Thursday, 16 December 2010

Time out of the studio

And here are those fairy pies - well rather gnome pies ... ( he's there just to show the scale and his olde worlde charm. ) These little mini pies actually looked like mushrooms with their round toppings. They are yummily made with a shortbread pastry which I recommend you try as everyone wants to know the recipe when they've eaten one. 
You mix 4 oz caster sugar into 12 oz plain flour then rub in 8 oz butter and keep on going until the mixture comes together ... then just roll out - I tend not to put a whole lid on the pie
as it is rich and I think just a cut out shape keeps it all a bit lighter and less calorific too !

Moving on to a couple of wintery scenes taken over the Downs during the last batch of snow - it had just started to melt but the remnants of this heavy frost was quite magical. Just waiting with bated breath  for this next forecasted snowfall ... at least we have pies in the larder
should we get snowed in.

And so I wish everyone a very happy Christmas and thank you for all your support and lovely e mails since I've got back to my blogging. My  New Years Resolution is to keep up the blog and make lots of nice work to post up on it !

Monday, 6 December 2010

Fairy tree and well dressed cats

It's time to hang fairies on twigs and let them float , twinkle and do their fairy thing !

These ones are hanging around in the studio waiting for homes to go to. 

I did promise cats in dresses and here they are ... 3 inches tall , they come in a box and are 
£16 including postage.

This last feline fairy is a commission from a lady who wants to give it to her daughter for her tree and measures 5 inches high. Am planning to re-open my Etsy shop in the next few days and will have some felt mice on there - packed with English lavender and  stocking fillers at £6.
Hope all your Christmas preparations are in full swing ... I'm personally looking forward to de camping from the studio to the kitchen and making fairy sized mince pies ... 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Open House

Jo's Open House was looking as beautiful as ever this year - all twinkly and filled with sumptuous art works.  Let me take you on a tour ... below are her carved letter pebbles. 

Next is a sarah Young print , do look out her new Greek Myths book , just out and published by Walker Books , it's full of wonderful illustrations.

 Carrying on downward we have Joy Fox's new wreath made from stitched and felted wool and 
hanging beneath that a wall piece in the same materials. 

Here are also some of her new scarves with felted flowers attached.

Another of Jo's carved pieces.

Sharon Scofield jewellery.

Now we are moving out to Jo's lovely studio at the bottom of her garden and where she holds carving courses. 

This the view back to the house ...

And here are the tools neatly laid out ...

Lastly here is my latest doll , Evie ... will be showing cats in dresses next post !

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Open House Season

Well here we are again - it's time set up shop once more, drink mulled wine and meet fellow artists and customers. I took time out of the May Festival this year so I'm feeling fresh
as we approach the Christmas Open Houses. I will also be showing as usual at the Dragonfly House , 48 , Ditchling Rise Brighton on 27th and 28th November and 4th and 5th December,
11am - 6pm. I will be taking my girls to both venues but I will be sad if I sell any as I'm feeling particularly fond of them ( that won't pay the bills I know, but always a good sign that the work is good I suppose. Sometimes I will make something and have to talk myself into it's quality but that piece will eventually get cut up  to be used in the future or if it's REALLY bad then chucked - even if long hours have been spent on it. )
Anyway having assured myself that all is well with the dolls I have been sewing their labels into their outfits, ' A Betty Bib Dolly' with the number penned with indelible ink after it.

From the front view you can see I have named them ( great fun ! ) and tied a tag round the wrist with information on the inside about the materials used and the fact that they are collector's dolls and not suitable for young children.

Rosebud £30 6 inches 

Betsy 8 inches £120 

Gwendoline  8 inches   £ 140

Violet  Angel Beatrice  7 inches 
I'm particularly pleased with these three ; I've dressed them for the party  season in silk organza and calico dresses, diamante buckles and cashmere cardigans and they are all £ 95.
I wouldn't like to totally ignore the fairies on this post - here are a batch of the tiny boxed ones who have their secret name on a scroll in the lid - they have diddly little fairy names like Dimity, Pippin, Twinkle etc though sometimes one comes along that needs a much more substantial name like 'Esmerelda'. These are £8.

Last but not least the mermaids and their names are suitably salty like  Sandy , Pebbles,
Marina and Shingle. Also £8.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Back to my Blog !

Well long time no see ! I've taken most of the year off from writing this blog and have taken the time to play and just see what turns up. I have been painting in oils - illustrating some new ideas for a children's book , embroidering and just lately making dollies !
I will be showing some of the above over the next few weeks but at the moment am enjoying making the dolls so much I've just got to talk about them.
 Below is the first one I attempted and like anything else it takes a while to to get to grips with new materials - in this case it was polymer clay ( fimo and sculpey ) and this was after trying my hardest to get my hands on the Paper Clay they sell in the U.S but not it seems over here - well not in the pre made up form that you can see Martha Stewart use. You can get a crude form of the paper mix which air dries but then needs lots of sanding  afterwards - great for larger projects but not for dainty dolls.

So I'm hoping that one day we will be able to get the super smooth mix available over the pond but in the meantime the stuff you have to bake will have to do. The flower head doll below was my second attempt and as you can see I'm experimenting with the style of face to paint on. All these figures are button jointed which means getting the holes in the bodies and joints in the correct place and big enough to thread the elastic through. All extremely fiddly but then I never seem to pick the quick and easy option ! 

What I particularly enjoy is the use of all my long collected fabrics , trimmings and buttons. The cameo brooch on the red doll  at the top of the page was from a tiny pair of earrings found in an old button tin and proved perfect for this job. So glad I'm a hoarder. 
We are now onto the next batch of girlies who by the way measure about 6 inches in height.
The paint is more translucent on their faces but nice and opaque on their tights. By this stage I am feeling more confident in selling them !

Millie 6 inches  £30

My third batch had a more wintry theme and here I've used some lovely fine woolen printed fabric that a friend must have given me over twenty years ago for the skirt - the jacket is felt and the jumper and tights are old socks !  Boots are velvet and she has a diamante buckle.

Poppet 8 inches NFS

Another piece of the woolen print , painted legs and a velvet bow.
Audrey 7 inches £50
I will be posting more up soon and opening up my etsy shop again - well Christmas is coming and it's good to be back on the blog - do hope someone is listening !