Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dimensions in Dollmaking 2010

Dolls entered in the Dimensions in Dollmaking 2010 Exhibit

"Take Me to Your Mall"

"Lizard Lady in Pink Tutu"

My the time is flying and summer is definitely here with daytime temps now hitting 100 degrees. I'm happy to report that the air-conditioning in my barn has been repaired and I can finally create in comfort!!

I have just completed and shipped two dolls to California for the Dimensions in Dollmaking 2010 Exhibit. I'm very excited to be able to participate as the new venue this year is the Art Show at the San Diego Comic-Con International Convention on July 21-25. It will be held at the San Diego Convention Center where over 126,000 attendees and exhibitors last year made the event the largest gathering of comic book and pop culture fans in the U. S.!

It was a bit of a stretch for me, however, as I normally create realistic characters! The theme for the Comic-Con Convention includes comics, movies, animation, science fiction, fantasy and fandom, so I had to get outside of my comfort zone and dream up something fantastical to enter. But, after I got into it, it was lots of fun. I made two dolls for the exhibit, "Take Me to Your Mall" and "Lizard Lady in Pink Tutu" pictured above.

Another change this year is that the dolls can be made available for sale and there will be bid sheets for a silent auction. Hopefully someone will be taken with my two dolls and will want to take them home with them! : )

I'm off to the barn now to work on competition dolls for the UFDC Convention next month in Chicago. The theme is "My Favorite Things" from the movie, "The Sound of Music," and the made by exhibitor categories are a male and/or female character from the movie. I wonder if I have some suitable leather in my stash to use for a pair of lederhosen!

Enjoy your day!


New Exhibit

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hoffman Fabric Challenge Doll

Hoffman Fabric Challenge Doll for 2010 - "The Fae Nurturer"

UFDC Workshop "Peppermint Annie" dolls

May has just about come to an end and I have been busy completing a couple of dolls for a challenge and an exhibit and finishing up workshop doll kits.

My entry for the 2010 Hoffman Fabrics Challenge is, "The Fae Nurturer." I have been entering a doll in this challenge for the past 10 or 12 years and sometimes it can be quite challenging due to the scale of the print. This year is no exception. My dolls are normally 17-18" and the rules say you must use a recognizable amount of the challenge fabric, so I had to be creative about how to use it and not overpower the doll.

The beautiful fabric this year has cool blues, teals and greens with touches of gold and I was inspired to make a fairy using the challenge fabric along with other compatible prints and a bright solid green. I decided she should be a nurturer when I found the little watering can in my stash that states, "All things grow with love." Her wings are quilted with Sulky gold thread and tiny gold beads. The wired edges were first over stitched with teal thread and then glittery varnish was added. Beading accents the neckline and the fabric petals of her dress. Her slippers are painted gold and her white hair is mohair accented with green and blue beads. The stand is also covered with more of the challenge fabric accented with beads.

May has also been busy with completing kits for the "Peppermint Annie" dolls for the UFDC workshop and while I was at it, I made 10 finished dolls to put in my sales booth. You'll notice I have also given some of the dolls and kits an ethnic brown skin for my African-American patrons and friends.

One down note for this month, as the weather heats up here on the Texas Gulf Coast, is I have had to turn on the air-conditioning and to my dismay it is not working in my little barn studio. I'm anxiously waiting for the FedEx man to deliver a new ac unit to make my work area much more comfortable! The nonworking unit will stay, though, as it also provides heat in the wintertime and thankfully that part is still working fine. The new unit will have to go in the one small window in my little barn, so I will have to sacrifice the little bit of outside light to be able to work comfortably through the long summer.

I look forward to sharing my new "fantasy" exhibit doll and its story soon.

Enjoy the day!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Completed Commission Piece

Here it is already May and the year is almost half over! Where does the time go!!? I mentioned in a previous entry that I had completed a special commission piece and would post photos soon. Well, I'm happy to report that the doll (a 65th birthday gift from wife to husband) was a success......he loved it! Whew.....I'm always anxious once a commission has been shipped to hear any feedback and I was delighted to hear that this surprise gift was a hit! : )

First of all I want to thank my friend, Lilin Tseng, for referring this commission request to me. She was asked about the possibility of making a doll for a surprise gift, but was unable to help her with it. Lilin recommended me and sent her to my web site for some examples of my work. Thanks again, Lilin!

