"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Saturday, September 6, 2014

More Halloween Altered Art Dolls

*whew*  Think Santa would let me
borrow some of his elves?
Halloween witches, black cats, and devils are
all created using Dress-Me dolls
dating as far back as the 1930s-1940's.
 All are made using pretty fabrics
and trims, felt, and real wool.  I also
try to add vintage accessories (like her
pink cape pin) and sparkle. 
 This black cat trick-or-treater has
been treated with layer upon layer
of coarse black glitter.  Between layers
I used my hot air gun to not only dry
the glue, but meld the glitter together.
(This was one of those happy surprises!)
This really helped seal the glitter
to help prevent flaking.
While the other dolls are made
of a very hard plastic,
this one is a bit softer so I'm guessing
she was probably made more
mid-century, during the 1950's.
Although I prefer the look and feel
of the older dolls, the softer plastic
allowed me to drill a hole for her
tail without worrying about
it shattering. 
 OOOOO!!  Red and black go
so well together don't they?
Especially when the red sparkles!
 Do you remember the old comic book
called, "Hot Stuff"?  He was part of
the Richie Rich, Casper, Archie days.
He was a little devil who carried a
trident and wore diapers.  And he's what
inspired me to make this one, only
I left out the diapers!
I envisioned this little gal going
to her first Halloween Masquerade.
Like the black cat, I was able
to make a tail for her too.
 I've still got more of these
old dolls just waiting to be
used.  Some having been waiting
70-80 years!
 But I think I'll save the rest
for Christmas dolls.
 All are now available in my
Etsy shop, located on the
right-hand side bar.......
...except for this one.   I decided
to save her for Mary.  One day, she'll
want to decorate her home for
Halloween.   I hope this will bring
back nice memories to her of
us spending time together creating.
But most important,
to remind her that she's never
too old to play!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Halloween Mantel

Vintage Blow-Mold Pumpkins,
black ravens, owls and vanilla-scented candles
all make up this year's Halloween mantel.

 I also decorated a little shelf
in the living room.  Mary and I made this
black cat last year out of a dollar store
Jack O'Lantern.
Not a whole lot to say, just wanted to
share and hopefully, inspire.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Vintage Halloween Dress-Me dolls

Just finished "upcycling" a group of
1930s-1940s Dress-Me dolls
into Halloween beauties.
 They come to me completely naked,
except for a pair of shoes.  The perfect
blank slate.
Just one doll can take a few hours to make.
Deciding on what she should wear,
searching for the right accessories,
finding the right supplies,
deciding which colors complement
each other - it's very time-consuming -
but in a good way!
I like when they get a little disheveled!
The netting and black velvet leaf
accentuating this witch's hat come
off a 1930's lady's hat.   The silver 
embellishments are pieces
of old Christmas decorations.
Her belt buckle is actually a chunk
off a vintage pin.

Working with the glittery witch gave
me the idea to make a black cat.

The body of the cat is encrusted in layers
upon layers of black glitter.  A mess to
work with, but the look is spooktacular!
She carries a vintage pumpkin, which
was once a cupcake pick.

I didn't forget her tail!
And after taking these pictures I realized she
needed a black nose so I painted that on.
And my favorite one of all: 
The "Fairy Witch" doll, made by Mary.
Didn't she do a nice job?
I would have never thought to add
wings, nor did I ever imagine a "Fairy"
Witch.  Thanks to Mary's idea, I now might
make a few fairies or angels too.

And of course, no day of working in the art
room is complete without Oreo making
himself comfortable. 
He just can't resist chewing on
my pipe cleaners.
This group of dolls (except for Mary's, which
we plan on keeping) have been sold.  A new
bunch has been started though, including
another black cat and even a red devil!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

What's the Scuttlebutt?

Rumor has it, I'm back in my art room. 
Well, let me just put that rumor to rest.
I'm back in my art room.
 This is the only room in the house I don't
mind being a mess because it means
someone (usually me) is in there listening
to music (usually Christmas or Billie Holiday),
forgetting about her worries and just
focusing on the moment.
 I always think I can sit at a nice empty table
and work on one project without too much of a
mess.  Never happens. 
 For I NEED to go through
bins and bins to find just the right piece of fabric,
or paint color, or accessory. 
 Would you believe with all this
glitter I actually had to go buy
black glitter today?
It reminded me of that quote,
"Water, water everywhere and not a drop
to drink."  
After all the fun I had making patriotic
girls this past July, I knew I wanted to
make some Halloween and Christmas
dolls.  I just started these tonight. 
I have a stash of these old Dress-Me
dolls.  Some, like these, date back
to the 1930's-1940's.  
 This little gal sparkles!!
Her upper body is encrusted in that
black glitter I was telling you about.
 And who's this peeking around the
hat box?   Another Jack-in-the-Box.
He's just about finished.  I only need
to attach a crank.  My hands need
a little break from carving.
 And did I show you the latest?!
While visiting the Wildwood Zoo,
we had an artist draw a caricature
of Mary and Nicolai. 
Nic's not happy with the picture
and refuses to believe it looks
like him.  He just doesn't understand
it's not supposed to be a real-life.
Someday, when he's about 30, he'll
appreciate it.
 This is what I'll be waking up to
tomorrow.  Hope to start bright and early!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Newly Carved - A Jack O'Lantern Jack-in-the-Box!

Meet the Pumpkin Man -
A Jack O'Lantern Jack-in-the-Box!
Halloween's coming and
wood chips are flying at my house.
This spooky fellow springs out
of the box to scare anyone who
dares touches the crank.
 Antique Halloween
images give the toy box an
old-fashioned feel.
Wood and rusted wire -
perfect together!