Creating Beauty

As a child, I was frightened by a humongous Kissy doll. At 3, it was as big as I was and when you pulled it's hands together it made a smacking or a supposed kissing sound. I was sure it would get up and get me......making smacking sounds as it neared my bed.

Now I make dolls.....some are supposed to be scary, but most just reflect how I look at beauty. To me we have a very narrow view of what beauty is and is not. I have cerebral palsy and don't think I'm whining about it I'm not. I'm lucky my case is very mild compared to some people's. But you can pick me out as different, I walk awkwardly, but my arm and leg work correctly.....for someone with a partially paralyzed arm and leg.

I look like someone with CP is supposed to and in my way I'm attractive. I try to reflect alternative beauty in the dolls I create and so in some ways I'm still dealing with fear, but now it's not my own.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Shopping Adventure

I make dolls, jewelry...etc and I work from I don't get out much. I worked for years as a teacher and then in retail .....or I directed the workings of hell on earth if your prefer.

I'm used to being alone now.... so shopping or being in large groups of unruly people tends to get on my nerves. I was feeling a bit, well ....random when MJ and I were at Sam's Club last weekend.

I guess I forgot that I was wearing one of my eye pendants and as I was perusing the choices in the candy section because this older chick kept looming at me. She swooped in for the 3rd time and I noted..."You know if you came a little closer I could lick your eyelid." She took off rather quickly. She barreled past MJ...."What was wrong with her? he grumbled. "Probably having a hot flash or something." I replied.

We were picking out a bag of oranges, when some SC chick announced that everyone present was going to receive a free Christmas gift from "Sam"..... a paring knife.

"What a fucking brilliant thing to hand out to grumpy stressed out holiday shoppers! A sharp knife!" I exclaimed. MJ busted out laughing and just had to get in line for his free holiday pig sticker....which now lives in his lunch box.
I think maybe I need to get out more.....

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday the 13th is scary?

Okay, it's another Friday the 13th...

Sorry, this is not something that scares me. The number 13 has always boded well for me.

The things that always scared me were people and things that seemed false or pretended to be human like clowns or ventriloquist dummies or even mannequins.

Take clowns for example... did you know that during the middle ages traveling acting troupes used performers in white face and motley clothing as the devil figure in the religious cycle plays? The characters pretended to be sweet and kind but had an evil agenda.

Fear of the pseudo human like a ventriloquist dummy... hmmm maybe that can be traced to stories of wizards giving life to dolls and such that will do their masters' evil bidding. I remember movies like the Devil Doll really scaring the daylights out of me. In that movie, an evil magician trapped his victim's consciousness in a ventriloquist dummy.

Movies and shows that portray clowns and dummies as the frightful things I believe them to be don't bother me too much. I think that's because the clowns and dummies aren't pretending to be nice. Check out Killer Clowns From Outer Space 
or the Canadian tv series Puppets Who Kill I always knew clowns could suck the essence out of you with crazy straws and that puppets had homicidal issues.

The number 13 will never be something I fear when there are clowns and pseudo human dolls with evil agendas just waiting to do something terrible....


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blind Angel

When most people think about human perfection and beauty a perfect body is what many people imagine. I don't have such a narrow definition. I never have had that idea for many reasons.

I have cerebral palsy and with the partial paralysis of my right arm and leg, I'm far from physically perfect. So, I have spent my whole life listening to..." What's wrong with your hand/ leg; Why do you walk like that?; Are you retarded?"

And I'm as far as I'm concerned barely disabled. If my CP more severe, I can only imagine the extra crap I'd have to put up with in public.

So I think of perfection or beauty differently.  I look like what a person with my type of CP looks like. A person with spinal atrophy, blindness, Downs Syndrome, severe burns etc all look a certain way. And whether you believe it or not, like it or not they are beautiful not in spite of their body, but because of it.  

I've been thinking about my ideas on relative beauty for a long time and how it could relate to what kind of art I create. My first steps into this realm were my animal pieces like my Hexcats who only have one eye because according to their backstory they were magicked by a wizard who was trying to save injured, abandoned and sick animals.  Since people sometimes tend to give more compassion to animals than other humans, these pieces have been successful.

