Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tony's present

It's Tony's birthday next week and he already had all of his presents, but I hate not having anything to give on the day. So I decided to make him a present, mind you.....I've never made him anything before.......so I might get the dreaded "yeah-nice-look".
And I'm not a quilter.....so real quilters look away now.....I'm not hindered by any knowledge about the art of quilting, so I've probably broken every rule in the quilters handbook.
Anyway I decided to make a fabric action photo of his new found love, cycling. He goes on these incredibly long cycle trips and always takes pictures along the way. But he's always complaining that he doesn't have any action shots of him on the bike. So I could do two things.......1. I could go on these long bike rides with him and take pictures.....or 2. I could retreat to my hobbyroom and make one myself...
Can you blame me for choosing the second option?

Anyway I decided upon a tour de France style picture, where he's climbing the mountains.

All the decorative stitches on my machine came to good use, little leaves in the greenery and about a gazillion french knots on the mountain. The snow on the mountain isn't quilted through but only stitched on the top layer so it puffs up a little.
I replaced the sunset with an English flag. This is for a man who's got "Made in England" tattooed on his shoulder!
The face I printed on fabric, but as my printer isn't really suitable for printing fabric this gave me only a faint outline. So I coloured the face in with pencils (like I've done with Frida below).
Then I bordered the whole thing and stuffed the border, so it would look like a picture frame and I decorated the frame with some old lace which I coloured with a gold Shiva-paintstick,
So now I can only keep my fingers crossed and hope he likes it!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My missing doll

This was my entry for the Hoffman 2007 challenge. After travelling with the exhibition for a year she disapeared on her return journey to me.
I surprised myself how upset I was by this.
When I sold my miniature teddy bears I couldn't wait for them to leave the house, I could always only see what I could have done better.....I guess I got a bit older and wiser since then.

Anyway I thought Bekabhantu deserves a place on my blog. So here she is....with her little baby boy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The broken column

It's been a while since my last post. Besides working full time, I'm following a study at the moment, so not much time to play. But when I heard about Sherry Goshon's challenge I couldn't resist.
The challenge was to either make a day-of-the-dead doll or a doll inspired by Frida Kahlo.
I started of making a d.o.d. doll.......honest, he is laying here half made his bones are rattling in anger......but I guess Frida was stamping her feet just a little louder.
And it all started with this painting.

This is a doll of new experiences for me.......
Most people start their dollmaking career with a flat faced doll, I've never done a flat faced doll before. Being severely paint-brush-challenged I found it much easier to work on 3dimensional faces.
So I cheated....I printed Frida's face on fabric and then
worked over it with both pastel- and watercolour pencils.
And here is the result..... a bit strange maybe?
(Just click on the pictures for a larger view.)


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hoffman 2008........the most demanding doll ever!

And then there was the Hoffman Challenge......talk about feet-stamping-dolls. Don't they say lightning never strikes twice....well I can tell you it does! Please be aware that this story is not suitable for people with a weak stomach or those who are reading while munching on something yummy. Tissues might be needed as it has brought people to tears before.

Attempt 1
This taught me an important lesson: Don't start working on your doll before you've got all your fabrics.
For this years Hoffman challenge I decided to
make a very elegant dancing flapper girl. So I ordered the fabric and started making the doll. She was all ready to be dressed when the fabric arrived. Disaster, all my peacocks were cut in half not a single whole one and they couldn't be matched up either. There was no way that this girl was going to be covered by the peacocks I had. Solution: start again and make a smaller doll.

Attempt 2
This also taught me an important lesson: Never forget that I can't paint.
I was working on the second doll and was doing a full body paint. I put on coat after coat and sanded and sanded when I realized that I forgot one vital thing
I can't paint to save my life.

Attempt 3
Another very important lesson: Always, always be kind to your dog.
(It might be a good idea to put the cookies away now)
My dog had been moaning and whining all day and nothing seemed to keep him quiet. He didn't want to go for a walk, eat or drink. He just kept whining all day long. I was working on doll number three when the phone went. I left my doll on the sofa and answered the phone. During the whole conversation the dog was sitting in front of me crying. When I put the phone down I was so fed up with him, I sternly told him off. Now I should tell you he is very sensitive to any form of raised voices....... So he took a run and a jump onto the sofa and then the nature of his problem became apparant....the poor thing was severely constipated and the run and jump (or was it the sound of my voice) relieved him of the problem right on top of doll number 3.

Attempt 4
Another important lesson: Don't listen to your dolls demands!
Whilst working on doll number four I realized that my elegant flapper girl had turned in
to a somewhat flabby lady. So it was time to let go of my ideas and believe me she told me what she wanted. Lots of beading, appliques and gold thread for starters and when I dared to think about almost done she really started to stamp her feet. A flying carpet, pillows, an Arabian village to fly over this girl really knew what she wanted. And when I was really really done. She demanded palm trees and a camel. I drew the line at the camel otherwise I wouldn't have made the deadline. But I could still hear her scream at me after I put her in the box!

Journey of a lifetime...

For as long as I can remember people have crossed my palm with silver to have their fortunes told. But now, with the end of the path of life in sight I just like to reminisce
- about the little girl full of faith or the teenager forever falling in love -
about the girl I once was.
While I was in Albuquerque we visited Pamela Armas shop -Treasures of the gypsy-.
If you love fabric and trims then it's like, well I suppose, dying and going to heaven.
It's definitely a treasure trove of everything I could only dream about!
So I ended up making a doll for
this years gypsy challenge.The theme is journey of the gypsy.

This was a hard one to photograph so lots of little pictures, just click on them to enlarge.

About balloons............

I was one of the very lucky people who won a scholarship on Mary Tressler's site. That made that I could attend Creations in Fiber in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Mary is a fantastic dollmaker and a marvelous teacher.
can't thank her and the great people of CIFI enough for the wonderful time I had.

I took several dolls with me. That in itself was enough to make customs very curious. But when I was making them I never thought for one second what stir
three dolls wired with christmas lights might cause when they go through an X-ray machine!
Here are some pictures of my challenge doll.
She was travelling to the party in her very own balloon.
This lucky girl never made it back home. She is living at Sherry Goshon's house. Just to think of all the fantastic dolls that surround her now!

As you can see this was one of my feet stamping dolls.
She demanded a leather, matching boots and cap. She also needed two
pieces of luggage, one for all her fabric and trims that she would need at the convention. And one for her clothes (not visible in the picture). Just click on the pics for a larger view.

About time.....

I guess it's about time that I give into the craze and start a blog as well.
You might wonder about the strange title, well let me tell you.
I like to make cloth dolls and they always seem to be demanding stuff. Every time I think almost done they start wanting things.......it could be anything from fancy jackets to designer luggage, a whole Arab village was created this way and was she satisfied? No way, she wanted palm trees and camels. The list goes on and on and on. So I could call them spoiled brats really, but instead I call them feet stamping dolls.
I hope you'll enjoy visiting this blog and looking at some of my handy work, if not well...... at least you know what not to make!