Saturday, December 22, 2007

Healing Quilt Block Close-ups

I mentioned I would post pics of some of the exceptional work on the Healing Quilt. Of course this is just my humble opinion, but I really love these elements. This is a block by Vickie Brown ( I love the silk ribbon sprays and went gaga ove the meandering ric-rac with the SRE and fiber embellishments.

This is a portion of the block done by Rengin in Turkey. She used quite a few different types of Oyas (Turkish needle lace). I love the colors she chose and the juxtaposition of the old art with the new.

This is part of Linda's Block. She added the Cabachon face circled with beads. I love the little tassel she added and the underlying single wing.

This is a portion of Leslie's block. I just fell in love with the colors of this motif and all the beading she did on it. I also love the beaded fringe she added on the trim below it. I have that trim--never thought to add a fringe to it!

This is the center of Jule's block which became the center of the quilt. The embellishment of the graphic is really insired. So elegant and understated.

This graphic is on the block by Barbara--another master at embellishing graphics, SRE and beading. I love the cord she added around the graphic. It's made with a string of beads and a few different fibers. I'm guessing she did it on the Diva cord Maker. Just stunning!

I wasn't going to put up a tree this year--infact, I loaned my large, pre-lit tree to my Step-son and his wife. But my DH said it wouldn't feel like Christmas, so I relented and put up the small tree which used to be my Mickey Mouse tree. I didn't feel like using a Snow White or Minnie tree topper so I made an angel from my Dream Girls Pattern--just didn't do the tissue paper step or attach a base. The body from just below the waist is a Papertowel tube. Don't know how long it'll last, but it does look pretty!
Now if I could only find those ornies I bought on our trip down south in 2006!!!!! I try to get an ornie from our travels.

I do want to wish everyone a stress-free, happy, safe, and loving holiday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Putting together a Quilt

Remember those Crazy Quilt blocks I did for a healing quilt? I went to the Ribbonsmyth Studio (What a wonderful place!!!! I am soooo looking forward to teaching some classes there in the late spring during a 4 day retreat. Check out the Ribbonsmyth site to help put the quilt together. Anne, Vickie and I spent so much time oooohing and aaaahing over the blocks, show and tell, each other, etc, we didn't finish the quilt so I took it home to finish. I was able to get what I think is the perfect backing and border fabric. I had some embroidered ribbon that also blended and some great antique gold cording that proved to be the perfect final touch. It is actually quilted through all layers around the ribbon trim. I tied the quilt at the corners where I added rolled ribbon roses on the front and beads on the back. I also added smaller rolled ribbon roses (48 of them to be exact!) on the front seams to soften them a bit.

This is the back of the quilt. I put the names of the Block maker on the back of each block on a piece of burnt silk centered in a heart quilted through to the batting.
Here is a close-up of one of the hearts on the back. The blocks are just amazing. Tomorrow I will post some closeups of the totally inspiring work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ornies and Journal Cover Completed

First,Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my book and Madame LeChat. I really do hope my exchange partner likes it and I hope our get-together isn't snowed out! Now to answer questions about "Heart Songs", I would like to teach a class in this technique. I am working on ideas for one--maybe something involving an altered photo album into a journal type thing. It was a lot of work, but it actually went pretty quick though there was a lot of waiting for stuff to dry. I planned the format in advance and the size of the pages (6 1/4" x 4 1/2") and the words I wanted to use. I did the collage for the pages in pastel colors though I didn't use the lavendar or blue pages.

I did finish the Ornies for the Pet Ornament Swap. I must admit I wasn't very imaginative and only did CQ stockings with a pic of my precious Diamond and a felt bone stuffed in the top.
I also did a doll type ornament. These have elongaged bodies, flat faces, and butterfly wings. They are trimmed with beaded trim and ribbon.
Lastly, I decided to make a prototype of an altered album--something you could carry in your purse--albeit a large one. I used an album that holds 4"x6" pics that you can pick up at any of the craft stores for 66c to $1 each. I plan to "alter" the pages to so there are sketch pages, pockets, photo pages etc. Here is the base fabric made from muslin with tissue paper collaged to it.
Here are the finished covers, front and back.

