Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joyous Noel!

Merry Christmas to all! One of my favorite songs by Michael W. Smith, set to Christmas cool is that! See you next year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Latest Dolls

This is one of two dolls I made for the Houston Quilt Show. This first doll is my rendition of WENDY from PETER PAN.
She is part of a series that my doll club, TAODA does every year, called Storybook Dolls. This group of dolls travels to local libraries in the Houston area. Each set of dolls travels for 2 years. So the next time I see WENDY in person, I'll vaguely remember her!

PETER PAN was my favorite story as a child. I have a threadbare copy that my mother read to me over and over again, till I learned to read it to myself!
WENDY is approximately 9" tall, with her treehouse being about 12" tall altogether. She is sculpted from PAPER CLAY over a wire armature, and then covered with cotton cloth.
FOREST MAGE is the second doll that I made for the quilt show. She is part of a fabric challenge from one of the show sponsors.
FOREST would be about 19" if she were standing. She is also sculpted from PAPER CLAY and covered with cloth.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Proud mom!

This is a video I recorded of my 14 year-old son from a few months back. His music teacher wanted him to play a few selections at her church, and this is part of his audition. He played 5 songs, all about 4-5 minutes long and this was his last selection. I chose this one, because it was the only one that I didn't hear my 5 year-old whispering to me over top of the video! The woman that he auditioned for was floored, because he played all the songs from memory! It was at that moment that I realized, "yeah, he doesn't have his books with him!" I was a bit surprised too, because he always tells me he doesn't have a very good memory. I wish my memory were so poor!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

So far behind....

Blogs are amazing! Sort of like email....what did we do before we had them?

I personally, was a less guilt-ridden individual.

I look at my blog...I think about my blog....can I keep up with a blog? Well, that's another story. Bloggers I admire
put something new up weekly. The blogs I love add content at a daily pace. The blogs I can identify with usually add something about once-a-month.

So without further ado....or belly-aching, here is what I have been late adding to my blog!

These first two are pod babies. They are polymer clay and about 7" long. Their little pods are quilted and embellished. I had a lot of fun making them!

These two are dolls that I took to ODACA with me. Both are paper clay with cloth. This first one is named RELUCTANCE.

This next one is called THE DANCE. I had Stephen Curtis Chapman's song "Lord of the Dance" traveling through my head when I made her.

I am the heart, He is the heartbeat
I am the eyes, He is the sight
And I see clearly, I am just a body
He is the life
I move my feet, I go through the motions
But He gives purpose to chance
I am the dancer
He is the Lord of the dance....

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New member of ODACA!

This medal marked my official entry into ODACA given to me by my friend Ute Vasina , who is also a new member of ODACA! In a fit of pre-critique "nerves" last week I had been lamenting to Ute that it had been a long year of waiting to find out if we would make it in....and if we did, it wasn't like we would get a crown or anything! So Ute went out looking for crowns.....she couldn't find any, so she showed up with medals! Ute is a hoot! I had the pleasure of sharing a table with her at the ODACA/UFCD sales day....and she made the day pass quickly with her wonderful outlook and great sense of humor! And so after a year long process of portfolios and critiques and (for me) huge fits of "nerves", we made it and are now members of ODACA!

The convention was held in Las Vegas this year......where I was assured that the daily temps of 108 or so were "okay", cause it's dry heat! When the temperature goes over 100 there is not enough "dry heat" in the world to make it not feel hot! Coming back to Houston, where it's 94 degrees, I thought I would have to break out a coat....but I digress!

Here in Texas I belong to a doll organization called TAODA (Texas Association of Original Doll Artists). TAODA had had 3 members that were also members of ODACA (Joyce Patterson, Anne Myatt, and Marilynn Huston....all wonderful doll makers!) This year 4 more of us from TAODA (Janet Bodin, Donna Sims, Marsha Krohn and myself) applied to ODACA and all were accepted! It was an amazing weekend.

For the critique, you set your dolls up on tables and then are asked to leave the room and come back in about an hour. During this time the Standards committee critiques your work and makes a written copy for you! Then when they were finished with all their part of the critique, we were ushered back in one by one and told the results. I had thought I was pretty "cool" and prepared mentally for either outcome....but I was one of the last ones called in and started having flashbacks to 3rd grade gym class and picking sides for kickball. I think when they finally called
me in I was a verifiable nervous wreck! LOL

Thanks so much to all of you that have been encouraging over the last year and have sent congrats! Once I get off cloud nine I will post more photos....of Vegas and of my dolls that traveled with me!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A lost mouse

This little brown field mouse is Perdu Amant Fromage. He was so excited to get out into the world and show off the new hat that his mother made for him...that despite her warning of "stay on the path"....he did what little mice often do. Take a shortcut that seems like a better idea.

Well now poor Perdu is lost...and trying so, so hard not to cry. Fortunately for him, he has been found by a sweet not given to playing too many pranks....and she is dedicated to helping him find his way home.

Both the fairy and mouse are OOAK polymer clay figures.
Perdu, the mouse, is 3" tall. Gabrielle is 4.5" kneeling.

