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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

EJ Taylor Workshop - October

The club had a fantastic opportunity to host EJ Taylor's workshop in Oakland.  The 5 day event was fantastic and the opportunity to learn from a master artist - inspirational.  Here Gerry is learning proportions for the figure from EJ and below,
Marcella and Sally are engrossed creating their figures.
Every body hard at work making our figures come to life.

Monday, September 12, 2011

September News

Calendar of Events

Sept. 10, Tinsel & Treasures, Sat., 9 A.M. to 3 P.M., Alamo Women’s Club, 1401 Danville Blvd., Alamo, $3 admission

Sept. 15, Phoebe Members Meeting, 7 P.M., bring bookstore display dolls

Sept. 15–17, Bay Area Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival, Thurs. thru Sat., 10 A.M. to 5 P.M., San Mateo Event Center, 1346 Saratoga, San Mateo

Sept. 16–17, Harvest Festival, Fri/Sat 10 A.M. to 6 P.M., Sun 10 A.M. to 5 P.M., Alameda County Fairgrounds, $9 adults; $7 seniors; $4 youth 13-17, under 12 free

Sept. 24, Halloween and Vine, Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Ave., Petaluma, $5 admission

Sept. 24, Art-is-You, Sheraton Sonoma County, 745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma, 6 P.M.–9 P.M. Phoebe Sharon Martin is participating in this trunk show and sale. Vendors will be selling finished art such as collages, assemblages, art quilts, steam punk jewelry, altered art, art papers, kits, beads, frippery, collage sheets, fibers, yarns, fabrics, unique vintage items and original flea market finds. Entry is free to all, with a donation to AIY’s chosen charity.

Sept. 30–Oct. 2, Sierra Art Trails, Yosemite Foothills Open Studio Tour. Visit for details.

Oct. 1–31, Phoebe Halloween Window Display, “The Book Shop,” B Street, Hayward

Oct. 9, Fall Antiques & Collectibles Street Faire, Main Street, Pleasanton, 8 A.M. to 4 P.M., Free

Oct. 20, Sally Lampi’s Needle Sculpting Class, Boy Scouts of America Building, 1001 Davis Street, San Leandro. Contact Colleen

Oct. 20, Member/Associate Meeting, 7 p.m., Girls and Boys Club of San Leandro, 401 Marina Blvd., San Leandro. Highlight of the evening will be the Annual Phoebe Auction. Donate items; bring friends (and your check book) and shop!

Oct. 27, K.C.Willis Mixed Media Book Class. If you missed her recent class, sign up early for the next time she will be in our area. Her classes fill up fast! Go to for details.

Nov. 11–13, The Women’s Building Celebration of Craftswomen, Fri.–Sun., 10 A.M.–5 P.M., $9 adults: $7 seniors; under 12 free. A number of Phoebes will be participating in the “Go Figure, Dolls & Mixed Media” booth.

Nov. 12–13, BABE (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza), Sat. 10 A.M.–6 P.M., Sun. 10 A.M.–5 P.M., Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel, 10th & Broadway, Oakland (at 12th St., Bart Exit).

To check out current events and exhibits in our area, don’t forget to check out on a regular basis!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

So Many Fantastic Dolls at the July Meeting!

There were so many wonderful dolls brought to the Associate Meeting on July 21st...the tables were crowded with fabulous creatures. We have so many talented members, and associates!

Some were scarey or Halloween inspired—brought for the October month-long window display at The Book Store in Hayward. Some were made from cloth, some from clay, and some a combination of the two.

There were goblins, witches, devils, owls, and pumpkin people.

Other dolls were the finished results from the Akira Blount Class in April.

Laurie gave an enrichment presentation on how to make top hats for dolls. Very clever, that Laurie! Thank you!

A great time was had by all! The meeting on October 20th promises to be even more exciting. The annual Phoebe Auction will take place. More on that in the next blog!

