As a mixed media artist, one of my favorite things to make are the Santos Cage Dolls. I try to keep one on hand so when the inspiration hits me, I don't have to wait. Waiting is so hard when you are inspired. However, I order mine from Retro Cafe Art Gallery and mailing is super fast so I usually have my order in a couple days anyway and with Jelly Beans! My other favorite muse lately has been Relics and Artifacts by Sandra Evertson in conjunction with Prima Marketing Inc. I tend to keep these on hand as well because I have yet to find a lack of inspiration from them. So, with this little flag piece of ribbon and my recent order from Retro Cafe Art Gallery this week, as soon as I opened it, I knew " My Lady of The U.S.A. was about to be born.
The hardest thing for me is the beginning, getting all my pieces organized and priming them (back, front and sides) with gesso. I compare it to getting out the Christmas tree and having to assemble it first before you can start decorating it. It's agonizing, because I love decorating the Christmas tree.
Then I paint my colors. Planning at this stage is important before you start assembling your doll. Any stamping or writing I am going to do gets done before anything is put together. On this doll, I sanded all the edges to distress the doll and give it a little aged look.
The next thing that goes together is the bottom cage first. This is where I rely on my gorilla. I only used gorilla glue on the assemblage pieces because it will dry fast and strongly hold everything together, it never fails me!
I put a little glue in each cut out and even dip the tip of the nails in the glue before putting it in each slat. And I do a lot of wiping with a wet wipe because I am so messy. I always make sure that I have assembled everything I am going to put in the cage before I put the cage together.
For the bottom of my cage I used a red, white , and blue paper cupcake holder that I bought for cupcakes for the 4th of July. I spotted these on the counter when I was washing the glue off my fingers. (You never know what will inspire you) I just completely flattened it out and glued it down going over it several times with my fingers pressing hard to get all the wrinkles out. There are tools for this, but I always end up using my hands.
For the body of the doll, I add the arms first attaching them with the brads included. I generally cut the brads shorter so they don't stick out.
The face I used from Sandra's Relics and Artifacts was the perfect size for this large size Santos Doll kit. After painting the face and making the hat with vintage ribbon, I glued the face to the doll.
Once the body of the doll is complete, then I add it to the bottom half of the cage doll, again adding a little glue and firmly pushing it in. The rest is just finish work (like tinsel on the tree) adding things you might want to add to the front or back side. I thought it was only appropriate that her hand was placed over her heart and she was holding our beloved flag.
I love making mixed media and assemblage pieces. I have finally come to terms with myself, enjoying what I do more than ever with "beautiful inadequacy", ... a sweet relief, a rest of my soul, an acknowledgment that I will never perform perfectly, producing a peace within me that confirms enjoying myself is enough.
What has inspired you lately to create something?
Thank you for stopping in and for leaving your lovely comments, you make my day!
And for my friends in the U.S.A. , Happy Fourth of July! XOXO