Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Toronto Blue Jays

Well, since I have been making "bird" art dolls for the last little while, I thought I would finish with the beautiful Blue Jay.  The Blue Jay is very common in Ontario and as I spent many happy years in Toronto I am fond of the Blue Jay.  I am fond of this bird not only because I love its bright blue plumage but also because it is the official emblem of the Toronto baseball team the "Blue Jays".

The Blue Jay is not seen in BC although the Stellar Jay is seen on Vancouver Island where I live (larger and not as bright at the Blue Jay seen in southern Ontario)

While I was looking through my stash of possible fabrics for this doll I came across a beautiful blouse that I bought on impulse but hardly ever wore (I am well endowed and this blouse accentuates this)! The blouse is shades of blue with made from a technique seen in Japanese tie dye.  I thought why not, and so I had my fabric.  I decided that this doll could have a longer skirt so that she would look great on a mantle but also hanging on a wall.

This doll sits about 10" tall and if hanging on the wall is about 18" tall

Her mask can be removed to reveal her wee face and her nest necklace

Back showing her bright feathers

I made her a wee mask to mimic the Blue Jay and then I added her feathered back feathers to pay homage to the beautiful tail feathers.  I even used the front button section of the blouse as part of her head dress to resemble the distinctive crown of the Blue Jay.  Overall, I was very pleased with the result.

The Blue Jay that this doll holds is made from felt.  This doll was fun to make and I hope you enjoy her.

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Purple Finch

I am on a bird kick and so I decided to make another art doll featuring a bird I love but have never seen except in pictures, the Purple Finch.

The Purple Finch is a pretty, little songbird that is the official state bird of New Hampshire.  It has a cranberry/purple hooded head with brown wings, a light underbelly and pinkish chest:

I decided to use Cindee Moyer's on-line class, Raven and adapt it to made a representation of this lovely wee finch.:

A close-up of the fascinator with brown feathers cascading down

I was very happy with the result.  I just had to make her very own wee finch in felt that is perched on her hand.
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Saturday, 24 May 2014


"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…suddenly there came a tapping at my chamber door". -Edgar Allan Poe.

This poem inspired the talented Cindee Moyer to create an on-line class depicting the mysterious Raven.  I signed up for the class a number of years ago and I finally completed my doll.

My Raven is pondering the word, "Nevermore":

Face mask is made with paper and glitter glue.

She holds her own copy of "the Raven" by Poe

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Friday, 16 May 2014

Crow Mother

Continuing on the bird theme, I decided to make the ever mysterious crow.  A number of years ago, I was very fortunate to take the "Crow Mother" workshop with the wonderfully talented and fun Ute Vasina.  I have loved my Crow Mother and decided I would never part with her for she brings back memories of the fun times that I had in the workshop.

However, I have been asked so many times if I would sell my art doll, that I decided to make another Crow Mother.  Crows are highly intelligent creatures that live among us.  In mythology they have been symbols of the Supreme Being, and guides and messengers of the God(s).

I was very pleased with the result and it goes to show that Ute's designs are wonderfully written.  Here is my second Crow Mother that will be for sale in the fall.  She stands on her own at 13" tall and cradles her wee baby troll in her arms:

The baby troll she holds is all hand sculpted and brushed with artist chalks for colouring.  These babes are so much fun to make all on their own!
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Tweedy the Owl

I love, love art books, especially those that have designs to make and inspire.  About a year ago, I purchased a wonderful book called "the artful bird" by Abigail Patner Glassenberg.  The book contains instructions and patterns to make your own feathered friends.

As you may have guessed, I choose to start with the Owl shown on the back of the book.  I have kept my husband's older tweed jackets for just this purpose!  I used the good parts of the jacket for the owls feathers and was very pleased with the outcome:

The owl has been regarded with fascination and awe in many cultures and throughout time. Owls have been both feared and venerated and have been considered either wise and/or foolish.  They are often associated with wisdom, medicine and prophecy.

My owl has his very own companion called Oliver.  Oliver is needle felted by hand.  The feet are wired, wrapped with floral tape and then wrapped with strips of torn cotton fabric to suggest feathers.

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  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...