Sunday, April 5, 2020

Blessing Bag Project

One of the ways I have been keeping calm lately is through beadwork.  The repetitive act of sewing beads upon cloth becomes a moving meditation for me and leaves me relaxed and calm. 
Blessing bag project created by Marla Niederer from tutorial by Heidi Kummli

Heidi Kummli, a bead embroidery artist whom I have admired for quite some time, recently shared a free beading project called a blessing bag.  The project seemed to call out to me so I have spent the past few days creating one.
Blessing bag project by Marla Niederer from tutorial by Heidi Kummli

The first part of this project was shopping in my stash.  If you have never been to my studio, I am fortunate to have quite a stash of fabric, beads, and art supplies. 
I pulled out a treasured bolt of fabric which my grandmother embroidered long ago, some red wool felt, and an assortment of beads.
Fabric embroidered by my grandmother with red felt

While I worked on this project I felt such a warm and beautiful connection to my grandmother.  It felt very comforting for me, now that I am also a grandmother, to be bead embroidering a piece of cloth that my grandmother had embroidered when I was a child.
Blessing bag by Marla Niederer from tutorial by Heidi Kummli

My grandmother is also who created this rag doll for me when I was a child.  And the name for this blog, OrsinisAngels, was chosen to honor her.
rag doll created by my grandmother

Thank you Heidi for the beautiful tutorial.  If you too wish to create a blessing bag you can find the link to Heidi’s video here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lViqgAOxp4k

May you keep safe, comforted, and well.
Until next time……

Warm hugs,
Marla








Friday, March 27, 2020

The Goddess

I just wanted to share that I will be teaching an online class on AforArtistic starting April 1, 2020.  The beauty of taking an online class right now is that you don’t have to leave your home to do so.
 
The Goddess by Marla L. Niederer
I created the Goddess during a time when I felt the world needed more compassion and healing.  
 
The Goddess by Marla L. Niederer
The Goddess represents Kuan Yin.  For those unfamiliar with Kuan Yin, she is known by many as the goddess of compassion, one who hears the cries of all beings. 
 
The Goddess by Marla  L. Niederer
She is also known in Buddhisim as a Bodhisattva, one who puts off Nirvana in order to liberate all sentient beings. 
 
The Goddess by Marla L. Niederer
If you wish to join me in the creation of the Goddess or just find out more about the class here is the link to AforArtistic  
https://www.aforartistic.com/goddess

Until next time……..

warm hugs,
Marla







Monday, March 9, 2020

Taking Online Classes

I have been teaching online classes for quite some time and have several classes lined up to teach for this spring and summer.
I will be teaching my Moulin Rouge Dancers Class on A for Artistic  this May.
 
Moulin Rouge Dancers by Marla L. Niederer
But, I am also having quite a bit of fun taking a yearlong online class focusing on figurative art called Let’s Face it 2020 on Kara Bullock’s website.  It is inspiring me to make painting part of my weekly practice which can only enhance my doll making skills.
 
Watercolor by Marla L. Niederer
This is a watercolor sketch of my granddaughter.  I am still working on trying to create a painting of her that is as beautiful as she is.  Better luck next time.
 
Graphite sketch of Miss Dora by Marla L. Niederer
This is a graphite sketch of a delightful woman named Miss Dora that I met at a Rockabilly Festival last summer. The techniques I used were inspired by the lesson that Angela Kennedy presented.
 
Pen & Ink and Watercolor by Marla L. Niederer
This is a pen and ink with watercolor sketch that I did inspired by the lesson Lucy Cooke presented.
 
"Beloved"   watercolors by Marla L. Niederer
This is a watercolor painting I did inspired by the lesson Katrina Koltes presented.  For the face I used her reference photo but then I went off on my own little tangent and added a scene in her hair of my husband in Kingston Ontario from our visit there last summer.  My beloved is the center of my universe.
 
Watercolor by Marla L. Niederer
This watercolor is inspired by all of the lessons so far and Zaida Ben-Yusif who was the first female photographer to use photography as an art form.  I used her self-portrait that I found on Wikipedia for a reference photo.

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek at my work.

Until next time…..

warm hugs,
Marla




Saturday, February 15, 2020

Lover’s Eyes

Okay so I have been embracing my affinity to chase everything artistically shiny down the rabbit hole again.  Ever since I saw a few antique lover’s eyes on the internet I have been fascinated with them.
 
Lover's Eye from Metropolitan  Museum of Art
According to what I read about them, Prince George of Wales, madly in love with the widowed Maria Anne Fitzherbert, sent her a miniature painting of his eye along with a written letter which included a marriage proposal.
They were then married and shortly afterwards a miniature painting of Maria Anne Fitzherbert’s eyes were painted and both paintings were placed into a locket. 
 
