Thursday, December 10, 2015

Betts Vidal Frog Prince Workshop


 
In August of 2015, members of my doll-making club, The Flying Phoebes, set up a one-month window display at the Book Shop in Hayward, CA, featuring our Frog Prince figures created from an original Betts Vidal pattern. Betts is a long-time Phoebe member and an internationally known and published artist and doll maker. She has taught Frog Prince workshops several times over the years. The one I took was in 2014, and I loved every second of it.
Above and below are photos of my prince.

 
He is cloth sculptured and embellished with dried flowers that my late mother once collected.


We met at a quilt store across the bay, and here Betts (center) is shown with Zanaib, Elizabeth, Suzanne and Stephanie.


The quilt shop's workroom was the perfect venue.
Here Stephanie is shown happily working on her prince.

 
Betts brought a few samples of her figures to give us inspiration.


Above are two figures Betts made... the frog prince and the princess in metamorphosis with intertwined arms. The one below shows the seaweed staff Betts gathered from her favorite, secret beach on the Pacific Coast. It is the only place she has come across this particular type of seaweed, and she braved rocks and tidal surges to claim it. As part of the kit she provided, she gave us each a piece to use with our figures.



Zanaib is shown diligently working at her machine to create her prince, shown partially completed below.



Stephanie brought lovely upholstery sample fabrics to make her prince's cloak.

 
Two more samples show the various interpretations of the figures. When we had the window display, the Book Shop informed us that the frog display was far and above the most popular exhibit we had ever displayed in all the years we have been doing so. In fact, it was the most popular window display they had ever had. Not just customers, but people passing by came in to comment, pick their favorite prince, and leave us notes of praise. This has all been possible, thanks to Betts, her amazing pattern, and the wonderful and fun workshops she has conducted for us.


This very "dandy" frog was created by Elizabeth, who is well known among us to often think "outside the box." Her frog was voted the number one favorite of the window display by all those people who ventured inside The Book Shop to express their admiration.


 

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