Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Sharing the doll making process

This week I have been totally deprived of sleep, have not eaten well and my house is a mess. And it's been a blessing. After a very long dry spell of depression, darkness and fear, a light lit inside my heart and I suddenly felt the urge to make, to create, to bring things to life.

And what better way to create than making dolls? There's something very special to me about doll making. I get to take raw material and shape into a little person that will have a defined personality, a story to tell and will come to life when I hold her in my hands. That very act of creation fills my heart with happiness and joy.

I am like a child, playing in my own little world, busy cutting, sewing, painting, sewing and cutting again until I am satisfied, and I know no sleep, hunger or pain while I am entranced on the process of creation.
I can stay up all night for days, busy busy while I fill this hunger my soul has for creating and making things with my hands.

Slowly, the doll takes shape. The idea inside my head leaves the realm of my dreams and enters own own reality. Every little doll I make has a piece of my soul and my experiences imbued in her, and when you take her home, you take a piece of me with you.

I connect deeply with every doll I make. Each one has a deep meaning for me, a web of emotions, ideas and feelings go into the stuffing that makes her up. Each one has been inspired by something I saw, something I felt, something I feared, something I loved.

When you take the doll home, you embrace that emotion that created her and give it a new meaning.
You see the beauty within, give it a new chance to be loved and become something much grander that what it was before.
Your love makes her better, and she loves you for it.

Thank you for taking my dolls home, I have been so blessed with your love for them that they have homes even before they are finished, and they are very grateful for that. And I am too. Thank you for letting me share the process, and what goes on in my mind when I create.

Now you know.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul

I finally started to own my new creative space! After shifting furniture for months to no end, I finally accepted in my mind that I have a new studio and that I better get to work here or I will starve to death because I haven't produced much lately.
Now I have a layout I'm comfortable with and I started getting all my knick-knacs back on my shelves.
To me this means I'm ready to own the place and let my muse visit and inspire me to create beautiful things.
I even created a little research corner where I can plop my iPad and start goofing off on Pinterest... I mean researching trends and ideas.
Since this is me we're talking about, just seeing the place all tidy and full of pretty things made me forget about everything else and I felt the unstoppable urge to create that I get from time to time.
Chaos is ensuing right now at Danita Art. There's fabric everywhere you look. I'm in the middle of an almost perfect storm of creativity.
Why it's almost perfect?? We seem to have a fly infestation around here. They are everywhere and there's one that's been buzzing over my head for the last three days. It has escaped the wrath of my pink fly swatter.... You'll see when I catch you!
I started Friday morning doing this, and I have not stopped, stepped out my studio, eaten a proper meal or slept at all. It's an imperative of my soul to create until I have finished.
Pizza Hut thanks my business and Frozen and Wreck It Ralph have been stuck on a TV loop for the last 24 hours. The kids think Mom's art attacks are awesome.
It's 3 AM and I have no intention of stopping. Maybe when I see the the sun coming out I'll go to bed. I'm going to leave you now with a preview of what I'm working right now.

Monday, September 15, 2014

In Halloween Mode

As soon as the weather starts changing, my creative status changes to pure Halloween Mode.
I've been busy creating dolls. I just can't stop. All kinds of dolls. And lots of ideas still in my mind. That justifies the mess in the studio.

Wooden kokeshi dolls with mixed media details...

I've been experimenting with spun cotton... and I like it!

Spun cotton, crepe paper, felted wood, paper mache... all in one. 
And liking the look of the real instead of painted hair... I made a set of witches and I'm still haven't decided which one is my favorite.

 Which one is yours?
They're listed here if you want to grab one. 
(Or click on the pictures and they will take you where you want to be).

Monday, September 08, 2014

Muse Merriment is my latest online class.


I am thrilled to announce I am part of the teaching roster of Muse Merriment, a great artist collaborative class by Kelly Hoerning.

This amazing class will be themed around 9 muses of art, where we will use the muses of Greek mythology to encourage you creativity, your imagination and your inspiration to let your artistic self grow and bloom with lessons from me and other 9 great artists. 

I will be there along with Tamara Laporte, Deb Hill, Lisa Lavoie, Rachelle Panagarry, Effy Wild, Susana Tavarres, Golda Rader and Kris Binsfeld.

I feel free when I work with watercolors, the unpredictability of the medium dictates where the piece wants to go and the ethereal colors and textures make me feel happy.  While we explore the story of Urania, the muse of Astronomy, I will teach you about my work with watercolors and how free they can make you feel.

The price is $78.00 for 10 lessons, that's only $7.80 per lesson by a different artist every week! We start on August 25th until October 27th with a new class every Monday, and you will have access until July 1st, 2015. Learn more about the class and the teachers at

Sign up today, and see you there very soon!!

