Tuesday, December 2, 2014

That's Idiosyn-CRAZY! An Enchanted Holiday Story...

What follows may sound like the fascinating tale of a Holiday Miracle. Being on the receiving end, I'd have to say... it was!

You see... just one week ago, I brought several of my Art Dolls and Modern Vintage Rag Dolls over to a local retailer in Point Pleasant, New Jersey... called Idiosyncrazies. But you won't believe what happened after that! Here's how the story unfolded...

Sharon, the owner, had self-admittedly been stalking my Etsy shop for quite some time after seeing several of my circus-themed items about a year ago. She asked If I would like to feature my dolls in her window for the holidays. My inner voice was like, "Ummm, hell yeah! Seriously?" But my professional self said, "It's definitely something I am interested in."

After a brief meeting and a little show-and-tell, we decided that it would be a great match for both of us. Idiosyncrazies features works from local artists, US made goods, and fair trade items. It's a smorgasbord of goodies... and goodwill. I've loved her shop since I found it years ago, and when she told me that she had a Land of Misfit Toys theme in mind, well... I was hooked!

I carefully selected about 15 Art Dolls and Rag Dolls I wanted to showcase — gathering a group of the most misfit of my bunch — packed them up and brought them over last Tuesday, for Sharon to create her window display. See the eyes watching from inside the box? That's one of my Tillie Knock Down Dolls, and no... I did not plan that. Sharon said when she was setting up the display, it felt like someone was watching her... and took this photo as proof. You never know what can happen in a fairy tale!

Fast-forward to the day after Thanksgiving, when the dolls had been on full display for only their second business day. A longtime patron of Idiosycrazies art had come in first thing, to inquire about the dolls and where she might purchase some like those. Sharon delightfully informed the patron that all the dolls featured in the window were in fact for sale!

The customer asked to see all of the Art Dolls individually, and as Sharon held each one up for a closer look, the customer said, "Okay, I like that one. And that one. And that one. And that one... Oh, I love them all!" She eventually decided on 4 of the 6 dolls... and purchased the Tillie Knock Down Doll as well. I was awe-struck!

If that thrilling transaction wasn't joyful enough, I brought another Knock Down Doll to replace the one she bought... since it left a hole in Sharon's enchanting display. But when the customer came back to leave a deposit for the Art Dolls... she bought that Knock Down Doll too!

And if my heart wasn't already bursting with gratitude, the customer asked the shop owner to have me call her. She had printouts of my dolls in her hand and told Sharon that she would like to buy more!

So... earlier today... I connected with this enthusiastic art collector who so sweetly gushed over my art and creativity. And she bought 3 more dolls.

Holiday Spirits... wherever you are... THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Oh... and she said she'll probably buy more in the future. I am truly blessed!

If you are interested in seeing the window feature or shopping Idiosyncrazies, several of my Art Dolls and Rag Dolls are on display for the month of December... and looking for their forever homes! The shop is located at 638 Arnold Avenue, Pt. Pleasant, New Jersey.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

...aaaand, SOLD!

I was head-over-heels — or should I say, heads-over-wheels —when I found out that my sideshow conjoined twins Tillie and Willie found their forever home this weekend! I got a call from Torche' Galerie owner Roddy Wildeman only a week after the exhibit opening and he broke the great news.

The buyer was an interior designer who had stopped in the gallery... and as it turns out... loved the twins. He said they reminded him of something from American Horror Story: Freak Show. I think I may have squealed out loud when I heard that comment! I had already conjured up so many new art doll ideas from watching the first 3 episodes, and after this sale... my wheels are turning even more. What can I say? The show must go on!

If you missed the Torche' Galerie Fall Exhibition, or aren't close enough to come in-person, you can check out the entire show here. And, you can see all the art dolls I've exhibited at Torche' to date on my artist page. Happy browsing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Opening Night - Torche' Galerie - October 18th!


Well, even though summer was filled with lots of fun activities, I've been busy as a Bee Girl creating a few more whimsical characters. And I'm excited to announce that 5 of my newest Folk Art Dolls (as well as a very special marionette doll assemblage!)  have been selected for exhibition at Torche' Galerie in Belmar, NJ. In fact... I'm buzzing with delight!


