Monday, November 26, 2007

Story Time

A short story about a doll named Emma, she is an antique, and she just turned 100 years old, she is of quite large proportions, nearly 2' 5" tall.

She came to me with a most terrible crack on her head and often complained that it ached! This worried me so till one day I noticed a wee little squint as she gazed into her book.

Ah ha, I know just what is needed! And digging through that old dust covered chest we keep way down in the basement, I found them, a crooked pair of specs, perfect; as one little porcelain ear is higher than the other due to my repair job.

And just as I suspected, was just what she needed.

Well now, Emma starts to read... Uh hem, ok so she really hasn't

learnt to reed jest yit, so play along and bear with her, you wouldn't want to clip her wings now would you?!

Starts to read; Oh, Ounce poupon a mime, and jaber, jaber, jaber, and yap, yap, yak and so on and so forth...

I tell you I could listen to her for hours, and truly, Emma's versions of the stories are vastly more entertaining, even if I can't understand a word she says!

Amb dey libbed appee effer affer! Bee Ehn

Moral of the story; It might just be a cracked old doll, but I love her all the more for it!

Don't forget to down load your Free Holiday Art in the previous post!
And there will be more Whimsical imagery to come!

Friday, November 23, 2007

And Visions of Sugar Plums Danced.....

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the Holidays to come, I would like to show appreciation to all of you and share with you
a Sugar Plum Fairy....

for you to download and use in your Christmas crafts.
Use her to make tags or cards or even sparkly little ornaments!
Anything you like, for personal use. I have several more Christmas images I will be creating to share with you throughout the month of December!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I hope you all are having a Wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cold Snap and a Bowl of Soup!

Last week we had a nice little cold spell, I love it when the cool weather starts moving in.

There is nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a frigid day! I like soup! Tomato soup, potato soup, mushroom soup, chicken noodle soup, tortilla soup, well you get the picture. And here is THE most famous can of soup I know! Andy Warhol's iconic Campbell's soup print! Love it!

And so last week as I opened up my yummy can of mushroom soup for a delicious little lunch, I thought, "Love this can, what can "I" do with it?!"

Then I remembered an old Campbell's soup ad I'd seen! Eureka!

That's it!

Meet "Tom"! Get it! Tom-ato!? Riot!! I dunno maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's funny?!

I know, I know I used a mushroom soup can but I didn't like the name "Mush" or "Shroom"!

He has porcelain parts and I weighted the can to give it some substance.

The neck ruff is antique lace from the early 1900's. His tricorner hat is a snipet of old grey felt wool with the tiniest speckled feather I found while out walking.

Love these old ads, seems like life must have been so simple then.

I like to set up funny little vignettes incorporating items that work with my art piece, it is part of the whole process for me, and then photograph it, I know when I'm very old I will have these pictures and it will bring me pleasure, remembering the whole thing. I guess I really am easily entertained, but I do enjoy it!

I want to share with you a recipe that has been in my family for generations.
Heavenly Potato Soup
6 medium potatos
1 pint heavy cream
1 small white onion
3 green onions
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
4 shredded carrots
3 tblsp butter
1 small container sour cream
3 cups water
salt and pepper
Bake potatoes 1 1/2 hours at 400 degrees. Set aside to cool. In a large pot, saute onions and carrots in butter. Scoop out potatoes into pot, add water, cream, sour cream, milk and celery soup. Boil till all is heated, then with fork, mash the lumps of potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. And just before serving, add the cheddar till it melts. Cooking time 1 1/2 hours.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Decking the Halls!

Since Thanksgiving is fast coming upon us I wanted to do a bit of Holiday snazzing up. The first thing on my list of to do's is change outfits on my dress form. I've been collecting antique clothes since I was a teenager and my grandmother gave me some of her outfits from her teenage years, I was hooked! My favorite time period is certainly the 1700's, a very decadent time indeed, although articles of clothing from then are very hard to find, not to mention costly and are usually snapped up by museums, I have come across a piece or two. I've found that smaller fabric remnants and passementerie of that period are a bit easier to come by and a little less expensive. One of my favorite ways to spend a Friday night is to curl up and watch Marie Antoinette movies and eat cupcakes!

And so on to the task at hand, I removed the floral house dress and replaced it with the most delicate egg shell toned silk blouse, I'd say circa 1870's or so, I think this piece might actually be a corset cover, the lace is so fine, it is thinner than a sheet of paper and looks much like a spider's web, I'm amazed it has lasted so long. It has the palest blush colored ruching at the waist. And soft robin's egg blue ruffles on the front.

Fastened beneath an iridescent lilac colored skirt (if you look at it in one direction it looks like it is pale mint green) is an old horsehair bustle, seems kind of funny to me that a woman of ANY time period would WANT to accentuate that area! Go figure?!

To create lots of drama I pinned just about every millinery flower in my collection into the form of a cascading sash running all the way down to the side.

A deep indigo blue wide velvet belt cinches up the waist.

And pinned at the hip is a pair of antique spectacles hung from a silver chain.

Draped at the neck are several strands of faux pearls I found at a thrift store for $1.00!

I piled on a few more necklaces for added glamour. In this case more is more!

