Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blog Giveaway!

Here's another great giveaway!  Take a hop, skip and jump...actually, it's just one click, over to Retromummy Blogspot for a chance to win these juicy fabrics.   The drawing will occur on New Year's Eve.  Good luck!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Which Famous Painting Are You?

Farbstudie Quadrate by Kadinsky

You can learn a lot about yourself by the art that you are drawn to.  This can also be true by taking some fun quizzes.  Although a skeptic of such games, I did it for fun and was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered.  I was able to draw correlations between some of my work and the ones I was matched up with or the style of an artist...not necessarily to a T, but nevertheless.  For instance, I usually like to have my boundaries to be loose and not so rigid.  I love lots of color and enjoy more dreamlike states or suggestive figures.  When I design my dolls, it usually begins as a big scribble.  You'll see more of my pattern making style in up coming posts.

Want to see what comes up for you?  Then, try this 1-second quiz.

I came out as Farbstudie Quadrate by Kadinsky which is pictured above. 

Starry Night by Van Gogh

Another quiz picked me out as Starry Night.

There are also quizzes you can Google on "Which (or What) Famous Artist Are You?"  I took several of them which determined I was more like Van Gogh and Matisse. 

Here are some images of Matisse's pieces.

The Blue Window by Matisse 

Moroccan Landscape by Matisse

Harmony in Red by Matisse

Sorrows of the King by Matisse

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Not doll related but still worth mentioning. 

I'm a member of more than several global and national professional associations where you learn best-practices, upskilling, networking, webinars, and so forth.  Yesterday, another member asked for advice on how to deal with a "berating boss".  As I always do, I turn to the internet to do a little research and was surprised by what I found.  The stories I read were appalling; but, on the positive side, there were "Lighthouses of Help", as I like to call them.  If you find yourself, or someone you know, in one of these situations, recommend the following links.  They offer great tips, direction, guidance, and resources for surviving.

Big Bad

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Enter the 2011 Hoffman Challenge!

Main Fabric for 2011 Hoffman Challenge - Style H8709 98G Moss Gold

It's that time of year again, when Hoffman releases the main fabric for next year's competition!  Not only is this a competition for some great prizes; but, it's also an opportunity to have your work travel in their international exhibit (whether or not you win) and receive feedback from the judges on how you can improve your skills. 

To view complete details, visit 2011 Hoffman Challenge.  Otherwise, see below for the main ones I use:

Summary of Rules:
1.  Entry Form 
***There is a "Thank You" page that comes up after the form is submitted. Keep this. It needs to be included in the box when you ship your art doll.***

2.  Fees: $15 USA; $25 outside of USA; $10 extra for Judges Comments
***If you pay by check, it must be included in the box when you ship your art doll.***

3.  Your doll must arrive by July 15, 2011.

4.  The first and most important rule is you must use a recognizable amount of the above fabric in your doll.  It also must be an important feature of your work as a whole.  (There are other categories you can enter; but, I will only be covering the rules for art dolls.)

5.  They must have cloth bodies, look like people and have human features.  They can't represent animals. 

6.  The doll and stand combined must fall between 12” and 20” in height.  The stand cannot be larger than 7" in width.  (Please make sure your stand cannot be broken.  You cannot use pre-purchased stands unless they are altered to coordinate with your doll.  They really want the stand to be built into the overall piece of your work.  Also, the stand and all props need to be securely attached to your doll.) 

7.  Dolls chosen for the traveling exhibit cannot be delicately made or specially posed.  They are packed into a container with all of the other dolls and shipped out from place to place.  Wooden dowels are not strong enough to withstand a heavy doll during all of the traveling and handling.  Thicker dowels would work if the dolls are ligthweight.  However, I did receive a tip that break lines work wonders.  They are lightweight and strong.  You do need to cut them because they are long, then secure them to a wooden base. 

8.  Do not add any scent to your doll because people have allergies.  No potpourri, sachets, etc.  Also, if your doll smells like cigarettes, it will automatically be disqualified.  

