Tuesday, November 25, 2014

12th Annual Show and Sale a Big Success!

In spite of a few rain showers, the Indy Cloth Dollmakers 12th Annual Show and Sale was a big success with record numbers in attendance.   I would like to thank all who came and supported our efforts.    There were eight fascinating and  creative entries in the Fairy and Habitat Challenge.   We had a record number of ballots cast for the People's Choice.   My entry, Petal and La Belle Faerie Boutique,   was the winner of the People's Choice and will be featured on next year's publicity post card and brochures.   

It was really a great experience making the habitat as well as the doll.   The boutique started life as a vintage doll wardrobe.   It is metal and had been painted fire engine red.   The transformation started with a can of gray texture paint.   I created three dimensional windows with small strips of wood, a thin sheet of vinyl, fabric curtains and a picture to create a view into the shop.    I covered the interior with fabric to resemble wallpaper and then added shelves, lights, and a chandelier.   I hinged a piece of wood to one side to act as another wall and then added pictures, signs and mirrors.   I handmade everything except the metal sewing machine, the sewing chair base, and the little bookshelf unit.  Everything was painted white and then distressed for the "shabby chic" look.    The boutique also has a dress form and a dressing screen.  

Boutique all stored inside case
Exterior Window

Close up view of hats, shoes, garlands and necklaces

Interior view of Boutique all ready for business

Petal custom makes clothes for all her fairy friends so her shop is complete with rolls and bolts of fabric and boxes of trims and petals.   I made shoes, hats, garlands and necklaces so that her customers have all the proper accessories to complete their haute couture look.  

Petal, is a garden fairy, so her skin tone is green and she is clothed to look like a flower. Her face was hand painted to blend in with her body tone.   Her hair is curly mohair that was needle felted onto a piece of felt and then shaped and styled to fit her head.  I added a garland and earrings to complete her look.    I had cut petal shapes from pink organza and sewed them together to make the skirt.  I then sprinkled beads and tiny flowers among the petals.   Tiny flowers and beads also adorn her bodice.   


Petal working in her Boutique

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mark your calendars!! Indy Cloth Dollmakers Show and Sale is coming soon!!

The Indy Cloth Dollmakers Show and Sale will be held on Saturday, November 22 this year.   This year the doll challenge is "Fae Folk and their Habitat".   That means you will see fairies, pixies, trolls, elves, and other wee folk including where they live or hang out.   I've been working on mine and am truly excited about this challenge.    Of course, I can't share with you what I'm making since the People's choice is to be anonymous.    From what I've heard from other artists and what they are making this is truly going to be a treat you don't want to miss.  

Of course, our members are busy being creative and making unique gift items for the sale as well. Everything from jewelry, scarves, purses and garments will be on sale.  Find that unique gift for somebody on your Christmas list or find that one of kind item that speaks to you.  

The Gathering of the Artist Holiday Sale is also on the same day so make this a fun day for you and your friends and come to Irvington to enjoy the historic neighborhood, shops and our sales.

This sale is ONE DAY only and items are one of a kind, so come early for best selection.  Details are:

Saturday November 22

10 am to 5 pm

  Irvington Public Library 

5625 E. Washington St
Indianapolis, IN

For more about our club visit our website at www.indyclothdollmakers.blogspot.com


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lawrenceburg One Stop Shop Hop

The Indy Cloth Dollmakers will have a booth at the Southeast Indiana One Stop Shop Hop on Sept. 19th and 20th.   It will be held in the Lawrenceburg Event Center in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.  We will have many dolls for sale and on display.   Please stop by and see us.   Here is a link to the event:  


Monday, July 28, 2014

The Hoffman Challenge Results are in!!

Avant Garde Indigo won Best Incorporation of Challenge Fabric.  

You can go to http://hoffmanchallenge.com/2014challenge/winners14/dolls2014.html  to see all the other doll  winners.   

I assume that she will be part of the traveling exhibit but that list is not available at this time.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hoffman Fabric Doll Challenge--Avant Garde Indigo

Avant Garde Indigo

As promised here are pictures of my doll for the Hoffman Fabric Doll Challenge 2014.   I was inspired for this original doll by the fabric.   I wanted to create a design the used the features of the fabric as part of the costume design.   I also loved the colors and since I love fashion, I decided that I wanted to do an avant garde runway design....thus Avant Garde Indigo was born.  She is ready for the runway.  

I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.  

Her platform wedge shoes were molded from polymer clay and then covered with fabric.  The shoe straps were created by braiding 1/8 inch ribbon in colors that matched the fabric.  

