Where ever you are, whatever your creed, and however you celebrate this Holiday Season, I wish you peace and joy.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
When I get the girls back, I'll most likely put them up for adoption on Ebay. Not sure when that will be, but I'll make an announcement when that happens.
For now, it's time to make Christmas gifts, so no more dollmaking for a month or so. My little Sophie and Milla will be getting a new historical dress, with a matching one for their respective baby dolls. Well, Milla has a baby doll. Sophie prefers to dress her stuffed cats.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
The reason I began to attempt making this style of historical doll was the fabulous Dixie Redmond, of North Dixie Designs (blogspot). I'd always wanted to do this type doll, but didn't feel I could accomplish it until I found her blog "The Izannah Chronicles" (for everything Izannah!) and subsequently, "The Izannah Walker Doll Group". This is a fabulous group of people who all cherish these old dolls, and many have been making their own special versions.
Dixie provides her readers with a free pattern template to get started on your own Izannah style doll, and tons of support and terrific advice! They are just fabulous over there, and if you love historical dolls, please visit these sites. It's such a treat to look over the wonderful dolls all these members are creating. I did eventually tweak the pattern a bit here and there, but it's that little free pattern template that got me started on this journey and I have Dixie to thank!
I did Ada Lee a little differently than my first two, with more crackle finish for a more aged appearance. Her clothing is all handsewn. Her underpinnings are vintage fabrics with vintage crocheted lace. Her dress is Civil War reproduction cotton. She's made of paperclay over cloth, and is one of a kind. She's about 16 inches tall.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Annabelle's trachea was crushed. The man of the house happened to be home at the time, shodding his horses in the adjacent corral, and saw the incident. He raced to Annabelle, brought her into the kitchen, laid her upon the table crying for his wife to attend her while he sought a doctor. Little Annabelle Washburn died upon that kitchen table. She is thought to have been about 12 years old.
It is said that over the course of the next 150 years, that the spirit of little Annabelle Washburn has never left the happy home of her dear playmates. She has been seen in a white dress, scampering about the yard, and skipping through the deserted halls of the old brick mansion.
'Tis said, that the warm, cozy kitchen where she passed from this world...and beyond the veil to the other...that strange, in-between place where time stands still...is her favorite room in the house. Her most witnessed activity is that of moving the utensils hanging on the kitchen wall.
And her little footsteps scampering down the hallway. She seems to be happy there, and has no intention of leaving her ghostly playground.
But history must prevail, and while Annabelle Washburn did exist, and is buried in the same cemetery as the members of the family which built the legendary brick mansion...there's a few holes in her story.
The cemetery where she is buried did not exist at the time of her reported death. There were no families by the name of Washburn in the pueblo at the time the mansion's owner had small children. There is no record of her accident in the newspapers of the time, and a child's death in the house of a prominent citizen would have been big news.
Her gravestone indicates she was one month old when she died, hardly old enough to be running into anything. And her death took place nearly 50 years after the timeline of her story. So, here we must turn our back on the ghost of Annabelle, and send her away. For she is not real. She is truly a 'legend'. A make-believe story. A ghost story.
But do not leave this tale disappointed...for the brick mansion does indeed exist, and possesses unearthly spirits permanently contained within it's walls. There IS the wraith of a small girl child scampering about, chasing after a little dog...her identity finally solved.
She's a three year old girl, the great-granddaughter of the builder of the house. She found ant poison in the cupboard and ingested it. She died a horrifyingly painful and tragic death, and her mother, still living at the time her ancestral home was designated a historical museum, asked the curator not to discuss the family tragedies with the paying public.
Word got out that there was a little ghost inhabiting the museum, and to keep her word to the family, the curator simply made up a new identity for the child...and is presumed to have found this identity while walking about the graves of the home's owners...the grave of little Annabelle Washburn. What a pretty name to assign a child in the spiritual witness protection program! And who, pray tell... who would ever find this little lost grave in an old cemetery in the worst part of town, and question the story that could not be proven?
Little did the curator know, I was yet to be born. And find the grave I did, (accidentally) while... ironically, searching for the graves of the family who built the house the little girl supposedly haunts. She is their neighbor, and she is up the hill a bit....but that's where the truth about Annabelle ends.
Halloween is coming...and Annabelle is trapped in the netherworld of my cluttered workspace. She's pretty ticked off, and has a habit of hiding my scissors. Please do consider giving little Annabelle a real home of her own to haunt....quite frankly I have had it with her antics so I am listing her on ebay tomorrow! (username: robinseggbleu)
Annabelle is made of paperclay with a cloth body, in the style inspired by Izannah Walker's dolls, who, incidentally, Annabelle might actually have played with had she lived longer than one month. She's about 16 and a half inches tall. (Her clothes are made of vintage linens, and no historically significant textile was destroyed in order to dress her.)
