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August 19, 2006

Yeah, so you think I have nothing better to do. I know I have plenty of other projects without starting something new, but I just can't help it sometimes. And this one hasn't been easy.

Mom and I experimented last night with the tea dye. Four bags to a bowl full of water, heated for five minutes in the microwave, then soaked til I got bored. Immediately we discovered something interesting with two of the fabrics. The pattern on them had been printed with some sort of ink. The fabric was changing color, but the ink wasn't! I stood there with my stirring spoon, poking at the fabric and chanting, "Dye! Dye! Dye!" It didn't help. While it had an interesting effect on the striped fabric, the beautiful lacy print didn't really do all that much. We couldn't believe it. Next time, a different fabric, and perhaps more tea.

I had bought about 6 different fabrics on Friday, trying to decide which to use for the skirt. Today I chose the three in the picture. (None of these are the weird fabrics from the tea dye experiment.) I rather wish I could have gotten the garments grungier looking with the tea, but I'm not done yet! I may try spraying a solution on with a water bottle, and experiment with ripping the fabric or adding patches.

I also sculpted her hands and feet and face and shoulderplate. Then I ran out of clay. I had to mix the color to get the effect I wanted, and didn't make enough. I DID, however, make enough for the parts that would show, so it really doesn't matter what goes underneath. The hair is embroidery floss (obviously not in its final shape yet). I was hoping to imitate dreadlocks, although later it occured to me that cornrows or even a kerchief or turban would do just as well. I rather like the idea of a turbanish type hat. I will experiment and see!

While Tia Dalma inspired me to create the doll, I still have a strong impression in my mind of Queen Mousette in Blues Brothers 2000. I know I have stills of her costume somewhere, but I remember it as being very shiny. I think I prefer the earthy bajou look. Again, I still have to experiment. But first, I need a body to dress.

The clay kept getting too warm, and too soft. I had a hard time preventing everything from shifting the wrong way, and I can never see my mistakes til I take a picture, at which point, it's too late! I tell myself that real faces are rarely perfectly symmetrical, anyway. Just please remind me not to forget to paint her eyes!

I forgot the penny again. For scale, a penny is the size of her head. I just measured.