Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Back to Dolls

With one doll exhibit at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley closing and another one on the horizon in February at the Olive Hyde Gallery in Hayward, I decided I'd better get some new dolls put together. This one is sculpted cloth with a second layer of gauze "skin" on her face. She is a tribute to admired and influential women, from ancient history to present day.

She is holding a bird about to take flight and represents the feminine spirit, feminine intellect, and feminine creativity. The hanging name tags on her skirt include the names of: Jane Austen, Margaret Mead, Emily Dickinson, Betty Friedan, Martha Graham, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Gertrude Stein, Gloria Steinem, Frido Kahlo, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Billie Jean King, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Michele Obama, Babe Didrikson, Amelia Earhart, Florence Nightengale, Harriet Tubman, Mary Magdalene, Eleanor Roosevelt, Marie Curie, Indira Gandhi, Queen Victoria, Joan of Arc, Mother Theresa, Margaret Thatcher, Clare Boothe Luce, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Golda Meir. Hmmm, there are so many more... maybe another doll?
The medallion at her waist says it all. "Celebrating Women, the Sacred Femine, and the Right Brain." However, she also represents the celebration of all women... mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, friends...
The second cloth sculptured doll I made celebrates the Muse. The box base contains both literature and music—she guides the pen—and holds the key to great inspiration.

I also made a couple of new altered bottles
embellished with shells, pearls,
and fibers representative of the sea.

I love decorating the bottles
and have many more ideas
of ones I want to make.

I love the sea...
have spent many an hour just staring at it...
and these bottles trigger fond memories
from my youth... of days spent at my grandparents
home on the Pacific Coast.


Its Almost Christmas

Blocked felt hat base with flower, ribbons and feathers.

I've been working non-stop for months getting ready for the two craft shows in San Francisco. This weekend is the Celebration of Craftswomen at Fort Mason in San Francisco. I made two hats and above is a photo of one of them. Below are some of the fascinators I also made.

I took time out to try making one of the paper Marie Antoinette slippers for myself.
I love it!
 I have made crowns, both large and small. Below is a large one.

Still making crowns out of fabric and paper.
This one is a combination of the two.
 So many bracelets. But, so much fun to make. Each one is unique and totally different from all the rest.

I made 23 cuff bracelets. This one is made with a vintage doily, vintage jewels and ribbon rosettes. 

Here is a closer view of the embellishments.

This is a close-up of the cuff shown in the previous blog post.

Another close-up of vintage embellishments on a bracelet.

The base fabric of this cuff is dupioni silk with dyed lace embellishments and a lot of hand beading.
 This is my favorite fascinator and I wore when I worked in the Paris Flea Market in Livermore. Great place to discover everything French and Shabby Chic at bargain prices.

This is a fascinator on a headband that I made with
the French touch.

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Directions

What a busy year this has been and it is far from over!

From October 2011 through August 2012, I was a virtual slave to my space at the “Paris Flea Market” in a neighboring California town. Besides liquidating a lot of my vintage items from a lifetime of collecting, I then moved forward to acquiring more from estate sales… painting items with chalk paint for that “shabby chic” look, making collaged cards and Eiffel Towers from vintage ephemera, sewing pillows of all shapes and sizes with Paris motifs, making paper pinwheel banners, embellished antique bottles, French fascinators and Halloween hats, mini dress forms, etc., etc.

I loved the chance to make a lot of new items, but the monthly sale deadline was just too much in light of the fact I had other shows and exhibits to plan and work toward. I never really had the time to even photograph the items I was creating… they were gone without so much as a visual record to remember them by, except for one photograph of one of my little mannequins with an authentic French designer label, a paper Paris pinwheel banner, and a Eiffel Tower pillow in the photo above.

I joined some of my artist friends (we are known as “Art Dolls and Mixed Media”) and exhibited a few of my dolls at the Frank Bette gallery in Alameda in April, May and June—my umbrella doll overwhelmingly won the popularity vote by gallery patrons, with my tree pose doll coming in second.
In June, I and my friends exhibited two weekends at the Alameda Open Studios.  Our dolls are currently on exhibit at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley for two months, ending November 22.

I gave up the PFM in favor of returning to the art I personally want to create, rather than creating for a shop.
Now I am preparing for two craft shows in San Francisco in November and December. I will be displaying  several dolls, cuff bracelets and neckpieces made with vintage fabrics and costume jewelry, crowns, hats and fascinators, cards, and Christmas decorations.
Details and photos of a few of my new items are below.
November 24 and 25, Fort Mason, San Francisco, Booth #415
December 8 and 9, Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th Street, San Francisco, Booth #134

Dupioni silk cuff with vintage hand-dyed lace and amber crystal beads.


Monday, February 27, 2012

New Beginnings

Time really flies! Especially those holidays—and where did winter go? It has seemed like spring here for weeks. The trees are all blossoming and the bulbs are all blooming. So beautiful! It is time for new beginnings and new projects.

I have started making some small crowns and some Eiffel Towers from paper. And, painting a lot of medium sized objects, including picture frames, with chalk paint for that shabby chic look. I am so lucky that my beautiful 7-year-old granddaughter loves anything French... just like me. We are in the process of decorating her new bedroom! I am thrilled!!!

I am in another postcard exchange with 9 of my Phoebe dollmaker friends. I have three to do each month—three down and six to go. I can't wait to receive all mine! I also made a bunch of cards... French, of course! Here are a few.


Here's to another wonderful year of crafting. This time I hope to take more time to photograph my projects and post them, before they end up in someone else's home!