Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sugar Fairy Tree and Happy New Year

 "Come with me to the sugar fairy tree." Yes, my Christmas tree has fairies, cupcakes, and assorted pastel ornaments on it. It's not till I decided to pose Ella next to it that I noticed it's not only wintery in theme, but also sugar fairy-ish.
"Sparkly Sweet" (left). "The Glass Cupcake" (right). "I know glass slippers are a thing, but a glass cupcake the size of my head, whoa." Careful not to stare into that shiny wrapper for too long, you might become a sugar fairy, too buzzed to stay still. :P
 And now, happy new year! Got my trio of new dolls set up for an enchanted new year forest party, and took the pictures by midnight.

Notice homemade accessories? I've already made headbands, a scrunchy scarf, and check out Ella's newest holiday tutu. (I spent an hour sewing on the red sequins....with clear nylon thread. It was a pain, but the end results were worth it). :D

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Peeking Through Taro and Once Upon A Time

 Peeking through the taro and smiling devilishly, this is Venus's game of hide and go seek.

I wanted to experiment with my new dolls, settled on doing some rough photography with Venus McFlytrap first. I posed her in the taro plant and did some photo editing/manipulation for the background and her face in the first image above.
Main images retain her cute look. I hope to start taking more fun photos in time, just having to figure out some new costume ideas to make for her because I love changing up themes and styles.
 Speaking of themes and fashion, look who arrived in the mail on Wednesday. my very own Ever After High Ella of mirror beach doll.
 I've already got some fun outfit ideas I want to make for her, but decided to take a few pictures of just her from the box for now, posed against the perfect paper background choice. :P

Monday, December 28, 2015


"I don't know what to feel...." Gotta smile through the tears.

Bittersweet is an odd image that's slightly different from my normal style. The idea of an art piece to display the concept of feeling bittersweet has been on my mind for quite awhile, this emotion continuously blooming in my chest.

It's not till recently that I found influence to create a picture that displays this emotion through color. Deviant Art had some kind of monthly sketch challenge to create a picture that displays an emotion using color, the idea inspired by a member named Destiny Blue. I've liked some of her work before, just never realized how known she was in the community of artists on DA, her work emotion based and color themed in many cases, something I of course gravitate towards.

Though I was unwilling to participate in the challenge due to program choices they wished people to try out, I did jump on the challenge as a personal thing, using the program I'm most comfortable with, that being PSE. 

My color choices and style type were heavily influenced off my recent interest for Monster High dolls, specifically Elissabat and Draculara. I enjoyed experimenting with Tim Burton-ex styles for the background, but despite my efforts of trying to make something interesting, I slowly started to feel my ability to draw were giving out on me. 
I had to tell myself to relax, despite the fact I fall short in being as skilled of an artist like so many I admire who excel and exceed in their own ability. After that I did what I could with the energy I had, not quite nailing what was in my mind, but getting something interesting anyway. 

Can you notice the symbolism? She smirks on one side, the other half of her lip drooping as her eyes drip with tears and the term bittersweet becomes known through the colors blue, black, gray, purple, and pink.

Now that I think on it, Bittersweet could be the name of this character, an interesting figure who walks the world of Monster High or even the darker part of Ever After High.

Monster High Doll Fashion Form

 So, I got a few Monster High Dolls recently, and decided to make some fashion forms to make outfit designing easier. 
 To achieve this I took photos of my doll in the nude (not a pretty sight, especially the back side). This was the first step, then I traced over the pictures on my computer, and created a two part template series, the main one above, and the basic side views below. 
These templates have helped me design fun fashion concepts that may later be made into actual cloths for the dolls. It's nice to know how something might look on the doll before you've actually sewn it, plus this a great way to design your own Monster High characters. :)

I may share the sketches and my method of designing on paper in the future, plus share photos of outfits actually made when I get around to it. till then, have fun trying out the templates for yourself, and see what you come up with. ;P

Monday, December 21, 2015

I Want To Believe

Back on the 16'th I snapped a photo during a walk with company, then created this X Files themed poster a few days later.

