Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gleeful Garden Doll Gang

This afternoon as I was driving along in my car, I discovered the most amazing artsy oasis in the most unassuming place.  Impulsively, I parked my car and meandered through the maze of the most interesting garden art I had ever seen.

These creations are made of scrap iron and other recycled stuff.  What a great way to create art! 

The name of the shop is HOME & GARDEN ART LLC
specializing in Gates, Arbors, Trellis, Fencing and ART!

I was really taken by the utter creativity.  I saw everything from flying pigs to dancing hippos.

Just take a look at some of these adorable pieces...

Froggy Serenade

La la la!
Singing in a Sombrero

Playing on the trumpet

There were all sorts of amazing things to see at this place.  A true whimsical garden oasis for the artsy fartsy inclined.  I loved it all,  but this was my favorite....

 I wish I had a place for it!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Perfectly Pulchritudinous Paint

I have discovered something wonderful.

It's called ALLEY SKIN PAINT from The Clay Alley. It's fabulously-colored paint especially made for dolls- and it looks superlative!

I've always been a stickler for Genesis paint- love it on Polymer clay. But I've also long been looking for something else- and I think I've found what I'm looking for.

This paint is specifically formulated for Fantasy Figures and dolls. It can be used on air dry clay as well as polymer clay. I really love the tones. Just excellent. I am utterly inspired!
Here's the description:
  • Superior quality matte acrylic paint

  • Quick drying

  • Covers very well

  • Gives a beautiful porcelain type of skin

  • Can be diluted with water
I am especially excited about these tones- I just love them. Just excellent. I am utterly inspired!

There are two types of paint in this line- "Fairy Skin" and "Realistic Doll." The fairy skin paint looks fairy-ish, I guess- how would you translate that? More special, more mystifying, more delicate- whatever it is, I want to try it.
The Realistic Doll Paint looks like the absolute perfect tones for doll skin colors. No more mixing, no more trying to get it right. And no more having to buy skin toned polymer clay either. The nice thing about that is- no more inevitably dirty finger transfers! (even though you have already scrubbed your hands 10 times....) And if you are working with air-dry clay, which is typically gray- all the better!
The Realistic Skin Paint has Sherry Goshon's dolls on the label. She must be tickled pink about this. I've just got to try this stuff. I guess my problem is- I don't know which to choose!
Upon discovering these paints, I also discovered a new doll making supply supplier. (Clay Alley). I will need to get to know them better- hope you will too! They seem to have stuff right up us doll people's alley... and this paint is the cat's meow.
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mad Hatters

Now this is just too much fun. These ladies have the right idea... get a load of these marvelous hats!

You GO Grandma! When I "grow up" I want to look just like her!

I wonder what [in the world] this is made of?
Get a load out of this!!
Makes me want to improve my millinery skills.... this is the stuff that inspires me!

(Pictures from Reuters)
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I need it like I need a hole in my head!

If you are familiar with making soft dolls, you probably know that you can use a felting needle to root natural wool into a doll's head.  Working with a hard-headed doll is more or a challenge because you need to glue the hair on.  I discovered a technique that allows you to root that hair in naturally- where it counts. 

For this example, I'm working on a porcelain doll.  Porcelain body parts are hollow... head included.  I needed to fill in the hole, obviously- and inadvertently realized that this could be to my advantage.  This technique was done on a porcelain doll, but it should work on a polymer clay doll too. I may be reinventing the wheel, but I have never seen this technique recorded anywhere.   I think I'll coin it the ' Rooting  Rivkah Technique'...  silly as it sounds, I hope it inspires somebody- sis boom bah, rah rah rah!

You will need:

*quilters batting
*skin colored fabric
*glue that dries clear  
*fine mohair (I used Alpaca)
*sewing machine
*felting needle
*red nailpolish (just kidding!)

To prepare the doll's head sew quilters batting and skin colored fabric in a circle, just a bit larger than the hole in the head.  Trim very close to the seam, and glue down.  Allow to dry completely.  
Looks like a beenie!

Spread out the mohair on a table.  Do it very carefully, especially if you are using Alpaca wool.  It's very fine and  "flyaway."  At this point, it's a good idea to cover the mohair with a quilter's mat or something flat for a while.  This will make it more manageable and prepare it for sewing the wefts.

To sew the wefts, set your sewing machine thread tension to 1.0 or 1.5.  It's a little challenging but the feed dogs on the machine actually do pull the fibers through.  If you have trouble then put on red nailpolish.


Next you will have to glue the wefts onto the doll's head.    You will want to make about 3 rows of wefts, from the bottom up.  (I only had enough mohair for 3 rows).  Let each row dry before you move up to the next.   

note: In a pinch,  glue some "fuzzies" in between the rows.  Just clip off some extra shavings and glue them in so that the "scalp" part doesn't show.  (If you have tons of mohair to work with, don't worry about it!)

