If I seem to be a bit preoccupied and unattentive lately (ask Buttonwillow--she's threatening to turn me in to the ASPCA for wrongful neglect) , it is because I've been bitten by a bug.
The dreaded Doll Bug.
Actually, I was first bit by the bug decades ago, when I received a Tiny Tears doll at birth. Her rubber body and chippable hard plastic head with molded hair did not survive the hundreds of "feedings" (she could drink real water from her little bottle), baths (the perfect bubble bath companion), diaper changes (she could "wet") and squeezings (if you squeezed her hard enough, she was supposed to cry real tears, but this feature never seemed to work... who wants a crybaby anyway?). By the time I was 5, Tiny Tears was de-tear-iorating.
Lucky for me, when I was 5, Santa brought me my new love, a Sweet Sue doll; then an auburn-haired Swirl Ponytail Barbie doll would follow several years later.
In the fifth grade I graduated to Dam Troll Dolls, Wish-niks, and Little Kiddles--I was totally enthralled by their imaginative wardrobes and detailed miniature accessories. My brother and sister and I created "Troll Town" in the dirt section of our backyard, and the Southern California adobe made fantastic mud homes, complete with mountains, rivers, streets and swimming pools where our troll dolls and Kiddles could enjoy "the good life".
I could go on. But let's fast forward to the recent "bug bite". When I started selling my art on Etsy.com, I began to drool over the many art dolls I was seeing, including those of Snippet Girl/Cat Lady Carrie. Here is the fantastic art doll sculpture that I commissioned from her as a remembrance of my dear departed Melissa Mittens (Melissa was a champion mouser). It is a treasure!
So one thing led to another, and once I discovered that I could have my watercolor artwork printed onto fabric, the cogs and wheels began to turn and the doll bug bit once again.
Most of the beautiful art dolls I had seen were either painted fabric or painted paperclay, and decorated with opaque acrylic paints. I wanted to make dolls that looked more like my watercolor artwork, with light and airy translucent colors. Digitally printing my artwork onto fabric was the answer!
After months of tinkering, here is a prototype doll that I came up with (you will notice that she is also a Cat Lady):