Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Get Dolled Up

Making Ends Meet is holding an online doll auction to benefit breast cancer research. All the dolls have been donated by the artists, and are in a friendly competition by viewer vote for a nice gift certificate to MEM. You do not have to bid in order to vote for your favorite. Patti Medea Cularis has a doll in the group (pictured), as does 11 year old Jessica Baillee Carter-Collins, whose doll is currently the front runner.

Friday, November 12, 2010


"Marwencol" is the imaginary town that Mark Hogancamp has invented and populated with incredibly detailed 12 inch (1/6th scale) dolls and action figures who portray characters in his ongoing WWII photographic saga. Using Barbies, GI Joe and other highly posable figures, along with custom made accessories and a mix of made and purchased clothing, he is creating allegories as therapy following his horrible experience of being beaten by thugs, to the point that he lost all memory of his past.

Documentary filmmaker, Jeff Malmberg has already won a passel of awards for his feature film about Mr. Hogancamp and his art. It has just opened in Los Angeles. Both film and the photographs look extraordinary and fascinating. I'm thinking Oscar (R) buzz.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Textile workshop at CAFAM

My friend and homeschooling mother, Talitha, is holding her Family Tree Tapestry workshop at CAFAM again this Sunday, Nov 14. All the work is fusing, so no special sewing skills are needed. If you live in the Los Angeles area, or know people that do, please pass this on! It could be a beautiful and meaningful addition to your holiday decorations.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All Dolls Are Art Convention

Announcing the inaugural ADAA convention in Austin, TX July 28-31, 2011. The theme is Toys in the Attic.

Registration will open on the website December 3rd, but the outlines of the workshops are already up, and my conference experience says don't wait to book your hotel room.

Pictured is one of the dolls Lisa Renner will be teaching, "Reliquary".

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not Carved in Stone

Edwina Sutherland has just opened her new Etsy store for her beautiful needle felted figures. She also carries patterns for her cloth dolls and needle felting supplies.

Let's all buy handmade for the holidays!

That's Someone's Face

Thanks to reader Mary Shummer for finding this site, That's My Face, where you can have a custom head made for 12 inch, and some smaller, action figures. Apparently they will use full face and profile photos to create a computer model and custom mold of your face to fit a variety of doll necks. They can also do age ups and other mods, and create other custom products like masks and origami faces.

For some entertainment, check out the list of available celebrity heads which include the familiar, like Barack Obama, and a bunch of political guys I don't know, but probably should. Not that Bruce Schneier instantly makes you think "action hero doll". I guess I should be keeping up so that I would recognize Neel Kashkari in a plaid shirt.

Friday, October 15, 2010

AFIC artist profiles

I know I have posted previously about Artistic Figures in Cloth, the fabulous semi-annual convention next happening April 28 through May 1, 2011 in Columbus, OH.

However organizer Cyndy Sieving has started posting on the event blog illuminating interviews and profiles of the amazing artists who will be featured workshop presenters at the event. The most recent, just in time for Halloween, is Susan Barmore.

Friday, October 8, 2010

All Hallows Eve approaches

Halloween is a wonderful time of year for doll makers. Zan Asha of Vagabond Creations is celebrating with a month long Halloween blog carnival. Also check out the doll swap she is organizing. (But be quick).
When you visit, keep your sound turned on to enhance the mystical trippiness. I enjoy the soundtrack choices.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Beadie Give Away

Here's a giveaway from doll beader extraordinaire Dot Llewellyn. To win one of her cute Pocket Monsters comment to her via email by October 15.
And while you at her blog, be sure to browse around for more of her work and philosophy. It will surely lighten your heart.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Autumn Equinox

Autumn equinox is fast approaching. I like an excuse to showcase some dolls, so here is a little round up of some timely Etsy offerings.

Griselda has a lovely Autumn Tarot/Spirit doll amongst others that fit the theme.

My doll friend Kats in the Belfry (who also found that Equinox site) has her cute little pagan people.

Over at Painting Pixies you'll find a whole forest full of sweet felted mushroom people.

Bonnesinging is Ready for Fall .

From Brussels, Mademoisell G has some beautiful painted cloth dolls bundled up for chilly weather like Agathe.

