It’s been a busy time here over the past few months in the studio.
I worked like mad to get ready for the Modern Doll Collectors Convention in New Orleans on top off all my other work so lack of sleep and dehydration (I tend to obsess when I have deadlines) made for a crazy trip. All in all I got all the work done and Stella and I headed for the airport. It was a 2 plane tripper and go figure both planes had mechanical issues and were forced to de-board after sitting at the gates waiting to be repaired. I was actually happy I had a 2 hour layover at each stop this trip with the unexpected delays for maintenance.
Long story short, the whole trip was weirdness after weirdness but It was awesome to see some of my dolly friends and collectors and of course New Orleans was amazing! I definately need to see it again for a week without work.
I’m happy to be back in the studio again and needed to spend the week organizing and getting back to normal.
Stella’s handmade leather Oxfords and knee high boots have all been shipped, and I’m finishing up making all the Ethan and Ethel shoes.
Next week I am working solely on Ethan and Ethel orders, by the 15th they will all me on the way to new homes. I also have some great clothes that will be up on my etsy shop.
The next preorder is almost ready for the Sprite Nola. I was planning on having that done last weekend but decided she needed one more special thing added so I have been busy making that for the photos. Sprite Nola will be offered in a limited number of 20 Winter Blush resin and 10 Desert Sand resin. She will be fullset only. No blanks will be offered in this preorder.
What’s coming after Ethan and Ethel are delivered?
Some time ago I started the sculpt for Stella’s new friend Lizzy, I am anxious to get back to her. I plan to have a preorder ready for her by the end of November.
I very rarely take days off BUT I think the studio will be closed mid December to mid January, at least thats the plan 🙂
Stella has won a Dolls Magazine 2018 Industry Choice award of excellence!
Our sometimes princess, attic child, thrift shop goer, debutante has been recognized by some of the most prestigious judges in the doll community and taken home an award in the “custom child doll” catagory.
WINNERS NOW BECOME YOUR PUBLIC’S CHOICE NOMINEES
The 2018 Dolls Awards of Excellence (DAEs, also known as the Diamond Awards) Industry’s Choice winners were announced June 30 at the International Doll & Teddy Show in Orlando, Florida. The Industry’s Choice winners will now go on to become the nominees for this year’s Public’s Choice Awards, and the winners will be chosen by you, the readers of DOLLS magazine! The Public’s Choice winners will be announced in the January/February 2019 issue of DOLLS magazine.
Photos of the nominees and a paper ballot will be published in the August/September 2018 issue of DOLLS magazine, along with our Reader Survey. You can also vote online — the link will be posted on our website July 17.
Don’t forget to vote. You the collectors make all the difference
Just a note to catch you all up on the past Stella preorder in Winter Blush that ended in February.
About 2 weeks ago I received My order from the casting house but sadly there was a huge mistake and they sent all the wrong color resin. The box was full of Stella in Desert Sand resin, the same as the first order which many of you already have.
Luckily I have a very good relationship with the factory and they negotiated with the casting department to have the proper color cast right away with no wait time.
Thank goodness! I was in panic mode.
I was hoping to have all the dolls shipped right about now but with this delay it’s going to be a couple more weeks before they arrive to me. The dolls were shipped today, July 16th and should arrive to my broker in Texas in about 8 days then hopefully not too long coming through customs in Mexico.
I already have all the sewing done and wigs made so once she arrives I will be able to paint, paint, paint and get her shipped within 6-8 days.
Fingers crossed for a speedy delivery, I’ll let you know when they arrive here. Sorry for the delay but sometimes there is a weenie bump in the road 🙂
On another note: I now have some unexpected Desert Sand Stellas in my studio that I will be doing up as one of a kinds. If you missed out on her or are interested in another of this precious girl please drop me a line. I have about 5 dolls to sell and the rest will be coming to the MDCC show in New Orleans in September with me.
Ethan and Ethel, are Stella’s twin brother and sister and she’s been so excited about them arriving.
The trio will be showing in Philadelphia at the Clarion Hotel & Convention Center April 12-14. I have made a few artist casts just for pictures and when we return from the show I will set up a preorder.
Tentative dates: April 8-May 8,2018
I will only be doing 1 preorder for these cuties. After they will only be available as one of a kind fullsets as I have time to do them.
If you want one at preorder pricing, which is 10% cheaper please purchase your doll during the preorder period.
After several prototypes and minute changes I finished the first batch of 10 handmade leather shoes and shoeboxes for our girl Stella.
I love these shoes because they go great with most things Stella likes to wear.
The first lot is sold out and I am opening the next lot of 5 pairs this Monday March 12. This is the last of the leather I have in this weight and color which means after these are sold out I will be making a new shoe design as well I’ll be offering more oxfords a little later on in a different color.
For those of you that haven’t done a lot of sewing I thought it would be a great idea to post a short tutorial on how to go about making a wig for Stella.
