Wednesday, December 29, 2010

silver spirit doll

this one started her life as a normal spirit doll, that is, made of fabric and branches and canvas and moss. when i "retired" her, i
dipped her in housepaint and gave her new life as an outdoor object. she resided for almost 2 years on top of a birdhouse in my
back yard, painted bright red by my daughter. recently she started to tilt and crackle a bit, so i decided it was time to give her a fresh coat of paint. i had some chrome silver spray paint in my garage, which i used first on some leftover autumn gourds that i wanted to display with my holiday stuff.

the doll got a coat of chrome and was transformed - i love how shiny she is! this one will go back outside and be my elements experiment. will she stay shiny or will she turn dull with the winter wind and snow? we'll see. in the meantime i am prepping another dipped doll for the chrome, and she will be sent to key west for a fundraiser.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I finished up my newest doll over the weekend, having plenty o' time, for a change. All because my daughter had a cold and it was
in our best interest to stay put. It was actually the best thing that could have happened! We sat on the couch,
she with sketchbook or little sewing projects, me with current spirit doll "stuff" that requires stitching, and I also put the
final touches on the new doll, which we are officially naming Fifi. She is so cute and sassy, and looks great no matter what she's sitting on. A dollhouse chair, a pumpkin, whatever. Fifi rocks!

Friday, November 26, 2010

not quite a spirit doll

the online group i belong to, Art Dolls Only, has monthly and quarterly challenges that inspire us to create new, exciting dolls . this month's challenge was to make a doll using unfamiliar materials. to think outside the box. perfect timing, as i am feeling too busy to make my dolls in the usual way right now. i adapted my daughter's fearless attitude and just sat down at my art table to see what was there, what looked interesting, and then voila - start making something! this bendy lady is not done yet. she needs clothes. but in the meantime i am enjoying her wooden knob head which i handpainted, her pipe cleaner body, her purple clay shoes, and the little chair i borrowed from my daughter's dollhouse. i will finish her this weekend and post another photo of her when i'm done. you can see more creations at

Monday, October 18, 2010

From The Attic

I have not posted in a while. Could it be that I'm so busy I'm not actually getting a lot of new
dolls to come to life? Sadly, that is the truth. However I was just up in the attic with my
7 year old daughter, and she spotted the jackpot, the hidden pink wardrobe containing my stash
of "Dawn" dolls from the 1970s. I loooooved these dolls, and all their outfits. My Nana even made
a pink bathrobe and an elaborate wedding dress for my dolls. They are smaller than Barbies (which
I never owned), so you can imagine the scale of the hand sewn outfits. My daughter is in doll
heaven playing with all these girlies. I am reminded of the magic of dolls, shiny clothes, shiny hair,
and teeny tiny shoes.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

a spirit BRA?!?

a moment's departure from the spirit dolls to....bras! i'm participating in a breast cancer fundraiser
this fall. the feature is many "Artful Bras" which will be displayed and auctioned off at a gala event. i thought i'd share photos of mine here on my blog. i met the organizers of this event last spring at the opening of my
show "All Dolled Up" at the good news cafe. we hit it off immediately and i was committed to creating some dazzling
bras. interestingly enough, i shared with these ladies that i'd had a phase of creating art bras back in 1991 when i lived in new york city. i recently unearthed a few in my brother's attic, and perhaps i'll post photos of them at some point! the new bras i'm
making are similar in their construction - i take an actual bra and coat it in many layers of latex paint, giving it a hardened "shell" like a gessoed canvas. ready to paint, decorate, whatever! the one shown here is titled "The Cha Cha Bra".

