I have been way behind on posting updates here on the site, but have been managing to get them onto FaceBook for any of you that follow me there.
So here I am finally getting a chance to make a much needed post 🙂
I arrived in Canada from Mexico on August 25th to set up my temporary studio and get ready for the arrival of all the Preorder Stella’s.
My traveling companion, Tinker and I, and all of my STUFF has invaded the home of my great friends who don’t seem to mind me taking over the place with all my mess for a couple of months….thank goodness for excellent friends!
Come September 7th, it was just like Christmas day in the house when 3 tightly packed boxes of the girls arrived…woohooo! Finally it was time to get down to work, snipping, painting, sewing, there was fur flying I can tell you!
Blank dolls and faced up only dolls were the first to go out and I was able to get the bulk of them shipped off to their new homes last week.
Rave reviews from collectors are already coming in….I love you guys!
I have all of the wigs sewn, most of the clothes for fullset outfits done and dyed and will be sending out more Paypal invoices this weekend for shipping.
Any Fullset dolls that were ordered directly from my website will be going out next. Then all the dolls ordered through the Denver Doll Emporium store will be shipped. Last but certainly not least will be the 3 one of a kind dolls that were purchased.
I will be wrapping up here and heading back home to Mexico October 27th. By then It’s going to be getting way too cold here in Alberta for this girl and her trusty chihuahua.
I am hoping to make a few of Stella’s stray cats, Princess available before I have to leave if time permits.
I do plan on being back again in March with Stella’s new little brother Ethan to do a bit of work on our way to The Quinlan Doll and TeddyBear show in Philadelphia April 12-14 /2018
Meanwhile there are shoes and eyes available for Stella in my Etsy shop and I’ll be adding some clothing there as I can.
Off and on over the past year I have been working on an idea for my version of a Catrina doll, quite unlike the traditional Catrina.
Here in Mexico the Catrina doll is a character that has become a part of the big celebration Dia de los Muertos.
La Catrina as we know her originated with Jose Guadalupe Posada, considered the father of Mexican printmaking. Born in 1852.
Since her beginnings in illustrations of political and social satire during times of revolution, Catrina has moved into a role of literal and metaphorical poster child for the Day of the Dead, symbolizing the joy of life in the face of its inevitable end.
Now La Catrina is the beloved grand dame of Mexico’s dance with death 365 days a year, appearing in movies, drawings, sculpture and taking on such roles as mermaids, brides and the all-around icon of celebrations.
The dolls will be on display at the boutique gallery Lujo Lifestyle in Bucerias, Mexico and will be sold through my Etsy shop and Facebook.
If you are interested in purchasing one please contact me here through the contact us form or facebook. Fully poseable she about 14 inches tall to the top of her head and 19 inches including her hair. She can be displayed on or off her custom doll stand.
The Maribel sculpt was originally done in paper clay and then cast by myself in white resin. Please note that these artist casts are not perfect and may have a bubble or 2. I have incorporated any imperfections into the design of the doll so they look like they are supposed to be there. It actually worked out beautifully making the resin look porous in places like naturally aged bone.
Maribel comes with her own custom stand and her mask of her former alive self. Her custom wig is made of wool with metal decorations and finished with an amethyst and crystals. I made the wig with magnets so it is detachable for easy shipping.
The stockings and shoes are painted on, and her clothing and eyes are not removable.
All the jewellery, clothes and tiny details were also made especially for this doll.
“The days of the Dead” is a time of celebration which refers to the Days of October 31 – November 2. October 31 is Halloween or All Hallows eve. November 1 is “el Dia de los innnocentes” or the day of the children and All Saints Day. November second is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead. During this time candles, flowers and the favorite foods of the deceased are placed on the grave and the family visits, eats, sings and tells favorite stories about those who have passed.
Altars are usually decorated with flowers, candles, pan de muerto, ceramic skulls, and most importantly pictures of loved ones.
Drinks should be placed in the altar to quench the thirst of the dead after their long journey back home.
Salt is considered the spice of life and is one the staples that are often left at the altar.
The rituals used to celebrate the day are varied and colorful. Yet, all carry the same message, celebrating the day of the dead is a true celebration of life.
Here are some pictures of her progress. I am also working on 2 more one of a kind dolls in this series.
The DOLLS magazine “debut of dolls” issue just came out. Stella has an article in it and I’ve had several inquiries about ordering her.
