Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Reveal Number Three: Journal Girl

Well, it's my turn to post my Art Doll based on Sue Roddis' project. Thank you Jo for seriously taking me out of my comfort zone, as I had never made an Art Doll before.
I kept thinking about what Sue had said that you could make one from whatever you wanted to, and decided to make one from a tag book.It was vaguely body shaped, so I was halfway there. I decided to turn the book into a journal about the 'girls' in my life, as Jo's title 'Here come the Girls' just stuck in my head. I've written about my Mum, who introduced me to crafting, Megan my lovely daughter, Jo, Elaine and Lesley, my three blog sisters, you all have pages about you. I have written about Glenda and Lynn from Graphicus, who gave me the stamps and confidence with colour and texture in the first place. I have written about Michelle, my youngest crafting buddy, about Kay and Amanda, who taught me to make jewellery, and then there is a page devoted to the many others; Kay Carley who taught me about Coloursoft pencils, Hels Sheridan, whose blog is inspirational, Sue Roddis, Helen Chilton, and many others who inspire me on a daily basis.

I gessoed the book and painted the pages with Salmon and Lake Mist Paint Dabbers. I edged the pages with Watermelon and Mountain Rose ink pads. I used a mixture of background stamps with Stone Gray and Cherry Pink Stazon to build up backgrounds. On the front of the book I made an insert for a Tim Holtz ideology plate which reads 'It's all about the Girls'. I have made a battered heart, to which I have added a little key and stuck this on. I have made the book close by bending two Woodware swirly clips and attaching two brads and hooking them on at the front only. They can then be unhooked as necessary.

I have made arms with two thicknesses of card and inserted wire before gesoing and painting with salmon paint dabber and a baby wipe. In one hand, Dot (Cotton), as my husband has nicknamed her, is holding three metal flowers, with nails for stalks. I had to put nails in there somewhere, to be true to Sue's project! On the other hand, is perched a metal butterfly.

I have used a B-Line stamp for the face, masking the hair and jawline, so that I only inked the eyes, nose and mouth. I used Tattered Rose DI to colour the face and Inktense pencils to colour the eyes. Her head decoration reminds me of curlers, hence the name Dot Cotton. I wanted to use nails, but they were too big for the beads, so I used head pins instead, tying a piece of ribbon at the base before pushing them into the cardboard. The wings are coloured with Tattered Rose, Victorian Velvet and Weathered Wood DIs, before stamping with a very old Aspects of Design lace stamp.
Elaine's husband very kindly sourced me a vintage cotton reel label, sized perfectly for my hand made wood turned cotton reel. I have used twisted paper string to represent the cotton, and attached two more metal butterflies.

My biggest challenge has been working out how to make my ideas work; I wanted her to hold the metal flowers, and to have a metal butterfly resting on her hand. My best friend has been UHU glue, it sticks everything! I'm sorry that this post has been so long, if you have stuck with me to the end, thank you. I hope you like my very tall offering, as I mentioned on my own blog, she is 32cms tall on her cotton reel. Thanks for looking, Judith x 

Sunday, 28 March 2010

And Next We Have the Peacock Princess!

Well I have to say Elaine started this month's end of month reveal with great style and imagination. Her art doll is absolutely gorgeous and I want to say a big thankyou to Jo for choosing Sue Roddis' Art Dolls project from last month's Craft Stamper magazine as our inspiration this time. I'm fairly sure I wouldn't have had a go at this if she hadn't and it was really good fun.

To a great extent I have gone quite out of my normal comfort zone not only in making the doll in the first place but in making her a bit fluffy and fussy. I've also used quite a bit more bling than I would normally although I suppose it's still quite restrained to some people, Lol! I used Sue's suggested method of making the body with strips of light card covered with a good coat of gesso and then blended Distress Inks to create the colours I wanted. I then lightly stamped a flourish in a golden colour, stamped off once onto scrap, in the background followed by the words You Inspire Me. I used stamps from the Elusive Images Peacock range to stamp the head with headdress onto card and coloured with Sakura Stardust pens. I let some ink from the pens flow out onto my craftmat and then picked it up with a water brush so that the colours were quite pale with a subtle shimmer. I stamped and coloured the same image again but masked out the face and then just coloured in hair for the back of the head. I then decorated the headdress with wire clips cut in half, fluffy white feathers and a bit of bling.

For the wings I used another of the Peacock stamps, this time onto acetate using Stazon and coloured the back of the image with Sakura Glaze Pens. I trimmed it down and into two to make the wings. I also used the fan spur (?) image from the same themeplates, stamped several times and coloured with H2Os, cut out and attached to the bottom of the body together with some more white feathers and bling and I think that's it. Oh yes, I used a well know coffee shop's wooden stirrer for the support at the back which is mostly hidden from view and in the absence of any lovely wooden bobbin, I used a glass taper candle holder which worked perfectly and, I think better fitted her attire than perhaps a bobbin would have done.

