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i’ve just finished a new little assemblage today that is part of a several piece series of doll assemblages.  it’s called “death of the apothecary”.

death of the apothecary, altered doll, frozen charlotte, assemblage

i’ll probably end up adding some subtle text and numbers to the orange wooden disks at the top, but i’ll have to think about that one for a moment.  the nails on top left little rusty remnants around the holes on the top — love that part.

death of the apothecary, altered doll, frozen charlotte, assemblage

here is a detail of the charlotte, complete with a little humanesque heart and red thread.

death of the apothecary, altered doll, frozen charlotte, assemblage

the little bottles inside the assemblage are topped with waxy goodness, and one a skull i fashioned from a bead and apoxy clay (that’s how i adhered everything — thank you kerin for turning me in on to this magnificent stuff!!).

death of the apothecary, altered doll, frozen charlotte, assemblage

can you tell what is in the bottles?  i LOVE mixing mineral oil with colored water (the first bottle) — it’s kind of like a mini lava lamp when you shake it up.  woohooo!

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phew!  what a summer!  things are always crazier this time of year, aren’t they!  travel and kids home (mine and half the neighborhood), move travel and no time to work or art it seems.  at least we’ve had some adventures to spokane and coeur d’alene and long beach and corona and san diego and la and such… though not all were under the best pretenses (though that’s neither here nor there, i suppose).  i haven’t had a lot of time to art or hardly any time to visit my favorite blogs, but soon summer will be over and school days will reconvene.

crackle paint, crackled pearls, frozen charlotte, collage, assemblage
i’ve at least gotten to finish four more charlotte pieces for my attempted 100 piece series (now if i stopped selling these i could maybe actually have 100 someday!).  i have photos of numbers 9 and 11.  at least i have plenty of 1900 and 1901 sheet music to do twice that many so we shall see where i end with these.

i just did a PDF tutorial that i’ll be posting in a week or three on how to crackle and age frozen charlottes and other bisque or porcelain dolls.  as a result, i had lots of new little girls to play with.

mixed media art, frozen charlotte, fabric collage, rusty metal, crown, red, black

charlotte’s song #9: heart song

lots of vintage lace, naturally dyed and aged, metal bits and pieces that i’ve rusted, antique sheet music, recycled sari silk ribbon, etc…

mixed media art, frozen charlotte, fabric collage, rusty metal, crown, red, black

charlotte’s song #11 (i really need to photograph 10 and 12!)  this is just a simple one, but cute none the less.

mixed media art, frozen charlotte, fabric collage, rusty metal, crown, red, black

detail: a rusty or metallic charlotte and pretty turquoise stones.

mixed media art, frozen charlotte, fabric collage, rusty metal, crown, red, black

i have a 20 to 30 piece show with these little girls next month but the left-overs will surely be going up in my etsy shop (aiming to have 30 done just in case there is room but may only have room for 20).  better get to sewing though, huh!!

i also had the time to start three books, but just barely.   i gave a mini peek of book one a few days ago and will show it soon, completed.  that one is for me and is entitled phantoms and shadows.  i dig ghostly things, ya know?  book two was supposed to be for a collaboration that kerin and i are doing (see below) but she is a silly and fickle girl and wanted to change the size so this will be a different alicia-book which is just [almost] as thrilling ’cause i’m already loving it.  i’ve had so much fun working on these covers and am looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks once i get them done.  i still need to come up with a title and better theme for my big huge book with kerin (okay, not HUGE, but decent sized — i think they are 9″ x 12″ and will probably be a foot or three thick, hah), especially since the cover is nearly done.  we’ll be posting those in the weeks to come, huh keriny!?  other than these and my art journals, that’s really all i’ve gotten to do as of late.  but i shall not complain!

oh, the book… i almost forgot about these photos.  this is of course not at all done, but it’s a pretty fun cover, i’d say.  i am going to singe the lace a bit, for one… maybe do something to the bird skull but it’s so lovely natural “as is” that i’ll probably just leave it.  you can’t tell in this photo but the skull and vials are inset about 1/2″ or so from the rest of the book…

bird skull, taxidermy, animal teeth, porcupine quills, pewter frame, black vetvet, altered book cover

and i’m going to do that waxy alicia-thing to the ends of the vials before i actually attach them (they currently hold porcupine quills, something green and nature-esque, and some animal teeth — yeps, i like taxidermy parts and bones!)…

bird skull, taxidermy, animal teeth, porcupine quills, pewter frame, black vetvet, altered book cover

hopefully i’ll get at least two of these books done before summer’s end, and a handful more charlotte pieces.  i’m not sure why i like them so much but they are quite fun!

