Monday, September 27, 2010

Inchy: Separation

What does separate the men from the boys?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

SPA: Autumn Glory

The face and tree are hand drawn with colored pencils on cotton, framed in fall inspired batiks.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


When I read this week's theme for Collage Obsession was Portrait I knew right away I wanted to use a vintage postcard of one of my ancestors. My Grandma had a few postcards of  family members, but everyone had pretty much lost track of who they were. But here is one from either the Zupsic or Birsic side of the family who came from Croatia to America in the late 1800s or early 1900s. I used some of the stamps from the former Yugoslavia, postmarked from Severin Na Kubi, where my maternal Grandmother's family hailed from. I quilted the piece and embellished with vintage lace, a religious charm, hair pin, and velvet.

Monday, September 20, 2010

One more Pin Cushion

I just had to make another pin cushion, this time a redhead. The body is made from one of my favorite Kaffe Fassett fabrics. And you can't go wrong with this beautiful silk blend for hair.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Felted Pin Cushion

I love felting faces, but really hate making bodies. In the past they usually end up having giant wrestler arms and the proportions are way off. I decided with my new face I would sew a pin cushion body instead. I weighted it down with some beans and fiber filled the rest. Here is my new sewing room friend to watch my pins.

Sunday Postcard Art: 50s Pin-ups

For 1950s pin-ups I just had to use Betty Page. I took a photo of a Betty tattoo and played with it in photoshop and paintshop pro. I just had to print it on fabric and stitch a little too. I really admire tattoo artists- there is no way to photoshop that.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Inchy By Inch: Dainty

I just came across the Inchy By Inch challenges and this week's theme is "dainty". Well, what couldn't be dainty and delicate when it's 1''x1''. I happened to have some fabric with a ruler for a little 1'' quilt. A small tribute to the inch, or 2.54 cm, depending on where you're from...

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Dangerous Love Affair...

I decided to do a series of faces in different items. Here are my matches- does anyone else think the guy looks a bit like Robert Goulet? Instead of quilting it I stretched it over an 8''x8'' canvas to hang.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Postcard Art: feelin' blue

The raindrop face was done with colored pencils and pastels. Then I used up some fabric scraps for the background and waves. I was happy to be able to use some of the blue fabric I dyed myself in a class this summer. I have way too many yards of it!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Interview with Sarah Faber from Black- Eyed Suzie

People always ask artists what inspires them. I am just as guilty of inquiring too. If someone asked me that question, Sarah Faber and her dolls would be included in my answer. I'm fascinated by dollmaking and admit I do like art with a melancholy side. Her dolls have such wonderful expressions, little handmade clothes with attention to detail, all combining to create a unique look that can only be Black- Eyed Suzie.

I was thrilled when Sarah agreed to take time for a blog interview. Between dollmaking, an Etsy shop, finishing a masters degree, writing a novel, and a baby on the way, it's amazing she has a moment left! I am glad to be able to share her work here with you.

Katie: I read you just returned from Cape Breton. Any special moments, places, things that really inspired you?

Sarah: Pretty much everything about Cape Breton is beautiful and important to me, but as far as dollmaking goes, there are a lot of old, falling-down houses that are still quite beautiful but spooky and haunted- looking. I'm always curious about those places.

Katie: Your first ball- jointed doll seems to be coming along nicely. What different types of doll techniques have you tried and which is your favorite?

Sarah:  I've worked with cloth, polymer clay, and Paperclay, and Paperclay is my favourite because the finish is so fine and lovely, and with it I can achieve the greatest detail. Also, I like that it's a natural material, whereas the plasticity of polymers has never sat really well with me. I really don't like getting it on my hands, whereas I feel fine about being covered in Paperclay. But I'm hoping to start working in porcelain within the next year- an expensive and somewhat scary media, but I'm really excited about it.

Katie:  Do you have a doll you're most proud of and maybe love a little more than others?

Sarah: Well, I'm pretty proud of my ball-jointed doll, even though she's full of flaws. She took me so long to make, and now I know I can do that, so I'm really excited about BJDs. I made a doll for my husband that was also a huge amount of work- an Elizabethan vampire- and I have very fond memories of working on her in his little cabin in Maine with the woodstove burning.

Octavia, first ball-jointed doll

Katie:  When did you decide to turn your love of dollmaking into a business and how did you get started? Any advice for folks trying to do the same?

Sarah:  I started on Etsy in 2006; I started very simply, by taking photos with a single point- and- shoot camera and posting them to Etsy, which was an easy platform for a low-tech girl like me. When I look at those photos now, I cringe. But as far as advice, I'd say take your time- don't get overwhelmed by all the many sites, social networking options, etc. I think having a blog really helps. Mostly, I would say trust yourself to do something unique. Sadly, there are a lot of really derivative dollmakers out there, and I think people quickly see through that.

Katie:  You were published in Art Doll Quarterly- How did that come about?

Sarah: The editor, Staci Dumoski, found my blog and contacted me- she asked me to send in some dolls and write an article to accompany the photos, all of which I was happy to do!

Katie:  What other art mediums do you wish you had more time to explore?

Sarah:  All of them! If I could live to be a thousand years old, I would learn everything. But in this lifetime, I'd like to learn more about photography, and - at the risk of sounding like an old lady- needlework. I don't really have the patience to knit, but I'd love to learn some ribbon embroidery/ stampwork. I also think handmade lace is gorgeous, but with my baby due in a couple months, I don't imagine I'll be churning out yards of lace any time soon.

Katie:  Tell us something about yourself people can't tell by looking at you.

Sarah:   I love Bruce Springsteen. I think he is one beautiful, sexy man and an incredible songwriter and I'll leave it at that because I'm sitting next to my beloved husband.


I'd like to thank Sarah so much for sharing more about her work and life.

Check out Black- Eyed Suzie's blog and her Etsy shop to see more of her beautiful dolls.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Postcard Art

Here is my first attempt at Sunday Postcard Art!  The theme this week is FRUIT.  So, I give you " Fruit Not Bombs"!   I love making quilted postcards and this was a fun way to play around with photoshop as well.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Test Run

I decided before I started sewing the many pieces of fabric with Grandpa's letters I would practice on a smaller project. First, I placed several of the old stamps my Grandma had collected over the decades on the scanner, then printed them on fabric. Then I used a pressed flower from her plant journal to scan and layer over the stamps. She kept a wonderful book of pressed flowers giving their common name, Latin name, where it was found ( usually near Pittsburgh, PA), and the date. This flower is labeled Fall Buttercup from Jarest Avenue, May 28th, 1937. I have added her photograph to it, quilted, and sewn on various buttons from her collection. I wasn't kidding when I said the Red Tin was full of treasures! I could be adding these things into my pieces  for years to come and never run out.