Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Groundhog Day

Incidentally Feb 2nd is my wedding anniversary.

You too can celebrate Groundhog Day with one of these adorable amigurumi from Mooncreation's Etsy store. This one has a top hat. Or you can make your own with planetjune's pattern.

Bewilderandpine has a charming miniature polymer clay Groundhog with certificate for your observances. Order by Jan 28 for timely free delivery.

Raggy Rat has a very hairy faux fur groundhog in plushteam's store.

Zfla makes plush critters from repurposed sweaters including a Sweater Scrap Groundhog.

Violastudio also has a recycled boiled wool Bandit Groundhog softie.

Feb 2nd is also Imbolc on the pagan wheel, dedicated to rebirth, first stirrings of Spring, milk, and the goddess Bridget/Brigid (various spellings abound.) Carioca Witch has a small cloth goddess figure with  images and symbols hand embroidered thereon.

You can learn more about Brigid at TheVioletSparrow when you check out her miniature Brigid figure with her cow and candles. Be sure to read the description.

Rounding it out, pixadoodles2 has a selection of well priced corn husk dollies for your Sabbats.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another amazing Russian doll artist

Anna Zueva's dolls are beautiful a thousand ways. There is a magical whimsy about the faces and eyes. The textures of the costumes and the sheen of the skin. The necks. I love her color combinations. They aren't naturalistic, they're stylized - yet you expect them move at any moment. Little living characters.

Anna works in multi media - paper clay, paper mache, textiles, acrylics. Her website includes some video slideshows of her dolls, with lovely music, and an appearance on Russian television, without subtitles - but you can see her painting a face up. Plus she shows how the adorable little vignettes are rearrangeable.

Thanks Christine Alvarado, who is no slouch herself, for the heads up via Facebook.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Susan makes beautiful prim style folk art figures and other designs using a 100% recycled paper pulp of her own concoction. Here Etsy store is beautiful, not slightly due to the bright, light quality of the photos. Can you say Shabby Chic? There are lots of beautiful items that will enhance your spring decorating.

But winter need not be forgotten. These sweet snow sculptures which defy the meagre label "snow men", were featured on her entertaining blog about her life, art and ecology in North Carolina.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gorgeous convention in Philadelphia in May

The Doll & Teddy Bear Artist & Collector Convention is being touted as three conventions in one and will happen May 12-14, 2011 in Philadelphia.

The listed participating artists and speakers are a veritable who's who of art dolls, and the workshop and topic outlines sound very incisive and detailed. Many really get into the nitty gritty of techniques or will present insights into the creative process and doll history. Examples inlude Ankie Daanen's How to Make Shoes and Krystyna Poray Goddu presenting her book Dollmakers and Their Stories: Women Who Changed the World of Play.

The website is worth visiting itself for the participating artists' gallery, most images linking to their websites.

The beautiful doll pictured above is by Nancy Wiley, who has recently created 3D illustrations with dolls in backgrounds for a new edition of Alice in Wonderland.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Sad, Bad Business

I have been asked by beautiful doll artist Yve Hooson of Freaky Little Things to pass on a warning about a serious, sad situation in the doll world.

Usually I am posting websites where you can see and purchase beautiful dolls or related products. However in this case the post is caution against dealing with a BJD distribution company called Dollfair which is unfortunately leaving a growing trail of dissatisfied customers and frustrated doll artists in its wake. Dollfair is trading under the several other names as well including Limwha, Enchantment Doll and Atelier Nouveau.

A blog has been set up to keep customers abreast of legal and other developments, and Anita Collins of Sleetwealth (who needs a feature here all her own!) has also elucidated her story from the point of view of a doll artist. More information and discussion forums can also be found at BJDCollectasy.

Sometimes even the best intentioned projects turn to sordid mush. It can be hard in the face of desire and illness and desperation to just admit defeat and stop. I worked on a movie project once that collapsed and no-one got paid, neither workers nor vendors. In the beginning it was all optimism and plans - but there was a point when those in charge should have pulled the plug and we would all have cut our losses.

So in the doll business as with any other, Caveat Emptor, and always read the online reviews of any company before sending them your money.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Costume Class Giveaway

Edwina Sutherland is giving away her 1812 online costume class to three people who comment on any of her blog posts this month (January 2011).  Just to be clear: to enter comment at Edwina's "Not Carved In Stone" blog (not here - I mean please comment here if you wish, but it won't be in the sweepstakes).

You can see a preview of the relevant class at Edwina's main website. Isn't this a pretty thing?

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Thanks to Patti Culea for the link to fiber artist and doll maker Sara Austin. She has lovely painted, dyed, embroidered work at her Etsy shop, as well as new blog. I'm very intrigued by her ongoing project using rediscovered vintage German doll heads.

Sara will be offering classes at Piecemakers Country Store along with a host of other artists. The Orange County Doll Makers Club meets there second Tuesday of each month.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recent New Doll Publications

Sherry Goshon has just completed her book covering the basics of cloth doll making, including patterns - "So You Want to Make Cloth Dolls". 50 pages, spiral bound, on her Etsy store.

Pamela Hastings has produced her most recent "Hot Flash: A Celebration"  (pictured) available from her website. This joins her other doll making books and kits featured there.

Also the latest Winter edition of Adele Sciortino's Costuming and Trim newsletter is out. Honestly, are any of you not subscribers to this beautiful FREE publication by now? Really? Adele is part of a new online art teaching venue that looks rather special. A for Artisitic currently has a bunch of doll making classes, including a "Finishing the Doll" series zeroing in on specific skills, as well as a journal making class and accessories. There is a free doll wig tutorial there also.

Finally, not a doll publication per se, but I am being included in a new E-book by Instructables. My Wavy Edged Paper Beads - which I use as doll embellishments - are one of the featured projects in Jewelry Making edited by Scoochmaroo.

Look Alike Doll contest

Via Twitter:
Join Paradise Galleries on Facebook and upload your photo to win a free doll, which winners select. You have only until January 10th to submit your photos that show which doll and you look alike. Then viewers will vote. The three with the most votes win.
Paradise Galleries is an online doll store featuring commercial collectible dolls. One of the newest fashion dolls that looks quite nice is royal fiancee, future princess Kate Middleton. This limited edition 17 inch portrait doll comes with a reproduction of the "the" ring. I hope she has better luck and a happier life with hers than the last bearer. It seems so - at least this happy couple is of the same generation and have known each other a while.
Here's a prediction - I bet Paradise Galleries will do a bride version when the time comes, since they already have the face mold.


There are very few spots left for Sherry Goshon and Jean Bernard's popular Iowa Retreat to be held in September, 2011. There is also a New York retreat on Staten Island in July and waiting list for the sold out Reno retreat. For a very reasonable fee you get to make a cage doll figure under the guidance of two doll artist teachers, as well as commune with other artists in an intimate studio setting.

Want to move to Blue Hill?

First post of the new year! With new work, time got away from me over the holidays, so I missed doing my usual holiday Etsy round up. Sorry about that. I'll do one in honor of Winter in the next few days.

In the mean time I hope you will enjoy the whimsical mixed media figurative sculptures of Laura Balombini. She uses kiln fired porcelain, polymer clay, wire and wood, and creates surface interest with glass and ceramic mosaics. Many figures are animated. Small birds are a repeating motif.

Ms. Balombini is currently selling her home and studio in Maine. It looks like a beautiful spot. As an urban apartment dweller I am very envious of a separate studio space as well as all the green.