A Charity Auction in Support of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation
At this time of year, our thoughts turn to giving gifts. Like most people, I love to see my kids’ faces light up on Christmas morning. However, I am painfully aware that for some families it is not a happy time of year. For this reason, every Christmas I make a very special doll to support one of the charities, which are close to my heart. This year, I am supporting The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Sophie was a bright, beautiful young woman with everything to live for. Sadly, in 2007 she was brutally murdered by a gang of teenagers, simply because she was part of the Gothic community. Following her death, the Sophie Lancaster Foundation was launched with the aim of challenging prejudice against alternative subcultures, both through education, and lobbying for changes in legislation.
In order to raise as much money as possible for this very worthy cause, I am auctioning an original, one of a kind, Gothic angel art doll. The first of a new series entitled Dark Angels, ‘The Seer’ is a semi jointed, cloth art doll. Measuring approximately 11.5 inches from head to toe, she is lovingly hand crafted from white cotton and stuffed with polyester fibre. Her legs are made from black and white striped fabric. The Seer has a full head of yarn hair, which is needle felted in place. Her facial features are hand drawn in archival quality ink, including the ‘eye-liner’ detail, which accents her green button eyes. She wears a black satin and lace dress, with black lace panties. Clothing is not removable. As with all Strange Little Girls, this dark angel is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Strange Little Girls Gothic dolls are supplied with a name tag and signed certificate of authenticity, well packaged in a cardboard mailing box.
Please do have a look at the auction. 100% of money raised will be donated to the foundation. Bidding starts at £49.99, which is well below the usual sale price for this type of doll. UK bidders can choose between 1st Class Recorded, or Royal Mail’s priority Next Day delivery service. I am also happy to ship worldwide.
If you are not able to bid at this time, please visit the Sophie Lancaster Foundation website and purchase a S.O.P.H.I.E wristband to show your support. Thank you!
Please note, this doll is a collectors’ item only and should be handled with care. She is not a toy and should not be given to a child under the age of 14 years.
This weekend, two brand new OOAK Gothic dolls by Strange Little Girls will be going on sale, as part of a ‘Spooktacular’ Halloween Showcase. The showcase, hosted by SquishyBee, will be taking place on their Facebook page on Saturday 6th October at 5pm US-EST. SquishyBee offer a wide range of handmade toys, gifts and accessories for mums and little ones. A variety of artists and designers from all over the world will also be taking part in the event, with Halloween themed goodies for all ages.
A one of a kind, Gothic vampire art doll
Hedera is one of Gothville’s most feared residents. The first record of her existence dates back to the 17th century and the story of this blood thirsty vampire has been whispered by torch light hundreds of times in this creepy old town. Yet Hedera is rarely seen … until it is far too late!
Gothic art doll ‘Hedera’ stands approximately 15 inches tall. This spooky vampire wears a black velvet bodice and silky, lace trimmed bloomers, both of which are fixed in place. Her tattered, burgundy and black, tulle skirt tapers to floor length at the back. Her outfit is trimmed with burgundy satin ribbon and complimented by matching velvet shoes. Around her neck, she wears a silver plated bat pendant on a satin ribbon choker. Hedera’s facial features and many other details are hand stitched. She has a full head of red and black yarn hair, which is needle felted by hand.
A button eyed, OOAK vampire art doll
Salvia is often mistaken for an innocent young girl. People are drawn to her big brown eyes and infectious personality. They must wonder why she is out all alone late at night. Salvia lets them think whatever they like. She has learned to make use of her childlike features. After all, she has been doing this for more than two hundred years …
Gothic art doll ‘Salvia’ stands approximately 8 inches tall. This cute and creepy little vampire wears a black velvet bodice, with a black tulle skirt, over silky, lace trimmed bloomers. Her outfit is trimmed with black satin ribbon and complimented by matching velvet shoes. Around her neck, she wears a silver plated spider pendant on a satin ribbon choker. Salvia’s facial features and many other details are hand stitched. Like Hedera, she has a full head of black yarn hair, which is needle felted by hand and braided.