I do have a few extra dolls I was holding back for upcoming shows that I am going to release now so that the collectors just receiving Stella’s advertising now get a chance to bring her home as well.
**These dolls will be shipping starting August along with the regular preorder dolls.
Anyone that is a new collector of my work please consider signing up for the periodic newsletter. Stella has a little brother in the works and a couple of friends as well as some one of a kind stray cats. The newsletter is a great way to be one of the first to hear all the new news!
Open only until 12 dolls are sold out.
My newest cutie pie is 40cm tall with an oversized head
and 18 points of articulation.
I can hardly wait to see what everyone does with this expressive little girl.
Delivery of dolls will start about 60-90 days after the end of preorder. Time varies depending on how busy the casting house is. I have no control over this.
Shipping invoices will be sent via Paypal once the dolls are ready to come home.
We expect $25-$35 in Canada $35-45 USA and $60-75 elsewhere.
Stella takes a size 11 wig, and can wear 22mm or 24mm eyes.
Shoulder to crotch 5″/13cm
leg length (crotch to floor) 7″/17.5cm
around bust 4.75″/12cm
outside shoulder to shoulder 3″/7.5cm
around waist 4.75″/12cm
around hips 7″/17.5cm
She can wear a lot of yo-sd clothes except pants with legs will be too short. A yo-sd dress will fit Stella like a long top and looks great with a pair of pumpkin pants. She also wears yo-sd shoes but can also stand in slim MSD shoes.
After May, I will be stocking the Etsy shop with some
other clothes, shoes and wigs for Stella, stay tuned!!
Now that I’m happily settled into my new surroundings here in Mexico it’s time to start spreading the dolly love and share the beauty of this mystical place!! Have you ever wanted to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Mexico or maybe just take a creative journey under a palm tree, poolside? Here’s your chance! I now have space in 2 classes.
A SAMPLE OF THE DOLL STYLE I WILL BE TEACHING IN CLASS This is Tiffany
*please note, fabrics, clothing styles and facial features of your doll may differ. No two dolls ever turn out exactly alike.
WHERE?: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
WHEN?: November 5-11, 2017 & November 12-18, 2017
6 nights, 7 days stay in a beautiful artist’s retreat close to the beach (read more about the venue and see pictures below)
all tools and supplies needed to complete your art doll
5 days of art doll instruction and 24 hour access to the studio
meals prepared by a personal chef
Sunday evening Welcome Reception, 6 full breakfasts & 5 lunches (more like dinner) served poolside in a tropical setting and a Saturday departure breakfast.
optional local sightseeing as well as an incredible night cruise to an eco island lit solely by hundreds of candles, be entertained under the stars as Mexico’s past comes to life through music and dance. The show is followed by an amazing dinner beachside with open bar.
I have designed a wonderful new doll style especially for the classes. Come join me and a wonderful group of people for an unforgettable time of learning and discovery.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?: Making a complete art doll in air dry Ladoll clay. Your doll will be about 16 inches tall if posed standing. This will be a static doll in your chosen pose, with the exception of one ball joint in her neck for extra expression. by class end, you will have a good understanding of my techniques for
Armature construction and striking a pose
Sculpting the complete body, head and hands
Making a ball jointed neck and stringing
Hair and eyes
Painting and blushing your doll
Designing the outfit and dressing
Making leather boots
And MUCH more
There is much to learn in 5 days so we will have full days in the studio with evenings free for enjoying the sights or just relaxing. WHAT IS THE COST? $1800 USD per person all inclusive except for dinners QUESTIONS?** Are the rooms shared?: Yes the rooms have 2 beds and each room has a private bathroom. If you are coming with a friend, great if not you will make wonderful ones here. as we already know doll people are incredible! **Do I need to bring anything for class?: No unless you have special trinkets, or fabrics and trims you would like to include in the making of your doll **Do I need sewing skills?: No we will be doing only a small amount of hand sewing. I will have a sewing machine onsite as well if you choose to use it. ** Do I need prior sculpting knowledge?: No, not at all, I teach in a way that is suited to both beginner and the more advanced student. **Can my spouse come with me?: Yes they are welcome but the venue does have an extra fee of $450USD for a spouse or companion which includes 6 nights stay as well as breakfasts and lunches on site. If your guest would like to attend the excursion the cost of that is $130USD. If you would prefer to stay off site I can assist in booking something close to the venue. ** What should I pack?: I would suggest you don’t pack like I did on my first trip here, with 8 pairs of high heels 🙂 A pair of low heeled sandals comfortable for walking is all you really need. Mexico and the places we will be for the most part are casual. Don’t bring any gowns! Cool light weight clothes and maybe a sweater in case you need one in the evenings Sunscreen, sun glasses and a bathing suit Pack light, if you forget anything don’t worry you can get anything you need here for cheaper than you could back home. **When do I have to book by?: Class space is limited to 12 students onsite so booking early is a good idea. I can take more students but you will need to book your stay off-site. **Do I make a deposit?: All bookings require a $500USD deposit.
