Oct 29, 2017

Operation Tidy O'Studio and some works in progress...

Those of you on FB have already seen these, but I thought to share it here.  I got three days to totally overhaul my studio--and will be selling mucho doll supplies on Ebay over the next months. 

The trick now is to keep it clean, and I think some of my changes in there will help.  Every time I rework everything, I get a little closer to refining a system that makes it easy to keep it tidy--the tools I use constantly are stored within reach of my chair, so I have only to tidy it up before I even get up.  So far I've had the room a week and it's still spotless.  This might well be a record.  (Try not to laugh.)

The week wouldn't be so impressive if I weren't working in there daily, but I have been.  I have four pieces in the works--two are a pair and will be dressed in patriotic colors, one is for spring, and the last is for an "aquatic theme" challenge in a magazine.  I gotta say, it's nice to go in, sit down, and begin work right away, without having to scrape aside bottles of paint, root through piles of tools and brushes for "that one" and work on a tray on my lap because there is no room to work on the actual work surface!  Maybe it'll actually take this time.  Maybe, at the young age of 54, I will finally learn a lesson I should have learned in fourth grade.  Ha!

Hope everyone has a fun Halloween!

Oct 9, 2017

Back from the Doll Show, and a bit of silliness.

We had a lot of fun--or at least I did--dressing up.  The crowd was kind of sparser than we have been used to, but we did okay.  I got to visit with Connie Tognoli again this year, and buy one of her small pieces (a little bunny and an ornament). 

I think my shifting focus will see me aiming for folk art festivals in the future, rather than doll shows.  So it is with mixed feelings that I bid the doll shows Farewell, and the folk art fairs Hello. 

In the meantime, now that I'm back from the show, I have ornament commissions to finish for a lady in New York, a Zodiac Baby to work on, and an Izannah commission to start. I'm glad there is little work to be done in the garden at this time of year!

My VPH: very patient husband.


Sep 25, 2017

Happy Birthday to Izannah Walker!

Well I thought I felt old, but at least I'm not 200.  Ha!  Today is Izannah Walker's birthday, and lots of artists who admire her work are getting together to celebrate it.

I had originally intended to make a doll for this day, but as I got busy with orders and now for the upcoming show down in Phoenix, I must be one of Mr. Burns' mice:  “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men...Gang aft a-gley.”  Yep, my schemes ganged aft a-gley back in July and I haven't seen 'em since.  Hmph.

So the best I can do (and I wonder if Ms Walker ever got snowed under with work, especially once she got her patent?) is to post a sort of chronicle of my Izzy studies.  My first ones, made from a pattern that Dixie Redmond designed, were chunky babies to be sure.  And my vast inexperience really made itself apparent.  But through determined study and the chance to see several real Izannah Dolls in person, I improved.  The following are in sets, from the first to the last. I never realized how many of these sweet dolls I have made over the last five or six years until I started going through photos, so I had to leave quite a few out.

Here's to you, Ms Walker.  Thank you for being so independent, creative, and innovative.  You are an inspiration to us, and always will be. 

Clicking on the photos enlarges, but read captions first.  :~)

My first three from Dixie's pattern; Enid, Odessa, and Vernon.

The next ones, after a little pattern drafting for a smaller head to body ratio.  I don't think it was authentic--antique Izzies really did have large heads for their bodies, but I seemed incapable to making them that way.

After more pattern drafting.  Still working on the head-to-body ratio, and head shape.  LOTS of study on the face sculpting went into this bunch, and I was finding a groove I liked. 

The two outside ones are mine, the two inside were antiques belong to my friend Edyth O'Neil.

My friend Martha Bishop inspired me to experiment with lamb skin wigs...this is Delia.

Geillis, Thomas, and Elizabeth.

I think this one had been in the cooking sherry.

This is Red Riding Hood, for Connie Tognoli.  I'd gotten used to making the bigger ones, so the 15" size was a treat to make.

This one for a dear friend of mine in Texas.

This one was inspired by that wine-red velvet hat...I found it at a flea market and a Kate "Greenaway Izannah" doll came to life full blown in my mind. 

The most recent custom Izannah that I did for a dear lady.  This may well be my favorite one ever. 
Dixie asked us this morning what we would give Ms Walker for her birthday from our time.  I think I'd collect allllll the articles and books written about her and her work, to show her what an incredible influence she has had on artists that came after her.  Happy Birthday, Izannah Walker.