Tuesday, August 27, 2013

JUST JACK and a few notes

I just listed this adorable jack-o-lantern in my etsy shop about five minutes ago.  Isn't he fun?  I hope you will go have a look at him, and the other frightful characters that are showing up in my shop.  I still have a lot of Halloween spooks to get listed, but they are all waiting for their photo shoot.  It's hard balancing all the tasks required with the limited number of hours in a day!  I just want to MAKE THINGS! LOL!! 

Anyway, here is JUST JACK with a Spider:

A few other little notes:
1)  My friend LeeAnn of Charmed Confections is hosting a giveaway on her blog to celebrate her first year of blogging.  Time is running out to enter...you must do so by tomorrow.  She makes adorable art from paper clay.  You should go check it out.  And please enter!  Here is the link:
2)  Same friend, LeeAnn and Carly Smith of Boggy Bottom Bayou are organizing a Halloween blog hop and have asked me to participate.  It will be coming up in a couple of weeks, so you will want to stay tuned for details on that.  They have gathered together 13 wonderful Halloween artists and each of us will be providing one of our handmade treasures for a fabulous giveaway.  You won't want to miss it!  Here is a sneak peak at the banner they have created for the event:
3)  My Dracula and His Bride dolls are still available over at Pfatt Marketplace.  You might want to go have a look. 
While you are there be sure to check out all the other wonderful artists' pages.  There are still some really great things available.
Lots of work to do today, so I better get to it!  Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Favorite--Robots Are Awesome by HerArt SheLoves

I'm back with another Friday Favorite.  This time I am featuring a fellow member of the Polymer Clay Enthusiasts Team on etsy, Robots Are Awesome by HerArt SheLoves.  (There is no mention of her 'real' name on her site, so HerArt it is!)

HerArt is a self-proclaimed Uber Nerd who loves all manner of science fiction.  She has combined her love of geekery with her love of sculpting and created these adorable robots from polymer clay and coiled wire.  Personally, I've never been a huge fan of geekery UNTIL I saw these robots.  I think they are wonderful! 

Here are a few of my favorites from her shop:

Blue Red Fred the Robot Sculpture : Colorful Geeky Decor & Bot in Need of a Home
Rustic Robot Wedding Cake Topper MADE TO ORDER Robot Bride and Groom 6 inch - Clay and Wire
Valentine Cupid Robot Cabe - Valentine's Geek Gift - Clay, Wire, Paint
And don't forget the Robot pets!
Mini Mack the Robot Cat Sculpture Faux Stoneware Kitty - Clay, Wire
HerArt does custom work like wedding cake toppers, birthday bots, pets,  you name it.  If you have an idea for a robot, drop her a line and see what she can do.  I hope you will visit her etsy shop and have a look around!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I just now listed this adorable little girl in my etsy shop.  Isn't she cute?

Her name is Candy, and her favorite thing in the world is candy corn.  She likes to have a little bucket of it with her wherever she goes. 
Her favorite dress looks like a big piece of candy corn.  It is sculpted from orange clay with an orange wool felt skirt trimmed with yellow and orange grosgrain ribbon.  I used a vintage button and added a Swarovski crystal to give it some sparkle.  Her collar is made from crepe paper.
Doesn't she have the sweetest face?  I love her big brown eyes!  I debated about her hair color--blond, strawberry blond, or brown.  In the end, my husband and I agreed that the brown looked more like fall.  I tucked a little white satin ribbon rose in her hair as a finishing touch.
I created Candy as a Halloween doll, but why couldn't you leave her out all year?  At least through the fall season, up until Christmas.
My dad always loved candy corn--BRACHS candy corn, to be specific.  Every time I see it or eat it, I think of him.  I only buy it in the fall, when I know it's fresh and yummy.  It just says 'fall' to me.  YUM! 
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Zombie and Ghost

After I made the Zombie cheerleader, I thought I should do at least one boy version of a zombie.  I had a lot of fun making her ugly/cute face.  This guy was just as much fun as the cheerleader, though I maybe not so clever. 

He is dressed in too-short black pants and a grey and black striped shirt, all sculpted from clay.  Somewhere along the way, he lost his shoes!  But he picked up a little friend along the way.  The ghost has a head made from clay, and then I draped him with cheesecloth and tied it with a bit of baker's twine.  I soaked the whole thing in some watered down black paint to give it an aged appearance.

He has a skull-and-crossbones belt buckle and a crepe paper collar.

