Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fancy Egypt!

Last night was the big fancy Egyptian Event at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis for the opening of two new Egyptian Exhibits. My twin sister Jer has been working on both of these Exhibits so my whole family went to "wow" at everything. She has been working with Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. He has that big fancy title, but mostly he spends his time in tunnels and tombs underground. Jer has been working on projects here and in Egypt. All of the folks she has been working with in Egypt are fabulous and several of them were able to attend last nights big hoo-haa. There is a documentary out now about Jer's journey to make these exhibits and it totally makes me cry-I am so proud of her.
So yes, we all got dressed up! Jer looked like an Egyptian Goddess in a green beaded and pleated gown with a special headpiece I made just for the event. I wore the champagne silk empire waisted gown with the peacock headpiece, our younger sister Kimi wore a dress that is similar in shape to mine but in black, our mom had on a gorgeous combo of black and turquoise and our dad had on a new white dinner jacket. Zahi looked fabulous in a tux! We are all used to seeing him in his famous hat and covered in dust and dirt. Oh, and I did paint my toes and wear some fancy shoes-ooh la la! Photos are promised!
(and yes, I always have to make a silly face in photos-ugh!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Shoes!

Finally! The dolls that I am STILL working on have pretty new feet and shiny new shoes, not to mention stripey stockings. More to go... I'm going!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Making New Dolls~

I am finally making new dolls. Well, I have been working on them for a while now, but it takes a while for them to look like anything but a bunch of wire and foil. Now they have little faces and some paint. Am I slow or do I just do things the old fashioned way? I hope it is the 2nd. I sure get lost in my own little world when making any of my art and time just flows in a very different way. So, here are some of my new folks so far.

Years ago when I started making my funny looking dolls, they were based on my love of Greek and Egyptian sculptures like the ones pictured below. I had just returned from going to university in Athens, Greece. Everything ancient and mysterious is magic to me. To that, I add my own Fairy Tales, other favourite artistic periods and my own imagination to create these dolls as well as the rest of my art.

When I get to the wig-making part for my dolls, I can count on my 4 little cats to help me like they are doing in the photos below. This is a BIG help. I may have to film this bit as I look like an idiot chasing after the balls of yarn. I am confident my cats are laughing at me and that this makes their day! If I was them I would be laughing at me too. OK, I am laughing at me already-it really is funny!

Thank you Glastonbury!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What to Wear to the Ball? More Regency-ness!

In just a few weeks I am supposed to be going to a big Egyptian themed ball at the museum where I used to work and where my twin still works. She has been working hard for years on the this new Exhibit. It is a new King Tut Exhibit that will replace the old Egyptian Exhibit. My twin is wearing an Egyptian Goddess gown-she is going to look amazing but she always does. For me, it is always hard. I have always been very uncomfortable in my own skin. My style is different, I am different. I have never really fit in. So, my younger sister came to the rescue and found a dress for me at J.Crew of all places. It is a wedding dress that was on drastic sale because of the colour-it is champagne and I champagne is no longer in. That is fine with me because champagne sounds delicious to me!
Here is my twin on one of her trips to Egypt.

My own love of Ancient Egyptian Artifacts!

I love the shape of this dress too-Regency! It has an empire waist an a A-line shape and is full length. It is made of champagne silk cut on the bias(always a good thing for me), the bust has this cool cross over of pleated fabric. It is also has sweet little cap sleeves.

I took it step further by getting "girl shoes"-strappy sandals that are a champagne with little rhinestones. I have been practicing walking in them!

Then there are the accessories. I have made 2 beaded necklaces. One is made from PMC with a shrunken version of a portrait of a friend's cat that I added a lot of Baset imagery and then finally beaded. The 2nd one is beaded with some of my favourite beads and one gorgeous bead made by the Green Girls Studio and is of a spynx on one side and says on the other side, "The final mystery is Oneself". It is silver covered in gold. Divine!

Finally, I am thinking of wearing this peacock feather headpiece from a friend(with some peacock teal nail and toe polish?). I also have this little beaded purse from my great Auntie Fagella that she used in the 1920s and 30s.

So, maybe this all seems silly, but getting dressed up is so hard for me! I am missing a family dinner right now because I couldn't get myself together for it-I have on my work levis and an old hanes V-neck t-shirt covered in ink, paint and who knows what. My hair is piled on top of my head and I don't even want to think about what it would looked like if i took it down(or what is in my hair). It is sad maybe, but I usually opt out of going out because I get stuck like this. It is really hard to have 2 gorgeous sisters who dress up so easily and so often, get their hair trimmed every 6 weeks, manicures and pedicures and all that good stuff. I promised them I would "try" for this ball. I am trying. I hope I make it!

Back in a time when getting dressed up was a whole lot easier for me! My sisters were still naturals though.

I don't know why this is so hard for me! Even though I am divorced, I did have a wedding and wore a wedding dress that I loved. I loved picking it out the fabric for it with my mom and fiance and all the details. What I didn't like was actually putting it on for the Wedding. Up until the actual day, I had it in my head that I would be following my twin down the aisle and somehow she would be the bride and "get married" for me even though she is already married which I do know is crazy. I have been a bridesmaid over 10 times(and a Best Man once!) and I am quite comfortable in that position. Being the Bride myself was quite a shock. I did eventually have fun and I loved the ceremony, but maybe some of us(or just me) are supposed to be in the supporting cast? I just love dressing up other folks and admiring gorgeous gowns and textiles.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

For the Love of Regency Fashion

Lately, while I work on projects from beading to drawings, paintings and dolls, I have been watching some of my favourite films over and over. I love these films because I love the Regency Style Fashion in them. Yes, they are films so the fashion may not be totally correct, but that is fine with me(movie magic and all that!). In particular, I have been watching "Vanity Fair" with Reese Witherspoon-wow! Her costumes are just fantastic! And, I have been watching the 2005 version of "Pride and Prejudice" with Keira Knightly. I love the fashions in this version as well. The interiours and exteriours in these movies are also amazing.

Here are some of my paintings of my Regency inspired Ladies. They have all been done with watercolours and gouache paints, metallic inks, coloured pencils and pastels on archival cotton rag paper. Most of them can be found in my Etsy shop so check them out if you have a chance. I plan on doing more too! Even my faeries are wearing Regency-ish styles these days-they are wearing long mitts and gloves and fancy detailed gowns-all of which I wish I could wear myself!

"Lady with Amythest Cross"


"Regency Lady in Turquoise and Aqua"


"The Blue Lace Veil"

"Springtime Faerie"


A Commissioned family portrait where Mom is wearing Regeny Fineries including her gown and opera length emerald green gloves~
My Twin in her Regency style Wedding Ensemble of a blush pink silk wedding gown with organza cap sleeves and pintucked bodice, purple velvet overcoat that is lined in fuschia satin and matching Juliet cap. For the reception, she took off the coat. I designed the outfit and my mom(who is an amazing seamstress) made it a reality-I am still not sure how she did it! It was a gorgeous 30 October Wedding in 1999.
Nearly 6 years later, I found this gorgeous outfit in the Jane Austen Museum in Bath, England. I was very freaked out as it was so much like my Twin's outfit! I even made my twin a little purse like this but in pinks and purples!

With the leftover wedding gown and jacket fabric, I made this "Bride Doll" of my twin with my own crazy twist on everything. She even has a little mask as the Wedding was Masque Ball for Halloween and I got to make both masks-how fun-they are both covered in the finest glass glitter and rhinestones so they sparkle! I love making these dolls and any other commissioned dolls or portraits for folks so feel free to ask me about it!

Photo Self Portraits "Thoughts of Jane"

Inspiraton from "Pride and Prejudice" 2005

Inspiration from "Vanity Fair" with Reese Witherspoon