Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wishing You a Happy New Year!

                 Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

May 2016 bring you good health, love, happiness, and lots of fun in all of your creative pursuits.
warm hugs,

Monday, December 14, 2015

What to do when you no longer can read the news?

I don’t want to keep my head down in the sand so I do try to keep informed by reading the news.  But sometimes, when there is so much negativity in the news, so many things out of the typical individuals’ control, I just have to focus on something else, something that is pleasant, peaceful, engaging.  Something that will bring a smile to someone’s face including my own.  So what do you do when you can no longer read the news?  You create more Flower Faeries, that’s what you do!   

I have been happily working away on my third Flower Faerie the past few days.  Even though I have used the same pattern and techniques to create each one, they all are a little different, as if each one has their own little personality.  If you want to join me in on the fun I will be teaching a class online on AforArtistic in February on how to create your own little Flower Faeries.  So put a gift certificate for A for Artistic on your wish list this holiday season. If you would like to purchase a gift certificate you can click on the link below to A for Artistic

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish everyone that is celebrating Thanksgiving today a very happy one.  Wishing you a day filled with good company, good food, laughter, and loveJ
Warm hugs,

Marla <3 o:p="">

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Trunk Doll Challenge Revisited

I never did finish the trunk doll challenge for the online doll club I belong to on time but I am still working on it and have developed an interest in altering boxes as a result (one can never have too many hobbies or too many shoes).  I am on my third box for the trunk doll challenge which might be why I haven’t finished it on time.  I wrote a post about the first box I made which quite frankly was a disaster.  My husband made me the second box but by then I had lost interest in covering a doll trunk with fabric.  My Artistic ADD clicked in and I had to chase all other things shiny down the rabbit hole again.  This time what caught my attention was antique watercolor boxes.  So of course I had to go and buy several cigar boxes to alter into faux antique watercolor boxes and while I was on the lookout for cigar boxes I found a few wooden wine boxes.  While chasing the shiny watercolor boxes down the rabbit hole I became enthralled with antique French Mignonettes and their traveling trunks.  So the chasing something shiny brought me back to the beginning and now I had a more interesting idea for the doll trunk challenge even though there was no longer time to make the deadline. 

But first I needed to create the faux antique watercolor box.  

Here are pictures of the unfinished cigar box I used and yet to be altered wine box.  The wine box in the picture is a bit larger than the one I wound up using for the doll travel trunk but alas, I didn’t take a picture of the wine box I wound up using for the travel trunk before altering it.  It looked pretty similar to the larger one in the picture, just smaller.

I altered a label on the computer for the watercolor box with a free graphic unlettered label from the graphic’s fairy (awesome site if you are a mixed media artist).  I changed the color to sepia and then hand colored it with watercolors as a watercolorist might do with their watercolor box label.  I then “antiqued” it with a sepia stamp pad. 
While I was having fun making a watercolor box label I decided to make a label for the doll traveling trunk.  I used the same methods for creating an antique label for the trunk but just made it larger.

Since I really don’t like playing with stinky stains I used Golden acrylic paints (my absolutely favorite acrylic paints) to achieve the antiquing effect on the boxes.  I also wanted to make separate areas in the watercolor box as the antique ones have and separate areas in the doll travel trunk as many of the antique ones also have so I had my husband cut some pieces of pine wood to fit the boxes and create sections.   These are some pictures of the watercolor box I “antiqued.”  I haven’t varnished it yet and plan to alter the tin and fill it with an on the go watercolor pallet.  I’ll post more pictures when it is complete.

Here are some pictures of the “antiqued” wine box doll traveling trunk.  Not sure yet what I am going to do with the holes in front yet but will keep you posted.

The moral of the story, Sometimes it’s okay to follow your Artistic ADD down the rabbit hole.  You never know where it will lead you, and that can be half of the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog and wishing you a very creative day.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Newest Creations

I just wanted to share with you my progress on the flower fairies I have been working on.  As you can tell I have definitely been inspired by the beautiful colors of this fall and all that shines.  Each Fairy is needle-sculpted cloth that is hand painted with watercolors and embellished with hand beading.  I am still working on another one but taking time to photograph each process step by step so I can share how to create them in a future online class.  Hope you like them :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Inspiration for Mistique

I just thought I would share what inspired me to create Mistique, a cloth needle-sculpted ball jointed boudoir doll.  My greatest inspirations for Mistique were the beautiful Lenci boudoir dolls.  I have loved them forever.  The Strong Musuem of Play in Rochester NY has a very extensive doll collection and also has a wonderful online collection.  These are some pictures of the Lenci dolls I fell in love with in their online collection.  

