Archive for January, 2009

Dazzling Daze Spring 2009

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

The December Dazzling Daze was so successful that several asked for a Spring version.  So, here it is.

Kath Danswan, from England, will be one of the teachers, along with Cyndi Mahlstadt and myself.  Kath is known for her use of silk fibers to create whimsical bowls, wings, purses, etc.  At our retreat she'll teach one of her amazing bowls:  KathsSilkBowls2

As you can see, these are truly works of art. 

Besides the silk caps, she uses other fibers, along with angelina.


Cyndi will be teaching her "Darcy" doll.  This is a truly wonderful doll using wire, an Altoid tin, and other fun fibers and "stuff".

You can see this doll in my current book "Creative Cloth Explorations". 

At the retreat you'll learn how to make the doll and make it uniquely yours.

Cyndi, along with Kath, are excellent teachers.  You'll go away knowing a lot more than you knew coming to this event.

Elysia is my doll.  She's fun to make and I'll be teaching how to color the face and body using Shiva paint sticks.   Plus, working with organza to create beautiful wings.

The costs of the retreat start at $885.00, which includes housing for 5 nights, 3 meals a day and 4 days of classes.

Space is limited as we'll be staying at Angels Landing in Julian.  The facility is in the mountains and is more intimate, meaning it is small.  We can sleep only 20 people.  Which means only 20 can come to this retreat.

Contact me if you are interested:

A day with doll designers

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Today was another amazing day in the life of a doll designer/lover.  Cyndi Mahlstadt and I had been invited by Sue Lieberman to come to a luncheon in honor of the doll designer, and Adele Sciortino.  Several doll designers were there and we ate, drank, shared, laughed, ate some more, shared more and had a truly fantastic "girlfriends" time.DollDesigners3

This photo is Cyndi and Sue talking about one of Cyndi's dolls.

Sue asked each of us to bring a few of our dolls to share.  Something we'd been working on recently.  Cyndi is known for her wrapped wire dolls, and the doll Sue is holding is one of those.


Adele is shown here holding one of Cyndi's fun dolls.  This is a June bug with a basket holding her "baby".  I'll have Cyndi send me a good photo of this doll.  It is fabulous.

Of course, many of you know Adele Sciortino and her fabulous costumed dolls.  If you don't know about her, check out my links area and look at her website.  She also has an amazing newsletter that is full of techniques, ideas and her wonderful costume art.
Do check out some of the food we were eating.  Yes.  We doll makers love to eat.
As I mentioned, we were to bring dolls to share.  The dolls that everyone brought were some of the best out there.  Kathy had some of her new felted animals.  Joan makes the most wonderful realistic dolls.  Hers are the ones in period clothing and the woman playing the violin.

I brought Mikaela (pattern doll), and my new Elysia teaching doll.  She's the fairy in aqua's and blond hair.

Here's a closer look at Joan's dolls.  I love the expression on the face of the violin player.  She's really into her music.

But, the man is wondering how much longer he has to put up with her playing.  Hmmm.  Guess he doesn't like music.

The rabbit you see was made by another of the women at the luncheon.  She had taken a class with Leslie Molen.  I wish I had taken a better photo.  Lois did a fabulous job making the rabbit.

So, there you have it.  A few pictures from a fantastic day.  I highly recommend getting together with your "girlfriends" and sharing your dolls, or whatever you've been working on.

Keep creating!

Fun with Shiva Paintsticks

Friday, January 16th, 2009

While at Road to California yesterday (Jan. 15) I picked up a few Shiva Painsticks.  Mine were down to the bare nubs.  I had been thinking about trying them on a doll face and body, so gave it a whirl this afternoon.  I love the results!

They give a softer look than colored pencils, yet are easier than watercolors. 

I used stencil brushes and Fantastix (the empty spongy markers from Tsukineko) to both apply the color and blend.    I've not detailed the face too much as it takes 24 hours for the paint sticks to "cure".  I will then iron the face and detail her.

As you can see I colored her body, too.  Since some people might be offended if I showed the entire body, I only show the upper bust and head. 

Shiva (called Markal outside the U.S.) are an oil based stick.  They form a film, which has to be removed before you use them.  I'll post some step photo's later this weekend.

This past weekend I was in Auburn, Washington at a fabulous quilt shop – The Calico Cat.  I hadn't been up there in over 8 years.  Much too long to stay away.  Or, maybe a good thing.  Mary (the owner) has fantastic fabrics.  I came away with a good amount tucked in my suitcases.


                                                                                                                                                                Some of the gals who took my class brought mermaids they had made from the pattern I did for Soft Dolls & Animals ages ago.  I really need to find the original pattern and have her printed so others can make her.

