Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow! Thanksgiving already. Where does the time go?
It looks a little more like Christmas outside today. This morning I drove to work through a winter wonderland filled with snow frosted pines. I did not have my camera with me. There were so many beautiful trees Of which I would have liked to have had a photo.
I can be thankful that in this winter weather I have a dependable car and warm home. I am also grateful that tomorrow I will feast with all my children and grandchildren. I will miss my family that is on the other side of the country, but I will be able to call them.
I do wish everyone everywhere a day of blessings and joy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October update

I have been so busy this last month, that I have taken very little time to be on-line. So what have I been doing?
Glad I asked :)

First I was working on my entry for the Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge. It is the first time I have entered this challenge. I really enjoyed making this doll and hope those who view will be pleased.

Next I had two speaking engagements last week. I spent considerable time preparing for the first -- the Wednesday Morning Club's annual opening luncheon. My program discussed my belief that we all are creative. I took along my dolls and puppets. I had a wonderful time. An article about the meeting , along with a photo (which I am in) may be found at
I was asked about a month ago if I would be the speaker for the October meeting of the Rome Art Association. Since I already had a program set for the Wednesday Morning Club, I said yes. I tweaked the program a little to fit the audience.
I really enjoyed both of the meetings. I would love to be able to do more speaking engagements. And perhaps seminars.
Ah--- to have dreams become goals and become reality!

I also sent off a doll, December Bride, to the Wiltwyck Quilt Guild's Hello Dolly challenge/exhibit.
Wiltwyck Quilt Guild Cloth Doll Exhibit
2008 Wiltwyck Quilt Show October 18 & October 19Ulster County Community College491 Cottekill RoadStone Ridge, New York 12484Hours: 10-5 Sat. & 10-4 Sun.

So now I am all caught up with obligations! Yeah!!! What a wonderful feeling!

Oh one last thing, My ROBIN HAS PLANS FOR HER EMPTY NEST was chosen as runner-up for craft of the month by the Rome Art Association and will be on exhibit at the Rome Art and Community Center during the month of October.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two winners

WEll I did win two ribbons. Sally took a third place ribbon in Crafts and Marg Ana Gram was awarded a second place ribbon in sculpture!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Being Different

My work is different. When I entered the pieces in the show, one of the members at the registration table said, "Alice I am so glad you have joined the association. You bring something different to our group."
I laughed.
Yes that has been said often about my work. Different. That is often what I say about something that I really don't know what to say about it. Usually I cannot think of anything positive to say, so I say it is different---- But then again I remeber that usually when I choose to buy something I usually say,"I really like this. It is different!" I was drawn to the item because it was differemt.

Different is now the term being used in reference to my work. And you know I am beginning to embrace that word different. At least by being different, my work stands apart from the others and that isn't bad at all.
My favorite song (from Sesame' street) One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong"
I used to think not belonging meant inferior. I am learning that it doesn't. It means of a different quality, media, or presentation-. Not belonging to the main stream is okay . I can be a little brook going through a beautiful meadow all of my own!
Also when I think of artists I have and do admire--know what? They are all different---e.e.cummings, Elinor Peace Bailey,--how different can you get?


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another Opening Another Show

I have entered four pieces in the Rome Art Associations Annual Member's Show. It is held at the Rome Art and Community Center, Bloomfield Street, Rome NY. It is a non-juried show , but it is judged.
I got a call last night that I have won an award. The opening reception and award ceremony are tomorrow night. I am very curious to see what piece won an award and what t. We are limited to 4 entries, and only 2 in one category. I entered 2 in sculpture, one in mixed media and one in fine crafts. When called I was told I had won ribbons. I wonder if the plural form was a mistake? Can't wait to find out.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fine Arts Exhibit

The Rome Art and Community hosts an annual Fine Arts Exhibit. It is a juried show. This year I entered 5 pieces. Two were accepted for the exhibit. There were 165 entries, 65 were chosen to be in the exhibit, so creating two of those 65 is not too bad. Which of my works were chosen? Elderly Fairy, The Naked Truth ( shown in an earlier post) and the Swamp Thang. There were only 4 sculptures in the show.
The Elderly Fairy is sculpted from paper clay and Pronto DAS clay.
The Swamp Thang has a gourd body, Paperclay face and paper mache feet.


