Dolls, Fibre Scultpures and Costumes

Archive for April, 2011

Gaia Gathering

This weekend I was helping out with the Gaia Gathering fund raiser “Divine In” at the Burritoville  restaurant(In Montreal)

The Canadian National Pagan Conference (CNPC), Gaia Gathering, is held every year over the long Victoria Day weekend in May. Each year, the event is hosted by a different city, which is determined through a bid and vote process. Gaia Gathering is a place where people from across Canada and from across the spectrum of this country’s Pagan religions an come together to talk about who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we might be going as a religious community in Canada.

The conference which will be held in the beautiful, bilingual and metropolitan Montreal from May 20th to 23rd, 2011. Our conference venue is Concordia University and the theme is “Language to Liturgy.”

I have been helping organize the art show associated with the conference.  I have been working on a new piece,  the mermaid,  I hope it will be ready for the show.

For the fund raiser I did Jin Shin Jyutsu .  I learned this about 15 years ago when I was having many migraines and discovered alternative and Oriental medicine.  It helped deal with the pain and turn down the volume of my allergies.  For a while in Nova Scotia I had a Shiatsu and Jin Shin practice but I was never able to get it off the ground here in Montreal.  Working with people this weekend I realized just how much I missed doing this.

Doing energy work requires that one is in a light meditative trance (or at least for me it does) .  It is as relaxing and healing for me as for my clients.  It was also a source for new artistic inspiration.  Why did I stop doing this?  I think mostly because here in Montreal all I got was calls from slime buckets and I became to associate it and the telephone with YUCK!!!

I will have to find a way to get this back into my life – the Jin Shin not the slime buckets.


Here I am chomping at the bit to work on my new piece and I have to stop and do renovations!  Moving furniture, plastering  and painting.  Now this wouldn’t be so bad if my knees would cooperate, but no,  we have to object loudly to going up and down the stairs.  The move of stuff to the new living room should have taken half a day is now being spread out over several.

And as usual it is like doing a rubrics cube.  This moves here, that goes there, this goes back where it was….


But anyway – back to the new piece.  It is a mermaid.  I did some live drawing studio work this fall and several drawings inspired me.

live drawing sketches

live drawing sketches


Of course the actual one has no resemblance to these, except for her back side.  Here are the first looks:

mermaid in progress

mermaid in progress

Tail has been sculpted and body partially assembled with some sculpting.   She will be swimming and fighting her way out of a net.   Which kind of fits with my life for the last few months.

The Studio

I finally have a studio again.  I moved this winter, it was quite an adventure.  I strongly suggest that you don’t ever move in January when it is -30C, it is very unpleasant, pipes freeze, car batteries freeze and the movers complain bitterly and sometimes move a bit too fast for the safety of your goods.

I would also suggest that you don’t have any medical procedures done the week before resulting in you spending a day in ER when you should be packing.  Yes, I didn’t know I was very, very allergic to the iodine they inject for the scan.   They get very upset when you fall over and can’t breathe to tell them what is wrong.   It was the fastest trip to and through ER I have ever experienced!  But the result was that I was stoned and sick for weeks, so it took me a long time to un pack and set up the studio.

So now I have a studio.  It still needs to get painted but I was not going to expose myself to paint chemicals until I could open windows very wide (without freezing the pipes).  I have some nice purple and some lipstick red to paint it with.

studio with cat

work space with cat

The other side

the other side

The studio was a kitchen.  The house is actually a duplex that has been converted and this is the upstairs flat kitchen that is now a laundry room and my studio.  The cat thinks she owns it but I am allowed to use it too.  Notice the little mat she is sitting on, it is her space on my work table.  If I don’t provide the space she will make space, usually by knocking all the beads down.  The kitchen cupboards and drawers are great storage space for my more delicate fabric, yarns and my stash of buttons, trim and beads.  It keeps them safe from becoming cat beds.  Sophie, the cat, loves silk and pricey yarns to sleep on.

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my new Blog!

I am a cloth doll artist.  This means I create dolls, or fabric sculptures, from cloth, most high quality quilt cottons.

I have been sewing for many years.  I originally taught my self to sew when I was 14.  I had high fashion tastes and a second hand budget so something had to give.  With a Vogue pattern and my mother’s old Pfaff manual sewing machine I made my self a bright turquoise straight skirt with kick pleat.  After that I never looked back.  I taught my self to make tailored suits and with the help of books I taught my self pattern making.  At some point my sister introduced me to a historical recreation group and I got involved in costuming.  This was great fun, so much better then making corporate wear clothing!

Everything I learned designing and sewing clothes and costumes is incorporated in my doll making.