The Dollface Collection

19 Mar

I’ve been searching for a suitable branding for my new style of creation. I was toying with the idea of a total rebrand, but I’m rather attached to my pseudonym now so it’s here to stay. Instead, I’ve decided to give the dolls an umbrella name of their own, so from here on they will be known as

‘THE DOLLFACE COLLECTION’ By The Mistress of Monsters.

Anyone who sees them seems surprised by the size of them, so I thought it would be a good idea to give you an idea of scale by having a photoshoot with my little darlings. Nothing beats the feeling of having an armful of things you’ve made!

The Dollface CollectionMr Monster is busy designing me a logo for the collection so will be able to show you that soon too. I love it when a plan comes together!

Juliana De’Vine – Fortune Teller

19 Mar

Another new addition to the sideshow arrived today. Introducing Ms Juliana De’vine.

Juliana De'VineJuliana had a very successful career as a stockbroker, until she was a little TOO good at predicting the next big money-maker, leading her to be investigated for insider trading. No one would believe that it was her ‘gift’ which was her secret to success and so she was forced to leave the profession. After the circus came to town one fateful day, she realised that with the sideshow she could make her fortune by telling punters their own. And so the rest is history.

Juliana De'Vine

Juliana De'Vine

Map The Sewinists

11 Mar

I stumbled across a great project today whilst browsing through posts with the tag ‘sewing’. The brains behind the website  ‘Another Sewing Scientist’ struck on the idea of trying to map all the stitchy types across the globe to allow us to get to know each other within our own communities. It’s taken off big-time with many hundreds of crafters tagging themselves resulting in a world map awash with little blue pins.

Map the Sewinists

I love this idea, and noticed that the UK is looking mighty bare just now. As a nation we have no shortage of talented seamstresses and stitchers, so lets drop some more blue pins and start to get acquainted!

You can find instructions on how to tag yourself by clicking the map above. It’ll take you straight there!

Bridget O’Hair – Bearded Lady

10 Mar

As promised, I’ve been sewing like a demon this morning to complete the second of my ‘Ten-in-one’ Sideshow Starlets. Making her debut is Bridget O’Hair, bearded lady extraordinaire.

Bridget O'HairBridget was born with a full head of auburn locks, and by her third birthday she was already sporting a pretty impressive moustache. Her beard kicked in at age eighteen and scuppered her plans to become a seamstress as she kept getting it caught in her sewing machine. She tried her hand at welding after seeing the movie Flashdance, but it soon became clear that she was a fire-hazard, so her only option was to join the circus as the sideshow bearded lady where she shares digs with best-friend and partner in crime Elsie.

Elsie and BridgetBearded ladies were a firm fixture in circus sideshows of the Victorian era. Few women are able to grow an impressive enough beard to shock and amaze paying customers so their facial hair was often ‘enhanced’ or even entirely faked, although this was rare.

One of the most well-known and successful bearded ladies was Annie Jones. Born in 1860, she joined her first circus at just nine months old, and continued to exhibit her fully genuine beard until she died at the age of 42.

Annie Jones-Bearded Lady8

I used her fairly plain style of Victorian dress as my inspiration for Bridget’s simple dress which worked quite well as her face is the main focus.

Bridget O'Hair

So now Elsie and Bridget can keep one another company while I work on the next act for my sideshow. Hmmm….who shall I make next?

The Sideshow Starlets

9 Mar

My brain and my sewing machine have both been whirring since I last blogged. I’m so excited about the new doll venture and I’m just bursting with inspiration. Feedback has been great on Elsie Inkwell and she won’t be alone for long.

I’ve become a little obsessed with the realm of circus sideshows, particularly those from days gone by. I dipped my toe into the history of them while researching the tradition of a tattooed lady and I’m steadily learning so much more. They’ve been around since the 1600’s but rose in popularity during Victorian times, showcasing human oddities and biological rarities of every kind, some more genuine than others.

Dales-Bros-Sideshow-1948

Often patrons paid an entry fee to a tent displaying ten acts at a time. These were known as a ‘Ten-in-One’, which led me to the idea of creating a Ten-in-One of my very own. Ten gorgeous little sideshow starlets, unique little bundles of grease paint and hocus-pocus.

The second act is under construction and should be making her debut sometime tomorrow. The rest of the Mistress of Monsters Sideshow will be hot on her heels so stay tuned…