Winter is Coming

The problem with painting sets of movies and shows featuring cast of thousands is trying to figure out just the right characters to paint. It is mostly why I haven’t tackled “Game of Thrones.” I have about 15 sets in mind just for this one show with more popping up. I figured this is one of those sets, much like the Harry Potter one, that I’ll only do upon request.

And then the request came. It was going to be a big set, it was going to be a birthday present, and it has to be painted in 5 days’ time. So coffee was brewed, ipods are loaded with podcasts from “Car Talk” and the latest thriller/murder mysteries, and frozen meals are defrosted just so I can crank this set out at warp speed. In addition to that there’s another huge project which I’m working on “after hours” and Cyclone Marsha swept through my neck of the woods so there’s also the threat of not being able to complete this job due to electric outage. In the end, everything turned out all right and I can now officially cross another set off my wish list.

Game of Thrones

From the largest to the smallest: Ned, Catelyn, Robb (yum!), and Arya Stark, followed by Hodor (with Bran Stark), Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Khal Drogo, the Mother of Dragons herself–Daenerys–and The Hound.

Game of Thrones2 Bran Stark

Danerys he Hound

Now, if there’s only a way to get rid of the Game of Thrones opening theme from going round in a constant loop in my head.

“I Said God Damn!”

 “Pulp Fiction” was a movie that got me into a lot of trouble. Because I was so enamored by the writing and the directing, I added two film classes whilst in college and wrote a couple of screenplays which not one but two unfortunate individuals had to read and grade. Being in those classes taught me something: I have no business being anywhere near the film industry except maybe at a showing.

Still, “Pulp Fiction” remained one of my favorite movies and I was more than a little bit pleased when someone asked me to paint a set. Her request got me to do another one since I wasn’t entirely happy with the outcome of Jules’ hair. Version 2 is slightly better, which is going straight to the Pygmy Hippo Shoppe as soon as I get my act together.

Pulp Fiction

Clockwise from left: Mia Wallace, Jules Winnfield, Vincent Vega, Butch Coolidge, and The Wolf.


It took a while for the buyer and myself to figure out just who to paint for this Dexter set. We got a bit distracted discussing Dexter’s brother Rudy (aka The Ice Truck Killer)’s hotness and had to both cool down in our respective corners. A few months passed and we were able to get right back in the game and she came up with a great list. It doesn’t feature ALL the creative psychopaths/murderers in the myriad seasons of Dexter, but the important ones are there!


Dark Passenger

Here’s Dexter and his Dark Passenger, the voice in his head that is more or less his superpower. I was able to find a photo of Dexter’s ID badge but printing it out was a horror story in its own as the printer and I don’t exactly have a good working relationship. But it got sorted in the end and I’m happy with the result.

unholy trinity

Rudy and Arthur Mitchell are two of my favorite killers on the show. Rudy’s holding the dismembered Barbie doll, his calling card as the Ice Truck Killer. Arthur Mitchell/Trinity Killer is painted with the T-shirt of the charity he works for and his weapon of choice. The baby is of course, Harrison Morgan, Dexter’s offspring.

Nobody tell me how the show ends! I’m about a season and a half behind! It’s hard to catch up on all your favorite shows when you have very little time outside the sweatshop! Now that the holiday season is over and I’m able to start working on the back orders at a normal pace, I’m hoping to finally get my hands on The Walking Dead, season two of Orphan Black and Outlander…with sets for them in mind!

Orphan Black

This new year is off to a great start! I’ve already crossed off a few items on my L-O-N-G list of sets I wanted to paint and here’s another one!

Orphan Black reminds me of a childhood friend wherein she could slip in and out of various personalities as we played our Barbies. No, we don’t pretend to pretty up Barbie and have her go on dates with Ken. We had a loud and obnoxious stage mother and her loser boyfriend, we had an immigrant from the tiny island of Anstankapan who married a washed out rock star (we liked to think that Courtney Love modeled herself after our Ophelia Minskoff). We had several low life drug dealers/addicts, hobos, slow-witted octuplets, Vietnam war vets, radio shock jocks constantly being punished for being inappropriate on air and were forced to play show tunes in our cast of thousands because we were keen observers of the human experience. We were also never asked to attend parties.

Orphan Black doesn’t go to the extremes in terms of what we used to do with our play acting, but it’s pretty close. That Tatiana Maslany is all sorts of amazing. I hoped that I did this set justice!

 Orphan Black5

Clockwise from the biggest doll: Sarah, Alison, crazy Helena, Rachel, and Cosima

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

This is another one of those Jumbo Sets, yet not all the fun characters from the absurd comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” are included. It’s a lot of fun to paint, this one, although it took a really long time to get it going.

