For several years, I’ve wanted to do something that was inspired by boho gypsy stylings. I even started a Pinterest board to collect ideas and inspiration. It seemed I never had the time for it or I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I had this lantern I bought from Hobby Lobby that was intended to be a fairy garden but I couldn’t fall in love with the idea.
And then inspiration struck! I had the perfect Santos doll, fabulous sari fabrics from Gwen Lafleur, and with all of the fabulous new moulds by Finnabair offered at Retro Cafe Art Gallery, I had the beginnings of an idea.
Meet Vadoma, the “knowing one.”
According to the site, Mom Junction, the name Vadoma is explained below:
“Vadoma is probably the Romany feminine form of the Russian name Vadim. The etymologists believe that this name has its roots in the Slavic element vadic, which means ‘to know’. This is because the pagan magicians were called veduny, which means ‘the knowing ones.’”
Because I was completely wingin’ it with this project, I don’t have many step by step photos. I can take you along my process with some cool detail shots though.
I’m always inspired by bright fabrics and sari silk. I ordered some cool sari fabric patches from Gwen Lafleur Studios and they were perfect for my soon to be gypsy doll. The base of the doll is a medium Santos Cage Doll from Retro Cafe Art Gallery.
To add more of a bohemian feel to her, I used some gold leaf on her head piece and beads as hair ties. Her arms were “tattooed” using archival ink and a swirly stamp. Vadoma’s boho and Indian inspired attire was attached using glue and cleverly placed embellishments. Of course, no piece is complete without some bead work! I trimmed her sash, belt, and seam with gold seed beads.
Blending the edges of my sari fabric pieces was easy with some Iced Enamels. The enamels also added a nice punch of color. The spokes of the cage needed a very simple makeover and were wrapped with sari silk.
Sari cording and bead chain added perfect finishing touches. Inside the cage hangs an antique Kochi Pendant complete with bells that make a sweet tinkling sound when she is moved.
Remember that green, rustic lantern up there? Want to see how it was transformed from a mass-produced piece to a one of kind home for Vadoma? I was inspired by gypsy caravan wagons and Turkish lanterns. I wanted to try capture the colors, aesthetics, and feel such pieces seem to exude.
The lantern was painted black and then waxed with Inka Gold. See those marvelous mouldings? They were made using the simplest of supplies you probably already own. A hot glue gun and glue sticks! Once they cooled, I popped them from the moulds, painted them and rubbed them down with the same wax.
One of the most perplexing parts of this project was how to add a curtain rod to the face of a lantern. The answers to such questions are usually the most simple. With a couple of screw hooks and dowel, I managed to fashion the perfect curtain rod to hang her boho bead strands from. The rod is held in place with large beads glued to the ends of the dowel.
The roof was probably the thing that gave me the most pause. It’s metal and has this beautiful embossed pattern on all four sides. i wanted to highlight that pattern without losing the depth and making it look flat. After bouncing some ideas back and forth with one of my closest friends, Monica, I had a solution. I busted out my ages old ZIG Embossing Pen and my brand spanking new Boho Blends embossing powder by Gwen Lafleur.
Just look at that beautiful detail work! I traced the pattern and heat embossed it with Turkish Bronze embossing powder. The tone on tone with subtle highlights was the perfect complement I was looking for.
Vadoma has a hidden secret too. The lantern lights up! Please excuse the poor quality of the photos below. I took them as work-in-progress shots to test the lighting. Unfortunately, I do not have photos of the lantern lit up at night.
The LEDs are attached using hot glue and cast a cool blue light. Initially, I wanted a warm gold light, but now that I see it with Vadoma inside, it has a very ethereal glow.
A true labor of pure love, Vadoma and her caravan could not have turned out any better! I have found a new passion with lanterns and creating little worlds within them. I hope to have a story to go along with Vadoma, but only time will tell.
Inka Gold Wax (Finnabair Antique Paste is a good substitute)
Rosary Bead Chain