A detail of his face.  He has creepy eyes that are rimmed in red and I gave his pale flesh a wash of black paint to give him that fresh-from-the-grave look.  He has a wild bit of black wool roving hair.
Those of you who are drawn to the cuter side of Halloween probably won't be to taken with these zombies.  But I think they are sort of fun and different.
You can find Zombie and Ghost in my etsy shop.
Stay tuned!  More fabulous Halloween spooks are coming!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Favorite--Swan Quarter House

I want to try to get back on my Friday Favorites routine.  I might not get here every week with one, but hopefully at least a couple times a month. 

I know many of you are not quite in the Halloween frame of mind yet, so maybe this is going to seem a bit premature to you.  I, however, have been seriously engrossed in Halloween since the 4th of July holiday was over, so it seems normal to me.  Either way, I hope you enjoy this adorable shop I'm showing you today.

Swan Quarter House is full of delightful needle felted sculptures, inspired by vintage holiday decorations, but with a touch of modern whimsy.  I think Jodi's work is fabulous.  There is something about her whimsical touch that hits really close to home.  She adds the same sort of little playful details that I strive for in my work. 

I've chosen a few Halloween pieces to feature here, but trust me, Jodi has lots of other adorable items in her etsy shop.  I love many of her Christmas things as well. 

Halloween Black Wizard cat Kitten wool needlefelted mercury glass beads orange tin pumpkin  tinsel Trick or Treat - Trickster

11-1/2" Halloween Black White Kitten wool needlefelted Cat sign orange and black tinsel mercury glass glass eyes Trick or Treat - Pookie
10" Halloween Bunny Rabbit wool needle felted glass eyes orange mercury glass black tinsel Trick or Treat - Brothers Boo
Halloween 12-1/2" Black Kitten wool needlefelted Cat sign orange and black tinsel buttons Trick or Treat - Blackie
And because I couldn't resist showing one of her Christmas pieces after all....
Christmas King Charles Cocker Spaniel Puppy Dog brown white tan chenille mercury glass needle felted mohair - Bitsie
Aren't these all just as cute as can be?  I hope you will all take a minute to go check out Jodi's adorable creations in Swan Quarter House
More Halloween work for me today!  YAY!
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Every once in a while I create a doll that just simply speaks to my heart.  Clara is one of those dolls.

I had an armature ready to be sculpted.  When I made it, I thought it would be a zombie or perhaps a skeleton.  I wasn't sure.  I know when I mention that I allow the clay to speak to me, you all probably just roll your eyes, thinking I'm just another wacky artist.  But it's true.  Sometimes you have an idea in your head, but the piece says, "Nope.  Don't want to be that."

So I said, "OK.  How about a witch?  Do you want to be a witch?"

It said, "Fine, I'll be a witch.  But make it a good one!"

So I began to sculpt, and this is who came out:

This is Clara, the clairvoyant.  She's been at this crystal gazing for many, many years.  And it's left her a little hunchbacked, and her eyes all wonky.  But she just can't stop.  It's her gift.
Clara has a delicately sculpted, wrinkled face, with one drooping eye and one that is wide open.  I used soft grey wool roving for her hair, which is twisted in a bun in back.  I added Swarovski crystals to her ears and gave her a clear crystal charm necklace.  I've had these clear shooter marbles for about a year, waiting to become crystal balls. (I bought them on the Junk Jaunt last summer. You can read about that here and here.)
She has slightly saggy breasts, a little bit of a hunchback and some extra 'cushion' on her behind, all products of her extreme age.  I dressed her all in black: a micro suede skirt with a black glittered velvet ribbon belt, a crepe paper collar, and a long fringed shawl.  Not visible are her black and white striped stockings.  Her boots are buttoned up with Swarovski crystals.
Here you can see her interesting profile and how she is just slightly stooped over.  I like how the reflections change in the crystal ball in every view.
One of the things I really enjoy about creating these dolls is that I can shop in every department of Hobby Lobby and find something that just might work.  I found this fringe with the upholstery trims.  It makes a perfect shawl!
I'm not exactly sure what is it about this particular witch that has struck me so hard, but I love her!  Clara is not listed in my etsy shop yet, and to be honest, she might not ever be!  I'm having a hard time with the idea of parting with her.  We'll see.  The next witch I make might be even better, then it will be easier to pass her along to someone else who will love her like I do! 
I would love to hear what you think about her.  Please leave your comments below!
I'm back to the studio!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Sharing Some Blog Love

Something different here today.  I didn't do a Friday Favorites last week.  So maybe this could sort of replace that??  I want to share my new friend LeeAnn's blog. 

