Sunday, December 29, 2013

Starting the New Year right!!

To be honest, I really hate setting a New Year's Resolution because just as you might imagine, it is usually some very lofty and unobtainable goal in which I never seem to accomplish and probably never will in my life-time.  So, rather than set myself up for defeat, I have decided that in this new year that is quickly approaching, I will simply try to do better!  That's it....simply do "better".   

I will strive to do better at keeping up with my blogging...including more WIPS!  I will hopefully do better at creating more dolls, each even "better" than the previous doll.  I would like to do better at making my work more available to all of you out there in the world, either through Ebay, Etsy or my website.   Heck, I will even try to do better at participating in more shows!  There are so many different things I can try to do "better" at, that the list is endless really.  Like, trying to be better at keeping my studio space cleaner and less cluttered!  haha  I think this is on every artist's list no matter what medium you might work in!  In fact, I have already been working at that one.  I consider that as my "before the new year resolution".  My goal is to have my studio completely organized, clean and ready to go before the new year arrives!  And can you believe that I have almost accomplished this goal!!!  Now, if I can keep it this way, that would be a great accomplishment!

At any rate, I figured, if I can be just a little bit "better" in everything that I do that pertains to my doll work than I did this past year of 2013, then, I will have accomplished quite a bit!  Being "better" is almost like taking baby steps.  I might not get there all at once, but I'll be well on my way to accomplishing great things!

As good as being "better" is for a resolution.... after more contemplation it occurred to me that I thought of something more I would like to add to my New Year's Resolution.  It's simple, and some of you might even be shocked, but it is to have "faith in myself and in my abilities".  To many of you out there, I probably seem like I do not lack confidence in any way, but deep down in side, there is still this young girl who is very unsure of some of the creative choices she makes (or I make rather).  I would like to find that little kindergarten girl who used to live inside of me!  She had no fears whatsoever!  She never doubted herself...she just did what she felt was right.  I want to be that person all over again.  To not only be imaginative but to have fun while I am doing it! 

Anyway, since the New Year IS right around the corner, I decided why delay on making good of my resolution!  We'll just start it out right!  So, tonight I re-listed one of the paper clay dolls on Ebay.  What the heck! A new year, beginning with a new moon, and a new attitude so why not?  

Stop by and wish her luck, cheer her on, and bid and take her home this week!  Add a new OOAK paper clay doll to your collection from The Pixie Knoll! 

Available this week is "Lorna"

"Lorna" on Ebay this week December 29 to January 5, 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

'Twas the night before Christmas....

and all through the house.... 

I'm still running around like a crazy fool trying to complete all I had wanted to do in time for Christmas!  Here it is, almost midnight and I am trying to finish my cookie baking.  Who, on earth, in their right mind is still baking cookies at this hour?  No doubt, it would be me!  But, boy, oh boy, don't they smell good!  Right now, the smell of Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookies is wafting through the air. Earlier, it was Coconut Jumbles and Honey Sandballs.   Next on the list are Chocolate Crinkles and good 'ole fashioned Sugar Cookies.  Yes, yes, it is true, while most of you out there have nestled down for your long winters naps in your kerchief and caps, I am here in the kitchen baking cookies for Santa.  LOL  I seriously must have my head examined.  What was I thinking to decide to bake cookies all day long on Christmas Eve.  *sigh* 

At any rate, I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and hope that Santa brings you all that you could hope for tomorrow.  But, most of all, I wish you love, peace and happiness and hope that your day is filled with the wonderful spirit of Christmas. 

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Keeping in the Spirit!

In the spirit of Christmas, I have decided to lower the prices on my 4 auctions. For those of you who have been kindly following on Ebay, you will notice the change of prices this morning.   It is my way of saying thank you for all of your kind support over the years.  Without all of you, I would not be where I am today doing what it is that I love to do best....and that is CREATING

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Additions to the store!

Good day everyone!  

I'm just dropping in here a brief moment to let all of you good folks know that the Etsy store is now brimming with OOAK Santa ornaments and a few good snowmen too!   I have been told by many that my Santa ornaments resemble and have a feel of the Old World/Victorian styled Santa.  So, if you fancy that type of Santa in your decorating, then pop on over to the shop and take a look!  Again, I apologize that it's a bit late in the month to be adding them in, but, given all the circumstances, I think most of you will understand a wee bit and forgive me.   At any rate, hopefully next year, I will have more of a selection of different types of ornaments up for offer, as I have some ideas for some new stuff laying in the back of my noggin.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with a sample of what you will find in the Etsy store.  I hope you will come and visit the store.  Just a reminder: I will combine shipping and I ship priority mail too so you should get them in time for Christmas if you purchase soon!

