Thursday, 9 May 2013

Helmet Head all round !

Needed some retail therapy recently ...

It's a Skull Maiden Blythe helmet I saw months ago that I absolutely fell in love with but of course someone else already owned it. To my surprise, It popped up for sale over at BK recently so I knew it was fate and had to come and live me me.

A lovely autumn theme

With an owl on the front...

and a little squirrel on the back- CUTE!!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Mystery Mayhem - Has Cosma has lost her head?

It appears that something mysterious has happened to Makie Doll Cosma...

Her head has disappeared!!!

Nope, DEF not there

Where could it be??????

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Hairy Maclary Scalps

Makielab were kind enough to send me a couple of samples to play with, one pre-drilled scalp and one pre-marked but not drilled scalp.  I've dyed the latter brown and those results will come later, but here is the pre-drilled attempt!

Here is the original scalp Makielab sent me

This was a test to see how well we could root a Makies skull cap.

With the size of the holes, I would not recommend this for saran hair. The holes would def need to be smaller and the holes would need to be closer together.

My experiment was using Mohair.  I bought a packet of yadeno-mohair from Retro dolls here in the UK for rooting Blythe at Blythecon last year.

I used a 1mm crochet hook, the mohair and a hair brush like this They are available from Retro Dolls but I already owned one.  A bowl of water is also needed as the hair needs to be wet to root

Sorry I don't have picture step by step instructions but this is what I did.

The strands were approx 16cm in length when I pulled them apart so I inserted them in the hole doubled, so the length wet was approx 8cm

I wet the strands and then pulled them out, squeezing excess water, then laying them down on a waterproof board and gently brushed them to start separating the strands. I then dunked them again and started separating the strands so I had wet strands approx 1-2 mm in diameter. I then squeezed out the excess water and repeated this until I had about a doz strands to start with. I found this useful as I had a varigated color combination in my Mohair so I wanted to mix the colors throughout evenly.

I started by sticking the crochet hook from under the skull cap and hooking it around the middle of the wet strand and pulled it through about 3/4 of the way so I could put a small knot in the end. Once knotted, I pulled the strand back out again. I repeated this process until I used all the desired holes I needed.

Here are the results

Looks nice with a cap on...

For you Duckie - HAHAHA!!:D:D:D

Back view with hat

Picture without the hat, You can see that it is a bit sparce on the top

The back doesn't look too bad

Top view

You can see some very sparce patches

The cap finished - front view

The cap finished - Back view

Underneath where I have knotted-

Length of the hair

So you can see from the pictures, it wasn't necessary to root all the back holes. I had done this previously on my first attempt at rooting shown here -Hair Root Tutorial - But the weight of the wool made it top heavy for the doll to stand.

The top two circular rows I think are fine but then the bottom two rows are too far apart hence causing gaping holes. I had to use thicker strands which kind of made it harder to knot in some cases to give a more even covering but I'd be able to use thinner strands if the spacing was better.

Conclusion. I think this is a great idea but for mohair we need -

A: I think the row spacing could use 7 rows instead of the 6 printed
B. The spacing of holes on the rows after row 1 & 2 need to be the same spacing apart as row 2.

For Saran or Kanekalon rooting the holes would need to be much closer together

I would also like to see a part line as well :) either on the right or left side popping in a couple more holes in between the rows for about 5 rows?

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The eggs are nicely done!

We did it! Hubby and I together worked on the home made creme egg recipe and here are the results. It says it makes 15-20 eggs but we did manage 20 approx 20gram (without choc) eggs.
We coated some in white choc and some in dark cho, so here are the pix...

Ta DA!!!! creme eggs

A close up so you can see Yolk & White

The eggs are tested and get a seal of approval

The chicks all jump for joy!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Egg-actly what we need for Easter

My husband sent me this recipe (I know hint hint) that I am going to have a go at making. He found it on this website Food 52 which looks to require some further investigating.

