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Living out loud


Hello dollmakers!  I have not posted in quite a while, and I think it’s a combination of many months of quarantine in the world, not knowing exactly how to process that fact of life for now, and silly “blockage.”  That’s why I am so fond of this weirdo girl that really is quite beautiful to me at second glance.

This is Martine.  Isn’t she fun?  She’s an all-cloth ball jointed doll, and even the “beads” that make her joints were created from fabric.  She was painted  with acrylics and a special undercoating that prevents paint cracking over time.  She has a sort of vintage “creepy” look which I happen to like a lot.  Don’t you?  She isn’t creepy at all, really… she’s actually friendly and definitely quite the quirk. Her nose and mouth have some added dimension with the help of a clay over cloth method.  But most of all, I like how she turned out because of her zany choice in clothes and embellishments.


Here is how she started out



I chose the loudest, wildest fabrics and trims in my stash, and she was kind of shameless. What a personality, indeed.


Inevitably, I guess, I started to love her.  It seems my cat Melody, however, had another opinion.


But that didn’t stop me from finishing up this doll!  Here’s my favorite part of her outfit:

Her wonderful “hat” is a finial from a lamp that I had given away.  I accidentally kept the finial when I removed the shade to pack it into a box.  I think it was meant to be!  I painted and glossed the finial, and added some rhinestones and an old glass earring without a post.  I love when small “useless” things can become repurposed in such a wonderful way.


The rhinestone buttons on her jacket are also “saves” from things that I no longer needed or wanted.  I think they look perfect.


It might be too much information (TMI!)  but the black and white striped pants are from a Vince Camuto dress that no longer fits me.  I lost a lot of weight recently and although I’m happy that I never really got to wear the dress, I didn’t want to part with it.  Even though I only used a little bit of it, I definitely feel like its purpose is better fulfilled by Martine.  She looks great in stripes!


She has these adorable fishnet stockings and wild trim on the cuffs of her pants.  The fishnets are made from wig caps that you can buy in Walmart, Amazon, or in a beauty supply store.  Her boots are made of Creative Paperclay, painted in acrylics, and topped with adorable little buttons that were given to me by a long time friend and fellow doll artist, Judy Skeel.


All in all, I think she turned out great. I think it has to do with choosing the loudest, most unplanned and “out there” fabrics and embellishments that I had, and allowing her evolve into whatever she wanted to be.  The result is a doll that doesn’t remind me of COVID (since that’s when I created her), but of the expression that wants to come from inside of us if we just allow it.  What’s inside doesn’t necessarily change because of what’s going on outside.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wasn’t trying to make a thing of beauty or something impressive, but what I got was something better.

Thanks for reading, and have a dollightful day!

Thread bearer, clay musher, paint brusher, seam ripper. Turning whimsy into reality, one doll at a time.

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