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

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bubble Pop Electric Tennis

© Melissa Gaggiano


© Melissa Gaggiano
I like the word 'potential'. I see it in every little thing that I create. From the wordy note that I write on a paper napkin in a restaurant, to a doodled sketch, or in this case a digital concept image.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Vintage Paper Doll Bookmarks

{My Poppet}

Hey y'all! Are you looking for something else to make? Are your fingers itching' for some colouring in? Yes! Then head on over to My Poppet and get cracking with this retro cute bookmark tutorial from moi.

Idea! Test! Vary!

It is a week of busy here. That means new ideas are tested, variations of old patterns are made, lots of notes are written, and a lovely apron is worn throughout all this.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Moon Princess

The past few days have been dedicated to making this Moon Princess doll and her loyal steed. All made with a combination of sewing techniques, fabrics and paints.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Moving Around Blocks

© Melissa Gaggiano

You've got a plan, and you know you can bring it together. But then something breaks. Against all experience something just isn't quite working. It's the middle of the day and you really are only halfway there. What is there for you to do?

When there's a block no amount of lifting or swearing at it is going to move it. The only thing for it, is to take a tea/coffee/chocolate/drawing/walking break. Don't think about if for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or however long it takes for you to see a fresh path. Then, and only then will the answers start to come to you – The thread is too weak; There is too much fabric; I need to sew more rows, et cetera.

Once you see the new path around the block, drink some water, brush your teeth and get back to the job at hand.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Paper House

My Poppet - Makes
Folding Paper Dollhouse tutorial

I am totally and completely proud to announce another tutorial contribution of mine over at My Poppet. If you like doll houses and paper crafting then this is for you. Check it out!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Affirmate This!

Multi Me
© Melissa Gaggiano
I am a doodler. I have side projects that I move between – 
... like a chef stirring multiple pots in the kitchen.
 ... like a bee gently hovering from flower to flower. 
... like Frogger leaping franticly from log to log to the other side of the screen.

Which ever analogy I choose, it doesn't really matter, because they're all me on different days.

I am a multi passionate artist – be it writing stories, writing imaginary book titles, drawing, painting, digital art, photography, paper crafts, design, doll making.  If you know me, then this a 'well duh' statement. But the thing is, for years I tied myself up in knots because I was fed this notion that I must choose just one thing and totally focus on that. 

That advice is great for people who are completely absorbed in one thing alone. But I'm not made of singular stuff. Anytime I tried this, whatever I was cutting out from my life left me feeling lost and empty. All the ways in which I invest my creative energy are as much a part of my programming as my DNA. So the only thing for it is to keep doing everything and not worry what the critics say about being a master of one thing, or whatever.

{gratuitous author's book link}
A friend put me onto a mind altering book [no drugs were involved] titled Steal Like An Artist created by Austin Kleon. Doesn't that name just roll? Well anyway... this book affirmates everything I do. The one difference is that post reading Steal Like An Artist I now feel more confident about how I've been using my time, with a couple of minor tweaks. As diverse as my interests are they lend and feed into each other.

Thank you Austin! For writing a book that I have always wanted to read, even before I knew it existed, and even before you knew it was meant to exist. If I was Marty McFly this would be one book that I would take back into the past.

Friday, 30 June 2017

My Retro Heart

© Melissa Gaggiano
From the world, to my head and my heart. I put these things to paper, reflecting back to the world the beauty that I see.