Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jazz Cabaret Paper Doll

I am making an effort in my artwork to use up what I have on hand. I have a shoebox full of doll parts, so this doll was a result of opening the shoebox, sorting out heads, arms and legs, choosing the ones that worked together, and then finding unused scraps for clothing.  The face is one I drew/painted myself (her name is Enid...I don't know why, it just seemed to fit the face). The dress is a piece of my own fabric (printed at Spoonflower). The arms and legs are from a vintage doll I found in an online search, but I cut both the arms and legs in half and reattached them with mini brads so they would be more poseable. Her hat and shoes are compliments of The Graphics Fairy (I made the white shoes yellow with a little magic marker so they would match the dress). She reminded me of Liza Minnelli in Cabaret, especially after I added the hat and beaded fringe on the bottom of the dress. Can't you just hear her singing?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Vintage Tiny Dancer Paper Doll

My Sunday art therapy seems to be paper doll making. Like collage, it uses up small but cherished scraps of paper and cloth and is unplanned...which I find enormously therapeutic.

For Tiny Dancer, I used several Graphics Fairy elements: the head, sacred heart, body (using script from an antique letter) and shoes are all compliments of Karen at The Graphics Fairy. In Photoshop, I sized the pieces so they would fit my doll template and printed the elements on cardstock. I added some arms and polka dot legs (cut from the pages of Just Steampunk Magazine), cut them carefully, and attached with mini brads.

The skirt was made from a dried, used tea bag. I carefully opened the teabag, emptied out the tea, and printed  the little sheet, ecru paper with an assortment of Tibetan wooden stamps using white printmaking paint. I gathered the little printed teabag with a running stitch at the top, and pulled on the string until it was waist sized and looked like a tiny skirt. I then tied the strings in the back and added a few stitched at the waist to keep it from slipping off.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Zetti...Me! Paper Doll

 One of my favorite things to do is make paper dolls. Another favorite art theme is self portraits. So, it makes sense that self portrait paper dolls would be right up my alley. When I am not sure what to do, or need some art therapy, I like to rummage in my box of paper doll parts and my box of random scraps. Today I used some leftover pieces--a head from an old black and white family photo taken when I was about 11; a body made of my own fabric (available on, and I cut arms and legs from a cast aside painted piece of watercolor paper. I added a steampunkish/zetti hat made by covering a Graphics Fairy hat with checkered paper, and some Graphics Fairy antique boots. The body parts, wings, boots and hat are all attached with mini brads so that they are moveable and removable as well.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Prayers to the Moon ATC

“Prayers to the Moon” was the theme for our November heARTist ATC exchange. The words suggest a myriad of images—Goddesses glowing in the moonlight, mermaids basking on a moonlit beach, Wicca gatherings, Native Americans honoring Sister Moon, children’s stories of the Man in the Moon, and all kinds of ideas that ranged from deeply spiritual to silly.

I wanted to capture the tranquility of moonlight on the beach, so I began by using gradated Derwent sticks in hues of indigo and blue on watercolor paper. I wanted to have words—the refrain of John Lennon’s “Instant Karma” seemed perfect—but I couldn’t figure out how to get words to show on the dark paper. After cutting the background to 2.5” x 3.5”, I tried overprinting the scraps with white paint on a lacey stamp, and discovered that the lyrics, which I had printed on clear Avery labels, fit just right on the little painted, lace-stamped rectangles. I glued the small pieces to the backgrounds and then played with moon ideas, settling on using some old gold certificate stickers, carefully cutting out the center and leaving a pointy gold halo. It seemed to need a little more, so the final touch was some silver star-shaped mini brads as accent.

No-Theme Postcards

Some people love and need prompts to spark their creativity. Most of the time prompts just annoy me, and I find them alternately confining and confounding. So, when I have a chance to do a “no theme” exchange, it is a chance to work on my own ideas that have been in the back of my mind or scribbled in a sketchbook. It is also a chance to rummage through my boxes and bins to find and use little tidbits I have been hoarding that were too pretty to throw away, and unfinished pieces begging to be completed.

On a trip to a great little store in NY called The Ink Pad, I purchased a stamp that reminded me of William Morris’ textile designs. I tested the stamp on some coquille watercolor paper a month or so earlier, then got super busy and put the work aside. I decided to fill in the white space with watercolor, watercolor pencils & markers, and was happy with the result. I then looked for postcard sized 4” x 6” backgrounds for the mini watercolors. I found three: a leftover piece from a pink recycled tissue paper and fabric collage, a green stamped cardstock background leftover from some “jonquil” themed ATCs I made over a year ago, and part of a big blue watercolor that I over-stamped with a white circular texture that I had been saving for a special project. I wanted to add texture, so I attached the colorful mini Morris watercolor by zigzag it to the various backgrounds.