Sunday, November 04, 2012

Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge

Birdcage repainted
 & highlighted
This year the Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge was "Charmed and Mystical Gypsy". The dolls are displayed and judged at the Houston International Quilt Show. The gypsy doll I created for the challenge was actually the first birdcage doll I made, however I couldn't show her until the judging was over. Unfortunately I couldn't attend the show this year, but I'm honored to say my doll was awarded Judge's Choice. I've detailed some of the progress in creating this doll. The head was actually the head I sculpted in Diane Keeler's workshop. She had just been one of the many "heads on sticks" in my studio until I decided to use her for this doll. I didn't have much time to create the doll as I didn't sign up for the challenge until the end of July and they had to be mailed to Houston in September. I removed all of the previous face and eye painting and repainted the face to more represent a gypsy. (She was previously blue-eyed). I had the birdcage on hand, I'd found it at Michaels in the garden decor aisle. The charms are from Michaels as well, most of them from Susan Lenart Kazmir's Industrial Chic line.

Attached to cage
Starting to clothe

Adding puff netting sleeves
Using ribbon for corset
Eyelets & mini brads for vest & shirt
With trims added front

Back view with trims

She has hair!

Crinkled hair

Close up of cage with charms inside

Finished doll prior to shipping

Close up finished Gypsy

Charmed & Mystical Gypsy on Display at Houston Quilt Show prior to judging

Here is the information for next year's challenge:

The 2013 Treasures of Gypsy Challenge: The Masquerade Ball

Announcing the Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge 2013: Magical Mystical Gypsy. If you would like to participate, send $25.00 US to Treasures of the Gypsy, P.O. Box 748, Mountainair, NM 87036.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Here there be Witches

Every year I make a witch. I started a birdcage witch this year, but she turned into the Goth Ghost doll shown on a previous blog entry, so I had to start another one. I'm really into making the birdcage dolls right now, even though this time of year it's hard to find the cages. I wound up going nontraditional for her hat, recovering a premade bought top hat with velvet. The bats in her cage are actually Halloween Recollections embelllishments from Michaels. The bat in her hand (which is hard to see in the photos due to the black on black) is made from wire covered with velvet since I couldn't find one ready-made that worked.
In progress

Adding hair


In grouping

More witches

From Quincenera to Dia de los Muertos

Original Doll
My friend Bridget at work had these Quincenera dolls from the Michaels sidecounter (only in select stores) in her cube. I was teasing her, telling her I'd remake them into witches or goth dolls. She gave me one to remake. I wound up doing a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) version from her. Here is the progress:

Face Repainted
Doll deconstructed

Finished Dia de Los Muertos Doll

Trash to Treasure Find

My husband and I have always kept our eyes open for finds - those things that others have thrown away that turn out to be treasures for us. I've got a trunk and shelf from a builder's dump in my studio, plus several other fabulous finds from surplus equipment companies. Our neighborhood has a large trash day the last Saturday of the month where you can put larger items out and call to get on the schedule for pick up. Sometimes you can find great items that your neighboors no longer want. Case in point (pun intended) - Bennie found this fabulous case, in perfect condition. In fact it looks like it was never used - I corrected that immediately. I wasn't sure at first what I was going to put in it, I just knew I would use it. Turns out it is perfect for all my Steampunk ephemera! Glad it is very sturdy - the thing weighs almost 20 pounds now!

More Halloween Fun

Last year Michaels had these really neat paper mache coffins that came in a set of 3 different sizes. Luckily I bought several since they didn't carry them this year (boo). I had fun decorating & altering them.

Latest Necklaces

While shopping at Michaels during the Friends & Family sale, I found these cool rhinestone sliders. I made a couple of necklaces, one with the sliders and other embellishments and the other with sliders and spiders for a subtle "Halloween-style" necklace.
Sliders & spacers on neck wire

Finished necklace with additional embellishments

Spider necklace


Anyone who really knows me, knows I love Halloween. It is such a fun holiday. One of those pop-up Halloween stores opened in a shopping center I visited a couple of weeks ago and I of course had to check it out. The displays they have now are just amazing! You could stage your own professional-style haunted house!

Zombie Lady & creepy babies

Zombie babies

Animated electric chair

Trunk Show & Rhonda's House

A couple of weeks ago I attended a trunk show at my friend Rhonda's home. Going to Rhonda's is always such a treat, her home is AMAZING and filled with color and art. The trunk show with art by Lisa Renner, Trisha Dewey and Rhonda was fabulous as well.
Art Dolls by Lisa Renner

Ellen, Lisa, Vicki, Trisha & Rhonda

Art in atrium

Mobile twirls by fan-power

Metal Sculpture

Living Room w/trunk show

Sculpture by pool

Love this lighted sculpture under stairway

Stairway filled with Rhonda's Scarves

Trunk Show

Dining room with Trisha's trunk showings

Love this metal sculpture piece in bathroom

Display in bathroom

Trisha's encaustic pieces

Sculpture in front of house

Love these ferns!