Thursday, August 22, 2019

My New Handmade Mixed Media Art Doll - Meet Goldie



As mentioned in my previous Linda's Blog post, I Had To Change Her Face, when I was buying the wood doll kits for my Artful Gathering 2019 Session 2 "Beyond the Imaginarium: A Compendium of Holiday Merriment" class taught by Mary Jane Chadbourne in July I saw she was still selling her I  "The Imaginarium: Anthologies of an Art Doll" wood kits containing the wood to make three dolls.

So, as you all know I bought them to "play" and "play" I did.


Goldie is a handmade 15" by 2" by 5" mixed media wood collage art doll who was painted a medium  teal blue color.  And, surprise, surprise like 'Blossom" I didn't sponge paint her, which I usually do.


Unlike the other mixed media art dolls I've made her face is a combination of acrylic paints and watercolor paints.  As painting faces has always been my weak-point I wanted to try this to see if I could do it and be pleased with the results.  I have to admit I was very happy with how her face turned out.  It really seems to suit her.

When making dolls with faces I find that the face usually drives the personality of the doll.  Such was the case with this doll.  She seemed bold, adventuresome, and a little bit of a "wild child."  She might even be a little bit of a tomboy.  When I look at her face it seems like she's almost daring me to ask her something or dare her to do something.

So, I decided to name her "Goldie." Not only does she have an inner desire for love and companionship, but also has a desire to have fun - be a little adventuresome.  Kind of like the Goldie Hawn dancer from the old 60's-70's TV show - Laugh-In.  Always smiling, always laughing, and always dancing.


Her face is hand-painted with acrylic and watercolor paints and is surrounded by light brown hand spun and hand dyed alpaca roving from my sister's Rock Garden Alpaca's Farm.  As her alpaca fiber is so fine I glued it in small sections at a time  Her wood crown is embellished with various  graphic papers and chipboard stickers.  Mixed media fibers are wrapped around the top of her hairline and bottom of her crown and are used throughout her outfit.

She has a creative embroidery trim wrapped around her neck and a silk ribbon rose embellishment at the top of her blouse.


Her outfit consists of scrapbook paper embellishments as well as paper flower chipboard embellishments.  Her hands are graphic images and her vest has been embellished with puffy paint dots, and metallic pen stitch lines.  Mixed media flowers have been added to the bottom of her chipboard graphic flowers as well as matching mixed media fibers for the ones wrapped around her hairline.  The same mixed media fibers embellish the sides of her outfit.


The words: "Every Day A New Story Begins" is on the bottom of the front of her base and suits her adventuresome attitude perfectly.  Two different colors of glitter Washi tape have been wrapped around her wood legs. Matching green glitter Washi tape is wrapped around her base as are matching mixed media fibers for the ones wrapped around her hairline.  Paper flowers add embellishments on the top of her base and surrounding her legs.


The back of her outfit is embellished with the phrase: "Believe In Possibilities" as well as chipboard flowers with mixed media fiber tie and scrapbook paper graphics.  The back of her base is embellished with the phrase: "Smile Every Day" and definitely suits her personality.  How can you not smile everyday when everyday is an adventure?


The picture above is a close-up of her back embellishments.


Pictured above is a close-up of the back bottom of her base.


The picture above is how she looks on her right side.


The picture above is how she looks on her left side.

I was pleased with the way she came out and think "Goldie" is too.  Hopefully, you agree.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

My New Handmade Mixed Media Art Doll - Meet Blossom


As mentioned in my previous Linda's Blog post, I Had To Change Her Face, when I was buying the wood doll kits for my Artful Gathering 2019 Session 2 "Beyond the Imaginarium: A Compendium of Holiday Merriment" class taught by Mary Jane Chadbourne in July I saw she was still selling her I  "The Imaginarium: Anthologies of an Art Doll" wood kits containing the wood to make three dolls.

So, and this should come as no surprise to all of you, I bought more.   I told Mary Jane I just wanted to "play."

Well, as you all know when I "play" at crafts and dolls I always go a little overboard.  Let's just say these three dolls inspired me to make some more mixed media dolls and crafts.  You'll see what I mean in all the following Linda's Blog posts.  Stay tuned - there will be a lot of them.

