Sunday, August 28, 2011


So last week I get this wild hair that I want to sew a soft sculpture doll.  The only ideas I had floating around in my head were 1.)  I wanted to use bright colors and 2.) I didn't want it to be realistic, I wanted it to be whimsical like Elinor Peace Bailey's style.

I looked through a ton of my mom's soft sculpture patterns, I looked in Barnes and Noble, I looked at for patterns.  I couldn't find anything that I liked.  Then I got this brilliant idea to search online for free patterns, I found two that were acceptable.  It finally occurred to me "Why don't I just make my own pattern?" OF COURSE!! and I decided to design my own mermaid doll.

Don't you just hate when you can't sleep at night because you have so many ideas running around in your head?  It happens to me a lot so one night I got up, sketched, drew and cut out my pattern.

Next fabric.  I wanted glitter/sequin type fabric for her tail so I went to the thrift store and found this little sequin dress that was perfect.  I bet the lady that wore this to her cocktail party didn't think it would become a mermaid tail!

Next I was just going to use muslin for the body but I wanted to make it more fantasy.  At JoAnn's I found this pink cotton fabric with tiny specks of glitter on it, perfect.

For the face.  In my mind I was going to use buttons but it just didn't give her the look I was going for so I decided to see if I could paint a face.
I made her eyes brown because I love brown eyes (I have blue myself) but then when I did her eyelashes black I kind of got carried away.  So to balance it out I decided to make her lips black too, with a hint of pink to tone it down just a little.  Let's just call the pink swirls tattoos.  I am very pleased at the way this turned out:
Next the hair.  I was going to buy some of the curly synthetic type hair but I couldn't find any that I liked then I thought YARN!  I used a whole skein of Lion Brand Homespun #405 Parfait.  This is the back of Irene.  After I stitched her hair on I had to tie each strand at the bottom because it unravelled very easily.  The left side has been knotted:

Now she needs arms, boobs, a belly button and more tattoos:

Meet Irene, aptly named because I live in Portsmouth,VA where Hurricane Irene blew through yesterday.  While my husband, two boys and I were holed up in our house I worked on her all day.  My first ever soft sculpture doll.
She stands 27" tall.

AND I already have ideas for my next soft sculpture doll.
Two hints:
1. It's not going to be another mermaid but Irene will have a friend in the future and
2. A photo:
And yes this apron will be cut up.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My little slice of heaven

Otherwise known as:  My Art Room

We moved into this house about 2 months ago and I have finally gotten my art room/work space organized enough to want to take a picture of it. 

We live in a 2-story house and the second floor consists of two bedrooms.  One is the master bedroom and the other one is a spare bedroom.  But then off the spare bedroom there was this door.  And upon opening it I discovered heaven, well almost.  It was a finished attic with slanted ceilings and an unfinished hardwood floor.  This was to become my mine!

Right hand side

Left hand side

This picture was taken while standing at the circular window looking into the spare bedroom

The spare bedroom is actually where I keep my art table.  My husband and I like to call my attic my store, Kim's Arts and Crafts store.  Because if I ever need anything chances are you'll find it in my store.

I have my art table set up in a corner of the room with a white shelving unit to the right for items I may need to locate quickly when I'm working on a project. (I'll be reorganizing this when the boys go back to school in two weeks).

Welcome to my little slice of heaven.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I love when I am inspired by another artist

And this happened right before we moved so I had to put my ideas on the back burner for a time.

I have been a member of Flickr for about four years now and I have been inspired by one of my contacts.  Her name is Kerrin and she lives in Australia.  She does the most beautiful things with felt, beads and sequins I've ever seen!  I have asked for her permission to post some of her artwork on my blog so you can get a true sense of what she does.  This one is called Strawberry Sundae Wall Art:

'Strawberry Sundae' wall art

Dream Fragments Close Up 4:

Dream Fragments Closeup 4

Terrain - Felt Textile Art:

'Terrain' - Felt Textile Art

I wish I could post a lot more photos but I just asked permission for these three.  On Flickr she calls herself A Little Bit of Just Because and if you click on her name it will take you directly to the rest of her beautiful work.

I know mine won't be half as good as hers but like my husband always says "Kim, if you have the desire to do something you won't let anything stand in your way" so here I go:

The first thing I did was to pick my colors (I choose 4) and decided which of the four I wanted as my background color.  Next I cut random designs from the other three colors and hand sewed them on.  Then I cut three different size circles from each color.  I didn't need a template I just used the lid from a spice jar.  If you look around your house you will be amazed at how many circular things you can find to trace... I'm thrifty like that.  

 I then started playing around with the colors and shapes of the circles and started laying them on my design.  I then hand stitched the smallest circle to the next size up and so on.  I then stitched the three piece circle to the background.

I haven't gotten to the really fun part of sewing the beads on it yet but I wanted to thank Kerrin for waking up another creative side in me that I didn't know I had.

This is a picture of how it looks today as I'm typing.  I've added a few more circles but it's still not ready for beads yet.  Please stay tuned because I'm in love with this project.