Something wicked this way comes…

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Ever since we began making our dolls and creatures, we have been wanting to make witches. When we saw a call for Witches for the upcoming publication of Prims Magazine we though what better time to do it! We started talking about what kind of body and shape and style we wanted our witches to be. I remembered a book that I loved as a child called the Witch Next Door. In the stories of the Witch Next Door, the witch had a very basic body shape, pretty much a triangle with arms and legs.

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We began sketching out some ideas of our Witch and as we began to simplify her we knew we had hit on something cool. We decided to make the body and hat in one continuous cone shape which we twisted and shaped in the stuffing process.

As we we sketching out our idea we thought that with a few minor adjustments we could make a Witch Finder General, styled after Vincent Price in the 1968 classic, The Conqueror Worm (which Carol -Mom- had seen when it opened in the theaters and had it scare the shit out of her.)   Part of Vincent’s iconic look in the picture was his harsh Page Boy hair do. This brought on a bit of a challenge to us. In my drawings the Witches had some jagged lines to indicate hair, we had to brainstorm on what material to use. When one of us suggested Steel Wool we knew that was the ticket. Since steel wool comes in several weight and textures we were able ( after pilfering bags of it from her husbands stash) to find one for the Witch Finder as well as the perfect texture for the Witches.

We love our Witchy Sisters and Witchfinder General and hope you do too! You can find them on our Etsy site, http://www.raisedbywolvesstudio.etsy.com just in time for Hexennacht or Walurgis (Witches Night – April 30th)

 

Patterns, Coming Soon!

Patterns for our Scottish Hare will be available very soon. We are finishing up the detailed instruction sheet for our original designs. We are so excited to share our creation with you to enjoy and make for your self.

Each pattern includes detailed instructions for sewing, painting and dressing the hare, and a list of all materials needed.

We hope that you enjoy making either the “Duncan” or “Heather” Scottish Hare as much as we did.

Look for it soon on our etsy shop  http://www.raisedbywolvesstudio.com.

Our Scottish Hares featured in Prims Magazine

We are over the moon to have our Scottish Hares selected in the Winter 2017 Prims Magazine. 

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It was a goal of ours to one day be published and we are thrilled that that day is here! Prims is a quarterly publication from Somerset Studios that is always a creative and inspiring collection of primitive dolls from artists and crafters across the country.

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The issue is out now on Newstands and can be ordered at stampington.com/Prims-Winter-2017

Making a Kimono Crane: Part One

 

We were very honored to be invited to show our work at the Festival of the Thread in September. This is an exhibition of textile art that takes place September 2nd, 3rd and 4th at the Shane Center in Livingston, MT.  Along with some of our creations that we have made we will be showing some new work. So new in fact that we are still busily working on them.

Here in Livingston we have a Sister City exchange program for school kids to visit our sister city in Japan and likewise for Japanese student to visit here. As a part of their fundraising  efforts they have been selling vintage Kimono fabric pieces. Carol bought a few of these without a clue of what we were going to do with them. Then inspiration struck, Cranes in Kimonos of course!

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Like any of our designs, the first idea is rarely the finished product. We had first imagined a standing crane in a Kimono, then thought strips of Kimono fabric giving the impression of a Kimono. We finally ended up going with the crane itself made from the Kimono fabric and no outfit. Still this was easier said than done.

After sketching out the cranes shape we sew it as a muslin prototype, there is a metal armature to support the long neck so that is worked on as well. We were originally going to patchwork the pieces of Kimono fabric into the body but decided for sanity sake to applique it instead. The wings are testing our dyslexic little brains as we piece together the fabric and then switch directions for the other side of the body. But still we have high hopes for our newest critter. So here we are designing, cutting, testing by trial and error and waiting for it to be 5:00 so we can start in on “Wine Time”.

Stay tuned for the continuing saga…

June ArtWalk in Livingston

posterWell, we are almost ready for our first big show of the Summer! Actually it is our first big show ever! Nothing like thinking you are prepared then stressing out over all the last minute detail. Oh well, we will just say that is part of our Artistic Process! If you are in the Livingston, Mt area on Friday the 17th of June, stop by the Wheatgrass Saloon at 12o Main Street and check out our show Norwegian Woods and Other Tales.

