Etsy

Friday, 28 April 2017

Never Lonely

© Melissa Gaggiano
    In everything they do these siblings are never alone and never lonely. Even going to the toilet turns into a social event.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Snap It

© Melissa Gaggiano
    Find the source of your inspiration. When you know what it is snap it up and put it on your wall. Whether that wall is a physical space in your office, or a pin or something in your mental sphere.

    One of my sources of inspiration are flowers. Even the fallen petals call to me – like brightly coloured snow flakes decorating the world.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Too Much Coffee?

© Melissa Gaggiano

Excellent Things

    It has been a full, and very long week. I have been awaiting the arrival of 'things' in the mail. A lot of thinking 'will it be here today'. It has been a week of projects completed. Yes! It is also a week in which the wind in my sails direct me to an island I had once given up on finding. In point it is wise to never give up on the things we desire, even if the path doesn't seem obvious or likely.


© Melissa Gaggiano
    A new tutorial from moi has gone live at My Poppet. If you're into cameos and felt craft this be the thing for you.



Instagram
    This week I finished making Majora's Mask accessory for a felt crafted Legend of Zelda: Link doll. A couple of years ago I made the doll for my husband's birthday. It was quite the epic event – took several weeks to design and make. The next year I made a Deku mask to compliment the doll. This year, at my husband's request, I made Majora's mask. The mask is needle felted and hand sewn in parts. I wonder what I will make next year to compliment Link. Perhaps Epona [now that would be a massive thing] or Zelda herself.

    I sourced one of the mask materials from Etsy shop Yummy Yarns & Fiber. I was struggling to find green felt to finish the mask. But I found what I needed in this shop. I bought a perfect little 1M pack of green dyed Alpaca felting fibre.


© Melissa Gaggiano
    In other news I am returning to my illustration work in a big way. You can find new prints in my Red Bubble store. Check it out!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Umbrella Weather?

© Melissa Gaggiano
    What do you when you're in a rut? Switch to 'doing' something else. What do you when it rains? Whip out that umbrella and be like 'Singing in the Rain'. Now that's different.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Pinky Family

© Melissa Gaggiano
    What do you do for fun? Me, I occasionally wake up the cat and herd my family in front of a wrinkly bed sheet for a ten second photo shoot.

    Click here to see more of my photographic work.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Una Momento



    A week of reflection is in order. A single goal achieved gives me the drive to want to do more. To make those other neat goals happen I need to take a moment and assess how I'm going to achieve those things. But I'm not stand still for too long, as there are lots of little-big projects that I want to draw up/learn/discover/start/finish.

    Things I am in the middle of/Things I want to do more of:

  • For ages and ages I've wanted to sew a super hero blanket cover to match the Spiderman pillow cases I've previously made. I put this off for so long, but when I saw the superhero print fabric on clearance I knew it was now or never. So I spent a good whole Saturday sewing giants squares of of material, which will serve as the topside of my eventual blanket cover.
  • I am considering designing and sewing a pair of shorts for my eldest. This is a maybe, maybe, maybe. We'll see.
  • Writing: Lots of editing to do. Lots more writing to come.
  • I am rereading passages from Pip Lincolne's Craft for the Soul. The book is what the title says. It is also 'food for thought'.
  • Thinking about what I want from 'this blogging life'.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

M-m-m-my Poppet

My Poppet
DIY tutorial


    Oh my Star-Lord! I have such exciting news for you. This week I am a guest blogger over at My Poppet. For all you crafty food lovers you will find a delicious DIY tutorial for a miniature felt pizza. It looks good enough to eat and will have you craving the real thing. Ch-ch-check it out!

