January 22nd, 2016 by _d2_

i had intended to share a bunch of progress pics on amaterasu and my tsukumogami… but, um… yeah i didn’t really take many pics and didn’t make as much progress as i had hoped either. i’m *THIS* close to getting amaterasu done, but some last minute frustrations with her left me disinterested in doing any sculpting for a day or two… and general frustrations in my life left me unable to focus long enough to draw more than a few scribbles.

but, i did take some pics of kame in her newly finished wig with my new camera. it’s made from bamboo fibre that i twisted by hand to make the individual dreads. i’m loving her a lot, even if we fight over what counts as a good pose. seriously, who’d have thought a doll would have so much sass? though one draw back is this camera is so good it picks up all the brush strokes and so i fear i need to give her a good sanding and repaint her face. again… ugh…

and then kame really showed how quickly she can change – this girl goes from sweet to sinister in 2 seconds flat.

and one last shot – i just love her back and yet it’s the side i rarely show…

a slightly boring week

January 16th, 2016 by _d2_

i did make progress on a few things – but it was mostly endless hours of sanding. which has to be done, but doesn’t make for an entertaining blog post.

however, i did get a package from my mom with both ramie and bamboo fibre to make wigs – so that was my other main project this week.

i’ve got wigs in process now for both amaterasu and kame and it’s been slow but fun. i’ve made wigs in the past, but usually either out of faux fur or sewing premade wefts and… well, lets say my skills with wefts leaves a lot to be desired.

so this time around i’m making a “hard” cap – normally this style of wigs is hard, but i discovered a nice surprise – using the aileene’s tacky glue allowed the stocking material to retain some stretch, so my wigs actually do have a little give to them. that will be helpful for getting them on and off.

okay – so to start i made my wig cap base – plastic wrap and then a bit of stocking (i’m using an old pair i don’t wear any more, cut a snip off and actually laid it on the head so that it was 2 layers) and then cover in a generous coat of glue. i wanted to experiment slightly here, so i did 2 layers on amaterasu and then one thick layer on kame. both have the same amount of stretch and stiffness, but doing it in two layers allowed me to create a smoother cap.

once dried, i traced out the desired hairline and cut the cap to that shape. then stick back on head and draw out where i want my wefts to go and the directions they should lay.

while this was going on, of course i started out making my wefts. for both wigs i’m using the bamboo fibre, cut to a 6 inch length. so far i’ve used 2 chunks (so 12 inches total) and i have kame’s wig about 30% done and amaterasu’s wig about 80% done.

to make my wefts, i lay down a line of glue and carefully press the ends of the hair along the glue. i don’t lay it down thick, otherwise the wefts will be too bulky and most of the hair will come out. once the first line of glue is dry, i actually do a second line of glue on top of it so the fibre is sandwiched between the glue.

let it dry again – then using a soft toothbrush that i have specifically for taming wigs, i gently brushed out stray hair. this process can seem disheartening as you’ll easily pull out a LOT of hair – but if you go slow, you can actually pull it out in nice straight clumps you can then use to make the next weft. (i also later discovered i can make dreadlocks using the not so nice clumps of hair… so for me it became a zero-loss process)

once it’s been brushed, i trimmed the glued edge so that i had just a thin strip of a glue “seam” – this would be the part i attach to the wig cap.

so then comes the fun process of fitting wefts, cutting wefts, gluing wefts, making more wefts… blah blah blah, it becomes a mindless task after awhile to tell the truth…

so this is where amaterasu’s wig ended up – though i did actually add more to it, i was just too lazy to take pictures… her wig will actually be pulled back and up into a hairstyle inspired by the traditional ones worn by geisha and maiko.

oh, and those dreadlocks i mentioned? yeah – kame’s getting a wig made from them. it seemed appropriate for a spirit of the forest to have slightly matted/untamed hair. it does take a lot more fibre to make the dreadlocks than the wefts, but i still have quite a bit of the bamboo left so i’m not worried about running out. plus now that i know that i can use the throw-away hair from making wefts to make dreadlocks, i’m not wasting anything.

this is the last pic i did of kame’s wig – she has since gotten the start of bangs and one side partially filled in.

and while it may seem strange to say this – but working with this fibre makes me anxious to finish my current batch of dolls in process so i can start a new one off of donglai pei from “detective dee and the mystery of the phantom flame”. what can i say, i’m a sucker for a cute albino, especially when he can wield a totally kick-ass ax.

lots of tiny work this week.

