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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

All Dolled Up - Hat and Heels Banquet & More

Joyce Compton, Chris Fondi, Emily Eckel, Nancy Forsythe AFIC - Poster Hat Girls
I wanted to share pictures from AFIC Hat and Heel opening night banquet. I also wanted to up date you on some of the events awaiting everyone attending. There are a lot of  things to do in 3 days and 4 nights. This Convention is packed with excitement.  You will leave with new friends and a renewed zest for your art work, or by-golly I haven’t done my job.

 All activities are designed to invite and encourage you to jump right in and join the fun. I believe that the very first time we meet sets the pace for the entire convention. So we begin with the Hat and Heels Banquet. Ready - Set - Go and we don't stop till the convention is done. The pace is set, and you are going to have the time of your life.

Hat and Heels Opening Banquet

Most everyone wears a hat, heels are optional thank goodness! At AFIC 2003 most everyone came wearing a hat that was suitable for any afternoon tea. With the exception of a few wild cards, the hats were very tame. The Hat Police issue tickets to non-wearing hatters and awarded prizes to the over the top hats . A few of the hats were not only hand made but interesting and total outlandish. To artist this is like planting little seeds, which by the way took root and grew. Half the students in 2005 made fabulous and/or outlandish head wear. Then hats began to take on a life of their own when 2007 rolled around. By 2009 full costuming was accompanying some of the hats. This coming year 2011 is a going to be crazy fun. I find myself thinking about my hat and what I am going to wear, all the time! It is funny how one idea can grow into a “Thing” but make no mistake about it the Hat and Heels night is a Run Way Show of Hats. Bring your camera you don’t want to forget a moment of this.

We always play a game at the opening banquet. This year I have something special planned I know you will love it. When the banquet is over the instructors have a smorgasbord of goodies for everyone to look at and purchase. This is a great opportunity to meet every teacher, purchase patterns and dolls.

2005 Project Runway Game- Hat and Heels Banquet

Ice Cream Social, Demos and Shopping!

 One of the events this year is the Ice Cream Social. This has been added to the Saturday evening events along with demo by teachers and vendors.I hope it proves to be fun.  I love for everyone to get a chance to be chatty, mix and get to know each other, in an informal setting. This will be a great way to eat, be entertained and shop all at the same time. “No Sugar Added” Ice Cream for our diabetic friends will also be available, so don't think for one minute we are going to leave you out of this. The Social will take place as workshops begin to let out at 4:00pm and go till 6:00pm. There will demos going on while you enjoy your treat and of course shopping will be in the area so there will be lots to see and do. This will be the perfect pick me up we need after class. Demos, shopping and ice cream what a great way to start the evening! It has always been my philosophy that one should all eat desert before dinner. This way you are never too full for the best part of the meal. 

Izzy Swap'm
As I said the Ice Cream Social is a great way to start out the late afternoon early evening on Saturday.  I am going to let you take a couple of hours and break for dinner but make sure you are back in time for Izzy Swap'm.  This is the one event that had everyone reeling with excitement in 2009.   Izzy is the mascot of AFIC but that is a whole other story. Izzy's Swap’m is a a fun evening where you giving away, trade or sell of your stuff. Not everyone brings stuff and that is okay because we want our stuff to go to a good home and that home just might be your home!  This was such a hit in we brought it back by popular demand. A NIGHT ABOUT STUFF..... Last year we ended up with 8 tables of give away stuff and not a thing left at the end of the convention. Students will be bringing in stuff; their extra stuff, stuff they have too much of or need to get rid of, giving away stuff is nice but you can sell your stuff too!  There will be sale tables, with great items, of wonderful things to for purchase. It was a Hoot!

