Friday, November 2, 2012

La Catrina and Etsy... finally!

It's official. My Etsy shop opened for business yesterday, at long last... on November 1st, 2012!

Bungalow Gals was established there in 2009, but has been sitting empty all this time. I wanted to grab and hold onto that shop name, but wasn't ready to "get real" with the business end yet. Naturally, it took me an eternity to gear up, jump through all the business-y hoops and learn how to set up. I got my official registration papers from the state just a couple of weeks ago and despite much trepidation and some technological hassles, I managed to write listings for my first few offerings. I pushed myself hard and got them uploaded last night, wanting to mark a memorable date. Dia de los Muertos... the Day of the Dead.

Now, that association might seem a bit strange to some of you, but let me explain. The most recent piece of art I've created is a Dia de los Muertos "La Catrina" calaca doll that I made for the current Art Dolls Only challenge. I do intend to list her for sale, though I didn't manage to get her all the way to Etsy quite yet. Consider her "coming soon". I suppose there may be little interest now that the holiday has past but all the better, as I need a little extra time to enjoy looking at her before I can let her go!
This doll started out wanting to be a decorative Day of the Dead calavera wand... in other words, just a painted "sugar skull" on a stick, with ribbon streamers, like these which I made for my granddaughters... and my niece, whose birthday was November 1st!

But, she decided instead to morph into a full-fledged 16" doll. I added a wire cross piece at the shoulders, shaped a very thin torso from cardboard and tape and painted over it. I was originally intending her upper torso to show, perhaps draping a shawl around her bony shoulders, so she actually has a layer of black with white ribs painted on under her clothing. But, once I started playing with this gorgeous length of marigold silk sari ribbon, I decided I loved it too much not to wrap and wrap and wrap it everywhere. She obviously loves it, too.

Her skeletal hands and feet are sculpted, woven and wrapped from old plastic-coated telephone wire. Many thanks to my brother-in-law, Frank, for hoarding that stash of wire all these years, and then gifting it to me! Her skull was sculpted from polymer clay, then painted. The lace at her bodice and hem is hand-tatted and probably close to 100 years old. The only thing I hate worse than cutting that old lace up and using it for artwork is leaving it stashed and forgotten in a drawer in my studio. Her skirt was up-cycled from a favorite shirt of mine that I bought at a thrift store a decade ago and wore until the collar was frayed to bits, just because I loved the colors so much. On her necklace is a small version of one of my black steel spiral pendants. A friend gave me the tiny white bone beads that flank it, which are just creepily perfect for a Dia de los Muertos calaca skeleton to wear.

The crowning glory of these sunset orange flower petals was the perfect way to finish and frame her painted skull.

La Catrina presided over my little family Day of the Dead altar yesterday...
Now I will forever think of this doll as the icon of the launch day of Bungalow Gals on Etsy! Please come visit me there:

1 comment:

lulu moonwood murakami said...

Congratulations, Patti! I love your colorful Catrina doll. Ok, I'm off to see the store!
xoxo lulu