Thursday, May 31, 2012

Olivia the ostrich!

She's the biggest sculpt I have created so far! Olivia is 9 inches tall, if you include her base. In her left leg, I have inserted a rod that goes into the base to support her. Being able to remove her from her base makes her shipping much safer.

I always do a little research on animals that I sculpt. I cracked up when I discovered that the two toed ostrich has one toe nail on each foot! I had a lot of fun making those two toenails too! I made nail beds for the first bake and then filled them in with the nails for the final bake.

I wasn't going to put eyelashes on her, but my son said that they are one of the charming features of ostriches how could I argue with that? They do add a certain flair to such a silly creature.

What else can I say about her? Oh! Her body has a foil armature in it and her neck and legs have heavy wire armatures in them. She is made from Fimo polymer clay. I painted her body with Genesis heat set paints and then stained her all over for a vintage look. Of course, she has one of my signature silk ruffles around her neck to make her a shabby chic creature.

Here is her auction link:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Commisisoned orangutan complete!

I just finished my most recent commissioned piece, a toddler orangutan. One of my collectors saw the orangutan on my Ebay banner and wanted me to try to repeat it. Well, as you know, I don't use molds, so no two of my sculptures can be exactly the same, but I came close. She has hand painted eyes, which was a nice change for me after using onyx beads for my last several orangutans.

I am ready to get to work on an old fashioned bathing suit doll. If plans go correctly, she will be wire jointed and she'll be wearing a large brimmed sunhat, which will also be made from clay.

To the drawing board!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kim Fillio

Today, the world lost an amazing talent and beautiful person. Kim Fillio is with God now. My heart is with her 5 children, her grandchild, and her husband, Tim. Kim's OOAK child fairies were very popular collectibles. She simply had magic in her fingers. She never ceased to amaze us with her creativity and imagination. You can see Kim's work on her site at this link: (Please cut and paste into your browswer. I can't get links to be active on my blog)

I am having a difficult time believing that she is really gone. Kim and I have known each other for several years. Kim, a more seasoned artist than I, was always so generous to share her knowledge and techniques with other artists. I was blessed to know her and to have learned from her.

The fairy world will never be quite the same without Kim.

We love you and will miss seeing your sweet creations. Rest in peace. Nothing can ever hurt you again.

Sculpting books and techniques

First time sculptors shouldn't discount Maureen Carlson's "How To Sculpt Clay Characters" as an excellent way to learn the basics of sculpting a human figure. I started with this book. With this book, you will learn how to sculpt hands, feet, add teeth to a smile, and create expressive faces. Yes, her characters are cartoon-ish, but her basics can be applied to more realistic sculptures.
I moved on to Katherine Dewey's "Creating Life-like Figures In Polymer Clay." This book is like a Bible for sculptors.

You can order both books from the Amazon links that you see here on my blog.

I did learn from video tutorials from Patricia Rose, however, her face sculpting technique does not work well for me.

You will find that you pick up one technique and another there. All the while, you are developing your own look, style, and maybe even a few of your own techniques as I did for hands. Whatever works for you is OK! You don't have to follow rules other than the manufacturer's recommendations for curing your clay. Experimenting leads to success!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

OOAK donkey

I think I've outdone myself on pitiful and obliging with this little donkey! Isn't he just the cutest? He is thread jointed. Someone on my facebook page commented "who wouldn't love a jointed donkey?" Ha! I hope someone finds a spot in their heart for him. He comes in an altered box like all of my recent sculpts do. I alter a box specifially for each piece.

No one else will have one of these. Only you, the lucky winner! If you haven't noticed, I don't repeat any sculpture. Even if I tried, no two can be just alike because I don't use molds, even molds of my own work.

Here's Seth's auction link:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It was time for another bear again! This one is "Nitey Nite Teddy." She sleeps in a cozy altered matchbox. This is my second matchbox piece. I have so much fun altering the boxes! I used linen from the cover of a vintage book, That's right.....I just ripped it off of the book!
I used a bit of antique lace and a button up in the left hand corner. Fairy tale words cover the inside of the box. Her night hat and blanket were made from "warm and natu" quilt batting. I coffee stained it make it look old. I stained her too! She has onyx eyes and she is jointed with heavy thread at her arms and legs. Her hat is removable so you can take it off of her during the day, then put her back in her matchbox at night.

Those tiny onyx beads are really difficult to hold and place in the head. I can't tell you how many I drop on the floor and they aren't cheap! I pick them up with a pin or needle and loosely place them on each side before pushing them all the way in.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be listing a jointed donkey! Watch for him! In the meantime, please check out my bear auction:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Merriam goes to kindergarten!

Merriam just had his kindergarten photos taken. He looks overwhelmed and clueless in his intellectual surroundings! He is such a sweet innocent baby.

