Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Favorite--TwoLeftHands

A couple years ago during my annual visit to my best friend Marian's, we were 'playing with dolls'.  We were exploring different ways of making dolls.  I taught her some techniques of making faces with polymer clay.  She showed me some easy ways to dress a doll.  Then she brought out this wonderful book by Salley Mavor called Felt Wee Folk, and we attempted to make these tiny little dolls using chenille stems and embroidery floss, and then dressed them in little wool outfits with embroidered details.  They were cute.  But NOTHING like these from TwoLeftHands.

I don't know the name of the artist behind TwoLeftHands.  It's not listed on her profile page on etsy.  But I am so impressed with her (I'm making a big assumption here).  This work is amazing!  From someone who has attempted these little dolls, I can tell you that she has mastered the craft!  There is some very fine and tedious handwork necessary to create tiny dolls this lovely.  I'm so happy to share some of her work with you.

She, too, is inspired by the work of Salley Mavor, and has cited her as inspiration for her work.  I think she has done Salley proud!  Take a look at the wonderful details on these little whimsical dolls. (Keep in mind that these dolls are all between three and five INCHES!)

Christmas Ornament, Girl Elf, Hand Embroidered, Handmade
Woodland Gnome Art Doll With Silk Ribbon Embroidery
Forget-Me-Not Gnome Art Doll, , Hand Embroidered
Flower Fairy Art Doll, Hand Embroidered
Little Red Riding Hood Art Doll With Basket of Goodies, Fairytale, Handmade, Hand Embroidered
Big Bad Wolf Art Doll, Collectible, Hand Embroidered, Handmade, Fairytale
I could add a bunch more, but I think you get the point.  TwoLeftHands is a shop worth visiting.  I sure hope you will stop by that wonderful little shop on etsy and check it out. 
Have a nice weekend! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Naughty or Nice?

He's making a list.  Checking it twice.  Gonna find out who's naughty or nice. 

It's time for Santa to make his list and pack up his sleigh.  He's thinking very hard about who goes on the nice list.  He doesn't want to make any mistakes and leave someone out on Christmas morning.
Santa is hand sculpted from polymer clay, wearing a bright red suit.  He is holding a long paper scroll, handwritten with a list of names.  Do you think your name is on it? 
I used a sprig of artificial holly to make Santa's quill pen.  The base is dusted with fine Japanese glass glitter. 
You can find this adorable Santa here in my etsy shop.  He would love to come spend the holidays with you!
Christmas is getting closer.  It's amazing to me that December is just days away!  My list of things to do is nearly as long as this Santa's!  Somehow, it always gets done.....or at least the most important stuff does.
I'm off to work!  Have a happy day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I've been a little slow getting my ornaments shown here.  Sometimes an ornament edition sells out much more quickly than I anticipate.  What is it about some designs over others?  I'll never quite figure it out!  I always try to predict which designs are going to be the first to go.  Occasionally I will get it right.  Most of the time, not so much.

I was right about this one though.  I knew it would be a popular design.  It is one of my very favorites this year.

Winter Wonderland
Elves are usually pretty popular, so I wasn't too surprised that this one got snatched up early.
Lighting Up Christmas
I wasn't so sure about this one, but there is something about a Santa dressed in white that intrigues my collectors.  Yep, this one is sold out too!
White Christmas
These three might be all gone for the year, but I still have plenty of others available.  Like this really cute snowman:
This chubby little fellow is dressed in a bight blue scarf, green mittens and a squatty black top hat.  His gift to you is a pretty present and a yummy peppermint candy cane.  He would love to spend Christmas on your tree!
You can find Bringing Christmas Cheer and many other limited editions in my etsy shop.  Hurry though!  You don't want to miss out on your favorite!
Have a great day!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to send Helga and Hazel to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.  These two little witch sisters have been out gathering pumpkins and berries for their autumn feast.  They are warmly dressed in flannel skirts and wool felt vests with matching hats.  Autumn is their favorite time of year....a time to celebrate nature's bounty and the blessings of family and friends.

Helga's strawberry blond hair is straight and unruly.  She has to keep it tied up in pigtails, but it still sticks out in all directions!  She wishes she had pretty curls like her sister, Hazel.
I'm taking a much needed break from my work this week, and spending time with my family for the holiday.  I'm so blessed in so many ways....with a wonderful husband, a big loving family, fabulous friends and I job I LOVE.  I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and that your blessings are far too many to count!
"Praises we give for the bounties of fall,
But the harvest of friendship is blessed above all."
with love
PS--Neither of these adorable autumn witches have made it into my etsy shop.  If you are interested, send me an email at

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Favorite--Lori's Place Gourmet Delights

I'm doing something a little different today.  Instead of showing you jewelry, or sculpture, or painting, I'm taking you to Lori's Place Gourmet Delights.  No, she doesn't work with any traditional craft medium, but you cannot deny that Lori is an artist.  She has chosen to make edible art--cookies! 