Checklist When Mailing Your Doll:

1.  Label your doll and stand with your full name and address in a place that can easily be found but cannot be seen by viewers of the traveling exhibit.  The label must be securely attached with glue, sewn or written.   

2.  Do not use styrofoam peanuts.  Use bubble wrap.

3.  Make sure stand and props are securely attached.

4.  Include the "Thank You" page you received after submitting the Entry Form.

5.  If paying by check, make sure to include it in the box.

6.  Want to receive a delivery confirmation? Include an SASE. Otherwise, if you clearly wrote your email address on the entry form, you will receive a confirmation that way.

7. Your art doll must arrive to the following address no later than July 15, 2011.

Julie Breidt, Curator, Hoffman Challenge
1281 East Magnolia, Unit D
PMB #130
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Dolls chosen for the traveling exhibit will be returned to you in late October 2012.  Those not selected for the exhibit will be returned by late September 2011.

Judging is based on originality, creative use of the challenge fabric, visual impact and workmanship.

From Hoffman:
              *  1st Place: $500 cash and $250 in Sulky products
              *  2nd Place: $300 cash and $150 in Sulky products
              *  3rd Place: $150 cash and $75 in Sulky products
              *  Honorable Mention: Hoffman Fabric Award
              *  Curator’s Choice: Hoffman Fabric Award
              *  Best Hand Workmanship: $300
              *  Best Machine Workmanship: $300
              *  Best First Time Entry, Most Humorous, and
                         Best Incorporation of Theme: Hoffman Fabric Award

From Sulky (Best Use of Sulky Category):
              *  1st Place: $1000 in Sulky Products
              *  2nd Place: $500 in Sulky Products
              *  3rd Place: $250 in Sulky Products

Helpful Links:

Where To Buy the Main Fabric:
(Every year, they offer the entire line, plus an option to buy all the fabrics in a bundle at half yard cuts!  Check it out!)
View Prior Entries: Blue Heron Dolls or Buy Jukebox Quilts CD's

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kitchen Art Dolls with Tutorials

Inspiration is all around.  The best tools to use are often the ones right in front of us.  The ones we so often overlook and don't consider to be inspiring at all.  How wrong we can be.  Take for instance these magnifenct art dolls by Original Art by Griselda who uses a whisk to create her Kitchen Goddess Witches.   

Or, take for instance the historic New England Spoon Dolls.  Traditionally, a face was painted on the back of the spoon and the handle was dressed in cloth.  In today's time, we've become more innovative in our techniques and now add sculpting to create a head, arms, legs, whatever it is we want, using the wooden spoon as a base.  In the end, you can turn any regular, household item into something that no one would ever imagine or even identify as ordinary. 

History of Spoon Dolls can be found at Studio Willich  and Historical Folk Toys. 

Here are more traditional versions.

Or, take, for instance, my favorite - the altered art piece.  There is no ceiling to what you can do.  You are limited by your imagination only.  Take the time to view your world differently and let inspiration soak into your pores.  In time, that creativity will spur into something very unique and these...

Just for fun, there are The Head Chefs by Trend Hunter.  Already to purchase at about $10.00 each at  How cute are these?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Giveaway! Mini Quilt Cabinet with Mini Quilts!

There are lots of blogs having giveaways lately.  Here is another one from Selvage Blog.  If you would like to enter, go to their blog and leave a comment under the post for her giveaway.  Good luck!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Christmas Giveaway!

I just discovered this blog and absolutely love her work.  She is hosting giveaways on her blog twice a month until Christmas.  All items will be Christmas related.  You can see her previous giveaways.  They are primitive creations, very cozy and warm hearted.  The one featured above, a 28" wall hanging Santa, ends on October 15, 2010.  See details at The Rusty Thimble to enter.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Giveaway: Pocket MOnsters!

Speedie Beadie Blogspot is hosting a blog giveaway to win one of her Pocket MOnsters which are featured above.  If you would like to enter for a chance to win one, click on the link above and leave her a message, with your email, by October 15, 2010.  You can read all about how she came up with these little creatures.  Good luck!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Proof of Jack and the Beanstalk: Giant Faces

I started seaching for "optical illusions" on Google and found these great pics. The one above is of L'Aulp du Seuil, Grenoble, France, 2009.

