Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Asian Art Figures at Auction.

Pair of Attendants -

It's a little cheeky, I know, but here is an online auction at Paddle 8, of Asian Art pieces that were owned by my late mother and father-in-law. These pieces were some of the art and decorative objects that my husband grew up with in his childhood home on Tower Road in Beverly Hills in the late 60's and 70's.

Both his dad, the actor James Coburn, and his mother Beverly, were in love with Asian art, especially textiles and spiritual art work. They slowly amassed a collection that they purchased on trips to South East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, as well as from local dealers. Every piece was one that they lived with and enjoyed in their home.

The artist and designer Tony Duquette was a personal friend and designed the interior of the home as well as creating a number of custom works - including the very unusual Bird of Paradise sculpture that is part of the auction.

Of some interest to doll lovers, included in the auction are a pair of cool antique carved wooden figures from India. Around 4 feet tall, their hair and costumes are painted directly, in trompe l'oeil style, including the jewelry and trims.

Also included is an amazing vintage articulated wood snake from Japan. I've held this one, and it is amazing how carved wood can be so extraordinarily flexible and fluid. It's really very beautiful and unusual.

There are several Indian paintings in different media, including a gouache on paper of a couple in a sumptuous room. The details of the textiles are beautiful.

The auction is happening now, but is only for a limited time - until October 24th.
Please share!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New A for Artistic Site

The new A for Artistic Site is up and looks lovely. Finally Adele is charging a tiny fee for that incredible newsletter she puts out (it's worth three times the price). The list of teachers reads like a who's who of doll artistry. Very best of luck with it!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Adele Sciortino Pinterest board

doll by Natalia Tomskaia

Here is Adele Sciortino's  art doll Pinterest board. I'm not sure if the dolls inspire me to do better, or make me want to give up altogether. I think I'll choose the former. What amazing beauty and wonderful photography too. Please follow.

IDEX has ended

Past Dolls Awards of Excellence

A few days ago I received the dreadful news that IDEX, the doll and teddy bear trade show, has been cancelled most likely forever. I immediately contacted Dolls Magazine to confirm that this was legitimate and not some hacker type prank. Unfortunately Joyce Greenholdt, the Editor was able to confirm for me that the news is true.

However the good news is that Dolls Magazine and Jones Publishing does intend to continue conducting the Annual Dolls Awards of Excellence.  The contest is two tiered with the Industry Choice awards going out, which then become the nominees for the Public's Choice ballot. This year's voting has ended but everyone interested in that preeminent contest for doll artists should pay close attention to the upcoming December issue of Dolls, when the winners will be announced along with next year's contest.

I don't know why the show has ended, but I do know that magazines only stay afloat if people buy them. If you are not a subscriber to Dolls, which is available digitally and newly for Nook tablets, maybe now would be a good time to become one.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Horrible Adorables - MS American Made nominee

Horrible Adorables

Here's another cool soft critter maker on the Martha Stewart American Made contest. They are hand made of felt over foam - animal friendly reimagined taxidermy, according to artist Jordan Perme. You can see more on the Horrible Adorable website - the visual design of which echoes the humor, and retro influenced aesthetic of the animals.

Shawnimals stuffie dolls Martha Stewart American Made nominee

Shawnimals stuffed ninjas, Martha Stewart American made

...and can use votes. It's easy to log in and vote - including via Facebook. I've seen these happy little toys before. I think they did a kickstarter for something fairly recently.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Atlanta Ball Jointed Doll Convention

Lady Saiyuki dolls

They are all over the place! Awesome. This time it's the Atlanta Ball Jointed Doll Convention with some terrific special guests. October 18-20, 2013 - coming up very soon.

Saint Louis BJD Convention

St. Louis BJD Convention Goodreau exhibit

A small but sweet convention in St Louis sponsored by the local doll club, Dolly Playmates. I'd like to join the League of People Who Dress Like Their Dolls. November 15-17, 2013.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

ScraPerfect Design Team Call

Embellie Gellie for beads
Beading with the Embellie Gellie by ScraPerfect holding my seed beads.

It's not dolls, but it does relate to mixed media art, as I know many of you make. Plus I use the products in my doll making - especially the Embellie Gellie to hold beads.

ScraPerfect is looking for some artists to join the Design Team. I've been a member for a couple of years, and I love, love, love the products. You can read all about here on the blog.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cult of Doll Call for Entries

Griselda the Vampire Showgirl at Nightshade Dolls

Attention Doll Artists: here is the latest project from Yve Hooson and Grace Garton

They are looking for artists whose dolls "have a story to tell" for their proposed almanac series. Read all about on the new Cult of Doll Blog. This interests me a lot. Since the sad demise of ADO, I've felt the lack in the world of a strongly innovative art doll design focused group, and I definitely plan on joining their Etsy Team (if they will have me!)

