Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Fly Without Wings Class with Linda Hollerich

I am taking a class on the Joggles site (www.Joggles.com) with doll artist Linda Hollerich.  Above is a picture of 3 of the paperclay heads I created for my dolls.  Here are some other views.

Here are her very interesting feet!

Stay Creative! Lezlei

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Final Inspection

The Soldier stood and faced God, Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining, Just as brightly as his brass..
'Step forward now, Soldier , How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?'
The soldier squared his shoulders and said, 'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns, Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays, And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent, Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny, That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime, When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place, Among the people here.
They never wanted me around, Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much, But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly, For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you Soldier, You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets, You've done your time in Hell.'
~~ Author Unknown

It's the Soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It's the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It's the Soldier, not the politicians that ensures our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.. It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag. If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the Military, pray for our men and women who have served and are currently defending our freedom for us



Please remember my son in your prayers as well, Sergeant Aaron Young, currently serving in the United States Air Force.

Stay Creative!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Mighty Fortress is Our God!

The National Day of Prayer is a day designated by the United States Congress as a day when people are asked to come together and pray, especially for their country. It was created as a floating holiday in 1952 and fixed on the first Thursday in May by Ronald Reagan.

Take time today to pray for our nation and its leaders.

Stay Creative!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Doll - Unnamed

This little doll came together quickly, but is yet unnamed. She was created using the techniques I struggled through to create Fradira.  You can read about Fradira here

Fradira's little friend has a wire armature. 
Her feet are made from Apoxie Sculpt. Hands are machine sewn,
attached and stuffed with cotton batting.  Armature is then wrapped in batting. 

All wrapped in batting and ready to be "skinned".

Let the "skinning" begin!

All Skinned!

 I wanted to try yet a couple of other techniques on Fradira, but was afraid that I would mess her up or wouldn't like the result.  The techniques...the first was just just using paperclay to sculpt the head and shoulders into the fabric of the body...awesome technique...loved it...worked great! 

Head attached. Paperclay sculpted onto
fabric at shoulders and feet...seamless!

A view of the back and copyright label that will
actually be underneath the seal and paints.
The other technique was just sealing and painting the surfaces of her soft sculptured body...that also worked great!  She'll be a little cutie!
Multiple layers of a mix of molding paste
and acrylic gel before gesso.
 FRADIRA UPDATE:  All skinned and ready for head to be attached, posed, sealed and painted!

Gotta think of a name for Fradira's little friend!

Stay Creative!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fradira is Late!

Meet "Fradira".  "Fradira" is my latest doll that I am creating for the ADO Quarterly Challenge - Steampunk Dolls.  She should have been completed April 1...she is late!  Fradira is just now squeezing into her Lycra body skin.  I love this picture!  Have you ever rushed to put something on over your head and it gets stuck?  Smiles.

Fradira is pretty special.  First, she is a big doll for me.  When finished, she will stand approximately 24 inches tall.  My biggest doll ever!  She was created using a wire armature reinforced with copper tubing for strength.  Her soft body is made of muslin stuffed with cotton batting.  Her arms and legs are wrapped in cotton batting followed by gauze.  Her body is "skinned" with cotton Lycra (another first for me).

Fradira's head and shoulders are creating using a wonderful Cloth Overlay technique taught by Susie McMahon, one of my favorite doll artists.  I am VERY pleased with my first cloth overlay doll head using Susie's tutorial available in her Etsy shop here

Fradira's hands were created using a technique learned at the "Handling Hands" class taught by Judy Skeel available on one of my favorite shopping websites, Joggles here.

Another first with Fradira is that I started from a drawing.  It is amazing to me that I actually remained true to my original sketch of her size and body proportions.  I also sketched her costume.  It was REALLY hard once I had sketched the costume, not to start on it...but of course I couldn't without having the finished doll to use to fit the costume properly...aargh!  Here are pictures of the sketches (I will save the costume sketch for the the next "Fradira" post).

