Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quick note about commissions >>

I am accepting commissions. When I get a commission sometimes I am quick about it and sometimes I am not so quick. It isn't because I am not giving your commission the full attention it deserves but rather I am working it out in my head. I have probably started it already and if I have run into a snag or I don't like the direction I am going I will shelf it for a bit so I can have a fresh perspective.

I want to give every doll the full attention it deserves. Sometimes the inspiration is so strong it comes together easily... other times (especially if I have painted several of the same doll) it will take a bit longer. It isn't because I don't care for the doll at all... I am always looking for ways to improve. I do a lot of research on celebrity dolls as well. I study pictures and watch videos on the subject looking for things I might have missed before.

Your turn around time could be two weeks or two months (sometimes a bit longer - depending on how many dolls I have in the house). I always deeply appreciate your patience. I do want your doll to be very special to you and something you will love for many years to come!


A little advice on painting doll eyes....

I was recently asked how I get the details in the eyes when I paint them and this was my response. I thought I would share with anyone who might be interested. : )

It is so hard to try and explain how to get details in the eyes... especially small ones. I don't want you to get caught up in that when the shading is actually more important. Try to look at the iris as shapes and colors rather than an eye. It is hard to separate, I know... it's an eye. But beyond that it is just color and shadow and light.

If I am painting a blue eye and I don't want any other color than blue (and I believe that is hard to make it real and not flat) I would start with the blue I planned on using...

Start with the basic iris shape/circle in black. Then clean that up with white until your black outline is very very thin. On the inside of that black line add your blue... I would use a strong pigmented darker blue and the line inside the line is barely there... practically on top of the black line. Then paint the entire eye in with a watered down wash of that blue. Find your pupil. Now you have the eye. It is plan and flat but there. I know this is a tiny space and I use reading glasses to see it better. Try that.

Now I look at a picture of an eye that is blue... a reference. I look for the light and place it in. First the light shine in the pupil and then I dot it in here and there depending on where the light is at in the picture. After that, if my white is too light, I will wash another color of blue over it and go back again after that and add more white. Look for the shine in the eye on pictures. Look where it is reflecting. It only takes a tiny dot. I generally don't love mixing white and blue together. I prefer layering washes of blue over white.

At the top of the eye under the lash line and around the pupil I mix a little black with my blue... just enough to darken it... and I paint it around that pupil and up under the eyelash line to shade it. It is really a lot of light and dark... don't be too literal. Paint creates an illusion... especially with something so tiny.

Hugs! Laurie

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last day of August!

This can only mean one thing... summer's end in nearing. I admit I am far more productive in the winter months. I don't know why but it seems to be so true for me. Even though I live in Florida and I love it, I appreciate when the fall comes. It is just so nice here.

I have quite a few commissions I am working on. Lots and lots of characters and celebrities! I love creating those. I will be updating my galleries soon so I can feature some of my favorite new repaints. I seem to be loving all kinds of vampires lately as I have been working my way through Twilight and True Blood.

I will update those galleries later tonight. Must start painting now...

Have a safe and happy day! LL

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Trying to decide what to do first this morning. I don't have a "plan" or a "to do list" so I will probably do that. I know there are a few things that must be done and the rest is for me to decide. Not even thinking about housework or that sort of thing. Only art related today.

I was on Facebook and one of my friends mentioned she was hitting Starbucks. Made me think about how much I have always wanted to live in a quaint little town. The kind where you can walk everywhere and you know everyone. I would have an art studio there and people could stop by and say hello.

Chances are that sounds nicer in the imagined world than in the real world. LOL

Thinking about my website. I am still using an old program. Poor thing is more a hodgepodge of over 10 years instead of a well oiled machine. Gotta look around for something new. I learned that old program, I can learn a new one.

So off to the races. I have a Mighty Mugg to finish, pictures to take, coffee to drink! Let's go!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why I like fan art...

My boyfriend sent me a link to a wonderful artist. I was looking at her work, admiring it and followed a link to her blog. There I found this wonderful quote! I don't know who it is by and pardon the "French" but I love it so here it is.

"Drawing is fun, but making fanart is the best. Because fanart gives people permission to like things. So much today, there’s this attitude that it’s not cool to like things, that you have to like things ironically or not at all, that you have to act restrained, unenthusiastic, bored, and that it’s better to scoff and keep your embarrassing pleasures to yourself. So I make fanart because fuck all that. I’m a nerd, and I like things, and I enjoy liking things. If I draw something, and it makes a person feel like an unabashed kid again, then that’s worth it. If I draw something, and it makes a person feel like they have an ally, like they’re allowed to smile, like they have someone to share their geek-out with, and they’re reminded that there was once a time when stories could capture their imaginations, then that’s good enough for me."

This quote was found here.... enjoy her work!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

La sigh....

