Getting Ready for this weekend’s meeting

Greetings doll lovers. For those of you who will be attending the bi-monthly meeting of the Atlanta Doll Guild we have a fun meeting planned. We will be focused on sculpting and painting heads. Here are the supplies you need:


stuffing,stuffing tool,scissors, hand quilting thread, long 2 1/4″ – 3″ needle, a mechanical or regular pencil. gel pen (white and any additional colors), Berol colored pencils, pigment fabric pens, pencil

Mickey will bring a head for everyone to work on.

A big thanks to Martha and Mickey for their willingness to share their skills with the group. Please bring your challenge dolls for show and tell!!

Peace and dollmaking, Deborah


Pictures from our FIRST meeting


Here we are (well some of us) during show and tell at out first doll meeting. We meet *every other month* at Intown Quilters in Decatur. We had a blast talking about our work, what our hopes were for the group and what are projects will be. Click on the Atlanta Doll Guild tab above for a description of our challenge for April.

Our next meeting: Saturday April 19th. Hope to see you there. PEACE and Dollmaking.

A BIG THANK YOU to Cookie for taking the pictures last month and for taking the time to send them to me. THANKS Cookie!

We mEt!

Greetings all.  The first meeting of the Atlanta Doll Guild took place last Saturday at Intown Quilters in Decatur, GA. I believe it is fair to say that a good time was had by all.  Jocelyn, Mickey, Angela, Martha, Jeanette, Cookie and Carol are a dynamic and multi-talented.  For now we have chosen to keep things pretty informal.  We will participate in group challenges, teach each other special tips and tricks as they pertain to our doll art and just regularly come together to fulfill our love of everything related to art and dolls. 

We have even agreed to our first group challenge: creative pancake dolls (see challenge section for more details).  Focus for April meeting: face sculpting and painting

See you in April!


Saturday February 16, 2008

4:00 pm @ Intown Quilters

See you there!  Please bring dolls for Show and Tell.


Basic Doll Kit

Greetings from cold Atlanta! Yes, we are wimps when it comes to snow in the south. I lived in Michigan and Upstate New York and learned not to blink when it came to snow and cold. Now that I am in Atlanta I don’t want to go outside. Go figure. Well, at least this weekend gave me plenty of time to stay in and work on dolls and quilts.

If you look above at my tabs you will notice that I have added two page tabs. One describes the new doll guild I have started in Atlanta and the other will be a running list of challenges and projects that the group is working on. I have already thrown in a few to get us started. Several doll buddies have written to me from other states asking if they can play along with us. My answer is most definitely YES. I just ask that you send me photos of what you are working on so that I can post it for everyone to see. Below is a list of basic supplies for your a basic doll kit. Please jump in and tell share what you love to use in your doll making and why. Especially if you think I missed something

A Doll maker’s Kit (remember that there will be variations in these kits depending on the types of dolls you make)

  • scissors for both paper and fabric
  • sketchbook or loose sheets of drawing paper
  • colored pencils, watercolor pencils
  • sharpened pencils
  • ruler or dressmaker’s tape
  • freezer paper
  • micron (or your favorite brand) pens in brown and black
  • ultra fine point sharpie
  • Fabric brush pens (like Y&C Fabricmate)
  • Crayons (like Crayola, Caran d’Arche)
  • Glue stick
  • Dollmaker’s needles, #3 and #5
  • Sharps or other hand-sewing needles
  • Size 7 darner
  • Quilting an/or button and craft thread
  • old (or new) panty hose
  • paperclay, polymer clay, found objects
  • Stuffing. I use three type: Polyfil, Mountain Mist and Airtex

Favorite Books for Doll Art Part 1

Often people write to me to ask about doll making tips, favorite supplies and my favorite doll making books. Over the next several months I will share lots about doll making tips and favorite supplies. Today I would like to share a bit about books. As with most artists I have multiple passions. Books, and if I am honest, magazines too, are big interests of mine. In fact, books probably run neck and neck with my passion for art and art supplies. When I am not working on making art I am reading about art and artists. So, without further delay here are the titles of books on my doll shelf:

[Every book I mention here I have read and continue to use.]

Susanna Oroyon

  • Ideas and Techniques Using the New Clays  

    Fantastic Figures: Ideas and Techniques Using the New Clays
    This is her first doll making book as far as I am aware. It is out of print and a bit expensive now but it is worth the hunt. This was the first doll making book I ever bought. I still reference it. It contains info about moldmaking, armatures and how to shape patterns with darts.

The Fabric Sculptor's Handbook  

Anatomy of a Doll: The Fabric Sculptor’s Handbook
I believe this is the second book in the series. It is full of fantastic images of completed dolls and sketches of dolls in progress. Lists of supplies and sculpting how-tos are found in this book also.

I also have:

From Concept to Construction  

Designing the Doll: From Concept to Construction and

Doll Costuming, Embellishments, Accessories  

Finishing the Figure: Doll Costuming, Embellishments, Accessories I use these books over and over again.

Next to Ms. Oroyan the doll maker that most influenced my early style is Elinor Peace Bailey (no relation). Her dolls are fun, funny and FULL of personality. Her book The Rag Doll: From Plain to Fancy is one of my early doll books. She explores the pancake pattern in this book and gives basic information for making doll clothes and accessories. I could not find this book online so I am afraid it is probably out of print.

SPirit DoLLs

Marisol by deborah grayson bailey

I make several lines of dolls. Marisol is from my spirit doll line. For me spirit dolls hold a special type of energy. I usually make these when I have a need to work something out for myself or I make them to bless someone else. Most times my spirit dolls are abstract representations of the human form. The other type of spirit doll I make is more representational like Marisol. I loved making her skirts and hand stitching the baubles and charms to her clothing. Every time I look at her I hear the sea.