Monday, February 28, 2011

Anatomy of a Doll - Part 1

UPDATE: I've added links to the bottom of this post so you can follow this series of posts from start to finish. 

I decided to do this in case anything I say is helpful in anyway to some one interested in making dolls. Also if any established doll makers see this and want to leave me any tips based on what they see me doing, that would be most welcome.

So I'm new at art doll making. At least I consider this an art doll, but I guess that's subjective. I've been making plush dolls for a while now and this seems to be a natural progression for me. Anyway the doll I'll be showing here is a completely new body design from what I've done before. She is also a mishmash of techniques I've learned or taught myself up til now.

So I started by making a paper pattern. I found a great leg pattern in Soft Dolls and Animals Magazine and built the body pattern around the leg. The leg had a great boot design.

The torso and head are separate because I was trying to find a way to make more realistic breasts. This only partially worked as you'll see later.

I have a love of big eyed dolls like Blythe and Pullip so played around with some faces and decided on this basic face design.

This face is also reminiscent of my daughter, all big beautiful eyes, little nose and full lips.

Next I gathered up my supplies. In case some of you don't know I hand sew my dolls. They are also made of eco felt, a felt like product made from recycling water bottles. I love that I'm using a useful product that was made from something so many people just throw away. I love the way it feels and it's very durable and comes in lots of bright fun colors. Another reason I use this felt is that I'm severely allergic to wool. I buy my eco felt from Felt O Rama. They sell it by the yard and their customer service is outstanding.

 Sometimes I specifically know what the doll is that I'm making from the beginning. But not this time. I originally was thinking of making a Steam-punk doll or Costume doll for one of the ADO challenges. She took a while before she told me who she was then I was able to design the rest of her from there. She sat around as a disembodied head for a while until she decided.

I don't paint my dolls faces. Although I could paint on the felt I'm not real confident in my abilities there and since I know my felt that's what I do. All my details are hand drawn on paper to fit the needs of the doll.
The eyes, nose and mouth all have dimension to them. She looks a bit weird all flat like this. Hope I haven't bored you to tears and that you'll come back tomorrow for more.

Anatomy of a Doll PART 2 can be found here. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stayed Tuned Next Week...

 Random photo cause I can't just post text.
I'm going to show the anatomy of a doll. My doll. A new design I've had in the works for a while. From concept to finished piece. It's partly for any who are interested and for me to track the progression of my work. Everything I do I consider a learning process. I try to push further and do things differently each time.

I hope you'll find it interesting or informative and will join me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My 300th Post and My Favorite Things

So I've reached my 300th blog post. It took me a few days to figure out what I was going to do for it. I decided to show in photos my most favorite things. Owls, Coffee, Dr. Who, Chihuahuas, Zombies, Penguins, Pirates, and Cupcakes. Enjoy!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

What I'm Doing On A Saturday Night.

Sitting and sewing and sketching a bit while watch t.v. Pretty much what I do every Saturday night.
Some custom jobs. A plush doll and a plush art doll.

My companions on the other hand are a lazy pair and are snuggled in sleeping. What do you all do on your Saturday nights?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

OWOH Winner

I had a lovely amount of entries for this last OWOH blog event, 163 to be exact. The winner of my pink heart penguin  is.....

Angie of

Thanks everyone for entering! I hope you had a good time looking around my blog. I sure had fun looking at all of yours!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Worktable Wednesday

Still many boxes to pack up but I was going a little batty so spent yesterday in the studio designing and cutting out patterns. I feel much calmer now that I've chosen to ignore the stuff in the house that I need to finish doing and worked on some fun stuff instead.
The beginnings of some new plush dolls and 3 Tardis cut out and ready to sew.
Lita in a pirate hat just cause.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I know I've mentioned The Hive before. It's a social network made up of creative crafty folks. One of my favorite people there loves to sponsor games and tutorials. One game was a very long Bingo game around Christmas time. I hung in there and I won!

The prize was one of Patrick's Wooden Primitive Santas! I just squealed when I opened the box! I LOVE this Santa! He has a permanent home on my t.v cabinet so everyone can always see him.

The carving and painting and crackle and details are just wonderful!
Patrick who works under the name Cre8or's Touch really does amazing work. Check out his blog to see more of his great work!

Thanks again Patrick for the fun games and great tutorials! I have no idea how you have time to do them.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What Going On In Sassyland?

I haven't blogged or tweeted or been active on my social networks lately because of family drama. My brother and his 10 year old son will soon be moving in with us. Brother is divorcing his wife & 10 year old refuses to live with his mother. There might be a custody fight over the 2 year old too since SIL is not providing any care for him. Anyway we have been switching bedrooms around. Girl moved out of the Master bedroom into my studio. My studio is now in the dining room. We've been packing up stuff to save and stuff to giveaway and moving furniture and painting and hurting my back and pretty much stressing me completely out!

I'm so focused on everything that needs to be done that everything else has fallen by the wayside. I did finish my submissions to STUFFED magazine but lacked the energy to send them off and they are packed away in a box somewhere. I'm pretty sad about that but don't have time to dwell on it.

I'm pretty exhausted and we are only half way done. Tore out the carpet in the dining room to get to the hardwoods below.
Also took out the old light and replaced it with a modern one that Is high enough so I won't crack my head on it.
Still a bit of a work in progress. All my toys and collections and plush are packed away. I only have the things that I really need, I think. The table in the front will hold my sewing machine. I miss my toys and I'm not comfortable yet.

With so many boxes and bags laying around it feels a bit like a Hoarder house! As soon as garbage day comes and everything boxed for the church rummage sale goes and my saved things are put in storage I can breathe again!

Not sure how long brother and nephew will be here but if his divorce is anything like mine he'll be here a while.

I hope to soon be back to creating cause I'm going a little bonkers here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Slightly Wordy Wednesday

Those of you who follow me know I have a Chihuahua named Carmelita or Lita for short. She's large for a Chihuahua but still a small dog and this snowy weather is just too much for her! The snow is too high to walk through and the freezing cold has been keeping her inside more days than she likes. When she can get out we only make it down the street and she has to be carried home and then warmed up with a blanket from the dryer.
This winter is the worst she's known so far and she lets me know about it everyday!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowed In!

Here in Chicagoland we get huge snow storms about every 20 years and just plain snow every winter. 1967, 1979, 1999 have been the bad ones and we can now add 2011 to that list. Cause we are now in the grips of a huge snow storm. 2 inches (5cm) an hour has fallen since yesterday and it's STILL snowing!

As Mid-westerners we are hearty souls used to cold and snow just not quite this much snow!
View from my studio window.

Out the front door.

Out the front door to the un-plowed street. And yes
the snow is half way up my neighbors garage.

Window in the sunroom. Snow is that high.

Back yard.

 Back yard.

The funny thing is we would have more snow if the wind hadn't been so crazy last night blowing it everywhere. It's died down now so I think we'll really get some snow today. LOL!


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