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Monday, March 6, 2017

FiFi

I took a little break from making dolls and thought about teddy bears. I’ve only ever made a couple so wasn’t too sure how this would go. I have supplies (what good doll/teddy maker doesn’t), but just haven’t touched them for a while.

So this is Fifi, a Monica Spicer design. You can find Monica’s patterns HERE. She told me she’s getting ready to move, but over the next few months, she plans to upload a lot more of her designs, so check back. I might give myself a treat sometime to buy one of her Elegant Ladies Patterns….. Love the details.

She’s 8” tall when sitting.

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Although it doesn’t show in the pictures, the print of her skirt, has fairies on it. The daisies are a Venice lace. I tried a bunch of different tie options for around her head, then finally decided to cut a strip of the skirt fabric. Then it finally came together what I should use for her head piece.

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Her trousers, which also become the bodice at the front, are made with a royal purple velvet.

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On the front, I added these turquoise ribbon roses and a little fuchsia coloured bead in the center to help tie colours together from the skirt.

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Finally, her shoes. I love these little sneakers (aka..key ring shoes). Please don’t tell her she’s wearing two right feet. She won’t even know unless she attempts to stand up and walk. On the plus side, maybe she’ll be so excited about her purple sneakers, she’ll just continue to look at them… ;o))

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Flint and Roger

I finished Flint the other day, the third doll for the exhibit. I made some slight changes, of course….. For those who may not know, this is the latest pattern from Jill Maas.

Instead of one Roger, there’s 2. Instead of free standing, they are on a base with a grass surface (which is actually moss) and a basket full of carrots given there are 2 bunnies now.

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The moss I’ve used is from a garden center. I didn’t have my smart hat on at the time, but now I do. It’s fine that I bought it, it wasn’t expensive, but now I have lots more for free thanks to Mother Nature.

In this part of the world we tend to mostly have mild winters, rain and not much snow (this year being the exception in quite a few years). With all the rain comes lichens on trees and pretty much wherever spores land. Also moss is a big thing, both on the roof tops and in our case, it’s growing on the wood of the raised garden beds and even in the lawn. It’s not huge overgrowth, but enough to keep a doll maker happy.

In the back corner of the yard, we put a tree stump eons ago. It’s kind of a fun thing, the cats like to sit on it, sometimes I put a potted plant on it. One day last week I was doing a bit of cleaning up around the yard and stopped to look at the moss. It came off in lovely big pieces. I left most of it for the micro organisms that feed under it. I also picked some off the garden beds and some in the lawn. It will dry up as soon as it warms up anyway, so might as well grab some before that happens. The stump will continue to grow the moss, it’s in the shade.  Here is one batch I collected, and another is drying, the pieces that came from the lawn.

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What I did to attach it to the base with Flint and the bunnies, was to use a glue similar to FabriTac that I get from the dollar store, I would bet it’s exactly the same thing, but much cheaper. After it was set, I then gave it two good sprays with a sealer. Lots of glue and press the moss well into it to grab hold of as much of the moss as you can. It feels really good, and I suppose there may be the odd little bits that will move, but those are just the surface tiny bits.

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If you want to use moss, please don’t take it from a forest. That’s what keeps a forest healthy, it’s all the natural mosses, lichens, mushrooms and more than carpet the ground and trees and keep a forest vibrant. Check your garden centers for moss, they usually bring that kind of thing in. Enjoy….;o)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New Sweaters

Determined to finish projects and throw in a few extras, I’ve kept to that. I had a sweater sitting here, 2 thirds finished, and like all good knitters, I got distracted…..again….and left it sitting while I pondered other things. So this is the finished sweater #1. It’s a cardigan actually and so cozy. I wore it today and it was perfect for the day of chilly temps.

The pattern is from Ravelry, Mari Sweaters. She has a ton of wonderful patterns, almost all are that wonderful oversize appeal (well they appeal to me). I can wear a t-shirt underneath and still be warm. I have other patterns by her, so more to come on that front. The yarn colour is Oatmeal. Close up there are flecks of other colours you can’t really see here.

Here is the link to “The Oregon Sweater”.