And to top it all off I clipped a grape cluster brooch laden with paste stones in the middle of it all.

Sitting at the top like a Christmas tree angel is another wire crown, only this one is encrusted with gold leaf and embellished with tiny crepe paper flowers. All the details and instructions to create this piece can be found in my newest book Fanciful Paper Flowers.

And THIS crown is just the right size to fit upon OUR heads, picture yourself pushing a grocery basket down the aisle of the local market!

Well, it is the HOLIDAYS!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Teeny Tiny Royal Crowns!

I thought that with the Holidays approaching fast there might be the need to fancy up a few things, you know for guests and such. And what better way to dress up for the festivities is there than donning a crown?! I started making these when I was a kid, I would draw a face on the end of my finger and plop a glitter crown on it and "King Rupert" would rule over my whole doll Kingdom! (Hmmm, maybe I should not have told you that!) Oh, well think what you will! Here is a brief tutorial to create teeny little crowns for any one that might need one!
Using craft wire and needle nose pliers bend a 6 inch length of wire into a tiara or crown shape, twisting the ends together.

Don't worry if the ends look messy because they will get covered up any way.

Dip crown into a thick decoupage medium, ( I used Mod Podge) coat throughly.

Then either sprinkle glitter on,

or dip in a pile or bowl of glitter.

Make sure to let them dry throughly. You can further embellish them with tiny rhinestones.

Try different colors and textures of glitter from fine to coarse.

They look cute on just about any thing!

A few years ago I made up a bunch and used them as fancy little place card holders at a dinner party I threw and then let each guest take theirs home with them! They were a big hit!

They would even be cute with little ribbons tied to them and hung up on the Christmas tree!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

La Cage *Bird Cage Couture

A quick note to say, sorry about the image viewing problem! I believe it has been corrected, but in the process all of your beautiful comments have been lost! :( Thank you to everyone who stopped by, your kind words mean so much!

Again, Thanks for stopping by, and being on this blogging adventure with me! I thought I would put up the actual rubber stamp image I created for Stampington & Company that sparked the doll in the first place!

Bird Cage Couture

This is the first doll I've made for sale in almost 10 years! When I got the idea for my first book I was pretty much totally consumed with getting it in print. As a result the only dolls I made was the occasional one for myself. Sharon over at American Harvest will be carrying these one of a kind dolls and I'm just thrilled to be working with her!

A few details on this doll, sometimes when I create certain pieces I do a sketch and then built on that, but this particular design was a rubber stamp image to begin with! I loved the bird cage idea so much I searched out an antique cage and made the very first one for myself. This doll was cast in papier mache from a reproduction mold of an antique doll, I've mentioned before that these molds tend to be very expensive because you run the risk of damaging the actual antique doll you are creating the mold from. She is 23" tall and about 16" wide quite a substantial piece!

I then paint her delicate features on, and style her hair which is made from curly lambs wool. No detail is overlooked. Practically all the materials used to create her are at least 100 years old. The pale pink ostrich plume came off of an enormous victorian hat, bits of vintage paste jewels and millinery flowers adorn the rim of her barely visible antique tart tin crown.

She even wears the softest smokey grey eye shadow and ruby red lips that give her a come hither look. And the teensyest of crystal earrings dangle from her lobes.

The bodice of her dress is a fantastic bit of passementerie that actually came from what was once a gorgeous French ball gown circa 1870's! I purchased less than a 1/2 yard of it (that's all there was) and have resisted the urge to use even a bit of it until now.

The first flounce of her grand skirt is a vintage bread pudding mold, dusted with touches of baby blue.

Her layered tulle skirt was hand dyed from a very large white wedding gown petty coat.

Tiny little blue velvet flowers are sprinkled all over the entire gown.

The bustle over her ruffles is a small scrap of blue silk. And the vintage bird cage that is her "dress" most probably held lovely little song birds in the 1920's! These cages are getting harder and harder to find!

I used some old curtain trim with the smallest silk tassels to embellish the freshwater pearl ropes that grace the front of her skirt.

And residing beneath her skirt, perched on its very own swing a baby blue bird!

Silk bows with gold trim run up and down the ruffles.

And pasted into the bottom of the cage, to create a delicate little collage, copies of vintage floral wallpaper and a simply stunning print that came from a very rare book circa 1779 "Gallerie Des Modes et Costumes Francais" depicting hair and hat styles of the "haute bourgeoisie"! I have one of a very few engravings still left in existence!

Her "fainting fan", if you look closely you can see it is made from a vintage easter egg dying "spoon", the little copper wire one that came with the kits! It is trimmed out with rouge rose pink, perfectly curled feathers a bit of antique lace and two very small blown glass pearls. Here you can see the detail work of her delicate hands down to the very last nail.

I think I feel a swoon coming on!

Whew! Well I guess thats about it! I was kind of sorry to see her go but I know she will find a good home with someone that will love her.

I like to use my doll like this as a sort of revolving display piece, one week I fill it with beautiful glass perfume bottles and the next week she will have a whole bunch of little porcelain dolls dressed in crepe paper party dresses! There are a few more of these ladies in the works, a rosey pink version and the mellowest of warm yellow, to see them in person just take a little trip on over to American Harvest!