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Author Topic: Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)  (Read 312269 times)

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #90 on: April 02, 2012, 02:57:34 pm »
Oh Noes, it's Holy Week and Duncan still doesn't have liturgical vestments!   :o

So last night I decided to get a start on that, after a weekend run to the fabric store across town.  I raided the remnants bins and made like a bandit--more on that later--but ended up paying full price for 12" of this fabric.  12" x 60", that is, of which I've only used around 12" by 24", so I have some left over for something else...not sure what yet, although I know I'll use bits of this fabric for the mitre's outer fabric as well.

Here is the beginning of Duncan's new Easter / Feast days cope:

Exterior of cope--full view

It was difficult to find something that was a) white or ivory, 2) not hopelessly modern in appearance, 3) didn't have an overwhelmingly large print, 4) looked "rich" enough to be used for liturgical vestments, and 5) was stiff enough to work well as a cope but not so heavy that it wouldn't drape properly on a 12" action figure.  So when I saw this ivory fabric in the Home Decor section, I realized that a silky-looking ivory fabric "pre-embroidered" with a sprinkling of silver and gold crosslets was a promising start.  I looked at that per-yard price, gasped a bit, and was immediately glad I didn't need enough for a full sized cope!  But given that I have less than a week to get this part of the project finished (or at least far enough along to look decent), it's a relief not to have to do all of the embellishments myself.


Front view--unfinished


Rear view--unfinished

The lining for this cope will be some ivory crepe back satin that I picked up in the remnants bin, but that will go on after the embroidery is done.  Last night and this morning I added the gold thread and pearls to the chenille crosslets.  (This took a little longer than expected, and didn't go quite as neatly as I'd hoped, because the chenille plus the diamond-pattern stitching added extra thickness to the fabric, making it tougher to push a needle through.  Not to mention that gold-wrapped thread is an absolute female dog to work with!  But at last that stage of construction is completed....


Close-up of crosslet pattern


Crosslet detail

Once the cope is lined, I'll add some gold border trim and the ornamented morse (the front clasp).  I originally wanted to add an appliqued gold cross inside the rear central diamond and four appliqued couched embroidery emblems in the lower four diamonds closest to the hem--perhaps the four symbols of the Evangelists or (since this is a Deryni priest) the four Archangels--with two of those symbols on the front cope panels and two symbols on the rear, beneath the gold cross, but there won't be time to do all of that before Easter Weekend.  Maybe I can just baste the lining and border trims on and add those elements later?   I know I've seen outline clip art of the Four Evangelists symbols that should be easy enough to trace onto thin white cotton and fill in with couched embroidery, and then I could applique them onto the cope once they're done, but even if I find some designs that are crazy simple, I doubt I could get them all finished before Easter Sunday.  And if I decide to do the Four Archangels instead, those patterns might be harder to come up with, as much as I'd love to have a Four Archangels Cope for a Deryni bishop.  I'd probably have to design the symbols myself, and unfortunately I'm not much of an artist, so there's no telling how that would turn out, or how medieval the resulting symbols would look.  Still, my mind's eye is envisioning Raphael in a halo/aura of swirling airy yellow, Michael in a halo/aura of Red Fire, Gabriel in a wavy aura/misty halo of cool watery blues, and Uriel in earthy brown or olive hues.  Modern day copes tend to have a U shaped "hood" of fabric embellishment at the top rear, but I haven't seen examples of that in most of the medieval copes I've studied (the Syon cope, among others), so that's one less bit to have to bother with, thank God!

For now, if time will permit once I'm done making an amice, alb, white stole, mitre, chasuble--and if I'm utterly insane, a crosier--the gold cross applique might be easier to finish first, and I might even get lucky and find a pre-made one at the craft store that's a good size to fit into that central diamond on the rear of the cope.

Remind me why I started this project?   :D
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 03:21:23 pm by Evie »
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #91 on: April 02, 2012, 03:53:29 pm »
Two updates in one day!

I purchased this little guy from eBay and he is now on his way to my office, hopefully arriving before this weekend rather than after:



Once he's here, I'll just pop the little guy's head off, pop Duncan's head on his fully-articulated body, and I'll have a Bishop who is fully capable of holding a crozier, Communion chalice, or whatever I decide to stick into his hands.   :D  Not to mention Duncan will be gaining a bunch of period-appropriate clothing and accessories.  That shield will need repainting, though, and as for those buttercup-yellow trousers...those might need a dye bath.   ;D

In theory, an articulated Duncan should be easier to dress than one with completely stiff arms.  If he gets here early enough, I might even be able to stick with my original chasuble design rather than have to come up with something that will fit properly over non-bending arms.  Huzzah for arm joints!

Popping heads off reminds me...during chat time yesterday, I experimented with turning a blonde Barbie's hair into a dark auburn using brown and orange Sharpie markers (mostly brown, but overlaid over a light layer of orange).  That was a success, and I even figured out a way to braid it back and tuck the ends under to form a nice little knot of braids at the nape of the neck which can tuck away even more discreetly beneath a veil and wimple than the style I tried before, or can show to lovely advantage through a gold mesh caul or snood.  Don't have photos yet, but I'll upload them when I get the chance.  I'm trying to work up the courage to do the same to Helena's hair, now that I've worked out how on the spare head.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #92 on: April 02, 2012, 08:19:22 pm »
"I'll just pop the little guy's head off,"  and "now that I've worked out how on the spare head"; Evie, you have no idea how you brighten an otherwise dismal day at work!  ;D

I have a what might be a somewhat quarrelsome meeting in the morning -might I borrow Barbie's head on the pike to set the tone?  ;D

Seriously, this is an amazing, talented project - I truly am enjoying it!  Just wish I had the background in medieval attire to contribute more.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #93 on: April 02, 2012, 09:52:13 pm »
If I could figure out how to get it to you by morning, I'd have it in your hands so fast your head would spin.  Or theirs, as preferred. :D

When I first started researching period costuming over 20 years ago, that meant trips to libraries and lots of photocopies.  But this is a new century, and search engines are your friends.  Just develop a good eye for which sources are more reputable, and stick as much as possible to good primary documentation (original period works) and secondary documentation (translations, patterns from actual garments etc.)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #94 on: April 03, 2012, 10:15:02 am »
OK, lots more Show and Tell this morning!   :D

First of all, just for Jerusha:


There you go; something to take to your morning meeting!   :D  

Sharpie markers turned this former blonde into a redhead.  Her hair looks lighter in the flash than it does in room lighting, where it looks dark auburn.  Some of the blonde still shows through, but looks more like subtle highlights when looked at actual size.  Now that I know the technique, Helena might be getting a makeover.  Her light auburn hair should be even easier to turn a convincing dark auburn.


Side view.  Hair triple braided and ends neatly tucked under at the nape so it will all fit neatly under a veil and wimple or inside a snood or caul.

So that's what I was doing before and during KK Chat last Sunday!  Now on to the fabrics I purchased last weekend:


Most of these came from Joann's Fabrics, aside from the black velvet and satin, which are outer fabric and lining from a skirt I found at the Thrift Store.  The entire skirt was $2, so I couldn't have found the fabric for less even in the remnants bin.  The black fabrics will eventually become a fancy cloak.  The purple in the bottom right corner will become Duncan's bishop cassock.  The rest will become Court finery.


A closer look at that silk brocade, because I'm in love with that piece.  That's a sari fabric with a very tiny geometric print.  I have enough to make Helena a Court gown and Duncan a fine Court tunic or undertunic.  The border pattern (the rectangular part of it) can be cut off and used separately as trim also.  Turns out this is actually the reverse view of the fabric, as I discovered when I started to fold it back up....


A bit blurry, but this is the front side of the fabric.  I'm thinking the little dots in the center of each geometric shape would be a perfect place to sew on little seed beads.  If I could have found this brocade in an appropriate color for vestments, this would have become part of that collection, but it only came in this color.


Patterned undergown fabric, velvety sapphire overgown fabric, and gold mesh for a caul or snood.  The beginnings of Helena's Twelfth Night finery?  (Not pictured is some sheer white veil silk to cover her crowning glory, although I have that as well.)  The gold mesh doesn't photograph well, but it's a true metallic gold.


A sampler of the fabrics and trims to be used for vestments.  (Not all of the trims will be used for the purpose, but I chose all the ones that would work for this shot.)  The white linen at the bottom is for the alb and amice.  The ivory crepe back satin on the left will be the lining for the semi-sheer cope fabric on the right.  The darker gold fabric with the diamond pattern was a freebie from a friend, and I'd meant to sew pearls on it (at least in places) and use it for chasuble fabric for a bit of contrast with the paler ivory, but Non-Bendy Duncan's arms won't allow for the proper drape, so unless a miracle occurs and I get a bendy body by Friday (I need enough time to fit the chasuble before making it), I might end up just using bits of it to trim a drapier fabric.  But no worries...I have something else in mind for that....


