Thursday, February 24, 2011

Miss Isabelle is one of the Civil War dolls I am currently making to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the war. She is a 21"cloth doll whose head is covered with paper clay and sculpted. She has been oil-painted as the old dolls were. She is an Izannah Walker-type doll, but instead of painting her hair, I decided to make a wig out of wool roving. I just think it suits her better! Her dress is an 1860's style, and her little buttoned boots are painted on. I am making a straw bonnet for her right now to complete her ensemble. I think I will make a little brother doll for her next. I feel there is just not enough hours in the day to make my dolls! For every doll I start on, I have at least 5 or 6 ideas brewing for what's next. I started making porcelain dolls about 15 years ago, especially reproductions of French antiques, which I still dearly love. However, I really wanted to try new creative methods and have really enjoyed doing the cloth dolls with sculpted clay faces. I never sculpted in my life, and have been really intrigued by creating my own faces instead of using a mold that somebody else did.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Finally a warm day!

Even though this is southern Mississippi, it has been a cold winter! Today was beautiful, about 64 degrees and I decided not to work in the doll studio today, but to enjoy the outside! As I am not a football fan, I went to nearby Vicksburg with my sister-in-law from Florida. We walked around some of the beautiful neighborhoods with antebellum homes. In addition to being a doll maker, I have always been an interior designer at heart. My husband and I have restored 3 old homes, Collina being our "masterpiece". It took me a year and a half, but I sewed all the draperies in our home, making them as "period appropriate" as possible. There are 14' ceilings in our house, so that means lots of fabric! It has been a labor of love for both of us; my husband is extremely talented with finishing woodwork, floors, etc. He also renovated an old building behind Collina for my doll studio. I just feel so fortunate to be able to do something everyday that I love so much! I was thrilled last August to be accepted into the prestigious Mississippi Craftsmen's Guild, so I am preparing in advance for their huge show in December in Jackson, Mississippi which attracts people from all over the US. Doug is going to help me design displays for my booth, and I think I have him talked into starting to make hand-crafted doll furniture for me to use as great displays for the dolls!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Please visit my Etsy shop at to see some of my dolls for sale!
February 1, 2011 Hello! I am new to this "blog thing" so please bear with me! I would love to share with you my love of creating historically inspired dolls. After being in the scientific field for years, I am now able to devote my time to creating things I love. My husband and I bought a beautiful antebellum home in Mississippi called "Collina" in 2005, and he restored an old building on the property for my doll studio. Needless to say, I am out there constantly working on my latest project. There just aren't enough hours in the day to complete all the ideas in my head!
My favorite period in time is the Civil War era, so I am working on a collection of dolls right now that represent that period in time. The planning of the doll is as much fun as actually making it; I research historically accurate patterns for the costumes, and search for just the right fabrics and antique lace, etc. to make her come alive. I'll be posting more photos soon!