Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Listening to Fabric

The other day I was talking to my sister on the phone and she said ”fabric speaks to you”. That really caught my attention; my first thought was, well that sounds kind of crazy..and my second was, but it’s absolutely true! That started me thinking about how I choose the fabrics for my dolls and I thought you might be interested in the process.

When I go fabric shopping I’m always on the lookout for the piece that seems to just call my name...one that I can not leave the store without buying. Sometimes the fabric will immediately inspire a doll to me...when I saw this piece I knew exactly what doll I was going to create with it.

It just shouts summer pixie, right?

Other times I will find one that I know I need but I just won’t “see” the doll for it yet. Eventually though it will be exactly what’s called for. I’ve had this little piece for ages, I loved it but never quite saw who it was for.

Then recently I came across it in my stash...while looking for something else...and knew right away that it was destined for an Alice. I mean look at those Wonderland-esque tea cups!

It’s not always as easy as those two examples though. Most of the time finding the perfect fabrics for a doll I have in my head is one of the hardest parts of the process. I’m actually kind of fanatical about it, it’s one of the only times I have to have complete quiet. I’ll start by just pulling out the boxes with the colors I think I’ll be using , but before long they’re all out and the room is covered in fabrics. Eventually, after trying many different permutations of color, I’ll come up with a few fabric groups that I think will work. Then I sit down and I guess “listen” to which ones really seem to speak for that doll. I know, kind of crazy, right? But it works for me!
So how do you choose your materials?

And last I'll leave you with a bit of comic relief. This doesn't look like a comfy place to sleep to me...but of course it's right in the middle of all the action!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mermaids and Hans

As a child Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales were not my favorites, I was much more drawn to the simplicities of Grimm and Perrault, but as an adult I found his strange complex tales much more interesting. Of course my appreciation for his lovely writing was engaged as well...

“Far out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest cornflower, and as clear as crystal, it is very, very deep; so deep, indeed, that no cable could fathom it: many church steeples, piled one upon another, would not reach from the ground beneath to the surface of the water above. There dwell the Sea King and his subjects. We must not imagine that there is nothing at the bottom of the sea but bare yellow sand. No, indeed; the most singular flowers and plants grow there; the leaves and stems of which are so pliant, that the slightest agitation of the water causes them to stir as if they had life. Fishes, both large and small, glide between the branches, as birds fly among the trees here upon land. In the deepest spot of all, stands the castle of the Sea King. Its walls are built of coral, and the long, gothic windows are of the clearest amber. The roof is formed of shells, that open and close as the water flows over them. Their appearance is very beautiful, for in each lies a glittering pearl, which would be fit for the diadem of a queen.” - "The Little Mermaid"

I've just added a couple of little mer-children to my Etsy shop...fresh from the briny deep via Mr. Andersen and me!

I want to say a big thank you to everyone for their support of my last post. I'm looking into some ways to make my tutorials into PDF files and to improve them so I can eventually make them available in my shop. A silver lining perhaps to the whole episode. Thanks to all my amazing readers here and at Facebook ...you all rock!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Sad Day

Today I had to make a decision that makes me very unhappy. I found a seller on Etsy who was selling dolls made from my dollhouse doll tutorials and even copying my individual designs. After I got over the shock, I realized I had to remove the tutorials from my blog. This was a really hard decision for me since I had originally put up these lessons for folks who couldn't afford to buy dolls, they were intended to be for personal use only. I thought that people would understand and abide by that but unfortunately it seems that I was naive. I can't tell you how sad this makes me since I love sharing my art, perhaps one day I'll find a way to do it again.