Friday, March 26, 2010


Monday, March 22, 2010


Look at this boys smile! He's a happy baby, hanging out with me in the studio. Can you believe he's over 16 lbs.? He's my little cream cake.

My new prized possession, my resin ball jointed doll from FairyLand Dolls. The dolls come unpainted from Korea, a blank canvas- no eyes, clothes or hair. I bought an airbrush and taught myself how to use it so I could paint her face and body. It was a lot of fun to create her personality, painting her expression and choosing eyes and wigs. She becomes a totally different doll when I switch out her eyes and put on a different hairstyle. I also made the dress and jewelry.

The dress is unfinished, it needs a belt and maybe a little cape. Making the jewelry was fun, but a little tedious - each piece took all day! I guess I'm slow. The green necklace is for my friend Jessica's doll and is made from 28 gauge fine silver wire, sapphires, green tourmaline, peridot and green garnet. The longer piece features the same wire, with tiny spinel drops and a few sapphires on a very fine chain. I think I'm a little obsessed with my doll. I've spent half the day planning her tiny shoes! I'm thinking scarlett leather...with some hand painted details. Anyway, we've been enjoying having my sister Sheila, visiting from L.A. for the week. We've had a great time, pretty much playing with baby Max and Azalea all day, only broken up with bursts of making things. We have such good times when we get together, laughing at childhood memories and making big plans for projects. This week we're plotting out how to fabricate a watercolor box out of pmc or sheet metal, small enough to fit in the pocket of a traveling girl.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Ok, here's a quick peek at the studio so far. Above is a shot of the photo area with props stored underneath the table and on the case next to the table. Books are now tidily stored on the many cases.

This is a shot of the length of the room, my jewelers bench peeking out on the left, the green case storing my favorite books across from my desk (along with dolls displayed on top). Note the clean tables! I hope it lasts, although my nature is to spread everything out so I can see all the components at once.

This is my toolkit which I take everywhere: matte tape for perserving little flowers/leaves, date stamper, Le Sport Sac pouch, various micron pens (absolutely necessary for my survival), mechanical pencil, ball of kneaded eraser, small water spray (for wetting watercolors), two water brushes, watercolors and magnifying lens. Its very light and doesn't take up much room in my bag, which is good, because i could get away with just my sketchbook and pens, but I feel rather incomplete with my tool kit.

Clear evidence that I am occasionally overwhelmed by obsessive compulsive behavior. I picked these beads out of several trays of loose strands, put them in tiny piles, then packed them into the tins. Then I arranged the whole lot by hue and chroma. I know I'm sick, but it only gets worse.

Four small boxes arranged by color. I do have some by stone, like labradorite. Of that variety there are a few boxes holding all the cuts and sizes.

Two larger boxes holding labradorite and a variety of pale rare beads, like snakeskin agate and Dutch opalecent rondelles. It took me about two weeks of just sorting beads before I got tired of it and stopped. I finished about 29 boxes with a few trays and one cigar box filled to the brim left to sort. I'll save that for later. I just finished sorting my paints and brushes and other art supplies, getting them ready for the warmer season ahead, which means working outdoors! I love taking my supplies outside and working, its nice to have the good light and birds all around.
It feels very satisfying to come upstairs and see everything ready to go. This time I really got down to business, dragging out everything in the supply room (which is across from the tall bookcase in the first pic) and then put it all back, in order. I think it will stay nice....hopefully.

Monday, March 01, 2010

owl munny

This is the first thing I made in my newly organized studio....Owl Munny! Andrew picked up the blank vinyl doll last time we were in Brooklyn and asked me to paint it for him. I traded him for one of his bird collages. It was nice to just paint something for fun, after all the strenuous organizing! I unpacked boxes that haven't seen the light of day in ten years! Of course, the whole process felt like a sort of therapy for other issues. Sometimes when I'm stressed out I clean, it just seems to help burn off steam and also a way for me to feel productive when I'd otherwise be incapable of creating. To me, art that's made when your heart isn't in it always seems forced, or else its a constant reminder of a hollow passage of time. I've learned I'd rather not have those reminders. So, after tediously separating thousands of beads into colorways and between light and dark (shades of red blending to pale pink) it felt really good to break the paints out (neatly, of course). The doll is about four inches high, with twisting arms and head and painted with acrylic paints. Its sealed with matte medium. I ordered several more from Chuckwa and am looking forward to painting more!