From the Team page:
Cult of Doll has 3 membership requirements:
* All artists joining must undertake to create one original doll every 2 years which will feature in a bi-annual online publication which will promote all Cult of Doll members. That doll must debut in the "almanac" and not have been featured anywhere else before its publication.
* All members must use a team tag on all of their relevant Art Doll etsy listings
* All members must feature the Cult of Doll logo on their blog, facebook, etc... to help promote other team members work
Not too difficult at all.

By the way - do check out Yve's new doll shop - Nightshade Dolls and Grace Garton's Little Black Crow Studio.

Please Pin!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nefer Kane's Circus

Nefer Kane Circus Dolls

OK you MUST go and visit Nefer Kane's site to see the extraordinary new line of resin ball jointed figures. These are not your typical BJD fashion dolls (although of course those are beautiful also). These are divergent dolls - creepy cute - very solid on their legs, and sublimely stylized. And then there are the different face ups.

You can see more and purchase at Oobie Dolls - another fine site to visit and browse.

Right - off to follow Nefer Kane on Facebook.

As always, Please Pin!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Scary Godmother Doll Kickstarter

Scary Godmother Doll Kickstarter

At last an awesome doll related Kickstarter that needs support! The project is for a new jointed character fashion doll, based on the comic character The Scary Godmother, that is a very cool doll from a very cool artist. I love the actual pitch too, because if you scroll down you will see the creative process of designing the prototype illustrated.

In addition to being an intriguing concept, and a creepy-cool character that so many of us love, this project is a way of supporting a female comic book artist. I don't know if you have noticed, but comics do seem to be a pretty testosterone dominated field. I suppose doll design might be the opposite.

The perks are terrific too. The perk of the actual doll starts at $50 - so very reasonable in comparison to say Fashion Royalty or many Barbie collectibles. And she comes with tiny wings and a ghostly cat.

Please visit this kickstarter!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Simple Simon and Company Doll Pattern

Cloth Doll with embroidered face and felt hair seated

Here is a free downloadable pattern and tutorial from Simple Simon for an adorable little cloth play doll. I like that the tutorial shows stuffing the arms and legs separately.

It shows embroidered facial features and felt hair. I think it would be a very nice base pattern for portrait dolls of your children or grandchildren, or story book characters. It would be simple enough to turn the skirt into a pair of pants as desired, or make the legs from patterned fabric as "tights".

Please Pin!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Win a Queen's Treasures Fairy Tea Set from Doll Diaries. You have until midnight July 30th.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Call for Submissions - IDEX memories

From the e-mail:

Best of IDEX - We Want to Hear From You!
Whether you have attended IDEX as a collector, exhibitor, buyer, member of the media, or just tagged along with a friend or family member, chances are you have a great memory from a recent or long-ago show. We want to hear about them!
We have our own list going, and it grows from year to year, so now we want to hear from you. What is your best memory from IDEX? Did you attend an extra-fun event last year, or recall a moment from a show over a decade ago that stuck with you? We want to know!
We are enjoying the relaxing summer months and hope you are too. Stay tuned for more information to come throughout the summer about next year's IDEX. We have many exciting things in store for everyone!
The IDEX Team

Marianne Loyd's Teddy Bear Poems.

Author and fine Teddy Bear artist, Marianne Loyd has published her book of poems about Teddy's in both paperback and Kindle forms. The book is called Teddy Bear Poems: straight from the paw. The Kindle edition is 99cents, at least today.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nicky Epstein - "Knits for Dolls" book review and giveaway!

I'm thrilled to have been sent a copy of eminent textile artist Nicky Epstein's new book for review. It's called "Knits for Dolls: 25 Fun, Fabulous Outfits for 18-inch Dolls", published by Sixth&Spring Books.

Now here's my full disclosure. I can't knit, only crochet and loom. So I can't speak to the clarity of the actual pattern instructions from experience. However given that Ms. Epstein is a star in the world of artistic knitwear, with numerous well received books to her credit and regular contributions to knitting magazines, I'm pretty sure that the patterns will give the desired results.

I love the outfits she has designed for the dolls. I personally love wearing knits and would probably like most of these garments if they were my size. The colors as pictured are luscious and vivid. Some of the garments are more formal and have sweet lacy textures. I particularly like the dress with the beading knitted in to the pattern.

Others are funky, hip or boho. There are textures, different stitches, twists and turns - I should think working your way through these lovely patterns would be a great course in fancy knitting techniques. There's even one sweater that resembles a nordic pattern.

Also included are many accessories - hats, purses, socks, shrugs - and some delightful ideas for making coordinating doll sized jewelry. Finally there are some recipes - for people food - treats for doll tea parties. Oh, and I nearly forgot - a vintage style knit bunny.

I really appreciate the styling of the photos, with the props both miniature and full size. They are fun, and exemplary for anyone who takes photos of their dolls as product photos.

I'm really looking forward to Nicky Epstein's "Crochet For Dolls" that a little birdy told me was coming soon.

The book is available from the Nicky Epstein website (through Barnes and Noble as an affiliate link I suspect so I encourage you to go that route.)

Now that I have this book that I can't use, I think I will run a contest. Any one who comments on this post - maybe tell me about your favorite knitted toy or doll - will be in the drawing to win my copy of this charming book. Let's say around two weeks - so comment before 4th of July to be in the drawing. 

Please tell your friends about the contest, and share on Facebook too!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Free Doll Tutorials E-book

Here's a lovely surprise! It's a free E-book from Cloth, Paper, Scissors containing four tutorials for making some soft art dolls/stuffies from some of our favorite doll artists - Nola Hart, Diana Trout, Kelli Nina Perkins and Paula Nerhus. Download your copy and be added to the newsletter list. (Well the bounty just keeps coming.)

Friday, May 31, 2013

More classes from Ankie Daanen

Dutch Touch doll class.

During the NIADA conference in June in San Francisco I will teach:
A 2-day class: How to make an Arty-Heartbreaker face 
A 1-day class: How to make the perfect doll body         

June 2013 New Online class´How to make the perfect doll body":
Host: Adele Sciortino :

February 22 through February 26, 2014 Five day class in Chapel Hill,NC : How to make a lovely Girl
Host: Lynda Baddour :

March 3 through March 7, 2014 Five day New Dutch Touch Class on Vancouver Island with Marlaine Verhelst and Ankie Daanen
Host: Marla Limousin :

Dollmaking Holiday Class in Spain for 2014. 
Because many students are interested to come to the Dollmaking Holiday Class in Spain
I can offer this class in June and in September.

The classes fill up quicly!!!
For more info:

April 17 through April 20, 2014 Four day class in Manahawkin, NJ : How to make a Cute Boy
Host: Colleen Athens :

April 23, 2014 One day class in Mount Vernon, NY : How to make the perfect doll body
Host: Gwen Jackson :

April 24 through April 27, 2014 Four day class in Mount Vernon,NY : How to make a Lovely Girl
Host: Gwen Jackson .

Artists Doll and Teddy Bear Show in Philadelphia

April 30, May 1 and 2
Program will be announced later

Dear Dollfriends, you can always ask me for information, and within a few days my website will be updated too.
On my website you also will find more details and pictures of the class dolls.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Doll Auction at Bonhams

Los Angeles Fine Art, Antiquities and Collectibles Auction House, Bonhams, will be holding an auction on June 24, 2013 featuring the gorgeous dolls of the Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon collection. Predominating are numerous Lenci felt dolls all in remarkable condition, and some including extraordinary accessories such as trunks or the easter egg trouseau pictured. However there will also be a selection of antique teddy bears, bisque head dolls and other character figures on offer.

The online catalog is beautiful, clickable and detailed. Plus there are viewings of the collection in Los Angeles during the three days prior to the auction. It really is an extraordinary collection.

Sidney Sheldon was a best selling and award winning novelist, screenwriter and tv producer. The couple were well known as collectors of American Arts and Crafts as well as dolls. Alexandra Sheldon now serves on the board of the Bighorn Institute, dedicated to conserving native wild sheep.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Fanciful Twist

I love Vanessa Valencia's aesthetic as revealed on her website and blog. I love the colors, the stories, the lettering. I love the way her sweet faced dolls are dressed in crumpled text. The word that comes to my mind is "enchanting".

I also enjoy how her message is consistent across different media and sites. You will always know one of her pieces, and her sites are well organized and fun to explore. So kudos on several counts.

And by the way, she has a bunch of tutorials that feature free printables, both doll/miniature related and just charming graphic applications, as well as an Etsy shop.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dioramas at Mission San Carlos Borromeo at Carmel

Inside the Mission at Carmel, behind glass is a miniature village scene that looks more like Renaissance Europe than ancient Bethlehem (other than the Greek Temple to one side). It's interesting. Opposite is a Good Friday scene of the Crucifiction. There are several beautiful icons and large scale figurines of The Blessed Mother with baby Jesus wearing richly ornamented Renaissance and Baroque fabric clothing complete with encrusted embroideries, as distinct from the statues where the clothes are stone, marble or plaster.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Word Is Art Gallery Art Doll exhibit opening.

A selection of the exhibits.

I felt very starstruck, in exalted company, when I joined fellow art doll artists at the opening reception of the Art Doll exhibit at The Word Is Art Gallery in Culver City, CA last Saturday evening. I have three dolls in the exhibit but what was most exciting for me was meeting and seeing the works of Vega, Nola and Ute Vasina.

Nola and one of her box dolls (with its own teeny dolly).

Vega's work is magnificent - creepy, cool and very detailed.(Keep your sound turned on for her website.) Nola uses vintage and new-but-retro-looking materials to create sweet, delicate prim style soft dolls with a wistful air, while Ute's needle sculpted Trolls of great renown have so much character and humor. Visit her site for patterns and other fabulous art doll supplies.

Vega, Ute and Troll friend.

Along with the art of these three, are dolls in every style and of many sizes, including a portrait doll of Jackson Pollock by Wendy and some beautiful cloth stump dolls. Be alerted however that the exhibit goes only for the next 2 weeks until April 14th. 

After that you will still be able to see and purchase some of the dolls by gallery co-op members as well as enjoy the fine art and functional pieces, including some beautiful hand made jewelry, felted art, photography and acrylic paintings. I was especially drawn to the modernist mixed media work of painter Christine Binns (one to watch, IMO).

Christine with my favorite of her paintings (with a special guest by Renee Troy peeking out).

Don't forget there are some cool classes linked to the Art Doll exhibit - see the Gallery blog for more details.

View Larger Map

If you see the exhibit, please let me know what you thought in the comments below!
Also as always, please Pin!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Summer News from Ankie Dannen

Dear Dollfriends.

I like to give you an update about my ´dolly´ life!

April 11 I will teach a one-day class in Orlando, FL. ´How to make an innocent dollface´.
For info: /
And from April 12 until April 14 you can visit the show and see my brand new dolls!

From April 17 through 20 I will teach in the wonderful studio from
Adele Sciortino in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
´How to make a Big Belly Babe´.
We only have ONE opening!
For info: /

From April 25 through 28 I will teach in Mount Vernon, NY. in the great studio
from Gwen Jackson ´How to make a Flat Brat´.
We only have ONE opening!
For info: /

From May 2 until May 5 you can find me teaching a one-day class
´How to make the perfect doll body´ on May 5 and see my new dolls during the
in Philladelpia, NY. on May 3 and 4.
For info:

If you like to see what´s going on in the Bay Area from San Francisco, CA. from
June 24 until June 30, please go to: or ask me for more info!
and you might like to sign up for my two day class
´How to make an art Heartbreaker face´ or ´How to make the perfect doll body´.

From September 15 through September 21 I will teach my 

Dollmaking holiday in Spain!

The costs for this class are Euro 975,- ALL inclusive,

except airfare to and from

 Alicante airport EL ALTET in Spain.

More info:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Miniature Artists' Call

Linus Gallery in Pasadena, CA has published a Call for Artists with the theme of Miniatures.

The maximum size of the art piece is 8 x 10 inches. Work must be wall hung to be considered, but they are interested in wall sculptures, and mixed media, so I'm thinking shadow boxes with tiny worlds could work well.

The deadline for application is .June 03, 2013.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

All Dolled Up

The All Dolled Up Beaded Art Doll competition run by Land of Odds is open. The deadline for submissions is August 13, 2013. The site has links to images of the gorgeous work from past years.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Colliii Awards Registration Date Announced

I just received my newsletter which includes the announcement that registration for the 2013 Colliii Awards will open July 1st and run for the month of July. Time to peruse the categories and start making! To learn how your business can sponsor the awards contact them via e-mail .

The winners and images from last year's awards are on the website. This is a truly international competition for every category and type of doll. The site is full of news and interviews. I recommend signing up for the newsletter.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Iggy Jingles store

I know it's a bit cheeky....
... but my Etsy store, Iggy Jingles is filled with a bunch of brand new hand made dolls - Dream Stars, Wish Dolls, and my kid's toy Either Way Dolls, many in bright Spring and Summer colors.

Please visit, Pin and Tweet about them!

Annie at Madame Alexander

Madame Alexander dolls is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year with new collections and some beautiful dolls, including her signature big eyed baby faces Cissy and Cissette.

