About 15 years ago, Angela of Angela Michelle Dolls made a simple toothpick worry doll and decided to see what else she could come up with...an "addiction as it turns out", she says.
For Angela, making dolls is a gratifying process. "To see something take shape in your hands and develop into a beautiful (I hope!) doll with a spectacular costume is enough to keep me going on to the next one, and pushing the limits. Can I do a stand-up collar? How about wings?"
You can make dolls out of all sorts of things - clay, cloth and porcelain are the usual materials but Angela uses toothpicks. Look closely at her dolls. Imagine the head stripped down to a single toothpick. Under the dress are two spindly little toothpicks. Each arm is two pieces of toothpick, attached to look bent at the elbow. Everything added to the toothpick skeleton: the head, the body structure, the gown, the hair, the flowers, is all embroidery floss, or thread. Her Toothpick Dolls measure about 2.5 inches (7 cm) tall and can take anywhere from 6 to 15 hours or more to make, depending on the design. Every doll is an original design (OOAK), and comes with a glass dome and wood base for safe display.
After several years of making her 2.5 inch Toothpick Dolls, she decided to see if she could go any smaller, and she did. As Angela says, "Yes, I'm nuts; yes, I love it!" Her one inch Penny People was the result. These tiny characters are made entirely of thread, save for a thin wire in the arms. They make their home either on top of a penny or in a shadow box custom built to fit a frame she has selected. Her shadow boxes are also original designs.
Got a trace of insanity running through you? Angela's dolls are tiny, fiddly, exasperating, but oh-so-fun to make. She has posted a tutorial on her blog: http://angelamichelledolls.blogspot.com/
Angela's Dolls are for sale in her Etsy shop:
and you can see more of her work on her website: http://www.angelamichelledolls.com/