Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Art Doll Quarterly

Once again I am thrilled to announce that two of my witches are gracing the pages of Art Doll Quarterly Magazine!  YAY!!  The fall issue will be available on newsstands on Friday, August 1st. 

This is the fourth time my work has appeared in this magazine, but it still excites me so much to see my dolls on these pages with so many other talented artists.  As an artist, I am always second guessing myself.  I think all artists do that to some degree.  But when your hard work is acknowledged by a publication like Art Doll Quarterly, it makes you feel like perhaps you are doing things right!
Here are some pictures of the dolls in the magazine.  I know, the scans are blurry here.  Sorry about that.  

Here are pictures of the actual dolls, Clara and Hagatha Crow:

When ADQ contacted me about my acceptance into the magazine, the asked me to send in Violet as well.  She appeared in the online preview of the magazine, but for some reason she was taken out in the final edit.  I don't know why.  I thought I would show her here, too, so she doesn't feel badly about getting edited.  

Three of my artist friends have awesome feature articles in this issue:   LeeAnn Kress of Charmed Confections, Marguerite Noschese of My Witchy Women, and Carly Smith of Boggy Bottom Bayou.  (You should remember them from our awesome Witches of Giggleswick Blog Hop last fall.)Well done, Witches!
Thanks for dropping in.  I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


As you know, I have been working super hard to ready myself for my big show season.  I have about EIGHT WEEKS left.  I know to some of you that seems like a nice stretch of time.  Trust me, it's NOT!  I have so many hats to wear as a one woman show that sometimes I don't get them all put on in a timely manner!  But, I'm here for a minute, so let me show you a few of the new things I have been working on.

SKELETONS!!  I made a few last year and they seemed to be well loved.  I thought I would sort of pair them off this year. 

Bonita Bones and Night Watchman
As you know, I'm a sucker for these fun tutu dresses on my dolls.  I love this glitter-dot tulle.  Her fella is dressed up in a fine suit.  He's been keeping an eye on his watch, because as we all know, girls tend to take so much extra time when getting ready for a fancy party.  He's afraid they might be late.

Charming Skelly and Belladonna Bones
I enjoy a play on words and try to always come up with something clever for my characters.  I had these cool skull embellishments and decided to make charms from them for this unique skeleton.  I wanted to do something in only black and white.  His shirt is made from silk, no sewing, just tucking, folding and gluing.  I was pleased with the result. 
Belladonna gets her name because she is carrying a vial of poison.  There is a tiny hand-drawn skull and crossbones on the label of the bottle.  More of the fun dotted tulle on her dress, and I decided this time to polka dot the top.  It matches Charming Skelly's hat. 

Skelly Bat Jack and Skelly Sparkle
OK, maybe not my most imaginative names, but I do like this pair, in traditional orange and black.  His suit is trimmed with glitter to coordinate with her glittered tulle skirt.  The jack o'lantern, bats and the black cat head are all nods to traditional Halloween things.

Skelly Boo and Skelly Cat
I made Skelly Boo last year, and thought he needed a companion.  These are sort of the 'younger' skellies, on a more casual day.  I like the pairing of the stripes of his shirt with the dots of hers.  Her skirt is made from chenille fringe. 
(Whenever I see Skelly Cat, I think of "Smelly Cat"---remember Phoebe from Friends, and her quirky song "Smelly Cat"?  It plays it my head now..."Smelly cat, smeeellly cat, what are they feeding you?  Smelly cat, smeeellly's not your fault!"  Now you can have that odd tune running in your head all day! LOL!)

Skelly Goes Haunting and Shelly Skelly
These are a bit of a departure from the usual color schemes of Halloween, but that's why I like them so much!  Purple is my favorite color after all!  I was able to mix the clay color to match the tulle and crepe paper really well.  The Happy Haunting sign is textured to look like old wood, stamped with an acrylic stamp, and then 'antiqued' with black paint.  More of those great glittered bats.  They always add a nice little touch, I think.
While I have these skeletons paired off, they are all available separately.  I have a few of them listed in my etsy shop. I've slowly been getting new Halloween things listed.  I hope you will go have a look around. 
I've managed to put together a nice collection of Halloween characters to start off my show season, so now I'm moving on to working on Christmas folks.  Christmas in July.....that sounds about right!
Off to work!
Thanks for stopping and have a great day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

HEDWIG, the wicked witch

OK.  Where has the time gone?  I have been working like crazy to get ready for FIVE BIG SHOWS I have this fall, so I have barely had time for anything else!  I thought, perhaps, it might be wise to check in here so you all don't think I have fallen off the planet.

Today I am giving you a little peak at one of my new favorite witches, Hedwig.  She is a little bit evil, carrying around those skulls.  Where did she get them?  I'm afraid to ask!  She looks like the sort of witch you don't want to cross!