does anyone know where to get taxidermy bird wings?  i really, really, REALLY need one for this book.  have found nothing on ebay or anything else and know a lot of bird parts are illegal to sell (wings?) in some places.  if i wasn’t so sweet i’d sick one of our cats on a crow.  totally not serious!!

what are you working on this summer?

to get over my hump of funk, i created a few happy things this weekend.  i was thinking about the hundreds of frozen charlottes i’ve sold in my shop over the past year or so and the fact that i’ve only created TWO things with those lovely little lassies (and nothing from the charlie lads, yet!).  so i remedied that — because they make me smile and i needed a bit o’ cheer.  of course i had to give them hearts — anatomical art is an alicia thing, ya know.

first, i made a wonky little wishes and dreams tin.  wonky because it doesn’t hang entirely straight.  personally, i think that just adds to the charm, but that is probably not the general consensus.  there are two little scrolls in a pocket, one to write wishes on, the other for dreams.  charlottes are magical girls you know and can make things come true if you share them with her.

frozen charlotte, tin, assemblage, heart, anatomy, wishes, dreams, pocket

detail of her face, heart and one of the scrolls:

frozen charlotte assemblage tin detail, heart, anatomy, wishes, dreams
side view:

frozen charlotte, tin, assemblage, wishes, dreams, pockets, altered art, heart, anatomy
available for purchase in my shop

next i created a small fabric collage: charlotte’s song (i just made that up on the fly).  somehow, while creating her i got “charlotte sometimes” by the cure stuck in my head and here it remains.  how do we remember such things so vividly after 20 odd years?

because of this, i had to add the vintage sheet music to the top:

altered art, frozen charlotte, music, vintage sheet music
the bottom (recycled silk ribbon and crocheted bits created by moi), with a tarnished little embellishment:

frozen charlotte, altered art, fabric collage, vintage sheet music, recycled silk, anatomical art
her crackle cracks me up (no pun intended).  the eye cracks remind me of childhood star-eyed cartoons for some reason.  it just happened that way and was by no means intentional.  because the piece as a whole is so light, i made her heart a bit more dark.

anatomical art, heart, vintage bisque doll, frozen charlotte, doll art, altered art
i wish i had a better photo of her as a whole.  i’ll have to snap some new ones tomorrow.

mixed media art, fabric collage, recycled silk ribbon, human heart, anatomy, anatomical art, altered art

available for purchase in my shop

lastly (though i actually started her second), on a 5″ x 5″ canvas, i created this piece.  it is, as of yet, untitled as she hasn’t told me what she wishes to be called.  maybe just “charlotte sometimes”.  but that is neither here nor there.

vintage doll, bisque, human heart, anatomy, frozen charlotte, mixed media art, altered art, crackle paint

the sides of the canvas are covered with painted vintage lace and have taxidermy tacks holding the recycled sari silk ribbon down.  i learned how to use the drill press today.  woohoooo!

crackle paint, assemblage, vintage lace, taxidermy tacks, canvas, altered art

crackle paint, assemblage, vintage lace, taxidermy tacks, canvas, altered art

at the top of the canvas, it says “monument to the memory of the” (the what?  the charlotte?  the thought?  her head is in the way so that is where that ends — you decide to the memory of what) and in the mid-left, it reads “a harmonising companion – a genial friend.”  i didn’t actually pick any of the verbiage out.  i have more of a propensity to grab and glue.  just so happens that it worked out, at least in my opinion.  i think the sentiment is sweet enough indeed.

vintage book text, words, altered art, frozen charlotte, crackle paint, recycled sari silk ribbon
this charlotte, as a whole:

altered art, collage, assemblage, frozen charlotte, anatomy, anatomical heart, mixed media art
from the bottom hangs a pretty and rusted piece i received as a gift during the art exchange last year.  i had it on my new journal that was somehow left outside and fell into the garden bed.  i couldn’t find it for days and when i did, the journal was ruined and the “tassel” was gorgeously aged.  i’ve had it sitting on my desk ever since and while assembling this piece, it got stuck to one of the papers i was using in the collage.  to me, that indicated that it needed to be a part of the piece.

