Saturday, March 7, 2015


  I  fell in love with a doll by Paula McGee I bought her doll, Pippa Grace Darlington. I never buy dolls but I just adored this one. Her face is my desktop photo still a month after she arrived.   Before buying it I tried one of Paula's patterns. The doll with the black hair below is Calliope and it was a nice pattern to do but didn't thrill me like Pippa. I even traced Paula's face pattern.
 Calliope has little pigtails coming off the top of her head - that's not a beehive hairdo!
    Isn't Pippa wonderful? I think the main difference of why I like Pippa better is the broader face. Funny - I dislike the blue and brown combination on everything else but love it on Pippa! Both are big dolls - about 30 inches in height.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Beaded Neckware

   I've started beading a neck piece to go with a pair of earrings I got at an art show. I'm not an experienced beader but I made it up as I went along. Loads of fun, quite a bit of time. The center of the medallion I found at the same show a year later and I had to have it.
   Next I added medallions to string and create a lovely neck piece. Now I have to figure out how to connect things and make a cord to hang them.

   Sadly, I've been viewing beaded neck wear on Pintrest. OMG! Such fabulous stuff but the sad part is how addicting Pintrest is. I'd heard of it being addicting but never realized the photos can go on forever. I just sit mesmerized and scroll and pin and drool.  
   Meanwhile, when I'm away from the computer I can work on the beaded cord. It's a peyote tube, which means each bead is sewn one by one in a spiral. I couldn't get it to work right so started beading around a piece of IV tubing from the hospital. It works great! I could probably pull the tube out now that it's a couple inches long but we'll see. I hope it works out because I'm flying by the seat of my pants being inexperienced and all.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


       Craftsy is an online shop that offers patterns, supplies and free tutorials for things ranging from basic crafts to how to create couture costuming and now you can buy my digital patterns online at Craftsy. Just click on the link to the left or go to Craftsy and search for Skeelhaven.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cloth Marrotte and Merabella Mermaid

         A Marrotte is a jester scepter, or basically a head on a stick. Several in a vase make a great display!
        A Cloth Marrotte is simply a cloth head on a stick. But these are not so simple. These are whimsical, detailed faces with ornate head dresses to finish them off. Tradition holds that whoever had the Marrotte must entertain with a story or song, then pass the Marrotte on to the next person. This is a great family and party game.

        The Cloth Marrotte begins on Doll Street October 25th.  I hope to see you in class!
        Merabella Mermaid is a beautiful cloth doll with lots of bead work to embellish her bodice and waist as well as her tail. Details include needle sculpting a pretty face and torso, articulated fingers and her wild hair as well as detailing her face with color. Detailed beading instructions are also part of the online workshop.
       Merabella Mermaid begins November 15th at Joggles. Come and play with me!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hey Doll Face

     Does creating doll faces befuddle you? I'll be teaching one of my most popular workshops at Doll Street beginning November 8 and it's called "Hey Doll Face." 

     This workshop focuses on facial anatomy for precise feature location, needle sculpting a pretty face and then coloring that face with pens and pencils - no paint! An added bonus is how to wig a doll and add real hair lashes and brows. 

     Additional techniques include sewing and stuffing the head well, and how to complete a cloth over cloth finish so there is no visible center seam on the face. 

     This is a fun class full of tips and techniques and I hope you'll join me!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Slim Sadie

   Meet Slim Sadie and her clown friend. The adorable clown was designed and made by Jody Miller.  They were at the Guilded Lilies Doll Artist Guild meeting in September and posed together for a photo. 
   Sadie was designed by me and made with Fast 2 Fuse and heavy interfacing to make her sturdy yet 1/4th inch thin. Her limbs are jointed with jeweled brads. Her face was completed with colored pencils and ink pens.
   Sadie was created along with a journal to travel for more than a year spending a month at a time in a different dollmaker's home. Sadie will visit places with each dollmaker and have her photo taken while out and about. Each dollmaker will add photos and comments regarding what Sadie has been up to in the journal and add something to the doll itself. When Sadie returns home she'll be fully clothed and have a journal full of adventures.  
   The round robin is hosted by Doll Street, an on line doll club and is based on the story of Flat Stanley, a 1964 children's book written by Jeff Brown. In the story Stanley gets flattened by a bulletin board but learns he can now slide under locked doors and can even be mailed.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fall Classes at Doll Street

              Doll Street is running a couple of my favorite classes and I thought I'd tell you about them. 

             Lady Zen (above photo), a class for artists of all skill levels begins September 27th and will teach the basics of portrait painting from an outline, as well as how to draw your own figure, so students not comfortable with free hand drawing Lady Z can simply trace her and those students that are paint brush challenged may choose to simply “color her in.” 

           Students will learn layering techniques on canvas board incorporating pen and ink, colored pencil, Golden Fluid Acrylics and textured papers. Embellishment fine details include Swarovski crystals in her neck wear and gold leafing on her collar as well as flowers both two and three dimensional to create her serene garden. 

             Faerie Couture begins on October 4th and two samples will be created simultaneously through the class; Faerie of Light and The Dark Faerie, each on a base of faux marble. 
            Learn layering and distressing techniques, to create illusion costuming, how to create and adapt embellishments as well as how to create two variations of translucent wings from one basic pattern. Create a one of a kind piece of art with a costume that lives in your very own fantasy world!