Why and how i do altered barbie by Lavonne Sallee

WOW! Who would have thought that, at the age of 62 I would have found something that inspires me so much? And, as a double whammy, that it would involve playing with Barbie dolls, blows me away. All of my life I searched for something to create or produce that would make me feel fulfilled. Well, I produced three children, two boys (now 31 and 41) and a daughter (now 34) and they produced 3 children so far. That fulfills me and now they are grown and on their own. Somewhere along the line I realized that ME, SEARCHING for the thing that I could create was the wrong way to go about it. Instead of living my life always looking to the future and imagining what it might bring (i.e.; love, money, success, happiness) I began to live One Day at a Time, putting one foot in front of the other and following the coincidences that are presented to me as I go with the flow of life. I also tried to live from my heart instead doing the RIGHT THING or the BEST THING or the LOGICAL THING. When I am living in the NOW, my life changes. No matter what has happened in the past or what will be in the future is not an issue that exists NOW. Living in the NOW releases me from guilt and resentment, and now I think twice before I speak or act and choose the positive way to speak and act. Living in the NOW fills me up with WONDER and GRATITUDE. I think the reasons doing Altered Barbies is so much more fulfilling that any other technique or project Ive done before is that Barbie gives me the opportunity to express all the sides of myself and to poke fun at or criticize others in a humorous way. And, as a bonus, 75% to 90% of my materials are second (third) hand, and/or recycled materials. I will be showing my work at the International Fashion Doll Convention ( IFDC ) in Las Vegas July 29th to August 2, 2008. I will be back in time and hope to meet you at the reception August the 9th at the 6th Annual Altered Barbie Show. LAVONNE SALLEE creator of OOAKBARBIES. lavonne@goodstuffisus.com FAX: 415 586-5283. Web Site: ooakbarbies.com


I was born in Roswell, New Mexico on January-18, 1946, I was 1 year old when the Aliens landed there. From birth to the age of 25 I lived in 35 apartments / houses / trailers in 4 states and went to nine schools. My mother was a waitress and a seamstress.. My father was an artist. He was working as a cartoonist for Walt Disney at the time he married my mother. My parents were divorced when I was four years old. I had no contact with my father again until I was 16 years old. My mother had two more daughters in a second marriage that lasted a couple of years. Growing up, I showed creative and artistic abilities but was discouraged in regard to making art any sort of profession. At that time, in the 60s, being an artist was thought to be reserved for hippies, bohemians, and people who were not serious about financial security and did not have their priorities in order. I was taught that what other people expected of me, thought of me and felt about me was more important than what I thought and felt about myself or what I wanted for myself. So I did all the things I thought would gain the approval of those I wanted to impress. I worked for Corporate America. Art was my hobby. I was always involved in one project or another. I made and designed most of my clothes, built shelves, redecorated the house, crocheted, paint murals, and a technique I created that I call FABRICOLLAGE (fabricollage.com) I have always considered myself An Artist (even in the 25 years I was a Criminal Investigator for a Bank.) Between the ages of about 43 until 50 I went through a number of crises. Beginning with menopause and continuing with the death of my father and my mother, my forth divorce which lead to bankruptcy, deep depression and the onset of a chronic pain condition and ending with a spiritual awakening. In August 2006, walking down Market Street in San Francisco I saw some Altered Barbies in the window of the Market Street Art Gallery and stopped to look. I had never seen this artwork before. I loved it, loved it, and loved it. I never liked to Paint or Draw nor did that kind of art work excite me when I saw it in a Gallery, Book etc. The Altered Barbies were a very different kind of Art. It was entertaining and humorous and I was inspired to create some of my own to keep that good feeling going. I have no particular connection with Barbie. I did not have one when I was a kid, never desired one as a matter of fact. I started shopping within days. I shop at thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales to purchase used Barbies (and other similar fashion dolls ) and props to create these pieces. I like the idea of making art out of recycled stuff. I am not affiliated with any of the doll makers or the makers of the props or accessories I put in my pieces. I use these objects as my canvas. I use high quality acrylic paint and either paint or partially repaint them and seal them. I sew in eyelashes on some of them, create their hair style and make their clothes (with a few exceptions). LaVonne