Monday, 29 December 2014


Gwen builds a spaceship from retro Lego pieces we found under the house. This reminds me of…

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Back to the Paint Brush

Melissa Gaggiano art
    I've kept myself busy with so many other craft projects the past month or so. But it is nice to pick up a paint brush and come back to this.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Made To Order

Made to order: my Etsy store
    In addition to the mermaid dolls, I now have three 'made to order' doll designs available in my Etsy store. Come along, check it out, and share with your family, friends. There is something for everyone - steam punk, fantasy and fashion.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

In the Bag

Doll design by Melissa Gaggiano

And today another private doll project in the bag. Yeah!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

On His Way

Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano

Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano
    Another quick Link update. He is coming together and holding his own… things. Good on him.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Check. Check. Check.

Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano
    Link? Check. Shield? Check. Sword? Check. What next? Sword holder, Majora's mask, bunny mask and Deku mask.

    My hands are occupied with sewing. My ears are occupied with the sounds of Frozen [4th viewing request by Keira]. My mind is thinking of a million wonderful creations that may just happen once I finish making Link.

Monday, 1 December 2014


    This afternoon I did some shield work. This is the first accessory to go with the Link doll I have been working on the past week or so. No time to say much more than that. Must eat...

Hat + Ears

Melissa Gaggiano doll design
    This is where I'm at with the Link doll. The transformation of this doll has been incredible. I just love how the little pieces make up the whole.
    The next phase is working on the accessories, starting with the shield.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Look At That

Melissa Gaggiano doll design
    Will you look at that. I wasn't sure how I'd address Link's hair. Using my usual felt wigs [the mermaid dolls] and the floppy yarn hair [a more recent design feature] wasn't going to work with this doll. Staring at the illustrations of Link I realised that his hair needed to be flat, curved and layered in individual pattern pieces.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Hard To See

Melissa Gaggiano doll design

At first it's hard to see how it's all going to come together when faced with a couple of unconnected, flat pattern pieces. But as you build on it, that doll takes on a life of it's own. Keep on, keeping' on!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Legend of…?

    A new project in the works… A Legend of Zelda doll. Not saying much. Very busy. Here's a snapshot of where it is at. Gotta keep on, keeping on.

Melissa Gaggiano Photography

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A New Service

    Breaking News: In addition to my Red Bubble and Etsy stores I decided to offer a customised doll making service. And here is the idea…

    Kids make the coolest, craziest, brightest, uninhibited drawings of people and characters. I want to take those drawings and translate off the page into three dimensional plush dolls. And that in a nutshell is the service that I am providing.

    Click here for more information.

She Sings La-la-la

Doll design by Melissa Gaggiano
    My eldest was so pleased. She woke up to find her Draculaura doll finished. She skipped around the house with the doll singing la-la la-la la-la.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Cute + Scary

Doll design by Melissa Gaggiano
    I have begun work on a doll design for my eldest. Knowing that I was making a Monster High doll for my youngest, she wanted to have her own. So I asked her to do a drawing of how the doll should look. I have interpreted the drawing with a couple of modifications.

    My eldest is super excited and can't wait for me to finish the doll. If she had her way I would have been working on the doll well into the night, but after 8 hours I had to put my foot [and sleepy head] down.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

So Pleased

    Today I completed the Robecca Steam doll. My littlest is so pleased. She spent the morning reminding me to keep at it [just like every other day this week] and after 19 hours I got there. K is now playing quietly with the doll. So now, I can crawl up in a ball and try to sleep off this virus that hit town last night.

Melissa Gaggiano doll design

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

All That Hair

Doll design by Melissa Gaggiano
    After three hours of hair work, I am almost there. Next step is to design and sew the goggles that sit on the doll's head.
    Goodnight, so tired now.

Almost There, Just a Littler Further

Doll design by Melissa Gaggiano
    Getting there with the Robecca Steam doll. Only two things left to to make - the hair aaaaand the steampunk goggles.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


    My youngest is an excellent manager. She has been making sure that I stay on track making her Robecca Steam doll. So I really don't have too much time to wax lyrical about how well the project is coming along, because I know the little one will come in any moment and ask me to keep working on the doll. But I thought I'd share this snapshot of where it is at…
Doll design by Melissa Gaggiano

Monday, 10 November 2014

Constructing Robecca Steam

Photography + doll design by Melissa Gaggiano
    At the request of my youngest I have been working on a handmade cloth doll based on Robecca Steam, of Monster High fame.

    I made the decision to work with felt fabric as it is a friendly material. When I say friends, I mean that you don't need to turn or burn edges because the material will not fray.

    The basic template was drawn up on paper before choosing the fabric. However many of the more decorative details are being designed as I go along with the fabric cutting. This makes the design and construction an ever developing journey. The idea that I started with is so completely different from where it will end.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Project Time

    It is a great feeling starting a new project. All that enthusiasm. New ideas exploding. Inspiration flying left and right. Sounds a little dangerous, right? It's not though. Just a whole lotta fun.
    So what's it going to be? My eldest's first year of school is almost over and I thought it would be nice to make her teacher a thank you gift. Since there is a doll making thing in my house, I decided to make a doll in the likeness of the teacher.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Christmas on a Vespa

Melissa Gaggiano illustration
Buy Vespa Christmas
    Christmas is two months away, but that time sure can pass by rather quickly. So I am already thinking ahead. I have a lovely piece of work available in my Red Bubble store [think: cards, posters, cups]. It is a Vespa Christmas, joining two of my likes in one merry package. Check it out.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Fab Finds 10

And now, for my latest batch of fab finds...

