When I realized that I could recycle a hoop skirt doll that had been in stock for a few years to try out the paper skirt idea, I couldn't resist. I chopped away the quilted skirt to reuse the frame, but kept the face, red bodice and necklace. An old piano exercise book gave up a few pages for the skirt. I painted the paper on both sides and added several sheer fabrics to make the chenille. There are a few things I would adjust on the next one, and perhaps I could skip the stick at the bottom edge.
I love the way threads and print peek out of this deep texture!
This project proves that it doesn't take much to make me happy!
I had a moment this week to make a sweep down my favorite isle at the library and happened to pick up two titles by Kim Thittichai, Layered Textiles and Experimental Textiles. One of the projects that caught my eye right away was making newspaper faux chenille. I had to drop everything else this morning and try it out. This is painted newspaper stacked and stitched to a stiff fabric background. In reviewing the instructions I realized that I didn't do it the right way...not that it could matter. This process sparked a couple of other "distressing" ideas. I think I could make a skirt for a hoop skirt doll this way, but not before Christmas!
As the end of 2014 approaches, I have been thinking about how I want my art making activities to grow in the coming year. Finally, I had a little "Ah Ha" moment, and realized that I've been making a lot of merchandise instead of art! Artful merchandise in most cases, but still merchandise. Well, there's nothing wrong with that. And, how could I do otherwise after 25 years of buying merchandise for a retail store? My art doll journey has been a good experience. I've created fun stuff, honed my skills and found wonderful customers.
Can I compete with a gift industry that manufactures tons of stuff, usually not in this country? No, I can not. Will I recognize ART if I make some? Maybe. My retail muse will probably still sit on my shoulder and suggest ideas like..."let's make a dozen of these cute little guys!". I want her to shut up at least part of the time so that I can figure out how to make art.
Some of my favorites. The cute stuff!