The commission was an enjoyable collaboration with his wife who gave me lots of suggestions for details to personalize the doll along with several photos. I made a checklist of her suggestions and added a couple of my own ideas based on the information she gave me. Then I got to work searching for accessories and props and researching the internet. I was able to find quite a few items in my "stash" and made the doll to scale as much as possible using these items. I was satisfied with what I had on hand and some of the things I didn't have or couldn't find, I made.
One item you will notice that is a bit too large is the bottle of "Bailey's Irish Cream" on the table. After searching for a little bottle similar in shape and color to a bottle of Bailey's, I had to settle on a mini bottle of Drambui from a personal collection of mini liquor bottles (my husband and I had collected these years ago on various trips). Some people collect postcards or T-shirts on their trips but we somehow ended up collecting these tiny bottles of liquor that have never been opened. The tax stamp on the Drambui was dated 1969 and I didn't have the heart to pour it out, so I left it sealed in the bottle and changed the label to Bailey's. It looks like a 2-liter bottle of his favorite, but sometimes you just have to go with what's available......and by the way, nothing is sacred when it comes to my dolls. : )

From the beginning I told her the doll would be a characterization, not a portrait.....and she agreed to this. She gave me information about the types of clothes and shoes he likes, hair style, eye color, general build, etc., which I used to complete the doll. Since there were going to be quite a few accessories used to personalize the piece, I decided to seat him at a table so that I could place most of them on it. I even had to place a few under the table as you can see in the photo. Each of these items represents something very personal to him and that's what makes it very special.
This was a challenging and fun project and although I have never met them, I felt like I knew them both as friends when I completed the commission and shipped it. The doll was presented to him yesterday and I'm very happy that he and his wife were pleased and excited!

Now it's back to working on the Peppermint Annie kits for my workshop at UFDC in Chicago. Although I prefer one-of-a-kind and commission pieces, sometimes repetition such as these little dolls and kits can be a relaxing project. However, as I look at the list of dolls that I've committed to make, I need to complete these little dolls and get busy on my next OOAK!

Enjoy the day!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Button bracelets at the Wild Bee

Wild Bee Button Bracelets

When I started my blog a couple of months ago, my goal was to post something at least once a week. I'm falling behind, but with good reason, since I have been working on a very special commission and the deadline to deliver it is critical. I have now finished the piece and will post photos in the next day or so.

In the meantime, I have received a photo from a member of the Wild Bee fiber arts group of the button bracelets that we made at the March meeting and I thought you might like to see how much fun we had making our one-of-a kind bracelets! I'm continuing to play with my buttons as time permits.

"Hands on Houston" HCCC Project Jumping-Jack Paper Dolls

TAODA (Texas Assoc. of Original Doll Artists) has been invited to present a project for the "Hands on Houston" event at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft on Saturday, August 7th, where we will teach a doll craft to children of all ages. The project chosen for this year will be a jumping-jack paper doll based on my cloth jumping-jacks. The paper jumping-jack will have a base of white poster board over which colorful papers and trims will be glued. Templates for the base doll and its clothes were presented at the April TAODA meeting. Volunteers will cut out sets of these pieces and package them ready for participants to glue on the clothes and face, and decorate with stickers, pom-poms and other trims of their choosing. TAODA volunteers will assist with punching the pieces, adding the brads and stringing to complete the paper doll. The public is invited and there is no charge.
My current project is working on dolls and kits for my UFDC Convention workshop in Chicago, July 18-23. The workshop is titled, "Peppermint Annie," and is scheduled for Wednesday morning, July 21. I've based my 4-1/2" doll on Raggedy Ann, but with a bit of a twist. : )
I plan to prepare about 30 kits with the pieces presewn and ready to stuff so that the participants will be able to complete their doll in the 3-hour class. This amounts to quite a bit of preparation work, but it is fun. In addition to the kits I plan to also make 10 or so finished dolls to put in my booth in the ODACA and UFDC sales rooms.

"Peppermint Annie" Workshop Doll
Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your comments.

Enjoy your day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dachshund Dandy Relisted

I have the new information from Kim regarding the relisted "Dachshund Dandy", original OOAK doll by Kim Baxley. Remember that part of the proceeds will go to benefit the Dachshund Rescue group. The new, relisted number is:

I hope you'll make a bid if you can. It's for a good cause!

