Tuesday, August 2, 2016

More House Elf Progress

Took this guy to the Midnight Release Party for "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" Book.  He's the latest house elf finished after all the pattern alterations I've been playing with.  We've been calling him "Gummy" due to his toothless grin.  I'm so sad that I already finished reading the book in only two sittings.  It went way too fast.

This is Gummy before fixing his mouth into a smile.  If you've been following me on Facebook, you've probably seen me posting quick progress pics to get opinions as I attempt to perfect the heads.  I'm pretty happy with the bodies.  The shoulders are a little broad, but this is due to changing from the button joints to doll joints.  Without the thread running between them, there is no tension holding them together.  I may reduce this at a later date.  Especially if we make another Kreacher with his slumped posture.

This is a before/after shot of the shoulders, ears, eye, and head shape changes.  I'm really pleased with the new ear shape and placement.  But, I've really been struggling with those eyes. I'll show that more in just a bit.  I think the top of the head could be a wee bit wider, but I'm not going to fuss with that this go round.

I was having a lot of difficulty getting the elves to not be either grumpy or sad looking.  I thought it was mostly because of the eyes, but with the help from someone's helpful suggestions in a Harry Potter group, I've discovered I can make their expressions more happy and less mad/sad by creating tension in the cheeks.  The image above is Gummy before and after running thread from his outer eye corners to the corners of his mouth.  So happy!  And, I am too!  :)

The eyes are really bugging me.  At first, we went back and forth with using just plain doll eyes with no lids.  But, this makes the elves look spaced out like the two on top in the pic above.  I did find a way to line the back of the eyes to create eyelids.  I like this, but it's just not right just yet. And, I'm just not happy with eyes with no scleras (white parts) and huge pupils.

So, I tried painting some ping pong balls just to see what it would look like.  I really think it looks more like Dobby, but still a bit creepy.

The above image is of the same elf head (with over-sized eye sockets) with different eyes.  I've been trying different sizes as well as different materials.  Besides looking weird, it is sometimes difficult to find the safety doll eyes large enough for the elves at the larger sizes.  And, they can cost a good deal more when I do find them.  I was also hoping to find materials anyone can find locally for the tutorial.   At first I tried painting and got the iris too big and the pupil too small.  The last two sets in the pic above show a new solution that is promising.  It's a ping pong ball with the safety doll eye poked into a hole in the ball.  The green iris is smaller and centered, and looks scared.  The larger brown eye is off centered and can be rotated for different expressions.  These are great because they are less work, and have the safety back to secure them.  However, the down fall of these is that the eyelid gets caught behind the iris.  Perhaps I need to find a way to glue the iris to the sclera with no ridge between.  I'm also looking into resin as an option t cast my own eyes from scratch.  I'm also wanting to try to transfer printed irises to the white plastic ball.  But, I really need the safety back to secure the eyes in, so they can't be popped out easily.

That's where I am, so far.  I'm hoping to get this figured out so I can wrap up the tutorial. with the best options.  Wish me luck, again!

Friday, July 15, 2016

House Elf Head Progress

Been busy working on the House Elf tutorial.  I've got the body portion pretty much finished.  But, as the pics show, we're making some changes to the heads at this point.  I'll need to wait for the pattern changes to be settled on before I can get the pictures in place. 

So far I've gone back and forth on the size of the eyes, changed the shape of the ears a few times, and played with the angle of the nose/forehead a bit.  Still debating to move the eyes closer together and curve the ears even more.  I would also like to make my own eyes.  These have no whites around them and the pupils are too large.  I think I may have figured out a solution using resin, but I still need to get the supplies to try it.  I think I may wait until after the tutorial is finished using these, since they are less work (though somewhat hard to find).

We are amassing quite a few heads, so we thought we'd use some of the less successful ones to make plaques like the Black family house had on the walls.  :)  I'll share our results on that when I'm finished with them.  In the meantime the tutorial should be available within a month or two, I hope.

Oh!  Btw, here are three body sizes that we've tried so far:  A small 12", a medium 18", and a large 24" (The large is made with a thicker furry-ish fabric.  They will also have heads, soon.  :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Gnome Tutorial is finished and available on Etsy!

Gnome tutorial is finished!  You can find it here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/291683093/how-to-make-garden-gnomes-pdf-tutorial

It contains step by step instructions for making our garden gnomes inspired by the Harry Potter series.  We used the Chamber of Secrets and Fantastic Beasts references as well as the Pottermore website and video games.

The Tools and Supplies list looks daunting, but I tried to describe each item so they would be easier to find.

There are options to make them into bean bags or plain dolls.  And, they can be made with or without eyes.

Hope you like the tutorial.  If you try it, I would love to know how it goes!

NOTE:  If anyone has interest in a kit including all fabric/supplies for one of my tutorials, please message me. I'm curious if this would be of use to anyone, especially in doll making. I can buy eyes/joints in bulk that could save you money and time hunting down supplies. I also have surplus supplies for my other crafting projects.