Julia’s Gallery updates – Marvel

Hi everyone! Sorry for the long delay between posts – I was in Nova Scotia in September (expect lots of Groot photos from that trip at some point), and October… well honestly I don’t really have an excuse, other than the fact that I was trying to get a bunch of projects done and just haven’t gotten around to the blog. That’s changing today – I’m spending the day getting photos of all my dolls (from the old to the new) posted into our Gallery so they are all archived and easy to find. And while I do that, I figured I might as well make each page into a new post as well (with extra comments/notes and some bonus silly pictures that I didn’t include in the gallery).

First up – Marvel!

Roughly
chronological from older to newer. The older ones are more likely to be
made from someone else’s pattern (I’ve included links/credit for all of
those ones), or to be lopsided. Or both.

Older dolls

My first Captain America doll – based on Pixelated Mushroom’s Doctor Who dolls pattern
He’s super floppy and his hair isn’t sewn down so it goes flying all over the place, but I think it’s part of his charm. 😉
Loki – made using this pattern
The Avengers preparing to take down Loki…

…but Loki is victorious! 
Hawkeye – the first in a series of small Avengers dolls I made a few years back. They’re all a bit funny shaped; I was winging it and I made their torsos too round… so this is basically a series of Avengers dolls who have let themselves go to seed a bit.

Thor

Thor and Loki hanging out
Iron Man
 
Captain America – he’s definitely the most chubby of the lot lol. Oops!
Tony and Steve hanging out



At some point I made a second Loki doll as a birthday present for a friend – they’re surrounding Thor! And he still can’t tell which is the real one…

 

FanExpo 2014 dolls – these were all for sale at our FanExpo Vancouver booth in 2014

Bucky / The Winter Soldier

Captain America
Bucky and Steve <3

Bucky cuddles, awwwww…

FanExpo 2015 dolls – these were all for sale at our FanExpo Vancouver booth in 2015

Captain
America Minion – I decided partway through the con that I couldn’t bear
to sell him because he’s too cute, so I stuck a sold sign on him and
kept him. 😉

Thor
Loki

Thor and Loki

Captain
America – a definite improvement over the first couple… this little
guy didn’t sell and I think I’ll just keep him for myself now, I’ve
become attached to him. 😉

Bucky / The Winter Soldier

Steve and Bucky
Baby
Groot! I made 2 large Groots that were wired and stuck into real pots,
and 5 small Groots that are just cuddly and have nothing pointy or hard.
The first large Groot was made using a dark brown yarn because that’s
what I had in the house, but I didn’t really like how it turned out so I
made the rest with a light brown which I think looks better. 
I
made 4 of the small Groots to start with, and had sold 3 of them by the
end of the first day… so I spent all of day 2 at the booth
frantically making one more (all 5 were gone by Sunday). Groot was super
popular!  
Groots in a Groot bag, on their way to the convention (the Groot bag was purchased from the awesome people over at Unicorn Empire when I went to Emerald City Comic Con a few weeks prior)

Misc others

Rogue from X-Men (commission)
 Wolverine – birthday present for a friend

Thor Minion – birthday present for another friend

Thor Minion and Captain America Minion!

 

 

 My first Groot, made from this pattern at Smartapple Creations.
It was maybe 2 weeks after the movie came out, and my friend’s birthday
was coming up – and she LOVED Groot. So I googled ‘crochet Groot’ out
of curiousity, thinking no way had someone already made a doll never
mind a pattern… and this popped up. Yay! My video of her opening the
doll and screaming is one of my favourite things. 😉

Ok
this isn’t really a crochet doll but I think he’s cute… I got a
stuffed moose given to me by some supplier at work (this is what happens
when your job is selling tours in Canada!) and for whatever reason I
decided to A. name him Bucky, and B. crochet him a little Winter Soldier
arm and give him a mask. He lives in my desk drawer at work and makes
me happy. Bucky Moose!!

That’s it for now, but stay tuned! I have a few nifty Avengers-related projects coming soon…

Kate and Peter Wedding Dolls

A couple of months ago my friends Kate and Peter were about
to get married and I wanted to make them something special and fun to
celebrate. Earlier in the year I had made Han and Leia dolls for my friend Nic’s
wedding (she’s a huge fan and they had Han and Leia cake toppers too!), but this
time I wanted to try my hand at a more traditional bride and groom set of dolls.
I perused a few patterns online but anything I liked was upwards of $10 to buy
the pattern so I decided to go at it alone.
I don’t have any patterns written up for these, and honestly
I would need to put in a lot of work if I wanted to make them good enough to
write a pattern. But they are cute so I wanted to share them with you all
anyway.

My plan was to make the dolls in a rough likeness of Kate
and Peter – which basically meant choosing the appropriate colour of safety
eyes, giving Kate super long hair, and giving Peter no hair. I did consult with our
friend Sam, who was going to be in the wedding party, and she gave me some
information about what Kate’s dress would look like, but I couldn’t figure out
how to make tiny lace sleeves so I ended up going with generic wedding dress. I
did braid back some of her hair, though, which Sam told me was how Kate planned
to wear her hair. So that’s something!
I started with Kate, and my first attempt, well… it didn’t
turn out so good. I had one increase row too many across the body and then I
was trying a thing to make the waist taper in and the skirt flair out, and it
all seemed like a good idea at the time, ok? Well, you can see for yourself
below:
Kate doll attempt number 1. Not exactly a success.

Yeah. I looked at it and realized that there was no way I
could give that to my friend on one of the most special days of her life! It’s
about the least flattering body I could have made. So I tore it out and tried
again, with one less increase row and ditching the sad attempt at a waist:

Definitely an improvement
 
Much better. And here is the final version, with hair (and arms) added
on and a little bouquet of flowers:
Kate doll!

