October 3, 2012
I adore sculpting old-world Belsnickles! Several months ago, one of my visitors asked if I had ever made any of my belsnickles black? I said that I would look for some old photos to show some of these from my own collection and here they are. These versions are sculpted entirely in paper mache pulp. They are approximately 21 inches tall and very heavy. I use an old method of sculpting and it takes many hours to create each Santa figure.
June 28, 2012
My teacher’s sample of the “Forget-Me-Not” traditional rag doll.
Theme: floral needlpoint/applique/fabrics/quilting etc… depicting Forget-Me-Nots
Subject: Traditional Rag Doll
Historical Connections: Forget-Me-Not in Art, Folklore, and Culture:
- In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name.”
- Henry IV adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398, and retained the symbol upon his return to England the following year.
- In 15th-century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armor he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted “Forget-me-not.” It was often worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love.
- Prior to becoming the tenth province of Canada in 1949, Newfoundland (then a separate British Dominion) used the Forget-me-not as a symbol of remembrance of that nation’s war dead. This practice is still in limited use today, though Newfoundlanders have adopted the Flanders Poppy as well.
- Freemasons began using the flower in 1926 as a symbol well known in Germany as message not to forget the poor and desperate. Many other German charities were also using it at this time. In later years, by a handful of Masons, it was a means of recognition in place of the square and compass design. This was done across Nazi occupied Europe to avoid any danger of being singled out and persecuted. The symbol of the forget-me-not in modern Masonry has become more prevalent and exaggerated claims about the use of the symbol are often made in order to promote sales of bumper stickers of the symbol. Today it is an interchangeable symbol with Freemasonry and some also use the Forget-me-not to remember those masons who were victimized by the Nazi regime. In English Freemasonry it is more commonly now worn to remember those that have died as a symbol that you may be gone but not forgotten.
- J. R. R. Tolkien refers to the flower in his poems.
- fabrics and type
- cotton batting
Methods of Construction: process
- Select a traditional rag doll pattern or design your own.
- Measure, cut, sew, stuff, and incorporate into your doll or doll’s clothing Forget-Me-Not design.
- Those doll designs including traditional needlepoint and/or some kind of quilting/applique methods are preferable.
- Students will demonstrate the process of interpreting sewing patterns.
- Students will demonstrate the theme and subject combined in a rag doll.
Exhibit: Finished figures will be exhibited inside a showcase located on the school property or be photographed by the instructor and uploaded to an internet forum/blog.
Feedback/Assessment: Students will either participate in an online discussion, classroom critiques or be expected to fill out a self-assessment form.
Include the following on a label with your finished project:
- A Title
- Your Name
- The date the project was completed
- The materials used
- An approximate size
More Craft Resources for Forget-Me-Not:
Forget-Me-Not Doll Inspiration:
June 20, 2012
I learned how to sew doll clothes from this book when I was pregnant with my first girl. The book teaches process and pattern types. Once you learn these then you will be able to adapt pattern making for any doll. Even though I no longer use store bought patterns in my doll making, I keep this book in my collection for beginners.
“Venus A. Dodge, an expert in making, dressing and selling dolls for over 20 years, presents a unique and exciting collection of actual-size patterns for doll’s clothes. No enlarging is necessary – just trace directly from the page to make a ready-to-use pattern. There are 45 of them to choose from too. from modern outfits for commercial dolls to accurate period costume for antique dolls. Full making-up instructions are given throughout for clothes and accessories.
Many of the patterns are simple enough for the absolute beginner, but the experienced dolls’ dressmaker should find a stimulating challenge in the authentic and more elaborate period costumes. There is plenty of advice on techniques and how to achieve a delightful result with the minimum of expense and time, making it simpler than ever before to create your own superb doll’s clothes…and enjoy the whole process!”
David & Charles Publishing plc, Newton Abbot, Devon: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY.
June 14, 2012
I made this doll blanket, by hand, for a child who loves turtles and all sorts of little forest creatures. The redwork designs come from a wonderful coloring book by Diane Gaspas called “Forest Animals.” Dover publishes many coloring books for children that may be used for a wide variety of personal projects/gifts. However, because these coloring pages are copyrighted and are not in the public domain, they should never be used for profit or be misrepresented as belonging to another company or individual other than Dover or Diane Gaspas. I specifically chose these designs by Dover because the company is sponsoring a craft contest in 2012 based upon the development of handmade crafts/personal art projects using their products. You may read more about the contest rules here if you wish.
You can see here that I traced the design in pencil and then stretched the muslin between a wooden hoop before working the threads into the design.
I decided to introduce just a bit of applique into the turtle’s shell.
Here I have worked a few red seed beads into the wild fruits hanging above my turtle’s head.
I trimmed the doll blanket in a red rick-rack. I thought it would add to the old-fashioned look of the blanket. I also rotated my muslin squares with plaid and printed squares. These had no red touches originally so I stitched some red threads into the plaid designs in order to blend my bold red colors with the neutral creams, tans, and whites of my overall color palette.
This sweet little mouse may also be found in the pages of the same coloring book along with the bees, moth and snail that are stitched into the redwork designs.
Above is the final project ready for someone very special that I have in mind.
June 13, 2012
Blue mermaid tail, shell and sand dollar by Kathy Grimm
Sepia mermaid tail, shells, and sand dollar by Kathy Grimm
Aqua mermaid tail, shells, and sand dollar by Kathy Grimm.
More Mermaid Paper Dolls:
Stamps and Scraps for creating mermaid paper dolls:
Purchase Mermaid Paper Dolls:
May 26, 2012
Pumpkin was made in 1967 by Madame Alexander. This doll belonged to Krissy, my husband’s cousin. Krissy’s mother wants to give Pumpkin to her twin granddaughters, but, Pumpkin doesn’t sit up anymore. Her body has been cuddled so much that she is in need of a little tender repair.
I will open up this doll near the neck wear it looks as though someone may have tried to hold a seam together with a bobby pin.
This doll was originally stuffed with some very fluffy filler. I will leave this in and pack in a stiffer fiber fill under the doll’s head.
Pumpkin now is able to sit upright and the opening in the back of her body has been firmly sewn shut.
This doll’s clothes are original and her name is printed on the tag attached to her yellow, hooded jump suit.
Pumpkin’s copyright, 1967, by Madame Alexander at the base of her vinyl head on the back.
Pumpkin sits up on her own for the first time in years, the surgery was a success!
Pumpkin is ready for Grandmother Marlene to take to Chicago to give to her twin granddaughters.
- Jason Wu’s Madame Alexander Dolls (stylelist.com)
- Introduction (mydollfamily.wordpress.com)
May 4, 2012
Above are two of my favorite painted canvas dolls. I designed and made these toddler dolls in the late 90s.
The features of the little girl were appliqued onto the canvas prior to the painting of her face.
The little boy has no three dimensional facial features.
Here he is again seated in an old-fashioned school desk that was hand-crafted by a neighbor.
May 3, 2012
I made this papier-mâché baby doll several years ago. It is life-sized and can be dressed in real baby cloths, size three months.
Close up of the baby’s eyes.
The head of this doll is attached to a canvas body and has prefabricated limbs.
A view of her head from the side. I used acrylic paints for her head. Her lace bonnet belonged to my daughters.
This particular papier-mâché head is made with a layers of sanded pulps. Stockinette is stretched over the head and impregnated with Gesso at the end of the process before the head is painted.