You can click on the link to see more of their online collections here

When I started out making my own dolls I imitated the child like Lenci dolls and covered bought face masks with felt.  As I progressed in my doll making I became influenced by Antoinette Cely and started creating my own clay masks that I used cloth overlays on after reading her book on Cloth Dollmaking.  You can see a tutorial on Youtube that Antoinette Cely shared on facial coloration by clicking on this link

After creating dolls with cloth covered face masks I became intrigued with Needle-sculpting.  I had always taught myself all of my doll making by reading books and just figuring it out but learning how to needle sculpt took quite a large dead head pile before I liked the results. Until  I met Peggy Wilson at a doll maker’s retreat where she took pity on me during my needle sculpting attempts, sat me down, gave me one of her doll heads, and had me needle sculpt a head with her.    My dead head pile grew but I caught on and have been needle sculpting my doll heads ever since.
I needle sculpted Mistique’s swivel head and incorporated ball joints at her elbows and knees.  I then took inspiration from Marie Antoinette for her costume.  She was soooooo much fun to create.  I am currently teaching a class on how to make her on A for Artistic.

  It’s not too late to sign up.  If you would like more information about the class just click on the following link.
Happy dollmaking J

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Trunk Doll Challenge

As I shared before I am working on a trunk doll challenge for one of the online doll clubs I belong to.    I wanted to share how the project was going with you.  Originally I found this antique box that I was going to use for the trunk.  

Then, here goes that oh shiny thing again, I found a picture of this beautiful Jenny Lind antique doll trunk on Ruby Lane. 

Of course I had to attempt to replicate it.  Never mind that I have never made any sort of trunk, suitcase, box even before.  Anyway, since I am not familiar at all with woodworking other than all the woodworking dust that travels into my home on my husband from his woodworking shop, I decided to try my hand at making a replica out of a piece of mat board I had lying around.  First I drew patterns for the end pieces and then tried to figure out how to put it together.  After a failed attempt and advice from my woodworking husband I put together this very sorry looking mat board trunk.   

I had planned on putting microfiber suede cloth on to imitate the leather anyway and decided that I would give it a shot and see if covering would camouflage all of its flaws.

  As you can see the top really doesn’t fit the bottom and the trunk needs serious help.  

I will try this project again down the road just because but right now I am considering three other options since the challenge is due at the end of the month.   I am considering using the small antique box that the doll is sitting on for her trunk, using the antique box that I originally chose to use for her trunk, or accepting my husband’s response to my misshapen box.  I think I will go with the later and let him make the trunk out of wood in a size that will actually allow me to put the doll in along with some of her wardrobe and accessories that I will make for her down the road.  Off to JoAnn’s to buy more micro-suede!
If you are looking for a new project I am teaching Mistique online at A for Artistic starting September 29, 2015.  Click on the following link if you are interested in more information on the class.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Flower Fairies

I always enjoy having my tea out on the screened in porch during the warm weather months.  During the past few mornings the air is starting to show the signs of Autumn’s approach with the cool crisp mornings and colors of fall beginning to appear.  I love all of the seasons and live where they can all be enjoyed. But, the end of summer always leaves a slightly melancholy feel.  A wish to extend the summer warmth and sun lingers into the fall until the colors become so vibrant and the air so crisp that all there is left to do is but embrace Autumn’s spectacular arrival.  And with these feelings I started to work on this project of flower fairies.  Maybe it’s my way of prolonging the beauty of the summer flowers along with the embrace of the approaching change of seasons.  I have more beading to do, hair to add, and headdresses to create.  Check back in from time to time and I will keep you posted on how they turn out.

If you are looking for a new project to do I will be teaching an online class, Mistique, on A for Artistic starting September 29, 2015.  You can find out more about it by clicking on this link.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Artistic ADD or What have you been working on lately?

This summer I have been suffering from Artistic ADD.  It seems like I have been trying to work on a multitude of projects at one time and keep getting new ideas for more.  Then I have to chase the shiny new idea down the rabbit hole again!  Do you ever run into the same thing?  Anyway, I have been working on a garden sprite, created a sleeping mermaid, played around with new techniques for making and inserting eyes, worked on developing a few new patterns for cloth ball jointed dolls, and have been working on a challenge for one of the online forums I belong to.  On top of that I created and just finished teaching Poinsettia, an online class on A for Artistic and am working on getting ready to teach another online class called Mistique on A for Artistic starting on September 29th.   Reminds me of the old expression, “No rest for the Wicked!”  I thought I might share a few pictures of the ball jointed dolls I have been working on and the antique box I will be making into a doll trunk.  Hope you are having as much creative fun as I am :-)  And yes I will be creating heads for the dolls sitting on the antique box!

