Monday, September 12, 2011

My New Parasol Doll

I finally finished Penelope! She is constructed over a vintage silk parasol. Her face, body and hands are sculpted from cloth and consist of two layers, knit and gauze. She is the largest doll I have ever made... almost 44 inches tall including the base. Her costume is made from vintage taffeta and organza with vintage lace and jet beads for embellishment. The base is a cigar box with a graphic attached.

 I made a tiny beaded drawstring bag to dangle from her wrist, as well as a dance card for the Halloween party she is attending.

Her dance card is full and she is waiting for the first dance to begin!

She is going to be on display in October in the window of the bookshop in Hayward and will also be in the Women's Craft Show at Fort Mason in San Francisco on November 11-13.

Her hat is made of felt and a variety of embellishments.

I have three more parasols to use for dolls. They are so much work to make (and take so much time) but I am looking forward to making the next ones. I have a beautiful pink parasol, as well as a ruffled one that is a pinkish-orange. I think they will make up very nicely.


I finished my postcards for the Phoebe postcard exchange.

I must be the world's worst photographer... the colors are not as vibrant in the photos as they should be (in spite of my PhotoShop manipulation) and the postcards always look bowed in the middle, although they are precisely cut rectangles. I need to spend more time practicing photography and less time crafting (not as much fun!)

I had 8 postcards to make, and I finished them early. There is so much going on before my son's wedding in October... then the wedding in Maui... then the two craft shows to finish items to sell.

 I can't wait to see the ones I get in return!

While I usually incorporate more fabric than paper in my postcards, these are mostly paper with some fabric embellishment.
Now that these are completed, I will move on to more crowns and dolls for the shows.
Wishing everyone a "Happy Halloween" early this year!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Finally Back to Dolls!

After taking Akira Blount's class in April, I made numerous body parts, especially the faces, necks and hands, using the two layers of fabric (thin knit sculpted, stiffened, and covered with gauze).  I am now in the process of putting them all together and creating dolls. Below is "Paris" who has a small shrine to Paris set into her midriff.

She is about 20" tall, and the ruffled skirt is vintage silk organza saved from a party dress my mother made for me when I was in high school.
Also in the shrine is a silk rose, a copy of some vintage French writing from Paris, a few pearls, and a small vial of French perfume.
Next I made a "Prince" doll using duiponi silk for his pants, jacket and turban. I made him little leather boots, and added feathers from a very old feather duster to the top of his head. I added some trim I bought in Montmartre (the fabulous fabric district) in Paris to the front of his jacket.

I used the same type of head and hands and a pattern I designed to incorporate into a doll in the Yoga Tree Pose. I painted and stiffened gauze to make tree moss, made a fabric boa to wrap around the waist and one leg, and added leaves and fibers to the head to finish out the "tree" look. I will be sending this doll to the International Quilt Festival in Houston this month in response to Pamela Armas's special invitation to be a part of her exhibit.
My friend, Rosie, inspired me to move outside my comfort zone and make a primitive owl. The pattern was drawn with my left hand (I'm right-handed) and she even donated part of one of her husband's sweaters to make the vest. I felt like a child again. I was so much fun to make, without my usual worrying and planning. He's one of three dolls I am submitting for the Phoebe window display at The Book Store on B Street in Hayward for the month of October.
Another doll I am submitting for the window is "Pumpkin Face." She has a cloth sculptured face, to which I added paperclay, gesso, and paint. She has a wired and wrapped body, not my usual stuffed fabric.
She has a large spider on her head, stiffened gauze on her costume, a bat at her waist, and a hollowed-out jack-o-lantern with a tiny real candle in it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More Busy Days Ahead!

Next month will start off with a bang—I will be in shows the first and second weekends. On June 4-5 I will be participating in the Flying Phoebe exhibit at East Bay Open Studios at Wanda Fudge’s Goose Cottage, 1610 Minturn, Alameda, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. I will be exhibiting sculptured cloth dolls, crowns, and my “Mad Hatter” 3-dimensional collage, plus a few small mixed media items. Can’t wait to get together with the other Phoebes and “hang out” in Wanda’s cozy garden.

Then, on June 11-12, I will be participating in the Live Oak Park Fair, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. I’m planning to exhibit items similar to those at East Bay Open Studios. I will be a part of the “It Figures” Art Dolls and Mixed Media group made up of Phoebe members.

However, even before June arrives, I am most looking forward to a 5-day doll-making class with internationally known Akira Blount. I have admired and loved her dolls ever since I saw her “Jester” in Susanna Oroyan’s Anatomy of a Doll. She will be conducting a Phoebe workshop on all her special techniques. I can’t wait to find out all about them and give it a try. I have been busily gathering up the items on her class supply list, and making a multitude of doll body parts on which the techniques will be applied. I hope to incorporate some of these techniques into the dolls I have to make before the end of the year. Those will include a parasol witch doll for Flying Phoebe window display at The Book Shop on “B” Street in Hayward in October. Incidentally, I have three flower faerie dolls that will be in the Phoebe display for the month of June at The Book Shop.

I have been invited to send a doll to “In Celebration of the Doll 2011” at the Houston Quilt Show in October. This will be my fourth year. And, I have decided to make and submit some items for Somerset Magazine challenges. There is the possibility that I will be involved in two more exhibits before Christmas in San Francisco. Let’s see it I can really get all of this done.

Before I put away my mixed media materials that I used in my crown making and started pulling out the doll materials stash, I made five new crowns. This post features the photos of some of them. The next photos you see should be of dolls!!!