I will provide more information about the brick mansion in a future post!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
PLUS...our dolls! Our booth is always a big attention getter, and we love attention. We've got over 70 wonderful dolls displayed this year. Artists contribute from all over the nation, and some from overseas.
Our theme for this years show is "Make Me Laugh". I know a while back I produced a somewhat snippy post about the theme, how I expected there to be 60 clowns there. To my pleasant surprise, the typical, garden variety circus clown was elusive this year. Although a clown in the style of Cirque de Soleil would have been pretty cool. Gotta love the French. We had a jester, and a Punch & Judy, and a mournful little hobo. All fabulous.
I really enjoyed so many original interpretations on the theme. These artists went all out this year and it was eye candy! I've posted most of them here so you can see the variety of dolls and the wonderful talent of the artists.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
She's about 15 inches tall, the smallest size of doll made by Izannah Walker. Her clothing is all antique fabrics. No antique garment of historical importance or significance was mutilated in the creation of Araminta's clothing. She is wearing the classic child's dress with gathered bodice, bell sleeves, tiny self-fabric piping at the neckline and waistband. Her dress has tiny black hook-and-eye closure. Her false hem is made from antique brown polished cotton.
Araminta's underpinnings are made from one very stained and hole ridden antique petticoat. She's got it all: chemise, drawers and petticoat.
She's wearing the striped stockings so popular amongst the girls back then; no plain jane white stockings for this gal. Her little boots are the early square-toed type made on a straight last. Meaning, no actual 'left' and 'right' shoe. Sort of Balmoral style lace ups. I added paperclay to her feet to create her boots.
I have listed Araminta on ebay today, so please stop by and check her out! If you are interested in giving her a home, stop by...my username is: robinseggbleu.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
This years Imitation Of Life Construction Company's "Dimensions In Dollmaking" show at the San Diego Convention Center (courtesy of the FABULOUS San Diego Quilt Show) gave a theme challenge of "Make Me Laugh". I have said it before, and repeat my prior disclaimer....I don't do 'funny'. I don't do 'whimsical'. Heck, I pretty much don't even do 'color'. I was totally disenchanted with this years theme. So when I lack interest in something, I basically don't even bother with it. I become lazy and don't hand in my best work. Lifelong flaw.
So here's my 'lazy'. I did finish a doll long before begun and abandoned in my drawers. There's nothing funny about her. She represents a real person, who though in possession of a fabulous sense of humor, suffered through much heartache and tragedy. This tragedy is behind why she is believed to have never really left her old home. I'll go into more detail about who she really is closer to Halloween.
At any rate, this woman's countenance did not portray the happy moments in her life. She became a dour, pinched (albeit extraordinarily well dressed) version of her younger self. And who can blame her? Her husband became abusive, her toddler died in her arms, her daughter committed suicide, her son became a town drunk who hung out in the red light district, her other daughter died young leaving two children to raise, her granddaughter was killed at the age of 8, her wee 3 year old great granddaughter found poison (at grandma's house). I could go on, but it's too depressing.
So, if anyone needs a laugh or a happy moment, it's obviously this poor woman. So she decided to attend this doll show with her own challenge to the other dolls: 'make me laugh...PLEASE', she says to them. I gave her a tacky alias...in case anyone doesn't understand why she's attending the show. I presume anyone reading her name will get it. And if they don't, I suppose I am too tired of getting ready for this show to really care?
"Anita" is made of cloth over wire armature, with head, arms and legs made of Creative Paperclay. This is a papier-mache type air drying clay. I LOVE this stuff. Her clothing is all handmade, much of it antique fabric and trims from items too fargone to salvage in their original condition. I never cut up historically significant or displayable garments or fabrics. If it's already falling apart or dismantled, I go for the gold. Her hat is made from antique fabric and trims as well as her parasol. Not having parasol skills, this one doesn't open. Her 'floor' is actually taken from the entry hall of her old home. Ashlar block pattern in faux marble. She represents the time period of 1885-1890.
I failed to get a full length shot of her, but that doesn't matter because I am a pretty lousy photographer and all my photos make my girls look like they are short legged when in fact they are not. She's holding a book, that represents her poetry. Really, I stole it from poor Alice Liddell and painted out the Alice In Wonderland title. Hadn't gotten 'round to 'recovering' the book for her at the time I took these pictures. I didn't feel like making another book. See....LAZY.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I tried to make her a Regency style ensemble that would be practical for todays modern woman. She needs to be able to get around that skirt and climb and be able to fall off the sofa with grace and dignity. She just learned to walk this week. She still hasn't crawled.
