Friday, February 19, 2010

It's All about tHAT

You might not know, but I have started making and hopefully selling, doll hats this month. Years back a doll collector came to my home from NYC and told me I really ought to consider selling the hats that my dolls were wearing. I kind of balked, since I had been a milliner before, and hat-making, literally a HUGE headache! :) My hat business was called aptly "Over My Head" and it was, truly. All those sizes!

But early this month, I got to fiddling, and within a week I had quite a few hats made and within a couple, even more. I was busy emailing back and forth with friends getting input on all things related to doll hats. Quite sure I have driven most of those people crazy, and now I probably have fewer friends :)

My one-of-a-kind friend Deena over at Fabby Dolls has been very helpful, as has my new friend Bari, who is a terrific sculptor and has a great eye. Can't do much without creative friends these days, that's for sure.

Especially helpful has been Yve over at Freaky Little Things. She is, it turns out, quite a doll collector. She is a marvelous doll artist as well. I have been picking her brain on ideas, especially related to sizing (the thorn in my side, really). Turns out there are almost more doll head sizes than people head sizes! Who knew?!

In the meantime she has got me interested in the whole BJD (ball-jointed doll) craze and I even ordered a mini for a head model. These vinyl or resin dolls, it turns out, make terrific hat models! I'm trying to figure out now how I will come up with an affordable Blythe doll. I've got Yve on the case, though, so only a matter of time!

So anyway, hats are going on over at my Etsy site. I hope to have at least 1 new hat to show a day. They aren't entirely inexpensive, because like anything handmade, they are fairly labor intensive, but if you collect miniatures or dolls, they are fairly unique and, like I said, come in lots of sizes.

The cool thing about doll hats is, the size doesn't matter all that much. Most of the hats I make have fairly shallow crowns and really are meant to sit on top of the head. So, if the hat looks good on a particular doll, you can usually make it work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Brunhilde Hafthorsson

For the Art Dolls Only Burlesque Challenge, I finished a second doll. I am calling her Brunhilde. She isn't in the dancing business any longer, but she was, so I think that counts. Here is her story:

Brunhilde Hafthorsson, former Icelandic beauty queen, former heir of a pre-war German chocolate factory, former rising French starlet, reduced to near poverty by her indisgressions with a certain foreign Count, she spent her middle age as a dancer in a now defunct Left Bank French cabaret. A bit past her prime, she is now simply a lady in waiting. She knows not for what.

I listed her on Etsy the other day. I am waffling a bit -- should I keep her? I think lately most of my dolls are really for me, but for now she is for sale.

Her clothing is handmade and designed by me from hand-dyed apple-green washed silk charmeuse (I had a small piece left from the inside of my Marilyn's cape and seem to be in love with this color) and rayon deep green velvet. Her gown is strapless with a rolled rose embellishment at the waist and machine embroidery hem. Her cloak is washed and crushed deep green velvet with black maribou feather collar and front edging. Her slippers are medium green silk with gold thread brocading (also a leftover piece from Marilyn's gown) and dark green wool felt soles. She is wearing a maribou feather puff at the crown. She measures approx 14" tall. She is poseable. I went back to my old style and used wire and crystal bead joints for her elbows and knees. I think they suit her. She can flop about better that way. Her hair is raw silk. It is a bit fiddly and fragile, so though very beautiful and shiny, won't tolerate a lot of tussling.

I also made her a chaise. The lovely Stella Pesci, milliner extraordinare, recently sent me a gigantic box of some of her loose millinery scraps and some decent sized pieces as well. I have been making use of them quite well. Thank you, Stella! There was this smoky gray velour in there that was just begging to be a lady in waiting's chaise. I gave it bronzed metal legs.

Monday, February 15, 2010

And the Winner Is

I had 172 comments for my OWOH giveaway and used the random number generator to bring up number 11, which is Ayala. I will be emailing her this morning to let her know.

Thanks so much for participating. Thanks for stopping by to see my blog. Hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Traveling Doll Project

I've already mentioned I am participating in Art Dolls Only's Traveling Doll Project this year. If you haven't already been over to see the TDP blog please check it out. I spent a few weeks profiling each of the participating artists (which you will find in the January archives for the blog). There are some truly amazing artists joining in this year. The starting dolls and their stories are now starting to show and there are some really terrific dolls making their rounds around the country and some around the world.

My starting doll for the project is called Delta Dawn, named and themed after the 70s hit of the same name. I had in mind a woman who had made some unfortunate choices in life and had basically lost her mind.

I made a 12" cloth headless doll, clothed her in some fancy knickers and a pair of rainboots and sent her off to New Orleans to the next person in my group, Colleen Downs of Loopy Boopy. You can head over to Colleen's blog to see what she has done with Dawn. She has done a truly smashing job, and I am thrilled to say she attached quite a lovely head to my otherwise pretty boring doll. The doll, now with a LoopyBoopy head, quite simply, is beautiful! I am so happy! Next stop for Dawn will be, believe it or not, Tasmania! Susie McMahon of Susie McMahon Dolls a fabulous artist from across the world will be working her magic on Dawn in a month or so. Can't wait to see what she does! From there, on to Nicole Johnson of Mealy Monster Land, another amazing artist from New York, and then back home to me! Can't wait to see how these other ladies interpret my doll. Very, very excited!