Thursday, December 20, 2012

Amethyst. Not a Christmas Elf.

When I tell people that some of my doll heads
 are made of leather
they pull a face,
like I've made some kind of 
monstrous mask of rawhide.

I can understand that 
'leather head'
doesn't seem like a 
pleasant description of a doll.

Amethyst is a cloth doll
whose head is made of
stiffened and moulded leather.
I actually made her about seven years ago, 
and she came back specially
for a photo shoot.

I started making dolls
 with leather heads
because I wanted to make cloth dolls
with three dimensional profiles
and realistic features.

I'd tried felt
and I'd tried cloth over paper mache
but neither of these had been satisfactory.

Then I saw some moulded leather masks at a craft fair.
Remember those, way back in the 90's?

I had to guess at how they were made.
Fortunately for me, my first attempt,
using thin leather soaked
 in diluted PVA (white) glue 
worked well enough.

The leather was draped over a cheap bisque doll head,
and pushed and moulded into shape.
I found I could influence the expression of the doll, 
depending on how I squeezed and shaped
the leather while it was drying.

Usually the leather dries to a warm yellow.
 Like Bess, here.

Amethyst, however, is painted.
And she's painted because
I buggered up the original  face.

Originally, she was going to be a boy Elf.

But I had real problems
getting his face to look masculine.
(Even for an Elf.)
He got cute ears, though.

So I made him into a girl
and she belongs to my dear 
sister-in-law, Cherie

Amethyst has a gown of vintage green satin
and lilac silk,
with a dark green velveteen bodice.

She has little green leather ballet shoes
made over a tiny last.
Green glass leaves hang from her chain belt, 
and she wears
an enameled and jeweled headpiece 
and over-sized brooch to match.

The jewellery was the original inspiration
for the design of the dress.

She even has a green leather dagger sheath to match her shoes.

With removable dagger, obviously.

I didn't know how well the 
leather heads were going to last, 
when I first made them.

But Hubby has a little boy doll
I made over ten years ago, 
and it's exactly the shape
and the colour is as bright
as the day it was made.

And I'd make more
and put them on Etsy,
I just still don't know how to describe a
leather-headed doll
without it sounding a bit

Talking of creepy,
this is my Christmas door wreath.

"And then let any man explain to me,
 if he can, 
how it happened that Scrooge,
 having his key in the lock of the door,
 saw in the knocker, 
without its undergoing any intermediate process of change 
-- not a knocker, 
but Marley's face..

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Coventry Carol

Such awful news. Anything I'd write would be inadequate, but my heart goes out to the children and parents and teachers and families caught up in this tragic event.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Psyche Knot.

The Box

You know, one of those giveaways
where the prize is utterly awesome
and you don't really expect to win,
but you enter anyway,
because you're crazy like that.

You make wishes on your birthday candles
You clap during Peter Pan.
You salute magpies,
(More on Magpies later)
and you enter giveaways for
amazing things,

Well, I entered such a giveaway and the prize
was a doll by M Ann M Creations.

Melanie Ann Mercado
She creates them from papier mache
(I know how to spell papier mache. 
I just don't know how to find the accents)
over a wire armature, with nuts and bolts for joints.
 They are the ultimate paper dolls.

She's also a witty genius in the
 creation of more traditional paper dolls.
See this Can Can Dancer.
Isn't she a hoot?

How about this one?

On the front it reads
'A woman who
seeks to be equal with men

Yes, indeed!

You can see why
 I've been a fan of
her dolls for a while.

Melanie  has a feature
in this Winter's
Art Doll Quarterly.

Each of her dolls have a very individual character,
expressed through their faces
and clothes,
 accessories and furniture.
All made of paper.

Aren't these breathtaking?

So, obviously, I was going to enter a giveaway
 for one of her spectacular dolls

And I won!

Dear me, yes!

So, here is the de-boxing
(which apparently is the proper term
for taking a doll out of its box.)
of this wonderful doll

See the pretty ribbons?
Heck, I would have entered the giveaway 
for the ribbons!
They're now stashed in my ribbon box.

And now, an edible, visual pun.

I see what you did there, Melanie!
Funny and witty and tasty!

Oh! See her?

I was literally holding my breath
as I lifted her out of the box
The pretty shawl 
was in its own little box
and is made of soft, drapey paper.