Hedera and Salvia will be sold to to the first customer to comment ‘SOLD’ on their photos after ‘Start Shopping’ is announced. As with all Strange Little Girls Gothic dolls, these OOAK vamps are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Both dolls are supplied with a Certificate of Authenticity, which includes the name and spooky character story. Please note, Hedera and Salvia are collectible art dolls only. They are not toys and should be handled with care.
Full details, terms and conditions can be found in the Showcase album.
In the current economic climate, owning beautiful, original art can sometimes seem out of reach to many people. It can be difficult to justify spending your hard earned cash on a masterpiece, when you have school uniforms to buy and bills keep rising. However, art can be viewed as an investment, which will only appreciate in value over time, so how do you get a foot on the art collecting ladder when times are tough? One fun, inexpensive, way to begin is the ACEO card.
The idea of miniature art cards is not new. Examples of wallet sized works of art can be traced back to the sixteenth century. The late twentieth century saw the birth of the ATC (artist trading card) movement in Switzerland. Artists began trading baseball card sized art pieces, with the intention that they should never be sold, or exchanged for anything but other artists’ ATCs. However, in recent years, with increasing opportunities for artists and art collectors to trade over the internet, using websites such as eBay, collecting these tiny treasures has become a popular pursuit, no longer restricted to artists. Art cards, which are created to be sold rather than traded are known as ACEOs.
ACEO stands for Art Card Editions and Originals. To qualify as an ACEO, a piece of art must measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Other than the size, anything goes! ACEOs can be made from paper, card, canvas, or any other material you can think of. They can be rendered in acrylics, oils, watercolour, pencil, ink, collage, or even embroidered. They may be originals, or limited edition prints. Subjects and styles are as diverse as the materials used to create them. They can be matted and displayed in frames, or organised in albums. However, it seems that one is never enough. As any ACEO collector will tell you, once you start, you just can’t stop!
A Gothic Lolita Inspired Rag Doll by Jo Hards
For rather a long time, I’ve been fascinated by Gothic Lolita fashion. I’ve never been drawn to dress like a delicate porcelain doll myself, but I always thought the girls who wear the style well look amazing. My research for my latest doll lead me to some fascinating facts about the Lolita style. Lolita began in Harajuku, Tokyo in the 1980s. I knew the style originated in Japan, but never knew there were so many different subtypes. lolitafashion.org lists sixteen different styles that fall under the Lolita umbrella (if you pardon the pun!). What they all have in common is the classic, knee length, bell shaped skirt, ‘Mary Jane’ shoes, and a Victorianesque love of ribbons, bows and doll-like cuteness. The name is drawn from the child-like innocence and sweetness of the style, rather than any sexual connotations associated with the name ‘Lolita‘ in the West.
Now, I don’t profess to be an expert in Lolita fashion by any means, but I was eager to create a doll that captures some of the key elements of Gothic Lolita with a Strange Little Girls twist. The result of my experiment is Dolores.
This one of a kind cloth art doll stands approximately 15 inches tall. She has deep blue button eyes and decorative hand embroidered detail to her face. Dolores wears the classic Lolita shaped dress, with bell shaped skirt and puffed sleeves, trimmed with ribbon and lace. The front of her bodice is decorated with a large lace bow, which is hand stitched in place. The outfit is completed by frilled ribbon wrist cuffs, Mary Jane shoes with skull and cross bone print, and matching hair ribbons. Around her neck, she wears a ribbon choker with a silver plated skull and cross bones pendant. Although Dolores is partly machine sewn, a lot of hand stitching went into her outfit, making her rather time consuming, but I think she’s worth it. I love her and hope you will too.
OOAK Gothic Art Dolls Available Now
Apologies for the lack of new art dolls recently. I’ve been a little busy getting things started on another venture of mine over at johards.com, where you can find Gothic fantasy art in various media. I do have a few Gothic dolls though, which are ready to ship right now.