Where Did April Go?

Wow, where does the time go? I have been on a crown-making marathon. I made up my crown pattern and some new samples and demonstrated glue pens, glittering, foiling, and making rubbings with Shiva Paint Sticks at the Rusty Barn Show at Cal Expo in Sacramento on March 24-26 while working in the Embellishment Village booth. The weather was wild! Gale force winds and pounding rain, yet the attendance at the show was amazing, especially on the first day when the weather was the worst. The truly passionate artists and crafters turned out that day and were so enthusiastic and eager to buy. By the end of the three days I had sold out of almost all the items I was demonstrating… and that inventory was supposed to last three shows! It was tiring, but exhilarating! I love playing with those products!

My crown patterns were selling at the show, so Embellishment Village ordered some more to take with them to other shows. They were headed for Ohio and Kentucky in April, Salt Lake City in May, and Long Beach in July. They wanted me to continue demonstrating, but when I looked at my calendar, I realized I had much work to get done for the shows, challenges and exhibits I am participating in between now and the end of the year. And, upon my return from Sacramento, I had to start getting everything ready for the crown workshop I would be teaching to the Flying Phoebes on April 21. Not only did I have the class during the day, but I was also scheduled for an enrichment presentation that evening at the Phoebe quarterly joint member and associate meeting.

What a whirlwind day that was… and so much fun! My class members said over and over how much they enjoyed it… it was more like a play day… no stress… just letting the creative juices flow! They produced fabulous crowns. I don’t have all the photos of their finished crowns yet, but Wanda Fudge outdid herself and has probably produced 10 or more since the class. I, myself, have made five more… three for gifts and two for exhibit. This blog post features the photos of Wanda’s crowns.

At the class and during the enrichment presentation that evening, I demonstrated making rosettes from various types of ribbon, pinwheels and fans from paper, and all the exciting techniques for creating wonderful embellishments from Angelina fibers. I also demonstrated all those fun ways to use the glue pen and large size glue from Embellishment Village to glitter and foil. I was thrilled that everyone enjoyed the demonstration so much that Phoebes have decided to schedule free demonstration workshops for members and associates in the future, with segments that will cover various techniques and materials used in doll-making and mixed media. I’m looking forward to more fun!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Great Postcard Exchange!

It’s been a long time since I posted something to my blog. I have been SO BUSY—creating, creating, and CREATING! Let’s see—there was the fabulous Women’s Craft Show at Fort Mason in San Francisco in November. So much to make for that! The Flying Phoebe booth did extremely well… we were invited to come back for the second weekend (and did) and I sold more than I had imagined I would, including my little red, white and blue clad French doll. Then there was Christmas and the Phoebe Christmas party and exchange. I made a paperdoll for Zanaib that was embellished with images of butterfly wings.

And, then there were other things that got in the way—the taxes to get done and two Phoebe newsletters to coordinate and get published, and my new adventure as a demonstrator in the Embellishment Village booth at the Road 2 California Quilt Show in Ontario, CA in January.

But, I’m back! My first big project for the year was the Phoebe postcard exchange. Judy Fleck proposed the idea and eleven of us agreed to take on the challenge. It meant completing ten 5 ½ x 8 ½ inch collaged postcards and sending them out before the April Phoebe meeting. It took much more work than I thought it would, but I was totally immersed in the project and had a great time! Now I am finished with the ones I mailed out, and have been receiving the most fabulous surprises in my mailbox from my Phoebe friends! We are all putting together booklets of the cards we have received and will be exhibiting them at the Phoebe meeting in April. I just love them all! Everyone did such a terrific job! I will cherish them forever (and publish them on my blog when the set is complete!)

Today I am sharing with you the ones I made. Although I took the pictures with them standing up, they look a little bent in the middle. Actually, they are on a stiff backing, so I think it had something to do with the angle, or the close-up lens. Anyway, you get the idea!

This is the paperdoll I gave Zanaib for Christmas!


Crowns, Crowns and More Crowns

Ever since I started crafting crowns last year, I have been intrigued by the possibilities for embellishing them. Last year’s crowns are shown on the “Queen’s Accessories” page link at the top of my blog. I ended up selling all of my Halloween crowns and creating others for friends and family.

They are so much fun to make! This year the Flying Phoebe’s asked me to teach a workshop in April on how to make crowns . My mind has been filled with crowns ever since. Here are three of the new ones I have made recently. The pink one I made for my granddaughter, Emily, for her fifth birthday.

I have been experimenting with possibilities new to me—creating pinwheels from paper, rosettes from crepe paper and ribbon, and foiling and glittering techniques that I learned recently while working as a demonstrator for Embellishment Village, in their booth at the Road 2 California Quilt Show in Ontario, CA. I will be demonstrating again in their booth at the Rusty Barn Quilt Show in Sacramento, CA on Mar. 24-26. They sell fabulous supplies and materials that can be used on all types of mixed media projects, not just quilts! I have been having so much fun playing with their glue pen, foils and glitter.

My friend Diane Carter at ttp:// introduced me to the technique of making exciting motifs using Angelina fibers and rubber stamps, including her wonderful leaf stamplate! Embellishment Village sells all the materials required. I will be passing along everything I have recently learned at my class in April. I will also be sharing these techniques at the “Enrichment” portion of the Flying Phoebe associate/member meeting in the evening after class. In the meantime, I have several new ideas I want to incorporate into my crowns. I’m working on my pattern instructions, and possibly a kit. It’s time to get back to work!