Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Painting and a Package

We are busy busy doing last minute shopping, wrapping and prepping here at the Betterly Ranch. My mom made it in safely and after 2 days of "cold for FL" weather, we are back in the mid to upper 70s with plenty of sunshine.
Awhile back my mom contacted me about doing a painting for my brother and his wife that she could give them as a gift for Christmas. So, I finally finished it up today after numerous attempts and failures. You see, I like to paint my girls and when I have to step outside of that I'm at a complete loss. I knew one of my girl paintings wouldn't really go with the type of things they like, so I had to go out of my comfort zone and it was a struggle. I tried 4 different types of paintings before finally being happy with this one:

I really like how the eggshell technique looked in this one. My mom is really happy with it and thinks that my brother and his wife will like it too. Whew! One more item ticked off of the list!
I was so excited today! I got the mail and there was a package. It was the awesome ornie that I won over at the B.W.B.A. Blog! It's a lightbulb creation by BYRUMART and I love it! We're getting closer and closer to having a tree filled with handmade ornies. Whoo hoo. I'm expecting another ornie in the mail that I won on another blog but I'll tell you about it when it arrives and I can show you the pics.
I have a million cookies to make so I better get busy! I'm still working on the steampunk doll for my hubby and it probably won't get done now until sometime at the first of the year, pouting, I just ran out of time. He's okay with it being late, thank goodness. So, I'll share that with you when it's done.
I hope you are all enjoying the holiday and staying warm with friends and family. We here at the Betterly Ranch and MLB Studios wish you and yours a very HAPPY HOLIDAY!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday! I will be going off the grid for a bit while my mother is in town for a visit. I hope your days are filled with family and friends and lots of happiness and laughter. We'll return to our regularly scheduled programing after the 27th!

Happy Holidays,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Mom Rocks!

I was busy answering emails when I heard a thump outside of my door and then a knock. I went to the door and no one was there. Instead, there was this box staring at me...

My mom had sent me an email telling me she had sent my Christmas present and it would be arriving today. I had strict orders open it right away and NOT PUT IT UNDER THE TREE. I was a little shocked to see a Montgomery Inn Ribs box though. You see, I beg my mom each and every time she flies down to visit to please bring me some Glier's Goetta. I can't get it here in the south. I of course hounded her to bring it with her when she comes for Christmas and she said she couldn't do it this time because she didn't want to carry anything on the plane. (pouting). So, I thought for sure she was mailing me some but those hopes were dashed when I saw the Montgomery Inn Ribs logo on the box. Don't get me wrong, Mont. Inn Ribs are YUMMY, but I had my heart set on goetta. Oh well, she was still thinking of things I like and so I got out a knife and started opening the box.

When I finally got the top off and set it aside, I SQUEALED with delight! Inside there were 12 wonderfully delicious tubes of Glier's Goetta! Yum!!!!!!!!!!!

There was also a magazine full of all of the Cincinnati favorites that I could order in the future and I have to tell you, UDF Ice Cream is on the top of my list! I can't believe I'm willing to spend $40.00 to have 7 pints of ice cream sent here but you better believe it's gonna happen! It's been almost 4 years since I've had that ice cream and I haven't found a single brand here in FL that comes close.
Thank you Mom!!!!!! Awesome gift and I can't wait for one of these tubes to thaw so I can cook it up! You rock and we'll see you this weekend!

Monday, December 14, 2009

On My Worktable Today..

This is the armature for the next doll on my list. I am making a Steampunk Type doll for my hubby for Christmas. While my dolls typically decide what they want to be as I go, this one is sort of planned out. It will be a male figure wearing victorian style clothing. He will have boots on and will be wearing an aviator hat and googles on his head. I have a rocket pack in mind for him to wear on his back and he may have a propeller type thingy overhead. Not sure about that part yet. Anywho, it's the costuming of dolls that I hate because I have very little experience with it and usually end up cursing during the process. This doll will require quite a bit of it so I naturally put it off until the last. Ugh. Wish me luck and I'll post pics here and there as I go.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Introducing, Gertie and her Dolly

She's finally finished! This is a doll I have made for my sister-in-law as a Christmas gift. She requested that I make her a goth doll and this is what I came up with. She is sculpted in air dry and polymer clays then painted with acrylics and pastels. She has acrylic eyes and her little jumper is felt. She's about 13" tall. I'm really pleased with how she came out and can't wait to see my sis-in-law's reaction when she opens her.



