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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Trying to get caught up


I know it seems like forever since I last posted a video on the channel. I just wanted to hop over here and let you all know there will be videos/tutorials in the future I just haven’t had the energy to get anything filmed.

I will give you the short version of the last couple of months so you understand why the lack of videos.

I looked on the blog and it was March 11th that I last posted. That was right about the time I got sick, now that being said I had been sick off and on ever since the beginning of the year but in March I got COVID. I wasn’t that bad, not like when I got it when it first went around. This time mostly I was just exhausted (fever and congestion too) so I thought at the time I would be back to my normal schedule really soon.

Then as the symptoms started to go away I started to get migraines, almost constant migraines. I have learned that is one side effect of the latest round of COVID. is that some people that tend to get migraines that are almost constant after the disease. Some for a couple of months some for up to 6 or more months. I had about 6 weeks of almost constant migraines.

They are better now but I am still getting more than normal for me.

During this time I had to keep up as much as possible with my main channel (my minis channel) because it helps to pay the bills here. Something had to give and since this channel isn’t monetized it had to be the doll channel.

As a result of not feeling well and the headaches my depression has been making a comeback. So that is also slowing me down since it puts walls up that I have to work through to get anything done.

On top of this going on I had a major problem with my video editing software and had to change programs very suddenly. So I had to learn new software during the time I was having major migraines. Not fun. And since the program I was using for my video editing was part of a suite of programs this meant I also had to change my photo editing software and my music editing software. All at once. I had been using the old program set for over a decade so learning all new programs was not fun.

I have mastered them all well enough to get by at this point and I am slowly getting better at using them. Every takes me much longer to do now though partly because the video editor is much not only completely different but also much more powerful.

For the last 3 weeks I have told myself I would have a video ready for the doll channel for that week and so far it just hasn’t happened.

I have several ideas for videos I want to do and I am really hoping to get them filmed soon.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Doll Size Radishes


Watch the video here.

For our project today I thought it would be fun to make some radishes for the dolls. This is a really easy polymer clay project that looks so real when you are finished. The steps are fairly easy and the shapes are all really simple.

We start by creating our stems and roots. For the roots I am using some white embroidery floss, it comes with 6 strands, divide it down to 3 strands. Cut some lengths a couple of inches long. Now give each of these a coat of TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) and place on a non-stick baking surface.

The clay we are using today is mostly some of what I would refer to as one of my base colors. It is a mixture of equal parts white clay and translucent clay. Normally I buy a brick of each of these colors and mix both bricks together to have this on hand.

Take a small piece of the translucent/white clay mix and mix in a very tiny bit of any green clay. You just want to tint the clay a little bit green. Now roll it into 3 very thin snake and using your finger coat the snakes with some green artist chalk. This will give the outside of each snake a dark shell so they will show up better in the finished project. Now using a tiny bit of TLS to help them adhere press the 3 snakes into one larger snake. This will become our stems for our radishes.

Bake both the stems and roots for 10 minutes at the temperature recommended on your clay.

While those bake we can start to form our radishes. To do this using the same white/translucent clay mix make a small ball of clay for each radish you wish to make. These balls can be anywhere from about 3/8” to ½” in diameter. Now carefully slide each ball of clay onto a toothpick and allow them to rest for about 15 or 20 minutes. This allows the really soft translucent clay to firm back up a bit.

Once your stems are baked you can cut them into small pieces. It is okay if some of them come apart.

Now carefully remove the balls of clay from the toothpicks and using some TLS as glue add a small piece of the stems to the top end. Work the clay up snugly  against the stem.

Now again using some TLS as glue add a root to the opposite end of the radish and snug the clay up to it. Use your finger tips to blend the clay into the root so it is a smooth transition.

Once all the radishes are formed prepare some red and fuchsia pink chalk by scraping it to create a powder. Use a brush to apply the mixed colors of chalk to the radishes going just a tiny bit down onto the root.

Bake at recommended temperature for 20 minutes and allow to cool.

Use some scissors to trim the roots a bit to be more in scale with your radishes and you are ready to display them in your next doll scene.

As always I do want to sincerely thank all of you for watching my videos and reading my blog posts. It means so much to me that you are supporting me in this way. If I could ask you all to do just a bit more by subscribing to the channel and liking the videos and leaving comments. Those help more than you can imagine. Also if you could pass the links on to your friends I would appreciate it so much.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Doll Size Doughnuts


Watch the video here.