Daisy Kiehn's Yoga Doll Class

Daisy Kiehn's class on posing dolls in July offered the Phoebe's a chance to learn the finer points on sculpting and shaping cloth dolls to more realistically represent the human body. Using Daisy's pattern, or one of our own, we posed our dolls in Yoga poses.... a challenge at first, but a great learning experience. Daisy is a master, as you can see in the photo of her feline-like figure on a pumpkin.

Suzanne nearly finished her doll in class, and it shows her skill at assembling and posing, as well as her great use of fabric and surface design to enhance the visual effect.

Donna used a pattern of her own, in the Tree Pose, and finished it after class.

Using Batik prints, the dolls were vibrant with color. A variety of fibers and yarn were used for hair.

Great job, Phoebes! Thank You, Daisy! We learned a lot!

Alameda Fair Free "Make It and Take It" Day

On July 9th, the Phoebes held their annual community outreach event at the Alameda County Fair. Always a smashing (free) event, the attendance was (as usual) terrific!

Children, teens, mothers, fathers, and grandparents all joined in the fun and poked through the Phoebe stash to find stump doll bodies and clay faces of their choice, and then proceeded to explore the many piles and bins of possibilities for embellishment.

So many choices... fabrics, fibers, ribbons and trims, feathers, leather, sequins and gems, buttons... the list was endless!

The Phoebes manning the glue gun table were kept busy by a steady stream of dolls in various stages of completion needing more embellishment.

The excitement grew as the individual dolls neared completion.

The new doll makers couldn't believe this was a free event and that they could make as many dolls as they wanted... and then take them home to love and admire.

So many happy faces!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Calendar of Events for July 2011

July 21:
Daisy Kiehn's Yoga Doll Class. Contact Colleen Patell at

July 21:
Member/Associate Joint Meeting, 7 p.m., Girls and Boys Club of San Leandro, 401 Marina Blvd., San Leandro. Challenge: Bring a doll for the October bookstore window display. Exchange: a decorated pen or pencil.

September 30—Oct. 2
Sierra Art Trails, Yosemite Foothills Open Studio Tour. Visit for details.

October 1-31
Phoebe Halloween Window Display, "The Book Shop," B Street, Hayward

October 20
Sally Lampi's Needle Sculpting Class, Boy Scouts of America Building, 1001 Davis Street, San Leandro. Contact Colleen at

October 20
Member/Associate Joint Meeting, 7 p.m., Girls and Boys Club of San Leandro, 401 Marina Blvd., San Leandro. Highlight of the evening will be the Annual Phoebe Auction. Donate items. Remember to bring all your friends and shop. Join the fun and excitement!

Phoebes Participate in the East Bay Open Studios

The Phoebes participated in the East Bay Open Studios at Wanda's Goose Cottage in Alameda on June 4 and 5. Phoebe fans and followers showed up to purchase dolls, crowns, pins, and an assortment of Phoebe creations. We were thrilled with the interest and response.

Akira Blount 5-Day Workshop for Phoebes

Over Memorial Day Weekend 2011, the Phoebes were fortunate to have scheduled internationally famous dollsmaker, Akira Blount, to teach a 5-day workshop. Above is a photo of Tami Levin's fabulous class doll.

Below, Colleen is seen working on one of the many dolls she made at the workshop.

The next photo shows Akira (on the right) demonstrating a technique to Marcella.

Go to to see Akira's fabulous "dolls" which are really works of art. Attendees were taught a variety of techniques, including sculpting faces, using stiffening and draping medium, layering on a gauze "skin," perfecting gusset joints, and incorporating materials from nature. We learned so much and have been busy using our new-found knowledge to make dolls which will be brought to the July meeting for Show and Tell.

The Phoebes Visit the Vogue Doll Factory

Phoebes and friends met in Oakdale on May 19th to tour the Vogue Doll Factory. The price of the tour included a delicious lunch, fun and games, as well as generous prizes and gifts of adorable dolls. What fun! Thanks to Diane for planning this great event for us!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Is Here At Last... And It's Filled With Inspiration

Calendar of Events

Ongoing–June 5, Pulp Fashion, the Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave. Fabulous period fashions constructed from paper. Legion of Honor, SF. Go to

Ongoing–July 4, Balenciaga and Spain. The haute couture of Spain’s master designer. De Young, SF. Go to

May 19, Vogue Doll Company Factory Tour. Carpool and meet in Oakdale at 11 a.m. $45 per person includes lunch, a doll, and a goodie bag. Contact Diane Joseph at for reservations and tickets.

