Sunday, 31 December 2017

Fun Fashion Dailies #1-7

I have begun a new illustration project. One fashion drawing per day using the same illustrated body. I have now been doing this seven days straight. Will take it to another week, see how far I can push it.

© Melissa Gaggiano
Day 1

© Melissa Gaggiano
Day 2

© Melissa Gaggiano
Day 3

© Melissa Gaggiano
Day 4

© Melissa Gaggiano
Day 5

© Melissa Gaggiano
Day 6

© Melissa Gaggiano
Day 7

Monday, 18 December 2017

Leonard St Display

© Leonard St.

I am proud to announce (I love starting an entry like this) that Leonard St. are stocking my handmade pieces in their Fitzroy boutique.

Leonard St. is an ethical, Australian based fashion label with emphasis on bold statements and individual expression.

If you're in the Fitzroy area, or plan on visiting there, go into Leonard St. Check out the clothes and my handmade pieces currently on display.

© Leonard St.

Leonard St – Fitzroy
132 Gertrude St
Fitzroy VIC 3065
T: +61 3 9415

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Draft

© Melissa Gaggiano
On the Phone - Draft

Sometimes the draft looks just as interesting as the finished product.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Guilded Fire

© Melissa Gaggiano
Another gorgeous doll design concept. She's on fire!

Friday, 1 December 2017


© Melissa Gaggiano
My process of learning and design development can be described in one word – 'gleaning'. I learn how to do things from a wide variety of sources. Then I take that knowledge and use it in completely new ways.

Recently my eldest had been studying the formation of crystals. A fascinating topic. Talking to her about crystals, had me recalling an idea I had a while back – growing crystals directly onto my doll designs. It was a thought which lingered on the back burner. That is, until now.

After a little online reading and cross referencing what my eldest had told me about her crystal growing at school, I trialled my first bit of crystal growing. I made a sample doll leg and dipped it into the borax solution. Nearly a day later small rock crystals had formed onto the cloth. It worked, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Here's to the next big step in my design development.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Catalina the Photographer

Catalina the Photographer
© Melissa Gaggiano

Meet the latest art doll piece in my collection. Her name is Catalina and she could be yours. For more details visit my online store.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Tree Top Flamingos

Here it is! My latest design-craft tutorial for My Poppet. It's got everything you would want for this time of year – flamingos, pom-poms, with a Xmassie twist. So come along, check it out here. More importantly, try it out.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Twice the Magic

Handmade Issue 36-7
The latest issue of Handmade magazine has landed. In issue 36-7 you will find a smashing stash of enticing  Xmassie craft projects. In and amongst the creativity you will find two projects that I have produced. Check it out now at your local news agency and library.

© Melissa Gaggiano

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Red, Blue & Glitter Too

© Melissa Gaggiano
Etsy store
No two dolls of mine are ever exactly the same. This is a perfect result for me. As a cottage industry doll designer my aim is that each doll stand alone in her/his uniqueness. And with each doll that I create I am evolving with the dolls.

My latest art doll creation makes use of a variety of craft disciplines, including: sewing, crochet, armature, painting, needle felting, clay sculpting. Her body has an endo-skeleton (armature wire) allowing poseable positioning. Her clay shoes are a new evolution in my process. The shoes are hand sculpted, decorated with glitter (sealed with a topcoat). Facial details are hand painted. The shirt decoration is a granny square pattern in miniature.

This OOAK art doll is available in store right now. Check her out!

Friday, 10 November 2017

Coffee Break, Masks and Other Challenges

In things that have been happening:

© Gwen Gaggiano
My eldest has offered to paint my portrait if I can go a month without drinking coffee. I'd love to have my portrait painted, but I don't know if I can sustain myself through caffeine withdrawal. I mean, my aim in life is to be less grumpy, and I can only imagine what the lack of caffeine might do. Perhaps the trick is to build it up – go one day without coffee, then have a coffee the second day. Two days without, one day with. Et cetera, et cetera!

Felt craft: The Legend of Zelda – Link with Bunny Mask;
Deku mask; Majora's mask.
My husband's birthday is just around the corner and I made him a headband. No, really!  I did. For a bit of context, years ago I made him a LOZ Link doll. Each year after that I make an accessory to go with the doll. So far I've made a Deku mask, and Majora's mask. This year I made the bunny headband mask. I'm thinking that one day we will need to build a treasure chest to store these pieces. Perhaps it can look like an actual LOZ chest.

