Thursday, December 31, 2015

Life Book 2015 December Lessons

I'm so far behind. There are still many very cool lessons waiting for my attention.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm off to work in a bit, but hope everyone stays healthy and happy (thereby avoiding the ER!)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Doll for Sale - SOLD

and one of the reasons I don't do commissions any more (and have learned something in the process).

A number of years ago I was contacted to create a doll representing an animated character. I did not require a deposit, but did spend quite a bit of time and money making the doll to the requested specifications... only to never hear from the commissioner after it was all said and done.

I need to make some more space in my studio, so I'm selling this doll (SOLD).

This elf doll is about 21 inches tall, and is all cloth. Her clothing is not removable, and she does not stand alone, but requires a doll stand (not included).

The doll was made from these illustrations:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sleepytime Santa

I've just put the finishing touches on my Santa doll for tomorrow. Now I need to start getting organized and packed. I'll try to remember to take a photo of my table tomorrow, though I don't expect I'll have much for sale.
Here's a LINK to this pattern (second row down).

Gettin' into the mood

I just dug my Christmas/holiday CDs out of the attic to get in the mood. The tree's up (and a target of my cat's attention), and a few gifts have been purchased. Now I'm getting ready to finish this Santa for the Winter Festival tomorrow. I won't have much on my table, but that's ok.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Winter Festival, and another Santa doll

The Volunteers at Columbia Memorial Hospital have been organizing a first annual(?) show/sale that will feature the talents and hobbies of hospital employees. So I signed up and started making prints and ordering cards last week.
I also started working on a Sleepytime Santa doll to take to this event (prompted by a couple ladies who had questions about the nightshirt - they are making over 50 of these dolls from my pattern!). So I started on the nightshirt first. The green mini hound's-tooth flannel was all that I had in my stash that was suitable, and to make the best use of my time I wanted to use something other than scrap fabric.
I'm starting the body now, using my favorite woven fabric: "Complexion Collection" by Timeless Treasures. I haven't made one of these dolls in a long time!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving Day. Now I'm headed for the kitchen to cook. I'm particularly thankful to have tomorrow off as well.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Life Book 2015 November Lessons
Not done yet, but we had a 30 minute time limit. I need to do more "mark making" and add some sort of focal object.
More Art Journaling Explorations HERE

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Making Prints

I spent a good part of the day making prints of some of my journal pages, for a little art/craft sale at the hospital. The organizers of the sale want to feature some of the employees' creative outlets. So I'm going to try to bring some prints, cards, maybe a doll or two, and perhaps doll patterns.

I hope to sell something, because I need to justify buying that expensive printer that uses expensive ink. My pages are all pretty color saturated, so I do go through quite a bit of ink.
I'm also working on a Santa doll to take to the sale. This time I started with Santa's nightshirt to better photograph the steps for a couple of doll makers making some for Christmas. I used some flannel I had on hand (green), so I went to the fabric store yesterday to buy more. Can you believe they only had ONE red plaid that was suitable?

More Art Journaling Explorations HERE

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Life Book 2015 October Lessons
Alisa's lesson was about making marks with everyday things. I took it a step farther by creating a mixed media background first, then used many different markers, crayons, etc.
More Art Journaling Explorations HERE

Saturday, October 31, 2015

It's a stormy Halloween!

I feel sorry for all the little trick-or-treaters this year!
Here's another vintage postcard, with lots of photoshopping to make it look nice. But that's part of the challenge :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

No more... for a while

I just finished my fifth Emmaline doll since August (or whenever I started them). I feel like I need to switch gears for now. I'm not sure what doll I'll make next. I guess a Santa might be in order - Christmas will be here before long. And there's always those art journal pages I need to catch up on (just got a package from Dick Blick yesterday).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I just got my complimentary issue of Art Doll Quarterly (Winter issue) because I've got a couple dolls in there - part of an ODACA Behind the Scenes series:

Sunday, October 25, 2015

One more Emmaline?

Today I'm working on another Emmaline doll, started earlier this week. I wanted talk about how great Tombow pens work for sketching a face onto a painted surface (no affiliation, btw). By picking a color that's just a little darker than the skin tone, I can tweak the features with no visible marks later. In the past I've tried using air or water-soluble pens intended for fabric/sewing, but those marks often disappear before I can begin painting. Colored pencils work, too, but can leave marks sometimes.
Tombow pens are water-soluble, so I can wet the marks with a little water and they essentially disappear. I've rarely had to add a touch of the skin-color paint.

I've got her dress mostly done. All it needs is a snap at the waistband and hem, which I can do while the eventual crackle is drying. I've already made her bloomers, too.

Next doll will be something different. My goal: an adequate number of dolls to take to Washington DC next summer.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Emmaline #4 done

This morning I finished the fourth of a series of four dolls, experimenting with the stretch direction of the fabric used to make the doll. I also wanted to give the crackle/antique wash another try.
This doll is about 17 inches tall. I'm pleased that I stuck to my guns and finished all four of these dolls without flitting off to another project.
Now I'm in the mood to make something Halloweenish.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Crackle...the bane of my existence

I just finished another vintage-inspired doll, and wanted to try the one-step crackle again. I can't say I'm completely pleased with the way this one turned out. I'm talking about the forehead/nose area. It turned out darker than I'd intended (in a blotchy sort of way), and messing with it just made it worse - so I stopped. See what I mean? I think part of the problem was not thinning the brown paint wash sufficiently.
This is the third of the four dolls I've been doing assembly line style. This one has a vertical stretch direction (fabric) for both the head and the body, so she's about 17 inches tall. I like the general shape of the head, but notice a better chin area when the fabric stretch direction is horizontal.
Today I sewed the dress for doll number four. I may be too pooped to start painting the facial features.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"Emmaline" number 2 of 4 done

Today I completed a couple finishing touches on my prototype doll "Emmaline." I took a chance and tried crackling and antiquing my doll's face and arms, using DecoArt One Step Crackle and a wash of diluted raw umber paint. It turned out ok. I had some concerns because the product was so shiny, but the application of the antiquing was knocked down some.

Before the wash, waiting for the crackle to dry completely.
After the wash:
Emmaline stands about 16 1/2 inches tall.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dolls in progress

I've been working on a series of four dolls, and I'm nearly done with number two. She just needs her face and hair, and hopefully I can get those done today. I use acrylic paint, so things dry pretty quickly.
Her clothing is already done, except for the little felt shoes. I just love those reproduction fabrics!
Making sure her dress fits.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Doll Done

Or should I say a prototype. This is doll 1 of 4, finished last night. She's made of inexpensive muslin (she is a prototype, after all), and I like the subtle give of the fabric. Her face, bust, and arms have about six coats of Messy Mix, then a couple coats of gesso, then skin tone acrylic paint. I wish I were more skilled at painting hair.