I reread my last post. I thought perhaps the term "barbed word "craft" might be misunderstood. I am proud of being a crafter and find no dishonor in having any of my work called a craft. I have worked hard and have become skilled at techniques I use.
It has only been in the last few years that people have referred to my work as art. The term started showing up in reference to my work when I started making one-of-a-kind items. Not thinking of marketability, I was making items just to express thoughts or for the sheer joy of creating.

The words art and craft are sometimes a mystery. What determines which one is used in reference to one's work? I read a quote somewhere -- and I know I am not quoting it word for word--but am at least expressing the main thought. "The crafter creates to please people, the artist creates to please himself" Is that true?

I think everyone, artist and crafter alike, hope others will appreciate their work. If not why would there be art shows and exhibitions? Perhaps, having people appreciate work, and pleasing them are also two different things.

I guess all in all it doesn't matter what it is called. I enjoy what I do. I hope others like it, but whether they do or not I will continue to create because doing so pleases me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Another critique

My last critique was a little different than the others. When I walked in the artist glanced at my work. If I read body language well, she was not pleased. My work was put with the others waiting for critiques. She picked up a beautiful painting , glanced over at And Sunny Holds the Rainbow with a look I was not sure about. My insecurities led me to believe she thought my work was quite inferior . However I was wrong. When she finaly gave in, heaving a sigh, she said " This is the first time I have ever been asked to critique a CRAFT. I smiled and nodded my head. "I came here to hear what people think, I will listen and use what I can."She had some
great suggestions. Had I let the little barbed word "craft" bother me, I would have most likely blocked out her wonderful suggestions. I really think I can use what she suggested to really create a better "craft" and a more pleasing art doll

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

belonging to a group

I have found a very important tool in increasing my creativity. I am sure many already have been using this tool for ages. I have as well. But lately I have been reviwing my creative growth and notice that it is expotentially increased when I have been active in a group of other creative individuals.
When I did craft shows I was in the midst of creative people every week, We shared and comiserated with one another. I was encouraged by them to strive for greater sucess in selling my work.
Then I worked in a craft store. Talk about being exposed to creative people! I learned about products and their usage daily.
Joining on-line groups broadened my crative horizons. I made cyber-friends that shared tips and sucesses. I learned so mucch from them. I was given links to sites of suppliers, artists and tutorials. When sharing photos of my work the "atta-girls" flowed. and constructine suggestions were made.
Being a member of local grous has helped me grow artistically. Ond clue is that I am using the word "artistically". It took me forever to consider my work art. The word still sometimes gets stuck in my throat.
Through membership in the Central New York Doll is Art Guild ( my dolls have been featured in galleries and have graced the pages of magazines and local news papers. What a thrill to see that others --professionals think my work is good enough for publication!
I have also joined a local art association (Rome Art Association) Often at the meetings a visiting professional artist will offer critiques of our work.Never having taken formall art classes, these critiques have taught me so much!
I can see in my wrok the influence all these groups have played. Looking at my work from only a few years ago I can see growth in skill and style. I owe much of that to what I have learned from all the people from all the groups that have and are creatively touching my life.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Taking on a new role

I have been asked to take over the reins of the Central New York Doll is Art Guild. The founder has just become too busy to give it the attention she feels it needs. The activity has really ebbed this last year. No one's fault just the natural rhythm of a group I guess. Now I need to feed energy back into the group. It is a challenge I am hoping I can meet. It will take a lot of effort on my part. It will also push me creatively as I want to encourage others to create and exhibit. I can't very well do that if I am not creating and trying to enter exhibits myself.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

