Little Izzie in the works …..

I am happily sewing away on my machine, stuffing doll body parts, and painting doll faces. Making little and big Izannah dolls. Ohhhhh what fun I am having.

I have another little Izannah in the works.

We are getting another storm here in NJ. I am not wanting more snow again, but I must say it forces me to sit at my sewing machine and art table so I get a lot done during these storms. Usually our location is prone to power outages with heavy winds and this storm is bringing winds with heavy wet snow.

If the power goes out I am prepared. Not with food or blankets, but with extra doll bodies sewn up!! I can at least get some doll art done and will stuff body parts by candle light if I have to. 🙂

Here is a WIP image of her face from sculpting to painting and antiquing. You can click on the image for larger view.

She is dressed and she just needs a few more things and she is ready for a photo session. More photos to come tomorrow.

I just love these little girls!

How Did I Get Here? … and little Juliette

I have thought quite a lot lately about where I am right now with my artwork and my dolls. I feel the need to write this babble here. Sorry, this post may be long, but I promise to have pictures at the bottom of this post (little Juliette; and don’t go peeking before reading all this). I just have to spill my guts here for a bit.

Twenty years ago I had made a few cloth dolls, it was short lived hobby as back then there was no internet, and not too many books to find either. However, there was this really quaint quilt shop across the bridge that I would visit for my quilting fabric and supplies. At that time in my life I was doing quilting. One day I will post here my quilts I have made. Very tedious work and when you’re done, you realize you cannot sell this beautiful quilt you made. Too difficult to part with such a labor intensive piece. So they are stored away to be handed down to my daughter for her to always remember me. My first quilt I made I sewed entirely by hand while I was pregnant with my daughter. It was her baby quilt.

Anyway …. during my quilting days, I managed to find some very nice doll patterns at this quilt shop. So when I was not quilting I would make a few dolls. I am going back to my mid 20′ here … so long time ago :-). The attic babies were big back then, and other strange looking primitive type dolls. They fit in nicely with my home decor and I was enchanted by them. So off I went, making my dolls and quilts, filling my house with my handmade quilts and cloth dolls…..see that… I have had a love for dolls for a very long time now 🙂

Cloth dolls were always something I enjoyed. I found that when I would walk into a store with dolls I would first reach for the cloth dolls. My favorite doll as child was also a cloth doll (I still have her today). This was also confirmed recently on my trip to the Princeton Toy & Doll Museum. Oddly, as I walked around and pointed out my favorite dolls, I didn’t even realize it until the museum curator told me … “You seem to be drawn to cloth dolls”. I was surprised when she said this because I didn’t even take notice that those were the dolls that were catching my eye. As I look back things are making sense to me.

My re-visit back to cloth dolls started with my spirit dolls. They were cloth bodies, stuffed, with a polymer clay sculpted face. These dolls were starting to trigger my passion for cloth dolls.

So…. I went from quilter, to cloth dolls, to polymer clay dolls, and here I am back to cloth dolls again. And in between all that I was a jewelry artist (more on that on another post). Did this all sort of happen by accident?? or was is this my ultimate my path? Cloth dolls???

I can feel a real passion is awakening in me again for cloth dolls. Because here I am today, on my 7th Izannah Walker doll, and I find I am very very happy with what I am doing. This is somewhat of inside struggle for me though …. because I do hear the beckoning of polymer clay dolls, fairies (ohhh how I miss glitter), babies, etc.

Gosh, why can’t I have more hours in my day, my week, my month and my year to do all I would like to do.

I suppose I can manage both and return to polymer clay at any time. However, these Izannah Walker dolls are literally SCREAMING at me right now. I can’t seem to control myself and I know I need to continue making more.

Am I missing my days as a child and wanting the warmth and the cuddle aspects of cloth dolls? Is it because they make me feel secure and happy in this tumultuous world right now?

When I look at my little Izannah’s I feel warm, safe, and peaceful. Is it due to the history of these dolls and they are of a long time passed? What was it really like then? Was that a time of less pain and hardship in the world (and less overbearing taxes LOL)? Is today’s world more harsh than those times???

The economy has certainly been a challenge …. and lately, everywhere I turn, I hear so many hardships. When you read history from the 1800s (when Izannah was making dolls), I feel like people in that era had more time… did they? It feels like their lives went slower than ours? Is it because of our hectic lifestyles now? Izannah obviously wasn’t blogging, logging into facebook, etsy or ebay back then. Was she content and felt she had enough time to make each doll?

Strangely, I feel I have more time in my life making these dolls. I have not yet really figured out why. Maybe it is because their creations feel more natural for me. Whatever it is, I feel at ease with them. I move along at a pace that doesn’t feel so hectic. I like it … I am enjoying it. I am comfy. Comfy brings peacefulness. The little Izzie’s and big Izzie’s seem to be keeping me calm and peaceful. I am hunkering down, avoiding the stressfulness of this economy, and enjoying the stitching of these little dolls. I am content.

If you made it through this long post that didn’t even have some exciting photos, you are a patient person! LOL

What I think is happening for me is that I am taking a much needed break from polymer clay. A break from those metal wire and foil armatures feels good. I need to follow this cloth doll art right now. I need to spend time with the Izannah’s.

I will get back to the polymer at some point. I just need a bit more time here. I am feeling the jive, the sweet mojo, and all that good funky excitement right now with my new dolls. I love these little fabric dresses too. Searching for all the pretty fabrics and patterns has been a nice change of pace. I think it has been fun to go back into those quilt stores and search for that perfect fabric again.

