Tag Archives: Plush

Elsie Inkwell – Tattooed Lady

5 Mar

After finishing Carmen the other day, I’ve been dying to make another doll. So today as it’s my day off I locked myself away in the craft room, popped on some old movies, and beavered away all day. I must admit I’m really happy with the result. I’ve eliminated the wobbly neck problem and am really hitting my stride with the new shape and style.

I had toyed with the idea of a tattooed lady some time ago but never actually got around to making one. The idea resurfaced in conversation with Curious Pip over a cup of coffee just before Christmas, and then Mr Monster mentioned it again just the other day so I figured it must be my destiny to create one!

 

I had a good look at some photos of tattooed ladies from a bygone era, and was inspired by this shot of Maud Wagner, a circus performer who married a tattoo artist and became the inked beauty you see here:

Maud Wagner

I love her no-nonsense expression and proudly tilted chin which I took as my starting point.

It took some time to work out how to do the tattoos on such a small-scale but eventually managed to find a combination of acrylic paint and permanent pen which worked pretty well. I did get a bit impatient though and ended up smudging some of the designs by trying to work with them before they were dry but I managed to hide that pretty well and ended up with a piece which I’m very fond of.

So, it’s time to meet Elsie Inkwell.

Elsie InkwellElsie ran away to the circus as a girl after witnessing an incident involving the Easter Bunny and a violent assault left her disillusioned with the world. She worked as a showgirl, riding a white pony and breathing fire, but after her bosom started to head south and the punters stopped coming to her show she was forced to go under the tattooist’s needle and join the sideshow. She shares digs with the bearded lady and helps her in the upkeep of her lustrous mane through a complicated grooming process of setting lotion, beeswax, and a fine-tooth comb.

I respect the history and symbolism of traditional tattoos so wanted to use them respectfully for Elsie’s chest piece and sleeves. I picked a few iconic images such as the gemstone and the swallow and tried to reproduce them as faithfully as possible, albeit on a very small-scale.

Elsie Inkwell

Elsie Inkwell

Elsie Inkwell

Elsie InkwellI’m starting to realise where my niche might be on the art doll scene. In combining my love of vintage and glamour, but combining it with the alternative, bawdy, perhaps slightly seedy side of life. I can’t wait to get working on the next one.

Elsie Inkwell

Elsie Inkwell

 

 

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Carmen Hävago

2 Mar

My doll enterprise continues, today with the emergence of international secret agent Carmen Hävago.

Carmen HävagoCarmen masquerades as a dumb blonde with an ass which won’t quit, but unsuspecting suitors beware. Miss Hävago has a dagger in her garter-belt and a glint in her eye. Specialising in extraction of information through her hypnotic gaze, when Carmen looks at you there’s no mistaking that she means business.

Carmen HävagoCarmen Hävago

Carmen Hävago

Carmen HävagoI’m pretty chuffed with how this little lady came out, and technically she is much more sturdy than the prototype in the last post. I do however feel that I’m still exploring the idea of dolls rather than monsters and am finding that I’m sewing blindly without much of plan instead of sketching a design to work from. To try to solve this problem I’m going to work on a little collection of dolls on a theme to get into the swing of things. More on that another time…

My Dolly Daydream Comes to Fruition

22 Feb

I’ve been promising a change of direction for some time now, and after a few false starts I’m finally ready to unveil my latest work.

For a while I’ve been feeling that even the name ‘Mistress of Monsters’ tends to push me towards a certain type of creation, and that I want to break out of the pigeon-hole I’ve created for myself. I love monsters and cute fluffyness, but I also love vintage fashion, pin-up glamour and all things cheeky and feminine. Besides this, I’ve wanted to work in some of the new skills I’ve developed over my three years of monster-making. It just wasn’t possible to incorporate that into my work given my back catalogue.

I was massively inspired by a pair of character dolls in my parents display cabinet which caught my eye when I was home at Christmas, and from these I’ve managed to develop a new signature shape. It’s going to take some refining and perfecting, but take a look at the first in my new line of creations.

New Doll

New Doll

So I’ve (hopefully) kept it recognisable as my signature style, but gone for a new shape in the ‘big head, small body’ kind of thing. I’ve used needle-felting to create her a little hairdo, and dressed her up in a saucy little outfit and matching jewellery. Once that was done, she was ready for her close-up!

New DollHer neck is a bit floppy so I need to work on strengthening that up, and I’m aware that as a first attempt at something new, there are a few things I could do better next time round, but now that I’ve completed one, I’m bursting with ideas for the next.

You might find over the next little while that the blog might go through a little bit of re-branding, I don’t know if I can keep the name ‘Mistress of Monsters’ as I move forwards with my more doll-like creations, but rest assured you will be the first to know if anything changes!

 

 

 

 

Christmas Commissions

18 Dec

I had a lot of fun recently making up a couple of commissions for a chap who’d seen my work at a craft fair in the summer and very kindly kept one of my cards in case he ever found himself in need of a monster!

Without further ado, meet Scarlett Sullivan and the ‘Abominable’ Bartholemew Cox (along with Tilly who’s just sniffing them out to see if she likes them)

Scarlett and Bartholemew

Scarlett Sullivan has an unhealthy addiction to strawberries. Doctors have told her she must cut back or else risk turning red and developing a pointy bottom. She’s tried electronic strawberries, strawberry patches, and even hypnosis in an attempt to kick the habit. Unfortunately the latter just resulted in Scarlett making chicken noises whenever anyone said the word ‘Collywobbles’. She can usually be found wearing her trusty headphones listening to her beloved hip hop music, however it does make her quite unaware of her surroundings and she can often be found bumping into lamp-posts and ignoring advances from handsome strangers.

Scarlett SullivanScarlett SullivanScarlett Sullivan

Needle-felted Strawberries

Needle-felted Strawberries

 

Scarlett Sullivan

The ‘Abominable’ Bartholemew Cox hails from Nevada. His father was a cowboy, as was his father’s father before him. Bartholemew longs to carry on the family tradition but much to his parent’s disappointment, is scared of horses and gets tangled up in his lasso. His passion is skiing, and he ROCKS the slopes! Decked out in his signature cowboy hat and scarf, he’s won every competition in the state. Now, having earned himself the nickname ‘The Abominable Snowman’, he has his eyes set on global domination of the skiing world.

Bartholemew CoxBartholemew CoxBartholemew Cox

Festive Fairies

3 Nov

Mr Monster and I had a most enjoyable and productive day today. I’ve been wanting to get some mini-Christmas fairy monster tree toppers done after the success of the star toppers last year, and the Mr wanted to get a fancy dress costume made. We shared the craft room and over copious cups of tea, we got creating. A succesful day was had by all. He is currently squeezing into a rather spectacular AT-ST costume (Star Wars roboty thing for the uninitiated!) and I have some lovely little fairy folk to show you.

I’ve discovered the joys of Jellyrolls. Bundles of coordinating fabric intended for patchwork, but the perfect size for making mini-monsters. I got a great roll yesterday of home-spun patterns in muted colours which I felt would be perfect for some tree-topping darlings. I managed two today and I am extremely proud of them. Take a little look

Perfect to tie on to the top of your tree!

I love the direction my work is taking at the moment. The mini-monsters are allowing me to create more rapidly and keep a coherent flow through my work. The collection is starting to look really good and I can’t wait to get them out there at a fair to see how people respond to them.