Now I've decided to start adding unusual and physically different art dolls to my shop. Armaita is the first because she introduced herself to me as a figure in a dream.
This dream was about a heated conversation between a human woman and an angel.  As she spoke with the angel, Armaita, the woman realized the angel wasn't looking directly
 at her because the angel's eyes were a pearly white and sightless. 
The woman stepped back angrily and asked, " Why aren't you sighted? Shouldn't angels be perfect? The angel smiled, " We are created with the physical body we need to teach and learn. One doesn't need sight to see a soul. Come with me. We need to have a talk." 

So now I need to continue this conversation with you through my dolls. I hope we both learn about beauty and perfection together.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tilly - Creature of the Night

Little Tilly was a long time coming. Sometimes dolls just seem to create themselves. This little bat seemed to know what she wanted, I got to her wings and the ideas just disappeared.  I put her away over a year ago and for got about her.

I found the tie dyed fabric I used on her wings and I remembered my little bat awaiting a better set of wings. I got her out of my supply closet and cut the lime green with red splotches I had originally used for the interior of the wings off the armature. No. I have no idea what I was thinking .....lime green and red...yuck.

I think it was part of my slow decent into illness. Now that I'm better my design sense has come back.

One thing I really like on Tilly is all the yarns I used on her hair. I was looking at a hair style site and admiring all the different styles that were dreadlocks or braided  when I was trying to decide how to style her hair.

I really like the results of  researching  hair styles I had not used before now.  Even though she gave me fits I'm really happy I attempted to revive her. Going back and reworking a doll isn't something I usually do, but looking back at my dolls from 2012, I really feel that these half finished pieces  will be better if I rework aspects of these pieces.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dolls about strong women- Lilith the original willful Woman

 So according to the articles I read, the first woman was made of the same earth as Adam and her name was Lilith. She didn't care for the missionary position and took off...none of that surveil crap for Lilith.

So Mr. Whiner, (Adam) gets tired of the animals (yeah, I noticed that too.) and asks God to get her back for him. God, probably sighed and sent out 3 angels to drag Lilith back..... This didn't work and Lilith took off again.

Now things in the reference get a bit weird, Lilith either goes off on a baby killing spree, but promises she won't kill any kids named after the angels who came after her; sleeps with one of the aforementioned angels; has a zillion kids by a bunch of horny demons or makes some kind of sexy deal with the Devil and is transformed into a Demon.

Me, I bet she took off and went looking for a more considerate lover.  Eventually Mr. Whiner ("She talked me into trying it!") ends up with the long suffering Eve. Considering Lilith's experience with Adam, I can see why Eve was talking to the only other sentient corporeal life form in the whole garden.

I don't know if Lilith was really bad and deserved to be a demon or she hooked up with one of the angels, but I like that she was not going to put up with being treated badly and took off to make her own way in the world. In my version, Lilith is winged and even though I may call her a demon, I'm very ambivalent about that title.  You can decide for yourself if she really is a demon for wanting a little respect.

Monday, December 2, 2013

new dolls coming!

 I have been working on new designs..... if you want to know more keep checking my shop on etsy...

Old Horror Movies- X The Unknown

"British Army radiation drills at a remote Scottish base attract a subterranean, radioactive entity of unknown nature that vanishes, leaving two severely radiation-burned soldiers... and a "bottomless" crack in the earth. Others who meet the thing in the night suffer likewise, and with increasing
severity; it seems to be able to "absorb" radiation from any source, growing bigger and bigger. What is it?? How do you destroy a thing that "feeds" on energy?" IMDB synopsis...

Yeah, I should write my own, but their explanation is much more concise. I tend to babble.... Like Anthony Newly is one of the sizzled soldiers. He' s going to get scorched and all I can think of is the song Candy man.

X The Unknown trailer
Unfortunately youtube doesn't have the whole movie this time. :(

Dean Jagger and Leo McKern (Rumpole) are the scientist/ government heroes. I loved Rumpole of the Bailey.. Didn't you? I always wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. Dean Jagger's character reminds me of Dr. Quartermass. I like him better than Brian Donlevy as Dr. Q. Sometimes I like both. I tend to be fickle in my fannish passions.

Anyway, this is a very cool Blob like movie minus the bouncy theme song and Steve McQueen. I don't really miss the teen angst secondary plot.

So if the trailer intrigues you, it will be worth your effort to track this movie down.  Go for it. :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Works in progress- Water Dragons

Limited Edition Water Dragon Works in Progress Part 1

In my Pet Shop Of the Old Ones soft sculpture line I have a Water Dragon named Siku.
I've been thinking that making hybrid soft and hard sculpt figures in limited editions could lower the cost of some of my pieces. I'm hoping that this will make them more appealing to more customers.

