Saturday, May 23, 2015

May TAG meeting, other art projects

This will be a photo intensive post, with not much in the way of explanation.  At the April TAG meeting, we worked on Santos Cage Doll kits from Retro Cafe Art.  Some of those photos are posted here.  We've also done the small flat muslin dolls on canvas, pin dolls, and some of us took a weekend class May 9 and 10 from Barb of Joggles to make decorative papers.  Here are the photos - drop me a line with questions!

Yvonne's pin doll sample:

Carolyn's beaded cuffs: 

 Diane's Santos Cage Doll

Yvonne's Santos Cage Doll

Sue's Santos Cage Doll

Diane's flat muslin doll on canvas:

Yvonne's cats:

Sue's accordion journal (from Joggles class) 

Sue's wonky wood houses (from Joggles class) 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

February Meeting - Tarts and Goddesses

Once upon a time...there was a small but lively group of dollmakers called "The Dolly Mama and her Fabric Floozies," founded by Rose Vollmer and based out of Gilbert, AZ - but drawing from across the Phoenix metro area.  As these things happen at times, it became difficult to have a consistent meeting place.  (I've seen it happen with all three of the clubs I belonged to in Ohio!)

Lives changed, people drifted, but there was still a need to get like-minded people together.  Some of those original members, plus some new members are meeting monthly once again - usually at my house!  Because Fabric Floozies is also a business name for Rose, we've renamed the group "Tarts and Goddesses," or TAG.  I hope to post photos of things from our meetings (without a lot of words) on this blog for the foreseeable future.

In December, instead of exchanging regular gifts, we exchanged "squishies."  Each member filled a quart-sized zip lock bag with goodies and scraps, and maybe a few challenging items, that could be used by a dollmaker.  Each squishy was put into a gift bag to obscure the contents, numbered, and then everyone drew a number to claim their prize.  The contents were many and varied.

(Example of the contents of one squishy)

At the February meeting, several people had dolls to show and tell, using some of the contents of the squishy bag.

(Created by Maggie)

(Created by Mary)

(Created by Steph, Pattern "Stump Sisters" by Judi Wellnitz)

(Created by Sue, pattern by Ray Slater)

(Created by Yvonne)

Our project for the month was provided by Yvonne Nathanson.  Yvonne stitched together many flat muslin dolls and each member chose one.  We sat together and stitched and began drawing faces and adding other details.  Here are some of the examples of completed dolls, attached to canvases, that Yvonne made before the meeting:

Flat dolls completed by members will be part of our show-and-tell for March.

Other dolls that had been completed, and brought for show-and-tell:
(Yvonne's Santa, made from a pattern in CPS magazine several years ago.)

(Steph's jester)

(Sue's doll from the Kimama pattern by Paula McGee)

Next meeting - "mark making" on fabric!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Happy New Year!

The New Year gave us a kiss of cold weather, and a dusting of snow on the Superstitions.  Lovely vista.  The first photo is the way we see them from our back yard.  The second photo was taken from a dirt road a few miles from our house, but the same angle.

We also woke to a thin sheet of ice on the swimming pool!  That was a surprise.

Also seen through the loft window - our first hot air balloon of the year.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Loft Work

More painting, better art - we are working right along on making this place our own, finally!  Last weekend I was lucky to find a really, really good buy on a large piece of art, much more suitable for the space over the loft dresser.  (Compare this to the "after" photo in the Before and After post a couple entries back.)

We still need new lamps, and will also be adding some sort of vignette to the top of the dresser.  As large as that dresser is, it is now full to the gills with family photo albums and boxes and boxes of un-albumed photos!

Here's a peek at the front wall of the loft, now that it has color.  Please ignore the dust rag on the railing.

The new paint in the front entry has been done for a couple weeks now.

Next up is a creamy yellow for the living room, with some blue accents; a silvery gray for the main floor bath; a pale green for the guest bath; and something fun/funky to go with the new chandelier in the laundry room.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Finished two dolls on my work table, more on the way.

I bought the "warty" gourd at the Running of the Gourds last February, painted it shortly thereafter, and just recently was inspired to finally complete the doll.  She's a good refresher of the things I learned at the Iowa Retreat a few years ago.  The face is from Sherry Goshon's mold "Cherie."  The scarf is from a seller I met at the CIFI conference several years ago - Elma Simpson.  The beautiful orange overskirt you see in the back is from Gypsy Pamela's monthly fabric club.

This Carolina Sea Hag is my response to Linda Hollerich's challenge for a summer mermaid project.  I molded the face using instructions from one of Linda's patterns.  Building the doll on a paper towel tube was inspired by an online class years ago with Jacque Uetz.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Before and After

Remember this before photo of a project piece?

Well, it's done!  I didn't think it would be done this quickly, as we both had some concerns about starting it.  We still need lamps and other "fluff" for the top, but the drawers have been put to good use already, storing photo albums and old photos not yet in albums!

I haven't been able to get an accurate photo of the shade of green to upload here.  It looks right on my monitor, but when I upload it to the blog, it distorts.  Just take it from me that it isn't quite so vivid, OK?

Edited to add this photo of one of the doors.  Hopefully, this shows the green a little better:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Amazon Smile

Signing up for Amazon Smile is easy, and takes no money from your pocket.  Allow Amazon to be good community citizens, and make donations on your behalf.  You get to designate which charity you wish to support.  I suggest Pets for the Elderly!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Minerva's Quest

Earlier this year, I purchased an e-pattern from Linda Hollerich to make her "The Cook, The Thief, and Her Young Accomplice."  ( - if you go to the site, you can sign up for the quarterly newsletter, well worthwhile)

Because I'd taken a class with Linda last year, I felt I "knew" her well enough to offer to write up some lessons learned from the pattern.  She was just lovely with her response and asked me to write an article for her newsletter.  Since then, I've refrained from posting much in the way of photos of the process, so I wouldn't front-run the newsletter.  Since the newsletter came out yesterday, here are some photos of Minerva (all should be clickable to view larger).

After the doll told me her name - Minerva - I did a little research and found she needed at least an owl, and maybe a staff.  I was far enough along in the process to have trouble incorporating them.  She now holds a pearl in her right hand (for a "pearl of wisdom") and there's a small cage with an egg in it hanging from the staff that is resting on her shoulder.  Owl and moss at her feet.  

As a dollmaker, I've always said I wouldn't sculpt in clay - the most I would ever do is use another dollmaker's pressmolds.  Linda made it fun, not at all intimidating, and though I have much to learn, I'm willing to play with this process.  It's nice to have options!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A different kind of July

It's been an unusual month for us - lots of "blasts from the past" off-set by continuing to learn about our new neighborhood and surroundings.

Baby Azlyn (who will probably always be Baby Azlyn to me, unless another grandchild magically appears) had her second birthday.

Michelle visited her birth mom, Bekah, in Minnesota, and learned a little bit about her roots.  She also taught the littles to light paint.

The IRS audit is ongoing, causing us to hire a tax attorney.  (I don't have a pretty picture for this one.)

I've killed a bunch of plants with my experimental gardening, BUT - from the front, we still got the HOA's Landscape award for the month.

I've been making soap every day.  We were down to just two bars in the cupboard!  This was taken a week ago - there's more curing in the cupboard now:

Every morning, I talk to the hummingbirds, marvel at their aerial maneuvers, and enjoy the spectacular sunrises.

AND - I finished (yes, finished) a doll.  More on that later...