This Fall Exhibition features a whole host of talented artists in all types of mediums including sculpture, photography, charcoal, watercolor, acrylic, collage, mosaic, mixed-media and so many more categories of intriguing contemporary art. Torche' Galerie is like a little slice of an upscale New York City gallery with a friendly and inviting atmosphere... right here in NJ! And the opening night reception — which many of the artists attend — will blow you away.


Torche' Galerie Fall Exhibition
Opening Reception 
Saturday, October 18, 2014
7pm - 10pm
500 Main Street, Belmar, NJ 07719

So come join me at the opening reception and view my latest selection of whimsical Art Dolls as well as the work of more than 50 artists! If you can't make it to the Opening Reception, the show is up through December 10th, and you can also get a sneak peek of my dolls in the Artist section of the Torche Galerie website.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Can I Take Your Order? Custom Jewelry Fun...

I recently sold a bunch of repurposed vintage jewelry to a somewhat local retail shop owner. She was so intrigued by the unique way I was able to take unusual objects and upcycle them into something wearable... that she entrusted me to create a few pieces from her own personal mementos. I was touched and honored, but when I got her box of goodies... Wow! It was filled with the most unique heirlooms I had ever seen! Here's what happened after that...

I tackled the easy one first. My client had a vintage strand of pearls she wanted to convert to a double strand, and paired with a pearl pin. The biggest hurdle was that the pin had an open area in the center which exposed the pin backing.

There were several solutions I could have gone with, and eventually chose the understated elegance of a vintage pearl button set behind the pin. Good thing I have such a large button collection! Current inventory: 2,846 white and off white buttons, now minus... 1!

Next I took on the task of upcycling a few of her favorite pieces —a trio of gold heirlooms — which included her mother's baby pin, her own birth charm, and the letter M from a monogram pin she had. The design of the piece is a challenge for my imagination, but I love putting disparate items together to make them look as if it were perfectly planned from the start. The engineering of the piece as I turn my vision into an actual wearable necklace... well, that's another story. And I have to confess that taking apart and drilling holes in people's one-of-a-kind mementos is a bit nerve wracking. But everything went smoothly!

After all that intensity, my mind needed a little break and I worked on my client's charm bracelet. Filled with tons of mementos from a vintage charm bracelet that belonged to her mom, then paired with a bunch of goodies I found from her own stash... this was lots of fun to work on. I do love a good charm bracelet. Made my want to make one for myself!

Then it was back to the most difficult but also the most intriguing piece of them all. With this perfectly patina'd necklace I incorporated a very unique carved, enameled pin with the letter P on it. I paired that with a vintage silver rattle that belonged to her mom. And the piece de resistance... her mom's carved, embossed silver birth bell. I had never seen heirlooms like this in my life. And the greatest part? They'll no longer be tucked quietly away in the jewelry box. They'll be the start of many, many interesting and touching conversations!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm Stuffed!

I'm so very excited to announce that... I'm Stuffed! No... I'm not full from too much yummy food... I'm actually featured in the Autumn issue of Stuffed Magazine! A trio of my Modern Vintage Rag Dolls was chosen for their publication earlier this year, and my copy just arrived!

I was beyond giddy when I realized that my dolls were the first feature article in the magazine. How cool is that? And what an amazingly adorable job they did with the opening spread. Those paper lanterns are just too cute... and the perfect accent for my Geisha Girl!

Cloud E. with Raindrop and Dottie the Cupcake got full page exposure... what a thrill! The layout really highlights each doll and details much of the heart and soul (and stitching) that went into them. So awesome!

To get a peek into the Autumn issue of Stuffed magazine — or to purchase a copy online — visit Stampington & Company's sneak preview page. And to see more of my Modern Vintage Rag Dolls, check them out here. The issue will be on newsstands August 1st.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dolls on Exhibit... a Torche' Galerie Opening Nite! Saturday, July 12th...


