Monday, May 18, 2009

Appealing Hand Made Cloth Dolls

More than a cushion. Mishka has a stoic personality. Her soothing pale blue & cream colouring will decorate any corner she sits in. Her hat and the cream doyley on her cushion body sparkle with loops of elaborate greyish silver lead light crystal beading. More elaborate beading on her grey satin shoulder bows make her even more delightful.

Penelope is colourful and will brighten up any corner she sits in.
How lucky was I to find a purple & white crochet doyley so perfect for this doll. I topped it with a dark purple crochet motif & a single pearl. The other delicate cream lace doyley has a lilac tie dyed satin flower motif center & layered purple buttons. Her matching hat delicately finished with purple layered buttons & a single pearl. And little pearls on her shoes. Elaborate chunky silver & pearl brooch on her waist with matching lustrous pearls around her neck richly adorn this little lady.

Elizabeth with her ginger red hair is very vintage and classy.
On her dress a large vintage cream cotton doyley topped with brown crochet motifs & a single pearl. Smaller tatted cream doyley is carefully stitched with sparkling glass white crystal beads. Her hat is art work in itself. With sparkling crystal bead loops cleverly stitched onto 2 large orange buttons on her dainty tatted doyley hat. Ooh La La!
Matching buttons on her cuffs & shoes. Too further elaborate her style of class, I stitched some incredibly rich silver jewellery I found, around her waist. Finally adding a gold & diamond brooch on her neck. Lovely.

BLOM (african for flower)
Blom is such a regal African chic of a doll. And like her friends above she is very much loved & adored by all who see her.
Her uniqueness is flattered by a real little brown pottery jar with glazed patterns on it which is attached to her waist. Also a square piece of funky orange & black tiger design jewellery. Sewn to the edge of her satin dress are funky eye catching ornamental beads I found consisting of a brown rhinoceros, aqua monkey and pink elephant with little loops of colourful love beads in between. Tiny colourful glass love beads draw the eye to the center of the cream & brown crochet doileys on her dress. Loops of love beads stitched and clustered together drip off the side of her hat. Little funky flower beads form bracelets and some of these beads are sewn to beaded loops that hang from the side of her hat. A wooden bead covered in crochet on each foot. All this detail adds perfectly to her dignified african regal appeal.

Margaret is a doll that drips with old fashioned class and grace. White vintage lace daisy motifs covered in sparkling icy crystal beads form her hat and decorate each side of the front of her blue velvet coat. Also a little gold angel brooch on her jacket. Her belt is made from a gold bracelet with speckled pearls patiently sewn on it. Speckled pearls around her neck. A little dainty pearl on each lace sleeve cuff. Her pale blue granny print dress has a white cotton doyley covered in sparkling white icy crystal beads topped with a purple satin motif & large purplish blue sparkling crystal glass bead. These beautiful beads are also sewn onto her shoes. The vintage pale blue doyley on her dress has a magnificent intricately beaded butterfly motif sewn on it. She looks vintage with a classy style all of her own.

Because it is so much creative fun and relaxing.
Each doll is created with her own special magnetic charm to adorn her home where ever that may be. I have my dear creative friend Rachelle to thank for her inspiration to get back to using needle & thread. I have not done anything like this for decades and until Rachelle reminded me I had completely forgotten about how much I love to do hand sewing. But these days I hurry to get all my work finished so that I can get back to my dolls and what ever else I feel like creating with needle and thread.
For me cloth doll artistry is more than craft. It is art because these dolls do not come in kitset for people to sew together. Personal artistry is required here to create shape and form from nothing into something that becomes a wonderful original cloth doll.

