really come along! Her ears and breasts need to be sewn on, and then let the costuming begin!

And Willow is allowed to go out without any bandages or socks! While still a little red and sore-looking, the cuts are all closed up and we're beginning to take regular walks again! And I'm happy to report with all her forced in-activity, neither of us gained any weight! Phew!

She's really fed up with our fussing over her paw, though! I can't blame her...

Jan 25, 2011


Willow's stitches came out today! Yippy! To celebrate I'm going to... go to work so I can pay the vet bill... oh well.

How about this: until February 14th, take 15% off any critter on my available page! That's a way to celebrate Willow's recovery and Valentine's Day all at once!

Today the arms were finished... with the wires inside stuffing is very much slowed down. And yesterday Fiona's face was completed, and I must say she's lovely, don't you think?

She's really coming together!

Jan 23, 2011

Canada in January! Brrr!

Today wasn't as productive as I'd hoped, mostly because of the weather. At -22C, do you know tape doesn't stick?! This made protecting Willow's wound difficult, and frustrating! After several failed attempts, we managed to construct a booty that wouldn't come off so easily... argh! Unfortunately the top stitch got a bit pulled and doesn't look so nice anymore.

I did finish Fiona's feet, a bit tricky as they had to fit firmly into the shoes, to look good and be stable.
I think they look elegant, don't you?

Jan 22, 2011


What a great day! First off, I started on Fiona's arms, wiring them and then referring to the Moulin Rouge pamphlet concerning her finger nails. Surprisingly, the ladies have relatively short and unpainted nails! Perhaps this is because of the frequent costume changes? So I selected a pale pink for the bear's claws.

And Willow? She's doing great, with the bandages off. You can't beat this view from my chair in the studio!

After lunch, I felt it was the right time to try Fiona's nose and Wow! It's always a surprise for me when a nose turns out nice on the first try! Noses are so tricky... Her's became a very classic shape on her rather pointed snout, very fitting for her character. Then she got her red-lipsticked lips and brown eyes, just like her namesake. While she's not ready for her close-up yet, here are all the body parts, almost ready for assembly! (There are two sets of ears because I'm not sure of the size so I made a smaller pair just in case and painted the inner ears all in one shot.)

Hey! Looks like she's ready to dance!

Jan 21, 2011

It's Friday!

Yippy! I'm looking forward to working on Fiona tomorrow, all the machine sewing is done and most of the hand sewing! I could even attempt to do her face tomorrow!

Willow is doing great, the stitches and cut look good and she's almost back to her old self, as you can see in the photo. To keep an eye on her, she'll be helping in the studio while I work on Fiona!

By the way, here's one of the cuts and 8-9 stitches... I still can't imagine how much that hurt!

In other news, we booked our flight and transportation to the May 2011 Convention, so we're ready to fly! For the 2 of us, with all the taxes and insurance, it's about $1500... about as bad as I thought it would be. But it's a direct flight, and the times are good.

Jan 17, 2011

Like a dragon's claw...

I love all things gory and Hallowe'en, but this is just too horrible to really imagine! My poor Willow walked around with this 3/4" long thorn tip inbedded in her paw (the pointy piece)! I can't even imagine how painful that was (although she never made much of a fuss)! The vet was hoping it would emerge on its own, but had to go in after it, as it was lodged against a bone. Wow...

So I sat and did a lot of hand-sewing today as I watched over her after her surgery and tried to keep her comfortable. The Parisienne dancing girl is coming together, after all! *sigh* My poor puppy!

Jan 15, 2011

Getting back on track

Ah well, I started out so productive! Now, 9 days later and I haven't hardly sewn a stitch.

I had a stomach bug and my sweet baby Willow, from a walk in the woods, has an inbedded splinter in her left front paw! Ouch! Antibiotics, pain killers and we're trying to get the splinter moving with a honey compress. It's part of a thorn deep in her paw and the vet says it will probably emerge on the upper side of her foot... wow! But what can you do, you can't live in a box...

Lots of little house projects have been completed: new smoke/CO detector, dusting, reorganized drawers... And finally I finished putting our vacation photos from Italy in albums! That's a feat!

And while going through the photos, I re-discovered what I also want to create: a monster/winged demon that we saw in St. Peter's Basilica, (yup, the one in Rome)! Just too cute, this wee fellow was being crushed underneath some dead Pope... I can see him coming to life in a short pile, maybe suede, with lots of needle sculpting/folds around the face, hugh clawed hands and taxidermy eyes... hmmm...

Jan 6, 2011

Waste not!

Well, it turns out that the little head I made won't go to waste, not at all! Happily, it's a good size for the wig that is part of the "Dear Diary" Evangeline Ghastly costume, to die for! This is my first purchase from Wilde Imagination and I am very much impressed! Packaging is very much a part of receiving something by mail, and obviously Wilde Imagination knows how to be impressive! This is how the outfit arrived, in a lovely box with a see-threw lid that opens like a book. Wow!

Thanks again to Sarah who helped me out with the cross-border purchase!

Jan 4, 2011


Yesterday I tried the head again, a bit larger, and this time it worked! Yippy! I then went ahead and cut out the rest of the paper pattern pieces, pinned and cut out all the mohair parts, and did most of the trimming (which is a necessary step for nice, seamless seams especially for the darts).

Today I finished the trimming and vacuumed the whole house, a necessaary step to suck up all that fine, loose mohair! That's about all... now it's off to work for the next 5 days. Knowing myself, I won't plan to accomplish anything on my bear as I usually come home too tired to do anything creative, although I do *HOPE* to do some prep work, needed before the parts are run through the sewing machine.

And what name will this lovely madame take? Fiona! In the Spring 2008 issue of Greater Paris, Fiona Notaras was interviewed about her occupation as a Moulin Rouge dancer. Here's her picture, note the red beads! So I thought it would be neat to name my dancing girl after this talented woman.

(If you are Ms. Notaras and would prefer that I do not use your name, please simply let me know!)

Jan 2, 2011

Trial and error

Yesterday I did manage to finally decide on a fabric! After going through the studio closet crammed with brilliantly beautiful, creamy soft mohairs and synthetics, I laid out 5 options on the floor and put the accessories on top... Mom and I both agreed the swirly, cream mohair was elegant, a good color, not too dense and of a short enough pile to work for the costume. I also found a cream fabric to make the "bathing suit" part of her costume which almost matches the fur, for that nearly-nude look the poster teases! Finally, I'm choosing to use red velvet for the armlets... much easier to work with than the satin fabric in the poster.

While laying out the beads, though, I realized I didn't have nearly enough, so today after lunch we scooted out to the DollarStore. Sadly, there weren't enough of the pale beads, so Mom suggested that the red and black would work. She's right, since I'm already introducing black feathers. So here is a picture of all the elements!

My goal today was to try the head pattern, made smaller than my usual dressed bear, to see if it would be the right size for the wig. Sadly, it's a bit too small, as you can see. So I enlarged the pattern and plan to try again tomorrow! Baby steps! But steps none the less!