Monday, 24 February 2014

Lucrezia Borgia and WIP

Little is known of Lucrezia Borgia apart from her infamous father and brother. She is described as very beautiful, but was she a part of her family’s conspiring and assassinations, the harlot daughter of a cruel Pope controlling her husbands as best suited the Papacy. Or was she herself controlled by her family, marrying who she was told to and finding comfort where she could.

She was known to have affairs, but was that her small attempt to have some control over her own life? Rumours of incest, murder and poisonings, as well as wild parties and even a hollow poison ring surround Lucrezia, but I’m not sure how many of them are true and what has been embroidered. She was after all only 11 years old when her father first betrothed her hoping to attract the influence of a powerful family.

My Lucrezia wears an embroidered shift under her embroidery ribbon trimmed petticoat (no knickers as they didn’t wear them then!).Under her sage green silk split front gown she has more petticoats in a soft cream fabric trimmed with heavy cotton lace. And her gown is trimmed with fine lace and amethyst and pearl beads. At her waist her chatelaine has her household key and a small flowered locket (maybe she has poison in there just in case). And she has a fine gold chain around her neck.

She weighs approx. 400g, and she is 55cm tall. And is available now in my Etsy shop -
This past week I've been taking some time to make a small cotton crochet blanket for the new addition to our home. I've been waiting patiently for my little pocket Werepup to arrive from America. The lovely Asia is a very talented lady, and when I have some good light I'll take some photos to share of little Maelgwn (Mai-l-goo-n - Welsh meaning Prince, Hound, and Wolf).
I've also been working on my next applique portrait of a girl sitting amongst sunflowers while I wait for more diamonte to arrive for my custom Katrina to scatter around her gown and make her shine.
Hopefully my fabric for The Storyteller will arrive soon too so I can get back to her. She's looking a bit cold in her undies :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Vine Beading For A Custom Lady

I spent my time last week when not stuck in work adding vine-like beading to my lovely Katrina.

Katrina is a special order doll for Ashley at Mystic Magic -
And so far she's coming alone just as I wanted her too:) (It doesn't always happen!) She has layers and layers of petticoats, a cream silk taffeta gown covered with a web of black lace, with a skirt in two layers.
Decorating the lace is a trace like vine-like pattern of beading around the higher layer hem, down the side of her skirt from her waist on one side, her sleeves and her bodice.

One of the requirements given to me by Ashley was to keep to a monochrome colour pallet. As white can look very harsh on a doll because of the size I went with an ivory silk for both her gown and shift that you can see ruffled at the top of her bust.

Her eyes are old grey buttons that have a fade to them from light grey in the centre to black at the edges. And they give her a lovely soft dreamy look in her kind face.

Katrina will have long hair, so I've only beaded the front of her bodice so that there isn't anything it can catch on at the back (and it won't be seen of course).
Using pearl and dark grey seed bead and tiny tiny silver lined clear beads I strung together different lengths to decorate her bodice, curling and twisting as I went to give it a more organic look. Between and around each tendril all over her gown I'll be adding tiny diamonte crystals to give her extra sparkle.

Around the cuff of her sleeves I've added a triple row of tint silver lined beads, and at the draping lace at her elbow I've repeated the same pattern I used on her bodice to make an edge.

I'm not used to beading, but I found it very relaxing once I had a pattern to work to. And at the end of the week I had only snapped one needle and left one other totally mangled and twisted. That's not bad going for me :)

On Katrina's skirts I included a larger silver lined bead so to add more sparkle and texture. And here you can see the vines trialling down on her right hand side and the shorter varied vines creeping up from the hem. The pictures don't really show how rich and glittery she looks as we've not seen the sun since November here :S
The dark grey days are merging together and becoming one long wet winter. And I really hope that it ends soon and the sun comes out. I won't even complain if it's cold. I promise x

While I plan out the next stage and talk to Ashley about what her hair should look like ad what accessories she needs I've started work on my Storyteller doll at long last.

My Donna Lilith has bright honey coloured eyes, and I'm using the influence from many of my favourite paintings to design her outfit and accessories. I really love Elizabethan portraits, the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites and Alfonse Mucha. It's all quite a mix but it'll all come together, I hope :) xxx

Monday, 10 February 2014

Big Huge Dolly To-Do List!!!

This has gone way too far L
I’ve let things pile up and now have loads of unfinished projects just staring at me accusing me of being a lazy cow. And I really have been busy.
My problem is that I always give in to new ideas. You know the type that just fill up your brain and hang on tight, not letting you concentrate on anything else. Those. I’m useless at setting them aside until their turn comes around and have stopped in the middle of things far too often.
Well, it’s time I put it all right.
My first To-Do list was very scary. I put in much too much detail and every little thing until I had a huge list and didn’t know where to start. So I re-wrote it trying to be kinder to myself, giving me more space to imagine and create rather than getting too bogged down in the details of every little thing. And after feeling lost and directionless for weeks I think I’ve finally cracked it. I even got two dolls finished this weekend and have got a lovely week planned out to get other things done too.
To-Do List
-       Sew Red Harrington a shawl and a hat, decorate her scrimshaw leg and get all her details finished (Done J)

-       Finish Lucrizia Borgia, add jewellery and chatelaine (Done J)
-       Order prints for mag submission before Photoshop voucher runs out.
-       Take better pics of Bella Appliqué as old ones rubbish (done a bit better but still need sun :S)
-       Find and order flesh fabric for appliqué paper doll experiment (Done J)
-       Draw up appliqué paper doll experiment (half done)
-       Draw up appliqué portrait idea of Lilith, girl in Sunflowers (Done J)
-       Start on Lilith
-       Add beading to Katrina custom doll for Ashley.
-       Work out who the half finished doll on my shelf should be as she doesn’t like how she’s dressed.
-       Make sure all parts for Queen Victoria are labelled and stored until ready to work on.
-       Underwear and gown for Victoria.
-       Take photos and edit (Done, but still need better ones)
-       Edit pics for Curious Cris (hubby’s shop) (Done)
-       Get idea for Storyteller doll out of head and onto paper so I can think (Done – Can’t wait to start this one J)
-       Work on Project Linda (getting somewhere)
I’m so happy I can finally share my Red Harrington and Lucrizia Borgia dolls with you all. I got held up with them both for so many reasons that I never thought I’d see them all done. What with waiting on orders for bits and pieces from all over the world, having to work on things for Christmas and getting myself distracted these poor girls have been looking very dejected and unhappy.
Now they are ready to find their forever homes out there in the big wide world, and I’ll be listing them in my shop this week -
I was hoping for some better daylight to get better photos taken, but the weather report says we are never getting any more sun!!! (Not that it ever shines for long in Wales of course).