Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bees, Blind Melon and Aladdin

Many people ask about my creative process. Comments like, "where do you get your ideas from" or, "I wish I could see how your brain works". Here is the story of how, "Bee Yourself" came to be.

I have long held a fascination and respect for bees and I gratefully consume a teaspoon of their gorgeous honey each and every day. 

About 22 years ago, my son Christian was obsessed with Disney's Aladdin. Having watched it a hundred times with him, my favorite character was of course, Genie, played by Robin Williams. My favorite scene was when Aladdin was pretending to be a prince to woo Jasmin. Genie, trying to keep Aladdin honest, transforms into a bee and buzzes Aladdin, telling him. "Remember, beeeee yourself". When Christian received an Aladdin toy set, it had The Genie Bee in the set. Christian, knowing how much I loved that part of the movie, so sweetly gifted me the toy. For 22 years Bee Genie  has been in my studio with me. Always where I can see him. 

I also constantly wore a Winnie the Pooh baseball cap that had Winnie, with bumble bees buzzing around him and the words "bee yourself" embroidered on it. I miss that hat!

Many years later, enter my boyfriend, Rob. We've now been together 9 years. About 1 year into our relationship, he says to me, "you know who you remind me of? The little girl in the No Rain video by Blind Melon. It is you and your story". When I watched it, I remembered seeing it before and I laughed at how accurately he read me. I always felt like an odd ball growing up. I wasn't a redhead or wore glasses, but was taunted for my super white freckled skin, big nose, my very Un-athletic non abilities, for my big nose, how I dressed, my name and a few very painful times when the cute boy I liked found out I liked him...Then he and his friends made fun of me for it.  Sad how mean kids and even insensitive adults can be to a child's developing self esteem.

Here is the video if you don't know it.  I love it! I'm sure many of you can relate. 

In the past 7 years I have made over 200 altered dolls, so many many cool vintage dolls have passed through my hands. But one doll in particular, I could never use or sell. She came to me with just her head, arms and torso attached together. I adored her sweet face and red braided pigtails. There has always been "something" about her. She has sat on my shelf with a wreath of flowers on her head, wearing little round doll glasses...waiting for inspiration.

A few weeks back, I found this really cool bee skep shaped wire shelf at Michaels. Initially I didn't buy it. But it kept taunting me in the back of my head, so yesterday I used my 40% coupon and bought it. As I walked to my car, like a gust of wind to the face, the idea hit red headed doll!!! Bingo! Finally she will be put to the perfect use!

To say I was obsessed last night working in her, was an understatement. I had to wait until his morning for paper clay to dry befor I could assemble her.  So here she is...

I cut her wings from some scrap metal I had, made paper clay hearts for her antennae, uses washi tape to make the black stripes on her bodice and vintage tuille for her gathered tutu. Added vintage beaded flowers to the shelf. The cool wreath is some vintage hair thingy that expands and contracts, had it forever too! 

Thank you for reading my very long blog post and there you go...a glimpse into what can be a creative process that takes years to come to fruition. 

Remember....beeeee yourself! 


  1. I love your story, Lisa. I love your little cutie bee girl, too. I think sometimes talents manifest themselves from things that we keep inside. I believe the most beautiful pieces come from what we feel. I do not have your artistic talents but I sure do LOVE seeing what you make. You, my dear, are one creative soul. xo <3

    1. Amber, we all have gifts...look at the beautiful things and deliciousness that you create! Thank you friend, for your sweet words. XOXO <3