© Melissa Gaggiano
My doll design development continues, as always. Working with armature, continued improvements to the pattern with each new doll. This week I have been exploring wig hair. Playing with a synthetic weft, as well as a needle felted hairdo. My next step is designing shoes and a crochet top for the blue haired doll. The crochet top is a massive challenge as I am experimenting with a super fine crochet hook and embroidery thread. Might work, might not! We'll see!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Ballet Meets Burlesque

© Melissa Gaggiano
The unveiling of my latest BJD concept. A nod to the Snow White fairy tale this doll is wearing a crystalline outfit made of emeralds and sapphires. I call her Snowdrop.

The concept is a little ballet and a little burlesque. In fact I could picture Dita Von Teese wearing a stage costume like this.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A Week of Bees

© Melissa Gaggiano

The world speeds up, and I find myself slowing down. Or so it seems. When I check the date I am surprised to find that it is not May. I could have sworn it was, and yet here I am, the year almost complete. How quickly it goes, huh.

The past couple of weeks Spring has started to kick in. The bees are buzzing around, and for the first time I look at having a flowering garden as more than an aesthetic pleasure. When the heat of summer kicks in I'll put out little bowls of water so the bees have something to drink.

You can find my latest craft tutorial over at My Poppet. This one is a cute spin on the tooth fairy pouch.

In October I debuted as a contributor for Handmade magazine. How cute is that Santa doll on the cover?
Handmade 36-6

In other neat stuff: I am devoted to to Joshua David McKenney's Pidgin dolls. On the Pidgin fan Facebook page, people were invited to suggest a Halloween costume illustration for Pidgin. Guess who had the winning suggestion... Yep! It was me! I suggested The Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Handmade Feature

Handmade 36-6

The latest issue of Handmade is landing. I am so proud to announce that I am one of the featured contributors for issue 36-6. Look for it at local news stands and check out my Santa doll design.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Magnifique Bleu

Doll design
© Melissa Gaggiano
When things are quiet here, it usually means I am being busy in other departments. The past several weeks have been devoted to new design development. One of those designs happens to be this new armature prototype.

I am proud of all that has been achieved, but with this new design I feel I have reached a tall peak. Here's to today's success, and to the next mountain.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Plagg, Claws Out!

Well, look at that! There's a DIY Chat Noir costume over at My Poppet. Just in time for Halloween. One of the neat things about this costume is that it can easily come together with bits and pieces from around your home.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Spring into these Digital Prints

© Melissa Gaggiano
For all you scrapbooking and paper craft champs out there: I've designed a couple of print sets for you. The great thing about this product is that it's a digital download. That means you can buy it now, print it now (no waiting for it to arrive in the mail).

And so you ask, where might I find these wonderful prints?
Look no further than my Etsy store.

Friday, 8 September 2017


© Melissa Gaggiano
Wonderful news! A select few original water colour pieces are available in my Etsy store. There's a little something for everyone – mamas, caffeine addicts and the fashion forward. So head on over to my little shop and find something to love forever.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Somewhere over the...

Wonderful this! I love a rainbow, and I never met a person who didn't like one. So in honour of the big, beautiful rainbow I came up with this charm design, the perfect accessory to brighten your world. Heaven knows we need more rainbows in the sky. To see the tutorial simply visit My Poppet.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Fathers Day Commission

The Banker
© Melissa Gaggiano 2017
Private commission – water colour

I was commissioned to create this water colour piece for Fathers Day. Naturally the unveiling took place yesterday.

This morning the client gave me a shout out from the other side of the street. With both thumbs up she declared the art piece "a big hit". A satisfied customer! What a fantastic way to start the week, hey.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Ripponlea Draws Me In

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano
A spontaneous trip to Ripponlea Estate was the perfect anecdote to suburban winter blues. The estate is host to a 20s-30s fashion exhibit, so between that and walking the gardens I exposed myself to a new source of inspiration in my work.

The exhibit Night Life continues for an extended period (until 27th August) at Ripponlea Estate. Check it out while you still can.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Walking Alone

© Melissa Gaggiano
Sometimes when people disappear, there is this feeling that we are walking alone.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Ronaldo C

Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano
 This week a spontaneous doll project happened when a lil' boy's birthday suddenly popped into calendar. What to do? What to do? I like making dolls that have a meaningful connection to the recipient, so after a bit of brainstorming I made a football doll based on Ronaldo Cristiano of Real Madrid.
I know very little about football, but after this week I know a little more than nothing. For instance I now know that Ronaldo is a spunk, and so is this little doll. My favourite part was making the shoes.
Last year I made another doll using a similar pattern. You could say it is a sister doll to this one.
Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano

Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano