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!