Halloween: Wednesdays’ Dolls

Creativity, Halloween

I wish every day was Halloween!

For my Halloween art project this year I thought I would try something different.

I love films, film props, costumes, kitsch and pop culture; and of course Halloween. I’ve been interested in art dolls for a while, reading up about making them and finding new doll artists online. In September I found some old dolls in a charity shop – 3 for £5 because the guy working there found them creepy!

Doll One – Ava the Corpse Bride

For my first doll I wanted to make a corpse bride. I actually removed her head to paint it, which I quickly realised wasn’t the best idea – it was so difficult to sew back on!

doll apart

I used acrylic to paint her blue and a fine liner pen to draw details on her face. I cut off her hair and sewed her head back onto her body using fabric wrapped round the head and head area. For her dress, I had some white cotton fabric which I soaked in watered down black and blue acrylic paint to get a distressed look. I find hand sewing difficult and laborious, but sewed the fabric to her body and wrapped strips round the arms. I layered white organza over this and for a veil I hot glue gunned some organza to a piece of wire and wrapped it around a few times. I glued some fabric flowers around the head and painted these blues and purples.

My corpse bride went through a few alterations on her look – her white hair made me think of the Bride of Frankenstein so I added some stitches but later painted over them. I painted her eyes red and added some fake lashes for detail.

Doll Two – Alice the Demon Nun

Because my first doll was pretty much experimental, I was able to approach my second doll with more knowledge. I didn’t remove her head and used a plastic coat spray before painting her as a primer. I painted her face with a few coats of white and then painted her eyes black, adding red into the white for extra creepiness. I used the fine liner pen to add detail on the eyes and some stitches across her lips.

demon girl face

I cut up her original dress and used it as a makeshift pattern to cut out her new dress from black cotton. This was actually easier than the first doll but I would love a sewing machine to do it properly!

I ordered some doll hair in black and purple online and was really happy with it – I used the glue gun and layered it around her head. I painted her limbs white and added black to the hands. I had to sew her little habit to her head and glue it underneath to keep it from moving. I was really pleased with the silver cross I found in all my beads and metal charms – think it gives her an extra touch of creepiness!

Friday Addams – the Other Addams!

Friday is a complete brat. She is Wednesday and Pugsley’s cousin and when she comes to stay at the Addams family home, she just runs riot with her demands!

Every day is Halloween for Friday, her favourite day of the year, and if she doesn’t get what she wants she becomes a homicidal maniac! This time she demanded a Black spiderweb cake, carved pumpkins and Wednesday’s dolls – all her Tea Party Séance! And all the sweets for herself of course.

Friday truly believes the dolls have past lives. Ava was murdered on her wedding night when her new husband cut out her heart in a jealous rage. Alice was a 16th century nun, sacrificed by the other sisters to the devil to save themselves. Friday wants to contact the spirits of the dolls at her tea party and god help us if she doesn’t get her own way!

Bead Embroidery Insects

bead embroidery

Here are a few bead embroidery projects I started before I went on holiday, and finished when I came back.

I love dragonflies, so I started this with a few larger beads I had and lots of seed beads and lovely gold thread. I had a lot of issues with this project! I used organza and some stabilizer but the material was just to fragile and kept tearing. I decided to cut out the body and try a stronger fabric.

The next problem I had was that I ran out of this lovely gold thread I was using for the wings and couldn’t find it again! Three trips to the art shop where I got it, but they had non. I kept putting finishing the dragonfly off, but hate having unfinished pieces so I had to improvise and decided to add some foliage to cover this missing wing.

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Overall I am pleased with how his came out, although the body could have been smaller and longer and the wing much bigger.

My other bead project was my first attempt at doing a stump work beetle. This was a real challenge!

I started by choosing large beads for the body and in hindsight I think the flower bead was too big. I found some great videos on beetle stump work on YouTube so used them as a guide when making the wings and wing cases. Sewing wire is very tricky! I had planned to make a free standing beetle that could be made into a broach but as he was so big and I attached the wings and wing cases, I decided to sew him onto a hoop and add legs. The wings needed much more work but now I have a good idea on how to put them all together.

I really love working with beads, there are so many and you can really let your imagination go wild with ideas – which is what I’ve been doing recently! Be careful with them though; only the other day I knocked a whole load of seed beads on the floor 😦 that was no fun picking them up!

I also got a new Venus Flytrap, Jeff Goldblum 2nd – 1st died of overheating 😦 whoops.

Beads, Beads, Beads!

Creativity, Embroidery

Beads are my current obsession. As a mixed media artist, I’ve always had a stash of beads; seed beads, bungle beads, faceted beads, lampwork beads. I normally pick them up from somewhere because I like the look of them and mostly used them in my polymer clay work or other mixed media projects.

