Night Mary Stein

Night Mary Stein Art Doll by Jennifer D Burrell
Mary woke from a dream.  She is now in a strange land.  Her memories are jumbled as she looks at her hands.  “What mad scientist made me?” she wonders.

     I'm proud to present Night Mary Stein, my third Art Doll.  "Night Mary" comes actually from a slip up when I was sketching and making notes.  I wrote down nightmary instead of nightmare.  A great mistake as Mary Shelley was the author of Frankenstein.  The idea of making a mix of Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Bride of Frankenstein was milling around in my head for the past month.  I have been watching Halloween themed movies and posting daily quotes from the movies on my personal Facebook page.   I absolutely love the character Sally but I couldn't get the image of Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth, Frankenstein's bride monster out of my head.  Her face was cut and mended into wonderful seams.  Her orange hair was barely there due to fire.  The push to make and finish Night Mary Stein came in a Call to Artists from City Arts Factory in downtown Orlando.  Their Third Annual Dia de los Muertos/Monster Factory Exhibit.  The opening will be October 18th, 2012, tonight, from 6-9:00 pm and my Mary will be there!  Please stop by if you can.  And, if you want a treat this Halloween, watch The Bride of Frankenstein 1935, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 1994 and The Nightmare Before Christmas, featuring female monsters stitched together by mad scientist.  Well, in my case, a mad Artist!  Mwahahaaaaa....  

Preliminary Sketch
Mary Stein in Process

Hand dyed fabric by Deborah Gregory

     In making Night Mary Stein, I purposefully made her asymmetrical as a sign of madness.  Also, having one let longer would give her a limp and awkwardness when she patrols the streets looking for her mate.  Once I had Mary's body sewn, it was time to make her dress.  I started pulling out red fabrics, pink fabrics, prints, and then I found it.  I had a fabric with instructions and pattern for a stuffed rabbit toy printed on it.  I use to love these types of fabrics as a kid because all you had to buy was the fabric.  No cutting of thin pattern paper, pinning, marking and cutting.  It was all there.  I imagined the mad scientist of Mary saw these directions as help to tell her which parts of the body were to go where and how to stitch together a new body from pieces of other bodies.  Then, like in the Bride of Frankenstein where they just grabbed the laboratory white sheet, what was on hand, to cover her, I would use the directions to cover my Mary Stein.  There was just one problem.  I didn't want to completely cover up the beautiful hand dyed fabric.  So, I pieced together the instruction fabric with stiff, transparent fabric.  The transparent fabric reminds me of my transparent sculptural dresses I made in graduate school.

Sculptural dresses now hanging in our back yard

Mary asks, “Will I have a mate soon? Alone Bad. Friend Good."


Everything is Rosie

Rosie the Breast Cancer Awareness Chicken

My dear friend Eileen asked me to do 2 Fuffalumps based on her wonderful adopted chicken, Rosie, to be given as gifts.  The lyrics from the song Rosie from Bye Bye Birdie came to my mind every time I e-mailed Eileen about Rosie the Fuffalump, "everything is Rosie." 

I met Rosie this past Summer at her new "Chicken Plaza" and asked Eileen to give me Rosie's story.  She is a beautiful 9-year-old Americauna chicken who spent most of her life as a Montessori school garden chicken where she was loved, held, hugged and fed by 60 plus children.  She free ranged in an organic garden. Well past her prime laying years, she spent this past Summer in Eileen's son, Trevor's loving care and she started laying eggs again. She hadn't laid eggs at school for several years. Since she appeared to love her Summer home, the Montessori outdoor teacher decided to make Chicken Plaza her permanent retirement home. So, Rosie is happily retired. Her new students at Chicken Plaza are six, 5-month-old chicks, just learning how to nest and lay under her matriarchal guidance.

My Sketch
The first thing I did for Eileen's custom order was a sketch based on a memory of a chicken pillow I had as a little girl and added a swirl, a sign of energy that always seem to appear in my works of Art.  For Breast Cancer Awareness Rosie, I used fuzzy pink socks for her comb, beak and feet.  Her body is made from light pink velvet pajamas so she is oh, so huggable.  For the swirl on Rosie's wing I used the satin ribbon that was the drawstring for the pajama bottoms.

Layout of Fabrics

Sewing Rosie's Feet
2nd Rosie
 The second Rosie is made from a felted pink wool sweater, three red gloves that I was lucky enough to find in a Florida store (it's not Fall weather here yet), hand dyed fabric from my good friend Deborah, and ribbon for the swirl on the wing.  These Rosies will be traveling to meet Eileen very soon so she can have them for Christmas gifts.  If you have a custom order please be sure to contact me soon.  December 1st, 2012 is my cut off date for taking custom orders this Holiday Season.

In honor of Rosie and women with Breast Cancer, I will be donating 20% of my Etsy sales through my stores, Creations by JDB and Fuffalumps, excluding custom orders, to Unite for Her throughout the month of October.  Unite for Her is an organization I learned about through my Sister in Law, Alison Donley, who owns The Light Within yoga studio.  Alison and her daughter, Rachel, help by educating women about the healing benefits of Yoga and Reiki.