Thursday, November 11, 2010


 One of the other lovely things we did as a Family was to go and see Wicked - The Musical in the last week before it left Sydney for Brisbane. We thoroughly enjoyed it (except for the bogan family behind us who talked, rustled lolly bags and popped open their cans of coke they'd brought from the supermarket).

Can't say that the songs were terribly memorable as the melodies were not straightforward - however the words were clever and I am full of admiration for the cast as they were difficult songs to sing. The costumes were absolutely spectacular - I was trying to absorb as much detail as possible. I particularly liked the green costumes for the citizens of Oz - they were full of inventiveness.

While looking for pics etc. of the costumes I came across this video on It's an interview with Susan Hilferty, the Broadway designer of the original costumes. Definitely worth a watch. You can also click on her name above to go to her website.

There is also a shorter video on Susan's website where she talks about the thought process she went through at the conceptual stage
Theatre costuming is always a great source of inspiration for doll designers - Wicked certainly contains some amazing eye-candy!

You poor sad neglected thing.....

Here I sit 11 November and my poor little blog hasn't had an update in so long - it's quite tragic. So time to capture a few 2010 thoughts and moments before it's 2011 and my head explodes.
Photo: Tara Bradford Paris Parfait
This time last year (ahem) the lovely Tara Bradford had a giveaway competition on her blog Paris Parfait. I entered and one this lovely book which Tara posted to me on her return from her amazing photo expedition to Jordan. It turned up early 2010 - so qualifies for my catch up post!

I love all things Parisian - so was thrilled to find this little number on sale at Blue Illusion. I had seen it previously at retail of about $59.00 but thought that was a bit much for something to tidy up my mail - so when it was there for $19.00 - well - I had to snap it up! It's very handy for holding bills and bits of chat that end up on the kitchen bench otherwise. Hmm - note to self - better go and check it for unpaid bills!
I have to say I also won another giveaway on a different blog. I was thrilled to win and left my home address as requested. Didn't hear anything back but as they had comment moderation I thought maybe something had gone wrong so left my address again. Still nothing. Eventually (as in some months later) I got an email saying sorry for the delay and it was going to be sent. Well - to this day - still nothing. Now - at the end of the day - the prize was not a big to do - but still - why would you run a giveaway and not come through with the prize? The more embarrassing thing is it's a blog run by one of the big fabric houses - a fabric house that I spent many thousands of dollars buying their fabrics for my shop. So stiffing me on a giveaway adds insult to injury. I just looked back - it was October last year - wow - that really is pathetic.

Anyhoo... moving on.....

We also had an interesting year with Chris finishing High School and doing his Higher School Certificate (HSC). Results won't be known until December - but - for better or worse it's all behind him now and all ahead of him too. Don't quite know how he made the quantum leap to adulthood so fast - but here we are!

Despite looking like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth - he managed to break a bone in my wrist by leaping out from behind a door to scare me  - 7 weeks in a scaphoid cast doesn't do wonders for productivity.

Fortunately before the broken bone I was lucky to do a class with Pam Grose again. Looking back on my blog it had been three years since Pam had stayed with us last - so it was wonderful to have her back again. Marilyn Halcomb contacted me and we quickly organised a two day class. It was wonderful!
Here are some of Pam's dolls that she brought - she sold all but one I think.

These dolls are made with a new technique that Pam has been refining. Basically she makes a wire armature and builds it up with aluminium foil and electrical tape. I made the cat lady so she is skinned with velour - only the fingers need sewing the rest is hand sewn on the doll - making it easy to do. 
Basic Armature

Basic armature for the hands

Basic Armature for the Cat Lady feet

The basic armature - checking for balance

Building up the shape some more

A body with shoes
Skinning the face and doing set in eyes

Stitching the eyelids

The face stuffed and finished - ready for painting

Claire is always one to get into the act - Pam had a spare toddler body so Claire made up this head - stuffed it and drew her own face on it, painted it and put together the body and sew the clothes on. She did quite a job of it!

and she sewed on the hair....

