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Sunday, August 18, 2019

August Phoebe Meeting at Marcella's


The most amazing part of the meeting was Geri's talk about her huge California history project for the Sonoma elementary schools this spring. Over the years Geri has taken this and other similar projects above and beyond the level of elementary doll-making. By donating much of her own private stash, and items donated or made by her and her artist friends, she assembled hundreds and hundreds of individual components for the kits the students would use to create historically costumed dolls representing numerous native American Indian tribes. From supplying hand made doll bodies and sculpted heads, to adding furs and fabrics sew into clothing, plus tiny bows and quivers of arrows, jewelry, and on and on, the amount of work involved is impossible to comprehend. And, Geri conducted this event the very day before she was to enter the hospital for major back surgery and was experiencing a great deal of pain. We certainly hope all those teachers and students realize how lucky they were to have someone like Geri to make their event so very special.



Calendar of Events 

August 24, (Saturday), 10:30 A.M., "Remembering Mary." It will be held at Siempre Verde Park, 455 Park St., San Leandro. Informal gathering—you may bring snacks to share.

September 14, (Saturday), 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Marcella's. This will be an activity event with three activities to participate in: fabric origami (Harlene and Kathy); how to wire tins (Anne); book binding (Jennifer). The shoe challenge will be due. Create anything that includes a "shoe." Please bring a bag lunch. Also bring a bone folder, non-sharp tapestry needle, needle nose pliers, and an Altoid tin, if you have them (if not, some will be available at the meeting). 

October 12, (Saturday), 1 to 6 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Christ Episcopal Church in Alameda. This will be our annual potluck/gift exchange to celebrate the Phoebes' 32nd anniversary. Bring a sweet or savory dish to share, and, of course, your gift for the exchange if you participated. 

November 9, (Saturday), 1 to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Colleen's. Harlene will offer enrichment.

Flat Doll Challenge

Some newly completed flat dolls were brought to the meeting. Above are Linda's cute articulated paper dolls, including a lovely Asian beauty.

Marjorie's flat doll adorned this sweet quilted fabric piece. A clever idea. 

Sue created this beautiful mermaid using amazingly beautiful paper. Really exceptional!

Show and Tell

How we all envy Geri's extensive stash of art supplies! Digging through her card-making supplies, she found so many beautiful die-cut pieces and parts to assemble these 3D pop-up cards. By pulling ribbons or sliding various parts of each one, the lovely hidden messages are revealed.

Elizabeth's latest fired ceramic piece is in its final stages. This large assemblage features a ceramic clay sculpted face of Jacob Marley (the first ghost in A Christmas Carol) attached to a wooden door. When completed, she will be entering it to be juried for an upcoming art show in Grass Valley. We are all hoping she makes the cut!

Marcella has amazing patience and attention to detail! This small doll quilt includes tiny patchwork squares made from Marcella's long-saved quilting scraps. It will be donated to the "Stitch'n for Kids" hospital project. Such bright and happy colors!

Marcella recently visited our dear former Phoebe, Laurie, who moved to Portola. Laurie, who excels at doll-making and clay sculpting, gave Marcella this mask she had sculpted.  Lucky Marcella!

Sally continues to amaze us with her fabulous embellished gelli prints decorated by stamping, stenciling, and free-hand doodles. She does them on various surfaces (see last month's post). Pictured here are a zippered fabric purse (top) and two booklets made with coated and uncoated paper. 

We loved Shawn's hand painted top. She purchased the cotton blank from Dharma Trading and used a variety of fabric paints in soft, cool pastels to execute her original surface design. 


Sue has been taking more on-line classes on "Curious Mondo" on YouTube. This over-the-top masterpiece—a witch on a broomstick, complete with a raven on her wrist, shows just how talented Sue is at sculpting with polymer. To see more of the exquisite detail, check out the photo below.




And, Sue has also whipped up these precious character dolls. Wonderful costuming.


Zanaib has been obsessed with gelli printing, also. She has been spending every free moment creating papers, cards, books, and stickers— not only embellished with metallic and glitter paint, but some are embossed, too. So beautiful and amazing. Between Zanaib and Sally, it is awfully tempting to go buy a gelli plate and join the fun!

We loved the dragonfly pin that Harlene (who usually specializes in butterflies) made and wore on her shoulder to the meeting! Exciting, unexpected, perfect!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July Phoebe Meeting

The highlight of the meeting was the enrichment segment led by Sally, who demonstrated how we can reproduce our art using a printer and a variety of purchased blank adhesive labels, sheets, shapes and fabric, and the endless number of ways we can utilize these prints as embellishments on collage, greeting cards, business cards, file folders, clothing and accessories, etc. Gelli prints can be decorated with inks, stamping, drawings and doodles, along with layers of other mixed media, and then copied, cut up, and reused over and over on other projects. As Sally's enthusiasm and excitement increased, it was infectious, and by the end of her presentation we were all eager to go home and try out the many possibilities. Thank you, Sally!
Calendar of Events 

July 27, (Saturday), 10 A.M., Remembering Mary  has been changed to August 17. It will be held at Siempre Verde Park, 455 Park St., San Leandro. Time and details yet to be determined.

