Sunday, January 30, 2011

Altered Alice CHAPTER 1 Challenge: Dress Form or Changing Forms

"Alice crouched down among the trees as well as she could, for her neck kept getting entangled among the branches, and every now and then she had to stop and untwist it. After a while she remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.
It was so long since she had been anything near the right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. `Come, there's half my plan done now! How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another!"
       -- Chapter 5, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Like Alice we have been through some changes in both location and form (from weekly to monthly), but the challenge chapters remain familiar despite all these puzzling changes!

To reflect all these puzzling changes, the Altered Alice Challenge is to make something that features a dress form, OR to make something that changes in form!  While it is not required that your project include Alice in Wonderland, we do encourage it. If your project does feature Wonderland you will get two chances in the prize drawing instead of one!
And now for the big news - STAMPOTIQUE ORIGINALS is sponsoring our first challenge with a $30 gift certificate for one lucky winner, and their design team is going to play along! Be sure to visit their Stampotique Designer's Challenge blog where you can play every week! They are famous for artist Daniel Torrente's quirky characters, but they actually have many artists and quite a few different styles. Jo Capper-Sandon is my favorite with her wonderful mushrooms, and other lines include Janet Klein's flower characters (click next a few times to see them) that remind me of the garden of living flowers! There is something to please everyone at Stampotique Originals!

My Alice Dress Form:

Inspiration credit for this project goes to The Altered Alice design team member Donna of Meme's Art Place. She makes the most fantastic altered dress forms; in fact Tim Holtz loved one so much that it now lives in his studio!

I started with a little glass bottle; it's shape reminded me of the Caterpillar!  It was not heavy enough to act as a base, so I filled it with glass seed beeds in various sizes then glued the cork in the neck; I do NOT want this bottle opening accidently, LOL! I made cuts in the bottom of the papier-mâché dress form, criss-crossed in an asterisk shape, and pushed the flaps into the body and jammed it onto my bottle. It fit perfectly as it fits snuggly around one of the flared ridges of the bottle!

Then I cut strips of some Nikki Sivils "Something for Everyone" paper and border punched one side (Fiskars Apron Lace punch). I scored the strip every half-inch on my Scor-Pal, then I turned it over and scored in between the previous score lines. This allowed me to fan-fold the skirt into mountain-valley folds.  I machine stitched the top of the pleats down to hold them in place, and glued this "skirt" around the hips of the dress form with Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue.  Later on I decided I wanted the skirt a little longer and to have more detail at the hem, so I border punched a strip of vellum (Martha Stewart Doily Lace punch) and ran it through my paper crimper.  I adhered this strip with the same Fast Grab Tacky Glue, one of my all-time favorite adhesives! I used this same adhesive throughout the project.

The next step was to gather some wide satin ribbon for the shoulders, then I stitched a strip of blue grosgrain ribbon on top to hold the gathers in place. I glued these to the form to form the pinafore-style sleeves.  Then I punched and cut a piece of dotted blue paper for the bodice of the dress. To be able to form the paper to the figure in this highly contoured area, I used an old trick of running the card stock through the crimper in every direction several times, then smoothed the creases out with my fingers. This left the card stock very soft and pliable and I was able to easily mold it to the figure and pinch gathers where needed. I added pieces of the blue dotted paper under each arm and between the ribbon sleeves on the back.

Next was the corset and apron. My original idea had been to make a pinafore like the original Alice illustrations, however the mature shape of the torso made me revamp the concept to the older Alice of the Tim Burton movie!!!  I cut the apron from the 6x6 version of this wonderful pattern and glued it to the front of the torso above the skirt. I could not resist the corset - remember near the beginning of the movie when Alice's mother is apalled as Alice is not wearing one? Sorry Alice! I cut the left and right front panels and punched holes and laced and tied the ribbon BEFORE I glued the front onto the torso. One of my moments of true genius, I can assure you, it could have easily happened differently, LOL! The stripe was from the 6x6 paper pad of the same collection.  After all that, I decided the edges of the apron were too harsh, so I crimped more vellum strips and tucked them under the apron edges, ruffling it up as I glued it into place.

