Thursday, 27 February 2014

My name is Tallulah.......

  And here she is, the epitome of 'Flapper'

  I am absolutely thrilled with this little character. She took a lot of hours but I enjoyed every second of her creation. I think her face fits the era so entirely. She reminds me of one of The Brinkley Girls with her super thin expressionate eye brows and dark cupid bow lips. Tallulah is an independent woman, loves a party and vamps her way through life with sparkle and a touch of could you not fall in love with her?

Tallulah wears her gold bullion wig with added vintage pearl beads, her whole outfit is made with vintage fabrics. She has gold thread shoes with gold beads and a little bag covered in hand stitched beads.

Snappy Flapper!

You'd fit right in doll, you'd fit right in..

  A wall of inspiration...

The Great Gatsby,  F Scott Fitzgerald's Flappers and Philosophers which includes a fabulous short story called Bernice Bobs Her Hair, art by the inspirational Nell Brinkley, Mae Murray, Prudence Prim by Nell Brinkley, Louise Brooks, and Mae Murray again in the last two images.

Always been rather obsessed with Nell Brinkley's girls. Her work is a huge inspiration. I've been after this book for years and I'm so happy it's being reprinted. Guess it will be out later in the year? If anyone knows please let me know!

  Along with creating Tallulah I have put together another 'Essentials' print (I'd love to create a book with all my 'Essentials' illustrations they're growing by the day!)

  Here is Tallulah without her gold wig! This print is now listed over in my Etsy shop but think there may only be one left! There will be more available though in the coming weeks.

Tallulah's flapper essentials ..Gouache on Handmade Khadi paper

  Happy Thursday guys and gals! xx

Thursday, 13 February 2014


  A few working progress pictures of my latest character.... Tallulah!

  Tallulah frequents jazz clubs and vaudeville shows. She smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol. She dances till dawn in a rebellious and outlandish manner.... She is a flapper!

Vintage pearly beads 

Tallulah wears a gold wig embellished with mini pearls. Her dress is made from some vintage brocade type fabric and her boa is vintage trim.  As with all my dolls clothes are stitched to the body so are not removable. I'm going to add some beads to her gold shoes and possibly give her a bag.

  I really hope you like Tallulah. She is taking rather a long time to complete and I'm still not quite there yet but I'm really enjoying this creation. She has sparked off lots of other ideas for flapper dolls so watch this space!

  Photos to be inspired by...

  The girl with the bee-stung lips - Mae Murray.

I love these 1920's extreme make-up looks by Dior 

All that jazz! Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby'

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

New Illustrations, Trudy, Claudette, and a Gold Haired Flapper...

  If you've been following me on Instagram (since I signed up last week) you'll no doubt have seen some working progress photos of two new Pip dolls and illustrations for the Shop

I have used pale gold gouache for this little flapper's wig. I am unsure if she'll be quite as striking as a print but I may work on adding the gold detail by hand onto the actual print. Not made up my mind yet.

1940's Turban...Gouache on Handmade Khadi paper

1920's gold Bullion Wig...Gouache on Handmade Khadi paper

  Also alongside 1930's inspired Claudette  in her vintage winter olympic ski suit (introduced in my last post) I have created Trudy - a 1940's glamour puss on a Winter holiday.

Trudy and Claudette

  Trudy wears navy ski pants, vintage embroidered silk blouse and huge faux fur, broad shouldered box style 1940's jacket. Trudy also wears a black silky turban, which I have embellished with black and gold beads. She has a beautiful set of golden curls as well as a yellow sheer vintage scarf....Excuse the large glass of red wine!!!

  These dolls are not quite finished yet as Trudy is going to have a clutch bag and Claudette a hat. Both dolls will also have acrylic painted on boots with pom poms.

Trudy also has stitched on white cotton snow drops on the end of her lashes!

  Love this old 1940's photo from the Life Archives it truly inspired Trudy!

