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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Hatter Hats

I made two big Hatter Hat’s. One is going to be used to display my stick pins and brooches. I’m still thinking about how to attach them to the front of the hat. I tried one and the wire wanted to bend a little trying to poke through the fabric.

I might attach a piece of mesh fabric, the type you would use for making men’s workout type tops. It would be easier to work with for sure. For now, I’ll show you both hats. The first one is for the pins and brooches. They are both 12” tall, but the second one, I made more tapered at the bottom. For the pin hat, I wanted it upright for attaching the pins.


The second hat is for a draw we’re going to have. There are four of us now in this show. We all have different artistic points of view to offer. Mine is cloth dolls etc., another artist works with Paverpol, paper mache and canvas painting, the third works with polymer clay and creates some really fun creations. The new artist repurposes furniture pieces. 

So this second hat is for the draw. We are each making a small art piece to be given away, maybe a little shameless advertising for ourselves at the same time. Another thing we’re planning is a tea party later in the week. We’re going to collect tea cups and give them away as people leave from the tea party ;o~

Endless possibilities for fun. When we are setting up in July, I’ll be taking pictures and maybe some videos of how we set up. We’ll see…. still over two months away but so many details to think of. Enjoy.. ;o) 


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Jack and the Beanstalk

UP NEXT….. I started making dolls in 2003 and like all doll makers, you get obsessed and want to make everything in sight. I started this class by Janet Clark back in 2006. I don’t know if the class is still available after all this time, but maybe Janet still has it kicking around on her computer ??

I got as far as making his head and clothes, and tracing out the body parts, when as usual distraction kicked in. I packed his head, body fabric, clothing and chicken eggs in a trunk with a promise to revisit him and make him into a proper little boy. What are we at now??? 2018. And yet, I actually did go back and deal with his little self all in pieces. ;o~

Here he is on his way down from the giants house, along with the giants chicken that lays golden eggs. This is the story if you have forgotten it or never knew it. BEANSTALK  I love this doll, he is really such a cute little boy. Enjoy, ;o)



I love using these pieces of stump, having a wood pile can be a great asset when you want to make out of the ordinary doll bases. A little green moss combined with Spanish moss and a nest made of twigs gently hold those precious golden eggs.


Jacks shirt and trousers are made with cotton, everything else including the bean leaves is non woven felt. The cord is made from fabric strips that are folded and you just zig zag down the center. I loved making the leaves. There were two sizes of them, I just used the smaller ones. The large size is about 1/3rd larger. The doll is 23” tall.


His hair is faux animal fur and I used plastic eyes.


Monday, April 16, 2018

A Pirate or an Angel

This is an art doll I just finished for a customer. She asked me to make a doll that looks like a pirate but with angel wings. The details are based on the recipients life style and her charity work. There is synchronicity involved in this request. I can make a pirate and I can give her angel wings, but who would have thought that years ago when I bought a pattern for this very style of doll and that someone would request a custom doll like it 12 years later… ;o~  The design is by Sandy Pine. As a doll maker, do you remember this from back to 2005 ?


I followed parts of the design and did my own in other areas. The customer requested either a kayak or canoe as a prop, and that needs an oar, and she definitely wanted angel wings. I also had a base that has been tucked away in a chest, and that worked out great for this theme. She also wanted to add a bottle rum, of course. What pirate would be complete without that…


I had a few learning curves with this project, which is great. Keep those little grey cells happy. For the canoe, I had found some rectangular pieces of birch bark at a small florist some time ago, that had the best unique things she had sourced from who knows where. I had no idea what I would do with them but they were too interesting to not buy.  I found this tutorial online and followed it for the most part, except that’s bigger (about 7” long) and I added a seat and a cross member. CLICK HERE for the canoe tutorial.

The angel wings are made with coffee filters, in a mini version. CLICK HERE for the tutorial. I followed the basic instructions, just super mini sized them.

The oar is made from an image I found, just free handed it. The oar is balsa wood, the handle is a dowel. The rum bottle is a party favour with a Captain Morgan’s label reduced to fit. Here she is, and I’ll continue below with more details.


The costume:  the blouse is made with silk, the leggings are a stretch ribbing that you would use on sleeve cuffs etc. The vest is non woven felt with strips of leather and faux suede. The cuffs are leather pieces and tiny gold buttons.