August 17, (Saturday), 1 to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Marcella's.

September 14, (Saturday), 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Marcella's. This will be an activity event with three activities to participate in: fabric origami (Harlene); how to wire tins (Anne); book binding (Jennifer). The shoe challenge will be due. Create anything that includes a "shoe." Please bring a bag lunch.

October 12, (Saturday), 1 to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Christ Episcopal Church in Alameda (time to be determined). This will be our annual potluck/gift exchange to celebrate the Phoebes' anniversary. Bring a sweet or savory dish to share, and, or course, your gift for the exchange. 

November 9, (Saturday), 1 to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Colleen's. Harlene will offer enrichment.

Flat Doll Challenge
The challenge due this month was inspired by Bonnie's flat dolls like the two shown below. We were given a variety of shapes which could be incorporated, but any type or style of doll using any type of material was acceptable. As you can see, Bonnie is the master when it comes to designing these!


Colleen used her ingenuity and skill in fusing to make her flat dolls from glass. While the details are difficult see in this low light setting, they are exquisitely formed by fusing many small shards of glass into two dancing figures. 
Daisy's flat doll is a delight of colored and patterned scrapbook papers and is fastened together by star-shaped brads, which also serve as eyes and mouth. 
Donna brought some of the many flat dolls she has made since becoming a Phoebe. Above are "Queen of Hearts and Tarts" she made after taking Betts' workshop a few years ago. They feature a reveal when the dresses are removed to expose their fancy lingerie.

Above is another use of Betts' pattern and a dress form from Barbara's workshop.
Above are two dolls made from tins in Rosie's wonderful stash. Various tin cannisters, cookie tins, etc. were carefully cut into shapes and assembled with jump rings.
And, above are Cher and Tina Turner, the first flat dolls she made, using her own pattern.
Elizabeth made this adorable little batman. If you look carefully, you can see his wings. He is made from layers of cut felt, and is so cute! 
Harlene created these beautiful dolls using some of the shapes supplied by Bonnie. Then she fashioned lovely floral embellishments for a finishing touch. The color combinations are wonderful!
And, she went on the make these two angels from flattened cardboard paper towel rolls, to which she added fabrics and trims. The sweet faces are made from polymer clay. 
Jennifer's lovely redhead is precisely cut from cardboard and skillfully dressed in layers of fabric. Tiny buttons accent the bodice.
 Jennifer and her mother, Caroline, are working to finish their flat fabric dolls. The wings and body are layers of fabric and tulle beautifully quilted together. Love the whimsical body shape!  

Marcella delighted us all with her little man in a suit and cap. His face is modeled from polymer clay and he opens up for a great reveal. See below.
He is on a cord and can be worn as a necklace. And, now we see his kind heart!
Zanaib's flat doll is a combination of lovely shapes of cardboard covered with beautiful foiled decorative paper. The sparkle of jewels and glittered tulle are the perfect embellishments. 
Anne's flat doll was made in her favorite art
 medium—ceramics. This little darling is all a-twirl with happiness.
Show and Tell
Anne bought another of her recent ceramic creations for show and tell. This cute little man will join many other pieces when Anne participates in the art show at Fort Mason next month. We are sure it will once again be a great success.
This doll was one of several brought to the meeting by our newest Phoebe member, Christofer. This one was made with crochet work over a wire armature and has polymer sculpted hands, feet and head. The hair is trimmings from Christofer's real hair! 
This sweet little polymer man is another example of Christofer's doll-making skills. She is an experienced mixed media artist who especially loves to make jewelry. We are so delighted you have joined the Phoebes, Christofer, and we look forward to seeing more of your wonderful creations!
Colleen wowed us with this fused glass creation, which is destined to be a pin. It even has bits of eyelash yarn fibers incorporated into it. 
And Daisy continues her love affair with birds. These adorable owls are only a few of the many she has been making these days. They are a happy, colorful group, So cute and loveable in return. 
Donna finally finished this UFO, a framed tin box containing a Freda Kahlo photo. It is made from a reversed stretched canvas with acrylic-painted embossed polymer tiles glued to the back of the stretcher frames.
Elizabeth amazed us again with her sculpting skills. She sculped this camel head from clay and made a mold, which she used to cast this piece from poured ceramic. It is hollow in the center. She is planning to embellish it with all the wonderful fringes, medallions and jewels found on camels in the Mid-East. She will also add some paint and shading to finish the face. Can't wait to see the completion!
Jennifer has been having great fun collecting candy bags and laminating them with fused vinyl on the top. She adds a little quilt batting to the back and quilts them, before cutting and sewing them into little zippered bags. What a novel idea!
Here is another type she made with a see-through window. This one serves to hold art supplies for traveling. 
 And Suzanne has once again created a fabulous mosaic piece, this one featuring tiny houses. It turned out so successful, there is a new series in the works! You go, girl!



