Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wishing you...

...thousands of opportunities for joy,

and bright adventures in the New Year!
Thanks so much for reading my blog and for being a part of my life.

I appreciate the chance to share who I am and what I do, and I especially enjoy learning about all of you.

Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

If Santa Is Late... can't blame these two!
They don't work for the big man!

This is Jingles.

He stands at just under four inches tall.

His job is to collect any decorations that fall to the floor in his house unnoticed. The humans he lives with don't even know he exists!

He found this bell in the corner behind a dust bunny.

Tolley doesn't live in a house at all.

He lives outside, where the recent inclement weather has forced him to come up with a unique solution to staying dry.

Who knew that oak leaves were multi-purpose? Lucky for him that he is only 3 inches high!

Until next time, happy holiday memories in the making! See you all next year.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice to All!

I love winter, don't you?

That time of dormancy that allows for quiet growth that won't be seen until the big debut in springtime.
I know many people don't enjoy the shorter days of winter.

To me, there is an air of expectation about this time of year. It holds it's own stark beauty.

The shorter days and cooler weather always inspire me to work in wool.

That wonderful texture and subtle warmth just lends itself to winter work.

Have a wonderful winter. I should have pictures of new work by Wednesday!

Until next time, happy shortest day of the year!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Another difference between boys and girls...

...can be seen in how they approach their holiday cookie decorating.

Girl cookie- Carefully applied icing. Tidy, detailed decorating.

Ditto this girl cookie.

Boy cookie- Note the evil green fog below the mouth. The bulging eyes are nicely highlighted with the dragees. The fang-like teeth part every so gently to make room for the exceedingly long tongue.
Yes, one arm was intentionally amputated, but the other is beautifully manicured, so it all balances out. Beating in the open chest cavity, one sees a single silver dragee heart. That's what makes it Christmas-y.

And we don't even have CABLE! Yikes! That means it all comes directly from his own little brain!

(Disclaimer: Yes, I know that there are boys who are tidy and make cute cookies and there are girls who would make scary ones. I just thought this was funny.)

Until next time, happy decorating (for the girls AND the boys).


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Goodbye Elephant!

I had planned on photographing this little guy yesterday, but I got a call from the school saying my eldest child was sick.
Bye-bye photo op!

Because he needs to go to his new home, I had to take the photos today and I just didn't have much time to make the photos flawless.

The lighting was horrid, the area I use for staging is covered with WIP' all know the holiday routine! Que sera sera.

This is the best I could do in the time that I had.

This little guy is joining a Bichon I finished previously and they will be off to their new home today as well.
I hope the buyer is happy with the end results!

Until next time, happy holiday rushes!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Holiday Kitsch

Bits and bobs of vintage whimsy. Yep, I've got quite a bit of it! Luckily, my husband has a high tolerance for kitsch.
Here are my little gnome-type guys. I love them. I think they were sold as a set when in their heyday.

This is one of the "babies" in a set that I purchased from a lovely man on eBay. He took the time to share the story behind them. His family had them in the 1940's when we were in the thick of WWII. Because they were from Japan, they weren't "supposed" to have them out on the tree.

Here is the "mama" from the set with another one of the babies. It's hard to see in the picture, but the baby has hair made from a feather. Too cute!

For my SoCal friends, this item came directly from Santa's Village, aka the Mecca of Christmas Kitsch. My parents purchased it prior to my birth. I always place it front and center on the main tree, though the rest of the ornaments are all glass and glitter. I love my cheesy piece of glittery Styrofoam THAT much!

This last one was found and purchased by my good man. He knew how I was fond of "old" Christmas items and this girl had a weird little expression on her face. Right up my alley.

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my things! Until next time, happy merry making!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Kitschmas!

First things first.... This is the DARLING elf that I received in the Elf Swap this year. This little gem was created by Vivian. She is an artiste extraordinaire and you can pop by her blog at

In fact, she is doing a little giveaway for her followers, so there is even MORE incentive to stop by. This time it is a dear little snowperson.