Well, I hope you like my offering for this month. I'm now waiting in anticipation to see which project Judith chooses for us to play with for the month of April. I'm also really looking forward to seeing Judith's art doll which will be the next one to be revealed in a couple of days followed shortly after by Jo's. Thankyou for visiting once again.

Lesley Xx

Friday, 26 March 2010

Nature Girl

Well, here she is in all her glory – my very first art doll. Thanks to Jo for choosing this project and to Sue Roddis for the inspiration from her article in Craft Stamper. I do know my doll is rather girly, but I think I am happy with my efforts, although I have definitely got to the stage that I have looked at her too much!

I decided to take the main picture out in my garden because she looked like she belonged in the natural world. It was a bit breezy though and she kept slipping down, so she's turning up her toes a bit!! My starting point for the theme of my doll is the gorgeous and enormous Patchwork Butterfly stamp from Elusive Images. I stamped and embossed the wings onto black card and then painted the wings with H2O paints. The size of the wings then drove the size of the overall project.

I constructed the doll’s body, as Sue did in Craft Stamper out of strips, but I have ended up covering rather a lot of it up. It was a good robust construction though, as I managed to cut the arms out of the same panel too. I felt I needed a shapely doll and dress and used the free template that Jo had mentioned to me on the Enchanted Gallery website. Where would we be without these generous crafters that freely share their work? I used this template for the arms, legs and dress shape. The head uses one of my favourite little stamps called The Dreamer from Stamp Dreamer. I think this company has stopped trading now. This stamp is actually in a rectangular panel and at first I didn’t think I could use it. You can see the stamp in my earlier sneeky peek. Then I thought that the draping around her head looked a bit like her face was in a bud, so very apt for my natural theme.

I stamped the face onto brown card and coloured the image with Coloursoft pencils. I covered the frame with the flowers that make up her hair. These are the smaller flowers from the Martha Stewart hydrangea punch, each individually coloured with 4 or 5 different Distress Inks. I added a metal flower from a cheap necklace, I painted with Viva precious metal gold paint. I made a little necklace out of tiny flower shaped sequins that are nail gems from the Pound Shop!

The doll’s body was first coloured with gesso and then acrylic paint applied with a baby wipe. It was then overstamped with a lace tag stamp from WS Designs, in brown Versafine ink. The bodice is cut from Artylicious paper from my Graphicus Guild membership pack with little flower brads added. The hands were made from little Magenta maple leaf peel offs backed onto more paper. (Whoops - did I really say peel-offs?!)

The skirt is made from a number of layers of stamping. The first layer is made of Prima paper ivy leaves. Next is a layer made from a huge Beeswax stamp of beech leaves stamped onto orange mulberry paper and cut out. This is followed by an Impression Obsession Butterflies and Blossom petal set, stamped in black ink onto gold paper. Then another beech leaf layer stamped onto more Artylicious paper. The final couple of stamped layers are petals cut from a stamp from the Elusive Images Big Flowers set. These were stamped onto more Artylicious paper, individual petals cut out and then edged with Distress Ink.

I thought these layered up looked like scales on a pine cone, which again worked well for my Nature Girl theme. Finally I edged the dress with a strip of gold paper punched with the Martha Stewart Fall leaves edging punch, backed with a darker paper and cut to shape. I added a little twig with some lichen from my garden, a bee charm and the word Bee-lieve from another Beeswax stamp. The word Nature comes from a Paper Artsy stamp set that finding this link I see has artwork from the very talented isa Norris.

Last, but not least, I drew some stripey legs using a Copic fineliner and Inktense pencils (I never draw anything, I must have been feeling very brave) and added shoes made from more of the paper leaves with more leaf peel offs and little dragonfly brads I had painted gold. I mounted the whole thing using a coffee stirrer (which is probably not visible) on a piece of natural bark and with some pine cones from my garden.

Are you still awake after all that?! She was certainly fun to make and I can see the attraction of making art dolls now, so thanks to Jo and Sue for the choice and the inspiration.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

An Extra Peek From Me

The other girls have asked me to add an extra peek at my art doll because due to unforseen events Judith and Jo have been unable post their sneak peeks this week so here goes.

I hope I'm not giving too much away here, Lol! Keep a look out at the end of the week when I think the first of our art dolls will be revealed.

Thankyou for visiting.

Lesley Xx

Monday, 22 March 2010

A sneeky dolly peek!

I have made good progress on my art doll project this month. Here is a tiny peek at one corner - I can't show you too much or I will give the game away.

This is very different from Sue's doll, but I am sure she would forgive me. The most important thing is that I have made my first ever art doll and I am sure it won't be my last. I have especially indulged my enjoyment of making things in miniature with this project, so there is quite a lot of detail stuffed in and loads of different stamps have been used too!!