For your dollies' Mabon celebration, here is some miniature bounty (pictured) by Afterdarkafterall.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ankie Daanen in Albuquerque

Received today from Ankie Daanen:


Dear Dollfriends.

I am happy to let you know that I will teach a FOUR DAY DOLLMAKING CLASS in Albuquerque, NM.

This class will take place in February 2011 from Thursday Febr. 3 through Sunday Febr. 6.

Classhours will be from 9.00am until 5.00pm.

This class will take place in the SANDIA COURTYARD and CONVENTION CENTER and the roomrate is $49,- plus taxes.

The class fee will be $500,- per student plus a $25,- kitfee.

Attached on this message you will find some dollpictures.[see below]

If you are interrested in this class you can make a choise: What do you want to make?

1: A ´Big Belly Boy´, made out of Darwi stoneclay and paperclay.

2: A ´Heartbreaker´, made out of Darwi Stoneclay.

But!!!...You have to make a choise, and most votes win.

So, it will be OR a ´Big Belly Boy´, OR a ´Heartbreaker´ in the end.

For the ´Heartbreaker´ you need to purchase a costume ($65,-), or you have to make one yourself after classhours.

You will go home with a completely finished doll.

If you are interrested in this class, or if you have any questions, please let me know and I come back to you with more information!

Warm regards, Ankie Daanen


More info on Darwi here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fun for Toy Collectors

Afficianados of vinyl toys and other toys too will enjoy Rotocasted, self described online library for toy collectors. Members can upload images of their collectibles and anyone can browse the over 8000 images currently stored. The images are not only of commercial vinyl toys but also of mods, repaints and stuffies. Joining is free.

Incidentally, I found this site travelling circuitous path along twitter that started with a google search of Dylan and Cole Sprouse (Disney's Zack and Cody). Dylan is an artist and vinyl doll designer. His first collectible vinyl toy (William and Shady pictured below in brown) is in release through his design company, Sprousearts.


Get ready to giggle, or certainly smile with a sense of knowing, when you peruse the textile and mixed media dolls of Margi Hennen. They embody a whimsical feminism, and charming humor as well as a freedom in execution that I really enjoy. They seem to me to be living in the same strange universe as the wee people that populate Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig's art, or at least next door.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I was only going to post once today, but I'm a bit too excited. From Esther's site I followed her link to Dabida - the Dutch and Belgian Institute of Doll Artists.

If you can't find enough beauty and inspiration to keep you busy for a couple of hours, visiting the 23 members' picture heavy pages, then I'm...I'm a catfish. Such variety and some familiar names too.

BTW scroll down each page for the info thereon repeated in English.

Van Essie

I love this website and the work of Esther Verschoor. She makes spooky, mysterious and intriguing mixed media art dolls, sometimes starting with found objects like bird skulls. Her site is a visually rich rabbit hole. Click, click and click again to get to the deatiled info about each of her intricate vignettes. Her links page is a feast as well.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Art Dolls in Gallery 9

Another cheeky post about myself. My Dream Star Dolls have been invited to be in the store at Gallery 9, in Culver City in conjunction with The Peace Project juried exhibit starting September 25. I'll also be donating a beautiful Dream Doll for a gala auction to benefit victims of the war in Sierra Leone.

Pictured is Best in Show "Look Within" by Kelly Drew

More info on The Peace Project and Sierra Leone on my blog.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Free the Girls

Want to help end human trafficking and get rid of some old bras at the same time?

OK it's not exactly dolls, but it is textiles.

Here's all the info from Free The Girls - with a nice double meaning.

Thanks, Lucretia for the heads up.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Doll and Teddy Bear Convention upcoming

Susan and Terry Quinlan are creating an Artist Doll and Teddy Bear Convention. The event will be held May 12-14, 2011 at the Ramada in Philiadelphia, PA. The convention will honor doll artist and NIADA co-founder Helen Bullard and bear creator Beverly Matteson Port. The sooner you register, the more you will save.

Susan and Terry run the beautiful Doll and Teddy Bear Museum & Library in Santa Barbara. Susan is passionate about promoting dolls and bears as fine art.