You can see how wonderful these mermaids are.  I love the appliqued lips.  And, check out the inserted glass eyes on this one to the left.  Fantastic.

Pamela Gonzales brought her Valandrial she made from my Creative Cloth Doll Couture book.  Her version is better than mine.  Absolutely beautiful.  That is the doll standing to the left of the mermaids.                                                                       

Twenty-two people were in the class at The Calico Cat.  We made my Mikaela doll.  I had made a new outfit for Mikaela, but everyone made the original outfit.  We all wanted to make the collaged vest/corset Mikaela wears.

In my previous post I showed a picture of Mikaela (red-headed version) sitting next to the fabrics along with the drawing of the outfit I had in mind.  As you can see, the outfit turned out a bit different.  As they often do.  She still needs her fingerless gloves and a purse, but the pattern will be available by the end of January.  Each person in the class got the pattern for this outfit, but I still need to fine tune it a bit.

Here's most of the group.  There is one person hiding behind Dorothy.  You can see a doll peaking over the shoulder of the 4th person from the left.  As you can see, everyone got the bodies made and colored.  Even with everyone bringing the doll body almost put together, it is hard getting a doll finished in two days.  But, we all had a fabulous time.

Fun beginning of 2009

Monday, January 5th, 2009

This has been a fun year so far.  I've been busy working on a couple new projects.  Then Saturday, at the Piecemaker's Teacher Open House Stefanie Girard came and we started talking about our "studios".  She's going to put some photo's up of my studio on the Craftside blog.  Stefanie has written a wonderful book titled "Sweater Surgery".  I'm adding her blog to the blog links so check it out.  Also, check out the Craftside blog.  This is where our publisher features their books.  There are some fun projects on the blog from those books.
This photo is of a work in progress.  Many people like to know how I work.  The doll is Mikaela (naked) and I'm creating a new outfit for her.  I generally draw what I want, then create the pattern from that drawing.  I'll keep posting the progress here on my blog.  And, it has to be done this week as I'm teaching Mikaela at The Calico Cat near Seattle this weekend.

Aren't those fun fabrics?  Often a fabric will be my inspiration.  Or, a book I've recently read. 

Another question I get is what do I do with doll rejects.  If there's a head I'm not that keen about rather than throw it away I'll chuck it into a drawer.  As shown here.  Later I might use that head on another doll.
My new doll, Elysia, had some major problems.  I've been told my dolls are out of proportion.  I created her in perfect proportion.  She looked stubby.  So, off came her arms and legs and they were placed in the drawer. I'll use them down the road, I'm sure.
The doll on top has a problem in that I've lost her legs.  So, she's in there until I find them.  She's from the cover girl, VIviana, on my Creative Cloth Doll Beading book. 
This is Elysia with her new arms and legs.  I'm much happier with her.   She's my new teaching doll.  elinor peace bailey and I will be teaching in Florida the weekend before the cruise at a Fairy Extravaganza.  With that name I had to come up with an extravagant fairy.  She's a Friendship fairy.  She is holding a bag that is full of wishes for her friends.

So, there's a brief look at some of how I work.  As soon as I finish Mikaela's new outfit and arrive back from Washington I'll post more photo's.
In the meantime, keep creating!

Happy 2009!

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

As I mentioned in the newsletter I sent today, it is truly amazing that another year has started.  I have no idea what happened to 2008, but it simply flew by.  I'm hoping 2009 is a bit slower.  But, it won't be less creative. 
The newsletter program I use doesn't allow .pdf files.  I wanted to give everyone who comes here and reads my newsletters a thank you for your support over the past year.  I designed a cell phone case using one of my rubber stamps.CellPhoneCase
Download Pattiā€™s Cell Phone Case

Golly!  I love TypePad.  There's the file!  Isn't that the best?  Wish they had a eNewsletter division.

Anyway, I do hope you enjoy making the project.  You don't have to use my rubber stamps, or a rubber stamp.  You can do anything you want.  I just happen to like using rubber stamps.

Her crown is one I buy from ArtGirlz.  They are listed under Favorite Blogs and Websites. 

The instructions have a lot of color step photo's to make coloring her face easy, along with making the case. 

Hope you enjoy making it.  Send me pictures!

Thank you all for helping keep me in the creative mode.  Oh, and I can't wait to finish a fairy I'll be teaching in Florida next month.  I'm having fun making her clothing from scraps of organza, lace, angelina, tulle, etc.  I'll post a picture next week.

Also, I'll be at Piecemaker's Country Store in Costa Mesa, CA this Saturday signing my new book.  Hope to see some of you there!