Not seeing a Scroll to Top Button? Go to our FAQ page for more info. Northbrook Designs: January 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Wonderland Tassels

I have four shows to prepare for this year. One is actually an advertising display for a week. Myself and two other artists have scheduled gallery time later this year, so we, along with others who also have a space will be setting up a mini display for the week of Feb.15th – 21st. We will each be bringing three pieces.

Leading up to our show, I’ve begun organizing what I will be presenting at the gallery. I was encouraged to make a fair bit of “bread and butter” type things rather than focus on making too many dolls. Best advice because lots of people will buy those smaller items, it’s people who specifically want dolls, that will come for those. Hopefully there will be some spontaneous doll buying too. ;o~

So with that, I’ll show you a little of where I’m at. You saw my Wonderland Rabbit in the last post, and keeping in the Wonderland theme, I've started making tassels. I have more to make but here is where I’m at as of today.

I’ll be back in a couple, or three days, to show you my next piece.  Enjoy ;o)


Friday, January 26, 2018

A Wonderland Rabbit

In July, I will be having a show with 2 other ladies at our local gallery. I’m now in the process of making my dolls for that show, and there will be lots of other things coming from my worktable. In February, and for one week, anyone who has reserved space at the gallery for 2018, will have this one week to advertise the theme of their show. I have this rabbit and a couple of other pieces to show, as will the other ladies, so it should be a great display. Here we go….

The base pattern of the rabbit is an Edna Bridges pattern, CLICK HERE. In the pattern, she encourages you to use the basic pattern and go from there to make it in your own way.

I designed this whole costume and I have to say, each time I do this I gain so much more confidence and creative license to play and explore.

Here he is with his trousers and vest. The pants are made from the lower part of a flannel pant leg, the vest is made and lined with 2 batik prints. The ears are fitted with pipe cleaners but I went the extra step by coating the front and back with Mod Podge to make them stiffer as they might want to bend over time.


I bought some pieces of sweater knit fabric for Santa’s and used a little bit for this. Around the inside, I’ve sewn ribbon around the inside edge to prevent the fabric from stretching. The yellow/orange faux leather ended up being his shoes, the blue a headdress I’ll explain next. All the colouring on the rabbit is done with Prisma pencils.


Mr. Wonderland bunny’s hat, just kind of popped into my head without warning. I saw an image in my mind of those desert movies, where the actors running around, and were wearing those hats with the flap in the back. In this case of course, I had to make space for his ears. I simply stitched a band to fit in front of his ears and a flap to go down the back. After that the top is filled in with a silk flower for appeal but also to fill in the open space behind the ears. I’m so fussy about finishing things off, it just makes all the difference in the end product. His neck scarf is silk. More after the next couple of pictures.

I gave him glasses because anyone who goes to wonderland, must have perfect vision to see what they’re walking (hopping) into at all times. ;o)


The only change to the basic pattern, was the tail. Instead of how it is, I made a tail for the outside. A dressed bunny still needs his tail after all.


I love how the sweater turned out. It fits him just right. I had the silver buttons in my (apparently), never ending stash. I really try to whittle it down, but it’s hard when everything you see needs to come home with you, but i do try…. ;o)


When it came to his shoes, that was an experiment in seeing what I could do to dress those long feet. I spent the better part of a day fussing around, pinning it this way and that, until finally the light shone brightly in my head. I stitched a line around the front of the foot to close up the toe area. I have tiny eyelets and decided to insert those, thread a silk ribbon through and that resolved the main part of the foot.

The heel was a bit of a question, what to do.. It ended being a simple fold toward the center of the heel, then attach a button to the back to make it look more intentional and finished.


The final step, was to attach the whiskers. I have to ensure that I say this each time, but the whiskers are from cats. I don’t pull whiskers off kittens, I promise… These whiskers are all black and came from the cat that visits us daily. He’s been coming for years, so his whiskers have been collected over time, each time I find one that’s dropped out. So that’s it.

My Wonderland Rabbit is done and now I’m off to get the next project done. It’s halfway there, so hopefully only a few more days to finish that. I hope you like my rabbit. I may make a one page little sheet of information about the hat, I can’t promise when, but hopefully soon. Enjoy ;o)


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A new tutorial

This is just a very short post to let you know I have posted a new tutorial in “Mixed Media Tutorials”. A few years ago I was shown this technique. I planned to make a new rug to go on the hardwood floor along the “kitty coming in from the rain highway”, and thought this might be something others would like to make.

It uses up a lot of scrap fabrics and you are only limited by how big you make this and how easily you can wiggle it around on your sewing machine. As you sew it, you need to roll it up. It could easily be adapted for anything, like pillows for example.

I am also in the planning stages of a couple more tutorials for my doll making friends, I’ll post those a little later down the road. In the meantime, please check out the new one and see what you think. That is all… ;o)


Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Year 2018 Refresh

I’ve spent the better part of three days doing a refresh of my blog. I had to delete my website last fall because the ISP retired it’s free web space service. I had some really nice graphics from my website and I didn’t want them to go to waste, so I’m going over time, use them in some way on my blog.

The redesign is a bit of a hint to what a friend and I are going to do for a week in July. We have reserved a week at the local gallery and are planning what we hope will be a very successful show. Positive attitude always helps. ;o) If you click on the “EVENTS” tab just below my blog header, you’ll find things that I’m working toward as they get closer. I have four events this year, so far two are posted.

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There are three pages of free tutorials on my blog. They aren’t new, but the pages were needing to be fixed. I’m here to say, I really can’t stand the Blogger platform. I use Open Live Writer for writing my blog posts and it’s perfect. I’ve used it for years and in the past year or so, it became open source software. It always was free, but Microsoft was going to do away with it, but because so many people use it, a group of techs on their own time, took it over and revived it. Check it out if you can’t stand blogger’s platform either, CLICK HERE if you want to try it. It works on WordPress and others, all the info is on the site. Check it out.

The other complaint about blogger, is the feature of putting pages on your blog to do things like offer things for sale, or freebies or what have you. The complaint is that I am forced to use the blogger platform to set up pages and each and every time I try to do that, the pictures shift, or the text shifts, or they both move at the same time. Just when you think you have it all lined up and looking okay, you upload the changes, take a look and find that things have moved again. Or, there are spaces that shouldn’t be there, the text isn’t the size you made it…on and on. I gave up after fearing I would throw my keyboard at the screen.

Instead, I got proactive and instead made combined text and image boxes and uploaded those. So if you’ve ever tried to download some freebie and it didn’t work, it will now. I’ve checked every link and at this point in time, all is working well. Nobody tells me when the links are broken, so if you find that to be the case, just let me know so I can fix it. The three pages for tutorials are, Mixed Media Tutorials, Cross Stitch, and Little Doll Things.

There are also some things to buy on the pages, dolls, a class, and a couple of small tutorials. Maybe there’s something for you. Here are just a few nice quotes to give you a little feel good moment. I never give up trying new things and if you’re doubting yourself, don’t. The only person who matters and enjoys what you do more than anyone else, is you yourself. So press on and be happy in whatever you love doing.  I was once told by someone that I have this desire to be famous, but if they really knew me, they would know that’s a complete 180 from my actual desires. Silly people…lol






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