Elena/Eris is a reversible ‘Evil Twin’ doll, who has two sides to her personality. ‘Elena’ has a beautifully hand drawn face with big eyes and a cheeky smile that will melt your heart, but turn her around and flick back her hair and she becomes ‘Eris’, her evil alter ego. With her cruel black button eyes and stitched mouth, Eris will make your blood run cold. This unusual, one of a kind, Gothic art doll can be displayed facing either way depending on your mood – perfect for creeping out unwelcome guests! The Evil Twin doll is available to buy now from the Strange Little Girls store priced at £70.
In addition to the dolls on the Strange Little Girls website. I also have a OOAK Gothic mermaid doll up for auction on eBay. The auction for Ondine ends on Sunday 10th June at around 11am UK time, so if you haven’t already, please do drop in and have a look.
Gothic Fantasy Faerie Art
Original Drawing by Jo Hards
Ragdoll Heart is the latest original drawing by goth/fantasy artist Jo Hards. Measuring approximately 16.5 x 11.7 inches (A3 size), Ragdoll heart features a mischievous dark faerie clutching a button eyed gothic rag doll, as she is watched over by menacing yellow eyes. The colours and detail in this lowbrow style fantasy piece must be seen in reality to be fully appreciated. The artwork is drawn in light-fast coloured pencil on quality paper, signed and dated by the artist, and set with acrylic fixative for many years of enjoyment. This is an original drawing, not a print! Please note, the watermark does not appear on the original. Ragdoll Heart is delivered, unframed, in a sturdy cardboard mailing tube, for you to frame as desired at home.
To give everybody a fair chance to own this stunning original drawing, Ragdoll Heart is currently being auctioned on Ebay with a starting price of just £4.99. The auction ends at 10pm (UK time) on Saturday 28th April 2012.
Gothic Art – Original Drawing by Jo Hards
Farewell to Daylight is my latest gothic/fantasy piece in coloured pencil. The subject, a dark haired girl in goth clothing, gazes wistfully at the setting sun one last time, before retreating through a gothic archway into the world of darkness where her future lies. The piece was inspired by the weathered, sandstone architecture of post industrial Yorkshire, as well as the vampire legends, which surround the Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby, a place I visited many times as a child.
The original drawing measures approximately 420 x 297 mm (A3 size) and is set with several coats of acrylic fixative to give many years of enjoyment. The depth of the colours cannot be fully appreciated on screen. They appear much richer in reality. For ease of delivery, the drawing is sold unframed, packaged in a sturdy cardboard tube, for you to frame as desired at home. Prints of this piece are not currently available.
Farewell to Daylight is currently listed in the online store, priced at £65. Free UK delivery is included in the price.
Your chance to bid on a OOAK set of gothic dolls
I usually sell my handmade dolls and artwork through the online store at a fixed price, but this week, I thought it would be fun to hold an auction for one of my creations. As a result, this unique pair of creepy, collectible, gothic rag dolls is currently up for auction on Ebay. Each rag doll is made from pure white cotton, stuffed with polyester fibre fill. The larger doll ‘Amethyst’ measures approximately 15 inches. She has black and white striped legs and black button eyes. The smaller doll ‘Adelpha’ is approximately 8 inches tall and has deep blue button eyes. Both rag dolls have hand stitched hair and faces. They are dressed in purple crushed velvet and satin, with matching velvet shoes, tulle petticoats, and black cotton corsets. Lots of the detail in the clothes is hand stitched. Each doll wears a ribbon choker with silver plated skull and crossbones pendant. These dolls contain no animal derived materials, making them suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
This is a rare opportunity to bid on a set of collectible gothic dolls, which would usually retail at £70. The auction is open now until 15th April 2012. Bidding ends at 11.56am (UK time). Please note, these dolls are decorative items only and are not intended as toys. Doll stands are not included.
