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Monday, August 30, 2021

Frankenstein Goes Main Stream

Frank and Franky Frankenstein hit the news stands!

I am so excited about the New Special addition of Art Doll.  In April Stampington Magazine asked for submissions for Autumn Art dolls due to popular demand they were going to put an Autumn addition.  I sent in one autumn doll and two Halloween art dolls.  All three pieces of my art were accepted.  This is the cover of the soon to be released Art Doll magazine, coming out on September 1, 2021.  Figurative cloth and clay artist have missed the eye candy offered by different artist published in this publication.  I am delighted to be a part of this issue. 

I had so much fun making all of these.  The Punkin Patch, the autumn doll was made into a pattern for Soft Dolls & Animals magazine in 2014 and this year just released to Dollmakers Journey's online store. 

I love Halloween and am always making fun things to set about the house in the fall. Frank and Franky Frankenstein, and Marie Antoinette (proudly holding her head) are part of my own home Halloween decorations.

Making the pattern for Frank and Franky

After sending them in I thought I would try my hand at writing a pattern for Frank and Franky. Writing patterns for cloth dolls comes second hand to me after years of practice. This time adding that second element of painting was a new step I had to get it right.  I simply had way to much fun making them over and over again, using different color combinations. If you purchase Art Dolls Special addition you can see how the colors differ slightly and details change to make them come alive even more so then originally designed.

Two more sets of Frank and Frankie came in. this one is from Janet McMullen. This is from the mini class I taught.

The classes always help me clarify any information in the patterns. They were great students all around it was a fun day.  

I did have the bodies sewn and stuffed but they did all the painting.

Vicki Lamer made next two Frank and Franky Frankenstein.

They did a great job these were completely painted within 3 hours.

Made by my sister Patti Stedman LaPorte.

It is a no stress easy to make, pancake pattern. The instructions are easy to follow step-by-step painting with illustration. Before releasing the pattern, I had a few people take a mini class with me to make sure I worked out all the bumps and troubles that artist and crafters would come up against. First I tried the pattern out on my sisters who do not make art dolls. Then I chose a few of my friends who are artist to make them. Here are some of the results of the mini class. 

Made by artist Cindy Celusta

At last it was tested by Jody Miller who only had the pattern with no guidance.  She said it was Fun and Easy to do. Which is always a good thing to hear.  Within a couple of days from her testing. The Pattern it was released August 30, 2021 to Dollmakers Journey online store in both paper pattern and PDF format. 

What fun this was to make this notorious Frankenstein family into fun caricatures.   Originally these were made for my own enjoyment but they became much more than that.   I hope everyone has as much fun making these as I did constructing the pattern and teaching it. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Art Doll -Stampington Special addition

 Very excited! Stampington Magazine contacted me told me 3 of the Art dolls I sent in got in the show. This is their special addition of Art Dolls.  Anyone that was a Art Figurative 3-D sculpture loved Art Doll Quarterly.  This is one of the 3 Marie Antonetta holding her head sitting atop a Cake!  Yes I know she never really said "Let them eat Cake".  It is a mythical quote, and it serves me well as I use the papier-mâché box as a wonderful excuse to house some of my sewing supplies.

Marie was originally created to use as one of 4 samples on how ruching could add texture and interesting elements to your art work in a class I was teaching.  The dress, the leafy base and the cake box all had different types of this method of ruching applied to it. 
Hope you get a chance to check out the copy- you can pre-order it too!

Hidden Treasures is the class that I taught to my Guilded Liles Art Doll Group.  The paper Mache boxes were decorated with acrylic paint,  ruching techniques, laces and trims.  This summer I wrote a pattern and step by step instruction along with illustration to well on Dollmakers Journey.  The pattern includes preparing the boxes, making and colorizing the face, and different ways of ruching.  There are so many things I use this on, fabric, ribbon and paper. The pattern is offered in hard copy or PDF format at

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Summer Project- Cloth Art Doll Patterns

I needed to re-invent myself since last June that is exactly what was up to.  

Patterns have been something I have wanted to get back to.  I during the pandemic I kept my self busy taking special care of family members and working on patterns. I am a visual learner. I prefer to teach so I can help my students but that is not possible these days. I set out to making new patterns, then I started turning classes into patterns and revising patterns with more step by step directions accompanied with illustration. Sixteen of these patterns are now on Dollmakers Journey's on line and all of them are available for in hard copy and in PDF format.   One pattern, Scribbles is free for Good deed doers.  

Here is one of them funny little guy.

Noot is a Hoot!

