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Almost There

I have been working on  a couple of dolls since June. Both started out as prototypes in muslin and then various parts were redone a couple more times because they just didn’t look the way I wanted them to.


M. Pie in progress

M. Pie in progress

This one has all the pieces done, they just have to be sewn together. Then I ‘ll paint the face and do the hair.

Margo, I’m Not That Close to the Edge

The inspiration for this piece came from a trip my friend, Margo, and I took to the Grand Canyon a few years ago.  We marveled at the awe-inspiring scenery but Margo was concerned about the lack of railings.

woman about to step off a cliff

Margo, I’m Not That Close to the Edge

The “canyon” is made mostly from acrylic modelling paste.

fabric sculpture detail

Detail:  Margo, I’m Not That Close to the Edge

The camera is made from polymer clay and the picture on the back is one of the Grand Canyon taken during that trip.

This sculpture is currently at  the Out of the Box exhibit: Fibre Fling 3 at the Kitchissippi United Church on Island Park Drive, Ottawa.  This is the last time I will be exhibiting this piece  because,   yesterday, it was sold.  It is still on exhibit until the show closes today at 5 P.M.




Melinda the Dancing Frog

This is my second dancing frog.

Melinda the Dancing Frog

Melinda the Dancing Frog

For the first frog (Mikhail) I dyed the fabric with coloured India inks.  This time I used Derwent Inktense Blocks.

I dampened a sponge, coloured it with the broad side of the Inktense block and then wiped it on the  fabric.  I then heat set the fabric with an iron.

Melinda - Detail

Melinda – Detail

For the frog skin, I used 2 different shades of green. The original fabric was white and blue. The leotard was a cream-cloloured 4 way stretch fabric.

Melinda the Dancing Frog

Melinda the Dancing Frog

Three Little Maids

I  made a  centrepiece for a table at the banquet for the Fabri-licious Retreat I mentioned in my last post.

free- motion embroidered centrepiece

There are three cloth heads, painted with chalk pastels.


The flower petals and leaves are free-motion embroidery.

Under the Sea

I love brightly coloured fabric.

Sea Horsed Dancing in the Wind

Sea Horses Dancing in the Wind

I particularly like fabric that has different patterns and colours all in one piece.

Fabric Sea Horse

Fabric Sea Horse

I used some of the fabric in my stash to make sea horses

and used rayon thread and free-motion embroidery to make the fins.

Whatever Lola Wants…

Lola wants to dance.

This is what Lola looked like a few weeks ago.

Lola in progress

Lola: Work in Progress

Since then I have had to make several versions of some of her body parts before I could get them to look the way I wanted.

Lola detail


Lola profile

Lola: Detail Profile

I usually have a standard order in which I sew the different parts of a doll together.  I sew the legs to the torso first.  I sew the arms on after the clothes.   I usually sew the head on before I put on the hair and then paint the face.  This time I put the hair on first.  Big mistake!  The hair kept getting in the way as I was sewing on the head.

Painting the face comes last.

Lola: Face Painting 1

Lola: Outlining features with air erasable pen

The first thing I do  is draw in the features with an air erasable pen.  I cover her hair with a piece of cloth to keep it out of the way and to protect it when I spray the face with fixative.

Lola: Face Painting 2

Lola: Outlining features with permanent ink

Once I get the features correct, I go over some of it with a Pigma Micron 005 brown pen.  This is permanent ink.

Except for the high light in the eye, the face is painted with pastel pencils.

Lola: Face Painting with chalk pastels

Lola: Adding colour with chalk pastels

I use 2- 3 colours for the eyes and eyeshadow and 2 colours for the lips. The top lip is always darker than the bottom, which catches more light.  I add the highlight to the eye last.  I use acrylic paint applied with the tip of a needle.

Lola: Face painting shadows and blush

Lola: More colour

Lola: Finished Face

Lola: Face

I also paint the fingernails.

Lola: Painted fingernails

Lola: Painted Fingernails

So here she is, practicing her routine to be  ready for her audition for So You Think You Can Dance.


It’s Too Darn Hot!

I have not been doing much of anything for the past week except read sitting in front of a fan, with the air conditioner on.  I had been trying to decide whether to start a new doll or do some wet felting but instead of doing either I sat and read.

I finally decided to start a doll.  It is based on one of the sketches I did of dancers while watching So You Think You Can Dance.  I might do a free motion embroidery picture of it as well, but for now I’m working on the doll.  This  first  version has no arms or head.

Work in Progress

Both the body and legs need to be reworked. So there will be more drawing, cutting, sewing and stuffing until I get it right.

Sherry – A Work in Progress

Sherry (working title) will be a stump doll. The “stump” shape is based on my grandmother’s crystal sherry decanter.
The pattern is in 4 identical pieces.

Embroidery in Progress

The pieces are then sewn together by hand as are the darts.

2 pattern pieces sewn together; some darts still to be sewn

The next challenge is to make a body to fit the vessel.

Thread Tangle Evolution

The thread tangles have now spread to my dolls! The pattern on the arms, legs, face and neck were drawn in with pen after the doll was put together. The crocheted scarf is removable.

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