A OOAK Gothic Rag Doll with Butterfly Back Tattoo by Jo Hards
Astrid has always been a dreamer. On dark, moonless nights, she likes to sit out on Hanging Hill watching the shooting stars. In the distance, she can hear the mermaids’ song, as she counts the jewels of light, streaking through the inky blackness. With each one she makes a wish, certain it will come true …
Astrid is one of Gothville’s more cheerful inhabitants. She doesn’t get bogged down by life in a cold, post industrial, northern town. Instead, she escapes the oppressive, narrow streets whenever she can and heads for the stark beauty of Hanging Hill. From this lofty perch, all obstacles seem to pale into insignificance, as she looks up to the stars. Of course, Astrid has dreams and aspirations, but she knows that when the time is right, she will spread her butterfly wings and nothing will hold her back.
This one of a kind gothic art doll stands approximately 14 inches tall. She is lovingly handmade from white cotton, with black and white striped legs. Her face is hand stitched, with the addition of deep blue button eyes. Astrid’s hair is purple at the front and black at the back. Her back is decorated with a beautiful hand drawn butterfly tattoo in shades of purple and blue. She is dressed in black velvet and spiderweb lace, complimented by a ribbon choker with silver plated cross pendant, and black velvet shoes. As with all Strange Little Girls gothic rag dolls, Astrid comes complete with a signed certificate bearing her name and character story. Please bear in mind that Strange Little Girls dolls are decorative items only and are not suitable for children under the age of 14.
Astrid is available for sale, priced at £65. Worldwide delivery is included in the price.
Original Gothic and Fantasy Artwork by Jo Hards
I have always had a passion for gothic and fantasy art. Throughout my childhood, I was never happier than when I was immersed in my own fantasy world, drawing mermaids, fairies and dragons. In recent years, ashamedly, my sketch pads have sat neglected in a large cardboard box, until recently, I treated myself to some new art materials and the urge to put pencil to paper reignited. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love making dolls. I always will, but there is something so satisfying about plucking a scene from the realms of your imagination and watching it unfurl on paper.
My first tentative step into selling gothic wall art online, is Amethystine. This A3 size portrait in coloured pencil is the first of what I hope will be many drawings and paintings which will be made available, alongside the gothic dolls, through my online store in the future. Prints are not yet available, but this is something I may consider for future artwork.
The portrait measures approximately 420 x 297mm and is signed and dated by the artist. It is drawn in lightfast coloured pencil and set with non-yellowing fixative, on heavy weight textured paper, creating a canvas-like finish. The colours and detail appear slightly reduced on screen, due to the image resolution. The original must be seen to be fully appreciated. It will be delivered unframed to keep postage costs low, in a sturdy, cardboard mailing tube, for you to frame as desired at home. Amethystine is available at the time of writing, in the online store, priced at £45. As with Strange Little Girls dolls, worldwide shipping is included in the price. Please note, the website URL does not appear on the original.
A gothic rag doll with hand drawn features by Jo Hards
Starling sits on the platform at Gothville Station, watching the trains come and go. Sometimes, she sees a dark, long haired figure among the crowd of commuters and for a moment she’s convinced he’s come back, before her hopes turn to disappointment once more. Time and time again, she replays the events in her mind. One minute he was standing there with her … the next he was gone, and life would never be the same …
It’s been a long time since I picked up a coloured pencil, but I have to say it’s a medium I love working with. My previous efforts with coloured pencils have mostly been on paper, so I was excited to see what could be achieved on cloth. After a couple of practice runs, my first successful attempt at a hand drawn face was on OOAK gothic doll ‘Luna’. I was rather pleased with how she turned out and couldn’t wait to get started on another similar doll. Hand drawn features allow for much more detail and expression than button eyes, so I found this method particularly suited to more emotive subjects.
Starling is heartbroken. She has just lost somebody she loved and can’t accept that he’s gone. Her story hints at what may have happened, but is open to some interpretation. Did he simply board a train, leaving Starling and Gothville behind, or was his exit more macarbre in nature? As this is Gothville, one thing is sure. One way or another, he will be back at some point … dead or alive!
