Working on orders and some new faces.

I spent this last weekend cleaning out the studio (again) and moving all the doll class stuff out of the dining room where it had begun to take over (again).  The studio is so functional now that it's really a pleasure to work in there.  My mother-in-law (wave hello MJ!) would probably still have an anxiety attack upon entering, but to those of us bent this way, it's wonderful!  Haha!

So the last couple of days have been about finishing some Molly Dolls, a small Izannah, a large Izannah, and several character dolls.  I'm working to improve the hands-on art doll class, and getting ready for the online class that will begin in November.

Here are some faces I've been working on, and the dolls my students made in last week's class--they still need arms and legs and clothes!

"Jack Frost" doll in the making.

Molly Doll

Phil's favorite.

My art doll using the mask I include in my hands-on class.

Joann's Doll

Laura's Doll

Hope your week is progressing as you'd like it to!

Lessons with Dorothy the Doll Doc

Dorothy Meredith is a doll restorer, super doll show promoter, and a good friend.  So we decided to trade classes.  She came over for my two-day intensive on cloth & clay art dolls.  Then I spent two days at her place, learning (some of) the fine art of restoring dolls.  I figured to apply what I learned to the restoration of my old dolls, but it goes so much further.  I can see many exciting and creative possibilities for these tools and materials in art doll making as well.  WIN!

So the first day I went by myself, where we chipped and dremeled and painted and sanded.  Seriously good information from a lady who has spent thirty-plus years in this business.  Her encyclopedic knowledge of twentieth century dolls is amazing.  (Look up Attic Antiquities for info on her classes!)

Here is her workshop and doll store.  I confess to a little Woman Cave envy.  Aside from great work lighting, lots of space, and all the materials you could ever want, there's a work sink and a little half bath.  How cool is that?

The workshop

Shop Kitty "Nosey"

The Doll Store.  I have to wear a bib here, because I drool.

We buckled down and got to work.  I'm a fan of PPE (personal protective equipment) because I've  not got enough brain cells to waste any, and some of that stuff is STINKY.  And the the dust goes everywhere when you sand bondo.  Yes, what goes on cars.  Interesting process, this doll restoration biz.

My projects for the first day: an old Boudoir doll, a no-name fellow that will require an entirely new body, and below that, a little Effanbee Bubbles who has paint chipping and needs a new crier (laugher?). 

The second day was more of a group effort with some of my favorite people.  Laura and Joann drove a long way to join us with their own restoration projects.  With a good lunch stop at the local Grain Bin, we worked and learned and shared and laughed--a wonderful day spent with people who share a passion for dolls, old and new.

Laura, Dorothy, and Joann

On this second day, I worked on restringing a modern resin BJD--because I wanted to learn restringing--and learning to air brush.  I am so going to use this air brush in making dolls!

Laura had a little Betsy Wetsy type who needed new eyes, and a Patsy Ann type that needs work on her badly chipping paint on the back of her head.  (I am ignorant of 20th Century Dolls, as well as the finer bisque antiques, so ladies, please forgive me if I named your dolls wrong!)

Joann had a lovely (and huge!) Kestner girl who needed restringing, and a tiny little porcelain who needs a wig and a dentist.  I kept suggesting she leave the snaggle toothed look and give her an eye patch and a pirate costume, but apparently this will not happen.  Maybe she'll get them for Christmas.

Dorothy (when we gave her a minute to work) had some tiny Ginny's to restring, and Nosey worked on exercising the hinges on the shop door.  In and out, in and out.  She's a good shop kitty, making sure everyone knows she's the one in charge, no matter what the Lady of the Shop might say.

The plan is for a "hair rerooting party" at my house coming up...BYORT (bring your own rerooting tool) where we can practice on my Monster High dolls.  And my first official Art Doll class is coming up on the 19th and 20th of August.  I love this job! 

Hope your weekend is lovely...and includes time with people you enjoy.

A class doll and puppy update.

Not much to say about the puppy update--he's fine!  His stitches come out this coming Friday, but they are so far not really bothering him a bit, so he's had very little time with the dreaded Lampshade Collar. In this photo he looks really sad, but he's just lounging on the fluffy blanket. 

The class doll is from the pattern I include in both my hands-on and online doll class.  The class teaches how to make a doll using a pre-made paper clay mask, and includes a pattern for the doll and her dress.  The hands-on class includes the fabric for the doll, (with the head/torso already sewn, stuffed, and treated) and the paper clay mask. 

I'm still amazed at how many ways this simple face can go.  I've done up three of them, Dorothy did one, and I just worked up another, this one to serve as my Doll Class Spokes-Lady at doll shows.  Her hair is more of a 1940's young lady style...I've changed it a little since this photo was taken, but this is basically it.  Now to make her dress fit that era.  Maybe a ruffly pinafore apron?

Hope your weekend is lovely, dahlinks.