I haven't done much clay sculpture in the past few years so this piece has been a challenge. The head, wings and torso will be cast in resin and hand painted. I plan on inserting an armature in the bottom of the torso and using batting and fabric embellished with beads to create the tail.

I'm looking forward to combining paint, fabric and beads to create these new pieces.

I'm working with an oil based clay called Chevant. It's used in the special effects industry, car and industrial design. It comes in several hardnesses and holds textures and details beautifully. It also smells and feels unpleasant if you love real clay or wax like I do. But I'm getting used to it... I think it might grow on me eventually.

I'm thinking of doing these animals in small editions of 12 to 25 at the most. I was also thinking it might be a fun kit sort of project too.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ultraman Ultra Strange

As a kid, I used to watch Ultraman regularly. My husband did too. Recently we got the DVDs of the show. I never realized how many strange things went on in that show.

What was up with those tiny shorts that all the little boys wore?
Why did the Science Patrol sleep in their cheesy orange uniforms?
Why didn't the Beta Capsule that turned Hiata into Ultraman, come with a clip so he could attach it to his belt? He was forever losing that damn thing.

And where the heck did Ultraman put the beta capsule when he was trouncing the poor alien of the week? Did it become the Ultra butt plug? I mean look at his Ultra suit in this video
Can you see a pocket?

The Aliens and Monsters - I always felt bad for these guys. Ultraman tore them to bits most of the time. I liked the Toho(movie studio that did the Godzilla etc films) solution to monsters... they got captured and put on a nice island. They even had their own medical staff to look after them.

I watched one episode this weekend where the Science Patrol had a memorial service for all the defeated monsters... it was nice, but a far cry from a private island. As an adult, Ultraman makes me sad now, but I still like all the old Toho movies. They seemed to have more respect for their monsters.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I knew it! I did I really did!

 This quiz confirmed it for me! I always knew that I was different...heck look at the stuff I create. The Were You Abducted By Aliens Quiz  is fun. The link is at the bottom of this post. Let us know if you are in this select group.

Actually, I took the test and it said there was a 32% chance that I had been abducted at sometime in my past. It also said that if the aliens were to come back that I'd be one of the first picked up.

I was sure I was an alien when I was little. I have cerebral palsy and have limited use of my right hand and leg. I knew I was different, but my parents never really explained in detail what was wrong with me. So in my little 5 yr old way, I was left wondering about myself.
I've always known that I was adopted and I always thought it was cool. If I got teased about it at school, I always said..."My parents picked me over everyone else. Your parents got stuck with you!"

One of the things my Dad and I did every Saturday was watch The Three Stooges and Warner Bros.

cartoons together. This is how I found the answer to "Why am I different? problem. The cartoon ROCKET BYE BABY came on and there was Mot the little Martian baby who accidentally got switched with a human baby when Earth and Mars rotated very close one night. I mean it was so obvious to me then! I was a displaced Martian baby!

I was so happy with my new found identity and waited and waited and waited to turn green and grow a pair of cute little antenna.

YEAH, I know that it was not to be, but being me on a bad day leaves me feeling pretty alien still, but not in a good way. When I'm creating though, I'm Mott and the world is good.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sewing Freeform Figures - Captured

The way I work can seem very involved. In this tutorial, I wanted
to share how I
made one of my favorite pieces, CAPTURED .

I've always loved the colors of the Egyptian Funerary Art and the textures and spiraling shapes in Gustave Klimt's work.

I've always done
sketches to
help me
plan my
but I have never let the drawings get too involved though. The fabrics and the sewing itself often dictated changes in the finished piece.

After I collected up different shades and textures of fabrics in the the Egyptian inspired colors , I chose the wires I wanted to use for the armatures.

I wanted the starfish to act as a base and it needed to hold the mermaid securely. Even though it was only 8 inches in diameter, I chose 14g galvanized steel wire for the basic framework because it was stiff enough to hold the shape I wanted. After making the basic shape, I wrapped the 14g with 22g wire.

This texturing of the armature made it easier to cover the wires with acrylic yarn. I used a buttonhole stitch for this step. The yarn covering made it easier to attach the strips of batting used to plump up the starfish's shape.

