Friday, October 26, 2012

Oh, You Beautiful Doll!

In a post about dolls, it just seemed a little too obvious to use the only tolerable version of "Hello, Dolly!" known to man.  Leave it to Mr. Armstrong to make "tolerable" downright blissful!!!

"Hello, Dolly!" - Louis Armstrong

It used to be so that one had to become an action star in a summer blockbuster before one could be immortalized in the form of a doll.  Now all it takes it having a thoughtful friend of the most creative type, who uses her skills to create incredible works of art.

Do you remember this outfit?
Although, it is the one of the very few things Mary wore
at VLV that I did NOT make; I did style it, and apparently,
it created a lasting impression.

So much so, that one of Mary's friends, Al Kray, created this
handmade doll!!  Pretty unbelievable, right?!?!

Al Kray, is an artist living and creating in Canada.  She works in media ranging from fabric to acrylics to papier-mache.  If you follow her blog, you know that mini-Mary is just one fine example of her work.

Here, the artist presents the sculpture she created of
Wanda Jackson to the real, live, Fujiyama Mama, herself.
(photo courtesy of Al Kray)

I actually saw the doll before Mary because on the first leg of its international journey, the doll was couriered to me by none other than that one-man ball of fire, Bloodshot Bill.

Bloodshot Bill, the one-man band, became a duo when his likeness joined him on stage.
(photo courtesy of Al Kray)

When he was last in town I had the pleasure of attending his show, and as he is the significant other of Al, he was responsible for smuggling the doll over the border.  Although, in the shadows of the alley behind the bar it felt a bit like a drug deal, I was truly amazed when I opened the mysterious bundle and saw a miniature version of Mary!!!

Not willing to let the honor go unacknowledged, Mary suited up in her VLV gear
and had some beautiful photographs taken by another of her extremely-gifted friends,
 photographer, Genevieve Davis.  From pin-ups to portraiture, do yourself a favor and
 check out her amazing work on tumblr.

I'm telling you, the secret to success is surrounding yourself with awesome,
talented people and just hoping that some of it rubs off on you!

Every time I see the doll, I just get more impressed - Al really couldn't have chosen a more complicated outfit to recreate.  A dress would have been so much easier, but the doll maker instead chose a printed jumpsuit, an armful of bangles and a coolie hat.  The ability to source the material for the doll is crazy enough, but then she had the amazing talent to sew it into a recognizable form!  The first song that popped into my mind was "Oh, You Beautiful Doll."

"Oh, You Beautiful Doll"

A cartoon with Harpo, Bob Hope, living toys, and a sing-
a-long? This could be my favorite thing I've ever seen.

How incredibly flattering to have a "graven image" of yourself!  However, if Mary's not careful we may turn it into a voodoo doll - she's just lucky that I could never bring myself to stick a pin in anything that cool!  I must say after seeing the doll, I was kind of hoping for a tiny Mr. Tiny but I know I have to wait as the entire textile industrial complex of India works around the clock to mill enough material for that particular project...wah-wah....

For more information on Al's art or to order your very own custom doll, be sure to visit her blog, like her on Facebook, and email inquiries to alkrayart{at}


Mr. Tiny


  1. Love itttt!!! So cute and it looks like one of my vintage dolls too, what a great job.

    1. It is pretty cool, huh? I didn't know what to expect but I was definitely impressed when I first saw it.

  2. that is so beautiful! she better make a mr. tiny doll too! that is something i would love to see!

    1. Hahaha!!! I'm not sure if I could handle a Mr. Tiny doll; I can be pretty self-conscious, and I fear that the doll would be a trifle too accurate....

  3. So Cool! Mary must be beyond delighted. I love the Wanda Jackson doll too! I'll be sure to check out more of your friend's work.

    1. Yes, definitely check out her blog and her work - AWESOME!!! Mary was, of course, very flattered and the doll is taking pride of place in her room right now!