It was a fun joke, liked enough that two were printed, the one framed in a poster style frame as a gift to a friend.

To me, this picture is made by the Sarcasm shirt and facial expression. :P
Though "I want to believe" is the traditional quote of the poster in X Files, I also experimented with two other quotes just to see how it looked.

Had fun adjusting starliner font, giving it a personal touch of dots.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Toga Kitty- Royal French Bulldog- Aquafaria Guardian

Collage pieces from November, excluding "Toga Kitty" just above, a collage piece from who knows when. I was reminded of it when I thought of a friend, and must say it's one of the stranger pieces I've done. For those who like toga wearing critters, have a laugh. :P

Royal French Bulldog, or French Bulldog Princess was a random November collage made from an already existing background with French bulldog, then framed with craft tape. I remembered a picture I liked and was completely amused to add the woman wearing a shirt with a French bulldog on it. Seems she really likes this kind of dog.

Aquafaria Guardian, a sea nymph, protector of the fishes. This ladies dress reminded me of one of those tropical fish or sea snails, giving me the idea to make her aquatic.

I used scrapbook paper for the background, scrapbook embellishments (the fish and seaweed transparencies), flier images of a woman and jewelry pieces, the fin made from part of a chocolate wrapper, a little eye shadow for skin tinting, and the metallic scales made with jell pen.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Three Virtues Fashion

More Bionicle themed fashion. I figure if I'm going to design around a theme, I mind as well go full out and do whatever comes to mind.

Above is the matching theme set of casual wear for girl and boy, styles varying slightly.
Both shirts have the three virtues design I adjusted, the girls version a tank top style with sparkly studs accenting the collar, and star glitter swirling in a pattern on the jeans to match. The shirt design would be printed in a silver paint that reflects light.

Girls outfit comes with additional accessories that encompass the basic themes of Bionicle, everything from the six elemental symbols displayed on the belt, earrings, and gem studded bracelet, topped off with the light and shadow pendant of Takanuva and Makuta.

Boy version also has its own accessories of choice, a more masculine version  of the elemental symbol belt, element symbol bracelet with enamel coloring, and optional elemental symbol pendant on a chain (light and shadow pendant also optional). Boy version is a basic T shirt with grey accents for sleeves and neckline, completed with the three virtues listed on the back side of the shirt.
I made two girl versions, one classy, one casual. I really like the classy one, same shirt with a sparkly star glitter accented skirt, complimented with a metallic sash belt and boots to match; plus goes great with the Mata Nui Virtue necklace with matching earrings. Style is meant to hold a celestial feel.

There may be more possible fashion designs based around this theme in the near future. A final note is that the casual girls outfit could also be accented with the elemental symbol headband.

Silver Polka Lace- Silky Night Robe- Sunlight Element

Silver polka lace outfit. Odd name, but It's all I could think of for an outfit I'd love to make and wear. The shirt idea was inspired off the silver polka dot material I got for my monarch fairy costume.

Left version is more of what the outfit is meant to look like, black material instead of gray. I had to use gray for actual color in order to show drawn lines (right).
This material with polka dots so shiny they reflect. I love the feel of it, a cozy knit, nice and stretchy, great for a shirt. I'd make a shirt with it if I could, and wear the matching skirt design, a black material with a silver lace overlay and ruffled silver ribbon trim on the bottom, completed with a pair of sparkly silver ballerina flats topped off with a small bow.

While I was at it on my designing spree, I drew up a silky robe for nighttime, the design based off an actual robe I have which I'd like to replicate and adjust. This may also look nice in a light shade of pink.

Lace lines the neck and sleeves, panel of lace is sewn over the front just above the chest, closed with pearl painted buttons.