Mary Lauer

These are only three of the big events going to take place during the convention.   I have not begun to talk about the Goodie bags, silent auctions, exhibits, challenge, daily sales tables, Up till Midnight Crazy Doll and Mystery Dinner Theater. All I can say! Get plenty of sleep before you come. I plan on starting on Thursday night and not stopping till Sunday.  Be ready to have the time of your life.
See you in April 2011 Cyndy Sieving

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Natalie Hamade - The Art and the Deal

Four Season Challenge
Summer 1st place Butterfly Catcher
The Art

    I would like to introduce you to Natalie Hamade. She is full of life, talkative and ready to teach her secrets about doll making and painting. Yes I said painting. We have all stumbled into the art doll world from different back grounds quilting, sculpting, wood working. Natalie loves to paint and will paint on just about anything. She has an etsy shop where she sells her dolls, prints, pillows, wearable art pins and even drawer pulls. You see Natalie designs interiors in her day-to-day life so she cannot help but to create items for the home.

      I first met Natalie, by way of a contest she entered in Doll Crafter Costuming. The contest was The Four Seasons Challenge and I was the pattern designer for the magazine. The design was a simplistic pattern that could be adapted easily. Each season had a winner. Natalie won the “summer” Four Season Challenge. Her winning dolls appearing in the September issue of 2007 with the piece she named “Butterfly Catcher.” Right away I knew she was different, she had a face painting style all her own. The Butterfly Catcher had an artistic charm.

Adora Bella - AFIC workshop

  In order to keep Art Doll making interesting we need new things to learn. Natalie was an artist with her own voice. I contacted her right away for the 2009 convention. Natalie was not shy but she was hesitant to teach. She had small children and an interior decorating business to think about. I totally understood, but I never give up.

When I called for applications for 2011, I contacted her. This time she was ready to dive right in. Her children were older, she had taught several doll making classes, she had her own blog and etsy shop and now was ready to forge ahead and teach at a national convention.

Ostrich Show Girl

The Deal

I asked her to teach the Ostrich Show Girl along with the Wearable Art Design class she had submitted. She said no, she wanted to do something new. I told her my true desire was to have a challenging class, one that her students had to step outside of their comfort zone. I wanted her to design a workshop with in depth face painting of a different color and tones. For this I had to wait to see what she would come up with, it made me very nervous. I was not the least bit disappointed. For those that have been drawing and mastering face painting this is the next step. Her class will include new techniques in face painting but she will introduce you to a whole realm of materials to use while layering on color for richer looking face.

See Natilies Class offerings at AFIC click here.

Pillows, Prints, Paintings, Wearable Art and More


Wearable art Pin

To satisfy my own curiosity I ask Natalie what she was going to bring for the instructors Thursday night sale. You see I am saving my pennies up for that night. I really want some of her work. I inquired about some items I thought I would like to see in person, like prints, original mixed-media paintings, face pins, drawer pulls, aprons, wearable arts and pillows. She said yes all of that along with limited editions of various ATC's, and “stuff" fabric, trims, and beads. She also is considering giving out discount coupons for some of her on-line classes she will be offering next year. 

You can currently find many items for sale on Natalies etsy Shop Click here or join Natilies blog and keep up with what she is making and will be bringing to AFIC instructors sale.


Monday, November 15, 2010

The Art of Desgin -Stephen Rausch

Industial Revolution

     What a charmed life it must be to work in a field that you love. Then retire and continue your life creating amazingly art in a new way and new format. This seems to be Stephens’s story and what a story it is.

     As a young man Stephen graduated with a BA in Spanish and Theater Arts. He moved to Cincinnati Ohio and a friend of his had a small dance wear business. After he joined him they added costumes. Soon the costuming out sold the dance wear. They built this small company into a business named Schenz Theatrical Supply Inc. one of the largest theatrical costume companies in that region.

     Over the years the company costumed universities, the community and high-school theaters. Their customs graced to likes of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, PBS specials for Orchestras, several museums displays. The list is endless and it goes on to including the Cincinnati Symphony, Opera, and Ballet.

     Stephen believes that a great influence in his life was J. Edgar Joseph, the head of wardrobe for New York City Opera. Meeting him early in his career he always looked upon him as a mentor. It was from him he learned two important lessons: attention to detail and costume design. He learned not only to pay attention to the cloths, but also the manners, and historical content of the period.

