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Hi Everyone!

Post  karenvl on 31/8/2009, 06:25

www.karenvanderlogt-artdolls.com
Hi everyone. I was a original member of Santamakers at msn
glad to find this site. karen
Life size santa-"Around the World"





Last edited by karenvl on 31/8/2009, 06:29; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding picture)

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  LMPartdolls on 31/8/2009, 13:06

Absolutely gorgeous santa! nuff said. Smile admire I love him!

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Lori

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  regiooaksartist on 31/8/2009, 13:16

Karen....your work is fantastic!!! I'm in awe!!!!! Beautiful claymanship and seamstress work. I went and took a peek at your website.....I love how the eyes of each piece captures you.

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Regi

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  darel on 31/8/2009, 13:26

Karen,

Great Santa's! The compistion of each one is just perfect.

I hope you don't mind me asking you a question... ... or five?

When you make a head for one of the life size Santa's, what kind of armature do you use and do you cook it in stages? Do you cook it in a regular oven? Is the body posable?

Thanks

Darel

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  regiooaksartist on 31/8/2009, 13:31

Darel...that was only four...ask another...please...LOL!!! I so want to make a full size one...my son said I have to wait til he gets older...it would "creep" him out right now..ROFL!!!!

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Regi

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Thanks so much for the nice comments!

Post  karenvl on 31/8/2009, 14:02

Oh such nice comments! Blush Rolling Eyes thanks!


I have to say I had a rough time baking a life size head without it cracking the first couple heads
I tried.
I'm still not sure what went wrong.
So lots of experimenting was the only way I could figure it out. I asked Jill(jills santa's) all kinds of questions and advice, Jill was very helpful with her suggestions on how to do the life size. She has done gorgeous life size santas. Then just kept trying.

I think I have finally figured it out .... Idea
I had ordered a vynl baby doll head form to try for a smaller head. It saved so much time.

about to give up on a life size head, I decided to order the largest one they make and try it for the life size.
the form still isn't large enough for a life size, but it gives you a nice solid start --so I take the form and cover it with foil until it is large enough and fill out more where needed such as the neck, (since a baby doesn't have much of a neck, also added foil to build out the nose, etc. and it worked great!

I don't know what I had done wrong before.... My guess was the huge foil armature.

I baked it in a large turkey roaster pan (uncovered) on top of 3 or 4 cotton t-shirts.
I also compacted a large chunk of foil
and placed under neck for support and a little around the head to cradle the head but all the foil was under the T-shirts. not touching the clay. Baked at 275 regular oven for around 15 min. then decreased temp. to 255 for around 35-45 min. more. Finally it worked!

body is not poseable. Arms are movable since I needed to get his clothing on. So you can raise them up to dress him.
I made body with 2" pvc pipe, padded him out with egg carton foam, and arms are made of very heavy aluminum wire coated with the black plastic.

yes, they creep me out a little too, especially when their eyes seem to follow you when you go past.
Laughing sorry .... i like these little emoticons!


Last edited by karenvl on 31/8/2009, 15:41; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added)

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  LMPartdolls on 31/8/2009, 16:45

I like these emoticons too. Excited

I didn't think of lowering the oven temp when I did my santa. But, for the next one, that might be something I will try. I noticed on my little guy, his nose was a little more "brown" than I would have liked it to be. lol Guess it gives a new meaning to brown nosing. rofl rofl

I just picked up some solid copper wire to reimburse the strength on my guy. That seemed to do the trick. PVC pipe is great for armatures and dowel rods too. Just can't bend them. hmm But, yeah, arms have GOT to bend. lol

Thank you, Karen, for sharing with us. Perhaps I'll give one of those head forms a try too, I have a life-size body just waiting for a head and I have never gotten around to it. Poor fella, his body has been standing in the corner of my bedroom creeping out my hubby for the last 3 years! LOLOLOL rofl But, I still have to make his hands and feet too. I'll work on that later now that I have an idea of what I'm doing. Blink

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Lori

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?