I just love a green-faced witch.  Hedwig has grey eyes with dark shadows beneath them, a bit of rosiness to her cheeks, and of course, a couple of warts!

This picture gives a great view of her impressive profile.  Now THAT is a nose to be proud of!

I love discovering new embellishments to add to my art dolls.  This lovely fringe is made of threads and narrow satin ribbons, in shades of ivory, beige and grey.  It makes a perfect cape! 
About the Witches of Giggleswick....if you remember last year, we had that wonderful blog hop.  Two of our coven have worked very hard to give us an additional online presence.  We have this facebook page set up so we can share our love of Halloween and our Halloween art.  Be sure to click on the 'photos' button beneath the banner, and then click on the 'albums' button.  Each artist has two albums, one is a gallery of past work, and the other is a collection of art available to purchase.  LeeAnn and Carly have assembled a very nice group of artists.  I encourage you to go 'like' our page, and check out all the photo albums.  See that button on my sidebar for the Witches of Giggleswick?  Click it, and it will take you there.
I have added a new tab along the top of this page, Show Schedule.  Click it if you are interested in finding out where I will be showing this fall.  I hope to see some of you at one or more of my shows! 
OK...I have a to do list that seems to never get any shorter, so I must get back to work.  I am going to TRY to get here a bit more often now.  I finally have taken some pictures of some of my newest pieces, and I'm dying to show them to you!
Have a wonderfully wicked day!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ezmerelda, A Wicked Witch

The thing I love about creating Halloween characters is that anything goes!  Sometimes, the uglier, the better.  As is the case with Ezmerelda.....

Now, that is one ugly witch!  Green face, great big nose, wonky eyes, dark shadows, and even a few warts!  She is quite wicked, so you better watch out.  She's keeping an eye on you!
I spent a lot of time on her, getting the details just right.  First she was sculpted from polymer clay...purple and orange striped stockings, black boots and the top of her dress (saggy boobs and all), and of course her wicked green face and hands. 
I added a skirt, cloak and hat made from black micro-suede fabric.  The skirt is trimmed with black velvet ribbon and a ribbon flower.  The cloak is lined with deep purple satin.  Two silver brads, orange Swarovski crystals and a bit of chain attach the cloak.  The hat was made from paper and covered with the fabric, then trimmed with flowing purple silk ribbons and a Swarovski crystal.  She has a crepe paper collar, and chenille trim and crystals on her boots.  I used grey wool roving to create her long wild hair.

Ezmerelda is ready to fly off at any moment on her broom.  A glittered foam bat soars from her wrist with wire.  She stands on a golden clay base that is covered with glass glitter.
I just listed this wicked old girl in my etsy shop.  You can find the listing here.  Lots of new spooks will be trickling into the shop in the coming days and weeks, so keep checking back! 
We survived a very ugly storm last evening.  Tornadoes were nearby but thankfully they didn't hit our area.  But there is storm damage from wind and lightening and rain all through the city, and many people are without power.  We were blessed.  Others were not quite so lucky.  It was a doozy!  It's just the beginning of severe storm season here in Eastern Nebraska.  While I love a good thunderstorm, I could do without heading to the basement for tornadoes! 
I hope you all have a safe and happy day! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Black Cat

Black cats are a Halloween staple.  I have made several, but I've never made one that was dressed up. Why?  I don't really know.  I dress up bunnies, why not cats?  It was time to remedy that!

So here she is, my first dressed up black cat, CinderBella.

As you have probably figured out by now, I have a thing for these big, poofy tutu dresses!  They are fun to make, not hard, but time consuming, and they really dress up a doll instantly.  This one is made from glittered orange tulle. 

I love how full and pretty it is from the side view.  (Yes, there is a tail under all that tulle.  You just can't see it very well in the pictures.)

For the bodice of her dress, I decided to just wrap her body with the tulle and tie a big bow on the front.  I'm really happy with how it looks.  I made a hat from paper and wrapped it in more tulle to match.  A few glittered bats soaring on black wire, and CinderBella is complete.  I am really happy with how she turned out, and I'm sure there will be more dressed up cats to come this fall.
I'm off to the studio.  Have a great day!
In other news, my friend Carly of Boggy Bottom Bayou is hosting a giveaway over on her blog.  Some lucky follower will receive this  Spool Ghoul.  Carly is a talented artist working with paper clay.  She has a very unique spin on Halloween art.   Please hop over there and check it out and follow the rules to enter.  She will really appreciate it! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Good Fortune

Hi, I'm back!  I've been working like crazy, creating lots of fabulous new characters.  I finally got a big group of seventeen together on Saturday for a photo shoot, so now I can share them with you!  YAY!! 