After the great success at their Anniversary Show, I am thrilled to announce that 9 of my newest Folk Art Dolls have been selected for exhibition at Torche' Galerie in Belmar, NJ. In fact... I'm squealing with delight!


Their Summer Exhibition features a whole host of talented artists in all genres including sculpture, photography, charcoal, watercolor, acrylic, collage, mosaic, mixed-media and so many more categories of intriguing contemporary art. Torche' Galerie is like a little slice of an upscale New York City gallery with a friendly and inviting atmosphere... right here in NJ! And the opening night reception will knock your socks off. Good thing it's Summer!


Torche' Galerie Summer Exhibition
Opening Reception 
Saturday, July 12, 2014
7pm - 10pm
500 Main Street, Belmar, NJ 07719
So come join me at the opening reception and view my latest selection of whimsical Art Dolls as well as the work of more than 50 artists! If you can't make it to the Opening Reception, the show is up for two months, and you can also get a sneak peek of my dolls in the Artist section of the Torche Galerie website.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

No Clowning Around This Time!


So... right after my last big project — creating 30 custom Knock Down Dolls — I had to go right into a marathon of Art Doll making! With only 17 days until a gallery submission deadline, there was no clowning around for this girl. I had to accomplish what had previously taken me more than 3 times that to do! So... I neglected housecleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, the beach (that one hurt a little!), and I worked night and day, sleeping a lot less than usual... for more than two weeks! But I did it. I created 9 dolls from start to finish in that amount of time. It was a whirlwind of art making, but at the same time it was an incredible journey...

I'm not a big fan of being on an extremely tight deadline. I'm definitely more from the camp that "art takes as long as it takes." Because... well... it does!

However... needing to create quickly helped to keep me from overthinking things. Bonus! I'm definitely an overthinker... pondering the many, many facets for each stage of dollmaking. But I didn't have that luxury this time, and it kind of turned out to be a blessing. I committed to my decisions more quickly... and without much regret. Double bonus!

At times I felt like I was possessed... or that I had sold my soul to the devil. But that was okay, because My Devil Is Da Bomb! Not only do I love making these dolls, but I enjoy coming up with whimsically clever names for them as well. From a design standpoint, don't ask my why my devil has glitter star pasties and a feather boa skirt. That's just my very odd brain hard at work!

Have you ever made a Snow Angel? Yeah... me too! I couldn't very well have a devil without an angel.... so I thought I'd make her white as snow. For good contrast. With a recycled blouse as her gown, some vintage jewelry to keep her afro in check, a repurposed bow, and pearls from my stash... she really is angelic.

For a long time I didn't like my Tooth Fairy. She was a toughie. But I gave her a tulle shawl to match her tutu, a vintage jewel for her halter top and a couple of adorable blue bows for her hair buns... and I fell in love. I actually won't stop — on any of my dolls — until I fall in love. This just took a bit more falling until the love part.

Having grown up near the boardwalks — and knowing that the gallery show would be for two summer months — I had to include some circus-carnival-inspired pieces. Welcome To The Big Top was one of my favorite ideas and I really enjoyed making her a circus tent style dress! Oh, and that hair! Totally over the top.... just how I like it.

And sticking with the circus theme, Dottie The Clown might just be my favorite doll from this group. This tender heart touched my heart the most. So much emotion from that face!

And from the whimsical — and more delicious — memories of my boardwalk days... came Candy Apple. I actually used to eat those things until I felt like I was going to break my teeth one day. So I switched to caramel. That art doll will be next!

And of course, no boardwalk, carnival or circus visit would be complete without an Oops! I Dropped My Ice Cream moment! I can say that I have dropped my ice cream before. And yes... I scooped up the part not touching the ground and resumed eating — without so much as skipping a beat!

So that's a sneak peek at some of the dolls I created for this series. And I am so excited to share with you that Torche' Galerie in Belmar, NJ has accepted all 9 of my dolls for their summer show! I am thrilled beyond words!! You can see the dolls in person at the exhibit opening on Saturday, July 12th, from 7-10. I'll let you know all the details as we get closer!