Flora and Fauna are Finished!

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Putting the final touches on Flora and Fauna

This past week I added the final touches to Flora and Fauna, my first all-Paperclay art dolls. These sisters were so much fun to make, and I learned a lot through sculpting them that will help me with future dolls!

Flora and Fauna are sisters born from the forest. Flora loves the forest best in the spring, when she can gather wildflowers and herbs beneath the green boughs, while Fauna haunts the misty winter paths, listening to the secrets of the trees and the hush of the snow.

Each doll is about 14 inches tall and jointed at the shoulders and hips. They both come with a removable cloak and a tiny basket of treasures.

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Flora

 

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Fauna

Flora has loose, wild brown curls and wears a miniature flower crown. Her Victorian-inspired dress is hand-stitched from materials including tea-stained linen, warm beige silk lace, green satin and velvet ribbon, and wooden buttons. Her removable plaid cloak is lined with moss green silk and hand-embroidered with tiny vines and purple flowers. The embroidery took me much longer than expected – it required several layers of thread for the vines and flowers to stand out from the plaid background. Flora also wears two tall leather boots, green wool socks, and a tiny key charm on a black ribbon.

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Flora in her flower crown
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Flora’s dress and shoes
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Flora’s hand-embroidered cloak
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Flora’s accessories

Flora carries her little wicker basket to store the items she collects from the forest floor. Inside are two miniature glass vials of moss and seeds, a bundle of herbs, moss, and a tiny hand-stitched napkin with a pattern of purple flowers.

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Flora’s miniature basket

Two little antlers, fuzzed with moss, peek from Fauna’s soft braids. Fauna’s dress was inspired by drawings of Rackham fairies, and is hand-stitched from moss green silk, green velvet ribbon, sparkling seed beads, and engraved metal buttons. Fauna’s warm woolen cloak has been tea stained to give it a weathered look, and is decorated with velvet ribbon and wooden toggle buttons. Underneath her thick gold underskirt, Fauna wears two tiny, pointed, high-heeled leather and fur boots. These were the first boots I’ve ever made with heels!

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Fauna’s antlers

 

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Fauna’s dress
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Fauna in her winter cloak

A partridge charm is wrapped around Fauna’s wrist on gold thread. Her tiny basket contains a miniature hand-stitched napkin patterned with dancing hedgehogs, moss, and two little sculpted and painted bread loaves to feed her hungry forest friends.

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Fauna’s accessories 

Flora and Fauna are now available in my Etsy shop, here. Feel free to message me through WordPress or Etsy with any questions about price, availability, or layaway.

Christmas Dolls 2012

I have the best job in the world.

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!

To order your dolls, visit: www.etsy.com/listing/80646081/custom-personalized-doll-eco-friendly

A New Cloth Art Doll – Sonnet

My Sonnet Art Doll is finished!

Sonnet is a one of a kind cloth art doll for whom I wanted to use a mix of textiles, tea staining, and handstitching. She was built around her dress fabric – muslin printed with lines from Shakespeare’s sonnets. You can view work in progress photos of her and her dress in this previous blog post.

I wanted Sonnet to look romantic and antique – like old letters and love poems. This gave me the idea to tea stain the fabrics used for her cloth body and clothing with a spicy orange tea blend – the scent of old dresser drawers and antiques.

Sonnet wears a layered dress of tea stained fabrics, laces, and ruffle trim. Her dress is also adorned with tea stained ribbons with handwritten lines from Shakespeare’s sonnets. She has leather Victorian style style boots decorated with bits of more lace. Her boots and the back of her dress are studded with antique doll-size buttons. Around her neck, Sonnet wears a replica skeleton key on embroidery floss.

For Sonnet, I also created a very special art doll box for her to travel in, and for her owner to possibly keep other treasures inside. The outside of the box is covered in the same fabric as Sonnet’s dress, and the inside is lined in paper with a skeleton key print.


The top of the box is decorate with an original face sketch I made for Sonnet, and the box ties with more tea stained ribbon with Shakespeare’s sonnets written on it, another replica skeleton key, and a tulle rose.

Sonnet is currently available for purchase. If you would be interested in giving Sonnet a home, please visit her Etsy listing.