I have a very good reason for making doughnuts this week for the dolls, I have been craving them like crazy but the weather has not been cooperative to going to the store to get any. So I decided to make some from polymer clay this week instead.

This is a really simple project and only uses one clay, Original Sculpey, although you could use any white clay you have on hand.

Start by shaping a ball of clay fro each doughnut you want to make. For regular doughnuts I find a 1” ball to be a really good size. If you want to add some maple bars (long johns in some areas) make the ball slightly larger about        1¼”.

For the doughnuts simply flatten the ball slightly (I did this on top of a piece of sandpaper to keep the bottom from getting too smooth) then use a round tool to make the hole in the center. I used the handle from my chalk brush.

Once you have the basic doughnut shape use a small ball of tightly crumpled aluminum foil to make a textured banc around the center of the sides of the doughnuts.

For the Maple Bar, simply roll the ball into a slight log shape then flatten the same way. And texture all the way around the clay shape.

Once you are happy with the shape add some yellow ocher color chalk to the doughnuts. Go a bit light around the textured area and down the center hole in the doughnuts.

To finish add a coat of a reddish brown chalk to the top and bottoms of the doughnuts doing your best to stay off the textured area.

Bake the doughnuts for 20 minutes at the temperature recommended by your clay. And allow to cool to room temperature.

Now onto decorating our doughnuts. I kept it really simple today but you can go all out, just check online or at the local bakery for inspiration. For mine I just used my favorite icing to coat finish mine.

For the icing I am mixing TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) and oil paint. You just use a tiny bit of oil paint in the mixture. If you use too much it will not cure properly. So for the blobs of TLS I just used a tiny bit of the paint on the tip of the toothpick I used to mix them.

For colors I used: Burnt Umber, Yellow Ocher, Titanium White, and Rose Madder.

Keep in mind that these mixtures will be lighter in color in their raw state than they will be after baking. If you are unsure about colors I suggest baking a tiny bit of the icing mixture on a piece of parchment paper to test your colors.

For the chocolate icing I used the Burnt Umber by itself in the TLS.

For the maple icing I used a mix of the yellow ocher with just a tiny bit of the Burnt Umber.

For the white I used the white alone.

For the pink I used mostly white with a very tiny bit of the Rose Madder. A note on red oil paints- I have found that most reds do shift to an orange hue when cured in TLS, Rose Madder seems to be the most predictable for me.

I suggest mixing this on a disposable surface, I use aluminum foil for easy clean up.

I know there are a lot of instructions out there tell you that it is okay to mix acrylic paint with TLS. I have even seen people that are supposed to know better saying this is alright. The problem lies in the fact that one of the ingredients in acrylic paint is water. When that water gets heated during the curing of the TLS it can boil and in some cases explode your project in the oven. I know that the worse case doesn't happen very often but it can happen. If the water in the paint boils in the heat of oven it will ruin your project.

I do love the way this icing looks when it is baked because it has a wonderful sheen that looks like real icing and makes whatever doll food you put it on look so much more realistic. 

On the white frosted doughnut I added some micro no hole beads to act as sprinkles because they look so nice also.

I hope you enjoy this project, be sure to show me your doughnuts if you make them.

As always I do want to sincerely thank all of you for watching my videos and reading my blog posts. It means so much to me that you are supporting me in this way. If I could ask you all to do just a bit more by subscribing to the channel and liking the videos and leaving comments. Those help more than you can imagine. Also if you could pass the links on to your friends I would appreciate it so much.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Doll Size Cheese Puffs

Watch the video here.

Today I have another simple polymer clay doll food project for you, some cheese puffs! As I was walking through the grocery store this morning I saw that almost all the salty snacks were on sale and since I hadn't had any cheese puffs in a very long time I decided to pick up a bag of them.

Since they are such a basic shape I knew immediately that they would be a perfect subject for a clay food tutorial.

For this one you need a light yellow clay, a softer brand is going to work better for this project than on of the firmer ones. I am out of light yellow clay so I mixed 1 part yellow Fimo with 2 parts Original Sculpey to give me the color I was looking for. Since we are going to be mostly covering this color up and only a little hint of it will show in the finished project you don't need to get this color perfect, just don't go with a really bright or dark color of yellow since we want the contrast between the yellow clay color and the bright orange of the chalk we will be using.