Now I know what you're all thinking; "Linda, you don't just go overboard - you go crazy.  Moderation is definitely not in your playbook!"

Guilty as charged, but I do have fun!


Blossom is a handmade 15" by 2" by 4" mixed media wood collage art doll who was painted a solid light teal blue color.  And, surprise, surprise I didn't sponge paint her, which I usually do.  Sometimes a little change-up is good - don't you think?


Her face is a graphic image that I just love and think suits her personality.  She's a little bit of a delicate flower, shy and timid but when you get to know her she's as loyal a friend as you'll ever have and generous soul.  She loves nature, harmony, animals and people.  She firmly believes that there is a "good person" in every soul that's just waiting to blossom.  You just have to nourish it.

So, it should come as no surprise to all of you that I named her "Blossom."


Her face is surrounded by brown wool roving that I tied in a bow at the back nape of her neck and at the bottom of the braid.  Her wood crown is embellished with various  graphic papers and chipboard stickers.

She has a silk hand dyed ribbon wrapped around her neck and tied in a bow that matches the two ribbons in her hair.


Her outfit consists of scrapbook paper embellishments as well as paper flower embellishments.  Her gloves are graphic images and her vest has been embellished with glitter dots, puffy paint dots, and metallic pen stitch lines.


The words: "A Friend Knows The Song In Your Heart and Sings It Back To You When You Have Forgotten The Words" are wrapped around her base.  Glitter Washi tape has been wrapped around her wood legs and wired glitter ribbon has been added to the top of her base and shaped around her legs.  Graphic scrapbook papers as well as mixed media fibers have also been wrapped around her base.


The back of her is embellished with two graphic words: "Memories Captured" as well as chipboard floral and butterfly graphics.


The picture above is a close-up of her back embellishments.


Pictured above is a close-up of the back bottom of her base.


The picture above is how she looks on her right side.


The picture above is how she looks on her left side.

I was pleased with the way she came out and think her face, colors, outfit and long hair braid suit her.  Hopefully, you all agree.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I Had To Change Her Face




Back in July of 2014 I was taking my 5th class at Artful Gathering. The class was ART-S2-307 The Imaginarium: Anthologies of an Art Doll and was being taught by Mary Jane Chadbourne.   It was a delightful mixed media art doll class that I loved.

I'd been anxiously awaiting the start of this class as I have never created mixed media art dolls so it was going to be an adventure for me. And, adventure it was. I never realized how much fun mixed media was, how much work was involved in creating mixed media art dolls and all the different supplies you would need.  I know now and have been addicted to mixed media ever since. 

For this class Mary Jane class Mary Jane's husband had created wood doll kits that you could buy from her Etsy shop.  I had decided to buy one of the art doll wood kits as it contained all the wood I would need to make the 3 different art dolls taught in the class.

The dolls pictured above were the three art dolls I made back in 2014. The one on the left took the longest amount of time to make as I couldn't decide on the different papers and fabrics I would use for her outfit and what other embellishments I was going to add. Her message was "to listen is to learn, and to understand is to inspire" so I named her "Compassion."

The doll in the middle was the 2nd doll I made. She had beautiful blue eyes so I decided to make her outfit a combination of darker blue papers and fabrics. Her message was "believe in possibilities" and "begin with yes" so I named her Melody.

The doll on the right was the 3rd doll I made.  She had a small body, but a large head. I had found a wonderful dark, whimsical graphic to use for the face but when looking at the finished doll back then I thought her face could have been a little smaller and the face was too dark for the rest of the doll.

I had decided that this doll would be a whimsical angel of sorts so I added a green and white checkered paper bow to her back to serve as wings. Her sides and backs I embossed with a flower design which gave it a three dimensional look.

I had decided to use the message "Trust Your Heart Song" and had found a whimsical green frog playing a violin that I wanted to incorporate in her design. As the frog was green I decided to make her outfit a combination of green, peach and black/white papers and fabrics. To this I added white outlining and black raised painted dots. I named her Ophelia.


Well years later, truth be told - I wasn't happy with her face back then and have been wanting to change her ever since.  So, when I was buying the wood doll kits for my Artful Gathering 2019 Session 2 "Beyond the Imaginarium: A Compendium of Holiday Merriment" Class taught by Mary Jane Chadbourne I decided to buy more of her The Imaginarium: Anthologies of an Art Doll wood kits.  I told her I just wanted to "play."


Well, after playing with my new doll kits I got inspired and decided to finally take the plunge and change Ophelia's face.  I couldn't remove the existing face as it would probably ruin the doll so I looked for a graphic I could glue over her existing face and found one I thought would work.


I was hesitant to replace her face as I didn't want to ruin the doll and was pleasantly pleased that it went as well as it did.  I think her new face suits her better and hope you would agree.

I think she still looks like an Ophelia so while I'm not keeping her original face I am going to keep her name.


Friday, August 02, 2019

A Progression Of Learning With Faces - I Hope!


I'm a lifetime student or lifetime crafter always in search of learning something new and have been teaching myself how to make things since I was knee high.  I've learned how to sew, knit, do a little woodworking, painting, floral design with natural and non-natural floral, create pictures, sculpting, drawing, collage, making dolls out of all sorts of media,  quilting, and handcrafting just about anything I could get my hands on.


Basically, there isn't any type of craft I wouldn't want to learn.  My bucket list is huge and, for sure, I won't be able to learn every type of craft there is.  I'll give it my best shot, which is all anyone can ever expect.

Some of the crafts I've tried have been easy for me.  Others have been difficult, like painting faces.  I find that my hand tends to shake a little when I'm trying to draw and paint faces for some of my doll creations.  That's probably what drew me to "faceless" dolls.  That and my love of the Victorian Era and Victorian dresses.

Well, many years ago now I discovered that the internet was a fabulous source for learning all sorts of crafts.  It was like crafting heaven for me.  I literally could spend 24/7 doing nothing by learning how to craft and apply the various techniques I'd learned.  What could be better than that?


In 2012 I discovered the Artful Gathering online classes and fell in love with them. They offer online art retreats that are available in the Spring and Summer each year that are are taught by some of the most unbelievable and creative artists I have ever encountered and whose creativity is beyond measure.


So far I've taken 13 Artful Gathering (counting the two I'm taking this year)  e-classes and just finished the second of the two online classes that I'm taking at Artful Gathering this year.  I have learned so much in all the classes I've taken, especially the doll making ones.

Here's some of my creations involving the painting of faces.  I'd like to think I've progressed in my learning and techniques over time and hope you would agree.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Linda's Review of "Beyond The Imaginarium - A Compendium Of Holiday Merriment" Class



If you follow my Linda's Blog you know that I love taking online arts & crafts classes and could, literally,  spend 24/7 just doing this.  So, for sure I was looking forward to taking two classes at Artful Gathering this year: Artful Gathering 2019 Session 1 "Leonardo Loves Zia" Class taught by Christina Zinnia Galliher and Artful Gathering 2019 Session 2 "Beyond the Imaginarium: A Compendium of Holiday Merriment" Class taught by Mary Jane Chadbourne.


In 2012 I discovered the Artful Gathering online classes and fell in love with them. They offer online art retreats that are available in the Spring and Summer each year that are are taught by some of the most unbelievable and creative artists I have ever encountered and whose creativity is always beyond measure.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

My Mixed Media "Deerly Yours" Art Dolls From The "Beyond The Imaginarium" Class



The second part of the "Beyond The Imaginarium - A Compendium Of Holiday Merriment with Mary Jane Chadbourne" was to make her "Deerly Yours" block art dolls.

I had bought Mary Jane's "Deerly Yours" unfinished wood kit as I didn't want to have to cut the wood.  The kit had enough wood to make three tiny art dolls, two of which had reindeer antlers.

In this class she provided several different ways for finishing their faces and one way was to learn how to watercolor them.


I had never drawn faces for dolls on a flat wood surface before let alone watercolor painted them so this was a new experience for me that I was really looking forward to learning.

I have always felt that drawing faces was my weakness and an area I definitely needed a lot of practice with.  So, while I was looking forward to this I was also hesitant as to whether or not I would be able to do it and would be happy with the outcome.

