Monday, September 26, 2011

Black Tie in a Box

Last time I showed these guys, they didn't have feet. Well, now they do, complete with tiny upholstery thread shoelaces. The shoes themselves are acrylic painted poly clay.

These have come along slowly over the past coupla years. When I first found the skulls, I was amazed at how much they resembled tuxedo clad torsos with hands in pockets. First I made them little paper mache heads on sticks that slide down into their skull torsos. A year or so later, I made the paper mache bow ties. Just recently, I added the shoes and called them done!

I really love these little guys. I love the skull torsos. I love their misshapen little noggins. I love their black & white-ism. So much so that I gave them a special display box to live in. I was hunting for an appropriate glass-fronted box when I came across the perfect one for FREE! It was a Wild Turkey display case that arrived with the Plexiglas broken in shipping. (I work at a liquor store.) I brought it home, painted it, gave it new hardware, had a glass pane cut to fit, and Voila! My Black Tie guys have a home.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Off to Florida!

Nah, not me. Just a coupla dolls I sent to an old school friend who lives in Florida now. We've recently reconnected via email. Who knows, tho - I may have to ship myself down there sometime so we can do some thrift shopping together...

This doll is fabric and fibers wrapped on a stick with a poly clay face. Also some feathers, beading, stitching, skewed acorn boobies, copper wire,,, She's about 7 inches tall.

This is one of the goddess dolls I used to sell at the coffee shop. Fabric wrapped stick, nut head, beads and other metal doodads. I think she's about 7 inches not including her extended arms.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Here's my second mask.

Similar style to the first mask, but with a bird on his head rather than a lizard.Here're some detail shots.

Wish I could get a better shot of his lips. I love the way the painting turned out on them.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Did I scare you?

This is my first paper mache mask.

Coupla detail shots.

And me wearing it - to show size.

I'm working on another.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Awhile ago, I got this great book, Amulets: Sacred Charms of Power and Protection by Sheila Paine. Shortly after getting the book, I made a coupla amulet kind of thingies. Not sure why or what for, but here they are.

Made from fibers and bones and sticks and bells and buttons and leather and feathers and beads of clay, seeds, glass & metal. The top amulet also includes a little fabric arrowhead I made.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Kiss my Hand with a 'Kiss my Ass' Attitude

That's what this queen has. She's my latest creation (and a long time coming, huh?). I'm not a real prolific crafter. :) And my photography skills seem to be gettin' worse instead of better. I HATE taking pics of inanimate objects. Oh well, here she is as best I can do with my limited motivation and even more limited skill in the art of photography.

I was just starting this doll when I read that Art Doll Quarterly magazine's next challenge is Bottle Dolls. So I'll probly mail her off to them as a challenge entry sometime before September. Anyhow, I started with a cruet bottle. I was eyeing it up, thinking the cap would make a good crown, when it came to me that I could also use the bottle as a skirt. From there, of course I started in with the paper mache...

Her crown is filled with tiny dried roses from my garden. Her hair is regular old household string painted, and adorned with decorative tacks.

Her bottle skirt is also filled with my dried rosebuds and petals. I created a bottom ruffle with an upside down glass dish that is painted on the underside and embellished with a string of glass beads.

I did some texturing on her paper mache torso and gave her a collar that resembles leaves or petals. Also a 'clump' of glass beads at her neckline.

Her waist ruffle is paper mache that I molded over the glass dish used as her bottom ruffle, topped off with some tulle home decor trim and a couple dried and shellacked rosebuds.

Small oyster shells made great hands.

The old queen looked kinda lonely, so I made her a fuzzy wool doggy with a tiny macrame and beaded collar, french knot curls on her head and tail, and tiny seashell ears. She's mincing around on a metal 'ribbon' leash.

The queen is about 14 inches tall and her friend, Sir Floof, is only 2 3/4 inches tall. I think I'm gonna title this piece "She Emerged Triumphant From Her Exile (to the Attic)". (Yeah, I know it's long, but I've always loved long titles.) The reference to her attic exile is cos she has a kind of chipped and marred antiquey look to her patina.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nature's Treasures

I spent an hour or so today sorting thru the beautiful shell fragments I collected at the beach this month. Topsail Island, NC has been restoring their beaches which were eroding badly after numerous storms and high seas. They sucked sand out of the canals and pumped it onto the dunes and beaches. In the process, lots of really old shell fragments were dredged up.

