Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ophelia and the Home Stretch

Tomorrow I have all of my finals for Winter term in one day. Yikes! Luckily my Shakespeare teacher is having us present our creative projects in lieu of a test. The other positive thing about this is that my Shakespeare class is my last class for the day. This means by the time I get to Shakespeare my brain will be exhausted from two consecutive finals and I will be ready to sit and watch creative presentations!

I told you a while back that I would have another creative project to show you. I have been working on this doll on-and-off for a couple of weeks now and I am relatively happy with how she came out. Making this doll was a bit of a stretch creatively for me. I generally don't like realistically human dolls and have avoided making any for a long time. Mainly it is because I don't like making clothes very much and it seems the doll never comes out the right size for store bought doll clothes. I also don't think I am very good at painting realistic features. However, I decided to give it a go on this girl!

The only guidelines for our creative project is that the subject had to be from one of the plays we read throughout the term. The plays we read were Merchant of Venice, Henry IV Part I, Hamlet and The Tempest. We read The Tempest last and it's possible if we had started reading it before I started my project I would have picked a character to make into a doll from that play. It would have been fun to make Caliban I think. Nevertheless, that didn't happen so I of course picked Ophelia from Hamlet because, well, she is truly a character that stands out from all the rest.

There is a lot of online inspiration for Ophelia, including a few other dolls. Check out this one, this one and this one. When we were reading Hamlet we watched several scenes from the David Tennant version of Hamlet that came out in 2008. The scene where Ophelia is crazy and handing out flowers is intense and extremely powerful. If you want to watch it you can see it here on YouTube. The image of her in that scene is the inspiration for my Ophelia doll.

I created her first from muslin but her legs were so skinny that I couldn't stuff them. Muslin can be really difficult to work with, at least for me. It also has no stretch so I was having a hard time getting her wig to fit such a flat head. I decided to try to make her out of the fabric I use on the BeBes and it ended up working pretty good. She is wired throughout her body so she could potentially be posed but I didn't want to mess with her.

Luckily I had a wig laying around here that fit her perfectly. For her outfit I made her a muslin shirt and skirt that are underneath her dress. I had no idea what I was doing for her outfit but found some pictures online that helped inspire me. I had this scrap of a dark turquoise velour that ended up working perfect. The dress itself is not perfect and don't let it fool you, there's a lot of glue holding up those folds. By the end I had no idea what I was doing and decided to go back to my favorite crafty tool, glue. The good thing, for me, was she needed to look a little disheveled because she went crazy outside pulling up flowers.

I made her a headband out of some ribbon and a rope belt thingy out of floss. I looked all over town for some plastic fake flowers but I couldn't find anything small enough to look realistic for her. In the play she has rue, daisies, columbines and fennel. I was going to try to make all the flowers but after cutting out a tiny daisy and some fennel I was spent. I decided that was enough for her ha ha. I added some bits of moss and straw to her hair for effect. I also dirtied up her feet and skirt bottom to represent her romp through the weeds.

So that's Ophelia! I'm glad she's was an adventure...I probably won't ever do another one like her ha ha.


  1. she is great, i really like her hair and the flowers!
    good luck with your finals.

  2. Hi Cassie, she is cool. I got my sweetie I won in the giveaway and thank you sooo much! Love the little face and owl fabric. Hugs, Kim

  3. Thank Kim! Glad you bundle arrived and you like her. :)