Hello, Dollies

As a child I would sit in my room for hours and draw fashionably dressed women and girls. Every once in a while I’d throw in a cat or some flowers, but mostly it was girls. I knew how to draw other things. I just didn’t want to.

After awhile I stopped drawing fashionable women, and then I stopped drawing altogether for about twenty-five years. And when I returned to art as an adult, I found myself gravitating again to the depiction of females, although this time in the form of mythical creatures like pixies and mermaids. What can I say? I love women.

Earlier this week, I was seized with the compulsion to make a little cloth art doll. I looked around the internet for some basic instructions and found this one from Beth at By Hook, By Hand to be very useful. In the end I drew my own pattern, but I used Beth’s method for making the shape of the head and the neck for the first of the two dolls I made.

I free-hand embroidered the face and followed this tutorial for attaching la coiffure and I must tell you that besides stuffing teeny tiny arms and legs, this was by far the hairiest (ha) part of the whole business. I used linen fabric scraps that I already had for the body and the clothing, and I just sewed the clothing right onto the poor doll.

Here she is in all her blue-haired glory:



For the next doll I made, I sewed the head and torso separately and then attached them together.  I also drew her shoes using fabric marker instead of sewing them into the legs.




The doll on the left can't even.


So those are my dolls and now my life has come full circle. They were fun to sew and I’ll probably make some more, but weirder looking. There is something really gratifying about stitching up a little lady, almost better than drawing one.

An Index Card a Day

During the summer, it’s hard to find blocks of time to work on ambitious printing projects, so I’ve just been trying to squeeze in small bursts of creativity every day. I found out about the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge hosted by Daisy Yellow through I Am Rushmore, and am now totally hooked. The idea is to make some kind of small work of art on a simple 3×5 or 4×6 card every day for sixty days. The website offers optional themes and prompts for each day of card making.

I like it because such a small canvas seems totally doable and non-threatening. Making one little unassuming card every day has prompted me to try using new techniques and mediums, and sometimes the cards turn into inspiration for larger projects.

Here are just a few of the cards:

Collage with map, hand-carved stamp, linen, Japanese paper, and hand embroidery.
Tinted gesso, watercolor, paint pen.
Watercolor and collage with stained tea bag, magazine clippings, lace bits, and paint pen