You may also pay in full if you choose. Payments can be made through Paypal with the above “add to cart” button.
In order to hold a reservation we must receive the deposit within ten days of the booking being made. The balance is due 45 days prior to your arrival date. ** Cancellation and refund policy: Reservations cancelled prior to 90 days, 50% is refundable. Less than 60 days, 25% is refundable. Less than 45 days prior to class, fee paid is non-refundable ** Is there WIFI?: Yes About the Venue
Located just 3.5 miles south of the airport, the walled garden hacienda with swimming pool and inviting common areas is artist owned and operated. Art abounds! Made on site mosaic tables and fused glass tableware serve to enhance your breakfast in this lush garden setting. Palm, mango, guayaba, and banana trees, along with flowering ginger, hibiscus, jasmine, bird of paradise as well as the ever-present bougainvillea create delight for all the senses. upscale Mexican neighborhood that affords visitors a chance to experience the charm of daily life in old Mexico. You will find cobbled streets, where tortillerias and markets catering to the locals rather than the tourists…..craft shops, cantinas, night life and adventure. Your optional excursion: The adventure begins with a scenic ocean cruise across Banderas Bay to the isolated cove of Las Caletas. As the sun sinks into the Pacific Ocean and darkness descends, you’ll enjoy a privileged view of the shimmering lights scattered along the coastline. Enticing aromas of freshly grilled steak, chicken and fish lure you towards your private beachside table bathed in the soft glow of candles. The dinner buffet is complimented by freshly prepared vegetables, salads and authentic handmade tortillas. Our dessert trays boast brownies, pies, traditional rice pudding, and plenty of local fresh cut tropical fruit. And the show starts: In a hypnotic and exhilarating spectacle, stories of an ancient civilization are told through live music and modern dance as one of Mexico’s most innovative contemporary dance troupes transports you on a magical and mystical journey through time. After the show, end a perfect evening with a nightcap and dancing beneath the stars on the short cruise back to your point of departure. No other nightlife in Puerto Vallarta comes close to comparing to this amazingly unique experience. Immerse yourself in the Rhythms of the Night.
A little about my vision for Stella, OR more correctly, Stella’s vision for herself.
She is about 40cm tall with a slim type body and an oversized head. Normally this size body would have about an 6-8 inch head (measured around the top of the head) Stella’s head will be about 11 inches.
I am now working on the 5th head for her as she didn’t approve of the first 4.
Fussy girl she is, she knows what she wants and it took me a while to get it right 🙂
Yay!! We finally got her a head that we are both happy with, now we can get on with the rest of her 🙂
This would be a great time to give awesome thanks to Christopher for putting time in to edit my videos for me!……I am kinda clueless when it comes to that sort of thing and would rather be sculpting than learning how to edit vids.
Well that was FUN…Let’s see some more! Who knew there was so much to making a BJD. It usually takes me a year to make a master doll of part time sculpting. I mean with life happening.
If I sculpt 18 hours a day which I did quite often with Stella I can make better time and cut that down to about 5 months. I get a bit delirious and some pretty great things happen amongst having a whole lot of conversation with myself and the doll 🙂 Oh yeah, I LOVE what I do!
THE LAST VIDEO ON FINISHING STELLA WILL BE POSTED IN A COUPLE OF DAYS!….STAY TUNED
An update on Stella’s stats:
wig size 11 inches, eyes 22-24mm, height 40cm or 16 inches, shoes- yosd, she will wear many yosd clothes though her legs are longer than usual. Stella is pictured with in standard yosd pumpkin pant and top which could be a short dress on a standard size yosd doll.
IDTS (International Doll & Teddy show) in Asheville, North Carolina, is just around the corner and I am working like crazy to get ready for it.
If you’re going to be attending I can hardly wait to meet you! This will be my first ever doll show so it’s pretty exciting for me. I’ll be there with The Professional Doll Makers Art Guild, booths 1-8 when you come into the show, Can’t miss me 🙂
I’ll be introducing my new OOAK Flower Fairies at the show, 10 inches of pure cuteness in these special little magical characters. Each has her own wonderful personality that’s uniquely her own.