heart, anatomy, frozen charlotte, mixed media art, collage, altered art, canvas
available for purchase in my shop

all three of these are available in my shop.  i’m trying to recoup a bit from last month’s income thieving incident, but i will not complain about that again.  work has been ultra slow since i put three projects off to work on that stupid eco-travel site, so i’ve had lots of time to get organized around here and create.  a clear studio makes for a clearer mind and THAT is worth a lot!

peeks at some of my other week’s creative starts:


tomorrow i’m getting my bum in gear and finishing a bunch of ATCs and ACEOs i’m doing for a swap with the ever so talented miss gaby.  i should have done those this weekend but i was sidetracked with charlottes and family time.

happy week, friends!  i’m off to catch up on YOUR blogs — that is always a highlight for me and the past several weeks have been too crazy for me to do all that i wished.  what a blessing it is to have time to start catching up more.

to give a wee flashback, we originally did two pieces for seth’s disintegration collaboration. we = my son and i. he wanted to do an “asian scroll” so designed this all by his five year old self (he’s six now, for the record). i did this little doll arm fetus “thing”.

they “afters” of those can be found here for both and here for the excavation of the doll arm since it didn’t decay enough the first time.

and now for the now.   i assembled this little… assemblage out of most of the disintegration bits and a few others i’d found along the way (all old and or aged to keep the theme). i first made the box out of a cigar box, mat board and foam core for compartments that are “raised”/less deep:

disintegration project, assemblage, seth apter

it’s not actually ALL the way done but i am already two days behind schedule thanks so our 100-106 degree heat wave and a wedding we attended this weekend, so i figured i should post it as is rather than wait any longer.

this little “nest” was the arm’s bracelet as you’ll recall. and the branch was a copper thing i found at an antique store around the same time (along with the grapes in the lower left as shown above), and among the first round of things i rusted with vinegar and water. i love the little bottle, which i found at another antique shop, but i’m not sure if i’m going to keep it there with a scroll/secret note in it or replace it for a different bottle (i wanted to make a necklace out of that one).

assemblage box, mixed media, art

i never washed the dirt off the arm, but rather painted over it to preserve its disintegrated appearance. i think it looks pretty darn fab. this photo is crap so i’ll re-shoot one of these days. you can see the tiny book i made in the small compartment.

doll arm, doll parts, assemblage, book, found objects, found object art

i made some tiny scrolls out of the paper from the large original scroll, and added a spring i recently found on my beach combing trip. i added a charlotte because it needed something and having been buried for so long it felt like it fit the feel of the piece.

paper scrolls, frozen charlotte, rusty spring, assemblage

here is the book out of the box:

handmade book

and lastly, some of the texture on the sides of the box:

assemblage texture, crackle

i’ll post more photos when i have it complete. i haven’t decided if i’m going to figure out a way to hang it or put it on a small base with feet. i think it needs something added to the top as well, but we’ll see.

thank you so much, seth! this was a lot of fun!!

i think i’m going on week three of my serious multiple art personality disorder. i keep stopping something to start something else and setting it aside before i complete that one and starting yet another. does anyone have a solution for me? it’s getting a bit maddening. i’m currently most obsessive about my “little brain boy clock”. i haven’t finished even his head, but here is a TINY sneak peek (mostly for kerin). his face isn’t done and his brain is way too pink, as you can see — it’s just the undercoat so don’t you fret. okay, here’s the truth: i got drunk last night, which is a SERIOUS rarity and, um, yeah — apparently i paint better sober. but he can easily be fixed. once he is, he’s going on top of a box, which will have a clock on its front and inside is an arm that i think will hold a secret book. i’m currently hunting for feet for the box — claw feet? something else? dunno until i find them i guess.

altered doll head with brain, mixed media art clock, box, secret book

as if i weren’t busy enough as it was, i had five babies this week. or rather my kitty did. i had found her as a tiny stray baby late last fall/early this winter. she could have fit in the palm of my hand she was so tiny and young. fast forward a couple of months, we go to get her (and her feral brother) fixed, and shablam, she’s already pregnant. i had NO idea that little girl kitties could get knocked up as early as four months of age. anyway, she had five babies.

