Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Beautiful Day Amongst the Dead

Yesterday we had the most lovely day amongst the dead! In New Orleans we have the most beautiful cemeteries. My sister decided it would be the perfect backdrop for some photos for her shop avantegarb and I agreed. So we set out with our cameras to the corner of Prytania and Washington street in the infamous Garden District to see what we could see. I armed my daughter with a digital camera too, so she could take pictures of what she found interesting. These are her images and I absolutely love them!!
The cemeteries are so inspirational to me, the lack of color, the textures and depth, the untold stories of the graves an their occupants, a real treat!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Estelle is a travler. She travels by train, steamer or horse and buggy. Shes in search of lost souls. These poor souls have lost thier way and have found themselves going down the wrong path. Estelle helps to guide them into the right direction. Estelle loves her job.
Having been inspired by all the amazing doll artists I've come to know I decided to make a doll with a real cloth dress. With some help from a few books and the wonderfully talented Gail Lackey I sorta figured it out. I've always wanted to try this and the task just seemed so daunting. For the life of me I couldn't figure out our to make the bodice and arm holes having to be stitched right onto the piece. Well it took me a very long time but I think I figured it out...layers lots of layers to cover up those stitches:)

Anyway Estelle was the first and probably won't be the last as surprisingly I found the little stitches to be very calming and relaxing and I really enjoyed the process.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Molly told those boys not to mess with her skull collection, now she was gonna have to get mean!!

Oh and don't ask to borrow her hat, I already have and she said no way. Biatch!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It's time for me to move outta my box a bit. Whenever I make a doll I begin with the head and the rest of the piece develops from there. Lately every head comes out sad, very very sad. I think I've gotten pretty good a very very sad and want to try some different emotions.

So I sat down with the intent to make this little gal mad. I'll tell was very hard, I think I squished her two or three times until I finally was somewhat satisfied with this made little face. She is not nearly as mad as I was hoping but I guess it's a start.

Do you ever feel like you get stuck when it comes to the feelings you want your doll to emote? As artists I suppose its only natural as each piece is a little bit of ourselves. In this way our work talks back to us. This being the case ya'll must think I'm the saddest gal on earth:) Really not the case but no doubt our dolls have something to teach us about ourselves, if we care to listen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Well thats Lovely

I have been blessed with another very lovely blog award. The amazing Jacqui from OddDollz passed this one on to me...thank you very much dear:)

So this is how this award thing works:

the rules

1 add the logo to your blog

2 post a link to the person who gave you the award

3 nominate 7 or more blogs for the award

4 Leave a message on their blog


and my nominees are (drumroll....)


For her bright and colorful world that always makes me smile.

Senorita Pil

Because her sweet innocence is so refreshing to a gloomy gal as myself

Blackeyed Suzie

Her dark dollies are a constant source of inspiration and just cuz she is so dang sweet:)


Mealy Land is a place I want to visit and soon. Wonderful, whacky and it just looks like so much fun.

Amy Short

I'm in love with the character and style of Amy's work..please check it out.

Spread the blog love ya'll!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Heather wanted very much to feel loved. She made sure to tell her dolly just how special she was everyday.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ted and Orville

Holy Crap!!! Ted arrived from MealyMonsterland. I couldn't wait for him to get here but I think he was even more excited and relieved than I. When I opened the package he looked quite disgruntled to have spent a couple of days in that box. He eyed his surroundings and I was so excited to introduce him to the girls, I'd informed them of his arrival you see. Well the little son of a gun walked right past the gals and took a serious liking to Orville from dancesippydance. I think it was his open arms and loving face that Ted was drawn too. Oh he glances at the gals from time to time but it's obvious Orville is his favorite, the girls are a bit put of to say the least.
I am absolutely in love with Ted. If your a fan of MealyMonsters work, you must get yourself a little monster or kid, Fabulous character and style and wonderful detail!!!! Thanks Nicole for having such a wicked imagination!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Merci Gail

Bonjour!! Well I've been donned with the much desired "French" award by Gail Lackey. Merci Boucoup Gail.

For the occasion Simone Charbonnet got herself dressed. She certainly couldn't have people visiting in the state she was in.
The Rules of the Game
1 Please ad the logo on your blog
2 Place a link to the person from whom you received the award.
3 nominate at least 7 or more blogs
4 put the links to those blogs on your blog5 leave a message on their blogs to tell them they are the chosen ones
For this dubious award I nominate.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I know it happens to all of us but when it happens to you it's like BAM..what the heck?? Yep I'm stuck. I've got these two pieces in the works but neither are speaking to me. It's like my creative mojo is lost and when this happens you often wonder when or if it's going come back.
I suppose it's the goddess's way of saying "you need a break dear, but you just don't know it". Perhaps she's suggesting it's time to step back, reflect, get inspired by new things...who knows. But I'll listen, impatient as I might be to get going again.