The elf I received is just wonderful. Full of fun little details that make the overall impact of the piece quite impressive.

We just love him and he has found a place of honor on "my" table.
(All of the kitschy and eclectic stuff belongs to me. My hubby is more traditional.)

Moving right along...

This is a unique piece of kitsch that I wanted to share.

My grandmother used to put this on her piano every year at Christmastime.

If you tip it upside down, hundreds of little Styrofoam snowballs go up into the top.

Then, when you wind it up, it turns, plays music and SNOWS!

Yes, I know that some of you will look at it and see a bit 'o' imported plastic junk wrapped in faded velveteen, but to me it embodies the feeling of a childhood Christmas.

It is linked to the times when my grandfather would put on the Santa hat and we would all sit together enjoying the holidays.

It pulls me back to when little things were full of fascination and magic happened all of the time.

These are the characters up close and personal.

Crude, yes, but indicative of the time period in which they were created. I love them, flaws and all.

I'll post more of my Kitschmas items tomorrow.

Lord knows I have enough of them!
Until next time, Merry Kitschmas!


Thursday, December 3, 2009


This is my latest elf.

His name is Ingwerplatzchen. It is supposed to mean something along the lines of Ginger Nut, but since I don't really speak German, I could be w-a-y off.

If you would be so kind as to humor me, I would appreciate it greatly.

Here he is from the back. One should never step out of the house without checking the rear view.

He is made of polymer clay over a wire armature. Ingwerplatzchen was hand painted.

He has Tibetan lamb's wool hair, inset glass eyes, applied eyelashes, and his own set of needle felted clothes.

He carries an acorn.

It just sort of went with his outfit.

He isn't one of Santa's elves. He was worried about the pressure of deadlines and such.

Instead, he works outside, helping Mother Nature keep things in balance.

There is a little more "flow" and a little less hurry.

I hope you like him. He was a joy to make.

Until next time, happy holiday making!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Can't Wait to Post...

...his real picture. This is my latest little elf. I made him for a swap and I'm just dying to post a real picture. Alas, I need to wait another day (or two).

I think he is very sweet, which is unusual for me. Often, I am so focused on what didn't come out exactly as I wanted it to that I have a hard time getting around to loving the finished piece as a whole. I know, I know...I'm working on it!

Just a few more days...I think I can make myself wait.

He goes off to his new home tomorrow. This is one of those pieces where it will be hard to let him go. Bittersweet bubble wrapping, I guess. He just seems so cozy here next to the bottle brush Christmas tree.

Hope everyone has a productive week. I need to finish up the other Bichon and a few other critters today. Hope I can find the time to get it all done!

Until next time, happy post holiday health!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wooly WIPs

Here is my latest pup...a little Bichon. I like working on dogs, especially commissioned ones, because there is always a new challenge. For instance, I originally had made this little one in a very soft core fiber blend, but I just couldn't get it to look 'right'. It was a texture problem.

I ordered some Leiscester and Wendslydale locks, which, once deconstructed, worked perfectly for the Bichon's external layer. Much more realistic. I still need to clean up the loose fibers and add the long, straight hairs to the tail.

I have been getting lots of dog orders for Christmas. I still have another Bichon, a schnoodle, a pug, a daschund and some cockers to put together. Luckily, I haven't had too many 'repeat breed' orders, so each experience has something new to teach me.

Yes, I KNOW that doing the same dog over and over would make it 'easier'. But problem solving is half of the fun of creating, don't you think?

Now here is the catch...I keep hearing that I need to focus on ONE style in order to have product recognition. My response is WAHHHHHHHH!

My wool style is very different from my clay sculpting style which looks nothing like my fabric style.

And, no, I can't seem to give up the other mediums to focus on just one. Each thing I do fulfills a different craving for me.

What's a gal to do?

