Friday, 28 November 2014

Silver for Secret Vintage

After running around in town this morning, I've spent the afternoon sorting some great silver jewellery ready for The Secret Vintage Fair tomorrow in Colchester High Street. Here's a sneak preview.....
Puffy Horse Head

Opening Owl with Red Crystal Eyes

Nuvo Crystal Peacock

Nuvo Yacht

Articulated Fish & Pearl Pendant
Filigree Handbag with 1932 Thrupenny Bit
1930'2 Style Racing Car

Nuvo Crystal Market Stall

See you there!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Whirlwind Week....

I had an absolutely amazing weekend at Renegade Craft Fair in London's Brick Lane. It was great to see some familiar faces, and all the amazing other traders.
Even though I had only half a booth, and under 4 weeks to get ready, I'm so glad I made the effort to trade. A record number of Dollie Brooches found new homes, and Christmas Ornaments, Paper Doll Jewellery and Bookmarks were all popular.
A big "Thank You" goes out to everyone who shopped, chatted, and browsed over the weekend, and of course special thanks to the organisers, you really pulled off a superb fair!
If you picked up a flyer from me at the weekend, don't forget you have a discount code for my Etsy Shop, just a little thank you for coming out to meet me.
Today I have added the last Christmas Posting dates to my Etsy shop. I know it's still November, but for some countries, the last dates are really soon...
This Saturday I'll be popping up at The Secret Vintage Fair, In Liquid Night club, High Street Colchester, between 10.30am and 4.30pm
Get there early if you can. You must know by now, that the first 25 people through the door get a goodie bag. This time the treat from me is a Christmas Ornament for your tree. If you can't face the early rush, I'll have ornaments available to buy on my stall too.
This evening I'm choosing Dollie brooches for the fair.......
......and tomorrow I'll give you a glimpse of some of the gorgeous vintage silver jewellery which will be available on my stall.
Did I tell you that I have THE best job in the world? :0)
Thought I'd throw in a cheeky Throwback Thursday while I'm here.....
I think she must be the biggest doll I ever owned!!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Christmas Markets

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a sprinkling of Christmas Markets.
This year you will be able to come and meet me, at three rather special events.
Firstly, I will be spending the weekend with Renegade Craft Fair in London's Brick Lane.
Selected designer makers will be showcasing original handmade goods, great to treat yourself, or for unique  gifts for your loved ones.
Entry is free!!!!
Then it's back home to Colchester, for my favourite local fair, The Secret Vintage Fair.
Slap bang in the middle of town, at Liquid nightclub. There will be live music, pop up beauty salon, vintage clothing, homeware and handmade retro goods.

Then to finish off my pre-Christmas trading I will be joining Bobby's Girl Vintage & Gift Christmas Fair at the Marconi Club in Chelmsford



Saturday, 18 October 2014

Saturday's Kids

I'm catching up with past seasons of Grey's Anatomy today, ahead of the new series this week, so just adding a couple of brooches to Etsy
The metal effect brooches, are just a little bit more subtle than the full painted faces, and will look great on your autumn rain mac, or a winter coat.
Penny Bronze Effect

Greta Copper Effect
 This is a first, a miniature version of Matilda, with golden blonde hair, a baby blue bows.
Miniature Matilda
I'm also plotting and planning for my next Izannah Walker inspired doll.....
 I ordered this fabric from Spoonflower to make a dress for her, last week I also found some beautiful paisley for her at the Knitting & Stitching show. She's going to get quite a wardrobe.....
Victorian Printed Cotton
 All being well, I'll be back playing with clay this week. I have some new brooches to finish, and my Izannah inspired head to work on. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Shop Update

Dolly Cushion by Bea's Beastlies
It's a gorgeous sunny day here today, but I'm inside updating my Etsy shop. Before I could get on this morning though  Dolly had to move out of the way! :0)
Mostly Doll brooches again, and I have few more to list this week, then I will be outing some more vintage jewellery up too.

George Party Hat

Elise Pale Blonde

Hans Grey Hat

I've also listed my newest Googly Girl, who is my version of a Kestner 111 antique doll.
She's been hand cast, painted, dressed and wigged by me, and she's a super happy cheeky little madam.

