The Doll With Purple Hair

Another doll that I am making is on her way.  She is getting closer to the fun bits. To me, this means that I am getting to the point where I can work on fixing her hair in a fun style, working on her headpiece, jewelry and other little accessories and details.  The big “doll making” part is over and wow-that sure takes me a long time!  I guess I have been trying to figure out for many years how to make my process much faster, but that is just not the way my dolls work. 

It took me so long to develop my process that now I kind of guard it.  It was such a long and painful process(many dolls have had to be torn apart and started again and again and again-I had to keep asking myself what I was doing and was all this worth it?).  But, finally one day, I made a doll that made so much sense to me and that looked like “me”.  It incorporated my style, my history, my travels, my favourites things, all my hard work with building my own style of mannequins for museums and all of my study of ancient Greek and Egyptian sculpture. 

Plus, they had my love of fairy tales and folklore as well as my love of the bold use of colour that I had loved when I studied art in a little old town way down south and right in the middle of Mexico.  

They also looked like my paintings and other art.  I like to draw a black line and “define” all of my art. Some artists are very good at making their art more “airy”.  I need enclosed in this black line.  So, this is why my dolls look the way they do.  Finally they are the way “my” dolls are supposed to look.  I always loved the description of “Snow White” with her blood red lips and pale face so I often give my pale dolls this colouring.  I have made dolls of every colour though-Maasai Women, Asian Princesses, Greek Goddess and I also love mixing everyone and every race up-why can’t we all just get along?

Do I wish my dolls looked different?  Honestly,  I wish I could make them very realist and very precious, but this is what they are so I will continue on this way until something in them starts to change on its own.  My art is always surprising me.  This can be frustrating, but it is only partly up to me.  I will let the art go where it wants.  Trying to control it too much will just drive me mad!

So, here is the doll in teal with the purple/black hair.  There is another waiting in the wings. “Wings” being the key word here!  

This doll in teal with the purple/black hair is taken, but I am always willing to do commissions so feel free to contact me if you are interested in a special doll of your own. I have made all kinds of dolls-Cats playing the violin, mermaids, many fairy tale characters, fantasy kind of self-portraits of folks, faeries,  mermaids with wings, busts, a horse with a lovely lady riding it, cake toppers and more.  My feeling is that if you can make one thing you can make another.  Also, this is art and I am sculpting and sewing these pieces so anything really is possible.    Hope all is well with all of you!

One of the New Dolls

It seems like I have been working on a group of new dolls forever.  Their work keeps getting interrupted and I have to put them down and then getting them going again is really hard.  Plus, for me, making my dolls takes forever.  I never knew how to make a doll the way I wanted to make it and there were no books about it when I started(only just a little ways back because I am only 21! I was living on an island where there were no books). 

  “Art dolls” wasn’t really a term yet and people still wanted their dolls to look well, “doll like”.  I wanted to combine sculpture with textiles and my dolls is what I came up with.  I had no idea anyone would be interested in them or that other folks were trying to figure out the same thing themselves.  Here is one of the dolls I have been working on.  She is on her way to being finished, but is not there yet.  Right now she is simply “the Red-haired Doll” for now and is wearing one of my hand beaded headpieces.

I kind of made up my own technique and based the look of my dolls on ancient Greek and Egyptian sculptures I studied while living and going to school in Athens,Greece and the Greek Islands.  I  took the idea for my little dolls and made into a much larger scale to make mannequins at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis that could be made larger or smaller to fit the textiles which would keep them from being damaged by mannequins that came in only one size. No more squeezing precious textiles into too big mannequins. I also made wigs which were complete sets of hair made of yarn so they could be styled and restyled. One day a long blonde wig was styled up in a Victorian updo and the next it was done and a bit wild looking for a Viking-cool!

So, my 312 step process probably needs to be updated but, I am not very good at cutting out steps.  All of my dolls have wire armatures, I sculpt with Creative Paperclay and wait for each layer to dry.  I sew on “muscles” with batting and then start my costumes.  

Each doll(if a lady in a dress-I have also done animals and other beings such as mermaids and faeries, you name it-it’s a doll, I can figure it out hopefully) gets a pair of bloomers and a corset first.  Then there are petticoats.  Next, there is an underskirt followed by an over-skirt.  Now I can add a bodice and sleeves and more details.

Finally, I move onto making a wig for the doll.  This gets difficult if my little cats won’t leave all my balls of yarn alone though.  After the wig, I go back and add more details and accessories like capes, scarves, jewelry, crowns, and hats.  I also paint the arms and feet of my dolls.  After years and years of making teeny shoes, I went a little nuts so now I paint on the shoes-I so hope this isn’t cheating!  Here are her little pointy green Medieval shoes.