May 19, Phoebe Members’ Meeting. At Marcella’s after return from Vogue Factory tour

May 21, KC Willis Collage Class, San Jose. Class space is still available. Go to to sign up.

May 27–31, Five-day Akira Blount Doll Class. Contact Colleen Patell at See Akira’s work at

June 1–June 30, Phoebe Flower Dolls Window Display. “The Book Shop,” B Street, Hayward

June 4, Spring Craft Sale. Saturday, June 4, 8 a.m.– 3 p.m., 12224 Santa Teresa Dr, San Ramon, CA 94583. See newsletter article on pg. 5 for details.

June 4–5, East Bay Open Studios. Phoebes exhibiting dolls at Wanda’s Goose Cottage, 1610 Minturn, Alameda, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

June 11–12, Live Oak Park Fair. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., 1301 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley. Several Phoebes are exhibiting and selling dolls and other works of art. Go to

June 16, Phoebe Members’ Meeting. Noon lunch at Shirley’s

June 23–25, Quilting, Stitches & Crafts. Reno, NV,

July 9, Phoebe Outreach Day at the Alameda County Fair. Contact Diane Joseph, to participate

July 21, Daisy Kiehn’s Yoga Doll Class. Contact Colleen Patell at

Sept. 8-10, Ohio Sewing & Quilt Festival, Cincinnati, OH. Order Classes online now! Go to

Oct 1–31, Phoebe Halloween Window Display. “The Book Shop,” B Street, Hayward

Oct. 20, Sally Lampi’s Needle Sculpting Class. Boy Scouts of America Building, 1001 Davis Street, San Leandro. Contact Colleen Patell at

Oct. 20, Member/Associate Meeting. 7 p.m., Girls and Boys Club of San Leandro, 401 Marina Blvd. Highlight of the evening will be the Annual Phoebe Auction. Donate items; bring friends and shop!

President’s Letter

Over the last few months, I have been putting in 12-hour days at work and have had very little time to play. The only time I’ve had to really just put work out of my mind was when I attended Donna’s crown class and went to the Phoebe meeting. It reminded me to play more often and not take work so seriously. Donna is a generous teacher and shared lots and lots of techniques in the class and at the evening enrichment.

Meeting night is always fun. I get to sit up in the front and see all your friendly faces and it reminds me of how lucky I am to be associated with such wonderful, creative, extraordinary people. Where else can I go and be completed, supported and understood because I love to play with dolls? The generosity we have to share our gifts and talents with each other is not something that happens often. I was totally overwhelmed when Cynthia and Star Urioste brought in 400 completed dolls for our annual fair event—a gift of time and effort that is amazing.Thank you both very much.

The next day I received a lovely e-mail from Stephanie Smith, who has generously offered her store window in San Francisco to the club for a doll display. Here is another avenue to show our work and, if we are lucky, find a few doll makers in San Francisco looking for a doll group to join. Stephanie is a new associate to the club and shared several of her beautiful dolls with us at the meeting.

See you all at the next meeting in July, Laurie

Challenge for July

We had a great response to the flower doll request for the June window. In October, we will be creating a Halloween display of dolls at the Hayward bookstore. While this is early—early is better! What says “Halloween” to you? Sweet-faced pumpkin tots? Scary zombies? Bats? Witches—either good or bad? Start planning your entry now!

Exchange for July
Decorate a pen or pencil—add a doll head or a special embellishment? You decide!