The Tricorn hat is made from felt. There are lots of patterns on Pinterest for that. You just have to modify the size you need. The hair is from an Etsy seller in the UK. I had thought to wrap the hair up into the hat, but the curls are so nice, I didn’t want to hide them. They are tied with a piece of leather in the back.


Her boots are made with faux suede and wrapped with strips of leather. The boot pattern made no sense to me. I don’t know how she made them to look like the picture, so I had to do my own thing.

The tips of her boots are metal bead caps. I made them in three parts, the legs, the cuff and the shoe part.


Here’s the rum bottle. And her skirt is made from faux suede and soft leather leaves in a few different sizes, fed onto a string and wrapped around the waist. A little bit of jewelry around her neck finished the look.



Here are some close ups. She also has a patch over one eye. You can still peek under it to see her full face. ;o)



And that’s it. She’s gone to my customer who is writing a poem to go with the doll. I’ll look forward to hearing some feedback. Thanks for visiting today ;o))


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Chalkola–Chalk Markers and Pens

Hi Everyone…..

A bit of a change in my posts today. A couple of months ago I was contacted and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a new product. They are Chalkola Markers and Pens. I don’t do a lot of other types of art projects away from my dolls, but I thought it might be interesting to see what these are all about.

They are non toxic, children friendly markers. Easy clean up (when used according to the instructions). That means if used on the surfaces they are meant for, clean up is easy. The surfaces should be non porous, such as glass, plastic, windows. Chalkboards and whiteboards are listed as well, but using these markers over chalk paint, may not clean off completely. Test a small area first.

On their website, on the Shopping tab, you’ll find a number of different options to choose from depending on what you would use them for as well the size and type of markers. The package I received is the first one on the page, which contains 10 chalk markers and 6 metallic ones.

I’ve snipped a few images from the website CHALKOLA CHALK MARKERS to show you how others are using these markers. They also have a  YOUTUBE channel where you can see demo’s, tips and tricks and others who have reviewed the markers. Below these images are my thoughts and images of what I tried. Also check the Blog on their website, there are examples of things you can do and how to do them and the supplies needed.

You can get so much information about their products on the website and all the demo’s on YouTube. You’ll see how to get them started, how you can wash off what you created and so on. The videos are short but you’ll get all the information you need, and are mostly by those who have reviewed them.

I’m going to go in a different direction with my experimenting. Because all the information is based on Non Porus surfaces, I’m going to show examples of Porous surfaces.  I mostly work with fabric, paper (for mini books etc), wood and other porous surfaces when I make props and embellishments for my art dolls, it might be interesting to see how these would work.

My examples are very raw. I just did a few doodles, tried writing with the pens, both the larger nibs and the metallic smaller ones. Don’t expect anything exciting here…lol

The first three examples are with coffee filters. Example #1 is just writing on them, to see if the ink would run, and no it doesn’t. The inks dry very quickly, especially on these coffee filters.


This picture shows an experiment using a spray bottle with the ink. I just did some quick marks with two colours and sprayed it with water to see what would happen. If I had do it for a project, I would just wait for it to dry and repeat the colours. I think the effect would be really good. You can see how the colour runs.


In this example I just blotched a mix of Lumiere inks and the Chalkola inks together and sprayed them with water. I also dabbed on some metallic from the Chalkola box. I was experimenting with these to see if I could incorporate these in an art doll I just finished for a customer. I made some coffee filter wings for her, and thought perhaps I could make these look woodsy. I didn’t go with that idea, I would have to spend more time with trial and error to get the right look. But experimenting in a good thing, this exercise gave me some good insight into the inks.


This was a scrap of balsa wood left from the art doll. I tried the inks on here and they did bleed a little, but if you were going for a wash of colours, I think you could easily do that on the balsa. The metallic inks do write easily.


The next one is some playing around writing on non woven felt. It does work, but you  pick up a little of the fiber on the tips of the pens, easy to remove though. With the felt, it does soak up the ink, but if you want to use felt, just let it dry and reapply until it’s as opaque as you want it. I also washed out a piece and the ink washed out cleanly. That was before it was fully dry, but at least you know it does wash out.