Ho! Ho! Ho!
OOAK Santa ornament

OOAK Snowmen ornament set

At any rate, while all of you are busy with your day, I should get busy with mine.  Today, I will work on a few more paper clay dolls....clothes and wigging!  I wonder how they will turn out and if they will be as cute as the first 4 dolls?  Check back soon to find out!
Have a great day folks!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's about time...finished pieces and works in progress!

Today, marks a week after my surgery and I have to tell of the most DIFFICULT tasks has been not to lift anything that is more than a pound.  Heck, I think the bath towel weighs a pound or even my coffee mug!  It is a weird feeling to go about feeling helpless all day long and to expect someone to sit on their laurels and to do nothing but sleep.  Admittedly, I could not sit idle for too long as all the thoughts of things unfinished kept creeping up in to my head.  Of course, that was bound to happen as all creative minds find it difficult to stay idle for too long.  Surely, I can not be the only one out there?  Can I?

Well, needless to say, since my mind was active, I decided I just had to do something to make the time pass.  Of course, I should be relishing every minute of the excuse of not having to do anything, but I suppose I just could not help myself.  So in between jaunts to dreamland (because Dr.'s orders were to get plenty of rest mind you) I decided it would be alright to sit up at a small folding table at the couch side and work on a few unfinished pieces to finally be done with them.

I finally finished up 4 of the paper clay dolls.  For not having worked in paper clay for so long, I think my end results were pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  I still have quite a bit more to finish and will probably have more finished up by the end of the week, but for now, I am happy to have a few completed.  In fact, I have already listed them up on ebay for a 5 day auction.  I normally list my items up for the full 7 day duration, but this time I figured just in case someone might be interested in one for a Christmas gift, by the time the auction ended, and with 2 day priority mail, it might....just MIGHT, make it just in time to fit under the Christmas tree.  At the very least, I thought someone could place a picture inside of a box and wrap it up with the "IOU" gift and show the recipient what they will be receiving.  *shrug*  Just a thought.  So anyway, here are the 4 OOAK paper clay dolls on Ebay this week.  All of these dolls measure about 6.5 inches in length and have dangle arms and dangle legs to give them a bit of movement.  And, I have to admit, as you can see by the last picture with all of them posed together, they look super cute displayed in a grouping!  









"Gabby, Libby, Lorna, Millie
--OOAK Paper Clay Dolls--

Now, at least this will give you an idea of what they look like!  They are all so unique and I think that is fabulous!   I will also leave you with another picture of some that I will be working on this week.  I can not guarantee they will all be finished this week, but I am hoping to have at least a couple of them finished up by the end of the week.  They look pretty darn funny without hair and clothes.  But, I think it is fun to see where they come from and what the end up looking like in the end once they are completed.  Now remember....bald is beautiful!  It's funny to think that the ones above were all like this not too long ago!
The Rest of the Paper Clay Gang!

I probably still have another 12-15 more of these paper clay dolls that are not this far completed yet.  So, rest assured, you will see more as the time goes on.

Speaking of things being completed.  I nearly forgot to post up a few pictures of the commissioned Santa's I recently finished for a couple of dear clients.  I still have one more Santa commission to complete, and he will also be in the same likeness as the original "Father Yule (The Holly King)".   But, since I have a bit of time as the client is a good friend of mine, he is in no hurry just yet.  He's such a good soul.  :-)   At any rate, here are the 2 Santa's I did manage to complete just before surgery.  The pictures are not the best, but they are good enough to get an idea of how they turned out.  Both clients were extremely pleased with their Santa's, and that made me very happy!
"Father Yule (the Holly King)"

"Father Yule (the Holly King)"

"The Mistletoe King"

"The Mistletoe King" 
 As the lore goes, The Mistletoe King resides over half of the year beginning with the summer solstice and the Holly King reigns over the winter solstice for the 2nd half of the year.  Each one killing off the other in order to reign over their perspective part of the year.  It is a fascinating tale and stems from Celtic mythology with pagan roots and I believe is pre-Christianity.

As always, I want to thank all of you for your patience in waiting for me to post up these pictures. I realize it might have seemed like forever in between post, but darn it if life doesn't seem to always get in the way!   At any rate, hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to add some Santa ornaments to the Etsy store. I've been told they have an old-world feel to them.  Just like always, pictures never do these pieces any justice, same holds true for the ornaments as well.  I'm not sure why, but it's not easy getting good pictures of ornaments...I think the light doesn't capture well on their eyes or something.  I just don't know.  LOL   But, either way, they will be listed for all to see.  Perhaps one might take a fancy to ya!  In the meantime, I'll check back with all of you later. And don't forget to check out my auctions and Etsy store for more additions coming soon!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Slow recovery

Have you ever noticed how everything seems to catch up to you all at once?  I would swear the second hand on the clock slipped away to no mans land in this past month and a half and left me stranded without a moments notice not knowing where all the time went too! 

Even though I had felt as if I had run out of time, I still managed to get quite a bit accomplished.  First, with the move to our new home....I nearly managed to get everything unpacked and in its proper place.  That is, with the exception of the studio.  I will admit that it is in somewhat of a "working" order, but there are still many things to be organized and put away before I am completely satisfied. 

Of course, too,  speaking of the house, there was that little matter of decorating for the holidays too!   Somehow I have managed to cook 1.5 Thanksgiving meals and have 3 Thanksgiving dinners as a result of all the cooking and family visits! Then, with the advent of Christmas, there was the real tree to be found at the Christmas tree farm and all of the lights to be hung outside!  Without a moment to spare, I managed to get the 7.5 foot tree decorated just in time.  In the meantime my poor hubby thought I was the Grinch, cracking the whip over the lights to be hung on the house, but truthfully, I think we were the last in the neighborhood to get ours up!  But in truth, we had a neighborhood Christmas party to attend so we wanted to be done by then.  Sadly, we didn't put up as many lights as we normally do, but it will have to suffice given the circumstances. 

At any rate, almost forgot to mention, we also had company come from Detroit.  It was my husband's great uncle whom I have never met; he stayed at my in-laws place.  We drove the hour two times yo visit with family....once to a small dance and the other night for a nice family dinner.  I have to say, Uncle Wally is a delightful man and I am glad to have had the opportunity to have met him on his rare vusit to Florida! 

So anyway, with the house put away and decorated almost to the hilt for Christmas, I still managed ti finish up 4 of the paper clay dolls...except for their wings, and another 8 are ready for clothing, hsir and wings too!   I will take pictures of the finished ones soon.  I also managed to finish up both Santa commissions as well and am very happy to say thst the new I owners were VERY pleased with them.  I also have pictures of them to share but unfortunately they are on my pc and not my tablet.   Maybe in a few days I will post them up along with some of the paper clay dolls.

Now with all that completed, I still found the time to make my Artist Garden Party Black Friday appearance too.  I met many wonderful people, had a lot of fun and enjoyed the view of Lake Dora and the fresh air,  but did not make any money.  So back to being a starving artist. Haha.

Now, through the course of ALL if this going on, I was scheduled for surgery too!  So I spent the last month running to and from Dr.s offices and surgical prep.  Yesterday, as many of you know already, I went in for a hysterectomy.  The surgery went well and I am already back at home nestled up on the couch enjoying my pain pills and the twikling lights on my Christmas tree!  Oh and the lights outside the window too, can't forget those! 

All in all, its been an extremely busy month to say the least.  I wanted to thank all of you for you patience, support, kindness and love while I have been dealing with many life changes recently, not only for me but my family as well.  With luck, this new year will be more relaxed and see many more creations completed by me.  In the meantime, I am gonna take one day at a time to heal up from the surgery!  Maybe I will find some spare energy to get a few pictures taken and list the new items up on Etsy.  But please, bare with me if you don't see them there right away.

Anyway, as always, thanks for following along here at The Pixie Knoll! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Some progress is better than no progress....

That is to say, that today, I finally was able to snag some free-time and take care of the business side of The Pixie Knoll.  Of course, that meant, all work and no play for the pixies in question!  In other words, I spent nearly my entire day updating and loading up items into my Etsy store!  I'm still not completed with listing all my items; I have the Santa ornaments and a few more dolls to go, but, suffice to say that there are plenty of items to gander at in the store now, enough to keep one entertained for a little while anyway.  :-)   Here is a link to the Etsy store 

Speaking of progress, I'm getting closer to having nearly everything in its place in my new home and the studio is nearly in a workable condition with the exception of a big pile of debris in the middle of the floor that I still need to take care of.   Not to mention the few more boxes to unload of "stuff" that contributes to the mess in the studio.  And, of course, after you dump everything out of said boxes, you have yet another pile of debris that needs to find a temporary home.  I say temporary because as you all know, when it comes to sorting things out, you will probably change your mind on the destination of said item a few times until you find the right workable spot for each item! 

