Saturday, January 29, 2011

One World One Heart

This year I am participating in the One World One Heart (OWOH) blog event. This is an International link-up of bloggers and it looked like a lot of fun last year, so I thought I'd participate this year, sadly, the last time it will be held.

So, to new visitors to my blog - WELCOME! I am an artist living in Tasmania at the bottom of the world - a kind of afterthought to Australia - it's smallest, but most beautiful state.

One aspect of OWOH is a giveaway "door prize". Pictured above is what I am offering to one person who leaves a comment on my blog on this post from today until the 17th Feb, when I will draw a winner using the very scientific random selection method of a number drawn out of a hat! This is one of my hand-made Zozie dolls - "Tweet"

Good luck everyone and have lots of fun on your OWOH blog crawl - I'll certainly be visiting lots in the hope that I might be lucky enough to win one of the door prizes being offered by generous bloggers all around the world!

Click on the OWOH logo in the sidebar to go to the OWOH site and connect with other participants. Big thanks to Lisa for organizing such a great event - it must entail a massive amount of work!

Friday, January 21, 2011

In My Studio Today

Here's what is on my studio table today. I started this piece a while ago and have just got back to working on it. It is almost done - just a little more painting, gluing the bust inside the box and doing the outside of the box. The figure is kind of spilling out of the box and into the space in front. I made a "Mona Lisa" piece similar to this some years ago, but I forgot to photograph it before I sold it (can't remember who to, so I can't even beg for a few pictures of it!) I used to do that all the time.............thank heavens for digital photography - it has revolutionized my life.

I had great fun working on this!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I've Been Featured!

Dixie Redmond is a wonderful selfless artist, dollmaker and researcher who does so much to promote dollmaking, especially re-creations of the cloth dolls of the past, through her website, blog and Ning group. She has been running a series of "interviews" with dollmakers who use antique cloth dolls as their inspiration. Today, she posted an interview with me on So if you want to read a bit about what makes me tick, head on over there and have a look. While you are at it, check out her blog, ( where she often features techniques and works-in-progress and maybe you might even like to join up at for a great forum about antique-inspired dolls. You can even take an online class there.

One of Dixie's faithful Izannah Walker style dolls made from patterns she produced after painstaking research on original dolls.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mary's Prize

Here's what is on the way to Mary as her prize in my recent giveaway. This is Starchild #4 and he keeps his heart in his little pocket when he's not playing with it. Hope you like it Mary!

      Notice anything new about my blog? I thought it was about time for a change, because   I've had it looking the same way since I started it. I had fun changing it around today and giving it a facelift!                                                                                                                                         

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wintermoon - My Muse

Well, here is my latest art piece "Wintermoon : My Muse - I thought it was finished, but now I'm not so sure - I may add a little more of the floaty fabric, but not much.  Occasionally, I am quite happy with the way something turns out - in other words it comes close to what I had envisioned. This is one such piece.

I suppose it seems a little strange to be making something with such a wintry name, when it is high summer here, although the strange weather we have had lately has had me wondering where our summer went............the last three days it rained non-stop, so it was like summer disappeared. We were getting the dag end of what has devastated the state of Queensland  and by noon yesterday we were marooned in the middle of a lake, both studio and house sprang leaks - I had pots everywhere catching drips. But today a big bright sun is shining out of a flawless blue summer sky and there is a pleasant, warm breeze blowing, so all the water has just disappeared!

In case you missed it, Mary Mangini won my giveaway. Thanks to everyone who entered, (and entered, and entered!) You all made it fun. If you want another chance to win something, I'm participating in the One World, One Heart blog event at the end of the month. Click on the link in the side-bar for more info about the event.


Mary Mangini - You're  a winner!

Thanks everyone who entered - you all made this so much fun and I was overwhelmed by the response. If you didn't win this time, there will be another chance shortly, because I am taking part in the "One World, One Heart" blog event at the end of this month - (click on the little thingy on the side bar to see what that is all about).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


My new sculptural piece is coming are more progress shots of it assembled and the painting started. I tend to work in multiple translucent layers of paint, rather than putting it on thickly in one go. That way I can achieve more subtlety in tonal variation. The merest hint of the underneath colours show through subsequent layers adding a greater degree of depth. As you can see s/he now has arms, as well.

Also, I finished off "Essie" as an evacuee child of the London Blitz, 1939. She's waiting on the platform for a train to take her to the safety of the countryside. She now has a little suitcase, her gas mask in it's container, her toy monkey and she's well labelled with her name and destination. She has a look of apprehension and her eyes are a little watery - after all she's only five and she's being separated from her parents for the first time, but she's trying very hard to be brave.


