You can read the story of Lapina and her rabbits here.
She began as one of several fairies that I purchased in recent years in the after-Christmas clearance at a local designer's warehouse.
I stripped all of them of their fancy fairy garments and wings and removed the wigs on most of them. With a few, like the blonde on the left, I trimmed the hair close to the skull. They were made to be flying so the shapes of their bare feet limit somewhat how they can be posed. So far I have not given one of them shoes, but I would not hesitate to amputate those toes if I needed to for a better shoe look.
To my eye, their arms and legs are too long. Much of the time the posing can take care of the legs, but I have found it necessary to cut down the arms to make them of a more realistic length. How much I cut off depends; some were much longer than others.
This is the doll I decided to use for Lapina. She doesn't look too promising in her stripped-down state, but I like having these makeover fairies ready to work with when the mood hits. I have also saved their wings and costumes for possible later use.
Originally, I thought she was going to be a Green Woman, lying down and sort of blending into the ground, and had planned to cover her entirely in moss and leaves. (That little juice glass gets constant use; not only to wash brushes but to serve as a stand to hold her upright while I work on her. I poked some Kleenex around her legs to hold her firmly in place.)
I stopped to pose her lying down and was not satisfied with any posture I could manipulate, so I decided she must want to be sitting. I decided to look through my Fairy/Green Man/Woodland bin and see what might stimulate some ideas for how to proceed further.
I saw that bag of moss covered ovals and recalled that I had previously used similar ones when I made Arda Choak.
Aha! She must have some connection with Arda and her gardens, I thought.
At this point I have her posed in a more realistic fashion and need to decide if I want to contine with the moss idea and realize that the mossy bodice is enough. And I don't like the look of those leaves, so they have to come off.
In my stash were these lovely oversized velvet fall leaves. I trimmed them evenly at the stem end to fit them around her waist and began layering them to form a skirt. Here they are glued in place, but not yet shaped for a more natural drape.
At first I thought about giving her red hair, but Wow! This stuff is for a much more flamboyant character, for sure.
She looks too sweet to have hair like that! So I wound up using a less blatant red viscose to make her hair.
I happened to spot this bottle of copper nail polish and decided to paint her head with it so that I could have a light look to her hairdo, and not have a bare scalp glaring through.
I didn't get a picture of her with just the plain hair, but here is a baggie that I selected from to make her wreath.
Well. Now what? I knew she wasn't a Green Woman, but who was she? My mind was totally blank, and she sat like this on my work table for weeks, and her hands seemed to be waiting for something ...
And then ...
I was searching in my Animals drawer for a cat to use in one of my Christmas displays and came across some rabbits that I had purchased many years ago when Pic'n'Save (now Big Lots) first opened in El Paso, and as soon as I saw those rabbits I knew who she was waiting for.
The one on the right is the original; the other two are after flocking and touch-up painting. The flock I used, shown here, including black and navy blue, I purchased several years ago at our local big hobby store. It was intended for upholstery in scale model cars.
I first shook some of the flocking into a ziplock bag. Then I painted the rabbits with a coat of glue, dropped them into the bag, zipped it closed and shook it to thoroughly coat them. I carefully removed the rabbits and let them sit on a paper plate until they were thoroughly dry. Then I used a soft paintbrush to brush away the excess flocking, which I returned to the ziplock bag for future use.
At first I planned for her to be a fairy tending those rabbits, but I didn't want to have wings to distract from the simplicity of my scene, so she became an elf instead.
It helped that she already had those ears!
So here she is, with her eyes repainted and blush added. I have added more hair for a lighter look. Her collar is made from brown flower petals, and the grapevine curls are brown painted wire.
If you haven't read the story of Lapina The Rabbit Tender, you can find it here.