Moral of the story....just because you get a new hat
doesn't mean your sense of direction suddenly improves!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Art doll-FALL

In one of the many Yahoo groups I'm in, we are doing an "ART DOLL" trade. I had fun sculpting her face.
Her name is FALL.

She's a bit peevish what with all the fanfare and general good feeling that SPRING and SUMMER tend to engender in most people. FALL realizes that she is more popular than WINTER, but not by much and certainly not by those diehard snow lovers.

FALL comforts herself in the thought that colors do not truly shine and sparkle the way they do in her midst....that last hurrah before harvest and the harsh winds of WINTER begin.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A day in the life of......

Me! Thanks Gai !!! LOL

Gai is an amazing illustrator/dollmaker from Italy that
I just adore! (I will get you back however!!!LOL) She has tagged me to describe a day in my life! Man, I bet this post
is going to get Hollywood producers clammering to buy the rights to make it into a movie....NOT!

Here's a photo of the courthouse in Sugar Land where I live. It's a dramatic shot....maybe this will lull you into the false sense that I live a dramatic life!!!

Probably not....but can you blame a girl for trying!

8:00 I homeschool my 4 kids, so this time of the morning will usually find me up, but not fully least not as awake as my 12 year-old daughter. My MORNING PERSON 12 year-old daughter. ( I believe she wakes up early to lead the birds in a rousing chorus of "Oh, what a beautiful morning....".) I will check her work, which she already has finished! And then she'll tell me about some arcane bit of knowledge that she has picked up in her science book and I'll be sitting there wondering how is is possible for ANYONE to be so AWAKE and ALERT and CHEERFUL all at once!

9:00 School is usually in full 5 year-old is telling me about the lives of her stuffed animals, while I'm trying to do flash cards with her. By now, I have found coffee, so the world is good! Math is on schedule for the 7 year-old....who is following in the footsteps of her older sister by drawing little pictures all over her math book and then telling me she really doesn't have a lot of room left to work the problems.

10:00 My son who is up. He is not a morning person either! His way of waking up (and mind you he has been up for over an hour at this point!) is to have breakfast followed by an hour of playing Chopin on the piano.
(At this point I begin thinking that it would be lovely to have a larger/longer house, where I could put him at one end and let him play the piano to his hearts content. The piano is RIGHT next to the room we school in. Chopin is NOT the music of choice for people who aren't morning people!) I usually will jump on the internet and check to see if I have mail....and what's going on in the world before spelling!

11:00 The girls are mostly finished with their work....I have graded papers and begin to think that I could steal a
few minutes to work on something creative! My son is now at full swing with his work. I think he times it so that
he can have the entire table to himself when he works. I would love to say that he just wants it to be quiet so he can do his math and Latin, but the child prattles on non-stop stream of conscious. I am still utterly amazed at how well he does at school considering he talks to me WHILE he works!

12:00 Lunch time!....for the kids....I realize at this point I still haven't had breakfast!

1-4 I try to squeeze in a bit of working time if it's not cleaning day, grocery day or drop off one of the kids at music lessons day. By three, if I am lucky, I will have gotten about an hour of work in. Did I mention that ALL my kids are chatty sorts....can't imagine where they got that! So the afternoon is broken up with various conversations and observations and "can you fix this doll's hair" or "can I have that ribbon for this bear" or "would you like it if I cooked something" or get the idea! It's funny, they do tend to sequester themselves in their rooms on cleaning day....hmmm!

5:00....I begin to fervently wish that I had a cook! I HATE cooking. There you have it. It's really not so much the cooking's just when you do it for 6 people....well, it's hard! And here I must clarify that none of my family save the 5 year-old is a picky eater (give her noodles and hot dog and she's good to go!) My family is very complimentary of my cooking. See, I have performance anxiety......I feel that TODAY's meal should top anything I have ever made! My family should be sooooo amazed at what I made that they realize eating anything in the future would be utterly useless and futile as this current meal was sooo wonderful.

Maybe I can find a cook......

6:00-9:30 A blur of evening makes me tired to think about it!

10:00-to infinity and beyond! Time to create and listen to books on tape....sweet!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"The Egg Thief"

Usually the fairies I find in the yard are polite enough to tell me their names. Not this one. She's busy stealing eggs out of bird nests. She knows if she stops and speaks to me I'll demand she puts the egg back.

Every spring this happens, a sudden spike in fairy thievery. The fairies will tell me, "Oh, of course we'll return the's just for fun!" They say they do it to see who can "steal" the most.....with a prize for the winner.....but about a month later I always see all these baby birds in the yard dressed in beads and bits of ribbons....and a lot of angry mother birds! The fairies aren't fooling me...they are making pets out of these little birds!

Madness I tell you!

I tried leaving a few gold fish about, but the general complaint was that the fish get the ribbons wet....and some eat the beads. What do you expect, they're fish!

So for the next few months, I'll be trying to placate mad mother birds....chasing off fairies from nests...along with everything else that keeps me busy.

