Wednesday, 27 March 2013

'They'll Never Know its You!'

  Here is the second in my series of circus inspired illustrations.
 
  I'm hopelessly in love with all the old photos I find picturing circus performers sat around posing for photos, doing their washing, drinking tea or rehearsing. What do they do after the show is over? a wild party? an early night?
 
  I really hope the illustrations I produce in this series spark your imagination and enable you to build stories in your head.
 
 
They'll Never Know its You!  Gouache on pastel paper




 
 








Not strictly circus but the big animal heads inspired my illustration




I love this photo!
 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Spring fairies....

  I hope you believe in fairies........
  I admit it has taken me sometime to get around to listing these two dainty little sprites! But you will now find them listed in my Etsy Shop












  These cheerful little souls look so decorative and striking hung from the wall, above the fireplace, or attached to a mirror or frame. I hope they evoke nostalgia and make you think of old fairytales.
I thought about this beautiful old children's book The Thirteenth Orphan whilst making these whimsy fairies. The book is by Christine Chaundler and illustrated so whimsically by Honor C Appleton - whose work appears in many an old children's book. A little research tells me its one of Christine Chaundlers lesser known tales and therefore a rarer find. I'm very lucky to have it.
  This little book of mine is an absolute treasure! At the front of this beautiful book - which I have had for many years - is a charming little poem called 'Seeing Fairies' its a fairly long poem but the first verse is just enough to keep your faith in fairyland.
   There's a little magic pathway you may follow
        every day,
   Sometimes through the woods and coppices it winds
        its sunlit way,
   By river-brinks where willows droop, through
        meadows wet with dew,
  Until across the distant hills it's lost in misty blue -
         A path that leads to Fairyland
            Where elfin people play,
        And little laughing fairies flit
             Before you on the way.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Belinda and the Bear

  A few weeks ago I started on a series of illustrations - which I hope will work magically alongside my new circus dolls.

  I'm not quite sure how many I'm going to produce but at the moment I have a head full of images and several pages of sketches.

  I have a brand new printer and have been doing my research on the best quality paper to suit my printer and work. I look forward to listing a whole series of prints for you very soon. I'm hoping for quite a collection!



Belinda and the Bear  Gouache on pastel paper (I like to mix things up a bit)






 

Monday, 18 March 2013

More Circus Dolls...

  Two more circus showgirls......





Both these dolls have the slightly new shape, nipped in waist and shoulder structure.



1920's style gold flapper wig, silk turban and matching costume ensemble with gold star sequins and a green velvet cape. All vintage fabrics.




I have now added a white feather and simple headdress to this showgirls detailed costume made from new and vintage fabrics.



Vintage blue velvet costume to which I have added gold beads. Pink frill with star sequins and sparkling headdress with felt and sequined star. Powder blue tights.

 
 
Olga Baclanova in Freaks 1932 I was inspired by her high collared cape and simple sparkling headband.
 
 
 
I love this picture. I'd love to have a go at making a headdress like the one on the right...
 
 
 




Waiting for beads and sequins!
 
Added some large dusky pink feathers








 
 
 

Beautiful vintage illustration




Circus Girl 1920's




Amazing picture from one of my favourite books The Circus 1870's-1950's
 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Circus Showgirls

......Cheerful, theatrical and altogether making me feel like I want to skip through sawdust in a pair of pink tights! Yes ladies and gents the circus is well and truly back in town!......
 
 
vintage mohair platinum locks, cape made from sequins, felt and vintage trim. Leotard made with vintage chiffon, sequins and tiny beads. Trousers have painted red acrylic stars which have been varnished and stitched around with white cotton. She also carrys a paper mache drum which has been painted and varnished.
 
  Inspiring and magical old circus photos....
 




 
 
 
 
Gold flapper wig and green velvet cloak. Think I'm going to give her a large impressive headdress too.





rose coloured vintage fabric costume
 
 
 
I've been doing a fair bit of circus sketching too. Hope to show you a few more soon. This is gouache on pastel paper. I love mixing things up a bit.
 
 
  I will finish my first two circus showgirls (and hopefully a third) over the weekend and take more photos.
 
 
 
  I've also almost finished this little Spring fairy - showing off her green petal Easter bonnet. Will be listing in my shop along with Alpine Peggy and other work as soon as I can.
 
 
Made with vintage haberdashery, craft wire, little pearl beads, vintage embroidery and a vintage sheer scarf.

 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Alpine Peggy and creations in the pipeline...

  Spring crocuses are appearing and the snowdrops are raising their lazy heads ...but Alpine Peggy is still in Winter wonderland!
 
 
She is now complete with her skis (made from paper mache and painted skewers! they have also been varnished so have a bit of a shine)
 
 
 







 

   Also this week I have been fighting a battle with my new printer/scanner grrrr! I have three designs to send out to clients for their custom orders and currently am unable to send - Boo! Hopefully once my husband gets his technical brain into gear this weekend all will be happy days!
 
  Gradually been pottering away at little exclusive project/collaboration over the last month (I can't showcase it just yet but sure I will be able to eventually) What I will say though is its got me obsessed with all things circus history again (little clue for you there) so have been sketching and starting work on more circus dolls for listing in early May.
 
  Mini preview of the first...
 
 
 
 
 Have a super weekend! x

 

Friday, 1 March 2013

Ski Slope Miss - working progress

  Before everything becomes positively Spring like this month, let me introduce you to this Ski Slope Missy - inspired by my snowy, Scottish holiday several weeks back....as if making 4 Ski inspired dolly face corsages wasn't enough..........




  When I started work on this doll I had in mind a slightly different body shape. I've been playing around with several new body shapes for a while and as a result this little lady has straighter arms, a bit of structure in her shoulders, shes taller, head is slightly smaller and she has a waist! I was inspired by my little collection of antique wooden dutch dolls (which are dotted around my shelves - love them) I also took some inspiration from the old boudoir dolls of the late 20's and early 30's.
 
  I will be working a little more on this creation, as I want to give her some Skis and some white boots with tiny black buttons down the side.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 








Centre: Maureen O'Sullivan




  I've given her cupid bow lips and added snowdrops to her lashes. She has a felt jacket, hat and mittens - onto which I have stitched a Nordic pattern. Her baggy skipants, top and scarf are made with vintage fabrics.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
.....Her hair is proper old vintage mohair  - probably the very same used on old boudoir dolls and wigs. Its quite rough to the touch but works perfectly.
 
 
 
 
 
 Bette Davis

 
   My world is currently quite chaotic and although my chaos is relatively organised It doesn't stop me from feeling just ever so slightly under pressure. I love what I do and would probably work around the clock - locked in a world of feathers, fabrics, old movies and vintage childrens books. However I'm mighty glad my delightful little boy and supportive husband force me to switch off once in a while. In an attempt to organise my creativity and produce some creations and illustrations I'm desperate to start work on, I won't be accepting anymore commission requests for a while. I'm very excited by the list of custom orders I do have but have to draw a line under accepting work for the time being.. I'm sure you understand.

  Thankyou to those who purchased a corsage or doll from my Etsy shop earlier in the week. What a success those corsages were - maybe I'll make some more!

  Also this week I've started a website!  I've been meaning to do this for sometime and once I got started I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It's still in its early stages but it means you can view my work at a glance in the galleries, instead of trawling back through blog posts. I'd love you to check it out and let me know what you think.?

  I also got a beautiful new printer this week and as soon as I get my head around how it works and connect it up to my laptap (correction my husband connects it up to my laptop) I hope to produce a collection of good quality prints for my shop. Excited!

  Have a wonderful weekend x


Norma Shearer sporting skiwear in the mountains of Switzerland