Hoffman and Other Challenge Dolls
It appears that 2015 will be the end of an era. Hoffman Fabrics has announced there will be no more Doll Category going forward, but a new category, Home Decor. So in honor of the event, I thought I would post the pics I have of the dolls I entered in the challenge. If you would like to see all the dolls and the challenge fabric for all the years, visit The Hoffman Challenge site
2005 A Star is Born. Only have a pic of the face.
2006 I entered One Kiss is Not Enough and to my surprise and joy she won second Place.
2007 I entered
A winking doll Secret Garden She was really fun to make and she traveled. Sold her when she returned home. Have to admit I think she was one of my favorites. Think I should make another version of her! Maybe as the Red Queen with the cards dancing under her skirt!
2008 I entered Ms. Peacock in the Conservatory with the Candlestick. She won Best Use of Peacock Theme. This doll took the longest to make of any of them so far. I appliqued then beaded all those peacock feather motifs and the entire peacock around her shoulders. I also made quite a number of heads before I got her expression the way I wanted it. She also has acryllic set in eyes and a cloth over cloth face. It was surprising she survived the journey holding the candle stick but the flower pot on the back of the base which was glued and screwed on became loose!
2009 Sulky joined as a co-sponsor. My doll that year was Morning Serenade. Loved her. Lots of tiny yoyos and a shawl made from tulle, fabric motifs, and lots of free-motion stitching. She won Third, Sulky. She also had Freemotion stitched leaves done with water soluble Sulkey and other stitched accents like the leaves in her hair and her collar. Her shoes were faux snakeskin with clay soles (thanks Colleen Athens!)
2010 Was a lovely fabric that was similar in colors to 2008. It didn't really speak to me until I saw the central part of the motif as a coat of arms. The Dragon Slayer was born. I also was reading too much Harry Potter! His helmet and armor was made by embossing and coloring metal stickyback tape then applying it to fabric. I covered almost all the back of his cape with clear tinted AB square sequins so it would look like dragon skin. He has a dagger in his boot, his sword is from a letter opener from Staples and it is dripping blood! Wasn't too happy with his face-big nose-but my Mother thought he looked like an adolescent growing into his features! His face is cloth over clay over cloth and one of the first times I had actually tried that technique as well as doing a male doll. He took first!!
2011 Was an interesting oriental fabric with lots of flowers. I concentrated on the flowers and created a doll sitting on a Stool made from a candle holder, selling flowers at a mark down. I was surprised she toured because she was rather heavy. She also won Curator's Choice. She also traveled remarkably well. The sign in her pot of flowers was broken, but she came back just fine.
2012's fabric was pink and lavender flowers very reminiscent of the 40-50s. I loved the coordinates though. She has a cloth over cloth head, a lovely dress under her cape and faux fur trimming. She also has about 100 rolled fabric roses trimming her dress which is made from the challenge fabric. She traveled. Her name is Rose in Winter and she has pink hair. Should have made it more lavender I think but I was pleased with how she turned out. Her cape is trimmed with the challenge fabric cut in a scroll border fused on then outlined in dimentional paint. She is very victorian.
2013's fabric was similar in color and feel to 2011. It has large leaf shapes which I thought would make interesting petals on a skirt. I also got a late started her in the spring so I think that was a big influence on the finished doll. I named her Bliss on a Summer Breeze. She has lots of beading, tulled dyed to match, leaf motifs die cut from fused fabric and a feather underskirt. She won Best Incorporation of Challenge Fabric.
2014 had a very unusual fabric. It has circular mandalas in bright festive colors on a black background. I don't know why, but I decided I wanted to do a Matador for my doll. Back to the men again! His jacket and pants are very beaded. His face is cloth over clay over cloth and I used two Spanish Matador brothers for the model. I was having so much trouble with him, I made a second doll, A style of her own that I didn't send in. I probably should have! He is a traveler. El Miraposa - Chance Butterflies not Bulls.
That brings us to this year, 2015. This was a very difficult fabric for me because I am not a red person. I have never made a red doll except the Red Queen. I had a few sketches, but nothing that inspired. Then as I was cleaning out my Parent's house getting it ready for sale, I noticed one of the Chinese figurines my Mother loved and I was inspired. I ordered some small gold coins and restamped them to remove the roman head. I added lots of fine gold braiding on his costume, but for me, it is relatively bling free! I named him The Emporer's New Clothes - His Vision and he won Second Place. I wrote about him and the figurine that inspired me on the main page of this blog.
So now it is the end of the Hoffman Challenge Dolls. I am sort of relieved but I know I am going to miss it. I love a challenge and working with fabrics you aren't crazy about is definitely that!
Having said that - I decided to enter the 2016 Gypsy Challenge. Gypsy Pam sends out a packet of various fabrics and you must use them on your doll keeping with the year's theme. This year was Once Upon a Time - Past Present or Future. Pictures of her are also on the main page of my blog, but here they are again. She won Gypsy's Choice!!!