Monday, July 29, 2019

My Mixed Media Santa and Elf From The "Beyond The Imaginarium" Class


In Session 2 of Artful Gathering this year I decided to take "Beyond the Imaginarium: A Compendium of Holiday Merriment" Class which was being taught by Mary Jane Chadbourne.

We were to learn how to make mixed media holiday art dolls.  Well, for me, all you have to do is whisper holiday and art dolls and my ears perk up. Plus, I had taken two of Mary Jane's classes before and knew they would be a lot of fun.

I had decided to buy two of Mary Jane's art doll wood kits that were available for this class as I didn't want to have to cut the wood myself.  One of the wood kits had the unfinished wood pieces to make the Santa and Elf Doll and the other had the unfinished wood pieces needed to make the three "Deerly Yours" dolls.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Linda's Review of The Artful Gathering "Leonardo Loves Zia" Class By Christina Zinnia Galliher


If you follow my Linda's Blog you know that I love taking online arts & crafts classes and could, literally,  spend 24/7 just doing this.  So, for sure I was looking forward to taking two classes at Artful Gathering this year.


In 2012 I discovered the Artful Gathering online classes and fell in love with them. They offer online art retreats that are available in the Spring and Summer each year that are are taught by some of the most unbelievable and creative artists I have ever encountered and whose creativity is beyond measure.

Artful Gathering was established in 2009 by Christina Zinnia Galliher, who is an exceptional artist in her own right.   For the first time this year I decided to take one of Christina's Zinnia's classes,  "Leonardo Loves Zia" and could hardly wait.  

Artful Gathering 2019 Session 1 "Leonardo Loves Zia" Class by Christina Zinnia Galliher

Friday, July 26, 2019

My Artful Gathering Paper Flowers and Collage & Embellished Vases



Not only do I love doll making but I also love creating floral crafts so while taking the "Leonardo Loves Zia" online class in the first session at Artful Gathering I was thrilled to see that we were going to learn how to manipulate paper to not only create two totally handmade sculptured jesters but also how to create paper flowers in embellished and collage vases to add to the romantic story of our jesters.


So, for the last week I have been doing just that and have to tell you that I have been having a lot of fun.  Of course, I didn't quite follow the course and instructions.  I never seem to but, I did utilize what I learned in this class as well as other techniques I've learned or picked up over the years.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Something A Little Different "Don Juan" Romeo


As promised in a previous post, pictured above is something a little different.  I've named him "Don Juan" Romeo as he looks like a "ladies man"to me and is definitely in search of his "Juliet."

He was created along with the other jesters in my Artful Gathering 2019 Session 1 "Leonardo Loves Zia" Class by Christina Zinnia Galliher class but utilized some of the unfinished wood pieces I had bought from Julie Haymaker's Etsy Shop several years ago.

I've been wanting to use these some of her unfinished pieces since I bought them but just never had the time or found the right application.  Well, the romantic story centered around the jesters from this class seemed perfect for their application.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

My Second Group of "Leonardo Loves Zia" Jesters




As promised in an earlier post I finally finished and took picture of the second set of jesters from the "Artful Gathering 2019 Session 1 "Leonardo Loves Zia" Class by Christina Zinnia Galliher" that I took at Artful Gathering this year.

Monday, July 22, 2019

My First Group Of "Leonardo Loves Zia" Creations




After many long hours of learning and creating I finally finished the first set of jesters from the "Artful Gathering 2019 Session 1 "Leonardo Loves Zia" Class by Christina Zinnia Galliher" that I took at Artful Gathering this year.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

My Grand-Daughter's Wedding Flowers


When my grand-daughter was getting married she mentioned that she wanted silk floral arrangements and silk floral bouquets for her wedding but couldn't find any florists who would do this.  They all used naturals flowers.  So, she was considering making them herself and wanted to know what I thought of this.

Well, when it comes to silk floral crafts all you have to do is mention learning how to make silk floral arrangements and actually making them and I'm game.  At my age I've been making silk floral arrangements for so long for my own decorations that I can do it in my sleep.