Now for all the embellishments, or maybe symbols would be a better word!

  1.  Key plate and keys to represent the hall of doors, where Alice arrived at the bottom of the rabbit hole! (Idea-ology key plate and key plus miscellaneous key)
  2. Imagine and Journey to represent Alice's Wonderland experience. (Idea-ology Philosophy Tags)
  3. Glass bottle charm - Drink Me! Represents bottle of shrinking potion in hall of doors.
  4. The White Rabbit's pocket watch!
  5. The Mad Hatter's riddle: "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Found this charm at Michaels but it was yellow enamel over metal. Copics, gotta love them!
  6. The Queen of Hearts' crown! (Idea-ology charms)
  7. Cards were the Queen of Hearts' subjects, so I punched the pips from two playing cards and glued them to the back of a Fragment. Hearts for the Queen and King of Hearts of course. Clubs because the Clubs were the ones painting the white roses red so the Queen would not get mad.  Also, in the final courtroom illustration, the Knave of Hearts is accused of stealing the tarts, but if you look closely it seems the Knave of Clubs is actually standing there!  I edged each charm with black Copic but should have waited until the glue dried as some black wicked into the image. Maybe I should have said, I created a neat distressed edge effect by . . . . LOL! (Idea-ology Charm Fragments)
  8. Mad Hatter's Tea Party! (Hah! You thought it was the White Rabbit again, didn't you?) Remember the Mad Hatter killed Time, so they were stuck in time, it was always time for tea! (Paper Studios Spare Parts Watch Faces, Idea-ology Game Spinners)
I hope you have enjoyed my lovely Alice dress form as much as I have enjoyed making it, and I hope it has inspired you to see how much FUN you can have with a whole month to make your challenge project! Enter at The Altered Alice before 8 p.m. on Friday, February 25th, and check there for weekly inspiration from the design team along the way. Plus there is a fabulous $30 gift certificate from Stampotique Originals for one lucky player!

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think about my Alice dress form, the new challenge format, or anything at all! I LOVE getting your comments, it really makes my day when I hear from you!


  1. WOW WOW WOW. Lynne this is amazing, all that detail is incredible!
    love tasha xx

  2. OH my goodness Lynn.. this is stunning.. i am speechless
    Lisa ;)

  3. Oh wow .. wow .. Wow .. WOW!!! Yhis is sensational Lynne! I LOVE it!! wow.. you are so clever.. sorry a little bit gobsmacked at how gorgeous this is!!!

  4. OMGosh Lynne, this is just STUNNIING! I absolutely LOVE it, all those little details are just Fabulous...You go Girl!!!

  5. Absolutely stunning Lynne, I love every little detail. I have been back for several looks, it's fabulous. Love all the embellishments and how they represent something in the story, very creative. Tracy Evans x x

  6. Okay Lynne! This one takes the cake. I can't believe all the details you added. And a glass bottle as base? You are sooo creative!
    Your dress looks AMAZING!
    Hugs and smiles

  7. Your project is stunning and your imagination is amazing!!! I love, love, love this dress with all of its embellies!

  8. This is one amazing project! If it were made of fabric (and my size) I would definitely wear it!

  9. You da bomb, you da bomb. Awesome, awesome project. I love your embellishments and your paper is darling. Didn't know Amazon carried paper too.

  10. This is one of the most creative pieces I have seen! Pure Genius!

  11. oh my goodness! Lynne, this is amazing! love all the details on the dress!

  12. Great job Lynne! You did a fabulous job on this. As I said before just stunning. Love all the details. It is so fun to do these dress forms. You can go so many ways. But the boobs are an issue. LOL!

  13. Lynne: Your dress is AMAZING!!! Wow, so many wonderful details on this dress. The embellishments on it are absolutely perfect. I don't know where you come up with the ideas!

  14. D'ya know what Lynne... i don't say this lightly either... I think that this is the most wonderful and thoughtfully put together piece of art that I have EVER seen! Seriously, I am sitting here covered in gooseybumps at your amazing and unique style.. I totally LOVE the deets and the explanations to each component... tis my kinda art... THANK YOU for inspiring me to get off my inky bum and get my dress form that has been hanging about for a hundred years... altered!! LOVE THIS... did I say that already!!!!

