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MAY 2015

 

In my quest to get things finished, I have decided that this is DONE! As often happens, I had plans to do a larger setting. Well, it's okay as it is; I want to go on to other things.


This is the work area of a dollmaker; one whose focus today is on sculpting, rather than using readymade doll bodies. It was created as the result of a 2010 project for an adjunct group to the MiniDolls list called the Posse. Moonyeen Moller, whose talent, enthusiasm, generosity and patience are boundless, as are her contributions to both groups, was the impetus for some outstanding swaps among the Posse Hens, as the members of the group refer to themselves.

I had two pieces of unfinished furniture, the shelf unit on the left, and a readymade table, a Chicago purchase, which I chose to use instead of putting together the table kit that was contributed by Moonyeen (which I am using for another purpose in another as-yet-unfinished project).

I used a paint called Seminole Green and added white to get the shabby chic look I wanted, with a coat of Golden Oak stain to mellow the look.



My swap items were dollmaking books, pattern envelopes and a black notebook.

Moonyeen sent a tape measure kit, kit for assembling boxes, mini ironing board, ribbon spool kits, kit for apron and pkg of stuffing.

I found very small chalkboards once at Walmart and used a couple in some settings I made in my early days, including the sign board in my rediscovered Season's Greenings market stall.

(Sorry for the poor quality of the image. My daughter rediscovered these pictures of one of my first miniature projects when she was scanning old photos. This was long before my digital camera days and oh how they have faded.)

I came across one of those little chalkboards when I was trying to figure out a way to display some small items from the swap, including the small bulletin board by Sol Zaga, along with a pattern and a tassel display which I had in my stash.

It was almostly exactly the entire width of the table! I covered it with a piece of cardstock to form a large bulletin board which I glued to the back of the table top. I also glued a piece of cardstock on the back to extend down as far as possible to help hold the two pieces together. A coat of green paint melded it all into one unit.

In addition to the swap items, I added other small elements like the tiny rabbit and some decorative push pins, etc.

The wonderful bust with wig was made by Pat Jackson. There are two toy soldiers in the background. The two hats were part of a quarter scale swap a few years ago. They sit atop a wee plastic box which holds tiny shoes, purses and gloves. They don't really show, but I know they are there!

I was really proud of these tiny toy soldiers, but they are barely visible here because they are toward the back of the shelf. The little chair is an O-scale model railroad piece, I think.

Same with these tiny quarter scale hats. They are really quite pretty to be so tiny.

The teddy bear was part of the swap, or a gift; can't recall which. I made the books and big black notebook, like the one I use in real life for miniature doll patterns and pictures.


Both these little guys were purchases in Chicago. I think they were made by Bonnie Justice. And as I look at this in real life I notice something that doesn't even show up here unless I magnify it greatly.

Notice the tiny little blond headed doll at the very back of the shelf? She is way too cute not to be seen in my pictures, so I think I will take her out and place her in the forefront somewhere. I wonder what else is hidden; well, the toy soldiers practically are, I realize, and those tiny hats are barely visible in my photos. Maybe I should try retaking those pictures.

Moonyeen contributed several carton printies, including a couple that were pre-made. I used the printies to make these boxes, cutting down the one on the left and covering the one on the right with a magazine advertisement picture that was in my stash.

 

The left one contains patterns, which I made as part of the swap, and the right holds silks and other fine fabrics.

That's real slip in that jar and a real mold, created by Cynthia Howe.

This little fairy was made by Sue Ann Thwaite, known as LadyBug.

This wonderful little dress was made by Cecilia ´Coló Hernández of Mexico.

Here under the work lamp, which I believe is from Heather, is some needlework in progress, which I think is also from Sol Zaga.

Every dollmaker has parts lying everywhere. This little basket also holds a pincushion from Dorothy (DotBoo) and some wisps of stuffing that are used to wrap doll body armatures. Lucie Winsky made the pincushion doll kit and some other blank dolls.

A little bit of this stuffing goes a long, long way for a miniaturist. I cut strips to wrap my dolls' bodies, as well as using it the conventional way for pillows, cushions, etc.

These packages contain DVD's of dollmaking patterns, and I can't recall what would be marked fragile. perhaps it's small porcelain parts ...

I use Genesis heat-set paints, as well as regular acrylics. The artist's palette is made by Lorraine Heller.

The mannequin was a Chicago show purchase from an Italian maker.

This wonderful sculpture in progress was also created by Lorraine Heller. She has these in her product line. Visible on the bulletin board in the background are pictures of the dollmaking process.

In the cup/pitcher, a swap item, are paintbrushes I made from toothpicks, scissors (Chrysnbon with handles painted orange like Fiscars); plus a pick, craft knife, tweezers, etc. which I made.

 

The incredible detailed tools on the left from Susann Crack in Tasmania were in the dollmakers' swap. They lie in a tray that was part of a Chrysnbon dresser set. The bone-handled tools on the larger tray (a miniature cookie sheet) are actually part of the same dresser set. That's a piece of real flesh-colored Fimo. The wire cutters and pliers were in my stash; I painted the handles red.

Thread spools in the drawer were a kit. You will notice the dollmaker has a measuring tape glued to the front edge of her table, which is quite handy. (I have a yardstick attached to the edge of my real life dollmaking table.)

The sewing machine was part of the swap, as was the large pincushion, but I don't know who contributed them.

 

Cool, isn't it?

Little cutie in a red bunka skirt. In my early days there was a dollmaker in Northeast El Paso who used to sell tiny kewpies, and I used several as babies in cradles as gifts for my mother, mother-in-law and sister-in-law back in the late 80s or early 90s.

We received an ironing board in the swap but I turned it into a version of my own small sleeve board which I keep in my dollmaking area. Instead of the top pieces, I used the smaller bottom half, covering it with white muslin that I painted silver. The iron was metal which I modernized with paint.

I found all these pieces in my stash and used one of Moonyeen's boxes, cut down, to hold them.

Others in the Posse project made entire rooms; I did not want to do that since I am running out of display space, although I did plan to include a chair, perhaps one wall with a window, more dolls, but ....

There were some wonderful items in this swap; I just wish I could identify everyone who made all that I used. I made several false starts because I had no story and the key for the way I displayed everything came as I examined Susann's fabulous sculpting tools and remembered that I had one of Lorraine Heller's Unfinished Sculptures.

I arbitrarily decided then that my dollmaker does more sculpting than anything else, and that gave me the theme and focus for my table.  I kept thinking I would make the dollmaker; but so far she exists only vaguely in my imagination. Maybe she is just me! lol

I feel better calling this project finished. I plan to put these two displays pieces in a small shadowbox and hang it over my dollmaking table if I can figure out how to find the spot for it.

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