Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cool-Aberration 2009 - Starting Dolls & Journals

All nine dolls in the collaboration have been mailed now! I blogged about my doll start and journal in the last post. Now I'll show you the other eight doll starts and journals, two per post.

This is Sani by Yvonne in Texas. This is the first doll I'll be working on in the collaboration.

And here's Sani's travel journal and Yvonne's starting entry.

And this is Shudayra by MA in Ontario, Canada. I won't be meeting Shudayra in person until very near the end of the yearlong project.

And Shudayra's travel journal with MA's starting entry:

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Exciting news (to me, anyway)! I've organized a new art doll collaboration - Art Doll Cool-Aberration 2009. This go, there are 9 players, 7 located in the US and 2 in Canada. Each of us will send out a doll start and an art journal to be worked on by each player in 6 week intervals.

Here's my doll start, Bravura Personified:

Bravura is a raw paper mache upper body that fits like a cork into a purchased glass vase. She's a little less than 15 inches tall including the vase. Inside the vase, I've placed tiny handmade dolls, one for each player that Bravura visits:

And here's Bravura's travel journal with my starting entries:

The pages in my journal are only about 2 1/2 inches wide by a little over 5 inches tall. We could name our doll, and we were each allowed to use one quote or 10 of our own words (maximum) to hint at a theme for our doll. I chose the quote, "The woman who makes free use of her attractiveness remains a disquieting type."

All dolls must be in the mail by tomorrow. I've already mailed mine to Barb in NY. I can't wait to see what my fellow collaborators make of Bravura!

I'll post pics of all the other eight doll starts as soon as I have all the pics. And, of course, you'll be hearing about each doll as it comes my way. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Another Swapped Fortune Doll

I made this fortune doll for MA. She's the pal that made me the cool wee journal I blogged about a while back. MA is another multi-talented gal and a steadfast blogger. Be sure to check out her blog.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Art Dool Cool-Aberration 2008 - Gatta

This is Gatta, started by Em in WA, as she appeared at the start of her great journey.

I was the 4th player to work on Gatta. Here's what she looked like when she reached me:

I added the sunshine halo, lots of necklaces, a button bodice, and a dress made from a copper pot scrubber pad.

After me, Gatta visited two more players and headed home to Em looking like this:

And here are the pages I added to Gatta's journal:

I had fun with this journal. The sunset is made out of layered tissue paper and the flowers page is fabric I made by sandwiching fibers and stuff between Wonder Under (or something like it).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Swapped Fortune Doll

This here's the fortune doll I sent to my pal, Yvonne. She sent me one of her sage smudge sticks, remember? Yvonne likes Native American things, so I tried to make hers with a Native American feel to it. The braid is real horse hair from my horse.
Yvonne does all kinds of crafts and art - dolls, journals, fabric paper... - and she's documenting it on her new blog.

Fortune Doll

Here's another fortune doll. I call this one "Dressed to Kill" because to me she looks like she's all dressed up for an evening out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Goodies in the Mail!

I received this teeny, tiny birch bark basket from my pal, Barb, today. I just love it. It's so tiny and perfect. She also sent me the itty bitty pine cones, some hazelnut seed pods, a tiny shell, and the Western Blue Jay feather. (I provided the quarter. :) ) You can see more of Barb's tiny exquisite baskets on her website, along with her art dolls and bobbin lace creations. A very talented lady, she is. Thanks, Barb!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fortune Doll

I've been making more little fortune dolls lately. Here's one I just finished up. She's holding a little jug which is a young Magnolia tree seed pod that I coated in shellac. Her hat is made from the stem of a butternut squash.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Molding Craft Foam Bonnets

I forgot to post the link for instructions on molding craft foam, but luckily I was reminded in a comment (thanks, Melissa). Unluckily, it ain't online anymore. So I'll describe the process as best I can remember here:
1. Find a bowl about the size of the head you're making a bonnet for. Place the bowl upside down on your table.
2. Cut a round piece of craft foam that is large enough to cover the bowl and fan out onto the table a bit (enough to make your bonnet brim).
3. Cut two round pieces of fabric with a diameter about 1/4 inch larger than the craft foam piece.
4. Sandwich the foam piece between the fabric pieces with right sides out and zigzag around the perimeter. It's okay if you sew thru the foam, too.
5. Now do some sewing all over the fabric/foam sandwich so the foam doesn't slip around inside the fabric. You can do decorative sewing or whatever, as much as you like.
6. Preheat your oven for low heat (I think it was 200 F).
7. Place your fabric/foam piece in the oven for 2 - 3 minutes. (Try 2 minutes first. If it's not warm enough to mold, you can try again with a longer heat time.
8. HERE YOU MUST WORK QUICKLY (the foam cools quickly). Place the fabric/foam piece over the bowl and mold it around the bowl with your hands. Hold it in place until it's cooled.
9. Your piece is now molded to roughly the shape of the bowl - bonnet shaped. Good news - if it didn't turn out quite right, you can reheat the piece and try again.
10. Further embellish the bonnet with beads, fibers, ribbon, whatever. Add chin ties. If the fit is a bit large, you can gather it in a bit with heavy thread.

