Monday, 6 April 2015

New Dolls At Last

Since the holidays I've been a bit lax keeping up here, but I have been busy making lots of new dolls and finishing off some I had waiting. Take a look below to meet my new ladies xxx
All are available now in my Etsy shop -

The Storyteller - Fantasy Art Doll

My Storyteller travels the country searching for new tales to tell and people who will listen to them. She sometimes gets invited into very fine mansions and is rewarded with fine food and a bed for the night, and sometimes she sits under a tree between the cottages where she is given humble soup and bread and allowed to sleep in a hay barn listening to the animal’s soft breathing nearby. Everywhere she goes her gentle nature draws even the shyest of children to her; they follow her in a long train until she finds the right spot, and then gather at the edges of her quilt to listen to her stories. The adults follow too and sit behind them or stand at their grand fireplaces to listen to her musical voice as she weaves her magic and carries them all away into the story.

This Storyteller wears layers and layers of petticoats, some of silk with an embroidered hem. Her gown is a magical marbled silky fabric with hints of gold over a pink silk chemise, and is trimmed with quilted designs, soft velvet and tiny glass beads. She has a quilt that she uses to sit under the trees when she wants to read that she made from the leftover pieces from her dress and a rich hand crochet shawl around her shoulders. She carries two antique books with her of her favorite authors Tennyson and Rossetti.
I was inspired to make her by one of my favorite prints by Alphonse Mucha

Charlotte – A Young Victorian Girl Art Doll

Charlotte is a quiet gentle young girl that has a soft smile and laughing eyes. She’s a very good girl, but that doesn’t stop her giggling at all the silly things she sees around her. She’s been to the market for her mother and has a basket full of roses for her. She’s hoping that she’ll be allowed to watch Cook make the dessert this afternoon as she always lets her taste what’s in the bowl and nibble on the candied fruit.

Charlotte has lots of white cotton lawn petticoats trimmed with lace and matching drawers underneath. Her cotton dress has a deep pleated hem and matching pelerine across her shoulders. Her dress is trimmed with chocolate brown and gold lace with a large hanging bow in back, and she has a brown silk bonnet trimmed with gathered ribbon and rosettes.

Guinevere – Medieval Fantasy Art Doll

Queen Guinevere is such a romantic legendary figure that makes you think of stone castles and rolling green hills dotted with woodland and shimmering lakes. Here in Wales tales of Arthur and his round table, knights in shining amour and the beautiful Guinevere are never far away. With the Lady of The Lake water high in the Brecon Beacons and old tales of a standing stone where Arthur is said to rest. We have huge crumbling castles with high towers and massive gates, and mountains and hills like you’ve never seen with green pastures alongside craggy rocks with nimble sheep trotting up sheer hillsides. The coast here can be both wild and gentle, and you’re never far from big open spaces. It’s no wonder I find all the old tales fascinating, and I’m so lucky to have such beauty around me.

My Guinevere has embroidered silk underwear and a gown of Silk Noil fabric. Her long hanging sleeves and skirt hem and train are embroidered in silver and a darker shade of turquoise than her dress in Celtic patterns. And she has a gold lariat and necklace with gemstone and glass beads and a gold chain circlet in her hair.

Louise – Regency Art Doll

My Louise is inspired by the wonderful portrait of Queen Louise of Prussia painted by Wilhelm Ternite in 1810. She looks such a happy content lady in all of her portraits but I don’t know much else about her. She has such gentle eyes, and I hope to learn more of her in future.
There are many portraits of Louise dressed for riding in her navy blue outfit and I couldn’t resist trying my hand at all the gold braid and military styling.

Louise has embroidered silk petticoats under a soft cotton lawn riding habit embroidered in a gold colored thread. Her jacket is trimmed in military style braiding and more embroidery with tiny gold lined beads as buttons. On her head she has a smart riding hat with a large black pom pom on the front. She’s ready to go riding.

Gabrielle - Art Doll

Gabrielle is a mischievous young woman who loves to go exploring. She daydreams about other lands and strange languages. And wishes she was allowed to go abroad like her brothers, but Farther says that it’s not ladylike and she should stay at home with her mother and learn to keep house. Her friends from her music class have all travelled to Paris and Rome, some even to Venice, but she must do as she’s told. She finds it very unfair.

Gabrielle has layers of petticoats, one of stiff calico pin-tucked to make the hem more ridged to hold out her skirts. She doesn’t like to wear a cage crinoline at home while she sits and works at her piano practice as they just get in the way and slow her down. She’s very busy, and always ready to head off into the woods and fields whenever she can to explore. Over another petticoat of red cotton ruffles and one of embroidered lawn she has a skirt of black decorated with flowers, and she wears a silk blouse with a neat round collar and a silky black corslet.

Effie Grey Art Doll

Effie Grey’s life with her first husband John Ruskin was one of cruelty and abuse, and to escape it she had to endure humiliating exposure of the most intimate details of her life. When she finally did she went on to marry Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais and thankfully found a happy family life.
I was inspired to make my Effie when I saw the beautiful costume designs by Ruth Myers for the 2012 film directed by Richard Laxton. It’s full of wonderful details and stunning scenes and costumes, and well worth watching.

Effie has layers and layers of petticoats in cotton and Egyptian linen to hold out her skirts, with a top one of silk with an embroidered hem. I have textured the navy silk fabric of her skirt to create a slubbed or nubby pattern as in the original, and she has a silk blouse trimmed with lace, ribbon and embroidery. Over her shoulders she has a velvet caplet, and she wears a silk hat trimmed with peach flowers, embroidered ribbon, silk gauze and pearl bead hat pins.

Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West Art Doll

Who doesn’t love the cackling, long nosed, green skinned witch from Oz with her flying monkeys and determination to get Dorothy “and your little dog too”. But in Wicked by Gregory Maguire we meet a very different person from the one that was depicted in the film, and even though it’s true that Elphaba is allergic to water and cleans her gleaming green skin with oil instead, by the end of the book it’s not her that I thought of as the evil one. In a very cleaver twist you come away from this tale with a very different view of Oz and its characters.

Elphaba has a red taffeta petticoat with lots of ruffles and black lace to hold out her skirts, and smart black underwear and stripped drawers. I’ve stamped the silky black fabric of her dress with a tree branch fabric that can be seen as the light moves over her, and trimmed her hems and cuffs with ruffles and tiny jet beads. She has a draped apron front to her gown and a pleated back drape layered with silk chiffon. And her tight fitted jacket has a high standing collar and deep V lapels trimmed with more tiny jet beads.