I will probably end up using this ribbon to make Duncan's Easter stole.  I'd only have to add a bit of gold fringe to the ends, since the rest of the embellishing is done for me.  (And, of course, make it in two pieces with a back seam behind the neck, otherwise half the crosses will hang upside-down, and that won't help Duncan's "Deryni Bishop" reputation!  :D

And I thought that was going to be the end of today's show, but wait, there's breaking news!   ;D  My husband brought in the mail last night after I'd gone to bed already, so I woke up to discover a package from a far distant land.  Yes, Duncan has new fabric and trims from far off Byzantyun Australia!  (Thank you, Alkari!)


A beautiful ivory slubbed silk, ribbons in liturgical colors, and some trims that would work well either for vestments or Court garb.   I might end up using the silk as part of the chasuble fabric, but it depends on what sort of pattern I can work out.  If it won't work out for that, it can definitely be used for something else.  It will definitely have a better drape than the upholstery fabric, though!


A close-up of the trims to show the details.

But wait, there's more breaking news!  The Basilica has been invaded...by KITTEHS!!!   :o





Even the underside is painted.  Awwww!!!   :D

I hope the kittehs had a pleasant flight from Australia!   ;D


"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #95 on: April 03, 2012, 11:38:55 am »
Thanks to Evie, I survived my meeting due to the images of Barbie's head on a pike in my mind!  :)

A lovely collection of fabrics and trims - should keep you busy for awhile.  If you thought the ladies of the Court noticed Duncan before, now he's going to have to hide! 

Action Duncan is probably wondering if those cute kittehs are small enough to crawl into his braies again.  :D
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #96 on: April 03, 2012, 12:05:03 pm »
Thanks to Evie, I survived my meeting due to the images of Barbie's head on a pike in my mind!  :)

A lovely collection of fabrics and trims - should keep you busy for awhile.  If you thought the ladies of the Court noticed Duncan before, now he's going to have to hide! 

Action Duncan is probably wondering if those cute kittehs are small enough to crawl into his braies again.  :D

So glad to have been of service!  ;)  Yes, the kittehs are small enough to wander into all sorts of inconvenient places.  I don't have them in front of me at the moment, but I think they're approximately the length and width of one of Action Duncan's hands, give or take a few millimeters.  At the most, if stretched out a bit, they might be foot-length.  So yeah, small enough to wriggle underneath loose-fitting garments if their wearer is sound asleep.  Let's hope he keeps Liath's claws well trimmed!   :D

I got enough of the Court fabrics for both Helena and Duncan to have garments cut from each, though it belatedly occurs to me that maybe I'd better not have them show up at Easter or Twelfth Night Court dressed in matching outfits, or tongues really will wag!   ;)  Though I'm sure Duncan doesn't do his own sewing, so maybe if they forget to coordinate (or uncoordinate?) their wardrobe beforehand, the matching tunic and gown could be passed off as happenstance.  "I ended up not needing as much fabric as I thought for this bliaut, so I gave the rest of it to the Duchess of Cassan in exchange for some lovely silk, and she must have used it to make the Bishop a Court tunic...."  Yeah, that's Helena's story and she's sticking to it!    ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Alkari

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #97 on: April 03, 2012, 05:29:54 pm »
The kittehs are relieved to have arrived and been released from their bubblewrap basket.  Duncan's study seems a great place to explore ... :D


Offline Shiral

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #98 on: April 04, 2012, 01:14:32 am »
Two updates in one day!

I purchased this little guy from eBay and he is now on his way to my office, hopefully arriving before this weekend rather than after:



Once he's here, I'll just pop the little guy's head off, pop Duncan's head on his fully-articulated body, and I'll have a Bishop who is fully capable of holding a crozier, Communion chalice, or whatever I decide to stick into his hands.   :D  Not to mention Duncan will be gaining a bunch of period-appropriate clothing and accessories.  That shield will need repainting, though, and as for those buttercup-yellow trousers...those might need a dye bath.   ;D

In theory, an articulated Duncan should be easier to dress than one with completely stiff arms.  If he gets here early enough, I might even be able to stick with my original chasuble design rather than have to come up with something that will fit properly over non-bending arms.  Huzzah for arm joints!