Saturday, July 3, 2010

a spirit doll for heidi

i just got back from a visit to key west. having lived there from 2001-2006, it holds a special spot in my heart.'s where the spirit dolls were born! every time i'm back i ride by my old house and peek up at the window that
was my studio and where oh so many wonderful dolls were created. on this trip i brought along a special doll for my
great friend heidi, as a thank you for letting me stay at her home. sassy pink leopard fabric, chiffon headwrap,
and one of my newer style faces using glitter for eyeshadow. heidi has a bunch of my spirit dolls and always seems to keep
finding new spots to display them. my last nite in key west we all went to the beach and were treated to the full moon rising.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Miss Lily" returns home as the TDP ends for our team

I belong to a wonderful online group called Art Dolls Only. In January a team activity called The Traveling Doll Project was started. Each team member began a doll and sent it on to the next person, who got to add on something
in their own style of dollmaking. When my spirit doll left Connecticut she first went
to Seattle, then to Missouri, then to Texas. She's now returned home and I love how she's evolved. Fancy clothes,
huge hair, pretty jewelry, and something very exciting: movable arms!!! Along the way she also got the name "Miss Lily".
Welcome home!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Spirit Doll faces

dang! what happened to march and april and half of may? i've been so busy. a lot of it was spent volunteering for
worthy things at my daughter's elementary school. now it's time to get my own creativity on track again.
i'm continuing to work on the Art Dolls Only Traveling Doll Project (i have 2 dolls in my studio right now, and
await the return of my spirit doll by the end of the month). i also met some women at my restaurant exhibit
who are putting together a non-doll related event later this year. i won't say now what i will be creating,
but it's going to be colorful and fun! last but not least, i'm headed back to key west in june for a visit that
is part business, part pleasure. i will be meeting with a local bridal planner (JULIE SHRECK of simply you weddings)
to show her my growing collection of gorgeous bridal spirit dolls. the faces shown here in my hand may be
the new twist to the way my dolls look...something more dimensional. i'm going to play with these and see
if they are suitable for the additional two bridal dolls i will be finishing up before key west. one of these faces
has a tiny pearl, a tiny shard of mirror, and a tiny rhinestone cooked in. change is in the air!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

All Dolled Up

From March 10-May 10 I have an exhibit of 49 spirit dolls at The Good News Cafe in Woodbury CT. It's a cool restaurant, a hip little oasis in the midst of a traditional Connecticut town. For the display I did a large central frame of all-white bridal dolls, then marching out on either side all around the room, are dolls in colored outfits. Right now my studio feels sort of bare, but it's good to have a bit more space, as it inspires me to get back to work again!

Monday, March 1, 2010

ADO "Angel" challenge

this doll came together very quickly, as i had a lot of white material, feathers, and pearls on hand in my studio. her face is created from Fimo clay, then attached to a canvas base. she's almost like a mardi gras angel. i photographed the finished doll against fabric i used in 2006 to create my lifesize spirit doll, "Big Mama".

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Little Clay Faces

After creating a fabulous burlesque face for my last spirit doll, I got excited about
the new look. All that va voom! I had some Fimo clay on my work table
and started to form some face shapes with tiny noses. Baked 'em in the oven as
directed, and then started playing with paint and glitter again. For now I am using
hot glue to attach them to my standard canvas head forms. We'll see. Change is in
the air.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Burlesque Spirit Doll !

I'm working on another challenge for the fabulous online group, Art Dolls Only. This time
it's a Burlesque theme. She's not done yet, but I'm happy with her evolution so far. I've had some thick purple faux fur in my studio, and it's finally been put to good use as the doll's cape. I'm also pleased with her glitter eyeshadow. My little girl commented that this doll has
"a tricky face". Hee Hee !!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Traveling doll project, 2010

I am part of a team on Art Dolls Only that will be collaborating on a group of 4 dolls. Each one of us starts a doll, then sends it to the next person, who adds a bit of magic, and sends it on. We each get a month with the doll, and in that time we journal, blog, create, and get to know the work of our team artists up close and personal ! My creation is wearing a nubby red dress and is being sent out headless. I will enclose her head in the package but will leave it up to my team to decide if and how it will be used. "Seattle, here I come !"