Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Hi All,
Here are some shots of the face in progress. After needle-sculpting the features into the fabric head, I use acrylic paint for the eyes & lips. All the shading with colored pencils (Berol Prismacolor brand), and the detail lines are done with gel pens (Gelly Roll brand). I added a glitter "bendi" between the eyes (the Indian word for their "third eye").

The headdress was done in the style of a "Tribal Fusion" -type dancer. This is the more popular look for most belly dancers right now. I love the real "ethnic" look it has. I braided lots of yarns & metallic threads for the hair extensions they like to wear.

You can't see it in the final photo, but there is a center-front seam running down the middle of her face. (I LOVE that it doesn't show in the photo-- but, I'm writing about it since I get emails on how I make a face without a seam in it!)

And, here she is, finished:

Now, I have to get started on the pattern. This includes writing all the instructions, drawing the diagrams, and drawing out the patterns. This process usually takes me a few weeks, so hopefully, the new pattern will be ready mid-March.

Have fun!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Hi All,
Been busy working on my new Belly Dancer costume pattern. I tried to get some WIP photos of the stages (when I remembered to stop and take a photo!)

Here are the slippers and sheer harem pants the dancer wears under her skirt (I had to lift up the skirt to get this shot, as I forgot to photograph the shoes & pants after I put them on the doll):

Here's the skirt. I love this fabric -- got it at JoAnn's a year ago. It's part of their "India" line they had years ago. It's colored from red/brown in the center to dark brown on both edges. The gold printed boarder is part of the fabric.
I also added a fringed hip shawl (not really visible in this photo), and a beaded & tasseled hip belt to the top of the skirt.
I also started on the top, made of olive stretch velour & trimmed with gold braids. (I don't stitch the arms on until the top and arms are completely finished.):
More trimmings added to the top, some necklaces added, plus the head is attached, and the head wrap is started.
You can barely see I started blocking out the face lightly with pencil:

The arms are finished -- complete with sleeves, multiple beaded bracelets, & painted fingernails.
I make the bracelets by first wrapping the arms with metallic brocade ribbons & braided trims. Then, I embellish the ribbons & braid by sewing on lots of beads:
More to come!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Hi All,
I finished the painted Mermaid doll:

This doll is a class sample for a workshop I'm teaching in April for the Tulsa Dolling Dames doll club in Tulsa Oklahoma. The mermaid is designed to hang on the wall. In the class, we will be hand painting the upper torso (made before the class) with Dye-na-Flo inks & water for a great watercolor effect to match the printed fabric they bring for the tail. They also hand paint all the venise lace pieces and apply them to the body. The hair is a collage of 5 different yarns & ripped strips of sheer fabrics. The whole body is embroidered with beads & sequins.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I'm so excited to find out that doll artist EJ TAYLOR is teaching classes this year! EJ is one of my favorite doll artists. He was living in England for years, but recently moved back to the US a few years ago. He's a member of NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists), and will be teaching a COSTUME & PATTERNING class this year in San Francisco at the end of June. (NIADA website: www.niada.org)

He will also be teaching his costuming class in San Antonio, TX in March. Rosie Rojas (a great doll artist herself) will be hosting the class. I'm hoping to take this class! (Email Rosie at: rosierojas@msn.com)

Plus, he's teaching a full 5 day class to make a paperclay doll in his style, in Mt Vernon, NY April 3-7 (EJ email: ej.taylor@ymail.com)

Here's some of EJ's work:

Also, I saw "Hansel & Gretel, Witch Hunters" -- pretty good action movie (rated R). There's lots of gore (killing witches is ugly business), and they take a lot of licence within the time period with costumes & weaponry. But, mostly, it's fun and camp. Here's the "Head Dark Witch" in her mortal look, transforming to her true "witch" look: (love her wand!)


And, to even the "witchery", Hansel & Gretel find out not all witches are dark. (Are you a good witch or a bad witch?) To help vanquish the Dark Witch, a White Witch helps the duo with the fight. We learn White Witches are good, and are not able to harm mortals:

(Sorry, couldn't find a good photo of her looking to the camera)
Best line in the film-- The Dark & White Witches squares off, with wands drawn. Dark Witch says: You White Witches always look so funny with a wand in your hand. What are you going to do -- hit me with a love spell???
The White Witch winds up & lashes her with a ball of fire from her wand, just missing the Dark Witch's head. The Dark Witch looks incredulous, screams, & runs for the hills! 
(I just love a good Witch Fight!)