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

Fairies

  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

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Showgals!

  Well, once again Christmas has come and gone. I hope you have all had a truly festive time, and have eaten, drank, and made merry!....I know I have.

  The aftermath of Christmas always makes me feel a little bit sad to tell you the truth. Festive things thrown in a half price bargin bin, the taking down of the tree, the pinch of overspending, and the slight tightness in your favourite skirt... Not good.

 .Anyway I am hopefully adding a little sparkle into January with my new creations - The Busby Berkeley dolls.

  Busby Berkeley was famous for his elaborate and grand musical numbers, and I have to say they have hypnotised me since I was a child. These amazing grand routines - choreographed in geometric patterns and overhead shots are perfect research in creating my little 30's chorus girls. I've so enjoyed watching endless clips from the most famous of his films. Not only are the numbers visually stunning and the epitome of glamour, but also very quirky and quite surreal.

   I would have loved to have been a showgirl in the golden Era of Hollywood. Oh where are all those costumes now?!

  These little ladies are all sparkles and ready for their audition with Buzz Berkeley!




  Stay posted for more Buzz Berkeley inspired dolls and illustrations. I'm planning on a little troupe (poss about 5 -6) and will definitely be giving them all names, in homage to the real girls themselves.

  I have some great old movie books - with some dating back to the 30's itself. A whole chapter in one of my books is dedicated to memories and tales from the Buzz showgirls themselves!....The hours they had to put in you wouldn't believe!

 I am homing all my needles, pins and fabric for this current project/obsession in a Cath Kidson gypsy caravan sewing basket - a wonderful Christmas pressie.




Love this snap of Busby and the chorus girls