According to info I received, Madame Beatrice Alexander, "always felt that dolls should be played with and not kept on a shelf. She had an unwavering belief that dolls should engage the imagination and contribute to a child's happiness and understanding of the world."

One of the new dolls coming out soon is a 14 inch rag doll play version of Little Orphan Annie, using the white eye visual style of the original comic strip on which the musical, "Annie", was based. She is available for pre-order now, shipping later in March.

I like the clarity and simplicity of the Madame Alexander website. It's easy to navigate, and the images of dolls for sale have an automatic zoom feature to allow you to examine the doll closely before purchase. The History page is fun too.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Make It & Love It Buddies

Ashley at Make It & Love It has posted a free pattern and tutorial for an utterly adorable long legged soft doll for kids that is customizable as a boy or girl, and has sweet clothing.

The tutorial is very nicely detailed and comprehensive, with plenty of nice tips for stitching cloth dolls, and the pictures of the finished dolls with their young owners are lovely. The pattern would be very adaptable with different fabrics.

I'm going to Pin it. Please Pin or Repin from my boards.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Art Doll Juried Exhibit call

Denise Bledsoe - The Word is ART co-op member.

From Renee Troy:


The Word is Art Gallery located in Culver City is having a juried Art Doll Exhibit starting March
25th running through April 14th. The three week exhibition will give artists the opportunity to show
and sell their creations. We encourage ALL artists interested to submit.

During the three week show, dolls will be on display in the front window of the gallery as well as
throughout the gallery. On March 30th, we will be hosting a "Meet the Artists" event from 4-8pm
where you will get the chance to introduce yourself and mingle with new and old followers, fellow
artists and collectors. There will also be doll centered art classes taught by local artists in the
gallery during the run of show. If you are interested in teaching a class please contact us!

The fine print:
Entries must be submitted by March 5th
All artists will be notified by March 10th of acceptance
The first entry is $15 and $5 for each additional doll accepted
Entry fees are due upon acceptance
Limit 4 dolls per artist

All accepted work needs to be delivered to the gallery between March15-20. Late entries may
not be displayed.

If you are mailing your dolls to the gallery please include return postage including insurance and
tracking fees to:
The Word is ART Gallery
9349 Venice Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232

All remaining dolls must be picked up on April 16 - 20th. Any unclaimed dolls will become
property of the gallery as of April 25th. Dolls being shipped back to their makers.

*The gallery will take 40% of the sale price for each doll sold with 60% going to the artist.

When submitting your work please include on each piece: If there is no price, it will not be sold.

Mailing address
email address
Phone number
Price of Doll

Please submit your work via email with subject line Art Doll Submission to
Renee -
Shari -

Or, you are welcome to bring them in to the gallery on
Thursdays between 11-2 or
Fridays between 4-7

The Word Is Art
9349 Bagley St.
Culver City, CA
(310) 558-0856

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Colliii Online is an online resource for lovers of dolls of all kinds, with a strong focus on reborning. They hold a prestigious international baby doll/reborn competition annually, and also collect doll related news and blog posts from all over. This link is for the English website, from where international readers may find the site in German, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prosculpt Winners

The Johnston Original Art Doll ProSculpt Awardees for Summer/Fall 2012 have been announced. Images of the beautiful art dolls are on the site.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Robin Sullins Benefit Art Auction

"Sugar Fae" created and donated by Kat Soto

Recently I received shocking and sad news in the regular newsletter from Duirwaigh Studios. Robin Sullins has tragically had to have her legs and some fingers amputated after contracting a sudden rare blood infection after a nip from a beloved family dog over the holidays. 

Duirwaigh Studios are holding a fundraising auction, (click this link to preview some of the items already donated) on Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2013, and asking for help from the arts community.

They are asking for donations of art works, including art dolls, and collectibles. They are asking us to help publicize the auction and fund raising efforts, and of course they are asking us to visit the auction and bid.  

There is a second Facebook page for the Relief Fund with links to some of the press the event has received, and a website where you may read the full story, and learn more about this little known canine bacteria.

"Pinkett" by Wendy Froud.

Duirwaigh are accepting donations until February 10th. Please contact them via e-mail at:

And please spread the news of the auction in all your blogs and FB pages! Thank you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Aware of Areaware

The catalog of Areaware includes some really cool wooden toys, including a modular slot together Cube Robot that is very cute. They can be painted, and look interesting posed in groups of bright colors. Also available, beautiful smoothly carved wooden animals.

In another are of the catalog are printed monochrome photos of animals on small pillows in different sizes. These are sold as toys or home decor.