I sorted them into 3 piles - gray toned, cream toned, and pinkish. I plan to do some mosaic art with them.

They're just loaded with color, texture, and pattern. And I betcha a coat of clear sealer will really make the colors pop.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I finally got my copy of the Summer 2011 issue of Art Doll Quarterly magazine. Why is that so exciting? Cos two of my tiny dolls were chosen for the Tiny Doll Challenge feature! So, of course, my issue got lost in the mail. And then the replacement issue took it's own sweet time getting here. But, finally, it's here - my first ever published dolls. Alas, published under the wrong name - Gail Vanderbout as opposed to the real me, Gail VandenBout. But, whatever... they's mine!

Here's a scan of 'my' page:

And... my little fortune doll even made the Table of Contents page! Next up, Cover Girl! Hee hee.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Last Art Doll Cool-Aberration 2010 Doll

MA's doll, Aneelaw, is a fabulous art doll. So artsy & unique. Can't believe she's my last doll in the project.

Anneelaw was more or less a bust when I recieved her - just a head and shoulders (?) and one hand. I couldn't resist giving her some little out-of-proportion legs. Once I did that, she looked to me like a Society Lady sitting in an ornate wrought iron chair getting ready to take a bite from a finger sandwich. So then I decided a patio table was in order to complete the illusion.

Her legs are Barbie-type legs that I paper mache-ed over. The ankles were moveable, but the knees weren't, so I had to cut the legs in half and paper mache them to the proper angles for crossing. Her capris are painted turquoise to go with her hat and overcoated with a turquoise glitter nail polish. Her shoes are purple to match her glove.

The base of the patio table is a black metal thingie that once housed a glass votive holder. Something I just had in my stash that worked perfectly with her "chair"! The top is simply a paper mache-ed cardboard cutout with the top layer being a design I downloaded off the internet.

The table looked kinda empty, so I made a bouquet of paper mache and wire flowers and placed them in a painted mini liquor bottle.

And here're my journal pages.

Soon Anneelaw will be on her way home to MA in Canada. Go here to see all the dolls and journals in the Art Doll Cool-Aberration 2010 project.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Onoma is another fun doll - my 5th in the Art Doll Cool-Aberration 2010 project. Onoma is an alien with amnesia. Poor thang don't know where she came from or even what species she is...

I thought she needed a bit more "alienating", so I chopped off her feet and replaced them with oyster shells - nice briny-looking alien feet, good for walking on or paddling. She grew matching hands, too.

And what self-respecting alien has no antennae??? So she got those, too - made from copper multi-strand wire and sparkly turquoise fiber.

Lastly, I added a couple ball beads to her head gear. They remind me of planets.

Onoma's journal entry includes drawings of aliens and spaceships done by my brother, Dave, at my request. Alien creatures and spacecraft are subjects he's often doodled thru the years, and I thought it'd be cool to include some of his work in the journal (since I always make him admire our dolls).

Check out our project blog to see the step-by-step evolution of Onoma and 6 more cool dolls.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Poly Clay Magnets

Made these polymer clay magnets for my brother to enclose with the computer boards he's donating for prizes in a contest.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Prince Charming

This cool guy, Prince Charming, was my 4th doll in the Art Doll Cool-Aberration project.

He started out with Robyn in California as just a pair of legs! Talitha added frog feet, removable boots, and britches. Amy gave him a torso, neck and cumberbund. Yvonne made his cool frog head.

I made Frog a paper mache shirt and "hands" and a fabric tunic-thing like they wore in medieval times.

The most fun for me was putting a comb in his shirt pocket (to primp for the ladies) and a tin of tic-tacs in his tunic pocket (to sweeten his breath). Both are made from polymer clay.

And here's my entry in the scroll journal.

Go check out our project blog to see his entire story so far. He'll be leaving me for MA and Arlee in Canada shortly.