    *and, I never gush, that isn't gushing ... that is brazen admiration!!!!*

    Hugs Hels xx

  15. Lynne, this nock me out my socks. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW !!!!
    What an absolutely unique creation and so lovely. many wonderful details. I´ve missed the right words in english. Standing ovation from me to your unbelievable creativity.

  16. OMG Lynne - this is fabulous! I would love to make something like this - someday I might actually get around to it. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  17. AAAACCCKKK!!! that is AWESOME!!!love love LOVE that!!! so ornate & pretty!!!

  18. Wow! I cannot get over how gorgeous this is, Lynne! Beautiful job! I really do love what you did with Nikki Sivils' DP! I hope you email this to Julie too!
    hugs, margie

  19. Oh Lynne, this is so amazing I'm speechless! Besides being gorgeous, the symbology is fabulous! I'd kill for this piece! xxD

  20. You have put so much into this is quite a work of art.
    Sue xx

  21. Hey Lynne. You asked about the adhesive I use with the Fun Foam. My DH orders permanent 4 inch wide double stick in rolls from 3M. He can't remember from where, though. Says it comes in wider and narrower sizes too, but I usually do a strip at a time which works well for me. Have also on occasion, run it throuh my Xyron but that's less economical. Hope that helps. xxD

  22. It's me again, Lynne. DH found the # for the 3M tape and it's actually called "Transfer tape", not doublesided. the # I've been using is 3M465 which they say is light industrial. There are stickier ones available too. 465 adhesive is nice and thin, though. Works for me! xxD

  23. Stunning, amazing, awesome. I am so much in awe of your creation. I've looked at it so many times on both your blog and The Altered Alice blog. Not only is your creation beautiful, it is so meaningful too. From one Alice lover to another, this is one fabulous representation of Alice. Great, great job.

  24. Thanks for asking us to come check out your paper crafting! You blew us away! You've been "Blog Spotted" by Paper Craft Planet:

    Stop by and grab a blinkie for your blog :)

  25. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! Lynne!! You have OUTDONE yourself!! I love love love love love this!! Just STUNNING!!!! The design is amazing and loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee the details!! I will be sure to mention this on Nikki's blog this month!! WOW WOW WOW!!!! Just GORGEOUS! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. uauuuu que felicidade ver a sua participação!!!
    amei amei...
    aqui no Brazil ainda assunto é pouco divulgado
    e foram atraves de publicações dos vossos Blog que me apaixonei pela arte...
    amei amei amei

    sou grata pelo carinho!

  28. WOW!!!! Amazingly beautiful. I keep going back and looking at all the details

  29. What a beautiful thought-out idea! Turned out stunning!

  30. Fantastic work so detailed, must have taken ages to create this piece. Also speaking of Alice ...
    Please pop by my blog if you get time and grab the 24 hour freebie digi stamp (altered alice ) while its there.
    Have a wonderful and creative weekend
    hugs June

  31. Absolutely a joy to view your blog. And I saw Alice in Wonderland 3 times! Johnny Dep did such a great job with that character.
    A quick ? How do you put the "You might also like" at the end of your posts?? I would like to learn that.
    circleoflifescraps (at)
    I will for sure be coming back here!

  32. Such a fantastic dress, wonderful elements.

  33. Love it! It was very clever the way you used the elements from Alice In Wonderland fairytale in your design of this adorable dress. So beautiful. So VERY creative. TFS!!

  34. where do i start? This is my second visit to your blog and I cannot get away. I just love your art creations as they give me such inspiration. You are truly creative and talented beyone words. and the dress form, wowsers! no wonder you love to read everyone's comments, they are so full of praise. thanks for sharing. suzieq23

  35. The time it took to make this is evident in the detail.Absolutely brilliant

  36. Parabéns ... Amei seu Blog e seus Trabalhos... Tudo muito Perfeito.
    Voltarei sempre.


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