Fall Auction
Are you organizing your “stash?” Don’t throw or give that away! The Phoebes have an auction coming up. The auction was quite a success last year—but we can do better! Dig around and see what you can find that you know someone else is just drooling to have. This means you too, associates! We really want you to be involved—books, patterns, fabric, trims—anything (well almost anything) goes. And, remember to let your friends know about this upcoming event. Everyone is welcome!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring! New Friends, New Projects, New Possibilities

"Even though it is predicted to SNOW this weekend in the Bay Area, I know that spring is just around the corner. The days are getting a little longer, so when I come home from work, I’m not in the dark and that makes me very happy. I’m looking forward to so many wonderful classes we have lined up: Donna Perry’s crown class in April, Akira Blount’s marathon 5-day teaching seminar in May, and Daisy Kiehn’s Yoga Doll class in July. I can hardly wait to play." Laurie Scott, President, Flying Phoebes Spring Challenge and Exchange For our April challenge we will be preparing for the June bookshop window. It will feature dolls dedicated to flowers. What does this mean? Your doll can "grow" out of a flowerpot, be dressed in flowers, and even be made from a flower. Some dolls will be able to be hung up (they can fly!). What will you make? Phoebes will have a bookstore display again in October (think Halloween) and February 2012 (think Valentines and hearts). So many excuses to play are coming up. Our April exchange is inspired by the fun we had with Anne Klocko. It is BUTTONS. You can make original poly clay buttons, make a little something out of buttons, or simply exchange a card of beauties you have collected. New Doll Makers Enjoyed Phoebe Class On February 5, the Phoebes hosted a free beginning doll-making class at the Quilt Fans shop in Alameda. President Laurie Scott and Mary Porter Vaughan, assisted by Donna Perry, introduced seven aspiring students to the basics involved in making a cloth doll. The students saw many examples of Laurie and Mary’s fabulous dolls, as well as a sampling of the many books and magazines available on the subject. Laurie shared with them her list of “favorite things.” The class covered fabric choices, construction basics and stuffing techniques, plus tips for adding hair, clothing and embellishments. In March, Mary and Laurie conducted the second class in the series. In this class the students learned how to make hands and tiny turned fingers. Deborah Cain took the pancake doll and ran with it. She painted the body, adjusted the arms, and added a piece of jewelry for the head/face. Pretty neat! Heather Kenney took her dolls to a zombie-themed party so they became "zombified." Great fun! The adorable fairy was created by Diane Carter at the first class. Some of these students will be attending the April meeting. We are all so excited to be able to meet them! Annual Auction The Phoebe Auction this year will be held on October 20. It is not too early to start thinking about it and putting things aside to donate. This is our main fundraiser for the year, so we would like maximum involvement from both the Phoebes and the associates. We would like everyone to donate a piece of artwork, if possible. It can be a doll pin, small doll, or anything you would like to contribute. There will be more details in the next newsletter. This notice is just to get your creative juices flowing. Happy Customers—Great Show! One customer, Jo, purchased four pins and a doll made by Zanaib at the Women's Craft Show at Fort Mason in San Francisco last November. The pins were given as Christmas presents to some of her friends. One recipient recently sent an e-mail and photo to the Phoebes, with a copy of the thank you she sent to Jo. "We got together for dinner the other night and showed off our lovely new pins. Thanks again for a wonderful evening and your memorable gift... will wear it proudly!" Stump Doll - Make it and Take it! It is hoped that every Phoebe member and associate will participate in preparing for this coming year’s outreach events. The Phoebes will again be hosting “make it and take it” day at both the Alameda County Fair “Children’s Day” July 9, and a Girl Scout gathering at the Alameda Fairgrounds on May 5, 2012. At these events, participants will each get a stump doll to decorate, embellish, and take home with them. In order to have enough stump dolls for these two events, we are requesting everyone sew at least 25 bodies—more if possible! You do not need to turn or stuff them, as we will all participate in that during the future member and associate meetings. The Alameda County Fair event has a long history of success and popularity in the community, with an annual attendance of around 300 children, teens, and adults (including a surprising numbers of males). Phoebes not only make the bodies, but also make clay facemasks to be glued on the dolls, and provide wonderful things like ribbon, fabric, beads, fibers, buttons, leather, and more, to help make each doll a work of art to be loved and cherished. The Girl Scout event will be a new one for Phoebes and we are expecting a large turnout, as the projected attendence is 5,000 - 10,000 girls. Please plan to donate a little of your time by not only sewing stump doll bodies, but also volunteering to help on event days. It is a fun and personally rewarding endeavor. You will be glad you did! The Postcard Exchange Judy Fleck recently suggested a postcard exchange between Phoebe members and eleven took up the challenge. The exchange started in January, with each participant expected to create and send out a total of 10 cards from January through April. Recipients will make a booklet containing the cards they have received and bring them to the April associate meeting for "show and tell." The exchange was a lot of hard work and tapping of creative energy... but SO REWARDING! Everyone has been amazed and thrilled by the cards they have received and eager to share them with all! A second exchange is being discussed for the future!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So Many Opportunities For Fun!