Well, I'm off to finish up some more holiday paperclay. Then I have out the sewing machine to make some teeny, tiny replica dolls a la Walker. I may even add clay to the cloth dolls!

Hey! If I add wool hair, all my passions can be in one place! Woot!

Until next time, happy dabbling!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wherefore Art Thou, Light?

Why is it that, on days upon which it is imperative that I be able to take photographs, the light always s-t-i-n-k-s?

Since photography is not truly my calling, I am not that picky, but poor photographs can make any doll *sigh* with drab, under-saturated colors. Oy!

Yes, I KNOW that I can use editing software to perk things up, but I try not to do that as much as is possible. I want my work to stand on it's own, unadulterated and honest. I find that items that are too "shopped" end up being a bit weaker in the long run. People want to see a true representation of what they will be receiving.

(I will 'shop' the heck out of photos of ME of course. It's OK because my husband got to see me in person and was able to witness all the sags, bags and wonky parts in person before he made his purchase. I have no sympathy for him. Buyer's remorse, shmuyer's remorse.)

Here is what I have, bad lighting and all. I still think she is sweet.

This piece was very self indulgent for me in that I didn't have a firm plan on what I expected the outcome to be. No sketches, not too much preliminary planning. Total flow. I love moving through the process of making something new with zero judgement. Very liberating.
Here is a back/side view. Her block has text from "Let It Snow" on it. Pretty appropriate, since she is sitting in snow. Brrrr.

This is a full back view showing off her wings.

This was the first time I used Liquid Sculpey. I used it to coat her wings and then baked makes them seem more translucent and realistic, I think. I can't wait to see what other applications I can find for this interesting substance.

It is super stinky, though, so if you try it, open some windows and pray that the non-toxic label they put on it is accurate!

I love new products! So many possibilities!

Until next time, happy creative flow.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Visual Quickie

This is my latest piece that will be available to the general public.
My daughter thinks he looks sad. You'd be sad, too, if you were a snowman seeing one of the first birds of spring.

Or maybe not. Perhaps he is just lost in thought.

I hope he finds a good home. He is really quite sweet.

I have lots of other items going right now (had to move to the kitchen so I had access to running water), but many are "secret" gifts, so I can't post them.

I have quite a few commission pieces in progress, too, but I don't like to post them as WIPs because I don't want any nervous customers. What a piece looks like in the early stages is VERY different from the finished work.

I don't want to scare anyone off!

I am amazed at how difficult it is to get things done around here. I remember when my husband and I decided that I would be staying home with the kids and he would be going back to full time work. I just KNEW I was going to have tons of time to get things done.

When I told him this, he just smiled.

I am ORGANIZED, I said. I am going to be DISCIPLINED, I said.

Well, I am both, but I still manage to struggle to get things done in a timely manner. Life gets in the way sometimes, but I suppose that detours can take us into new places that we have never gone before.

Life is good and full of rich experiences.

I'll have more that I can actually show you by mid week. I am working in wool again, in addition to the various clays, so things are quite fun around here.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Won One and I Swapped One

Aren't these pieces great?

The first came from Sonia at Dark Raven's Nest. Sonia and I participated in a Monster Under the Bed swap and here is her doll.

This doll is a part of a special series of dolls that Sonia created. Her name is Mary Anne Nichols (aka Polly). She was one of the victims of Jack the Ripper. Her eyes are so haunting! You have to see her in person to "get" how truly riveting this piece is.

This next piece was mailed to me from MarZel at Dark Artists' Guild. It is a Ghost Geisha. Very, very cool. We already have a special place planned for her on next Halloween.
Many thanks to both Sonia and MarZel for such wonderful opportunities to experience this kind of art up close and in person.

Until next time, happy new experiences.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here He Is!

So what do you think? I need a little feedback, please.
Yes, he is a little weird. Too weird? Just weird enough?
He might be a multi-holiday piece.

I could see him coming out early; say, Halloween.

