Northern Star Mermaid ... An Alaskan artist offers a wintry take on the legendary tropical sirens.
I'm so excited about this! My little mermaid is on the COVER of the December issue of Doll Crafter and Costuming magazine! It was a total surprise too! I only found out about a week ago, and then only because I had written to Pat, the editor, asking what issue the pattern would be in. I can't wait to see it in person - magazines always take forever to get up here. The pattern is actually a bit different from the Ruby pattern - she has a different tail shape and she has teeny tiny 1" hands! Plus the parka and hood, of course. So everyone needs to run out and buy the magazine! Make your own doll - then send me photos of YOUR Northern Mermaid.
... or maybe that should be in the Make magazine! I found out today that a photo of my severed hand pincushion will be in the Halloween issue of Make magazine. That is so cool! Make's crafts are rather geeky or techy oriented so it will be interesting to see how this ties into their format. Any way you look at it, I'm stoked!
** countdown **
...... 2 days until the in-laws and parents arrive to stay with me!!!
..... 5 days until the wedding
...... 6 days until I can de-stress and breathe again, ha ha ha
...... 8 days until everyone leaves and all the craziness will be over
Nearly two years ago we had a gal come up from Anchorage to teach us her way of making dolls. She doesn't design her own dolls but she makes the most of other people's patterns.
One of the things she showed us was how to make ribbon flowers. I didn't try it but I watched. And as usual I immediately went and bought the book she recommended. I also went out and bought a bunch of the wired ribbon so I could make some flowers. I've had the book on my shelf for all this time .. gathering dust. Never touched the ribbon either. Until last night. I didn't do too badly for the first try .. I am happy enough with the flowers to use them. You wouldn't know my pansy was a pansy but it looks pretty. My rose looks okay. My leaves are great! They were the easiest, lol. The book has great illustrations so it was easy to follow.
You can see inside the book here
I have a small branch library in my town and everyone there knows me because I'm in there at least once a week. They are interested in arts and crafts and one of the librarians makes most of her blouses from batiks. Anyway, they knew I had a doll coming out in a book and recently reminded me that they wanted to see the book. So I lent the librarians my
Creative Cloth Doll Faces book. Thought that was funny - kind of backwards. The couple of times I've been in there since they've had it I've heard great comments on the book. The head librarian is even going to order a copy for the library. Cool! But I should have made them check it out since they've had it for a few weeks now. It's overdue!
I posted earlier about Susan's Bendi doll being in Art Doll Quarterly - what she missed was the Odd Doll page - the last page in the magazine. My very good dolly friend Sharon's Bendi dolls are there! She even has a credit on the table of contents - which I think she got more of a kick out of than the photo page! Guess when Susan and Sharon flipped through the magazine they both missed the last page. Another gal found it and told us. To think I know all this about the magazine and I've yet to see it, sheesh! But Susan's bringing her copy over for 'Sewing Sunday' ... so I only have to wait untill tomorrow ...
One of my friends who I sew with on Sundays called me today ... she was all excited ... her altered Bendi doll was one of 17 picked to be featured in the summer Art Doll Quarterly. It was fun to hear the happiness in her voice ... I had a big grin on my face as I listened to her. Guess the magazine hit the quilt store today and there it was ... sharing a page with another doll. It's a thrill to be published and I'm really happy for her! So look for Susan from Fairbanks' doll when you get your copy!
If I'm lucky my subscription copy will get here in about a month ... sigh.
Whoo hoo .. I'm just totally excited .. my husband's laughing at me because I keep grinning. Today's mail brought happiness! I received my advance copy of Patti Culea's new book and my doll is on page 88. It's been a long wait but this book is worth it! All the dolls are fantastic and the face painting instructions are clear and concise. I just love the doll books that have lots of artists' dolls in them - so inspirational! Anyhow - I hadn't been allowed to share any pictures of my doll due to the publisher's rules but I think it's okay now. So here's the doll that's in the book. Her name is Miralys - the Halibut Queen. Her tail reminded me of the shape of a halibut, hence her name. Hope you like her!
Yay - you can finally pre-order Patti Culea's new book, Creative Cloth Doll Faces. I can't wait for this book to come out! I 'know', via Internet, a lot of the folks who created dolls for this book and I really want to see what they made for it. I kinda want to see what they did with my doll too .. yes, I got to make one for this book and I'm totally psyched about it. It was such a thrill and honor to be asked to make one. Sure hope the publishers liked it well enough to put it in the book! One of the girls in my doll club got to make one for it too and her doll is just awesome. I know that Patti covered painting, beading, sculpting, watercolor, collage, and a few more techniques. When I visited her in August (she let me stay at her house when I took a Pam Grose class) she showed me the samples she had made for the water soluble oil pastels. Way cool! The cover is neat - click on the picture and it will take you to Amazon where you can pre-order the book! I love the fact that you can pre-order, I have one on pre-order for art quilts. That way you can be sure to be one of the first to get the book!
