Four very brave doll makers arrived in San Diego July 14 for another of my rare, true "in-house" workshops. They came from 3 different areas – Lana from the Los Angeles area, Donna & Sydney from Illinois and Celeste from Puerto Rico.
Because I have 5 Bernina sewing machines I can have up to 5 people in a workshop. This makes it so much easier for those flying in from other areas. They didn't have to bring a machine.
Everyone came with body parts sewn, but not put together. I showed them how I do a simple wire armature then fill up the body parts around the wires. Pipe cleaners are used to wire the fingers then the doll is ready to have her face done. This takes up the first day.
The second and third days are the embellishing days. Various fabrics are painted and dyed. Again, everything is provided so no one has to bring bottles of paint and dye that might leak on an airplane. We used Jacquard's Dye Na Flow, Lumiere and Pearl EX for the corset, shoes and silk cocoons. We used Colorhue Silk Dyes for the silk that creates the skirt and also for silk ribbons to add as embellishments.
The legs of the doll were colored with CraftyNotions new glittery sprays. They are the most beautiful sprays with all kinds of sparkle in them. Easy to use, too.
After the dyeing and painting it was on to free motion sewing edging on the corset and shoes, creating wings and over skirt with organza, and attaching the hair. Simple beadwork was also done.
We used Tibetan goat hair and I showed how to score then tear the skins so one doesn't lose the hair.
I prefer using fur that is on the skin as it doesn't felt. Many of my older dolls need new hair as the mohair has gotten felted due to traveling and touching. I encourage people touching my dolls and with the hair being replaced with Tibetan, or other furs on the skin, their hair will hold up nicely.
Sydney, Donna's 13-year old daughter, was using my older Bernina 1230. I love that machine, but it doesn't like free motion work all that much. I had her go up to my new sewing room and use my Bernina 200e, which loves free motion work.
Those attending my workshop got to see the old room, still full of stuff, and the new room getting filled up. I had hoped that by providing all the supplies I'd get rid of more stuff. Afraid Golendrial doesn't use a lot of fabric and they barely made a dent in my stash.
Since Donna, Sydney & Celeste had not been to our Wild Animal Park, part of the famous San Diego Zoo, we spent Friday evening at the park. It was the hottest day of the week, but we managed to see most of what is left of the park. They have torn out the tram so you don't get to see the largest part of the park anymore. Really disappointing. We did get to see my favorites – the meerkats and gorillas. The park is still very beautiful to walk around, but if you want to see animals, go to the zoo.
Saturday evening John and I hosted a small barbeque as a farewell to the group. It was a fun 3 days for me. The dolls that were almost finished are spectacular. They have promised to send me pictures when they get their dolls finished. Donna and Sydney had theirs almost finished when I picked them up at the hotel Sunday morning to take them to the airport. As soon as I receive the photo's I'll post them here.
This was my last in-house workshop here in San Diego. I will be teaching one more time in the San Diego area. Nov. 12-14 our doll club is having Doll Camp in Julian and Rosemary Hernandez and I are the teachers. Next year I'll be teaching on the cruise, in Florida, Australia, Ohio, Oregon, Arizona, England and possibly Russia. Life is good!