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Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Mixed Bag

What a busy first week of the new year. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come. So many things got done this week. I decided to just jump in and get them off my mind and “just do it”. so…..

  • I got out my sketch book and drafted some ideas for new dolls, big and small
  • The hang tags for my ornaments have been given a face lift so to speak and have created some new ones to go with the new projects planned
  • I took my sewing machine apart and gave it a good cleaning and it was surprisingly pretty clean given all the sewing leading up to the holidays.
  • Have almost finished my first doll of the New Year, pictures soon.
  • Some new web pages have been created and others have been deleted to eliminate dolls that have long since gone on to new homes. Time to scale my website to suit my new ideas and plans and showcase new creations. The pages will be uploaded shortly.
  • My Pinterest account is now de-activated. Were I able to delete it, I would have. I don’t look at it, there just aren’t enough hours in my day for that. There are some pretty special things on there, but why be connected to something you don’t even look at anymore.
  • Have put together all the parts for a new display stand for my ornaments. Because I have plans to sell ornaments at my friends shop during the year, not just Christmas, it was a problem of how to display them without the benefit of a tree. That’s taken care of now.
  • Went out to dinner with friends on Sunday night, so good. Everyone cleaned their plates, our mothers would have been proud.

The last thing I did, and just finished tonight, was to fix my angel tree topper. I didn’t put her up this year, but in the past few years, my promise to her has been to redo her face and hands. She is from a Leta Benedict pattern. Before I had the opportunity to learn Leta’s face technique from the lady herself and while I was still learning on my own, this is how this angel turned out. I’ve never been happy with the face or hands, this year I vowed to fix it. Here are some before and after pictures.

This is the original face. The thought was,  perhaps what she needed was a nose job. A sad state of affairs when an angel has a bulbous nose. It’s just not right. But I claim beginners lack of knowledge when I made her. Her poor hands were even worse. Poor thing. I used paint to do the eyes and who knows what for the mouth.



Poor chunky fingers, all wrinkly and deformed. And all that pipe cleaner. Oh dear, not a pretty picture.

After attempting a stitch job to bring the nose back into a better shape that I could live with, I decided, this is just wrong for so many reasons. The nose is worse than before, the mouth is so puckered, the eyes are too big and bug eyed even after adding a bit of shading across the top. Just not working, and why settle for something that’s “okay”, instead of trying to do the best you can. Do it right. So, I loped off her angelic head, (a Marie Antoinette moment and  something that makes my hubby shudder, to see a head resting on the table without it’s body…) I started over, and made new hands at the same time.


I’ve posted this to show how things can change with practice practice practice. I am certainly not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I am able to be critical of my own work, step back from it and decide what it is that’s wrong and fix it. This version is done with Prisma pencils. I don’t use paint anymore for faces, I stopped that a few years ago. Pencils work best for me. This is the finished updated look and now she will reclaim her place on the top of the tree. Her new hands are below.


For her hands, I lengthened the fingers slightly, I hate chubby fingers, they drive me crazy. I also used Arley Berryhills technique of making a dart in the palm of the hands. It draws the hands in at the sides and gives them a much nicer shape.

And that’s it for my first week of 2014. Next post in a few days will be my first doll of the year. See you soon.



  1. Wow, what a greast job with the new face.Yes, sometimes that old face/hands have to go. It feels horrible to mutilate a doll doesn't it- but the difference has made the effort well worth it.Great job.Hmm..all those ticks against your To Do List..puts me to shame.My work has all been mental and writing things down- deciding things.
    Glad your New Year has begun well.

  2. Well you have certainly been a busy bee! Amazing the changes to your angel, she is beautiful! I quite liked her before pictures as well but now she is very refined and quite regal. Wonderful job on her hands, I've never attempted them before so admire your skill! Can't wait to see your new doll and hope your hubby has gotten over the beheading! Deb

  3. Your first attempt was good but your new version is beautiful and angelic:) Pinterest is such a time waster so no lose I'm sure. If you Google you can find the same stuff anyway.

  4. Wow! You really revamped this angel. She is quite lovely now! I have a few dolls I felt I could redo to make them better. Sometimes it is worth it.
    hugs Karen



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