Okay - so I have worked a little since my extravagant three day holiday weekend. I did manage to create a doll I am so proud of and she will be up for auction tonight. I am also working on a little side project that I really must finish. I actually love this little project and can't wait to share.

First off... here is my newest doll. She was created out of a Birthday Bella and she happened to remind me of Scarlett Johansson as she appeared in Iron Man 2 as Black Widow. She is a favorite creation of mine and I hope you like her as well.

My other little project allows me to stretch my creativity. I found an artist through Facebook and followed his work. I put a link to his blog below. I just fell in love with his stuff and while looking through it I found these little doll like toys he paints. They are called Mighty Muggs. I loved what he was doing with them and thought it might be something I could enjoy putting my own twist on. So I looked them up and sure enough I was able to find them and picked up a few.

The first thing I decided on was Derek Jeter. I am currently watching a lot of Yankees baseball and discovered that Derek Jeter will, any day now, have 3000 hits. He will be the first Yankee to do this and one of only 20 or so baseball players in the history of the game to have 3000 hits. He is literally 3 hits away as I write this.

To commemorate this I have created a Derek Jeter. I will have 3000 hits on his back above his number and the date it happens below.

I love these little Mighty Muggs and am considering creating more in the likes of some of my favorite characters in pop culture including the Twilight saga and Star Wars.

So that is what I have been up to this week. Current commissions I am working on to look for are Legolas, Jasper (Twilight), a 12" Megan Fox, and several more just waiting for some creative love.

I can't believe it is Friday tomorrow already!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The hazzards of working at home...

I have been working at home for over 10 years now. The decision to do this based solely on one year of starting my own little business was pretty scary. I had been listening to some self help tapes (okay - Tony Robbins) and I was totally motivated. I was beating my income earnings at work and while I would be losing money, I felt I would have more time to work SO I would make more income eventually.

Wouldn't you know it... a few months after I started working exclusively on my art at home, the market on eBay got flooded with new artists. Wonderful! Other artists were aware of eBay and collectors were spreading the wealth. I got nervous.

Around the time I left my "day job" to work at home I learned about doll art. This, I felt, was something I could sink my teeth into. With a little trial and error I eventually found my perfect niche. It didn't take me long to recover and before I knew it I had a thriving business. To top it all of, I was doing something I absolutely loved. What could be better?

The flip side of all this is that I was working from home and I fell into every pitfall you can: I overbought supplies; I worked too much; I never left the house; I became stressed; my house got messy; I gained weight; and worst of all... I burned out.

When working at home you have to learn to overcome these things or get your butt back to your day job. I knew this was what I loved so I just kept plugging along.

1. The first thing you do is plan! When you have a "day job" you are on a schedule. You have a plan. If you schedule out your day and plan things, it is truly amazing what you can achieve.

2. Take your weekends off. I will often work until midnight on the week days if I need to just to have the weekend off. Generally people get a few days off... it doesn't have to be specifically Saturday and Sunday but you need at least a day or two to unwind. If you can get out of the house... even better. Remember, you are there all day long. You don't want to smell the burn out.

3. Plan your meals or buy healthy snacks. I literally get up in the morning, make coffee and come straight into my office to answer emails. I am already at work. This is freaking awesome because I can wear anything, however, it is hard to tell if you are gaining weight when your stretchy, comfy clothes keep stretching. I do not advocate wearing anything less than comfortable BUT I do recommend planning your meals and fitting in some exercise. Promise you will not regret it. If you don't have clothes that you have to fit into for work AND you don't have anyone really watching you, things could get out of hand. This is something I have failed at time and again because when you are busy you just grab whatever. But I have started walking in the mornings and this week I am planning those meals. Girl wants smaller comfy clothes!

4. I used to give myself a day to clean. I have since taken that away because I have a weird habit of needing to be alone to clean and currently my daughter and her family are living here. So, I don't do my typical cleaning day... I do what I can. When I have my days alone I like to have a day designated to cleaning. This can be one of your weekend days.

5. Have a designated working space. It is impossible to get anything done when you are constantly taking things out and having to put them away. Find a space in your house and set it up.

6. Watch out for wasting time (for instance, blogging when you need to be working). The internet is a time stealer. Especially Facebook! I watched a little video on procrastination that suggested you turn your sound off on your computer when working... otherwise you will be constantly checking your emails and Facebook messages, etc... Turn it off and turn on some music (or whatever you like to listen to).

7. Make sure you are doing something you love and always always challenge yourself.

8. Watch out for distractions! It is so easy to get distracted, especially when you aren't "feeling it" that day. Listen, everyone needs a mental health day here and there but be careful of those. Don't work to "just get by". That is a recipe for disaster. You can still be there for your family and friends in your designated free times but when at work stay on task.