Notice I should have added some more shavings in between the wefts...  I'll go in and add it.
Now the doll is ready to be needle felted... 

On the forehead, carefully needle wispy baby hair "under" the edge of the "beenie."   You will have to work carefully holding the needle horizontally and poking sideways- rather than up and down.  Do it slowly and it will work.  Makes for a perfect hariline!  It will look very natural.

This is why I am sure that this technique can work on a polymer clay doll, too- even though the head won't be hollow.  I would try needle felting on the beenie over a makeshift small pillow the size of the diameter of a cup.  Then I would carefully remove it, and then glue the whole thing to the polymer doll.

What do you think?  Try it out!  And don't forget to wear red nailpolish....

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

I got an award!

I got a beautiful award today, for which I am most thankful.
It's called the "Arte y Pico" award, and it was created and to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and their talents, whether it be writing, artwork in all media's. When you receive this award it is considered a "special honor". Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to at least 5 others.  For those of you who speak spanish, please read more info on this wonderful award , visit:

Linda Walsh gave it to me. Shyly I cut and paste what she had to say about me:

Rivkah is an enormously talented doll artist whose creations just take your breath away. She also spends hours upon hours posting FREE tutorials for other doll makers. Rivkah's mission on her blog is: MY MISSION is to share my love of doll artistry with you, and teach what I know, a little at a time. I would have to say that Rivkah has certainly achieved her MISSION, at least as far as I'm concerned and which I'm sure if you're a fan of her art dolls and blog you will agree. For all her unselfish and countless hours in preparing all her blog tutorials I have to say "Thank-you, Rivkah!"

Undoubtedly I will have to pass this award on to 5 more artists.
I really appreciate these things because they make it all so fulfilling- now I feel like revamping my whole blog and adding more and more......
Thank you so much Linda! You have made me so happy.
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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Peace Doll

Today I was doing nothing all day but what I wanted to do- eat, drink coffee and play dolls. sound good? I wish it were true!

In the meantime, it dawned on me that I never showed anybody my most prized doll. She was a gift from two ladies on Doll Street- Marcia Acker-Missall and Molly. This doll was probably my "turning point" in embarking on my journey of doll making artistry. She is a treasure.

The doll was created in early 2004 when I was new to Doll Street. I had been in Israel for a while and feeling isolated although I had lovely neighbors, friends, etc. I had nobody to "play dolls" with. I found Doll Street on the web and wrote to Molly, who immediately welcomed me with open arms. I was so touched, I joined in the fun shyly and gained more confidence.

I'll never forget the day she arrived. I had to get my mail at the local post office, which was up in town, because they would not deliver to where I lived. It was all cobblestone and cars couldn't get down there. So there I am, walking down the street with this package from Doll Street. I could hardly contain myself and opened it up right then and there.

It was a friendship doll. Molly had created the doll's body, and passed it to Marcia Acker-Missall, who gave her a beautiful face and decorated her with beads and two symbolic embellishments.

The blue hand-like object is called a "Hamsa" which is very popular in Middle Eastern cultures. Actually it is an ancient symbol that began in Arabia. Hamsa is the word for 'five' in Arabic. Hamesh is five in Hebrew- same root, same idea.

The Hamsa charm has an eye in it to ward off the 'evil eye.' Blue is a lucky color, like the Heavens. The Hamsa is a symbol of good fortune. Probably by warding off the evil eye.
In any case, it's a good thing.

The other symbol on the doll is a globe with the word 'Peace' on it. Wouldn't that be wonderful. I am dreaming of it. The doll has been through the '06 Israel-Lebanon war with me. I will never forget that. This is one of the reasons I came back to America. I think I have become slightly insane from that ordeal (!) I wish the world would be at peace.

There is writing on the doll's legs. The first one reads,

"My body was ... Made for Rivkah by Molly of Doll Street "

The other leg says, "My face was made by Marcia Acker-Missall... & the beading too "

The doll's back says, " Faith Love Peace '04 "

I love this doll. She was with me through war and has been packed up and moved across the world. She's always been a source of comfort because she reminds me that I have friends, even friends that I have never met but who are friends nonetheless. Isn't that lovely? I think so. I think I am lucky.

When I left Israel and came back to Seattle I had to part with many things, which was difficult. I miss my stuff and I do miss certain things about Israel. Thankfully she did not get left behind. I really love her because she reminds me of goodness and the things I love to do. Thank you Molly and Marcia! You'll never know how much your gift really means to me.

Oh and- of course, she has the good life...
Here she is on a hammock !

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