January 20, 2011

Diva Dolls by Phyllis - Meet Phyllis Chism Doll Artist & Owner



Phyllis Chism Doll Artist & Owner
Now that the holidays have past, we are settling in for a long cold January in Minnesota called “Cabin Fever”.  My girlfriend called me last weekend and said “Let’s go shopping”, of course I did not hesitate and out the door I went.  One of our stops was at Har Mar Mall in Roseville MN. and to my surprise they had an Antique Show going on.  Did I mention I love anything to do with Antiques? I was in heaven!   One booth stood out, it was bright and filled with handmade “Diva Dolls”. Each doll was “Sassy” with colorful fabric, funky hair, cute poses, wonderful facial expressions and even painted finger and toe nails.  I thought to myself, “This person is thinking outside of the box, it is a Antique Show and what a creative idea to differentiate yourself  from the expected”.  I would like to introduce to you Phyllis Chism, Doll Artist and Owner  of  “Diva Dolls by Phyllis”. 

Pin Doll
Phyllis resides in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. She is a wife, mother and grandmother and enjoys gardening, reading and of course making Diva dolls.  She is actively involved in her community doing volunteer work for her Church and Project Home, which is a shelter for homeless families.  In addition, she belongs to several non-profit organizations which support service projects in the community for those less fortunate.  Since Phyllis works a full time job, she spends her evenings and weekends creating her unique and stylish dolls.
Phyllis first discovered her artistic talent four years ago when she attended a program with “The Doll Dreamers of St. Paul. “I came armed with a classroom book, chose a pattern and went home and made my first doll”.  She enjoyed it so much that she created another one, than her dolls began to multiply.
Phyllis learned to sew at the age of 13, “I had the biggest hurdle mastered”.  She is “self taught” in her doll creations, mixed media and cloth.  “I have taken a couple of online doll classes in doll pattern designing and I read every doll book I could get my hands on”.



She draws her inspiration from her books and doll making buddies.  Phyllis says; “Doll making is addictive. I can get an idea by looking at a piece of fabric, a prop, a commercial on TV, a magazine, everyday things in life will spark and idea for me”.
Phyllis has her website to show her work and currently does four craft shows a year, and will be at the Women’s Art Festival in December.  In addition, she is selling her Diva Dolls at The Textile Center and Elinor’s in St. Paul.  If you were at the State Fair this summer, she had a doll on exhibit at the Art Center as well.  If you have “Cabin Fever” you can meet Phyllis at the doll show at the Mermaid  Center in Mounds View MN. on February 20th.
Patty:  What words of advice can you give to help people getting started?
Phyllis: “Don’t be afraid to try different venues until you find what works with your art/craft, not all will work at first and keep trying. I have a wonderful support group of friends and family that help me stay positive, which is the key. I surround myself with positive people. Most importantly, continue to be creative!
Patty: If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Phyllis:  That’s easy…..I would first donate money to some of my non-profit groups I work with.  Last but not least, I would open a studio where I could create, teach and sell 24/7.
Please visit Phyllis at www.divadollsbyphyllis.com

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