Saturday, July 31, 2010

Open the July 31rst EHAG Emporium!

   Thank you for stopping by to have a look at my July EHAG Emporium offering! She is the Sweetheart of the Vaudeville Stage and goes by the name of Katze Von Sterner. You should see her songs and dances when she takes a turn in the glow of the footlights! No one does a better version of  "Oh, By Jingo" or "Mistress Mumbo Jumbo." Of course, no STAR of the stage would be much of anything, without a spectacular costume. Katze is dressed in one of her favorites which includes a star headdress of glittering gold trimmed with a soft black fringe (her head fits right through it) and a frothy frock made entirely of antique Dennison crepe paper. For more playful fun and to create the illusion of a stage setting,  Miss Katze arrives with tri-fold screen that includes "scrim" panels with applied gold stars and lots of frivolous gold braid trim. Katze Von Sterner stands 7.25" tall and again, her screen is included. Item is Sold... Thank You, B. Paypal (with id is
preferred, but other payment options may be considered. Please email me at to check availability and don't forget to see all
the other fine offerings from the EHAG artists.

Sweetheart of the Vaudeville, Katze Von Sterner

Katze Von Sterner in her stage setting

Detail of Katze's headdress,
Her head fits right through!

Close-up of Katze's dear little face

Details of dress
All antique Dennison crepe paper

A parting shot of Katze Von Sterner
Best Wishes!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thoughts on Crepe Paper

   Wow, what an exciting title, huh?! Well, if that title caught your attention, we are kindred spirits! We must be either interested in the media of a gentler era or a little nuts! Either way, I'm glad you paused to have a look. Anyone who is into the doll making and/or decorative arts knows working with crepe paper is mostly a labor of love....

   You may be asking yourself why I am currently preoccupied with crepe paper. I don't want to say too much at this point, but  it will make complete sense upon the opening of the July 31rst EHAG Emporium. Aside from this, I do have to say that I adore the old fashioned charm of crepe paper. It was invented in the late nineteenth century and seems to have had a golden age in the years 1900 to 1930. During these years, it seems the Dennison company of Framingham, Massachusetts reigned supreme in the manufacture of crepe paper. Dennison published little booklets packed with wonderful illustrations and instructions for creating a wide variety of items with their product. Two of these little books, published in 1925, are pictured above. Costumes and flowers in crepe paper are quite reasonable. But can you imagine lampshades, bed spreads, or everday hats? I've actually seen these instructions in my studies. Dolls were also a natural conclusion when working in this medium. I am fortunate enough to have a set of old Dennison paper dolls with crepe paper costumes and a German bisque Christmas doll dressed in holly patterned crepe paper.
    With regards to dolls, after seeing some of the old doll costuming and the Dennison costume books, I could not resist trying to make my own interpretations. I've done this for a few years, here and there, on my dolls. Modern crepe paper can be found by a few different makers. However, I must warn you that the quality is less than favorable. Modern crepe paper has no where near the strength of the old stuff. Expect to tear some part of the costume, just when you are thinking completion is almost at hand! When I have been able, I snatch-up vintage crepe paper. I've been lucky enough to find it on more than a few occasions. I recently used the orange (or amber, as it is labeled on the packaging) on a doll
(HINT-HINT). This vintage crepe paper is like a work with. It has the
quality and strength of muslin and on this last project, not one piece of my pattern was torn.
     I will end this post here.  Again, I don't want to say too much and let the cat (HINT-HINT) out of the bag! Please remember JULY 31rst,  9:00PM EST... that's when the many talented artists of the EHAG Emporium will be unveiling their latest work. Oh, and do stop by the Emporium now and sign up for a chance to win three fabulous door prizes!

Best Wishes to You!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Open the Art Dolls Only Challenge!

  "... In another moment down went Alice after the white rabbit, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again..."

I see you've tumbled down the rabbit hole and joined in the fun of the Art Dolls Only "Alice challenge!" Well, do step in! Thank you for coming to have a look at my Wonderland offering. If you have an interest in my piece, "A Grin Without a Cat," ITEM  IS SOLD....THANK YOU, N. !

"... Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life..."

  Here is little Alice discovering the Cheshire Cat. Alice, the Cheshire Cat, and the base are all original sculpts in paperclay. Alice is dressed in delicate periwinkle China silk with silk ribbon accents and a pinafore of muslin trimmed with antique lace. The "cat's grin" floats above the stump  in a trail of eerie ectoplasm. Please note the smiling black-eyed Susans. They are on their best behavior, as they hesitate at the idea of being plucked! Over-all size is 7.5" tall by 5.25" wide. Alice is completely removeable from the base, for ease of shipping and/or storage.

Alice, slightly closer
Alice's pinafore with antique lace trim
Alice in close-up
The most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!
Please don't pluck us!   Click ADO logo in right margin to see other artists' work. Best Wishes to You!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

An Inspiration for Alice

On July 9th, the online organization Art Dolls Only is holding an exhibit with works inspired by Alice in Wonderland. I will be participating in this event and my "Alice creation" will be published on this blog Thursday, July 8th at 9:00 pm EST. For more information about the Art Dolls Only organization, the Alice in Wonderland event, and to see other artists' work, please click on the ADO logo in the right hand margin.

Please scroll down to see where the ideas for my Alice piece began.... 

In a dirty old garage, there once was a book...

  A few years ago, I found myself helping my sister and brother-in-law clean out a dirty old garage. It was piled high with the debris of a recently deceased woman's life. How sad it seemed. There were boxes and boxes of what were probably this woman's cherished mementos. Unfortunately, no children or relatives were to be found to gather-up and care for these bits and pieces of the dead woman's life.

  Of course, there was little time to dwell on the facts and sadness of the situation before us. There was a full garage, a dumpster, and time limitations. So, we got  to work with the clearing. As we worked at the chore, lovely little bits of what was once a happy life kept coming to the surface. Before I knew it, I had a pile of odds and ends that simply could not be destined for the dump. My pile consisted mostly of old photographs and children's books... two things I cannot bare to see thrown away! I noticed an old copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in amongst the books.  At the time, I supposed this was a typical early 20th century edition with some of the typical illustrations. In a few words, nothing special.

   About a year later, I was researching in my collection of children's books when I again came across the old copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. My initial impression of this book was certainly a mistake. Upon further inspection, this is quite a magical little book. On the first page is written Charlotte Reardon, Xmas 1920. Charlotte was the mother of the woman whose personal effects were in the garage. Why Charlotte, as a grown woman, had a copy of this child's book is a mystery, but I guess it's not a situation that would be completely out of the question. The real excitement came at the title page of the book. Here, I found that this book was illustrated with "scenes from the photoplay produced and copyrighted by the Nonpareil Feature Film Corp." What a pleasant surprise! Not only is this book illustrated with photos of an old movie production, it is PROFUSELY illustrated! The photos show a production that was so witty, yet naive, that one can't help but to smile. When I say naive, I mean a lot of papier mache, painted wood and cardboard, and make-do costumes. There is definitely a  "grade school pageant" quality, but it is utterly charming.

Inscription   Charlotte Reardon, Xmas 1920

Title Page  Nonpareil Feature Film Corp.

Viola Savoy in starring role of Alice

  I have hesitated for some time when thinking of doing an Alice in Wonderland creation. There have been so many attempts and incredible resolutions with this theme, I just could not motivate myself. But, upon the discovery of this little old book, I have found inspiration! Please come back on July 8th to see what my efforts have brought forth. I am thrilled with the results and I hope you will be, too!

Best Wishes.....