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 !