Thursday, September 26, 2013

Basket of Witches

I am still playing around with cloth dolls this week. Gives me time to sit and catch up on my television shows while I sew on hair :) I made a couple of witches. Even witches pop up at the Hedgehog Hill Home for Girls. I guess it is becoming a home for orphans, strays and little lost souls. Halloween isn't too far off, witches are definitely needed as part of the gang. These 2 little witch girls have tattered silk dresses just like the others, but I dyed them in grays and blacks and midnight blues. The little hats have an elastic strap to keep them on their heads.

I also thought it would be fun to do a couple of Day of the Dead inspired cloth girls. They can live at the Hedgehog Hill Home as well, but they will probably scare the others. I love painting silly doodles, and these faces are the perfect spot to put them. I put their yarn hair in a lot of braids so that their faces aren't covered with their hair. Same style dresses, brighter colors. They have a little bit longer limbs and are more lanky than the others.

It's really chilly here this morning. We finally got our wood delivered, so we can start stacking and have it ready to go by October, which is just days away. Stay warm!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cloth Invasion

I was a cloth doll artist before I got bitten by the plastic doll bug. I haven't made a cloth doll in probably 2 years. This past week I got the urge. I think it was that i had broken some plastic part while customizing a plastic doll that got me thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice to be able to just toss a doll here or there and not worry about breaking it?" I am not all that gentle with my plastic dolls. I take a lot of photos and they do get tossed to and fro. Often I have to give them a bit of freshening up after a mishap. With cloth dolls, they are really meant to be tossed here and there. Throw them on the bed, on a shelf, on a dresser. They fall on the floor sometimes. Children have been known to yank a leg off now and again. They are sweet, but maybe not quite that precious. The dolls, not the children :)

I made a basket full of dolls over the week. I think the big sad-eyed thing has gone into my brain and is trapped there and can't get out. My cloth dolls came out with giant eyes and sad faces. I deemed them orphans. There is a hill across from my home that my family and I sometimes walk up. It is called Hedgehog Hill. I am not sure why, as there are no hedgehogs in Vermont, but that's how it goes sometimes. They probably should have called it Porcupine Hill, but maybe that name was already taken. In any case, I imagined these little sad orphan girls to live in an imaginary orphanage on Hedgehog Hill and named them the Hedgehog Hill girls. They want new homes.

The faces on the dolls are handpainted and sealed. The bodies are muslin with black cotton permanent boots and a corset. They have silk, cotton, lace and tulle tattered dresses that are tea-stained or hand-dyed by me. They have yarn hair. Yarn is something I have had a lot of over the years. There is a yarn shop not that far from me that has the most glorious yarns. I buy all my yarn there. It is generally quite spendy because it is mostly natural fibers and sometimes hand-dyed or even hand-spun. I can recall paying as much as $40 a skein for some of it. At the time I was left wondering what a full sweater would cost at that price.

I am still working in plastic. I just wanted a diversion. I always seem to have one. Sometimes it's paperdolls, sometimes something else. I like the softness of these dolls and I like tattered dresses. I have a feeling I am going to need a very big basket at some point, as I had quite a lot of fun making these.

Hope if you are in the northern hemisphere, you are easing into fall and crisp weather. If you are in the southern, it must be turning green all around you and perhaps just as crisp.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Big Eyed Love

Fanny Zara, Jean Yates and I are very pleased and honored to announce the release of the book we have all been waiting for for 2 years! The For the Love of Blythe book project is now completed, just in time for BlytheCon NYC as promised and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we did, dreaming of it and making it.

You can preview online or purchase if you are interested.

Cover diorama/photo of all the dolls completed in the project by Princess-Di-O-Rama.