I bought this new color theory book that is absolutely awesome! One of the quilters in my color and design class brought this book in one day to show me and it just blew me away. I just had to have it! I have another crafter's color book but there's no comparison to this one. This book is called Color Works: The Crafter's Guide to Color by Deb Menz. Besides explaining color theory in great detail, each section has about a dozen examples done in different crafts. For instance, if she was talking about complimentary colors she would pick two and show the same colors in quilting, beading, hand weaving, handmade papers, knitting, hand embroidery, machine embroidery, .. it's amazing. She uses the same little design each time so you can really see how a design changes with each color change.
You know how sometimes the 'search inside this book' on Amazon is pretty worthless? This one isn't .. click on the picture below and you can see what I mean about the little designs. When you click through, right under the picture of the book is the 'look inside this book' - click that. Think it's the third page in.
I really liked the section on values .. I want to pull out my fabric stash and use her little tool to see what the grey values are. What little tool you ask? She has a bunch of pull-out tools in the back of the book. One of them is something you squint through and it helps figure out the gray value. There are also pull out tools for color wheels although I think one of the color wheels you can buy at the store would work much easier.
I hate to say it but this book covers things I wasn't taught in my Color and Design class at the University. I really need to spend more time with it - it's a great tool. Everyone needs this book in their library - especially if they aren't color comfortable like me!
Oh yeah - and it's spiral bound so it lays flat! You can work with this book and use both your hands to play with your fibers, beads, whatever, at the same time! Whoo hoo!
A couple of weeks ago my sewing group came over to work on our latest project. Unfortunately one of the gals couldn't make it so we decided not to go ahead without her. We couldn't come up with a simple project to do in a short amount of time so we decided to watch the Art of the Dollmaker documentary film instead. If you haven't seen this you should. It is an extremely heartfelt look at why we make these little creatures.
The video begins with Dru Esslinger talking about how she started making dolls after her daughter died of cancer, then moves on to other dollmakers. They talk to a lot of the ladies in her club about why they took up this art form and what it does for them. It's quite a personal look at the processes they go through when creating their art. One of the most outstanding parts is the interview with Lisa Lichtenfels, not only does she talk about her creations but you get to see her studio and works in progress. It's amazing to see how she creates her figures. This isn't a how-to video though.
We recently had Christine Shively up here to teach a class - she was interviewed in this film and it was fun to see how different she looks now than when this film was made in 1999. I had forgotten that she was on it so it was a neat surprise.
What was also fun was to watch the gallery at the end of the movie and see which designer's works you can recognize. Some of them are easy to figure out.
I have to say that I cried the first time I watched this - it really touched my heart.
I was surprised to find that my local library had this DVD in their collection so check with your library if you want to see it. If they don't have it maybe you can borrow it from another library. I wanted to own it so I ended up buying it. If you get your hands on this and you belong to a club maybe you can all watch it together - it's really, really worth seeing!
I received my second issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors yesterday. It's such a treat to read. I always skim the whole issue for the eye candy then get down to some serious reading. The only problem I see with the magazine is that it should come with a disclaimer saying they are not responsible for loss of sleep! I read it at night and then I lay in bed and can't sleep because of the ideas spinning in my head. This issue has so much to offer a doll maker. There are at least two great articles on creating fabulous textiles. One is by Dale Rollerson, who I believe owns
The Thread Studio, in Australia. She shows how to create great material by stitching, painting, stamping, etc. on acrylic felt. This article is about ATCs but I can imagine a great cape made out of this. I do believe that some of her work is posted in the latest Quilting Arts magazine too .. in an article about advanced sewing/embroidery courses. Then there is an article on felting, used for small art quilts. The fabric created with different color mohairs and roving is incredible. I bet you could make a really cool doll wig this way. We have a great new yarn store in town that carries everything you could need for felting so I might have to try this.
I highly recommend this magazine to anyone who is into any form of textile art - all the ideas can be used in doll making in one form or the other.
I don't know if you can find this magazine in the shops, I can't in my little town, but that's no surprise as we don't have any of the big book stores (yet). I subscribed to this before it was even published and I'm just thrilled with it. To subscribe go to: Quilting Arts