Sunlight Element, a fancy costume design made after I had a small day dream. The element theme is based off a Bionicle character named Takanuva, the Toa of light (right).

I had this day dream of what I'd wear themed off this character instead of the Takanuva T shirt provided by the LEGO company, the design of it seeming to lack something. I dreamed that as Pearllight in the mythical world of fantasy, I would go full out with the theme of light, and had a blurry idea of an outfit design.

Light element costume consists of a pair of pants and shirt (possibly connected as a whole knit suit). Gloves, boots, and belt skirt are added to it; each piece accented with golden metal plating, topped off with a crown. Note the spikes and dot details represent light beams, a few spots accented with sparkly white gems.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Heimlick Caterpillar Costume

Getting into the concept of plus sized costumes, I felt some costume ideas work best for the more stocky build. In this case, I felt it would be great to dress as a caterpillar, a costume inspired off Heimlick from A Bugs Life. 
Some of the inspiration for a padded suit with small pink butterfly wings is based off bug costume designs from Cirque Du Soleil, OVO.

Now you too can be a green michelin man. :P

Monarch Fairy Costume idea

 Back in 2013 I made a post about the left costume design, the Autumn Monarch Fairy. So happens this year I went shopping for materials to use in making this fairy costume, and had to adjust the color scheme of my outfit according to materials available at the fabric store. I already have my pattern, and after choosing my fabric, drew a new version of the costume idea which is now truly a monarch fairy in color scheme.
 As you can see, we grabbed what was affordable and pleasant together, monarchs being orange, black, and white (the silver being the white replacement). I love the stretchy polka dot material for the corset, silver spots being like the white dots on a monarch butterflies body.
 We also got a sheer sparkly black to pick up on more of the silver.
Only needed a bit of orange accent, this material one of the few orange choices they had. Sadly this material is now retired and we didn't get quite enough, so I'll be finding a second orange material to accent this one.

One day if the costume ever gets done, I hope to add a headband with antennae, and try possible makeup techniques to create a butterfly on my face.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Road to Somewhere

"Dusted Sunset Stroll" (left). "The Road to Somewhere" (right).

Often when I'm feeling pressured and trapped, I've dreamed of walking on a road that leads somewhere else, somewhere new and far away, somewhere different and calm.

For the past few weeks I've dreamed of just walking and never stopping, like I want to walk till I reach where I belong, wherever that is. 

The pictures above are meant to express that feeling of walking and walking for however long just to feel peaceful. Originally I was going to make a still life photo with figurines to express this idea, till I remembered I had these pictures from long ago of me walking on a park trail in different locations.
I added details like color philters and flower frames to give it a more overrun feel, like walking for long amounts of time till plants start taking over.

These images are the start of the series for the road to somewhere; I may add to the collection every now and then.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nightmares of Decay

 I've been working on some more personal projects lately, having to do with some internal moods that always seem present somewhere inside despite the fact I do what I can to keep the moods from surfacing and tainting the bright, colorful, bubbly, or bittersweet ideas.

This demotion based image is very opinionated and rather personal, rooted to the very core of my darker emotions. Not everyone needs to understand the message, and for those who enjoy gritty art, this and the following may be just for you.
Look, instant mood change when the quote is removed. I call this picture "Worn Down". Created from a photo I took while in Williamsburg VA, edited with photo filter color and a rust overlay. Kind of interesting in an odd way.
Now we get on to the true nightmare. I've been rather dark because of certain things happening lately, and one night while I was trying to sleep, I dreamed I was walking through a post apocalyptic shopping center. It was rather spooky, the sky was a purple blue shade, and there was dust in the air. 

The next thing in the dream was to find a place to hide, determining which dark building was the safest, only to know zombies wandered the area.

