Sunday, February 26, 2023

Introducing "Hope"

The Indy Art Doll Makers Club challenged its members to create a doll inspired by a bird.  I chose the Hoopoe bird.  

The hoopoe was selected as the national bird of Israel in 2008.  The hoopoe used to be very populous in Israel. They have significantly declined in the area due to a decrease in their natural habitat.  Now hoopoes are found mostly in Africa and Europe.  They are very colorful birds and known for the spiky crown of feathers at the top of their heads.

The bright yellow feathers symbolize the joy and hope of finally being free and looking at the bright future that lies ahead. This is a good symbol for those who have recently felt lost, anxious, or depressed but found a reason to look forward to the future. 

Hope is an original paper clay doll that has been hand sculpted and painted.  Her gown is hand dyed silk.  Her “wings and tail” are hand painted with dye on silk.  Her hat is created with silk and feathers.  Her hair is English mohair.  She is posed as if she were ready to fly away.


Meet Calamity Jane

In the past I have made a doll for each of my sisters.  I have one brother but didn't know if he would want a doll that I made.  When I asked him he said, "Of course!"   He told me that he always liked the 1953 version of Calamity Jane staring Doris Day.    After explaining to him that I'm not a portrait artist, I agreed to make him Calamity Jane.   He provided me with a photo and I took it from there.   I made everything on this doll except the mini gun.   Calamity Jane's head and hands are hand sculpted polymer clay and her body is cloth.  Her hair is mohair.  I used suede for her buckskin outfit.  For the gun belt, holster and boots I waxed the suede to make it look more like leather.  If you look closely you can see "bullets" in her gun belt.   I truly had fun creating this doll for my brother.   


Gallery Exhibition

I am honored to be included as an artist in the Twymon Art Gallery in Evansville, Indiana.   If you have enjoyed my dolls and textile art you can now purchase them at the gallery.   Below is an invitation to the opening and reception.   Hope to see you there.  

Meadow's Edge

 This fabric painting is another impressionistic style textile painting.  I really like mood of the photo and was eager to translate that into an impressionistic style.  The girl looks at peace in the meadow but also there is a sense of contemplation as she looks out over the sea in the background.  

Monday, January 23, 2023

Midnight Dalia

I've just finished this fabric painting using all tiny bits of fabric and thread painting.  No actual paints were involved.  I used slightly larger bits than in my previous paintings since this one is a close up shot of the flowers.  I wanted a dramatic piece so I used photoshop to manipulate the colors.   I first sketched the basic outline of the flowers and then underpainted sections to help identify color areas.  I used misty fuse to adhere the first layer of fabric bits to the background and then added tulle over all when finished to capture the loose bits.  I then thread painted over the tulle to add definition.   I've also include a couple of in process photos.  

Fabric painting

Photo reference



Saturday, December 3, 2022

Introducing "Jewel of Thailand"

This original doll and gown was inspired by a picture of the 2016 Miss Universe National Costume Competition. Thailand chose to create an elegant costume decorated with a hundred thousand Swarovski crystals. The gown was inspired from vintage photos of Queen Sirikit. They named the costume “Jewel of Thailand”.

The doll’s dress is gold silk brocade that has been totally hand embellished with beads and rhinestones. Her headdress is made from fabric, rhinestones, beads and jewelry findings which were hand sewn together. Her head and hands are sculpted from polymer clay and her body is cloth. Her hair is human hair which has been styled in the traditional style. Her hair ornaments and jewelry were created using beads, fine gold wire and gold metallic thread.

Jewel of Thailand Doll
Miss Thailand 2016


Thailand didn’t have a traditional costume until the 1960’s. This problem became evident to Queen Sirikit when she accompanied the king to Europe and the United States. When she got back to Thailand she worked to establish one. Finally, in 1964, eight official chut thai (Thai costumes) were established.

A very popular one is the Chut Thai Siwalai. It is a long-sleeved, round-necked, ankle length dress with front pleats. The outfit is finished with a shawl, called a sbai, draped over the shoulder. Fine threads of gold and silver were often used in the brocade fabric to create luxurious appearance.
Headdresses called Chada feature a tall pointed shape and are made of gold or a substitute and are usually decorated with gemstones.

Process notes

I've always had a fascination with beading so when I saw this image of Miss Thailand in the 2016 Miss Universe contest I knew I had to try to make her. There were many times during the creation that I certainly questioned this desire. Of course, I knew that there wouldn't be any fabric in the right scale for a 12 inch doll so I had to find fabric and beads in the correct size. Sourcing the right size beads and rhinestones was one of the many challenges for this project. To make the costume as near like the original, I researched and found as many pictures as I could from various angles. I enlarged pictures of the beaded fabric so that I could replicate that design as close as possible. The costume was made in a silk brocade fabric then hand beaded. Some of the beading had to be completed after the costume was on the doll since dolls aren't very flexible.
I called my doll "Jewel of Thailand.

Here is a picture of the beading details that I used to create the doll.

Miss Thailand 2016
Jewel of Thailand Doll

Here are some in process pictures.  

Sculpted face before painting

Of course every lady must  have underwear!!

Dress before putting on doll--Note the unfinished sleeve and other details these must be completed after the dress is put on the doll.  


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

New Confetti Fiber Art

For the past few weeks I've been working on a new confetti fiber art piece.  I'm not sure why but I love pictures of doors and  windows.  I found a picture of a blue door with a tree in  full bloom and I knew I wanted to recreate it in fabric.  I find confetti fiber art much like impressionistic art.  Instead of brushes you use  little tiny bits of fabric that are adhered to a background.  I'm still exploring different methods.  I've used lite Steam-a-Seam2, misty fuse, fusible batting and glue.   Still don't know which one I prefer.   I suspect I will end up with a combination.  In the pictures, you can see the progression of the piece.  I started by placing fabric with similar shape and color as the picture on the background and then added the fabric "confetti" on top.   Again, not sure I would do it again this way.  Some people paint this background area and some just put in outlines.   After all the "confetti" is placed, I laid brown tulle on top and then thread painted some details and also did random quilting over the larger areas to keep the confetti in place.   It also adds more dimension to the piece.  I put a black binding around the whole piece, stretched it over a canvas and mounted it in a floating frame.   Enjoy!!