I am always in search of old dictionaries. I use the pages to make little hats for my creatures and dolls. I also use them for altering boxes and for making paper medallions. The paper is easy to work with, thin, yet strong. It occurred to me that dictionaries are soon to be a thing of the past.

When I sculpt a baby, like Merriam, I like to have his hands resting on his legs because that gives the limbs extra support.

Please visit Merriam's auction at this link:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Going going gone!

My baby fairy in the altered matchbox just sold directly from facebook. I will be making another one and plan to show pics of my work in progress (WIP) so please stay tuned!

I do have a darling new "dictionary orangutan" that I will be listing on Friday. His/her name is "Merriam"(I had already named a dictionary bear Webster). I use pages from vintage dictionaries to alter my work. While I was working on Merriam, it occurred to me that all paper dictionaries are soon to be a thing of the past. I can't remember the last time I used one for spelling or a definition.

Merriam and I will see you soon!

Altered matchbox fairy baby

I won't be able to list her for a couple of days, but I was excited to show you a preview of my matchbox baby fairy! I had so much fun altering the matchbox and making it look magical. I used an antique shoe button for the pull (you can't see it in these photos, but it was perfect!), some French ribbon, a metal corner with a tiny lock and key hanging from it, various French and fairy ephemera, and, of course, one of my pinwheels made from a page from a vintage dictionary. I named this baby Dorian. She slumbers in her very feminine and shabby chic bed. Her wings are made from transparency film so they gently bend to fit in her box. I made this baby girl anatomically correct.

Please watch for her auction to begin, most likely on Friday.

Altering tip:
Don't use liquid glue to adhere paper or card stock. Use only glue sticks so you don't end up with a lot of lumps and bumps!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A shabby chic dictionary bird, Harmony

Birds are really popular right now and I have so much fun sculpting them! If you are new to sculpting, a simple bird might be a great place for you to start since they have no joints and are a fairly simple sculpt. Alter them or add your own embellishments to make them OOAK. Altering and dressing are often the most fun stages of creating or sculpting for me. Start keeping bits of lace, ribbon, extra buttons that come on clothing, and even books you don't want to read or have already read. Use the pages to make medallions or to cover a box.

Spring has sprung, indeed, and Harmony would be such a perfect and one of a kind gift for anyone who loves gardening or the outdoors. Or, you just might want to keep her for yourself!

Here is her auction link:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Inspired by Restoration Hardware!

Here is one of my inexpensive decorating ideas. I was inspired by the very expensive ones that I saw in the Restoration Hardware catalog,framed prints of antique English music. For my project, I used Dollar Tree frames (but they are wooden!), cold pressed water color paper, and French music prints taken from the graphics fairy site. All of her prints are public domain, so you are not infringing on copyright when you use them. I used the water color paper as a background. It gives a bit of texture. Then, I laid the printed music on top, making sure all sides were even.

I love old paper and these print off so well that they look like the real thing! I have them hanging in my family room on the opposite wall where I have two of my dad's old violins hanging. Restoration Hardware's prints go the other direction, longways, while mine are sideways, but they still look great and for a few pennies I can have the look!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Avalon, my new flapper girl

This is Avalon! She is very vintage looking with her shabby dress and Roaring Twenties hat! I love using the habotai silk for my dolls' dresses. It is so light weight, perfect for dressing small bodies. It also takes the coffee dye very well.

I know that a lot of artists are doing realistic eyes on their dolls, using lenses that let light pass through. If I am not using onyx beads for a spooky look, I paint my dolls' eyes because they fit my antique, vintage style better. Avalon has beautiful, shiny, brown eyes!

Hinge jointing these vintage dolls makes them a little more fun. You can slouch them, position their arms,and they can even stand with support, although they are much safer in their sitting position.

I used some lace taken from an antique collar to embellish her hat. I have become a lace collector! You can never have too much to choose from.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We are looking forward to some sun, for a change. "May Gray" has been hanging around in southern California.

If you have time, please check out Avalon's auction on Ebay. She is waiting to be cherished once again.........

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Marley, an ooak baby toucan!

I have listed my baby toucan! I named him Marley. He's shabby chic Caribbean! Like my other shabby sweeties, he will come in an inner box that I altered just for him.
I have no idea why I can't put an active link for my auctions in my post. I think I got it to work once and then, no more. So, if you would copy and paste the link into your browser, I would be very happy! If anyone can tell me what I may be doing wrong, please let me know! I click on the link icon and put in the URL, but it doesn't work!
Anyway, my next piece will be a flapper girl. I like to go back and forth between animals and dolls. I haven't sculpted a baby in quite a while, so after the flapper girl, I want to do a matchbox baby. She will be sleeping in an altered matchbox! I can't wait to get started on her, but I still have quite a lot to do to finish my flapper doll. I need to embellish her hat and dress her.
Don't forget to check out Marley! He is the essence of summer!