Hopefully this will help for now. If I get around to doing a tutorial with pics, I'll post it on the new Decidedly Differnt Dolls (3D) Blog.
Here's another bonnet I made for a round robin doll.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tiny Bonnet

I was experimenting with molding fabric covered craft foam a while back and ended up with this tiny bonnet.

Really boring pic, huh? So, I needed a model. But this was back before I started making art dolls. So I had to enlist one of my babies as model...

Ta da! Perfect fit! That's Marcella who passed away awhile back. She was such a sweet turkey hen. She used to sit on the back steps with me and the dogs and cats. She didn't speak to me for awhile after the photo shoot, tho', 'cause she was quite the tomboy. Well, except for when she was laying eggs. Then she was following Baby Louanne everywhere, trying to get her to be her mate.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Sometimes you just gotta post a pic of your babies. This is my American Bulldog, Paisleyanne (also known as Baby LouAnne, Big Baby, Babydoll...) and Ms. Tibbals. Baby LouAnne is the sweetest, most tolerant dog in the universe. Ms. Tibbals is a bitch from hell, but she likes dogs.

These are just 2 of my 4 dogs and 4 cats. I also have a horse, a goat, and a bunch of chickens.

Art Doll Cool-Aberration 2008 - Colette

Here's another collaboration doll from Art Doll Cool-Aberration 2008. This is Gloria's doll, Colette, and she began her journey in New Jersey looking like this.I was the second player to get Colette and I had a ball with her. Susan in VA had already embroidered her wonderful face and added her arms and very cool hand beads. As I got to know Colette, I discovered that her ancestry included rainbow beetles and fireflies, and her namesake, great-great-grandmother Colette, was a gypsy moth. (Colette was a big wine drinker, tho', so I can't vouch for all her stories... :) )Colette left me donned in gypsy attire and sporting her new appendage - a firefly bug butt!

After leaving me, Colette flew off to visit 3 more collaborators and went home to NJ looking like this.

Here're the pages I added to Colette's journal.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


So I have an old, decrepit riding mower that my ex pretty much demolished back in the late 90s mowing our horse pastures. I managed to keep it going for a number of years, but now it's dead more often than not. And anyways I can't use it right now with my shoulder injury 'cause it's real hard to steer. So I haven't mowed my "lawn" this year and the weeds have gone wild. As in wildflowers! I've been out picking bouquets!

Guess what these beautiful flower buds are.They're onion grass buds! I think they're so cool and, so far, the ones I'm drying upside down are holding their color.

And these are some cute pink wildflowers that remind me of pink lavender. (That purple bunch is lavender.) Unfortunately, I don't think they're gonna hold their petals as dried flowers, but I've really enjoyed admiring them as they dry and will continue to do so till all the pink falls off.

Who needs boring old grass when you can have wildflowers? The birds love it, the bunnies love it, the dogs love it (for searching out the bunnies and field mice), and I love it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


This is a fabric-wrapped critter that I made in quick time, but I love the way it turned out. I started out planning to make a caterpillar, but my little woolly worm turned out a bit chubby in the gut and kindof pointy at the ends. Then I saw that my little many-legged worm was determined to be a seahorse. Which is pretty cool, 'cause I love seahorses and I really don't care for caterpillars too much - too many legs. Ick.

So anyway, this tiny stallion is just a piece of fattish coated wire wrapped in a bit of batting and then fabric strips. Then wrapped with embroidery thread and wire and embellished with straight pins, beads, and jewelry findings. He's about 4 1/2 inches tall.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Art Doll Cool-Aberration 2008 - Eloise

Last June I started an art doll collaboration which, thru a spelling error, became known as Art Doll Cool-Aberration 2008. I just completed work on my final doll in the round robin, Eloise. Eloise is Kris' doll and began her life in England. Here's what she looked like when she began her journey last year. And here's what she looks like now after visiting 7 more doll artists.

Pretty cool, huh? She was pretty loaded by the time she got to me, her last stop. I slipped boobies into her bikini top and added tiny paper mache feet clad in lime green ballet slippers so she can dance with the gods!
We all sent travel journals along with our dolls. These are my contributions to Eloise's journal.

It's been so much fun working on these collaboration dolls and journals. And even though we did end up with a few flakes in the project, we had enough dedicated and talented gals to do the dolls justice. I'll show more of the dolls as they complete their journeys. Can't wait to get my doll, Dave, back!