     Stephen designs and creates absolutely everything for his dolls. He designs the clothing sculpts the doll, makes the furniture and sets their seine. It is an overall theatrical look paying close attention to each and every detail Stephen produces a spectacular art doll in an environment fitted to the time period. Stephen gave us a little inside information on just how important designing is for the overall look of his dolls. See more of Stephen's work click here

"The Flirt - Lucille Adjusts Her Garter"
     If there was only one bit of information that I could pass on to present and future doll artists, it would be the importance of studying the cut of the period costumes and how that cut, in conjunction with the fabrics used, determines the drape of the garment. As an example, The Flirt-Lucille Adjusts Her Garter” is dressed in an afternoon visiting suit from about 1908. She is daintily lifting her skirt and petticoat to expose her garter stocking. The skirt cascades in a very fluid S-shape. This was achieved by cutting the skirt as it would have been cut in 1908. One could never achieve this look by simply taking a width of fabric and gathering or pleating it to fit the waist. It is all about the cut, the fabric, scale and proportion.

Stephen will be teaching Designing and Patterning Period Clothing at Artistic Figures in Cloth.   We have anticipated a demand for his classes.  Stephen will be teaching the same one day class for three days straight. It is a good thing we signed him on for all three days, his class has been popular.  It is rare that you are able to bring on a Art Doll Designer that has the in depth knowledge about period costuming and understands how to scale the pattern down to fit a small figure such as a doll.
Description and information on the class below "Designing and Patterning Period Clothing click here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

In the Beginning there was Gloria Winer

AFIC Class
High Priestess Drawing Down the Moon
Gloria was not the only cloth doll maker blazing trails but it sure did seem like it to me. I didn't meet Gloria until 2009 but I had known of her long before that  In 1997 I decided to see if anyone out in the world had the same desire to make cloth art dolls besides me.  Thanks to the Internet, one lone voice was calling out to me,  it was Gloria Winer.  She seemed to know everything about art doll making across the United States. Years would pass before I took my journey and developed Artistic Figures in Cloth Convention, but can you imagine how excited I was when Gloria submitted a teaching proposal for the 2009 workshops.  Now she is returning to AFIC 2011.  Gloria has come up with a mind blowing 3 day class called “High Priestess Drawing Down the Moon”   If you wish to see Addition pictures & infor. on class Click Here

I ask Gloria to share with us her memories of dollmaking. Gloria told me she made her first doll in 1982 a pattern by Ester Lee Foster. Then she learned to sculpt a form and drape it to create a pattern from Lenore Davis.  This is where her journey began. I am sure at that time she had know idea she was about to start down a road of no return.  Gloria became one of strongest voices in Cloth Art Doll making and here is how it all began.

A Story told by Gloria “MiMi” Winer
Barbara Willis and I were thinking back about Judy Waters.  I mentioned to Barbara that Judy started dollmaker seminars way back in 1989. The first one was named "Dreams Do Come True", after that they were called Doll U.   Barb said no, it was not Judy who began the cloth doll symposium; she reminded me that I had the first one in Chino, California back in 1987.  I had forgotten about that one. Here is how it all began;

I wanted to study with artists whose work I admired but could not afford private classes.  In 1985 I called Lisa and asked if she would teach a class on how she made her heads. I asked the duration and the cost. She said $100 per day for five days. I quickly asked "per student right". She thought about that for a second and said yes, of course...So I invited three friends, none of whom I had ever met but we were phone and pen palls. They were Sandra Blake from South Carolina, Marcela Welch from Ohio and Judy Mahlstadt from North Dakota. Those five days were amazing. We didn't even finish a head but the class turned into a group encounter. We all know far too much about each other to ever not be friends.

I began to invite many artists to teach at my home for 10 or 12 students. I did this for about ten years. I had recently had Lisa Lichtenfels followed a few months later with Noni Cely teaching four and five day classes at my home. When I learned that neither of them could afford to attend NIADA in Anaheim California that year I was worried. At that time there was no other venue for selling art dolls in their price range. The collectors every year gathered in one location for NIADA, ODACA and UFDC convention.  There dolls could only be seen at the NIADA salesroom.