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The second sweater is called “The Harley Sweater”. This pattern is from KnitPicks. I seldom ever make things the same colours as the pattern, this was just a fluke that I had a grey to work with. The sweater above is a heavier yarn, a worsted weight. The Harley Sweater below is a double knit weight.

I’ve pinned the sleeve to show the cables down the center. I also pinned the bottom edge to show the opening at the hip. This sweater is knit from the top down. You first knit the collar, then pick up the stitches and start working down to the bottom. Not my favourite way to knit, but I really like the design.

If you’re not familiar with KnitPicks, you will enjoy it if you’re a knitter. They give you the recommended yarn and the colours of each yarn they carry that will work. There is a list on the side, below the pattern and you can click each yarn to see the colours and amount needed.

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The last sweater for today, is called “The Ballard Pullover”. This pattern is also available on KnitPicks. This one and the Oregon Sweater are knit the usual way from the bottom up. This one is nice with the seed stitch center and the cables up either side of the arm.

It uses a Worsted Weight yarn and it’s so soft. A little tricky with working on the sleeves, but eventually the penny dropped and I got what they wanted me to do… So now 3 sweaters have gone into the Thrift Store box, and I have 3 new ones to enjoy. I am currently working on a black sweater. Will post when done. ;o)

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Phidias

I have been so distracted and a slacker lately, it took me what feels like a month of Sundays to finish Phidias. He is a design from Allison Marano. So sorry she joined the ranks of those amazing designers who don’t design anymore.

I’ll give you some details below.

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The staff that Phidias is holding is a chopstick painted a metallic brow, with a Tim Holtz Clock Key for the top. His suspenders are made with faux suede. His cap is real leather. His pants are made using the bottoms of flannel pajamas.

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When a friend was over one day a couple of weeks ago, she wanted to checkout the thrift store, so off we went. That’s where I happened on that stump of wood Phidias is sitting on. After playing around with how to position it so he wouldn’t skid off and cutting away a bit to help it sit flatter, this angle worked the best.

Like with the last doll, I used mosses and added some lichens. I found those at a garden center. They came in a bag with others, distributed by Ashland.

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He’s wrapped in cheesecloth I lightly dyed with tea. The stockings are pieces of an old knit sweater. There are no shoes in the original design, but I made these little flip flops for him to go with his hiking theme.

Do you see what else he has… oh my. But it’s okay, he’s close to home and a bit of refreshment after a long hike is good. To stay hydrated and all that. ;o)) These are actually candles I found at a bakery. Same said friend were out her way a while ago and she wanted to pop into the bakery, probably trying to trick me into buying cupcakes, I’m sure of it.

While she was plotting, I drifted away and discovered a package of these candles. The wicks are cut off just in case someone wants to see if they actually work as candles.

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So that’s it. Phidias says thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and will be back soon with the last installment of the dolls for the exhibit in March…

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Irene Mary

My first doll for the show in March is done. I might reverse her name to Mary Irene, but I’m really happy with her. I think she’s become my favourite pattern by Jill Maas.

I had some pieces of a Cypress Knee that someone sent me years ago. The piece I used is like a perfect little stump for this base. Do you know what Cypress Knees are?? I didn’t either, but this is the description on Google.

“A cypress knee is a distinctive structure forming above the roots of a cypress tree of any of various species of the subfamily Taxodioideae. Their function is unknown, but they are generally seen on trees growing in swamps.”

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The staff she’s holding is actually a plant poke. The marble in the center of the sun is a solar marble. If it picks up the light during the day, it will glow for a while at night… Fun huh!  The moss is from a garden center. Love adding things that make a scene for my dolls, it goes back to me treating them like my extended family of mini people. ;o)

Her skirt is 3 layers. Lace, tulle and a gathered polka dot fabric cut into ribbon size. Her jacket is a polka dot black minky, the leggings and body fabric are a thin stretch fabric. The shoes and hat are felt with a bit of beading. The base is covered top and bottom with 2 colours of felt and trimmed with a cotton braid. I really love how she came together. She’ll be off to the Small Expressions show I am part of in March. See my other blog, Events page for details.

Here you go…..

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