Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TGIT!!! Thank God It's Tuesday!

Thank God it's Tuesday again. I am so ready for some time off. When I got up this morning I was absolutely dragging. I was tired and burned out. As soon as I got off work and went out of the door I felt energized, awake and alert. The weather forecast is supposed to be great, the rain and storms are gone for a while. I'm looking forward to getting some sunshine and fresh air. I can tell that the good weather is having a positive effect on me because plans and designs for my dolls came so easily after having cabin fever and a bad case of creative block last week. The four ladies in this picture GA Ga, Leticia, Sky and Kiyo have decided who they are and how they will look and we have agreed on their costumes. Even Ga Ga and I agreed on her outfit for a change.
This is my next Asian doll, her name is Kiyo. She has chosen to wear a traditional Japanese kimono. The fabrics will be cotton prints in shades of red, black and gold. She will also wear a beautiful red flower in her hair.
This is Leticia, she is getting ready to dance in the annual carnival parade in Puerto Rico. The evenings are warm in Puerto Rico and Leticia wants her costume to be bright and festive as she dances the night away.

And of course, this is Ga Ga. She's been waiting for her costume for a few weeks now. The biggest problem has been that she and I could never agree on anything. Everything I designed for her just wasn't flashy enough. She's such a diva. Today, I brought home a piece of hot pink patten leather and she decided that it was absolutely perfect. Finally!! I'm sure her intention is to upstage Miley and the other girls in the band.

Sky is still working on her look. She's a hippie girl from the 60's like her friend Star (Star is in earlier posts on this blog) so she wants denim, beads, feathers and tie dye. So we'll see what we can come up with.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Son's Digital Art

I am so proud of both of my sons. They are great fathers, successful, hard working and just excellent men. They were both raised in an environment where they were encouraged to be both smart and creative. As they got older, careers, jobs and family matters caused them to have to let their creative spirits take a back seat in their lives.

Lately my oldest son has been doing a little photography in his spare time and using it to do some digital art. I wanted to share these two pieces with you and to say that I am so glad that he is in touch with his creative spirit again.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Cabin Fever"

This is what happens to a doll maker on her day off when she has cabin fever. My intention was to be creative and come up with some beautiful new doll designs. Instead, I've had the worst case of "cabin fever" which has resulted in my being restless and unfocused. We have had one of the worst storms in Sacramento history here for the last three days. We are in a "severe storm alert" right now. We have had blizzards and road closures in the mountains and torrential rain, gale force winds, falling trees, failing levees, 4 tornados and major flooding in the low areas.

I have tried to stay focused but the wind sounds like it's going to take the roof off. Yesterday I was listening to the radio and the emergency alert system came on. At first I thought we were under attack. Instead, it was a storm warning telling us that if we saw a funnel cloud we were to take shelter immediately in a solid structur or underground. We don't have too many basements in this area and I live in an upstairs apartment.

I've been working at organizing my projects and making decisions about who, how and what my dolls will be but it's just not happening for me today. Instead, my dolls look like a bunch of abandoned mannequins in a department store warehouse. I decided that if I can't be creative today I will at least try to be constructive. Thus the pile of doll parts you see above.

Maybe I can at least finish a few blank dolls before I go to bed and concentrate on dressing them over the next few weeks. Dressing is the fun and creative part. I usually focus on a person or personality when I plan my dolls' faces and costumes. Then it's like painting a portrait. It gives me a direction to follow.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I am happy to say that I got my computer going again. It's probably only temporary but at least I'm still connected for awhile. If I can get it to hold on for just about three weeks I can replace it. Anyway, for now, I can keep working and posting on this blog.

This is a doll that I actually finished a couple of weeks ago. I chose Cher as my alter ego challenge doll. I didn't do an abstract doll because I realized I didn't know how but I have set my mind on learning how over the next several months. So watch for new types of designs from me.

I chose Cher as my alter ego because I kind of grew up with her. I was an awkward, shy pre-teenager just about the time that she and Sonny became popular. I was so intrigued by this romantic, married, rock and roll duo and became an immediate fan. I identified with Cher because she was also very shy.

I watched their careers over the years and cheered and celebrated their successes and grieved and felt sadness during their bad times especially when Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident.

I saw Cher's last movie Burlesque. It didn't get great reviews but I was very entertained by ths film. Cher is in her mid sixties and she still sings beautifully and looks great.
Maybe it's plastic surgery and the magic of Hollywood but I still admire this lady who is just a little older than me. It makes me feel like I could and should take better care of myself and try a little harder to look a little better and not so much like an old lady all of the time. I had fun creating her image in cloth. One of the visitors to my booth is also a Cher fan and she was the one who requested this doll so the idea and the inspiration came from her. Thank you to Marcia of Marcia's Place.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sick Computer!!!