My daughter is home for Thanksgiving break this week. I think I'll use this time to be with and enjoy her. She is always a wealth of inspiration for me and spending some serious one on one time with her may be just what the doctor ordered for this ailment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I've been thinking perhaps I'll become a milliner for little people. I'm having as much fun making these little hats as I am making dolls. Bonita is sporting a petite top hat with a feather and vintage trimmings.

Before Hurricane Katrina ripped through our little home in the swamps of Mississippi I had a huge collection of vintage fabrics, jewelry, textiles and notions. I always just liked them and kept them around using them in small projects. Man how I wish I had those items now that I'm incorporating them into my dolls. I guess that just means I need to start hunting again, which is really a big part of the fun anyway.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sally Smiles

Sally Smiles was born in a traveling circus to the parents of Sammy and Suzette Smiles. She has never much like the circus or being a clown. What she would really like to do is be a mortician. The dead don't expect you to make them laugh.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Delivery

Danielle has a delivery and it's not one you will want any time soon.

So I woke up this morning with a balloon for a hand..ouch. My RA was bad, but I had this piece I've been working on and I so bad wanted to continue. I think it was the power of positive thinking because I just started working and pretty soon my hand loosened up and Danielle came into being.

Shes a visitor you do not want coming to your door:)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Something from the Archives

Dead Deb is a sweet lil gal ~ she just bit it a little too soon. I believe it was a tricycle accident, quite bloody by the reports. But she's all cleaned up now and ready for haunting in her favorite black and white striped jammies.

Wow, see what 1 1/2 years of practice will get ya! This is the first piece I ever sold on Etsy. Basically my first Art Doll. In previous sculptures I had used marbles for eyes but I would paint them. When I made this piece, I just stuck the marbles in as usual. My sister made the observation that the color in the marbles looked like eyes and she was right!! So I left them unpainted. I've gotten a lot better at placing the marbles in the clay to make it really look like eyes and I usually use the black and white marbles now instead of the colors.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Julie Anne

First I would like to thank ya'll for stopping by and visiting my blog. I've really appreciated your comments and ideas.

I've decided to work on a series of my stump bodied pieces so I can 'practice' my new hair and head dress techniques. Meet Julie Anne.

If your wondering how I can possibly make so many dolls..let me tell you a bit about my life. I am a full time mom, but my daughter is in school 7 hours a day. Once she gets home creating comes to a screeching halt and mothering begins. So I have 5 days a week, 7 hours a day to create..yippee. I also have pretty severe rheumatoid arthritis, meaning I don't' get out much. I thank the goddess every day for my art, it really keeps me going and gives me great joy in life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Hey she has legs, well of course all of my gals have legs you just can't see them under their jammies:) Bony legs too! Boy, that balance thing is tricky. Her shoes got a bit bigger than I had hoped but I actually like big clunky shoes so I think I can make them work.

I have a whole day and even into the evening to create, so I'm gonna get busy on this little gal and see what happens. She's got a lot to tell me yet about where she comes from, her name and the reasons why she looks so dang sad.

Wow, I love a day of free, uninterrupted creating! I actually got Veronica (she got a name) dressed and ready to go. This one was a lot of firsts..first legs and first hat. Thanks to Berrybluecreatoins for the hat pattern:)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Claudette haunts the cellar of Fiegle Elementary. It's a dark and damp cellar with many spiders and cobwebs. Claudette doesn't mind, she rather likes the peacefulness and solitude. She does occasionally go upstairs to give Ms. Montgomery a scare, she was never a very nice kindergarten teacher and Claudette delights in giving her a fright from time to time.

I created Claudette to haunt old Ms Montgomery. She was my kindergarten teacher many years ago at Fiegle Elementary in Plymouth Michigan. I remember practicing for a Hawaiian recital in which all of the girls had to learn how to hula dance. I, of course had no rhythm and kept stepping on the girls toes next to me. Ms. Montgomery, got angry with me and decided that I would have to be a mermaid. She fitted me with a big paper fin and I sat flipping the thing while all the pretty girls in their grass skirts danced at that recital. I much enjoy the thought of Claudette haunting old Ms. Montgomery these days. No worries though, Claudette would never hurt a soul, a little haunting never hurt anyone.

