Sunday, December 15, 2013

Verdigiris Paper Doll

It is really hard not to purchase every new and exciting art supply that I read about, but my drawers and closets are overflowing with supplies, and my shelves house shoeboxes full of unfinished projects, recycled materials begging to be used, and little scraps that are too precious to throw away. So, my personal challenge--and perhaps a New Year's Resolution--is to try to work with what I have on hand and only purchase what is essential.

When I want to do a little art, but don't have time or space for a big project, my default project is creating paper dolls. For this doll, I started with leftover pieces of ATCs that I saved from an exchange that had the theme "Verdigiri". My process is detailed on an older blog post, I started with the doll's dress, glued the central flower from the ATC, and added a little from another card at the neck. Next, I added legs and arms using paper from the first issue of Just Steampunk Magazine. I rummaged through my baggies and boxes of paper doll heads and found a printout of one of my original doll heads that was just the right size and color.

She needed accessories, so I chose, from, a vintage man's hat (I added a strip of the aqua paper to match her dress) and some boots that were from an old advertising card. She needed a bit of a skirt, so I used some white paper that had been printed with a stamp and ink from a Distress Ink pad.

The template is from Roses On My Table, an online group that trades all kinds of art, including original paper dolls. I altered the template by cutting the arms and legs in half, rounding the edges, and reattaching them with a mini brad to give even more poseability.

Below is a finished Verdigiri ATC that I kept for my own collection.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Funky Flat Angel Dolls

The heARTist trading group side trade for December was flat angels or flat Santas. I started researching both angels and Santas. I found cute, I found pretty, I found sentimental, I found bizarre and creepy. But I didn't find an idea that spoke to me. So, I started puttering with my shoeboxes full of doll parts and scraps, which usually leads me to something interesting and therapeutic.

There were some leftover scraps of white on red printmaking that I used for my house-shaped ATCs, so the scraps became bodies. I used an assortment of vintage and original doll heads and body parts. The main thing that makes an angel is a set of wings, so each has some gigantic wings with gold dimensional paint accent. All the parts are attached with mini-brads to make them poseable. I added a finishing touch of some sheer lace that resembled snowflakes, extra dabs of gold paint here and there, and ended up with an assortment of very funky angels.

I decided to keep one angel. It was hard to choose a favorite, but settled on one that used a vintage Pierrot Clown Lady paperdoll image from the Graphics Fairy.

 Thank you Karen Watson for your wonderful site of free vintage images!

Christmas House ATCs

The Roses On My Table online group had a theme of "House Shaped Christmas ATCs" for their December trade. I must confess, I am a bit of a Grinch about Christmas so I didn't want to get all sentimental. Why am I a Grinch? Well, I hate the commercialization, the TV commercials that air right after Halloween, urging you to buy, buy, buy. I don't need any presents. My family doesn't need any presents. There are so many homeless people, so many world disasters, that is seems crazy to buy into the materialistic Christmas agenda. Still, I wanted to try the theme because the house shape was so darn cute.

I bumbled on a test print I did of an Indian wood block I recently purchased in the East Village. The block has stripes on the top and bottom and a paisley/floral shape in the center. I had a lot of red cardstock left from a project, and had done the print on red with my favorite white printmaking paint.

I decided to start with the print and cut it into little house shapes, 2.5" x 3.5". I added a simple door, made of cut paper that came in a pad of ugly scrapbooking paper that I received a gift. The ATC was beginning to shape up, but it needed more, so I pulled out my very favorite lace, purchased at M&J Trim, that gave the feeling of snowflakes. The finishing touch was a star shaped mini-brad as a doorknob.

NYC Subway Map ATC

Maps were the theme for the December 2013 heARTist group ATC trade. After researching  antique maps of all sorts, I still felt uninspired. Then, a little voice (voices of teachers past) said "Do what you know." With that advice ringing in my head, I settled on the New York City subway map, and centered on the routes I take on a daily basis. I zeroed in on the east side of Manhattan, where I live, and included the tiny Roosevelt Island, where I work, and Harlem, where I will be working in the near future. (Roosevelt Island is the little pill shaped island between Manhattan and Queens.)

I cut out the map and adhered it to a greenish batik, then added a mini metro card and the vintage subway token that was in use when I moved to New York many years ago. The edges were touched with a gold paint pen, darkened with a liquid chalk stamp pad and the ATC finished with a coat of Modge Podge for shine.