Enjoy your day!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter Bunny Jumping-jack is hopping with glee as he delivers his colored eggs!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you'll be able to spend this beautiful weekend with those who make you happy. Spring has come to the Texas Gulf Coast and the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes are popping up along the roadsides and the pecan trees are breaking out in their beautiful bright green leaves! What a beautiful time of the year this is!

On a not-so-happy-note, it's tax time again, but I am happy to say I have just completed my tax preparations! I hope all of you are finishing up this annual trial as well and are enjoying that joyous feeling of relief to have it done for another year. I tell myself that I must do a better job of keeping track of everything, but each year I find myself once again going through piles of receipts and paperwork to get it all in a reasonable shape to deliver to the accountant. Guess I'm just a creature of habit! : )

Now I'm going to take time to straighten up and clean my studio as it's a mess! Then I will be able to start a new commission piece that I'm excited about. It will be a birthday gift for a husband's milestone 65th birthday and his wife has given me lots of neat suggestions for little details that are personal to him. This is always fun and I enjoy researching the internet and finding ways to incorporate these scaled down items with the doll. I'll share photos later after he has received his personalized birthday gift.

I'm also continuing to find time to work with my buttons and have completed a sizeable inventory of bracelets so far. I decopaged fabric prints of the heads of period ladies onto large buttons to use as focal points on some of the bracelets as shown in the photo. I was pondering how I could display the bracelets in my sales booth when my husband came up with the suggestion of using a piece of 2" PVC pipe cut however long I want it. It's perfect for just slipping the bracelets on and it can either stand or lay on the table. For travel to shows, I'll just pack the bracelets on the pieces of pipe. : )

I've heard from Kim Baxley that the eBay auction for "Dachshund Dandy" sadly did not meet the reserve, so she will be relisting it and will let me know the particulars so that I can share them with you. Watch for details.

I'm off to do some studio cleaning! Have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Correction of eBay Number

Kim and I just noticed that when you click on the eBay number I gave you a closed page comes up.....not the page for "Dachshund Dandy." I see that I had a typo that may be directing us to the wrong page, so let me try to correct that and get you to the right auction page.

The number should read:

I hope this will correct the problem and you will be able to view her neat little doll.


Kim's Doll

Kim's Custom Doll by Me
"Dachshund Dandy" by Kim Baxley

Today I have shipped the custom doll I created for Kim Baxley, my very talented web designer, artist, animal lover and Dachshund Rescuer. Kim has seen a photo of the doll so I don't think she will mind if I share it with you here.

I want to also commend Kim who....did I mention she is also a cloth doll artist?.... has created and put up for auction the delightful, one-of-a-kind, "Dachshund Dandy," currently on Ebay at

Kim plans to donate 50% of the proceeds for her doll to Dachshund Rescue. The other 50% will go toward the care and feeding of her own 5 Dachshunds and 1 Australian Shepherd! I hope you will take a look and perhaps make a bid. Information about the Rescue group is also provided there. Hurry, you only have 9 days left to bid on this adorable little doxie!

Enjoy your day!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bluebonnet Bebe Doll Show Display

Addy's Sewing Room

Happy 1st Day of Spring! It looks like the last cold front of winter is heading this way today and then, hopefully, we will move into spring here on the Texas coast.

I want to share with you a photo I received from my friend, Rhnee Hicks, who was gifted with a custom doll made by me a few years ago from her sister, Renita. Rhnee is an expert seamstress and teaches sewing. She especially loves to work with young girls to teach them the important skill of sewing. She is also a member of UFDC and works diligently with the Junior Collector Program to get young girls interested in collecting dolls.

This past weekend the UFDC doll club, Bluebonnet Bebes, held their annual doll show in Houston. Rhnee put together a delightful display for the show called, "Addy's Sewing Room," and sent a photo to show me how she had incorporated her custom doll in the scene (on the left) to represent the "teacher." I'm just delighted and thought you might enjoy seeing her display also.

Enjoy the day!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Name That Tune!