I hope this lady is done soon!  She has been awfully patient! Here she is with my little girl cat Sister Blackberry Bijou! “Sister” guards everything and everyone.  She is the big boss around here and to her 3 older brothers.  Do not mess with Sis!

I think she looks so lovely sitting in my favourite antique aqua velvet chair(I guess it was teal at some point.  Both colours are great with me!).  Sister Bijou is still hanging out above her.

Here is a sneak peak of someone else who is on their way…

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! And, time for me to get busy on other art.

New Work With the Dolls-Stitches!

I am still working little by little on the new dolls. Well, hours can go by and I don’t even notice. I have fabric out now and I go kind of crazy with it. I can’t stop adding layers and colours. The skirt for this doll is crazy. I first sewed and overskirt, decided it needed a lining, then added an underskirt, then a topskirt, then another little underskirt and well, now I have no idea what I am talking about. Same goes for her bodice(don’t ask how many layers are under there. And yes, this doll has bloomers(all the dolls have bloomers of course!) under her skirts and little leggings as well and much more to go. The arms/sleeves need work. Then there will be the wig, headpieces, jewelry-ooh la la-much, much more. All is sewn by hand because I like these dolls to be “free form” and “off”-just like me! The Littles(my little cats) LOVE all the fabrics, the floss, and every part of this stage. Stay away Littles or I will “Gently Mist” you with my spray bottle(which has been stuck on ‘gentle mist’ for several years now) of water-sorry if some folks find this terribly cruel-others think of it as a spa treatment. My house is a mess by the way. Back to stitching…

My Little Tobias and Stripes for Ren

I went to work down in the studio picking out fabrics for my new dolls to wear and came back up to this sight. Of couse my little cat Tobias would be in the laps of my new dolls. He is so funny. He loves my new dolls-loves to cuddle up with them. I have a Sleepy Beauty Doll in her own bed and he is always trying to snuggle up to her. If I happen to take her out of the bed he leaves the bed alone. The minute she is back in it, so is he. So here is a funny photo!

Also for Ren of Fairy Steps, I had to add a photo of myself wearing a pair of my stripey socks with a pair of my favourite red shoes(I have a thing for red shoes) and one of my favourite dresses(I love the diamonds of blue and purple). Stripes are always a good thing! Check out Ren’s amazing shoes that she makes all by herself-Wow!-and all the other magical things in her life at her blog

Yes, You Guessed it and Introducing the Talented Ivy of Edera Jewlery

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Yes, there are now 3 dolls with bodies. Each one waiting patiently for fancy outfits and wigs-thank you ladies!

Also, I want you to meet my friend Ivy of Edera Jewelry. You can find Ivy’s blog site HERE.

And her Etsy site HERE.

Ivy’s “Tudor Rose” Bracelet-One of my favourites!

Ivy’s work is just divine-the detail is amazing. She combines lace making with weaving in fancy beads and semi precious gemstones. Each piece is one of a kind and they will blow your mind so check them out! What also makes them so special is that there is a story behind each piece-an inspiration in the form of a person or era or colour which I love. Plus, Ivy is a real sweetheart!

Ivy’s “Dauphine” necklace inspired by Marie Antionette-LOVE!

Talent and patience runs in her family as her mother also is an amazing artist. She also have an Etsy shop where she sells her completely handmade silk flowers-each one hand dyed and handmade-each one unique and so lovely. She also makes gorgeous hats(I love the velvet ones!). Look for Stella Pesci’s Esty site Here

Stella also is a pastry chef to name just one of the many other talents she is capable of. Pretty cool!

Stella’s Gorgeous Banner

One of Stells divine flowers-this one is a gorgeous Poppy-Yes, I need this too! It reminds me of the gorgeous fields of Poppies in Olympia, Greece.

Yay for Ivy and Stella!

And Now There Are Two

Now there is a second doll with her batting body. Whew-why this takes me so long, I will never know. I am sure that there are many easier ways to do this, but I really can’t stand to follow directions or take classes. I have always been a “figure it out on my own with no one watching” kind of person. Even in grade school, I would have to take all my art projects home and do them. I couldn’t work in front of other kids. I think that is kind of crazy but what can you do? I still can’t really do art in front of anyone. Anyway, I think both dolls like each other and that they are good friends so they are having some fun hanging out just like this-hehe!

