Sunday, December 24, 2006

Art Doll Adventures

Li Hertzi wrote a new art doll book, and it looks like it's going to be published in the very near future. I absolutely can not wait to get my hands on it! I know this book is going to be fantastic...
(I did a doll for this book!)
Visit Rockport Publishers to see a blurb about it. The book can be pre ordered at
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mermaid Scales

I am participating in a round robin swap, which is finally coming to a close after a whole year and a half! I'm still waiting for my Doll, Mrs. Flattenstein, to head home, but Linda Danielson's doll made it.

I was so delighted when I saw this completed picture. I was one of the first to add to the doll! When the mermaid arrived to me in Israel, she was hardly a mermaid. Basically just a cardboard cut out with a bit of fabric glued down on her bottom! I created her scales right on that fabric, and am glad to tell you how!


gel medium
plastic rubber bands (the kind you buy for hair, which are used at the ends of small braids or baby hair)
"wax cream"- I'll explain what this is in a minute.

1. Spread the gel medium on the work surface. Be generous.
2. Lay out the hair bands. Use tweezers to spread them out.
3. Allow to dry.

Next you will need to use that "wax cream" I mentioned before. What is it?
I'm not sure what this is called in English. I am certain it must exist in North America, Australia, etc, but this stuff is very, very popular in Israeli craft art. It would be safe to say that no art store in the country doesn't carry it. It's like going to a stationary store and looking for a pencil. Funny enough, wax cream happens to be manufactured in Europe, not Israel.

Wax cream is most commonly used for antique style art. After applying a crackle medium over a painted surface, you smear it over the dried surface, then wipe it off with oil. The wax which got into the cracks remain there, and you have a crackle effect.
The wax cream comes in a small jar. It has metallic pigment in it. It can be hard (like the consistency of a crayon that rubs off on your fingers) or sometimes very soft and creamy (almost like vaseline). It depends on the manufacturer and the project you are working on. For this mermaid, I needed the harder wax because I did not intend to wipe it off, and I didn't want it to be like paint.

You can make it yourself by mixing Pearl Ex metallic pigment powder into melted beeswax. Or, try a gold crayon. A high quality artist crayon, of course, oil based.! If it doesn't rub off on your hands, then try heating it in the microwave for a couple of seconds, to make it a tiny bit softer.

Let's continue:
4. After the rubber band-gel medium surface is dry, spread the wax cream all over. Since it's wax (not paint) it will go heavily on the bands, and much lighter on the under-surface. You won't recognize them as rubber bands any more!

I got this idea from a popular technique typically used on picture frames, wooden boxes and other things where you would want to alter the surface. You can put papier mache, clay, or plaster on a simple frame, in order to create a decorative surface (like the rubber bands and gel medium) then paint with a dark color or antique medium. Then rub the wax cream over this. It's very pretty.

Here is a picture of the technique being done on a plain wooden box, using plaster instead of my rubber band concoction. You can see the steps. The bottom left picture shows the actual wax cream being applied.

Click on the image to make it larger.
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TZOOMI puppets from Israel

Aren't these adorable?
They are VERY Israeli looking. Israelis adore puppets, and hold them in high esteem, too.

Tzoomi Puppets is an Israeli puppet company which has a special philosophy for their wonderful puppets. Just as they have big open/close mouths which can say and express just about anything, they are so lovable and cheerful they encourage children to do the same.
In Israel, we are not without our share of misfortunate troubles. Terrorism, war and other traumas take their toll on kids. These wonderful puppets are designed to help.
The word "Tzoomi" means "attention." When a child acts out or whines, you would say "she wants tzoomi." THe name is very clever indeed. Not only do Tzoomi puppets get attention because they are so adorable, but they have a worthwhile mission.

Here is a short movie clip presentation about them. You can see the puppets in person, but the people are speaking in Hebrew. They are discussing how helpful they are for trauma therapy.

Remember Sesame Street? No wonder those puppets were so effective. Jim Henson was a genius, wasn't he?
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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Curling Doll Hair

REGINA By Patti LaValley

Here is a fantastic trick you can try for making curly doll hair. It works on mohair, synthetic hair and even YARN!
Rejuvinate corkscrew curls, or start from scratch. It's suprisingly easy and fun to do.

1. Heat knitting needles in the oven at a low temperature. You'll want to use the thick size- and they need to be all metal.
2. Carefully remove them from the oven. They should be hot to the touch but not so hot that you burn your fingers. (If they burn your skin they will burn the fibers!) If possible, wear cotton gloves.

You have just created miniature curling irons for dolls!

3. Wrap the hair around the knitting needle, and hold in place as you would in the hair salon ^*^
You can get corkscrew curls using this method.

I learned this from Patti La Valley. She has some adorable cloth doll patterns with homemade curly hair.
Follow the links to see her wonderful curly-haired dolls, Cassandra and Regina
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Antique Doll- finished!

I finally finished my cloth Arranbee doll... I did the face in Van Gogh Oil Paint. Oh what a pleasure it is to paint in oil! It takes a long time, but the result is so beautiful. Believe it or not, I could swear that I can't draw! Somehow the oil paint feels like magic.

SIDE VIEW See the sweet curls created with a generous amount of paint!

Here's a view of the whole doll, with a simple dress I designed just for her-

I mentioned previously that I'd have a class available ... my computer went down and I lost my hard drive- and unfortunately- all the pictures for this class. So, I think I'll skip the class after all! The pattern will still be on the way, though!

This doll is for sale, by the way. She will make a treasured gift or a fabulous addition to your collection. I'll be listing her on ebay next week. If you are interested in her, or have inquiries about her, please contact me by visiting my website
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