Well as some of you know, I live in South Louisiana. Currently, everyone here is watching what is currently Tropical Storm Gustov, soon to be Hurricane Gustov again. Will it hit the central coast of Louisiana or more toward the east toward New Orleans or maybe farther west toward Lake Charles? That is the million dollar question.
I for one am not all that enthused to see another hurricane. I was happy to live here 12 years without ever seeing one. Then there was Katrina. Amazing to watch come through - especially if you were to the west of it - but nerve racking to say the least. And three days without electricity? No thank you. Things like water and toilets don't work around here without electricity. There is no city water or sewer and we are all on wells and septic systems, both of which require electricity to function!
So, we will watch and wait. I've been on leave and am supposed to return to work Tuesday, but with this storm coming in, they may shut us down and I'll get another day or so of paid time off, no leave necessary.
On a brighter note, the LSU Tigers (2007 National Champions) have their season football opener Saturday night. While I personally do not like to attend the games, my husband and son do. Tailgating, partying, and hopefully a total romping of the opponents will have all of Baton Rouge in a good mood.
Well, back to costuming my dolls. I am working on a Roman Goddess that is giving me fits! What should have been an easy doll to do has now taken two days. I've broken one needle stand and almost glued my fingers together a couple of times. Let's hope the end result is worth the effort.
WOW. I was on a roll today! I have not completed a doll in months. So today, I fully completed Angelica! A beautiful, modern doll.
I took the Sadie kit from Dana at MiniatureArt and modified it somewhat. I had trouble with the top, so when I was able to get it cut out and it was a little short, well, that just showed off her tiny waist. When the lame' skirt was too see-through, I gave her pants under the skirt. I applied her blonde hair and flipped it over and back.
Her shoes are painted on with black silk straps for accents. She looks as if she is ready for a night out on the town.
Her purse is my creation and really very very easy. Just take a slightly rectangular piece of fabric - in this case with the lame' I backed it with a stiffer silk piece - and fold it not quite half-way up. I also used the back of the lame' to give it a little more contrast. Then, take the top part, fold downward to make little triangles on each side and glue. Then, fold down the top and glue. Add a silver bead on each side of the flap to simulate a closure. Walla, a clutch!
All in all I was very pleased with her. I was able to overcome all problems without them overcoming me and ended up with a beautiful doll. Alas, she will hopefully be finding a new home. She currently is up for auction at MiniaturesOnly.com.
I have one more doll in the works, I just need to apply the finishing touch. While the doll herself is completed, I like to give them something of their own, whether it be a clutch or a bowl with a spoon. They need to look as if they are doing something for me to be happy with them and to me it's my "signature". The doll I am currently finishing up is totally from my imagination. Maybe in a day or so I can show her!
As a side note, if you are interested in any of the dolls that you see, please feel free to contact me about their availability.
I usually just focus in on 1/12th scale dolls, but I am also interested in larger dolls, specifically fashion dolls from the late 1800's. I just received a postcard from Skinner Auctions. They will be holding a Toy and Doll auction in MA later this month. While there is no way I could attend, much less afford anything, there is some wonderful "eye candy" for doll lovers. The link is www.skinnerinc.com. You need to click on the Dolls & Toys auction for 8/24 and then near the bottom of the next page, there are two PDFs you can download. Or you can just tell the site you want to view all and then search by dolls. Beautiful antique dolls, most in wonderful shape. Oh, to be rich!!!! LOL.
As promised, here are a few more of my dolls, these created from kits by Dana Burton (Dana@MiniatureArt.com). She has wonderful kits and classes that she offers throughout the year. Check out the MiniDollList website link to the left of this entry. There you can find out all about our MiniDollList group and the fun we have.
This first one is a chic grandma headed for a night out on the town.
Then here is a Venetian Courtesan - she's one of my favorites and one of my more recent dolls to be completed (the first part of this year).
And finally, a proper Victorian miss, out of a stroll - I haven't finished her parasol just yet.
I currently have a grandmotherly doll that I just need to finish up and many more in mind to do - some kits, some from my imagination, and some from Dana's wonderful pattern list that I subscribe to. Also, I am waiting on delivery of a wonderful kit from Nancy Cronin; Miss Havisham. I will continue to post pictures of dolls that I have completed in the past along with new dolls as I finish them.
To the left, you will find a growing list of my favorite miniature doll websites, suppliers, and blogs. Also, please check out miniaturesonly.com , a wonderful auction website devoted specifically to miniatures. Enjoy!
Well, it's been a LONG time since I posted to this blog - real life (in the way of my job) interfered. No matter, it's not currently being read anyway LOL.
Here are two dolls from classes I took in Chicago. The biddy in the leopard print was a Nancy Cronin class and the bride was an Anna Hardman class. Both wonderful teachers and both wonderful classes. There will be another blog entry that showcases dolls I made from Dana Burton's kits and one or two that I created on my own.
Also, there is so much I want to do. I have just TONS of ideas for dresses for dolls, along with all the accessories that go with them. Alas, my studio has been put on hold. Due to fuel prices, there is just no way to afford a new storage building and then convert it into a studio. So, I'm just slightly stymied as I can't get to most of my doll supplies. Things are piled in a small room in the house and also shoved into two attics, under the bed, a spare bedroom, and various closets - wherever I could find room. So, keep your fingers crossed for me.
