Monday, December 22, 2014


Recently on Facebook in a discussion started by DollMakers Journey on their Where did I put That Treasure Hunt page, the question was posed what was your favorite thing to use for hair.  My answer is anything that works!  I thought I would post a few of the more unusual (at least to me!) things that I have used.
Feathers, not so unusual

Crocheted with beads and a few wisps of curly wool.

Curly Ribbon
Silk Flower Parts
Beaded and other fringe

My latest favorite, deconstructed Sweater cuff!  I saw the sweater in my studio and threw it on quickly to go out.  When I got to the restaurant and took off my coat, realized one sleeve was shorter than the other!  YIKES!  I had two of these sweaters, one white, one off white.  I guess I got them mixed up when I started chopping!

These are a few samples.  Of course I love to use unusual yarns too.  Thanks for looking!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New Book

A few months back I purchased a new Sizzix die that cut out a small album cover from chip board.  I made one with collaged book pages and napkin butterflies.  I have finally used the cover to create a pop-up book.  I have always wanted to make one!  
Front and back Covers.  The rayon dyed ribbon is from Ribbonsmythe.  The cover was described in a previous post.  The letters are cut from a Sizzix alphabetical die.
The inside cover.  The quotes are from a stamp set from Stamp Camp.  The pages are watercolor paper, stenciled and colored with various inks. The butterfly ribbon is cut from Vellum with a Martha Stewart punch.  The butterfly is a Cuttlebug die.

The first Popup page.  I wanted it to rise when the page was opened but not too much.  The cutouts are textiva film. The bottom die cut is Spellbinders The Gilded Life.

A between page.  The large butterfly and word are cut from vellum and embossed, Sizzix Tim Holtz dies.  The small butterflies are also from a Sizzix original die.  The smaller butterflies around the word are a Martha Stewart Punch.
This popup was adapted from a video I saw on Faceboo, I added the butterflies flying out of the flowers.k.  The butterlies are from various punches.  The little paperdolls are a Dienamics Die.

Another between page with another velum butterfly (Sizzix) and word.

I got the idea for this pop-up from the coin envelope book I made a while ago.  If I were to do it again, and I probably will!- I would ink the inside of the embossed butterfly and put the decorative side of the backing shape facing forward.  The butterflies were cut from a Sizzix Tim Holtz die.  I cut 5 and cut them down in size which probably wasn't necessary, but it works.
Inside Back cover, more vellum and punches.  Just need to sign it now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Great Mail Day Monday!

Received my 2015 Hoffman Challenge fabrics!  Ordered Friday from Quilt Kits on line.  Great service, lovely people to work with and the kit they put together is exactly what I would have selected-the challenge fabric and all the coordinates (which I really like!  Especially the blenders on the top). They definitely look different in person!  Now What?!?!?!?  Very gypsy looking especially with those gold coins.  Off to the sketch pad to stare at blank paper for awhile.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Halloween Book Using Lots of Sizzix

The original post of this book can be found here
Just thought I would enter it in the Sizzix Halloween Challenge here
Dies I used: Decorative Strip Dies:  Tim Holtz Typeset, Vintage Market, Halloween Shadows, Brenda Pinnick Bats, Karen Burniston Birds on a Wire, Tim Holtz M&S Tickets, Spider, Skull, , Cat, Crow, Tag die Scallop Combo #2, Embossing Folders Tim Holtz Halloween Words and Cobwebs, Harlequin, Halloween Night and Poison, and Checkerboard squares.  The book pages were made from one sheet of 12" x 12" printed kraft paper  The covers are covered chipboard stamped and embossed with gold.  This book was so much fun to make and teach!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Last in the Bride Series

The Never Bride
Still dressed in her bridal finery though a little worse for wear, this bride never made it tothe alter.  Her face was posted before, cloth over clay over cloth.  Still carrying the red rose and has her companion.  
And here are the three of them together, The Bride as a Child, The a Reluctant Bride, and The Never Bride.
Yes, one is missing a Rose.  That will be the finishing touch and then better pics.  Glad these are finally done!

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Book Completed!

Home Sweet Home book is pretty much done. The signatures are bound with cord and pearl buttons. There are 6 signatures of one sheet each for a total of 24 pages.  Each page has a top loading frame for pictures or journaling.  The signatures started as plain cardstock that I stenciled and stamped on.  The frames were cut from printed cardstock.  Pages are embellished with words Or other embellishments.  Now on to a doll.

another new book with my new toys

Second book cover from the new die.  Just have to figure out how to make the pages.  Chipboard cover covered with paper towels, you can see what's left behind the book, that were created when I was plating with the gelli plate.  I then stenciled over, added some crackle paint, inca gold rubs and gilders paste and done.  The row houses are from the spellbinders die, and the larger house is clay, sentiment stamped on green tissue and glued on.  Bird and flowers are also clay, molds and cutter from The Artsy Soul, visit their site, http:// They also have an ebay store!  Here are some pics of the covers inside (with the dots) and out in progress.  My idea of sky on a cloudy day as seen through the skylights in my studio.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Scrap Show Yesterday Haul!

