fetch! – lockdown 2 day 19

Wow. Day 18 already. Time sure flies when you’re having fun! Lockdown is said to be extended and apparently they’re warning that the next couple of weeks will be the worst in terms of deaths. I don’t actually know cause I never watch the news. Its too depressing. I prefer to bury my head in the sand and watch Netflix. I just finished “The Crown” and “In Between” and “Between” (those last two came up together when I was browsing so I added them to my list on the same day).

Yeah, I watch too much TV, but at least I (mostly) work while watching.

Today I’m sharing Fetch, another dog sculpture made of all the usual ingredients. Only this time I’ve left him ‘au naturel’ – no fabric, no paint, just the clay. I actually love him like that.

Below are the usual steps to creating him. I started with cardboard, wire and masking tape, then paper mache in strips and lastly adding a topcoat and details with paper mache clay.

Click on the images to expand.

This time I’ve included a stick I collected from the beach, a tiny bit of driftwood. I knew I picked it up for something! I just had to find a use for it!

He’s also wearing one of the tiny scrappy bits of fabric I hold onto cause I know they’ll come in handy one day. See? This one came in handy!

Here are some hero shots, taken on an overcast and not windy day. Ideal photo taking conditions.

So far he’s my favourite but then again… I love all of them. They are all so different. Just like dogs!

I will probably seal him with something before he’s ready to go to a loving home, to protect him, but he’s finished.

I think I may have found my ‘groove’… I love making these dog figures and experimenting with different looks and finishes. I also love being able to capture personality in my sculptures.

I ‘feel’ dogs. Maybe Eric will help me ‘feel’ cats too.

z

its cats vs dogs – lockdown 2 day 18

Above is a preview of things to come… drying on my stove top. Cause I never cook. Couldn’t even if I wanted to: there are things drying on there (and in the oven)!

Today was a very productive day. It started with grooming Lainee and kept going, no lazy time today! I spent the whole day working on scuptures and playing with clay and loved it. I have about 8 things drying right now and will be posting them soon. I have to do something with the clay I bought otherwise I’m just wasting money and hoarding supplies.

Meanwhile, Eric helped by sitting on my lap and inspecting everything I did. He decided he loves my work apron and is constantly crawling up INSIDE it. Its good when he climbs up to the top and sits there, looking out. Its a safe spot, out of the way of clay hands and less risk of falling when I get up and move around.

Here he is below with a part of one of my sculptures. He obviously thinks its his toy.

No new pics of Lainee in her new hairdo, but here are a couple of photos of my uncles’ dogs.

Spitha
Rosie

I see these guys almost every day when I go to my uncle’s to spend time with mom. Its actually really nice to go there for coffee in the morning and chat with the family surrounded dogs.

Which reminds me, my cousin is waiting for me to do some more painting in his house… oops. totally forgot about that… Better get onto it tomorrow! Seems like the day is panning out busier than previously expected.

No rest for the wicked they say.

I must be very bad!

z

bone charm – lockdown 2 day 15

Sharing a little charm I made for a bit of leftover air dry clay the other day. A lady I know has the most gorgeous silver bone charm on a chain around her neck and I really wanted one. So… not finding one, I made my own.

It might not be as fine or silver, but I still like it. It’ll be fun to wear in summer.

I made this a few days ago but finished it yesterday afternoon with a couple of coats of varnish and a large jump ring.

This post is a day late (again) cause I got busy with mom last night. Yeah, curfew is at 9pm so I had to be home by then, but I made the mistake of starting to watch Messiah on Netflix and I got hooked. I couldn’t get off till my eyes started to close around 12.30am.

Eric the kitten is starting to settle in a little. He doesn’t always run and hide when I walk close to him (like he did yesterday when I spent about 15min trying to get him out from under the couch). He’s using the litter tray reliably, cuddled while watching Netflix with me last night, and even started to approach Lainee for friendship. She continues to not be impressed and told him so, but she’s gentle. I think she’ll come around. I still don’t want a cat, but he has something special. Even mom was saying how cute he was and laughing at his antics. And she dislikes ‘filthy cats’!

