The Turtle Rider

Like magic, The Turtle Rider is ready.  I took her out into the backyard for some pictures.  She probably deserves a better pedestal but she seemed content.   The green and red boot on her leg is a turtle-shell patterned brace.  I think she’s heading to Harper’s Playground.

Thanks to my friend Lynne for the great fabric!

I signed it on the bottom, which I’ve painted in a mixture of brown and copper, so I wasn’t able to photograph it very well, but you get the idea:

The Turtle Rider will be auctioned off at the Harper’s Playground Art Auction on Friday, September 30th at Disjecta studio.  You can read more about it here on an earlier post.

Well, now that The Turtle Rider has appeared like magic, I wonder if the studio will clean itself up like magic?

My studio exploded!

Recovery Doll

Art Doll Detail
Art Doll Detail
Recovery Hand and Heart

I got to deliver my latest commission to my friend Mary yesterday.  She liked the pose of the Survivor Doll, but she wanted something more in line with her own story, a story of recovery — so this is Recovery.  Mary is a skilled needleworker.  I imagined her covering herself, protecting herself with her own craft.  Arts and crafts are a major part of how we save ourselves and how we recreate ourselves.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to make this doll and think about how hard it is to re-invent ourselves.  But in that struggle, there is so much beauty.

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She is a cloth doll over a wire armature.  Her hair is made from lamb and alpaca wool and silver thread.  Her dress is hand knitted from a linen, silk and rayon blend yarn.

The object in her hand is a symbol of the vision it takes to imagine a better life for oneself. I was lucky to find a silver origami crane charm as a focal point for her.  Her heart is symbolized by a smooth red glass fragment secured with silver wire and a locked locket.  She protects her heart and moves forward.

If you are interested in commissioning an art or medicine doll, please contact me.

New Doll — Birdie

I just put this doll up for sale on my Etsy shop for $35.  I wanted to make something simple after the last one.

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Birdie is a 21″ companion or bed-doll. I was inspired by some of the sweet elder women I see walking through parks, feeding birds and enjoying life. She just beams with happiness and is happy to take a minute to listen.

She’s hand-stitched from cotton fabric with acrylic yarn. Her body is a bit abstract, but I wanted her to have a bird spirit and found this little piece of bird fabric that suited her perfectly. She is partly stuffed with rice to help her sit, but she still needs a little back support. I love the sort of goofy, languid look the extra long arms give her. They are loosely stuffed with thick yarn and are very limber. (She’s been doing her yoga!)

Her face is needle-sculpted and hand painted. She wears hummingbird earrings bought at a hummingbird festival in Mississippi.

Work of Heart in Progres Day Five – whew!

Things went well today and I got her finished!

I finished the base last night.  I really love it when it gets to this stage and I can stop being careful and constructive.  I can start really being creative, draping fabrics, letting seams show and adding found objects.

wire for the vine
wrapping the wire in fabric

Okay, I got the wire wrapped and used embroidery thread to secure it and then I really got into it and stopped taking pictures.  I added hand painted fabric leaves.  I repeated the motif of the butterfly heart and added a butterfly broach I found at a thrift shop.    I sewed and tacked down things.  I used big visible stitches and thought about how much it helped me, as a young girl, when kind people helped me stitch together the various parts of my broken life.  The kindness people did for me kept me from despair and helped me blossom.  I hope that sense of repair and renewal comes through in this piece — Spring From The Heart.

Spring from the Heart
Growth starts in the heart
The base
Heart side
spring from the side
growth close-up

I took the following photo on my husband’s dresser.  It’s the last thing I see every night when I go to sleep.  Do you think my dreams influenced this piece?

among the plants
Joy and her Art Doll

Tomorrow off she goes from Portland to Memphis to be part of the 19th Annual Works of Heart Art Auction on February 12th.  I miss her already!  For more information on the auction please follow this link: