Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dolls In Progress

I thought it would be fun for you to see "in progress" photos of some of my dolls. I have randomly taken these at my studio worktable over the past few months. I enjoy seeing how other people work and what their workspace looks like.  I always start out with a organized table, then slowly it becomes messy the more I come up with and try.  I start with a sketch, but then I "audition" lots of items before I decide on the final look. Enjoy looking!

Need to make a trucker hat for HillBilly...

Getting Crazy Lloyd ready for dental work

Laying out a utility belt and face for Dynamite

Lulu & Lila began as a pair of vintage gloves 

Assembling just the right parts for Robot RX036Y1

I can't remember. Just how does a straitjacket work, exactly?

Blushing Bride as I assess her pinned in place dress and veil 

Tomato & Groom drying in the sun together...ahhh

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Dad's Advice on Boys


I made this doll to celebrate a memory I share with my parents. Maybe the doll can be a reminder to other young girls. 

When I was a young girl just beginning to notice boys, probably around the age of 11, my daddy sat me down and told me the story of "The Squeezed Tomato". My mom had heard the story from Pat Boone who was a guest on the Mike Douglas Show back in the early 70s. She shared it with my dad and either he or both of them repeated the story to me and my two sisters throughout the years.

The story went something like this...
Once there was a bright red, lovely tomato at the grocery store. She sat with all of the other tomatoes waiting to be chosen to leave the produce section.  Boys were the shoppers. They would come by and "squeeze" the different tomatoes that "let" them. Now, be aware that a tomato has the power to stay sitting on the shelf. The boys cannot pick her up unless she agrees to let him. You can talk and smile at boys as you remain on the shelf. Smiling and being friends with the boys is fine. This way you will stay a bright red, lovely tomato. 

BUT, if you allow the boys to pick you up and squeeze you, then you can become bruised and rotten. Especially if you allow a LOT of boys to squeeze you! And who wants a rotten, squishy tomato? Yuck! Not many boys, when there are other bright red, lovely tomatoes to choose from.  So always remember, "Don't be a squeezed tomato!" One day when your future husband comes into the store he will see you as the bright red, lovely tomato that you are!

I shared the story with my daughter, and hopefully she will tell her child. There were a few modifications I made to the story. Like, it's ok if you don't want to leave the store; it's cool if you just hang with your tomato girlfriends and choose to not be on "display";
making a mistake doesn't mean your rotten; you get the idea. But the story's general message of self-worth is there. Simple, easy to understand. I have never forgotten it.

Let's just say, some boys like ketchup though! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Four Dolls In Three Day - I Was In The FLOW

I never quite know when an idea for a doll will completely form. At least once a week I do some quick sketches of doll concepts that have been on my mind. I set the drawings aside, then glance through them every day or so. Last week I sketched on Monday; made 23 little clay skulls on Tuesday; did laundry on Wednesday; made four "bodies" on Thursday and cleaned house on Friday. That was my week. BUT if you were inside my brain all week you would know something was brewing with the Monday sketches.

Friday night I felt bad that I hadn't made one doll all week. I started working on the new superhero idea. I love the idea of superheroes. Even more, I love the innocence of children's belief in superhuman powers. I bought this cool t-shirt at a thrift store that looked like it had been printed from a comic book. The screen printed design had the words "POW" and "TNT" in great comic book colors. Well, once I decided how to cut the fabric everything else just flowed. 

Have you ever read the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience? It is about being happy and when you are "in the flow" everything else falls away and you are in the moment with whatever task you are performing. I highly recommend reading it. The author explains that once you master a task you cannot get "back in the flow" until you push yourself to go beyond your set skills.  Interesting stuff.

I finished Dynamite Superhero at 1:30 am. He's available at my etsy shop. (See the side bar for link.)

Saturday morning came bright and sunny and so did my creative energies! To my studio to regroup and clean the "designing mess" from the night before. Every superhero need a worthy villain, right? Hence, Hector The Masked Villain was born, also available at etsy. (Dave though he looked like he had S&M tendencies but I refuse to go there!) 

As I was waiting for Hector's paint to dry I decided to make a striped jumpsuit for my next doll with no name. With that accomplished, I hand stitched a zipper around the doll's head. What if I cut the head open? Now this has a lot of possibilities...Frankenstein, zombie brains, removable brains; lots of new ideas for dolls! 