Beautiful Patterns

Textile artist Kathie Briggs has posted some lovely new cloth doll patterns for sale on her blog. Both blog and website are worth perusing for the beautiful quilt art.

Call for Submissions

If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, here is an opportunity to submit your work to an art gallery. ArcStudios and Gallery is creating a Dolls and Dollhouses themed exhibit to run December through January.

"Artists are invited to liberally interpret their concept of ‘dolls’ and ‘dollhouses,’ and bring to life a creature or world from your wildest imaginings".

But hurry - the deadline to apply is October 31, 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Here's the vibrant blog of Indy Cloth Dollmakers, a doll club in Indiana. There are felt and cloth items, mixed media, challenge results and lots of pretty pictures of the members' work. It seems like they welcome travelling visitors.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New ADO about awesomeness

Our new Art Dolls Only website is up and it is beautiful. Aside the opportunity to browse and delight in the scrumptious artistry, the site itself is also exemplary in its design and layout. Very clear and easy to navigate, easy for collectors to find ways to purchase. Brava to the organizers. I love the featured artist and new member spotlights. Dolls by Constance Dillon pictured.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Artistic Figures Blog

Cyndy Sieving, wonderful doll and fiber artist and creator of the Artistic Figures in Cloth Convention, has started a beautiful new blog where she intends to profile other wonderful doll artists with in depth interviews and photo essays. The first featured artist is Liz Siebold, member of the Guilded Lilies club. I urge followers here to visit and follow that blog too.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Barbie disaster here!

Doll friends I need help!
We have a 1970's European issue Busy Hands Barbie Equestrienne and last night while checking to see how her head was attached, I accidentally popped the head right off. It attached with the little double ended plastic "mushroom" shaped thing - which came out of the neck.
Now her head just won't go back on and not wiggle and flop.
My daughter, who bought the doll with her own money at the Barbie convention here in LA a couple of years ago, is devastated and I'm persona non gratis.
Does anyone one know an expert Barbie doll doctor who could help me? I'm going to haunt some of the forums and see what I can learn too.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

Here are some patriotic themed dolls on offer at Etsy.

People are making nice outfits for your American Girl dolls to wear to your celebration, including Betsy Style and Doll Closet.

Blythe will also be well dressed at your summer barbeque by Rozrank.

There are some nice prim dolls ready to celebrate, including 1897 House's Olde Liberty Anne.

Raggedy Ann collectors won't be disappointed. I like this one from Wandering Whimsies.

There are some teddy bears and other critters bedecked in old glory including a grungy prim bear from Harmon's Country Crafts and a Bear by Sandi.

I like the artistry in Cat and Fiddle Folk's Fire Kracken Kit Kat.

Usagi Rabbit, maker of crisply finished hand sewn plushies, has a Red, White and Blue Wool Rabbit.

The only thing in Hophopjingleboo's shop is a this Little Liberty Girl vintage redux. But she is rather nice. I hope to see more.

There is no shortage of scrumptious themed miniature food for your dolls to enjoy on their holiday. Sarah Maloney's Dollhouse Kitchen (pictured), Humming Bird Miniatures, and Crown Jewel Miniatures can all cater my doll's party anytime they like.

Finally, there are plenty of small animal offerings, but I just like this paper clay Cheshire(?) Americat on a star from The Snippets.


Here is a delightful, doll heavy Etsy treasure Weird Cute by Juliani. I found it on the front page (awesome!) A couple of familiar shops there too.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Realism in Cloth

My friend Sandra sent me a link to this person's site. There are no words other than "thanks!". Go to Lisa Lichtenfels' site - you won't be sorry. You won't want to believe it - but these are cloth figures over batting, felt and wire armatures. Be sure to check out the Techniques tab. Look for some celebrity portraits in the galleries too.