I am looking forward to the big reveal - I just know the projects will once again be really different - not too long to go now!

Elaine xx

Sunday, 14 March 2010

What are little Art Dolls made of?

I have never made an Art Doll before, and so I looked at Sue's quote 'you can make one using whatever you feel like'. I like this idea! I woke up one night, a few weeks ago, and had the basic idea for my Art Doll, including the colour scheme, layout, decoration, etc.The idea kept me awake for ages! I wrote it all down in my notebook so that I wouldn't forget it, and then set about gathering my supplies.My basic colour scheme is pink and grey, using paint dabbers, precious metal paint, and Distress Inks. I plan to use a few beads if possible, and some metal sheet. I will incorporate lots of stamping, and a beautiful wood turned, larger than life replica of a cotton reel, that my wood turning friend, Tony made for me. I can't say too much more, or I
 will reveal more than I want to at this stage. However, what goes into my stash picture normally ends up in my project. I have left one component out of my picture this time, on purpose! Thanks for looking, Judith x

Friday, 12 March 2010

A natural theme

Well, here is a selection of the stamps I am planning to use for my art doll project.

I followed Sue's instructions for making the body which worked well, but I have gone for quite a shapely doll body approach - more to be revealed in due course. There will be a lot more stamping for me this time around and the use of punches is also going to feature quite strongly in my project too. I have chosen a slightly more subtle colour palette than my last project, with a strong theme of nature running through.

I have so many ideas whizzing around my head for this project it is hard to keep it all under some control, but hopefully it will come together OK in a doll that works!!!

Elaine x

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Feathers and a bit of bling

I thought I'd let you have a peek at some of the bits I want to use on my project for this month.

This one is most definitely out of my normal comfort zone but I'm so glad Jo chose Sue Roddis' art doll from this month's Craft Stamper. It's great fun!

I've decided to go down the fluffy, sparkly route, again not my normal style but I'm pleased with what I've done so far.

Thanks to anyone who visits and leaves a comment. We love to read them and pop back again soon as I'm sure the others will be posting some bits very soon.

Lesley Xx

Friday, 5 March 2010

Here Come The Girls!

Thanks everyone for the warm reception you have given the blog and for your very kind comments on the finished projects. We never imagined we would draw so much attention.

It's now my turn to choose our next project from the March issue of Craft Stamper and I have decided on the fantastic art dolls by Sue Roddis. These can be found on pages 50-52 of the magazine.

I've always liked the idea of making an art doll, although I've never really known where to start. Sue's work has been a real inspiration to me since I read my first Craft Stamper several years ago. Taking on this project, I feel I have permission to make something which doesn't have to be pretty or to suit anyone but me. I have several ideas already and I'm not sure which one will pass the final audition so my sneak peeks might include body parts(!) that find their way elsewhere. I'm really excited about this particular project. With wooden cotton reels being so hard to find, one of the biggest challenges will be finding a base for my doll. Sue says in the article "I don't think the question should be 'what should I make an art doll from?' but rather 'what can't I make an art doll from?'" so I am going to try not to be too predictable with my materials.

Have fun with this one, girls!

Monday, 1 March 2010

And finally .........

Well at last I have finished my February project - I just missed posting in February as I had such trouble getting a photo in the gloomy weather we had yesterday.

Here is my "love" themed project inspired by Valentine's Day in February. As you will have seen I chose a rich red colour theme. I love textures and fabrics, so that influenced my choice of materials. My envelope was made from a red backed rose paper. I lined my envelope with red illusion film to give the effect of moire silk. I mounted the envelope on red satin mirri card, so beautiful I had trouble persauding myself to take the scissors to it and mounted the whole thing on burgundy velvet paper.

My objects inside the envelope were an original vintage postcard that I edged with some fancy metal corners, my only stamping was the rather passionate Crafty Individuals stamp embossed on more red satin mirri in Ruby Obsidian Moonglow EP and the little jewelled frame that I posted earlier. I wanted to include family love in the theme, so this is a picture of my Grandmother and Great-Grandmother. The outside of the envelope is decorated with the beautiful rose trim that I found in a little haberdashers.  All the metal heart, ring and key embellishments were different colours, so I painted them all with gold Viva precious metal paint to give them a more consistent appearance. I added a red paper flower with a red heart button, a metal flower that came from a very cheap necklace I bought to dismantle for embellshments and a little burgundy tassel on the key. Last but not least , I used a quote from one of my favourite Thomas Hardy poems - if you want to read it - you can find it here and a tiny quote cut from the box of my favourite chocolates - another kind of love!!

I added something extra into this project that no-one can see but me, inside the envelope are two little letters that are precious to me, one my husband wrote to me and one my Grandmother sent me when I was a child. I wanted to add these things to make it an extra special memento.

Thanks for sticking with us for our first four Craft Stamper projects - I hope you have enjoyed looking at them,as much as we have making them.

Elaine x