There are paper cutouts, foiling, expandapaint, ribbon, free-motion stitching, burnt metallic silk sheer, a clay face, a drawn moon, and lace left from my wedding dress. I used lots of Gel Medium, matte and irridescent, Lummier paints, dimensional paints, craft foam, and Pearl-ex Pigment powders. The word is Visions and that is done with Craft foam heated and then stamped. Here is a pic of the whole cover front and back

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Finished another Gift!

First, thanks to Shashi, Judy, and Kay for the nice comments about my last post. Glad you like Madame Le Chat. The patterns have been shipped and should be available next week or so at Dollmakersjourney and Joggles.

My one doll club is doing a gift exchange and I decided to do a fabric/paper book. I did one of these a few months ago and one of the ladies just fell in love with it, so since I picked her name, I thought I would make one for her. Here are some pics--it has lots of interference powders and paints on it so it reflects light very strangely. The colors are really very muted. It is an accordian fold book. Here is the front. The first and last pages are the same background paper/fabric. The 4 middle pages are pastel colors. The name of the book is Heart Songs.

Closeup on the left of the front cover. On the right is the last page- Laughter and Joy. The words and small squares are from Model Magic by Crayola. The larger hearts are water soluble paper. Same lace on both. The background paper/fabric has pieces in caligraphy printed on the computer.

These are the first two pages, Friends with lace and butterfly embellishments, and Nature with tiles made from Model Magic and placed over ribbons. All the words are from Model Magic. Friends background is a very subtle paisley. Nature is shades of green. All the page blanks are finished with a coat of Iridescent Gel Medium.

Pages 3 and 4 are Love and Music. The heart is silk with bugle beads, the center hearts are from velum. The small dimensional hearts are velum also. The heart is over lace. The music was printed on the computer on cardstock and aged with gold paint and embossing powders. The ribbons were embroidered lines by machine and the notes were added with dimensional paint in pearl gold.

This is a view of the back of the book. All the backgrounds are from the same sheet of Paper/fabric. The entire book is bound in strips of sheer fabric that was rusted. The beads are also from fabric except the round ones on the very top. Each of the center motifs on the back pages are from water soluble paper.

Two from the back. The background squares are burnt silk with sheer ribbons over them.

Again, burnt silk background squares with water soluble paper motifs. These motifs were first painted to seal them then treated with pearlex powders and lumierre paints. The writing is more of the caligraphy I created by computer. It lists all the words in the book and many others of things that make your heart sing--like children, the ocean, a rainbow, etc.

Final back two pages. Hope she likes it. Not really doll related but I think I could have made two dolls in the time it took me to make this! I really did enjoy doing it. I am trying to limit my embellishments to fabric and fiber and move away from lots of papers.

Now on to the Pet ornies.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Taking a breath!

I made another CQ block for the Healing Quilt so there would be a nice easy number to work with. I think I finished this one in record time--I started it Sunday. Took me all afternoon to piece it--the part I hate most. OK, I did cheat a little by using so many trims and motifs, but I am pleased with the results. I finished it a little early, so I am probably not done with it yet!

I also finished the pattern for the cat doll since doing a prototype in --can't believe it's been so long ago!!!--March. Of course I made another one. The official name of the pattern is "Madame Le Chat" and this one is named Felecia and her pet mice are Winki and Inki (after Felix and his nephews). I am waiting for the pages and pics to come back from the printers. Will post when I ship them to the "shops".
And last but not least, I also finished the doll with the cloth over paperclay over cloth. He was actually done for the APWPWD blank canvas challenge. I used the pattern without the hands and feet as a skin over an armature I built at Day With Dolls. I wound colorful yarn around his limbs and gave him sculpted hands ala Marilyn Halcomb. I figured a blank canvas was a good opportunity to try out new techniques.
Now, all I have to do is finish an exchange gift for my "other" doll club, make 5 animal ornies for a pet ornie exchange, and 3 hostess gift ornies before December 15th. After the 15th I need to work on my proposals for EGA classes which have to be in by January 5, 2008. YIKES!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks and Latest Doings

Thanks Vee, Shashi, Allie, Heera, and Connie on my CQ Block. Thanks too to Kai, Katie and Mary on my cloth over clay head. He is now a doll--I used the APWPWD challenge doll to make the skin for his armature before I wrapped it with yarn and dressed him. Truly a "blank canvas" for sure! I'm not sure if I can post pics before the contest deadline, so I'm keeping him under wraps. I will however post a pic of the doll I finished for our GSDA Christmas swap. We usually do angels but I thought maybe this year we should do an elf. I suggested we use Sherri Goshon's Eflin pattern and the club agreed. I made it in doe suede which I'm not familiar with (thanks Mary for turning her!), and I don't like working this small (about 8"), but she is done.