And, here are some photos of my wee cat children. Pascal now has 2 white whiskers! What a big whoo! And, my little daughter cat Sister Blackberry Bijou is looking just radiant here. She is the big boss of her 3 brother cats. She is also my secretary as she is always answering the phone for me and sitting in my computer chair. We are often trying to shove each other out of that chair. She is the boss so I really need to give up the chair. She also has her own “flat” under my flat file-no boys or moms allowed. I am really interested to see how she has it decorated though. Probably the opposite of how I decorate-classic mothe
r/daughter struggle. Good stuff! Don’t worry-if it sounds like I am a crazy cat lady you are right-I am one!

Pascal with his 2 white whiskers-so very handsome!

Sis with our headless Saint Francis-what a little bossy beauty she is!

Sitting Pretty-New Dolls

My new dolls are getting their “bodies”. Here is one of them just chilling out in my favourite aqua blue turquoise chair(an antique/thrifty find of course with one of my favourite pillows-plum velvet and beads-good stuff!). So many folks have said that my art and dolls look like me-really? Anyway, I think this little lady would like to have her clothes and wig soon! I am so slow though-I am getting there!

New Shoes!

Finally! The dolls that I am STILL working on have pretty new feet and shiny new shoes, not to mention stripey stockings. More to go… I’m going!

Making New Dolls~

I am finally making new dolls. Well, I have been working on them for a while now, but it takes a while for them to look like anything but a bunch of wire and foil. Now they have little faces and some paint. Am I slow or do I just do things the old fashioned way? I hope it is the 2nd. I sure get lost in my own little world when making any of my art and time just flows in a very different way. So, here are some of my new folks so far.

Years ago when I started making my funny looking dolls, they were based on my love of Greek and Egyptian sculptures like the ones pictured below. I had just returned from going to university in Athens, Greece. Everything ancient and mysterious is magic to me. To that, I add my own Fairy Tales, other favourite artistic periods and my own imagination to create these dolls as well as the rest of my art.

When I get to the wig-making part for my dolls, I can count on my 4 little cats to help me like they are doing in the photos below. This is a BIG help. I may have to film this bit as I look like an idiot chasing after the balls of yarn. I am confident my cats are laughing at me and that this makes their day! If I was them I would be laughing at me too. OK, I am laughing at me already-it really is funny!

Thank you Glastonbury!

For the Love of Regency Fashion

Lately, while I work on projects from beading to drawings, paintings and dolls, I have been watching some of my favourite films over and over. I love these films because I love the Regency Style Fashion in them. Yes, they are films so the fashion may not be totally correct, but that is fine with me(movie magic and all that!). In particular, I have been watching “Vanity Fair” with Reese Witherspoon-wow! Her costumes are just fantastic! And, I have been watching the 2005 version of “Pride and Prejudice” with Keira Knightly. I love the fashions in this version as well. The interiours and exteriours in these movies are also amazing.

Here are some of my paintings of my Regency inspired Ladies. They have all been done with watercolours and gouache paints, metallic inks, coloured pencils and pastels on archival cotton rag paper. Most of them can be found in my Etsy shop so check them out if you have a chance. I plan on doing more too! Even my faeries are wearing Regency-ish styles these days-they are wearing long mitts and gloves and fancy detailed gowns-all of which I wish I could wear myself!

“Lady with Amythest Cross”


“Regency Lady in Turquoise and Aqua”


“The Blue Lace Veil”

“Springtime Faerie”


A Commissioned family portrait where Mom is wearing Regeny Fineries including her gown and opera length emerald green gloves~

My Twin in her Regency style Wedding Ensemble of a blush pink silk wedding gown with organza cap sleeves and pintucked bodice, purple velvet overcoat that is lined in fuschia satin and matching Juliet cap. For the reception, she took off the coat. I designed the outfit and my mom(who is an amazing seamstress) made it a reality-I am still not sure how she did it! It was a gorgeous 30 October Wedding in 1999.
Nearly 6 years later, I found this gorgeous outfit in the Jane Austen Museum in Bath, England. I was very freaked out as it was so much like my Twin’s outfit! I even made my twin a little purse like this but in pinks and purples!

With the leftover wedding gown and jacket fabric, I made this “Bride Doll” of my twin with my own crazy twist on everything. She even has a little mask as the Wedding was Masque Ball for Halloween and I got to make both masks-how fun-they are both covered in the finest glass glitter and rhinestones so they sparkle! I love making these dolls and any other commissioned dolls or portraits for folks so feel free to ask me about it!

Photo Self Portraits “Thoughts of Jane”

Inspiraton from “Pride and Prejudice” 2005

Inspiration from “Vanity Fair” with Reese Witherspoon