And here she is in her birthday crown, not sure about all these people standing around serenading her. She's holding her baby who she rarely lets go of. Milla got a new, slightly bigger baby shortly after this shot, who surprisingly didn't displace the dirty little old baby. Now Millie walks around with a baby in each arm. She doesn't like to let them go, so 'eating it' has become a problem when has no arm to catch herself.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
They don't have enough dolls for the show, so I opened my big mouth and promised them one more doll on top of the promised two I haven't finished yet. They are due this coming Sunday and not a one of them can I call finished.
They are coming along, and I work best under pressure and a last minute deadline. God forbid I actually get something done a week ahead of time so I can relax and enjoy my accomplishment. Nope, I have to finish them and stuff them into a box at the last second and drive them up to Carlsbad and not see them again until they are on display. Which is always a nice surprise, to see them with all the other wonderful dolls. Also a surprise is the fact that they always seem to be missing at least one finger apiece the next time I see them. Not a good surprise, that's for sure.
So out of three entries for this year, the Debbie Reynolds "Kathy" from Singing In The Rain, Anita Goode-Laffe and Emily Dickinson, I wonder which one will suffer the fate of Ada in "The Piano" and have her finger lobbed off. Probably not Emily, for I have taken pains with her to use for the first time a wire skeletal hand armature support. But the other two can pretty much forget about coming through this event unscathed. Poor dears. At least Anita will have a Goode reason for a sour face.
I'm not at a place where I feel comfortable shooting photos of them, probably not till I get ready to pack them up. When I do, this coming weekend, I'll post pictures of the girls. I'll most likely post some photos in the next couple of days of my little Milla's first birthday dress.
Monday, August 3, 2009
One of our Grandmother's famous 'unbirthday' parties.
One a year is easier than dozens!
Mom, Dad...you are much loved and so very, very missed. We had a great big, fabulous Birthday Party for you this weekend...I know you were there in spirit. Dad, all your siblings were there, their children and grandchildren too! Amazing to see how everyone's changed and grown. We all have such a good time together! Stacy's cake was a work of art! It truly was a fabulous reunion.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I do have two in the works, and they really have very little to do with this years theme: Make Em Laugh...or Make Me Laugh. Not sure which and does it really matter? As long as somebody's laughing.
I don't have photos yet, but they will be up hopefully this next week. When the girls are decent enough to be photographed.
I am almost ashamed to admit, that all I did was pull two abandoned projects lying dormant in my drawers to finish up so I could enter SOMETHING. I'd promised two, and I have to deliver.
The show is most severely lacking in entries this year. So if I bail it will be noticed, and these ladies are so nice I can't leave them shorthanded.
So if you have a doll that you want to enter, please, please do so!!! Just google IOLCC or Imitation of Life Construction Company. It's here in San Diego and their Dimensions In Dollmaking Show will be held September 16th at the San Diego Convention Center. Home of Comicon!!! They are taking entries up to September. From anywhere in the world. Get's lots of coverage in the magazines.
At any rate, the first doll I decided to finally complete is a historical figure who really had a lot of tragedy in her life. A nice lady with a sense of humor despite all the awful things that happened to her family. She's wearing mourning clothes, is depicted in middle age during the time her daughter committed suicide.
You probably think it's disrespectful to enter this poor lady in a show with humor as the theme. But really, this woman could use a laugh. She deserves it. I am temporarily renaming her for the show. Then she'll go back to being herself, and on another post closer to Halloween, I'll let you in on who she really, really is.
But for now, she's Anita Goode-Laffe. 'Cause she really could use one. Yeah, I know it's corny. But it's all I could pull out of my hat at the last minute.
The other entry is from Singing In The Rain. She's a representation of Kathy Selden jumping out of the Monumental Pictures Cake. Why? Because I don't think I can make a decent yellow slicker for her to wear. Was showing my little Sophie the youtube video of 'Make Em Laugh' with Donald O'Connor when she spied on the side column a tiny photo of a girl in pink jumping out of a cake. She HAD to see it and constantly requests it. Triggered an idea in the dusty attic I jokingly call my brain.
Don't think anyone will 'get it'....but then no one at this show ever does 'get' what I do! I'll post photos next week of their progress.
For now, headed from sunny, breezy San Diego for a fun filled family reunion in Tucson, where I hear tell it's not really THAT hot...it's a DRY heat you know.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Sophie and Blanche (she prefers the French pronunciation) . Here you can get a glimpse of her sparkly overskirt.
I didn't have any of those fancy new-fangled coverable buttons, so I used metal washers. Handmade the button holes. Unfortunately, this type of detail goes largely unnoticed in the three year old brain. That's why the good Lord helped us to invent cameras.