Friday, May 13, 2011

Trash it Out - Art Doll Round Robin...

Recently I received an invite from my very good online art friend Monica, an invitation to participate in a doll round robin. My immediate thought (and answer) was YES! I have been involved in several collaborations with Monica - each has been special and memorable.

Monica is one of the very first art online friends I made when I started beading. She has been, not only an inspiration to me, but one of the biggest supporters of my beading from the very beginning.

Besides all that, she is a magician when she gets her hands on fabric, thread and a sewing machine. The things she creates with found items (or trash to most people) is extraordinary. If you know her, you know she is very talented and quite creative. So after I said yes and saw the list of participants, I couldn't help but panic just a little inside. She has brought together an amazing group of talented artists and me - a beader (not like that's a bad thing).

In order to grow creatively - we should push the envelope, right? Step outside our comfort zone. That is what I'm doing here and I'm jumping in with both feet! A little scary, but fun and exhilarating at the same time.

This is going to be a lengthy post with lots of photos, so if you're in the mood - settle in and stay awhile...

First, meet the talented ladies included in this round robin - Cheryl, Joanna, Sandy, Gloria and our hostess, Monica. See what I mean? I wasn't kidding about the talent!

The premise is using scraps and leftovers from other projects or basically "trash". Now being a beader, I will incorporate that kind of stuff as much as I can - but there are few beads that I throw away. Left over from another project, certainly!

We all started with a similar "kit" supplied and beautifully packaged by Monica, including a doll form with some "trashy" goodies. The two photos at the top of this post are of the package upon arrival.

This is what I found inside

We were encouraged to do whatever we wanted with our doll to get it started, make a journal and give our doll a name. I don't feel as though I'm terribly clever with that kind of thing and I wasn't sure how much I should add to her to start, so I made her a dress out of the fabric scraps I found in the box. I dipped the fabric in a mixture of glue and water then molded it around the form.

Give me a spreadsheet and I'm a whiz, but I struggle with artistic ideas at times. This was one of those times as I tried to name my doll.

I ended up using one of my old cross stitch pieces as the cover of my journal. And once I decided on that I could not get the name "Dorothy" out of my head, so my doll became Dorothy and off she went to the Cheryl for the month of April.

For the month of April, I worked on Joanna's doll, her name is Zona. She arrived, already a treasure - so much thought and detail added to her by Joanna. Look at that sweet face (click photo for a larger view)!

And the journal - *sigh* - simply wonderful! So many great little details - and the inside is just as beautiful.

The journal shared some thoughts/dreams, which include (among other things) travel and gardening. With that in mind I made wings for Zona, I started with a hand made doily that I found at a garage sale a couple years ago. Formed it into wings and then embellished them with glass beads and crystals to give them just enough sparkle, then attached them to the doll.

I have had the good fortune to have traveled to some wonderful destinations. On one such trip, I visited a friend who was living/teaching in Liberec, Czech Republic. While there, we traveled to Hungary for a couple of days. Not long into our first day touring around Hungary my friend was suffering terribly with blisters from her new "comfortable" shoes she purchased for the trip. She was in agony, we walked (all day) all over Buda and Pest. Since we wear the same size shoes, we were able to switch off wearing the dreaded new shoes in order to share the pain and blisters - because we certainly were NOT going to cut our day or our trip short. Because of that I have attached a pair of sneakers to Zona for long comfortable walks in foreign lands.

Also attached is one earring I have left of a favorite pair I purchased in Czech Republic - I bought these from a local street vendor on the Charles Bridge in Prague, and after only having them a short time, I lost one of the earrings. It is a tiny piece of slate wrapped in wire.

I also attached a vintage Swarovski crystal angel (to watch over her as she travels), next to a heart from Joanna's mother.

A girl cannot possibly travel without a suitcase, can she? I altered an Altoids tin to carry her valuables. It was painted with blue acrylic paint to which I added bronze Pearl-Ex (a first for me and SO much fun!). I added a "Dream" clay cabochon by Lisa Peters Art, and a little beaded handle made of old wire and glass beads

Lined the suitcase with red felt

And added some travel stickers to the back

Inside the suitcase is a special surprise just for Joanna, a heart shaped pin. The cab/button is another clay creation by Lisa Peters and embellished (by me) with glass beads.

One Swarovski crystal in the middle and vintage sequins around the outside

It is backed with pink Ultrasuede and closed with a pointed edge stitch using glass beads.

Also included is a red felt bag - pieces of fabric are attached to the front and back with beads and filled with some seeds in the event Joanna wants to start a sunflower garden.

Zona is now ready to fly off to her next destination. It was a pleasure hosting you, safe travels little one!


flyingbeader said...

Grace you did a wonderful job...

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh Grace, you have me in tears. What wonder you have added to Zona. I am going to record what you have written and carry this with me the rest of my life. Thank you sweet girl. Love love love what you have done. Zona has already grown in sentiment for me. Wow!! and the sunflower seeds...omygoodness.

Anonymous said...

Grace, this is such a beautiful post.. engaging from beginning to end, I just wanted to jump right through this computer and sit and watch you play! I love all the thoughtfulness, the so sweet additions~ I feel blessed to be art-ing with you again! :)

Love the mention of swapping shoes with a friend to save her from more blisters!

That beaded heart is breathtaking!

You have an amazing soul, I am a lucky girl to have you as a friend. xo, M :)

Anonymous said...

p.s. I'm really excited to see the progress of the dolls, I've only just learned about Dorothy & Zona and I adore them both already.. :)

and thank you for the kind words, I truly value our friendship over these years and just adore watching your creations come to life x o x o

JoAnnA Pierotti said...

Grace, I forgot to mention how gorgeous that brooch is. Thank you. You are a dear one. I really want to learn how to bead. My friend just started to teach me.

Jean from said...

Yes, that brooch is stunning. Nice job!

Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body - Walt Whitman