February 25, 2015

Playing with dolls...

Barbie Transformation Project
It’s a funny thing how inspiration works.  At 54 years old I had no idea I would spend a Saturday playing with Barbie dolls.  In fact, as a child, I spent little time playing with dolls.  That might have had something to do with the fact that we very little money and could not afford real Barbie’s.  The closest thing that I had to a Barbie doll was a plastic doll from the 99 cents store who’s legs where attached with rubber bands (inside of her body) and, well, when the rubber bands broke, which they did within the first week of ownership, all I was left with was a legless lady.
This past week, a friend posted a video about a woman named Sonia who has created some really wonderful little dolls, by wiping off the factory faces of dolls she found in a second hand store and hand painting new faces onto their little heads - ultimately transforming them into a picture of sweet, youthful, purity!  I was inspired!
After breakfast on Saturday, I decided I had to pick up a few dolls and give it a try.  The only thing I could find were Barbie Dolls.  Tons, and tons, of Barbie dolls.
  Step one was a trip to the spa for these ladies!
Followed by an intensive, deep, hair conditioning treatment!   Yikes their hair was a matted mess!
The make-up had to go and with it came their entire facial features!  Of course that was the plan all along, I simply did not let them know that in advance, so that they could enjoy the short lived spa treatment.
I had viewed Sonia’s video on how to remove the factory faces and with a few modification (I did not have eucalyptus oil) I was able to successfully remove their factory faces.
So with a dry, clean slate, I set to the work of transforming them.  I have no intentions of mass-producing a line transformed Barbie dolls. My motivation in posting is to simply share how a little inspiration can  bring such joy into each one of our lives.  Thank You Sonia of http://treechangedolls.tumblr.com/ for the sparkle!

February 15, 2015

The Project!

So, I had a huge jar of left over glass pebbles--you know the kind that you get at the craft store in those little net bags. I use the flawless ones to make my custom art pendants and rather than throw away the flawed ones, I kept collecting them in a large glass jar hoping someday I would come up with a brilliant idea. Well, here it is! It's a work in progress...
I first cut out pages from an old pocket Bible that was falling apart and missing pages.
I them spent a good part of a day, decoupaging them to a long section of the hallway wall.
Once the decoupage had dried; I began at the bottom of the wall, gluing one glass bead at a time, using (you guessed it) E6000. This process took at least 10 separate, 1 hour sessions. Once I glued about 5 or 6 rows, I used lengths of scotch tape to secure them to the wall and allowed the glue to dry over night before starting another section.
This took a really, really, long time. I got to a point that I was a bit sorry that I started it. Of course that is simply because I am 54 years old and lazy.
Love the way the light reflects off the glass and magnifies the words. You could use any background you like. I'm thinking colorful tissue paper, crinkled up, would look really lovely on a larger wall that gets a lot of light.
Once I had covered the entire section of the wall with the glass pebbles, I got the crazy idea to grout them in. So, I mixed some black acrylic paint into the dry white grout that I had left over from the bathroom project and after masking everything off, I started at the bottom and worked my way up.
I ran out of grout three quarters of the way up and have decided that I like the look and I am going to leave the rest un-grouted.

The next step was to tie in the rest of the wall with the glass pebble panels.  I visualized a little girl blowing soap bubbles to give the illusion that the bubbles that she was blowing were filling up the right side of the wall.  So, I had to make a bunch of different sized bubbles.  I also wanted these to have scripture inside of them, so I glued each one to pages of the old Bible using E6000 - Bible ink is color fast and will not bleed with E6000.  That saves a great deal of time.  After they had dried over night.  I cut them out and used a foot file to file the edges.

Now I needed a picture of a little girl to paint.  Michael suggested that I use Tatum's image.  Great Idea!  She is the cutest little thing.  So I emailed Monica (her mom) and put in the request.  Monica got out her Nikon and set to task.  The picture could not have been more perfect.

I then used Microsoft Picture Editor on my desk top to tweek the color saturation, contract etc, until I got the look that I wanted.  I merged it with a picture I found on google images and created a composite mock up.

Of course, I then had to paint the white wall black.  This required masking the entire area off and (because it in a paneled wall, made sure to get in those grooves before painting the rest of the paneling.

Forgot to mention that I also decided to cover the grey grout with a gold metallic glaze paint.  After three coats, hand painted with a brush to retain the wood grain of the paneling, it was time to start the painting.

I used oil paint, for longevity, flexibility and durability.   Wow! I am thrilled with the final project!   FROM THIS......

TO THIS.....

Thanks Tatum!  Your sweet face made this better than we could have imagined and also made pawpaw very happy!