Just a quick update

Wow!! I didn’t realize it had been so long since I last posted. March and April seemed to have slipped away from me as well as May. Between Dave’s health issues and creating a few challenge dolls for doll club. I also had a new group of mermaids that graced me with their presence this month.

These are just a couple of the mermaids (and merman) that have made their appearance.

Cirae watches from rocky outcrops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen of Hearts-Book Character adventure for the Dollorious Doll Club. The dolls are to be featured in the Snohomish Library during the month of May. And for those who have read my previous posts, this is the doll that I originally made for Abbi. The one she got in parts the Christmas before last. As you can tell, she was much better suited as the Queen of Hearts then Abbi’s special doll. I just realized that I “offed” her head in the last picture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tacoma Home and Garden Show Here We Come

The newest in the faeries!

I am excited to be in artist row this week. I have a bunch of new faces coming with me. Carin is just one of 11 new dolls that will be joining us. We are in Booth 733 and would love to see you there. The Show is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11-7pm and Sunday 11-5pm.

Dragon Keeper series

Annika and Winston

Annika and Winston were the first in what I just found out is going to be a series of dolls with dragons. I finished Annika at the beginning of the 2017 and I had another doll started from the same pattern as Annika.

I thought I was going to have her completed in September. She was going to be holding a teacup with a hedgehog in it. So I found an adorable pattern for a hedgehog and a teacup. Once I started on the hegdehog the doll just did not want to go together the way I thought she was going to.

So I set her aside. I knew that eventually she would talk to me again. This seems to happen to me a lot.

This morning instead of letting me fall back to sleep when Dave got up to go to work, I was told Avery was intent on raising dragons and was studying from her how-to book. She was going to have a dragon similar to a dragon that has sat in my shop incomplete for 6 years. Wonderful:(

The dragon pattern, Absolutely Grose by Pam Grose, has a few challenges which is why it has sat around for so long . The body and tail of the original have been moved around my shop so many times. I have felt bad. Now that I am need another I will will have an excuse to get it completed now. It’s head, wings and ears have been sitting in a tote in the shop closet.  All the pieces have been un-earthed and are waiting to be worked on.

The original dragon is way too big for Avery’s dragon though so I had to reduce the pattern by 50%. As I walked through each step of the pattern. I completed the parts of the original dragon as I got to where it wasn’t completed such as completing the head. Here is a picture of the heads after sculpting the original and the smaller is waiting for its turn.

Now I need to finish the smaller body and work on the feet. This was one of the stopping points of the original dragon but I think I was using the wrong fabric so am starting from scratch for both of them.

 

Faery Conversation-Her clothing

Here is the original size Arley Berryhill, La Femme doll that I thought was going to be for Abbi. When I realized she was too big for her original destination I started playing around with her stance. She seemed to want to be leaned over as if she was talking to someone smaller than her. Posing dolls is a somewhat new for me. I have done a few mermaids into a specific pose but usually the patterns I work with have a defined position. I liked the freedom of deciding how she was to be.

Her clothing is going to be a compilation of dyed materials and silk flowers. I used the top from Arley’s Can-Can Danceur patterns and created it from a over-dyed cotton I made a few years ago. I then dyed crinkle organza to make the underskirt and dyed the cheesecloth for the upper skirt as well as the leg coverings.

When I was ready to start embellishing the top, my flower garden of silk flowers in my shop fell off the shelf. As I was picking them up a bundle seemed to jump out at me that they  needed to be a part of this doll. I used them for along the neckline and will be the top of her “shoes”.

 

 

 

 

 

I already had dark blue hydrangeas picked out to embellish the skirt. I am beading each large hydrangea flower with dyed silk ribbons and coordinating beads before tacking it to the cheesecloth where the panels meet. Smaller petals will be strung onto the cheesecloth with beads.

Now onto her face. 😆

Abbi finally got her doll

Many of you may know that I have two beautiful, intelligent daughters, Abbi and Emily. Both whom have asked for special dolls of their own. Abbi has been the most vocal about her doll but that may be because Emily has confiscated a few dolls from my shop throughout the years. Abbi being the oldest was supposed to get her doll first.

Now I knew that I would know when I would be ready to make these but the dolls have never been ready. I planned for the dolls to represent each of the girls with her special talents and personality. I figured they would be graduation gifts because I thought that by that time the doll would have come to me. And I have been putting the girls off with that idea. Unfortunately Abbi graduated June of 2016 and her doll (and I) were no where near ready.

For Christmas last year I even boxed up parts of a doll I thought would be the start of her doll. Believe me she was not very excited about it. As I was continuing to work on it, the head did not work with the body. I had taken a pattern I had worked with before and slimmed it down to more represent Abbi. I did not however change the head. This the doll would no longer work for what I envisioned Abbi’s doll to be. She is however going to be a great version of the Red Queen (watch for future post about her).

So now I had to start over and in going through my patterns I came across the Arley Berryhill pattern, La Femme. I have had the pattern for years but had yet to do it. I liked the body style and it reminded me of Abbi. Yeah I was closer.  😛

Now the tricky part about creating this doll was that I had bought a violin ornament at least 5 years ago that was essential for the doll. Abbi has played the violin since she was 10. The violin was an intricate part of her youth and I knew it would be a part of her doll. The doll would be playing the violin so the scale would have to fit.

