Wednesday, July 18, 2007

BECKY doll class is here!

BECKY Beautiful Baby from Jerusalem class is ready! Without further ado class begins August 10th at
doll street
This is an advanced class and is a recreation of an antique Arranbee collector's doll- original cloth pattern is an exact cloth rendition of the original solid material parts. You will learn beautiful face painting techniques and there is even a custom made iron on transfer to make it easy. Hope to see you there!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cowboy Slim

The doorbell rang just before 2:00 this afternoon, and what do you know- Cowboy Slim did mosey on in!
Cowboy Slim is my entry for Li Hertzi's new and fabulous book, Art Doll Adventures. He's such a character! I forgot to photograph him before I sent him into the wild blue yonder, and now that he's back- well I'mma round up dem photos!

First off, lookit this silly hat. Not your typical cowpoke hat. I was inspired by an old kids book called Go Dogs, Go! In the book, there's this girl dog who keeps asking everyone if they like her hat. "Do you like my hat?" she keeps asking. "No, I do not. I do not like that hat," is always her response. Finally, she comes in with this absolutely unbelievable hat with tons of things on top of it- "Do you like my hat?" "Yes! Yes I do like that party hat!"
Thus, my cowboy is a bit deviant today, and dressing on the wild side. I for one, like his hat!
(Yes, a bit weird, I know, but well I was asked to create somehting "different!")
Next, we have the gun. I made it with a vintage photo and inkjet transfer paper. I sewed 2 guns together, turned and stuffed it. The holder is made from polymer clay and antique solution, just like the cowboy boots.
What good would a cowboy be without an ATC?

I really had a great time creating this little guy. He stretched my creative comfort zone and for that I'm thankful. Taught me to be wild. He told me, "little lady, lookem in the eye, and say, 'I take no sass but sasparilla!' "

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mexican Bead Collage

This is probably one of the most interesting things I've seen in a long time. It's an art form from Mexico- a great find by a neighbor who vistited a few years ago. This piece hangs on her livingroom wall and has my greatest admiration!
The story behind it is just as interesting. It's made by a certain tribe called Huicotl.
Believe it or not, they were once cannibals!
She found this while wandering in some kind of an open market. People from the tribe were sitting there, creating and selling their work. And what spectacular work it is! Just look at these details...
The whole thing is a layer of beeswax (I think mixed with another substance, I'm not certain what), rolled flat and spread over something like a coconut, to form a kind of mask. The eyes are cut out. The work is done in the sun, to keep the beeswax warm and pliable. With tweezers, the artist carefully places beads in a pattern.
Is this incredible or what?

I think it's amazing.
The catch: if this gets hit by the sun- the whole thing could melt!
Oh and the price: a "whopping" $70.
Can you believe it????? A very well-spent $70, that is for sure!

Maybe one day I'll try this technique on a doll. Then again, maybe not! I doubt if I could duplicate this skill! I'm just astounded. Aren't you?
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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Best Fabric and Mediums for Cloth Doll Faces

Marie-Paule from France wrote me a letter today asking about the kind of fabric used for cloth doll faces, and how to color them. This is a great topic. I can tell you from experience, not all fabric is suited for making dolls, and some fabric is better than others when it comes to coloring them.
Of course, there are lots of mediums you can use to "paint" a doll's face- and body, too! But let's get down to basics.

If you are beginning to learn how to construct a cloth doll, and color the face- then you should start with colored pencils. You get absolutely gorgeous results and it's a perfect way to learn and practice all the important techniques- how to shape the eyes, where to place them, how to shade, how to form realistic features. It really isn't rocket science. And you can do it all with a few colored pencils. After you feel comfortable, you can try paint. Many doll artists just stick to colored pencils, though.

What kind of colored pencils?
Most importantly, they should have a high pigment and do well on fabric. Not all pencils that are made for paper can color on fabric. I wrote a post about this about a year ago, and you can read more about it here.

Fabric is also very important. THe best kind of fabric for dolls is cotton, the kind you use for making quilts. The higher the thread count, the better the quality of the fabric, and the better for painting and coloring on. There are several resources on the internet for "doll fabric." Your local quilt shop may have something in a nice skin color, but my experience living in Israel tells me that such fabric may not be accessible to everyone everywhere! I tried substitutes but believe me, when I ordered the "right stuff" from the internet, my dolls and faces changed dramatically. Form needle sculpting to coloring, fabric makes a tremendous difference.
Here is one of my favorite sources for doll fabric:
My favorite doll fabric happens to be "Pimatex parfait." You can find it at that site. Another goodie is Kona Cotton. It's a bit thicker than the Pimatex.

Some other handy things you will need when coloring faces:

  • micron pens (they are super super thin, great for making eyelashes)
  • Gel pen in white (for whites of eyes)
  • Spray bottle or q-tip dipped in water (for blending)
  • Fixative Spray (for sealing and protecting your work)

I'll try to post a bit more details about face painting in the future. Lots of pictures to upload, I'm afraid I don't have time today!

And of course, there is a fabulous book that I have to recommend. Creative Cloth Doll Faces byt Patti Medaris Culea. There are lots of books out there on this subject, and Patti's is a great resource. Easy to understand, well written, and you can't go wrong!

Have fun!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"Doggone" Seattle

Seattle has an awesome off-leash dog park with a trail and a lake at the end. We took our Israeli dog Stella there today. Boy was it a fabulous experience... actually it's quite a special story.

Stella, a black dog with tan markings and a squiggly tail, was born in Tzfat, a small town in the mountains of Northern Israel. Last year on this day, ketyusha rockets began to fall on Tzfat, marking the beginning of the war. The city was bombarded for a month straight, and people had to live in underground bunkers. Some people died. We weren't there- we lived in Rehovot, near Tel Aviv. But Stella was there. She was living with a different family at the time. No doubt that experience was terrifying. This year, Stella had the time of her life in her new home in Seattle.

The off-leash dog park is straight up (and down, and up and down) the [hilly Seattle] road in my neighbourhood. It's really quite close. The park has a trail which leads up to Lake Washington. It's so beautiful. Paradise for people- and dogs!

Here's the view at the top of the hill. I'm still in my car! Just below is the entrance to the park.

Here we are in the park. Stella's strutting around off leash. YES!!

A friendly message

And here we are at the lake! WHat an incredible thing, eh? Dogs fetching balls and frisbees- what great swimmers we have here! This is really a lot of fun. What do you think Stella? Never been in water before- and definitely never been around so many friendly dogs before, let alone swimming dogs!

Stella was kinda chicken, actually. I always thought she was "tough..." NAAA! That's okay. Lots of fun things to see... I know she really enjoyed this.
Look at that pug dog standing on that rock next to his owner. I love that Husky dog on the left side- that's Seattle's mascot dog. The college football team is called the Huskies.
We stayed for about an hour. Stella went in and out of the water several times but never too deep. I wonder what was going through her mind when she saw all the dogs swimming- all but her! Maybe next time she'll give it a try. Maybe I'll dress for the occasion and help her into the water!

PS...we did have another dog- Daisy. Daisy is a Collie, and she stayed in Israel. (It costs more to ship a dog one way than to fly a person round trip!!!!)

We gave her to a wonderful young couple who have a ranch with horses, goats and sheep. She's very happy there. Stella- well, what can I say. She's really our dog!
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