Monday, June 21, 2010

Bride Doll Challenge

Something Blue?

The only thing traditional about this bride is her "something old" gloves, that were made from my mom's wedding veil. My doll club sponsored a bride doll challenge to honor June brides throughout the world. Patti Culea's "Elysia" pattern provided the perfect body to show off a bridal gown! Thanks, Patti, for allowing us to use your pattern in our challenge.

I was inspired by a pair of blue stilletos in a bride magazine and they provided the inspiration for the rest of the gown, made of white and hand dyed silk charmeuse. The bust is hand beaded, as are the appliques. She carries a bird of paradise crafted of clay, and her necklace is made of Swarovski crystals. She floats down the aisle on a cloud of silk gauze.

She was so much fun to make. I plan to do an international version soon!

Appliques are hand beaded.

Blue polymer clay stilletos inspired the design of the gown.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fairy Dreams

My fiber arts group, The Dirty Dozen, has chosen to have a different person lead the program each month based on a theme. The program leader sends a few emails as guidance, and the individual members design a piece based on their interpretation or inspiration.

My assignment was "Dreams". I found this fabulous quote from the book Making Herbal Dream Pillows by Jim Long:

"In our dreams we are free
to fly through the night
on a butterfly's whisper,
or become a giant,
or have conversations with fairies."

The fairy fluttered around inside my head and insisted on being the star of the show, allowing the troll and knothead to play minor characters. They live in this old and twisted tree, built from paint, colored pencils and a touch of thread painting. I threw on some rubber mulch and a little butterfly of cheater fabric.

Be careful of those inspirations, though. The butterfly spoke up and wouldn't leave me alone until I planted a butterfly garden. Not an easy task for a brown thumb like mine!

Monday, March 29, 2010


I finally had the opportunity to take a class from Patti Culea when she came to teach at our doll club last year. A full year later, Elysia was finished in time to be displayed at the Seaside Piecemakers Quilt Show. She was so much fun, with all the stitching, slashing, and melting on her wings and skirt (ok, not exactly the way Patty described). I love finishing edges with a heat gun. I don't know if I'll ever put in a hem or a binding again!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How much fun were these little pins? One of my very talented friends, doll artist Patty Briggs, had a few members of our doll club over to teach us how to create these guys. I got so involved, I made several to donate to the Boutique at the Seaside Piecemakers Quilt Show this weekend. Both the show and the doll exhibit by my doll club, The Daff-O-Dolls, were a big success. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such extreme talent!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How does a chicken earring become your claim to fame?

Another not to be missed event at this year's EDAC was the Gypsy Tea Party. Wearing gypsy outfits, we danced around showing our elaborate costumes and some of us got a little crazier than others. There was a contest for the best 'art' ragious Gypsy tea cup. Of course, the tea cups used for actually drinking tea are provided, so the materials used for our own creations were left to the imagination.
With all the excitement and preparation that goes along with this conference, there was no way I was going to do the tea cup thing. But somehow I found a little extra time a day or two before departure. My mind wanders- a light as air, sparkling vessel with matching base... I head to my studio and pull out the Angelina, some gold beading wire and the bead box. With a saucer from the kitchen cabinet and a dessert cup, I have my forms to mold the Angelina. When I emerge from the studio, I have an elegantly embellished tea cup and saucer. I safely pack it away for a trip across the country, but in my haste, I break one of my strictest rules: I let one of my creations out of the house without photographing it first. No problem, I think. I'll just do it when I get back. Sure!

Although I was very happy with my creation, there is an abundance of extreme talent at EDAC. There were many beautiful, elaborate and humorous tea cups in the mix. So, imagine my surprise when, two days later at the awards banquet, someone taps me on the shoulder and asks me how much I want for mine. Okay, I've sold my art quilts and I've sold my dolls, but had no idea what to charge for a little Angelina tea cup and matching saucer. I look up to find elinor peace bailey herself, complete with her chicken and egg earrings. "Do you want to trade something?" she asks. I relax and smile. Pressure's off. "What do you want?" she continues. I eagerly point to her chicken earring that I had noticed earlier that day. "This one?" she asks as she removes it and hands it to me.

I'm thrilled to have taken a chicken right off the ear of epb. One of the things she emphasized at the conference was once you've enjoyed something, pass it on to someone else to enjoy. Elinor, that's the best advice I've heard in a long time! I couldn't be enjoying this little chicken more. Thanks.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Enchanted Doll Artist's Conference

When I'm lucky enough to get back out west, I like to take advantage of it and stay awhile. I attended the Enchanted Doll Artist's Conference (EDAC) in Albuquerque for the second year, which can't help but inspire any doll or fiber artist. When among the world's best, the excitement is like a kid in Disney World.

One of the many events is the pin doll challenge. This 5 1/2 inch flirtatious treasure of the deep has a Micro beaded lower body and tail with seed bead dread locks and a top wrapped in Angelina. She must be attempting to gain the attention of a studly merman swimming by!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Thinker, Outside the Box

What do you do with a simple take out food container? That was the question for all the artists submitting pieces created using this little white box for the Brevard Art Museum's national invitational Take Out exhibition. There is no shortage of creativity on display now through July 5, 2009, and I'm honored to be a part of it!

Doll making has become my passion, and using Tyvek is one of my favorite techniques. So, when given the opportunity to enter the Brevard Art Museum's Take Out Exhibition, it was a no-brainer for me to combine them to create The Thinker, Outside the Box. Her body is made from a piece of hand dyed fabric I made in a class, and later stamped during a program at a Dirty Dozen meeting. Her hair is a few natural silk cocoons, topped with a Tyvek kerchief painted to match her body fabric.
First, I covered both the inside and outside of the container with fabric made from painted dryer sheets, Angelina fiber, and tulle. Using recycled Tyvek, I painted and heated small pieces and covered the outside, taking care that the edges were also covered. I made sure there were a few spots where the liner would show through. I made a few beads and curly-q's to form the vines and stalagmites, then polished it off with some hot-fix crystals.

The final challenge was what to do with the wire handle. It turned out that it made a perfect sash when strung with the Tyvek beads.

Here she sits on her Tyvek throne, holding a mysterious crystal and pondering the origin of this mysterious beauty. Maybe it came from the crystal laden grotto below.....