Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More work on my faces

I worked a bit more on my faces and wanted to share the outcome.  I like that by posting pictures, I have a concrete way to see progress.  It is easy to forget what you did and when you did it, so this really helps me stay on top of my goals.  I am really liking this particular piece, even if it is just for practice.  I can see several places that need changes and  I still need to do the detail work on each face, but I am holding off until I get all 5 faces with the initial layers.  Once that is done, I plan to work on each face individually to add the finishing touches and then to work on the piece as a whole to unify it and make it all work together.

I am also still working on my dark-skinned face, but I am in the stage where I have to look at it for a while to decide what I do like and what still needs to be done.  I hate that I have to think so much when I paint, but that is how I am so I'll just go with it.

I am also in the mood to make more art dolls with paper clay now that I am taking the pottery class.  I really like the feel of making something with my hands--taking a lump and turning it into something else.

I am still working on the portrait of my dog, Satchmo, also.  I will show you my progress soon!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I found another wonderful artist I'd like to share with you

I was surfing the net, as is my custom, late last evening and I came across the most wonderful art dolls.  I am truly in love.  These little babies are so cute and full of innocence.  Just looking at them makes you smile.
This artist, Gina Gabriel, has a shop in Dublin, CA called Tangerine where she sells her beautiful wares as well as a collection of other artists beautiful things. 

I found her on a website called ElevenMorning, but then moved to her blogs and her Etsy site to see all the wonderous things there.  Here are just a few of the Art Dolls that you will see when you visit her site:

Aren't these just too cute and don't you just smile to yourself when you see them?  I hope you will visit her and let her know that I sent you, won't you?

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Some new work started!

I had my pottery class this week and I have to say that I am getting better.  I actually pulled two pieces without any help and I even like them.  I also got to clean up and sand my other pieces to prepare them for glazing next week.  You should have seen me when I left there.  I was absolutely covered in clay.  I don't know if I am the messiest potter in the world, or if that simply is how you do it.

I also worked on another of my faces that I am doing for practice, and I like it quite a bit.  I am trying to get five faces started, then I will go back and rework each separately to add detail and definition.  I am trying to figure out what to do with the background, too, since I did not paint it first.  Oh, well.  Live and learn is fast becoming my motto.

Here are two more pictures I am starting.  The first will be another pastel of poppies.  It is very small and will have a diffuse and mottled background with only these flowers in the foreground having definition.  The second is a picture of my dog, Satchmo.  I found a great video on YouTube so I thought I would try her way of painting a pet portrait.


Here's the video:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Twisted Dolls - Creepy Little Sweeties (play at your own risk)

Here is a really great blog entry that describes why these types of art dolls are so popular.  We have always liked gross and scary--why else do scary movies make so much money? I found this post on the blog, HandMadeNews.  I enjoyed reading it and I hope you will, too.  The pictures are great and I even recognized the artists!  Be sure to check out the links to the various artists' sites for even more wonderful art dolls.

March 22, 2010 | By


Twisted Dolls - Play at your
own RISK!

The trend of dolls made to
reflect their owner'sinner child
may not be a new one. Handmade
dollswith that idea in mind have
been seen on the marketfor some
time now. However, the people
makingand purchasing horror dolls have inner children
with teeth and that is a totally, different story.
These dolls are truly like no other. They are
influenced by horror movies, books, music,
twisted childhoods, imaginary friends bad dreams
and so forth. One of the originators of this trend could be
said to be,The Living Dead Dolls. They were originally
handmade in 1998 and are now produced and available in
mainstream venues. Some handmade kittykatsue.jpghorror dollmakers
distance themselves from these
origins through theoriginal concepts
surrounding their dolls, as well as,
the distinction of being, "art dolls". 
Art dolls are typically just as their
name implies pieces of art. They are
individual in concept, execution and
display. These dolls are not toys.
They are expressions of ideas and
imagerythat speaks to their creators
and to those that purchase them. There are other differences
between horror art dolls and other art dolls.  These dolls embody
such things as sideshow freaks, horror victims and monsters,
disfigured children and adults.  They are truly some of the terrors
of humanity.  So you ask, why would anyone want a doll the
likes of these?  The resurgence of Victorian styles is a huge
trend that crosses over into a million others. Including
this one.  The Victorians had a real need to see and collect
oddities. There is also the in growing interest in places such as the
Mutter Museum, which is full of medical examples of naturally
occurring strangeness.  Another area of growing interest is the
history of carnivals and freak shows.    Add all of these things together
and you have all the reason you need for horror art dolls to have all the
adoring fans they're makers can handle.