So, I told her they were easy enough to do, she could certainly learn how and I'd be happy to help her with this if she wanted to.  Well, that brought a big smile on her face and there is nothing more endearing to a grandmother then seeing her beautiful grand-daughter with a big smile on her face.

We had plenty of time to plan this as we were discussing this at the Christmas holidays and she wasn't getting married until the following September.

Since my grand-daughter doesn't live near-by we communicated over the next few months via text and emails.

My grand-daughter is a beautiful, intelligent, confident, talented, self-assured, independent and organized woman who was planning the wedding herself with her fiance.  There was no doubt in my mind that they would be able to accomplish this and wind up having a beautiful and memorable wedding.

My grand-daughter told me via email that she had a ton of ideas for centerpieces on the guest table, decorations for the room, color schemes, venue concepts, etc.  I had no doubt she knew exactly what she wanted and would try to accomplish this.  She already had the venue she wanted which would fit perfectly with her concept.

What she wanted was a bohemian meets garden party concept, which I loved.  Here's what she said in her email; " What I'm really looking at is playing up different textures and really making everything pop. I wanted to get married in the forest. But, I'm allergic to everything and I can't control the weather so that seemed impractical. So, I'm going to bring as much green inside as possible. The color story for the wedding is Burgundy, pink (more dusty/vintage looking), ivory, green, and dusty blue. "

It was going to be a fairly large wedding with a large wedding party so that meant a lot of bouquets, a lot of table centerpieces, and a lot of room decorations.  The venue was a winery with multiple rooms with wood interior including a large rock fireplace and birch support pillars.  There was a large altar outside where the ceremony would be held,  dependent upon the weather.  If there was foul weather the ceremony would be inside in front of the large stone fireplace.

For the flowers she wanted to go the less traditional route, which was typical for her, and wanted King Protea, wildflowers, and thistle, which were all perfect for her color story for her wedding.

She wasn't sure what she wanted for containers for the tables and was thinking of possibly a cluster of terrariums, candles, etc. surrounded by greenery, but she wasn't sure.  I told her that terrariums look beautiful in clusters but are pricey even for little containers. 

Plus, they usually work best for a single fresh flower or small cactus plant.  With 15 to 19 tables as well as other decorations it would take a long time to make all the clusters, would be hard to maneuver with the silk floral and green foam needed for mounting and would require everything to be glued down inside the terrarium in order to transport them.

I told her that the King Protea she wanted were way too big and heavy for terrariums so she might have to consider other containers.  So, with a little research she decided birch containers would be perfect.  With the flowers she had in mind, the birch support pillars in the venue and woodland atmosphere the birch containers would be perfect.

The King Protea is not the normal type of silk floral you'd find at A.C. Moore or Michaels so we did a little research online.  Luckily, we were able to find some online that would work.  We ended up ordering a lot of the silk floral stems from the same website.  While we were happy with the King Protea stems we weren't as happy with the quality of some of the other items we had ordered and were short changed on some.  However, that's another story.

We knew that we would need one large King Protea for each birch container  as well as wildflowers, thistle, and greenery.  We would also need one large King Protea for each bridesmaids bouquet, maybe 2 for the maid of honors bouquet, and 2-3 for the bride's bouquet.  Plus, we would need several containers and decorations for the fireplace and elsewhere.

In any event, we ordered everything online we couldn't get at A. C. Moore, Joann's or Michael's stores and arranged a time for her to be here to put everything together.

Well, the day finally came when my grand-daughter and her fiance would be coming, as well as one of the bridesmaids to put the silk floral together.  We would be making everything in my basement workshop which had enough room and was suitable for working on silk floral crafts.  Unfortunately, it was a hot summer day so it was going to be warm down there.  Luckily, I had a big fan.

As mentioned previously, I've been creating silk floral arrangements for decades and can easily do this.  My grand-daughter and her fiance wanted to learn how to do this and do it themselves, which was fine with me,  so I decided to focus on teaching them how to do this.  They would develop the prototypes for the bouquets, centerpieces and decorations. Since time was limited I would finish whatever wasn't created after they left.  As long as I had the prototypes for what they wanted this would be easy enough for me to do.

Since the focal point of any floral decoration for a wedding is the brides bouquet we focused on that first.