Saturday, December 6, 2008

Susie McMahon was here!

The wonderful doll maker/artist Susie McMahon was here for a workshop this week. She was teaching Moxie, this sweet little fairy. She brought some of her other dolls to show us and you can view some more on her website
There were 12 ladies in the class and Susie was so wonderful, showing each one of us how to create with paperclay and fabric. I sculpted a head and attempted to also make the mask face doll Moxie, consequently neither doll were finished in 2 days! So I will post photos in a couple of days.............

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Quilt show, Newsletter, dolls..................

These are the pictures from the South Australian Quilt show. We had a themed display of "Fairies in the Garden". The two red head dolls are mine. There are some fantastic dolls that have so much work in them. Take a close look....

So, here is a tiny santa that I have made. I have just spent 3 days working on the doll club newsletter and wanted to make a Santa pin doll for the Xmas meeting.
I am still trying to work out how to do a link to the pattern. Will get there soon.

Next week Susie McMahonSusie McMahon will be coming to Adelaide and I will be doing her workshop. I was a keen supporter to have her come here, but when I saw the doll she was teaching I was disappointed - I have my own style and I didn't want to make a doll that would look like someone elses - like the Anke Daanen doll. But gradually, after some thinking I know I will learn heaps and I am sure she is a great teacher. So I will do the doll and see how it turns out. In life you need to try new things or life would be very boring.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sidetracked again...........

I have been doing 10 things at once at the moment.

Having joined the quilter's guild, I am in the process of finishing 3 quilts started more than 18 months ago.
This is just one that is in pieces, yet to be joined.

I have also had fun working on a doll with a friend who needed some confidence with covering a paperclay mask with cloth on a
"Barbara Willis doll".
This pattern is called Eau de Parfum and she is very sweet. The pictures are of her progress, Ruth has made her jacket from the most beautiful fabric and there are lots of finishing touches to make the doll perfect. Her hair is not actually attached in this photo and it needs styling - I will try to get a photo of her finished.

And I have a new Brother! Well it is not a person Brother, but a sewing machine Brother. My DH heard me cursing as I was struggling to quilt one of my projects and he tagged along to the shop and put the money down for a new machine! Well now he expects me to use it for everything so I dilligently started on one of my Santa's. The pics are of the crazy patch coat in progress and the "machine embroidery" all over the coat. It was a breeze to do with my Brother, so I am going to be very busy sewing..............

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another attempt to make something

So this is Francie. She has fought me all the way with her clothing. I know how I want her to be dressed, but for some reason, every dress I make her doesnt't fit or just looks wrong. So far I have made 3 dresses. Here she is with a petticoat on, but she will wear a pinafore so she doesn't need bloomers, a slip and a dress and a pinafore. I ended up making a cute blouse top to go under the pinafore, just the skirt needs to be the right length and not too full. She is going to have to wait now because I have been working on this for days and I am sick of it.
Next project..............

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I did finish the doll..........

Yes, I have finally finished the Ankie Daanen doll. It was not that there was so much to do to finish her, just the excitement had worn off a bit. She is really a "Dutch Touch" style doll.
The only difference is those ladies in Spain have 2 weeks to make their dolls! Ankie provided a kit with the body pattern and costuming ideas. Most of us purchased an outfit that Ankie had pre-made so we could finish our dolls. I think most of the ladies would have finished theirs - but all of them were from interstate or New Zealand, so I have not had any contact with them to see the finished dolls.
I have decided to call her Niva - I am not sure why, but that is who she is.I do like her - but I don't love her...... As a doll maker/artist you do develop the techniques you like to use. So - I would change a few things - the body would be different and I am going to experiment more with clothing - I also prefer to fully paint the dolls features, this doll is varnished straight onto the natural colour of the clay.

Now just a bit of back tracking..........

In the last post I had a picture of my interpretation of Miss Mint.
She is a storybook charecter illustrated by Wayne Anderson and you can see more pictures here...

Miss Mint won a First Place in the Adelaide Doll and Bear Convention. I have one picture of her in progress here.

I am so excited about the bee. I made a bee!
After looking at pictures on the net of bees
I discovered they are hairy all over!
Of course it is not hairs as such
- but all the same I love my hairy bee...
what do you think?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ankie Daanen came to Adelaide

What a week it was last week. I am exhausted. But very very happy. The wonderful Ankie Daanen actually came to Adelaide (who ever comes to Adelaide?) for our inaugural Doll Convention. I was so excited, I took these dolls in to show her what I managed to make just from her books ("Costuming the Doll" and "Make Dolls with Ankie Daanen")

She has such a sweet nature and is so modest. There were 10 of us in the class and we all worked very hard to finish our dolls in 2 days (it is usually a 4 day workshop) - so it was impossible! But what a wonderful experience and so much was achieved in such a small space of time. View my picturetrail site for the workshop pics. I will upload a photo of my finished doll and if the other ladies post them I will show those. The Doll Convention itself was 5 days of workshops, lectures, there was an antique doll auction and dinner with a fun auction. Lunch, breakfast, trading stalls on the Saturday and Sunday and a doll competition for porcelain, cloth, other media dolls and teddy bears as well. I won a First Place ribbon for my Miss mint!
There were so many other entries and I really didn't take many good pics
but when I have more time I will upload them. I must go and finish my doll now.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Always working - just not on dolls...........