Stay Creative!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Tribute to My Friend, Richard Lafayette

Sometimes life just pushes the art aside...

Late on Friday afternoon I received a message that an old high school friend (Kathy) had tagged me in a photo on Facebook.  About 4:00 PM, I signed on to Facebook to take a look at the photo.  The caption on the photo read, "Richard and Lezlei George Washington Preparatory High, Watisishumbas '72 30 Year Reunion. RIP our brother and friend."  That is how I found out that my friend of over 40 years had lost his battle with liver cancer.  He had passed away early Wednesday morning.  Questions flooded my brain! What had happened? Had his prognosis changed? Why wasn't I contacted BEFORE he took his last breath. I wanted to be there.  I wanted to make sure he had everything he needed.  I wanted to hold his hand. I wanted to tell him I loved him one last time.

His brother's Facebook page contained the details of his funeral arrangements - the next morning at 8:00 AM in Oakland, CA.  I called the funeral home to confirm the arrangements.  Fortunately, I was able to get a flight into San Francisco on Friday night.  I had only enough time to throw a few items in a bag and head for the airport. I had to change planes in Phoenix, so I carried my bag on for fear the airline might lose it and leave me to attend the funeral in my jogging outfit (which I would have done if I had to). 

So Saturday, March 26, 2011 I attended the funeral and said goodbye to my friend, Richard Lafayette. 

I had called and text him several times over the last 3 weeks with no response. So I contacted his brother (a busy attorney) who promised to call. When he offered to call rather than respond with Richard's condition, I feared things may not have been going well - my last call was to his brother's office (I can be bold when I need to) on Wednesday to leave a message with his secretary. My friend was already gone and I didn't know it.

We first met in 1969 at George Washington High School in Los Angeles, CA, where we both attended.  After graduating, Richard was one of the few that I have maintained a friendship with from high school.  We would lose contact from time to time over the years - but he would always find me and we would renew the friendship as if we had never been apart. 

I missed a call from him about 8 months ago.  As I lay down to go to sleep, I thought to text him to ask if he was OK...and the phone rang and he said, "Lezlei, this has been the worst day in my entire life.".  He went on to explain that his wife of 39 years had died that day unexpectedly.  So we encouraged each other not knowing that there were still some difficult days ahead. 

Another call only a few months ago to tell me he had been diagnosed with liver cancer.  He explained the treatment plan to me in detail and I gave him my list of things he had to do.  At one point he stopped me and said, "Lezlei, I have family, friends and people who care about me here in Oakland - I'm not by myself."  There was silence on the phone for a moment - I had to process that - he had other friends besides me...smiles.  But that is the kind of friend he was - he always made me feel so special and "as if" I was the only friend.  His services were evidence of the many family, friends and co-workers who loved him - just like me. As he took his last breath, he was surrounded by his family from Dallas and two sons and the assurances of a life well lived.

He visited Dallas the end of last year and I was able to spend a couple of hours with him and drove him to the airport for his trip home.  I am so thankful for that time. I am eternally grateful for the many years of wonderful friendship.  I am trusting God that we got everything out of it that we should have.

Even though I wasn't there - I know he knew that I loved him because I told him often enough- we would end most conversations with that reminder, "I love you". 

Isn't that smile infectious!  I love you, Richard and I will miss you forever...


Saturday, March 5, 2011

TDP Update - The Twins Arrive

Just a short post to let you know I have received my first  ADO Travelling Doll Project (TDP) visitor...that is VISITORS...my first TDP visit is from doll "twins", "Zebulon" and "Caledonia" from Bakersfield, CA (which happens to be my birth place).

Zebulon and Caledonia were created by Martha of Ayala Art.  I will be sharing pictures and more about them later...we have to talk first...smiles.

"Big Maggie" is on her way to Florida for her first stop with Moriah of MLB Studios. I miss her already. You can read about her send off here.

