Friday, February 28, 2014

Quirky Paper Dolls as Art Therapy

Paper dolls make me feel seven years old. They make me feel like a fashion designer, a crazy artist, sometimes a dancer, and sometimes a wizened old woman. They make me forget about my troubles. Making quirky paper dolls is my “go-to” project when I don’t quite know what to do but I want to have a little art fun.

I use vintage paper dolls or blank paper doll templates, and combine body parts with scraps of paper and fabric. Sometimes I use faces I have drawn or painted, sometimes I use famous faces, sometimes I use vintage photos. I occasionally take apart dolls that didn’t quite work out, like the Frida doll on the left, who once wore a Halloween costume that wasn’t quite right. The little child is a Graphics Fairy image, but I discovered after I printed her on cardstock that she had a head, chest and legs, but nothing from the waist down.  So, I improvised a skirt from some watercolor paper that was printed with bubble wrap—exactly the right color and concept for a little girl!

The shoes, black hat and hands holding roses are from the Graphics Fairy The blue hat used the black hat as a template, but I cut it from my own paper, blue painted watercolor paper printed with a white commercial stamp. The striped band is from an M&J Trim bag. Most of the parts are attached with mini brads to make the dolls poseable.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Queen of Hearts Tags & Bubble Wrap Printed Heart Boxes

Where have I been for two months? Unable to post, but I HAVE been doing some small art pieces. Here's what I've been working on.

Queen of Hearts Tags: I hadn’t joined the Roses on My Table tag trade in ages, so when I saw the January theme, Queen of Hearts, it sounded like fun. I researched various queens, and decided on some romantic looking images from The Graphics Fairy. I played with them in Photoshop: one was flipped and arranged like a playing card; another was arranged inside the frame of an old valentine.

I mixed the Graphics Fairy images with some painted watercolor paper that I had stamped over the Christmas and New Year holidays, added lace and some accents with faux gold royal coins and gold certificate stickers as well as fancy ribbons at the top.


Heart Boxes: A few arty friends are trading small pieces in 2014. There aren’t too many rules other than a monthly theme that we can interpret any way we want, and the rule that the artwork needs to be less than 6 inches. January’s trade theme was hearts.
I make and collect little art boxes, so that was my starting point. I wanted to paint some pre-made heart shaped boxes, but only had one on hand, so I did some Internet research and found a template for making my own boxes.
I enlarged the template and printed it on cardstock, then glued it to some painted watercolor that I had printed with white paint using bubble wrap. When folded up, the underside of the heart closure is visible, so I used printed teabags for accent. As an extra, I used some of my own hand-felted fabric, cut freehand heart shapes, edged them with a blanket stitch, and added a small bead made from rolled fabric, then tucked the felted heart inside the painted box.