Friday, December 11, 2009

More Goodies in My Mailbox Today

Today I received my "Naughty Ornament" from the lovely Colleen Downs (LoopyBoopy). I love, love, love it to pieces and wasted no time adding it to the tree! Thanks so much, Colleen!

I'm still working on the doll I showed you yesterday. I hope to finish her today. I have to make a quick trip to the fabric store for her costume though. I'll do that sometime this evening. I'll share a finished picture as soon as she's finished.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

On My Worktable Today...

Sculpted in air dry clay. Paint.... check. Wig..... check. Now to add her arms, legs, base, doll and outfit. Whew! Busy busy.... How are things going in your neck of the woods? We had record highs yesterday, 82 degrees and HUMID! Yuck. We're back to normal in the low 70s today. Some web friends are looking at single digit temps right now with wind chills in the negative. Brrrr. I'm sending all of you warmth and sunshine from the sunshine state! Stay warm everyone!

I have got to get back to work. I still have tons to do before Christmas, so back at it...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Am A Machine!

Whew! It's been late nights (or early mornings depending on how you look at it) and lots of caffine! I have completed two gifts for my mother, (can't share...she reads this blog) a matchbox doll for my youngest daughter and two painted dolls for both of my daughters, all in 3 days! I am rockin'! Here's the little matchbox doll, you'll have to excuse the ugly paint covered hands in some of the pics, that's just how I roll...

She's so very tiny. She's jointed and sculpted in polymer clay.
Here is a pic of the dolls I made for both of my daughters. The one with the pink dress is for my 7 year old daughter, Jada and the one with a green dress is for my 10 year old daughter, Jenna. The backs are painted solid black because I'm going to write a special note to each of them on the back in white pen. Something special about how much I love them etc, etc. Then I'll seal them with a matte varnish.

Sadly, I haven't even put a dent into the list of ToDos yet. All I can do is keep trudging through and pray I finish everything on time. I must admit, I do work better under pressure and I'm really enjoying making everything. Maybe some year I'll finally learn and start all of this stiff in August instead of the last week of November....nah.........that would be a miracle!
Off to FALL into bed and get back to it tomorrow.... night all!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Little Dolly

If you watched the video I posted yesterday, you saw a doll that I started that I used DAS Air Dry Clay to make. Well, I finished it this evening...

I have to tell you, I love DAS Clay! I was a huge fan of Creative Paperclay (still am) but this stuff is my new favorite. It's not as easy to work with as the Creative Paperclay but I love the smooth, rock hard finish of the DAS. I will definately be stocking up on this product!
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with family and friends. I also hope that you didn't wait until the last minute to get cracking for the Christmas Holiday like I did! I have a billion projects to finish in under 3 weeks! Nothing like a little fire at your feet to make you feel alive! lol.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Came Early...

I've received a few goodies in the mail the past few days from some lovely folks that I've "met" online in various groups.

I coordinated the Holiday Ornie Swap in the Art Dolls Only Group. We did Naughty and Nice Ornies. I signed up to do one of each. Today I received my "Nice" ornie from the lovely Abi Monroe of An Angel At My Table.

What an awesome package to open! A little bundle wrapped in pink tissue paper. Inside the bundle were some festive little snowflake glitters and a handmade box wrapped in ribbon with a handmade paperclay heart name tag! There was also a coordinating little card from Abi with her Shop Logo burned into a wood disc. Inside the box was a gorgeous little ornament that made me squeal when I saw it. (I'm not the squealing kind, so that should tell you how much I love this ornie!)

Thank you so much, Abi! I'll treasure her always! Please check out Abi's websites and her Etsy Store!

Abi's Etsy Store Abi's Blog Abi's Website Abi's Flikr

I also hosted an ornament swap on my Ning Site. The talented Marina Lenzino of Cherry Pie Stamps sent me a fabulous little ornament that's full of encouragement!