I called a friend in Chino California and asked her to help. In exchange for free classes with either Lisa or Noni, she offered to put up Lisa, Noni and myself at her home. She found a studio nearby we could hold classes. I got in touch with a motel near the studio and next door to a Denny's restaurant. I made arrangements with the hotel and the restaurant for rooms and meals, rented the two classrooms at the studio. I put a little notice in Cloth Doll Magazine, the only one we had at that time. Both classes filled quickly with waiting lists.

While I was registering folks, I noticed that there were several driving the 400 miles or so from the Bay area. I gave each of them the other numbers so they could arrange to share rides. They filled several vans and caravan down to Chino. That was the beginning of several long time friendships and a couple of doll clubs that are still going strong.

Lisa and Noni had their transportation paid to LA, earned more than enough teaching; enjoy visiting the Malibu area for a couple of days and to attend the NIADA convention after classes ended. They both sold dolls as well.  To save on hotel bills Lisa Noni and I shared a room and at the last minute elinor peace bailey joined us. You can imagine all four of us with all the dolls and luggage in the same room. It was a bit crowded but lots of fun. I introduced elinor to Susi Oroyan who was president that year and within an hour elinor was giving a speech to the entire convention and throwing dolls into the audience. The rest is history....

"Needle Model a Prett Face"
2 disc DVD set 4 hr. 48 min.

Gloria’s most recent trail blazing release is her DVD “Needle Model a Pretty Face”.  (Click here to read more about the DVD).  Gloria will be doing an on hands demo of face sculpting free to the public on April 30, 2011. The demo will run from 4:30pm – 6:00pm. If you can’t make it to the convention as a student, pack up a gang of doll makers and make it to the hotel as a visitor. See Gloria’s demo and a chance to meet her in person.  She is a wealth of information. There will be lots of activities that Saturday at Artistic Figures in Cloth,  including other demos, exhibits, vendors, and artist. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Susan Barmore - To Weird to Pass Up

Unice-Pattern on Susan's Web site
 There is no better time to introduce Susan Barmore than in the month of October.  Her art work and patterns are very diverse from Fairy's to the Christmas Bugs. However, Susan's keen sense of humor explodes when it comes to Halloween.

I’ve trying to interview Susan.  I wanted you to enjoy the free spirited nature she possesses. The interview itself should explain just how outside the box Susan operates. I ask Susan to help me with the write up I was doing on her.  To elaborate on a few facts.  She insists that her beginnings were obscure and mostly just manufactured.  She stated that she actually was found under a rock in a creek. No one really knows who and what she is. A family took her in. Lovingly raised her and taught her how to eat with a fork. As the interview continued I just gave up.  Acquiring any real facts was fruitless.  I couldn't think of any more questions. I do believe just might be an alien from another planet. With all my probing Susan never gave up information about her life here on earth. The only thing I have to go on is the story of my own which I am about to tell you.

Owen- Pattern on Susan's Site
 I am always on the look out for new talent. I look for teachers that have a fresh look on fiber art or techniques to enrich doll artistry. I like to offer students a variety of visual options pretty dolls, bold art figures, whimsical and yes just plain strange, and that is where Susan Barmore comes in. Her work is a bit on the weird and wonderful side. She fills the slot our students that like to step out of there box.  The students that like to teeter on the edge and create something just a little “off kilter”.   I found her on Dollmakers Journey “New Patterns” listing for the first time in 2007. Susan had her own take on the world, her dolls and patterns reflected her personality. I knew the moment I saw her work that I wanted her and that AFIC students would go bonkers over her work.