I started with the Le Femme pattern at full size and it was way too big. (Again watch for this doll to be completed soon.) I took the pattern and reduced it to two different sizes not actually sure which would get me to the correct size. I then tried the middle size and got as far as stuffing the arms to realize it wasn’t going to work. (I saved these parts to play a little prank). So just like Goldilocks, the small size was just right.

As I was contemplating her clothing I pulled out a bag of scrap fabric. It was from the senior prom dress that we made together the year before. It would be perfect to create a dress similar because it had a fairy look about it. I have always thought my girls have a bit of fairy in their blood so have seen their dolls as a part the the Fey world. I have a picture of Abbi at Mythicworlds last March wearing her dress with a pair of Dave’s wings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there it was easy to put her together. I did have a few more challenges such as the bow that had to be sculpted and using a few new techniques in creating her face. I also tried to create heels for the shoes. They did not work with the doll in the end. The wings I chose to create from fabric though Dave would have liked to make them.

I was pleased with the way she turned out but was nervous about Abbi’s reaction. Abbi had been reminding me in the month leading up to Christmas how she got doll parts the previous year and she didn’t want that again. (So remember the prank I saved the other parts for.) I hid Abbi’s doll in the bottom of the box, put tissue over the top and put the spare parts on top. Christmas morning I waited until she was halfway through her gifts before handing her my box. Her reaction when she saw the parts was to hurry and put the box to the side. But I told her that there were others parts in the bottom. She cried when she finished lifting her doll out of the box. She wasn’t expecting to get a doll so obviously created just for her. She thought I would just make her one of my typical dolls. Not so! Merry Christmas!!

So Emily’s is up next. I have a general idea of what I am going to do but cannot post my progress otherwise it will ruin her surprise. But there are plenty of other dolls to watch for this year.

Thank you for a great 2017!

This year has been a year of transitions and growth. As a thank you, I am running a sale on my Etsy site that is 10% off all items until Jan 25th.

2018 is looking to be even more adventurous. New dolls have been stepping into my dreams wanting to be brought out into the light. I will be posting to show off their progress. I have applied to some new venues as well as some that I haven’t been to in a while. I will keep you posted on these as well. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to be my site. I am firmly stepping into my dream of being a full time doll artist and business and would love to share the journey with you.

   

Leroy and Mae are making their way to Lois’s Legacy

I previewed Leroy and Mae last week because I was getting excited about how they were coming together. My poor mom was bombarded with text messages and phone calls while Dave and the girls were pestered every time they walked into the house with changes I made as they developed. Thank you guys for all of the support.

These two dolls are going to a very special woman that is in honor of another very special woman. These two women are Pauline Olsen and Lois Ludwig.

Pauline is my grandmother. My grandma has been a caregiver all of her life. She was a registered nurse, a teacher of nursing and then a caregiver to the elderly to this day. She is now an advocate to help keep our elders safely in their homes and help families find the resources available to them to enable that to happen. She is the founder and chair of Lois’s Legacy.

Lois was my aunt and Pauline’s sister. My Auntie Lois was a teacher and I loved to spend weekends with her when I was in high school. She was no longer teaching school at that point but she was still continuing to educate people in whatever capacity she could find such as the community bulletin board she managed at the retirement village she lived in. Unfortunately her health declined to a point that she was no longer able to live at Rose Villa and she moved from Portland to live next to my grandparents. My grandma took over managing her care along with some excellent other caregivers.

After Auntie Lois past away, Grandma started Lois’s Legacy. She had become passionate about finding ways in which elderly and their families the resources in which they can make the best choices for themselves about their care. Dave and I were over visiting earlier this summer and Grandma mentioned that she might like a doll that she could take with her to fundraising events as a little “spokesperson”. I think when she brought this up that we were both thinking of a doll in Lois’ image. Sorry Grandma, that was not who showed up.

I only had the heads and hands of Leroy and Mae made before the summer whirlwind of craft shows started and so they were sitting in my workshop taunting me. After the Lavender Festival in Sequim, I started cleaning up the shop getting ready for the next round of shows and these two said they were ready to be completed. I had never worked on a Sharon Mitchell pattern before and she had a new style of needlesculpting and way of coloring the face. This intrigued me so off we went. Once I started truly working on them, Leroy and Mae just came together. But not without multiple trips to the fabric store for special trim and material for a TIE!! When I was digging in the miscellaneous jewelry stash I have, I found the cameo that Mae is wearing (a piece that was a lone earring from one of the gift boxes of treasures Grandma sends me if she finds them at estate sales). It worked perfectly. When I got up from my worktable I found a little plastic bag that must have fallen out during my earlier search. In it was Leroy’s American flag pin. You cannot tell me that I wasn’t getting a little help with these two.

A sleepless night brought the wishing well in which my two neighbors liked to visit. Once that was complete (I have a separate blog post on the well), I was ready to put everything together. But even then Leroy and Mae were letting me know that things were missing such as Mae’s bouquet. I was actually going through my novelty items looking for a purse when I found Leroy’s hat. Then I found the little bouquet of pansies and Mae said she was done and she liked Leroy’s hat.

I spoke to Grandma (looking for the Lois’s Legacy’s logo) and she was excited about “the doll”. She has no idea what she is getting. I hope that she will love them and she sees that these two are truly representatives of what she is trying to accomplish with her foundation. I am hoping Dave is able to find me a box big enough to fit them in so I can mail them to her. I told her last week that the doll would be a couple more weeks and that she can expect it to be a late birthday present. Her birthday was July 29th. I love surprises and so this post will not be going live until after she gets them.