Lover's Eye from Metropolitan Museum of Art
The marriage was doomed from the start (since it didn’t have the monarch’s blessing), but the trend of having miniature paintings of eyes being encased in lockets, rings, and broaches to give to your lover began. It was a way to keep something of your lover close without letting others know who exactly your lover was!
 
Eye Miniature from Metropolitan Museum of Art
Lover’s eye jewelry was quite popular during the 1700s and 1800s until the advent of the photograph at which time they went out of fashion.  They were often painted with watercolors over ivory.  A lock of the lover’s hair was often found enclosed behind the painting.
 
Eye Miniature from Metropolitan Museum of Art
So inspired by these beautiful gems I decided to create some of my own.
 
Lover's Eye Necklace by Marla L. Niederer
The Lover’s eyes I created are hand painted needle sculpted cloth eyes.  I then hand beaded them with silver lined Japanese beads and made them to be worn as necklaces.
 
Lover's Eye Necklace by Marla L. Niederer


I will be bringing some of my Lover’s Eyes Necklaces to the Quinlan Art Doll and Teddy Bear show in Philadelphia this April for sale.
Hope to see you there.
 
Lover's Eye Necklaces by Marla L. Niederer
Until next time…….



Warm hugs,
Marla




Saturday, February 1, 2020

Making Watercolor Paint boxes

I love to surround myself with pretty little things and I love to paint with watercolors.   
 
Travel Watercolor Paint Tin by Marla L. Niederer
So I decided to make some pretty little watercolor paint travel boxes from some hinged tin boxes.
 
Travel Watercolor Paint Tin by Marla L. Niederer
I filled my first paint box with the Holbein Antique colors that I had (Unfortunately they don’t make the antique colors any longer).
 
Travel Watercolor Paint Tin by Marla L. Niederer
Of course I couldn’t stop after making just one!
 
Travel Watercolor Paint Tins by Marla L. Niederer

Travel Watercolor Paint Tins by Marla L. Niederer

After I made them I had to try one of them out and used it to add watercolors to this sketch I made.  The sketch started out with just graphite and then I added a bit of Stabilo pencil for shading.  I really liked the sketch at this phase.
 
Sketch by Marla L. Niederer
I then started to add watercolors from the first paint box I made.  I am still experimenting with colors and added too much blue violet to it and tried to correct it with adding warmer browns.  
Watercolor painting by Marla L. Niederer

So, I do believe I overworked the painting.  It’s just in one of my journals which are made for experimenting. So even though I’m not quite happy with the painting, I have learned something, enjoyed the process, and have some new pretty little paint boxes to play with.

Until next time……..

warm hugs,
Marla






Sunday, January 12, 2020

Getting Ready for Texas

The Goddess by Marla L. Niederer

I have been busily working away preparing to teach a class in Texas this spring.  I will teaching the Goddess for the Material Girls Cloth Doll Club in Houston this March.
 
The Goddess by Marla  L. Niederer
Right now I am working on sewing needle books to put in the class kits.  I had no idea they would take me so long!  But I am having fun with the project. 
 
sewing needle books for class kits
I have also been working on a watercolor painting of a dragon for my beloved husband.
 
Watercolor painting by Marla L. Niederer
We are getting quite a bit of snow right now so its nice to work in my studio where it is cozy and warm.
 
My painting studio
Until next time……

Warm hugs,
Marla
Self-Study Doll Making Classes






Saturday, January 4, 2020

Saying Goodbye to the Old and Bringing in the New



The New Year brings with it a time of endings and new beginnings.  Many of us use this time of year as a period of reflection.  Some of us, upon reflection, attempt to set new goals to aid our journey into new directions.

I have been working on a few different projects than I usually do.  I have started working on anthropomorphic dolls.  My first being this little lion that I created for a challenge last year at the Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay conference that I taught at last spring.  He was so much fun to create, I couldn’t stop at one!
 
Little Lion by Marla L. Niederer
I am also in the process of setting up more of a routine to paint with my watercolors on paper. I took a watercolors class this past fall presented by Lian Quan Zhen.  He is such a sharing teacher and presented a multitude of techniques that I will continue to play with during this coming year.
 
Watercolor painting by Marla L. Niederer
I also signed up for an online mixed media class focusing on the face and figure called Let’s Face it 2020 on Kara Bullock’s website.  I’m hoping it will help me continue my 40 portrait challenge that I started on Gritty Jane’s Facebook page.
 
Watercolor journal cover by Marla L. Niederer inspired by Toni Burt  Woodland Faery class
I believe that every time you practice and improve your skills in an area of art it enhances your skills in all areas of art that you engage in.  So I have decided to embrace fully my propensity towards chasing everything shiny down the artistic rabbit hole this past year and will continue to embrace this concept into the New Year.
 
Hand painted Sugar Skulls by Marla L. Niederer
I wish all of you a wonderful New Year filled with lots of love, good health, good food, and time to embrace your creativity.

Until next time…..

Self Study Doll Making classes
warm hugs,
Marla

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