A huge, amazing shout out to Cintia and her colourful, inspiring My Poppet site.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

DIY Peg Doll




    This week I successfully taught peg doll making to children. The children were in awe of the handmade examples that I had to show, but for me the best part was watching them sit down and have a go at sculpting and sewing different shapes of felt material onto their individual pegs.
    No two dolls were exactly alike, which was the intended result. I could easily have instructed the children to make the dolls in my vision, but that wasn't the outcome I was looking for. It was more important for the children to make the peg dolls in their own personal way.
    I present to you a tutorial, which was very loosely used as a basis for the above mentioned doll making class. It is for people who want to make a peg doll and don't know where to begin. I recommend reading the notes, and you have two options: make what your see or sculpt the doll as you imagine it. Remember, there is no right or wrong of making a peg doll. There is only... the fun way!

Materials & Tools 



Threading Needle 


(1) Push the threader through the needle eye, insert the thread into wire threader loop. Pull the threader back through the needle.

(2) Bring the ends of thread together and tie a knot.

Making Doll Hair

(3) Cut 5 pieces of yarn, each roughly 30cm in length.

(4) With the 5 pieces of yarn together, wrap around the middle of the peg and bring the ends of the yarn together up above the head of the peg.

(5) Cut another length of yarn and tie this around the yarn above the head, and knotting it off.

Additional Note: You can also make hair for the doll by colouring in the head with textas, or gluing/sewing felt to the top of the peg.



Doll Clothes
 

(6) Choose a piece of felt and wrap it around the body of the peg and cut off any excess that you don’t need. Play with different lengths of fabric – to make shirts, pants, skirts and coats.

(7) Feed the threaded needle
into both sides of the fabric to close the opening. Repeat the stitch pictured. This diagonal sewing will create a row of visible parallel stitches. Tie a knot in thread when done. Cut the thread close to knot.



Doll Arms
 

(8) Cut out 2 small, narrow pieces of felt fabric roughly 4cm by 1cm. These will be the doll arms.

(9) Ensure your thread is knotted at the end. Stitch the arm pieces to the sides of the fabric wrapped peg.

(10) Your peg person is finished and ready for play.

Additional Note: Experiment with your peg doll designs. With freestyle doll making there is no right or wrong way of creating. You can draw faces, use glue, sew accessories, use buttons, feathers, or anything that makes your peg doll uniquely yours. 



Bonus Material: Reference Card

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Luna Lovegood Inspiration


Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano
    I am one of the masses who enjoys the Harry Potter universe and for this very reason I constructed a Luna Lovegood inspired textile sculpted art doll.

    I am so proud of the little-big details that went into making this doll. She has wire armature, is sculpted with felt. I've hand painted fabric, needle felted, blanket stitched and even curled yarn to bring this Luna to life.

    This Luna is currently available in my store. Check her out!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Craft Evolution

Melissa's Doll Making Progress
    When you love someone, or like something, there is not a single simple answer to explain why this is. This is true for me when it comes to creating. I like writing, taking photos, digital editing, drawing, painting, stitching, knitting, crochet, armature, problem solving and I get a real kick when I bring all these things together.

    Doll making has allowed me to mix together many different passions of mine. The other thing I like about doll making is the evolutionary journey it has taken me on. No two dolls that I've created are ever exactly alike. Even after I have perfected a doll pattern I seldom stick to it. There are constant adjustments – I see things that I could do differently the next time. There are new techniques to try.

    I feel that as my dolls change and evolve I too change and evolve with them. I am a different person at the end of each doll making process. Do you feel that too, with your work?

Saturday, 25 February 2017

A Week of Total Kickass Creation

Photo, photo design and costumes by Melissa Gaggiano
    This has been a mad of week of making and creating. From developing a doll making lesson plan, staging a product photo shoot and making sample dolls for said lesson plan, writing edits, to costume making for a fairy ball. Yeah! So, I was very tired this week. But I got a lot done, so, happy me.

© Melissa Gaggiano

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Meet Kobie 'doll' Roberts

Kobie Roberts doll based on a fictional character
created by Candice Ransom
    I am so excited to be sharing this with you. Just today I finished making this doll, which is based on a book character who I became friends with when I was about ten years old. Kobie Roberts is a student dealing with the all the things that makes being a teenage simply awesome [note the sarcasm] – bullies, trying to fit in, worrying about what others think of her, missing her best friend, face-offs with her mama.