Art Doll Work in Progress – Sonnet

When I saw this linen printed with Shakespeare’s sonnets, I knew that I had to have it – and to build a doll around it.

I was imagining something romantic, something with ruffles and old-fashioned lace and skeleton keys. I decided to simply call the doll “Sonnet”, and create her with a theme of secret boxes and old letters and love poems.

First, I tea stained all of the fabric and trims I was using for Sonnet’s body and dress in a big old cast iron pot with a mixture of spicy orange tea. I jointed Sonnet’s body by sewing through her limbs at the joints, and stuffing her more loosely than most of my dolls. I stuffed her body with a handful of more tea leaves, to keep her smelling like tea and cloves.

Sonnet’s face and fingernails were painted with watercolors and artist’s pencils, and I made her hair out of a mixture of silk and alpaca roving – it’s so soft and fine! Right now she wears little peach satin bloomers with a tea-stained rose ruffle while I finish her dress.

Sonnet’s dress is made from the fabric printed with Shakespeare’s sonnets, and is in three layers, with old-fashioned wide lace underneath each layer. Two kinds of lace and a rose ruffle finish each layer, as well as lengths of ribbon which I tea-stained and on which I hand wrote lines from Shakespeare’s sonnets. The dress is gathered to one side, and decorated with more gauzy roses, a paper rose, and more tea-stained ribbon. I can’t wait to see Sonnet in it!

Introducing, the Dormouse!

It’s not easy being the Dormouse.

When you’re the Dormouse, everyone talks over you, and orders you about, and wakes you up from naps. The Dormouse nevertheless wore his best outfit to the Mad Hatter’s tea party – Or was it a garden party? A dinner soiree? – fully expecting to end up stuffed in the teapot again. Still, a mouse – even a mouse who can’t stay awake long enough to remember where he is – must keep up appearances.

Thursday’s Peek at Wonderland – the Mad Hatter’s Accessories

While waiting for my newly-painted Mad Hatter and White Rabbit to dry, I’ve been working on some of their accessories. This week I glittered the White Rabbit’s simple pocket watch (mainly because ever since buying a tube of glitter paint, I haven’t been able to resist glittering everything in sight), and I created the Mad Hatter’s very special pocket watch and hat.

The outside of the Mad Hatter’s pocket watch

The Mad Hatter’s pocket watch was created from an inexpensive locket and chain, and a tiny skeleton key charm. The outside of the locket was painted and glittered, and I applied a tiny red paper heart with a keyhole in the middle to the center of the locket.

Inside the Mad Hatter’s pocket watch

Inside the locket, I applied a paper clock face to one side, and a tiny print of the Red Queen’s palace to the other. I then painted and glittered around the edges, and glued in raised watch hands pointing to 4:00 – tea time! The finished locket will be able to be worn as a necklace by the Mad Hatter’s owner.

The pocket watch is very special to the Mad Hatter – it doubles as a portal into the Red Queen’s palace! Just unlock the watch, open it, and turn the hands to 4:00, and you’re whisked away to the palace!

The Mad Hatter’s hat was sewn from felt and mesh, and has rows of hand-applied beads and two glued on flowers. The traditional “In This Style” label was painted on paper and reinforced with Modge Podge. It’s anchored to the hat with an antique hat pin.

I can’t wait to see the Mad Hatter in his hat – Alice has been trying it out for him, and thinks she may hold on to it until he is ready…

Your Next Glimpse of Wonderland

This week I’ll be sharing a couple of photos of supplies and the beginnings of outfits for my summer Alice in Wonderland project.

For the White Rabbit: Antique white and blue leather baby shoes, and a simple pocket watch. I’ve been saving these shoes for a while now. I absolutely love them, but after buying them I realized they were too large to use on a doll. However, they should be the perfect size for a rabbit!

For an Alice or two: A delicate handmade blue silk and lace dress, handmade cotton dress, and pinafore made of eyelet lace. These are three doll dresses that I made years ago, but have never used on a doll. I can’t wait to see them on an Alice doll!

Next week I’ll be sharing the illustrations of one of my inspirations for the project, and hope to begin cutting out patterns and sewing. Soon I should have some work in progress pictures to show!