This is a fun and fast pattern.  I made over 30 of them for a Christmas show I am doing in Columbus, Ohio.  I bought these beaded blue eyes.  I wanted to do something with them.  Once I started I just could not stop making them.  The picture with the 3 of the Noots together are the traditional pattern but I added ones with other elements.  I have people that shop at my booth that like the little quirky things I do with my dolls so well as I said once I started I couldn't stop making them.  Both my sisters had to have one and my father wanted a picture taken with about 20 of them sitting on his lap. 

I had some gears, and odd metal pieces I have collected so I stiffed through them.  I sewed an old watch cover over the eye.   Instead of adding hair a small drawer pull and trim on top of his head.  I have to say one of my favor parts of Noot is his eyes and ears that stick out. 

The hair is mohair, and just a door metal door number 57!

Why? Why Not!  


I found these eyes in New York at a bead shop in the fashion district.  Dollmakers Journey is now caring them in their store.  Since they are beads you can direct them in any direction you want to.  

This little guy has a bee spoiling the party! 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

On with the Show!

 I signed up for the Christmas Fair and Merry Krampus show in 2019. Understandably canceled. Then delayed in 2020 to 2021.   I signed up again for goth in Dec 5, 2021.  I hope it goes and everyone is safe.  I've had my shots never the less I will be wearing a masks to make my customers feel at ease. I am not as scary as the things I make for the show.  (laugh).  My work is more "Adams family" scary.   Here is some of the work I will be taking to the Merry Krampus show.

Small table view.

Silent children and Pirate ornaments I will also be making some Goth Girls if I get a chance

These are what I call my Bleeding Heart Zombie's. 

Frank and Franky Frankenstein are a unique duo.  They were chosen to guest star in the the Special issue of Stampington Magazine "Art Doll" Sept 1, 2021. Along with Maria Antoinette in which Maria is holding her head standing on a round box adorn as a cake and Punkin Patch (a pumpkin boy).  I was quite excited to get these in there special All about Autumn special issue. Punkin Patch is a pattern sold on Dollmakers Journey on line store.  I am working on a pattern for Frank and Franky also.

My wine bottle holders are abnormal and water resistant. Made of fabric, which is gesso, layers of paint sanded in-between each application gives the feel and look of dyed leather.  Elements such as human or dragon eyes, wicked tails, horns and the fabric manipulation give theses covers spark a conversation. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Wine and Art going together

Dress up your Wine Bottles

What can you do with Wine bottles.  I love to create new wicked labels for my old wine bottles, Make weird and fun bottle holders and wine toppers for them.  Here is a look as to what I love doing with wine bottles. 

 I have 20 Wine bottle holders ready to be painted.  Often I don't take pictures of my work pre-painted but I am going to try and do better.  I have designed and sewn up 20 holders and hand sewn applying different eerie eyes, human, reptile and cat eyes to the holders. 

The Zippers are Heavy duty zippers designed for Jeans.  As you can see the holders are sewn by machine and all the seams have been fortified with a top stitch (zig-zag)
After all the machine work is done the selected eyes are incapsiled in fabric forming the upper and lower lid.  Then the partial frame of the face is sculpted and applied to the holder.

     The final work begins.  I turn all the bottles inside out and gesso the inside of the holders allow them to dry, then sand them.  Turning them right side out the outside is gessoed, sanded painted with a base coat, sanded and dry brushed with about 3 to 4 different colors in paint.  In this sample you see the colors chosen are rust green, sand and gold.

Now every holder comes with a bottle sporting a nifty label.

The gesso and many layers of paint make it water resistant.  The holders look and feel like leather.

I also make cool bottle toppers sculpted with epoxy sculpt.  This is a hard drying epoxy which can withstand just about anything you can throw at it. Including throwing it.  It is a 2 part epoxy that must be mixed.  The epoxy gives you about 3 hours sculpting time before it is so hard you can no longer work the clay.  

This bottle sits in a candle holder with the corks slipped into the tapered candle holders that surrounds the wine bottle.

The shrunken heads are only one of many heads I make along with trolls, Krampus, and other things that go bump in the knight.  

I am thinking of doing some that are a bit more merry and a little less scary but I have to have the inspiration hit me first.  

Dr. Louis Crusius and Paper Arts

I didn't think I could do it but I won 

Best of Show at the Ohio State Fair -  Arts and Crafts - Paper Arts

 Okay Paper Arts are not my forte.  But with good teachers, proper instruction and a theme you can do pretty good.  I have long admired the Art work of Dr. Louis Crusius.  When I was told that Peggy and Patti were to teach a Paper Art project in my art group....well I was skeptical how I would do.  I decided right off I would do something Halloween!  With a theme now I had to gather the paper to go with it.  I immediately thought of Dr. Crusius and began gathering pictures of his work. 

Collecting items and paper that would go with the theme proved to be time consuming but fun. 

