Monday, May 10, 2010

Isabella from Tasmania

For those of you following my traveling doll work at my art dolls group, Art Dolls Only, here is the story and photos for the second doll I worked on, Isabella. She started in Tasmania with Susie McMahon, a very talented art doll/sculptor/artist it has been my privilege to work with. She was, well, naked at that point, with a lovely face and hair. She then went to Nicole Johnson in Upstate New York, another lovely and very talented artist, who gave her some beautiful, very colorful tattoos and ratted her hair into a crazy bird's nest. She added a clay bird with a nest and an egg that sits atop her head. From there she came to me, and this is her story from that point.

Isabella arrived in Vermont hoping for sunny skies and high temperatures. After being in Buffalo with Nicole, she couldn't think of anything she wanted to be rid of more than the blasted SNOW! No luck. Upon taking her out of the box, I actually heard her let out quite a sigh, "Not again!" Here in Vermont it was 25 degrees and 2 feet of snow when she arrived. Sorry about that Isabella. I put her up on the shelf for a few days, not knowing how to make her happy. I painted the walls of my work room, hoping to attract more light. I tidied everything up, hoping that something would come to me, some way to make her smile. Nope. finally after she had been here a few nights, I had a dream that the thing that she needed was a surfboard! She doesn't really look like a surfer. More an old fashioned girl. But why not? A doll has a right to some fun. I haven't been to Tasmania, her home of origin, but I am pretty sure the Australian coast is the land of the surfer. Lucky for Isabella, I just so happened to have a doll-sized surfboard on hand. Only trouble was, Isabella can't stand!

Well, the obvious thing to me was to build her a beach chair, attach it to the surfboard and fashion her up a surf chair. Well, about this time, the parrot on her head started chattering and squawking. He was fine with the surfing, liking water and all, but he really doesn't like to get too much afternoon sun; bleaches his feathers, he claims. We don't actually have too much afternoon sun here in Vermont this time of year, and nowhere to surf either, for that matter. But not wanting an unpleasant parrot on my hands, I thought the thing to do was to give the surf chair an umbrella, which would shade the parrot, and look nice attached to the beach chair. He seems pretty happy with this arrangement. The trim matches his feathers and that pleases him immensely.

In the meantime, Isabella needed some clothes. I'm not one to leave a naked doll sitting around in the chill. Except for some lovely tattoos she was showing off, Isabella arrived pretty naked. I gave her some underwear: Long knickers and a camisole, careful to keep the tattoos, which she is so proud of, on display. She tells me she likes this set-up and it reminds her a bit of summer clothes, which she would be wearing this time of year in Tasmania.

I also gave her a skirt from some vintage fabric I had in my stash. Remarkably it has the colors of her tattoos in the print, so though quite busy in pattern, it matches in an odd way. So far, so good. I figured I had better stop there or there would be nothing for Colleento do in New Orleans. Besides, Isabella is getting quite antsy.

She really is not happy in this northern clime and insists she is on her way to somewhere warm and sunny. She tells me first chance she gets she'll hitch a ride to the coast and set sail in her surf chair, hoping to find good waves and good company, the kind that prefers sunny warm weather. Good luck, Isabella! I wish you well!


  1. I think I need one of those surf chair with an umbrella.... looks so cool! And her outfit is sweet!

  2. She´s beautiful!! I love her crazy hair :)

  3. Cindy...YOU CRAZY artist YOU!! ha! I LOVE THIS FREAKING DOLL!!! and THE MOST PERFECT PRECIOUS outfit you made her...the skirt is "To Die for"!!!! LOVE IT!!!! love colleen