Sometimes, I even wonder myself where my ideas come from, and this was one of those projects. A fabulous store called "The Artist's Nook" in Ft Collins sold bowling pins and invited us to alter them. What a challenge! So, when you look at a bowling pen..do you see a dressform? I did! I had my brother-in-law saw the the thing in half vertically. Then I soaked it in water for about a week. It took some doing, but I was able to peel the plastic shell away from the wood. OK...it was actually one of the more frustrating things I've ever done. No idea what kind of glue is used....but I sort of think the plastic shell is somehow heat set into the wood.
I then took linen and decoupaged it to the outside. Great fabric...will give and stretch to conform to the shape of the pen. I added hinges down the side, a wood spindle to the base and build a chipboard dessform skirt, inked with Ranger's Distress ink. Of course, I had to add a piece of vintage lace for the skirt and from there....she just developed beyond a dressform into a "person"! A few beads and flowers in her hair....and she was near perfect! LOLOL!!!
Notice there are stamped images on the linen and buttons all down the front and across the back.
For the inside, I decided to go with a sewing theme and added inked chipboard shelves after decoupaging patterned paper to the inside of the shell.
I made tiny little dressforms from friendly plastic and UTEE to add to the "shelves":
When I had her all done, I had to give her a name (you do know that every piece of art needs it's own name?) So I sat there looking at this silly mess of things that were from my past, my present, my stash of stuff....and just let out a big sigh and said, "Oh spare me!"
And then I realized that "spare" was a bowling term....and the name stuck!
I find that when I get in the midst of a project...I'm in a "zone". I lose all track of time and just have the most fun creating. Often, I just don't know when to quit. But when I said, "Oh spare me!"...I knew she was done! She was on display as part of a show in Ft Collins for about 3 months and now she is back home. I think I should donate her to the local bowling alley...but then I'm not sure bowlers would appreciate how I altered on of their bowling pins! And how does this tie into my past? All that fabric mom kept on hand, all the sewing that we did, and grandma's button box!