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!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Merabella Mermaid

 Meet my newest creation, Merabella Mermaid.  She has a metallic knit fabric for her tail which swishes beautifully for posing and she has wild multi-fiber hair.
 Bead work covers Merabella's breasts and embellishes her fins. This includes hand made flowers incorporating the peyote stitch, coral stitch, free hand stitching and picot edging. Merabella will be a new class at Joggles this session focusing on creating the body, sculpting the face and torso, coloring the facial details and completing the bead work.
I hope you like her!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring in My Garden

Spring always excites me when things pop out of the ground or as on the clematis vine above sprout from what looks like totally dead twigs.  The arbor has a six foot bench and another clematis at the other end.

We totally dug up and replanted my side yard bed which means all bulb type plants think it is their first year and probably won't bloom, save this one lily of the valley.

In the largest bed I have this trellis with what I call my star gazer clematis because it reminds me of a Star Gazer lily. Don't you just love my little elf boy statue?

White bleeding hearts are nestled into a corner by an arbor over the brick path in the side garden.

For the first time this white clematis is blooming behind our big pond. I startled some ducks taking this picture. Last year ducks laid eggs in our garden so maybe it's the same ducks and we'll see ducklings this time. I should have taken the ducks pics.  If I'm lucky they'll be back to the pond soon.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


It's Spring time in the garden at Skeelhaven and I thought I'd share a view of one of the beds full of tulips. 

These are double tulips and the blooms are comparable to peonies!

Meet Fetch

         Meet Fetch, my new studio assistant. At Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay I took a two day workshop with Dawn Schiller of Odd Fae and created this whimsical piece.
         Fetch is sculpted from polymer clay and has a cloth body and limbs. Hands and feet are also polymer.
           The sculpting tool in his hands is his way of helping in the studio - handing me tools.  I still need to add a button as a brooche on his shoulder and a little button on the side of his thigh but other than that he is complete.
          This little Ghostly Goth Girl was made in a class with Michelle Lynch.  Way out of my box, though she still turned out to have a pretty face, she has gears, a clock and a working compass to make her a little steampunk. The propeller on her head spins! She is sculpted in Apoxie Sculpt.
The whole event was loads of fun but the classes were superb!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Simple dolls

I created four new dolls to take to Artistic Figures in Cloth and Clay as samples for my Bits and Bibs demo. I'll be creating blooms to embellish, etc. The doll above has a bicolored checille yarn for her hair and wears two matching folded roses from the same fabric as her blouse.

Doll two wears a wig made by my friend Jody Miller. She also wears two bicolored cabbage roses.

Doll three has a bloom made by running severeal circles of fabric through a flame to singe and curl or melt and them. he circles are stacked and a center is added.

Doll four wears crinkled silk and white ribbon "carnations."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Class Discount

I've just made arrangments that if you sign up for Bits and Bobs before it begins on
Doll Street March 14th you can save $5!

See you on the Street!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bits and Bobs

Do you ever wish you had just the right embellishment on hand in just the right color and size?  Do you ever wish you could get just one or two of some little do-dad instead of buying a pack of eight in the stores?  Join instructor Judy Skeel and learn to make an assortment of paper, fiber, ribbon and mixed media embellishments at home from your basic stash of supplies to compliment your art projects and save you some pennies in the process.
Any style can be incorporated, from country to Victorian, modern to Steampunk, or even Gothic.  Whatever the project there is always a way to create an embellishment to dress it up just a little bit more!

We’ll toss in some beads and sparkles, and a little clay, but most of all ingenuity. Student’s brains will be buzzing to come up with even more spectacular creations of their own in this workshop!  The projects taught in this workshop could all easily be used in a broad variety of art ventures such as paper and fabric journals, creative quilting, needlework, mixed media pieces and dollmaking, just to name a few.
Bits and Bobs begins March 14th at Doll Street.
This class for artists of all skill levels 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.

Even if you’ve never painted before you can do this workshop as all techniques will be described and photographed step by step. If you’ve never created a layered collage background with texture before, come and play! If you already know the joys of mixed media join us to incorporate doodles and create a dimensional garden. 

Join this workshop on line at Joggles.

Join me for another canvas based 3-Dimension Mixed Media Art Creation! Begin by creating a beautiful night sky including stars that actually twinkle and then build your own crescent moon, complete with texture and craters.  Using paper clay students will learn to sculpt a whimsical moon face, and finish the moon with color and glow.  There has to be Moon Glow!

The sweet little 7 inch faerie seated on the moon begins with a poseable wire armature, is constructed of paper clay with minimal details, and sculpted facial details are optional, though basic sculpting will be taught. After painting our Sweet Fae, we’ll dress her in silk we have hand dye in class. Finally we create her organza and wire wings just before seating her with her best friend and a book to read to him. The class is running on Doll Street.
I've been trying to decide what my next pattern might be and came across some old projects. Above is the Enchantress, who sat on a throne and read Tarrot cards. I love the tattoos on her face and breast.  She had a great deal of beadwork on her pigskin corsette and hand dyed silk.
 Carlotta has a beautiful headdress created from hand dyed lace.  She was a Cirque du Soliel type deal dangling from a silk sheet.  She was loads of fun to make but probably to challenging to get across asa pattern with her pose.
 My cloth Marrottes all had large noses and my typical eccentric and eclectic headdress designs. I initially wanted to go medieval in design but got creative so call the costuming ecclectic.  No one can say I have the style wrong that way!
The Ribbon Master took third place in the Hoffman challenge a few years back.  He's got a wimple and layered ribbon headdress but what you can't see here is his fabulous coat and embroidered silk Shirt.  The Master is a variation of my Wee Whimsies.
 Master Ferryman was inspired while watching "Shakespear in Love."  His costuming is ecclectic Elizabethan made of a free motion embroidery jacket, velvet hat and leather shoes. He would be a fun pattern but I'd have to remake him as the original sold about 10 years ago.
Penelope Ponders the Preposterous Proposal of the Pompous Prince Phillip was an early doll that I always adored and still own.  I'd remake her - since I've improved my skills in the last 15 years since I first made her. Her headdress is created out of several  doilies and lace scraps. She actually was a pattern that didn't do too well when I first started designing, so maybe a revision will do better.
Riding the Dodo was always one of my favorite pieces. I'd like to remake this sometime and improve the bird.  The gentleman rider was a very early Wee Whimsie and inspired by James Christenson's art.  He wears a wimple, ribbon headwrap and a cap on top.  The little bitty bird on his hat is actually the rider, because if you dressed like this I'd call you a dodo too.

Who knows which I will choose as my next pattern... we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beetle Babe

I'm releasing a new online pattern Beetle Babe. Briwyn is a garden faerie and stands on her beetle buddy Brody’s back holding securely to vine woven reigns as she patrols under the hosta leaves and in between the bluebells and the columbine to make sure things are in order. Her costume is hand dyed and singed silk, draped in fibers and beads and toped with a Free Motion Embroidery (FME) corset but could easily be completed in pre-dyed fabrics and   without the FME for a less challenging project. Brody has a shell also made with FME using different types of fibers. This pattern is full of techniques and options including: a flat face and a needle sculpted head as well as a choice between individually wired articulated fingers and mitten hands. With the added options this pattern will be fun for doll makers of all skill levels. Make this doll with as many or as few techniques as you choose!
You can find her at Craftsy or my Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


   I was born under the sign of Aquarius which I am SURE is why I retain water so well. But it also helps me to appreciate mermaids, and I designed one years ago and taught it live many times. Now I'm remaking the mermaid, Angel Fish the Mermaid Bride, and planning to make her into an on line workshop.
   Angel fish collects riches from ship wrecks and has embellished her wedding gown with her treasures. This two or three day work shop features Judy’s detailed step-by-step methods to needle sculpt and add dimension to a cloth face with color. Create this elegant mermaid doll to learn free form embellishing techniques including silk ribbon embroidery stitches, ribbon and fabric manipulation and incorporating beadwork as well as creating lace unique embellishments from lace to create this beautiful doll. Additional techniques taught in this workshop include how to naturally pose feminine articulated hands gracefully with the option for individual fingers or mitten hands including fingernails and easy but elegant dolly rings and jewelry.
   I made another version of Angel Fish several times and  embellished her tail even more. Quite a bit of beadwork and silk ribbon embroidery.
   A close up of the tail shows some of the embellishment details.