Monday, 30 December 2013

Remembering Past Work

Now that the end of the year is fast approaching I decided to look at some of my past work.  I am sharing a few of my favourite pieces with you.

In 2011 I made a doll based on the theme "embellished".  I used elinor peace bailey's doll pattern "Monique" and then went to town on embroidery, beading, ribbon embroidery and lace and ribbons.  I loved the result and so did a member of my doll club who ended up buying her for a birthday gift for his dear friend.  I was so touched.  It is always reaffirming when someone, other than yourself, falls in love with one of your creations.  I hope you enjoy the photo.  The cats where a lot of fun to add as at the time I had four cats myself (there are three cats beside her and one on her lap).
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On this same theme, in 2010 I made another favourite doll, this time dedicated to Arizona, Phoenix and Sedona that I visited with a group of fellow "runners"in January 2010.  We went to participate in the Phoenix half marathon and then my friend and I stayed on to visit the Grand Canyon.  As bad luck would have it, the Grand Canyon was snowed in by a blizzard.  We arrived there (bus tour) but the canyon was a white out.  We could not see anything.  Our driver was great as he took us to see a lesser canyon and then on to Sedona.  I loved the beauty of the surroundings and was so impressed by the friendly people we met.  When the doll club had our spring challenge I knew that my inspiration would be Arizona.

Once again this piece is full of beading and embroidery.  The pattern is loosely based on a workshop I took with the talented Elise Peeples. This is a two-sided doll, one side depicts the sun-filled oranges of Phoenix while the other side represents the mystery that is Sedona (all in purples).  I hope you enjoy her (she is in my private collection). Notice the runner in black silhouette on the front of the Phoenix doll.

Last, but not least, is my favourite doll of 2009 based on the "Africa" theme in our June club challenge.  I decided to make an Ethiopian maiden.  This doll was made with cotton knit fabric over plain cotton.  The face was hand stitched to bring out her facial features and then the knit was pulled over her face and held in place with more stitching.  I leaned this technique from the australian doll maker Lynn Butcher.  I loved added her shell adornments and making her hair (crocheted) appear as if it is full of the red clay they use to decorate their hair for special tribal celebrations.  Sadly, I sold her too quickly and I still miss her as she was very beautiful and I was very pleased with how she felt in the palm of my hand.  I hope you enjoy her as well.
The last doll I want to share is one I made for our doll club's 8th birthday.  She is named, "Who say's we can't?".  This doll group is based on the work of illustrator Amy Brown.  I had fun adding her wee imps with the same "can do" attitude:

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Toronto's Ice Storm

The city of Toronto (where I grew up), Ontario, Canada had the worst ice storm in it's history just a few days before Christmas.  My siblings sent me some pictures that I thought I would share with my friends here in Victoria.  Luckily all my family had power for Christmas and I hope that Ontario Hydro is able to restore power to everyone in Greater Toronto in time for the New Year's celebrations.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

New Teddies

Well I am happy to say that I have been busy making some adorable mohair animals for the Coast Collective gallery.  To date I have a wee chickadee, a sweet elephant named Emily, a giraffe named Gerome, Emma, and a funny little bear that wants to be a duck!

Emily's BFF, Suzy Q.

Emily loves the colour green.
Gentle Gerome with he's buddy Marcel the monkey

Going "Quackers"

His sweet face under the duck cap!
Emma and her Christmas Teddy

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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

A Dragon is Born

It is Christmas day and just in time, a new dragon is born! This dragon is for a very special lady that lives here in Victoria, BC.

Dragon lore is found in the history of many world cultures ranging from the Egyptians to the Celts, from the Chinese to the western world.  In western lore, dragons are metaphors for the battle against self doubt and the triumph over one's internal chaos.
Close up of the body showing the gold painted scales and the "yo-yo" embellishments
In China and Japan dragons are emblems of royalty and guardians of the ancestral spirits.  Cultures the world over speak of dragons when explaining the creation of the earth.

The dragon is a composite creature, part snake, part bird, part horse, and part fish.  It's beard is a sign of wisdom while its horns represent royalty.
The dragon is born in the water, breathes fire, inhabits the air, and guards the earth's treasure.

In making this "fire dragon" I was drawn to the richness of the orange and red tones and the sparkle of the eastern jewels (his belly is beaded by hand and outlined with purple/red beaded trim).  I used Melinda Small-Patterson's design for this magnificent dragon.

I am sure he will be a fierce, loyal household guardian.  His name will be chosen by his owner!

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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve Day

We started a new tradition this year-visiting the "Habitat for Humanity" gingerbread houses and the Christmas tree display for a local Children's hospital.  The pictures speak for themselves.  I hope everyone in the Greater Victoria area gets a chance to visit the Inn at Laur'el Point (gingerbread houses) and the Empress Hotel (73 Christmas trees) this year.

Chef sketch for "Steampunk Cinderella" seen below

Friday, 20 December 2013

Happy Holidays

Well, this is the season for reflection over the events of the past year. I have much to be grateful for; good health, a family that I love and that loves me, a wonderful husband, many good friends, and a happy retirement life. 

I have been selling both my art dolls and my teddy bears at a local gallery, the Coast Collective and have sold and displayed my dolls at my local salon, R place in Vic West.  I have been approached by a home decor shop in Sidney, BC to display my dolls in their window, in the spring of 2014.  All in all, an exciting wonderful year. 

 My philosophy, regarding the selling of dolls, is that the more art dolls out in the world, the better.  There is room in Greater Victoria for more than one of us to sell our art dolls.  Dolls bring a smile to many faces and bring only joy to the world.  I say bring them on!

To all my family, followers and friends I wish you a very happy holiday season, Merry Christmas, and a healthy, prosperous New Year.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

My Christmas Tree

Well baby it is cold outside, for Victoria, BC, that is (0 degrees celcius) so a great day for baking and putting up the tree.


  As you all know if you follow me, I am thralled with Frida Kahlo and never tire of making dolls in her image.  Here are the latest two mad...