At any rate, I'm seriously craving some artistic work time and if I don't fill this need soon, I feel like I'm gonna burst at the seams!  Aside from the few commissions I need to complete, I still have laying on my work bench all those life-less paper clay dolls that keep screaming for some color and personality to bring them to life!  Suffice to say, I will be EXTREMELY busy over the next few weeks trying to get caught up on everything.  No rest for the wicked I suppose.  :-D 

On a side note, for you local folks in my area, I will once again be displaying my art dolls in an Artist's Garden Party on Black Friday.  I am still not sure if it is for the entire weekend, but it is definitely taking place for the Black Friday.  Once I know if it is for the entire weekend, I'll be sure to post an update for all to see.  But, I will say this, the early bird catches the worm!  So keep that in mind.  The location, date, time of the Artist Garden Party is:

November 29, 20139 a.m. til about 4 p.m.   
32850 Lakeshore Dr. Tavares, FL (On Lake Dora) 
So, if you are in the area, and still looking for something artistically unique for that special someone, please stop by and take a look.  Perhaps you might find the perfect gift!

Anyway, I think it is time to go and rest these weary bones for the evening.  Perhaps I'll have some pictures to show you VERY soon! 

As always, thanks for following me here at The Pixie Knoll!  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Quick Update....

This is only a brief update to let all of you good people know that I am still in the middle of the "moving" process.  So bare with me while I finish settling into my new humble abode.  :-)

In the course of the move, my computer decided to crash on me about a week ago and I have been unable to make any updates to my website, Etsy store or my blog until now.  Unfortunately, that did not allow me to give you any exciting news, but, hopefully soon, we'll be back on track again.

The Mount Dora Craft Festival has now come and gone and I am pleased to say that I met many interesting people and made some new friends!  There were many people interested in pieces that I had displayed on the table; some of you I know are waiting on me to load them up into my Etsy store.  I have not forgotten about you nor my promises to load up the store with goodies.  Again, bare with me and very soon you will have many things to pick and chose from.  :-)   Thanks to all of you who stopped by my table at the festival event and for those of you who made purchases.  Without your kind hearts taking an interest in my work, I would not be able to continue to do what I love to do most of all...create.  Besides that, it is always good to meet new faces and make new friends, as well as see all of my old friends too!  Thank you all for making my day special at the event! 

At any rate, speaking of goodies....I have not forgotten about all the new pieces I am "supposed" to be working on.  I still have a ton of those cute little paper clay dolls laying about that I need to work well as a few special "Christmas" related commissions to finish up too.  As soon as I'm a bit more settled in and have some workable space in the new studio (and can find my paper, fabrics, trims and doo-dads), you will see quite a few projects being completed at what will probably seem like all at once!  So here's your warning now...get prepared to hold on to your britches because we are gonna hit the floor running VERY soon!  I am sure there will be something for everyone once I'm caught up.  :-D 

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in here and thank all of you for your patience during my relocation.  I realize it probably seems like it is taking forever, and believe me when I say I have to agree with you there.  But, very soon, things will be back to normal, and 100% better.  :-)  So hold on to those horses just a wee bit longer and soon we'll all be back in the races once again!

As always, thanks for following along with me here at The Pixie Knoll! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A quick tidbit!

Hello everyone! I am popping in here to let you know that I have not disappeared again.  :-) 

In fact I have been extremely busy over the last couple of weeks.  It is true, I have been busy working on the paper clay figures and have made great progress on them.  I think I have 15 of them sculpted out of the 25 heads I had created!  Half of them have been sanded and are near ready for the painting and clothing process.  Yay!  Unfortunately, I don't have progress pics of those just yet.  So, please bare with me on that!

The other thing that I've been busy doing is packing.  Yes, that is right!  We finally closed on our dream home and I will have a real studio space to work in!  It goes without saying that I am extremely happy and excited about my new home.  Over the past week, we have been busy trying to paint the inside and do some minor repairs before we physically move in.  All that we have left to do with the painting is a room and then the baseboards and the ceiling.  Yeah, I know, the ceilings should have been painted first.  I don't know what happened there, but suffice to say that I just got so excited that I couldn't help but to start painting.  LOL   At any rate, hopefully, if everything goes as planned, we will start to move in over this coming weekend.  And, then, we can slowly start unpacking everything.  I say slowly, because I do have to try to finish up some of these paper clay dolls by this upcoming weekend for the Mount Dora Craft Festival!  

Speaking of which, I wanted to leave the location I will be at during the festival.  I will be there only for one day, that Saturday, the 26th.  

The address location so you can GPS find me if you need to.  It is about a block off of the beaten path in the festival and will be inside of the church building.   There will be food inside, a nice bathroom, and if it is hot outside, there will be air conditioning there too!  So stop by and take a peek around at all the fine crafts located inside.  

First Presbyterian Church
222 West Sixth Avenue
Mount Dora, Florida 32757

Anyway, I need to go for the time being and get some more painting done so I can actually move in this weekend.  :-)  In the meantime, I'll leave a quick picture of the new home! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

2013 Colliii Awards Announcement today......

Today was the big day that we all have been waiting patiently to come along.  That big day where Colliii Awards out of Germany announced the winners in their annual competition.  The competition was stiff and there were MANY fabulous entries, and many yet, whom I felt also deserved nominations that were overlooked this year.  Those that won, are true winners, deserving of their awards.   It is always bitter sweet the competition among friends.  It can be tough to compete against your peers as there are SOOOOOO many talented doll artist out there in the world!   But in truth, I would rather lose to my friends who I consider equals and in many cases better than I am in my craft.  They are deserving winners and I am pleased that my friends have won awards in the Colliii competition.  It is indeed a very prestigious, world-wide competition and I am happy for their accomplishments.   My friends who know me, know that I speak from my heart when I say that I am truly, very happy for their achievement.  They know that I am VERY proud of each and every one of them.  xoxo  

But, again, I say it is bitter sweet.  I do not intend to come across as a sore loser nor am I trying to be childish in any way.  I am sure that it will probably appear that way.  As it is, perhaps today, I have marked myself as a Black Sheep within the Colliii doll community.  The albatross.  Only time will tell where the matter is concerned.  But sometimes, you have to speak up for yourself and for all of the other doll artist who follow the rules in competition.  Sometimes a single person has to speak up where others will walk away carrying only the thoughts of "wanting" to speak their minds and are afraid to do so for fear of the wrath that may fall upon them.  

Now, don't get me wrong here, I do not believe it was the fault of the entrant into the competition because dealing with so many different languages and peoples from around the world, it is easy for the wording in the "rules of the competition" to be confusing; especially when so many languages are involved.  Albeit, I have to assume that the rules are posted in each possible language though, so truly, there should be minimal confusion where the rules are concerned.  Also, if something is allowed in one portion of the competition, then perhaps it should be allowed in the other portion of the competition.  Regardless of this fact, the rules were still the rules, written in black and white for all the world to see. 

For those in question, here are the rules as posted on the Colliii site for the OOAK or one of a kind entries:

at 1.) One of a kind (OOAK)
This award is for all dolls that have been hand modelled and either oven or air hardened and are in the following sub catergories.
  1. Newborn: a realistic reproduction of a new born baby up to 1 month.
  2. Baby: a realistic reproduction of a baby age 1-3 months.
  3. Toddler: a realistic reproduction of a baby age 3-24 months.
  4. Human: a realistic reproduction of a human, inc children. The sculpts have to be 70cm and larger. 
  5. Fantasy figure: a reproduction of a fantasy figure (incl elf, fairy and mythical figures. These figures have to resemble human like beings and not animals or inanimate objects)
  6. Mini Babys: a realistic reproduction of a new born baby, reproduced with a maximum size of 35cm.
  7. Mini Humans: a realistic reproduction of a human with a maximum size of 60cm.
  8. Mini-Fantasy figure: a reproduction of a fantasy figure (incl elf, fairy and mythical figures These figures have to resemble human like beings) with a maximum size of 35cm.
The portion that is in question in particular is item #5.  It clearly states that "These figures have to resemble human like beings and not animals or inanimate objects".   The problem with this rule is the winner in this particular category was a "puppy dog".  Granted, it is being held in the palm of a "human" hand, BUT that human hand is a "real person's hand" used in aiding the display of the figure and NOT part of the sculpture!  The "dog" was the figure that won that portion of the competition.   This is what has me and some other doll artist who also entered the competition a little perturbed.  Now, with that being said, again, I do not believe it was the fault of the artist who created this wonderful and cute creation of a puppy.  However, I do believe it is the fault of the Colliii staff to have permitted this as an entry into the category from the VERY beginning of the competition.  The Colliii staff is well aware of  their own rule system and should NEVER have allowed this entry into that category of the competition to begin with.  Realizing that this artist also received a double nomination for their work, both pieces I might add were "puppy dogs" and most likely entered into the same category, is a wonderful accomplishment for this artist. I do not wish to take that from them at all.  They earned their nominations rightly through the public voting.  But in truthfulness and in fairness by the rules, it should not have even had the opportunity to have even received the nominations.  To deepen the blow further, this figure has now won in this particular category and this has me a little dumb-founded based on what the rules clearly state for the category in question.  

Now, I will also take into consideration that there was a recent and sudden death within the Colliii staff.  And for those individuals that are dealing with a loss I am truly very sorry as I know what is to lose a loved one suddenly as my oldest son committed suicide a few years ago.  It is devastating, heart-wrenching, and knocks the wind out of your sails and floor from under your feet.  To those individuals, my heart hurts for them, and I am sorry.  I do pray for their comfort in dealing with their loss.  Whether the loss within the Colliii family deterred their focus of the rules, I do not know.  Again, I am sorry for the loss they are currently dealing with at Colliii. 

Granted we all work hard creating the things we love.  And for the artist who did win in this category of the competition, Congratulations to you.  By no means do I wish to rain on your parade.  But, leave it to me to be the old fuddy duddy and stickler for the rules and all that is in fairness, I can not sit here and not speak my mind.  For too long, I was one of those people who walked away carrying the thoughts in my mind, wishing I had enough guts to speak out and say what others should be voicing as well.  The rules are the rules.  That is all that there is to it.  I followed the rules like all of the other OOAK doll artist.  I was judged by my peers and governed by the judges rule.  So, why is it that the rules were not followed the staff at Colliii?   I would love to have an explanation from them, but I doubt it will ever happen. 

Perhaps, Colliii should consider creating a NEW category for animals.  A category that ONLY contains animals and nothing but animals.  This way there is no confusion of the rules, no matter WHAT language is spoken.   This is merely a suggestion that a good friend of mine brought up just this morning after seeing the results at Colliii.  I happen to think it is a marvelous idea that the staff at Colliii should consider in their future competitions.

I also realize you can't win every competition out there, nor can you win every single battle, whether it is a righteous one or not, regardless of the rules, sometimes we lose and the good guy doesn't always come first.  Regardless of what the outcome may be in this situation,  I do not know, but I do know what fairness is.  Whether my pieces would have won or not, that is not the question or the argument here as there were MANY wonderful entries that were just as deserving of this fine award by artist who did FOLLOW the rules as stated by Colliii.   I simply wish that Colliii would recognize their error and correct it accordingly for all of those artist who did participate in their competition.  At the very least give an explanation or apology to all parties affected. 

I apologize for this long rant and raving about the results from the Colliii Awards competition. Sometimes things need to be said, even if they are not comfortable speaking, hearing, or reading for that matter.  It was something I felt I had to say, and I did it. 

However, I am thankful AND grateful for my double nomination for my pieces that I entered into the competition, "Father Yule" and "Cricket".   Without all of you out there who took the time to vote,  I would not have received my nominations.  I thank you for your support in my artistic endeavor. You are all truly wonderful. 

Again, here are my three entries into the competition.  I thank everyone who voted for my pieces. Without you, it is not possible.  Thank you!  

In order of appearance:
                                                                      "Carrot Top"


"Father Yule"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mixing things up a bit...

It's true.  I thought I would step outside of my comfort zone and mix things up a little.  Why not?  Who says we have to conform to the same old stuff all of the time?  Besides, doing something different can get the creative juices flowing when you feel a little stagnant.  Not that I've been stagnant per say because I have a TON of ideas lingering in my noggin, but, I guess I just have an itch to try something DIFFERENT!  And so, in the spirit of creativity, I thought I would let my muse out of her box and have a little off-road adventure!  And, so, here we are, right smack dab in the middle of a massive project wondering where my muse is going to take me on this little escapade.  Only time will tell, though I can hear her whispering constantly in my ear.  Sometimes, I swear, she never shuts up!  LOL

At any rate, I decided to re-approach the paper clay medium.  I've tried using paper clays in the past, here and there, with different brands and on different types of projects.  No matter what it was I was trying to do, I just couldn't develop a love for the medium, and so, it fell to the way side.  And, so, I stuck with my go-to favorite medium polymer clay.  Don't get me wrong, just because I'm trying something new, does not mean I am giving up polymer clay.   No way!  Me and polymer clay have a pretty good understanding of each other and so we'll keep it that way!  But, just for fun and creativity, I thought I would give paper clay another look.  Especially since the last time I used the medium, it was my first attempt sculpting with ANY type of clay, and my sculpting skills were,( putting gently), quite terrible!  It is probably safe to assume that I did not really give the paper clay medium a fair shake.  :-P