This might be my last post for a little while. I'm using someone else's computer today because mine is sick. I am so sad about it which is making me wonder if I rely on it too much. I don't use it every day but I love to have the ability to check in on the things that I am interested in and to do research.

A lot of the faces I use to design my dolls are from photos on the Internet along with so many other functions my computer provides me with. So, it is an essential tool for me. I will have to wait until next week to take it to the "computer doctor". Hopefully, it can be corrected easily but all computer repairs whether major or minor cost an arm and a leg. I've been promising myself a new one with more memory but that's just not in the budget right now.

Tomorrow is my 'Happy Tuesday' because it's my day off. I will probably get more done because I won't have my computer calling to me. I'll use the time to finish old dolls and create new ones. Anyway, I will miss everybody but I will be back as soon as I can.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Miley" Lead Guitarist of "The Urban Tinkerbells"

This is Miley, she's the first member of "The Urban Tinkerbells." It's been many, many years since I've been a teenager but I am inspired by the fashion and style of today's young generation. I am having so much fun learning about what kids wear today.

I have a four year old granddaughter Maya, who absolutely amazes me at how fashion conscious she is. I've seen her put her own outfits together and they are perfect. A designer couldn't do better. One of her favorite people is Hannah Montana. Of course we edit out the bad publicity that seems to be following this young star lately. We don't want to burst Maya's bubble yet. It would be like telling her there is no Santa Clause or Tooth Fairy. So my Miley doll is at the request of my granddaughter.

My generation had Twiggy, Carnaby Street, Betsey Johnson, and Mary Quant as only a few of the fashion influences of the 60's. I couldn't wait to get Seventeen Magazine every month to see what the latest styles were. My mom and dad were hard working people and they tried to give me everything I wanted. The smartest thing my mom did was to buy me my first sewing
machine when I was 12 and taught me to sew. She kept me in fabric and I got really good at replicating almost anything I wanted out of the magazines which saved my parents a ton of money. It got to the point where I only wanted to wear what I made myself.

Admittedly, I don't get a lot of today's trends and a lot of them I don't even like. But I know that fashion is the first rebellion young people demonstrate. The flappers did it in the 20's, my mother's generation did it, my generation did it, my older son wanted to be Prince, my youngest son went through the grunge style (that absolutely irritated me.) Every generation has a need to 'shock' their parents and authority figures and to make a statement about who they are and that they're young people and are not the same as their elders. I think rebellion is an absolutely necessary part of the process of growing up and fashion and style is for the most part a harmless rebellion compared to so many other negative and harmful things that young people could get caught up in. As parents, we need to let our kids and grand kids experience this creative freedom with some guidance from us for health and safety reasons.
I have three more dolls to add to this "Urban Tinkerbells" rock group. It is a challenge for me and I am learning and becoming aware of today's fashions. Keep watching this blog. Ga Ga is the diva and the lead singer of the group and she will make her entrance next.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Maixiu, (beautiful, grace)

I am pleased to share Maixiu with you. She is number 18 of my "Gloria's Girls" family. She is my first doll in Asian costume and I absolutely love her. Two ladies visited my booth last month and commented that they never see Asian dolls when they attend craft shows and that was an opening for a challenge for me. I wanted the costume to be something special that reflected
ancient Chinese culture.
Last weekend I saw a movie called 'The Forbidden Kingdom' along with a little Internet research that inspired the idea for this costume. I found the photograph of a beautiful woman's face also on the Internet and used it as a model for Maixiu's face. I love that it is so peaceful yet so wise.

I also designed a doll who will be wearing a Japanese costume. I'm looking forward to begin working on her in a few weeks. I am very proud to be able to present a beautiful doll that represents Asian culture.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TGIT: Thank God It's Tuesday

It's Tuesday again which is my Saturday. I am so happy to be able to have the next few days to finish some of my dolls. I am so grateful to be working again although it's only part time. I was out of work for over two years. I used the down time to go back to school to learn some new skills but even with with new skills and training, jobs are still scarce in my part of the world. Sacramento, California has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. While I was out of work I also used the time to be more creative and really enjoyed the freedom to work on a variety of art projects. So now, my days off are like gold.
My goal is to finish four of my dolls that are almost done. Miley has hair, makeup and costume now and I'm down to the small stuff. She needs fingers and a few details on her thigh boots.

Maixiu is done and just needs shoes, jewelry and hands and a little tweaking for her hair. I really love how she has turned out. She is my first doll in Asian costume and I have plans for a second Asian doll.

Ga Ga is giving me some creative problems. Her face and hair are done but I want something special for her costume and can't decide how to put it together.
My fourth doll is a challenge doll from one of the doll groups I belong to, "Cloth Doll Artistry." We were challenged to create an alter ego doll. I had a hard time getting started because I thought it was supposed to be an art doll. An art doll to me is something abstract and unusual. I'm not very good with abstract art so I couldn't seem to get started. The doll is due on the 20th, so time has been getting away from me. I decided to just create a doll that is a tribute to an entertainer who has made me smile since I was a teenager over the past almost 50 years, (wow I'm getting old). I won't be able to reveal her here until after the reveal on the group website after the 20th. We also had an angel doll challenge. I finished that challenge so quickly I had time to make both of the designs I came up with. I will post those pictures after the 20th as well.