This little cutie has a little locket, a "think Big" charm and the word wish dangling from the bottom of the ornie. The cute little clutch purse charm is darling too! She also tossed in 4 itty bitty little butterfly stamps!! Thanks so much, Marina! She'll be hanging on my tree when we put it up this week!

Marina's Website Marina's eBay Store Marina's Blog Marina's Flikr

I just have one more ornie coming...the naughty one....I'll post about it when it arrives.

Thanks ladies! You've made my day!



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Down the Rabbit Hole

Lisa of Wonderland Shop over on Etsy was kind enough to include my Hatter bust in a gorgeous treasury that she put together. Thanks, Lisa!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Felt Snowman Ornaments

I stitched up these three little guys this afternoon. I love them. I'm thinking about making some more in different color schemes. They're made of felt and stitched with embroidery floss. They're about 3.5 inches across..

I have so much work to do! I have commissions to complete before the first of December, some swap obligations on my Ning Site, stock for the Holiday Sale, handmade gifts for family, two sculpted dolls for gifts, ugh..... Has anyone figured out how to add hours to the day yet? How about how to do away with the need for sleep? Any ideas??



Monday, November 16, 2009

First Student Snowman Has Arrived!!

As I posted before, I made a little tutorial on how to make a snowman ornament in paperclay and made it available, for free, on my ning site. One of the members that watched the tutorial sent me a picture of her finished snowman and I thought he turned out awesome!

Here's Marsha's cute little guy...Isn't he just adorable?

Marsha also makes wonderfully Sassy dollhouse miniature dolls. You should check out her site HERE.

Thanks so much for sharing your little snowman with us, Marsha!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Abi's a Doll

A fellow art doll buddy of mine has included my little elf in another of her wonderful tresuries on Etsy. Thanks Abi!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More Christmas Cuties!

As promised, three itty bitty snowmen... These cute little guys are made of paperclay and painted in acrylics then "aged". They are a tiny 4 inches tall with a wood disc base. I will be adding them to the Etsy Shop tonight.. whoo hoo!


Friday, November 6, 2009

All I Can Say is YUMMMMMMM....

I was looking at a few videos on Youtube by members that I subscribe to. I watched Gary Reef's latest video where he shows you how he makes a Apple and Pear Tarte Tatin. My mouth was watering watching it and I ran to the store to get dough.

I changed things up a bit from what Gary did and my clan and I LOVED it!!!!! Thanks Gary!
Here is a pic of my version:

and, here's how you make them....
I used 4 medium sized red apples and 3 large Bartlet Pears and cut them into chunks after peeling them. I set those aside and got out a large skillet and melted one and a half sticks of butter with an equal amount of light brown sugar together. I cooked this mixture on medium-high heat until it started to rapidly boil and bubble. Then I stirred in the fruit, about 2 tbsp of cinnamon, a dash each of nutmeg, allspice and ginger...stirred and then let it cook for about 7 minutes.
I dug out the Ramekins (7 of them) and set them onto a cookie sheet with sides. I spooned the fruit and syrup mixture into the ramekins until just short of full. I set the oven to 375 degrees f while I retrieved the dough from the frig. I used Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet. It is in the dairy section where all of the rolls and such in a can are. I unrolled the dough and cut it into 7 square sections. I took each section and laid it on top of the filling and tucked in the corners.
Bake for 15 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Sprinkle confectioners sugar on lightly on the tops and then let cool. YUM!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Need Your Help..

I would be sooooo very grateful if you could take a minute and head over to the link here:

to rate my Snowman Ornament. I have a chance of winning a gift certificate to Michaels and could really use your votes! Thanks so much!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Slingin' Paint

I finished my 3 little Christmas Art Dolls today. They are about 8 inches tall including their stands. They have all been sculpted in paperclay, painted in acrylics and then sealed. I love, love, love them! I have added all 5 Holiday Dolls to my Etsy Store..

Now it's time for bed because tomorrow I have to get my boogedy oogedy on! Happy Halloween to all of my dear bloggy friends and new readers too! Have a spooktacular day tomorrow!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Elven Lovin'

Three little cuties are on my work table just waiting to be painted and have their true little characters emerge. I am so totally in love with the elf at the moment! He is now drying and tomorrow I will paint all three. Soooooo fun!