Life has also been a tad stressful (eh em.. when is ever not) and I think the humming of the sewing machine and hand sewing those tiny little stitches, is just soothing my soul…..

To all my customers, buyers, and fellow bloggers … I hope you journey with me and find my new line of dolls pleasing.

“With having said that” … I introduce to you Juliette. My latest 7″ Izannah doll.

Please visit her at my Etsy Shop. “Heart her” to make her feel loved even you do not intend to purchase her, make her feel loved. 🙂 I love her!

Izannah Walker Inspired Dolls: Two Mini’s 7″

I have just added to Izannah Walker inspired dolls to my Etsy Shop. They are both 7″. They are both so darling in this size. I love holding these little ones in my hands. They are cloth dolls with sculpted head and shoulders and stuffed with pure wool.

Abagail is dressed in blue and gold pattern dress which is so darling on her. Her clothes are hand stitched off her body then she is dressed. She has little pantaloons trimmed in lace. Her little black boots are hand painted with the bow and lace design.

View Her Etsy Listing Here

This is Hannah. When I spotted this fabric I had to use it for her. I love cherries and oh how I wish I could have a dress for me in this cherry pattern!

Her little boots are hand painted in green and painted in the bow design. Her pantaloons are tissue linen edged in lace trim.

View Her Etsy Listing Here

I am well on my way to making more little Izannahs. I also have another 17″ one in the works.

Izannah Walker Doll “Grace” & “Victoria

I have completed two more Izannah Walker Inspired Dolls. Grace, which is a 17″ doll and Victoria which is a 7″. I love the size of both of these dolls and will continue to do both consistently. The little ones are so adorable to hold in your hands and display nicely on a small nook or shelf.

“Victoria” – Ebay Auction Here

“Grace” – Ebay Auction Here

First up is Grace. She is 17″ doll. I love her colors. I am an earth girl and am always drawn to earthy colors. She looks beautiful in her warm brown colors of her dress.

She is a Dixie Redmond pattern. She is a cloth doll with sculpted head/shoulder plate.

Her assemblage is very much like the original Izannah Walker dolls, including a second skin under her clothing.

Her clothing consists of a chemise with beautiful lace trim, pantaloons, petticoat, and her full skirt attached to her bodice. I also made her an apron which was very commonly worn in those times.

Her hair is painted like the original style of early Izannah Walker dolls with the curls on the side of the head and at the base of her head in the back.

Check out her Ebay auction. She is amazing to hold, quite a significant doll at 17″.


Meet Victoria. She is such a sweetie at 7″. She is dressed in a cream colored fabric with navy blue print. She is a cloth doll with sculpted head/shoulder plate.

Her hair is softly painted warm brown. Her facial features are the traditional downward gaze and somewhat melancholy look. Which his my favorite IW look.

Under her dress she wears a tiny pair of linen pantaloons edged in lace. Her boots are hand painted with the traditional bow.

Check out her Ebay auction. I just love these little tiny ones and holding them in my hand feels so wonderful!

Thank you and hope you check out the auction! They are anxiously awaiting their new homes!

More Snowmen! And Handmade Gift Tags

Well, the last time I did many snowman we had a big snow storm. I think we are getting only slight amount of snow New Years eve. I don’t think I will jinx us here in NJ with my snowmen this time! 🙂

I realize Christmas is over .. um…. well…..officially we are still in the 12 days of Christmas 🙂 … anyway …. I just can’t seem to help myself. I have these two snowmen available in my Etsy Shop. I think there may only be one or two more to follow before I move back to fairies and fantasy sculptures.

This one is about 5″ tall and is secured to a red wood base. He is so distinguished looking and I really like his expression.

His scarf is accented with beautiful fibers and so is his top hat.

Lots of yummy German glass glitters on him and his base.

View his Etsy Listing Here

My next one I had in mind was a sitting snowman. Frumpy, plumpy, round and happy! I started with foil armature with this guy and then added the clay.

He is holding a Christmas tree and a candy cane. He has lots of yummy glitter on him as well!

His hat his hand dyed cotton with white trim. He’s a happy little fella and waiting for a new home!

Visit his Etsy Listing Here.

So what do I do while my air dry clay sculptures are in the drying phase? I found the art of handmade gift tags. I know .. I know … *SIGH* … I can’t possibly handle more art work than I already have. However sometimes in between sculptures I need to do something besides eat! LOL. So i have been trying out a few of these. I will put them in my Etsy Shop as well this week. Just fun and more little goodies!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Folk Art Snowmen

Here in NJ we really have had no snow yet this December. One tiny little storm was about all we got. In hopes of getting some snow here, I have been creating snowmen.

Snowman (Female) Etsy Listing

Snowman (Male) Etsy Listing

FlickR Slide Show Here

These two snowman were made using paper clay, the kind that air dries (no baking needed). The female stands 8.5″ and the male stands 9.5″.

They are hand sculpted and painted by hand. I really enjoy painting on paper clay. So much technique that can be used for finishing them too — which is always so much fun. Distressing, shabby, antiquing. Then all the good stuff like fibers and glitter.

These guys sure gave me a chance to dig into all my art supplies to find just the right accents for them.

Little bit of sterling silver is added to their hats. I sculpted the hats of clay as well and then accented with fibers.

They will be added to my Etsy shop so check back soon and I will post the Etsy Link here. I may try to take a few more photos for Etsy.