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!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Another Birdcage Doll
     Every year I create another art doll witch. I had a fabulous tall birdcage that I bought earlier this year at Michaels that I decided to use to create this year's version. I started her on one of our Saturday Art Play Days at my house. When I got to pulling fabrics for her, I ran into a heathered knit I'd gotten a few years ago for a great price. It worked perfectly for a cardigan-style top for her, but totally blew my idea for a witch. As often happens with art dolls, she took an entirely different direction. Thus my turn-of-the-century gothic doll. Here are the steps I/she took to evolve.

Wiring & adding head
Adding batting

Finished doll
Detail of potions, etc. in cage

Birdcage Fairy
    I've gotten on a series where I'm using birdcages in my art dolls. Unfortunately this is not the time of year to find birdcages. I'm either going to have to hit garage sales, flea markets or wait until spring merchandise comes in for additional cages for more dolls. The first doll is in Houston, awaiting the Treasures of the Gypsy challenge at the Houston Quilt Show.
     I had the pleasure of meeting Amy Labbe of Art-i-Cake at Michaels Leadership Conference. What a truly delightful, creative, unique and original lady! Certainly a kindred spirit of my good friend, Jo Pearson! Jo gave me one of Amy's crown pendants from the Art-i-Cake line available at Michaels and I had a couple other components in my stash as well. Amy saw pictures of some of my art dolls and appreciated them. I told her about the crown and my plans to create a doll using the crown. Here is the first doll (I got a second crown and plan on doing another one). I used additional Art-i-Cake pieces in the cage portion of the doll.

Wiring the Body
Adding sculped head

Inside cage detail

Finished Fairy (minus wings)
Finished fairy with wings

Bead Embroidery Necklace with Sea Urchin Fringe
     I started this necklace on my trip to the Bead & Button Show in June. I wound up buying additional semi-precious cabs at the show that worked better with the design. I already had the sea urchin beads from a local show several years ago. It took forever to finish the fringe.