Friday, November 7, 2008

From Sculpting to Art Doll Making

I've always considered myself a sculptor until I started selling my work online. Though I've always sculpted figurative pieces all the elements of my process have been purely sculpting. Meaning hair and clothing got sculpted from the same material I used to make the body. Once I started selling my work online people started calling my work Art Dolls. At first I didn't like it. I didn't think of my work as dolls...I am a sculptor for cripe sakes, but I have come to realize that in fact do make dolls. With this realization opened the doors to this incredibly vast world of art doll artists. I have been just blown away by the talent of so many amazing artist. As well I've been inspired to use some of the different techniques of art doll making. First it was making the clothing out of cloth, and then the addition of hair. I am having so much fun with these new elements and look forward to learning more!!

Here's Chantilly and instead of my usual clay hair I've added mohair which I think totally changes the feel and style of the piece.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Gruesom Trio

Meet the Pyrotiki family. This was a custom order for a customer who gave me free reign on design and concept. The only thing requested was the child be a girl as he and his expecting wife just found out they are to soon have a baby girl.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


You know one thing that I love most about doll making is the amazing artists I have met and become friends with. The knowledge I've gained from these cyber friendships is endless. The inspirations equally as important.

Blackeyedsuzie is one of those artists. I love to have a peek at her shop a couple of times a week for inspiration and in hopes that she has listed a new piece for me to ogle. Her dolls have such character and charm. They immediately bring up feelings of romance, beauty, feminine yet powerful. I really am in awe of this artists work.

Suzie and I have exchanged ideas about our work, technique, materials and the art of doll making. She's an absolute sweetie and a delight to chat with. So if you have the time take a moment to check out her shop and her blog , you will not be disappointed, I assure you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Death of Santa

I had the dreaded Santa talk with my daughter a couple of weeks ago. She looked me straight in the eyes and said "Mom, is Santa real or not?" I'd always skirted the question and issue pretty good but there was no avoiding it this time. I suspect in her heart she knew the truth but she wanted to hear me say it out loud. I told her the truth that day and she cried for hours. I think her tears were a mixture of sadness from the truth about Santa as well as the knowledge that I had somehow lied to her all those years. It was a difficult day. Trying to sooth her pain I told her that she was just getting older and that she wasn't a baby anymore and the truth about Santa was rather like a right of passage into getting older. She liked that idea and we were able to move on.
A funny story...a few days later she lost a tooth and was preparing her tooth for the tooth fairy to arrive that evening. At some point it occurred to her that perhaps the tooth fairy wasn't real either and she confronted me again. But this time she said "Mom the tooth fairy is still real, right?" with great optimism in her eyes. I could tell she wasn't ready to admit that she wasn't so I just said..."well I guess we'll have to see, huh?" She was happy with that. I guess the death of Santa was enough trauma for her for one month.

So Nina is born from my daughters pain of the truth about Santa, a sad but imminent day for every child.

Friday, October 31, 2008


No this one is not a doll, well she is 'my' doll:) My little wonder, NoraLeigh. It being Halloween I haven't got this years pictures of her costume yet but this is what she made for herself last year. A little flapper costume made from 6" fringe. She came up with the concept and actually made it herself. Unfortunately it was a bit skimpy for even a 8 year old so we had to come up with something a bit less revealing to actually go trick or treating.
I love that she is so excited about the spirit of costuming, I'm quite sure she got that from her mama. Tonight she is going to be a vampire. Her aunt made her costume for her and it is wonderful. Happy Halloween all, don't let the ghouls get ya!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Loss of Innocence

I've always said that most of my work is inspired by my 9 year old daughter and I've been giving this some thought of late. There is no doubt that her wacky antics and fantastical ideas inspire me but I also think the experience of motherhood is an amazing inspiration. Once you have a child as you mothers know your entire existence changes paths. Every emotional crisis your child goes through brings up memories of your own childhood and forces you to go down that path of re-examining your life through a mothers eyes. Anyway..not to get to deep or anything but I was just having these ideas in regards to my work and I'm starting to understand that many of my pieces are born from the memories of lost innocence and the pains of growing up and becoming aware of the good that is in the world as well as the bad. My fallen angel series is definitely born out of these memories.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I've been working with some new products and you may have noticed that my style has changed. In actuality this is the type of work I've done in the past and am really glad to be getting back to it.

Julia is my newest piece and only the second piece I've ever added hair to. Wow, what fun. Completely changes the doll. I think you'll be seeing more hair!!

If your interested in how I make a doll like Claudia..check out this Work in Progress post I made on the DAM blog

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Beyond Polymer

I've been experimenting with some new products.