Calendar of Upcoming Events

Ongoing through June 5, “Pulp Fashion, The Art of Isabelle deBorchgrave,” Legion of Honor, S.F. These are costumes made from paper.

April 9, "The Original Rubber Stamp Convention" Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Go to

Apr. 21, Donna Perry Crown Construction Class, 9:30 a.m., Boy Scouts Bldg., 1001 Davis St., San Leandro

Apr. 21, Associate Meeting, Boys & Girls Club, 401 Marina Blvd., San Leandro, 7 p.m. Enrichment: Donna Perry, "Embellishment Techniques." Challenge: A flower doll for the July bookstore display. Exchange: Buttons, or an item embellished with buttons.

April 28–May 1, Artistic Figures in Cloth, Columbus, OH,

May 27–31, Five-day Akira Blount Doll Class. Contact Colleen Patell.

June 4–5, East Bay Open Studios, Phoebes exhibiting in Wanda’s garden in Alameda

June 11–12, Berkeley Live Oak Park Fair, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

June 23-25, Quilting, Stitches & Crafts, Reno, NV,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Starting Off a New Year!

The next workshop to be offered by the Flying Phoebes will be held on April 21, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Boy Scouts of America Building, 1001 Davis Street, San Leandro. Donna Perry will be teaching the construction and embellishment of crowns made from fabric, as well as paper. The first photo is of a crown made of lace fabric and embellished with ribbon rosettes, costume jewelry, a vintage photograph, metallic trim and silk and paper flowers. The pink bithday crown is made from cardboard, scrapbooking papers, paper pinwheels and crepe paper rosettes. Class participants will learn new embellishment techniques using foil, glitter and Angelina fibers, as well as making pinwheels and rosettes from fabric and paper. For more crown photos, go to The class is $40 per person. Contact Colleen Patell at to sign up.


  • Saturday, Feb. 5—Beginning Doll Making Class for Adults, FREE, 1 to 4 p.m., Quilt Fans, 2205 Harbor Bay Parkway, Alameda (510 749-6717). Contact Mary Porter Vaughan at

  • Mar. 5, 6—Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale

  • Mar. 24 to 26—Rusty Barn Quilt Show, Sacramento Fairgrounds

  • Thursday, Apr. 21—Phoebe Associate Meeting, Boys and Girls Club, 401 Marina Blvd., San Leandro. Enrichment: Donna Perry will demonstrate new materials for foiling and glittering on fabric, and making Angelina embellishments using rubber stamps. The challenge for the meeting will be to make a doll based on flowers—made of flowers, dressed in flowers, or in a flowerpot. These dolls will be exhibited in "The Book Shop" window display in July. The exchange for the April meeting is someing incorporating buttons. The interpretation is up to you, but possibilities could include a couple of exquisite buttons, a button bracelet or necklace, a string of unique buttons, a card of doll buttons, or a small handmade item using buttons. It is always exciting to see the varied and wonderful items created in response to an exchange or a challenge!

  • May 27 to June 1—Five-day Akira Blount Doll Class presented by the Flying Phoebes. Contact Colleen Patell and