There is another one I like even better at Optical . Click on the link to see. I couldn't post it on my blog. It's a picture of ancient ruins; but, when the photo is turned on its side, it's another huge face.

Or, how about this incredible picture of hands that make up a face?! I think of two things when I see this.

1. How we are being created in heaven before we are born by the hands of heavenly angels and God's sculptors.

2. How we particpate in the sculpting and molding of each person we meet by how we touch them.

Who sculpted you; and, how many lives did you help to mold, for better or worse, whether it was in a momentary passing or one of a longer relationship? Did you build the sculpt up or crumble it in your hands?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

UPDATE on Spam Emails

It looks like everything has been straightened out with the spam emails that had my email address attached.  I haven't received anymore.  Other people have stopped getting them, too.  So, if you happen to still be receiving them, hopefully it will stopped soon.  As I indicated in my prior post, you will always know when a message is coming from me because there will always be a subject with pertinent information.

As it turns out, no one accessed my account.  However, Yahoo indicated the problem arose from someone being able to replicate the address from one of those annoying chain emails someone put me on.  I never participate in these and don't even open them.  I don't care if it is joke related, religious related, or has "IMPORTANT: Must Read, Could Save Your Life" indicated in the subject. 

Now, I can get on with the good stuff and begin to show you all the new stuff I'm working on!  Can hardly wait!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ALERT: Hijacked Email

This is to alert you someone got a hold of my email and is sending spam to my contacts and members of my groups.  The emails are sex related.  There is no subject listed.  Do not click on the link provided; and, don't even bother opening it.  

Yahoo is currently fixing the issue; and, I am diligently attempting to resolve this, as well.  I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

Also, I'd like to thank everyone who has been sending me emails on how to stop this.  I haven't responded to anyone because I am afraid of sending anything out at this time.  Emails have been sent to the members of my groups.  When this clears up, I will post an update on my blog and will send another email out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Series of Works in Progress

I have lots of new pictures to show you of dolls and some other works in progress. Before I post them, I would like to get cleaner shots so they are highlighted better. One series of dolls is coming out really nice. I'm painting the background of a patterned fabric with bright, beautiful colors. Then, I'm working on Mini-Worlds or perhaps "Inner Voices".  I'm not sure what the title will be for this other series. They are works created from the little mint tin cans, like the ones Altoids comes in.

Since pulling back on my emails and letting go of the pressure of keeping up with networking, I've been getting a lot of art done. I'm not rushed to meet deadlines and am lost in the process of creating. It feels GREAT! Although, I do miss interacting with a lot of people from my clubs. I've had to scale down, regroup and make some tough decisions.  I'm happier living a much more simplified life.

Creative Soul Food

Don't think about making art, just get it done. 
Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. 
While they are deciding, make even more art.

- Andy Warhol

Quote taken from "The Artist in the Office: How To Creatively Survive
and Thrive Seven Days a Week" by Summer Pierre

Monday, July 5, 2010

Free Scribbles Charity Pattern

Picture courtesy of CyndysDolls

Here's a free and fun pattern to use when making and donating dolls to charities.  CyndiS of CyndysDolls Main Site has generously shared this one with us.  She made it for the doll club she belongs to called The Guilded Lilies.  They sewed up over a hundred of these and donated them to Children Services in Columbus, Ohio.  This is a place where they take children where are removed from their homes. 

If your group decides to use this Scribbles Pattern, Cyndi would appreciate it if you take a picture and email it to her, with your group name and the charity name.  She'll post it on her website.  You can access her email address at this link: CyndysDolls Store Front under the section "Email Me" in the middle of the screen.

She also gave permission to everyone to share this pattern with others.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hairy People and Fur Babies Needed to Donate Hair for Oil Spill!

Matter of Trust is urgently looking for people to donate natural fibers, including nylons, which will be used to help clean up the oil spill.  People don't really realize how thick the oil is and how it piles up in your hands like cr*p.  See the picture above?  No kidding.  It's gross.  This is why these animals can't move and die a tortuous death.  They are being chained and pulled down in this oil. 

My friend and I had an unfortunate experience at a beach some years ago with a minor oil spill.  The oil was like black-green sludge that stuck to your body in clumps.  It was so disgusting and very difficult to remove.  It looked like feces or leeches all over our body.  It took at least ten showers before we could get it all off. 

If you can help or pass this site along to someone else, including salons, farmers, etc, please do. 

They are looking for:
  • nylons (ripped is fine)
  • natural hair (human and animal)
  • wool
  • fleece
  • feathers
  • fur
  • Other natural fibers
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, they also have flyers available. 

Click on the link below to see how you can help.  Thank you.

Matter of Trust

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Creative Soul Food

"Art should be ritualistic,
not in the sense that it is static and unchanging,
but in the sense that it is a practice. 

You have a lifetime to perfect the practice,
and some days will be more challenging than others,
but creativity and serendipity will improve with dedication."

- Kelli Perkins
Stitch Alchemy

This quote helped me when working on my latest doll, Delilah, who is still in progress.  Although I am going for more of a fantasy-feel look, I've been hitting obstacle after obstacle in creating her face for three reasons:

  • I gessoed and sanded her face.  Although the surface is very smooth to the touch, there are tiny ridges left behind which prevent me from blending colored pencils in.  

  • My proportions and scale are off.

  • My drawing skills need to improve.
Normally, I use clay faces or make very exaggerated features or take bits and pieces of something to give the impression of a face.  I enjoy the freedom of just working and seeing how the imperfections arise that give the doll its uniqueness and character.  However, the overall look does need to work together in the end.  

As she progresses, if you have any suggestions on something you believe would enhance her, let me know. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Alice in Wonderland...jUsT pLaIn sCaRrRy

One of my doll clubs is having an "Alice in Wonderland" challenge.  Sounds great, doesn't it?  Yeah, well, not so much for me.  I wouldn't be entering this time around anyway due to my studies; but, that's besides the point.

What is it about this story that scares me so much? I have never been able to get beyond her falling down that narrow, dark, constricting hole that surrounds her from making any escape or the images of the Mad Hatter who just looks downright crazy. See...he looks crazy...

Yet many people are so inspired by it. I guess it is one of those story-lines that can really conjure up these very exciting, creative images of offbeat characters, which I am all for. Yet, somehow, I have never been able to relate to any of it, at all. I actually feel myself backing away inside from them.

Perhaps, they're all really demon-like monsters living below the surface...

... just waiting to snatch us up and drag us down, like in the "Carrie" movie or the pleasant looking aliens that came to prepare us for dinner like in "The Twilight Zone" or keep us caged like in a zoo with no way out, just so they can gawk and point and stare at us for their enjoyment. GASP! I need's too restricting...that one was from "The Twilight Zone", too.

See, there's something not right about the cat, either.  He looks like he's going to swallow you up.  Although, after coming back to check, he didn't come out quite so scary on this background.  Okay, he gets a pass. 

Why can't they look like this...

...non-threatening and silly, out in the open where you have room to breathe and swing your arms!

Perhaps my imagination has gotten the best of me.  I know I should read the story to see what it is all about; however, instead of that, I will thank Johnny Depp because he has been the only one to get me to come close enough to these characters in the first place.   Who knows, by the end of it, it just may become one of my favorites!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm Back!

I’m back! After taking a short sabbatical from my online journeys of visiting fellow bloggers, researching the history of different dolls, and reading, or more like deleting, the endless rivers of emails, I’ve finally turned my train ticket in and came back home.

There are several new pieces I’m looking forward to sharing with you. An octopus. A stellar fish. A brightly colored gal. And another one I can’t recall.

Perhaps today will be the day when I cut all those peek-through holes for the camera into a big make-shift photo box…a nice sizable, manageable one that doesn’t swallow me up as I’m grappling to place the dolls just right inside it.