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Archive for April 2017

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On a Mission: Cruelty-free Doll Hair

Moving out here to Colorado has been one of the best decisions of our lives, we couldn't be happier, and we also couldn't be in a more better situation to do certain things that we could not do while living in the city.  One of these "things" being, owning our own sheep!

I've been on a personal mission for quite a few years to find local suppliers, of cruelty-free Teeswater/Wensleydale locks for my art doll hair/wigging.  This is not an easy task, and you never truly know who you are buying from - especially if you cannot personally visit their farm, meet their animals, and see the conditions in which they are kept, how they are treated, and whether you wish to support their farm by purchasing their fibers.

Another perk of owning our own sheep - I can dye the fiber any colors I choose, and enjoying having the relationship with the animals so that it is a truly equal exchange of energy between us.

Teeswater and Wensleydale fiber makes some of the most fabulous doll hair.  It can be dyed, straightened, kept curled, cut, ironed...you can do just about anything with it.  Problem is, most suppliers of these luscious locks are overseas, and I like to work with local folks as much as I can for numerous reasons.

Taking on having our own sheep will allow us to control the environment and quality of life our sheep will have, as well as allowing us to provide ourselves, and others, with high quality fiber that can be used for everything from doll wigging to wool roving.

I have thought about starting a gofundme campaign to help with the costs associated with setting up a shelter and placing up proper fencing.  We do live in Colorado, there are predators here that would love a nice sheep buffet - but not on my watch!  Extra precautions will have to be taken to keep them safe, which can be done relatively inexpensively, but still needs to be done right.

There is a lot of responsibility that comes with taking care of animals of any kind, sheep will be no different, but we are up for the challenge, and are greatly looking forward to meeting with a local farm who I've already been in touch with, and who wants to work with us.

I honestly cannot wait until we can begin this venture!  Virgo's Alchemy will offer cruelty-free fiber for Art Doll Hair in the near future, be looking for it in our announcements (you can always sign up for our newsletter) we do plan to offer it on Etsy, as well as right here - on the Virgo's Alchemy website.

     

Thank you for your interest, please stay tuned to this exciting project of ours.  We plan to document the entire experience, as well as personally introduce our resident sheep to all of you once we bring them home!

 

Yours Unusually,

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Specimen Syreni (Mermaid Specimen) Resin Project

I have always admired the resin art that is being done with Art Doll Mermaids.  Adding resin to a Mermaid sculpture brings it to another whole new level.  Many years ago, before I even started to work with polymer clay, I ran across an amazing artist who was making mermaids in a bottle.  They were simply the most intriguing pieces I'd ever seen.

Now, years later, and still haunted by that artist and her work, I'm working on creating my own version of this fantastical mythical project.

The only resin I've used up to this point, has been in very small amounts for making my handmade doll eyes.  I have used everything from UV curing gels, to 2 part epoxies, but never anything at this scale.

"Courage my friend", that is what I keep telling myself.  As you know, sculpting an art doll can take well over a a month for me.  Then to submerge this entire piece into a sea of unforgiving resin...well, that is going to be quite the challenge.

I decided, last month, that I was no longer going to post WIP's (Work in Progress) because I felt it took away from the actual magic and allure of my work.  However, I do still plan on doing posts on specific projects in which I feel others can benefit from seeing, and after-all, I do use my blog as a journal.  It is nice to reflect back on projects, to measure progress, and to also document results.

This project will entail a large glass bottle/jar.  Currently, I'm trying it out with a rather tall glass vase I purchased from the local hobby store.  I'll be honest - I don't really like it.  I've been searching for 10-12" tall pasta jars, or something with a little more character than just a cylindrical glass vase.  The search continues, while I sculpt the mermaid, or "Specimen Syreni" which is Latin for Mermaid Specimen.

I'm building a base that will fit down inside the bottle and hold the mermaid sculpture in place.  Once she is perfectly inside, I will seal her in resin, and then cap off the top with a decorative finish.  The bottle itself will also have a base it will rest on, I'm just not sure what I will use yet.  I've already made several possible bases for it, but I'm still not happy.  I don't want anything that looks cheesy or gaudy - and sometimes, if you are not careful, it is easy to get carried away and over do it.

I'm going to be pulling inspiration from several places, one place will be the dark nautical appeal of Alice Madness Returns, and some Steampunk color schemes with a touch of gothic Burton-inspired flare.  I know, seems like a Hodge-podge, if only I could open and dump my brain out onto the floor for all to see - I would.

I'm also using quite a bit of 2 part epoxy sculpting putty, which I LOVE because of it strength and texture.  My next post will be an update, but this won't be a WIP where it's basically a tutorial - I don't have time for such things.  I will post what I can, when I can on this project, and of course, the final result.

Thanks for your interest...

Yours Unusually,

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Introducing: Snow Pixie - An Artisan Cupcake Soap Original by Virgo's Alchemy

We are back in business folks!  We have been slowly transitioning into our new home in the Rockies, and it has been a bit of a challenge getting used to the "less than average" internet services, colder and drier weather, altitude...etc.. but we are gradually getting used to the changes and are extremely happy with our new location!

That being said, we have officially started back up with making our artisan soaps, and of course I had to start off with making our WINGED cupcake soaps! It's been awhile since I've been able to make these, and I'm very excited to offer this first batch to a very talented group of artists who are going to absolutely fall head over heels in love with these little babies!

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