Joy to everyone this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Block Completed

I volunteered to make a block for a CQ friend as part of a healing quilt. Specificiations: it had to be 10" x 10", neutral colors, and include a picture of a cherub or angel. It's been awile since I worked on any CQ, but I really enjoyed it!
Now to get ready for my EGA meeting tomorrow - Beryl Taylor is giving a talk/demo. I'm really thrilled. Friday is Doll Club. Busy week!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Class completed!!!

My first online class offering, Neptune's Daughters, has just completed and I must say the ladies in that class were a most talented bunch! Their dolls turned out just amazing and I admit I learned from them. Amazingly, in most cases, the ladies made all three! Their choices and combination of design elements made each doll lovely and unique. If you want to join in, it is not too late! A new class starts November 5, 2007. For more information, visit To see the original Daughters, scroll down my blog.

Thanks too ladies for all the nice comments on the class. And also a big thanks to Kai and Katy for you sweet words about my Jester guy. Now I just have to get him finished!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Third time the charm

I have been trying lots of new techniques because I just feel like experimenting. I have created a cloth and paper book and am working on another. I also have been playing with paperclay on cloth. I have tried sculpting a head twice before and just couldn't get the hang of it. Today I was determined. I am making a jester and decided he needed a big nose and lips so I dug out a cloth head I started to add paperclay to and went to work. Here is the sculpt. Looks a little rough but it is sanded pretty smooth. I then stretched some cotton lycra knit (pretty thin) over the face (the hardest part IMHO) and colored it using mostly chalks and pigment powders. Wasn't sure if I should give him teeth, but if I want to change them, I can black them out. Not too bad for my first completed head. He definetly has a big nose!He works with the body as it is. Was hoping to finish him tonight in time for doll club tomorrow but I doubt it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm Back--Long

A few weeks ago, we lost my sister in law 2 months to the day she was diagnosed with liver cancer. She was a very loving mother, wife of 44 years (they were childhood sweethearts) and grand-mother. We flew out to Colorado to attend the memorial service and remember Vivian with family and all the loving friends who's lives she touched in her 64 years. She was much loved and loving and will be greatly missed.

Though not the magnitude of that loss, my harddrive decided to go to cyber heaven. I lost all my files, and about 10,000 pictures. I did have quite a bit backed up, but by the time I tried to save everything, my drive was so bad, my other drives were not working either. Lesson learned! I love my computer and to replace it like for like would cost more than I want to spend at the present so I thought I would try just replacing the hard-drive--which cost 1/10th the price! So here I am with a new hard-drive. I have almost all my old programs loaded. I am also in the market for a new printer. My 8 yr old HP needs new cartridges but it has been acting a little tired so I think rather than spend $60 for the cartridges, I'll spend a bit more and just get a new printer.

Sorry these answers are so late but Deb--Dances with Butterflies is available as a pattern in the September, 2007 issue of Doll Crafter and Costuming. Thanks too to all who sent well wishes on my first on-line class--Heera, Allie, Judi in Alaska, Yvonne, Kat, and Shashi. So far so good. I am amazed that most of the ladies are making all 3 versions!

I also made another of these sea nymphs. I needed better pics for the final directions and decided to use a non-batik fabric for the tail--a large floral actually. At the Sew Sew Doll club meeting, we created some Fiber Fusion fabric and I made a piece that worked out perfect for the tail and head piece-and from all these parts, Coral was born. I made a trip to my local bead shop thinking I could pick up some branch coral until Ipriced it! YIKES! A strand of coral was $30! One of the girls said "You're creative. Why not make some from Polymer clay." Great Suggestion! I mixed the Clay Coral with some made from layers of Textiva film curled around a skewer and heated. Her bodice is painted tyvek with pieces of sheer fabric sewed on then hit with a heat gun. So here she is.