LeeAnn of Charmed Confections is a wonderful artist who creates fabulous Halloween art from paperclay.  She is a fellow member of Pfatt Marketplace, and also an artist on Spookytime Jingles.  She has an etsy shop, a facebook page, and a delightful blog.  I'm happy to call her my new friend, even though I have never really met her!  The beauty of the internet!  Oh, she also has five of her wonderful Halloween creations featured in the current issue of Art Doll Quarterly. 

So, anyway....LeeAnn is celebrating one year of blogging.  In honor of that, she is hosting a fabulous giveaway on her blog.  Three lucky readers will win one of her wonderful pieces of art. 

First prize will be a Ghastly Ghost similar to one of these: 



(These four darlings are already sold....she will make another one just for you!)

Two more lucky ducks will win a set of these cute cupcake ornaments!

To get the details on how to enter, hop on over to Charmed Confections and check it out. 

I hope you will all join me in congratulating LeeAnn on her first year of blogging!  (Don't forget to mention I sent you there! LOL!)

Have a great day, and good luck with her giveaway!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Spooky Time Spirit

Normally on Friday I would be doing a Friday Favorite, featuring a fellow artist.  But today I've decided to finish off the 'armature line up', before and after.  There is one more Spook waiting to have his day.

Spooky Time Spirit is another piece I did a version of last year, but it sold before I had a chance to feature it on the blog.  He was one of my more unusual creations, so I thought the idea deserved another go.

Talk about hard to photograph!!  This pale fellow is extremely difficult.  I think I might try retaking his pictures on a black background and see how that works. 
Anyway...about the Spirit...
He's dressed in a white shirt and grey pants with matching striped stockings. I've used various brads and studs for buttons, belt buckle and shoe buckles.  He's flesh is a pearly grey mix.
This picture is a little more clear.  It shows the details of his spooky face, which is accented with paint, and his wild shock of wool roving hair.  I used a shimmery sheer fabric  and shredded it for his ethereal appearance, and tied bits of silver organza ribbon around his neck.  It is accented with a Swarovski crystal.
He is carrying a chain with little charms attached:  a spider, a crystal beaded charm, and a watch face.  Spirits do like to rattle their chains, right?
He hasn't been listed in my etsy shop yet, but he should arrive in the coming days.  I might do another photo shoot first....
Also, a reminder that today is the last day to grab up one of the witches I have listed on Pfatt Marketplace.  The site will update tomorrow. 
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

OOPSY DAISY! When Spells Go Wrong....

Next up from our parade of armatures to finished pieces is this adorable Frog Witch.  I showed you a similar piece that I made last year. I couldn't resist revisiting the idea. 

Sometimes spells go horribly wrong!  This little witch hasn't quite mastered the spell of turning someone into a frog....it backfired and now SHE is a frog!  What to do?  What to do?  You consult your trusty spell book, that's what. 

OK--now you may be asking "Why did she post four of the same photos?"  Well, I'm asking a favor.  If you look closely, these photos are not the same.  They have different lighting and coloring.  Subtle in some of them, to be sure, but different nonetheless.  I'm asking for your opinions....which one of these frogs would make you most likely to 'click' if they were all lined up in my etsy shop?  Which one are you drawn to?  Which do you think has the nicest coloring and lighting?
I've been told that product photography is the hardest type of photography. When I first heard that I thought, "What?  What is so hard about setting up a cute little figurine and snapping some photos?"  Well, I was wrong!  I know, I'm way too OCD when it comes to this, but I just want to always put my best foot forward.  When selling online the customer cannot pick up your adorable doll and give it a once over.  So pictures are paramount to capturing their attention, making a great impression, and enticing them to go for it...take a leap of faith, if you will.
I know lots of photos on etsy are not that great.  I think mine are better than many of them, but I know there are far more artists who do a much better job than I do.  I'm still learning about all this stuff like 'white balance'--which is the thing that throws me for the biggest loop! 
So, dear readers, what are your thoughts?  Am I being too picky?  Do they all look 'good enough'?  Does one stand out as being just a smidge better?  I really would love your feedback!
I didn't get any sculpting done yesterday because I was messing around with photos.  One of those necessary tasks that eats up time.  I'm hoping to be back with my clay today!
Have a good one!
Oh, and in case you ever turn yourself into a frog, try this spell (you will need a magic wand):
Has a spell backfired?
Have things gone awry?
Pick up your wand
and give this a try--
Blink three times
and tug on your ear.
Recite these words,
loud and clear:
"OOPSY DAISY, set me free
Turn this frog back in to ME.
I'm not a FROG.  I am a WITCH.
HOCUS POCUS--make the switch!
Eye of rabbit, hair of dog,
I do not wish to be a frog!
Counting backward, three, two, one...
Now the spell should be undone."
(I hope it works! LOL!)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Jack Crow

Next in the line of unfinished armatures, Jack Crow.

