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)

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