Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Can-Can Candy

Over at my doll group, Art Dolls Only we are having a Burlesque challenge. This is my doll, Can-Can Candy.

She is 12" high, all cloth. Her face is hand-painted and she has brunette mohair locks. She has black net hose, cute little black silk shoes with a silk rose bud, Swarovski crystal stamen and green ribbon.

She wears a 3-layer skirt (white cotton petticoat, acid-green china silk underskirt, and a hot pink silk crepe skirt) all with flounces. She has a white cotton corset and drawer set (the corset shows at the top, as do her nipples, if you check carefully !!! This is Burlesque, after all :)). Her bodice is a paler pink silk crepe with some little silk roses about the waist.

The waist has a multi-color braided silk tie with fringe. She has a hot pink matching hat with a braided sash.

She is holding her skirt up as she kicks up her leg, so you can see her underthings. I think she is having too much fun, don't you?

Monday, January 25, 2010

OWOH Giveaway


Click logo above for more information on OWOH

As you can see, I am participating in this year's One World One Heart blogging event and giveaway, hosted by Lisa of A Whimsical Bohemian. What a great way to meet other bloggers from around the world!

For my giveaway, I have a little flower fairy. It is one of my own designs, handmade by me. She's a little ornament, 7" tall, has a silk loop for hanging. Her costume is all hand-dyed (silk) by me. Her face is handpainted. She has colorful wool yarn hair.

Here is her photo:

I am also giving away a big doll at another site with the Art Dolls Only group ( so be sure to check that out. They have 17 art doll items they are giving away!

*How to enter*

1. Please leave a comment on this post.

2. Be sure your comment takes me back to you. I must be able to notify you if you have won. If you are not a blogger, make sure to leave an email address where I can reach you.

3. On February 15th a random winner will be drawn from the comments left via random number generator. I will notify the winner and announce it on my blog. And then Flower Fairy will be on her way to the winner!

4. That's it

Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Benjamin Franklin

Yesterday I finished a doll I had been thinking about in between holiday stuff in December. I didn't actually get started on it until January, but I had been mulling over ideas about how I wanted to portray a favorite historical character of mine. This doll is a bit different in style for me, because I made the chair he is sitting on. It is covered in wool upholstery fabric and is a style I think Ben would have sat in in his day. It has wood and leather legs and is fastened to a wooden base I painted a deep raw umber to resemble wooden flooring. You can't see it well in the photos here, but it has a seat cushion and a high back with solid sides.

I searched through photographs of paintings of Ben and it appears that he was quite a portly chap. In some paintings, I am not sure if it was the coats he always seemed to be wearing, or the posturing, but he seems to be coming right out of his chair. In the chair I made him, he fits without much extra room. He is a man who fills the space! He was also, well, balding a bit, and that made it a bit of a challenge for a flat painted face.

I modified the body proportions I had used for my Ambrose Bierce doll quite a bit. I ended up stuffing him firm and then wrapping further cotton wadding around his mid-section. I plumped up his arms and legs as well.

His costuming was really fun to do. Probably the most fun of any doll I have done to date. His coat is rayon upholstery fabric with a cotton sateen lining. It has Swarovski crystal buttons. The breeches and vest are a green sandwashed rayon that feels like washed silk. There is decorative edging, which is basically machine embroidery and free machine dinking around. His stockings are silk charmeuse, which was stretchy enough to pull up over his feet and calves. His blouse is off-white silk and has a fancy flouncy neck tie and ornate cuffs.

The shoes are buckle shoes, black silk taffeta. The shoes gave me a bit of trouble, frankly. I had originally started them in leather, but they just were disproportionately large. I pared them down to a thinner silk taffeta and added polymer buckles that I painted silver. I procrastinated for a week about the shoes. I gave him a little handmade book that has a silk fabric upholstery fabric cover and off-white paper pages. I also made him a magnifying lens from polymer and sheet plastic for reading.

Finally, his hair started as white mohair that I dyed gray shades. I think it turned out pretty well, considering how much I pull my own hair out putting in "real" hair. The top of his head I left a bit bald. I styled the hair by steaming, and I think it came out quite well.

I'm really happy with portly old Ben. You'll have to let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

ADO Group Events, or A Little Bit Famous?

Not really the famous part, but it's fun to say :) I got featured and blogged about today at the Art Dolls Only Blog (Art Dolls Only). Sarah Young of Youngish (Youngish) contacted me and sent me questions to answer, and voila, I am a featured artist! Thanks, ADO, thanks, Sarah!

On another ADO note, the Traveling Doll Project for 2010 (Traveling Doll Project) has started as of early this month. The groups have been sorted, the rules have been set, the deadlines made, and the blog is ready to go again for another round. For those who don't know what a traveling doll is, let me explain. Groups of 6 artists or less have each member begin a doll. Each person decides for themselves how much of that doll they will interpret and complete. At the same time, they begin a journal with their ideas, inspiration, thoughts about the doll and so on. After one month's time, they send the incomplete doll to the next person on their list. Each person works on each of the dolls until each person has had it in their hands. It then returns to the originator. During the process, the journals are added to by each person and each person photos and blogs about their portion of each doll. On my team, there are 2 returning artists (Colleen Downs of Loopy Boopy Art (Loopy Boopy Art) and Nicole Johnson from Mealy Monster Land(Mealy Monster Land)) from last year's round and 2 new (Susie McMahon from Susie McMahon Dolls (Susie McMahon Dolls) and me). I am very excited. I got so excited, I raised my hand and said I would profile on the blog each participating artist, which is over 25! So, for the next 25 days or so, please go over to the Traveling Doll Project blog (ADO Traveling Doll Project) and check out how fab each of the artists is. I plan to do a bang-up job profiling each of them, and they deserve it. There are really some marvelous people in this group. Hands down, this it the most creative group of folks I have ever hung with. Writing about them all feels very inspiring, and is helping me avoid making shoes for my Ben Franklin doll. I really don't like making shoes...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ambrose Bierce

In December I worked on my first male figure. I'd never attempted a male doll before and thought, why not? I chose a figure that it seems a lot of people aren't aware of, but who, at the turn of the 20th Century was a well-known literary guy, having written the book The Devil's Dictionary, which you may have heard of.

He had the reputation as a sardonic critic and was nicknamed "Bitter Bierce." Many scholars believe his tales of war are some of the best ever written on that topic. In 1913, Bierce went to Mexico to travel with Pancho Villa, thereby gaining a firsthand perspective on that country's ongoing revolution. While traveling with rebel troops, he disappeared without a trace.

I decided on Bierce because I like him a a character for one, and for two, I was challenged to see if I could paint the mustache! I painted the face first, and when I was happy with that, I set myself to the task of drawing up a body with male proportions.

On first attempt, I came up with a body on the scale of a giant super hero. It dwarfed my other female dolls and was rather silly. It took another couple of tries before I was satisfied. Final size is about 14" tall.

From there, I gave him cotton underthings and some snappy leather boots. He got a white cotton shirt and a black silk tie.

And then, as was the style of the day, a woolen vest. I made a little pocket for an imaginary watch to fit in, from scraps of suede. The buttons are crystal beads. I made him a watch chain from Swarovski crystal beads and some glass seed beads. His hair is silk and cotton yarn, which is peppered looking, which I like.

Finally I finished him off with a chocolate brown woolen suit, pants and jacket. The bulk of the wool, since the jacket is lined, and Bierce was a slender guy, made steaming and pressing mandatory. There is an actual buttonhole and a little button at the front of the jacket. I gave him a little handmade book to hold, and voila! I think he looks quite snappy. You'll have to let me know what you think.