Come join me "upstairs" from the Studio, a place to relax and talk with friends. Here you'll find clips of my stuff, woolgathering about the animals in the family, news about shows and events and links to other sites that I find too good not to mention. Pull up a cushion and have some cake( there should always be cake) and tea, and lets discuss the amazing world of Art in it's many forms!

CottonWoolBaby Studio

CottonWoolBaby Studio

Poetic thought

Windy Nights
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

Friday, November 9, 2012

To Document or not to Document...

Well, we've dodged another storm; that Nor'Easter that brought so much misery to those already overburdened with the effects of Sandy didn't even brush us. Not one flake, not one drop of rain.
Not having to concentrate on weather has freed my "crafter's brain"

to race to the next project, a creature I'm envisioning in ice and blue, to be completed in time for a Winter competition.
The full blown inspiration hit, of course when I couldn't spare it one minute to even make a sketch or jot down ideas.
 I was on my way out the door to Choir rehearsal, an hour that does not allow my mind to drift into anything but the song in front of me due to our excellent director, a former High School Chorus teacher who can immediately tell from two rows away if you are not concentrating, or even if your music is on the wrong page!
So the next morning I threw myself into the concept sketch, which I hope to share next week as the pastels I need have mysteriously relocated to an unknown spot...
The skeleton has been started with a vengeance, and as usual I would like to race full speed ahead, but I am thinking a bit of sharing might be in order.
The online community was very vocal about seeing the process of one of my earlier creations, the Autumn Fairy Freya back in 2008.

Everyone's enthusiasm kept me moving through documenting each step so that she was completed in exactly two months, and if you would all like to see this again with "Felicie", please leave your comments! I need to hear from you, or it's full speed ahead at my own breakneck (or meandering) pace.

Today I'm designing the narrow little feet with their delicate bone structure, and the image I'm getting is of a creature who barely touches the ground...
not an easy one to pull off, but I'll give it a go.

So until next time, let me know if I'm going to be pulling out the camera or not!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Post Hurricane...

Finally starting to get back to normal after a week of fear, hype and preparations for the "Frankenstorm". We came through with only some lost branches off the trees, so much more fortunate than many in our area.
I know of at least one Artist from the Art Dolls Only team who has lost her studio; please keep all who have had losses in your thoughts and prayers.

Work for me has been difficult to concentrate on but also a saving grace.

I've begun the sculpt for the Artist Doll andTeddy Bear 2013 Convention.
The challenge is for Doll makers to make a Bear, and Bear Artists to make a doll.
I'm glad I have until May!

Meanwhile, my little black kitten HAD to have a "kitten in the pumpkin" picture taken.

It's corny, but I've never had a little black kitten before, and the timing is perfect! Next year she'll be too big to fit!
So until next time, stay safe (and dry)!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Isn't this Wednesday???

Okay, I'm a day late.
I don't know where the days, weeks and months are going.

My new kitten, whose silly pet name, Mooshie, is sticking like glue, is adapting well but needs a ton of supervision.  He just had a run in with our reigning queen Mocha, who hissed and spit so forcefully that he dove under the bed and needed a half hour of coaxing before he would come out to be comforted.
I can see my work suffering as I try to keep everybody happy over the next few weeks. (Months?)

I just received the flyers from the Quinlans for the Artist Doll and Teddy Bear Convention 2013, featuring the work of Kevin Buntin.
His creatures are so intriguing that when I saw them in person last year I kept going back again and again just to absorb some more of the details I had missed the first time!
Till next time!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday again already!