Googly Girl in Peach

Googly Girl Peach Detail


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

New Faces

It's still gloomy and grey......but I have lots of lights on in the pop up studio to get new Dollie pins in my Etsy shop
Lots of lighting needed on such a gloomy day!
........ Here's the latest few......

Cutie Teddy Bear Doll Brooch

Ruby Antique Doll Pin

Matilda Pale Blonde Doll Brooch

Cutie White Bunny Doll Pin

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Adding to the Cast

It's been a while since I added any new faces to the Dollie brooch gang, so last week I spent a few days working in my Mum's large sunny kitchen, making moulds from some more antique doll faces.
My own kitchen is galley style, and very dark.... it's so dark that I call it the cave!
It was lovely to be able to get all my broken heads out of their sweetie jar home, and pick some cute faces to play with.
Choosing faces from my Antique collection

These dollies are getting plaster moulds, so that I can have the choice to press them in Paperclay, cast them in composition liquid, or porcelain. Most of my earlier brooch moulds are flexible silicone, and so can only be pressed with Paperclay.

This dollie looks very like a Grace Drayton girl
 Before the plaster can be poured over the head, it must be set in a bed of clay. In the past I have used soft earth clay for this, but after doing a couple this way, I switched to wax based plastiline. This was cleaner to work with, and comes away from the plaster very cleanly. The warmth from the plaster setting also made it very easy to work with.
After experimenting with sections of plastic bottles to hold the plaster, I thought it would be a great idea to use pastry cutters instead. The plastic ones weren't deep enough for some of the larger heads, so I managed to source some lovely stainless steel ones for those.
And then disaster struck!!!
Despite coating the metal liberally with mould size/soap the plaster stuck fast in the metal.....and this tiny dollie got caught in the plaster too.....
Stuck in the plaster, and the stainless steel ring

I have no idea why it stuck so solidly, buy I'm guessing that it was something to do with the metal heating when the plaster cured.

I tried soaking the mould in water and soap, hoping to degrade the plaster, and free everything up, to no avail. I haven't got a lot of patience at the best of times, and was more than ready to take a hammer to the plaster to get smash the dollie out, when luckily the man of the house stepped in with a dental tool........
He managed, after a LOT of scraping to free everything from the plaster of doom......

Relief when the Dollie was released
 So then it was back to plastic cutters, and sections of cut up bottles!
More cute dollies preparing to get the plaster treatment

Building a smooth base for the mould

Making moulds from my own sculptures is much easier than these old heads, the model is softer, and the plains of the face slope away from the parting line. Porcelain is harder to get out of the hardened plaster and the broken edges need to be smoothed with clay. In a second stage, these protrusions are filled in with plaster, so that I have a usable mould. It's only because I love each of these faces so much that the tricky task is so worth it.

A finished Dollie Mould
The moulds have now been put aside, whilst I wait for the plaster to dry. And after a very eventful start to this week, with all sorts of washing machine and plumbing dramas I'm getting my stock ready for The Secret Vinatge Fair

 I'm really looking forward to getting out and meeting customers and friends again!!



Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Secret Vintage Fair

I love the Secret Vintage Fair, and this month it returns to Colchester on the 23rd...
There is always a real buzz about the event. There are bands, catwalk shows, vintage makeovers, as well as loads of traders selling vintage clothing and home ware, and handmade items with a vintage touch. Dottie Dollie is delighted to be trading at this event.
There is usually a queue to get in, and the first 25 through the door are rewarded with a super goodie bag. I like to put a treat inside, and this time it's going to be a bunny pin brooch. This morning, after a bit of a delay, the materials arrived, so I couldn't wait to get making....
Bunnies are cut out by hand

Bunny before, and after, shrinking

Bunnies get many coats of protective varnish in the sunshine

Bunny has a sweet side glance, and cute whiskers!

There are lots of brooch pins to glue...

Bunny has a safety brooch pin
There are quite a few bunnies!

Bunny is attached to his card, and is ready to go
I'm looking forward to meeting customers, old and new, at the fair, and a limited number of these bunny pins will be available to buy on the day, if you don't manage to get one of the coveted goodie bags.