I am still uploading pictures from the Stierbach Investiture at Defending the Gate, so those will have to wait until the next post. It will be worth it, I got some nifty ones of Flithri and Ronwhen before the ceremony, as well as those of Colum and Briana stepping down and getting their Court Baronetcies. It was a beautiful last Court for them, and a very nice Investiture ceremony for their new Excellencies.
All in all, I was so happy to see C and B step down and look at their big smiles (did the same myself a month ago!), and F and R step up. Plus Flithri is now the newest Companion of the Order of the White Scarf, which is pretty cool.
And congrats to blueleader on her Sea Dragon! And also to the other Brianna, who is not on LJ, but who also got one as well.
On other news, I got to make progress on Margot, my newest doll project. Unlike Wilhelmina, Margot is not a stuffed doll, but is made of clay and has an armature and is partly stuffed. As some of you may recall, I am learning to make dolls from the fantabulous Susan Parris, who had left me homework before going back for Lesson #2.
The homework consisted on putting together the fabric portion of the doll (torso and legs), and on making the remaining shoe and putting together the head. Of course, the latter required modeling and baking, and it is that that last part had me rather anxious - if not downright terrified.
Baking (or curing) the clay, required a convection oven. Because the materials are rather toxic, using the one where I cook my food is not a good idea. Having a convection oven dedicated to curing clay is highly recommended. Problem is, a top of the line convection oven is rather expensive, and I was not yet prepared to pay up a good chunk of change on this appliance.
At least, not until I know that I will be making dolls for a long, long time.
Sooooo, I did a bit of research, and settled for a decently priced commercial one, which would (hopefully) do what I wanted it to do.
One of the things that you need to figure out when curing clay is not to get cracks. For that, you want an oven that can keep an even temperature. The little convection oven I got had some very good reviews in that regard so, closing my eyes and pinching my nose, I pressed the "Send" button and ordered one.
It had been sitting in my living room for the past month or so.
Yesterday, I decided that I had the time, the weather was good, so what the heck. The worst that can happen is that the bloody thing would not get cured properly and I would have to start afresh.
Like that hasn't happened before with other projects.
So there I go, I modeled the foot, put together the head, stuck it in the oven, and started praying to the Patron Saint of Convection Ovens and Scary Dolls for a good result.
I suppose that whoever happens to be the aforementioned Patron Saint was listening, because both pieces came out just perfect. And this despite the fact that my oven thermometer (yes, I got one of those too), kept telling me that the temperature was not completely even.
I guess that Consumer Reports knows what it's talking about when they recommend an appliance (in this case, a T-Fal brand). I highly recommend it.
So now, I can go back to the Susan and show her my work, figure out the next step, and eventually finish the doll.
I plan to dress her in proper French fashion, with the curved front bodice, the mutton leg sleeves, the big honking farthingale, and the flat-top headdress.
Margot is going to like that.