Post  karenvl on 31/8/2009, 17:17

Lori
what did you make your life size body out of?
you mentioned solid copper wire, I'm assuming that is for a small doll?
just interested in how everyone else does things. I know everyone has their own way
of making dolls. I used the larger pvc pipe so I didn't have to stuff too much. Karen

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  LMPartdolls on 31/8/2009, 19:32

Hiya Karen,

Well, since it has been a few years since I put my life-size body together, bare with me. tongue lol But, I did use pvc pipe, t-joints and elbow joints, and not sure what size pvc it was but a pretty good managable size. I used some "wire" for his arms that I had laying around, or perhaps I stole it from the hubby.....he apparently didn't miss it much cause he never said anything about it. rofl whistle The wire I ran through the shoulder area and down to his hands. Then I used a pillow for the belly, wrapped it around the pvc pipe. His skin is basically "jet set interlock" nude color 100% polyester. Of course, I had never made a santa before so I was going blind on this and using my imagination. The only doll I had made at the time were cloth dolls...so you see where this is going. ROFL

Anyway, I tooks some knit gloves and I stuffed them, then sewed them to the arms. They looked rather like zombie hands and kind of scary. Like, uhm, picture a vinyl glove you get from the Dr.s office all blown up with air and tied at the end. Yep, that is how his hands looked. naughty No joke. Then, of course, his head didn't fair much better than his hands. I found this GIGANTIC styrofoam ball at Joann Fabrics. I then proceeded to sculpt my head with paper clay. Well, since this was my first sculpting experience...let's just say he made Charlie Brown's head look hot to trot! tease Now, should we discuss his boots? LOL Well, I might as well, since I've already embarrassed myself to no end. wtf ninjahide His boots, well, let me see. I took a 2" x 4" and cut it to the size of what I thought a 6 foot mans foot length would be...which was very long feet in my opinion, drilled a hole into the wood where I thought the leg bone would be and stuck a dowel rod into each of these holes in both feet, then took some newspaper, and bunched it up real tight, and positioned it around my pieces of long wood feet to make it look like boots. Then wrapped it with a ton of masking tape. After I did this, I then proceeded to take cheese cloth, (yes, I really did) I used cheese cloth and laid it into fabric stiffener, and then laid it all around my boots to give it a "hard outer surface". ROFL ROFL ROFL rofl Well, after many days, I was finally able to paint my wonderful boots that I created. sigh They were much be desired, I admit. But, what the heck, santa had to have them. Well, lets just say, the charlie brown head was never finished and not painted, and his boots...well, I think I finally got irritated with them and tossed them out one day in the trash. And, I do still have his body, still stuffed and sitting in the corner of my bedroom scaring any would be burglers off, or killing them dead of fright smack dab in the middle of my bedroom. lol

So, that is the true story of my life-size santa and how he came NOT to be. LOL roll worthy My visions of grandeur were a humbling experience I can assure you. rofl

As for the copper wire, yes, I am using that for the 32" santa I am working on now. Well, I think he is more like 36"...he is a pretty tall little guy. Since most of the little guys body armature had been made, I used the wire for the arms to give them more strength in order to hold his hands up without fall forward on his face from the weight of the hands. I didn't want his hands to just hang at his sides looking like a big lump of stocking coal, so I needed the stronger wire to support the weight to position his hands up and doing something in a pose. I thought I would be clever and again, confiscated some wire from my hubby...but the wire I found was not as strong as I had thought it would be for the armature. So, I then reinforced it with some doubled up heavy metal wire that I had; and even after that it was still not strong enough. wallbash Then I started to get irritated because now I have put many hours of work into making this armature. Then, I proceeded to add dowel sticks to the entire armature except for the neck and the arms...but as you guessed it...now his legs do not bend like I wanted them to, and his arms can't support the weight of his hands I made. So, that is how I ended up with the heavy copper wire in the end. That seemed to do the trick. But, NEXT time, I'll know better and beat feet down to the hard ware store for some pvc pipe like I should have done in the beginning because I KNOW that works...due to my own treacherous experiences from the life-size santa. Blink tongue

Aren't you glad you asked me that one little question? LOL tease Wink

Hugs,
Lori

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lol

Post  karenvl on 1/9/2009, 06:03

Laughing my goodness Lori, your hilarious!
you had me up to the boots and head. whew I did the body almost exactly like you did.
pvc, wire arm, pillow, then egg carton wrap. oh well, that's how we learn, trial and error, I'm still learning.