These dolls are made from everything
you can imagine! You do not
have to be a traditional doll maker to
DLMarian.jpgenjoy this trend!

For example
Polymer Clay - missmillificent 
Recovered/Recycled Dolls -
Assemblage Art - readbetweenlines
Resin - Creepydolls

For generations dolls and sweet little girls have been like peanut
butter and banana sandwiches and bacon. They just to go together.
Well, just like little girls, dolls have changed. They aren't cute and
sweet anymore. There are little girls with skull hair bows and
black nail polish and there are dollies with stitches in their faces
and mix matched eyeballs. They are both creepy and neither
would look out of place in a cemetery. That being said, I for one
am glad to see them! Of course, I'm not the only one. This trend
has dug in its claws and won't let go no matter how much we
scream! (Scream for more that is!)


IMAGES in order of appearance
Ghost Doll Porcelain Repaint Gothic Horror by kittykatsue
Warrior Gothic Dead OOAK Horror Prop Doll Dark Art by DLMarian
Unique OOAK Hand Stitched Rag Doll Original 
Creepy Gothic Folk Art By Jodi Cain/ TatteredRags
Octowoman by mealymonster

LINKS to the world of unique art dolls
Gail Lackey
Strange Moonart 
Demon Kids
INFLUENCES for your consideration
Jon Beinart
Morbid Anatomy 
The Human Marvels
Underbunny flickr
The Quay Brothers
Natural History Museum

Xane Dravor Likes the darker side of crafting. If it is dark, full of teeth and covered in stuff best left to nightmares, she might have it on her shelf somewhere. Sculpture and paintings being her primary mediums. Come by and see what we mean at - House Morbid Ltd
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cardboard Stampede Or: How to make a cardboard horse.

I haven't been much in the mood for anything these last few days.  Probably because I injured my knee at work this weekend, but maybe not. 

Anyway, since I have nothing new to show you, I thought I would post a really cute idea I found.  Actually, this really appeals to me and I am not much of a horse lover. 

I think this would be a lively craft to do with young children over a long time period.  You could truly get inspired as you went along.

So, without further ado, I will leave you with this lovely tutorial I found and I hope you try it!

In 2006 I started making cardboard horses. They were a self imposed assignment, a daily creative task intended to motivate and loosen me up, little experiments, paralysis prevention. My plan was to make a cardboard horse everyday, Monday through Friday until I had 100. I did and exhibited the group at Tinlark in Los Angeles  in 2007. I’ve made 3 patterns, two adults and a colt, to share and I hope you make a cardboard horse or two or three or maybe a little family or maybe your own stampede!
What you will need:
cardboard- you can use any kind – I think a medium weight is good, I’m using cardboard from a gift box.
manicure scissors
hammer and one nail
thin wire
paint and brushes, glue, paper, fabric, lace etc. – whatever you like, whatever you’ve got.
First download and print the patterns, cut out the pieces and trace them  onto your cardboard.  I like to use a pair of manicure scissors for the difficult small bits – corners etc. I included an optional tail and mane in the pattern.  I’m foregoing those for this horse and will add a tail and mane of antique lace.
(Click the images for a larger view)

You can finish your horse with collage or fabric or pencil  – the possibilities are endless – but if you choose to paint  then paint both sides to prevent curling. I’m using latex paint for the base, adding some dapples from my water color box and some splatters of ink, you can use a stiff paint brush or old tooth brush. I used a fine sharpie pen to draw on a very simple  eye and mouth.

Next I’m adding the antique lace mane and tail using a glue stick ( or elmer’s glue if you prefer).
Once that is dry we’re ready to assemble.

Arrange the legs with the body sandwiched between and use the nail to make a hole through all three layers. You’ll need to put a piece of wood or heavy cardboard underneath to protect the surface you’re working on. Thread the wire through the button holes and then pass both strands through the legs and body. Thread both wires through a small button on the back,  pull it tight  and twist to secure and trim the extra wire with pliers. Add  another piece of wire for hanging by twisting it around the buttons. I like to give all my horses a name, this is Sebald, horse #101.

I’ve hung sebald amongst the snowflakes with horse #71 winston.
You can share your horses here if you like:
I’d love to see!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Missed my pottery class!

I actually missed my class this week.  I didn't forget about it, I simply missed it.  I had so much company from out of town-my neice and my grandsons, that I was just too tired to go.  I feel bad, but I also think I needed the rest. 

I did go to another movie this week and this time I saw "Shutter Island".  I had read the book, so the movie was a little anti-climactic.
Since I already knew the story line, I simply enjoyed the scenes.