Either way, here we are, using paper clay!  At the moment, I have Premier brand paper clay.  I admit, when I first opened up the package, I thought how incredibly light weight this product is as compared to what I remembered of the medium in my past usage.  Of course, keeping in mind that different brands have different consistencies, this is indeed still lighter once dried than say Creative Paper Clay...from what I can remember.  The other thing I will say is this: you definitely have to find the consistency that works for your sculpting style.  If I add just a wee bit too much water, it's slimy!  I don't quite care for the sliminess.  Bleh!  And, too, it is a VERY soft clay to work with.  Since I've been using polymer clay for many years now, it is a strange feeling using a different medium, especially something that is so soft and light weight in comparison to that of polymer clay.  It takes a bit of getting used to at first.  But, since I was determined to give this a fair shake, I stuck it out and I have discovered what works for me while using this product.  So, if I don't add "too" much water to my clay, and if I let it dry up to a certain firmness, I have found it quite workable.  Not only that, but once it is dried, it is like a feather compared to a finished polymer clay piece.  I admit, I like that key factor a lot!  

Unfortunately, I ran out of my package of Premier paper clay and needed more to finish my project. So, this time around, I thought I would try a different brand to compare the consistency, drying times, etc.  So, the next package I picked up was DAS paper clay.  Well, first thing that comes to mind is THE SMELL!!   I'm sure there are those out there that LOVED sniffing glue in elementary school, but, I must not have been one of those kids because let me tell you something, OMG that stuff made me sick just smelling it.  Perhaps some of you might like the strong odor that permeates from this clay, but for me?  Let's just suffice in saying that I tried using it for as long as I could possibly stand it and had to go out and buy another package of clay!  Like most artist on a budget, I hate wasting money on products that I end up not using, but, I just could not stand the smell.  It was THAT bad to me.  Aside from the smell, it was also a lot lumpier than the Premier clay.  So, guess what the replacement package was?  You got it....Premier paper clay.  

So, I stocked up on another couple of packages of paper clay, and once again, I was off and running with  my new project!  Currently, I have 12 heads sculpted and sanded.  There are a couple that need ears, but, for the most part they are completed aside from their painting and other details of course.   I also have another 12 heads that are 1/2 sculpted, giving me 24 pixie/fairy styled dolls in paper clay coming soon!  And, since I am are in the mood for "different"  these will not be like most of the dolls I have created to date.  They will, indeed be just a little different than my normal art doll creations.  My hopes is to have all 24 dolls completed by the end of October for the Annual Mount Dora Craft festival that I participate in each year with my dolls.  I will be posting dates of the festival soon so that the local collectors can come and visit me.

At any rate, if these new paper clay dolls go over well, I just might start adding these into my doll creations.  You will have to let me know what you think of them once they are completed.  In the meantime,  I have tons more work to do if I am going to have all 24 finished by the end of October!  Talk about a hefty goal!!

Here is a sampling of the first 12 heads.  As you can see, they are still very much like the pixies I typically sculpt except these are in paper clay.  Let me know what you think of them so far.  Sorry for the picture quality, but, the photos are good enough to give you and idea what they look like so far at this stage in the creative process.  Thanks for taking a look! Your feedback is ALWAYS welcomed!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Unfortunate turn of events for unlucky doll artists....

As the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end", and so must it be with the IDEX Orlando 2014 show.   According to their article post today on their website,  sounds like it will be a permanent closing.  This is indeed a very sad turn of events for both doll artists and collectors alike who have been long-time patrons to the show every year in it's running of 22 years.  The IDEX show has been "the premier" show for doll artist to date.  Anybody who was anyone in the doll world would showcase their hard works of beautiful dolls and wonderful styles each year; bringing something new and exciting for the world to see.  In fact, there were doll artist from all over the world showing their wears.  It was a HUGE exposition!

Speaking for myself,  I used to attend the show each year as a "collector" years before I became a participating doll artist in the show itself showing my work with the group of the International Art Doll Registry.  In my first years of attending the show as a collector, I was AMAZED at all of the booths to see of wonderful and creative styles of dolls.   Prior to my attending the show, like most people who think of dolls, I would immediately think of a "Barbie" doll or one of those rubber play dolls you see little girls playing house with.  This was my imagery of a "doll" when someone mentioned a "doll".  The IDEX show was a real eye-opener for me and many others too I'm sure.  There were so many styles of dolls that it really broadened my viewpoint of what a doll figure should/could be.  Dolls were not necessarily play toys for little girl's to brush their hair and feed a bottle too in the world of make-believe.  In fact, most of the dolls shown at IDEX were meant for collecting, these were works of art!  Of course, there were some baby dolls and dolls similar to the classical "Barbie" as we know her in our minds, also called the "fashion" doll.  But there were other dolls that fed my imagination as an adult.  Which, as a creative person, led me to want to try my hand at creating something more than a simple rag doll for play.  And, so, attending the shows at IDEX helped to open the door way and encouraged me to create the types of things that I create as a doll artist today.  I realized that dolls were not just play items, but, works of art.  And, THAT, was right up my alley!  

