Valentines and Flowers

cupcakes

I had an internet conversation with a fellow Texas Tech graduate last weekend while watching a basket ball game.  At some point the conversation veered towards food and I decided I would bake cupcakes.  I had bananas ready to go into banana bread, but what fun is banana bread heading into Valentine’s Day?  So, I decided to make cupcakes with the bananas. 

The result, after I tinted the cream cheese frosting with red food coloring, was sort of heart shaped cupcakes, which accompanied me to work Monday.  My co-workers are often the beneficiaries of my baking.  They are most appreciative and the upside is that I get to bake without having to eat much of what I produce.

cupcakes_n_flowers

February is the month in which we get to experience three seasons, sometimes in one day here in central Texas.  We get warm days at 85 degrees, followed by cool days in the 50’s or 60’s.  It confuses the plants, especially if we are above 70 for 4 days running as we were last week.  This is happening more, it seems, and I end up doing my spring cleaning in the yard sooner each year.  I got all of my pruning done weekend before last and last weekend got my front flower beds composted.  I planted a few new plants and bought a few more which are still awaiting homes.  The plants I pruned are budding out and I have an enterprising daisy that is covered in blooms. 

All of this leads me to think of flowers.  I’ve been buying myself flowers at the grocer store each week and they are starting to get Star Gazer lilies in which I love so much!  This weekend, I got my fabric club in from Treasures of the Gypsy and what a surprise!  It’s spring flowers!  I have the body and head of the doll I intended to make an angel from.  Now, I think she’s going to be the flower fairy and here’s the start of the collection of fabric and trims for her wardrobe!

fabric

The next All Dolls Are Art Newsletter comes out tomorrow morning.  You can still sign up to receive it by visiting the website and signing up for the mailing list.  This month, I have a survey on doll making and an article written by Michele Lynch, one of our ADAA faculty.  If you have ever wondered about quitting your day job for your artistic journey, you’ll enjoy Michele’s thoughts on the topic.

There is still plenty of space in all of our classes for ADAA 2013.  I hope that you’ll consider joining me and sharing your creative journey!

All Dolls Are Art 2013 Faculty Interview: Angela Jarecki

Angela Jarecki is an illustrator by profession and an accomplished artist. She is a member of Original Doll Artists Council of America and the Texas Association of Original Doll Artists, where she is currently president. She has taught various online classes through Dollstreet, and I am pleased to have her back in 2013 as part of the All Dolls Are Art Faculty. She creates unique and beautiful dolls which are constructed from paper clay and covered in cloth. Her work has been exhibited in Houston, TX, at the International Quilt Festival, in Japan, and at Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts and at various galleries in the greater Houston, TX area. She has also been published in Art Doll Quarterly.

Angela is teaching two classes at ADAA 2013, Pod Baby and Madame Mori.  To find out more about Angela’s classes, visit www.alldollart.com/jarecki.html.  To see more of Angela’s work, visit her website:  www.whimsymoon.com.

pod_baby

3e

AnLiNa Designs: How did you discover doll-making and sculpture?

Angela: A friend invited me to her doll making group, but I had no idea what kind of dolls she meant. I pictured toilet paper cozies or the like, so I politely declined. But a while later I ran into her in a bead shop….she was purchasing beads for a lovely doll she was making. I was smitten! I went to the next doll meeting with her, no questions asked!

AnLiNa Designs: What media do you like to work with and why?

Angela: I love working in paper clay and cloth. I like paper clay because it’s very versatile and forgiving. And as to cloth, well, what’s not to love! All the colors and textures of different fabrics make it so easy to see millions of possibilities.

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AnLiNa Designs: Have you made the transition to full-time artist?  Are you selling your work anywhere?

Angela: I am an illustrator by trade, so I have been a full-time artist my entire career. I do sell my work either through shows or email inquiries.

AnLiNa Designs: When you start a new project, how do you start?

Angela: I usually start by doing a series of drawings. I’ll have an idea and want to see what it would look like spatially, so I will draw it first. Then, I will usually spend some time pulling together fabrics to get a "feel" for the colors I want the doll to be.

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AnLiNa Designs: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Angela: That’s a hard question…I would suppose that at times when I feel like I have no ideas, the best places for me to go to be re-invigorated artistically are probably museums or botanical gardens. I don’t know what it is about gardens that make me so excited to work. Maybe it’s knowing that I’m a lousy gardener….so I should quickly find something I can do!

AnLiNa Designs: Who is your favorite artist and why?

Angela: I will have to list a few artists…no way I can pick just one! I love Maxfield Parrish, Thomas Mcknight and Vermeer. They are all artists that though they do very different types of work. They all manage to convey a presence in their work that seems to suggest that you have landed right in the middle of story that you need to know how it will proceed. I look at their work and I find myself wanting to know more about what is going on in the environs they have painted. They have a way of capturing a mood that I find to be so exhilarating! I would very much like my work to convey that type of emotion.

AnLiNa Designs: Is there a famous work of art (visual, performance or musical) that you want to interpret in a doll?

Angela: This isn’t a famous work of art so much as a part of a story. I have always wanted to do the Mad Tea Party in a very detailed and somewhat larger scale. I have drawings…just haven’t started it yet!image

AnLiNa Designs: What do you think makes a retreat a valuable experience to participate in, both as a teacher and as a student?