Everybody keeps saying how they felt that this movie finally "got it right" in presenting the mentally ill, but I don't agree.  I know that in the '50s there was not much in the way of mental health treatment to be found, but I certainly don't think that patients were sent off to live on an island because of their illness.

My sister said last night that we certainly have been seeing alot of movies lately and I have to say she is right.  We have.  I don't know why, but it seems to be the thing to do right now.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My neice was here visiting and I gave her my face painting!

My neice, Molly, was here from Oklahoma to visit her mom and I.  She is a dear young woman and I love her very much.  While she was here, she helped me so much that I wanted to give her a present.  So I asked her what she wanted and she asked for my little face painting I made in my online class. 

So now my painting will be displayed at her home and I know she will be well loved and well cared for there.

In case you don't remember, here she is:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Here is a post I found on The Polka Dot Pixie and thought it was a perfect repost for Easter.  So, here it is complete with instructions and pictures to make the cutest little chick.  Make several and give them to your kids, your neighbor's kids, your grandkids, whatever.  Maybe just make some for yourself.  This is so cute!

Please visit The Polka Dot Pixie blog, too, because there are really great posts to be found there!
Happy Crafting!  Happy Easter!


  In case anyone wanted to sculpt their own little party chick ... here is the way I made him. To begin, you will need paper clay, sculpting tools, water, a small flat paintbrush and a Styrofoam egg and ball, paper tape and 20 gauge floral wire.
Begin by twisting and shaping wire into bird feet and legs. Cover with paper tape.

Soak Styrofoam egg in water and then cover with paper clay, smoothing and shaping with your hands and paintbrush. Insert legs into bottom of egg, and pose in any fashion you choose. Indent Styrofoam ball with smooth barreled paint brush handle or a smooth barreled pencil. Shape Styrofoam to create a head shape.
Soak Styrofoam head in water and cover with paper clay forming a smooth surface with hands and brush.
To create the face, form two small balls and 2 small cone shapes. Flatten balls in to "puffy pancakes" and attach to head, one on each side, to create cheeks.
Attach cone shapes to create beak. Smooth face with paintbrush and water. Shape beak with sculpting tools and paintbrush to create a smile.
Using paper clay, create a small barrel shaped neck to attach head to body. Smooth with paintbrush and water.

Adding a wire here also adds extra strength to your piece. You can tilt the head to the side to add some personality.

Shape wings and attach to chick body with paintbrush and water.

I didn't take pics of the painting process, but I recommend that you let the chick dry for a least week before painting. I always gesso paper clay before painting with good quality acrylic paints, and finish the pieces up with a matte acrylic sealer, which is then antiqued with watered down burnt umber paint. After I attached this chick to a hand painted paper mache box, I added just a touch of glass glitter here and there to give him a little sparkle.

I hope you have fun with your creations! If you decide to make one I'd love to see the finished pics!

Here is a link to the original post
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Another face started

Here's the next face in my new picture--my practice picture.  This time I tried to get lighter skin and I wanted her to resemble a flapper from the 1920's.  I have only done the first layer of her face.  She is far from finished just like her sister.  I decided that I would get all five faces started before I would start on any finishing layers.  That way I can try to give them all cohesion and unify them with my choice of napkins to add.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

My second pottery class and a movie!

claude-moore-july2009-56Image by chomiji via Flickr

Well, yesterday I attended the second class of my throwing pottery classes and I have to say that I'm really not too sure that this is my thing.  I can center the clay without any problems.  I can open the clay quite fine.  However--that's where my expertise ends.  I can not for the life of me understand or complete the steps to "pulling" the clay up to form anything!  I tried to make another cylinder (the first class) and only with the help of the instructor did I accomplish it.  I tried to make a bowl (this class) and after several tries ended up with a very questionable, small bowl shape.  I still don't know what to do with any of these things that I have done, either.  I will not give up though.  I really want to "know how to throw clay" even if I cannot do it very well.

During the Paris premiere of Public Enemies in...Maybe the next class I take will be a hand building class.  Who knows?  That I do know how to do.

Now, on to the movie.  My friends--Rebecca, Andy, Dennis, Laura--and my sister all went with me to the IMAX to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D.   I really enjoyed that movie.  It was beautiful and entertaining.  I plan to see it again for sure.  Johnny Depp is great but those enlarged eyes really got to bothering me by then end of the movie.  Afterward, we all went out to eat at a Brazilian restaurant.  We really had a great time.  So, I guess I had a real PLAY DAY for the first time in my whole life!

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