It's always sunny

This cast of 10 includes (clockwise from left): Frank, Sweet Dee, Mac, a bit of Greenman, Artemis, Gail the Snail and…

the gang

…all of Mac, Dennis, Charlie, Cricket, Waitress, and all of Greenman.

the gang2

The Fall

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but my 2014 had been one heck of a roller coaster ride. Here’s to hoping 2015 will be a smoother one! Then again, without the occasional onslaught from the Great Organizer of the Universe, our lives would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it?

In any case, the time has come to produce a set that I’ll be donating to my friend Susie’s annual Birthday Charity Event. Every year she hosts a big birthday movie screening bash and simultaneously raises money for charity. Last year it was for homeless dogs and this year the honor goes to elephants. She never has to ask twice for me to get involved. I can be a bit of a cold fish at times as I have a tendency to laugh when small children falls down in front of me, but when it comes to suffering animals, I’m a goner. I can’t watch any movies starring animals because that’s the best way to get the waterworks started and then I’d be sad for the rest of the day.

This year the movie “The Fall” starring Lee Pace will be screened. I am a huge fan of costume designer Eiko Ishioka, whom, I believed, saved that J-Lo debacle “The Cell” from being a complete dud by producing the most magnificent garbs.


Since I’ve never heard of “The Fall” (but I have heard of Lee Pace so naturally I was interested), I had to look around a bit for visual references and the first one I came across blew me away.


It took about half a year for me to get to work on this set, but I’m pretty happy that it should become the first one of 2016!

The Fall

Nothing I do can really reflect the full majesty of this film, but it won’t stop me from planning a retrospective of Eiko Ishioka’s body of work…in nesting doll form!

Santas Through the Years

I didn’t have time this year to do my annual Christmas card, but luckily, back in August someone asked me to paint this enormous set of Santas through the years, which was great fun.


We have the Coca Cola Santa:

Coca Cola

An old school Victorian Santa with toys:


Sinterklaas with Black Peter:

Black Pete

St. Nicholas:


and Baby Jesus, with a lamb, who is technically not Santa, but Christmas is all about him, isn’t it?


Happy Holidays to You and Yours!


I could not believe my luck when I got an email one day asking me if I’d be interested in painting the characters from the 1987 horror movie “Dolls”. It would be a gift and the buyer isn’t familiar at all with the film so I was basically allowed to go hog wild on this one.

Believe it or not, I have actually seen this movie. It was during my art school days when I had to stay up late to finish a painting or something like that. The TV was naturally on and pretty soon I was engrossed in a movie about murderous dolls and I had to stop what I was doing to watch it. I could never look at a porcelain doll the same way again after that!


There are quite a few characters in the cast but I was able to fit them all into this set of 5 by painting some of the actors who were transformed into dolls after doing something naughty within the confines of the old witches’ home.


I don’t know about you, but the Punch doll is all kinds of creepy. He beats his wife too in addition to being exceptionally unattractive, for crying out loud!


The two punk rock girls were turned into dolls after attempting to steal from the old lady.


This hapless traveler was spared from the transformation due to his childlike enthusiasm when it came to toys.


Every stepchild’s dream come true: Having their wicked stepmother turned into dolls!

There’s something very meta about this: Painting people who transform humans into dolls as dolls while holding dolls. Wrap your head around THAT one!

Ladies, Hold onto Your Meng!

Every now and again I get emails from boyfriends who are clearly gunning for “Beau of the Year” award. I give them props for treating their ladies right by asking me to paint  highly customized sets of dolls as gifts. My own husband would shake his head in wonder when I mention these requests and state that he would never, in a million years, think to ask someone to make me something from the depths of their souls. Too much work and thought goes into these things, you see. He’s happy to order me an extra cable for my iphone off ebay for $2.50. I take what I can. At least he doesn’t think to give me a sack of snail pallets like my friend got from her husband for Christmas one year…and not ironically either.

These are some sets that I’ve been asked to paint. My hat off to any man who took the time out to write thoughtful emails describing their girlfriends, find just the right photo references for me to use, and answer any subsequent questions I have (of which there are many) and being all around nice and enthusiastic throughout the whole process.


This one was all kinds of fun to paint largely because of that awesome Enid Coleslaw hair and the Metallica tee.


This mini Life Aquatic set was for a young lady whose beau saw her as part of the Belafonte crew. She might not be able to become one in real life, but in doll form, why not?


Of course her hat would be customized just like the rest of the crew!


This guy was a real sweet heart. Painting this set was a breeze as I got tons of descriptions for each doll. At the end of the session I felt as though I knew all of them personally.

Great job, guys! Hope your ladies appreciate you as much as I do!


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