Thursday, 23 January 2014

Ice


I hesitated a lot before writing this post. It has nothing to do with dolls or crafts, yet what is going on around me is so unusual, I finally decided to share. A combination of high humidity, near-freezing temperatures and unicorn magic coated everything in a thick layer of ice. It's not something you see every day so I gathered some pictures you can look at from the comfort of your home. Grab a hot chocolate and scroll down (there is also a bit of doll talk towards the end) ;)


Day 1

The fog from the previous evening grew into a calm rain that stuck to the trees as it reached the freezing point. We woke up in a city of ice sculptures.


The sidewalk thawed by the time I got out of the house, but all the vegetation is completely encased in clear ice:


It looks like sugar syrup because it's perfectly clear. I now understand why children want to lick icicles. These berries look particularly tempting:


Seriously though, everything looks like artsy ice stirrers:


Evergreens are having the worst time:



The stork decoration looks sad:


Chunks of ice break off and land on passers-by. Sometimes tree pieces fall too.

All the white stuff is ice

It started snowing in the evening. We heard creaking noises from the apartment...

Day 2

A lot of the tree mass in front of my window was gone. A tree top containing a magpie nest (built last year) is one of the few things holding up. Magpies are very clever.

Someone insisted on leaving the net for the winter,
and now it's trapped in ice

The front of my house:


Some snowflakes stuck to the ice and now it looks, well, frosted:


It's the first snow of the year and it managed to coat the ground white.


Leafy plants, like this pine tree, look particularly menacing:

John thought I was joking when I called our trees "murder icicles".
I dare you to sit under this one and think otherwise.

Ground vegetation wasn't spared. These grass blades are frozen solid.


Ice tentacles everywhere:


Very pretty against a dark background:


This children's playground is so appealing:


In the dark, the icy trees sparkle like giant crystal chandeliers. Of course, my camera refuses to capture this wonder.



Day 3 (today)

More snow fell.


These berries look less intimidating under the snow blanket. They are still covered in the same thick ice though.


It's getting heavy. It's sad, but beautiful at the same time.


We are expecting lower temperatures. Still, the clear ice magnifies sunlight so there is hope it will slowly melt. The ice on my window net is thinning. The magpie nest appears intact. I'd love to see the couple return this year to find their home as good as they left it.

***

Well, I can't worry about ice breaking the trees all the time; we'll live and see what happens next. Today I went to mom's to work on my doll stuff. I saw this video in Youtube's side bar suggestions. It claims to dye Barbie hair with human hair dye. I was ready to call fake right after reading the title, but then I decided to watch it before jumping into the comment section. I've been dyeing my hair for the past six years and I know human dye doesn't cling to anything plastic. I noticed the youtuber used semipermanent dye that comes in a single bottle, not two-part like mine and I wondered if that is the key. Luckily, I had some at home, just enough for a little experiment. I grabbed a one-legged test doll and worked some dye into a strand of hair, leaving it for a few hours. I smeared some on the doll's skin too, on purpose.

The desk light doesn't care, but this is deep purple.

I rinsed with cold water and all the colour came off effortlessly. From the hair, I mean. Of all things, the dye stained the head vinyl.

The hair looks pink, but it's only the stained scalp showing through a single row of plugs

Now, I didn't want to try anything weird on my Barbies. This was a knock-off with coarse hair. I guess this method could-maybe-sort-of work sometimes, but it depends on the hair fiber and possibly the formula and strength of the dye. The youtuber used Manic Panic and mine was Krasa. Even if it works, I'd be wary of staining and bleeding which will certainly occur with this type of dye. My verdict: ineffective and will ruin the doll.

However, my trip to mom's wasn't entirely fruitless. While digging for a crochet hook in an old armoire, I found a tray of bits and pieces for my first doll, and among them... the first shoes I made! I was sure I had thrown them away! The heels never stuck and I had cut the thread to take them off, but otherwise they are fine. They are made from paper, glue and nail polish. I talked about them in my first post about doll shoes (which I now updated with this reveal). Behold:

 
The sides are very messy and the paper is fragile

I should have smoothed both the sole and the heel
instead of surrounding the weak joint between them with glue
The shoes still fit on Barbie. Next to my recent boot, they sure look like a joke. I think the progress is obvious.

Ignore the loose lace on the boot


Now, if only I got around to finishing the second boot! I don't know what can push me to finish projects. With these boots it's particularly difficult because I have to spend a large chunk of time setting up the workplace for eyelets and I need good daylight to see. It's a problem because literally all my daylight time is consumed with pesky mundane chores that can't be accomplished in the evening.

But enough whining, here are more things I'm working on:
- in Mood for Mods: all photos for Rochelle's GNO dress are done and so are the ones for Catty's train
- almost finished gathering supplies for a doll costume
- I want to enter a EAH contest on Facebook which requires a drawing. The deadline is on February 1st and I don't know if I can make it. I keep postponing all artistic endeavours to the point where not even contests motivate me. I do like to draw... It's just... too long a story to tell now.

I hope to pull myself together in time to do all this and other things I planned! Wish me luck?
By the way, did you enjoy my pictures? What's the weather like where you live?

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