"Post Apocalyptic Shopping Center" was my attempt to replicate my dream into something anyone could see. The image is another photo I took, edited with filters and some layering of other elements. I'll also note, if you have a good eye, you may notice a skull face in the sky. (It was an accidental detail I liked).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Snowing Hearts

Trying to play with color and express a bittersweet concept that came to mind. I thought of how Valentine's Day is in winter, and dreamed of snow, then an idea for a poem/song came to mind called "Snowing Hearts". 

If you look closely at this practice digital painting, you'll see that some of the snowflakes are hearts. This piece is based on the feeling of loneliness during Valentine's Day, but in imagination the snow can seem as hearts, every cold wind a kiss from winter, the future ahead and your chance of meeting someone still a possibility.

Eventually I may write the musical poem and include it on this post.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Magic Touch

"Magic Touch"

This image is a pan over idea of me, the photographer, greeting the curious Rose Bud from the Fairy Waltz pictures collection.
In the last post I mentioned that the image above was inspired by a poem I wrote. 

What inspired me to make both the poem and pictures is kind of funny. I've been feeling bland, bored, and lonely, noticing that some old faces on face book have been attending special occasions, friendly meet ups with people they know, all that jazz. It reminded me of how I've never had that kind of experience before, who would invite me to a party? Then I thought, well I can fix that, and as a joke created my party, a fairy waltz which I of course attended, there to take pictures of the scene.

That's why I made "Magic Touch", to fit the following poem and show I did indeed attend a mythical party. (I'll note though, the image didn't quite capture what I was trying right ear is pointed, but my head was at the wrong angle to show it).

Fairy Waltz

Attended a ball that's very small,
My movements stiff and wary

I slinked I slid, tip toed, and hid,
My presence tall and scarry

With a lens and careful hand,
I took some pictures of the scene

The atmosphere and garments grand,
The graceful dancing like a dream

As night went on, I joined right in,
I danced, I twirled, and did a spin

Here's my report, to keep it short,
I danced among the fairies 

Written by Gretchen Bauer

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fairy Waltz

 Four days ago in evening I dreamed up a poem based off recent events I've noticed, combined with the realm of fantasy. This poem inspired me to make some pictures for it, and so I have. I'll be sharing the poem in a later post with a specialty picture.

On the 18'th I set the scene for the Fairy Waltz, then had a stroke of bad luck and accidentally broke my camera. Thankfully there's a second camera in the house I can borrow till I get a new one.

At first I was cautious in taking pictures after what happened, so I warmed up by taking a picture of the fairy waltz grounds like a scene before the dance begins.
 My second warm up photo was taken to express my slight sadness of being a klutz, but my little purple fairy was too cute to express that and instead helped me feel better and helped me settle on continuing with my photo shoot.
Of course with a little PSE work, I was able to make her look upset, as an experiment. :P
 I went on to have a little more fun by placing my fairy on mushrooms. I like to think she was the first to be in the region and is waiting for the waltz to start.

Each pictures seems to be like a time of day passing. The first is bright so it's like early evening.
Second is a bit dimmer and more blue.
 I tried getting slightly different angles for a better feel.
 And at last, night starts to near, these two images experiments with color. I felt the blue made it more dreamy, and gave the sense of late evening or moonlight.

  And the waltz begins. It took awhile to pose the Barbies, but I finally got it good enough, and added in smaller pixies by taking separate photos of them and pasting them in with fun effects.
 Closer view of the party.
 Fairy faces of plum princess and the main blue fairy.
 Flower dancers, purple and blue, short, sweet, and traveling in two.
Orange Blossom decided to dance next to the pink fairy (left) because she has orange wings. And to the right is a still view of the plumb princess.
 I wanted to experiment with odder angles, and captured some shots of the blue fairy. The one on the right has a sense of flight to me.
Here's our pink fairy, a non fairy related character made into a sparkly winged dancer.
 Two of my favorites, the purple pixie and her friend rose bud.
 I also got daylight shots of the scene.
 You can see it's very green.
 And here's the final image, a way to give the smallest of pixies a spotlight. Experimented with creating fuzzy lights, and loved it.