Start by rolling a snake of the clay and cutting bits off that will for balls about ¼” in diameter. 





Once you have the little balls start to roll each ball into a snake then move onto a dish scrubby pad (the kind that is made up of a sponge covered in mesh) and continue to roll to form the shape.




 I like to use a toothbrush to roll the clay on the scrubby for this because it mutes the texture just a bit and I get just the look I am after.

Once you have your cheese puff shapes rolled move them to a container to chalk them. I like to use a plastic lid for this. It contains the mess and makes the job of coloring all the pieces of clay with the chalk much faster, easier, and neater.



Scrape a piece of bright orange artist chalk onto the container you are using and then using a slightly damp brush coat the clay pieces with the chalk. By using a damp brush we get a very different look than you get when we normally use a dry brush.

You can see in this picture with examples of clay cheese puffs colored with chalk using a dry brush vs a damp brush. The pieces on the left were done with a dry brush and the ones on the right with a damp brush,  I took the photo with the real cheese puff so you can really see how much more realistic the damp brush effect is.

Once all your cheese puffs are colored with chalk, you can bend a few of them just slightly if you wish.

The finished clay cheese puffs need to be baked at the temperature recommended for your brand of clay for 10 minutes.

Once cooled you are ready to use them as you wish with your dolls.

As always I do want to sincerely thank all of you for watching my videos and reading my blog posts. It means so much to me that you are supporting me in this way. If I could ask you all to do just a bit more by subscribing to the channel and liking the videos and leaving comments. Those help more than you can imagine. Also if you could pass the links on to your friends I would appreciate it so much.


Friday, February 4, 2022

Doll Size Divided Serving Tray


Watch the video here.



In last week's video I had asked for you guys to suggest things you want to see tutorials on and one of the suggestions was a veggie tray. As I was looking at ideas for veggie trays I ran across this really cool serving tray that a veggie tray was on. I decided I just had to make it this week. Then we can fill it up not only with veggies and maybe some dip but it could be used for all kinds of other foods too. I think this is a project that will see a lot of use in my photos of the foods we make in tutorials in the future.

The entire project is in 6 parts- 4 wedge shaped bowls, 1 small round bowl, and a larger tray that the other 5 pieces all fit into.

To start you will need to draw a circle that is around 3” in diameter. I had a container on my craft table that measured 3 ¼” so it was perfect. I would say it should be at least 3” but no more than 3 ½” to stay in scale.

Draw this circle on some lightweight paper then add to dissect it into 4 equal quarters. Then draw a 1” diameter circle in the very center.

You need to use these two pieces as your pattern to start the project so glue them to some heavy paper or poster board. I like to use 140 lb watercolor paper.

Once the glue on these patterns is dry go ahead and trace 8 of the wedge shape onto some card-stock and cut them out. 





Also cut 4 strips of the same card-stock that measure 2” by 8 ½” and score these ½” from one long edge and ¾” from the other.





 Cut a small notch to create an overlap as shown in the video and glue the strips so you have the ½” wide flap free and a piece about ¾” wide that is two layers. When the glue is dry cut tiny notches the length of the ½” flap to help in following the curves when gluing.

Glue each strip around one of the wedge shape pieces cutting the excess off to fit. Once dry use the other 4 wedge shapes to cover the bottom of the bowls.

Now cut 2 1” circles and another 2” strip of card-stock and score and glue the strip the same as before.

Carefully glue the strip around one of the circles, it does help to have something about the correct diameter to use to hold this while working. Add the other circle to the bottom and allow the glue to dry.

Once dry set up your dishes around the round one and measure the diameter of your set of bowls. Depending on the thickness of the card-stock you are using this could vary. Mine was around 4” in diameter this is the size you need to make your tray.

Give the pieces you have finished a good coat of gloss Mod Podge and allow to dry.

Meanwhile find something to trace around to make a circle the size you need for your tray. Cut one circle from card-stock and one from a heavy paper (I used my watercolor paper) and glue these together. Cut a strip of card-stock long enough to go around your circle and 1 ½” wide. I cut mine diagonally from a 12” by 12” sheet of card-stock and it was perfect. Score this strip ½” from each long edge and glue just like before. Cut notches in the flap as before.