Where to start!  Lots do Sizzix dies.  Have been wanting that album die since it came out!  Also like the new gears die and it is a steel cut so it will cut metal and chipboard!  New Gelatos color is Stampunk and includes two metallics!  I wanted the Spellbinders die-thought it would make a great crown and it says will cut metal.  Will try it on a soda can.  Also bought new bezels from New heart shapes, double ringed ovals and small dot edged rounds.  Also ordered small hearts in silver and bronze.  Couldn't resist the little houses die.  Also bought one of the kits to shape paper flowers.  Had to try the album die so collaged some chipboard, added color with Gelatos and cut out.  The butterflies are from a napkin, also used pages from an old romance novel, edged with Bronze Distress Stain and spattered with gold metallic paint.  Found out the hard way, decorative side down!  So had to reinforce the inside and recut.  Here is the album open.  Going to add a clay or metal butterfly.  Add frame pages held in with buttons for pics.  Better view of the die too.  Going to make another with houses.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Playing with pencils

While away, I traveled with a sketchbook I made with multimedia paper as a class sample.  Figured I should use it!  I also brought pens and pencils.  I just purchased Derwent  Color soft (markdown at AC Moore from $70 to $16!!!! WOWZA!!!) and some inktense pencils, both I had not used.  I also had a mix of Derwent watercolor and regular, prisma watercolor and regular and Portfolio regular and watercolor.  I made a few sketches-had less time than I thought I would!  Here is my sad Medusa.  Her face is watercolor and regular colored pencils that I use on my dolls.  The large snake with the white ridge is inktrnse and the remaining snakes are color soft (which I really like so far) and my old prisma/Derwent/portfolio pencils.  I blended the Inktense with a slightly damp makeup sponge.  I may do the sane to thr rattlesnake using mineral spirits but afraid that will sink into thr paper.  So far, the paper has not bled at all- not the ink pens or the water.  After looking at the finished product, I know why I don't enjoy sketching!  Next one Is a collage of papers I collected.  Want to see how glue affects the paper.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

And yet another...

Last in the series.  I guess you can figure it out by now.  This one will be called "The Bride That Never Was."  Another clay over cloth, this time on a 3 piece head with a flat face.  Designed this to accept a cab, added clay instead.  I also painted this head with Matte Medium after I added the skin.  Still like the plain fabric best.  Now on to designing an old body for her.

Friday, August 8, 2014


 The Reluctant Bride.  Needs a few finishing touches like felt on the bottom of the base and her head piece firmly attachedwhich means sewing through the lamb skin.  Yuck!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


  Front with head pinned in place.  Hands areAlso pinned.  Need to think of interesting bracelets for her.  Also going to give her lace mitts. 
 Back of her dress.  Those fabric  roses are from excess cut from her skirt because I made it too long originally.  Love this view.  She does look very 50s.  Don't know if I'll get to work on her today-babysitting with the grands then going to get Diva from her "sleep-over".  My dear friend Jeannie is going to take her while we are away so we are making sure Both will be OK for an extended stay.  Don't think it will be a problem-they love each other.  Just hope she will want to come home when we get back!  Diva is being very spoiled by Jeannie!  And of course we don't do that!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Skirt and underskirt on!

Front skirt and underskirt.
 Back skirt with bustle.  Needs some embellishment then on to the bustier-the only piece I need to actually make a pattern for.  The skirt and underskirt are a circle and strips.  And attaching her arms too.  Anyone guess where I am going with her???  Pretty obvious to me of course.

Monday, August 4, 2014

On to her attire!

Now that the head(s) is(are) done, I wanted to start with her boots.  Used this lovely vintage black lace I have for her stockings and the plan was to give her white leather boots but once I cut away the excess lace, I liked it!  So she got laced up sandles of sorts.  Now on to her skirt.  I am working up and out!

I also want to thank the wonderful dollmaker and author of the RHS Quarterly newsletter for writing a lovely article about me and my dolls.  Check out her website and subscribe to her newsletter.  It is chock full of facinating art and articles.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Head Finale

I had some questions about the clay portion.  First, I use PaperClay and usually let it airdry but because it was too damp yesterday, I baked it in a clay oven at 260d for about 15 minutes.  This was long enough to dry the clay.  Slow drying is best so the clay doesn't crack or draw away from the head. Final steps in the cloth over clay over cloth head is drawing the features and adding color.  I use a Bic Mechanical pencil to draw in the features.  I usually finish the mouth first then the eyes.Next is adding shading to the side of the nose, eyelid crease and chin.  I highlighted the checks with grey then added magenta and pink.  I added purple shadows around the eyes.  Next were the eyebrows.  This is the opportunity to give her expression.  by raising, lowering them, angling them, etc.  Final step is to give her eyelashes.  I was given a box of 10 pair purchased on Ebay by a lovely friend and fellow dollmaker, Tammi in Michigan.  One eyelash is enough for both eyes.  I like them long, so I don't trim them, but it is your preference.  I also draw in fine lashes on the bottom eyelid with a Micron or Zig marker.  I wanted her to be an older grown version of the Bride as a child.  Here are the two faces together. .

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Applying Cloth Over

This is the least favorite part, but the fastest.  After sanding the head, I dry fit  the fabric. Better too large than not large enough and you can also see if there are any bumps that require more sanding.  Ask me how I know!  And once it has stuck enough, pulling it off may also pull off some clay.   I then apply a coat of Tacky Quick Dry glue to the front of the whole head making sure to get glue in all the crevices.  This glue is fairly thick but does spread easily.  Do NOT add water as this will make it seep into the fabric and that causes lots of other problems.  I also start with just laying it on the nose and then start pressing it into the face using my fingers and nails. Further burnishing can be done with something smooth and round like the end of a Hemostat or a crochet hook.  I add pins at the nostril flares top, the nostrils, eye corners and between the lips. The pins penetrate the paperclay very easily as it really isn't that thick.  The overlay takes about 3 minutes to get to the pin to dry stage.  Leave the pins in long enough to make sure the fabric is secure in these areas then carefully remove them.  Don't worry about the holes, they will self heal and be covered with color.  Then I pin the excess to the head back pulling it carefully.  Opps!  Forgot to add that pic!It is OK to stretch now to remove the wrinkles.  This keeps the fabric knit tight.  I pull it tightly under the chin to remove as much of the wrinkles as possible, then I tuck the excess into the neck opening.  You will need to trim away the excess before you sew it in place.  I use large running stitches around the head.  The hair will cover the raw edges.
For the overlay, I use a 4 way stretch cotton with about 5% Lycra.  It is about the thickness of Leotard fabric.  Not as thin as a t-shirt.  On this face, I sprayed the head with Krylon clear Matte finish to seal it.  I want to see if this will prevent pulling.  I will NOT use that again!  It actually brought up a little nap on the fabric!  GRRRR.  Will see how it takes colored pencils and fine tip markers.  Now off to draw and color.

Another face

I haven't finished the previous head though she only needs eyebrows and maybe lashes though not sure about that.  The head is pinned on the body right now but I felt like doing one with clay over.  I took a rejected Bella head, sewed the nose to flatten it a bit and gessoed it.  Then I began to add clay.  I have to say, this took me less time to do than sculpting the cloth head!  I know I know - I was told that!  It was also easier to correct errors.  Here is a mosaic of the head so far.  It is drying so I can add the cloth over.  Will probably bake it because it is very humid here, rain just stopped.  The first pic is the gessoed head, then clay added for forehead and nose.  I kept the shape and size of the head,  I didn't want to make it larger.  Third pic is adding cheek bones.  Then top lip and filtrum, bottom lip, some refining, eyelids and more defining.  Decided the nose was too long, so moved the eyelids down, opened the bottom of the eyes a bit, and moved the lips up.  Once it is dry, cloth over than color. Hopefully, once color is added, I can even out her lips if sanding doesn't do it, though I did do some correction after the last pic was taken. I'll add some pics of the cloth over process hopefully later today.  Not all the gesso is covered with clay.  A cloth head, once it is stuffed, takes me about 5 hours to sketch, sculpt and color.  So far, this took me 1 1/2 hrs.  It will probably take as long as the cloth face.  And I had already put those hours into it!  Now you know why I don't just chuck them!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014


  Thought I would use my diva pattern and picked out pieces from my pieces folder and well-most were from that pattern, just not the body bottoms!  Had a panic attack when they didn't fit perfectly the first time then realized the problem when I pulled a print out.  Who will she be???

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I am supposed to be cleaning...

But instead I made this purse.  I had purchased this fabric for a doll but the print is too big.  Want a messenger bag to hold my iPad so this is the test version.  The strap buttons and can be adjusted so I can wear it as a shoulder bag or slung diagonal.  Going to a punk rock flea market Sunday too.  Next one is Route 66 fabric.  Looking for a map print to put with it.  

I also made a few charms and thought I would make a pin for another purse-just don't know which one yet!