Well, I finally did it! I was able to attend the miniature show of shows. The Chicago International produced by Tom Bishop.
I had heard that I would be overwhelmed, maybe go into miniature overload. But no, I felt right at home. I wish, however, that I would have had more money. There were so many nice things but a budget is a budget.
Most of the dealers were great, whether you spent a little or a lot. At one table, I spent as little as $3.00. At another one, I spent a total (2 day combined) of over $250. Some just wouldn't give you the time of day, even if you told them their items were great and wished you could afford them. Others, even knowing you couldn't buy, would take time to show you the little special details that made their items so great. Landscape Magic from Texas, WONDERFUL. Cindy of Miniature Luxeries in Georgia, WONDERFUL.
I finally got to meet Nancy Cronin and Anna Hardman, two wonderful dollmakers. I had the luxery of attending workshops from both of them. With Anna, I learned how to sew using a machine (without the fabric getting eaten) along with hand sewing (not my forte') and from Nancy I learned how to use a wonderful glue product (got to find some) and how to make nylons!
By the time I arrived home early in the morning on Monday, I was exhausted. I still haven't gotten completely rested up, and my little miniature purchases are still waiting for me to go through them, sorting and recording as I go. Probably 95% of my purchases were supplies, so I need to keep an accurate accounting of what I purchased.
I was able to meet several members of The Camp, an online miniature group, including our beloved DM (Den Mother). Another highlight was meeting Alice Zinn. Oh, the stories she can tell. The one dark spot was that I was unable to meet Dana Burton of MiniatureArt, the owner of another online group, MiniDollList. She is a wonderful person and has helped me so much in the realm of miniature dolls. But, alas, our meeting wasn't to be.
Well, I guess I better run for now. Lots of work to do and minis/dolls to make. And sometime, I have got to figure out how to create a website to showcase my dolls AND a database so I can stop recording purchases by hand and embed pictures with the information so everything is at my fingertips.
Finally finished! Well, she's not the greatest in the world, but she's my contribution/donation to the National Miniature Trust Museum. It was an honor just to be chosen to create a doll with a toy to be donated to this great museum.
Her name is Cammi, she would be 4" tall if standing (that's right, 4"). She is resting against some barrels as she has been playing with her hoop and stick, a popular toy in the late 1800's/early 1900's and needs a break. Cheap and easy to come by, children -especially those from poorer or lower middle class families- had a toy that could keep them entertained for hours.
Some where made from wooden barrel bands (like this example) and some were metal (possibly from different types of barrels). Girls and boys alike played with these.
Cammi represents a child from a western "boomtown" family where her father is a metalsmith. Her father must be doing okay money-wise as she is dressed fairly well with lace accents on her petticoat, the skirt of her dress, and around the hem of her pinafore though she is currently barefooted!
The doll was fairly hard for me to costume as I had never worked with this tiny of a doll before. My ladies are 5-1/2" to around 5-3/4", a big difference from this little 4" girl. She also represents my first paint job (horrible), the first time I altered a pattern, and except for a corset, my first original design straight from my mind and not a kit!
I hope the docents at the museum like her and that the patrons do too.
I must be the only doll maker in my entire area! What a bummer. Talk about feeling down.
Spent the afternoon calling all over the place widening out to over 100 miles from home. No luck. No person I could find making dolls. Now, I'm a miniaturist dressing 1/12th scale dolls. However, I didn't just constrict my search to that small niche. No. I was looking for anyone making porcelain dolls of any size. Who knows, maybe I'll want to make a larger doll (I do) while still concentrating on my small ones (definitely).
No person. No place. Even the local ceramic supplier is considering not restocking his porcelain doll making slip because there are no customers! Now, are there no customers because the people out there making dolls are doing it by internet, or are there no customers because there are no dollmakers?
Okay, if the answer is that there are no dollmakers, is it because there are no customers? We're taking two large metropolitan cities here with a large population in the surrounding smaller towns. So no customers, no dollmakers? Or did all the dollmakers either pass away, moved away, or just had to give up the dolls for age or health reasons?
Could it be that the lack of local suppliers contributed to the dirth of porcelain dollmakers? One fabric store - Hancock Fabrics - in one town, JoAnnes in the other. Neither exactly your choice for fabric/notion purchases. I couldn't even find silk thread around here. Have to order over the internet. Same for silks and fine cotton. What I can't get by cutting up second hand clothing, I have to order over the internet.
So, you say; "What's the problem?" It's on the internet so get it there. Well, have you ever tried to order LARGE porcelain doll parts? EXPENSIVE! The shipping eats you alive. Even with smaller pieces, the shipping has gotten to be enormous (thanks to the USPS). And don't you like to see, feel, smell what you are buying?
I love my on-line vendors. I have found a small, wonderful group of people who are more than willing to help me find exactly what I need. And if they don't carry it, they suggest someone who does! But, it would be nice to have some local place to at least get the porcelain parts I need. Just a gripe!