9. Challenge yourself, yes... but stay focused on what you are good at. I love art... and often I will go off and start doing something that is not usual work. That means it is untried and if it is unsuccessful, well I just don't get paid that week. So do your work first and then experiment with new things.

10. Don't take on too many jobs and become overwhelmed. This can cause instant shutdown.

11. Make a budget. This is crucial.

12. Finally, (and I am sure I am forgetting a dozen other things) just have fun! Yes, work hard too!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Love this guy's work! So inspiring! XOXO


Wrote an entire morning post and somehow lost the entire thing. All I basically said was I went for a nice walk this morning and this is what I created! Gotta go paint now. Life is good.

Follow your bliss!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Being human...

After my last post I wondered if I didn't make a mistake in airing my dirty laundry. Could it effect how people really feel about me? Could it effect how people feel about my art? My business practices?

I was pondering all of this as I was painting today. And as I was enjoying the way the colors blended together and how my doll was coming to life I realized that I am able to create this and all of my art because of how deeply I feel. Writing that down truly freed me in ways I didn't realize until now.

I feel like a new person. I am off the Prilosec as of today and I feel great. I feel amazing actually. I am caught up on all of my shipping. I have only 8 commissions in the house. And I am feeling my way through a beautiful repaint that I will share later.

Having purged myself of those feelings in writing has me going through my old doll items and purging myself of those things too. I know I can let them go and allow new things to flow to me. I am thinking about what doll I want to paint next. I know that I am on the right track!

I had a long talk this morning with my sister and we came to a realization that we are very strong people. That we have risen above and overcome more obstacles that can be imagined. I mentioned before that I felt like I had failed on every level. I know a lot of people feel that way, especially in the situation of a broken marriage. I want to say that it is okay to feel this way. But it has to be released as well. We are so very hard on ourselves... we tend to look away from all the good that we have done and only focus on the bad.

Today just think about a couple of things that you have personally done that you are proud of. That is what I am going to do. I will not be controlled by things that were often out of my control anyway. And whatever was my "fault" is me just being human. I have made mistakes but I have done some wonderful things too. And so have you.

Love Love Love! LL

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Creativity and stress.....

When I was married I didn't worry about the money that came into the house, how the bills were paid or anything of the sort. Budgeting, balancing, etc... were not my concern. My husband took care of it all. He told me when I had money and when I couldn't spend much. This went on for our entire marriage (over 20 years).

At one point my husband didn't have a job and I was supporting the family. Things were a little tighter but he always managed to make sure we had enough. There was always plenty to pay our bills and buy food. I NEVER worried.

My husband and I separated approximately four years ago. We are now divorced. I am in a personal financial crisis that I don't like to think about. I never learned how to manage my money and I am still struggling with it. I have gone through so many changes over the past four years it is unreal. I had to file bankruptcy. I lost my car.

Of course, the timing couldn't be better with the economy tanking. The stress is like a noose around my neck, choking me, crippling me from doing what I love - creating art. I am even furious with myself that I am in this position. I feel stupid. I know I am not a stupid person. I know I am fully capable! Honestly, I can't believe a strong, capable person like myself is in this position at all.

I have feelings of shame. I have let myself and my daughter down. I have failed. And to top it off I discovered that my little pill that made my tummy not hurt, Prilosec, can cause depression among other serious side effects.

So here I sit this morning pushing back the fear. Trying to come to terms with what I have created. I know I can only do what I can do today. I am happy in my personal life. I have so much to be thankful for. Friends, loved ones, family... and I am still working at home despite it all.

How do I move forward and paint beautiful things when my mind is so muddled? How do I overcome this? I don't really have the answers yet. Day by day... even hour by hour. I am weaning myself from the Prilosec. It is a start. Meditation... a good night's sleep... praying.

I am writing this to basically get it out. I want to release this feeling and be free of it. Also to tell whoever is reading this, if you are in a situation where you don't pay attention to your money that you need to start today. Everyone should know how. Money is not an evil thing! It is a good thing that allows us so many other things. My mind is a creative mind. I don't like to be bogged down with this stuff (I am even resistant) but I am learning and I hope what happened to me is a message to someone else out there.

I am making a promise to myself today that I will let myself off the hook. My inner dialogue is very cruel. I wouldn't say the things I say to myself to another human being. I would never be so mean. I encourage anyone who is reading to stop whatever mean thoughts you have about yourself right now. I had a long talk with my sister about it last night. I am done with this self-loathing. I am very prideful I have been told. It isn't a bad thing but it can lock you up in your own scary little world. Pride is good but not when it stops you from asking for help or makes you lie to yourself about what is really going on.

Now the decision to post this. It is so easy to pretend your life is just perfect but I know I am not alone here. And maybe my ramblings will help someone else. Maybe I will hear back from some of you and the messages will be something I needed to hear.

This is not a story of despair but rather of hope. Hope that I will personally overcome this. That I will amaze myself. I am not an unhappy person. I have moments where I am freaking out but for the most part I very happy. I laugh every day. I do have some inner demons to overcome but the sun is always shining and my glass is forever half full. There is so much for me to be thankful about.

So on that note I feel better. I am off to get some promised dolls in the mail today and hopefully create a pretty little doll that will make someone very happy.

Hugs and love to all! LL

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Etsy Store

I have some stuff in my little Etsy store as well as on eBay! AND on Zazzle... Come by and visit my Etsy store. I love ETSY!

I have four original works of art in there and a repainted doll as well as some prints.


A little more information on Prilosec...

or any proton pump inhibitors. Thought it would be helpful to those who have been taking it like me.

These are both very interesting to read and a bit frightening too. I picked up a book on natural remedies in place of the PPI pills.I have read about half of it. Very hard to self diagnose. I could have a Candida Yeast overgrowth. I could have H. Pylori.... who knows. It effects thousands of us each year.

My magnesium arrived yesterday... I took that along with my other vitamins (B12, Vitamin D, Women's One a Day, and others....) and I felt SO much better. I had a lot of energy last night. I was running around my house cleaning and picking up before bed and I slept great. I have not stopped taking the Prilosec as of this day. When I get the natural remedies figured out I will see what happens there. Crossing my fingers. I can't believe I have been on the crap for 5 years!

Today I plan on getting everything shipped out so I am off to do that. XOXO LL

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Liv Tyler Repaint

Of course she can be Liv Tyler to you or the beautiful Arwen from Lord of the Rings. She does have great elf ears under that hair. Either way this gorgeous doll has soft, pale vinyl to simulate her flawless skin and her sculpt is a perfect likeness of Liv Tyler. She would look great in anything! She will be up on eBay later this evening. You can visit my website at 9PM when her auction goes live. Unfortunately I do not have her beautiful costume. This lovely doll arrived nude... she does have a pair of flat feet and fashion feet that can be switched.

I really enjoyed creating her. Her factory face paint was carefully removed. I then painted her with the finest artist grade acrylics. They pigments are strong and the paint so matte it looks as if it is part of the vinyl. I finish it off with several coats of sealer in both matte and a satin to give her eyes and lips a soft sheen. Her nails on her fingers and toes are natural with a glossy sealer and her body and face are softly blushed.

Liv will come with a certificate of authenticity by me. Liv can be redressed over and over in beautiful current fashions or stunning costumes from The Lord of the Rings (or any other movie you loved her in).

Hugs! LL

Happy May!

Hello hello hello! I am just sitting here getting ready to settle into painting a doll. Working on a Liv Tyler for eBay today. I have about 9 dolls I am in various stages of working on for commission and a few too many DVDs I need to get outta here. I also have some dolls that are ready to go home.

Life has been a bit crazy for me... on top of all of the huge changes in my life, I recently discovered that the Prilosec I have been taking for 5 years now actually does have long term side effects. Some of these have been making me not feel like myself. I am working now on finding natural remedies and taking vitamins and minerals to try to get to feeling like myself again. A major side effect is depression.

This has drastically effected my work. I was finding it hard to focus my attention on things for very long and painting dolls is very tedious and takes all of your focus and attention. I have always been able to do that but over the past few years it has taken me longer and longer to finish a doll, much less the other less interesting parts of my job. Knowing that it is something that can be corrected is like someone turned a light on in a dark room. It is such a relief.

If anyone out there is taking any kind of proton pump inhibitors please look into the serious side effects. Also, if someone knows of a solution to stomach problems that are natural I would love to hear from you. I am not yet off of the Prilosec because the book I am reading says I will need to carefully ween myself. I tried to stop them over the weekend by cutting the pills in half but it only made me sick. So until I can get my diet properly changed I am continuing on them. But please know that long term use of these pills is dangerous.

Better get myself to painting! Big hugs! LL

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Working on a zombie doll.... having SO much fun!


It is hard to believe it is already 2011... I couldn't wait for the new year to get here and I am already in full swing. I have a lot to prove to myself this year. I am living alone now... everything I do every day is up to me now. What I eat, what I watch, when I work, etc.... it is kinda crazy and I am totally embracing it.

I miss Rox a lot. She and I had a fun thing going here but life has to move forward. The best thing I can do for her is let her live her life and be there for her when she needs me. So I am now an empty nester. It came faster than I thought it would.

I find I don't watch as much TV as I did because there is no one to watch it with. I do occasionally watch something. I tend to paint when I have the TV on now. I have been working on a Zombie. She is coming along and I am enjoying to process.

I have some other projects and lots of commissions. Today I am working on a zombie doll. I can't find my box cutter though and it is making me crazy! So I am working on her hair right now and I will go back on the search for it after. I will post a progress picture when I get around to it.