Susan has array of patterns on her site:

Taulbee 1 Day Workshop AFIC
Her web site is doted with patterns of the sweetest angels you ever saw to devil boys and devil girls. Susan’s carefree and good nature heart shines in her work. She was a bit of a pill though, and she did not come easily. When I first approached her to teach in the 2009 line up, Susan turned me down flat. At first I thought no way was I going to get her up here to the convention.  Then I thought no, I was not going to let this gem get away. I needed to  encourage her to come and teach. I could not believe a artist that had such a funny quirky personality could be so shy. I found out later she was not shy, I am not sure why she was so hesitant to teach outside her home town but,  I had to call her twice before I convinced her she had what it took. She would be a fabulous teacher, and so she was. 

Bone Bird - 1 Day Workshop AFIC

She taught at AFIC in 2009.  Many people didn’t know her but her work spoke for itself and her classes filled, she was an instant success. Susan almost sold every pattern and doll she brought to Artistic Figures in Cloth. Her artistry tools are muslin, paint and a sense of humor.  She has a care free way in teaching you to use a brush and paint.  She takes the fear out of painting that is for sure. It is simply amazing to see these muslin creations take shape. The piece is transformed with painting techniques.

Susan will have you in stitches. She does not take anything seriously except for lunch!  Thanks to her adoptive family she now can eat it with a fork!

Zombie Elephant
 As you can see by her work she has quite the sense of humor. She is a great storyteller too. I am delighted to have Susan back at AFIC.  She does not plan on doing any traveling and teaching until after her husband retires.  So I feel truly lucky she is willing to come up from Kentucky to join us again this year.

  Susan is offering three weird and wonderful classes this coming year. Bone Bird, Zombie Elephant and Taulbee, to see more about her classes click here AFIC Susan Barmore

 If you can figure out if she is alien or human let me know.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lillian Alberti - AFIC Delightful Discovery

Princess and the Pea

I am constantly on the look out for Doll Artist that have something different to offer. As much as I would love to say I discovered Lillian, Lillian discovered me. She has stepped out of her great state of New York, she was ready to travel looking for work.  I was very interested in her work. It just happened that my doll club was also on the search for a spring teacher for 2010. I took her work to the club and The Guilded Lilies Doll Artist club gave me the okay to contact her for hire. We all gathered together and had a trunk show the night before the class. She sold several of the dolls and if it had not been the dreaded week of April 15, I believe she would have sold everything she brought. Her work has a unique look and fun play which makes it irresistible. Lillian plays off children’s stories then adds unexpected quirky surprises. Like this doll that sold - Princess and the Pea “Who could not believe that something so small could be so disturbing.”

Poppet Class

Lillian was not only a delightful teacher but she offers her knowledge freely and without hesitation. The Guilded Lilies had hired her to teach the Poppet class. I got to see her in action. She led us through the basics,  all the while incouraging you listen to your own creative voice. Each one of us made different characters.  They were uniquely our own. It was so much fun. I could not wait to add this class to Artistic Figures in Cloth. I got to know Lillian during her stay. I found out that she discovered doll making quite by accident. On her life’s journey she became a doll artist after she had already been a successful clothes designer and mother. Her life was already so wonderous and now she is on another path. I asked her to share a little of the story with you.

Awestruck Flora wonders about this mystereious crystal what secrets does it hold? 
See more of Lillian's dolls for sale click here

Lillian's Doll Making Journey
I stumbled onto doll making literally by accident as a fashion student in NYC. I was strolling along Fifth Avenue, looking for design inspiration in the store front windows, when I saw the art of doll maker Van Craig in Tiffany’s window display. I knew immediately that I had to try making dolls, too! I was happy with my first creation and continued to experiment. I made several, notable one-of-a-kind Art dolls that were shown and sold at Mann Gallery in Boston. I was thrilled!!! But working as a designer/illustrator and raising a family came first, so doll making became something I did in my spare time. I continued to “play with dolls,” developing my technique and honing my skills. After sixteen years in the fashion industry, I decided to stay at home to raise my two daughters. That was ten years ago; doll making is now a full time profession for me as I now teach workshops all over the country and I’m loving every minute of it! Over the years, my doll-making style and vision has evolved; sometimes whimsical, and, yes, sometimes grotesque. I’m inspired by children’s books, nursery rhymes and, at times, by tales my children make up. Doll making has been a joy in my life and as an Art doll artist/teacher, I am always looking to reach like-minded, creative souls who might allow me to share my years of doll making experience with them!