It wasn’t until relatively recently that I realised bead embroidery was a thing!

I started a mini project of this beetle with a mixture of beads and threads. I also wanted to make some new earrings and made these little spiders from a video I found on YouTube. Mine are a little big but so cute and once you get the hang of making them, you can make variations.

Continuing with an insect theme, I started my next bead embroidery of a spider with this flat round bead as the body. I bought this book as an introduction to the different ways to do bead embroidery and found it really useful.

My embroidery wall in the art room is coming along well. Dr Truffles sometimes pops out of his pod to see what’s going on and looks very sleepy! I also made a big spider with this one off bead and added some white seed beads to some thread to make a little web from which to hang him.

 

Textiles, Sculpting & My Birthday!

Creativity, Life

So this is just an April post update on things I’ve been up to plus it was my birthday, hurray! 33 baby! I had a lovely chilled day with my sweet boyfriend; went looking round shops I like, got this cute tattoo of a vintage medical drawing of teeth (I just like teeth, what can I say?!) went to Richmond’s tea room in Manchester where it is themed like Alice in Wonderland and ate cake, then later we went to see Ghost in the Shell.

I bought this lovely glass terrarium and add two of my smaller cactuses; I made this crazy chocolate swirl cake and decorated it with m&ms; I also got my hair cut quite dramatically!

I’ve been working on some new embroidery projects and continuing with the sweet theme, did an ice cream cone. I’m also working on a new banner for this blog which is coming along very slowly!

I recently got a commission to do a small penguin sculpture; he was to be wearing a little jumper and bow tie! Well I do like a challenge and this is how he came out. I really liked this project and am planning to do some more bird sculptures.

I still feel like I’m working on making my craft area the best possible place to work in. I’m going to be making a little shelf unit for all my knickknacks that I put on the window; I also want to re-pot more cactus friends!

Recent Things in March

Creativity, Life

So the craziness of last month has definitely started to settle down and my new craft space is looking good. I have my favourite things on the window sill and my inspiration around me that make me so happy and fulfilled while I’m creating things or in need of ideas.

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Since moving into the flat with my lovely boyfriend, I have been exploring my new love of baking (especially decorating!) and also want to make the place cosy and a space to feel relaxed and content. I recently bought a magazine on up cycling and am planning to make a headboard for our bed and re-purpose an old lamp. Also my obsession with cacti has exploded!

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I have been getting back into embroidery recently, partly because our spare room wasn’t finished yet and I wanted something creative to do while sitting in the living room.

I started with a smaller hoop as a practise then planned out a bird silhouette filled with flowers. I forgot how much I enjoy creating with stitches. Colour, shape and movement are all my favourite elements in my work and feel I have captured that in this project. I’m planning to add some seed beads to this and also thinking about spray painting the frame. I’m thinking this would make a lovely Mother’s Day gift for my Mum as well.

Another one of my mini projects for my art area is a copper wire letter S I got from Hobbycraft which I thought would make an interesting addition to my wall art. I’m thinking of covering it with wire and beads and just generally experiment.

Chaos and Creativity

Art Journaling, Creativity

‘I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value’ – Hermann Hesse

It’s been about two months since my last post and probably the longest gap since I started writing my blog. Life suddenly got very chaotic and I found myself unable to anything art or craft related. I was poorly then I had to move house as my landlord was selling. I was also learning to drive and doing some volunteering at an art gallery. Looking back now it was a massive upheaval and I felt stressed and overwhelmed.

Gradually things began to level out and my boyfriend and I moved into a flat together. We now have a spare room for arts, crafts and magic (he is an actual magician!) but this is yet to be fully sorted and is currently a myriad of boxes and degu cage – they are cute though so they can get away with it for now.

Between moving house I did some art journal pages and made my friend a mixed media birthday card. I’ve also been teaching myself Illustrator so I can create a website layout for my boyfriend – magic is a great topic! It is a new way of approaching art and I am finding it a real challenge. I’ve always liked design and illustration and scrapbook interesting packaging, so learning how to create vector art on a computer is another step towards that kind of artwork. I have to admit that spending a lot of time on the computer is hard. I work in an office during the day and being able to make things with clay, paints, sewing is my way of escaping technology and feeling more connected by using the materials with my hands. Maybe once I get more to grips with the software I will find a balance between both.

Below are a few pictures from the last month. Now my life is calming down a bit more I have plenty of creative projects bubbling in my mind.

Shrinking Plastic Cuteness!

Crafts

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I may be 31 but I feel like a kind in a sweet shop when I get new craft things to play with! And that is what I’ve been doing on my week off. I bought a mini toaster oven to make shrink plastic things and I love it. I’ve been experimenting as well as reading Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! to get ideas on size and how well different ideas lend themselves to plastic.

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