It is really important to me that I use only needle and thread. Using glue to do it seems heartless & almost disrespectful. After all we don't glue our clothes on so why do it to dolls. Can you imagine people walking around with clothes super glued on them. Doubt it. A little glue here & there is OK to attach something that can't be sewn on. But all over glue I find it offensive on cloth dolls. With exception to Paper mache' dolls who depend on glue to keep them together but that is another discipline which I highly respect and hope to have a go at one day.
Now back to my cloth dolls. Thinking of my loving mother reading me the story of "Cinderella" when I was a child always make me feel good. And now even though I'm an adult with 7 wonderful grand children, the creative little girl in me prefers to turn each plain orphan cloth doll into a princess with the best reycled refinery I can find. Such as doyleys, motifs, beautiful beads, buttons, lovely old jewellery, & whatever else I can find in second hand shops. It is a wonderful way to recycle preloved bits & pieces. Plus friends give me their old jewellery and bits and pieces to sew on my dolls. My friends are great cheer leaders they buzz over my creations and can't wait to see what I'm going to create next.
The bottom line for me here is that these hand made cloth dolls make great gifts and are too be respected as art work because they are lovingly created straight from the heart to be appreciated by the avid cloth doll lover.


This collage was done in earth colours to delicately match the rug in the photo and the black lounge suites in the room. I carefully collected together assorted little hand woven traditional flax baskets, shells & smooth broken glass found on the beach in NZ. Delicate little sea egg shells. And the paua shell which really radiates off this art piece complimenting the silver on the wooden cross. Plus stained bamboo sticks and other little treasures to give it that really personal touch. Collectively the colours, shapes, forms, textures of these materials all worked out well to give the earthy modern Pacifica collage effect I imagined.

Found these photos of me on another day in spontaneous collage art mode. I had the colour red on my mind that day. I randomly selected various textures of plain & printed paper materials. Adding some gold foiling & gold paint here & there. And some paper money and metal coins.Completed these 4 collages look very oriental, modern, rich and expensive.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Imaginery Flowers

These hybrid flowers I created from my paint palette. Part Lily & part Trumpet flower. The possibility for colours for these flowers are infinite.
One day I was in my garden admiring some very beautiful majestic green trumpet flowers when I started to imagine how else they could look.
For a moment I saw monster alien flowers. Too sinister for me. I got my pencil out and started sketching and then I added paint and this is what I came up with. Bright and modern and original. It is impossible to have a dull day with all the colour in these 3 paintings.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spectacular Fire Works

One day I became aware of a myriad of vibrant colours noisely clattering around in my mind that gave me an irresistable desire to paint. I had no idea of what I wanted to paint. I placed 6 big canvasses side by side and rolled a variety of blues onto the background with rags. I decided not to use brushes to control the direction of the paint. Instead I freely splashed and squirted whole tubes of paint onto the canvas and spread it with my fingers. For the next 14 months I randomly continued to repeat this painting process over & over again, intuitively building up layers of involuntary paint on the 6 canvasses.Then one day I knew I had reached the end and had to stop painting because I could see the amazing colour and hear the noise I had imagined at the beginning of my painting. My art work revealed to me a sky lit up with spectacular noisey fireworks spinning, spiraling, spraying & exploding off the canvass. Just like I have seen in the sky over the Brisbane river. Once a year thousands of people go down to the Brisbane river to see the majestic fire works display. An amazing sight for all to see as the sky is lit up with the spectacular colour and noise of "Fire works". A sight to behold.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Honour the Ocean

Above is a very large seascape painting hanging in my lounge that gives our ocean loving family great comfort. I painted it for my beautiful 80yr old mother who lives with me. She is respectfully called "MAMMA". She has been my mentor and a best friend all my life. She use to live next to the ocean at 90 mile beach in NZ & she taught us all to respect the ocean & beaches. I painted it so that everyone who looks at it can feel their own comforting peace & tranquility of the ocean. Have a look and I hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The beautiful Kapiti Coast

An excursion to Raumati Beach in New Zealand this week as part of an art workshop with visiting Australian artist India Flint.
Driftwood reminisent of a tuatara lizard.
The steer in the paddock outside our class window at Whitireia Polytech, Kapiti campus.

Moana's art cloth in progress - using India's natural dyeing processes to colour the map of our local landscape, as well as mark making with stitch and hapuzome (pounding prints directly onto cloth) ... a new and surprising kind of beautiful.
Beautiful grandson 'Knuckles' (aka Richard).