What was she thinking? MMM

art doll

Rose Marie

This is my entry for Mixed Media Monday’s challenge, “What was he or she thinking?”

Frumpinstell’s Knick Knack and Curio Emporium specialized in unique and unusual hand-made gift items. One evening when Mrs. Frimpinstell was working on the text for the monthly catalog, she mixed herself a drink of coffee and Irish Whiskey. Instead of adding their motto “Well Stocked and Tightly Packaged” to Rose Marie’s description, she typed in “Well Stacked and Nicely Packed”! Mrs. Frimpenstell did not notice the mistake at first, but when she did find it she felt that Rose Marie was these things, and more, so she left the description as is. What was she thinking? Everyone knows that you don’t mix coffee and Irish Whiskey, the coffee could have impaired her judgement!

This is another art doll that I have made using a paint brush, this one was actually our basting brush in the kitchen. I soaked it too long in the dish pan and all the bristles came out, “What was I thinking?”

Enjoy what you do, with or without a little Irish Whiskey! Christen

Tea on Tuesday: Red, Green and a dash of Pink

tea cup and tea pot

Red, Green and a dash of Pink

Tea today is “Raspberry Earl” a black tea with a hint of my favorite, raspberries…. I think that if I lived in a house surrounded by raspberry bushes like we had at our summer cottage life would certainly be close to “complete”! I am using my favorite apple tea-pot, and I wanted to show off my apple salt and pepper shakers, kind of fun. The cup came with a lovely Christmas bouquet of white and red carnations and mums… and works just fine here because I needed a green cup!

I have a small collection of these vintage handkerchiefs, this one is from Michigan, which is where my  Swedish Grandparents immigrated to, met each other and married. They began the family there,  and eventually moved to Burbank, CA, where they raised their eight children. The small dice I found at my grandparents house in Canada, where we had our summer cabin. At night we played cards around the dining room table and apparently gambled in some way…?

art doll, cloth doll

Lady Rose

Lady Rose” is composed of several embroidered and crochet hearts that my mother made and glued to her greeting cards. (The glue was really hard to remove, so bits of green and red construction paper are still tagging along!) Ribbon and ric-rac roses adorn her body along with vintage buttons and a cute pair of brass ballet slippers.

vintage beads, beaded jewelry

Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields” is a fun group of jewelry that I made with vintage glass seed beads, novelty beads, glass sew throughs and rondells. The pattern is adapted from my pattern  “Madelaine’s Choker“. You can see a bit more of the hanky in this picture and the one below.

vintage glass beads, beaded jewelry

Strawberry Fields

This is a picture of the two bracelets, with a ribbon rose brooch that I made. You can really see the beads that were used in both the necklace and the bracelet. I love the red and white square-shaped and round green sew throughs. Here you can see a closer view of the vintage ric-rac rack that was used to make Lady Rose.

storm weather

storm weather

Well we have a little sunshine this morning, but it is going to be a wet one for the rest of the week. I know that those of you who live in the mountains, or back east may think, well at least it isn’t snow, and truthfully I do too. But….. weather is weather and rain here is great for the grass and flowers, but it makes for scary times to those who live in the burned out areas or drive the freeways!

Happy T to you, where ever you call home. Please join Kimmie and the rest of our Tea Group for a cup of hugs, valuable tea type information, friendship, and great gals…


Aubrianna in Fall Fashion: MMM challenge

cloth doll

Aubrianna in Fall Fashion

The challenge this week at Mixed Media Monday was Fashion. I decided to create a doll sporting “Fall Fashion” with pumpkins and acorns adorning her skirt. I added a few of the pumpkins that I made last week, along with other fall items such as the pine cones, pheasant feather and leaves.

Enjoy- Christen

CluckleHeads: TTM Challenge-Foul Play

cloth dolls


The challenge over at The Three Muses is all about Fowl Play. Well how funny is that going to be? Take a look cause everyone creates something different!

cloth dolls

Cluckle doodle doooo!

Here I have created two sizes of chickens, CluckleHeads are what I call them. They are resting in dried rice and corn, and a few pumpkins here and there.

The standing chickens have legs made from 18 gauge florist wire covered in brown paper. The feet are made from felt covered cardboard with pine cone pieces glued to the feet.

The beaks and head feathers are made from felt, with plastic google eyes that are just tooo funny.

This was a fun project, as always when the Muses are involved.  Thank you ladies!

Enjoy- Christen

Hank and the Moontones: MMM challenge

Hank and the Moontones

Hank and the Moontones

Over at Mixed Media Monday this week it is all about the moustache. The bigger the better I believe. My entry includes art dolls and their instruments….