This one was going to have painted eyes rather than inset eyes

Some of the painted faces

Love the white tipped fur - it makes a great wig!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Craft and Quilt Fair - Darling Harbour

I visited the Craft and Quilt Fair last week - I was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day and slept like a baby when I got home but I was tired in a good way!
Uniquely Felt
It was wonderful to see all the textile stalls - lots of wool and felting stands as well as ATASDA, NSW Spinners and Weavers Guild and felting workshops and demonstrations (but I still miss The Thread Studio).  I bought Uniquely Felt by Christine White a great techical book about Felting that covers all the major methods of felting as well as this DVD by Judit Pocs which shows many of her wonderful art pieces both in process and finally completed. Her Noah's Ark rug is just absolutely stunning!
I also bought some Free Trade Sari silk which is the waste silk from Sari production gathered and spun into a yarn. One of the traders had a knitted bag made out of a hank of silk - so I can home and made one - so proud of myself for actually finishing it!
Exciting news also that Pam Grose is coming to Sydney to teach. She'll be staying with me - so high motivation to get my craft room tidied up! It's unbelievable but it's been three years since she was last here -  when we made her baby dragons  - I am sure we will have great fun! I think I might make one of her little girls but I do like this sexy looking witch or maybe a young girl like this - kind of sassy and punk! Whatever we decide to do I'm sure it will be a fantastic time!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teesha Moore - Fabric Journals

Teesha Moore has been at it again - this time making fabric journals. Here are her 4 videos - amazing colours and I love her no stress approach to putting stuff together. If you don't subscribe to her blog you should - she is so incredibly creative. Enjoy!

fabric journal 1 of 4 from teesha moore on Vimeo.

fabric journals 2 of 4 from teesha moore on Vimeo.

fabric journal 3 of 4 from teesha moore on Vimeo.

fabric journal 4 of 4 from teesha moore on Vimeo.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Summer Holidays

Here it is Easter Monday and I'm posting about last January - oh well better late than never!

This Summer, I took a trip into Sydney to have a little break with Emily, just like I did last year with Claire.
$109 on got us a mystery hotel at Darling Harbour - which turned out to be The Four Seasons. It is located in a very convenient spot - City side of Darling Harbour and a short walk there as well as up to the Queen Victoria Building (QVB).
Here's our room - not bad for the price!
Emily took to hotel living like a duck to water.

We dumped our bags in the room and headed up to the City. We went to Kinokunya - an amazing bookshop located in The Galeries Victoria opposite the Queen Victoria Building on George Street. They have an incredible range of books in all sorts of different categories. Here's Emily waiting patiently while I investigated the craft book section.
We wandered down to Darling Harbour for dinner. There are various options - some restaurants are expensive but there are lots of inexpensive options too. We decided to eat at Pontoon bar. Because it's a bar, they have a cheap food menu (due to the complexities of NSW licencing laws). Every dish is $10, cooked fresh on the outdoor grill - options include hamburgers, kebabs and fish and chips. It was yummy!
Now normally I wouldn't take my daughter to a bar (!) but this is a gorgeous outdoor setup with lounges and picnic style bench tables with a million dollar view!

We then strolled back towards the hotel, stopping for a gelato too. Back in the room we enjoyed the nice soft bathrobes and put our feet up and watched a bit of cable tv. Here's Em perfecting her bathrobe look!
Next morning we checked out and walked back down to Darling Harbour where we caught the ferry round to Circular Quay. Let me tell you that's about the best thing you can do for about $5 anywhere! From Circular Quay we walked up to The Rocks and had breakfast at Pancakes on The Rocks - neither of us could finish our pancakes - and that's saying something. The Rocks is one of the oldest parts of Sydney with some interesting, free museums featuring the archeological findings from digs around various different sites and theNSW Archives Office at Nurses Walk.
Down near Nurses Walk is a gorgeous button shop right next door to Margo Richards Antiques.
We slowly headed back up George Street to The Strand Arcade.
Emily was particularly taken by Sweet Art
They have amazing cakes
and these very cute pug dog candles.  
I LOVED these chairs in the reception area - very chi chi!
Oh - and one more shot - how gorgeous is this bike in the window of the White Kikki-K shop? Unlike the usual Kikki-K shops this one only carries the stock in white. Getting fit would be easy on a gorgeous bike like this!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A new blog

Summer has been long, hot and (now my least favourite part of the year) humid. On the plus side the kids are back at school (insert happy face) so it all evens out really! I have lots of posts to catch up but for the moment I wanted to let everyone who follows me here now that I have started a new blog - it doesn't replace this one but is very specifically about art dolls and art doll artists - it will be updated at least weekly (that's the plan) and will feature artist profiles, book reviews, information about conferences, tips and tricks and so on and so forth.
I will still be blogging here about life and more general interests so the choice is yours - follow one or the other or both depending on your interests!!
If you want to check out my new blog it is