Tag Archives: art doll

A crowd gathering on the mantel

These creations have a way of taking over. Are they gifts? One or two. Do I plan to sell them any time soon? Nah. Never mind — they demand to be made.

I machine stitched that pink and white kitty head and soft mauve body (below). She’s going to be a gift for the girl I babysit one day a week. I love that her ears are different colors and that her face has that triangle of pink. Soft, old wools help. I was hoping she would wear that pink satin skirt (to the right), but she has other ideas. More sporty.


Today we went to a Big Box store primarily to buy nuts for baking (yes! Christmas IS happening) and (somehow) managed to buy $450 worth of other stuff while we were at it (not counting booze).

A case of wine and bourbon fell out of the hatchback and landed on my foot in the parking lot. Incredibly, five bottles survived the crash and luckily, one of them was the bourbon. Ironically, fifty dollars worth of wine met the pavement while I was making sure they hadn’t overcharged us $16 on a package of meat (still agog at the $500 total. I mean, seriously — batteries, men’s shirts, and frozen shrimp notwithstanding).

Last weekend, we gathered with K’s cousins. It was a surprise birthday party for two 60 year olds. Yes, it’s come to this — gag gifts for extra hair and bad joints, jokes about Medicare, and actually wanting to be in bed by nine. Here’s C with H. She moved to the West Coast at the end of the summer and C is moving there at month’s end.

Everything will be LESS this year. Less cookies. Less shopping. I may not even bring in the nutcracker collection this year. Fortunately I gave up card writing more than ten years ago.

This doll no longer looks quite so forlorn. I added more hair, closed up the sides of her head, hemmed her cowl. She’s being shaped and auditioned on a bottle, with a chop stick for stability. I am considering keeping the bottle, instead of creating a cloth body with gravel at bottom for ballast the way I usually do. These are not kids’ toys, after all.

These two felt doggies (below) are whispering behind the curtain. I’d love to know what they’re so giddy about.


I gave the Red Bell Pup to my sister on Wednesday. Her cat may think it’s for her.

Tomorrow, we get our tree. “Less” will govern there as well. We have high ceilings and have typically had gorgeous 8-9 footers gracing our living room. Not this year. I’m thinking small — not table top small, but maybe six feet, max. It’s not just that I continue to feel done in, anxious, and lost. It’s that LESS truly feels like enough.

Snap!

When I first made this head, the adjective that sprang to mind was ‘snarky’.  But I am discovering just how changeable these physically immutable features are.  Sitting near one of the Berninas, it looks to me like she is snapping her fingers.  SNAP!!  Not in a snarky way, necessarily, just an EFFECTIVE way.  “Come here!”  she snaps.  “I have something to show you!!”

We all can be so easily misunderstood.

I am diligently photographing her creation so as to be able to eventually share the step-by-step process – perhaps my first online class?  Dollmaking?

I don’t have a lot of experience with hard heads (other than the Mallon side of the family – har har).  With a cloth head, hair gets sewn on.  I may have to finally get acquainted with my glue gun.

Do you think Craig Ferguson and Geoffrey Peterson would have a field day with ‘getting acquainted with my glue gun”?

Yeah, probably.

What is your most misunderstood personality trait?  I would have to say my directness frequently is construed as impatience or rudeness.  It’s important for me to remember that even though I like other people to be direct with me, that others don’t necessarily want that from me.

There are more traits in my bin.  But one is enough to share for today.

playing with dolls

Dressing a doll can be a good place to gather ideas about garments.  The blue batik ‘shirt’, here, works off of the garment-as-a-series-of-rectangles idea (recently explored in Jude Hill‘s Boro class).  I learned that just by folding the ‘sleeve’ rectangle base in as a triangle, you achieve a class sleeve outline… simple, I know, but it is different to read, study, than to tuck, finger press, and stitch! (That’s Athena by the way, and I think I will give her a weapon or two).

This dreamer wears a fun assortment of charms, including a pewter, retro airplane.  I love that plane.  But, really? It’s her pigtails that make me smile. They are tied up with plastic-coated telephone wire. Remember hunting for remnants of that as a kid and making bracelets and rings?!  If she had arms, I’d give her a typewriter, just to keep the retro business going.  The blue floral linen was a dress, probably from the 60’s.


Here the garment idea is the basic triangle-shawl.  It is hard to get more simple than that!  This pristine doily came out of my vintage linens drawer.

Now the next doll is naked.

Every once in awhile, batik offers its swirls to the imagination in a very particular way.  Years ago, I saw a penis in the swirls of a yellow batik, and gave a two fiber-collaged primitive-styled men well endowed figures (here’s one below – not a great picture, but you get the idea).

On the new green female, however, the swirls suggested breasts… and as I wrapped red thread around the waist, it wanted to go up and circle one of the breasts, which turned into a meditation on mastectomy, which a good friend of mine’s sister had had just days prior (did you know that this is a seven hour operation?!!)

This started as the idea that playing with dolls can help one learn about garment construction, and turned into something quite else.

Silence as a Crime and It takes Five Women (Rant)

About 8" tall - "Silence is a Sin"

That is my Bernie Law Doll.  I made him a batch of years ago, but apparently he wants to come out and watch the news this week.  (Sorry for some of the pictures, which suck, but which also demonstrate a curve of learning to recognize and celebrate).