  Three years ago when I first started creating dolls - alongside my drawing and painting - I made a flapper doll in a vintage lace dress and glamorous 1920's gold bullion wig.  My work has moved on significantly since then but since I adored making that doll so much I felt it was time to create another one..

  Here's progress.....

Little predecessor made in 2011

  Gold Bullion wig inspiration....

Michelle Violy Harper is wearing a 1920's gold wig seen here with Sarah Sophie Flicker

  I shall be taking a week off next week to enjoy time with my family. I will still be posting snaps on Instagram and tweeting the odd tweet. Should you order from my shop you will notice I will be unable to post/ship until Monday 24th febuary.

Lots a love to one and all! xx

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

New Character - Claudette....

  'Essentials for a Week on the Slopes' now available in my little shop

 Essentials for a Week on the Slopes...Gouache on Handmade Khadi paper

  I am naming this ski slope starlet - Claudette. She is based on one of my favourite movie stars of the 1930's and 40's Claudette Colbert. Having seen most of Claudette Colbert's romantic comedies over the years I was stunned therefore to realise I'd not seen 'I Met Him In Paris' 1937. So with tea, toast and sketch book in hand I had a lovely, cosy afternoon last week watching Ms Colbert - wearing lots of great snowy mountain clobber! share a jolly jaunt in Switzerland with her romantic co-stars Melvyn Douglas and Robert Young.

I Met Him In Paris 1937

  The movie features skiing, skating and other slapstick winter sports which all makes for very romantic fun - the kind that served Claudette Colbert so often during her long career. The title of the film however doesn't really fit with the movie.... most of the film is set in Switzerland with just a snippet in Paris at the beginning of the film. (in reality the alpine, snowy mountain scenes were actually filmed at Sun Valley in Idaho and nowhere near the Swiss Alps!)

  As I said in a previous post I will be heading off to Scotland again soon and just can't wait to get myself up into the snowy Cairngorm mountains for some further snowy winter sport inspiration. I have started creating a Claudette cloth cutie complete with ski pants, mittens and a heavy tweed jacket. I will of course be giving her boots,socks and a hat. She may even find her way into my suitcase for a mountain photo! Hope you like her.

  In other news you may be interested to know I have now jumped on the Instagram bandwagan! You can find me/follow me here if you wish. In many ways I felt I perhaps had enough social networking going on but what I find interesting about Instagram is you get a little peek at people's lives and what interests and inspires them. I do intend to post pictures of my working day and creations but I will also be posting photos of my vintage finds, snippets of my world and the places I visit.

  Enjoy the rest of the week and here's a little mood board of ski slope glamour for you. x

Clockwise: ski slope stylish lady, Sonja Henie, Claudette Colbert, Rita Hayworth, Sonja Henie and Olivia de Havilland, 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Renée Dubois and Ski Glamour on the Horizon......

  Hi friends, Hope everyone has had a tip top weekend and is looking forward to the week ahead.

  I've been kind of wrapping up my ballerina project but couldn't end it without posting some snaps of Renée Dubois...a chic ballerina who always arrives at the stage door in style......

Au revoir ballerina chic

  Since I will soon be heading off, once again, to the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland I'm now letting myself feel inspired by log cabins, snow covered mountains, rosy cheeks and the anticipation of whisky hot toddies. Therefore moving my attentions back towards a Winter theme (a la Alpine Peg) I'm creating a holiday log cabin inhabitant called Claudette.....more next week.

Red hair, a ski jacket, gloves and pom poms.

  'I Met Him In Paris' 1937 - this isn't a great picture as it's a photo rather than a scan from one of my movie books.

The movie 'I Met Him In Paris' 1937 (not a great title considering most of the movie is set in the snowy mountains of Switzerland - supposedly) kicked off my current sketches and fascination with all things vintage ski clobber. Last year I had the same obsession before/during and after a snowy holiday and created the ski face corsages...remember those? there could be more!