BEAD LOVE DOLLS
The dolls I have created over the years have been my most special Bead Love. Each has had it’s own special message that has played out by using a combination of beads, metals and found objects.... just to name a few. Each doll starts with a simple wooden armature figure and each takes on a life of it’s own.
SHE SELLS SEASHELLS BY THE SEA SHORE
In 1997 my first doll grew out of my love of shells and the ocean. I have always felt it was a place that I could breathe. Using a combination of brick and peyote stitch, with branch fringe on the bottom edge of her dress. Coiled wire for the arms, legs and hair, topped off with a wire basket I made and filled with shells. She was published in 500 Beaded Objects.
KEEPER OF THE BROKEN HEART
My next doll came from a period painful period in my life. We had suffered the loss of a full term baby boy. In my journey of healing, I worked with and lead a group that supported parents with loss. I wished at that time that I could hold onto all of those broken hearts that hurt so much to give them comfort until the pain lessened and I could give them back.
MY HOW TIME FLIES
This doll was created in 2000 and was published in 500 Beaded Objects. The idea came from my inability to manage or keep to a schedule. I am never sure where all the time goes….no matter how hard I try it seems to fly away from me! Wings of textured copper and watches make up some of the unique components in this doll.
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW
This is my most recent doll 2016. She was created out of a bead stash but together for a contest put on by Whim Beads. Inspired by the colors a mix of bead embroidery, soutache and bead stitches are combined to make this summer garden doll.
HOW ABOUT MAKING YOUR OWN!
As you can probably tell there isn’t a pattern to follow…you just need to follow your heart.
The following will give you a general idea on how to get started and you can go from there.
You begin by deciding what your theme is going to be. This will help guide you to the colors and materials you may want to use.
MATERIALS YOU WILL MAY NEED:
Wooden armature doll. You can find these at art stores or Ikea carries an inexpensive one.
Wooden base- the dolls come on a small base, but you may want to get something larger so it is more stable. Craft stores sell wooden pieces in different sizes that you can glue the base to.
Spray paint- to paint the wooden doll and base. Color is up to you. I often choose black.
A face- I have found a number of different ones on Etsy..Look for something approx. 2-1/4x2” or smaller.
Assorted beads- this is a great place to use lots of different sizes and shapes of beads. There's no wrong or right to the ones you choose!
Thread and needles of your choice
Stiff bead backing- if you are going to embroider any part of your doll
Wire and metal-depending on your design.
Glue- hot glue gun and E6000
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
After you have chosen your theme and colors, paint your doll. Make sure that you move the arms, legs and head around so you paint all of the showing surface. You may decide to move these around and don't want any bare wood to show.
Decide what technique you want to use to clothe your doll. I often start with the skirt. I am going to use a bead backing and will be embroidering on it. The backing can be cut into sections or used in one large piece. Other options are using your favorite bead stitch to create your clothes.
Use your choice of techniques to create the top and sleeves. These can also be stitched on or glued into place.
Depending on your skills you can use wire to embellish the legs and arms. Even create components out of metal, such as the wings I made for “My How Time Flies”
WHAT ABOUT HAIR….
Hair can be created by stringing beads or fringe and glued into place. Or as I did on many of mine- drill holes in the wood head and make coils and spirals out of wire that are inserted into the holes and glued into place.
TIME FOR THE FACE….
After all is in place glue on the face. If you are using E6000 make sure you lay your doll down and let the glue dry completely before standing back up.
HOW TO FINISH UP…..
After you have added all of the embellishments you desire, you can glue the small base on the doll stand to your larger piece to make it stable. This can be done with a hot glue gun or E6000.
Finish the stand off with beads, fabric, paints. What ever you desire to make it interesting and fun!
My advice is use as many beading, wire, metal techniques as you can. It will add such interesting color and texture to your piece.
I am starting my next doll as we speak. I'll show you the process as she takes form. Keep an eye out for updates!
Take your time with this process….enjoy the journey….love the results! I hope you will create your own Bead Love Doll- Tracy Stanley