I’ve been holding onto my Peter Pan and Tinkerbell dolls for a while now, but I think it’s finally time to introduce them to the world! Making dolls inspired by Peter Pan has been a project that’s very close to my heart – I devoured this book almost weekly at a certain age – and one that I hadn’t wanted to undertake until I was sure that I could get them right. After many, many sketches, and a lot of practice with Paperclay, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell were finally born.
It was a girl called Tinkerbell, exquisitely gowned in a skeleton leaf…
Tinkerbell is made in the style of my jointed Paperclay miniature dolls, but at six inches tall is a little bit bigger. I wanted Tinkerbell to be pretty (she’s described as terribly vain!) while still retaining some of the rough, gnomish character of traditional English folktales about pixies and sprites. Tinkerbell is skinny with a pointed nose and chin, and her long feet and hands are proportionately very large for her body. She has windswept strawberry blonde mohair curls, and two large butterfly fairy wings.
Tinkerbell wears an “exquisite” fairy gown of leaves and magic and mist. Fabric leaves cover a bodice and skirt of hand-dyed silk and sparkling tulle. Pearl seed bead “dew drops” form a line of tiny buttons on her bodice and are sprinkled over her skirt. A belt of golden thread and red berries pulls her dress together.
Both Tinkerbell and Peter Pan will be available in my Etsy shop on Tuesday the 16th, but feel free to reach out with any questions about reserve, layaway, and pricing.
I absolutely love making these jointed miniature art dolls, because they’re so tiny I can sculpt several of them in an afternoon! The sculpting stage is a great rainy afternoon project for when I feel like getting out my Paperclay.
I spent a few afternoons this past week sculpting, painting, and dressing two new little dolls, Sprout and Peony. I’d been wanting to make a fairy this size for some time, and so I had a lot of fun with Sprout! She has tiny antennae made from curls of wire, and I used the top wings of small plastic butterfly to give her translucent fairy wings.
Her little green cap is topped by a leaf charm I’d had laying around for a long time, just waiting for the right project. I imagine Sprout living hidden in someone’s garden, happily chatting with bumblebees and working away in the flower beds!
Peony, on the other hand, is a refined lady who kept telling me how she couldn’t wait to move into someone’s Victorian dollhouse.
I’d held onto the scraps of floral cotton that I used for her bodice for years, after dismantling on older doll dress that was coming apart at the seams. I’d never before had a project small enough for the tiny pieces that were left, so I was very excited to be able to use them for Peony! A tiny bit of gathered lace was perfect for Peony’s skirt, and I topped off her dress with two tiny seed bead buttons.
Peony takes her name from the two huge flowers in her hair – I tried giving her just one, but she demanded a flower for each side!
Peony is already hosting tea parties and baking tiny cupcakes in her new home, but Sprout is available in my Etsy shop.
I’ve always been fascinated by miniatures. As a child, I read Mary Norton’s “The Borrowers” series over and over again, and kept a huge bookcase “doll house” of miniature rooms that I had designed and mostly handmade myself. Recently, I got the itch to start creating miniatures again!
I looked through some of my old things, and ended up finding enough of my old miniatures to create a little fairy’s tea table and a tiny baker’s cabinet. For the tea table, I sewed a tiny rose-print table cloth, and filled the seat of the miniature chair and decorated the table with natural moss. I used tiny ceramic tea cups and a miniature skeleton key to decorate the table, and sculpted and painted a tiny fairy cake, which I decorated with “sugar” glitter.
My favorite miniature I created for the tea table is a tiny bottle of “dew drops” – a miniature corked glass bottle filled with seed pearls and rhinestones. It’s tag is handwritten and decorated with glitter. I imagine the little fairies sweetening their cups of tea with a drop of dew!
For my little baker’s cabinet, I used a lot of miniature kitchen items that I already had. The cabinet was originally unfinished, and I stained it green with watercolors and sealed it with matte varnish. Scraps of fine white lace decorate the top and middle shelf. I absolutely love all of the teeny tiny dishes, pots, and baking pans! Another miniature skeleton key hangs from the top door, and a few tiny white shells are used for extra soup bowls.
I used clay to sculpt a tiny loaf of bread and platter of cookies. My “loaf” has salt worked into the clay so that it looks more realistic, and each cookie has a sesame seed pressed into the center. Like my bottle of “dew drops,” I created a little container of cinnamon with brown and gold seed beads for my cabinet!
My Green Angels are a project I’ve had sitting in my studio for a long time, but haven’t been able to find the time to finish. Yesterday, I finally had some time to myself, and now here they are! Each rustic Green Angel is created with natural elements. The cloth of their bodies is tea-stained and stuffed in the bottom with natural moss and tea leaves to weight them and give them a faintly spicy scent. Their limbs are created from natural twigs, and jointed with antique buttons.
Each angel wears a rustic key around her neck and a simple dress made from tea stained lace and trims and green wool felt. Delicate butterfly wings sprout from the angels’ backs. I like that, although they are very similar, each angel has her own personality.
The angels will be available in my Etsy shop in just a few days – keep your eye out!
This year, my first request for children’s dolls for Christmas presents came from a mom in Australia who loved my fairy dolls. She asked if I could make little elf or fairy children’s dolls for her two little girls. I loved the idea!
Usually these dolls have some animal features – kitty or bunny ears, a fox tail…. I’ve even done a little squirrel! It was easy to design some big pointy elf ears and some pointed green boots instead!
These sisters loved flowers and playing outdoors – one even has a bug collection! – so the mom asked for natural outfits. The younger sister liked the soft fur of their cat and her soft blanket, so I found some super-soft and silky fleece to make a little jacket for her doll.
The older sister’s doll wears a short-sleeved dress, and the younger’s wears a jumper with big buttons easy for little fingers to manipulate. I wanted the dolls to have fairy wings that wouldn’t always be getting in the way, so I designed each a pair of felt wings with an elastic harness, so that they can be dressed in them or go without.
Right now, the dolls are on the way to Australia, and their new best friends!
Even though the deadline for international orders for Christmas has passed, this is the last week to place orders within the US and receive them in time for a Christmas surprise!