I have decided to make Wednesday my official posting day, starting next week, but I was already here and a bit muddled this morning, so I will go ahead anyway. Last week was pretty good for projects, lots of sanding on Bayan's head,
finished the faces for three of what I'm calling "head pins" for lack of a better description at the moment.
I needed a bright accent to wear with a wonderful but brown shirt I wore to the Connecticut Doll Show, so I sculpted a small face and surrounded it with felt petals and silk flower scraps in red and yellow. I got such a positive response from other dealers that I decided to make some more for Etsy and upcoming shows.
I have had "Start sculpting Bear head" on my to do list for days, since I signed up for a Bear Making challenge for the Philadelphia
 Convention in May.
I have the best intentions, started drawing up plans, bought the paperclay, etc, but I was distracted by one of those cute little boarders on the back porch.
They are half wild; though we've been feeding their mother for a year, she chose to give birth to them a few yards away and only brought them home a few weeks ago.
They are attracting way too much attention from a parade of schoolchildren who go by the back yard. Two of the bolder have already come to the door, one claiming that the Mother cat was hers, another simply stating that she wanted to be let into the back yard to catch one. They are too wild for this, and though we told them they can't simply chase around in our back yard, one of the kittens(a twin to the little striped one) has already disappeared.
So last Friday when I saw my opportunity, I managed to get the little black one into a cage, and after two sleepless nights of baby howling for Mother, I am able to pet him. I hope to be able to integrate him into the family unit soon, though our older cat disapproves of course.
I gave up a day of work on Saturday and just took cage, pillows and blankets, a good book and some kitten toys into the large bathroom and spent the day with him, leaving the cage door open in case he wanted to come out and start trusting me. He surveyed the situation curiously, sighed and went to sleep curled around a small stuffed lion in the upper part of the cage. He slept for hours while I read an entire paperback novel, but I think he knew I was there. Last night when I woke up at three wondering why he wasn't crying, I looked in and he was staring back at me, purring loudly!
Progress, I think, so today it's back in the bathroom with some paperwork and my sketching journal.
I will just have to work twice as hard as soon as he can let me out of his sight for longer than two minutes without sobbing out how lonely he is...
Happy Creating everybody!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy October Everyone!

This is my favorite month for looking ahead, to new projects but also the Spring season of Shows and selling.
We've had the usual rainy September, now maybe things can dry out so the garden can be put to bed (a drawn out process that can drag on until the last of the leaves have fallen,been mulched and put to use) and I can turn to more arty things.
There are three projects in the works at the moment;

Bayan is a Mongolian girl whose face I have been intrigued with for years. She has been sketched,>
created as a simple baby doll with a rag body, a ball jointed doll with a cloth face, and now a Soft Sculpture with sculpted head. She is about 3/4 completed and will definitely go to the Quinlan's Convention in Phila. in May.

Next is a chubby little brown boy that I have made a quick preliminary sketch for.
I saw him sitting on the floor in my imagination the other day, playing with a stack of vintage blocks and I knew he had to be created....

The third is a small goblin who wants to be ready for Halloween but I am not promising anything. His body is progressing but his head may turn out to be more complicated than I had anticipated. His working name at the moment is just "Wicked Little Goblin"...

Also I have started a new Art Journal by taking apart a smallish three ring binder with a leather cover and making it my own inside and out. The idea is to stuff into it everything that I sketch, imagine, etc. By using a  ring binder I can put in whatever paper I have at hand that I can punch holes in; watercolor, pastel, the paper menu from the restaurant that I doodled a new character on... It will be a lot of fun and was inspired by one of those fancy "sketchbooks" at the Art store yesterday that come with fancy papers and accessories  and cost 14.95 while leaving very little space for any serious sketching.
I'm glad I have finally reached the stage in my life where after my first thought of "I want one of those with a burning passion", I look at it more critically and say " I can make one, and mine will be so much better"!

Being broke helps, I highly recommend it for maximum creative thought, lol!

Happy Creating!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I have been on a long Blog "sabbatical" but hope to get back into the swing of things soon.
Being invited to participate in this Wonderful Doll and Bear Show

28th Annual Bristol Teddy Bear and Doll Show
September 30, 2012

Clarion Hotel
42 Century Dr.
Bristol, CT 06010
 had me busy all summer, and I hope to meet some bloggers there!

Mention my blog and you will get 10% off one of my new creatures, the Wooliquins, small felt ball jointed mannequins that are great fun to pose and dress.

I will also be debuting  the new Soft Sculpture called Porcelain doll, but her formal photos haven't been taken yet.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Time is speeding along since I got back from the Phila. Doll and Teddy Bear Convention! I've already had info on next year's event. Susan And Terry Quinlan are the Supreme Convention planners, designing every move so that It will be a "One of A Kind" experience.  After one of these pampered stretches it takes time to come back to earth and get down to the business of following up sales, paperwork, etc.

Mary Jane found a new owner,
also Grapefruit Baby,

and Adri may be on his way soon.

