Alcohol Ink Mandalas

I love the vibrancy of alcohol inks on metal. I like to cut the resulting pieces up to make jewelry components and decorative objects. Before  doing that, I photograph and scan each one as a whole image. Then I can digitally manipulate them. I like to use them in many ways, including creating mandalas.

I have an account at Pixels.com, a Print On Demand supplier for artists. I make my designs available on clothing and household decor items, and if others purchase them, I get a royalty. I can also buy my items and sell them elsewhere, but I do like letting Pixels do the fulfillment and shipping!

By using photo editing tools to make masks and layers, I can combine and recombine beautiful bits and pieces in many different ways.  I create a triangle, then duplicate it–and keep duplicating.

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A Diva Distraction

Since I last posted here, I’ve been spending some time and effort turning textiles and beads I already have into new dolls and wearable art, and exploring new techniques along the way as I go. For months I spent an hour or so most weekdays embellishing dolls with beads, silk ribbons, dyed textiles…I also did some sewing using versions I altered of Patti Culea’s wonderful doll patterns from her books. I had used parts of her patterns before–she designed wonderful hands and feet for her dolls–but I had never made a doll just as it was in her designs.I jump around from instructions on my own curve, but you can miss things that way too. So I made one of my 2020 projects to get out my stash of dyed cotton jersey and try the patterns as given, and THEN mess with them more…

I played with scale and body shape and ended up with 3 dolls that need to have some clothes made for them (coming later this year!) and one that had a mermaid tail instead of legs, with moveable hips and shoulder joints. I used Procion  coldwater fiber reactive dyes  with some over painting using Shiva Oil paint sticks to give the body and tail fabric some color. Then it was stuffed with polyester fiberfill and wire to create a bendable bottom armature. Dyed silk gauze gives her tail a flowing purple flourish. Her face and nails were painted with acrylics, and I sewed on many sessions-worth of beads and sequins to her body, arms, and tail flukes.

I made her some polymer clay seashells, starfish and black coral, and fashioned her some necklaces, earrings, and hair decorations. Several of these still need to be glued into place in her hair, Her hair is where it all started so it is fitting that that is where she finishes up. Several years ago I was given a skein of beautiful hand dyed and mixed fibers that I knew instantly I wanted to use on a special doll. This one makes great use of it, and I have enough left to wig up a blue fairy as well! But that’s another project. I quite enjoyed this mermaid and would like to make more, but smaller, as the beading took a long while. She is 18″ from head to flukes, and more added for her piled up hair and gauzy tail! I’d like to get the pattern tweaked to about half that. After all, I have lots more fabric, sequins, and beads, and this seems like a good time for more fairies, mermaids, dolls and divas. I’m happier doing some beautiful distractions along with the realities.

Fun With Ribbons & Faces

I purchased some beautiful vintage silk sari ribbons recently, and I got two kinds–sari silk chiffon prints, and sari trim with woven metallic threads. Both are beautiful bursts of color and pattern. I spent a few snowy afternoons turning ribbons into tassels with 22g brass wire.

Now I’m having a great time pairing them up with beads for earrings, or with polymer clay faces, destined to be focal elements in bead embroidery, jewelry, collage…

I want to do some bead embroidered pendants next. I love how the colors of the textiles and the polymer clay or ceramics go so well together, and of course, beads will also be involved.

I’ve made some into art dolls, and they are a lot of fun to create! This pink 3 inch hand dyed doll is getting lots more beads, and will have silk chiffon tassels for wings draped down her back.

Art Doll Fun

Art Dolls are particularly fun projects for me because I love costuming and dress up, as long as I get to remain in comfy clothes and shoes–so with dolls I can indulge. Making art dolls can be a way of expressing and working though strong feelings, of pleasurably and creatively spending time by yourself or with like minded friends. Some dolls I make from cloth, paper or clay from my own patterns, but I also enjoy staring with a pre-made cloth body and dressing it up. I like the portability of these small projects. You can do a lot in a few hours or continue to add more and develop their style.

I’ve spent many years dyeing natural fibers with Procion MX Series cold water dyes, and built up a lovely cache of cottons, silks, and rayon. So, I put together kits with fabric, lace, ribbons and 3,5,and 8 inch cotton dolls. Then to some I added goodies like sequins, beads, Angelina fibers, dyed feathers, polymer clay or ceramic faces and vintage silk sari trim ribbon. I had a wonderfully colorful time adding ingredients to each kit, and now it is time to share the fun, so art doll kits are going up for sale in my shop here. I’ll be adding more all month!

Shown here is an art doll made from a 5″ art doll kit. I used scissors, a needle and thread, and some E-6000 to affix the polymer clay face to the body. I put a small heavy box on her as a weight as the glue dried to get a good bond. I used everything in the kit except a dozen beads or so. She looked great, but I wanted more..so I added some size 11 gold glass seed beads and size 15 glass purple beads. Much better! She still needs a bit of glitter, some feathers, some paper flowers…but I will come back to her another day. That’s my favorite way to play with dolls! In the meantime, I get to make up samples from the 3 and 8 inch doll kits next. Stay tuned!

Crown Classes and More in 2020

I wasn’t born a Crowned Head of anywhere or in any line to be one. I don’t really think I’d want to be Royalty, either—but I do like crowns! A good crown can improve the mood or  accessorize that power suit.

I’ll be teaching in the upcoming year 2020, including a class making wire and beads crowns at Bead Cache in Ft. Collins,  Colorado! Here’s one design sample made with brass wire, and a selection of ruby red glass beads along with sparkling bronze glass crystals and golden metal accent beads.

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