Hank was on the run, he was in hiding in fact. His wife had left him, skipped town after draining their joint bank account and running away with the teller. Before she left though, she turned states’ evidence against him and his sordid past. As a disguise, he joined a mariachi band that was looking for a lead singer, he found the ad in the PennySaver. Tijuana turned out to be a pretty good place to hole up; lots of people who had pasts themselves, a less than enthusiastic police force that could be talked into looking the other way, and a seemingly never-ending string of restaurants, birthdays, and Quinceneras to play………they’d never find him here.

art dolls

Hank in the Spotlight

Hank, in the middle, is a paper mache head that I found at the thrift store. I used to hang him in my store, as he looked remarkably like a store owner in the same building. This man would on occasion lurk around the corner and come spy in my window when I wasn’t there. The reason that I know this is because I caught him one day doing just this. So I hung the puppet head as a joke, and all of the girls that worked for me and around the building knew that it was Hank. I don’t get MAD, I get EVEN!

Hank’s body is a wooden handled melon baller; his arms are wrapped in an old tie, and his hands (not shown) are made from bone. Both of the faces of the “Moontones” are made from clay. The faces are glued to a smashed soda can, and both were painted with bronze paint. The faces are glued to a painted wooden clothes pin; their arms are wrapped in old ties and both are wearing thimbles for shoes.

The stage is a cardboard ribbon spool that I painted and adorned with trims and sequin stars. The instruments are fun too: there are two old walnut-shell and abalone pieces, one a guitar and the other a mandolin; vintage castanets; a plastic harmonica and maracas.

I say it is all about creating with fun, how about you? Christen

Painter’s Lady: MMM challenge

The Painter's Lady

The Painter's Lady

This week’s challenge for Mixed Media Monday was to alter something metallic, use metallic paint or threads or??? I chose to use a combination of metallic paints, metal gee-gahs (wordpress and I are not sure how to spell that word) and metallic trims.

I had rescued this old paintbrush from the trash a few years ago when we had painted the inside of the house. I thought that I would be able to use it someday, somehow. Well here it is as a body for a doll, the brush and her arms (made from wooden spoons) are painted with acrylic and metallic paints. Her body is wrapped in metallic trims and adorned with metal parts and flowers.

This challenge was a great deal of fun, stop by and check out all of the talented people who participate.

Enjoy, Christen

Friday’s Favorites: Old Friends and New Friends

Sorry that this post is late, I have been busy and have not had the time to take proper pictures of my favorites. So to make up for the past two weeks, I have posted one before this, and will be on time for tomorrow!

old friends

old friends

Dolls, I think that all of us have a favorite or two, some may even have been around as long as we have, longer in some cases. This is a group photograph of my oldest friends. They have all been with me these many years, some have faired better than others, but no matter because they certainly don’t mention the pieces and parts of me that have not faired well!

The little Swedish girl actually was handed down to me by my grandmother Ellen Matilda. It was a gift given to her by my dad when he went on a holiday to Europe. My teddy was a crib gift from my other grandmother Evelyn. The little boy was a gift from my godmother Aunt Murt (her middle name was given to me as my middle name). The troll doll came to me much later, perhaps I was eight or nine. I tried out some of my very first fashion designs on her, and she is why I decided to go to school for fashion design.

Pretty good friends wouldn’t you say?

new friends

new friends

This is a group of a few of my new friends, they can all be seen here in my gallery “Dolls of Distinction”. These are all dolls that I have designed and created with a pillow or two peeping out from here and there. The dolls as shown are:

  • Tatiana: Queen of the Butterfly Fairies (her wings are pinned on in case she wishes to take them off and go out incognito).
  • The fuchsia and green doll next to her is Beatrice, she is bejeweled and resplendent in vintage kimono fabrics. A wand full of dolls rests behind her.
  • Lady Rose sits next to her, in prim and proper red and white. She is comprised of several pieces of crochet both hearts and roses that my mom had made.
  • Next to her is Madame de Bezornak, a retired fortune teller who spent her savings on clothing and jewels. In retrospect it probably should have been bo-tox and plastic surgery.
  • Next to her is the Court Jester. It is said that often the doll maker designs the dolls she makes after her own likeness. Well looking at this squatty little body and jiggly arms… hmmm could be some truth to that!
  • Above him is the Magic Angel, she is made from the same pattern as Beatric e,which was designed after the nesting doll shape.
  • Below the Jester is the Duchess of the Danforth, she is made in memory of my grandmother Evelyn, a grand Dame if there ever was one! She would wear a marvelous hat and her mink stole, but she would never ever wear blue velvet shoes with orange stockings!

If you love to make dolls and are interested in a unique and fun doll, I have just designed a doll CuddleNots for which is on the schedule for the end of September.

Hope that you too can count your old and new friends, and recall warm memories! Good wishes and thoughts to you, Christen.

Flutterby: The Three Muses challenge



This is my entry for the “Wings on Things” challenge sponsored by The Three Muses. There are always many exciting entries, take a look when you get a chance.

I started out with a simulated “tie-dyed” piece of felt. The face is painted with acrylic paints and high-lighted with a Sharpie pen.

I free- hand embroidered the wing details and added in a fan decoration using four colors of stranded floss. After the embroidery was completed I stitched in sequins on her wings and body to give her a little glamor!

Her legs are made from florist wire wrapped with satin ribbon. Her shoes are made from 1-1/2″ wide satin ribbon and ribbon roses adorn both the shoes and the top of her head. I used one stamen for her antennae.

This project was quite fun, and it has given me ideas for a grasshopper, a ladybug and a busy bee … so we shall see if we can create a group of bugs that will go to the ugly bug ball!

Enjoy the time that you have, create out loud! Christen

Bearie Antoinette’s Hat: The Three Muses Challenge

Bearie Antoinette

Bearie Antoinette

Here is my entry for The Three Muses Challenge this week which is Hats. I wanted to make something fun, and different.

My dad always wore a paper bag on his head when he worked on the car, couldn’t mess up his look or get grease on those locks! It was a great hat, and as time wore on it really acquired a lovely patina…. So I thought about taking a long not so wide paper bag and try to make my own cool hat.

I had in mind the height of something similar to the wigs that Marie Antoinette wore. So I began crunching, munching and scrunching the bag into shape.

The next step was to add bits of lace pieces to cover the entire hat. These pieces were a gift from a relative, but were a little on the grungy side, so actually perfect for this project. I stitched the lace into place with crochet cotton. I also stitched the brim and the top of the hat.

Then I painted the lace and bits of bag that showed with four different colors of acrylic paints, I sealed the paint, then added Lumiere paints on top of this to finish off the coloring.

hat close-up

hat close-up

I embellished the top and the brim with ric-rac and vintage mother of pearl buttons. I added in a bow made from French wire ribbon for the decoration. This I embellished with a few flowers and leaves that I also stitched from French and satin wire ribbons.

The teddy bear was a long ago crib-mate of mine. Then I was not so concerned with names, hence the easy to remember “Bearie”. I think I was more concerned with comfort than conversation. At one point I must have been very naughty though, because she only has one ear! OOps I feel really bad about that!

Bearie Antoinette

Bearie Antoinette

The tatted baby bonnet could also be considered a hat of sorts. I purchased this a few months ago at an antique shop. I changed the cord that is used to tie the hat around the neck. I stitched several silk ribbon roses with ombre ribbon leaves and stitched these around the hat.

The collar that she is wearing is made from French wire ribbon that I ruched. The ribbon flowers are made from vintage Jacquard ribbon and these are decorated with vintage mother of pearl buttons.

I hope that you, the viewer, are not offended and don’t mind that I used Marie Antoinette as a model here for the “look”. What can I say, the muse just spoke to me… he he.

Enjoy, Christen

What a HOot: ABAA challenge

What a HOot

What a HOot

This is my entry for Rosie and Linda’s Awfully Big Art Adventure (ABAA) challenge for this month which was to use a bird theme. There are many talented art pieces and you should take a look!

I muddled over this one for a few weeks, then I came across an embroidery piece that my mom had made with an owl on it. So I went retro and dug out my ’60’s hippie-ness for this one. I pulled out all of my embroidery floss in brown, gold and pumpkin colors (which truthfully may have been purchased in the ’60’s), then I went to JoAnnes and picked up some felt squares.

I drafted the pattern in an hour or so, and have been embroidering for a few days, a few nights and here is Oliver. The legs are a florist wire wrapped in brown paper, the feet are reinforced with cardboard, and the body is stuffed with Polyfill.

Oliver was made for my husband. He is a Social Science teacher and an avid reader (hence the old books in the background). He is very owlish on the inside, but very un-owlish on the outside, so I made a jaunty beret for him to wear. Oliver ordinarily wears the John Lennon glasses (which I had originally bought for my DH), but I couldn’t get a great photo with him wearing them, so they are just off to the left in the pic.

Happy day to you, go retro when the muse suggests to, and enjoy! Christen

PS: My husband says this is one of his favorite pieces that I have made, pretty cool to be married to your best friend!