five newborn kitties nursing on mama kitty

i have tiny hands so imagine how little they are:

3 day old kitten

moving on to superior and significantly more important things…

kerin’s ning is how open: mixed media art. if you’re an artist who likes to meet people, share techniques and ideas, etc., you should go join. now. it’s only been “open” for a week and i’ve already met so many wonderful artists and new friends.

mixed media art, artist group, ning, workshops

this is how she puts it on the main page of the group: Welcome you who love art of all kinds and discovering amazing new techniques and sharing our love of art! The Carnivale has arrived with wondrous workshops, free tutorials for one and all, side shows with discussions on fun and creative things, a professional development troupe, tips & tricks, artistic challenges, trade secrets, interviews, blogging, support & encouragement, calls for entries, and scheduled chats. Who knows what else will end up on here!

and with that, i will go work on the brain. oh, and you’d be pleased to know that i spent a good five hours working on the zine today. it’s going to rock (in my opinion). i’m still accepting entries until the 1st.

today is a happy day and it’s so blissful that i’ve allowed myself to get way too distracted. i’m suddenly the mama of like… 150 new babies or so.

the short version: found a guy in germany who was selling a few of his personal collections of frozen charlotte and frozen charlie dolls. finally, they have arrived! i loved these little bundles:

german bisque doll, frozen charlotte, frozen charlie, vintage doll, antique china doll

coming from germany, of course all the newspaper was in german. i keep getting distracted trying to read it (apparently i was near fluent in kindergarten — do i remember now? nine!)

german newspaper, package

and now the goods… after opening two packages, this is what i found:

german bisque doll, frozen charlotte, frozen charlie, vintage doll, antique china doll

i have absolutely no idea what this says but i’m pretending that it is a proclamation of how i’m currently feeling: mega küchen-something! or maybe not, who knows. it sounds fun though from a german-ignorant girl.

german bisque doll, frozen charlotte, frozen charlie, vintage doll, antique china doll

by now my floor is covered in pretty little german dirt clods and old soil particles from the big babies who still carry with them some of the earth from which they were exhumed from. look how beautiful these are! i am going to be in fozen charlotte bliss for a very, very long time. they are a lot larger than i’d anticipated which pretty much rocks.

german bisque doll, frozen charlotte, frozen charlie, vintage doll, antique china doll

i’ve only opened one more bundle since the above photo — a package of more of the large babies. i have 8 more bundles to go but i think i’ll take a little lunch break for a bit before jumping back in to enjoy these little pretties. guess i’m going to have to post some on my site for sale too, ’cause seriously — can i really use ALL of them? probably, but that’s not the point. the husby probably doesn’t want to look at them for the next ten years while i try, i don’t imagine. he said our living room already has “plenty of doll corpses”.

such a great week for goodies, i’d say! i’m feeling pretty darn lucky.

i think it’s confirmed… this week seems to be altered baby week. i have created several.

earlier this week i did my doll from joAnnA Pierotti‘s bella art doll workshop at mosshillstudioworkshops.ning.com. i’m not entirely done as i have quite a bit to add to the base and i’m not entirely satisfied with her dress, but here you can see her head and sweet hair:

today, i finished my little artifact altered doll assemblage. i haven’t told kerin yet but i secretly borrowed her time capsule (which i love and adore and would gladly accept for an april fool’s gift… mom!) to travel back to an archeological dig site in the year of 1834.  i cannot, at this time, share the location because the legality issues associated with my removal of this item could cause me some significant repercussions, even 175 years later.  anyway, this little girl was the fifth item found that day and i was the lucky discoverer. anyway, i decided to make a little altered doll assemblage out of her with a nowhere near as old but still vintage 5 house number and an old piece of a hinge for the base.

artifact 5:

side view:

mini-facelastly, i’m working on another little piece that kind of resembles a dead baby but isn’t so morbid.  i’ll just put a teeny tiny photo here for a miniature glimpse.  i think that i will make her into something happy and joyous, like a clown. or an evil bunny. it’s only a face, not an entire head, so i’m putting her on this large oval canvas… and i’ll figure out the rest later.

am i having baby urges or something?  i should go play with wax for the rest of the week or something.

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