This week I'll mix some gardening in with once again attempting to work out a small ball jointed mannequin in felt, and the sketch for my next sculpt.
I'm really excited about this one; as with Adri I have found a face that intrigues me to the point of wanting to work round the clock once I get started...
Summer seems to stretch out endlessly before me, but I won't be fooled into relaxing too much.
Till the next post, have a creative day in your little corner of the world!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Six days to Convention...

Flying around with my lists; I'm excited to go but I'll be happy to get back, take a week to relax (sort of) and then get onto my next project.

Mary Jane is finished, and though I'm happy with her, my favorite thing about her now is that she is small and slim and will fit in a corner of the suitcase!

Having to go down on the bus again, I'm limited to two suitcases, weight limit of fifty lbs altogether, and that means I can't take a lot of heavy display props. My pieces will have to stand on their own, but it's worth it if it means I get to take an early class on Thursday morning from Ankie Daanen, an amazing Artist.

Meanwhile, I have brought the large suitcase  up from the cellar, and once again there is a cat in it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mary Jane

Mary Jane is making progress, finally. She is waiting patiently now for me to piece her dress together, my least favorite part of the whole dollmaking process. In one month, all the rush will be over, at least for a week or two!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One Down, Three to Go

I finally put the finishing touches on Birdie, my Fairy in the Wind Soft Sculpture.
She really came together at the end, and will get packed up to go to Convention as soon as possible.
Now I can concentrate on the other three new pieces; Grapefruit Baby, about three quarters done and waiting for her oversized Grapefruit basket, Mary Jane, who is waiting for my unsurpassed costuming skills (lol), and Adri, an Indian boy whose head sculpt I would spend all day with if I could.
So things are progressing, and though I'm sure I will still be scrambling the night before I have to leave, I'm beginning to see beyond these four to wonder what's next?
I have two or three ideas that are jostling around in my head wanting to be the next to "come to life" !

Saturday, March 3, 2012

There May be Kittens Along with the Spring Blooms...

Our little stray kitty who showed up last summer with her Mother may have some little strays of her own any day.
I knew what I was in for when I let her hang around and get friendly, but what's a soft hearted person supposed to do when another cat gets abandoned and ends up in your back yard? Her Mama disappeared in the Fall, and she was all alone.
She quickly found friends, probably cousins, who heard that there would be a place to get in out of the rain and maybe something to eat.
Our little core group of three; the original we called Nanny after she brought a kitten about her age called Tyler, and then Tyler's Mama seen in the photo above.
Soon our poor Nanny was attracting every male in the neighborhood, and now she's definitely about to be a Mom.
The sad ending to all of this is that all of them, kittens included, will end up living outside because they are too wild to be caught in cages. By me anyway.
When this same scenario happened years ago, I was able to take in one of the kittens and give it a home, but this time around that space is occupied by Mocha, also a rescue from a shelter, who I have been warned will not tolerate any other cats.  
She's been through enough trauma herself in her nine years, and I have no desire to put her through any more.

So for now we wait, and hope that those who started all this by abandoning Nanny's Dad get their just reward.
Nanny's Dad, by the way, who we just call Dad, an unneutered beautiful pure black whose family picked up and left him without a backward glance, still comes around infrequently but has made a life for himself a few blocks away, scrounging food and living in the condemned house his family moved out of, making more kittens who will become the problem of the people in that area who choose to take pity on them...
No good ending to this story, except that summer is coming and all the poor orphans will get a break while we try to get a handle on this out of control situation before next Winter.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quick update

Time is ticking away until Convention Day( when all must be completed, and I have been racing the clock.
I haven't been taking a lot of photos, but I do have the concept sketch of Mary Jane, who is starting to subtly indicate that she has another name in mind.

She's my first attempt at an African American Soft Sculpture, and will have three layers of nylon to achieve the proper skin tones.
I'm on layer # 1, a reddish orange that is proving very hard on the eyes for stitching. The next layer will be a brown tone which may or may not be easier to work with...

Yesterday her head sculpt turned the corner from impossibly hopeless to "hey, there's the child I envisioned! I knew you were in there somewhere!"

Meanwhile Birdie
 is basically finished and waiting for photos. She will be getting her closeups this week as they go to ODACA for the second round of judging. I didn't take as many photos of her costuming process as I would have liked, but got caught up in the details of trying to get the bodice the way I wanted.

More photos soon of Grapefruit Baby and the next in line, an Indian boy who  was the first ever to start life as a head sculpt with the body to follow. We'll see whether that was a big mistake!