Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Hi All,
Yes, another witch doll. This time it's a "birdcage" witch doll.

I call her "Griselda".

She's a bit nasty. She is whipping up a new potion, using a little troll as it's main ingredient. The troll doesn't seem to mind -- he thinks he getting a bath.

Like most of my dolls, Griselda is an all cloth doll (well, "torso" doll). I found this Halloween birdcage at Michael's a few years ago, and it has been waiting for me to be inspired. The thing about doing a "birdcage doll", is you have to put something IN the birdcage to make it relevant.

The little troll dude is also cloth -- made of craft velour. I had fun needle-sculpting his face. (I stuck my hand in the photo so you get a sense of scale.)

Notice the little skull beads and hot glue "drips" I added to the plastic cauldron. After I glued all that on, I sprayed it all over with "texture spray", then painted the whole thing.

Here's where I started: A head & torso with arms and a birdcage.

I start to add clothing to the doll. Most of the fabric was dyed gray or purple (or both). I tried not to use much black in the costume (as black does not photograph well).

I added a short petticoat of netting to smooth out the drop from the doll's waist to the top of the cage. Over that, an underskirt of spider web netting.

More skirts are added. The arms & sleeves are almost done, but I won't attach them until they are finished.

I completed the arms & hand separate from the body, and add them after both are done.

Here, I add the wool vest to tie the whole look together. I wanted her to hold a wand, so I stuck a piece of dowel in her hand until I made the actual wand.

Next, the face.

Add hair and the beginning of the witch hat. Also, made a wand out of Apoxie Sculpt over a bent wire.

Okay, that's all for now.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Hi All,
I've been working on this fiber collage for almost a year - squeezing in a few hours every so often between paying jobs and doll deadlines. It's a large piece - done on a 24" x 24" stretched canvas.  (I don't know if I'll ever do something this big again!)

I call it "Turkish Delight":

I was inspired after looking at some wonderful folk art from Turkish artist. But, as I'm a "fiber person", I couldn't be satisfied with just paint!

Once all the fabric was stitched to the stretched canvas, I had to embellish it as well.

I started with some basic shapes -- just a large circle for the turban, a half oval for the face, and a neck. Even though the entire turban would be covered in fabric, I wanted to block out the basic colors first.

After adding detail to the face (acrylic paint) I had to plan out the layers of fabric, as most pieces overlap the piece next to it. I glued & stitched down rows of trim on the forehead and neck.

From there I added the panels of fabric to make the turban. To add more dimension, some of the panels are backed with felt, while some are backed with quilting batting. I wanted to show the roundness of the turban. 

Most of the trim is machine stitched to the fabric before adding it to the canvas.

I added eyelashes to the face by stitching down fringed cotton to the eyelids.

As you can see in the close-up shots, I added more trim, beads, stones, and appliques to the fabric. I even gave her some spectacular dangly rhinestone earrings. (The piece in the middle of the turban is part of an old choker someone gave me. )

Believe it our not, the only thing I bought for this project was the stretched canvas! Everything else came out of my stash. (I've been building my stash of fabric, beads, trim, and jewelry for 35+ years, so now my job is to USE IT! ---It ain't doing anyone any good sitting in boxes all over the house and garage.)

I wanted to finish it this month, so I can enter it in this year's Fiber Fiesta the local quilt, fiber, and craft guilds do every year here in Albuquerque.

Have fun!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Hi All,
A customer asked for another "Marie Lavaeu" candlestick doll. And, I was commissioned to make a white mermaid doll.

Here's the "Voodoo Queen from New Orleans":

I followed pretty much the same way I did the first one. I was able to use most of the original fabrics. She's holding her velvet pouch of potions.

Like the first one, I made the little hanging voodoo dolls made out of muslin and stained with gray & brown ink.

Here's the White Mermaid, which hangs on a wall. The customer asked for pearls, so I embroidered all the pearls that would fit on her!

Unfortunately, I'm not a good enough photographer to photograph an all-white doll. The lighting I used turned her hair a dingy yellow! (But, she really has white hair.) I like how the hair defies gravity- like it's floating in water  (very easy to do, I found out, by adding a "hair pad" on top of the head and felting the mohair into it -- and using a lot of hair spray!)

This customer also liked pale blue, and couldn't decide if she wanted it white or sea foam blue. In the end, I made her all white, with pale blue fins.

Have fun!