And now I have to go. I got stuff to do! Can’t sit around on the computer all day!

z

previews – lockdown 2 day 12

Yep. You got it. I got lazy busy again and didn’t do the hero shots I mentioned yesterday so I can’t share a couple of finished projects.

What I can share though is a couple of previews to give you a hint of what’s coming up over the next few days.

Well here goes: I cooked up some chicken and vegetables for Lainee, oh, and I progressed on my playing dog sculpture. (This is what happens when your studio is also your kitchen.)

I already mentioned finishing my Brienne doll, so here’s a preview of her armour.

So. What has been keeping me so busy that I forget to take photos?

I ran errands again. I groomed a dog. I visited mom. I worked on the dog sculpture. I answered emails. I browsed online for a vacuum cleaner (did I mention I have a new rug?). I read up about how to make my own papier mache clay so I don’t have to keep buying it. Now I have to find where I can buy ready mixed joint compount in GREEK… during a lockdown…

On the plus side, I did order 2 types of air dry clay to try out and it arrived so I can begin working with that. I have marble waiting to be painted on. I have boards ready to paint on. I have a million dolls in the basement store room waiting for their chance to be re-made. Not to mention timber pieces ready to make into coat and key racks if I can find my bloody mandala stencils…

Its not like I dont have things I can go on with!

z

dog with ball – lockdown 2 day 14

Before I say anything else, let me apologise for the pitiful photos. As I mentioned, I still haven’t found a good spot/setup for inside photography, even when using the camera instead of my phone.

Its been really cold, wet and windy here lately so going outside isn’t happening, and inside is just not well lit enough to take decent pics.

Anyhow, here is a finished dog sculpture: dog with ball. He was made the same way as the others – starting with cardboard, wire and foil, then papier mache and papier mache clay for the details. This little man was finished using fabric decoupaged on, not stitched like the first dog – Stitch. (yep, that’s his name!)

As I said, the photos are pathetic. Sigh. I really hope I get this right soon.

Here is the step by step gallery:

I love working with paper mache clay and now I’ve used all the bought stuff I’m going to have a go at making my own. I’ll keep you informed on how that goes… (or doesn’t).

So… looking for opinions. Do you like the finish? Better or worse than Stitch? Fabric or no fabric? Natural clay colour or paint?

I kinda like the old frayed fabric on the face…

Meanwhile at home things are not quiet… this cat (below) has decided she lives in my house and has been coming to my bedroom door/window every night and scratching at the flyscreen to be let in. My back yard (courtyard) is a cat-free zone so I don’t appreciate her digging up and pooping in my pots. I’ve put skewers in them now, but hopefully she won’t get into the yard any more cause today my neighbour had had enough of her pooping in HIS pots and he put up some wire where she was getting in. Clever girl was jumping through a small gap in his side fence and then leaping up and squeezing past my very unsturdy bamboo divider fence.

I’ve been calling her Fluffy, yeah real imaginative, I know. But I had to be able to differentiate her from Bob who looks similar but has a short coat and I really can’t think of another name!

Up till now every night when I hear her scratching at the flyscreen I’d been getting up and letting her in, then scooting her out the front door. When it got really cold I let her sleep in the bathroom one night. But that’s it. No cats in my house (she says… hmph)

I’m not a monster. Its cold out there. I’ve been running around the neighbourhood providing boxes, old drawers and plastic crates lined with cardboard and mats for cats to sleep in. I put them in undercover areas where they’ll be protected from the wind and rain. And today, to top it off, I went and bought a small dog kennel for the silver kitten (who I’m calling Selina as she’s the colour of moonlight) and Fluffy to share on my front porch since they are friends. I have no undercover areas at all.

And then… this morning… I heard a pitiful cry outside and found him!

