Thursday, March 26, 2015

Anastasia's Bead Wig

I finally finished a beaded wig for Anastasia ^_^ It was an experiment, this is the first time I've made a bead wig with this kind of bangs. It was a bit of a challenge, the pieces are short, and wanted to stick straight out! I got it to work okay, though, and I think she looks cute in it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Silvija the Moss Maiden

I finished Silvija yesterday! I think she's really cute ^_^ Before I share pictures of her, though, I would like to tell you a few of the things I learned while researching the Moss Maidens.

Silvija is a Moss Maiden - they are also known as Wood Wives, Moss Folk, Wild Folk, Forest Folk, etc. They are a type of forest spirit, and their lives are closely intertwined to that of the tree in which they live. Some say that if you kill a tree, you kill the Moss Maiden who lives in it. Even peeling the bark off of a tree can harm her. Moss Maidens are very gentle and kind, skilled in herbal medicine, and often willing to help heal not only the other creatures that live in and around their trees, but humans as well. Sometimes they will approach a human and ask for a loaf of bread, or help fixing something (a wheelbarrow, for example). If the human does as she asks, she will give them twigs or wood chips as a reward. If the human keeps these gifts, they turn to gold later on. Moss Maidens are found throughout Germany, Scandanavia, and parts of Central Europe. They can appear either as old women, or young beautiful women, and they usually wear dresses made of moss. They are also said to weave moss "blankets" for the trees, hence their name. They are generally rather short in stature.

Now that you know a little about Moss Maidens, I hope you will understand Silvija a little better :) Silvija is a BJD made from Japanese glass seedbeads, Swarovski pearls, organic cotton fiber fill, ahimsa silk thread, and organic cotton thread. She is approximately 9.5 inches tall. Her dress represents moss. Her hair can represent moss too, or it could also be twigs or autumn leaves. And here she is!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

WIP Silvija the Moss Maiden

I have been working on a new doll, and am ready to share the first pictures of her today ^_^ Her name is Silvija, which means "from the forest" (it's the Croatian form of the Roman Latin name "Silvia"). She is a Moss Maiden (they are also known as Wood Wives). When she is all done, I will talk about Moss Maidens in more detail, but for now just know that they are forest spirits whose lives are closely intertwined with the trees in which they live, and they are very kind and helpful.

Silvija is approximately 9.5 inches tall. She is made of Japanese glass seed beads, Swarovski pearls, organic cotton fiber fill, undyed ahimsa silk thread, and organic cotton thread. She is a ball-jointed doll, with 13 points of articulation. I did a special kind of stitch for her hair, to me it represents autumn leaves, tree branches, or even moss that has turned a reddish color. It will go really well with her dress, which I am working on right now.

I will post more when her dress is all done (maybe before, if I decide to take some teaser pics), but for now, you can get acquainted with Silvija a little bit :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cotton vs. Silk

I've been working on a new doll (you will get to see the first photos of her next week, most likely). She is a beaded BJD like Esmeralda, but with a couple of differences. One, I moved the ball joint in her torso down a bit, so that it is more centered in her waist. The other difference is the thread. Up to this point, I have been using organic cotton thread to make my dolls. I like it, but I decided to make this doll using ahimsa silk, for a few different reasons. The main reason is strength. I don't use beading threads, which are generally made of nylon or other plastics, even though they are very strong, because they are bad for the environment, and also for my health (I have chemical sensitivities, and when I tried using these materials I got really sick). So I like to stick to very natural materials, and, as far as that goes, silk is stronger than cotton. For my dolls, I chose an undyed, naturally processed, ahimsa silk. Here is a photo of it, next to the undyed organic cotton I normally use:

I love the feel of it when I'm working! I also like the slight sheen it has, very soft and subtle, kind of pearly. It's very luxurious and pretty. It doesn't knot as frequently as the cotton, and when it does get a knot, it seems easier to undo it. It is definitely stronger too - not once did my thread break, and it didn't fray as much at the part that goes through the eye of the needle either. 

On the other hand, although both threads are basically the same weight, the silk seems to be very slightly thicker, which was a problem with the 3 smallest pearl sizes I use as ball joints, because I couldn't pass the thread through them as much as I would have liked.

There was also something I didn't expect: my new doll is about three quarters of an inch taller than the last one! It doesn't sound like much, but she looks a lot taller. That isn't really a problem, though, as she is still a nice size, and sits nicely in my hand. It was just a bit unexpected.

So on the whole, I liked working with the silk, and will definitely use it again in the future, when the dolls have a similar skin tone to that thread. Otherwise I will have to use the cotton, because it comes in a bunch of colors, but the silk does not.