After my entry the other day about my exhibition and its midnight theme and my problem with the black murkiness of the over all show, I had a lovely email from Amy who sent me this painting by John Singer Sargent; “Carnation, Lilly, Lilly, Rose“. It came at such a perfect time. It’s so beautiful. The lanterns are almost exactly the ones I have been trying to illustrate and it’s great to see how some else has captured their iridescence. Mine have been more like this:

A bit more like a planet glowing away in space. I will have to work on it.

The delicate nature and the gentle light in Sargent’s painting has been such an inspiration for the latest piece I am working on. I have tried to loose the really dark background that most of the other pieces have, but I do like having a kind of spooky, murky thing happening. It makes the little creatures who are nestled amongst the leaves and flowers seem just a little bit vulnerable and a little less straight-out cutesy.

I just bought myself an early birthday present on Ebay. I can’t wait to receive this book – it’s all in Japanese of course, but the instructions and patterns are usually pretty clear… hopefully. If not, the pictures themselves of these amazing and sometimes kitschy 1920s and 1930s Japanese dolls still makes it worthwhile.

A Month of Softies participant Tashina pointed me towards this very useful tutorial on Craftster – “Stuffed Felt Monsters Tutorial” — a great reference for people wanting to get involved in A Month of Softies but are unsure where to start. Craftster has a lot of good stuff for making softies in the Toys, Dolls and Playthings section.