Monday, July 7, 2008

Could you use free kids craft projects?

I know, I know. Miniature art dolls and free kids crafts projects don't normally combine. But in my world, there's nothing more natural. I grew up doing crafts. Plastic beads, pom-poms, construction paper - we had a loot of craft supplies that made sure the doors of our imaginations were always open. The result? You get used to a world of color, creativity, & possibility. Get kids creating, and who knows what they'll be able to come up with? For me, it led to the craft of dollmaking.
Need a free kids project? About once a month, I send out the Angela Michelle Dolls newsletter, an email newlsetter that contains a free kids craft project, fun trivia, and even an article on a behind-the-scenes technique for the Elegant Toothpick dolls (see image below in the post below). If you're looking for fun & low-budget kids' craft ideas, sign up! It's a free newsletter, and easy to join. Come by, enter your name & email, and you're good to go.
Tomorrow (Tuesday), I'll be sending out July's newsletter, with the instructions for these fun foam door hangers. If you miss the newsletter & want the craft project, email me or leave a comment here & I'll shoot the instructions to you.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Why 'The Elegant Toothpick'?

I am a dollmaker. You can make dolls out of all sorts of things - clay, cloth & porcelain are the usual suspects. I use toothpicks. Look closely at Rapunzel here. Imagine the head stripped down to a single toothpick. Under the dress are two spindly little toothpick legs (thank goodness for floor-length skirts). Each arm is two pieces of toothpick, attached to look bent at the elbow. Everything added to the toothpick skeleton: the head, the body structure, the gown, the hair, the flowers, is all embroidery floss, or thread. Yes, I'm nuts; yes, I love it.

I've been making toothpick dolls for about 15 years now, & would love to share some of the techniques I've come up with. Got a trace of insanity running through you? It really does help. If you'd like to learn, stick around. Toothpick dolls are tiny, fiddly, exasperating, & oh-so-fun.
Oh, by the way, there is an easier version. Toothpick Doll Lite. A little more basic, but with just as much personality. I teach this version to girls at Birthday Parties & other get-togethers. If you want to learn, this is what you start out with. Someday I'll post a photo of the first doll I ever made. The sad little thing. In the meantime, check out more photos of both kinds of dolls at

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Do you ever grow out of creativity?

I love doing crafts with kids. One kid, a group of kids, the joy's the same. When a child finishes a craft project, and holds in her (or his!) hands something she's made herself, you can't beat that look. Do we ever grow out of that? That desire to make something, or the feeling you get when you finish a project? Teach a grown woman how to bead a necklace, and you'd think you were looking into the face of that child again.
Creativity builds self confidence - that pull to create is written into us. After all, we're made in the image of our Creator; is it any wonder we like to create?
So go make...something! Learn to bead, pull out the macrame from the waaay back of the closet, take a cake decorating class, sit down with some kids & color - just get creatin'!
And then send me a picture. This, I gotta see!