Starling and other OOAK gothic dolls can be found in the Strange Little Girls online store.
A new gothic rag doll in the ‘Legends of Gothville’ range
In the dappled sunlight, among the ancient oak trees of Gothville woods, a shimmering greenish blue light can be seen darting through the undergrowth. If you look carefully, you will see it is Aeshna, one of Gothville’s faeries. It is said that if you are ever lost in these woods, Aeshna will help you find your way, but be careful … there are others here who are not so kind hearted …
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been slightly obsessed with faeries, not the pink, sugar coated, ‘sits on top of the christmas tree’ kind of fairy, but the darker, more mysterious kind of creature, that it wouldn’t be hard to imagine living in the dense undergrowth of woodland with the butterflies and moths. I remember being enchanted to find perfect rings of toadstools stretching across the school field when I was a child. I was convinced they must have been created by some mystical, otherwordly being.
As I grew older, I never grew out of my fascination with the faerie folk. Wherever I travelled, if I found an interesting faerie figurine, I would have to buy it. One of them sits on my desk now, watching me as I work. When my children were little, it was fun to bring the magic alive for them too. Walking around a local lake, we often would spot a flash of blue light, darting through the trees and speculate whether they were dragonflies, or if they were actually faeries.
So, it’s not surprising that I’ve been wanting to make a faerie doll for a long time. I played around with different techniques for the wings, before deciding that lace fabric stretched over a wire frame worked best. The result is Aeshna. This gothic faerie doll stands approximately 15 inches tall including her teal and black yarn hair. She has black button eyes and hand stitched features. Aeshna is dressed in a teal, crushed velvet, halterneck dress, with black lace trim and matching shoes. Her wings are fully hand stitched, rather than being glued. They are made from black spiderweb lace, stretched over a wire frame, and edged with black satin ribbon.
Aeshna is available now, priced at £58. A ribbon choker with your choice of silver plated pendant can be added for £2. Please note that Strange Little Girls gothic dolls are decorative items only, and are not intended for children under the age of 14.
Having married her childhood sweetheart, the young bride was happier than she had ever been. It had been a perfect day and as guests began to disperse, she went to search for her new husband, only to find him in a passionate embrace with her best friend. Heartbroken, the distraught bride fled the church hall to Devil Bridge, where she jumped into the River Colder and drowned. Now, it is said that if a bride crosses Devil Bridge on the way to Gothville Church on her wedding day, the Ghost Bride will appear, to warn her, if her fiance has been unfaithful.
This original gothic rag doll is the latest addition to the Legends of Gothville range. She stands approximately 14 inches tall and has green button eyes and hand stitched features. Her extra long blonde hair is hand stitched, braided, and adorned with a tattered veil of spiderweb lace. She is dressed in white crushed velvet and satin with ragged spiderweb lace overlay and white crushed velvet shoes. The Ghost Bride of Devil Bridge is now available to buy from the Strange Little Girls online store, priced at £45 plus p&p. An optional ribbon choker with your choice of silver plated pendant is available for an additional £2.
Strange Little Girls is a range of creepy, collectible gothic dolls and original gothic accessories, designed and created by Jo Hards. Strange Little Girls products contain no animal derived materials, so are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Collectible Gothic Dolls
Each gothic doll is made individually by the designer, using an original pattern. Their faces and full head of hair are lovingly hand stitched, giving each one a unique personality, so no two will be identical. They are made from pure white cotton and stuffed with soft polyester filling, no wire or glue is ever used. Please note, Strange Little Girls gothic dolls are collectors’ items and should not be given to a child due to small parts.
Strange Little girls gothic purses are designed and individually crafted by Jo Hards with the same care and attention to detail as given to the dolls. The range is constantly growing, so find us on Facebook or Twitter to get the latest news and see new products as soon as they are released.
Find us at www.strange-little-girls.co.uk