Monday, April 7, 2014

Playing with Dolls, Creating In & Outside of the Box

Love the idea of taking something someone once collected, cuddled, loved or cherished, and re-creating it into something we love. So many mixed media artists are doing amazing assemblages with vintage dolls, parts & pieces. The possibilities are fun to play with & the creative process inspiring. Sometimes it only takes that doll in the bottom of the box, with the missing body & crack running down her forehead, to whisper something to you & before she knows it, she's been crowned! We've 'assembled' some of our favorites.....

A Sweet Memory

Denise made this mixed media doll, titled "My Amazing Grace", in 2013. It's made with items given to her by her dad, old keys and watch parts, and also she included things that reminded her of him, a very sweet and special project. She played around with the idea of painting a face on her, but came to love the idea of the magnifying glass head magnifying the cross.

Amazing Grace by Denise Chafin. Made from new and vintage pieces in remembrance of  her dad.
Includes coal tags, old watch parts, lamp parts, doll arms from a doll he had given her,
earrings,  magnifying glass & more

Amazing Grace by Denise Chafin- SOLD Jan 2014-
A Sweet Lullaby
Recently, fellow artist & dear friend Carol Rea, gave us a box & a bright smile, and we gladly accepted both! Inside the box, vintage dolls & parts she had been collecting. With the smile, motivation to see what we could come up with ...

Playing around with angel wings & an antique birdcage I painted pink.
This was a fairly easy assemblage,
the legs & arms have wire hooks that easily hooked onto the wires of the cage.

After just a couple of hours of 'playing' we're tickled pink on how she evolved.
That's a vintage baby's cup holding the nest inside.
You never know what you may end up using and that's why Denise loves
 to save Everything!- SOLD Feb 2014-

Sweet Dreams

Another girl from our box. I got the inspiration for her from my daughter, Sophia. From the time she was little, she's experienced vivid dreams, scary nightmares & wild adventures in her sleep. So, often times before bed we would talk about where she wanted to go in her dreams. One of her favorite spots to visit & play was the forest.
This cutie had a sweet wig of pigtails, we wanted her eyes to stay closed but every once and awhile,
when you'd least expect it, they'd pop open!
Denise created the final crown & nest touches with vintage porcelain flowers in her vine &
a plump little bird friend to keep her company- SOLD Feb 2014-

Sweet Souls

More sweet faces from our box found their way on top of old tin toys & containers. I especially like the tiny red one, with the vintage natural remedy tin & vintage milagros arms.
Assembled Sweeties- AOC Feb 2014-



This Angel Prince has a vintage Magician's Magic Trick tin toy torso 
Denise liked this cutie bald, but I liked a piece sheep's wool that we hand dyed for a hair-do.
She has a special something inside of her box & I intentionally glued the lid closed, it's a secret between the two of us
She has a bit of a little red head rascal look to her. She has a candy tin body and a headband made from
an old metal frame, bottle cap & lamp finial
You see these souvenir dolls often at thrift stores and yard sales.
This one with his little bald spot & gold sequined suit just called out to me.
I added a large vintage tin heart from Mexico, newer stampings (the heart & flower) and an old sterling
silver rosary I got on my last trip to Mexico City.
My little Jose Raul

A Steampunk Inspired Sweetie

 We added a bit of whimsy to this vintage glass eyed, wooden, Infant of Prague. He was missing his globe and I created one out of Sculpey, but it wasn't quite perfect, so I decided to turn it into a flying earth and gave the Infant some aviator goggles made from vintage clock gears, clear plastic and wire.
A little Steampunk inspired Infant of Prague- SOLD Oct 2013-


 Thrift Sweeties

Sometimes you find those special thrift store sweeties, where you can see potential past the broken legs & hair stubble. One afternoon, a china doll with broken legs, made her way to our garage. There  she happened to meet a lovely floral teapot with a dented lid. The love poured & now they will forever be 'tea mates'. We added vintage pale pink trim, old paper flowers and a crown we pieced together out of metal bits. Her arms are loosely tied on with pale pink ribbon. She ended up traveling half way around the globe to a buyer in South Africa.
Assembled Vintage Teapot Girl- SOLD 2014-

One of my favorite Denise creations! She created this custom vintage crochet, floral and ribbon hat to cover
her strawberry blonde stubble hair. She added ribbon to her sweet dress & placed her riding this gorgeous swan that
she painted and crowned. A really beautiful custom piece- SOLD 2013-
I enjoyed making these boxes, again with vintage souvenir dolls, old postcards, stamps & mixed media

She's an old Spanish sleepy eyed souvenir doll assembled in an old cigar box.
This prince found a home inside a vintage pickle castor- SOLD 2013-

This locked altar box features an old Spanish souvenir doll inside a bird's nest atop a broken metal base

Her crown is off a Christmas ornament & her necklace a newer cross stamping we rusted
We have a few more heads & limbs in our box from Carol & look forward to creating more sweeties...

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