Art Dolls


This young man has been being very difficult, giving me quite the hard time.  He’s on a mission, you see, and doesn’t have time for nonsense.  He’s been summoned by the embassy on a very important task. (He must find Alice, you see.)  I was just getting in his way.

Maurice Lapin is ready to go with his red and black silk smoking jacket underneath his vintage suede overcoat.  He has a buttoned up white shirt and a vintage silk scarf which can be worn around the collar of his jacket or tied around his neck.  His faux leather spats protect his legs and his vintage silk pants as he dashes off on his missions.  He is ready for anything.

He also has goggles he can wear, hung around his neck, or be taken off completely.

This little bunny stands all on his own, but he has a custom stand for added stability.

Time to Go!

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When I received the porcelain doll parts from a friend, who said, “Didn’t you mention that you could find someone who could use these?” (I did say that).  I was going to give/sell them.  But actually, shipping these so they get across the country in one piece is a little cost prohibitive, especially the whole lot at once.

So here I was, looking at this array of body parts, and my artistic self was drawn to the head that had the broken breast piece.

To me, she looked like Arwen, (played by Liv Tyler) from Lord of the Rings trilogy.  So I said to self, ‘How about gluing that one back together and keeping her?’   There just happened to be in the bin of parts, some arms and legs that were of proper proportion for her.  The arms are in the bin because one of the hands had some broken fingers as well, so I couldn’t possibly give or sell those to someone anyway. Could I?

I glued her back together and created a body armature in the same way I create armatures for the dolls that I sculpt myself.

The dress is a variation on patterns originally created by Denisa at molendrix. She has amazing patterns she created for 12 inch dolls, but my porcelain doll is nearly twice that size, so I had to do some work enlarging the pattern to fit.  I used a combination of pattern pieces from the Farewell Dress and the Rose Dress patterns on her site.  Testing the patterns with scrap fabric is a must before cutting into the actual fabric.

And I had the perfect fabric for her costume, a vintage apron that I couldn’t possibly part with.

It was a daphenous polyester voile in a periwinkle and aqua blue abstract floral on one side and a periwinkle crepe satin on the other which I used for the outer dress.

I also used a darker turquoise blue silky polyester lining on the floral dress.

I used this exercise to practice my hand sewing skills so all the costume is sewn by hand, no machine used.

These silky polyester fabrics are sooo hard to work with!

I vow to go back to working on lesser elves who wear common, natural fabrics of cotton and linen!

Each piece is custom tailored to every doll I make.  (On the first picture, you can see where her collar was broken and repaired.)

Next step in the process is doing something with the bald head.  I found a farm in New Hampshire that sells online, Nightingale Fibers.  How could I resist a name like that!  (I live on Nightingale Lane!)  They had a beautiful dark brown dyed Corriedale wool, which probably is not the correct fiber to be using for doll hair, but I’m going to try to make it work.  You will see in the final pics that the hair is not as long as I would have liked since a lot of it combed out in the final process, but it turned out ok.

For the wigging process, I used the tutorial by Adele Po.

Now, I have to work on accessories and shoes because someone asked about shoes.  (Thank you, my dear sister, for that!)

I’m creating my own shoe pattern from her foot and using knowledge I’ve gathered from reading so many tutorials on line that I couldn’t possibly pinpoint any one for how I created these.  I had this little piece of tapestry ribbon that I’ve saved for a quite a while, it was so pretty, I couldn’t throw it out!  (can I say pack rat!)  I was glad to finally find a use for it.  I also used a piece of faux suede and the same lining from her dress.

The process was to create the shoe, the sole and a lining, and put them together.

Then there are the small details like hand embroidery, beading, and this closure made from a pair of silver earrings that I no longer wear.

I love reusing small items like this to repurpose for my doll’s costumes.

So, here is the final result of a couple of weeks work, working on it off and on.

This is an example of the work that goes into costuming an art doll.

 

I really can’t decide which photo I like best.

Arwen is wearing a morning dress as she sits in the courtyard waiting for Aragorn to return.

 

Thank you for reading the process for creating this costume!  Please subscribe to my page to see all my future art work!

Bees are disappearing.  They are falling down dead as they busily go about their very important tasks.

Queen Bee has lost her subjects.  She doesn’t know what has happened to them.  They didn’t come home and those who did were sick and soon died.  Poisoned!  The flowers! The flowers were poisoned!  Who would do such a thing to her loyal subjects!  What is there to be done? Who is the culprit?

Sadness and despair envelopes her as she stands to face the unfortunate future.  She clasps her precious Book of Truth, hoping to gain some strength from it’s weight, but it only gives a false sense of security.  It tells her all she needs to know.  That there is no one to trust any more.

He crown is straight, her eyes look ahead to the future, as her wings slowly flutter.  What will be her fate?