I work at a place called The Market Place in Ranch Cordova. I am around creative and artistic people all of the time. We have art and books by local artists and authors, antiques and collectibles, jewelry by gifted designers and crafts people and crafts by a variety of other designers. We had a book launch for new author Margie Yee Webb this past Saturday. She has written a book called Cat Mulan's Mindful Musings. Her adorable cat inspired her to take photographs and write inspirational words to go with them and it became this wonderful little book. She has a website called catmulan.com and will have a newsletter coming soon. If you are a cat lover and even if you are not Cat Mulan will make you smile. Margie's words are words to live by.
I'm signing off now. My next post will happily be pictures of my newest completed 'Girls'. I am so excited!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Spring Forward"

Beautiful flowers are the symbol of spring and I'm happy to see winter melting away. Spring is also the time when we "spring forward" with our clocks so that we can enjoy daylight savings time. Tonight is that "spring forward" night and for some reason it seems early to me this year. Anyway, I always have my annual battle with insomnia on "spring forward" night because I'm afraid I won't wake up in time to go to work. So I'm up blogging at 4:00 in the morning. I was so tired after working today, I bought my dinner, went home, ate, tried to work on one of my dolls and fell asleep before 8:00 with my pin cushion stuck to my lap. I woke up about 9:30 and remembered that I had to "spring forward" and I set my clock. I tried to go back to sleep but now my brain just won't shut off. The creative juices aren't flowing either so my poor dolls aren't befitting from this wakefulness.
Let me know if anyone else goes through this annual night of sleep deprivation. I love daylight savings time because I have so much energy and ambition when there's more day at the end of the day but making the transition is a little rough.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Maixiu--Beautiful Grace

This will be my first 'Elegant Asian Lady'. Her name is Meixiu (My-zoo) which means beautiful grace in Chinese. Her colors will be shades of gold, teal and royal blue. These are the fabrics, ribbons and trims that will become her beautiful gown inspired by ancient Chinese royalty. I'm so excited, I can't wait to work on her but my Rocker Girls come first.

Hurray It's Tuesday!!!!

Hurray!!! It's Tuesday, my day off. Because I work Friday through Monday, this is my Saturday. I am looking forward to spending the next three days designing and finishing some of my doll projects.

Last week I was so sick, my creative spirit just wasn't there and I got very little accomplished. My all girl rock band is still in progress. Miley is almost done I'm just down to the details of her costume. GaGa's hair and face are done and I'm making decisions about how her costume should look. The last two members of the band, Vyxsen and Ming are still in my sketchbook but will become part of the band soon.

In the mean time two nice ladies visited my booth and asked why I didn't have any dolls in Asian costume and of course the wheels in my head started turning. They kind of jump started my creative energies. Beautiful, elegant Asian gowns would be a wonderful challenge. Just as my head started working on designs for Asian dolls, I was watching a movie on TV this weekend called the "Forbidden Kingdom" and I think it also said something about the 'Legend of The Monkey King'. This movie was just what I needed to see. The actors wore beautiful costumes from ancient China. I was very inspired.

So in addition to my rock band I've also start two beautiful Asian ladies who will be part of my 'Gloria's Girls' family. That's what I find about doll making, there is no shortage of ideas just a shortage of time to create them. Being sick, I didn't want to do anything but now that I've picked them up again this week I remember how much I absolutely love making dolls.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Family Photo

This is our most recent 'family photo'. My dolls are on display and also available for 'adoption' at my booth space in The Market Place in Rancho Cordova, California. When I finish a doll I have a hard time letting her go but I love sharing them with my visitors. One of my dolls, Deanna, was adopted as a birthday gift for someone and I had such mixed feelings of happiness because someone loved her enough to take home and sadness because she was no longer part of my doll family. It made me really glad that I take pictures of each of them so I will always remember them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cloth Doll Construction: Miley Continued

Well, here are my beautiful dolls in various stages of being finished. You can tell that they are a little annoyed with me and they're complaining and talking amongst themselves. I apologize to my "Girls" but I've been fighting a cold for a couple of weeks and the cold is winning. It's been so cold here in sunny Sacramento California, all I wanted to do was sleep and veg out. We've had rain, temperatures in the mid to upper 20's and low 30's, hail, snow in some areas and even a rare tornado.

Anyway, my creativity has been in hibernation. I did get a chance to work on Miley a little between the coughing and the sniffles. She now has a new strawberry blond hair do with pink streaks.
I combined 3 different yarn colors to get the effect I wanted.