At any rate, over the last few years of attending the show as a participating artist, I had noticed the decline in the collector base at the shows as well as the artists' attendance.  It was very sad to come from a showroom that was so large I felt as if I could not see it all in a single day down to a decreased venue size and seeing the entire show in a few hours.  Before, it was elbow to elbow and you had to wait to see many of the dolls up close to get a good look; and the last show it was like living in a valley with the closest neighbor being 10 miles from you.  A HUGE change.  I am sure, the economy played a large role in this downfall and you can either sink...or swim.  I guess IDEX swam for as long as it could stay afloat, but it's little rubber arm floaties finally got a hole in them and it sank...much like I thought was going to happen in the future.  :( 

Now, with my eyes wide-opened to the world of doll artistry, it seems that one door is closing in this chapter of my life.  No more IDEX shows to participate in, unless, of course, they decide to re-open the event at a later date, which could be a possibility when the economy begins to pick back up.  In the meantime, you know the old cliche` "when one door closes another one opens", and so, I'm not going to get depressed over this turn of unfortunate events.  Nope!  Not gonna happen.  Instead, I'm going to consider this as one chapter of the book might be over, but I am ready to read the next chapter to see where my new adventures will take me and my little pixies in the knoll.  That's right!  I'm not done yet and neither are these pesky pixies!  

In fact, there is hope on the horizon!  This past year, I had the pleasure of attending the Quinlan Doll and Teddy Bear convention in Philadelphia, Pa!  It is still a relatively new show (only showing 3 years now) and probably has more teddy bear artist than doll artist as of the last show, BUT, more and more doll artist are learning about this great event and want to participate in the convention.  The super nice thing about this convention is the fact that ALL of the pieces in the show are ONE-OF-A-KIND!   That's right! No 2 pieces are alike.  If you are a collector, this is the show to be at!   I will say, last year was my first experience participating in the show or visiting the show.  Let me tell you something....I had a BLAST!!  The Quinlan's did a great job of making sure there was something for everyone.  So, if you are feeling discouraged over the closing of the IDEX show....I say, don't be.  If you are a collector looking for a new, exciting and a fresh atmosphere of one-of-a-kind doll and teddy bear work, then I say this is the place to be!  Mark my words, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Quinlan show is the next PREMIER show for doll artist.   Check it will not be disappointed!   Here is a link about the convention for 2014!  Let me know what you think.  I'd be interested in hearing your input.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's been an uphill battle all day long....

But, I think I might have this mess finally figured out!

It started out many moons ago with having no access to my "old" blog due to the changes that Google made some time ago. Whether it was because I could not remember my password, (humble frailty of the mind you might say), or just a bunch of gremlins playing games in my computer hardware, either way, I was only able to access it "once" to create a wonderful post with a great promise to seriously start attending my blog!

Well, as you all very well know, that last post made me look like a naughty pixie who had fallen ill on their word! But to save face, I truly tried to keep updates running in a "blog-style" format on my website in the tab of "adventures in the knoll". For those of you who would like a detailed history of the recent past events, just head on over there and take a gander of all that has been going on of late. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised at all the events that have taken place since my absence here in bloglandia!

At any rate, back to the troubles with the blog! Since I had no access to the "old" blog, I ended up with the creation of a 2nd blog. Unfortunately, the bad news is that I have not yet figured out how to "delete" the "newer" blog, but, the GOOD news is that the "old" one is now up and running with a new face lift! LOL

So, if, by some odd chance you end up on a page about The Pixie Knoll, and it looks identical to this one, except it only has one post, don't panic! You are not entirely in the "wrong" place per say, just a step off of the beaten path. :-D If that should happen before I can solve this atrocity, hopefully, you will have realized something was afoot, and you headed off the path less traveled in search for the "real" Pixie Knoll.

In the meantime, I will continue to try to figure out how to rid myself of the "newer" blog. Which, of course, will probably result in contacting Google to solve this problem. Either way, the "newer" blog has to be deleted out some how so that only one blog is in existence, otherwise, we will have utter confusion. And to think, I thought pixies were the only mischievous characters around this place!