Monday, October 17, 2016

Gypsy Rose Catrina

It's that time of year... when I'm inspired to make skeletons, bats and flowery Day-of-the-Dead skeleton Catrina dolls in particular. This one was a gift for Iris, in honor of her recent 17th birthday.
She is a painted cloth primitive folk-art style Catrina, who is feeling her Gypsy side. She chose these bright orange/red ribbons and beads to adorn her head and the fuchsia pink doily as her dancing skirt. I can imagine her doing the Flamenco. Ooh, I should have given her a fancy lace fan! Or maybe a Gypsy version of the Mexican hat dance? See the tiny vintage butterfly rhinestone button decorating the front of her belt? She is ready to party all night long at the cemetery for the Day of the Dead.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Little Love Collections

What to do with a quadrillion vintage buttons? I'm obsessed with buttons, which may explain why my collection is so vast. But enough is enough.. or so I recently declared. I decided I simply have to sell some of them, but marketing buttons is depressing. No one seems to want these little treasures! How can that BE?? Internet markets are overflowing with underpriced vintage buttons and this just tells me that no one can see the potential in them the way I do.
Fun vintage plastics, probably from the 1940's or '50's

Civil War era bone buttons
Glorious vintage red plastic buttons!
And so, I'm back to button bracelets... I like to think of them as unique little collections you wear on your wrist. As all of my previous bracelets, this is crocheted on strong nylon cord, solidly tied and glued so it is very durable. If you love it, I can only say "stay tuned" for the next creation because this one was sold before it was even finished. 
How can a button lover resist?
Includes some tiny Victorian glass buttons with gilt detailing.
I can barely stand to let this one go.
Rhinestones, too!
LOVE collection... for your wrist

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


~Lately I've been thinking how much I miss my lady
Amoreena's in the cornfield brightening the daybreak~ 

This one is a very special cloth-and-clay doll that came together in a very surprising way. I had a sudden opportunity to participate in a couple of doll events that will coincide with the NIADA conference coming up in Portland this July, but have not been making many dolls lately. I had started this one several years ago, but only had sewn and stuffed the basic body and applied the clay, then added the striped legs. I wasn't sure where it was going and lost my momentum… so sadly, her lifeless form was laying in a box for years. With little time till deadline, and wanting to bring something new to show, I picked her up again and made some quick decisions. Soon, she was guiding me and telling me what to use next.
First came the skirt, a vintage hankie once owned by my mother-in-law. It looked great with the black-and-white striped legs. Pulling the colors from that floral print, I used chartreuse sari silk and used one of my favorite techniques to wrap her upper arms and sash the upper bodice. Then I found a delicious piece of deep pink velvet ribbon attached to a large lace collar in my vintage fabrics box and clipped it free. As I worked on clipping those threads, I realized this very old velvet ribbon was also silk. Most scrumptious! It was delicate and worn in places, but I wrapped it snugly and used tiny hand stitches to hold it in place.

As I started work on this doll, the "event" I was getting her ready for, a "Tea Party" hosted by local doll artists for attendees of the NIADA conference, spawned a "pop-up" doll show which will be held for two short weeks at Guardino Gallery. Labels needed to be printed, so this piece needed a name. Playing in the background while I worked was one of my old Elton John albums, Tumbleweed Connection… specifically, a song called Amoreena. And with that, she had her name.

~Living like a lusty flower, running through the grass for hours,
rolling through the hay like a puppy child~

She told me she absolutely had to have red ballet slippers… so I painted first with black gesso, then deep crimson acrylic paint

~I can see you sitting eating apples in the evening,
the fruit juice flowing slowly, slowly, slowly d
own the bronze of your body~

She's got a black tulle petticoat to keep that skirt fluffed out, and a little touch of striped ribbon as a waist sash. The last little shiny bit is a vintage pink rhinestone button. But her crowning glory is that hair. LOVE the Tibetan lamb's curly locks. It was my first time using it, but it was a dream to work with and looks exactly perfect.

~And she dreams of crystal streams,
of days gone by when we would lean
laughing fit to burst upon each other~

(Lyrics between the ~ marks~ from the song, Amoreena, by Elton John and Bernie Taupin)

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Oh, Roger. Who... are you?
Behind blue eyes.

This is a crazy quickie doll I made for my adored sister. She's been a Who fan, and a Roger Daltrey-o-phile since the age of 11, when I took her to see the movie, Tommy in 1975. That's all it took. She attended her first of many live Who shows not long after that, and adorned her bedroom walls with posters of Roger. (She might still, if she could get away with it.)

On my last birthday, she surprised me with tickets to Fleetwood Mac… one of my all-time favorite bands. So how could I possibly match that? Only if The Who went on tour, which they thankfully decided to do, just for me! So, her birthday gift this time around was a ticket to their 2015 tour… "The Who Hits 50!", next September.  Since we have to wait ten months till the actual concert, I had to do something else extra special. And so I presented her with Roger.

Full-tilt hippie 1970's Roger in full fringe.

The jacket. Challenging but FUN to make.

Romney wool ringlets dyed with some blonde Nice 'n Easy.

Felt hippie moccasin boots. I want a pair.

He never wore a shirt. Did he?

Research… research. *sigh*

My generation, baby...

Has Daltrey ever been made into a Doll-trey? I'm sure he has. But this one is still one-of-a-kind.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In A Heartbeat...

This beautiful red glass bracelet sold so fast, I barely had time to turn around. I should have known it would immediately speak to my good friend Bj, who works closely with the WomenHeart Coalition.

Vintage molded glass buttons from the early 20th century… with one dazzling little red glass faceted rhinestone mixed in. This one took my heart and left me breathless, too!