Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finally, my little 'papier mache' is done!

Here's Hannah, finally all done!
Hannah is a new departure for me. I've been salivating over the fabulous Izannahs, Queen Annes, Primitives and Milliner's Models I've been seeing my extraordinarily talented sisters in dollmaking creating! My style tends to be different, although with a historical bent. I decided that I'd like to try my hand at something more primitive, antique and 'loved'. Not sure if I achieved that, but I gave it my all on this first shot. I really enjoyed the difference and would like to try some more styles, such as the Milliner's models with the hairstyle's a'la giraffe...and maybe I might even try to attempt an Izannah (my personal favorite!)

I made Hannah with a paperclay head, shoulderplate, and lower arms. Her body is cloth, as well as her legs and feet. I used a crackle medium to age her, and a paler shade of skin tone, with extremely dark (almost black) brown hair. I have to say, I really, really enjoy making the hairstyles with paperclay. You can pretty much do whatever you want! For Hannah's hair, I was inspired by the old Currier & Ive's lithograph prints of little girls in the 1840's and 50's. My absoloute favorite Currier and Ive's litho is 'The Little Sisters'. I've got an original and adore it.

Hannah's eyes are paperclay, but I painted them to resemble the old glass eyes often seen on the early papier mache dolls. Those glass eyes originally only came in one iris color: black. So Hannah has black 'glass' eyes, clouded with age to go with her little cracks. I used a high gloss medium on them to give them their glassy appearance. I am a @#$%^& photographer, so you can't really see that detail as well as I'd like.

Hannah is wearing a dress in the style of the 1840's, of reproduction cotton fabric in a print used from the 1840's to the 1860's. The dress is completely hand-sewn, and has the gathered bodice, with narrow sleeves, sleeve caps and self-fabric piping at the neckline, armscyes, waist, and sleeve cuffs and sleeve caps. Her skirt has a 'false hem' in another reproduction fabric. Hannah is wearing a tucked petticoat and drawers made of old fabric. Her stockings and shoes are painted on, white 'stockings' and black slippers.
I listed Hannah on ebay yesterday (robinseggbleu) so if anyone should decide they cannot live without her, please, feel free to bid away! Otherwise, she'll be relegated to living in an abusive home, like all my other dolls who don't escape. Stuck in a drawer and forgotten, or worse, incarcerated in deep storage under a freeway overpass.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I've been a bad, bad lazy blogger!

My newest roommate!

Well, I've been super lazy about coming up with something to say for myself, and I have no excuse other than I've been spending all my time looking at other people's fabulous blogs!

I sold my dolls, Hope and Marie Laveau....and sent them on their way to their new homes. Now that I've made some more room in my hovel, I went and spent the money I made from their sale and respent it on...you guessed it, another doll. I am very naughty. But a wonderful Bru Smiler repro came up for sale at a very decent price, and I couldn't resist. She's only 16 inches and the perfect size to sew for. I'll never be able to afford the real thing, so she was a good substitute. And I love her.

I didn't care for her outfit, so I cleaned it up a bit and turned around and listed it for sale, adding some old lace to the hem to jazz it up and a petticoat. I figure I might as well try to offset some of her initial cost. I like color and prints, not a fan of white clothes. Plus I'll just get something on the dress anyway if it stays in my clutches. And now, I'll HAVE to make her something new.

Speaking of making something new, here is my latest little dolly.

I don't know what I'll call her yet. But I was inspired by a doll that Rachael Kinnison (of the Lady's Repository Museum and Diamond K Folk Art) restored from the 1840's, a lovely papier mache. I thought I'd try something reminiscent of a papier mache from the 1840's-50's. This doll is paper clay because I just don't do papier mache.

I am trying to make her look aged, with a crackle finish...hope I don't wreck her by doing that! I never did crackle finishing on anything before, so I can't say I have a clue what I'm doing. Her arms didn't turn out too badly, so I'll probably try to do her face tonight.

Have got a couple of Springtime doll challenges awaiting me at the end of this month, with Rags To Riches Dolls and Coffee With Tea Dolls. So this little gal gets to go towards one of those challenges. Still trying to come up with a fabric for her dress.

I decided that my Theda Bara wanted to get out of her type cast role of Vamp and audition for a sweet Mary Pickford type role, as in a Springtime Doll Challenge. It's a period piece...1830's, So I hacked her up and am now allowing her arms to move around. She was forced to shed her dark vampy sleazy outfit and she's getting a nice, decent 1830 style repro calico a 'la Cranford. She had to lose the goth makeup and she looks like a Lady now. Don't have any photos of her in her current state, but will show some pretty soon. I'll try to be better about posting!