Sunday, May 8, 2011

Keeping The Home Fires Burning

This is how I've spent some of this mother's day, stacking firewood into the "woodshed". This little structure was one of our first building attempts out here. It was intended as a "temporary" solution to our firewood storage needs and is built with bush poles, scrap timber and old roofing iron. It has stood nigh on thirty years! Not so bad for a temporary building. It is a little swaybacked and it has a definite lean in a south~easterly direction and quite frankly I'm surprised it's still standing! We keep thinking it will do for another winter....and another....and another and still it stands! Being "off the grid" for everything this is a vital part of keeping things going out here, a good wood supply. Our kitchen wood~fired stove also heats our no wood, no fire, no hot water. We like it that way, being totally in control of things, but it can get very wearying at times, and as we get older it's getting harder. I guess the time will come when we will really need to re-think things and find some "simpler" solutions. Meantime, our little shed serves our needs.

The other thing I've been doing today is playing with paperclay. I've been sculpting this doll's head, it started out as a styrofoam egg over which the clay has been added. I have been following a guided tutorial by Sue McFadden (Blueprints in Felt Doll Making), and I have been enjoying it immensely. I have dabbled in dolls from time to time and played in my sister Susie's studio, but I always come unstuck when it comes time to paint! If I fiddle about long enough I can get a reasonable looking sculpt, but me and paint? Ugh! When I saw this tutorial I thought it was much more manageable for me as there is minimal painting involved! I love the tactile look of the wool felt over the paperclay sculpt, it somehow feels closer to bearmaking for me. (Now getting the felt to sit nicely over the sculpt might prove to be too much of a challenge for me, so stay tuned for an update!) I still have quite a way to go with the sculpting but it's getting there. I suppose I should really put it aside and get some bears made, it's only a few short weeks until the Gold Coast International Teddy Bear Fair! You might like to take a look at Sue's work, her dolls have such gentle souls, and are quite whimsicle, you'll find them here


  1. Wood looks like hard work!!!
    The sculpt looks Fab!!!
    I tried to get paperclay but ended up with something I thought was not the right stuff...where did you find yours??
    Can't wait to see the outcome!!!!

  2. a very worthy and productive day!!! bearHUGS!!!

  3. I had no idea you were off the grid. I am so impressed.
    Your doll is beautiful. I look forward to seeing more of her. I am off to go look at Sue's dolls.

  4. Your charming wood shed brings back some memories !!! I'm intrigued with your doll sculpture and look forward to seeing more.

  5. What a wonderful wood shed ... 30 years eh, I hope ours stands the same test of time! LOL!!

    That's you all over Linda ... your keep on stretching. I'm looking forward to seeing the end results.

    Warmest Hugs,
    Sandi @ Bearly Sane / Ess D'Ess Bears

  6. when you mention sculpture and wool felting, i have an artist sparkle over my mind, Stephanie Metz:
    perhaps you've seen her work, i find them organic, interesting!

  7. Wow, Susana her work is just stunning! Thanks for directing me to her site :o)

  8. We could do with a stash of wood like that! We've got the fire going up here today - its a tad chilly but probably not by Tassie standards. Looking forward to seeing your doll- you are a clever girl.

  9. Cant wait to see the finished results of your doll, looks great so far!!
    I have seen Sue's work before...Stunning!! but I'm off now to have another squizz :0)