Monday, December 9, 2013

Old Fashioned Rag Dolls 2013 Page One

I've been making art dolls for a number of years. This year I challenged myself to try something different and I've been making some old fashioned rag dolls. I went online and found some images of vintage cloth dolls and I decided to create my own updated versions of them.


Cordilia was inspired by cloth dolls from the late 1800's. Antique Black dolls from this period are hard to find today. A lot of them were literally "loved to death" by their owners. She is dressed in an old fashioned dress and apron. The red print fabric used for her dress was very typical for little girls dresses of the period.

Her yarn hair is "plaited" into several braids and tied with
blue ribbons. I hand painted her face using a vintage photo
of a child from that period.


Missy is a one piece doll and dress combination. She has a flat, bean bag bottom to help her sit.

She also has a hand painted face and plaited yarn hair.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pancake Dolls, Work in Progress

My latest project for the holidays, a really easy doll called a pancake doll because she's flat and in one piece. I will be teaching this doll workshop in December. I'll show you the finished project tomorrow.

Thursday, August 1, 2013



I love this quote from Maya Angelou. A few months ago I was doing a show and I had all of my dolls and some of my fabric art pieces displayed and ready to sell. A woman came up to my table and really liked my work. She oohed and ahhed and picked up several of my dolls and had wonderful things to say about them. I thought that she was interested in buying a doll or maybe that she would be a potential customer in the future. She said "Oh no, I can't afford to buy one of your dolls but I hope you won't mind, I want to steal a couple of your ideas". I could have been a little angry, I have to admit that I was definitely a little annoyed. I told her that if she thought she could do it I couldn't stop her. I said that she would be using someone else's creativity instead of finding her own and the work she would be copying would never really be her own. God blesses me with a never ending supply of creative ideas that are all mine and mine to share with the world and  people like her. I could choose to keep my creativity to myself, safely tucked away in my head safe from thieves and copy cats but what would be the point of locking it away? As the quote says "The more you use, the more you have."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Negative People

I saw this poster on  Pinterest. It says so much in just a few words. Recently, I have had a few negative people pass through my life and cast shadows. Negative people effect creativity and your ability to dream and imagine. Even when you have a strong self image and you are well grounded in your beliefs, someone else's dark spirit can slow you down and hold you back. I wanted to share this with you and hope you can take this advice. I certainly am.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


This is Michael he is the third of four of my new large dolls. He stands about 33" tall and he id Verlene's dance partner.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


This is my second large doll. Her name is Verlene which was my mother's middle name. She's about 32" tall. Her dress is made from real African fabric and she has a fully poseable body. She is a dancer and you can see her with her dance partner Michael in some of the pictures. More about Michael later. 


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Grandma Reisa

I've been working on something different for the last few weeks. I've been making 22" dolls for a few years now and I decided that I wanted to make something different to display at a show I did yesterday. I enlarged my basic patterns so that I was able to make dolls that were 30 to 34 inches tall.

Grandma Reisa is the first of my large dolls.

Juneteenth 2013 in Davis, California

                                                                                                        Juneteenth 2013 in Davis, California

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

2nd Annual “Drumvoices for ‘Ahaji’: A Festival of the Arts”

My dolls and I are looking forward to our next event "Drumvoices for 'Ahaji': A Festival of the Arts, Saturday, July 13 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at The Women's Civic improvement Club of Sacramento Inc. Located at: 3555 Third Ave, Sacramento. The complete details for this event are in the announcement below.
I'm working on a special project for this event that I am tentatively calling "Drums, Dance and Story". I'm designing some 32" dolls, (my dolls are usually only 22") that will celebrate this event as dancers and drummers in beautiful Afro-Caribbean costume. I'm finding that making large dolls is a challenge after my little ladies. I will post photos of my progress over the next few days. 
2nd Annual “Drumvoices for ‘Ahaji’: A Festival of the Arts”
Sacramento---Recalling  sea-changing periods of intense artistic, cultural, educational and political fervor locally and all across the US, a festival, titled ''Drumvoices for Ahaji,” will take place on Saturday, July 13, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm., at the  Women's Civic Improvement Club of Sacramento, Inc., 3555 3rd Avenue in historic Oak Park, Sacramento, CA 95817.  Cost: Sliding Scale $5-$15. Partial proceeds from the sales will go toward the Jones Scholarship Fund.
clip_image002 Panelists, actors, authors, poets, scholars, musicians, visual artists, theoreticians, vendors,  publishers, booksellers and community organizers will participate; all while honoring and fund raising in the name of the late George Austin “Ahaji” Jones(1931-2009)--a true “renaissance” man--and Robzene Jones  (1930-2008), Sacramento educators whose combined teaching experiences totaled 60-plus years.
clip_image004 The featured author Dr. Eugene B. Redmond will celebrate the release of his latest book, "ARKANSIPPI MEMWARS: Poetry, Prose & Chants, 1962-2012"(Third World Press).  Dr. Redmond is the Poet Laureate of East Saint Louis, Illinois, Emeritus Professor of English, Founding Editor of “Drumvoices Revue” and former Chairman of the Creative Writing Committee at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He taught at California State University, Sacramento, as a professor of English and Poet-in-Residence in Pan African Studies for 15 years. 
The afternoon program will also feature:  a panel discussion, drumming, vendors, poetry, art displays, book signings and music.    Other program participants: (partial list): Dr. David Covin, Barbara Range, Dr. Otis Scott, Maasai Hatten, Lisa A. Lacy, Lawrence Dinkins, Jr., aka NSAA, Margo Rose Brunson, Esutosin Omowale Osunkoya, Artist Dr. Tchaka Muhammed, Lori Jean Robinson, William A. Parker, Artist Gloria Grandy, Malik Saunders, Betty Davis@Culture Collection, Artist Lawrence Sullivan, Artist Shirley Sanders, Kakwasi Somadhi, Elizabeth Smoot aka "JahbaszdrELIZtry" ,NIA Women of Purpose,  Artist Daphne Burgess and Framed by Frankie Edwards Lee.
clip_image006 Blue Nile Press
Blue Nile Press (BNP), headquartered in Sacramento, California, BNP is an imprint of Path Press, of Chicago. BNP targets Black writers and the Black reading public, creating a venue where they can meet.

For more  info contact: Faye Kennedy@
Partial proceeds from the sales will go toward the Jones Scholarship Fund.