Glue the strip around the circle and allow to dry. Glue this to some more matching card-stock and once dry cut as close to the edge as possible.

I was planning to add a strip of colored card-stock around the base of the tray at this point but I liked the clean lines that the tray had and decided to skip this step. If you want to add one just cut a ¼” wide strip long enough to go around the tray and glue to the outside at the base.

I decided instead to add a rim of gold paint and I love the way it looks.

Now add a coat of gloss Mod Podge and allow to dry.

Your divided serving tray is ready to fill with all sorts of goodies for the dolls to snack on.

As always I do want to sincerely thank all of you for watching my videos and reading my blog posts. It means so much to me that you are supporting me in this way. If I could ask you all to do just a bit more by subscribing to the channel and liking the videos and leaving comments. Those help more than you can imagine. Also if you could pass the links on to your friends I would appreciate it so much.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Doll Size Snack Mix


Watch the video here.


Today's tutorial was inspired by my own craving for some snack mix, so I decided to treat the dolls this week. When I got out my clay I really had no idea how I was going make most of the items we are making today. When I say in the video it took me 3 hours to figure out the square pretzels that is not an exaggeration. I had several ideas but most of them failed miserably. A couple I could get to work sometimes but not consistently. I finally came up with the final idea that you see in the video by combining several of the fail/near fail ideas I had tried.

While I think some of the items are a bit large for scale I am really ahppy with the project. I think the individual pieces are in scale with each other and even though I took a bit of artistic license with some of the elements I know most people will know what they are looking at.

So I started with the rye crisp/chip things. I love those and they actually were pretty easy to figure out. The Hazelnut clay from Sculpey III is a really good color and the sandpaper gives a good texture. The chalk could probably be adjusted a bit, I did add a bit too much in the video. But it is needed to keep the pieces of clay from sticking to the sandpaper.




 Don't worry if the crisps bend or tear coming off the sandpaper the ones in the bag are never perfect.

Next we make the two types of pretzels that were in the bag of snack mix I had bought, round ones and square ones. I did use a lot of the same techniques that I used in the soft pretzel tutorial I did a while back, just in a smaller size.


 For the round ones I found that wrapping the clay snake around the skewer then













and blending the seam worked the best. It was the easiest way to get a consistent size and shape to the pretzels. 




Just like the soft pretzels I just used Original Sculpey for both shapes of pretzels and later for the bread-sticks. Then they were shaded with the same artist chalks I use on pretty much all baked goods.

For the square pretzels I came up with the idea of using the graph paper for sizing the clay squares and then just working right on the paper to get the holes in the correct places. 





You are going to see this theme of working top of the graph paper a lot in this video. It is a wonderful way to size things and since I am using a free printable I hope it is something most if not all of you can get your hands on. I do recommend printing it in a draft mode or less ink mode and in grey scale. I find that way I have less issues with ink bleeding into my clay.

For the coarse salt to go on both shapes of pretzels I used the same Mod Podge mixed with sand trick that I did on the soft pretzels. It really gives a good replica of the coarse salt you see on a lot of snacks.

The pretzels are the only snacks in the mix that are coated with Mod Podge this week.

For the bread-sticks I had to come up with a way to get the “bumpy” texture and I think by rolling with the toothpick I got a pretty good shape.

On to the woven cereals that are part of the mix. This one was a puzzle for me to figure out also. The big question being how to get that iconic texture? I was rummaging around through my clay texturing tools and came across this small file/rasp/grater thing. It came off one of those things in the pedicure kit from the dollar store that is supposed to be used to file off the dead skin on your heel. It ended up being the perfect tool to use for the woven texture.



 As for the clay colors to use I started with equal parts of Original Sculpey and Fimo Ocher for the corn “chex” then for the wheat ones I added some of the same Hazelnut color we used earlier.

You can find the graph paper used here.



As always I do want to sincerely thank all of you for watching my videos and reading my blog posts. It means so much to me that you are supporting me in this way. If I could ask you all to do just a bit more by subscribing to the channel and liking the videos and leaving comments. Those help more than you can imagine. Also if you could pass the links on to your friends I would appreciate it so much.