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HO HO HO

Post  DianeExpress on 1/9/2009, 11:18

Hi Karen (and Lori, you little clown!)...
You can see why we have fun around here. You've found out that our Lori is a hoot. ('Nother one is Regi....watch out! Hyper ) I thought I'd just read the post because I was sitting here with my hands slopped with peanut butter (don't ask) and didn't want to have a keyboard to match. Well, I had to get Greg's spray cleaner and paper towels to clean up (too lazy to go upstairs to the sink) so that I could type. Couldn't pass this up!!! Lori's rendition of her Santa making was a scream, wasn't it? I honestly did bust out laughing. Lori, and you STARTED with a life-sized Santa??????????Idea The one I'm working on now is "only" 3 ft tall and that's a little daunting to me! I did learn from the Creagers (Jodi and Richard) about fencing wire. It's super strong and super cheap. A whole roll could last for years.

Well, thank you, both, for this enlightening discussion. tease Question Going in circles Fear Shrug whew I'll keep watching as things progress....from the safety and security of the "not-trying-it-myself-anytime-soon" position. Popcorn Hugs...Diane

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  LMPartdolls on 1/9/2009, 12:46

LOL, what can I say? I do everything big at first...then I learn my lesson and back off a little the next go round. Embarassed I still have the body, but long since have lost his shoes, and well, we will not talk about the head. whistle

So, now that I'm older, and much more wiser, I went to the 18" size, and now we are about roughly over 3 feet. lol I guess, there really are not many ways to make a life-size body cept for pvc, dowels and wire. LOL Unless you use a metal pole.... Idea

Hugs,
Lori

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  DianeExpress on 1/9/2009, 13:10

Lori ....."So, now that I'm older, and much more wiser, I went to the 18" size, and now we are about roughly over 3 feet."
Is there something you can take for this???? sick naughty

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  LMPartdolls on 1/9/2009, 14:58

LOL That does sound kind of odd...doesn't it? wtf Question Chuckle Lordy, I do hope there is something I can take for this. This is what happens when you've been at work all day, and you come home butt tired. You know what you want to say, but the brain just can't keep up, or maybe it is the finger's fault. Shrug LOL I think the remedy is some good ole java joe drinkcoffee I think I'll go fix me up some now that I think about it. Perhaps I can make it to 10:00 pm if I'm lucky.

Anyway.....what I REALLY wanted to say was since I am older and wiser, I have down-sized from the life-size doll, and I am now working on the 18" size dolls...and have moved my way back up to a larger size of doll that is roughly over or around 3 feet tall. LOL Embarassed I do hope that sounds better. rofl roll Razz

Thank you, my dear friend, Diane, for helping me with this over sight. LOL myaha worthy

Hugs,
Lori

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mannequin

Post  karenvl on 1/9/2009, 15:16

or however you spell it.
I made the first life size with a male headless mannequin, which turned into quite a remake.
had to lop off the neck, feet, cut into the elbows and repose......
I thought that it would save time, and padding, but still went through H...ll Hyper with it.
anyway, I think I'm staying with the pvc.
karen
OMG Lori just noticed the little coffee guy! I didn't see him! so cute


Last edited by karenvl on 1/9/2009, 15:19; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added)

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  LMPartdolls on 1/9/2009, 15:35

LOL

Karen, You made me feel soooo much better. A mannequin heh? rofl rofl I think that if I had one at my disposale....I would have done the same thing too. LOL Excited naughty

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  darel on 1/9/2009, 19:35

Karen, Lori,

Thanks for all the in put. You know it doesn't matter if you are learning from someone how to do something or how not to do something you are still learning. I got a lot from both of you. I think I am going to give doing a life size Santa a try. Probably not untill after the first of the year though, this one is pretty full. I just hope I can finish what's on my pallete now.

