Thursday, December 22, 2016


Hi All,
Join me this January to make a MINI-BOOK PENDANT you can wear around your neck.

This little book measures 2-1/2" x 3". We start by ripping craft paper to make 3 signatures of pages & stitch them together. Next, we decorate our leather covers with odd bits of metal, beads, and stamping. Then, we put the whole thing together, and finish with bits of chain and charms to hang from the book!
FROM 10 to 4 (with an hour break)
COST: $50
1751 Bellamah NW – Suite 2101,  Albuquerque NM

Please contact me if you're interested (arleyberryhill@hotmail.com)

And, I wanted to share with you a new little fairy I made for my friend for Christmas:

I had so much fun making this little woodland fairy doll. I hand-painted the dolls' skin with watercolor inks (it started out a white body). I "made" all the fabric for the costume using a fiber collage technique with free-motion embroidery. For the sheer pieces (lower skirt, leg & arm pieces) I used "SOLVY" (a water-solvable stabilizer - it looks like plastic film) with scrapes of chiffons, tulle netting, a few yarn fibers, and free-motion embroidery.

I did the wings pretty much the same way. All the veins on the wings are satin stitched, with the 3 main veins wired with more satin stitching. I coated all the edges with glitter glue (I just love that stuff!).

Everything (doll & costume) got hand embroidered with beads & sequins, with a small dotting of more glitter.

The hair was a challenge for me. I don't like doing hair much. I used some green mohair I ordered from Canada. At first, I was going to let the hair just hang natural, but saw that it was going to get tangled up with the wings. So, I decided she needed an "up-do". I needled-felted a small cone of wool to the back of the head. Then, I made a weft of mohair and glued it around the hairline. I needle-felted it all up the back, and up the cone. Again, I was just going to let the hair go natural and curl where ever, but it was a mess. (What I don't like about working with hair, is that after a few months, it get tangled and ends up looking like a rat's nest.) So, I broke out the curling iron and hair spray, and styled it in a big curl.

Her color scheme was easy to figure out -- it's my friend's favorite colors! (orange, olive, and brown).

I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Hi All,
I just took an on-line class with Sharon Mitchell (blog here) called "Marie Antoinette Bust". Sharon lives in New Zealand, so I was really excited that she was offering this on-line class (from A for Artistic www,aforartistic.com), as I could never go to her in person.

Sharon is a very talented cloth doll maker, and a master at needle-sculpting,-- so check her out!

This class was three weeks long, but it took me 5 weeks to finish (mostly, because I didn't have the right hair, so I had to order it. Plus, well, Christmas.....)

 Here she is:

And, here are some WIPs:
We started with the head. I've never done this type of needle-sculpting for the eyes before!

Then, we started on the torso. Sharon designed a very bust-y bust! (Sorry, no photo without the costume). We used a wooden dowel that was set into the candlestick with 2-part Apoxie, that went right up into the torso and neck, and on into the head.

After we did the coloring of the face, we attached the head to the torso.

Next, we started on the hair. Sharon gave us a pattern for the base of the hairstyle, that we stitched to the head. Then, I needle-felted a layer of white wool roving to the muslin hair pad.

Here I've needle-felted on the weft of pink wool roving. Sharon had us add a little top-knot, so I put it on the back of her hair. Now, she's all wrapped in cling wrap, so I can spray the hell out of my pink hair. (lots and lots of hairspray!)

After that, I added the hair decor, jewelry, and false eyelashes.

I hope you've enjoyed the photos! Have fun,

Monday, November 21, 2016


Hi All,
With getting ready for my "bottle class" (and other stuff), I haven't had time to show you everything from Halloween.

So, first, I took a class in October with Thomas Ashman called "Scary Dolls". It was an "altered doll" class. I had a blast! It was so much fun. We brought to class  a porcelain doll from the thrift store. In class, we ripped off the wig, and stripped it of the clothing. We repainted her with black and white paint. Then, we took the clothing and dunked it in a large bath of black dye. When everything was dry, we embellished the dress to go with our new "Goth Doll" (as Thomas calls them). Then, we added a marabou feather wig.

I went for more of a "Day of the Dead" look with my doll. Plus, I added some red coloring to the mix. My doll came dressed in white polyester princess dress, so the darkest it would dye was a light gray color. So, I added lots of black trim to it.

(Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the doll before I started.)
 Most people in the class popped the eyeballs out of the head, and left her eye-less. I did that at first, and then put the eyeballs back in. I thought it looked too creepy without the eyes.
Those are black fabric leaves I stitched around her collar.

 I also wanted to show you all some more of what I made for my yard this year:
I call this "Creature with a Friend".

 Very quick and easy to make. I got a skeleton whose joints were linked together with big jump rings. That allowed it to pose with the knees and elbows out. The pumpkin came from Walmart, already carved!-- I just love the expression! (Better than I could do).

I added horns to the skelly by cutting up some plastic toy vegetables from the dollar store (I think they were bananas or red chili peppers) and some 2-part apoxie clay. I also altered the eyes with the same clay. And, I added texture to the whole thing with some spray texture paint.

The wings were super easy. 3 wire hangers are the armature base. All three wires are tied together along the main edge, while the ends were bent apart to form the "fingers" of the wings. (Wings are made as one piece.) I wrapped the whole armature in masking tape. The fabric is a heavy gauze glued to the frame. Then, just added some apoxie horns at the top of each wing, and sprayed with more texture spray and paint.

