Not seeing a Scroll to Top Button? Go to our FAQ page for more info. Northbrook Designs: October 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

More Pillows

Now that my projects for the gallery show/sale are done, I’ve been working on the things I want for the new sunroom. I am piling up things, and hopefully very soon this will be over and we can put our feet up and take a breath after the busy year it’s been.

These are pillows I finished the other day. Just very simple, no fuss. In the center of the green pillow I used a heavy gold metallic button with an anchor on it, and a thick piping around the sides. In the center of the blue pillow, I used a heavy silver button, I always like silver and blue together. Around the sides, I used a lampshade fringe. Although it doesn’t show, the blue print is birds on branches, and there are small leaves.


The next two pillows are made with a print fabric, with writing, botanicals and a pretty white owl. They are also button tufted and both have lampshade fringe on the sides. One is a medium green tighter fringe, while the soft grey is more traditional lampshade fringe.


For one of these print pillows, I used black onyx (I think) and mother of pearl (in the center) button. In the very center of the button is a pretty little star shape. What I thought was quite a nice surprize, when I turned the pillow over after stitching the buttons on front and back, I noticed the one on the back landed right where his feet are. Totally unplanned, but fun.


The other pillow with the print fabric, has a wonderful shabby chic feel to it. I found two nice big buttons in my stash that have rhinestones in them, and in a flower pattern of sorts. This time, after drawing the thread through to the back and fastening the buttons on either side, I discovered that the button had landed exactly on his right eye. Unplanned  again, but a great happy accident.


The final pillow is a bolster. I found this fabric in a clearance section and took what was left. Not sure why I went with a Paris theme, but I suppose like a lot of things, the reason will show itself sometime. The colour are black, grey, soft blue, with lots of images and writing all over.  I’ve also made a table cloth to match this, but until I get the table painted, I’ll hold off showing it.


On the ends of the bolster, I used big dark grey buttons, just plain ones. I then took a piece of the trim I’ve sewn on the tablecloth and wrapped it around the button, and secured the tassels in place. Being a pillow like this, it will be getting moved around a lot I think, so this will prevent pulling and tugging which would for sure pull the tassels out of shape or right off. So more another day when I finish painting the table. I have to make it first. ;o) Back soon.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Making a List Santa - 2017

Four years ago I made this Santa over a weekend. If you could have seen my workroom, it was like a fan was blowing everything around. I have no idea why it got so bad, but the end result was this cute little Santa.  CLICK HERE The original design is by Sparkles N Spirit. CLICK HERE

This is my 2017 version. Love them both and hoping this one sells as quickly as the first one. His designer named him Making a List Santa, but I call him my Bubble Butt Santa. ;o)

The details are pretty straight forward, but a couple of things to point out. The suspenders are made from a wide ribbon that I cut in half, and if you look across the body, you can match up the wording.

His shoes are trimmed with chain, filigree buttons on top (just cut the shanks off the back), and some silver buttons on the lower legs. More silver buttons on the suspenders and wrists. The socks and leggings are a combination of stretch velvet and dollar store socks.

He’s primarily created with black red and white, with a little green for contrast on his shoes and glasses.



Saturday, October 7, 2017

Collectible Christmas Stockings

These are just the best stockings to make. They are Cheswick Company designs, the finished look is just so perfect. I fully line mine, and I love that touch of lining that I have at the top edge of each of them. It’s like a surprize element to the work. So here they are, three of them you’ve seen before if you’ve looked at my Stockings tab above. I labelled each one, so you can find the design you might want to make yourself. Click HERE for Cathy’s Etsy shop.



Fireside Glow


Holly Jolly


Let It Snow


Light of the World


Nordic Sock


Olde Glory


Silent Night


Fhil the Christmas Elf !

How are your Christmas projects coming along? I’ve been working on the last of the Christmas pieces to go to the gallery. I just have a fun Santa to make and then my time is my own.

I volunteer at the gallery every Friday morning, and that’s really fun because I get to see all the wonderful work the other artisans do and get some inspiration for my own. After the Santa is done, I plan to start working on a collection of doll designs by Becky Holloway, based on The Nutcracker. I’ve loved that story since childhood, and since learning how to make dolls, I’ve wanted a collection of the main characters to display for Christmas.

Without any further delay, I present to you, Fhil the Christmas Elf. This is from a class with Diane Zammito. I don’t know if she’s teaching or designing anymore because this class was from quite a long time ago, but she does still have a website for some of her designs/kits and extras. Click HERE.

Fhil is such a cute elf and the technique of using an Altoid tin box for the trunk of his body is brilliant. Here you go. I purchased the faces from Diane but had to paint the facial details on.

A little about his costume. Instead of sewing the sleeves like the original doll, I used the top half of a pair of kids socks. They are Christmas themed and seemed just right. There is a glittery polka dot ribbon used throughout to co-ordinate with the sleeves. The hat and trousers are a stretch velvet. The leggings are cut from a stretchy head band from the $ store.

Although you can’t see much in the pictures, his hair is orange/yellow. His shoes are made with soft leather. Because his tin is so full of toys and such, I kept the embellishments on his costume down to a dull roar or that would be all you would see of him. In the instructions, Diane has painted the hands a flesh tone, but I kept them white to give the appearance of gloves.



So many options for filling his toy box. There’s everything from Christmas bulbs to snowmen, skateboards and even a miniature gingerbread cookie cutter. Even a block with the letter F to help remember his name. ;o) There is a little elf sitting on a peanut in his lap to finish off.


For the tips of his shoes, I used what I think are called end caps for jewelry making. Not sure about the name but they look kind of cool, like he does have a bit of hip and swagger and finally the wood stump has become one of my go to bases for some of my dolls. It comes from our wood pile and gives a fun and natural look to those dolls that need a little prim touch. Enjoy…..



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