I an so lucky and so thrilled to have won her!
Thank you, thank you Melanie!
Here are some of Melanie's
own photos of her doll.
It's been very grey weather
and my own photos don't really
do her wonderful creativity justice.

She's poseable, and her head turns.

Little paper sash,

 and her hair done up
in a cute little Psyche knot.

Her name is Jane.
Isn't she lovely?

For Melanie's Etsy shop, see here.

Thank you so much, Melanie.
I was absolutely thrilled
 to have won Jane. 
She's exquisite!

Oh. Magpies?

More on this later.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blushing Furiously

And if you want to know why,
go over to Teresa's wonderfully dollcentric blog
where she talks about my Miss R doll,
which arrived at her home last week!

Miss R as a work-in-progress.
My face is so pink!

Thank you so much, Teresa!
What wonderful things you wrote,
you make me blush!

they're having a
 $100.00 visa card giveaway.
I couldn't see any comments
 or anyone else entered yet
so I thought I'd flag it up.

Because, for those of you 
who haven't noticed
Christmas is coming.

Oh my gosh!

 Ella found a new home!

Ella the Tall

Monday, November 26, 2012

New doll

Not new, exactly.
Perhaps I ought to say
'finished doll', as I made the doll ages ago,
and never knew what to dress her in.

Then I was given a 
lovely old handmade doily.
It had beautiful frayed lace
scraps of torn petit point work
and little triangles of white embroidery.
Too damaged to use, 
I salvaged what I could and
 it inspired the doll's dress.

So, now she's dressed in
 tea-dyed cotton, with cotton lace.
I'v used more vintage lace
in a dark ecru
and  tea-stained some Venetian lace 
for her overskirt.


Polymer clay and cloth
About  10" tall.

There's raggy fragments of the lace 
on her long cotton drawers, 
and a nice piece
 draped around her shoulders.
I left the edges raw,
to show the scraps were
authentic and old,
so she has a 
shabby chic look.

She started out like this.

There the head is baked
but not yet sanded,
The arms are ready to bake.

This is her sewn into her cloth body.
It's limp, which allows her to pose 
in a very natural relaxed way.

I hope to find that chair she's sitting in,
as she does rather suit it.

(Forgive the ugly, horrible faux stone wall behind her.
I'm working on it...)

 I'm putting her up on Etsy, for now,
but I do need
to take some better photographs.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you, everyone, 
who has been sweet and kind and visited my little blog.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bye-bye Sookie!

Sookie found a new home!

(I'd better make Aunt Linda a new doll!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jammie Girl's Shop Feature.

Angie Ballard
over at 
has featured my Etsy shop
in her

She's promoting
(selflessly, and in her own time)
crafters who make gifts and decorations
that might be good for Christmas.

If you like buying hand made, unique items
or you make some that would make
lovely items for Christmas
pop over to her blog and stay tuned.

Ella, seen here before she got
all her ribbons and roses
because she's all red and green

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I'm so excited!

Miss R White and her Alice doll have found a new hone!

I'm just so happy for her. 
She's going somewhere wonderful!

Also wonderful
(I've had a just amazing week!)

Dear Simon,
who is a man
 of such dedication and skill 
he makes his own lace 

and dyes his own fabric 
for his exquisite 
and highly sought-after 

doll clothes.

sent me a doll.

A  beautiful, much-coveted
adorable doll.
Out of the blue,
from his wonderful heart,
like the best present ever.

A fabulous, exquisite doll
designed by Helen Kish
who makes the most lovely
child dolls.

Here she is in Miss Rabbit's dress
trying it on for size before I iron it

Thank you, thank you, Simon!
You're a special and wonderful person
and I'm in awe of your generosity.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Share The Love. Handmade Christmas

(because anything worth doing can be done in jammies)
has had an amazing idea.
And if you make things and want to get them out there,
you need to hop over to her blog

For the festive season, 
she's running a feature,

If you make hand-made goodies
and sell them on-line
or if you enjoy buying
hand-made artisan treasures
for others
Angie has found a way to get you together.

If you make something-
get over there, and let her know what you sell
and where you sell it.

 If you need to buy something-
get over there and see what she has on offer.

Yours truly will be featured on 
14th November

Monday, October 22, 2012

Eww! What on Earth?

it's time to post an Epic Craft Fail!

To find out more about these

There's also a walk-through
on how to turn a Dollar Tree clockwork insect
into a miniature Steampunk Machine.
Get your goggles out!