Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Over The Moon

On the eve of my departure for my second honeymoon (to Venice, no less!), I'm positively over the moon.  But not for the reason you might think. 

Being relatively new at this cloth doll thing, I have only taken 3 classes.  My very first class was with the internationally renowned doll artist Colleen Babcock.  It was a marvelous class and I learned so very much.  I feel very fortunate that while Colleen started out as teacher, I now count her as dear friend.  Her dolls are simply magical and for two days I was allowed to bask in her brilliance.

Not only a talented dollmaker, Colleen is also a terrific writer with a very successful blog.  I would encourage everyone to pop over to The Magic Bean and become a follower.

Color me shocked that when Colleen decided to make her March blogs specific to all things historical, she asked me to be a guest blogger!  I awoke on this beautiful Texas morning to find that my guest article had posted.  Here is a link to my guest post -

Here is my version of Colleen's "Finders Keepers" from her class with my doll club, The Material Girls:

As if that weren't enough, I walk to the mailbox this morning and discovered a letter of some import.  Here in Houston we have one of the largest conventions in the US, The International Quilt Show.  A truly marvelous week of exhibits (not just quilts), classes and an unrivaled vendor hall, it happens every fall.  This is where I discovered cloth dolls.

My doll club sets up the doll exhibit which includes four separate sections - The Material Girls, TAODA (Texas Association of Original Doll Artists), The Gypsy Challenge and In Celebration of the Doll (an invitation only exhibit).  It's always such fun to see all the entries up close and personal!

When I see the return address of one specific letter, my heart starts to pound...  Quickly tearing into it, I think I might have screamed - it was from the head of the jury for In Celebration of the Doll and I had been invited to design a doll for the exhibit!

Ideas for my entry are already swirling and bubbling...  I have a feeling she will be heavily influenced by my impending trip to Venice!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Diamond, a Flower Fairy Ballerina

Hobby Lobby.  It's an evil place for those with more inspiration than time...   Just a quick trip, I told myself.  I'll be in and out in 5 minutes.  Just go straight to the ribbon, grab what I need, done.  Right.  Like that's ever happened!

I made it to the sewing department, ignoring the 50% off frames that were "pssstttting" at me.  The little wooden candle holder that looked just like a chair tried to get my attention but I was resolute.  Ribbon in hand, I almost skipped back to the check out stand, giddy that I was actually going to do it this time!  I was going to make it out without - what's that?  No.  Silk flowers don't interest me.  Surely my overactive muse wasn't drawing me over to that section...  So close!  The register was just a few feet away.  But no, it was too late.  I was already walking over.

New for Spring, in a riot of colors, were these big, beautiful silk flowers that had latin script all over them.  Ideas starting exploding in my mind - fairies, flower fairies...  You know you're a mynah bird, my muse whispers.  You love jewels...  Look at the colors; the white - Diamond; the blue - Aquamarine; the pink - Tourmaline; the lavender - Amethyst.  Before I could even take a breath, I was grabbing one of each color.  Sigh.  Evil place.

Diamond is the first in this series of Jeweled Flower Fairies.  I hope you enjoy her!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mermaid Pin Class

Looks like I'll be teaching a class at Stamp Antonio Arts in San Antonio in June!  It's a lovely little mermaid pin using both doll-making and scrapbooking techniques and products. 

It will be the last Saturday in June in conjunction with Gecko Galz' teaching weekend.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Material Girls 2012 Retreat

I count myself incredibly blessed to be involved with such a wonderful group of women, my Material Girls sisters.  I'm just back from our doll club retreat, the first one I have been fortunate enough to attend, held annually at Rivendell Ranch & Retreat in East Bernard, TX.  It was a wonderful weekend of laughter and stories; delicious food and midnight margaritas; commeraderie and a strict "no makeup" rule.  Oh, and doll-making!

We had several patterns from which to choose our retreat creations.  My choice was Sylvanna by Cindy Moyer.  It was such fun to see the vastly different the dolls created from the same pattern!

Here is my interpretation:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Absinthe, The Green Fairy

She started out as a tribute to Alphons Mucha, the God of Leanne’s idolatry.  Somehow along the way she spiraled into this quasi Art Nouveau/Tudor creation!  The Mucha influences are still there – the hair decorations, the hairstyle itself, the dragonfly motif, but somewhere along the way she took a decidedly Tudor turn…  Maybe it’s because I was sitting across from Tudor costume goddess Nina Burke as she was being created at Leanne’s first annual Gecko Galz Retreat last weekend.  Maybe it was having just watched a couple of episodes of The Tudors.

In any case, Absinthe, who has firmly rejected her initial hair color as well as the two different pairs of wings I have tried to give her, is almost finished.  She awaits her wings and a few finishing touches.  I'll post a photo when she is completely finished.  I hope you like her!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eolande's Journey

It's funny how a simple thing like a bit of trim or a flash of color as you're walking down an aisle in the fabric store can start the creative ball rolling.  While working on an entry for the Houston International Quilt Festival, I ran to the fabric store to pick up some fresh needles for my Bernina.  It just so happened that they were having a sale.  (Is there a seamstress alive that can resist fabric when it's on sale?!)  On the bottom shelf, admidst the home dec bolts, a soft shimmer caught my eye.  Velvet.  Pale lavender cross-woven with silver...  So not my color palate of record.  So unable to leave on the shelf.

I threw my purchase into my velvet stash and went back to work.  It wasn't long before a little voice started whispering to me - "pssssttt..."  It was tiny and easy to ignore.  "Pssstttt!  I'd look really nice with that bit of silver jeweled trim you found at AntiqueWeekend..."

I firmly told my muse to hush, I was busy and needed to concentrate.  Here's the thing with muses.  They don't listen; they just get louder!  Before I even realized it was happening, a project box appeared as if by magic (fairy magic, perhaps?) in my hands and I was pulling items from my stash.

I will say that Eolande, my lavender fairy, was polite and did indeed let me finish my Quilt Festival doll, but once it was complete, she would not let me rest!  Below is Eolande's journey into being...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Welcome to my world.................

Here you can wander through my realm and meet all the wonderful characters from my imagination. The ideas for my soft sculpture dolls come from many different places.  Quite often it is the fabric itself which speaks to me like a piece of marble speaks to a sculptor.  Below are a few of the most recent additions to this whimsical world in which I live and create.

Each doll is one of a kind and full of little details.  I welcome comments from all and will be sharing my designs here as they come into being.

I am available for commissions.  You can contact me at

Thank you for stopping by and feel free to become one of my followers!

Eolande, Feb 2012

Eolande, detail

Untitled, Jan 2012

A Helping Hand, Nov 2011
IQF exhibit

Sanibella, Dec 2011

Ailleann of the Otherworld
about to turn into a deer and enchant King Arthur
April 2011

Trudi Watkins class doll
May 2011

Material Girls
Secret Sister exchange
May 2011

Angela Jarecki class doll

Raggle Taggle Gypsy, Sep 2011
IQF Gypsy Challenge entry

My alter ego...

Bee Sweet, Sep 2010
IQF entry

Finders Keepers
Colleen Babcock class

Maid Marian
Apr 2011

Mermaid pin
May 2011

Spring Maiden
Feb 2010

Tutu Cute
Feb 2011

Mar 2011