The Cloth Paper Doll

The Poppet class is only one of the two classes she is teaching at AFIC. Lillian has developed a very intriguing class. This doll is a mix between Paper dolls, Cloth and Peek-a-boo painting techniques. Lillian’s way of building paper clay on a paper doll has endless possibilities. I immediately thought of the advantage one would have using this technique in shadow boxes, collage work or simply building on flat objects and recycled art projects. How much fun would that be? I am sure you can think of a few more ways to incorporate this method into your art. This class should be loads of fun.  Along with learning out to make the Paper - Cloth doll you will be painting the peek-a-boo skirt.  Lillian will assist you will your choices. The more experiance you have with painting the more detail in the skirt design you will have.  Regaurdless, an elaborate landscape or a simple backdrop painting the process is fun and full of new techniques.

See details on the workshops that Lillian Alberti is offeringat AFIC click here

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Leslie Molen - Art and Origin

There is a long history of Santos Cage Dolls In Portugal and Spain, Santo(s) cage dolls were used in Catholic religious processions —frequently dressed in elaborate gowns and crowns. The cage body was traditionally used as a shrine with items displayed inside them such as photographs and flowers to represent celebrations. For centuries, Santos figures have been a symbolic bridge between earth and heaven. Leslie has taken artist fascination with dolls and caged skirts. She found a fantastic woodworker to make the wooden skirts for her, and the rest is history. Leslie will be teaching this spectacular new class at Artistic Figures in Cloth. AFIC-for a closer view at Leslie classes. To discover how Leslie design elements and textile choices made this Santo Cage doll and how she is going to teach others to make this cherished art piece, read on and get an insight into a fabulous workshop.

Leslie states, “I have always found a fascination with dolls and caged skirts...the skirt may be an old bird cage...something from metal... or maybe- wood, or a found object. They may vary from a simple Santos- style, to a Flemish dress form, to an altered piece with kitschy embellishments. Looking over my fabrics, I decided to use the burn-out velvet for the torso and upper arms or sleeves for this doll. I loved the vintage feel of this fabric and the subtle depths of the color- blue. In designing this doll, I chose to "joint" the arms- as in the antique Santos. For the skin tones, I used this beautiful pima knit. One of my favorite parts of the making of the doll is painting and coloring the face. It always amazes me how a little color can create such a distinct personality!"
"Details.. that is what sets your doll apart. Many of you know that I am a big fan of Japanese design. In that design things are kept clean and simple, but that simplicity is the complexity of balance. It is actually something that I strive for within my work- ask any of my students, the doll may look simple but there are very detailed techniques and thought that goes into each piece to make it beautifully balanced, clean and simple in design.

Leslie goes into a lot more depth on her blog.

I keep very close eye on the classes and how they are filling. AFIC web site open on September 1, 2010. I knew Leslie's class The Cage Skirt Santos Doll would fill up quickly. I did not know one week later that I would have more people sign up for the class than I had spaces. As of 9/8/10 there are still openings in Leslie's Madonna.

Leslie is an artist member of the National Institute of American Doll Artists –NIADA. She is a renowned sculptor and with her guidance you to can discover the wonder of sculpting a face that is beautiful. Do you want to improve sculpting skills or learn how to sculpt with precision? Madonna is believed to have held goodness in her life. This doll was created to share love and kindness and I think you will find that so does Leslie. Leslie has so much to offer; she is determine that all her students are nurtured and walks away with excellent sculpting skills.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Welcome Back! Monika Shedden

Monika Shedden is one of two instructors brought back from the first Artistic Figures in Cloth in 2003. Seems she has been sewing round the clock, getting ready for a studio tour. Samples of her wonderful work like this Woodland Fairy are art pieces she is working on non stop. A group of 10 artists get together each year and open up their studios for the weekend. There is lots of food involved and hundreds of people come. Monika is so lucky she lives in a very artsy town. She has been doing this for twelve years now.