Since the holidays are quickly approaching, I thought I would show you these adorable frosted cookies.  Aren't they wonderful?  They almost look too good to eat! 

Lori is the self-proclaimed Cookie Lady.  She is a real pastry chef with a passion for baking, and you can see that in her artistry.  She has cookies for all occasions--birthdays, babies, bridal--but I've chosen to showcase her Christmas designs.

Frosty the Snowman Cookies - Snowman Decorated Cookies - Christmas Cookies - Snowman Cookie Favors - 6 Cookies
Christmas Mittens - 12 Cookies
Penguin Christmas Cookies - Penguin Decorated Cookies - 6 Cookies
Heart Santa Face Cookies - 12 cookies
Christmas Elf Cookies - Christmas Cookies - Elf Cookies - 6 Cookies
CHRISTMAS COOKIE MIX - Christmas Decorated Cookies - 1 Dozen
I know how busy the holidays can get.  Who has time to cut and frost cookies?  And honestly, would they look as cute as these?  Not mine.  Why not look Lori up and have her to all the work?  According to her etsy shop, orders should be placed by December 12th, but it's best to order early!
Have a sweet day!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Not Just Santas

I love Santa.  I've mentioned that.  Snowman are pretty cool, too.  (Sorry about the pun.)  But there are other winter characters I like to use in my Christmas ornaments as well, and one of those is penguins.  They are pretty cute, and something not everyone thinks about for Christmas.  Here is this year's penguin ornament.  (I try to do a penguin ornament every year.)

This fun little guy is wearing a cheery striped scarf and red earmuffs.  He's waving a Christmas greeting against a metallic blue night sky, surrounded by tiny little snowflakes. 
Joyful Penguin is available in my etsy shop, and for the month of November, on my Pfatt Marketplace page.  Like all my 2012 ornaments, this one is limited to an edition of five. 
Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tiny Tree Santa

My Pfatt Marketplace site updated over the weekend.  I have some really cute stuff available, and some of it is only available on Pfatt.  I was THRILLED when in less than an hour after updating I had an order for two of my limited edition ornaments.  YAY!!  I'm so pleased to be on this wonderful website.  I hope you have taken time to go check out not only my page, but the pages of all the other wonderful folk artists they feature.

This Tiny Tree Santa is one of the items I listed this month.  He's got a quirky little expression on his face and he's dressed in a bright red tradtional Santa suit.  He is carrying a wee little bottle brush tree and a couple of jolly jingle bells. 

I hope you'll take a stroll over to Pfatt and see what else I have offered this month. 
Have a good day!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Favorite--ing00te, Felted Wool Slippers

It's getting cold outside, and the holidays are fast approaching.  I think it's a great idea to start showing you shops that are full of wonderful gift ideas.  ing00te is such a shop.  Inga makes beautiful felted wool slippers.  Her designs are so unique and lovely, made from merino wool.  I'm sure they are very cozy on your cold toes!  Perfect for yourself, or great as a gift for someone special. 

Inga is from Lithuania.  That's one of the things I love about etsy.  You can shop all over the world for unique handmade gifts without ever having to leave your living room!  Why not pop over to her shop right now and see all of her beautiful designs.  To entice you further, here are a few of my favorites:

Felted wool slippers MARBLE ROSES
Felted slippers CIRCLES
Felted wool slippers VIOLA
Felted slippers. Glam Rock. Gray and black
Felted wool slippers DOTS
I chose to feature some of Inga's fancier slippers.  She also has very simple designs as well.  They have latex on the bottom to prevent you from slipping around.  You can also order a cork bottom so you can wear them outdoors.  Of course, you order them in your size, and Inga is also open to custom work.  You really should go check out her shop!  I'm sure with the holidays coming up, her lovely slippers are going to be dancing out of her shop!  I wouldn't want you to miss out!
Have a really great weekend.  It's going to be gorgeous here the 70s, and THEN on Sunday, maybe snow!  CRAZY!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Goldilocks and the Three Bears Santa Claus

I have a thing for Santas.  I LOVE them!  I have an extensive collection of them.  Some handmade.  Some not handmade.  When I make a Santa it's sometimes very hard to part with him.  I want to keep them all, but David keeps reminding me that I can't keep EVERYTHING.  The point of my work is to allow it to bring joy to others, right?  Right. 

Well, here's one of my Santas from this year's collection, and I must say, he's going to be hard to let go.  I think he's adorable!  But I'll let you decide for yourself.