Without further adieu

Home Made Creme Eggs

 While the process might seem a bit daunting, the reward far exceeds the effort for this classic spring treat that uses ingredients you can actually pronounce.
Makes 15 to 20 eggs

  • 1/2 cup Lyle's golden syrup (or corn syrup)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 drops orange blossom water (optional)
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate (or bittersweet chips)
  1. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachment (this can easily be done by hand or with a hand mixer). Add the golden syrup, salt, orange blossom water (if using), vanilla seeds, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium-low to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is mixed well.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Place one third of the mixture into a small bowl and add enough yellow food color to obtain desired color.
  4. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and put into the freezer for at least 15 minutes. It is necessary that this mixture be very cold while you work with it.
  5. When the sugar mixture is thoroughly chilled, remove from the freezer. Working quickly take about a half teaspoon of the “yolk” mixture and roll it into a ball. Continue forming your yolks.
  6. Once the yolks are complete, place them on a plate or a sheet tray covered with parchment and then put that back into the freezer.
  7. Now, measure a tablespoon of your “whites”, and then roll that into a ball. Continue until all the white portion of the sugar mixture is gone. If the whites are too soft to work with, place back into the freezer for a few minutes.
  8. Remove the yolks from the freezer. Place a white in the palm of your hand and gently flatten a bit. Create an indent in the center to rest the yolk in. Place the yolk in the center of the white, then cover it up. Roll the white into an egg shape. If at any point the sugar mixture gets too soft, quickly put it back into the freezer.
  9. Continue this process until all your eggs are complete. Return to the freezer. While your eggs are chilling, temper your chocolate (David Lebovitz has a great post on tempering chocolate). Or melt the chocolate in a microwave at 30 second intervals stirring very well in between. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to the chocolate and stir well. This gives you a little more flexibility with the chocolate eliminating some of the need for precise tempering. You will not, however get as nice of a crack as you bite into the egg.
  10. Working with one egg at a time, remove the egg from the freezer and stick a toothpick in it. Dip the egg into the chocolate and carefully let the excess chocolate drip off. Place the toothpick into something – like a potato perhaps – while the chocolate sets.
  11. Place the chocolate-covered egg into the fridge for 10 minutes while the chocolate sets. Carefully remove the toothpick from the egg and cover up the small hole with a little bit of tempered chocolate.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dyeing to meet you...

I've taken the plunge- Cosma is done and I am really pleased with the results. I settled on using #453 brown idye poly after doing experiments with other dyes, inks and natural organic methods. My aim was to have a nice even coating and a lovely rich color which Jacquard dye certainly achieved. The brilliant thing was that I was able to just use small amounts of the packaging to achieve the results. Because it is a premix powder that is added to water, it is possible in future to do mix powders and create a whole range of hues and colors. We used a previously dyed sample piece as a comparison color. Using the dye enhancer is optional too! Duckiemonster and the Welsh lab contingency were on hand to help!

So first of all, Cosma was put into a unconscious state so she could be disassembled

Good Luck Cosma!

The team is assembled, ready to help

Accounted and present!

Equipment is assembled

Gloves ON!

NOT like that Ted!

Ok, so they are a bit big for you- You're excused!

Parts are Washed in warm soapy Water

And left to dry a bit

Strawberry Twizzer anyone? Staple to any Scientist.

The dyeing process commences, preparing the dye.

Dye is added to the simmered water

Millie staying WELL away from the dye

Timer is set, We've decided a range of one and a half minutes to two for pieces should give the effect we want

Head goes in First..
The results, we are VERY pleased

The body is done!- We've decided to speed up the drying process with a cool, slow dryer
so we can see the if the dry results are what we want. The wet finish looks a bit darker.

Tea Break Time?

The hairdryer accidently moves course
You sexy Scientist Ted!

The Makie Cage is PERFECT for dyeing hands and small bits!

Parts are done!

Quality Control Inspects

Looks good to me!

Ready to assemble and re animate


Monday, 25 February 2013

Teds New Duds!

Ted has expressed to me his annoyance that the girls (Cosma & Millie) have been getting all the attention and new clothes, glasses etc

So I have taken note and made Ted a new wig, and a couple of hoody tops (using makielab pattern) (which I hope will satisfy him for a little bit)

I must say, I can make children's hoodies with one arm tied behind my back and blindfolded (I used to make most of my boys clothes when they were small) but tackling these tiny hoodies was quite a feat.

We seem to have a bit of snow falling

It's a bit Chilly!

Ted showing off his Popobe bear hoodie

and the Ninja - You loose - orange hoodie

You know you fight a Ninja you are already lost to his stealth!!!