I have also designed a “Make your own Fae” kit that’s stuffed full wonderful goodies to make your own special elf or fairy, including an in depth instructional video. These are addictive and you’ll want to make them for all your friends.
A couple of other new products I am very excited about are, “Simple Sanders”, an amazing new sanding sponge that I have found. For the past 7 years I have been using 3M sanders like most other doll makers and they were doing the trick thus far …sort of. I was still having to tear corners off to get into hard to reach or tiny areas, or worse…resorting to wrapping a toothpick with sandpaper. Sanding for the most part was not a pleasant thing for me. ENTER….. “Simple Sanders”, these had no name when I found them, but I figured something so noteworthy deserved a name 🙂
The Sanders in this photo have been cut in half, full size is 4 ¾” x 3 ¾” x ½”
I am now using Simple Sanders for everything and sanding has become something relaxing that I actually look forward to, YAY!
I am the only one to date that handles these sponges in the US. They are made by a wonderful woman in Canada, believe it or not…nope not made in China.
These sanders are very soft and flexible making it possible to get into even the tiniest of spaces. I can’t say enough about them, they have replaced any other sanding tools I used to use.
Another BIG added bonus is they last and last and last. I put this product to the test and used it almost daily for a year and it still looks new, has not fallen apart or lost it’s grit. In comparison my 3M’s were garbage after about 2 months of use.
I currently have the fine and extra fine grits in stock and will also be carrying the course and medium. These will also be in my ETSY shop mid June after the doll show and I will have samples at the show for anyone interested. Trust me you are going to be blown away! Retailing for $2.50each
Also I have been lucky enough to come across the most beautiful Tibetan Lamb fur also to be debuting at the show and in my ETSY shop soon. This fur is incredibly lush and thick with gorgeous curls and nice length 4.5 to 6 inches long. Standard pieces 4X4 inches will be $6.50, I will be offering other sizes as well
Other products coming to the shop are:
inexpensive and custom sculpting tools
individual Fae kit components such as armatures, bases and resin legs and feet
In case that wasn’t enough there is a big move planned for our near future. I have spent a couple of winters in Bucerias, Mexico and fallen in love with the culture, the people and the general feel and atmosphere of this special artsy, culturally saturated little town . We have decided to make the full-time move in August. Pretty darn exciting! I have always loved sculpting in Bucerias and have a new line of dolls planned once we arrive and get the studio all set up. Also something very few people know about me is I also love to paint and create in mixed media, which I intend to explore in abundance in the new studio.
AND……. let’s not forget…. I will be hosting destination classes for anyone interested in spending a week or so immersed in lush culture, sand, sun, margaritas and heaps of creativity!
Hi everyone, in March I offered a second chance to bring Lacey home.
She has arrived from the casting house and I have begun to dismantle all of the dolls for painting.
The first dolls should be shipping about May 25/2016
I’m working hard to get as many of the dolls shipped out before I attend IDTS in Asheville, NC as possible. Any dolls that I can’t get finished before, will be sent out mid June after the show.
This is a very busy time for me. With everything that’s going on in the studio I’m designing new heads for the Lacey body, doll kits, making more OOAK Flower Fae as well as designing a new line of larger one of a kind ball jointed Catrina dolls.
On top of it all we’re planning a move at the beginning of August, finally getting back to Mexico where artistic creativity soars for me. I’m looking forward to continuing my sculpting as well as finding time to paint and create in other mediums.
Lacey has arrived a bit earlier than expected, a wonderful surprise!
The casting house has done an amazing job again.
I have started to paint the girls and am shipping the first ones this week. I will be sending out shipping invoices for any Lacey’s that have been paid for so keep an eyes out, she’s anxious to get home 🙂
Thank you once again to all those that support my work, it wouldn’t be possible without my wonderful collectors.
The casting house has done a great job as usual, they are not the quickest or the cheapest but they are the best in my opinion.
Our girl is super fun to play with so I’ve been spending a little extra time with her 🙂
Lacey is a slim MSD 17 inches/43cm tall with 21 points of articulation giving her lots of mobility.
This girl has a ton of personality and is begging or many different looks. I can hardly wait to see what collectors have envisioned for her.
Lacey has a decorative back piece that fits a key that will hang on a necklace. I sculpted this because while I was working on her I saw her as a forgotten attic toy so I’m looking forward to doing her up this way.