Send in the Clowns

My Funny Valentine

Among the things I have been working on this week are two dolls for the 2010 TAODA challenge, "Name That Tune." The challenge is to take a favorite song or piece of music and create a doll. Since galleries are especially interested in shows that can be hung on the wall, TAODA members are asked to consider wall hanging dolls in addition to standing ones as we create our new dolls.

My selections aren't necessarily my "favorite" songs, but were selected based on some dolls and doll parts I had on hand. The deadline for the challenge is the March TAODA meeting this Saturday and I am running out of time! The first doll was quite honestly inspired by a large Valentine box of chocolates from my husband. A few years back I had made some small "Altoid Sweetheart" dolls using heart shaped Altoid boxes for the torsos and adding a head, arms and legs. I happened to have an extra set of finished head, arms and legs on hand, so I decided to use them along with a red satin heart box for the torso and some Valentine trims from my stash. I attached the doll to the lid from the box of chocolates, added a hanging cord to the back and named her, "My Funny Valentine"!

A second entry for the challenge I call, "Send in the Clowns." I have two colorful Cirque du Soleil type white face clowns that I created last year and that no one had seen. I changed the accessories to some I liked better and sewed a plastic ring on the back of each doll so that they can hang together on the wall. I have included photos of the two "Name That Tune" challenge dolls above. The clowns are on stands in the photo and I will include these with the dolls if/when purchased.

I'm also working on a commission piece this week that is just about finished. It is for my excellent web designer, Kim Baxley. Kim is a very talented lady who is an artist and a cloth doll maker among her other creative endeavors. More importantly, she and her husband rescue Dachshunds that have been abused and/or abandoned. Kim recently completed a Dachshund doll that she plans to auction on Ebay and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Kentucky Dachshund Rescue Program. The piece I am working on will honor Kim's efforts in the rescue of these little doxies. I'll post a photo after Kim has received her doll.

I'm also continuing to enjoy working with my buttons as time allows. I want to try making some different things with them including necklaces and earrings, etc. My husband has just confessed to me that another 17 lbs. of vintage buttons are on the way from another winning bid on Ebay! I won't complain, though, as the cost is very reasonable and he promises....once again....that there won't be any more bidding on buttons. : ) I'm finding them to be very interesting and beautiful and fun to play with......and who knows what antique treasures I might find!

Enjoy your day!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

BAL's 2010 People's Choice Show

The Matchmaker

Eamon, Keeper of the Riches

We had such a good time playing with buttons at the March Wild Bee Thursday and just about everyone completed their bracelet. I forgot to take my camera, but I'm expecting a photo of our finished bracelets soon which I'll share when I receive it. Some of the members brought their own buttons and made lovely bracelets to wear and to be admired. I think they each went away with plans to make more bracelets! It was a fun afternoon!

Today is take-in day for the Brazosport Art League's 2010 People's Choice Show. For the next month, each visitor to the Gallery at the Brazosport Arts & Sciences Center, will be given a ballot and be asked to vote for their favorite 1st and 2nd choices. There is only one time vote per person during the show. I hope those of you who live in the area will go by the gallery and vote for your two favorite pieces. The reception for the show will be April 10, 7-9 p.m., at the Gallery, 400 College Drive, Clute, TX. The public is invited and award winners will be announced at the reception. There will be some wonderful art for you to view/purchase, and there are always nice refreshments offered by members of the Art League.

No pressure for your votes of course : ), but I have posted photos of the two dolls that I have entered in the show. These two pieces are hanging dolls that were created for the TAODA show at Art C's Gallery in Somerville, TX last year. Just for fun, I also entered one of my favorite shell button elastic bracelets.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Button Bracelets

Some Button Bangle Bracelets
Elastic Button Bracelets with Doll Face Buttons

This afternoon is the March meeting of our new fiber arts group, Wild Bee, and I will be showing members how I make elastic button bracelets as one of the projects. I'm sharing some of my buttons with them to use to learn how to make the bracelets and then they can make others later from their own personal button collections. What a great way to use those beautiful and special buttons we all tend to collect and be able to wear them and show them off!
I'm now starting to use chains and jump rings with the buttons to make some neat looking necklaces and earrings. What fun! And, the buttons just keep coming as my husband finds more on Ebay to add to my growing collection. Looks like I am going to have to find an outlet for my button jewelry pieces now. : )

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Topsy-turvy workshop participants

