Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Spectacular Miniatures of Galia Bazylko McLaughlin

As is frequently the case, today I was doing some web research for something totally different and stumbled upon the website for a magnificent doll artist whose work I admired up at the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art in Bellevue Washington.

"The exquisite artworks and miniature figures of Galia Bazylko McLaughlin have become legendary in miniature and doll collecting worlds over the past 30 years....her work may be found in international private collections and museums worldwide, including the Naples Museum of Art and George Washington's Mount Vernon. She has written over 35 articles for miniature and doll publications and has been featured in many books and magazines including Contemporary Doll, Aloha, and Miniature Collector. In 1980 she was elected to fellowship in the International Guild of Miniature Artisans (IGMA). Several of her major works are now on display in the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art, including the 1"-1' scale 17th Century Russian Orthodox Cathedral which Galia built and created the entire interior for, including handpainted iconography throughout the entire setting.

Though born in Seattle, Washington, Galia's background was steeped in old-world aristocratic traditions....both her grandfathers were Russian Orthodox priests, and many family links with the Romanov regime gave her a deep sense of the beauty and lost arts and graces of former times. Galia was also gifted with wonderfully vibrant and culturally aware parents, who nurtured extensive learning and experiences in the arts and history from her earliest childhood, as well as extraordinary artistic talent within the family heritage......these combined to form the basis from which she in turn has nurtured her own branching and flowering of the many facets of art she has turned her mind and abilities to.

Artistic gifts as well as an interest in all things to do with the history of fashion and costume led to a major in Costume Studies and Textile Science at the University of Washington, where in the five year course of study Galia gained much knowledge of proper historical aspects of costume as well as an appreciation for the fine craftsmanship and construction of antique and vintage clothing."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Clea Bella Theater Fashion Doll in Lazy Lilac

Clea Bella Theater Fashion Doll in Lazy Lilac: I was researching doll artist Barbara Beccio and stumbled across this website about a line of dolls produced by a consortium of fashion designers. They offer several historical era dolls including this model dressed in a circa 1850s gown.

"Lazy Lilac - Part of the West End Ensemble Group's production of Summer in Kent - a circa 1850's romance epic play.

Limited Edition Size: 100 / $165

"Clea returns home to a wonderful surprise. Her good friend Dee Dee is flying in for the weekend. Clea meets her at the L.A.X. airport baggage claim. It’s instant giggles and hugs. As the two swap details of their latest adventures Clea can tell that Dee Dee is keeping a secret. Dee Dee grins, enjoying the game, when she suddenly realizes that an hour has past and her luggage hasn’t arrived yet.

"Oh my God, they lost it!" Dee Dee exclaims.

"Lost what?” Clea asks, but Dee Dee won’t tell.

After being transferred from one manager to the next, Dee Dee gets the bad news: her luggage never left Seattle. Clea grabs her arm and exclaims Road Trip!

They take three lazy days driving up the coast, shopping for what they need as they go. At last, the girls make it to Seattle and Clea opens Dee Dee’s big lavender box right there at the airport. It’s Dee Dee’s latest costume design: an early Victorian hoop dress and a script titled Summer in Kent.

Clea screams. "You got your play produced!"

Dee Dee casually nods her head then tells Clea the best part of the news: "It's debuting in London!"

Photo shows original prototype using Daisy Kindom� fabric for outer skirt. Final production fabric will be designed by Christina 'Bogie' Bougas. It will be similiar in color and style. Flower and border design will differ. (Due to the complexity of this project, Clea Bella will only be producing enough dolls to fill pre-orders recieved prior to final production approval.)"

Friday, November 04, 2005

Unusual Historical Action Figures Bring a Smile

I know these are technically "action figures" but I must confess that I view them as miniature dolls and frequently add them to my collection. The most unusual action figures I have encountered so far are offered by a whimsical company named Archie McPhee. I first became aware of them when I saw action figures of such historical notables as Benjamin Franklin, Shakespeare, and Mozart down at the University Bookstore. Then I checked out their website and couldn't resist their Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, and Beethoven.

It looks like I'm going to have to dig down and pony up a few more dollars to get their new Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, Charles Dickens, and Leonardo DaVinci. I wonder if I am their typical customer? I took their online nerd survey and scored over 85%!