This is a Cardboard book that closes.Different size boxes were glued on both sides of the inter book box and the top and bottom boxes had to match up exactly when closed.  It was challenging to say the least.

As you can see that there is flat space filled with pictures and other spaces that fill the small boxes. 

I enjoyed the challenge and was able to make the box work.  I included a Skeleton bride, pictures of eerie children dressed in early 1900's costumes.


I made a accordion card file of his work.  Of course I would never sell this reproduction of someone elses work dead or alive, it is for my pleasure only

There is also a fold out  on the back of the box book that explains who Dr Louis Crusius was for those that have a curiosity for such knowledge

Creating Art from Muslin and Paint

Fabric Sculpting and Art Go Together

Alien KIng.  This was created around an antler
People ask me things like, “What are your dreams like?”  “How do you come up with this stuff?” Honestly, I don’t know.  Sometimes I make things from my sketches, but more times than not I just start.  I have taken many clay sculpting classes over the years. It helps me to think like a clay sculptress when I am working with fabric.  It also has taught me to love sculpting in clay as well. I hope you enjoy this display of work in fabric here today. 

Alien Queen - also created around a deer antler
When making a creature or person it takes a course of several weeks, sometimes months.  I make a body or head and just follow where it takes me.  Building on the base of the head or body on the fabric as you would with clay.  Instead of shaping the clay and applying it  I make my fabric shape and then apply it to the head or body.  I love working this way.  It is a technique I have used as a self taught method I call "Face and Body Building" .  Half way through I’m pretty sure what it is to become.  It is just more satisfying to me as an artist to allow the piece to inspire me and not for me to inspire the art.
Back side of the Alien Queen

Beyond the Stars

     I love to hand sewing which has allowed me to construct more complex figures.  Combine with machine sewing, sculpting, adding sculpted cloth shapes, needle art techniques and different skills to create my figures I’m able to create unique and interesting art. When I am finished the sculpting process I gesso the artwork, sand it and a base coat of paint, sand it again, paint it then detail the figure.  It is a lot of work but it looks like clay and feels like leather.  

    "Beyond the Stars" Was a evolving creation.  each prickly spine spike is wired, made and sewed on individually.  The head is as large as my hand and the entire piece is 4 foot tall.  even the telescope is made of fabric. 

    I like it when admires look at my work and ask if it is ceramic or clay? Neither, I say it is cloth and it will never break!

"Beyond the Stars"  close up of fabric sculpting work

 Weird is not the only thing I create.  I also like to have fun with my work. 

Play on words, like the Smoking Dragon or  Fun Figures with crazy creatures.

Smoking Dragon Muslin prior to painting
Smoking Dragon - after it was painted.

   I don't have many pictures if art work in the raw state, prior to the gesso, sanding and painting process.  I did find this picture of a Smoking Dragon that I took right before I painted it. 

  I almost didn't take a picture of it after it was painted,  I had just finished painting it before a art show, I thought I had priced it too high and it would never sell that weekend.  I was surprised it was going out the door a hour after the show opened. I ended up asking the patron if I could take a picture of it before she took it away.

The Traveler.
I hope you enjoy the items you see here today.  

"Very Merry" verses "Weird & Scary"

Poppet Ornaments

      Starting in 2003 through 2019 have promoted and ran Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay art convention. The convention and working a full time job, family time and creating art work for several shows a year was a challenge.  I finally decided to give somethings up.  I wanted to start a new chapter in my life.  2020 it is about family, friends and creating art, in that order!  I am leaving my job in July and am no longer running the convention. Giving the accounting job up is not as hard as giving up running an artist convention was difficult..  I made so many friends. The diversity in arts and teachers was inspiring.

      Ending 2019 I did the ChristmasFair in Columbus, Ohio.   I have two favorite artistic mind stations. "Very Merry" verses "Weird & Scary".  Right in the middle of trying to get ready for ChristmasFair " my creative mind dove right into "Weird & Scary"  The worst time right, It was not time for Weird but I could not get it off my mind.  I was making these fun Poppet ornaments for the Christmas tree when the devilish side just got into me.

      I was compelled to stop and created some new designs.  Justifying the switch to being okay as I had to present a class to my Art club. This would give the members a choice, an adorable elf or a cute devil.  I did finish the Christmas Poppets - Angels, Cats and Elves.  I am now working on a theme for Halloween ornaments.  I will bring more of them to life as I get them done.

The Poppet ornaments are designed to resemble the  European Poppets (puppets) child toys. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Teacher Feature - Kristin Morris

Kristin Morris Clay and Ceramic Artist

Teaching Tea Cup Creatures at:

 April 25-28, 2019 - Columbus Ohio

Kristin grew up in Springfield, Ohio to a mother who is a potter and a geologist father.  She has always loved art, especially painting and sculpture, and has worked with clay as far back as she can remember.  