Paper Doll Children

I've been making paper dolls, and it is great fun. Here's another site that has paper doll packages for sale, for play. At Lily and Thistle MiniMe you can have dolls made to resemble your kids. The clothing for them is really sweet and pretty. I especially like the line inspired by characters from literature. The prices seem very reasonable to me too.
Paper dolls are an old fashioned but still charming toy. Did you know that the genesis of Barbie came from Ruth Handler noticing how her young daughter and her friends loved playing with the fashions on their grown up character paper dolls?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Party Never Dies

Oh yeah. Adorable cute. Cool concept. Anime and Harajuku influence on the aesthetic. Monster High Dolls are set to come out in August, but my 10 yo daughter has already seen some at that big chain toy store and she is in love. Very poseable. Very cute litte accessories and pets. Fun mini-vids introduce the characters on the home site. If my daughter's reaction is anything to go by, Mattel has created something to replace My Scene dolls that will blow the memories of Bratz away on the breeze.
Is it just me, or are mass market commercial manufacturers appropriating more and more visual motifs and style elements from handmade indie crafts, including art doll makers? Yeah, it's not just me. It's something I've been watching increasingly for at least a year. (Another case in point - Littlest Pet Shop plush toys.) Although in fairness, it's not just toys. I'm seeing it in things like hang tags on mass produced garments, made to look as if they were hand stamped with rough edges.

Bargain Books

Interweave is holding their annual blow out sale of hurt books at bargain prices. These include many tomes of interest to doll makers including Ray Slater's "Cloth Dolls for Textile Artists", and a number of other technique and theory books.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


One of the really cool things about UK felt and doll artist Anthropomorphica, is the number of work-in-progress shots on the blog. There are doll starts shown that are basically their wire armature and their head, yet they have a wonderful vitality. The words are poetic and the photography exemplary. These gorgeous jointed polymer or paper clay and mixed media dolls have an odd whimsy, like Bette Davis woken up suddenly and carrying the ghost of her dream into the daylight. Go look, then tell me if you don't see what I mean.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wild Art

I've been browsing around at text dense site Wild Art Dolls, where there are "fabulous and zany" pin dolls, fashion doll redux, paper doll info and Aisling's free patterns. But the big draw is the interviews with a bunch of doll and fiber artists. There are also some informative tutorials, and links to art doll books on Amazon. Pop goes my wish list.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Seminar in July

Deb Wood, maker of the Enchanted Heart figurative sculptures, is offering a Fairy Sculpting and Costuming Seminar in Omaha, July 14-18. The details are on her blog, where you can also dive in to beautiful pictures of her astonishing and lifelike polymer clay figure sculpts. Scroll down for a selection of free helpful tips and tutes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jenny's Paper Dolls

Here is Jenny's Paper Doll News blog. This is a great resource for anyone interested in paper dolls as an art form, with links to OPDAG and some nice publications (see picture), as well as event news, such as the OPDAG Convention in July.
I've only recently started exploring paper dolls myself. Stay tuned for a link soon to my downloadable free paper doll designs.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cart full of Stuffies

Here are a pair of artists whose work I just really love. I first saw one of their dolls in an Etsy treasury, and followed back to their store, and then their blog (free stuff!- scroll down and look for the tutes on the right) and beautifully designed website.
I love the sweetness in the painted faces, the muted yet clear colors, the charming shapes, the wistful feeling in the expressions. They also have a fine finished quality - finesse, delicacy. So many superlatives, so little time.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Sometimes words can get in the way.

Sometimes art needs no translation.

Click on the little face to the bottom right. The word that comes up is "papusi".

There are more words too, on the blog.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Dimensions

Very interesting news! This year Dimensions in Dollmaking will be held in conjunction with the enormous, awesome and famous Comic Con in San Diego. Entrants will have the opportunity to reach a whole new segment of the doll and character collecting community. The necessary forms and info are at the website, which also has a link to the Imitation of Life Construction Company Google group.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Here's some awesome doll making fun - Cruising to Wonderland Soft Doll workshop cruise around the Caribbean. The ship leaves Fort Lauderdale February 25th, 2011 for 11 days of fantastic workshops, plus all the fun of being on a cruise ship (food!) The all-inclusive costs vary depending on your cabin, starting at a little over $1500.
Significant other loves cruising but not interested in the doll workshops? The workshop fees will be deducted from the main price.
The workshop leaders will be Cyndi Mahlstadt and Patti Medaris Culea. How cool to have such intensive access to two of the most eminent people in cloth doll making.
Patti recently had her head shaved to benefit cancer research. Here's the story.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Team BJD

