Thursday, May 19, 2016

And now she's done!

……..except for her shoes. I'm still waiting on a delivery of small buckles so that I can finish them. But as you see, she does have a sweet bonnet which I crocheted from cotton yarn and a hand-kitted cardigan made from 4-ply merino. Underneath she has cotton drawers. I was going to make a petticoat as well, but I decided there was already enough bulk around her middle, with the dress and the pinafore, both with gathered waists. She's a sweet child… the the USA as soon as her shoes are done!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Hester Mae

 This little girl was made in response to a number of requests I've had to make information available on the painting of darker skin tones. As a result I've created a downloadable tutorial that is an adjunct to my "Painting Faces For Doll-makers"  PDF. Both are available as an instant download in my Etsy store )
I photographed "Hester Mae" throughout the process of painting her:

She's a sweet child waiting patiently for her finishing touches.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


"Luca" is my most recently completed doll - my take on the Commedia Dell'Arte character, Arlechino, but without the usual black mask. I was attempting to create a character that was ambiguous on several levels….the gender is unspecified and the expression I was aiming for was a little enigmatic. The colours I used in painting this doll are ones I am fond of: blues and blue/greens.

Luca is an 18" jointed cloth doll with a cloth-covered air-dry clay head, painted with artist's acrylics. The clothing is part painted and part dupioni silk. The hat is stiffened  and painted felt.

Suffice it to say that the new studio is "working' well! I'm happy with this piece.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Homely Things

It took a few weeks before this new house felt like it belonged to me and I belonged to it, but with every little thing achieved, it starts to feel more and more like home…….and home means homely things like bread baked and crocheting by the fire in the evening. Flowers in a vase and herbs flourishing on the patio. And it's raining at last! How comforting is the sound it makes on the roof after so many months of no rain at all. Yes, this is home.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Short Break

I have been extremely busy these past few months……selling and buying houses; packing and unpacking and CLEANING! So when the opportunity arose last week to go away with a friend for a few days, I jumped at the chance. The big bonus was that we were going to Mt William National Park in the far North-East corner of the state - a place I'd never visited before. It's an area of coastal  vegetation and heathland with Mt William, a smallish hill with mountainous delusions at its centre and miles of beautiful, empty beaches, rocky outcrops and abundant wildlife.

Although you have to carry in drinking water, the camping is pleasant, close to the beach under she-oaks. It is car camping, so you can bring lots of comforts!

We had lovely warm weather, but I imagine it can sometimes be very windy here (There must be a good reason that one of Tasmania's two wind farms is located not too far away!)

We were able to have a campfire, which is no longer allowed in many national parks.

(Photo: Margaret Hoban)

Beach, sky, birds, animals and the endless crash of the surf onto the beach.

We made an ascent of Mt William - a smallish bump of a few hundred metres, but I was pleasantly surprised by the "miniature mountain" feel of it, complete with its rocky summit and views all around. Unfortunately, it was hazy from forestry burn-offs, so the Furneaux Islands weren't visible as they would be on a clear day and the distance views were limited. Areal eye-opener was all the different species of fungi that were abundant - I counted around thirty different kinds!

The walk was pleasant and easy on a good track and the reward is this view:

All in all, it was a perfect, rejuvenating break and it has given me a taste to go and spend more time in a place with such subtle charm and plenty to see and do.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Something To Crow About?

I have just completed this crow - about half life-size. he is made from fabric over an air-dry clay form with legs made from wrapped wire. The whole thing was sized and gessoed and sanded smooth and then painted with artist's acrylics. All the feather details are achieved with paint. I'd like to do an interactive group of these in different poses. I think I will!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Few Short Walks………...

I am blessed that my new location is very near to quite a number of great short walks……the first is only a hundred metres or so from my front door: Woods Reserve. It is around 20 acres of remnant bush vegetation that looks out over the city of Launceston below. A little gem close to the city.

A little further away, but still within easy walking distance, is Duck Reach, the site of the first hydro-electric power station in the Southern Hemisphere - it brought power and light to the city of Launceston in 1895 until it was washed away in the monster flood of 1925. It was re-built some years later.
The power station is no longer used, but the building has been turned into a museum which highlights the foresight and ingenuity of Launceston's City Fathers in the C19th. From Duck Reach, you can explore numerous trails through the Cataract Gorge.

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