I call this piece Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  I wanted to make a Santa holding some toys.  I often make little bears, and suddenly the idea of Goldilocks and the Three Bears popped into my head.  Yes, let's make them as toys!  Some little girl is going to be awfully excited to find those under her tree!
Many of my art dolls are sculpted from clay and then embellished with other materials.  This Santa, however, is nearly entirely clay.  The only extra doo-dads I added to him are the red Swarovski crystals that adorn the holly leaves on his coat and hat.  And I painted his eyes.  And glittered the base.  Everything else is clay.  The tiny little bows around the bears' necks to the eyebrows on Santa's face.  His beard is made from little coils of clay.  The trim on his bright red suit is clay that has been detailed with a needle to look like fur.
I love all the little details on this figurine.  It's the details that give a piece it's personality.
I'd love to hear what you think!  Please leave comments below.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Another Fabulous Honor!

I have some more wonderful news to share.  I've been published in ANOTHER magazine!  YAY!!

I subscribe to Art Doll Quarterly, and have for a couple of years.  I'm always inspired by the creative work of the amazing doll artists they feature.  I've pondered submitting some work of my own, but never took the leap UNTIL this past summer.  In each issue they put forth a 'reader challenge' in which they suggest a topic and ask readers to submit dolls for that category.  The last challenge was calling for dolls inspired by book characters.  Well.  I could do that.  I had the perfect dolls in mind to Wizard of Oz characters!  So off they went.

Dorothy (with Toto in her basket), Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion followed the Yellow Brick Road to California.  And then I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  The dolls were sent in June.  I hadn't heard anything, but knew they had arrived.  No rejections though, so I was optimistic.
Then, a couple weeks ago my winter issue arrived.  I had it in my head that the Book Character challenge selections would be published in the spring issue (I'm not sure why), so I wasn't expecting what I found.  I was flipping absently through the pages, and suddenly was seeing dolls with names like Hester Pryne, Pinocchio, The Princess and the Pea, Pippi Longstocking.  It took a few seconds for it to register in my weary brain (I had just arrived home after a 5 hour drive) that these were, in fact, book characters.  Just as it hit me, I turned a page and saw this:
There they were!  In the pages of Art Doll Quarterly magazine!  MY Wizard of Oz dolls!  OMG!!  It was rather exciting!  I showed husband David and he snatched it out of my hands to have a look.  Yep.  MY dolls!  YAY!! 
I was a little bit surprised that I wasn't notified ahead of time, but hey, WHO CARES!!  It was thrilling to see my work on the pages of such a wonderful publication, in the company of so many talented artists.  My one disappointment is that the tip of Tinman's funnel hat is askew.  Something must have happened in transit, but he still looks great.  I'm so pleased!
If you are out looking for the magazine, here is what to look for:
It really is a beautiful publication.  I'm so honored to have had my work chosen for this challenge.  I think I won't be so hesitant in the future to submit more of my work.
Thanks for letting me share my excitement with you all! 
"We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz!"
Oh, yes, my Wizard of Oz characters are available in my etsy shop.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Christmas Ornament #2

This year I made 15 limited edition Christmas ornament designs.  I shared one with you last week here, and today I'm going to share another.  Eventually I will show them all individually here on my blog, but if you are impatient and can't wait for days between them, you can always pop over to my etsy shop and view the whole collection. 

So, we had a Santa last week.  Today we'll take a look at a snowman design.

Just as people come in all shapes and sizes, so do snowmen.  I don't think all snowmen should be made from three perfectly round balls of snow.  I think it's fun to mix it up a little bit--that's how Shorty, Slim and Slick were born.  While Slick might be a typical snowman, his friends Shorty and Slim are both made from egg-shaped balls.  Shorty's are stacked on the long side, and Slim's are stacked on the ends.  Even their hats are quirky shapes--tall and skinny and short and flat. 
This fun ornament is handcrafted from a custom-mixed, pearly white polymer clay that has a subtle glimmer, much like real snow.  Each snowman wears a colorful scarf and a top hat trimmed with silver hatbands  The tiny holly leaves, the little gold star and the small blue bird are all cut from clay.  The only painted details on this ornament are the tiny white dots in their eyes. 
As with all my 2012 ornaments, this one is limited to an edition of five, but none of them are exactly alike.  Each is individually handmade, and signed, numbered and dated on the back.  A signed certificate of authenticity is included with each ornament.
I love these three frosty friends.  Maybe because they are a little bit quirky, like me! 
A little Reminder:
Would you love to win this set of four quirky snowman faces? 
Well, it's easy to enter.  All you have to do is sign up to follow my blog.  You can do it either by submitting your email address in the little box in the upper right sidebar OR you can sign up to follow through google by clicking the blue 'join this site' button, also on the sidebar.  Once I hit 30 followers (and we are SOOOO close now) I will randomly draw a name to receive this adorable set of ornaments.  Have you already signed up?  Tell a friend!  Let's get this giveaway going!!  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Favorite--Sweet Harvey

I LOVE letterpress printing.  I have first-hand experience with this wonderful printmaking technique, having studied it while in college.  There is something so magical about printmaking that is just too hard to explain.  Maybe it's the reverse image.  Maybe it's the smell of the ink.  Maybe it's the texture of the paper.  I'm not sure.  Maybe it's all of the above and then some.  I just love it.  And I am always drawn to work of letterpress printers.  Today I am going to draw you to a little shop called Sweet Harvey.

