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!