Monday, December 21, 2009

Back in Action!

I'm so sorry for the delay in posting! I will be posting on a weekly basis from now on with new pics, tips, techniques, and so on. I had my 1st show in October and it went really well! I sold 4 dolls, 5 "celestioscopes", and several brooms. I have also been published this month in American Miniaturist with a feature article and a tutorial for my broom making technique. What an awesome thing! I also have my new website up and running at . All of these things took a lot of work and patience on everyone's part. I'd like to especially Thank Jamie Carrington, my own personal "Merlin" for suggesting the article to Martha Puff as well as Martha herself and her brilliant son Michael. They were very helpful in getting my photos "print ready" and teaching me what to do and what to avoid. I'd also like to Thank Anne Gerdes for designing an awesome website and for teaching me how to edit website ready photos for all purposes. As I said, lots of patience on the part of these people is what it took to get me to this point. I will forever be grateful to them for maiking my dream come true.
We got 23 inches of snow on Fri/Sat! And I also got a wicked cold/sore throat/congestion. Guess what I've been doing! I got into a sort of pre-Christmas funk and just squirreled away with books and clay. Watched plenty of movies and got lots of inspiration for dolls. I'm working on a "mad scientist" for one of my celestioscopes. Sort of like the old scientists in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I will take and post photos today and put them up here tomorrow. Thanks for not giving up on me folks. I'll be here from now on... God Willing!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

O.K. My 5 best pieces just went in the mail for the IGMA Artisan selection process. It's out of my hands now. Which is just as well, anytime something stays in my hands for too long, the more I tend to over think and over work it. Best to just let it go with a prayer. The sooner I do that, the sooner it works out beautifully (no matter what it is). I included the Screen Goddess as one of the pieces! Thanks for the help, everyone.

So now I'm just preparing for my first show this Sunday in Frederick, MD. It's a small show and a perfect chance to "get my feet wet" with trade shows and selling/displaying. My good friend Linda Bell is helping me with the display, Bless her heart.

On the advice of an amazing dollmaker (and new friend)named Sherry Colvin from Wilmington, N.C. I went and purchased myself a vintage (1951) Singer Featherweight sewing machine. For those of you who sew, you may know that the kickplate on the old singer featherweights has a tiny hole for the needle to go through. The newer machines have a bigger one. (I think it's beacuse they don't put as much precision into the newer machines as they did the old ones and so the needle path isn't as precise so they made the hole bigger...just my thoughts) Anyhoo, you can sew the thinnest of silks and delicate vintage fabrics without them being pulled through the kickplate and getting caught in the bobbin well. Which, it just so happens, ruins your fabric forever and breaks needles, and in general &*%^s up your whole artistic flow thing.

Y'all have to go take a look at Sherry's site... She is a real inspiration and her figures are great. Her professionalism and presentation are top-notch and a real inspiration to me. She is very talented (and pretty to boot!) Some people just get all the good stuff, thank God they're willing to share and play nice. I'll post a photo of my newest piece. He's an African American gentleman waiting for a shoe shine while he reads his paper. I'm still working on a realistic paper for him to hold. Any suggestions?

Here he is...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here she is!!!

OK... Here she is! a 1940's era screen starlet. I'll get you some details on tomorrow's post. I just wanted to get her up so you could see her. thankns everyone who voted and gave me input. Next time we'll do a man. I'll give you guys more choices as well as taking suggestions for more options. Until tomorrow, I hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen...Diamond Sam

I haven't forgotten you all! I just started a new job(s) this week and they've got me hitting the ground running! still had more time than I did with the old job. I just finished the hands and arms for the 40's era screen actress. You're gonna love her!! Here's her body pose and the art deco chair I have her sitting in. Isn't Bespaq just the greatest? I should be finished by this weekend and I'll post her in all her glory. In the meantime, here's the Gambler...Diamond Sam!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Crunch time for artisan application and show!!!

I made another one for the show coming up in October. He started out as a traveling snake oil salesman from the "Old West". Instead, a fancy, pistol wearing, gambler strolled onto my work table. I actually made a cowboy hat from leather. No pattern, just cut and glued, shaped and stretched, threw away some bad attempts, finally nailed it! I'll have his hair and gunbelt ready in a few days and then I'll post him here. Honestly, you all should see how many efforts go into the trash for every one that comes out successful. Somehting like 3-4 to one. That's O.K., it used to be 8-10. Now that I just go with the flow of what character presents itself, I waste far less materials, time, and energy. I also am amazed at what I can do. I sometimes wish I could just make the doll I visualized, and sometimes I do, but I never know going into it when that will happen. That's why commissions take me longer than usual.
I now have my working time down to about 30 hours for a completed doll (more for commissions). Not too bad considering it used to take me a couple of months to finish one. I can make about one per week now with no trouble. It helps that I have more time to work during the day and my weekends free, too. I miss not having extra $ to go out and do fun things like travel and taking classes, but I wouldn't trade it for anything because I am finally working on making my dreams come true. One day soon it will come to me and I will have earned it myself and that is priceless to me. Thanks to all of you for helping me to realize that. You're definitely playing an important part in helping me to realize my potential as a person and an artist. By the way, you all have some really great blogs out there. I am amazed. now I have to "juice" mine up, too. Once I get my 5 pieces to the Guild (IGMA) for consideration for artisan status, I'll focus more on adding content here and to my website . I really am having a ball! Here's to feeling the fear and doing it anyway (no matter what it is)!

Update on "Group Effort" Screen Star. haired, green gowned, cigarette holder wielding screen star from the "Golden Era" of hollywood (circa late 1930's). Now, for the gown. I didn't have too many slinky, silks to choose from. Fortunately, I have a very slinky, almost satiny, delicate silk which should drape beautifully. And it's a warm green with golden tones (very retro) Sort of like mixing the old avocado green with harvest gold from the "vintage kitchens of the past few decades. Anyway, I've started playing around with drapingthe body form. I am trying to sculpt the smooth face required for the character. Smooth is tough! I am using lots of talcum and/or corn starch to smooth out all of the lines in the clay (Thank You, Jamie C., for teaching us how to do that correctly at Guild School). Here's a pic of the gown so far so you can get an idea of color and drape...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

40's Film Star it is!

O.K. Tomorrow I'll put up a few types of fabric I want you to choose from for her dress. For now, what hair color should she have? Check the answer on the new poll (I'm loving the polls, can you tell?) Also choose her activity: on the phone, powdering her nose, wiping a tear away with a hankie, or other (even a combination of things...please specify by posting a comment). I'll get to work on her face and hands once I know what she'll be doing.
Oh yeah! I finished another doll for the show in October. It's the chubby face I told you about the other day. I started her out as a village maiden at a kissing booth for the autumn fair. She turned into a snooty village maiden returning from the spring flower market with flowers in her basket (basket made by my friend Francine Coyonne from France. This woman makes the most amazing baskets and they're really affordable. I'll try and post contact info for her this week.) Anyway, she almost resembles one of the wicked stepsister's from the animated version of Cinderella. I honestly didn't mean for it to happen that way. She just came out when I wasn't paying attention. Anyhoo, let me know what you think. (Oh great, now I have to go take pictures...again LOL!) I need ideas for a name. Suggestions? I hope you like she is: