Friday, November 15, 2013

Babushka-Inspired Brontë Dolls



In my last post I promised to tell you why I disappeared from my blog for a bit more than a week. The reason is pretty simple - I had signed up to participate in an arts and crafts fair. It was a rather spontaneous decision after an opportunity came up and I just couldn't pass it. I had two weeks to prepare, and I got extremely busy. I created like a mad woman and was more than grateful that my creativity was strong and present during those two weeks. I already had a rather good inventory, but I felt that I could do with a few more Christmas items. Of course I also practiced setting up my table several times with the result that setting up at the fair took us just an hour. I said "us" because Kaefer was my helper. She had created some polymer clay ornaments the evening before the fair and she actually sold some of them and made a bit of extra money.

Kaefer took a picture of me behind our table.


Sorry for the bad quality - it was an indoor show and I only had my small camera with me.

The show went pretty well for us which was nice. However, I almost enjoyed more talking to the other vendors and the interactions with the customers. All in all it was a great experience.

One thing I did for the show was creating these babushka-inspired dolls.

This yellow one was the first one that sold.

The inspiration for them I found in one of the classes by Christy Tomlinson. Guess what the inside of each doll is? An old lightbulb - those that we don't use anymore because they are not energy-efficient. The lightbulb is wrapped with air-drying clay and then further decorated.

Here you can see them in various stages of progress:


After the clay had dried overnight, I painted the dolls with a layer of cream acrylic paint. After that was done I changed my mind again and decoupaged them with torn book pages. These pieces came from a cheap edition (thrift store find) of "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë. That's the reason I also call these dolls "Brontë dolls". The decoupaging of course was the stickiest part of the entire project. When the dolls were completely covered in the torn book pages, I painted them with acrylic colors and then embellished them with stamps, rub-ons, small rhinestones and a white marker (Sharpie's mean streak). I had attached a screw-eye to the top when I had wrapped the clay around the lightbulb, and now I knotted a piece of lace ribbon around it as a final touch.




I am very happy how the dolls turned out and really like them. I am glad that I decided to paint tiny faces on them - I looked at real babushka dolls and loved the simplicity of their faces, so I adopted that idea and applied it to my dolls. I think they're quite cute.


This doll will end up in our Christmas tree
(it was the first and only one that is not decoupaged)

I am linking up to Paint Party Friday. I have no idea when I did so the last time - probably several months ago. It feels good to be a part of that talented group again.

19 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

What fun! And congratulations on your gorgeous creations.

Diane Eatherton-Watt said...

Carola...the doll ornaments are beautiful! Did you sell many of them? Do you have them listed on etsy? They must be beautiful on a tree. Thanks for sharing how you made them too!
I look forward to more of your posts!

Cheri said...

What a cute idea Carola - these turned out great! Love the little faces and all the texture from the stamps and rub-ons. Now I'm trying to think of something non-breakable that I could use as a base for something similar for gifts. Maybe just decoupaging on a Styrofoam ball and then adding stuff that would be relevant to the recipient... could be lots of fun!

Meegan, Blue Moon Mama said...

Love these little dolls!! They are just so cute. Congratulations on your craft show! I keep thinking I might like to sell at craft fairs and shows. I'd like the interaction with customers. Plus you don't have to go to the hassle of putting photos in an online shop or shipping items. Someday I may get the courage to try :)

Netty said...

Your dolls are beautiful and am sure they sold very well. Your stall looks lovely Carola. Happy PPF, Annette G x

MeOfCourse said...

Wow, very nicely done. I love your dolls. I can't believe they are light bulbs. How ingenious. Nice work Carola.:)

Our photos said...

Nice to see you and lovely are the Christmas dolls.
Greetings from Holland, RW & SK

denthe said...

They really are cute! What a great idea! Light-bulbs .... Who would've thought .... ;-)Your stall looks great! I can so relate to creating like a madwoman in order to get things done for a show or a market.....

elespaciocreativodenora said...

This ornaments are so beautiful, I really like them. Very clever Carola!!!

Have a great day!
Nora

Irene Rafael said...

Your dolls are delightful. Wish I could have attended the sale.

Linda said...

your babushka doll ornaments are wonderful!!

Gotham Girl said...

These are adorable! Congrats!

Magic Love Crow said...

I love these ornaments!!! Great idea! Glad you had fun at the craft show ;o)

La Vie Quotidienne said...

these are adorable...who would ever think they started out as humble light bulbs. Very, very cute!

JoyCorcoran said...

Very colorful and sweet. What a great way to recycle a lightbulb. You know your dolls will be filled with light :)

Giggles said...

I saved my light bulbs for this very reason! They are gorgeous...I was going to paper mache them though...but this clay is even better!!

Hugs Giggles

Rosemary Aubut said...

Love them! What a great and very creative idea!

see you there! said...

I'll bet the craft fair was fun to participate in. I truly think your dolls are the most creative new Christmas decorations I've seen so far this year.

Darla

Ginny said...

Your dolls are beautiful. Your table looked wonderful. I am glad the day was a success.