If you are interested in finding out more about the online class Mistique that I will be teaching on A for Artistic just click on the following link.

Friday, July 31, 2015

How to keep an Osprey from making a nest on your solar panels

I woke up to a beautiful morning today and went for an early walk before the day became too warm.  On my walk back home I noticed an Osprey perched on the roof of our barn.  In the past few years more and more Ospreys have been making their home in our area and we have a nest a short distance from our house.  I enjoy watching them and having them close by.  But, I really don’t want them nesting on top of our solar panels which are on top of the roof of our barn. 

After my walk I typically enjoy my tea on the screened in porch during the warm weather months and I did the same today.  The Osprey didn’t move from its position on the top of the roof the entire time.  After having my tea I asked my husband what we need to do if it made a nest there.  He wasn’t quite sure but I hoped there was something to do to gently discourage it.  Now since it was still beautiful I went out again on the screened in porch to do a little doll making and yes the Osprey was still perched on top of the barn roof.  So I got my camera.  I have tried several times over the years to get a good picture of one of the Ospreys and had been unsuccessful so I thought now might be a good opportunity.  Well, as soon as I took a couple of quick pictures the Osprey flew off.  I couldn’t get one of it flying away but learned a new lesson on how to discourage Ospreys from nesting on your roof, take out your camera!  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Eyes Have it

I recently read Lisa Lichtenfel’s article on eyes in the current edition of Art Doll Quarterly and was so inspired that I have been working on painting my own doll eyes on glass pearls for the past few days.  I didn’t paint them quite like she did and will be experimenting on how to insert them since I don’t use a Styrofoam base for my needle sculpted doll heads.  Not sure quite how I will do it yet but it will come to me when I get ready to put them in.  If not, there just will be a few more heads entering the dead head pile.  Hope you are having fun creating something new!

It’s not too late to sign up for Poinsettia, a Christmas in July class that I am teaching on A for Artistic.  If you would like more information on the class just click on the link below.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tiny Mermaid

I just wanted to share a picture of the tiny mermaid I just completed.  She was a lot of fun to paint and bead :-)  

If you would like to join me in creating some Christmas in July decorations I am teaching a class on A for Artistic called Poinsettia.  Just click on the following link if you would like more information.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Christmas in July!

Okay I know it might be a little early to start thinking about the holidays but if you are going to create some presents to give away this year it really isn’t ever too early to start working on them.  I have been working on creating a few Poinsettia busts for this coming holiday season and I just wanted to share some pictures of them with you!

What I love the most about Needle-sculpting each head individually is that even though you could use the same pattern no two are alike and they each develop a personality of their own.
If you would like to learn how to make some of your own I am teaching this as an online class on A for Artistic starting this Thursday (7/09/2015).  If you would like to find out more about the class click on the following link.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Call of the Mermaid

Sometimes inspiration is so strong it calls me out of sleep.  I have been waking in the wee hours of the morning, early enough to see the mists rolling across the fields, for the past two days.  It is as if this tiny little mermaid is too impatient to be created and decided to call me out of my sleep.  Isn’t it wonderful to be so happy to do what you do that you can’t wait to wake up in the morning to start your day? 

If you are interested in taking an online art doll class, I am teaching Poinsettia on A for Artistic.  

The class begins July 10th for Christmas in July.  It’s never too early to start making gifts for the holidays!  If you would like to learn more about the class just click on the link to A for Artistic below.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Just Wanted to Share Some Pictures

Hi Everyone!  I just wanted to share some pictures that were sent to me by a couple of students that just finished taking two of my recent classes. One of the things I love the most about needle-sculpting is that no two dolls look alike because they are individually sculpted and painted.  I just love how Jack and June used the techniques I taught to infuse the dolls they created with their own personality! 

 This is the class doll that Jack was taught in Advanced Needle-Sculpting in Tulsa.

This is the doll Jack Chowning created.

This is the online class doll that June was taught on A for Artistic.

This is the doll June Silberman created.

What fun!

If you are interested in taking an online class I will be teaching a Christmas in July class called Poinsettia on A for Artistic starting July 9th.
If you are interested in learning more about the class you can click here