This wig pattern is my own design and I kept it simple enough for anyone to sew. It can be done either on a machine or by hand.
If you are using a sewing machine I suggest either using a leather needle or a heavier regular needle like a #14 or 16. I forgot to change my lighter #11 out and it broke pretty quickly.
So here we go!
Determine the direction of hair growth and lay your pattern with the arrow going the same direction as the hair. Trace around the pattern, flip the pattern over and trace it again for the second piece.
Cut the pieces out using an Exacto knife. When you are cutting fur it’s important to try to cut just through the hide and not the fur on the other side. If you use scissors you may get some bare areas where you cut the fur away.
With the right sides together sew the dart on both pieces. I use about a 1/4 inch seam allowance and then trim the finished seam to 1/8 inch to remove bulk.
With the right sides together pin and sew around the top of the wig. Trim the seam to 1/8″
Awesome job! Almost finished.
Now we will turn the front of the wig under so the raw edge of the hide doesn’t show. Contact cement is really the best ting to use for this. Paint Contact Cement on the front edge about 1/2 inch wide. Wait for it to dry which is usually when the shine goes away then fold over and press the edge together. I like to use clips to hold it for about 15 minutes. As you can see you can use an array of different things to do the job.
Time to cut and or style your wig…or you can just leave it as it is. Because this is natural fur you can use all the same styling products that you would on your own hair. I like to use a spray leave in conditioner, sometimes mousse and hairspray. I gave my wig some messy braids and cut some bangs/fringe.
In a future tutorial we will look at making more complex wigs and adding extensions….happy wigging!
I have lots of new things to tell you, I have been incredibly busy in the studio since I returned home to Mexico from chilly Alberta, Canada.
The work on Stellas went very well and she sold right out. I didn’t even get to keep one for myself, hoping to remedy that with the next preorder.
Speaking (or rather…typing) of that, it’s coming up! I am planning one for the end of January. Stella will be offered in my custom resin color, Winter Blush. It’s lighter than the Desert Sand of the previous order dolls and equally as pretty.
Fullset dolls will come with a special limited edition outfit and handmade shoes especially for her.
GREAT STELLA STUFF
I LOVE creating for Stella!
I have been working on some designs for outfits and dress sets for our special girl.
Each outfit is carefully designed, sewn and hand dyed by me and then finished with all those tiny little details my collectors have grown to love and expect from me.
I will generally spend about 5 days making an outfit as I like to do the basic sewing and then let it sit a bit until I find just the perfect finishing touches, dying ribbons, making buttons etc….
NEW~ I am now designing shoes and boots for Stella, how exciting is that? I am having lots of fun with it with new designs rumbling in my head daily…actually nightly til about 3am to be more accurate 🙂
With the same love and attention to detail as goes into my outfits the new footwear is sure to please even the most discerning collector, made right here in my studio, one shoe at a time.
Since his debut with Stella at the Quinlan Doll and Teddy Show in Philadelphia last year Princess has captured the hearts of many including Stella.
Each stray kitty is sculpted by me in studio and no molds have been created of him. He has so far been released in my Etsy shop in 2 different poses and I hope to add a new pose each month as time permits.
He is the perfect size for MSD (16 inch) dolls. Do you have room for an adorable, loving stray in your home?
I have been working on some great new colors to add to my selection of Tibetan Lamb fur, you are going to love these!
Fantasy colors, great for your mermaids, trolls or fun loving dollies.
I’m hoping to be finished these and have them in the shop about the end of January.
ALSO new for the shop are fur pieces cut specifically for making your own Stella wigs. These pieces come in a variety of different colors and will come with the pattern I designed and use for Stella. Easy to sew with just one seam. You can sew it either on a machine or by hand.
Ever since I arrived in Mexico shipping has been a big challenge.
The problem is that Mexican post is very slow and not always reliable as far as actually delivering. I find that the postal service is great for inexpensive items like and they generally arrive anywhere in 3-6 weeks. I am not comfortable using the service for shipping dolls. So I experimented with shipping through Fed Ex which is super expensive here and generally costs about $150 to use. I resorted to paying half the shipping so my customers weren’t being surprised by a huge bill after saving up for a doll. Well it didn’t take long for my bill to take a toll either so onto my new solution…
I am now shipping once every week or 2 depending on how many orders I have, kind of group order style.
I address each order and prepay shipping using USPS and then put them all into a big box together which gets shipped to my courier in California (thanks Christopher). Once the box arrives in California all the parcels inside are taken to USPS and shipped on to you the collector.
It’s a bit more work on our end but it saves you guys a lot of money in shipping and takes no more time to arrive than it would if I had shipped directly to you through Mexican post…AND you get a tracking number!
SO if you are looking at ETSY and see that your item looks like it hasn’t shipped yet it’s because I’m waiting a few days for the box to get full, no worries I haven’t forgotten about your order.
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.
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.