Monday 28 December 2009

Doll Fashionista

Sometime in the summer my Mum and I spent a weekend creating a doll from the Doll Fashionista book. We got as far as putting the body together. I have now only just had time to complete her. She is my fourth. There are some things about her that I like and some things I would do differently next time. I like her hair, using felt, using a mask to position the features. I didn't like painting the felt because it went bobbly and the face is OK but her nose is the width of mine and her face is only about 6 inches across!

Saturday 7 November 2009

Paulette Install - All About Faces

JulieStenning, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

I've finished my first painting from Paulette Insall's all about painting class. I thought she looked a littl sad so the words are "She contemplated her future, it looked bleak".

Sunday 25 October 2009

Paulette Install - All About Faces - Lesson 5

Lesson5, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

Lesson 5 is about hair (hair and eyebrows). Looking at the photo here has made me realise that I want to even out the left and right hand side of the top.

Paulette Install - All About Faces - Lesson 4

Lesson4, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

Lesson 4 in Paulette's class is about the eyes and lips.

Paulette Install - All About Faces - Lesson 3

Lesson3, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

By the end of lesson three we have a picture with the basic shading done on the face. A lot more is to come in later lessons. More detailed shading will be don with watercolour crayons.

Paulette Install - All About Faces - Lesson 3

Lesson3, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

This is my face in progress. At the beginning of lesson three in Paulette Insall's All about faces workshop we trace the sketch on to the canvas.

Friday 23 October 2009


Collage, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

This is a self portrait collage. It is homework for the second lesson of Pam Carriker's online self portrait course.

Paulette Insall All about Faces Class

Features, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

I'm doing a painting class with Paulette Insall. I have finally learned to draw a nose with nostrils which doesn't look as if it belongs to a pig.

Polly Patches

Polly Patches, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

And here she is in full.

Polly Patches' Detail

Polly Patches' Detail, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

I have finally finished Polly Patches. Here is her face in detail.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Polly Patches is almost finished

I'm still not sure about her hair and she needs something to hold. Hopefully I will get time to go to Hobby Craft on Friday after work and buy her one or two silk flowers. Miriam and I decided yesterday that her hair needs to be in bunches. Her little badge is one I bought in South Africa but comes from South America. It is tiny and hand made, I wouldn't like to make something that fiddly.

Saturday 3 October 2009

Doll Heads

During the first weekend in September I went to Cromer in Norfolk (UK) to do a two day workshop with Jan Horrox. It was all about making heads for dolls. We made the middle two on the first day and the outside two on the second. I was very pleased with the results, I have rather a lot of awful heads in my body box.

The one at the top is actually a flat piece of material but the shading makes it look as if the nose is sticking out.

The one on the right is supposed to be a troll but I sewed top top of the front section to the bottom of the back. I was able to redeem it with some judicious needle scuplting. I just need to make bodies now to finish them off. Making bodies is easy in comparison to heads. You can visit Jan's site at

Having a Bath

I have been a bit remiss in posting to my blog. Work has taken up a lot of time recently although I have had time to the the odd craft project. When I was in South Africa I bought some American books from the 1970s about doll making. One of them had a doll made of stockings and it was taking a bath. I belong to the yahoo group ukfabricfigures and we had a challenge to create a doll doing something, so I decided to make one having a bath. All I had to do for the challenge was take a photo. The doll only has fingers in one hand and the hair was taped on with double sided tape. I think I will keep the photos but chuck the doll!

I did find that stocking was quite good for shaping although some bits worked better than others.

Sunday 2 August 2009


I've been making ATCs for a swap. I was given Tim Holtz's DVD "An Altered Journey" for my birthday and I finally got to watch it yesterday. I had fun spritzing inked up rubber stamps to give a watercolour effect (Tim Holtz calls this "Brushless Watercolour") and making backgrounds with alcohol inks.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Saturday 27 June 2009

Inside of the Bag - 1

Inside of the Bag - 1, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

Inside of the Bag - 2

Inside of the Bag - 2, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

And the bag is reversible. 2 bags for the price of one.

Lion Bag

Lion Bag, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

This is the other side of the bag.

Hippo Bag

Hippo Bag, originally uploaded by juliestenning.

I visted South Africa recently and we spent a weekend in Simonstown. I was able to go shoping in a fabric store and bought this placemat fabric. It is a good design for a bag. There is some thin dowel in the top to keep it straight and show off the picture.

