Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Vaudeville Players

  I hope everyone had a truly indulgent and glamorous Christmas? I'm quite exhausted to be honest.. We spent most of Christmas week travelling around visiting family - absolutely amazing of course! Lots of gift giving, children yelping, food and boozy laughter.
    Just before I took a break for the festivities I had several things on the go including a third Flying Down to Rio doll (hoping this one will have winged pants) three larger dolls, various sketches waiting for a lick of paint and a paper mache idea which is now in full swing!
  I decided to make some larger dolls a while back and began sketching showgirls in all manor of theatricality - circus performers, glamorous dancers and blushing damsels. As a result I have decided to call this little troupe The Vaudeville Players. My guess is that each little showgirl can juggle, dance, sing and do magic tricks, probably all whilst playing the accordion! They've all worked in the circus, had a fling in a German cabaret, flounced their feathers, swished their capes, and danced by the light of the moon....
Making little tags to add to the dolls



I have created this costume by individually stitching diamond shapes onto the fabric. I wanted it to look a bit tatty almost like the travelling player had made her own costume. Her paper mache fox mask is also coming together.
I'm so charmed by this harlequin pattern. Frank X Leyendecker painting, Claudette Colbert Tonight is Ours 1933 and Alison Goldfrapp.
Pin Curls!

Adore Lilian Harvey. Dolly Haas on the accordion - Isn't 'Dolly' such a cute and lovely name to have!

Can't resist a beauty spot.

Think I'll add a sequin or two.
Each creation is a bit larger than my usual doll., from her slim pins to the size of her head and body. One will have a mask, one an accordion and the other juggling balls!

Dolly Haas, La Jolie Jackie (love the beauty spot) 1930's, Claudette Colbert in 'Tonight Is Ours' 1933

Follies Girl Lora Foster 1927. Crazy for this costume!
  I hope to finish these dolls in the next few weeks and will list them all at the same time along with my three 'Flying down to Rio' inspired dolls.
  Happy New Year! 

Monday, 10 December 2012

My Tree Fairy...

   This year I made 6 fairies for my shop and 3 custom order ones, alas I have no winged beauty for the top my own festive tree!? I've therefore decided to keep this little 1930's missy, give her some fairy wings (like she's off to a costume party) and save her for our soon to be festive looking household.
marigold curls, vintage silver embellishment, silver wings and a vintage yellow chiffon gown

Christmas illustrations from vintage childrens books
Initial sketches

Sunday, 2 December 2012


  When I was a little girl I was convinced there were fairies at the bottom of my grandma's garden......

Looking at another way of making wings I found this piece of old embroidery among my vintage fabric scraps. Craft wire, sequins and a few extra stiches and hey presto a beautiful pair of fairy wings.

Her hair is a bright technicolour yellow - to match her tights!


Nini Theilade in A Midsummer Nights Dream 1935

A Cicely Mary Barker flower fairy, Louise Brooks style fairy by Ida Outhwaite, The famous Cottington Fairies 1917.

I wanted her to look like she'd lept from a dusty old trunk full of old costumes and fairytales.

Friday, 2 November 2012

A Half Term Break and Lots of Sketching.....

....Spent an Autumnal, cosy and totally chilled out half term in the Pembrokeshire town of Tenby. I love being by the seaside this time of year. It was perfect. Our little boy started school in September so it was such a treat to spend a week enjoying beach walks, fish and chips, and spooky movies.

  I took time out from making dolls (the only time I had a needle and thread in my hand was to stitch a bow tie onto my little boys Halloween Dracula costume!) and concentrated solely on relaxing, sketching and illustrating....

Our Tenby flat was complete with a sea view and a window seat made cosy with blankets and plush velvet cushions!

Little doodles....

Caught a star!

Our Halloween hol also included a trip to Folly Farm which includes a vintage fun fair - amazing! My little boy and I thoroughly enjoyed our ride on this 1922 carousel.

bird girl, owl girl and little clown

  I have to tell you I've been truly inspired these last few weeks by a magical gem of an Etsy find - A World's Fair Edition of Costume Sketches 1939. I had some lovely emails from the seller informing me the booklet was purchased at the estate of an elderly couple who had travelled extensively throughout their lives including a visit to this 1939 World's Fair. Its such a wonderful piece of memorabilia and I shall forever cherish it as inspiration in my doll designs. Here are a few of my favourite pages and some half worked on new designs for a postcard set.

They are so amazing!!!

This one is my favourite. I love the colour

  For this design I also took inspiration from Katherine Hepburns silver moth costume....

Katherine Hepburn in Christopher Strong 1933
 Next week I shall be working on more Christmas dolls and starting work on two exciting commissions. I'm sorry my shop is a little low on stock but things seem to fly within days of listing at the moment (my festive tree fairies have fluttered away already!) Its all very exciting and I have lots of magical dolls dancing around in my head waiting to be created so stick with me. Hope everyone has had a lovely week and I look forward to bringing you lots of new creations in the coming weeks x

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Little Miss Foxy

  I'm quite certain this little Missy is dashing off to an Autumn costume party deep in the heart of a magical forest. She's expecting fairy lights, pumpkin pie, apple bobbing and plenty of dancing!

  Now listed in my Shop

  Last year I made these 'masked beauties' so am returning to that theme with Little Miss Foxy!

  There's something so gorgeous about feminine, floaty party frocks mixed with opaque stockings a woolly scarf and a winter cape - very fairytale - esque.

  Here's my initial design, some working progress pictures and my finished doll.

Autumn red merino wool hair, dress made from a scrap of vintage lace and a sheer nylon 50's scarf. Fox mask coming together with card, felt and gold thread.

A little felt green cape with embroidery silk stars, sequins and mini buttons. I've topped the fox mask off with gold sequins and some vintage feathers.

Green tippy toes with black pom pom detail.

  I'm so in love with this dolly she makes me feel so warm and Autumnal. She has such a delicate little bambi face.

  Hope everyone is enjoying October. I will be listing my new dolls as soon as the postman brings me my new Curious Pip labels.


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Peggy The Wire Walker

  Having a busy, busy week! Making lots of brooches and over-brimming with ideas!

  First up is Beautiful Peggy - The Worlds Greatest Ever Wire Walker! Not only does Peggy display elegance and grace on the high wire but incredible speed!

  Going to give Peggy some gold or blue tippy toes and securely fix her headdress. The sun was shining today and I so wanted to get that summer feel into my photos, so my little boy and I up-sticks and spent the day in the garden!  Hope you like her.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A Bathing Beauty with Heart Lips

  The weather has taken a shocking turn for the worse here in the UK, but a little ray of sunshine has been magically forming in my creative corner. I designed and made this little lady alongside my last two Water Maiden illustrations. She's such a bright and sunny creation I've hardly noticed the constant rain and gale force winds at all!

   This cheerful little lady has a felt swim cap with individually cut felt flowers, black merino wool curls peeking out from under her cap and a vintage style swim suit (which I desperately want in my size) made from 1930's fabric. I have given her red heart shaped lips - reminiscent of Kathryn Grayson who I think has the cutest lips I have ever seen! When I was a girl and my obsession with old Hollywood was developing I remember thinking this operatic beauty was so incredibly fortunate to have lips shaped like a heart! The memory is so vivid to me I had to post these pics and dare any of my readers not to agree!

  Pip x