But I had just finished a fuzzy white and pink striped jumpsuit. That didn't go with the "removing brain idea". Pink is girly. Can still be creepy though. What if I don't add a brain? Airhead Annie was born! Her skull opens up to reveal nothing. It did take me most of Sunday morning to finish all of the hand stitching of the striped jumpsuit. Listing her on etsy tomorrow.

Saturday night Dave and I watched a documentary on the history of burlesque. It was so interesting on how the original burlesque women started in the business. Burlesque became popular during the depression when women needed to make money any way possible. Some made $1,000 a week! Most didn't love the work but needed the money to support their families. And a lot were married. Anyhow, that's where my next doll idea emerged from. I quickly made her. She just came together easily with items I gathered around the studio - presenting Betty Burlesque. I haven't listed her yet. Still kinda attached to her. I may keep her for awhile. Oh yeah, you just gotta see her backside, it's lovely! (I added and old garter clip at her shoulder blades to hang her on the wall.)

Summer Show - Indie Craft Experience

I will have a booth at this show this summer I.C.E.-Atlanta
One reason for doing this particular show is yes, it's indoors!

Lots of cool independent artists with unique items to sell. Check out the website to see the list of ICE vendors. I am crazy busy working on new dolls for the show. Mark your calendars and come visit me!

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Baby Is Sweet 16!

Annabelle was born April 22nd sixteen years ago today. What a blessing she has been in our lives. Dave and I wanted a child we could share our creative and crazy life with and Annabelle added to our lives in more ways than we could imagine! She is the perfect blend of both of us. The best of both of us. Funny, artistic, compassionate, sweet, creative, curious, thoughtful, patient, kind, determined, steadfast, loyal, quirky, driven, loving, affectionate and most of all an exceptionally good person.

She is more than we could have hoped for.  I have loved the past 16 years with her; watching her grow and discover life. Here are just a few photos of her life and how she has grown into a beautiful young woman, inside and out.

Her first birthday!

Age two

Age six

Age 8-Nursing baby robins she found on the ground.

Age 13-That's her dressed as a zombie,left of Lil' Bow Wow

Age 13 at Star Island

Photo shoot for my catalog work; she's the perfect teen model!

With her Daddy, who has driven her to school every morning for the past 5 years

Age 14

Age 15 - With her cute boyfriend of a year, Isaac.

With BFF Olivia at Build a Bear for her 16th birthday

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mummy & Daughter

I started these two mummies because I was inspired by the vintage hair wrap bandage I bought on one of my antique adventures. A few days after I made the bodies, my daughter Annabelle had a bad long boarding fall. She had not been skateboarding for awhile and was a little rusty to say the least. She was with her cute boyfriend, Isaac and a good friend, Reed both of who are avid skateboarders. They were street skating and the road was rough and she got going too fast so she jumped off to stop and fell - HARD. She was very proud of the fact she never cried. Both boys said they would have because it was the "worst fall they had every seen." They skated until they got to a store to get bandaids. I didn't get the call she had fallen until she was in our driveway. Smart girl. 

She terrifically scraped her hip, knee, left hand and wrist, and right wrist. Boy was she achy the next day. Her dad was not too happy. She said to look on the bright side, at least she was wearing jeans and not her shorty shorts she was planning on wearing! Small miracle. 

Hence, my dolls took on a new meaning for me.  The bigger one became "Mummy Loves You" (because a mother loves you even when you do something stupid) and the smaller doll became Mummy Skater with injuries in all of the matching places on Annabelle. I did add one to the head for effect only!

Yet you notice, Mummy Skater does not have a skateboard...it's because her Mummy took it away for awhile and gave her a yo-yo instead.  Annabelle would disagree with this storyline but hey, it's my doll!

Here are images following their creation I thought you might enjoy seeing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Before and After Paintings: Who Doo Complete!

I have been busy putting my "who doo" on these vintage paintings and prints I found on my latest antiquing adventures. Hope you enjoy seeing the before and after!

Before - Ballerina Encore

Who Doo - Ballerina Encore

Before - Hip Kids

Who Doo - Hip Kids

Before - Ladies

Who Doo - Lady Rose

Who Doo - Lady Bird

Before - Peach Roses

Who Doo - Peach Roses

Before - Tall Bouquets

Who Doo - Tall Skull Bouquets