Thursday, 8 January 2015

Artist Trading Post Exchange ~ Fresh Beginnings

Happy New Year folks ! Sue is the fabulous host of the first challenge of the year, over at the Artist Trading Post Exchange.  She has chosen the title 'Fresh Beginnings', and is asking us to try something new. This could be a new product, a new technique or maybe something new to alter. You know the score... just let your imagination fly ! Just remember...... to be eligible to win a £10 gift voucher for the well stocked, Artist Trading Post  you must include some stamping on your project and please, no digis.
For my  'Fresh Beginnings', I decided to try something I've been wanting to do for ages and that is to make an art doll. as you can see I ended up making two as it was so much fun. I used a free template I found on The Enchanted Gallery click on this link if you'd like to take a look at the fabulous designs Kimberley has on her website. After printing out the template on thin card, I cut out the pieces I needed and drew around each one onto a piece of kraft card. I then cut these out and glued them onto book pages.
I gave them a light coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint, mixed with a little white gesso.
I applied foil tape to the tails and ran them through my Big Shot, using a Tim Holtz Riveted Metal embossing folder and a cogs and gears folder from my stash. I then blended several colours of Adirondack Alcohol Ink onto each tail. Once dry, I rubbed over the surfaces with wire wool, exposing some of the shiny foil surface. I love the results of this technique. Now for the faces, I must say I'm rather pleased with myself with these......
 The paperback book I've been using, conveniently, has 4 or 5 blank pages at the end. I used one of these to stamp the faces  with  black Archival Ink, using a stamp I've had for ages. It's a pretty face but has closed eyes, which wasn't really what I wanted for these goddesses. As an experiment, I lightly sketched open eyes onto the stamped eyelids and then went over my sketch with a fine black pen. Genius or what ! ha ha, not perfect I know, but quite acceptable. I gave the lips and cheeks a little colour with  Distress Marker ink, applied with a Detail Water Brush. I then cut out the faces and adhered them to the dolls heads.
I then constructed each goddess, using Long Fasteners to attach the arms, and Matte Multi Medium to attach the tails to the bodies. I then  added a few embellishments to each one. Their hair was cut from Tim's Holiday Greens Die and embossed with Wendy Vecchi's embossing powder.
Here is goddess number 1..
..and here is number 2....
Watching these to come together has been quite  joyous. I'm sure I'll be making some more. Now if you fancy trying something different, we'd love to see your work. Hop over to the Artist Trading Post Exchange with this link, and show us your Fresh Beginnings, who knows you could be our winner !
If you'd like to purchase some of the materials I've used, click on the highlighted links and you'll be transported to the Artist Trading Post online shop. The free art doll templates can be found here Happy creating ! x


  1. A constructive masterpiece Toni. Love the fins and the way you've 'opened' the eyes. Happy New Year! Jenny x

  2. These are really cool. Love how you left the background simple so the focus is on the mermaids. They are fab and I love the hair. Hugz

  3. Oh just fabulous Toni !! wonderfully constructed and painted. Happy New Year! Jennie x

  4. WOW! These are great Toni!
    I've never been very interested in doing dolls, but you have really peeked my interest! Now, I'll jump to the recommended sites and take a look.
    Thanks for sharing them.

  5. The eyes on your beautiful dolls are so mesmerizing, you have done a fabulous job on these - I just love the hair on them and the tails look wonderful. A real triumph! Happy New Year to you. Hugs, Anne xx

  6. Fabulous art dolls, love their expressive faces, especially the eyes.

  7. These are fantastic! Gorgeous effects with the metal foil and foliage addition to make your 'mermaids', and the eyes are perfect! Ruth x

  8. Wow such a clever idea and the dies and embossing folders you have chosen are perfect for the design.
    Julie x

  9. FABULOUS!!! The tails rock, and drawing the eyes is amazing! Totally wonderful project!!!

  10. I love this Toni! Their tails are amazing and the mermaids are just so creative. The metal foil works perfectly.

  11. Gorgeous Art Dolls Toni! Love the strategic placing of the cogs! Sue C x

  12. What wonderful Goddesses you created Toni! so clever in opening their eyes!!

  13. Wow, Toni - your ocean goddesses are magnificent! The steampunk tails are spectacular and a huge bravo on opening their eyes to the world. Beautiful, beautiful project.
    Alison xx