Her hat was created by beading the fabric and then using a covered button form.  I left the "petals" sticking out from the form to make the hat look like a flower.   I used memory wire for the beaded "feathers" on her hat. 

Her hair is hand dyed Tibetan lamb died to match the fabric.  That was quite a process....mixing dyes to come up with a match that I was happy with took over 12 hours.....but I was determined!    

Her head is a needle sculpted cloth overlay  that I gessoed and then painted with acrylic paint.  The flowers on her face are hand painted to resemble the flowers in the fabric.  

I hand beaded the circles and then added tulle under them to make mini crinolines so they would stand out from the skirt.   They are slightly curved to add more dimension.   

The flowers on the bodice are fussy-cut from the fabric and then hand beaded.  I then hand sewed them to the bodice.  


Friday, July 18, 2014

Hoffman Fabric Challenge

Hoffman Fabric Doll Challenge
This is the first time that I have participated in the Hoffman Fabric Challenge.  I looked at the fabric in previous years but just couldn't find the time to participate.   I have shipped her off to be judged . If she is selected she will be traveling for a year so I took lots of pictures.   It was really hard to put her in a box and ship her off.   The deadline for the dolls is July 18th so I'll post pictures of my completed doll  very soon.   I really like her and as with each doll I was surprised at the final result.   Here is a photo of the challenge fabric.   It really presented many opportunities for creativity.   Enjoy.....more to come soon!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lady Mary goes to Threads of Time Retreat

 Lady Mary

I've just returned from a wonderful 3 day retreat at Threads of Time in Danville, Illinois.   I met my sisters, Molly and Barb there on Thursday and then spent Friday and Saturday with my doll maker friends.  We had a doll show at the retreat and a special showing of "Downton Abbey" inspired dolls.  

Lady Mary made her debut complete with  her signature tiara, gloves and purse.   Her gown is made from iridescent blue silk overlaid with  vintage black lace that I hand beaded.  She is all cloth but her head and arms have been painted with acrylic paint to give them a porcelain look.  Her hair is styled from wool roving.  

Lady Mary's hand beaded Tiara
Lady Mary's hand crafted shoes 
Hand beaded purse in the style of the period

Here are some in process pictures.  

Lady Mary wears underwear even if you can't see it!!
Lady Mary's stockings 

This is what she looked like after needle
 sculpting but before painting
Now she has her face painted and ears added

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Dolls: Pioneer Women and Child

The winter has been brutal but it has given me time to complete a project for my sister.   She loves the pioneer era, so she asked me to make a pioneer woman sitting in a rocker with a child at her feet and she wanted a bonnet hanging on her chair.   Since I make dolls, I decided that this doll would be making dolls!  The child has her own doll too.  I made the stuffing tool from a broken needle and molded a paperclay handle for it.  If you look closely you will see a finished doll (no clothes) in her sewing box along with bundles of fabric ready for her to make clothes for her dolls.  She also has a bag of stuffing by her side.   Of course, she needed a rag rug to complete the setting so I crocheted one for her.   Both dolls are all cloth construction but I painted the faces with acrylic paint so that they look like porcelain or clay heads. I  needle sculpted the faces, painted them with gesso and then added an acrylic base.  I took photos of the process so you can see all the details.   Enjoy. 

It looks great on my bookshelf at home

Close up view of dollmaker and child with doll

Notice the doll has a period costume too!!

Heads that are ready for faces
Child's shoes, complete with soles and laces
Mother's, stockings, shoes, and pantaloons
Close up of hair and bonnet

Close up of doll and stuffing tool

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Meet Ma Petit Cheri

I spent  last weekend at Threads and Beds Retreat Center with some dolly friends.   We were delighted to have Barbara Schoenoff there to teach us her new doll pattern: January Girl.   She is a cloth doll that has painted and varnished arms, legs and head so that she resembles a miniature vintage resin boudoir doll.   Everyone chose different fabrics so every new painted lady has a different personality.   I chose a bright happy pink and fuchsia print that has some yellow accents.  I couldn't find any lace to match so I dyed some when I got back home.   I used yellow and pink tulle layered together to use as additional trim.   She is complete with lacy petticoat and pantaloons.  I used braided jute for her hair and hat.  Both are painted and varnished.  Her sleeve caps are adorned with a piece of the skirt fabric that has been "fussy cut" then trimmed with beads.   Her bodice is also trimmed with beads.  She is such a little darling and looks oh so French that  I named her Ma Petit Cheri  (translated: My Little Darling)  

Ma Petit Cheri Full View

Ma Petit Cheri Mid Range View


Petticoat Detail

Delicate Shoes