Stay Creative!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ADO Travelling Doll Project Begins!

 I belong to a group of wonderful doll makers called "Art Dolls Only" (ADO).  This is the third year of the ADO Travelling Doll Project and I am participating again this year.  The first dolls shipped March 1st.  Last year the project was published in 2 issues of "Doll Collector" magazine!  Briefly, here is how it works...
  • The participating doll makers are divided up into teams.
  • Each team member begins the creation of a doll using any technique desired.
  • Each member also creates a journal for the doll created.
  • The doll and journal is mailed round-robin to each team member, who builds upon what each member has done prior to bring the doll to a completed state. 
 You can read more about ADO and the Travelling Doll Project at the links above.

All that to say...I will be sharing the journey of my doll "Margaret Indigo Grimsby" (aka "Big Maggie") as she travels across the country to 5 other wonderful doll makers.  I will be posting a link to her story on the Travelling Doll Project Blog as well as sharing other pictures here on my blog.  "Big Maggie" was shipped to Florida today to Moriah Betterly of MLB Studios, a full time artist / doll maker and instructor (working on my doll woohoo!).  I can wait to see what Moriah adds to "Big Maggie".

Meet "Big Maggie" saying good-bye to her "prim" friend, "Annie" and a few pictures of her paper bag journal.

See how carefully she is holding those hands...she's pretty proud of them!  I learned how to make Maggie's hands in a workshop called "Handling Hands" taught by Judy Skeel at Joggles.com.  This workshop was EXCELLENT!!!  The class is being offered again on March 16 at an extremely affordable price which includes patterns for 2 types of hands and tips on how to fix some of the issues that articulated hands present (e.g. busted seams). But honestly, I followed the instructions and my hands came out PERFECT the first time!!! (Click on images to enlarge.)

Watch for more information on Maggie's travels!

Stay Creative!


Sometimes the Yarn Calls Me

I learned crochet, knitting, sewing, quilting, gardening, and cooking at the feet of my Great Grandmother, Sally Brown.  What a blessing it was to have "Mama" until my junior year of high school!  When she passed away in 1971, the sewing that she had taught me had blossomed into designing and sewing all but a few pieces of my clothing for school.  I would always save my "lunch money" to buy pieces of fabric.  Back then, fabric was very affordable and sewing your clothing was a very economical alternative to purchasing ready-made items. 

There were many days that I would come home with an "idea" of an outfit that I wanted to wear to school the next day.  I would quickly finish my homework and maybe dinner for the family and start to sew.  I would design the pattern pieces, cut and sew the fabric sometimes waking early in the morning to finish a hem or any handwork.  There were many nights my mother would come in and send me to bed...I would wake u even earlier and finish my outfit and be off to school before she arose for the morning!

But I digress...we are talking about the yarn today!  Crochet and knitting are both so relaxing.  There is not a lot of set up required like some of the other hobbies I enjoy...it's just you, the yarn, the crochet or knitting needles, and maybe a pattern. No clean-up...just tuck your project back into the yarn basket when you're done for the day. 

I always have an abundant supply of beautiful yarns (and fabric).  Often when I am shopping for other items, a beautiful yarn (or fabric...smiles) will beckon me, jump into my shopping basket and make its way to my home and into my yarn stash with all the other beautiful yarns.

I have been making hats and scarfs (some skinny) and fingerless gloves...some patterns work up very quickly.  Most recently, this beautiful "Neapolitan" colored yarn beckoned me.  It was so relaxing working on this beautiful hat and skinny scarf.  It is worked with a combination of a modified "puff" stitch with single crochet borders on the hat and skinny scarf.  I have placed the Neapolitan set in my etsy shop here.

My next project...get all the items placed in my etsy shop to make room for the next call of the yarn...smiles.

Stay Creative!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The OWOH Joy Continues!

