Saturday, April 28, 2012

Art Dolls, Sailboats, and the Sea

I've been watching her in my fantasies bobbing along the waves in her polka-dot dress for weeks now.  At last, the illustration lives in three dimensions.  I finished photographing it this morning, and love being in her world.






This is, perhaps the beginning of a collection of scenes around this "story".  I have a second "theatre set" in the works, and since it's another very chilly day here in the Northeast (It even snowed in the night...), the studio may be the coziest place to be : )  I may get out after breakfast and photograph the crabapples though, which seem to be dripping with blossoms this week.  I love that.

The rose water coffee is drunk and toast and jam are eaten... I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Diorama en Papier Mache: La Fée



I've been absorbed in this magical faerie world for days------ imagining, sculpting, composing such a tiny scene.

It's a diorama, or theatre of sorts...

with wispy edges that make the scene look so ethereal when light passes through...




I adorned the top with hand-sculpted papier mache ornamentation and a lovely flower.  

The flower leaves are made from real dried leaf parts.  


I looooovved sculpting the ferns, jack-in-the-pulpits, and tiny red-capped mushrooms (2 millimeters tall!).  

I invite you to peek in...


Perfectly tiny!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Fanciful Twist of Fate

I had been thinking that my inspiration board (bulletin board of things that inspire me) in the studio could use some redoing.  After all, I haven't really touched it much in about a year, and while I, and my art have evolved, it hasn't.  

Don't get me wrong------I looovvve the things on my board, such as this enlarged print of my art doll Rose, made by Sweetie's dear brother, a couple ads from favorite floral designers, and a magical watercolor landscape by my dad:


There's even an insect collection----

 I love gathering up beautiful faerie-winged creatures who are no longer living-----



and my cardboard art doll Adele.

(Gratefully, she's being watched over by the Gnomes ; )

But there are things missing from this board that I would like to look at or reflect where I am at in this particular time of creativity.  And sometimes, it's good just to shift things around------changing the flow of our surroundings can be rejuvenating to the spirit.

So, I've been eyeing that board, but with all the art making going on in the magical studio, I couldn't imagine when I'd find time to even imagine it differently.  That's where Vanessa came in.  

Vanessa owns the blog A Fanciful Twist, and she just happened to post about redoing her own inspiration board yesterday, reinforcing for me the idea that when we connect with our surroundings, we feel good and can feel inspired.  

She shared photos of her board, and invited her blog readers to do the same so she could get a peek-----because it's fun to share with other creatives!  So, Miss Vanessa, this post's for you.  

Meanwhile, you've got me thinking about my board again.  It IS important to surround ourselves with things that make us feel good and allow us to imagine the world differently.  I can see that I need to make time to attend to this.  Thanks for the reminder  : )

Here are some more pictures of the lovely things I see there now:  

More natural found objects, some sketches, a photo I took of friend Carrie's floral work at the farmers market, a bonne nuit (good night) card from Sweetie...


The board even goes beyond the boundaries to the wall-----I am surrounded by inspiring images and trinkets-------like moons and stars and other things that invite "the stuff" of sweet dreams!


 Here's the board as a whole:


I'm imagining how I might like it to be next : ) 

Etsy Treasury: Ethereal Dream

Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, is full of talent!  Here is the Etsy treasury (collection of favorites) I created this morning, featuring some beautiful art dolls and several talented artists from around the world.

There is one more row in the treasury that I could not make visible in the image.  If you like what you see here and wish to see the rest or visit the artists' shops, please click on the image.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Papier Mache Party!

Sweetie and I had a great papier mache session today. We love how resourceful you can be with this medium, and it's extra fun when we can do it together. So we set up in the cafe and had a papier mache party, complete with hot chocolate (mmmmm....). Yes, it's still cool enough here in the Northeast that sometimes we feel like we need mugs of hot chocolate for comfort and wrapping ourselves around like cozying up to a warm fire. But it also makes parties with Sweeties extra festive : )

So, I have about 20 projects going in the studio (I counted them). The (only) good thing about having LOADS of computer problems lately, is that a nonworking computer frees up lots more time for working in the studio. But it's being MOST fun making things I've wanted to make for weeks, and inventing new projects as I go.

Lately, I so want to be surrounded by a papier mache storybook world of doll characters and other creatures and structures and "growing" things. I'll be excited to show you such things in the coming weeks.

These are just a couple of sneak peeks-----well, suggestions, really, of some of the things I've been working on.


I love the light in this one : )

What is it about golden light that feels so warm and evokes feelings of magic? Isn't it the kind that always seems to accompany faeries in the night? (Oh, do watch Fairytale: A True Story if you love faerie enchantments!) And of course it's the kind of light that comes with the warmth of fire and sunlight. I prefer it over the almost consistent fish belly gray (as Sweetie calls it) light that lurks here day after day like an uninvited house guest. I do wish it would pack its bags and give us a greater percentage of delightful sunny weather!

A new dolly in a polka-dotted dress : ) I couldn't resist this whimsical silky rayon fabric and crocheted edging. She's feeling especially soft and sweet right now. I wonder what she'll think of her new resting spot when it's finished : ) More on that soon...

Friday, April 13, 2012

From the Studio: A Faerie Tale Doll



Look closely at the meadows and you might see this lovely tiny fluttering about the field grasses and silky milkweed.

Her natural linen and cotton fabrics, wispy alpaca hair, and Vermont wool stuffing connect this nature spirit to the natural world.


Her soft and natural features evoke magical faerie tales, taking me back to the dewy fields of my childhood in the Northeast.

She likes best to be displayed with fresh flowers or dried seed pods (shown here with milkweed and iris seed pods)!

Here is a beautiful Pinterest page called Seeds, Nuts, Cones, Fruit and Berries, for ideas.


Here is a lovely painting of a milkweed field by artist and book illustrator Beth Krommes. I think this faerie spirit would be at home in this painting, as well as in many of the others in Beth's gallery. Beautiful work, Beth : )

This doll is available for purchase ($45+ S&H).  Please email me at artworks@bonnenuitdesigns.com to inquire.

Wishing you sweet dreams!

From the Studio: Art Deco Doll Designs


I love the elongated, sleek lines reflected in these dolls (others are in the works) that was so characteristic of fashion illustration and travel posters of the Art Deco era.

This was lovely fabric to work with----a unique repurposed luxurious cotton velvet with floral corduroy accented with sequins. Beautiful colors, too.

The cloche hat was fashionable in the '20s.
There's something about that shape------"Cloche" is French for "bell", and it's even nice in glass as garden cloches to extend the growing season.

Here's a Wikipedia article about the hats.

If you'd like to purchase this doll with her cloche, she's available here in my shop.

Stump dolls are being fun just now, as is papier mache, which is how my original dolls were made. I'll post pictures of some of all of that soon.

What are you enjoying making just now? : )

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jail Branch Greenhouse

I took in a little floral/greenhouse therapy between art projects : )


The plants at Jail Branch Greenhouse in Barre, VT look well-cared for, and the greenhouse is always bursting with color!

Back to the studio. Busy, busy, busy...: )

I'll post pictures soon.

I hope spring is finding you, wherever you are...