Meet Crystal Amora Encora AE03 – Limited Edition Collector’s Art Doll

Meet Crystal Amora Encora AE03

Crystal is a Collector’s Art Doll – third of my new “Amora Encora” range – a limited edition of One of a Kind (OOAK) dolls made using up-cycled materials to celebrate the beauty of the natural world.  Only 50 will ever be made.  Each comes with her own certificate of origin. 

Crystal Amora Encora AE03 OOAK Certficated Collector's Doll
Crystal Amora Encora AE03 OOAK Certficated Collector's Doll

Crystal celebrates the beauty of Frost. Her name means ‘clear brilliant glass’ or ‘gemstone’

Crystal - Celebrating the Beauty of Frost

Even in the depths of a cold Winter, nature can always be relied upon to give us something uplifting?  There is something so special about a deep frost.  It appears silently overnight and makes a unique impact.  

Even if you have a run of frosty days, frost will never quite form in the same way twice, so every day there will be something different to see.  Even in the most humble of gardens, the effect of frost is undeniably magical.

One of my favourite (of many) photos of frost is the hydrangea below – captured just outside my own back door.  How glad I am that I left the heads on that hydrangea to capture the beauty of the first deep frost of Winter.

Crystal Amora Encora AE03 OOAK Certficated Collector's Doll - Celebrating the beauty of Frost
The Beauty of Frost
Crystal Amora Encora AE03 Certificate
Crystal Amora Encora AE03 Certificate

As I work on expanding the Amora Encora range to the limit of 50 collector’s item dolls, I aim to take the opportunity to showcase a wide variety of the textile art techniques I use to create the dolls on this site.  I want to share the creative process and the learning opportunity as widely as possible in the hope that it provides inspiration for your own projects.

Crystal - Amora Encora No. 3 - Techniques Used

I used the same basic pattern to make Crystal that I have used for some of my previous Amor Encora dolls.  You can read more about the first two dolls in the range here:

Beading

My thought process when creating  Crystal was inspired by Patti Medaris Culea’s book “The Creative Cloth Doll Collection“.

Patti Medaris Culea Creative Cloth Doll Collection - Inspiration for Crystal Amora Encora AE03
Patti Medaris Culea Creative Cloth Doll Collection - Inspiration for Crystal Amora Encora AE03

I had some beautiful pieces of beaded bridal lace in my stash (thanks again Marion!) which made the beading process much simpler than it would have been if I had started from scratch.  It was really a matter of choosing the right shape of lace embellishment to fit her dainty hands and feet and slip stitching it invisible into place.  It looks as if it was made especially for her?!

Crystal Amora Encora AE03 - Beaded Hands
Crystal Amora Encora AE03 - Beaded Feet
Crystal Amora Encora AE03 - Beaded Bodice
Crystal Amora Encora AE03 - Beaded Bodice

Free Motion Embroidery

I had some pretty cream and grey fabric in my stash that was donated by Birmingham Conservatoire, but it just wasn’t quite glamorous enough to use to make up the entirety of Crystal.  It needed to be way more sparkly to make a doll who is celebrating the beauty of frost?!

Instead, I chose to copy the flowered design from the fabric onto plain cream cotton and free motion embroider the flowers using silver threads.  I really like the way that free motion embroidery – despite the fact that the threads are drawn through the eye of a machine needle – is effectively created by hand.  This means that each design is slightly different from the next, just like one day’s frost is never quite the same on a past or future Winter’s morning.   When it is gone, it is gone.

Crystal Amora Encora AE03 Free motion embroidered bodice
Crystal Amora Encora AE03 Free motion embroidered bodice

You can read more about the technique of free motion embroidery on this post:

A New Pattern

All my previous art dolls have been made from the same pattern.  For Crystal, I used one of the patterns in the Creative Cloth Doll Collection book to give her a more shapely bust – a better fit for the elaborate wedding dress lace embellishment I had available.

Her feet are also different from previous dolls.  They have shaped toes which suited a barefoot look that let the beading follow the lines of her feet in a natural way.

Heart UpCycling

Crystal's Skirt and Bolero - Made from a Pair of Tab Top Curtains

Crystal’s skirt and bolero trim were upcycled from a pair of silvery tab top curtains.  Thanks Nicky!

Crystal Amora Encora AE03 - Clothes made from tab top curtains
Crystal's Clothes - made from tab top curtains. Heart Up-Cycling!

It always gives me a feeling of great satisfaction to be able to transfer something that has been discarded as rubbish into something that can be enjoyed again.  That is why I called the new range “Amora Encora” – something that can be loved again.

Crystal Amora Encora AE03 Removeable Clothes

The curtain forms the inner layer of the skirt with crystal embellished organza above and below it to add complexity to the design, reflecting the intricacy that makes frost so special.

The little lacy underskirt just couldn’t be resisted.  It adds a delicacy as well as some modesty.

Crystal Amora Encora AE03
Crystal Amora Encora AE03

UpCycled Beads

It had to be crystals for earrings, of course.  Crystal’s hair is made from a lump of yarn rather unglamorously displayed in a box well worthy of a rummage at my local Scrapstore.  

The pearls threaded through her hair were taken from a bridal veil base obtained from my local Birmingham Hospice Shop.  Keep following to see what I do with the rest of the bridal outfit … it is currently working progress.

Crystal Amora Encora AE03 Heart UpCycling!
Crystal's hair - finished with pearls from an up-cycled bridal veil base.
Crystal Amora Encora AE03 - Hand Painted Face
Earrings from vintage crystal glass beads

What Does the Future Hold for Crystal?

Crystal is now listed on my Etsy shop, waiting to find a good home.

I wonder what the future holds for her …?

Crystal Amora Encora AE03
Crystal Amora Encora AE03

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