Shelf Elf SkyGirls
I had time to complete only 4 Shelf Elf SkyGirls. I love this idea of the Shelf Elf. In case you haven’t heard of this idea before: A shelf elf sits on the shelf or your Christmas mantle and keeps tabs on the kids behavior. When the kids are asleep, the shelf elf checks in with Santa to tell if the kids were naughty or nice that day.
Two dolls are listed at Quilt & Fiber Arts on Etsy. The other two are at the Gallery on High in Pottstown, PA.
Designing and Sewing
at The Gallery School went great! All of the girls decided to be a princess of some kind.
We started by coming up with a general idea of the design and made simple patterns. Then we raided the donated fabric stash and found some great satins to work with among other goodies.
We made dresses with princess puff sleeves, long dramatic bell sleeves, princess bodices, sashes, capes and treat bags.
It’s been a bit challenging using donated machines because only one is reliable. I spent a lot of time trouble shooting, tension adjusting, cleaning, and re-threading machines. Because each is different and range from a few years old to at least 30 years, the kids got confused with different ways of threading. Right now, this is what we have to work with.
The great part is that they don’t even get phased by the machine issues! They just love to sew! They were very proud of the work they completed and I must say that they really did do amazing work.
I’m planning for the next round of classes in January or February 2012.
A new batch of SkyGirls
I’m happy to say I finally finished another 9 dolls and 6 of them are listed at my Etsy Shop: Quilt & Fiber Arts. The other 3 will be going to the gift shop at the Gallery on High in Pottstown, PA.
There is so much to do for Christmas inventory! Monsters, Sketch Book with cover and handles (like the book bag), a quilt or two that needs finishing and my latest experiment: a kimono jacket. … among other things that will surely find a way into the shop.
Kids Sewing Club News:
We had our first kids sewing session this past summer. There were 5 girls signed up from the ages 8 to 14 years old. We struggled with donated sewing machines that were out of shape and out of date. I did my best to clean them up but they need to be replaced. I’m working on getting donations from a sewing machine dealer and maybe even maintenance. The Gallery School is a nonprofit organization so there isn’t any money for this investment.
That said, we made it work. The girls needed to learn all of the basics and got a lot of good work done. I was so proud of the determination they showed. But most importantly, they really had fun.
The oldest girl, Tessa, has picked up everything very quickly and became my assistant!
We are halfway through the Halloween Costume Sewing session. This time there are 3 girls. So far they learned how to make a pattern, make a neck facing and sewed in a zipper. The next 2 weeks will be all about embellishing! All three are making a variation of a princess.
12” x 12”
As with all of the Thought Processes quilts, the background is patchwork of random fabrics, gold thread and yellow curved pieces. The flowers started out as red silk circles and then I “thread painted” using rayon and metallic threads.
There is much to do and I hope to be able to take some time off during the holidays- except for shipping orders, of course!
Thanks for stopping by!
There is a little girl in OK who is patiently awaiting her very own SkyGirl. Audrianna suffers from a rare syndrome called Prader-Willi Syndrome. Her mom tells me she’s a doll collector and I wanted to send her one just because I can.
The orangey doll is showing her back with the stamped heart with wings design. Inside the heart I used a sharpie to write:
SkyGirl, the doll’s name, and year. I also signed the doll.
On her chest is a red glittery heart.
I made several dresses today because I couldn’t decide on the fabrics I wanted to use. It occurred to me that I could sell extra dresses separately! I’d have to figure out the cost but it would certainly be rather inexpensive.
The other idea I had, which I need to look into further, is to donate dolls to Children’s Hospitals. Particularly St. Christopher’s in Phila. because I was a patient there when I was 6 years old. Now, I don’t think I could supply hundreds… But what if it was a “you buy one, I’ll donate one” kind of deal? Or gather members of Philly Handmade to pool together on this idea? It needs some more thought and brainstorming. But this would be a great community gift.
While working on her doll, and some others, I had the idea of making a stamp label!
I just use a cheap Speedball stamp carver I picked up at Michael’s Craft’s store for about $5. I got the carving materials you see here at Dick Blick. It’s a very soft material that reminds me of an eraser. Carves like butta! From one of the small cut-away pieces, I made a tiny heart with SG in the center.
Stamp carving is one of those things I adore doing. It’s just fabulous to have your very own originals for fabric design and now as a face template and the base for labels for my dolls.
The past week was way long and I didn’t get a lot of work done. Today I am recharged and it feels great to be back in the studio!
Have a great week!!
SkyGirls are characters I first created in illustrations in 2001. I had been having crazy nightmares and dreams that seemed to continue every night for almost a month. There was a theme of exploring a mansion, meeting people from the deep past and these stray children running around like ghosts. Eventually I was in a position to save them from a ominous force that terrified me. That’s when I drew these girls in various situations in the dreams. After about 8 to 10 illustrations, the dreams stopped.
I started making the dolls in 2007. A SkyGirl doll is meant to be like a totem. A reminder of the strength of feminity; a balance between girly-girl and tomboy.
When I put them up on Etsy I was commissioned to design “Hannah” for a very sweet woman from Maryland.
Each doll has long yarn hair, a distinctive jumper dress with a zigzag hem, heirloom stitched blouse, long hand painted striped legs, and cute boots. If you look under her dress, you’ll see she’s wearing bloomers! She even has wired limbs and button joints on her shoulders and thighs for posing.
Each doll has a custom made stand with her name and birthday painted on it.
23” tall with stand.
For a custom doll, client can specify colors, hobbies, expression, wired or unwired, or whatever other characteristics make the doll personal.
Miniature dolls will coming soon to my Etsy store.
All artwork, images and text © 2011 Barbara Zuazua.
Please contact me for permission to use.
Posted in art doll, design process
Tagged alien, collectible, colorful, custom made, doll, gift, girl, hand made, original design, qirky, soft sculpture