more on critiques

At first I was quite afraid to put my work up to be critiqued. Would they know I was a fraud, and not an artist at all? Would they ask "Whose work is this? What nerve you have calling this art!
I take my dolls in and to myself sing the sesame street song "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong"
The first item I took to be critiqued was one of my red-hat ladies. She is on canvas so I felt she would fit in with all the two dimensional work. I fidgeted in my seat,filled with apprehension as I waited for her to comment on my piece. She commented on the face and then said "The main thing wrong with this piece is----"
My stomach tightened, 'Oh why did I do this?'I fretted. then she finished, "is that you cannot see the back of her." Whew! She made some suggestions and then went on to an other's work. I wanted so to ask her more , what else could I do, how can I make the canvas not so bland.....' But there was no time. I was absolutely flabbergasted when a few days later I answered a phone call and she was on the line to talk to me about my work! She gave me some wonderful suggestions which I plan to implement.

At the next meeting there was the Elderly Fairy standing next to oil paintings, watercolors, pen and ink, colored pencil, anime'-style marker art. Oh dear, there is no flow, no triangle! The artist giving the presentations glances at her over and over and again and again chooses a two-dimensional piece to critique. Finally she picks up the Elderly Fairy. The butterflies in my stomach are flying at a feverish pace. "Oh no she knows I know nothing about art" I think. She looks, smiles, Now I am Sally Fields. "She likes it, she actually likes it!" She even suggests an art gallery I should approach! She points out it's strong points, and makes suggestions on how to improve the weak points.

I know not all critiques will be as positive as these two, but I will continue taking in my work. I have learned so very much. I want to learn more!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Monday night I went to a new photo club's second meeting. We had a professional photographer that is very well known and highly esteemed in our area give critique's of members photographs. One member objected to having critiques. He said the critiques were quite subjective and no one has the right to criticize anyonoe else's work.
I also belong to our local art association. One of our favorite type of meetings are the ones where critiques are done. I must admit the first one I went to I was quite nervous. After all my work is quite different. I felt that the person giving the critiques was going to say "What the heck is this doing here?" Thankfully so far no one has said that to me. I have been given honest opinions, suggestions, and strong and weak points have been pointed outI have learned so much from the critiques.

Critiques are very subjective, -- but then isn't all view of art? Colors, moods, media, technique----all play into ones likes and dislikes. If I were to see two dolls, each one made with great skill and talent but one was pink, my opinion of the pink doll would be less than that of the other doll, Why? because I do not like pink. I would look for the strengths in the pink doll but would have to study it longer to find it because of the color. But I still would take time to find aspects of the doll that I did like. I beleive that is what the guests at meetings giving critiques do And oh! how I can learn from them! I can probably learn more if they do not like my work than if they did. However that warm "OH you like it!" feeling is a nice on to have now and then. :)

And as was pointed out to me yesterday, many times these guests who do the critiques also judge area art shows. What better way is there to learn what a judge is looking for?

Howe do you feel about critiques? Do you have any memorable ones?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

listing my dolls for the first time

There is a new auction site just for dolls and doll related products, The Shoppes on Magnolia. I have registered there and have listed 7 of my dolls so far. I will be listing more. I do hope that this endeavor is successful. It is scary putting my work out there for all to see and bid on, waiting for someone to make a bid, hoping someone will like it enough to bid. Then I remember----"Hey! I like my work . It makes me smile. So that is what counts. And it is fun to have it where many can see it. Therefore I have succeeded already!"

Since I last wrote I have finished three dolls and worked on two others. I also have come up with my design idea for both the Hoffman Challenge and my Treasures of the Gypsy doll. I really need to get busy on them!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I thought I would post a pictures of a little "doll" I made in February. I needed a gift and was short on cash, so here Is the little desk pen set I made using Pronto DAS clay and Apoxie Sculpt clay.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wonderful site to visit!

As I am trying to acheive goals I have set for myself by entering challenges and calls for entry, here is a wonderful blog to visit. It is too good not to pass along.

Where have I been?

My goodness! I can't beleive it has been this long since I last posted!!

I have a felted head I am posting a picture of. It was such fun to create! When I get started felting, it is hard to stop. I must get some more fibers and needles.