1. I was reading about a German tradition, and this is unbelievably cute and cool [and I don't know why we don't all do it], that involves kids going to their first day of school with a huuuuge paper cornets. These huuuuge paper cornets are filled with chocolates, sweets and school supplies. Tell me, what could wouldn't want to go to school when they've got this welcoming package to take along. Etsy Graphic Designer - Anda Corrie shares her DIY project on how to make one of these cornets.
Photo by Anda Corrie

2. Through a friend and fellow photography enthusiast, I have come across yet another photography enthusiast,  Kim Klassen [doesn't that just sound like that could be a high end fashion label]. Kim's own website is dedicated not only to her own photography but also sharing and being part of an online community of photographers. If you are into still life, food, country style photography this is a place for you.
Kim Klassen Photography

3. I am loving this new-old lens that has just hit the market - the new Petzval lens. Now here is the thing about the Petzval - it first came out in 1840. That is a very, very long time ago. That goes way beyond being retro. That's steam punk! And the lens looks steam punk to boot. So anyway, the Petzval was so highly regarded that it is back in production and is available for modern Nikon and Canon cameras. How cool is that! The Petzval is rather special as a portrait lens - it creates a sharp centre, has narrow depth of field, and pretty bokeh. Ooh! I'm cackling like a delighted witch just thinking about this lens.
The new Petzval lens

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


SHARE if your kids/husband/sister/mum/dad/brother/sister/half-sister/cousin-twice-removed/facial-mole-once-removed/surfboard/boss/the-TV-show-Friends/smartphone are the best thing to ever happen to you.
No! I take that back. Don’t share! For the sake of everyone’s mental health, please just do not share. It drives me bananas each and every time I see a message pop up on social media inviting me to share said message if I love the people in my life. SHARE if I think child abuse is evil. SHARE if I think animal abuse is evil. SHARE if my sister is my best friend. SHARE if my partner is my soul mate. SHARE to end war. SHARE. SHARE. SHARE! Arrrrrrrrrgh!

On a weekly basis messages such as this pass from my computer screen and enter my brain like a guilt guided missile. Because I know that if I don’t share that message that means I am one selfish ass. And when the people in my social network see that I haven’t shared when they so obviously have, they too will also know that I am a truly crummy person, thus placing them on a high pedestal in life. Show offs!

Okay, that last bit is probably wildly inaccurate and a tad bit over the top. I’m sure that my friends and acquaintances, really don’t have the time to check if I have shared the message, so are not really spending their day judging me for such things, but sweet Jesus, it doesn’t change the fact that this share phenomena is causing me all kinds of inner turmoil. If I don’t share then I’m implying I don’t care about people, animals and world peace, which is so not the case. I want nothing but the best for the planet and everyone living on it.

On the flipside if I share one of those messages it’s got to be because I want to share and not because I’ve been bullied into sharing. Essentially if I press share then I will have done it, not because those things are true, but because I have to prove that I too am a good person. Share. Click. See everyone, I’m one of the good, and you can’t say I’m not because I shared this message. So can you see how a simple message of love and supposed empathy can be turned into a message of self-doubt and nagging guilt?

So the next time you receive one of those share messages, before you hit share, ask yourself am I doing this because I want to, or because I have something to prove. And if you are sharing that message, think about all those people who are going to receive that message and are going to wonder what you’re trying to prove.

Rant over. Ooh, look at that. I got another share. What will I do?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Who Remembers Supergirl?

[The one about a controversial hoodie]

Helen Slater as Supergirl [1984]

Today I am wearing my super hero hoodie. I love it. It provides both physical warmth and inner strength with its iconic bright blue, yellow and red colours. When I wear my hoodie I am empowered. I walk down the street and women quietly smile at me. Girls stare in awe. On the flipside of things little boys and grown men stop me in the street and say things like “Hey! You’re a girl. Why are you wearing a Superman jumper?” “Shouldn’t you be wearing a Wonder Woman top?” “Hey, it’s Superman!” comments such as this make me feel like I’ve accidentally wandered into the men’s toilet [and believe me I know, as in a desperate moment I have actually done that]. It’s as though by wearing this one garment I’m defying the imaginary laws of gender.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love Superman. One of many highlights of my 80s childhood was watching Christopher Reeves play Superman, opposite Margot Kidder on the silver screen. Another important highlight was seeing Supergirl come to life in the form of Helen Slater. The much slated [Yeah, yeah! I’m a terrible one for puns] Supergirl film moved me because there was an example of a girl-woman taking control of her life and becoming a peaceful and powerful person. Plus she could fly and wear a cape, how cool was that!
Supergirl shouldered responsibility and saved the world without the interference/help [depending on how you want to look at it] of a man. Not even her cousin, Superman was around to patronise her. And even though, along the way, there were men treating Supergirl as a sexual plaything, she stood her ground and pushed back.
But that was then [1984] and this is now [2014] and okay, so maybe not everyone is going to remember Helen Slater’s Supergirl. Surely though with Supergirl appearing in other more recent television programs, she would not have fallen completely into a pop cultural black hole. Or did she?
At the end of it all a thought will continue to badger this girl-woman. Why after all this time will some guys feel the need to question my right to wear a symbol of power and strength? Let’s face it, that’s at the core of this hoodie pickle. I feel like they’re telling me that the super symbol does not belong on a female.
I may never understand the psychology behind this gender stuff. But no matter how many times I am stopped in the street by the opposite sex I will continue to wear my super hoodie till there’s nothing left of it. If nothing else I want my daughters to believe that Supergirl exists and that she belongs in that hoodie.

