Thursday, August 27, 2015

All Good Things Must End

Saturday the 29th, is my last morning at the museum, and on Sunday afternoon I’ll be taking down my display. From there the remaining Jesters will go to the Tea Shop.

It’s been a great experience for me. I’ve met a lot of very nice people and answered lots of questions. Picked up a commission, sold Jesters, am helping out a with a project, in the fall, for a Brownie Troupe, helped others with projects they are working on, people brought in dolls to show me and the list goes on.

I even had a call from a gentleman who saw the article in the local paper and offered to give me a china doll bust that he found amongst his wife’s things. I went to meet him and this is what he gave me. The bust measures approx. 3 1/2” – 4“ tall.


I had Ginni research it for me, and she provided me with pictures of what the doll of that era would have been dressed in. The china doll bust herself is an Armand Marseille, dating back to approx. 1900-1920. The clothing would be estimated to be for a young girl of 6-8 years old from 1900-1910. I made a promise to myself to make a complete doll and dressed to what Ginni has researched for me. The gentleman doesn’t want this back, but I would like to make this, name her Iris after his wife, and at the very least, take the doll to show him that I did make good use of his gift. ;o)

This is an example of how she might be dressed, a 15" Armand Marseille doll from 1894.


It’s kind of bitter sweet to have this exhibit coming to an end. While I’ve enjoyed being there and meeting so many nice people coming through, helping the kids to get involved in the scavenger hunt, and designing a doll, getting to know those dedicated people who keep the museum humming along, I’m also ready to get down to business and get the Christmas orders and other dolls done.

Before this is over, I have a few more pictures to show you. These dolls were changed out every couple of weeks, in the case near the front desk.

Below the pictures is a link to a video you will enjoy for sure, if you are a doll lover.

02smSnow White 03smalice in wonderland01smmuffie doll

And here is the link to a wonderful video that the Doll Curator, Ginni and her hubby Ron made of the exhibit from last year. It’s so well done. Ginni’s narration is really good, and clearly explains some of the history of the dolls in the exhibit and others.

The quality of the video itself and how it flows along with the narration just makes you want it to go on and on, at least that’s how it made me feel. So enjoy, if you feel inclined to leave a comment, I know they would love that. ;o)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Gold Plum Santa

Well it’s been two weeks since my last post, how did that happen…. I know how. I’ve started my big Christmas order. There will be four of these dolls. Two will be Santa and two will be Mrs. Claus, of course. These are really big, 30”"” tall. They are for the same customer that ordered the three Santa’s last year. These are the next step up in height for his collection and the only request was to make them Vintage looking, no red/white Santa’s. ;o)

This one is simply put dressed in gold and plum tones. He’s been quite to attention getter at the museum. I got the strangest looks walking to the museum with him all wrapped up, made me think I was carrying a sarcophagus, and I’m sure it looked like it.;o)

I’ve used Barbara Schoenoff’s Santa pattern and mixed and matched her ideas with my own. The hair is needle felted on, in these first pictures it’s just the eyebrows and moustache. Later on he’ll have it all.


There is no shirt pattern so I made one for him. Barbara uses the body fabric to create a faux shirt. The buttons are fun, they are purchased but someone came up with the brilliant idea of using the ends of thread spools as buttons. I’m sure they are a template to look that way, but they would be fun to make if you were still able to find wooden spools..


His belt is an old one of mine that I don’t think I ever wore, but Santa likes it. The waistcoat is wool felt, buttons are from the thrift store. Although you can’t see the details, the buttons have that faux leather pattern on them. The gloves are made with a wine coloured vinyl and look perfect when you see him all dressed..


Now he’s all put together. I added the hood since it will be cold where he’s going. The coat and matching boots, are made with tapestry fabric.. When I first saw the colour of the faux fur ages ago, I must have known it would be ideal for someone and now it’s being used. I think Mrs. Claus will have the same trim on her outfit.


Now he has his whiskers, hair and glasses and is looking oh so dapper as Santa should. His walking stick is simple with just a few cords and a tassel.


A couple of animals have found a place to rest. Those patterns are from Cathy Pendleton of Cheswick CompanyThe lantern was a great find. I found them the same day I bought those glass knobs I used on the Jester’s Court sign. Of course for safety reasons instead of a real tea light, I put a battery operated light in there. In the quiet of a Christmas Eve, the flicker of the candle will look great.


The base is trimmed as usual with two colours of felt (gold on the bottom) and a cotton trim of black and gold around the sides.


A short break now while I make an customer order for the end of September and back to a mate for Santa and then the other couple of Mr. and Mrs. I have moved from Jester emersion to Christmas emersion and am pretty much up to my knees in that, but it’s all good. The reward will come in December when I’m done and the crazy pace of this year will be complete.

Back soon… ;o)


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Photographing a Town……

Photographing a town that never was. My DH forwarded this email to me of this amazing artist. Such a lot of detail, I would love to see this up close.

It would be so interesting to watch him create each scene and them bring them all together…. This could be any town in any country, but this is a town that is important to him. I won’t post all the photo’s in the email, there are 29 of them… ;o~ but I’ll include a few, and provide some links below to see more of his work.. He must have such a passion for his art, and that’s why he’s so good.

A wonderful time long gone, but preserved by a man with lots of talent.  Photographing A Town That Never Was

Artist and photographer Michael Paul Smith has spent hours upon hours photographing one special town that he holds very dear to his heart. There is something that always drew him to it, and the images he created are simple, but stunning. They glow with small-town charm and innocence, reminiscent of days and decades past.

The town he photographs is quaint and

It’s like each picture tells a story of how life used to be in the  United States 

cool-miniature-town-cars-photographer-recreation-black-whiteThere’s not much going on in these pictures, but it’s obvious that this town is nothing but charm. But, as it turns out, also not real. Michael builds custom miniature models and sets, meticulously crafting every detail.


Then, the 60 year-old photographer creates the hyper-realistic images. If you didn’t know any better, you might think these are vintage photos of a town from a few decades ago…


And NOT the extremely small models this man built. He started building these models as an exercise. He wanted to practice his craft and also photography. He never imagined it would be a “dream-like reconstruction” of the town he grew up in. To Michael, this is what quintessential  America looked like when he was a kid. It is absolutely beautiful.


If “ Elgin Park ” were a real town, I would love to live there. He creates the scenes by setting up Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint die cast autos and trucks in front of his models on card tables. Then, he uses the surrounding scenery to make the backgrounds for the photos. The perspective has to be JUST right…cool-miniature-town-cars-photographer-recreation-buildings


Usually the resulting photos are completely convincing. Even  when you know what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s all an illusion. But Michael is able to make an incredibly convincing one.


His selfies aren’t part of the official photo series, but I think they just add to the charm of his work.


To see more of this man’s amazing art, follow these links.

His flickr page

His Website

A video of how he does what he does


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mixed Media Art

Mixed media art is amazing. The more you do it, the more you free up your creativity. I so enjoyed making this piece at the beginning of the year.  Read on…..


Janet, at the tea shop, had to move this piece to an upper shelf because even though there is a sign to please not touch her, I guess they can’t help themselves. This whole process was so much fun and sometimes I think you need to do things that you normally don’t do often, just to jumpstart others avenues of who you are and where you are going with your art journey. This is a link to the original post.

If you aren’t inspired to make some magic after watching this video…..then I guess you continue to search.. But I think you will be mesmerized watching her create this piece. Then head over to her You Tube channel, link below, and watch more of her videos.

This one is sped up and is 15 mins. long, and if you’re like me, I couldn’t look away. I was so enjoying watching this all come together. It’s like I said in a previous post, it’s like layer after layer to reach the final look that you want for whatever art you are creating. I hope you enjoy this and be sure to watch some of her other videos. 

The Making of a Group Hug

Here is her YouTube channel link.  YouTuber “Willowing”.

One I would really recommend is her interview with Byron Katie. I had never heard of either of these wonderfully inspiring women and it’s not just about art, you will see for yourself and take from this whatever helps and/or inspires you.. Enjoy. ;o)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Barbie and Asian Themes

Hi everyone. Here are the last of the displays. There will still be the front case that changes on a weekly basis. I will keep taking pictures of those dolls and share them later on. The most recent one is adorable. She is a Snow White porcelain doll from 1937.

Thank you for the emails and blog comments. Seems that the display is causing some of you to reflect back to your little girl days, even to the point that one of you took your doll apart to see how it works… Big oops… But as little girls, we wanted to see how things happen. I still have a Bugs Bunny from that time, and even when I pull the cord, it does talk, although not so well as he once did… But he’s still a cool bunny..

There are signs for each of the displays below, so I’ll just leave those to explain the dolls to you. 

Here comes  Barbie..







And now the Asian themed doll collections.

These are my favourite of all the displays. These charming little dolls are only about 6” tall. The costuming is so detailed and yet they appear so simple. They just speak to me., not exactly sure why, I just find myself going to see them each time I’m at the museum.. ;o) They just seem so real I guess, like a community of little people perhaps.



Then there is this collection. These are amazing in another way and my 2nd favourite of the exhibit.. Again the details are so beautiful.



And that’s it. Except for those cases at the front that will change weekly and I’ll send those pictures as the dolls arrive. This week its Snow White, not sure what’s coming next, so stay tuned.


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