Joshua… and New Friends

I made some more dolls over the past few months (well, nearly-year); all for other people.  One was as a thank you to a friend, and the the other two were commissioned as a wedding present.  I’ll begin with Joshua…

Meet Josh Ritter: ritter

Now. Meet Joshua Ritter.


I was given a ticket to see Josh Ritter last year by a friend, and I told her I’d make her a Josh doll as payment.  (She is one of very few people I know who watches Home and Away, and so *got* the Braxton dolls).

Uncanny, right?



side face


(satin is sooooo hard to stitch...)

(satin is sooooo hard to stitch…)

(It has been pointed out that perhaps he looks more like this fella… You decide!)


The other dolls I made were a commission- my cousin and his girlfriend asked that I make a pair of dolls as a wedding present for friends of theirs who were getting married.

coupleI worked from some photos that I was sent as I haven’t met the couple before.

bride face

The bride’s dress is made from a sample of net curtain from a sample book, and lace trim wrapped around her and stitched together.

bride back

veil detailHer veil is some unbleached muslin held to her hair (head) with beads.

groom face

goom backThe grooms waistcoat and trouser fabric was the only fabric I bought for these dolls; I had everything else.  His shirt is flannel from a baby’s shirt I’d gotten for cents at some point in a charity shop.

handsI made a decision to ditch the individual fingers for these dolls- I made “paws” and stitched in fingers after.  Compare them the Josh above and you can see why I gave up on the individual ones.


I was told that the bride liked yoga and the groom plays in a band so I made props too.

Yoga mat


My doll making skills are getting better, phew.  These two dolls are put together better than any of the others I’ve made- the bride could wear a sleeveless gown with her beautiful shoulders on display.  General consensus seems to be that I got the groom fairly spot on, and the bride isn’t too shabby either.  Woop!


Sketchbook Project 2014

I entered The Sketchbook Project again this year. I knew what I wanted to do for a while, but typically I didn’t pull the finger out until two weeks before the deadline.  Last year I drew part of Wexford Main Street, the year before I wrote a wee story about feeling lost.  This year I drew most of the places I have lived in, with a commentary on what I remember about living there.




info 30GR

I drew the floor plans on layout paper and layered them in the order the floors go in, so there are hints of the floor below visible, as can be seen in the scan directly above.  I kept the colours to  a minimum, just a little greenery in the gardens or a highlight somewhere else.

Essentially, this is a project about Home.

(Something that I planned on putting into the sketchbook but ran out of space for was this juicy map (always a map). I clicked a few years ago that two places I’ve lived in are built on the former site of a Female Orphanage. Odd little coincidence.)


annamoe compare circle


Oi! Meet Me Boys!

Who is familiar with these Bad Boys?

River Boys

These are the River Boys from the Australian “melodrama”¹ Home and Away.  I have a real soft spot for this programme- I get a real kick out of it, can’t explain why (ok, the beautiful boys above are a compelling reason).  The boys are brothers² in the show, members of the troublesome River Boys gang. Daryl “Brax” Braxton is the eldest and has looked after younger brothers Heath and Casey since they were nippers- Dad was in prison and Mum is an alcoholic gambler. They have many tattoos between them, and super-sculpted abs.  So I made dolls of them.  As one does.

This is Brax. He’s the Daddy-Brother.


spot the difference

spot the difference

Brax has many tattoos; they’re on his hand, arms, chest, torso and lower back.

Cara chroi

for each of us that falls

we are legion

one crowded hour

This is Heath; he’s the Irresponsible, Hot-Headed, Don’t-Give-A-Damn Brother.


Heath faces

Heath has tattoos on this chest, shoulder, arms and neck.³

Heath Arm

Heath Neck

Heath Torso


This is Casey.  He’s the Baby Brother.


Casey has only one tatt, gotten in a fit of teenage angst about his actual in-prison-for-armed-robbery daddy.

All Or Nothing


They took me many months to make; a bit of sewing here, a bit there,  a pause, start again.   I made MANY mockups before settling on their body shape, emphasising their wide developed shoulders.  Each doll has a double skin on their chest so I could put stuffing in between them to make their abs.  Their board shorts and flip-flops (thongs…) are very simply made.  They’re going to take a trip to Wexford soon so I can take pics of them in their natural habitat, the beach.

3 brothers


Their skin tones are all different, mainly due to the fact that one cannot buy decent fabric off the shelf in this country for doll making (for any making really).  So I got it online, but its hard to know what colour fabric really is when looking at it on a monitor.  So I bought 6 shades of Kona Cotton, but not enough for 3 dolls of any of them because I AM NOT RICH.  Hence the 3 different skin toned dolls.  What a pain.  The sooner we open our own fabric shop, the better, eh Tricia?!


belly buttons


(they’ve got such cute bellybuttons, doncha think?;-)


¹This is what it’s called on the TV Guide section of our DVR box, a melodrama.  According to, melodrama means: “A dramatic form that does not follow the laws of cause and effect and that exaggerates emotion and emphasises plot or action at the expense of characterisation”. I am outraged at this.  H&A is so real, so lifelike, the characters so well-rounded; how can anyone think the word Melodrama is appropriate.  I think it should be listed as a documentary.  Or an anthropological study of attractive people and a beach.

²There is another brother too, Kyle; he is a half-brother, same father.  He only appeared in the show earlier this year.  He has no tattoos that I am aware of, so I left him out.  Tough luck Kyle…  For symmetry’s sake, lets call him Other-Brother.

³ In the show, Heath has gotten another tattoo on his chest since I finished sewing- the names of his children.  Oh the inconvenience!  Tisk.  And I noticed that he has a tramp-stamp of a gun wedged in his shorts too- who KNOWS when he got that one… *shakes head sadly*

All the entries for Print Exchange 2013

Print exchange exhibit

Have a look at all the prints on their flickr page here:


The clown-like pompom tea-pot cosy is FINALLY FINISHED!  And a year ahead of (my assumed) schedule too. I rock.pot and cosy

spout side



Tea Pour

This is the heaviest teacosy ever knit.  I know this for a fact, because who else would be daft enough to use this much wool in such a small project?  You almost need two hands to hold and pour; almost but not quite.  For the win!! Hope the ladies like my handiwork…

Dublin Statues continued….

Statues: Sample Book Page

I’m really excited with the direction this project is going in!

A very talented friend of mine has kindly agreed to write a piece of text in connection with each statue’s  image.  She’s a playwright who has created some really amazing characters so I knew she would bring a whole other level to their stories.  I have always wanted to collaborate with her.  I’ll post the final pieces when they are done so will get to read each piece.  It’s a work in progress at the moment.  Here’s a sample above.

For the next stage, I have to decide on presentation.  I have been considering-book format OR ebook OR printed images OR sound and slideshow installation (as my sister suggested).  More to follow!

Dublin Statues (I get older, they stay the same age)

Robert EmmetAt the beginning stages of new photography project so I thought I’d share my idea. The plan is to photograph lots of the statues around Dublin. I’m finding them particularly facinating at the moment! I’d also been spending lots of time walking round Stephen’s Green. Now, stautues I had never paid attention to or seen before are popping up everywhere! I’d like to photograph them as if they are living portraits. I’ll try not to show their plinths. On the list is a stunning life size horse by the canal, a singer in the Iveagh gardens and James Joyce’s head.
So far, I’ve made one of Robert Emmet having a stroll through the trees. And another head shot of a strong featured man. I will see how it goes and post the results.Mangan<

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