I seem to be very busy every day and I would love to just get up and go into my "Studio" and work on dolls. But I am so not a morning person. I get up have breakfast,shower,read the paper(always do the Sudoko), do household chores and by that time it is 11am. Then I usually have some book work to do for our home business, then it's lunch wonder I never get anything finished, my time management is terrible. Anyway, among the many projects I have on the go, here are a couple of pictures of air dry clay added to cloth. I love that with the clay you can slice off bits you don't want, sand it smooth as silk, remodel what doesn't look right and add or remove any bits you're not happy with. This doll is patiently waiting for her sculpting to be finished and her peronality to be revealed. I 'm not sure who she is yet, in similar circumstances last year, I created my award winning doll Marionetta.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Santa Doll

I decided to bite the bullet and just make a Santa doll with a Trapunto face. Here he is:-

His face is made with a trapunto style mask, stitched to a tab head body. I was surprised how quickly and easily this pattern came together. I will put this one out as a pattern - when I get it written up! I am very pleased with him. He is called Steppin' out Santa.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Time to make dolls.........

So, here it is such a long time since I posted and what have I been doing? I have had a couple of days where I have been motivated to do something.......... and then it goes. I have been doing a lot if knitting - see knit4charities
- only because I like this time of year and I have so much wool and I like to knit, it is relaxing, which is what I must be needing at the moment.

Any way I HAVE tried to make a start on a pattern doll with the trapunto face. I am feeling a bit happier with this design, but too distracted to actually think and design the clothing at this moment.

I have also made a start on one of the paperclay styles. She has heavy paperclay shoes which I am not so happy with.

So I am a bit stuck with her.......
Here is another girl waiting to be dressed and given a face and identity. I thought she was going to be a Red Riding Hood but she has other ideas I have yet to work out.

And now I am working on another project - to dress a Polymer doll who has been hanging around the studio. It's not that I don't finish anything I start, it seems I need to have the identity develop before I progress, sometimes it happens quicker than other times. I will post a picture of that progress soon. I seem to like costuming but it is torture trying to work out what colour/style/fabric to use!

Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm back - I think!

It has really been ages since I have had the energy to even look at my blog. Sometimes life gets in the way and you can lose your motivation. I have tried to work on my pattern dolls, but did sidestep with a drawing class that was a disaster. I cannot draw. Have you ever tried to draw a tissue box? when I thought I had actually managed to draw a box - I realised I had just drawn a box as I knew it to look - not actually the box in the still life on the table! Then there was the issue of relative size and perspective........I could draw the items, but they were nothing near the actual size in reality! I cannot draw.....and I haven't even mentioned the mess that charcoal makes.................

Anyway, my greatest achievement was the 'Capsicum' in willow. What do you think?


By the way, it seems I have had visitors to this site, and it would be lovely for someone to make a comment or contact me. Sometimes art and craft can be a very lonely business so if you have viewed my dolls or have a 'constructive criticism' - let me know you are out there.

Monday, March 10, 2008

crazy pattern making......

Well I HAVE been doll making in the last month, but I have also been taking every spare minute to recreate some pattern dolls that were waiting for release. I remade the Princess, giving her a book to read and a tuffet to sit on.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More UFO's

Oh dear, I just can't get into doll making mode. I have tried and tried, you can see from the various attempts in the last few posts.............I just keep getting distracted. I am itching to work with air dry clay, I prefer it over polymer because you can really sculpt and sand it and smooth it. It takes time to dry and is messy, I always think back to making mud pies when I was very little........I actually liked making mud pies.

This is a Santa head I whipped up just before Xmas, I was so busy making Santa's, this one was a 4 foot decoration.

Remember Gordon the Rock Collector well this is another unfinished fellow in that style (spoon doll), who I may never finish, but he is in love with the impossible princess so even if he does get dressed, he will stay with me.

So again I am wanting to start afresh and make a whole new doll. The fairy godmother has to wait, the little Lottie has to wait, the polymer fairy has to wait and Nathan's Santa definitely has to wait. I have a clay fairy head waiting for a body, and another clay head for a 20" doll. But I want to start a whole new doll. Just to see who it will be. That is if I ever make the time to sit down and start!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Some days are very trying........

You see my dilemma. Here I am tring to create an older face on a cloth doll. I don't want to use the "common" method of needle sculpting, so I am experimenting with trapunto - a stitched and stuffed method, air dry clay, and next I will just try - needle sculpting..................
Because I want to make this a pattern doll, I need to consider how easy/difficult it should be. I am totally rethinking my pattern designing becuase I don't want to limit the possibilities for doll makers who buy the patterns.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

clay over cloth

So I am trying to develop an easy way to add clay to cloth in a pattern form. As you can see from my pics of my first pattern in this technique, you change the complete look of the doll. That's okay, but the cloth only doll to me is more difficult than sculpting in polymer or air dry clay! I may be working too small, but then I don't want to do anything bigger than 20 inches. I have to make a lot of dolls to get this right.