 

Queen Bee was created with many repurposed items.  Her body is created from an old necklace stand.  She has wings fashioned from a child’s laser cut wooden butterfly model.  Her skirt was a chair cover that I have been holding onto for about 15 years, waiting for just the right project to use it on.  Her face is sculpted from paper clay and hand painted with plastic doll eyes.  Her headdress and veil has hand beaded trim.  Her crown is fashioned from a 3-d printed plastic band, painted, and embellished with various rhinestones and flat backed beads.  Her Book of Truth is handcrafted with a casting of a bee in paper clay on the front.

Queen Bee’s wings have a crank which when turned, causes her wings to flutter up and down.  You can see it in action here.

Thank you so much for looking at my work.

 

Find my artist page on Facebook here.

And on Instagram @pewter_periwinkles

We all know the legend of the Great Pumpkin who rises at midnight on Halloween, right?.  So what do the rest of the pumpkins left in the pumpkin patch do?

What if I told you the pumpkins magically come to life, and a great celebration takes place?  There is much singing, dancing and frolicking for the pumpkins who did not get selected for the festivities of All Hallows Eve.

I was fortunate enough to witness this fantastical event for myself.  Hiding on the edge of the field, I waited for the witching hour to arrive.  As the pumpkins rose to their newly acquired feet, they began to sing and make music, and I couldn’t help but let out a tiny chuckle.

To my surprise, Peter, Paul and Merry were close by enough to hear me.  Instead of running in fear, Peter gave me a saucy wink, and I knew all was well.  They told me of how excited they were to be alive, and it was decided that they would come home with me.

I am so delighted to give them a new home where they play their music and sing their songs of the fields and full moons.

Everything was made by me including the clothing and instruments.  The dolls heads, hands, and feet are sculpted from paper clay then hand painted and sealed. Their stems are a combination of pieces of driftwood and sculpting integrating them to the head. The body is polyester batting on a wire armature.  Clothing is made using a combination of new and vintage fabrics.  The instruments are made of wood, paper, and various embellishments.

 

They will be listed soon on my etsy shop.

 

Little Farmer Mouse tends to his herd of dragonflies all day long.  He carefully gathers the milk, bottling it to deliver to his friends.  Dragonfly Milk is a rare drink and only imbibed for special occasions.

 

This little friend is going to his new home in the country so he can continue his work where the dragonflies fly free and create the most exceptional milk!

I enjoyed creating this little character whose little overalls reminded me of the ones my grandfather wore to do his chores, and hence the name, Narcisse.  I usually let the receiver name their little friends, but in this case, I couldn’t resist.

Small stitches and lots of love created his clothing.

There were fitting to be done.

Bottling process was to be had.

After all, he was ready to go to market.

Hope you enjoyed meeting him.

 

Narcisse is a anthropomorphic art doll whose head, hands and boots were sculpted with #CreativePaperClay and his head and hands were hand flocked with faux fur.  He stands about 8″ tall and has a soft body on a wire armature which makes him semi-poseable.  His clothing was hand sewed by me.  His basket is created by me from chipboard and the milk bottles were purchased from D. Lawless Hardware (they have more than just knobs), and hand painted by me.

 

Now that this little guy has been safely delivered to his new home, I can share him with you.

I’ve been influenced by the holiday season and created my version of the Rat King from the Nutcracker.  Except he is more of a mouse than a rat, but who is quibbling about rodents?  Serious Sir Simon has a smirk on his face, not taking his role too seriously, standing straight at attention to respond to your requests.

I tried a new to me technique for creating this bespoke art doll and I really liked it.  I still wanted a doll that was somewhat posable, but I didn’t want the complications (read that as time consuming) of ball joints.  So this little 8 inch guy is made with paper clay head, hands and boots with a wire and batting body. His head is covered with faux fur.  He has limited posing capabilities, but his tail is posable.

He wears a handmade, vintage velvet coat with gold bead buttons, a vintage ribbon sash and shiny boots.

Definitely more of these little guys to come.

Thanks for checking out this little guy!

 

#creativepaperclay

 

This mixed media project started with a curbside find.  Poor outdated little thing!  In the picture, I have started with a coat of artist white gesso on her

How many times might you have looked at one of these 1980’s cast offs in the thrift store?  Well, I thought I might be able to do something to her to give her a lovely make over.  With Christmas coming, I got to work.  I did a cut out on my scroll saw to accommodate a miniature frame, creating a shadow box effect for a Tim Holtz Idea-ology Birdcage.   I used a mixture of Delta Ceramcoat navy and Gleams 14k gold acrylic paint to create my own version of a colored metallic paint for the base color which created a shimmery teal color which made me happy.

Today, after a mixed media application of a sculptured head that I wasn’t completely happy with,  a variety of materials; Creative Paper Clay used in an Iron Orchid Design casting (on the head piece) and vintage buttons castings, several Artminds laser cut wood scrolls from Michaels, beads, microbeads, rhinestones, a Vintaj brass bird whispering in her ear, and bits from my collection of cast offs, with metallic gold highlighting and Thicketworks DIY rust paste, I’d say she was looking a lot better.

Isn’t that rust paste gorgeous?

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key

Eagles-Already Gone

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