I returned from Louisiana on Monday and I must tell you I had a great time! The members of the Northshore Doll Club really outdid themselves on the Oriental Odyssey Luncheon on Saturday! There were beautiful Oriental decorations, several exhibits of Asian dolls including Jean Kestel's wonderful Door of Hope dolls, her excellent program, good food, and lots of door prizes. The souvenir doll was Denis Bastien's "Original Basic Lenny," which was a part of the 2007 Leeann Collection. Later in the sales room, luncheon attendees had the opportunity to purchase a variety of outfits and accessories for Lenny and also Denis' other dolls. Best of all there was lots of visiting with old friends and meeting new ones.

The sales room included a small group of vendors and I was very pleased to be included. Since I had no idea what to expect with the current economic problems, I decided to take a variety of small items such as doll pins and pin cushions, note cards, doll kits and my new button bracelets....which were a hit! Of course I had some dolls there as well! : )

On Sunday, I taught my topsy-turvy workshop and we had such a good time. My thanks again to Cynthia O. for her wonderful hospitality! I've included a photo of the workshop participants at work in her lovely sun room. I was also very pleased to have Denis Bastien join us for the workshop.

While in Louisiana, we had some great food and also found time to do a little antique shopping! Then it was time to return home where I've been trying to get everything put away and back to normal. My thanks again to all those who provided such an enjoyable and memorable weekend!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Topsy-turvy workshop doll

Today I'm packing some dolls to take to Covington, Louisiana for the Northshore Doll Club's 2010 Luncheon and Sales Room on Saturday. The theme will be Oriental Odyssey and the luncheon speaker will be Jean Kestel, a knowledgeable authority on Door of Hope Mission Dolls.
Yesterday I made sure my car is road ready and will leave for Louisiana in the morning. There will be four other members from my UFDC doll club, Brazoria County Doll Club of Texas, going and we are all looking forward to a great weekend. The ladies in Louisiana are so nice and so hospitable! On Sunday I will present a workshop on a little topsy-turvy doll that I had presented at the UFDC Convention in Atlanta last year.
The weather here is sunny and cool and should be nice for the more rain in the forecast for now. We have had a wet and cold winter so far and I'm looking forward to an early spring here on the Texas coast! Thankfully we haven't had the snow problems so many have had to deal with!
I hope to take some photos to post when I return from Louisiana. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Photos from Mostly People Show

Here are a few photos from the "Mostly People" show in January. (I somehow lost them in the first post!) This lovely gallery is located at the Brazosport Center for the Arts and Sciences in Clute, Texas. It is a very large room with lots of wall space and open floor space. The dolls were placed on various height pedestals around the floor with direct spot lighting. I was so pleased with how compatible they were with the art work of the other two artists. It was a great experience!

Welcome to my Blog

Hello and welcome to my blog. I've been trying to decide how to get started and I guess I'll just jump right in. My goal is to be able to keep you updated on new dolls that I am working on and also visit some of my other creative projects. Hopefully this will give me an opportunity to stay in touch and visit with you on a regular basis. I hope you will also visit my web site.

January passed so quickly and now it's almost the middle of February! I'll revisit January for a minute to tell you about a 3-person gallery show presented by the Brazosport Art League. The show titled, "Mostly People," was up Jan. 3-31 and featured oil and acrylic paintings by Frances Fraser, drawings and watercolors by Mike Marshall, and about 40 of my cloth character dolls. The show was very well attended and comments received were very positive! What a thrill it was to be invited to participate.

I am excited about the recently formed fiber arts group that includes members from the local Plantation Quilt Guild and the Brazosport Art League. We meet one afternoon a month to pursue our interests in the fiber arts. We bring materials and supplies from our stashes to work on a selected project for the month while we enjoy chatting and eating delicious goodies.....a great way to spend an afternoon! Oh yeah, the name of our group is the "Wild Bee." : )

I missed the first meeting in January, but really enjoyed the February meeting.....with a theme of hearts, of course! The March meeting will include a choice of 2 projects, one of which will be a button bracelet to be presented by me. My husband surprised me recently with POUNDS of vintage and new buttons he purchased on Ebay. I'm having so much fun sorting and playing with my buttons and creating bracelets, necklaces and other projects! : )

Happy Valentine's Day!