Dumas Valley School of Art has asked Monika to teach this fall. This is a dream come true come true for her. A twelve week workshop will be geared to students wanting to learn cloth doll making from beginner to advance with lots of costuming, exploring fibres and so much more. I was so excited for her when she said “I can't wait because i can do whatever I like in this class and we have twelve wonderful weeks to get creative and explore so different techniques.” The Fish Merchant is only a sample of the type of dolls and techiques Monika has to offer.

One of Monika's well known dolls is the Story teller, seen here. Monika talks about how she got started. “People always want to know how I got started. When I think back on my very first class in Erie Pa with eleanor and the subsequent doll camps in Meadville, then Wee Folk, I feel as if I am witnessing someone else's life. I could never have believed I would end up at AFIC. I remember sitting at the Faculty Table in 2003 and looking around, wondering how I came to be up here sitting with all these incredible people. I almost feel sometimes I'm just following blindly along these roads. I’ve been published in Soft Dolls and Art Doll quarterly. Teaching is the thing I love the most. Once I get started I get so excited about walking students through the steps to create their own version of the doll I designed. I always hope students feel the same sense of excitement and anticipation I felt in all the workshops I took.”

Monika will be teaching classes at AFIC get for more details and a closer view go to: Artistic Figures In Cloth Web site

Jenny is a doll I look forward to sharing. I love creating whole pieces of cloth with snippets of fabrics and fibers, adding collages, paints and creating a truly one of a kind piece. Draping this finished cloth around the doll in endless ways will produce some amazing pieces. I look forward to having students at all skill levels but especially beginner doll makers because I know they will be astonished what a few bits of fabric and threads will create. As there is no right or wrong with this doll, students will be free to unleash the artist within. I design my classes so everyone leaves with a finished doll.

Rose of the Wood is a doll I can't wait to teach. I have so many wonderful costuming techniques to share. From simple gathering, to making bubbles on painted cheesecloth with elastic thread in the bobbin. There is free motion embroidery, drape over the bodice, painting dryer sheets, stitching with decorative threads and beading. The techniques are simple but I have pages of them, so of course, no doll will be the same. These also become great head wraps for any student who wants to take a simple doll and add lots of pizzazz; I hope this is the class for them. All costuming techniques can be applied to any other project. This doll was designed to be finished in two days - no problem. My workshops are definitely not designed to just follow a pattern. But more so to get the basic figure sewn so we can get on with the good stuff.

I have already thought of a few more ideas for my workshops - By the time next April rolls around, I will have so many more things to share.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ohio State Fair & Dolls

I can not encourage you enough to get involved with your State and Locale Fairs. It is so rewarding and you can show off your work to thousands of people. Just call the administration office up and tell them you or your group wants to volunteer in the Arts & Craft section. Do demos, work on projects or Make-it-take-it interaction are all ideas that have worked for us in the past. They will jump at the chance to have you. They are always looking for ways to punch up their fair. It is a opportunity to raise awareness in your part of the world about Art Dolls.

This year The Guilded Lilies, The Doll Gatherers and the River City Artisian Group sponsored prize money for the "Hand Made Doll Competition" The showing was superb. My only regret is my picture of the cases have too much reflection so you can not see the dolls very well. However, I got some great pictures of our Make-it-Take-it project.

As you can see we use stamps and round circles of cotton fabric. Then lay a thin layer of fiber over a piece of cardboard. Just as you would make a YoYo. Run a gathering stitch around the outside edge of the fabric, pull and whala a Face pin. We made them in sets of 25. Every month we would turned them in to the OSF committee before you knew it we had over 1400 of these little Face Pins. We talked to thousands of children and adults. We dispersed information on Ohio clubs, how they could join up and find out more about Art Dolls. We show off a few dolls at our table to attract attention. Some of us worked on projects. It is great fun!