Angela: I think working retreats are so important for artists because it makes you focus time and energy on your creative ability. The excitement around you is contagious! You find yourself able to experiment and expand your knowledge base, and this is for both teacher and student. Retreats are just a win-win situation! I would highly recommend them!image

AnLiNa Designs: Describe a day in your class room and your favorite part of teaching.

Angela: I love seeing people realize how talented they are. My favorite part of teaching is coming alongside someone and encouraging them to stretch their comfort zone. In class, I usually have a set of accomplishments that I would like for us to get through in a day, but I’m flexible. I think it’s more important for students to feel invigorated and capable than to do something "just-a-certain" way.

Happy New Year!

okra_pods

It’s been a bit of a lazy weekend after my trek to Houston for the Texas Tech bowl game.  I’ve been watching some football and working on a birthday present for my co-worker Ken.  This birthday present is a year late, but better late than never!

Kens_dolls_ip

Shrek, the doll on the left, is almost done.  He’s completely assembled and I lack sewing on his sleeves and making his hat.  Fiona still needs her arms and her head is just pinned on, plus – no clothes yet.  But that will get done tomorrow.

kens_shrek

These are the heads that elinor peace bailey made from my hand-dyed fabric and sent me.  I just love the heads, but Ken wouldn’t be denied.  Since I hope to exchange a dragon for a potting bench, I figured I should finish his belated birth day present first!

poinsettia

On Christmas day, I took pictures at my parent’s house.  That’s where the Okra pod at the top of the post came from as well as this poinsettia.  The cats had a wonderful time outside while I snapped photos of the plants.

bugsy

This is Bugsy, the only sway-backed cat I’ve ever known. 

daisy_1212

And Daisy, sunning herself in a sheltered spot.  It has been cold this week and today was rainy and foggy, a perfect day to stay inside!

Cailleach, the Goddess of Winter

This evening, I completed two dolls!  Cailleach, the Goddess of Winter, joined her sisters, Sirona, Aine and Modron for a family portrait once she had her headdress and boots on. 

goddesses

If you happen to make it to Houston for the Quilt Festival, they will be in attendance in the Celebration of the Doll exhibit.

fl_finished

Front – in all of her finery.

headdress-finished

Her veil, wimple and crown.

top_finished

I gave her a bit more makeup so she wouldn’t look washed out by all the red.  I’m very pleased with her, but will need to make another before I can write the instructions for her pattern.

I also finished the Searcher – really just her shoes and her cape were left to finish.  I’ll post pictures of her another night.

Fall Has Arrived, Round Rock Chalk Art Walk, and All Dolls Are Art 2013

It was 70 degrees when I woke up this morning and got cooler as the day wore on.  I went by Ikea to get a gift card for my brother and sister-in-law for their anniversary and her b-day (which was the 4th), drove by the new Round Rock Food Trailer park (YEAH!) and Adam’s Gifts, which is a great little shop just off the main drag through down-town.  Then I headed to the parking garage so I could drop the car and explore Round Rock’s Chalk Art Walk. 

RR_chalk_art_1

It was a great day for it and there were some really great pieces in progress, plus all the kids in the street with their chalks and their 1 foot square of pavement.  The Biscuit Brothers were playing in the square to quite a crowd.  I wandered with my camera and talked to a few folks.

rr_chalk_art_biscuit_bros

 rr_chalk_art_2

This piece later was auctioned off. 

rr_chalk_art_3

As was this piece, which I loved, as it’s one of my favorite artists.

rr_chalk_art_5

I went back this evening to see the finished pieces.

rr_chalk_art_6

The Jackelope piece finished.

rr_chalk_art_sean

I stopped and talked to Sean Lewis about his piece, which I really liked.

I spent most of the afternoon working on my Goddess of Winter.  I finished her last sleeve today and got her face drawn and her head attached.  I don’t often work on the head last, but as this doll, like the Goddess of Fall, started with the fabric, I made her head last.  I did most of the needle-sculpting at the CTADS meeting last week.  I have to make her head covering, cape and boots still.  Then she’ll be done.

full_length_dressed 

She has an empire-waist undergown made from light-weight linen.  gown

I originally wanted to do her in blues, but she’s the last in the set of the Goddesses of Seasons series.  The others are done in the yellow/green/orange spectrum, so I needed to dress her in colors which complemented the others.  They will be on display together, so it only makes sense.  So, she’s in Christmas reds and the yellow toned greens.

undergown

I’m definitely in the mood to work on dolls again, and have a bunch of ideas.  First though, I have to finish this one!

sleeve

I committed sacrilege by cutting the edge of a piece of Treasures of the Gypsy embroidered metallic netting to make the outer sleeve’s lace cuffs.  It’s just the perfect adornment for the sleeve, so I couldn’t help it!

winter_face

Last – her face, which may get more highlights and blush once I get her hat done.

The other thing I’ve been madly working on lately is the 2013 All Dolls are Art website.  The classes for 2013 are now up and registration is open.  I redesigned the site and like the look quite a bit, even though I prefer art to have a black background online.  Swing on by and check out all of the classes for Weird, Wild and Exotic!