Here's a great Etsy Treasury featuring shops that make clothes, including some knits, and accessories for Ball Jointed Dolls.
Pictured, from the Treasury, is Aldwen's Rococco Countess Dress.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spirit Clay

Figurative artist Amya Crawley works with polymer clay and other materials to make both light-hearted figures, like happy cats in their pajamas, and serious spirit dolls. These aren't at all somber. When I look at them, besides enjoying the ripple of color and the intricacy of the pc tiling, I get a sense of deep contemplation and serenity. They are simple in shape, but rich in detail.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Here's a really charming blog, with a rather enjoyable sound track to it too. I don't usually have my sound on but I'm glad I did when I found Garb-oodles Soup. There are sweet prim style dolls as well as paintings and what look like paper doll WIPs.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mini Diorama contest ongoing

More entries to my Miniature Diorama Contest sweepstakes, using recycled packaging as the base, are trickling in. I'm glad I am choosing the winner by draw, because otherwise it would be just too hard a job.
There's still time to read my article online and enter. Contest closes April 30th, and is open to all ages. The prize is an Iggy Jingles Dream Star doll (and I'll put in an Either Way play doll if the winner is very young.)
Pictured is the totally awesome "Stormy Night" by Olivia Costes, age 13. Kinda channelling Tim Burton...The rest so far up on the magazine site are fantastic too.

Easter Etsy round up

It's Easter and here is some of the delightful doll work being done by Etsy sellers. In no particular order:

Loopyboopy's just a little strange Rhonda the Rabbit Girl (pictured) shows her signature beautiful spooky eyes.

Sycamore Moon's felting is just gorgeous, as always.

The Gothic Bunnies at PinkyToast are just cool.

If a more prim style is your preference try Buttons In The Attic for Itzy Bitzy and others.

LittleBlackCrow's prim Autumn Bunny Boy is charming. Actually all her bunnies are charming.

TheCattsUglyBabies Primitive Folk Art Bunny is not in the least ugly.

Is micro-needle-felting a trend? EclecticGarden and TotallyTimmy seem to think so.

For something a little different, DollStop offers a selection of Kokeshi style sweetly painted bunny folk, like Rabbit Girl 1.

But enough sweetness. More goth. How about a Zombie bunny from Creepydolls?

More large eyed oddness from maker MissMillicent - Winnie Bunny.

FionaArt makes some very unusual bunnies including an Easter Butcher.

I could do this all day long, but I should leave you more to discover. I'll end with a dose of cute to bring a smile. Here is a pattern for a very, really very, sweet little bunny by VivianneGalli. Makes me want give it a little kissy.

Happy Easter everyone.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Donna Sims

Here is the lovely work of Donna Sims, ODACA member. Many of her dolls and goblins are costumed in leather through a fascinating process, cuir bouilli. I love her use of color, combining bright, but still natural, hues with neutral earthy tones very subtly and delicately.
Her figures have so much character, and are featured in a number of fine art galleries. Seeing inspiring dolls of this caliber, appreciated for the art that they are, uplifts all of us who are working with dolls and figures as an avenue of artistic expression.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Retreat to Ennui

Ell's Twisted Tales is the title and theme for this year's Ellowynne Wilde & friends doll retreat. The event is in Bracey, Virginia, August 12-14. The very limited number of attendees receive an Ellowynne and other gifts - plus the chance to talk dolls with kindred spirits. The event is created by the doll artists at Moon Lily Dolls, makers of gorgeous OOAK doll fashions.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Doll Street Dreamers AOM

I believe I have featured Australian doll maker Linda Misa before, but right now she is Doll Street Dreamer's Artist of the Month. That means that there is a lovely interview with her and photos of her wonderful light filled studio on the DSD website. On Linda's blog you can find a FREE online doll class, as well as free pin doll pattern. Thanks!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Miniature Show

Small World Miniature Club's 32nd Annual Dollhouse Miniatures Show will be held on this upcoming weekend (March 13-14) in Phoenix, Arizona.
The website is worth checking out for the list of attending exhibitors - some of the links direct to e-mail, but many go to lucious websites.
It's actually tough to choose a picture for this entry because the miniatures have so much realistic detail that they don't look miniature! The pictured confection is from Lola's Originals. Thanks for the coin!