Popping heads off reminds me...during chat time yesterday, I experimented with turning a blonde Barbie's hair into a dark auburn using brown and orange Sharpie markers (mostly brown, but overlaid over a light layer of orange).  That was a success, and I even figured out a way to braid it back and tuck the ends under to form a nice little knot of braids at the nape of the neck which can tuck away even more discreetly beneath a veil and wimple than the style I tried before, or can show to lovely advantage through a gold mesh caul or snood.  Don't have photos yet, but I'll upload them when I get the chance.  I'm trying to work up the courage to do the same to Helena's hair, now that I've worked out how on the spare head.

He looks like a member of the Torenthi Circassian Guard to me!  :D

I love that cope fabric, though. Duncan, with his love of ceremony, should really enjoy wearing it.  =o)

Melissa
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #99 on: April 04, 2012, 09:54:53 am »
I've been tracking Little Guy, and as of 7:30 this morning, his progress was traced as far as Georgia, which is just one state away.  So there's a slight chance I might have him by the end of my workday, or a better chance he'll be delivered sometime tomorrow.  *happy dancey feet*

And in other news, eBay has a set of six gold-colored Barbie goblets that could convert nicely into Communion chalices with the addition of some little jewels.  

http://www.ebay.com/itm/330712687190?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649


Of course, I could end up sculpting something of the sort, but I'm a bit worried that a Sculpey cup wouldn't hold up to being pressed into plastic hands repeatedly, so that's why I decided to see if there was already something similar that was expressly made for the purpose.  Not sure yet if I want to spend $5.50 (that's total cost with shipping added) for six 1-inch tall pieces of goblet-shaped plastic or not, but it looks like I've got nearly a month to decide if it's worth that or if I can come up with something better from scratch.  If nothing else, getting a set of six means I'll have five extra ones to practice and possibly make mistakes on before I have to worry about getting it right, or the extras could just be extra wine goblets in his study's aumbry, to be used when Alaric and Dhugal drop by for a drop of Fianna or Vezairi Port.

It probably doesn't help that this is what my mind envisions when I hear the word "chalice"....   :D



Yesterday I finished the alb and the amice (all except for the little cross which I'll add today) and began drafting the pattern for the chasuble.  I'm going with a fairly early pattern for it.  After doing some reading up on the subject, it looks like the chasuble pattern was originally very similar to that of the cope--just a half circle--only it was stitched up the front as far as the neck opening, which was then widened just a bit, and then the front seam and edge of the neckline was covered with decorative trim and the squared off bit at the base of the neck was further reinforced with a horizontal band of trim, resulting in a "Tau Cross" design of reinforcing trim (basically the shape of a capital T).  Here's a picture to show what I'm talking about:



That might have been a more typical chasuble back in Joram's day.  But later on, as having a full half circle of fabric made for inconvenient lengths of fabric draped over the arms, the bottom corners of the chasuble were lopped off shorter, resulting in the Gothic shape of chasuble.  



I figure if this style was good enough for St. Thomas a Becket and St. Bernard de Clairvaux, Duncan can certainly cope with wearing one cut along those lines.  Especially if he's got articulated arms by Easter Sunday!  ;)  I may end up retaining some of the decorative elements of the earlier style, depending on which fabric and trim I end up using and how well it deals with curves, but the sides of the chasuble will be angled like in the last photo so that they don't hang down over Duncan's arms more like a cape.  At this point, I'll be cutting the shape out of two fabrics--the original diamond-patterned gold fabric I had in mind and the slubbed ivory silk.  If I can get the gold fabric to drape properly once it's cut to shape, I will use that as the outer fabric with the ivory silk as lining fabric, since I think that darker gold is needed as contrast with the lighter colors of the cope, and the diamond shapes echoed in that fabric will echo the diamond shapes in the cope and tie the two pieces together more harmoniously.  But if it's still too stiff to drape right when cut to shape, then I'll use the ivory silk as the primary fabric and see if I can add bits of the darker fabric as ornamental trim along the center seam line, or wherever less "drapiness" is needed.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 10:00:14 am by Evie »
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #100 on: April 04, 2012, 11:26:56 am »
If you can turn those Barbie goblets into that chalice, I'm convinced you can do anything!   :)
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #101 on: April 04, 2012, 01:13:45 pm »
ROFL!  I doubt even the blessed Saint Camber could turn a Barbie Doll goblet into that chalice!  I'll be happy if I can get a few little adhesive-backed craft jewels to stick around the rim.   :D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #102 on: April 04, 2012, 03:08:04 pm »
Holy Week is halfway through, and I have more progress to report.  Here's what I got done over lunch:



The chasuble has been cut out and pearls have been added to it.  The seemingly random pattern isn't random at all; when the chasuble is draped properly, the pearls form a Y shape on front and back.  The center portion between the pearls will eventually be filled in with gold trim.  Once the trim is added to the back and around the neck area, the front seam will be stitched shut up to the neck opening, and the gold trim will be applied over the seam to hide it.  The lining fabric will have been added to the outer fabric by this time, but since the part of the lining behind the front panel won't be visible, I figure it won't hurt if those final stitches affixing the trim over the seam have to go through the lining fabric as well as the outer layer.



This is a closer view of the pearls on the back of the chasuble, in case they were too hard to see in the first photo. 

And as I mentioned earlier, yesterday Duncan got a new alb and amice.  I finally got around to taking pictures:



Technically the alb is meant to be worn over his cassock, with the amice put on over the alb to make sure none of the cassock shows through at the neck opening, but I haven't tried putting both layers on yet.  I have a feeling the black cassock's sleeves might be just a tad too long and may poke out from under the alb sleeves, and they shouldn't, so if that ends up being the case, you'll have to pretend he's decently dressed under all of his Easter finery, because I am NOT making another cassock on top of everything else! 



Here's a closer view of the amice that shows the gold cross on it.  In case I haven't said it often enough, working with metallic thread is a pain!
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #103 on: April 05, 2012, 02:43:50 pm »
Look who arrived at my office a few minutes ago....



I can hardly wait to get him home, raid his wardrobe and accessories, and pop his little head off.  It could use some repainting to eliminate that nasty sunburned appearance, but maybe I can eventually use it for something else.  I wonder if 1136 Dhugal has a beard as well as that mustache he was sporting a few years earlier?  I don't know if he'd make a good Lowlander since the hair is a bit long (not to mention it's molded in one piece with the neck), but he might pass for one of the Border folk even though the hair isn't braided back.  Or if not, his head will still make a nice practice piece for learning how to strip and repaint head sculpts.

Though now that the body is here, I'm getting nervous about decapitating Duncan, no matter how temporarily.  What if I mess something up?  What if they've got incompatible neck joints?  What if I discover that after messing something up on the Ken body that would prevent me from putting Duncan's head back on it again?  What if I end up with a headless Bishop on Easter Sunday?  ACK!!!   :o  (Though at least that would save me from having to figure out how to make a mitre!)

And in other news, while I won't have time to take on any major embroidery projects for a while, here are the templates I created for the couched embroidery roundels that will eventually go on the cope.  The scanner magnified these larger than actual size; each template is actually only 2.5 inches in diameter, which is a good size to fit into the diamond pattern of the cope with about a half inch margin between each applique and the surrounding diamond's sides.  Since I'm not much of an artist, I used a design from a stained glass pattern book for the original inspiration and just added the extra Deryni touches:



Template for couched embroidery medallion for Archangel Raphael.  Red haired angel with green robe and wings worked in russet/copper tones, with metallic gold halo and a ground of yellow/harvest gold airy swirls.  Colored embroidery floss couched with fine metallic gold threads.



Template for couched embroidery medallion for Archangel Michael.  Golden-blond haired angel with red robe and wings worked in white/ivory/cream tones, with metallic gold halo and a ground of red/orange/yellow flames, one central bright flame suggestive of a sword point.  Colored embroidery floss couched with fine metallic gold threads.



Template for couched embroidery medallion for Archangel Gabriel.  Brown haired angel with dark sapphire blue robe and wings worked in tan/cream or tan/brown tones, with metallic silver halo and a ground of variegated blue waves.  Colored embroidery floss couched with fine metallic silver threads.



Template for couched embroidery medallion for Archangel Uriel.  Black haired angel with ivory/cream robe and wings worked in gray/silver tones, with metallic silver halo and a ground of earthy olive/tan/brown stripes suggestive of a plowed and planted field.  Colored embroidery floss couched with fine metallic silver threads.


« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 03:25:57 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Shiral

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #104 on: April 05, 2012, 03:18:56 pm »
Why do I see a little thought bubble over his head with  "Did I hear her say "Pop my HEAD off?  And hey... what's with that Barbie doll head on that stake....? Uh...oh...."

He has no IDEA what he's in for!  :D

Melissa
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