L.J. Holmes

L.J. Holmes
In her many Guises.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Fin, A Crown, A Gown, Some Gold, And Silver, and Loads of Pride

I am taking a break from my usual entry to instead show one and all some of the creative dolls my daughter and I made together en massé that we then gave to a lot of women living in Nursing Homes and Hospices in our area last Christmas. My daughter, who suffers from Grand Mal Seizures needed a hobby that would keep her sitting down. We'd seen on eBay how artists were taking Barbie Dolls, removing factory paint, hair, and in some cases limbs, and redesigning them into
One-of-a-Kind dolls that they would turn around and sell. Kathy and I decided not to sell them...we were just amateurs after all, but give them to people who don't get Christmas presents because either their families are long gone, or are too far away, or just too busy. I can tell you all quite honestly, the delighted surprise, the joyful smiles made it all worthwhile.

So sit back and let me share the beauty I shared with my daughter for over a year as we took old Barbies and created fantasies.

No two dolls were alike. The ones like the one above, have bodies sculpted from clay from the waist down. All jewelry was hand fashioned, and of course her bodice was done with several layers of assorted paints. She is one of many mermaids...(our most popular requests)...we made...as you will see.

This next one is one of my favorites because except for a few minor things, this mermaid was created 100% by my Kathy. (It'll take me at least two, maybe three pics to truly show you what an incredible job she did on this doll.)

I was right wasn't I? Isn't Kathy's Bride Mermaid stunning? She worked really hard to make this the perfect mer-bride. The woman she went to absolutely loves her. (With each doll we also gave them a display stand...this doll and a few others required special stands...this one received a wood doll stand with a wider base and a wider support ring.)

We tried many things all in the effort to make certain each doll was uniquely different and uniquely special. Here's one such doll that through some out-of-the-box thinking turned into what I think is a really beautiful doll. Again, my daughter's help, her critiqué allowed us both to expand our horizons and create not just OUTSIDE the box, but BEYOND the box.

CeaFrost is a doll my daughter made without ANY help from me. Every detail...from the lovely pastel lavender hair, to the tail of intricately fused faux sea-grass, and the way she allowed the sensual irridescent white foundation to jump by swirling just hints of pink, purple, blue, and silver throughout the sculpted body and hand painted bodice took my breath away. She truly amazes me.

Cleopatra did not just live in Egypt...no...in our imaginations a version of her lives beneath the mer-populated seas somewhere out there. We captured her this my daughter's creation that we named Nefir Aqua. She truly is the Cleopatra of the Sea and a collector of all treasures lost to the seas by wayward seamen of old...as you can see by the anchor shield she proudly has fitted at her waist. This shield was hand sculpted from clay, cast, baked, painted and fitted to Nefir's sloping mer-body. (Like I said earlier, we experimented a lot...what one of us didn't think of the other did.)

This next doll has sultry long golden blonde hair that we mixed with strands of silver blonde. Her lips are painted a dusky rose, her eyes are bright and dramatic, and the crown on her head is gold filigree. The woman who received her cried. She said she'd never in her life received anything so beautiful. Both Kathy and I felt as if SHE had given us the rare gift.

Another unique mer because of her silver and blue flowing hair, this doll's crown is accented with beaded jewels and her tail looks like peacock seagrass as it flows from her sculpted body.

Some came about because of a posed question...such as what would a mermaid tattoo look like?

Another came about because I was curious about what would happen if we made the crown from sculpted clay that would match the body of the mer.

We did some research and knew that we wanted to include mers that weren't only blonde, blue-eyed and perky...beacause let's face it, the oceans are everywhere.

And by now you are probably SICK of seeing mermaids and are wondering if that was ALL we could wrap our imaginations around to create...oh yea have little faith...

One of our ladies was a "Hog Mama in her younger days, so for her we designed a doll wearing a hand made dress designed with motorcycles and gave her long hair a riotous perm...(oh yes, by the way, I DO sew too...and I want to go on record as saying sewing little sleeves and attaching little hooks and eyes truly challenged my arthritis and my diminished eyesight, but we got the job done.) Many of the dolls we fashioned became Medievil Princesses...Brides!!! Did LOTS of brides...even made a bride for the Sky God. We also made a Woodland Nymph and her daughter, Sprite. Wanna see some of them? OK...here goes.

We'll start with the brides, including the Sky God's bride...I think you'll be able to pick her out from the others.

The Woods are filled with spirits and we made sure that two of them found their way into our ladies hands:

And finally...some of the dolls where it's the outfits that turned the dolls into fantasy creations...including the first one that was made for our Hog Mama.

That's it for now...I mean you can't have me placing over 200 dolls pictures on here can you...besides these give you quite a few so you can see what my daughter did in working on changing the doll that comes from the factory, into the One-of-a-Kind gift for our ladies.

And Kathy...thank you Sweetie for all your work, your ideas, and for believing we really COULD do it.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I couldn't have done any of it without your help. I had lots of fun working on these dolls with you. I love you so much Mom.:-)