Look what was in the mail today!
I am still enjoying the "overflow" of the One World One Heart blog hop and giveaway.  I am spending time revisiting the many blogs that I didn't have time during the event to explore in detail.  I won a few giveaways and met some wonderful new online friends!  Here are the wonderful giveaways that arrived from my new artistic blog buddies.

A beautiful print entitled "Watch Over My Humble House" by Jenny Wentworth of Creativity is Happiness

A beautiful owl pendant from Leila West of Artsy Creations

Another beautiful print entitled "Braver, Stronger, Smarter" by Erin Leigh of Art by Erin Leigh

Some "royal" mail from the UK with a package full of angels from Kate at http://noseycritters.blogspot.com/

A gorgeous heart pendant and fairy pin from Lind Pflum of Charmed Victorian

The cutest fairy door from Laura Medeiros of Pithy Art Blog

Aren't these gifts absolutely wonderful!  I have included links to the blogs of these wonderful artists.  Please stop by their blogs and experience more of their wonderful art!

Stay Creative!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Serendipitous Substrates

Wasn't that a mouthful!   I often peruse the aisles of the Dollar Store (yes, the Dollar Store) actually LOOKING for "fortunate discoveries".  The inventory ar the Dollar Store is constantly changing - so there is always something new for your consideration.  One thing that I keep my eye out for is "unlikely substrates" - items that can be used as substrates for my mixed media art creations.

Today I found shrink-wrapped pictures of flowers glued on 1/4 inch pressed board substrates.  Each picture measures 7 inches by 9 inches.  The back of each picture included the hardware to hang the picture.  The flowers were pretty, but not anything that I would display in my home (let's just leave it at that...smiles).  But the sturdy substrate that was used makes the pictures excellent (and economical) substrates for mixed media!  Added bonus - it's ready for hanging!  This what I did...
  1. Removed the shrinkwrap
  2. Sanded the picture surface to remove the glossy surface and prepare it to "grab" the media
  3. Glued miscellaneous papers from my paper stash onto the substrate using Golden Matte Gel
  4. Allowed papers to dry
  5. Added a wash of white Gesso
  6. Et voila!  A sturdy, economical background ready to hold my next mixed media creation
Look what a buck can get you!  I bet I know where you're going this weekend!  Have fun!

Stay Creative!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

OWOH Winner!!!

I finally got to talk to the my beautiful birthday boy today (isn't he handsome).  Clarence is 31 years old today...whew!...he's getting close to my age...smiles.  I asked him to give me a number between 1 and 274.  He picked "lucky number 13" (which happens to be his age transposed)!  So who is "lucky number 13"?

Drum Roll Please!!!!!

The winner of the Breath of Art  Studio One World One Heart Giveaway is...

T'rina of Art in My Bag

T'rina says she is "a 42 year old BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) from Boise Idaho.I am an artist, a writer, a crafter, a liberal, a giver, a decent person, I am an Eclectic, a mix of Goth, bohemian, geeky nerd artist."  Stop by Trina's blog at http://artinmybag.wordpress.com/ and congratulate her on her win.  I will be contacting Trina also via email to get her snail mail information so that  I can send "Sister" and the little toddler gift bag on their way!

Another big thank you to Lisa Swifka of http://www.awhimsicalbohemian.typepad.com/ for hosting this awesome event.  This event was a wonderful experience for me...I hope it was fun for you too!  Stay tuned...Lisa has big plans already started for next year...read about "Our World Our Art" here.

Don't be a stranger!  Come by and visit often!

Stay Creative!


Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart 2011

UPDATE:  Winner will be announced at 2:00 PM central Time...the birthday boy is
in a different time zone and doesn't get up too early...smiles.

So many wonderful blogs, so little time (smiles).

What a great opportunity for bloggers like me to meet and share in an INTERNATIONAL event!  Can’t wait to make some new friends…what an awesome idea!  Thank you Lisa for hosting another year!

About Me:  My name is Lezlei and I am a multi media artist and doll maker living in Cedar Hill, Texas (Dallas).  For more information about me, please click on the "Meet the Artist" menu item above.