So much hair
Next up was Peter. Unfortunately, something rather strange and
disturbingly violent happened to him before I could finish…
It’s the Red Wedding!
Oh god, what have you done, Kate?? Such a tragic end to
their wedding day. 🙁
Ok, so the story behind this is that I was working on the
doll at our local nerd hangout La Fontana Caffe with a bunch of my fellow nerds
around me, but I had forgotten to bring stuffing. I had the body mostly
finished, but couldn’t stuff it so it was still sitting open with a couple of
rows left to go. In the meantime I wanted to work on his little suit jacket,
but without a stuffed body it was going to be difficult to check whether it
fit. I had some red yarn with me that I wasn’t using, so I decided to
temporarily stuff him with red yarn so I could make the suit jacket in the
correct size. At which point we all realized that it looked like his innards
were spilling out of him, because… we’re all kinda sick freaks, ok? 🙂 So my friends, being
my friends, immediately started to create the scene – Kate doll standing over
her new husband, blade (well, small scissors) in hand, with poor Peter bleeding
red yarn everywhere… alas.
We also gave them a backdrop at one point:
Such a  lovely sunset for a wedding…
 Anyway, here is the completed, non-horror movie Peter! He
ended up a little… lopsided… but still cute I think.
Peter doll!
 Here they are together:

I gave the dolls to Kate and Peter during the wedding and they
loved them! Here’s the happy couple with their dopplegangers, I’ll leave it to
you to decide if I captured their likenesses or not. 
Kate and Peter with mini!Kate and mini!Peter

Making them kiss – aww….
 
Congratulations again to Kate and Peter! I had fun making
these and I was so excited to be there on your big day to share these with
you.

(the top photograph is credited to the professional photographer Ida Magdalena Adamowicz. The rest are mine)

Guest Post: Erika – A shark. Painted on a Uke.

Welcome to the first of my series of guest posts! I have some crazy talented friends who practice a variety of different crafts, and I wanted to take the chance to showcase them on my blog. Also because when I first made this blog it was under a completely different name and I was actually co-hosting it with the lovely lady behind this post, Erika, and I have since gone back in time and changed this post (and her other 2 posts) to ‘guest posts’. So yes, these words are coming from ‘the future’ and not actually Sept 2015 which is the publication date. Shh, I know, time travel is dangerous, but if the Doctor can do it than I can too. 😉 Nonetheless, I will probably have more in the future because I really do have a lot of friends who make very cool things! So without further ado, please enjoy Erika’s post about the amazing shark ukulele that she made for our mutual friend Andrea!

 

About Erika Glover

Erika is a graphic artist and designer based in Vancouver. A few years ago a friend introduced her to cross stitch and embroidery and she has been hooked ever since. She also loves to draw and spends her free time doodling, creating geeky cross stitch patterns and binge watching Netflix.

www.erikaglover.com | Instagram | Twitter | Flickr

A shark. Painted on a Uke.

A couple of months ago two friends, Kate and Peter, asked me to help them make a one-of-a-kind gift. Their wedding was about a month away, and our mutual friend Andrea was going to be the emcee. They wanted to give her something special as a thank you present. Kate and Peter are a very musical couple, and recently got Andrea interested in playing the ukulele. Their idea was to give her a uke of her very own. No ordinary ukulele would do though, not for this lady. You see, Andrea loves sharks, really loves them, so something this special for Andrea had to have a shark on it. They asked me if I would draw or paint a shark on the ukulele they were going to buy. How awesome is that?! Of course I said yes!

My initial thought was to use pencil crayons on the wood surface of the ukulele, similar to the technique of artist Bryan Collins (seriously, check out his youtube videos, they are amazing). In my head I pictured a plain wood ukulele, where I could distress the surface a little to get more of a raw texture for the pencil crayons to stick to. However, when I saw the beautiful uke that they had picked up, with teal coloured wood stain and a satin finish, doing anything to distress the finish was out. Now, I got a little nervous. I didn’t want to ruin this beautiful ukulele, I thought it looked so nice just as it was!

Yes, it’s missing a string. Of course a string broke when it was in my possession. This just added to my anxiety of ruining things.

The only thing I could think of that would stick to surface and not rub off was acrylic paints. I remember I loved painting with acrylics as a kid, but it’s been so long I definitely needed some practice. I forgot how quickly acrylic paints dry, and how it becomes hard to blend colours smoothly once it does start to dry. I did some practice sketches and played around with the paints a bit more. I grew more and more nervous about jumping in a getting the actual piece done.

When it came time to actually paint on the ukulele, I was terrified! I’m the type of artist who sketches something out twenty times before I get it right, so I really rely on my eraser. I’m not very good at ‘on the spot’ art, or where I only get one chance. To help give me a little guideline, I lightly sketched the shape of the shark with a white pencil crayon. It showed up enough on the teal surface to give me something to follow. Then I had to just go for it. I slowly built up layers of paint, working quickly so the paint didn’t dry. Once I started and had a few layers down, my confidence grew and I felt much better about what I was doing and that I wasn’t going to ruin this special present.

I wanted to shark to still be visible whether the uke was stored upright or on it’s side, like it was swimming around the curve of the ukulele’s body.

When it was finished, I was so excited. I was really happy with how it turned out, and so were Kate and Peter. I’m really proud to have been apart of this project and know now that I just need to trust myself more. Being pushed out of my artistic comfort zone was scary at first, but paid off in the end. And yes, Andrea loves her shark ukulele!