Do me a favor will you....if you see a fairy carrying off an egg...tell them to put it back! Get a fish!
This little "egg thief" is a polymer clay OOAK doll. She is about 6.5" tall. She is detachable from the base....and you can remove her egg....though she will complain.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Hi all! From my garden to your heart....happy Mother's Day! And remember, calories don't count today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Altered Matchbox-The Fairy Looking Glass

Every now and then I work on something that is so engrossing that time loses all meaning! Today my daughter and I pulled out the polymer clay and as we played we watched a really campy version of Jane Austen's "Persuasion" from
1971. (Campy, but delightful!) My daughter made miniature dishes and I made an altered matchbox that is for a swap.
I loved making it. I think I feel a sudden urge to find LOTS of matchboxes! Here's the end product. It's about 2.5" closed....made with polymer clay, painted with acrylics and sealed.

This is the has the "Fairy" Looking Glass!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

An Abundant Life: Irene Cottrell Brisco November 29, 1915-April 17, 2008

Today my grandmother Irene passed away. A few years ago I made a doll that I named ABUNDANCE that for me
was sort of an allegory of my grandmother.

My grandmother was fondly called "Frank" by my grandfather....and having a sense of humor to match his, she called and referred to him as "he"! ( I wonder why I have such an odd sense of humor?) My grandfather would pretend he was deaf (to all but small children) and she with a amused look on her face, would tell one of us smaller children, "tell 'he' that dinner is ready"!

My grandmother taught me by example that you are polite to all people whether they deserve it or not. One occasion I remember as a little girl was going to a store with her and hearing the owner of the store refer to her as "girl". (I had lived in the north most of my life and such southern ways such as calling grown women "girl" or mixed people such as our family was things like "colored" or "mulatto" were mostly unknown to me.) My grandmother smiled at him and gave him an appropriate "sir". Outside the store my aunts and mother turned into hens that had seen a snake!

They were outraged! How dare he!

My grandmother just smiled and shook her head and said that the store manager was not who she answered to. And the one that she did answer to expected her to keep a civil tongue in her head. Nothing else was said.

Nothing else needed to be said.

My grandmother lived to see her 92nd year, she would have been 93 this November. I hope I live my life even half as well as she did. A few days ago she told my uncle in the evening that she was "very tired and ready to go home." The next morning she slipped into a coma. Today she went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus. I know I will see her again....along with a sister and a baby, Joshua, who both went home all too soon.

Till then grandma!

A Milestone to celebrate!

I found out over the weekend that I had made it through phase 2 of screening for ODACA! It still feels a bit unreal! The final round will mean traveling to Las Vegas with 3 dolls in be critiqued "in person". Am I afraid? No! I have kids....well, actually nervous would sum it up nicely!

I have been working on dolls.....slooooowly. so nothing new to share as far as a doll yet. The only things that I have completely finished lately are drawings on fabric for my online class.

This is an example of a blonde child:
and an asian child:
These drawings are about 3" x 4". Watercolor pencil on 100% cotton fabric.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I'm supposed to be doing about a million other things, but there they were...just sitting there minding their own thoughts....two fabric heads. More like two fabric lumps actually. Just lying there....I can't be totally heartless...they had no eyes with which to see the world, no mouths to comment you get the idea.

I thought I would just do one, but that would have been downright cruel. One lump
transformed into a head....the other left in it's lumply state!

Oh the inhumanity!

So I get the pencils out...both the watercolor and regular colored pencils....maybe the pastels too! Can never have too many supplies out. Hmmm...they look like they need a bit more stuffing. Where did I put that bag of stuffing? Oh look there some yarn I had been looking for last week! Maybe I should work on my knitting...

Then of course, they needed their pictures taken...several shots to insure that I get their best side. Maybe while I'm at it I should take pictures of the flowers in the yard....the azaleas are so lovely right now.

I'm not getting a lot done today for some reason....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Papillon was one of those dolls that was supposed to have been made a long time ago. I had her in my head....sort of. I even managed to draw several sketches of her. But she was always in my peripheral vision and she would never come to where I could "see" her plainly. I had made her stand months ago.....even then I couldn't convince her to come out of hiding!

Suddenly one evening....when I should have been going to bed, I knew I was ready to begin work on her. She came together so quickly that even now it seems like a blur.

Papillon is 19.5" tall including her base. She's paper clay and fabric over an armature.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Red Thread

"An invisible red thread connects those
who are destined to meet,
Regardless of time, place or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break."
Chinese Proverb

I came across this proverb just a few months ago and it really struck a chord with me. So many of my dearest friends are the type of people that strike me as "I feel like I have known you my whole life!" I wanted to incorporate this proverb somehow into a doll/dolls that would show this. I had also been sketching ideas for dolls that would center around the idea of the FATES from mythology. The two ideas collided and thus the dolls, The RED THREAD were born.

The dolls are approximately 10" tall. They are paperclay covered with cloth. The clothing of the dolls is pieced and quilted together.

The first doll is the one who spins the thread and finds the joy of life in the "making". The second doll finds her joy in the beauty of the creation....and simply enjoys "being". The third doll finds her joy in the knowing and understanding of "completion". Each one is complete unto herself...but becomes so much more as she is connected to the others.

To all my dear friends who are and who are yet to be, I dedicate these dolls to you! May this new year bring you joy in the "making", "being" and completion" of your artistic endeavors.