Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Let It Sno... Peas... and More Art Doll Tales...

Well the weather outside is frighful, but making these dolls is so delightful... and since I've no place to go, I let it sno, let it sno, let it sno... cone, that is! This bright and cheerful tri-colored shaved ice guy is just one of the creations in my most recent collection of Art Dolls. Inspired by my years growing up near the beach and boardwalk, he's all dolled up for the winter!

Have you ever thought that you and your friends were like peas in a pod? Well, so have these gals! This trio of funny-faced, smiling pals are BFF's, and perfectly content right where they are... side-by-side-by-side!

This cute little lawbreaker is titled Guerilla Artist: Tag, You're It! Inspired by wordplay... a guerilla graffiti chick in a gorilla suit... I can't really remember which came first now! Was it the stuffed (and since repurposed) ape I found at a local yard sale? Or was it the graffiti theme? Either way, this piece utilized both my sculpting and graphic design skills which were fun to combine.

Hey, can you tell me what time it is? It's time to make a Steampunk-themed doll, for sure! I started out with the vintage, Vicorian, mixed metal theme for this doll and she took me to heights unknown! So many flea market antiques and parts that I upcycled on her... fabrics, trims, vintage jewelry and bric-a-brac... it took more than 30 hours of dressing and sewing and engineering to get her outfit just right!

And I fell in love with her little copper batwings (which I hand made from copper sheeting) and ultra coool jetpack (made from a vintage oil camp stove burner). This doll was so much fun to create, from her sink drain hat to her salt shaker pantalooned legs! I may have a new favorite.

Hey, man! You goin' down to Yasgur's Farm? Gotta get back to the land and set my soul free! This groovy hippie chick was inspired by the summer of 1969 and the Woodstock concert. Although I was only born a year before half a million people gathered at Bethel, NY for 3 days of Peace & Music, I always loved the 60's. I often dressed in garb just like hers for many a Halloween. Although, I must confess, I've dressed like that on regular days too! Peace!

So... these are just a few of the Art Dolls I've had the pleasure of creating in the past couple of months. At the beginning of the year I had announced I was going to spend the entire year making these dolls, and wow! what a journey it has been. I ended up making 29 dolls altogether, which was less than my goal (although, do my conjoined twins count as two dolls? That would make it an even 30!). But each doll was so different from the previous one, that it took as long as it took to create them! I've sold 12 of them so far, have 5 on reserve, and 6 of my latest dolls will be introduced at Torche Galerie's Winter Exhibit, opening in just a couple weeks!

Torche' Galerie Winter Exhibition
Opening Reception 
Saturday, January 10, 2015
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 February 28th.

Thanks for coming along on my journey into the Land of Dolls this year! Your support, encouragement and patronage are greatly appreciated!

Happy Holidays!

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.