Sunday, December 22, 2013

Celebrating My Way: 4th Sunday of Advent

Well, I know you're all frantically busy 
and I've just taken a second from 
an orgy of biscuit and sweetie making

where we've shared how we celebrate 
the Winter Festivals,
is coming to an end
on the 4th Sunday of Advent

 Today, I'm baking.

And what do dollmakers bake?

Gingerbread men,of course!

A cookie and a doll, all in one!

I'm making these, 
and peanut butter cookies
and chocolate chip,
 as well as tiger butter,
(link for recipe)

(link for recipe)

Free Graphic for Label!
and white chocolate popcorn
which is a first this year for me.

Merry Jingle to you all
and if you don't put on a few pounds
you're not doing it right.

Thank you to Ms Misantropia,
for helping us all share how we celebrate.

Have a wonderful time
and I'll see you in the
New Year.

Blimey, 2014!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A-Dressing Alice.

Alice felt that if there was to be any conversation at all, she must manage it herself. So she began rather timidly: 'Am I addressing the White Queen?'
'Well, yes, if you call that a-dressing,' the Queen said. 'It isn't my notion of the thing, at all.'

Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice  Found There  1871 Lewis Carroll

We all know Alice.
And we all know what she looks like. 

She looks like this.
Unless we're being pedantic.
Then, she looks like Alice Liddell
(pronounced like fiddle)

Alice Liddell

Alice was the inspiration
for the first Alice book.

But clearly, she wasn't the model
for Tenniel's drawing.

For that, there are two contenders.

Sweet little Mary Badcock, here.

Mary Hilton Badcock

And the delightfully sassy
Beatrice Henley.

(I really want to make a doll like this)

Beatrice Henley

We know what she looks like
in black and white.

Drink Me

But, we're wrong about how she looks in colour.

The first Alice in colour was 
The Nursery Alice 1890
and Tenniel gave her 
a yellow dress and a big blue sash.

The Nursery Alice

Alice and the Cheshire Cat
Black and White

Same image, coloured plate
The Nursery Alice

It wasn't until later
that the B&W drawings were coloured
and she wore her familiar blue cotton dress
  and white apron with red trim.

Alice and the Duchess

Why this erudite study of Tenniel's illustrations?

I was making an Alice doll,
and I wanted her to be a 
truthful representation of Carroll's vision.

As Carroll worked closely with Tenniel, 
even suggesting models,
we have to assume that the Alice in the book 
was close to what he saw.

So, I researched every drawing,
took notes on the details;

the bows, the tucks, the ankle-strap shoes
even the tiny collar and cameo.

I decided on an outfit that was
an amalgam of Alice images,

but not the yellow frock.

I wanted the iconic blue dress
as it appears in 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Cloches came back! Who saw that happening?

In Through the Looking- Glass
Alice has a huge bow on her dress,
caught up in the tie of her apron, 
presumable to keep it clean.

That looks a little too bunchy and awkward for a doll.

However, only in Through the Looking-Glass
does she sport those fashionable striped stockings,
and the alice-band in her hair.

The ruffled apron in the second book
seems to be the same one from the first book,
with added ruffles to make it bigger.

Very practical, the Victorian Nursery.
After all, that's what those fetching tucks
in her dress are for,
to let it out as she grows.

But the ruffles detract from the dress
and I don't want to cheat with some white lace.

I added up all the elements I liked,
 and ditched the plain white stockings
the tiny collar and the ruffles on the pinny.

This is what I was left with.

She has the blue tucked dress
with puffed sleeves that fit around her elbow joints.

Striped stockings, white frilly drawers,
hand-made black leather strapped shoes.
A white apron  made from a vintage handkerchief,
with red trim and pockets.

Hidden away, she has a silver key 
and a bottle of Drink Me.

She's all finished.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Black Cat : Red Corset

The wonderful Liz
commissioned this doll,
based on her bombay cat;
a real beauty with 
black fur and golden eyes.

A cat in a red corset?
How could I resist?

So here she is.

Corset lacing at the back.

I loved the brocade,
but it wasn't the easiest thing
to set eyelets in.

Thanks to Patti and Paula at
I now call this a
Butt Bow.

Red kinky boots!

These are modeled with
paper clay directly onto the cloth,
with a cocktail stick armature
 for the  heel and then lots of 
painting and sanding.


She's on her way
to the UK
but I thought I'd
post the photos now.

Liz had her own wonderful dolls

like Holly Berry here.

  Shared with
Ivy and Elephants
Go and congratulate them!

Monday, October 21, 2013

So Good, So Dark : Lucy, a light in the Darkness.

Lucy Westenra.

Her first name
means 'Light'
rather ironic
in view of her fate.

Bram Stoker describes her
in her sarcophagus

"There lay Lucy, seemingly just 
as we had seen her
the night before her funeral. 

She was, if possible, 
more radiantly beautiful
than ever; and I could not 
believe  that she was dead.

The lips were red, 
nay redder than before;
and on the cheeks 
was a delicate bloom."

Dracula. Bram Stoker. 1897

Poor, dear Lucy.
Light in the Darkness indeed.

But we don't pity her.
We want to be her; 
be the sexy, powerful vampire
and live forever, forever young.

asked us to search for
"the delicious goodness that
blooms in the dark."

I think some of it is here, 
the glamour and wicked delight
of the vampire.
Forever beautiful and desirable
but greedy and amoral
as a child.

Thank you,
dear Magaly,
for inviting us and embracing us
in this wonderful party.

I had such fun
and made so many new friends.

Lucy Westenra
Paperclay over cloth.
Tea-dyed cotton,
vintage lace,
Hand-dyed Tibetan lambswool wig

Saturday, October 19, 2013

WIP : Lucy Westenra

Just spamming some photos of 
Lucy Westenra,

as it's Halloween
and I felt like making a
Halloween doll

Head sculpted, dried
and basic paint applied.

I now use the paper clay
to attach the shoulder plate
directly to the cloth torso.

See my green pepper?

Lucy has been given a skin tone
of pale, ladylike pink,
rather than undead white.

She has flaming red
Kool Aid hair,
orange flavour.

For her shroud,
I used a pattern for a
medieval chemise.

and the pattern is the same for a doll
as it is for a person.

The shroud falls from her shoulders,
to expose her throat.

Her sleeves end
in a lovely vintage trim
I've hoarded for ages,
waiting for the right doll.

Lucy's painted face,
waiting to be sealed.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Halloween is coming!

and blogs are draping themselves in 
black and orange and red and purple. 

 Bats and cats. 
Cauldrons and pumpkins.

It's all very exciting

There are all kinds of goodies out there.
Like this.
from the wonderfully talented

A very satisfying, 
spooky little tale
about dolls
and wickedness.

Magaly asked me
if she could use
Bad Fairy
as an illustration.

Work those fishnets!
I was delighted and honoured.
and thrilled!

You don't want to upset
Bad Fairy
now, do you?

If you're in the mood for more spooky stories
read my offering here, in
The Narrator's Library.

It's not just spooky.
It's true!