Goat Girl Needs Arms and Other Strange Messages between Crafters.

 

I heard the familiar buzz of my phone informing me that I had a new text message. I rummaged through my purse and pulled out my phone. I opened the message from my mom that simply said, “goat girl needs arms”. I am not sure what was more disturbing, the thought that somewhere out there was a little goat girl roaming around pitilessly without any arms, or the fact that I instantly knew exactly what that meant by this.

I don’t know if it was just some Mother/Daughter physic thing or the fact that we just spend way too much time together, but since we started our new fine art and craft business Raised by Wolves Studios, we seem to scare ourselves with our understanding of one another’s often cryptic and incomplete thoughts. This can easily confuse anyone who witnesses a conversation between the two of us.

Example of an average conversation between us:

Mom: “Oh did you get the…”

Me: “Yeah, and don’t … “

Mom: “upholstery tacks!”.

Me; “awesome.”

Which brings us back to the freakish instant understanding of Goat Girl and her need of arms. The previous week we had worked on a pattern for a new doll a goat dressed as an Italian peasant girl (hence: goat girl) Apparently as I drew out the pattern for the body I had neglected to design the arms and went home. When, a week later mom went to cut out the pattern and sew it up she realizes- yup, you got it! Goat Girl needed arms!

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Other random text, conversations and fb messages between us consist of “Yes! As a matter of fact I am sewing tiny shoelaces on a raven.“ , “Will you be able to stay long enough to paint eyes on 6 ravens?” and “we both just published the lady hares at the same time!” this again was an odd one. Earlier that day we had just completed some soft sculpture art dolls of female Hares dressed in traditional Scottish Highland pleated Arisad (because what kind of a Rabbit would it be if it wasn’t, right?) . Later that day we each posted it it on our business facebook page, not just within a short time space, but at the EXACT same time. We each hit post and wondered why we were seeing two post with slightly different phrasing. But as my mom said “It’s kinda scary yet cool isn’t it?” Yes, I believe it is.

Save the Dates, Upcoming shows

 

Raised by Wolves Studios is gearing up for a busy Spring and Summer seasons. We are busy working on new creations to stock out booths at these upcoming shows.

BIG TIMBER SPRING FLING

Venue: Big Timber Civic Center
Date(s): Sat, April 30 – 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

2016 FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

Livingston Depot
Saturday: July 2, 10-6 PM; Sunday: July 3, 10-6 PM; Monday: July 4, 10-5 PM
July 2, 3 & 4 – 2016

(*We are pending our application for this show, but it looks good!)

JUNE LIVINGSTON ARTWALK
June 17,
Wheatgrass Saloon/Elk River Books

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From Concept to Completion

 

There are few things as satisfying as seeing an idea go from the first spark of inspiration to a completed product. For the last few months my mom , Carol Liljedahl and I (Raised by Wolves Studios), have been creating handmade soft sculpture creatures. I had and idea for a new creation, a kilted Scottish Hare, so I began drawing some concept sketches. I showed the sketches to my mom and the wheels started turning.

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After a bit of trial and error we came up with a pattern and design for our hares and began to cut them out of unbleached muslin. After sewing and stuffing our rabbits it was time to begin the painting and texturing of them. The technique we use for this begins with spraying each with a coffee mixture, then a layer of paint. Once dried, each rabbit was sanded with an extra fine sandpaper and rubbed down with shoe polish, this gives a unique texture to the fabric.rabbit2

The next step was to get to work on their kilts. Because, really, a rabbit is not complete until he has a kilt. We did a little research on highland kilts, realized we were beginning to over think the costuming of a stuffed rabbit, took a step back and began to pleat and sew the kilts. Up next was the sporran, which we made from a faux fur, upholstery and chain. By the time all the elements came together and all the little details were finished we had a completed line of critters that we were proud of. It is so rewarding to see the end result of your idea and creativity come to completion.

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Our latest creations will be making their grand unveiling at the Big Timber Spring Fling on April 30th at the Big Timber Civic Center.