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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

M-m-m-my Poppet

My Poppet
DIY tutorial


    Oh my Star-Lord! I have such exciting news for you. This week I am a guest blogger over at My Poppet. For all you crafty food lovers you will find a delicious DIY tutorial for a miniature felt pizza. It looks good enough to eat and will have you craving the real thing. Ch-ch-check it out!

A huge, amazing shout out to Cintia and her colourful, inspiring My Poppet site.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

DIY Peg Doll




    This week I successfully taught peg doll making to children. The children were in awe of the handmade examples that I had to show, but for me the best part was watching them sit down and have a go at sculpting and sewing different shapes of felt material onto their individual pegs.
    No two dolls were exactly alike, which was the intended result. I could easily have instructed the children to make the dolls in my vision, but that wasn't the outcome I was looking for. It was more important for the children to make the peg dolls in their own personal way.
    I present to you a tutorial, which was very loosely used as a basis for the above mentioned doll making class. It is for people who want to make a peg doll and don't know where to begin. I recommend reading the notes, and you have two options: make what your see or sculpt the doll as you imagine it. Remember, there is no right or wrong of making a peg doll. There is only... the fun way!

Materials & Tools 



Threading Needle 


(1) Push the threader through the needle eye, insert the thread into wire threader loop. Pull the threader back through the needle.

(2) Bring the ends of thread together and tie a knot.

Making Doll Hair

(3) Cut 5 pieces of yarn, each roughly 30cm in length.

(4) With the 5 pieces of yarn together, wrap around the middle of the peg and bring the ends of the yarn together up above the head of the peg.

(5) Cut another length of yarn and tie this around the yarn above the head, and knotting it off.

Additional Note: You can also make hair for the doll by colouring in the head with textas, or gluing/sewing felt to the top of the peg.



Doll Clothes
 

(6) Choose a piece of felt and wrap it around the body of the peg and cut off any excess that you don’t need. Play with different lengths of fabric – to make shirts, pants, skirts and coats.

(7) Feed the threaded needle
into both sides of the fabric to close the opening. Repeat the stitch pictured. This diagonal sewing will create a row of visible parallel stitches. Tie a knot in thread when done. Cut the thread close to knot.



Doll Arms
 

(8) Cut out 2 small, narrow pieces of felt fabric roughly 4cm by 1cm. These will be the doll arms.

(9) Ensure your thread is knotted at the end. Stitch the arm pieces to the sides of the fabric wrapped peg.

(10) Your peg person is finished and ready for play.

Additional Note: Experiment with your peg doll designs. With freestyle doll making there is no right or wrong way of creating. You can draw faces, use glue, sew accessories, use buttons, feathers, or anything that makes your peg doll uniquely yours. 



Bonus Material: Reference Card

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Luna Lovegood Inspiration


Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano
    I am one of the masses who enjoys the Harry Potter universe and for this very reason I constructed a Luna Lovegood inspired textile sculpted art doll.

    I am so proud of the little-big details that went into making this doll. She has wire armature, is sculpted with felt. I've hand painted fabric, needle felted, blanket stitched and even curled yarn to bring this Luna to life.

    This Luna is currently available in my store. Check her out!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Craft Evolution

Melissa's Doll Making Progress
    When you love someone, or like something, there is not a single simple answer to explain why this is. This is true for me when it comes to creating. I like writing, taking photos, digital editing, drawing, painting, stitching, knitting, crochet, armature, problem solving and I get a real kick when I bring all these things together.

    Doll making has allowed me to mix together many different passions of mine. The other thing I like about doll making is the evolutionary journey it has taken me on. No two dolls that I've created are ever exactly alike. Even after I have perfected a doll pattern I seldom stick to it. There are constant adjustments – I see things that I could do differently the next time. There are new techniques to try.

    I feel that as my dolls change and evolve I too change and evolve with them. I am a different person at the end of each doll making process. Do you feel that too, with your work?

Saturday, 25 February 2017

A Week of Total Kickass Creation

Photo, photo design and costumes by Melissa Gaggiano
    This has been a mad of week of making and creating. From developing a doll making lesson plan, staging a product photo shoot and making sample dolls for said lesson plan, writing edits, to costume making for a fairy ball. Yeah! So, I was very tired this week. But I got a lot done, so, happy me.

© Melissa Gaggiano

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Meet Kobie 'doll' Roberts

Kobie Roberts doll based on a fictional character
created by Candice Ransom
    I am so excited to be sharing this with you. Just today I finished making this doll, which is based on a book character who I became friends with when I was about ten years old. Kobie Roberts is a student dealing with the all the things that makes being a teenage simply awesome [note the sarcasm] – bullies, trying to fit in, worrying about what others think of her, missing her best friend, face-offs with her mama.

    I loved Kobie [still do really and I look forward to introducing her stories to my own kids]. I thought she was amazing, and I wished Kobie could see how cool she really was when she wasn't trying. Come to think of it, I wish I knew that I was okay just being weirdo-me when I was a teenager too. So I guess this is a common worry for everyone when they are growing up – 'Am I enough? Am I too much?'

    It should come as no surprise then that Kobie Roberts is in part a work of fiction, and also a mirror of Candice Ransom, based on her own experiences and feelings growing up.

    I have based the Kobie doll on her description at the start of Fourteen and Holding. The doll comes with a hand bag [AKA pocket book], and a blue binder [with a 'right things' list]. The doll is made from woven cloth, felt, is sewn and painted. This was a back burner project for such a long while, so I am thrilled to have finally reached this point.

    For everything you need to know about beloved children's lit author Candice Ransom, go here.





Thursday, 2 February 2017

Concept Futura


    This afternoon I created in Adobe Illustrator this idea that was bouncing around in my head. An outfit that could either be sportswear or office wear depending on the materials that are used to make it.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Cat Rabbit & Sausage Dogs


    Today I took the girls for a train ride into the city. It was a beautiful day for it, and I wouldn't even let a squished banana [gross!] mar the day. We visited NGV to say hello to Cat Rabbit in the Great Hall [I just love saying that – Great Hall], who was running a workshop: Dog Mechanics with Soft Stories. The girls sat down and made their own paper sausage dogs and got to admire a hilarious and colourful sausage dog factory which was designed and built by Cat Rabbit and Isobel Knowles.

© Melissa Gaggiano

    This was followed by a roam into the NGV atelier, which housed the Viktor & Rolf for Kids event. The girls sat down and made their own fashion art using a variety of paper materials, staples and a hole puncher. I couldn't help myself! I had to sit down and join the fun. I made a hat that would have made Isabella Blow rather proud. Gwen proudly wore the hat for me and paraded it for the rest of our city trip. Perhaps I missed my calling as a milliner.



     Before heading off to eat lunch [prepared Vegemite and peanut butter sandwiches] I chose a kids fashion activity book from the Viktor & Rolf souvenir shop. On the train ride home I read some of the book to the girls. Going to have some rainy day fun with the girls doing the activities in this book.

© Melissa Gaggiano
    I look forward to returning to NGV to visit the main Viktor & Rolf exhibit.

    The Cat Rabbit workshop will continue to Thursday this week. If you're going to be in the city with the kids and looking for free fun NGV is a great place to go. The paper crafting is good, quiet fun, and the sausage factory on display is worth a good long stare. If you can't make it you can check out this video of the factory.