She has LOTS of bling thanks to heat set crystals.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Big Appologies. Not only can I not spell, but I can't type either! Correct link for the class is

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New On-line Class

I know it has been a long time since I posted but I have been busy working on my first online class, Neptunes's Daughters. The class will begin September 19th and you can sign up at have really enjoyed writing this--though it was time consuming--because I could put in all the pictures I wanted (almost 200!!!) with lots of step-by-step directions and not have to worry about printing and weight etc. Also all the pictures are in COLOR!!!! I thought I would share the metamorphasis for these ladies of the sea. I used to teach a collage fabric purse class at a local quilt shop. Almost all my students had problems with free-motion stitching so I did some experimenting and found great results could be achieved if they did straight sewing at all angles and mixed it with decorative stitches and couching of threads. Big success! So the next step was to see if I could use it on a doll so I created a simplified version in 3 different collor ways with the idea of mermaid tails. When I was approached to do an on-line class the three ladies said "me! me! me!" and I couldn't refuse. First came the sketch and muslin body and head prototype. I wanted to make the class interesting and also give the student/doll artist lots of opportunity for making the doll their own so each uses the same body, arms and head but has different tail shapes, coifs, and embellishments. Left to right they are AquaMarie, Pearl and Algea. I had fun making them, I hope my students do too! Oh and did I mention I have also include directions to make the shell throne Pearl is sitting in?

Also BIG thanks for the nice comments on my previous post. I am so glad so many of you are enjoying the chairs.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chair Directions

I've had so many inquiries about the chair I made that I thought I would post the directions along with some addional pics of other chairs I made using the same techniques. Here is a link to the directions.
We originally made similar chairs in doll club using a kit designed by Mary Egger with a 5" x 5" paper mache box sort of adapted from Christine Shively's chair that appeared in Art Doll Quarterly. For some reason, my legs never stayed on or stayed straight, so I decided to try something with a wooden box. So, here are the results. The pink and black chair was first, the butterfly was second. The Butterfly chair's back is made from Sculpy and Liquid Sculpy and the wooden brace in back is actually part of a small wooden type purse. It also has a separate cushion instead of a padded seat.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Little Buddy and Mermaid update

Here is a pic of my darling Diamond in her favorite position. I can't believe she is comfortable! It is in my studio in the corner of the loveseat and sofa. I have a soft rug down and she spends most of her time when not in my lap here. She is a little annoyed I bothered her to take the pic.

I have finished all three mermaids and also a shell chair. They will be an online course offered through I am very excited about it. I am almost done writing lesson 1 of 5 (5 will be the chair). The student will have the option of which mermaid they want to make or take bits and mix and make their own. Will keep you posted when it is ready for prime time. I also hope to teach this live and in person. They are called Neptune's Daughters. Their names are AquaMarie (pictured in a previous post), Pearl, and Algea.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Catching Up

First, thanks to all who had such nice things to say about The Secret Garden. She didn't win but she will be traveling. You can see the winners here http:// It appears the winner and I had similar visions. Congrats to all the winners. Can't wait to see next year's Challenge fabric.

Thanks also to Sharon and Sandi who nominated me for the Nice Matters award. That was VERY Sweet of you. I am so glad you enjoy reading my babble and I so enjoy the exchange of ideas.

This weekend on Saturday was Day With Dolls organized by Diane Kearny who did an OUTSTANDING job. There were about 60 people representing 5-6 doll clubs in the NY, NJ, Conn, an Pa areas. The show and tell was awesome--unfortunately my battery in my camera died after 1 pic! Also making an appearance were Mary Ann and Bonnie from Doll Maker's Journey who gave us an overview of some wonderful products, such as Paverpol, Apoxy Sculpt, Angelina fibers and film to name a few, and their applications. We had a table set up for lace dying and classes given in Armature building and creating faces with paperclay and cloth overlay. Just wonderful! Everyone had to make a "Who Am I" Doll Face pin and they were all wonderful. Here is a pic of mine which was the prototype. I put together all the kits.

I also finished the three mermaids who tentatively will be called Neptune's Daughters. I am really pleased with them and they got a good reception at DWD. Now to write the directions--yikes! I took over 500 pics!

Sunday I went with my dear friend to a Scrapbook show. I was looking for some interesting stamps and found some which, along with Li Hertzi's new book, inspired the following doll. The stamps for the head (above) were from Lost Coast Designs ( and the heart stamps were from Stamp Camp ( She was definitely outside the box for me but I was inspired by Li's book an I did enjoy making her. Her head can turn so I can change her face though I only beaded one with eyes open and the same face with eyes closed. I modified the stamp to make the eyes open.