Eric. A small kitty, bigger and healthier than Spartacus who gave me ringworm or staph or something. This boy is about 2 months old and healthy except for the fact that he’s had diarhea from his new food and I don’t know how to deal with it… He uses the kitty litter but didn’t make it last time and did it on my new rug (NO!!!!! HORRORS!!!) so he’s locked in the bathroom close to the litter box till tomorrow. Fingers crossed his tummy settles…

He really is sweet and gorgeous but I’m not a cat person. I have a low grade allergy to cats and cuddling him all afternoon hasn’t agreed with my skin which is now itchy… I know I can/will develop some kind of resistance, but hopefully I’ll find him a great home or soon as he’s big enough to stand his ground he will move out and share the dog kennel with Fluffy and Selina.

Why do kittens keep finding me? If I see kittens near big cats I leave them be, after all, one of them is probably the mother, right? But when they’re alone and have been outside crying for over an hour or two? sigh. I can’t help myself.

z

fat cat – lockdown 2 day 9

This is the beginning of sharing projects I’ve been working on since Lockdown 2 Day 1. As I said, things like this need time to dry so I’ve been working on them in spits and spurts, allowing for drying time, errand time, Netflix time and inspiration time.

I’m still working on new stuff so hopefully projects won’t stop coming now and I won’t have to bore you with recipes!

The idea for this was to make a Paros cat, but turns out I made a fat british shorthair instead…

Well, thats ok. I finished her in blue and white tile patterned napkin decoupage and made her pretty anyway.

Paros cats are slinkier and generally thinner. Except for Fatcat. She’s an exception. Still… I need to work on my cats. I just don’t know cats the way I know dogs so this was harder for me. I’ve been able to paint cats but not really sculpt them.

Anyway, the process was similar to the bulldog – starting with cardboard shaped and held together with masking tape. Then papier mache newsprint over the top. I then added a layer of papier mache pulp to smooth her out and create her face and paws. Lastly I decoupaged parts of her in a blue and while napkin and painted the rest to make it really white as the pulp is a pale grey naturally.

Below is a gallery of the process. If you click you can enlarge the photos.

Not entirely happy with her, as I said, but she’s ok for a first attempt at a cat.

I’ll work my way to finding ‘my’ cat…

z

a cat & AJ – lockdown 2 day 2

Day 2 of lockdown and I achieved a lot.

Firstly I did some baking. I made a cake and some apple crumble. The cake was something I just felt like making. I hadn’t made a cake for ages. It was a plain butter cake but I’m thinking maybe it had a bit too much butter… I used the pure butter made here on Paros cause I was told it was the best for baking. Maybe it was too strong? Who knows.

The apple crumble is something I enjoy making in cold weather usually cause I love to have it as breakfast with yogurt. Yum. I made some more of my yogurt and fruit ice cream as well, cause I’m addicted to it. I promise I’ll share that recipe soon.

I did some washing (well, I just put it in the washing machine and hung it out to dry in the sun). Today was a lovely day, windy but sunny. I took Lainee for a short run on the beach and continued working on my cat project.

This is how the cat began – I started it at the same time as I started the rag dog. I made the body out of cardboard from a weetbix box, the legs and tail out of wire.

I’d been slowly building up the cat body using scrunched up paper, aluminium foil and masking tape, then layes of papier mache. Today I added the head and continued layering paper to give it strength. With papier mache I found that I build up as I need to, even trimming bits off when necessary as I did with the bulldog. I will most likely begin working with papier mache pulp for the next steps.

I had good company while working… I was watching country music videos on YouTube and there was a lot of Alan Jackson in there. I love Alan Jackson. Nothing better than good music and singing out loud while you work.

The cat begins to take shape. Its a slow process as it needs to dry between layers. In between I did other things – its always good to have more than one project on the go.

And, cause Lainee won’t leave me alone, here are some pics of her on the beach. She really is quite demanding… she thinks she’s the only thing I should post about…

She was so happy on the beach today. Its funny how Lainee has been coming out of her shell slowly. I’ve had her for 1.5 years now and it seems like every day she shows me a little more of her character. The first thing she began doing was playing on the bed after I’d had her for a few months, but would stop the minute I tried to join in. Now she wakes up and wants to cuddle and then plays with me. Its our special time.

Since the weather cooled down she’s begun jumping around and even running when we go on our walks. Today she ran up and down the beach. It fills my heart with joy to see her like that.

Well. Gotta go. More tomorrow…

z