This post is an experiment using the "Blog This" feature in Flickr.

Friday 26 June 2009

Polly Patches still in progress

At the time of writing Polly Patches has had two heads and is about to get a third.

The problem with this face is that the eyelashes ran. Each time I got home from work her face was blacker and blacker.

This is the back of her head in a pony tail.

And this is face number 2. Too googly eyed and her nose has disappeared into her face.

Monday 22 June 2009

The Museum of Bad Art

I wish I had thought of this:

For Jenni

Sunday 21 June 2009


I spent yesterday at Mayhill Textiles. Aggie, a member of our group, showed us how to make a beaded necklace. First of all I stitched a pipe cleaner to some vilene. The beads are sewn on over the top of the pipe cleaner. When it is finished, I shall trim the vilene and fold it over underneath.

A close up.

Monday 25 May 2009

Polly Patches in Progress

I spent some of the last two weekends making "Polly Patches". She is not complete yet. You can see a picture of the Pattern Designer's version (Jan Horrox) at

Mum and I are going to a workshop held by Jan Horrox during the first weekend in September. We will be sculpting faces.

The armature - made with coat hangers because I couldn't find the garden wire. Paul had to help me with it, I just wasn't strong enough.

The armature wrapped before dressing.

I may need to redo the head - the eyes are different and too high up.

She just needs a skirt and hair.

Sunday 24 May 2009

Shopping in South Africa

One of the nice things about going to a foreign country, even in these days of globalisation, is the ability to purchase things you might not find at home.

I had a mishap on the way home, South African Airways wanted to charge me £200 for being 6.75 Kg overweight. I called my friend back (they were already out of the car park) to take some things away. The carrier bag she took had a lot less that £200 worth of stuff in it. She is keeping some things and sending the rest surface mail. It will take six weeks to arrive but will cost significantly less than £200. Anyway, these are photos of things that did make it to chez nous.

I think these rubber stamps are made from forma foam which you heat up and then impress objects. The butterflies are hair slides but I want to use the wings on dolls. The tiny doll was purchased at the sea side, in Kalk Bay.

Willow and I collect and share serviettes to use in collages.

The Guniea Fowl is South Africa's national bird. This one has a bobbing head.

This is some African fabric. A lot of the fabric I bought had large designs so I think I shall use them to make bags.

Willow's local shopping centre has a second hand book shop. New books are expensive in South Africa. These were very reasonable. I purchased each of them on a different visit to the shop. They are from the seventies and I think they are American. They cost about £2.00 each.

This was my second trip to South Africa. On my first visit, Willow gave me a copy of the book below. A couple of my art teachers have wanted a copy and I have not been able to find them on the Internet. We arranged to visit the author so I could get a couple of copies. I hadn't been able to find them on the Net because she is distributing them her self. Luckily I found a couple of copies in Kalk Bay. It is a lovely book of illustrations of Cape Town. A good inspiration for a mixed media artist.

May 15th - Last day South Africa

Willow has a lovely studio and a very large collection of dolls. I took several photos of them; here are just a few.

May 14th - Penultimate Day in South Africa

I am home now, it is a glorious day here in Blighty and I am sitting outside, taking the opportunity to add the rest of my photos to my blog.

We went to a butterfly farm just down the road from Willow's house. It was a photographic expedition, she has become the owner of a very good Canon digital camera and wanted to try it out, and of course the Blythe Dolls accompanied us because they wanted to show off.

If you like these images of the gnome and fairies and would like to use them, please feel free. Click on them to see a larger size.

There were two coach loads of children visiting the Butterfly farm. They were excitedly looking for things because they had worksheets to fill in. One of them told us with glee that if you upset a Marmoset it would pee on you.

I'm quite pleased with this photograph of the moth, the moth is clear whilst the background is out of focus.

I don't remember if the butterfly was really this colour, I think it was more vibrant in real life.

I wouldn't mind one of these snakes in my garden.

There were two Meerkats outside. One was always on guard. I watched a few "Meerkat Manor" programs on the BBC and I reckon these two must have been knackered. They take it in turns to be on guard and they would hardly have got a rest.

This paper butterfly was in the restuarant, it was at least four feet across.

We had lunch in a very nice country restaurant which has a craft shop attached, and this warning before you enter.