The winner of the  Breath of ART OWOH giveaway will receive the following:

Mini Gift Bag with Vintage Toddler Photo
(handmade by me)

OOAK Mixed Media Collage - "Sister"

"Sister" is a OOAK mixed media collage on an 8” x 8” x 2” stretched wrapped gallery canvas and is part of my Heritage Collage Series. The canvas is painted and textured using acrylics in rust and olive tones. The piece is embellished with paper, a bit of vintage lace, and a silk flower. Rusted items were added and contrast the piece beautifully. The back of the canvas is covered to prevent dust and provide a “gallery finish”. “Sister” is ready for hanging.

I will be announcing the winner of the Breath of Art OWOH giveaway on Thursday, February 17th at 8:00 AM Central Time. Here are some simple guidelines that will assure that 10 years later I won’t be holding on to your prize and waiting for your postal address. It’s awful, but that is what I would do!

1. OWOH is an international event and is open to bloggers worldwide
2. Enter the BREATH of ART OWOH giveaway by leaving a comment on THIS post. It’s OK to keep your comments short and simple…it is up to you. However, make sure your comment includes your contact information in case you win. Include a link to your blog or OWOH giveway (if you are participating). I'd LOVE to visit your blog or giveaway.
3. The winner will be announced Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 8:00 AM central time. The winner will be chosen by asking my oldest son (whose birthday is February 17th) to select a random number from the total number of entries on my blog. I will email the winner as well as post the winner's name on my blog. The winner will be responsible to respond to my email address with the address to where the prize should be mailed.

Remember...You MUST leave a comment on THIS post (below).

Hey! It is not too late for you to join in the FUN! Just go here or click the OWOH logo above to meet Lisa from “A Whimsical Bohemian”, the creator and host and learn about the One World~One Heart event. You have until February 12th to join in on the fun!Stay Creative!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog Facelift in Progress...

Vintage French Dress Forms

Time for a blog "facelift"...it is a PROCESS.  It begins today...construction scheduled for completion on January 30th.  Hung the new banner for a while today to make sure it fit.
Here are some lyrics from a song by Chris Rice that seems appropriate.  Come back by and check out my new and improved (well... dusted off anyway) blog on January 30th!

PARDON MY DUST by Chris Rice

Pardon my dust, excuse the mess
we're making somethin' new out of all of this
I'm saying my prayers, and I'm trying to change
so give me some time, 'cause I'm still finding my way

Why are you lookin' at me this way?
pointing your finger, shakin' your head
how 'bout some love along the way, instead

Pardon my dust, excuse this mess
I've left a trail of debris, so you've gotta be
very careful where you step
I've made some mistakes, so what?
Done quite a few things wrong
Could you roll up your tidy sleeves and help a [sister artist] along?

Pardon my dust, excuse the mess
Please don't be another judge I need to try to impress
Stop calling me names, stop casting your stones
let the good Lord sort this all out when we are all at home

Pardon my dust, excuse my mess
help me believe there's gonna be something beautiful on the other side of this
have patience with me, I'm still sweeping floors
so pardon my dust, I'll pardon yours

Stay Creative!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Every Inchie Monday Challenge - MAUDLIN

It's Every Inchie Monday! Today's inspiration word is "maudlin". I totally had to look the word up...I had never heard this word before. Here is the definition:
maud·lin adj \ˈmȯd-lən\
Function:  Adjective
Meaning:  [more maud*lin; most maud*lin] : showing or expressing too much emotion especially in a foolish or annoying way ▪ He became maudlin and started crying like a child. ▪ a maudlin love story ▪ maudlin poetry
This week my inchies are little collages.  The eye featured in "I often cry" is actually mine...I always loved that my eyes were big (smiles).

You can see other inchies and other interpretations of "MAUDLIN" here.  Maybe you want to join us next week - it's going to be MIRTHFUL!

Stay Creative!