Monday, May 20, 2019

The May Phoebe Meeting was held at George Mark Children's House in Oakland


The May meeting took place at the George Mark Children's House in Oakland. Built in the 1960s, it was the first of it's kind—a fully licensed and accredited non-profit medical facility offering a home-like setting for children who do not need the on-going resources of a children's hospital. It offers support to care-giving families and children with illnesses modern healthcare cannot yet cure or for those with chronic medical conditions or end-of-life situations. It is a stunningly beautiful place with colorful art and individual rooms for children with themed designs, like the railroad one shown above. There is fabulous food, fun games and activities, and even suites for family visits and stays. The Phoebes were taken on an extensive tour and were extremely impressed by it all!

Calendar of Events 
June 22, (Saturday), 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. Barbara Willis Mold-making Workshop at Barbara's Studio. There will not be a regular Phoebe meeting this month.

July 20, (Saturday), 1 to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Marcella's. Flat doll challenge will be due. Sally will offer enrichment.

August 17, (Saturday), 1 to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Marcella's. Mary will offer enrichment.

September 14, (Saturday), 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Marcella's. This will be an activity event with three activities to participate in: fabric origami (Harlene); how to wire tins (Anne); book binding (Jennifer). Bring a bag lunch

October 12, (Saturday), 1 to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Christ Episcopal Church in Alameda (time to be determined). This will be our annual potluck/gift exchange to celebrate the Phoebes' anniversary. Bring a sweet or savory dish to share. Watch for more upcoming details.

November (date to be determined), (Saturday), 1 to 4 P.M., Phoebe Meeting at Colleen's. Harlene will offer enrichment.
Enrichment by Daisy
We all gathered in the Great Room of George Mark for our May Phoebe meeting. A special treat was Daisy's enrichment session, during which we all followed her instructions and each made an eyelash yarn "lei" by looping yarn around a large straw. A very clever idea with a quite lovely result (see photos below). Thanks, Daisy!

Rosie is proudly displaying her yarn necklace made from two differently colored strands of the yarn, while Suzanne can be seen in the back making a beautiful bright pink one. Lots of fun for all!
Show and Tell
Harlene is quickly wrapping her yarn during enrichment, but take notice of the amazing vest she is wearing. It is made with many, many tiny quilting scraps covered with net and fused together. She then quilted it with long running stitches. Don't you wish you had saved more of your scraps? I do!

Anne, working hard as ever making items to sell at upcoming shows, brought these four fabulous examples to share with us. She never fails to amaze us with her work!





This last one was made by Anne molding ceramic clay inside a small fluted jello mold and then sculpting and attaching the head, torso and arms. It is so adorable.

Bonnie took a new path from flat dolls to this very whimsical and cute "flat house" made from quilting fabric and various embellishments. 


She also brought of samples of various craft tapes (a la washi tape) she has been making using double sided tape. Some are fabric, some are paper. Don't we all have things around the house to make even more interesting tapes than the ones in the stores?

And finally, these four double-sided fabric collages are samples of Bonnie's iconic work using her home "stash" to craft unique embellishments 

Marcella has created another wonderful quilt for a George Mark child by tapping into her delightful collection of quilting scraps. It is sure to be much appreciated.

Mary is shown modeling her latest knitted work of art. As soft as a whisper, it can be worn many different ways. The lovely color combination of yarns have been knitted into an intricate pattern which is testament to her advanced knitting skills.
We all want one like it (but unfortunately most of us are not skillful enough to make one). Darn!

Above and below are cute little dolls made at Bay Quilts in Richmond. Shawn, thank you for sharing!


And last, but certainly not least, Zanaib brought examples of the project she is currently working on. Above is a "party-in-a-box" which her friend Sherrye made and sent out to create a birthday celebration for her mom recently.

Zanaib will be inviting relatives to join in the celebration, by mail, of her mother's 87th birthday on June 17. She will be sending about 30 of the boxes to some of them. Included in each will be a balloon, some tea, candy, a gift certificate, napkins and a card. Other smaller groups of relatives will be receiving the "loaded envelopes" like the ones pictured below, with similar items included. They are requested to mail back the included stamped, addressed birthday cards to Zanaib's mom, along with some recent photos.

Some more distant relatives or friends will be receiving postcards to decorate and mail back with birthday wishes. We not only send Zanaib's mom the Phoebe's early wish for a wonderful birthday, but we hope her spirits will be uplifted by the response of all these people joining together to wish her a very "Happy Birthday" in June.