Thursday, July 13, 2017

Linda's Review of Tassels & Tiaras: A Winged Wonders Doll Projects Artful Gathering Class By Hally Levesque



As you all know I love taking online arts & crafts classes. I literally could spend 24/7 just doing that.


I have been taking online classes at Artful Gathering since 2012 and have loved every one of the eleven classes I've taken.  Each year the selection gets better and better making it almost impossible to decide which class to take. So far I've taken crazy quilting, mixed media art dolls, needle felting, cloth art dolls and paper-clay art doll making classes.

I have to admit I'm a little partial to any classes being offered for doll making and have taken several of those.  Four have them have been taught by Hally Levesque who is an exceptional art doll artist and instructor who has a passion for historic, primitive, and mixed media art dolls.

Hally's classes are always filled with historical tidbits, multiple projects, and very detailed instructions on the making of each of the class projects.

The class I took in Session One this year was the 11th class I've taken at Artful Gathering and, once again, it didn't disappoint.  It was another of Hally's art doll classes and was for making 3 different kinds of 1900 - 1920 art deco or art nouveau tassel half art dolls.

Hally's classes are always filled with historical tidbits and this class was dedicated to some of the more famous women of the 1900's like Mata Hari, Lillian, Gish and Theda Vamp.

Like all the other classes I've taken my projects don't always end up looking like the finished class projects.  This class was no exception.

No matter how hard I try my dolls always seem to have a tiny Victorian slant to them. Even if they are supposed to be vamps.  What can I say - I love everything Victorian.  In this instance I gave them a Victorian type hairstyle versus and vamp hair style.

Since the class was about creating butterfly type art dolls I decided to look at real pictures of butterflies.  I saw so many beautiful pictures of butterflies with beautiful colors I couldn't decide which color I liked best so I decided to make 5 dolls instead of 3.  I know, I can never do anything in moderation.

I saw a beautiful picture of a multicolored blue dragonfly that I liked, a black and orange monarch butterfly, a blue and yellow tiger swallow butterfly, and a blue morpho teal butterfly.  One of the projects was for creating a luna moth and I loved the lime green colors of the doll so I decided to make her as well.

I'm not just partial to everything Victorian, but when I paint I always end up sponge painting parts of it.  So, this time was no exception.  Their wings, bodices, and gloves were all sponge painted.  Here's my results:


My multi blue colored dragonfly.


My blue and yellow tiger swallow butterfly.


My black and orange monarch butterfly.


My blue morpho butterfly.


My luna moth.

Each of the dolls has a little bit of sentimentality attached to it with regards to their hair, clothes and accessories.  All have my mother's pierced earrings and most have a necklace or two of hers.

Many, many years ago my sister-in-law asked me if I could use some old lace and ric rac trims she had that she was going to throw away.  I, of course, hate to throw away sewing and craft supplies that could be useful so I said I'd take them figuring she had just a handful.  Well, a handful turned into a ton of trims which I put into two large containers which I had saved over the years.  I could never bring myself to throw them away. You never know when you're going to use something and the tassels would put many of them to use - which I did.

Each of the dolls hair is also from some of the beautiful hand dyed alpaca roving my sister gave me. She and my brother-in-law are alpaca farmers and the owners of Rock Garden Alpacas.  She sells her alpaca fiber products at her Rock Garden Alpacas Etsy store.  


The multi blue colored dragon fly is my mothers favorite royal blue color and has her gold and blue dangle pierced earrings.  Her beautiful blue and black hair is a some of my sister's hand dyed alpaca roving that I combined and twisted for a curly Victorian effect and her breastplate buttons are from an old business suit of mine.  Most of the tassel trims were from the ton of various blue colored ric rac and lace trims my sister-in-law gave me as well as other royal blue mixed media trim pieces and ribbons I had in my stash.


My sister had given me a picture of a monarch butterfly she had taken years ago. I liked the orange and black colors so I decided to make one of those.  Her black drop dangle pierced earrings came from my mother.  Her beautiful orange and black hair is a some of my sister's hand dyed alpaca roving that I combined and twisted for a curly Victorian effect and her breastplate buttons are from another old business suit of mine.   Some of the tassel trims were from the ton of ric rac and lace trims my sister-in-law gave me as well as other mixed media trim pieces I had in my stash.


The blue and yellow tiger swallow butterfly above also has my mother's gold dangle pierced earrings and one of her gold and pearl drop necklaces.  Her beautiful blue and yellow hair is a some of my sister's hand dyed alpaca roving that I combined and twisted for a curly Victorian effect.  Some of the blue and yellow tassel trims were from the ton of ric rac and lace trims my sister-in-law gave me as well as other mixed media trim pieces I had in my stash.


The blue morpho butterfly above also has my mother's pearl drop dangle pierced earrings and one of her white bead necklaces that I took apart. Her beautiful teal and blue/green hair is a some of my sister's hand dyed alpaca roving that I twisted for a curly Victorian effect.  Most of the teal and white tassel trims were from the ton of ric rac and lace trims my sister-in-law gave me as well as other teal and white mixed media trim pieces  and ribbonsI had in my stash.


My mother had a white and teal drop costume jewelry necklace that I loved and wanted to use for this project and thought it would be a good addition to my luna moth. The luna moth above also has my mother's silver dangle pierced earrings.  Her beautiful lime green hair is a some of my sister's hand dyed alpaca roving that I twisted for a curly Victorian effect. Most of the tassel trims were from the ton of ric rac and lace trims my sister-in-law gave me as well as other lime green mixed media trim pieces I had in my stash.

I had a lot fun making these dolls.  It took me a long time to gather all the supplies and accessories I would need for them and also took a long time to put all the extra supplies away.  If you're a crafter you know what I mean by this.  I had craft containers organized by type of supply all over my living room and the extra supplies I didn't use had to, of course, be returned to their container.  So, as you can imagine, it took awhile.

Despite the fact that my hand still shakes when I try to paint the faces I was pleased, overall, with the way my dolls came out.

Once again, Hally's class was exceptional. She's an amazing doll artist and provides all the detailed instructions in her videos that you need to make one of her dolls.  Her video's are well thought out, easy to follow, and entertaining.   If you love dolls and get a chance to take one of her classes you won't be disappointed. I certainly haven't been.

If you'd like to learn more about Hally and her beautiful art dolls please visit her Creative  Doll Works website.

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