Friday, 17 October 2014

I Opened My Mailbox

… and was pleasantly surprised.
You've Got Mail

    In a time when people send emails, text message, PM, Skype, 'like', 'unlike', 'block' and ignore, it comes as a sweet surprise when I open the mailbox and find an actual… yes, an actual… letter.
    It came from the winner of my recent giveaway. It really doesn't take much to make my day and a letter from overseas can pretty much do it for me. Thank you Donna!
    A message that can be touched, smelt, has texture, and you know was actually written on and handled by the recipient. A physical letter is a powerful thing to hold. I happen to feel the same way about books. I've given electronic books a go, but I prefer picking up a paper book. I feel like I'm absorbing more detail off paper - the connection is stronger there, I think.


Thank Goodness For Good Things

    I am always busy with something. I don't like being idyll for long periods. Thank goodness for paint brushes, water colour paints, and my Wacom tablet.
Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Block It In

    Excited much!* I will have a stall, selling my dolls, at the South Sea Roller Derby double hitter. Check out all the pertinent details...

South Sea Roller Derby
* Buffy speak

Auto-Correct Humanity

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 
~ Ferris Bueller

"So put away the G.D. cell phone and talk to the person who is actually in front of you."
~ me

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Magic in a Bottle

Photo Link
    I love those little vials of magic potions that get thrown about in the television series Charmed. It would be a dream to have one of those sleepy time vials on hand for when I am much too wired and need to sleep. One can only wish, or at least be satisfied with Sleepy Time tea.

    So I was plenty excited when I found a packet of vials in the local $2 complete with corks. I snapped up those vials and quite simply for the fun of it began filling up those corks with fun things - glitter and a handmade treasure map.
Treasure map by Melissa Gaggiano

    You can have a ton of fun with these vials. Put any ingredients you want into them. Though it might be preferable to use things that aren't likely to rot or disintegrate anytime soon. Try sand, beads, minerals, glitter, paper, shells and feathers even [if small enough]. These decorated vials can make easy and fun homemade presents for people. Consider tying ribbon around the vial necks and making necklaces. You can get lots of ideas for vial decorating at this Pinterest link.

Melissa Gaggiano Photography

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Take Me Back, Thursday

Loved the music of the 80s. Here's my little throw back to my childhood era…

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Dilly Dally Doodle

Melissa Gaggiano illustration

Chicken Philosophy

Melissa Gaggiano Photography
Sitting with the chooks
The kind I'd never cook
Blanket of light
Stretches into shades of night
Feathers flutter and flick
Orange fluffy candles lit
Egyptian walk and kiss the ground

I feel warm and cool
I feel tame and calm
Not knowing about tomorrow
For now that doesn't matter
I give my time to the chickens
They give me back some time

I let them graze and wander
The chickens leave me to wonder
Scratch. Dig. Kiss the earth.
A chickens call to love. Eat. Pray.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Fab Finds #9

Great stuff…

1. Smart Girls at the Party is an internet sensation encouraging girls and ladies to be cool in a much better, smarter way. This site is a step in the right direction for feminism. It encourages smart talk amongst the girls and breaking down the walls of stereotypes. One of the creators of this friendly site is Amy Poehler, and she will respond to questions via video feed, covering issues as dealing with people, situations and using your head. There's so much more to it, but I'll leave that for you to explore...
Meredith Walker, Amy Miles, and Amy Poehler,
creators of the web series Smart Girls at the Party.
2. Softies for Mirabel is just round the corner and is a lovely festive season project to participate in. The aim is to make a  toy which will be matched with a child, under the wing of the Mirabel Foundation. For more information simply visit this linkThis is a project that I have participated in over the years, and this year is no exception.

3. I love sinking my teeth into a goody juicy burger. Who doesn't? Well actually now that I think about it, not everyone, but I think you understand my sentiment. So when I came across this burger via a Pinterest feed I just knew what I'd be adding to next weeks dinner plan. It is none other than a Jamie Oliver Insanity Burger recipe, excerpted from Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food.
Insanity Burger
Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food
4. Bashful Garter is now a fully operational fashion website with a cool new look-book and a shop stocking specially chosen high quality pieces from independent designers.
Bashful Garter lookbook