Kristin graduated from the College Of Wooster with a major in Studio Art, and later attended The Columbus College Of Art And Design where I focused on 3D Illustration.  I have had jobs sculpting props and "corpses" for haunted houses and working on animals for a water park.   She also holds a Master's degree of Social Work degree from The Ohio State University.

 “Art it is my first love!” 
She is currently is working full time as an artist.  Creating art is her passion and she loves to tell stories with her work! 

Kristin loves Halloween
My dolls are usually on the more  "playfully macabre"

Kristin's works are often made from old recycled spindles or bits of wood and found objects; which she enjoys altering with Apoxie Sculpt and paint.  As a member of the Guilded Lilies Art Doll Club her dolls are usually on the more  "playfully macabre" end of the spectrum! 

         Tim Burton and his many eerie films, as well as Halloween, Jim Henson's characters, and pop surrealism are major influences for her.  More often than not Kristin is inspired by edgy, thought provoking or "dark" art that is bordering on creepy.  You can see it in everything she does. 

Kristin finds herself drawn to pieces that have their roots in carnivals, folk art, or Day of the Dead. 

          In the past she has sculpted for haunted houses, worked for a costume shop, and been employed by a studio making animals for an amusement park ride.  In the past summers she has  taken ceramic workshops and have fallen in love with hand building in ceramic clay!  

"I love the feel of the clay in my hands.”

More recently she has been working in ceramics. Below you can see a few of her art works from a recent Art Galley Show 

“By The Sea” 

If you would like to see more from this show and other art works visit her web site.




Kristin is teaching a 1 day classes this spring

"Tea Time in Wonderland"

She is open to your own interpretation of the Tea Time characters
 Here are two of her versions of the Cheshire Cat 

 Artistic freedom in Kristin's workshops is welcome.

She is also teaching the March Hare and the Dormouse
Check out her workshops at 
Artistic Figures in Cloth & Clay

Kristin is excited her artistic journey!

check out her workshops:

Teacher Feature - Layl McDill

Presenting Layl McDill 

Polymer Clay Artist

Workshops coming to:

Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay April 25-28, 2019 Columbus Ohio

Curious Clouds Crept Above - sculpture by Layl McDill

Layl McDill grew up in Gillette, Wyoming where she began creating things at a very young age. Her first Story Boxes were dollhouses and even an entire Smurf Village in the basement

Crow with Keys Pitcher
2 day Clay Bird Vessel class
When Layl was 17 she saw modern art for the first time on a family trip to Washington DC and New York City. She was extremely excited about the endless possibilities of mixed media when she saw pop art that used everyday objects and oil painting and whatever else. Suddenly her creativity was unleashed, art was more than just painting and drawing. She could make ANYTHING! Her senior year of high school was spent making numerous sculptures that were both 3D and 2D at the same time- a lot like pop up sculptures that are always popped up.

Goddess with image Transfer - 1 day class
After a year of creating an attic full of sculptures she decided to be more practical and choose a major that had actual job prospects. She majored in illustration in art school at the Columbus College of Art and Design with plans to write and illustrate children’s books but the mixed media materials she used in the community outreach programs she taught continued to intrigue her. Layl did illustrate three books for a small publishing company in Columbus, Ohio but the restraints of working on a flat surface were too frustrating.
Polymer Clay Goddess with Image transfer- see more Click Here 
samples of 1 day workshop taught at AFICC

Polymer Clay Bird Vessels- see more Click Here
samples being taught at AFICC
When Layl found success selling her art at arts festivals even when she was still in art school she began to realize conventional illustration was not her real love. She found she could actually make a living making what she really loved to make. Layl made Story Boxes, Story Quilts, Story Scraps, and Story Vests made of fabric, found objects, and polymer clay. Over the years polymer clay has become her dominant medium. 

In the past few years she has worked primarily in clay creating series of work that tell stories about her life as a mother. She still uses mixed media objects as accents and enjoys working with kids using her collections of found materials. Even though she is not creating the work herself it’s exciting to see a pile of stuff transform into creatures, settings and to see the stories come to life.

To sign up for Layl's Classes at AFICC click here
Layl now lives and creates in Minneapolis with her two daughters and husband. In 1999 she and her husband, Josh Blanc, opened their studio and showroom, Clay Squared to Infinity, in North East Minneapolis. Here she sells her work and Josh makes and sells tiles. She still does many festivals throughout the year and teaches artist-in-residencies and after school programs. 

Contact me anytime for more information Cyndy Sieving