 I glued the skelly and the pumpkin to a cardboard base (covered with fall leaves from the Dollar Store) and stuck it on a plastic urn found at the garden store.

My other big piece was a "Wall of Skulls". I have these two pillars in front of my house, holding up my porch. I wanted to decorate them, and thought about something like what you see in a crypt or underground catacomb. (My plan was to do both pillars, but only got one done.)

I started with a piece of cardboard that wrapped around the front and sides of the pillar.
Then, I got some styrofoam skulls that I cut in half and glued to the cardboard. I ran out of money, and didn't have enough skulls, so I added some plastic bones and the backside of some of the skulls. (Some of them came painted, some were blank). Since I was planning on spray painting the whole thing when it was done, I coated the styrofoam skulls with glue and paint, . (Spray paint and Styrofoam don't mix!)

Next, I sprayed some expanding foam insulation between all the objects. I also coated everything with more latex paint I had left over from the house.

I chipped away at some of the foam, coated everything with more latex paint, and spray painted everything. I went back after spraying to do some detail work.

At the last minute, I glued some moss to it to make it creepy (and, to hide some of the skull backs - which looked more like odd-shaped balls than backs of skulls.)

Here it is, attached to my pillar with some velcro straps, glued to the back of the cardboard.

Here's my porch, (almost done decorating) with my pumpkin scarecrow (made with PVC pipe, a Christmas tree stand, tree branches, fabric, and a giant plastic pumpkin I got at Target) Sorry, I cut off the side of the pillar when I took the photo! My front door is off to the right, closest to the "Pillar of Death"!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Hi All,
I'm teaching a new craft class called "Altered Bottles" at a new art space here in Albuquerque.

In the class, we take bottles (clear or colored) and make them into works of art, worthy of displaying in any room in your home. They can go in your bedroom, bathroom, on your mantel or coffee table, or be a wonderful addition to your holiday display.

Here are some elegant "Goth" or Apothecary bottles:

 Both are sprayed with Mirror spray & vinegar for a "mercury glass" look.
For the little one, I used a plastic Xmas ornament for a stopper from Hobby Lobby (I added the eyeball). I also sprayed it with some black "Webbing", and glued wooden beads on the bottom for feet. The tall one was a liquor bottle.

Or, how about some Shabby Chic bottles?


The tall bottle came from the dollar store. I put iridescent confetti in the second bottle. And, the little bottle is a salt shaker (from the dollar store).

You choose the bottle and the theme you want to create. These are my "Mermaid" bottles.
I downloaded mermaid images, and decoupaged it on with Mod Podge. The tall bottle is a green champagne bottle, and the little bottle is from the dollar store. I frosted it with a Sea Glass spray.

And, here are some Golden bottles:
The little one has a Xmas ornament glued to the bottle, and a gold paper doily at the base. The larger one has another Xmas ornament as the stopper (Hobby Lobby), and some gold Webbing sprayed on the bottle. I hung an earring and some charms around the neck of the bottle. (Those are orange glitter balls inside).

All of the glass stoppers are drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby (about $5, before your 40% discount).

You bring a bottle (or two), and something for a stopper (drawer knob or Xmas ornament), and any trims, trinkets, lace, flowers, jewelry, charms that you want. I will have plenty of stuff to share, and have extra bottles and stoppers for you to use. You'll probably have time to make two bottles.

Sunday, Nov. 20
   10-4pm (one hour lunch)

New Tricks Art Workshop & Gallery
1751 Bellamah NW, suite 2101
Albuquerque, NM

Cost- $50
Contact me to register and a supply list: arleyberryhill@hotmail.com

Monday, October 3, 2016


Hi All,
I've got a new pattern for you. I call it the "Bird of Paradise". It's part cloth doll, and part quilt.

As I posted before, it started as a doll for the Treasures of the Gypsy challenge happening this month. The theme is "Once Upon a Time, past present, & future". I used Pamela's fabrics, appliques, ribbons, and motifs to make it.

So, I made a Firebird, from an old Russian folk tale. After that, I used the same pattern and made a Peacock bird.

And, now it's a pattern!

You can make a Phoenix/Firebird, or a Peacock. Or, make your own fantasy bird! There is a choice of 2 different wings (one "flying" and one folded). The head is separate, so you can pose it any way you like. You can make as many tail feathers as you like, in any color scheme. You can use glitzy fabric, or colorful cotton. It can perch on a tall candlestick, or it can "fly" by hanging it from a couple of strong threads. The bird measures 12 inches from beak to tail, with an additional 18 inches of tail feathers.

And, of course, there's so much opportunity for embellishments! You can add beads, ribbon, jewels, sequins - you name it.

I used FUSIBLE QUILT BATTING for the wings and tail feathers. (You could use regular non-fusible batting, or felt. But I found using a fusible batting so much easier!) Since I used loosely woven satin & metallic fabrics (not good for stuffing or quilting!) I used a fusible interfacing on each fabric piece before stitching. And, the fusible batting took care of the quilted pieces, saving time and money. (On the Peacock, I used satin fabric for the body & wings, and green cotton for the feathers.)

You will need some knowledge of doll making, plus a little skill in appliques and quilting.

The pattern cost $10, and it's an E-PATTERN (a digital download that is emailed to you. You print it out on your printer.)There's no shipping fees!

Go to my website (http://www.arleyberryhill.com/patterns-for-sale-pg1) for more information.

Have fun!