Friday, September 05, 2014

World ap-ART Issue 6

As a member of the World ap-Art group, I'm so very proud to be featured in this month's issue of the World ap-Art magazine!!! It features a few pages filled with my dolls and some snapshots of my studio (plus an interview). If you want to read it click on the image. And feel free to share it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My latest commission: A beautiful story.

 But the print of this beautiful painting on my etsy Shop.

It's finally finished.  I usually don't take so long to make a commissioned piece, but this one took me a lot longer than expected.  I have several reasons for that: the move, lack of space to create, lack of time... but the true reason lies in the fact that I did not feel like I was up to the task.  Inspiration just didn't come.  It was like too much responsibility. 

This is a very special piece, you see? And I didn't want to disappoint my patron.  Let me share with you (with her permission, of course) a little bit about this piece: 

"My grandma grew up poor.  Her family had a piano, but no money for lessons.   She taught herself to play and for her entire life she played the piano and the organ in church, at weddings, funerals, and senior citizen events.  When I was 4, my parents were in a bitter divorce and custody battle for me and my younger brother.   It was a mess but my grandparents offered to take us and that is what happened.  My grandpa died when I was 5, leaving grandma to raise two young children alone.  She was disabled and could not work and neither of our parents gave her a penny to help.  My grandma was my mother,  my father, my friend and my teacher.  She taught me to sew, crochet, sing alto, and direct music.   She taught me to love reading,  writing, dancing, vintage things, and taught me to love God.  She was a preschool teacher for years and inspired me to be a tray.  In short, anything good about me and anything good I may have done,  I owe to her."

So here they are, both as children sharing their heart and soul.  She was a remarkable woman, someone who inspired me to be the best I can be. I hope I did her justice.

Monday, August 04, 2014

On Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt and New Beginnings.

Relieved. That's how I felt today.

It's been almost a month since my last post and I wasn't really saying anything. Just quick updates on my shop and stuff like that. There's actually a very good reason for that. Let's start from the beginning.

I moved. And it's been chaotic.  We spent some days in the old house and some in the new one. Brought the stuff little by little and we haven't finished. The old house isn't totally empty yet and the new one is still in the unpacking process. We didn't have any internet and the signal in my phone was almost always unusable. We moved our daughter to a new school and made a lot of adjustments in our lives.

But the reason that kept me most from writing was fear.  Yes, moving has been stressful, but the fear wasn't coming from the move.

It was coming from unknowing the unknown.

I've been having a lot of health issues lately, I feel like my body is actually conspiring against me and causing a good deal of issues. But the one that worried me the most was that both my ring fingers were over extending and I developed a swan neck deformity (I've had it for years but it was never that pronounced). And they hurt. And then the index, and after that, the thumbs. And the doctor was very suspicious about it because it's in both hands... so he sent me to the lab so they could test me for lupus, arthritis, auto immune diseases, cancer and who knows what else.

 I was so afraid!!! And worried!!! And I tried to ignore it and pretended nothing was happening, but every time they hurt I thought about my children, about my art, about my future and it was scary. I spent a month like that until today when I got the tests back and the doctor told me I have none of those things.

Just a really flexible collagen that it's making my fingers bend.  I can live with that. I can rest when I'm tired. I'm using some finger splints to prevent them for over extending and I can have surgery to correct them in case they keep bothering me. It's like seeing the light again.  It was like having a really dark cloud over me at all moments. Trying to stay positive was really, really hard and I mainly hid in the house packing and unpacking in pain.

At night I was so tired all I could think about was sleeping with no mood to paint or do anything else.

Other night I cried myself asleep praying and hoping everything would be OK.

And it is.

It's time for new beginnings, in my life, in my art, in my new home.

Unfortunately, I am left with a huge amount of doctor expenses that need to be covered, all the expenses of a new house and the toll of a month of total inactivity at the studio. If things came one by one, I could have handled it, but bills are piling up and we're stretching our budget to get by.

So, I decided to unclutter the studio and to start with new things in this new beginning. I am keeping what's essential and moving everything else out to make room for this new chance.

This also means that all the originals I had in my previous studio have to go, and I created a special section on my online store with reduced prices so they go to their new, loving homes. Doing so is therapy for me, I am opening space for a new chapter in my life, and it will help me cover up for the bills that hopefully, will be behind me very soon.

Check out the past works now on my Etsy Store and help me create new space for more beautiful inspired art in this new beginning on Danita's life.

I know this new chapter in my life has lots of surprises in store, and all this has taught me to be strong, to have faith and to hope for the best.

Here's to everything being OK once again.