Thursday, 8 December 2016

Frida Kahlo

I love making Frida Kahlo dolls as for me she is an icon.  She was born in 1907 just three years before the Mexican revolution and she has a physically painful life due to an accident that took her right leg when she was just 19.  Due to her accident she could no longer study medicine (she had wanted to become a doctor) but found art as her escape.  

Frida embraced life to the fullest, her pain, her joy, her love of art, her love of Mexico and Mexican folk art and her love of nature and animals.

My inspiration for this piece was  a photo of one of Frida's folkloric Mexican outfits and Frida's red prosthetic leg:

I used the technique that I learned from Shelley Thornton but with a painted face rather than embroidered:

I found the perfect Mexican folk art chair and went from there:

As you can see, I crocheted flowers for her hair and made her a black cat and a Milagro Mexican heart pendant.  I hope you enjoy her.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Christmas Craft Shows

 It has been awhile since my last post as I have been crazy busy getting ready for two craft shows.  The first is just over and it was a success!  I featured my christmas ornaments and my "Wooly Critters" as well as my Owl backpacks at the "Gifts for Myself and Others" show at the Da Vinci Centre in Victoria, BC.  

The "Wooly Critters" were a huge success as were my ornaments.  I sold my three backpacks as well.  It is very rewarding watching people walk by and break into a huge smile.  I knew then that I had done a good job in bringing my whimsy to life.

My Christmas bunnies sold out as did my backpacks. They were so much fun to make and I will make the bunnies again for the next holiday season.  Here are just a sampling:

As you can see they are about 7" or so to the tip of their ears.
Once I finished with the wee bunny girls I decided to alter the jacket pattern and create some bunny boys:

In addition to the bunnies I also made some snowmen and angel ornaments as well as some foxes and raccoons but the bunnies were the favourites, I think due to my "over the top" embroidery on the front and back of the coats and jackets.  Here are a few of the back of the pieces:

Well now on to the next show which starts on Wednesday, November 23rd at the Coast Collective Art Centre in Colwood BC, the "Gift and Wishes" show.  Luckily I saved some special ornaments and critters for this show as well!  

That is all for now and I hope that you remember to support your local artists and buy local this holiday season!  It is not the quantity but the quality of the gift that matters.  Everyone appreciates a special hand made gift from a local artisan, I know I do!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Titania in Fairyland

As I mentioned in my last post, the cloth-a-dollics hosted Angela Jarecki, a talented doll artist, to teach Titania in a three day, hands-on workshop.  

I loved Angela's gentle and knowledgeable style and I loved her dolls!  After the workshop, I spent the following week completely the doll by designing some pixie shoes out of ultra suede and giving her an environment.  I also finished her wings and gave her my personal "over the top" style.  Here she is:

Titania says goodbye for now:

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Angela Jarecki Workshop

This past weekend the Cloth-a-dollics hosted Angela Jarecki, a talented cloth and mixed-media doll maker, at Heritage Acres in Victoria, BC.

Her dolls are beautiful and evoke the innocence and fantasy of childhood:

She was teaching a wee doll in this three day workshop, that is pictured below. She is all cloth with a face overlay to hide the centre seam.  Her faces are coloured using watercolour pencils.  She even provided a pattern for the wee donkey:
Angela is a lovely lady and a great teacher.  She was very informative, very giving, and very organized.  We loved hosting this wonderful teacher and would recommend her to any doll club wanting to learn her techniques.  

Here are samples of her "Windows" techniques that she used to practice colouring the all important faces:

Stay tuned next week for my finished doll from her workshop.  I love her and cannot wait to make another doll using some of the techniques that I learned from Angela Jarecki.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

August in Toronto

As you may know, I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada's largest city.  My mom, sister and two brothers and their families live in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).  I left Toronto in 1989 and now live here in beautiful Victoria, BC.  However, I do miss my family and the big city with all it has to offer.  Every year I travel back to T.O. (Toronto) to visit and take in a show, event or major tourist activity.

This time I took my husband and my friend Marian back with me.  Now Marian has never been to the "centre of the universe" so I was interested in her take on my home town.

It was a fabulous visit indeed.  The first thing that Marian noticed was all the brick homes (the west coast is in an earthquake zone so very few brick houses).

She loved the view from the top of the CN Tower:

Then there was the fantastic Ripley's Aquarium at the base of the CN Tower:

We went in the evening after the crowds as during the day it took us one hour in line to finally reach the top of the CN Tower!  So many tourists, I had no idea.

We also visited the Toronto Zoo, specifically to see the baby Panda cubs.  We were not disappointed as they were so adorable!

The mom was fun too as she was busy eating bamboo.  Apparently, they have to eat a hundred pounds of bamboo every day!

We also visited the Distillery District and the Brickworks (both reused as quirky areas with shops and farmer's market):

The photos above are the Brickworks with a large farmer's and artisan market.  The Distillery has more restaurants and high end shops as well as quirky sculptures:

Victoria has a lovely quaint Castle but Toronto has Casa Loma:

We had to take Marian to one of the wonders of North America, Niagara Falls.  The day was warm, the sky blue and the sites marvellous:

Besides all of the site seeing we spent a lovely day at a family BBQ and a day at the Canadian National Exhibition.  We went shopping, of course, in both Little Italy,  Kennington Market, and downtown.  We had gelato and Italian food and hot chocolate and Italian cookies and ... (I must go on a diet!).

The shopping is divine for craft supplies: ( I do miss the big city selection, just look at the ribbons at Mokuba):

Until next year Toronto.  I do miss you and especially my dear family and friends in Toronto, but I also love my new town, Victoria.