The last piece is just a scrap of fabric I use for doll bodies. It’s a high thread count cotton. All I did was just more squiggles and in one place just filled in the triangle. It did slightly soak through, but I think if you keep a light touch with the pen, you could manage to not have any show through. It did not bleed on this fabric.


My thoughts overall. I like these markers and the ink. I don’t think there would be many applications for my doll art. If I were making something like a clown or other similar type of doll, I think the markers could be used to add rosey cheeks or patterns on a costume or something like that.

I think overall though, the best way for these to be used is for kids. These are ideal for them. They are as I said at the beginning, non toxic. As I was leaning over the pieces, there was no offensive odour coming from them, like some markers I’ve used. The markers are a good size for children to hold and the colours are bright and cheerful.

The other packages of markers this company offers, have even more colour choices and sizes of nibs. These can be used on so many surfaces, kids would have a field day making all kinds of art pieces for you.

After playing with the coffee filters, the ink went through to my green cutting mat on the table. I sprayed a little water on the marks, and they washed completely away, clean up is easy. Soap and water clean up if need be. ;o) I also managed to touch my top with the yellow marker. I sprayed with water and blotted the fabric, the colour came completely off.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about the markers. Once you’ve finished looking over all the information, maybe some videos and checked their website and think you would like to try them yourself, please follow this link to Amazon. CLICK HERE 

I’ve also been given this discount coupon of 15%, for my blog followers to use.  Coupon Code 15OFFINF  (Available on Amazon Only)  Be sure to enter the code exactly as shown. If you have any other concerns or questions, please contact them on their website and they will be happy to help you out. Enjoy…. ;o)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

African Grandmother

This is my first commission for 2018. This is a gift for my customers friend. Her friend is retired and along with her husband and another woman spend 6 weeks a year in Tanzania “teaching the most destitute and poor in the African continent. The people in the area they travel to, are stricken by aids and new orphans that continue to accumulate every day.” The two women created a charity called “African Children’s Bookbox Society and they have a website with the same name.

The woman being gifted with this art doll has just received confirmation that a book she’s written for children, will be published.

When I received all the information I immediately thought of an African grandmother sitting and reading to a group of children. That was before I finished reading the email, lo and behold at the end, the customer described exactly what I had envisioned, so I guess that’s synchronicity. ;o) Here are the pictures and details. This is an original design by me.

I spent time researching to get the right look and when I checked on the costuming for this project, I was very happy to see the mix of colours and prints. I knew that they generally wear loose fitting flowing garments due to the heat. This costume is made with three different cotton batik prints. This little lady sits approx. 9 1/2” tall measuring from the table.

The sandals she’s wearing are more like flip flops. I saw all kinds of styles and colours, so many options. I decided on a simple pattern of circles for the pattern, given how tiny they are. I made the book box out of small popsicle sticks, and gave it a rough paint job, I wanted it to have a more natural appearance. The base is stained with one coat of wood stain and roughed up with sandpaper.


From the back you can see that I’ve used a wooden stump. I’m glad I saved some small rounders from the wood pile. ;o) The head covering is brought to the center and secured.


For her jewelry, I had a few options. The ladies I saw in the research pictures, often stretch their ear lobes top and bottom and use a lot of beads and chain etc. I didn’t make ears for this art doll, and with her head dress under the other head covering, they wouldn’t be seen. The beads for her earrings and the square pink ones in the necklace, just by chance came in the mail about three weeks ago. Who knew I would be using beads that came from Africa on a commission for an African art doll, especially so soon… ;o~



To fill the box, I made a stack of mini books, made to represent the book that’s going to be published. I thought it would be cute to have those as though she is going to give each child a copy of their own. The last bit of jewelry is just a couple of beaded bracelets for each wrist. So that’s it except for a couple more pictures below. Now on to some personal sewing for a couple of days, then back to the doll world.  Enjoy…..


Tuesday, March 20, 2018


The latest Jester for July is Twirl. She is a design by Julie McCullough. She is just so cute, and hanging up she can twirl and twirl to her hearts content.

The details are simple. All cotton fabrics, except the tulle that I used under her skirt. The pattern actually mentions using a macrame ring to spread out the skirt. I’ve just used a few simple embellishments, as she doesn’t need too many. Her fabrics are pretty busy, so why hide her behind to many frills.  

Without further delay, here she is..  ;o) enjoy….



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