I enjoy making pumpkin head figures.  I think they are quirky and whimsical and they can be anyone you want them to be.  And while I consider this guy a Halloween guy, there is nothing about him that insists he is only for Halloween.  He could hang around for the entire autumn season.
Jack Crow is dressed in short black pants, a green shirt and a purple vest, all made from clay.  He's got matching striped stockings, a crepe paper collar and a velvet wizard hat adorned with a green spiral wire clip.  

The challenge presented with this piece was the bird.  I knew I wanted him to have a little black bird perched on his wrist, but I couldn't find one!  I even searched online, but everything I found was far too big.  It needed to be TINY.  Well, there had to be a way!  I had a package of tiny mushroom birds in pale colors.  I thought, "Can I paint one of these?"  Yep, turns out you can!  It took a couple coats, but it worked.  The tail feathers were not quite long enough either, so I grabbed a black feather and nipped a tiny piece off and glued it in place. That was tricky too, but in the end, it also worked.  I added some gold wire (to look like bird claws) and wrapped it around his wrist! 
Sometimes it takes a little bit of ingenuity to makes things happen! 
Jack Crow is currently available in my etsy shop
Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Go, Zombies!!

I honestly don't know where I come up with these ideas sometimes! 

I was lying in bed one morning, wide awake before the alarm went off.  (I have a strict policy of not getting out of bed until the alarm goes off if I can help it. LOL!)  My brain was already in full 'work' mode, thinking of all the fun and frightful characters I could make for this Halloween season.  Zombies popped into my mind, and through stream of consciousness, a Zombie cheerleader!  WHAT?!?  Where did that come from? 

Not one to run away from an unusual idea, I went for it.  And this is how she turned out:

She is dressed in a classic cheerleading uniform:  a white sweater with a felt 'Z' for Zombies and a crepe paper collar, a black pleated skirt, all trimmed with stitched grosgrain ribbon.  Her little saddle shoes even have tiny striped shoelaces! 
Of course, she had to have pompoms!  These are handmade (after about 4 tries) from black and white crepe paper and tied to her wrists with black wire.
I love her face!  I think this is probably about as cheery as a Zombie gets.  Her pale flesh is accented with paint to give her that just-risen-from-the-dead look.  Her wool roving hair is tied into pigtails with tiny ribbon.
It was really fun working on something other than a witch or a mummy or a ghost.  (Not that I don't love doing those characters as well!)  I love the path my creativity takes me on! 
What on your agenda for the day?  Me?  I'm making more Halloween dolls! 
Thanks for stopping by!  I hope the Zombie didn't scare you!
OH--Go, Zombies! is now available in my etsy shop, here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

All Lined Up

When I make armatures for my art dolls I make several at one time.  It's my least favorite part of my creations, but it also happens to be the most important.  Without them everything would be too fragile and they would also be too top heavy for their skinny little legs.  So last spring I made six 'skeletons'.  And then they sat.  And waited.  And waited some more.  And mocked me every time I set foot in my studio.  And begged me.  OK, not really, because they didn't even have heads, but I think you understand what I'm saying.  I had all these armatures ready and waiting, but other projects (for my niece's wedding mostly) kept pushing them to the back burner. 

Actually, two of them got made right away into Little Red Riding Hoods.  I showed you one of them here.  Here is the other one: 

This time Little Red Riding Hood is blond with big blue eyes, and she's dressed in her summer clothes.  A black gingham paper skirt, a short sleeved top trimmed with Swarovski crystals, bobby socks and Mary Jane's.  Her cloak is still made from red wool felt.  I tried to do one in a lighter weight fabric, but it just didn't hang right. 
Once I got these Little Red Riding Hoods finished, in late APRIL, the rest of the armatures sat around waiting, sometimes not so patiently.  I finally got to them after the 4th of July!  Here they are all lined up, waiting.....
And here is a group shot of all of them finished:
(not a great picture, I KNOW!)
What a diverse little band of characters, isn't it?  I will show each piece individually with more details in the coming days.
I'm having a great time making Halloween spooks.  I know one of these days I will need to quit and begin making Christmas pieces and my ornament collection for 2013.  But right now there are too many ghouls haunting my head and I have to get them out!! 
I hope you all had a great weekend!