Monday, 25 July 2016

Cardinals Abound

Did I mention that I love to create cloth figures with steampunk?  Well this time I started with a design by "Frowning Francis".  I used cloth for the cardinal body and the wings are made of foam board.  The legs are wired and I added polymer clay for the beak and claws to make them stronger.  I then went to town on the steampunk additions (industrial revolution, science fiction fantasy and victorian fashion touches).  I titled this piece, "Time Flies at Cardinal Speed":

 I made the base by adding "Tim Holtz" fabric scraps and time pieces to a hardwood plank.  I had a lot of fun using upholstery tacks, wooden and metal gears, fabric tape measures, keys and watch faces:

As the cardinal tells us, "Encourage your hopes, not your fears"!

Friday, 22 July 2016

My Little Cubbyhole Finished

I finished the doll and then decided to knit her a sweater.  Not content, I then embroidered some flowers using silk ribbon on her sweater!  The effect was worth it as  the embroidery picked up on the flowers of her dress.  She may be a sad little girl at times but her granny and mom dress her well. The cubby hole was made by Don Campbell (Cedar Creations on Craigflower Rd in Victoria):

Now she needed her toys surrounding her.  I made her a Raggedy Anne, a "waldorf" style doll, a bunny and a cat.  I also found two perfectly sized teddy bears to add to the tableau.

I think she will be very happy in her cubbyhole and hopefully her parents will stop fighting!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

My Little Cubbyhole II

The body for this little girl came together well.  I used a combination of ball joints and traditional joints to pose her in a seated position.  The legs and arms are made from the same cotton knit fabric as the face while the body is calico to prevent it from becoming too "fat" when stuffed firmly.  I used wool batting to stuff both the head and body as I wanted the doll to feel warm to the touch.  Also the wool packs well and is easier to needle sculpt than polyester stuffing.  It makes the doll heavier and for this piece, it works well.

I am pleased with how she is able to sit and her legs can pose as well as he arms.  I found a perfect pair of shoes for this little one in my "stash".  They are real children's shoes, size 2.

I was pondering hair as I want her to be a brunette and I found one wig that was made for her: medium brown with two pigtails and some loose ringlets to frame her sweet face.

Now she needs some clothes.  Back soon!

Monday, 18 July 2016

My Little Cubbyhole

This year at the Coast Collective Art Centre(CC)  in Victoria, BC, similar to last year, there will be an exhibition of poems and their interpretation by various artists.  Last year's event was a great success.

The way it works is that local poets submit their poems and the CC artists choose a poem to illustrate using their medium, be it paint, pencil, sculpture, glass, wood, or fabric.

I participated last year with the poem "The Mushroom Angel" and it was fun to try and make a figurative cloth piece to illustrate what the poem meant to me.

This year I choose the poem, "My Little Cubbyhole" by poet Chris Henry:

This poem touched my heart and I could picture a little girl with pigtails hugging her dolls and stuffed animals after hearing her parents fight.  The tears dried up and she starts to find happiness in her special little cubbyhole with her cuddly friends.

I started the head using the technique I learned last year from NAIDA doll artist, Shelley Thornton:

The head is made with a underlay of thick "fleece type" stretchy fabric that is needle sculpted to bring out the eyes, nose and mouth.  Then the head is covered with a cotton knit fabric and carefully stretched, pinned and then secured to the underlay.  Ears are then added.  I needle felted some wool fleece to the back of her head to get the proper dome shape.

I used acrylic paints, pencil crayons and sigma permanent markers to detail her face.  I then used "Diamond Glaze" to add a tear that had not yet dried.  I am happy with the result so far.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's progress.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Critter Mania Continues

I am stocking up on making my wooly critters for a November artisan show at the Da Vinci Centre in Victoria, BC.

I up-cycle  wool sweaters that are past their useful life (from thrift stores) and then felt them using hot water and soap.  I then decide which critter the sweater wants to be and off I go.

It has been a blast as you will see from my new stash:

First some of my Foxes:

A daddy fox made from the same soft wool reddish sweater:

One of more super soft lambs from a cashmere sweater (I will be making another one in pink):

I managed to find another yellow cashier sweater that had a few holes in it but made a super sweet monster:

I also found a lovely lavender purple sweater that shouted out, make me a kitty!

A super soft pink puppy:

What else is there?  What about a kitty modelled after Rosie the Riveter and "hello kitty":

So you see, I have been very busy indeed.  Now I must make a dolly based on a poem, "My Cubby Hole".  Stay tuned.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Happy Canada Day

My adoptive country, Canada is 149 years old today and it is time to celebrate and be grateful that we live in such a magnificent, socially conscious country.

In honour of this special day, I made a special Canada Day kitty using an 100% wool sweater from the "Bay Club" (Hudson's Bay special sweater).

I loved making this wee kitty and it fits the day entirely:

Until next year, this Canadian kitty will now root for the Italian soccer team, the Azzurri in tomorrow's match versus Germany.  Forza Azzurri!  After all, Italy is my birthplace and also holds a special place in my heart!


  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...