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Journal Entry: Thu Oct 2, 2014, 3:06 AM
It's been a long time! I've moved most of my uploading to tumblr, instagram, twitter and facebook, I blog mostly from my phone now and posting on instagram links to all of those automatically so unfortunately deviantart and furaffinity get pushed into the background :( 

My facebook is definitely most frequently updated at the moment and there's a really lovely community of people there!

My etsy shop is always updated and top priority
It's the best way to get hold of me if you have questions or requests :)

Thanks very much for all the love!!

tumblr: magweno
instagram: magweno
facebook: magwenoartdolls
Etsy: magweno
Twitter: magweno
(predictable aren't I ;))

10% off all orders until 1st June!

Journal Entry: Mon May 26, 2014, 2:28 PM
As our land purchase has finally come to fruition after eight months I’m preparing to move out of my Mum’s home and build my own tiny house on the land with my OH Rob. The land has no services or existing shelter at all, and we plan to live entirely off grid and semi self sufficiently.

Our two new main neighbours have been overwhelmingly kind and helpful and welcoming every time we’ve been to visit and one family has offered to let me rent a studio space above their barn. I’ll have electricity and (hopefully) internet there so I can continue to run the Etsy shop and fulfil orders, but I want to take June and July off so I can get my teeth stuck into building the house and get a roof over my head within six weeks.

However I get messages daily asking for customs and because this is my full time job if I stop working I don’t earn a wage! So I can’t close everything down completely. This announcement is partly to let you know that all orders placed from the 24th May onwards will be started in early August!

We have scrimped and saved and eaten beans for months in order to pay for the land in cash and have enough to start the tiny house build. Every penny counts at this stage, so I am opening special custom slots with a 10% discount. To qualify you have to pay the full price of the order up front through my Etsy shop. Things you can order are

custom coloured plumpkins!
jackalopes, gryphons, kirins, dragons!
an entirely bespoke art doll of your character!
fox dragons!
2+ ophies
The discount will apply to all orders over £50 using the code TIGHNANEUN14 at the Etsy checkout.

This offer will end on the 1st June when we are due to move out. It is a limited time offer! So please make hay while the sun shines :) Including ophies, I haven’t offered customs of those in a long time…

Also, check out my Facebook page where I am running de-stash sales of old or prototype pieces!

Plumpkin Preorder Ending Tonight!

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 28, 2014, 11:10 AM
If you'd like to order an ambling loaf dragon TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT! After tonight they will be £145 + P&P, but right now they are only £110! All  you need to do is Email me or Follow this link to buy the Etsy listing!

There is also a GIVEAWAY ending TONIGHT where you can enter to have your own custom Plumpkin made for free! All you need to do is:

FOLLOW me on Tumblr!
REBLOG this post on Tumblr!
LIKE my page on Facebook!
LIKE the Facebook image!
SHARE the Facebook image!

Good luck! :love:

Plumpkin Preorders Closing Soon

Journal Entry: Sat Feb 22, 2014, 3:23 AM
Hi everyone!

We're into the final week of February which means that Plumpkin preorders will be closing soon. If you'd like your own ambling loaf dragon then order one now by either emailing me ( or placing an order through Etsy.

They will be £145 + P&P after the 28th so if you're thinking about getting one then do it now!

Have a great weekend :love:

Exclamation Marks! (Giveaway info too)

Journal Entry: Wed Feb 12, 2014, 9:28 AM
I was reading through my twitter feed and I use exclamation marks a lot! I love them, they're so happy and excited. I used to hate them, I thought they were tacky and uncool, but see if I care now, I'll use ALL THE EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!

I thought I would also bring your attention to the PRE-ORDER AND GIVEAWAY I am running at the moment on my latest creation, Plumpkins! :D They are fat, round dragons with little wings and penchant for eating too many sweets!

The giveaway runs until the 28th February at 10:30pm GMT and each of the following things counts as an entry giving you a total of six immediate opportunities to enter! You can also reblog the image on tumblr as many times as you like, each reblog counts as an entry.

Enter on Facebook
  1. "Like" my page!
  2. Like the post!
  3. Share it with your friends!

Enter on Tumblr
  1. Like the post!
  2. Reblog it!
  3. Follow me!

For full details and how to pre-order one have a look at the following deviation!

Plumpkin Preorder and Giveaway! by Magweno


Journal Entry: Thu Jan 23, 2014, 2:31 AM
How do you brainstorm branding? Logos, fonts, website, colour schemes, packaging - do you bother actively trying to brand yourself or do you just go with the flow?


Journal Entry: Fri Jan 10, 2014, 11:16 AM
Please be aware prices on deviations may no longer be accurate! (I'm in the process of going through all my old deviations getting rid of the misinforming "£40 wingless/£70 winged" adage as it's wholly inaccurate now.)

Bespoke dolls (ie entirely original, handmade, one of a kind posable art dolls) start at £180
Custom resin "flop-dolls" are available in my Etsy shop under titles like "CUSTOM: dragon fox", "CUSTOM: jackalope" etc (if there are no listings there are no custom flop-dolls available).

I also realised I say a lot of things like "say hello to my best doll ever" when I start a description - please be aware of the date when you read that kind of thing! It's mostly prevalent in my 2011 deviations which are getting a lot of attention recently, for some bizarre reason.
Makes me kinda think "you think that's cool? have a look at my most recents!"

I'm going to take a break between the 20th Dec - 3rd Jan for the holidays, customs are now closed but will open again in the new year!

I have put a list of updated FAQs on my front page, this includes where I buy my ball and socket armatures from and how to dye fur etc.

There is also a small sale going on in my Etsy shop, 50% off this mof: and some ophies have 15% off

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and happy holidays and a fantastic New Year! :love:
I feel like I haven't been out of the studio since I got back in the second week of November! So much work, so much emailing, so many pieces made and sent out! But… What do I have to show for it? Haha. My gallery remains very quiet and yet my life feels so hectic right now. :D

I guess it's because a lot of them are the same thing again and again and I don't want to bore you. Black jackalopes, heilan coos and custom kirins are top of the list right now. Also quite a few OOAK dolls have been Christmas presents so I can't show them until after Christmas :) I keep my tumblr updated frequently if that kind of "scrap" artwork appeals to you - lots of blurry iphone photos of silly things.

I am in talks with another artist at the moment about collaborating on some designs next year, hopefully starting in March. We haven't hashed out the full details yet but it's very exciting, you guys are going to really love what we're coming up with! My Secret Santa present for azu-55 has acted as one of the (many) early prototypes for the project and is very nearly finished. Unfortunately I suffer from Irritable Artist Syndrome and may bin it and start again. That happens a lot when it comes to prototyping.

I also have a show in Brussels confirmed and a show in Edinburgh in the Spring. The Edinburgh show has a Scottish Mythology theme of course! Unicorns and kelpies are on the cards, unicorns being the Scottish national animal and kelpies are just cool. I will be focusing most of my attention on those after New Year.

Happy holidays everyone! And to my crafting followers… don't let the Christmas rush defeat you! There will be mulled wine for those who succeed! :trophy:
I think about my Shinlai a lot but rarely have the time (or inclination to do battle with my glitchy photoshop) to draw him. I'm going to try and make it a personal goal to draw a picture of him at least every month (baby steps guys, baby steps) and I'm collecting beautiful words that either describe him or are relevant to use as a theme.

This is my master post so I don't lose this - my computer is a rabbit-warren of unlabelled files and this text file WILL get lost if I don't publish it somewhere :D

The journey of changing one's mind, heart, self or way of life.

An unpredictable instance, a wandering journel; a whimsical, wild or unusual idea, desire or action.

The restless race of the traveller's heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together; a 'travel fever' that can manifest as illness

The fine, light rain that falls from a clear sky at sunset or in the early hours of night; evening serenity

The taste of bliss in the absence of all thoughts

The scent of rain on dry earth

Frustration, anger or aggression directed inward, toward oneself and one's way of living

"Living together" in the sense of living or working closely with other people with whom you share feelings, desires or a common purpose.

Love of darkness or night; finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness
(NB: not a word I would use to describe Skjo but certainly a beautiful image)

Shinlai App - Skjoldur by Magweno
LovelyTwistofNature is selling one of the dolls I made her.

Ty's New Dragon by Magweno

She is selling him for $300! Please contact her to purchase. That is a great price for my custom work and a rare opportunity :)
to the anon who gifted me a months premium! That was very kind of you and I really appreciate it! :D

I'm back home now, had a fantastic holiday and feel very refreshed and able to cope with the stack of work that's piled up! I had ideas for a special Christmas release of some elves but I got quite a few custom orders for items I already produce, so depending on how fast I work and how many more orders come in the elves might have to take a back seat.

was going to write a bit about my thoughts about the future and 2014 but there's no time, I have to go and feed all the birds, light the fire in the studio and start packaging orders before the post office shuts for the weekend!
I'll be back on the 15th - I'll try and respond to notes and messages but I'll be on my phone and I really hate typing on that thing!

Prince Erlend by Magweno Flowery Alpaca by Magweno Heilan Coos! by Magweno Alpackins by Magweno Elemis by Magweno

^^^ The above are available in my Etsy Shop!  Click here!

Eviecats is hosting an art doll secret santa, you can read more here:… :)

I've entered! :D

Pokemon Friend Codes

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 29, 2013, 3:21 AM
My code is 1332-7693-2453, feel free to add me and share yours (:
Edit: Turns out I'm a fire type with growlithe, slugma and ninetails! :D

Handy google currency conversion trick

Journal Entry: Sat Oct 26, 2013, 3:30 AM
If you are ever confused by my prices and would like to know what they are in your currency you can just type "12 in $" or or whatever symbol your currency uses into google and it will be converted instantly using up to date rates. Check it out!

This also works for volume, length, temperature etc - google also has an inbuilt calculator that pops up if you search for sums (eg 30 + 4.50). Dead useful. :)

Art Doll Q+A group

Journal Entry: Sat Sep 28, 2013, 1:45 AM
If you have a specific question about making art dolls you should take a look at the PosableArtDolls group. We have an open blog so you can submit your question and every person who follows the group will see it in their message centre and will be able to answer.

So far we have had :
Finishes for Polymer Clay and Acrylic Paint:Edit:
Thought I should let you all know, I am now using varathane and I just LOVE the stuff. It works great on just about everything, too. It's fairly cheap, a small can will keep you going for a long time. Just transfer a little bit into a small jar to use, so that you keep the main can closed and undisturbed as much as possible. Also it doesn't have much of a smell at all, much less than the sculpey brand varnish, so you can use it indoors and paint little things right next to your nose without feeling like you are poisoning yourself.
The glossy kind is very nice, and with multiple coats you can get things VERY shiny. The satin kind is NOT matte, but more of a dull shine. Do NOT use it if you want a perfectly matte surface. I do not know if there is a true matte varnish; I have decided just to leave the paint unvarnished where it needs to be very matte.
Please note that they changed the labeling somewhat on the cans not all that long ago, I think it doesn't say diamond on it anymore
Resin casting mold advice/help?I want to start making dolls with resin parts but have never used resin or molds before.
I don't know what kind would be best (recommendations would be awesome), though I am considering the pourable smooth-on.
But the pourable smooth-on says it should not be used with clay that contains sulfur which I believe sculpey has.
Does it cause the mold to not form properly? Or does it just make the resin cloudy? (which doesn't matter as I will be painting it).
Also if you use an armature do you attach it after the resin has set or do you stick in in as its curing?
What's the best way of doing fragile/thin parts?
How do you get a small seam/not noticeable line where the mold was cut?
Any help is appreciated.
Submitted by :icontealxultimate:NemoTheGoblin
Shipping and Tracking Art Dolls InternationallyCMWyvern asked me recently about the different terms used when sending parcels internationally and I felt it's information that would be useful to a lot of people.
This journal is focused on the different options courier companies offer - insurance, tracking and delivery confirmation - rather than how to package your item (but I can do a journal on that too if people are interested).
Insurance is essential incase the postal service lose your parcel, it means they will compensate you for the value of the contents lost and that will enable you to make a replacement to send to your customer. You need to have proof that the contents were worth what they were worth when making a claim, so check your couriers website for more info on that. You may need to include something like invoices in the parcel, or make sure the invoices you send have very clearly what was in the parcel, the address of the person it was going to and how much they paid. This needs to be an official printed document
Adhesive advice?I'm trying to determine which glue is best for adhering wool to plastic (urethane plastic painted with acrylic paints, specifically), and cures transparent and waterproof. Basically, I've been playing around with flocking cast resin with wool, but I'd like to find a glue with a longer pot life that doesn't give me a headache. I've been mostly using silicone caulking, since it cures clear and waterproof, and the only thing it releases during curing is acetic acid so it's fairly safe with ventilation and doesn't give me a headache. Here's an example of what I'm using it for.
So far I've tried:
Silicone I caulk of all things, and it actually works. The downside is it cures too fast in this humid environment.
E6000 works but gives me a headache no matter how much ventilation there is. I hate the smell.
Fixit Paste also works, but cures opaque. Coloring it with paint doesn't work well because the paint dries
Flexible, realistic scales for dollsI've run into a design dilemma. I am trying to find a solution to scales on a posable doll.

this was the original concept sketch. In the end, I decided to change the facial structure, but plan on keeping the body fairly similar.

Here's what Epsilon looks like now. I want to carry the scale design over into the belly scales, and possibly a few accents. The issue is how to go about doing such. We've had a few ideas rolled around, and have only ruled out methods. Seeing as this doll will be around 3 and 1/2 feet long, cost is a concern.
~ Scales need to be flexible, so to avoid interfering overly much with the movement of the doll.
~ Scales need to be 3-D, able to take texture and customized details, and in the end apply a sealant to achieve a scaley, shiny look.
~ Scales need to be able to be sewn onto the fur fabric
~ Scales need to be custom done in varying sizes, and quite a few of them. castings won't work here.
Has anyone done somethin

These are problem-solving questions specific to peoples personal projects and some general advice. All of it is useful and interesting, so please add the group to your watch-list if you feel like helping or submit your journal if you're stuck!

Please remember to be polite.

For very basic and general questions about making your first art doll please refer to my tutorial Armature to Art Doll:
Armature to Art Doll Part 1 by Magweno

Hint at the Future and Small Life Update

Journal Entry: Wed Sep 11, 2013, 10:26 AM
I've just come out of a meeting with Sam, the new regional manager of the charity who has been helping me start up Magweno Art Dolls and has funded it in the past (the PSYBT). She's a self proclaimed goth through and through and absolutely LOVED what I was making, especially the Abdabs. 

We spoke about how I've been progressing and what steps I need to take for the future, how the PSYBT can help financially if I need it and where she thinks a good place to expand would be.

As per all my meetings with the PSYBT I came out really enthusiastic and excited about what I can do next, and also more clear-minded. 

I'm sure you've all experienced the mad cavalcade of ideas and thoughts that come rushing every time you start a new project - I have piles of started and abandoned projects, sketchbooks stuffed with ideas and getting fantastic suggestions from you guys means my head feels like it's full of birds! I can focus on each idea and I can't decide which to do next!   

I voiced a few of the strongest ideas to Sam and seeing and hearing her reactions to each really helped. I definitely need to focus on ONE thing, and, as a goth, Sam knew exactly which she thought would be best!

The Abdabs are going to grow in numbers. We both got very excited about the possibilities. I need to develop a strong brand - so what I produce next is going to be me being all.. grown up and professional. Ish!

This intense focus on the Abdabs is going to be juggled with my current bread and butter, the kirins and jackalopes. I'm reducing commissions to one a month (not including the custom kirins and jackalopes), as I seem to work well at that pace. My one current commission from the ever patient suchacat is progressing slowly, hopefully a delivery in the next couple of days should see that wrapped up soon.

As for my personal life...!

Those of you who follow my tumblr will know I recently went to see a plot of land that has outline planning permission for a house.

The problem is that it's registered as a croft. In some ways that's excellent, but it means that most banks won't give us a loan.

We have an excellent broker who is working her bum off to secure a loan for the land, and that's ticking along... But we've been given a deadline. The solicitor selling the land has said they've had so much interest over the past two months they might move to a closing date. 

Closing dates mean that every interested person puts in an offer in a sealed envelope and on the closing date, all the envelopes are opened. The highest offer wins. But there's no way of knowing what the other people have offered.

He's given us until Friday to get a written offer in before he suggests to the land owner to move to a closing date, and it's Wednesday today - our broker has only just managed to get the one bank willing to lend to start moving on it. It is EXCRUCIATING. Sleepless nights since Monday - when we put in the verbal offer - and no message back from the land owner saying yes or no to the verbal.

So. I'm on edge. Mum and Rob are on edge. We're all so nervous! And it's so frustrating to be so close to the dream plot... And yet totally unable to speed things along. I'm just trying to bury my head in work but man it's tough not to drift off into a daydream about how things would be if we do manage to get the loan.. if we really did have our own 60 acre croft...

If we did manage to get the land the first thing would be for me to apply for another loan to build a new studio there. My income would cover some of the cost of the initial loan, the second loan would be from the PSYBT and has excellent terms, perfect for letting me get set up before I have to start repaying it. So it's important I get the studio up and running and warm!

Things COULD get very interesting over the next few months if... Friday comes around slower or the banks and our broker move faster... Aaaah I'm too nervous.

Also on Tuesday Rob got asked to go in for an interview for an offshore job. Starting salaries offshore are something like 28k so there was plenty of screaming and excitement when he got off the phone. AGAIN it isn't a definite! So these things I want to be SUPER EXCITED about I can't be, until they happen! His interview is tomorrow!

Basically everyone keep your fingers crossed for us!! :heart:

Black Jackalope eBay Auction ending in 1hr 40 mins

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 18, 2013, 1:42 PM
Grab him now!

I have been having problems with the mould for the antlers, I only have three clean pairs to use in future so jackalopes will be very limited edition.

Sewing and turning tubes in about a minute

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 9, 2013, 7:52 AM
graveatart asks: How in the world do you turn the tails inside out once you're done sewing? I've been working on my mini vurms and can't figure out how to do it without tearing or popping thread. 
Thanks for the advice! You're a life saver.

I've made a video that is less than a minute long on how I do this. :) The bodies are machine stitched, backstitch at top and bottom, then I used a notched aluminium tube to push the end in on itself, and pull the rest of the tube over it. When it comes out of the top, I grab it and pull! Easy peasy.

The tubes are just tubes, which makes it a little easier, but if they ended in a taper it would be the same process, I'd just use a wooden BBQ skewer to make sure the point was pointy.