Thursday, November 21, 2013

Woodland Winter

It seems winter is going to start here today, with snow in the forecast.  Not a big snow, but snow nonetheless.  So in the spirit of our first snowfall, I think I will introduce you to a few of my newest snowmen.

I've had this 'woodland' theme in my head this year, and I'm really pleased with the direction it is taking me.  These three winter friends are all dressed up in toggle coats, pants, boots, warm wool hats and scarves.  My sister once told me that she liked the snowmen with clothes better than the 'naked ones', and I always think of her when I am putting clothes on a snowman! 

All three Woodland Snowmen are available at A Piece of Lisa on etsy

A red coat, dark pine green houndstooth wool scarf and hat, a bottle-brush wreath trimmed with a red bow.  A tiny felt poinsettia trims his hat. 

An olive green coat and brown pants, with a lovely red houndstooth wool hat and scarf.  He holds a garland with red berries.  A tiny sprig of greenery is tucked in his hat.

A navy coat and moss green houndstooth scarf and hat.  He holds a tiny snow-dusted tree.  A burgundy felt flower trims his hat.
I love the hats and scarves.  I buy these beautiful hand-dyed felted wools from two different shops on etsy.  They are so soft and pretty and the colors are just lovely.  You can find them here, at Three Sheep Studio, and here, at Quilting Acres.  Both shops have lots of gorgeous wools.  Some of them are just too big of a scale for my work, but I would love to have a swatch of EVERY ONE!  Mostly I stick to the houndstooth because the pattern works so well for my dolls.
Do you have a favorite shop on etsy that sells wonderful supplies?  I would love to hear about it!  I'm always on the hunt for interesting things to use on my dolls, and I love to support small business when I can!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Santa and Elves

Time to show you a few more of my 2013 Limited Edition Christmas Ornaments.  How about Santa and a couple of elves?

This is actually one of my more simple designs.  I feel I need to have a wide range of ornament designs in my collection.  While I love the ones I make that have lots of tiny pieces and minute details, those are more labor intensive, and therefore more expensive.  Buyers might appreciate them, but they might not be within their budget.  So each year I design a few ornaments that I can produce more quickly and sell for a little less money.  This Santa fits that bill.
He is dressed in his bright red suit and green mittens, holding a sign with his classic holiday greeting.  The "Ho!Ho!Ho!" is cut from very thin coils of clay.  "Merry Christmas" is handwritten in bright green ink.  A sprig of holly and the year 2013 trim his hat.  He is simple, but cute!! 
Ho!Ho!Ho! is still available in my etsy shop and also at Pfatt Marketplace.
This adorable little elf is another example of one of my more simple designs.  He is dressed in a green and red elf suit, trimmed with white.  I used red striped baker's twine to tie a little silver jingle bell to the tip of his hat.  I love his pointy ears and his big, mischievous grin!  Has he been naughty or nice?
You can find Elvin in my etsy shop.
Peppermint Patty
One of my favorites this season!  She has quite a bit more detail than the Santa and the first elf.  She is dressed in classic red and green, with striped stockings and holly on her hat.  She is holding a big candy cane and a disc edged in candy-cane stripes.  Nothing is painted on this ornament except for the tiny white dots in her eyes. 
Peppermint Patty has been sold out already, but I wanted to show her to you anyway.  I think she is really adorable!
I  actually finished up the remainder of the 2013 collection last week!  YAY!!  Normally it's a scramble right before Christmas to finish up and have enough ornaments to give to my family.  This year it's done early!  YAY!!  (did I already say YAY! ??)  Unless I have a huge selling run at A Piece of Lisa on etsy, or at my final show, I should be OK for the year and not have to add another design or two.  (My family would NOT be happy if they missed out on their ornaments this year!)
The ornaments may be finished, but there is still a lot of other work to do in the studio, so I best be off to do it!!  Have a great day!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Don't Forget About Autumn!

Sometimes I feel autumn and Thanksgiving get a raw deal.  We fill our homes with Halloween decorations and our bellies full of Halloween candy, and for some, as soon as the last Snickers bar is consumed and the ghosts and goblins have been tucked away for another year, the Christmas tree is already up in the front window!  There is this whole month of November when we can celebrate the beauty and the bounty of fall! But it seems to get shoved aside in favor of the red and green.  Don't get me wrong....I LOVE Christmas, and I LOVE to decorate for it.  But I have a strict rule about not putting up my tree until the first week of December.  OK, granted.  A lot of that rule stems from the fact that I don't have time to put up my decorations until show season is over.  But honestly, I wouldn't even if I did.  I like to keep the magic of Christmas in December.

(Now, I'm not scolding those of you who have already started decking the halls.  If that's your thing, great.)

Today I'm going to show you a couple of fun little characters I created just for fall.  I had such a good time making my funny Jacks for Halloween, I thought to myself, "Why not an autumn pumpkin man?  Pumpkins are not just for Halloween!"  And here is what happened when I listened to that voice in my head:

He has prominent facial features accented with lovely brown eyes.  The hat is hand-sewn from wool felt and trimmed with chenille and a autumn-colored ribbon.  He holds a garland of greenery and sunflowers. 

Also sculpted with a prominent nose and big brown eyes, he features a similar hat adorned with a sunflower, and carries a bouquet of autumn bounty.  Both pieces have golden yellow and green stripes on their arms and legs, green mittens trimmed with chenille and brown boots.
I'm really pleased with how these two autumn Jacks turned out.  I love the colors of fall so much!  You can find both of these adorable fellows in my etsy shop, A Piece of Lisa.
Happy Fall!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Let's Get Started....

with the 2013 Limited Edition Christmas Ornament Collection!

Each year since 1990, I have put together a collection of ornaments.  The first year I just made random designs, all basically one of a kind.  Maybe I would make another of a particularly cute design if it sold right away.  The following year I decided it would be fun to create them in limited editions.  I chose to do five of each design.  I thought that would be a manageable number.  I was also doing five holiday craft shows that season, so I figured that is one per show.  And that is how the tradition of my limited edition designs started!  I have now created somewhere in the neighborhood of 450 designs.  Multiply that times five and that's a whole lotta ornaments that I have cranked out, individually, by hand, over the years.  It sort of makes my head spin!! 

Every year I think it's going to be harder and harder to come up with interesting ways to portray the classic Christmas characters we all know and love.  Santa.  Snowmen.  Gingerbread.  Baby Jesus.  I admit, it does present a challenge, but somehow I am still able to pull a few new ideas out of my head each year! 

Snowmen are a perennial favorite.  Who doesn't love Frosty?  After making dozens of designs in the classic, perfectly-round-ball style, I decided why not switch it up a bit?  Give him some personality.  A few quirks.  An odd-ball shape.  Here are two designs in which I have done just that:

I happen to love this one!  I was inspired by my own collection of Quirky Snowmen that were published in the 2012 issue of Holiday Crafts Magazine. (More about that here.)  I like the flat oval shapes of their heads, contrasted with the unusual shapes of their black hats.  Even the size and shape of their carrot noses is something out of the ordinary.  I placed these two quirky guys on a light blue pearl background scattered with snowflakes.  All of my ornaments have the year on them in some way.   

I took the oval shaped snowman and turned it on the side to create these two tall skinny snowmen.  (Well, one is a woman of course!)  This happy couple is dressed up in sweaters, scarves and mittens and each wears an unusually shaped black hat.  She is holding a long candy cane.  I built this ornament on a background of light blue pearl clay scattered with snowflakes, and a drift of snow.  It's edged with silver and a sprig of holly adorns one corner.
Each of these designs is currently available in my etsy shop.  But you should hurry if you want Mr. & Mrs. Snow, because as of today there are only two left in the edition. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Behind Schedule a Little Bit

I fully intended to get here with this news last week.  November 1st was a good day for me!

First of all, November 1st is always a good day for me, because that is the anniversary of the day I married my very best friend!  This year David and I celebrated 27 years of marriage.  YAY!!  (I use the term celebrate loosely here.  David took the day off work, but I spent all day on last minute preparations for my craft show the following day.  That evening we set up my display.  It was after 8:00pm before we enjoyed our "romantic" dinner of McDonald's!  LOL!!  We were tired and starving....I was about ready to chew off my own arm!  We will make up for it with a nice dinner another time!)  In some ways it is hard to believe it's been 27 years, and yet, I feel like it's been forever.  We've had a good run so far, and I anticipate many many more wonderful years ahead!

Secondly, and more relevant to my blog, November 1st the newest issue of Art Doll Quarterly hit the newsstands!  I am THRILLED once again to say that my work is featured in the Show and Tell Section.  While this is the third time my work has appeared in this fabulous publication, it never ceases to amaze me to see it on the pages alongside such talented artists!  It is very validating, to say the least!

So, here are the two Santas they chose for this issue.  I created these pieces last year, and blogged about them here.  Since you have to submit entries for the Winter Issue in June, I sent in pieces I had on hand because I didn't have time to create something brand new for this year. 

Santa's Sack of Sweets
Dressed in a classic red suit trimmed with tinsel-flecked chenille, this Santa carries a hand-sewn grey wool felt bag adorned with a felt poinsettia and filled with 3 tiny clay candy canes.

Stocking Stuffer
This jolly Santa is dressed in a red suit with white chenille trim and a black ribbon belt with a gemstone buckle.  He carries a little teddy bear made from clay and a stocking hand-sewn from red wool felt and trimmed with white mini pompom fringe and a glittered Christmas tree.  Two tiny candy canes fill the stocking.
If you are interested in purchasing this magazine, here is what to look for:
You can find it at Barnes and Noble or at
In the coming days I will begin showing you the fun Christmas figurines I have been working so hard on, as well as my limited edition Christmas ornaments. 
Hope you all had a frightfully fun Halloween!  I anticipated more trick or treaters than we had.  Which means that I have waaay too much candy left over.  Which means I'm eating waaay too much candy these days!  EEK!!