I have come up with an idea for my Treasure of the Gypsy doll. I can't wait to get started on her, but alas I have some other commitments to finish first. If only I could figure out how to squeeze a few extra hours into the day.

In response to one of the posts here. I have corrected the link on my web-site. The interview with me can be read at Sorry for the typo. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I want to thank everyone who read the article in Art Doll Quarterly and took the time to make a comment orwrite an e-mail.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I am Published!

It has been a very busy week since I last posted!
I still haven't finished the felted head, but I have found a photo of the first one I made. I will post it here.

The big exciting news of the week for me is that the article that ART DOLL QUARTERLY asked me to write is finally in print. It is on page 19 of the spring 2008 issue. What a thrill to see it there with by Alice Dennis under the title!

I have also (finally!) have a home page for my very own web-site,
I worked hard to get pages etc. up. When I went to publish it, I was told the photos were too large, so I had to find a resizing program. Because my computer time this week was limited, I only resized the home page photos. Hopefully, sometime in the next few days I will be able to work on it a little more. But until then, at least the home page is there.

I want to thank all of you who have visited and commented on my blog. It is so nice to make new friends here and connect with older ones.

Friday, January 25, 2008

time flying by

I can't believe over a week has past since I last posted. I really wanted to keep up with this. Where did the days go?

I have a theme for my Play on Words challenge doll. Her image is forming in my head.

That is how I create. I spend days, weeks, months (sometimes) envisioning a doll. When I can finally see the doll clearly in my mind's eye, then I begin to construct her. Constructing the doll takes much less time than envisioning. I have spent so much time viewing her and how I will make her, that when I start work on the doll it goes fairly quickly. There are very few sketches. I do not draw well. I wish I did so I could put the images in my head down on paper. I envy those that draw. What a gift to have!

I must choose a song lyric for a round robin doll I will be making. I love round robins (a group of people, usually 5 or 6, each make the beginning of a doll. Each person chooses a title for their doll according to a group theme. A mailing list is formed. on a predetermined date, each round robin member mails her dill to the next person on the mailing list. That person then works on the doll and mails it onto the next. The doll makes a full circle journey, each artist adding touches and structure to the doll as the doll is mailed to them.) I have a few lyrics in mind but have not decided which one yet.

I have begun work on the order that was placed for a chef people wreath. I think he will come out well. I am posting a photo of one I have previously done

Well it is time for bed. Good night

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wow There are comments here!

I was so surprised to see that there are comments here! How cool is that! Thank you so much for taking the time to view my blog and to comment. I am sure you can see my smile shining through cyber-space.

I started felting a little head during my lunch break today. Guess what----I only poked myself once! (I am sure that I leave DNA samples on everyting I make. ) I don't think I will use the felted head for any of the dolls I wil enter into challenges. I have a long way to go in the felting department beefore they will be challenge ready. The repetitve motion of the felting process is a great stress reliever--the perfect activity for breaktime at a new and challenging job.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The felted face is hiding from me right now so I can't post a photo of it after all. I will as soon as I can find it.

January 13,2008

Last fall I felted my first face. I really enjoyed the process . The repetitve manipulation of the fibers through the pounciing of the needle was quite relaxing. Today at a craft store I found fibers and needles. Now I can't wait to play with my new treasures.! The image is of the face I sculpted in the fall. .

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I am now a blogger!

Well I am trying this out. So here goes.
I sent out for information on the Treasures of the Gypsy challenge. I have neever joined in on this challenge, but have decided this is the year to join in the fun!
My dollmaking has been pushed to the back -burner for the past couple of months, but it is time to get busy again. I do have an order for a chef wreath that I need to get done.
I have two challenge dolls to get done for the Central New York Doll is Art Guild These dolls are due in April. One will be a bride doll, the other a doll made to illustrate a play on words. I have been thinking about the play on words doll for months and have had a few ideas, but now --in fact just this minute--I think I have come up with my doll theme. I have to okay my choice with the challenge giver. Nope I won't give out my secret phrase right now, but I will keep you posted.