Have either of you ever heard of anyone using U-joints? I was just wondering if that would work for the elbows, shoulders, wrist, knees etc. I know they come in sizes from .25" dia. up to 4 or 5" in dia. They come with a pretty high torque value, so I think they could hold the weight of an arm or leg.

A lap top's internal hinge use's them and of course any rear drive vehicle uses one. If you go to www.mcmastercarr.com and type in u-joints you can check them out. I use this company a lot at work when ever we are building up a proto-type.

It's just a thought, would like to hear your thoughts on it.

Any way thanks for all the info.

Diane,

I am so sorry that your time away was not for fun and you had to work so hard. Peggy's mom lived with us for six years. She passed away a year ago, and we have just now cleaned the house out of her stuff. We still have two storage units to go through. We both are still at the stage of "It's easier to pay the storage bill than to have to go through all of it." I am sure we will get to it one day. I am glad you are back.

Thanks everyone

Darel

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  DianeExpress on 1/9/2009, 23:17

That was sweet, Darel. Thanks. Smile Diane (Sorry about Peggy's Mom!)

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  LMPartdolls on 2/9/2009, 14:01

Hiya Darel,

That would be a very interesting design concept. It reminds me of animatronics. I think that is the name of the moving mannequins...like the human mechanical forms at Disney, etc.

My mind is working over time trying to figure out in what part of the body I would want to play these at. I'm guessing the shoulder joint areas. But then I think, if placed in the neck, my head could move back and forth. Then, I think, hmmm, what if I had one in every moving joint in the body. Idea Then, my santa really would be life-like. hehe Excited How much would a pair of those things cost? And, how do you know what size to buy? Popcorn

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  darel on 2/9/2009, 18:45

Lori,

You would have to take a look at them on the site I listed, the Bore Dia. is the size of the rod that you would use to connect them. I saw between .25" dia up to 2" dia. Two inch dia. rod would be pretty big.

As for price they start around three or four dollars each and go up from there. It could get expensive.

I think I remember Jack Johnston saying he used those for his life size santa. He wanted a lot of money for it, but I think it is still sitting in his house.

I may give it a try on a smaller santa and see how it works. That way it will be cheaper on me if the idea really bombs out.

Darel

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  LMPartdolls on 2/9/2009, 19:13

Good idea. If you try it let me know how it works. Very Happy lol In the meantime, I'll keep working with my Gorilla duct tape, copper wire, dowel and pvc. rofl rofl When I get rich again, I might get adventerous and order one of those joints just so I can see how it feels in my hands and get a personal up close view of it. I'm a hands on kind of gal...what can I say. tongue It might be called a thinga-ma-jig, but, I'll atleast know how the thinga-ma-bob works. Chuckle

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  psclaus on 3/9/2009, 21:25

I dont know if this will help or not but this is the armature to my lifesize. I didn't glue them. I used self tapping screws. That way if I needed to adjust the length I could just unscrew them cut them and screw them back together. The center joints are 4 ways. The others are elbows. And by the way you can bend PVC. Just heat it with your heat gun and gently push or pull into shape.
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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  LMPartdolls on 4/9/2009, 06:43

Hiya Paula,

I never thought about being able to "bend" pvc. That could be worth trying sometime. *files in that filing cabinet called a brain* But, I will say, your life-size armature looks pretty much like mine did when I made it. The only exception is that I did not use the 4-way joint at the crotch area, therefore, no metal rod. OH, and I glued mine together with the special "pvc glue". Not that it was necessary to use that stuff. lol

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Lori

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Re: Hi Everyone!

Post  Mountain Elves on 13/9/2009, 20:36

Welcome back Karen! It's good to see some of the original members finding their way back to us! Woot
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