He can hang out and make the transition into winter. He is, after all, a snowman.

He is about 7.5 inches tall. His body is a lovely, thick shelled gourd. He was hand flocked several times to give the illusion of actual snow and then dusted with mica for shine. He has blue inset eyes, paperclay "coal" buttons, an orange flocked hat, needle felted earmuffs, and a hand built broom.

I learned a lot making this one.

Thanks for popping by!
Until next time, happy flocking!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Big Load 'O' Nothing

This post contains nothing. I didn't get anything new completed this week. When almost done with my latest snowman, I goofed up (majorly) and get to start again. Lucky me!

I know...I should look at this as a great opportunity to practice patience and to learn something new that might be helpful later on, but right now I am choosing to stew in my own juices for a bit. Petty? Yep. Selfish? Sure! Why? I just feel like having a little snit. I do that every so often. (No one else is here, so it mainly just impacts the cat. She seems fine with it, really. She is pretty unflappable.)

I AM, however, sending good thoughts out to everyone else. I am hopeful that mustering a little positivity will drag me out of the place of my artistic mental block. Perhaps the art gods will look upon me with favor.

Happy Sunday to all! Until next time, happy snits.


Monday, November 2, 2009

The Paperclay Song

(Sung to the tune of 'Oh, Christmas Tree')

Oh Paperclay

Oh paperclay
Oh paperclay

How love-ly is thy tex-ture.

Oh paperclay
Oh paperclay

How love-ly is they tex-ture.

Eas-i-er with which to play
Than oven baked pol-y-mer clay

Oh paperclay
Oh paperclay

How love-ly is thy tex-ture.

It is destined to be a holiday hit. NOT.

And yes, Virginia, I AM that big of a geek!

As you can clearly see, I have shifted seasons mentally, though it will probably take a week to get all of the Halloween goodies back where they belong.

Maybe two.
Until next time, happy variety!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fingernails and Part of a Toothpick

Yep! That's all I used to flesh these two WIPs out! I was sitting in the dentist's office waiting for my daughter to be done getting her first (and hopefully last) filling. I hadn't really planned on working, so all I had was a little clay, a broken toothpick, and some small wired glass eyes.

This one may end up as a little troll once I get a chance to really refine him. Not too bad for working in horrible light, on my lap, and with my roughed up man-paws.

What are man-paws, you might ask?

Well, man-paws are what you get when you a) don't own a dishwasher and b) work with clay.

The dishes are self-explanatory. Hungry kids=messy dishes three times a day (at least). I am sort of a freak about germs and stuck on food, too, so the water I use is at such a temperature that it would probably remove skin from most normal people's hands.

I, on the other hand, have man-paws. Rough, thick-skinned, abnormally tough hands. Hands that are impervious to pain, heat, and have a texture akin to shoe leather.

Why no gloves, one might ask? Because if I wore gloves I wouldn't be able to feel any microscopic bits that might possibly still be left on the plates.

(I know, I know. FREAK!)

I keep waiting for my husband to give me a new little nickname. Like Frank or Chuck. It must be like holding hands with a mechanic. (Ignore this crooked photo, please. Or tilt your head until it appears correctly rotated. It kept getting wonky during my uploads and I am lacking patience today. *eye roll*)

Working with clay has become a hand issue, too, because I am constantly washing my hands or using alcohol wipes to get rid of residue. Not the most gentle thing to do to one's hands. (Don't even get me STARTED about wet-felting! Oy! So chafe-y!)

Its sort of a catch 22. It is easier to work with clay when one has nice smooth hands, but in working with the clay I find myself washing and degreasing and get the picture. Very drying and not conducive to soft, lovely hand model-ish hands.

At least I have nicer hands than THIS guy.

This little thing may end up a root baby. We'll see if I still like it once I give it some eyes. If not, back into a little green blob of clay he goes.

Thanks for popping by! Until next time, happy moisturizing!