You might remember a couple of my favorite pieces from last fall were gypsies....or fortune tellers.  There was Clara, the old woman with the wonky eyes, and Clarice, the younger version with the lively make-up.  I loved both of these dolls so much, and they inspired me to make more fortune tellers.  Tarot cards kept coming to mind, and I was wracking my brain on how to execute them. 

At first I thought I would just do some little drawings on card stock, but I don't really know much of anything about tarot cards...what pictures do they have on them?  So, of course, I googled them. (How did the world ever function before google?) I thought I would buy a pack of cards and then either make some little sketches based on the artwork, or I would try to reduce/photocopy some down to the proper size.  Never in a million years would I have thought I would find these:

YAY!  Amazon, you did it again!  I was searching through their listings and first I found one for mini tarot cards, and I thought "Cool!" and clicked it.  Then on that listing, it suggested I also have a look at TINY tarot cards, and I thought "OOH!  Even better!"  Still, I never thought they would be the right scale for my art dolls.  But it was worth a shot.  I read the listing and the reviews and they were described as being the size of a postage stamp and I thought, "Those just might work!"  So I put two sets in my cart and waited excitedly until they arrived two days later.

Aren't these the cutest thing ever?  I could not be more pleased.  They are the perfect size, the colors and graphics are wonderful.  SCORE!!  And since tarot cards come in a pack of 78, I have plenty of cards to last for several dolls.  I couldn't wait to get started sculpting a gypsy to use these amazing little works of art.
And here she is.....
I wanted her to be very colorful, and not typical Halloween colors.  I sculpted the bodice of her dress from a teal blue pearled clay.  I found this paisley fabric in my stash of things Marian gave me.  The colors are not an exact match (although this photo does make her top seem bluer than it really is).  I thought it was OK not to be too matchy-matchy with her.  I trimmed the skirt with lace and satin ribbon, and used a black velvet and organza gathered ribbon around her waist.  It helped to distract from the blues not matching quite right.  Red crepe paper for her collar, and red satin for her head scarf.  I used several Swarovski crystals to bring a little bling to her look---on her shoes, her shawl, her head scarf and even her ears. 
It was a real trick getting the slick cards to stick, but I managed to get there with a lot of patience and a few applications of glue.  I used ten of the cards, since a typical card reading is called a 'ten card spread'. 
I like the way the colors of the art play with the colors in the skirt.  Oh, I also gave her a crystal ball necklace.
A view from behind so you can see her long black fringe shawl.

No self-respecting gypsy would be seen without being in full make-up.  Rosy cheeks, ruby red lips, black eye liner and teal mica powder eye shadow.  I used curly wool roving for her jet-black hair. 
I struggled with naming her.  I just couldn't come up with something that seemed to suit her.  Sometimes I have a doll named before I even start, but not this time.  Finally, yesterday, I heard her say, "Hell-ooooo!  My name is Zelda!!"  So, there you have it....Zelda!  So lovely to meet you! 
I have a few other gypsy dolls running around in my head, and I can't wait to make them come to life.  I like the gypsy girls.  They aren't necessarily a Halloween doll, but they fit in with Halloween just the same.  Isn't fortune telling a type of witchcraft?
Well, this post got a little long-winded.  That happens when I am really crazy about a piece (and I also have more than a few minutes to put together a post!).  I am crazy about Zelda.  I hope you are, too!  I would love to hear from you!
Have a great day!  I'm off to the studio (which I am also crazy about!)

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Final Spring Fling

I didn't get here to wish you all a Happy Easter.  I hope you had a joyous day.  I did! 

I thought I would show you one last bunny before I move on to Halloween.  (Yes, you read that right! HALLOWEEN!  I have SIX big shows planned for fall, so I need to start cranking out the spooks!)

Here is one of my favorite bunnies:

Isn't she lovely?  I have a thing about these fluffy tutu dresses!  This one is made from pale pink sparkle tulle and tied with a pink satin ribbon.  (I should have used a different colored background for my pictures, because it doesn't show up as well as I would like it to.)

I added pink Swarovski crystals to her clay bodice and crepe paper for her collar.  I just love the pink fabric flowers she is holding.  They are vintage flowers I got from my friend Marian.  (When I was visiting her in February, she let me 'shop' her stash for things I could use in my work! What a terrific friend!  She has an AWESOME stash!!)
I don't know about the rest of you, but I am SOOO ready for spring!  The grass is finally getting green.  The tulips are blooming.  Our lilac bush is full of buds and will be gorgeous very soon.  The trees are about ready to pop.  YAY!! 
It seems silly to be so excited about spring, but ready to move on to fall/Halloween, winter/Christmas art!  But that's the way it is in my biz....always a season or two ahead (or you are playing desperate catch-up in crunch time!)
Thanks for stopping by!