    I loved Kobie [still do really and I look forward to introducing her stories to my own kids]. I thought she was amazing, and I wished Kobie could see how cool she really was when she wasn't trying. Come to think of it, I wish I knew that I was okay just being weirdo-me when I was a teenager too. So I guess this is a common worry for everyone when they are growing up – 'Am I enough? Am I too much?'

    It should come as no surprise then that Kobie Roberts is in part a work of fiction, and also a mirror of Candice Ransom, based on her own experiences and feelings growing up.

    I have based the Kobie doll on her description at the start of Fourteen and Holding. The doll comes with a hand bag [AKA pocket book], and a blue binder [with a 'right things' list]. The doll is made from woven cloth, felt, is sewn and painted. This was a back burner project for such a long while, so I am thrilled to have finally reached this point.

    For everything you need to know about beloved children's lit author Candice Ransom, go here.





Thursday, 2 February 2017

Concept Futura


    This afternoon I created in Adobe Illustrator this idea that was bouncing around in my head. An outfit that could either be sportswear or office wear depending on the materials that are used to make it.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Cat Rabbit & Sausage Dogs


    Today I took the girls for a train ride into the city. It was a beautiful day for it, and I wouldn't even let a squished banana [gross!] mar the day. We visited NGV to say hello to Cat Rabbit in the Great Hall [I just love saying that – Great Hall], who was running a workshop: Dog Mechanics with Soft Stories. The girls sat down and made their own paper sausage dogs and got to admire a hilarious and colourful sausage dog factory which was designed and built by Cat Rabbit and Isobel Knowles.

© Melissa Gaggiano

    This was followed by a roam into the NGV atelier, which housed the Viktor & Rolf for Kids event. The girls sat down and made their own fashion art using a variety of paper materials, staples and a hole puncher. I couldn't help myself! I had to sit down and join the fun. I made a hat that would have made Isabella Blow rather proud. Gwen proudly wore the hat for me and paraded it for the rest of our city trip. Perhaps I missed my calling as a milliner.



     Before heading off to eat lunch [prepared Vegemite and peanut butter sandwiches] I chose a kids fashion activity book from the Viktor & Rolf souvenir shop. On the train ride home I read some of the book to the girls. Going to have some rainy day fun with the girls doing the activities in this book.

© Melissa Gaggiano
    I look forward to returning to NGV to visit the main Viktor & Rolf exhibit.

    The Cat Rabbit workshop will continue to Thursday this week. If you're going to be in the city with the kids and looking for free fun NGV is a great place to go. The paper crafting is good, quiet fun, and the sausage factory on display is worth a good long stare. If you can't make it you can check out this video of the factory.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Pretty in Pink

© Melissa Gaggiano
    When I came across this small metreage of pink tulle it called... Nae, in a whispering cry it told me to pick it up and pay for it. At the time I had no need for the fabric. There was no master plan for it to be turned into something more beautiful, or alternatively disastrous. Any fabric addict can understand what I am talking about here.

    As luck would happen I did find a use for this gorgeous material, and much sooner than I had imagined would happen. This tulle had me imagining Marie Antoinette, as played by Kirsten Dunst. Of course I didn't have nearly enough material to create anything that grand. The next best bit of inspiration did come along, in the form of Kylie Minogue.

    The previous week I took my daughters to the Kylie on Stage exhibit. All three of us were utterly enamoured and arrived home with stars, pearls and sequins in our eyes.

    This week is my eldest's birthday and I decided to make her a pretty party dress to celebrate. And so a meeting of many wonderful ideas – Kylie, pink, tulle, sequins, birthday, love for my daughters – culminated in my pattern making and sewing this gorgeous slip of a dress, which can be worn with singlet, shorts and leggings.

By the way, did you know the fabric tulle is named after the French city in which it is manufactured.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

First Doll of 2017

© Melissa Gaggiano
    This tiny turtle was the first doll of 2017 to be made. She is a birthday gift for a lil' girl.

© Melissa Gaggiano