Monday, January 10, 2011

My Muse

I know some of you like me to post pictures of works-in-progress to see how a piece develops. I often forget to take progress photos, but with the piece I am currently working on, I've remembered, so here are some progress shots of "My Muse" - I'll post more as I get more advanced with this piece.

There are still a few days left to enter my giveaway, which I'm drawing on the 14th of January. Just go to the Jan 6th post and leave a message - I'll draw a winner from all the entries received.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Stuff

Here are a couple of things I've been working on: the little doll ("Essie") is just 11 1/2" (29 cms) tall. Her head and lower limbs have been sculpted in air-dry clay and covered with fabric before painting and she has a wrapped armature body. Hair is moulded and she has a cotton print dress and 100% wool felt jacket. I made her little boots from garment leather and crocheted her beret from mohair and a kind of multi-coloured boucle yarn together. I thnk she need a scarf and mittens.
No prizes for guessing which famous painting the bust is based on - this is for a challenge on one of the groups I belong to.
You can still enter my "20 000-blog-views-or-celebrate-the-new-year-or-whatever" giveaway if you like. I'm drawing the winner on 14th January. You'll need to go to the 6th January post and leave a comment - I'll be drawing the winner from all those who leave a comment.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I promised to host a giveaway to celebrate
20 000 blog views. That milestone happened a while back - so to thank you, dear readers and followers, here is the promised giveaway announcement.
All you have to do to be in it is leave a comment at the end of this post. The prize winner will be randomly drawn from all the responses on January 14th and announced on that day. To make it fair I will use Greenwich mean time to do the draw, because Australia is a day ahead of the USA and Europe.
The prize will be one of these:

You can enter more than once if you want to.

Monday, January 3, 2011

It Had To Happen................

When you are a dollmaker, people, with the best of intentions, give you stuff.............their dog clippings, pieces of fabric they don't want, the lumpy stuffing out of old cushions etc. Don't get me wrong - I am very appreciative and sometimes the stuff is priceless. But it does tend to accumulate and storage space runs out. Also dollmakers need an incredible variety of stuff on hand - a list like you wouldn't believe. I am quite bad at throwing things out, but there comes a point, creative clutter notwithstanding that A STAND HAS TO BE MADE and a big cleanout is called for. I have reached that stage in my studio, drowning as I was in a sea of mess and disorder like this:

and this:
and this:

and this:

It got to the point that I was losing things in the mess and disarray and it was affecting my ability to work.
So, to start 2011, I have begun the mammoth task of throwing out useless, unwanted, old stuff and trying to organize my supplies a little. I'm being ruthless - anything I haven't used in the last 5 years is going; all those jars of forgotten and un-nameable substances are going; all those out-of-date things are going and all those ugly fabrics I will NEVER use are going. All those doll starts that are never going to be finished are GOING....GOING........GONE. As  result, I'm finding all kinds of things I had thought lost forever and I'm getting that pleasant feeling that comes after a purge. This cupboard was previously crammed with junk.......look at it now! It is tidy, I can see what is in there and there is even spare space. I know better than to try and do this all in one go - I'm doing a small section at a time, but it is amazing how quickly order is established! There - I've revealed my dirty little secret - I feel better! Now, if I can just get my husband to build me some more shelves.....................


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Joyous Summer and a Little Indulgence

Well, dear friends in Blogland, I hope 2011 has started well for you!
It is high summer here, but it has been cooler than it usually is at this time of year, which suits me just fine - I start to wilt when it gets over about 25 Celsius. Here are some summer delights from my garden of the non-edible kind.
Over the past year I have been encountering lots of Waldorf dolls from many different makers, mainly on the net and in Etsy stores. I got quite interested so I read up a little on them and the whole philosophy behind their creation and use in Steiner education. They are sweet little dolls very sturdily made entirely from natural materials and with minimal facial expression, meant to encourage imaginitive play in a young child and to foster an abiding love for all things natural. You can see many lovely examples of these dolls made by a local (to me) maker at .
Anyway, long story short, on a whim the other day with a bit of time on my hands to indulge myself a little with something I wanted to do rather than something I had to do, I got some wool fleece and some knit cotton fabric and made this little doll in the Waldorf tradition. It was such fun to make, but I found it very hard to resist the urge to put more detail into the very simple embroidered face!
I took some pictures before I embroidered the eyes and mouth because I really liked the minimal little face.

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