The mermaid may have been a smaller piece, but her construction was much more involved. The process was basically the same as the starfish, but I worked in layers on this figure. After setting up the armature, I covered her with batting and started sewing fabric on the tail.

Once I had a stable fabric base I used more pieces of batting to create breasts and the facial structure . More fabric was then whip stitched over top. On the head, the eyes were sewn on and the forehead, nose and chin were then shaped and sewn down.

On the torso, the breasts were formed by sewing batting around a marble and sewing it in place. Once they were covered with fabric, I continued the spiraling fabric shapes I started on the tail up the torso and over the breasts.

The final steps on the starfish were to secure the resin eye in
place, sew on an eyelid and embellish the entire surface with beads.

The mermaid's finishing touches were beading the hair and embellishing the torso with seed beads. Elastic trim was used to bind the mermaid in place.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Resin Eye Tutorial

                   My husband makes a lot of the eyes I use in my dolls and is how he makes them.

First you'll need a silicone mold of a sphere the size you want your

eye to
be. It needs to be a one piece mold thats open at the back.

Get some Devcon Clear Two Component Epoxy from your hardware store. Also

get some dry tempera paints.

First, mix up a small amount of epoxy and use the black tempra paint to

make it black. VERY CAREFULLY, using a toothpick or some similar tool,
collect a
blob of the black epoxy on the end of the toothpick and carry it to the
mold.Let a pupil sized drop fall right into the middle of the spherical
mold. Don't let it hit the side of the inside of the mold and run down to the very
bottom, you must hit the center/bottom of the mold on the first try. You are
creating the pupil of the eye, and it must be perfectly round!

As this sets up, mix a larger batch of epoxy and tint it the color that

you wish the iris of your eye to be. Using the toothpick again, or better
yet a cheap disposable paintbrush, collect a dollop of the iris colored epoxy
and drop it into the mold right on top of the black pupil that you have just
Of course, the iris color should flow beyond the area of the pupil.
Again, hit the center/bottom of the spherical mold the first time! to get a perfectly
round iris.

While this epoxy is setting up, mix a larger again batch of epoxy and

tint it a cream or white color. This will be the white of your eye. Mix
enough to pretty much fill the rest of the mold. Pour it into the mold and it's
best to let the whole thing set overnight. The following day, de mold the eye
and see how it looks. If you are happy with it, and since most dolls, figures have
TWO eyes, you now get to make a second eye just exactly like the first! Good
Luck! Once you have your TWO eyes, I would lightly sand them both to get rid of
any textures that may have formed on the surface of the eyes. Once they
have been sanded evenly, coat them both with an un tinted coat of epoxy to give
them a wet look. Sometimes a second or even third coat of clear epoxy is needed to
get a uniform coating.

This is a really down and dirty way to make fake eyes.Your biggest

hurdle will be to get some molding silicone to ccreate your spherical mold.
You'll also need a sphere to mold. A Ping Pong ball, large marble, etc.

Locate Burman Industries on the internet to purchase silicone molding materials, and

information on working with it.

Good luck! Be forewarned -This takes a great deal of practice, silicone for the molds is expensive and expect a high failure rate while you are learning.

Friday, November 1, 2013

OOooh! I love that masked Man! My Fixation with Masked or Disfigured men

When I was a little girl, all the little boys wanted to be Speed Racer. Me.... I wanted to marry Racer X.

I mean really... a brave man who saves the tall and mysterious...what could be better?

My fascination with the idea of the masked or disfigured man was continued when I started reading the comic strip Brenda Starr. Basil St. John always showed at the right time to save Brenda.

As Vincent Parry in Dark Passage, Bogart spends a good part of the movie with his face covered in bandages. He has his face altered so he can find who really killed his wife. ( And having Agnes Moorehead as his nemesis doesn't hurt this movie either.)

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec... well, he was talented, disabled and successful. What could be better?
I know from experience that being physically different makes me stronger and more unique. I can ....with effort survive just about anything. I like my fantasy and real men to be strong, brave survivors.
I guess I grew up to see the different and the mysterious as the spice of life.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Season of the Ghost- Ghosts of infinite Sweetness

The gentlest ghosts I've ever run into have to be the animal spirits I've dealt with over the years.

The woods behind the house I lived in as a little girl was magical. In the summer it was densely green with moss, fat old leafy trees, may flowers and lush patches of purple violets. I used to go and pick bunches of violets almost every day.

