Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dolls, Revalations, and Plans

I found some interesting books in the library, poking around in my library's small selection of crafting books, about doll making. There are some really splendid ideas in there! One of the books that I found had a project done by Laura McCabe, an artist I knew of from the beading world - and here she was beading on a doll!
And that's when it hit. I should have figured this before - crafts can cross worlds! Imagine the moment the world opens up just that much more. That's what happened to me.

The dolls were all sorts of things - not just the porcelain beauties or the crappy dollar store wood things (that can be redone to look beautiful), but toys and sculptures and artistic statements and portraits and a whole new way to express yourself creatively.  One of my personal favorites were the artistic statements. They looked less like a 'doll' and more like a vaguely humanoid figure that represented an idea or some other cultural reference like a book or a historical event.
Red Lady by Tami Levin
Tassel Lady by Patti Culea

My other favorites were the flat dolls. And doll 'mannequins'. Think of them as a really fancy paper doll whose clothing is fabric and glued on to them. Or sewn. The dresses can be as simple as a paper dress with fabric lace glued on, or all fabric with lace, trimmings, beads, ribbons and other decorative items glued or sewn on. I'm planning on making a shadowbox doll for my nieces for Christmas presents next year. It'll also be a good place to put beaded tests or swatches that I have had lying around for ages.

For crafters it never is to early to think about Christmas presents. I usually plan things according to the who then the what then the how long.  For example I have one of my siblings' families (3 children), my parents, my in-laws, my husband's sister, and my husband's grandparents plus my in-laws' 'ornament exchange' to plan for. So this is how I broke down my list -

2 nieces plus 1 nephew - 3 ornaments - each ornament takes a minimum of 2 weeks, one week planning and shopping and one week stitching for a total of 6 weeks.
My parents - knitted rag rug - 1 week cutting the strips, 1 week knitting for a total of 2 weeks.
My in-laws - my husband handles his father, I am making a wooden angel ornament which will take about a month for getting materials, gluing feathers, the beaded elements I want to make, painting and curing.
My husband's sister - a frank'n'hoodie (my design) which will take about a month.
My husband's grandparents - my husband handles his grandfather's gift, I am making another wooden angel ornament with a garden theme again a month.
Ornament exchange - Four sets of ornaments (4 in each set) - 1 week for each set.

Total gift making time - 6 months total max

This is not in order of priority, but I usually can do a few things at once, reducing labor time. Whew - no wonder I can't get my merchandise together for an Etsy shop. I'm thinking of calling it Whimsical Upcycling or something like that. I love my local thrift and donations shop after all. It's amazing what people will throw away. ^_^

I'm gonna have to do a post on my thrift store finds.

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