Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek at my new cloth doll. Ok, I went a bit crazy with the wool felting but may I present the beautiful and elegant Fredrica The Bearded Lady. When finished she will have a full gown and lady-like accessories (I'm thinking beard bows.)

To All the Dolls I've Loved Before:

Farewell Red Riding Hood, Myrtle and Lydia. Three dolls make their way to new homes today. My shelves look so forlorn. New works are coming along, I'll try to get some pics up when I can. I had the sudden urge last night to start on a cloth doll as well. It's been a while since I've made one and they're my bread and butter. Hope everyone is having a productive day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Goodbye Old Friend

Martha is an old craft fair doll and a particular friend of mine. She and I go way back but I think its finally time to let her go to a new home. I'll be putting her up on etsy today.

I've been thinking I'd like to add some background music to my blog but I'm not sure how to do it. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

WIPs for the weekend

Here are some WIPs I've been working on over the weekend. Obviously I did not start them all this weekend. I'm way too slow for that. Sorry for the blurry pictures, they were just quick snaps.

First is a little girl trudging through snow. Super Sculpey and Sculpey on wood. She's still in the early painting phase. I like her because she's kind of a mystery to me. I usually have a reference(like Little Red Riding Hood) or some back story (like Delia) before I'm working on a piece but I don't know what she's doing out in the snow. Where are her shoes? Is she going somewhere? Looking for something? Running from something? I have no idea and she refuses to tell me.

Early sculpting phase of Snow White. Trying a more realistic look for her, we'll see how it turns out. She is Sculpey over a wire framework.

Ahh the Frog Princess, this project has turned into a long term relationship due to setbacks and major frustration but as I'm happy with how she's turning out. Her hair needs a lot more work I think and of course she is missing her Frog Prince. Sigh it will probably take me another few months to finish her at the rate I've been going.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I love drapery.

I don't know if I'm weird or if everyone has this, but there are a few things in art that really appeal to me. I'll never be an art critic, I can't distinguish "high art" from "low art" and I have very few artists where I am a fan of all their works. But there are some elements that just make a painting, sculpture, etc more enjoyable to me, more appealing. One of them is drapery. I am so jealous of anyone who can sculpt or paint cloth and I love anything featuring rich exaggerated swags of fabric.

Am I the only one with these strange quirks? Is there a particular texture, color, form or degree of intricacy that you find repeated in your favorite works of art? Maybe a mood?

I love knowing why a certain piece of art really resonates with a person. There are pieces I love for the story, history or symbolism of the piece but I'm talking about a more visceral reaction than that. The pictures that you find your eye drawn to for the simplest of reasons. Come on, tell me your quirks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


It is so good to move onto another project when one gets so frustrating you just want to rip its little dollie head off. I always knew I had to tweak Little Red's hood so last night I sat down and added a black lining. It was nice and relaxing and I am now content that she is finished. She can no longer glare at me from the shelf of unfinished dollies. Added her to my Etsy shop as well Now back to work!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Delia's Gone

This is Delia the Housie, a small spirit bound to the place she loved in life. She carries no rattling chains, her glowing eyes do not peer at you from dark corners, you won't even hear the tread of her tiny feet in empty rooms. Instead she will creep to your bedside in the deepest watches of the night. You won't feel the chill caress of her lips as she presses them to your ear but her voice: soft as the rustle of fallen leaves and lonely as the whistle of the winter wind in the eaves will terrify you more deeply than all the grotesqueries and capers of her kind. She tells you your childhood fears are real, the monster in your closet has emerged and has one hooked talon poised over your defenseless throat. She tells you of your adult worries, that all your ambitions will fail and everything you feared would come to pass has already happened, that the life you have built (maybe not loved but labored for brick by brick) will fall and scatter like ashes in the wind. She will repeat for you every lie you told that day. You will relive every hurt you inflicted, small or large, intentional or unintentional. You will watch every time you turned from the truth because to face it was too hard, too frightening or too costly. As you sleep deeply, trembling over dreams of your cowardly misspent life, she will tell you the worst of all: There is No Hope.
After you have left.
After you have packed your boxes and bags grumbling about how your life here has soured and faded. Become hopeless.
After you have cheerily reassured your spouse and children that you will be happy in your new home (hoping they don't hear the false note you hear in your own quavering voice.)
After you have left,
Delia will walk the silent halls and stand alone in the rooms of ruin. She is not happy. Not happy but satisfied? Yes. She has returned to the only peace she knows. Perhaps others will come, perhaps not. If they do she will carry on. Until then, Delia walks.

Delia is my first full polymer doll. She was inspired by the piece I wrote after I woke up from a vivid dream. Thanks to the Dark Tower series for the term "housie" and "rooms of ruin" and Johnny Cash's cover of Delia's Gone for the name. I'm fairly satisfied with her. She needs a little more work and I have to find a stronger adherent to keep her on the wood base but she pretty much finished. *whew*

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Turns out my phone has a camera, a crappy camera but a camera none-the-less. These are two of the creepy kids I was talking about in my previous post, old doll concepts that never came to fruition. The one on top is a scarecrow girl and below her is the innocent, young ax murderess. She's missing her ax in this version, or maybe she's just hiding it for later use. I have to make a trip to the crafts store and take a look at some hardware, I have a picture in my mind of how I'd like them to look finished but the terminology is giving me problems. Basically the arms and legs of each will dangle using metal links kind of like those used on pendants. Maybe real cloth accents as well: ribbons, lace or cloth skirts, maybe even yarn for the scarecrow. I had a great time pulling out and reworking old sketches today, now I don't feel so guilty about the millions of other unfinished dollies I've stashed.

Strange Dreams..

Things are progressing nicely with several projects. I'm a little bummed because the Hubs took the camera with him in his business trip so I can't update. I did get a new idea for a project from a dream last night. I was lying in my bed from when I was a child and there was a mobile with paper dolls from some of my scary kids that haven't been made yet. Little vampires, werewolves, banshees and voodoo dolls circling over my head. I'm wondering if I can recreate it myself, not just paper dolls but blocked on something stiffer, painted on both sides and hung from a wire framework.

Inspiration comes from the strangest places. I was a very imaginative child so that bed was the scene for many nightmares. One year I decided vampires were after me so I hung construction paper crosses from the bedpost after my mom caught me trying to smuggle garlic up to my room and confiscated it. It's good to turn the demons of the past into something fun and productive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Internet is not my friend

It's been a long morning working out paypal issues and trying to get my etsy shop up and running. I think I've finally got it all under control. I only have one listing right now, an old craft fair doll named Elaine. She's my guinea pig. I wish there was a way I could recenter Etsy's automatic cropping because in small pictures I now have a headless doll. So what does everyone think? How does the banner look?

Well, off to get some more sculpting done before I tackle fixing the vacuum cleaner. Dusty work ahead.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Update: Frog Princess

Progress on the Frog Prince doll. Here is the Princess still arm less, hairless and Frog Princeless but she's coming along. I'm hoping to add puff sleeves to her outfit once her arms are ready. Head, lower legs and lower arms are paperclay, body is muslin. Since she is my first experiment in clay I made some tactical errors along the way. Not the least of which is underestimating the weight of her head on a cloth body. Normally for my freestanding dolls I add a little sand to the body to make them perfectly weighted even on uneven ground. Princess is different in that she had to have big, old river rocks sewn into her bottom. Thankfully big poufy skirts and lace lined petticoats hide all manners of sins and she sits wonderfully on her own. Lesson learned. Never underestimate the weight of a big head.