January 8th, 2016 by _d2_

wishing to do a photoshoot at the end of this month, i’m pushing through to sculpt a few props for my dolls. in specific, a karakasa or kasa-obake (your classic umbrella yokai) and a tsukumogami tea set for kame. it’s been nice to have something to focus on while i was worrying about my cat’s health problems. but now that those are starting to clear up a little, i’m feeling more energized.

which is good because i kinda forgot to clean the house for like…. 2 weeks… oops….

anyway – here are pics of my new yokai additions. the kasa-obake isn’t too interesting at this point as it’s just his leg – but i plan to make a few of these guys so the leg is being prepped for molding, and then i’ll start testing making the paper umbrella parts and sculpting various faces on them and hopefully they’ll then come to life and be more interesting.

i’m also having a lot of fun with my tea set. i’m using an actual cast iron tea pot for inspiration for my deer-pot. the cups are little turtles, and i have plans for a rat who’s body is a small bowl, and it’s tail will be the matcha spoon.

i’ve also been working hard to get amaterasu done – i’m working one set of legs at a time, adding in new locks and finishing the hands. i also finally got to work on her arms, with cute little spider claws.

avoiding reality…

January 5th, 2016 by _d2_

shortly after the new year we not only got snow, but a mini ice storm that turned outside into the most beautiful and eerie backdrop i could ever imagine.

and since i’ve been stressing so much lately, i decided to throw responsibility to the wind and take some pics – first with pestilence the day we got snow, and then plague after the ice storm hit.

i also decided to play around with the shadows and colors on these to add to the somber atmosphere.

first post of the new year

January 2nd, 2016 by _d2_

yay, another year has come and gone… and to tell the truth, i barely survived 2015. in december alone we had 2 different major health issues with our pets (including a major surgery on one) and 2 huge repair bills for our cars.

but i also had a lot of fun when my mom came up and learned a lot of stuff that should make my photographs in the future better. we also talked a lot about artistic visions and whether not to go commercial or stay true to yourself.

in the end, we both sort of agreed that we don’t do commercial and while it might be harder, it’s just better for us to follow our hearts – which for me means lots and lots of strange, possibly grotesque demons and skeletons and what not. what can i say, i’m REALLY in tune with my dark side.

so these are some various sketches from december – some are from the beginning, some from the end… i just didn’t take a lot of pics before to share them.

a couple i shared up on my facebook – so if you’re friends with me there you’ll recognize them.

1) the kurokabuto. when i first designed the shirokabuto, i had always intended to do a dark “twin”.
2) bone eater. no real reasoning behind him other than i like paying with demonic skeletons?
3) silver fish. i love bugs/insects/creepy-crawlies – whatever you want to call them. and while i have never had more than a passing experience with these annoying creatures, they’re one of those epitomes of skin-crawling pests (along with cockroaches, spiders, and house centipedes).
4) no name on this girl yet…
5) another no-name one, but she’s sort of a very vague nod to the welsh mari lywd. yeah, vague doesn’t begin to cover it…
6) the mirror girl. in several japanese animes there is a yokai who is the spirit of a young girl that lives in a mirror – she can be either friendly or evil depending on the interpretations.
7) she’s sort of loosely being referred to as the “bone empress”. though after sharing her with my mom i realized she has a slight familiarity with the skeksis in dark crystal… oh well…

you can see that skeletal, long limbed creatures are on my brain right now…

but in the background i’ve been helping put the finishing touches on our ryu dragon class through A for Artistic, as well as start on the next super-secret class ~_^

and i’ve also been finding time to work on amaterasu again! and believe it or not – made a significant milestone!

first i got all 8 of her hands roughed out –

and after waffling back and forth, finally decided to string the darn thing up while waiting to hear from the vet on one of our other kitties…

oh yeah, we’ve got a standing spider baby!


i've been drawing for as long as i could hold a pencil and art became my first language. though i've only been sculpting since 2007, i fell in love with the idea of being able to bring my drawings to life. i am heavily inspired by medieval macabre artwork, japanese yokai, and oddly enough, sherlock holmes. currently i'm living just south of beautiful portland oregon ^^