Saturday, October 31, 2009

I love Halloween, it is a time to be a little spooky, a little mysterious, a little left of norm..... Last Saturday the gals & I got together for one of our art play-days. Lisa, Vicki & I worked on haunted tree dolls - they are coming along nicely. I thought it would be fun to decorate a bit for our little luncheon - here is my Halloween setting.

I don't do costumes anymore, but I do enjoy a little ghoulish or fun Halloween jewelry and shirts with the Halloween theme. This year I found some fabulous fabric with skulls and gothic-style writing (very glittered) that I used to make a tunic top - I wound up leaving a trail of glitter everywhere I went. I also painted one of my ancestor pendants that I had sculpted early to give it a ghoulish, gothic look.

At work had a pot-luck for Halloween and I made a "Not Your Mummy's Cheese Ball" for the celebration. There wasn't much left of him after the lunch. He was really easy to make, just cheese logs, cut & shaped, then cream cheese piped in "bandage" strips over him. The red "flesh" is pimento strips and I used whole cloves for his eyes. I hope everyone has a very happy and safe Halloween!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Okay, so I love Halloween - it is such a fun & frivolous holiday. I love the icons & being able to look a little on the dark side. Even though I no longer decorate for the holiday (my son is grown) and there is the time factor, I still enjoy doing art around it. Last year I created little tins with Halloween icons in them and gave them to my friends and coworkers. This year I decorated some wooden coffins that I found at Michaels. I had originally planned on doing an art doll to go in the coffin, however they were smaller than I thought they would be and the doll would have been really tiny to fit into them. Instead I decorated them with papers and embellishments that I found when I bought the coffins.

I also had to make one of the flower dancers with a more ghoulish slant. Lucky for me, Michaels had black roses and other embellishments I was able to use - including the ribbon with "Happy Haunting" that worked perfectly as a sash for her. She reminds me of a homecoming queen.
Her "crown" is a thick pipe cleaner with a craft button (it was a tree, I cut off the trunk and the shank and added rhinestones).

A while back I took an online class from Cindee Moyer, Equestrienne. I did really well on the horse (or should I say relatively), but I never did get around to doing the doll that goes with the horse. The flower dancer doll (Cyndi Mahlstadt style) goes perfectly on the horse. This was the doll that I created when the gals came over in August after EDAC that I mentioned in an earlier post. I've really enjoyed this method of making dolls and have created several of them since the conference. The doll in the center (largest one with the skinny legs) is the one I created in Cyndi's class at EDAC. The one on the right I started the day the gals were here for our doll "play day". The one on the left I tried something a little different and painted her eyes open instead of closed.

Here are some more images of the flower dancer dolls I've made, including the whole gang & close ups of some of them.

Vicki & I got together in September after EDAC and decided to create a mermaid in the style that we had learned at EDAC (like our trees). These had tea tins for the bodies with epoxy sculpt fish tail. We both finished ours in one day, but I didn't get a picture of Vicki's.

Well, the three of us art wanderers were off again - this time in September to the Lone Star Polymer Clay Retreat in League City, Texas, which is between Houston and Galveston on the Galveston Bay. We arrived on Thursday evening so we had some time on Friday to view some of the local sites before the retreat began that afternoon. First we went to a delightful bead shop, The Bead Boutique in Webster, TX. We spent 2 hours and $$$ while we were there & found some fabulous beads & findings. Then we were off to the Kemah boardwalk for lunch. The weather was cool enough that we were able to eat out on the deck overlooking the bay at Babin's.

After that we had a great time at the retreat with classes from Kim Cavender, Dayle Doroshaw and Barbara McGuire. I didn't get a picture of us with Barbara, but I did get pictures of us with Kim (on the left) and Dayle (on the right).
For the 3rd day of the EDAC, I took Cyndi's Flower Dancer Fairy class and Lisa & Vicki took a face painting class. We all loved the flower dancer fairy so much, that we decided to get together at my house and create more of them. Tricia joined us and here are the flower fairies we did that day.

Vicki's is the top green one, my two are on the right, Tricia's is the one with the teal flower hat on the left and Lisa's is the one of the bottom left. These are so much fun to create.
Sorry it took my so long to update my post - I haven't had a chance since right before I went to EDAC at the end of July - here is the update from that trip -
After much anticipation, we were off to the Enchanted Doll Artist Conference. Mother Nature was conspiring against us & we had a horrendous storm hit very early that morning with torrential rains and tremendous lightening. Luckily for us, though it was a fast moving storm and did not delay our flight. It was an adventure meeting up and getting to the airport. Happy travelers waiting flight out of DFW at the airport.

One of the first activities after arriving at the conference was the opening night festivities which consisted of a Gypsy Tea Party in honor of our head gypsy, Pamela Aramas. We were all asked to dress in our best gypsy finery. We did the best we could considering we had to pack everything in one suitcase. We laughed about looking more like aging hippies than gypsies.
The shirts we wore were drawings that I did and we got together before the conference and each of us painted her own shirt and added glitter and rhinestone embellishments. What fun!
Another thing planned for the opening night was making wish wands and exchanging them. Earlier in the day Lisa saw some shoes that she absolutely loved (they were so much Lisa's style of shoe) and commented on them to the wearer. When it came time to do the wands, Lisa thought she would wish for Maria Teresa's shoes. Later in the evening when Lisa & I were doing our make-it-take-its, Maria Teresa came up to LIsa with a bag and told her that her wish had been granted. Maria Teresa GAVE Lisa her shoes! It became much talked-about the conference. Here are the infamous shoes on their new owner.

Our first class was with Cyndi Mahlstadt, shown here with her Jesters, which she is teaching in an online class (details on her site). I'm going to take that one as well. I love Cyndi's whimsical style and her teaching format.

The 2-day class the three of us took was her tree doll, which used an Altoid tin. Here is my doll after the 2nd day of class on the right. Lisa's doll is on the left - she finished hers after she got home. I love the crown she did for her doll. Vicki's doll is under mine on the right. She also finished hers once she got home. I'll have to see if I can't get finished pictures of both of them to show - they all turned out great.

One of the really fun activities at the conference is the pin doll swap. You create the number of pin dolls you want to swap (up to 5), wrap them and then turn them in for swapping in a bag. Your bag is returned to you at the swap event with the same number of pin dolls from other people. I've participated both years and have a board in my studio with all the great pin dolls I've received. Here are the three of us with our pin swap dolls.

We left one night open so we could enjoy some of the local cuisine. We decided to go
to El Pinto which had been a working hacienda and had been converted into a restaurant. The food was devine and the ambience was fabulous! I wish I had thought to take more pictures while we were there.
The final night festivities include the banquet, which was our orginal
reason for creating our "doll" shirts. While I took many more pictures than are featured here, in respect to the conference and the artists of the dolls, I have not posted them. I'm sure you'll be seeing some of them on the EDAC site or in art doll publications. This conference is one of the most enjoyable ones I've ever attended and we are looking forward to going back in 2010!
I almost forgot - I commisioned one of my friends, Michael Champion to create our Galz & Dollz logo. He did it in black & white and I colored it for our t-shirt transfers. It was created from pictures I gave him of the three of us. I used the individual images to create business cards for each of us and for our luggage tags. Vicki made us aprons with the logo on it as well.