Brandi of Sweet Harvey describes her work as 'simple, modern, fresh, and whimsical'.  Yes, yes, yes, and yes.  She creates an original image, and then hand-prints her wonderful designs on either papergoods by letterpress printing, or on fabrics by screen printing.  She has so many fabulous designs I didn't know what to choose to represent here.  You MUST go to her shop and look around.  I simply cannot do her work justice by picking 5 or 6 pieces for this post. 

Retro Flower Letterpress Greeting Card Set: Folded Greetings, Leaf Pattern, Hello Typography, Camel Tan Taupe Beige Khaki -3 pack (GRH01)
Flower Garden Letterpress Greeting Card - Thank You Note Cards - Rust Orange, Aqua Blue, Spring, Retro - 3 Pack (GTY03)
My Own World: Letterpress Nursery Decor - Typography Art Print, Wall Art, Purple Green (PEW3)
Retro Couple Letterpress Greeting Card - Anniversary Card, Valentines Day, Wedding - Aqua Blue, Brown (ED04)
Fox Note Card Set - Fox Letterpress Stationery Set - Laying Fox, Autumn, Fall, Red, Rust Orange - 10 pack (NLF1)
Peacock Tea Towel: Screenprint Flour Sack Towel - Bird, Feather, Geometric - Red, Rust Orange, Autumn, Fall, Rustic Farmhouse (TT04)
Don't you just love Brandi's simple, clean style?  I do!  I hope you will visit Sweet Harvey.  I'm sure you will find a fabulous gift for someone on your holiday shopping list this year!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


OK.  Halloween is over.  I feel I can now officially start introducing my Christmas work.  I hated to push it, bringing it up before Halloween.  It's bad enough that Thanksgiving gets shoved aside.  But now that the spooks have all gone home for the night, I think it's high time to start showing you all the wonderful holiday creations that I have been working on all summer.  (Christmas starts in July around here....I know you fellow artists and crafters know what I'm talking about.)

Since 1990 I have designed over 400 different Christmas ornaments, and handcrafted each one individually by hand from polymer clay in limited editions of five.   Exactly how many different ways can you make a Santa or a snowman?  Sometimes I wonder if the creative well is going to run dry, but somehow I always seem to come up with something new.  I honestly don't know how it happens, but I am eternally grateful that it does. 

I will be introducing my ornaments one at a time over the course of the coming weeks.  All of them are currently available in my etsy shop, so you can go browse them at any time.  So here goes....

I'm starting with one of my very favorites this year, Loading Up.  I have a thing for tiny little details, and this ornament is full of them.  Santa is getting ready for his big night, packing up his big leather bag and checking his list to make sure he's got everything.  What a disaster it would be if he left someone out!! 
This ornament has HUNDREDS of itsy-bitsy pieces of clay.  Every one of those little toys has been hand cut from colored polymer clay.  I draw the little details in with a needle tool, and I add the tiniest drop of paint to highlight the eyes.  The titles on the books and the list of 'names' are written on with a permanent marker.  Otherwise, every different color you see is a wee bit of clay. 
This bag is FULL of toys:  Raggedy Ann, a curly headed doll, a toy soldier, a teddy bear, two books, a car, a dollhouse, drum, football, a baseball and glove, a little pink bunny, some candy canes and a few wrapped surprises.  I love all the little details in this piece.  It is a very labor intensive ornament, but it truly is a labor of love. 
I've sold my ornaments to hundreds of people across the Midwest.  I have many very loyal collectors who I appreciate more than I could ever say.  These wonderful people along with my family have kept me motivated all these years to come up with new ideas and fresh ways to make a Santa.  I'm so thrilled to be able to share my work with a larger audience this year, and I hope that I will gain a few new collectors along the way.  But I will always remember where I started....with a few ornaments on a tiny tree at a little local craft show.  So many thanks to those of you who have been with me from the know who you are! :D
Have a wonderful day!
PS--My ornaments are still produced in limited editions of five. I still create each one individually by hand.  They are signed, numbered and dated and come with a signed certificate of authenticity.  Until this year they have been sold under the name The Art Market.  Now they truly are A Piece of Lisa.