Wickipedia on the infamous dude –

“… despite substantial amounts of documentation that demonstrated deep involvement with covering up the molestation of 1,000’s of children, Law refused to step down as Archbishop of Boston… ”

And, as if that weren’t bad enough, the Catholic Church promoted him by shipping off to Rome and making him a member of the College of Cardinals (whatever THAT is).

So that’s old news.  But turning to August of this year?   The Boston Globe reported an in-depth story about the tennis coach, Bob Hewitt, who apparently abused his female tennis students for years, even after complaints were lodged against him in the 1970’s.

How’s this for a comment by someone in an official capacity (John Korff, director-at-large of the US Tennis Association, who knew Hewitt ‘back in the day’):

“Gee, it’s nice of the girl to pop up 35 years later,’’ Korff said. “Give me a break.’’

Wow.  Later apology not believed! Korff’s comment stinks of monstrous disdain and ignorance (but I won’t use the words ‘sexism’ or ‘misogyny’ here because somehow those have become dirty words with a whole host of knee jerk reactions by people from all over the political spectrum).

After decades of holding it together, the victim referred to above (Heather Conner),  broke her silence publicly in the very year that one of her daughters turned the age she had been when the abuse started (14).  Her life began to come apart at the seams in an arc of survivor behavior that is not uncommon (and probably well-documented in the annals of psychology).  Hewitt, by the way, apparently sneered to a journalist, “Why is she coming forward NOW?”

And now Penn. State – in which the beloved, long-serving coach ought to have done better than alert campus police about a fifteen year history of abuse by his assistant.  He ought to have believed that those who held him in such high esteem, his players,  ten year old boys using his facilities deserved protection.  In 1998, (1998!!!), Sandusky (the assistant coach, or as I shall call him, “the Head Fiddler” – HA~  Craig Ferguson – you can use this if you like) ADMITTED to ‘inappropriate contact in the shower room’.  And well, guess what beloved coach?  This is on your hands too, not just Sandusky’s — all the candlelight vigils in the world and all the tweeting and honking in the world will not absolve you of your failure.  Fiddling with young boys in the shower is a crime.  ‘Head Fiddlers’ belong in prison, not in steamy showers with boys.  You do not report crimes to the dean, to the athletic director, or to campus security.  You report crimes to the police or the D.A.

Hello Herman Cain?!!  Oh god, give us a break and go away.  Back in law school, it was noted often when studying Title VII, that it took 4-5-6 women’s allegations to bring a creep down.  In other words, in a “he said/she said” situation, even with the protection of the Constitution and the federal laws built around the Constitution, it took four, five, six women’s word to overcome one perpetrator’s claims of innocence.  This was in the late 80’s, but it appears that some things have not changed all that much.  Herman Cain’s accusers have reached the critical weight.

P.S.  I thought Clarence Thomas was a pig, too, and that does not make me a racist.

I should re-read this a few more times and then probably decide not to post it (rants are risky, always risky), but I have already spent too much time here and I’m gonna take the risk (can always pull it down later, right?)

BTW – Bernie’s cape (you know how those Catholic figures of authority love women’s clothes!) – is made by sandwiching fibers between two layers of water soluble film, stitching them on the machine, then dissolving the plastic — this is exactly what I need to go make samples of for tomorrow’s ‘Creative Quilting’ class.

Drama Queen

drama-queen-sandpaper

The Drama Queen comes out again.

This photo (of a doll that I made) is stitched to paper (that I made) and could go in a basket of low-priced items to sell on a craft table.

An earlier post about this is stored as a word file, perhaps never to be opened again.

Suffice it to say that MY Drama Queen is Irish and, when activated, is cruising for a fight!

I don’t think anybody in the SoulCollage® world would care that under this doll’s velvet cape was a skirt made from fabric, including a fabric transfer of a collage that later went on to become a SoulCollage card®.  This doll, this card made from a photo of a doll, is not a SoulCollage® card.  Period.

♥    ♥    ♥

It is not my intention to teach readers about SoulCollage®, but rather to simply share what is percolating in my studio, on my pages, and in my creative process.

To learn about this remarkable process, go to SoulCollage.com, where you can find out about Seena Frost, who developed SoulCollage®. Or, dive into the amazing work and teaching of Anne Marie Bennett on her website, KaleidoSoul.  Anne Marie’s passion for this work is evident on her site.  I am lucky enough to be studying with her next month!

In time for Good Friday

christ-off-center

Finished this figure in time for Good Friday.

The face is Shrinky Dink, the body, unspun wool, covering a bark-less stick.  A garbage-picked scarf wraps around his neck, and a found rusty nail is tied to the torso.  The wool is nailed to the stick with small brads.  Most of the nails represent, well, nails, but the rusty one represents the spear that impaled Christ’s body.

christ-full1

The cross is a found piece from a little red wagon and arms are either day lily or hosta stalks saved from last year’s garden.

christ-hand

The hands are Shrinky Dink as well.  I have embellished the face with beads and waxed linen.  The crown of thorns are florist toothpicks on wire.

crucifix-upward

The face comes from a book of African portraits that I have (and currently can’t find, in order to cite).  This man was in an ecstatic trance.

The most satisfying part about making this figure was the sense of completion — the face and body had hung around the studio for at least a year before the other components found their way to the piece.  There is nothing like a marker in time (like a holiday, and specifically, Good Friday) to provide a little motivation.