On these little forays, I would often see these tiny little white wisps of something. When they'd zip past me barely touching my skin, I'd think of running up a tree and the roughness of bark; digging in the earth or curling up with a bunch of other tiny warm bodies and going to sleep. Sometimes I'd be a hunter stalking my food and eating it. Those violent images scared me at first, but I did know not everything could live by just eating berries and I came to understand the hunter spirits.
When I was around 7, I felt I was going to be so much braver than last summer start going further into the woods than the area just behind our house. Well, I picked my usual bunch of violets and started back in the direction I thought would take me back home. I was so wrong.

The trees and plants got more tangled and dense and the sun was barely visible through the canopy of trees. I panicked and started to cry. Suddenly I felt a light touch on my arm. I turned and saw one of my little wisps. It was one of my hunter sprits. I followed it over a fallen tree trunk, through a dense area of tall grass and May flowers. The trees started to thin and I could see the sun again. Looking carefully I could see a few wisps floating near an opening that lead to the edge of the wood. I had come out on the opposite side of the woods near my friend Vicky's house. I just had to go up the street in front of her house, cut through the high school's football practice field and I was just a short ways from a road that would take me to my street.

I ran all the way thanking my little wispy friends as I headed home.

The photos are ones MJ took of 2 of my rescue cats. Spats is the black cat and the other is Max Perkins.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crochet Memories-Will I?

 When I was kid, I learned to crochet and knit from this great magazine ...McCall's Needlework and Crafts.  With stretchy metallic cord, wondrous beaded Juliet caps and sparkly bauble rings just seemed to jump of my crochet hook.  Yeah, I know, where does a 13 year old wear a Juliet cap?  But it's so pretty. The bauble rings, well you can wear those pretty much anywhere until the bitch squad at Tallmadge Jr. High add the weird rings to their list of why they hated the only disabled kid in school.

Don't think for a second I still feel bad about being the target gimp in school.... I don't. Karma was my friend and now I feel sorry for most of my tormentors.  My appearance and appeal could only improve as I grew up and worked on my intellect and my people skills.  When you peak at 16, you have a long sad journey as you spiral down. Especially if you blow up to 200 lbs and aren't any nicer or more mature than you were than you were 16.

But anyway, my dream dress of 1973 was this Guinevere maxi dress. I was in chorus in 7th through 9th grade and we performed 3 or 4 times a year. Now I had a place to wear my Juliet cap! My Mom helped me make the dress and I was set for the concert! Now to be brutally honest, I'm pretty much tone deaf, so even though I enjoyed chorus it was good there were 90 other singers.  And the idea of 90 little girls in maxi dresses singing Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow is bizarre.

But you know what.... I looked freaking wonderful in that dress and my Juliet cap and bauble ring had beads that matched the turquoise in the granny squares exactly and I sang my tone deaf heart out. I don't know how the people next to me felt, but I had a great time.

I was looking at vintage crochet patterns on Etsy today and guess what I found?  My Guinevere dress.
It's  a 3.00 PDF and I'm tempted.  MJ's boss is having a birthday party in Nov..... No. Not the whole dress.  I  was thinking of getting the pattern and doing it as a tunic in black with jewel colors to wear with a nice skirt or pants or may be a knee length dress. We'll see.  :)

Will you still love me tomorrow?

Yeah, still love this dress.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scary Monkeys... Part two

Now evil monkeys can be scary, but these monkeys I'm talking about here like the trained chimps in Lancelot Link. Lancelot Link -the Doctor Goes Ape. They're scary only in the sense of the creepiness of dressing up and training fairly intelligent animals to imitate human behavior.

Don't get me wrong, I  am not like some people who are intimidated by animals closely related to us.  In many ways Chimps seem like humans with even less impulse control than we have.....which is why they can be so violent when provoked. We, as humans, often have such a thin veneer of civility and compassion that dressing up a so called lessor being and forcing it to act like us seems hypocritical. In many ways, we're so much more cruel.

                                                                         Now this sadness or revulsion I have about trained apes was why I had my alter ego Chat Noir create magical apes with their own set of abilities and regret it.  The saving grace of her chimps is that they are tiny and not stronger than a human so if they get really angry they aren't quite as dangerous as a real chimpanzee.

It's funny, but I feel odd about even making these figures sometimes.  Art you make even though it upsets you is hard to do.