This is the way she measures out for everyone that likes to sew and make wigs:
I’m working now on getting her preorder page ready.
She will be in my “Desert Sand” resin which is a lovely slightly translucent normal with peachy undertones.
For preorder she will be offered either blank or nude with a faceup. I will be working on her default faceup this week and will post pictures as soon as I have it finished.
I will be doing some one of a kind fullsets for sale after all of the preorder dolls have been shipped out.
Preorder will run from Nov 21st to Dec 17th
Layaway will be available for either 2 or 3 payments.
Here are a few pictures of our playtime so far
Be sure to check out Lacey’s gallery page for tons of more pictures, this girl LOVES the camera!
Please meet Anna, the 6th doll in my Silent Souls series.
Anna is a bit smaller than my last few girls standing at about 20 inches tall (51cm)
This precious girl is made on my “Bendy Body” giving her loads of posing possibilities.
Layers of hand dyed and distressed fabrics and laces were added to create her outfit.
Anna’s head, hands, neck, chest and legs were lovingly sculpted from a lump of paperclay. All her clay parts were dried for several days and painted in layers of acrylics and watercolors. I made her wig especially for her topping her off in tons of loose bouncing ginger waves and curls.
Mister, Anna’s favorite toy bunny has jointed arms and legs and was created by hand to match the style of the doll.
I hope you like her 🙂
UPDATE: I have changed Anna’s boots from her original clay ones to leather boots as in this picture.
My little Emily, with a bit of a mischievous personality is the newest addition to the “Silent Soul” girls.
Emily’s head, chest plate, hands and lower legs are sculpted from paper clay. After the sculpting the parts are layered in 4 coats of a flesh tone acrylic paint, then they are carefully detailed with watercolor paints and pastels before finally getting several coats of a clear top coat for protection.
All of these parts are eventually attached to her soft body which is also wired and weighted allowing movement and a stable sit.
The neck and head also move on a ball joint adding personality.
The clothes are designed right on the doll body and are not removable. Each piece is meticulously stitched either by hand or machine.
Emily’s wig is made of Angora Goat fibers with each part being attached separately and then set on rollers for her curly tousled look.
The hours and love that go into these dolls is extensive, taking me about 2 weeks of 10 hour days to finish.
Emily stands about 23 inches or 59cm tall. She does not stand on her own.
All of my Silent Soul dolls are registered with the International Art Doll Registry so they each have unique identification numbers.
Although paper clay is quite durable and will not break under normal circumstances, this doll is considered a piece of art and not recommended as a child’s toy.
Emily comes with a doll stand, her artist’s COA tag, and IADR registration COA.
It always amazes me when these girls come to life from nothing more than a lump of paper clay, a pile of fabric and of course a ton of love.
The head, breast plate, hands and lower legs/feet have been sculpted in paper clay and then painted using acrylics, watercolors and pastels. Everything has been sealed with several coats of sealer for protection.
My “Bendy Body” is made of muslin and wired for great posing. The head is also ball jointed for maximum attitude.
Aeris’s clothes are designed and made directly on the body and are not removable with the exception of her necklace and hat which can be removed.
I had great fun making her hat and Steampunk accessories. A lot of attention to detail has made up the wonderful personality of this doll.
My “Silent Soul” dolls come with their COA tags as well as being registered with The International Art Doll Registry.
This doll has been made without the use of molds of any kind and is a true one of a kind. No molds have been taken of her and she will NOT be reproduced at any time by me, the artist Rhonda Ingram-Calhoun.
April is my second ooak paper clay and cloth doll. Sasha was my first and was on a jointed cloth body giving her some poseabliity but not as much as I wanted to have in my girls.
My dolls have always been born out of my ideas of what I want to see in a doll, making them a bit different than what you would normally see in the marketplace.
Soooo I went to dreaming up the new body that I call “The bendy body” .
Through this I was able to combine my two loves, art dolls and bjd’s.
Thus April came to life.
Standing 54-56cm her head, chest plate, lower arms and legs are paper clay. She is finished with acrylic paints with a smattering of freckles. I have given beautiful blonde human hair with a couple little streaks of my own dark hair thrown in there.
April is dressed in lovely coffee stained sage silk, fringe shawl, garden hat and leather boots for her one of a kind look.
Accompanying April is her little ooak doll Becky always by her side.
**April and Becky have been adopted and are now in a private collection