Sunday, December 27, 2009

Looking back, looking forward

I had a great time before Christmas making ornaments to give away. I found some vintage handmade ornaments in a thrift store and bought them hoping to be able to reproduce them. I was. They came out really cute.
the little people were made with piped cleaners which I then wrapped with a chenile-like yarn for the pants and white glittery yarn for the sweater. All parts of the pipe cleaner are covered even the feet and hands. I later made some with black feet which looked more like shoes than the red pictured here. I later used fleece for the clothes on the little people and it was adoramous! i will have to make more and take pictures as the ones i have made are all gone.
The Raggedy Ann was made with an old fashioned clothes pin as was the soldier.
I also saw a little santa ornament made from a round ball covered with fabric for the body and a little muslin head with a fabric hat and mohair beard. I made some of those and they came out really nicely. But alas, they too are all gone.
I am ready to begin work on more dolls. I have lots of things that need to be finished. I have dolls that i need to repair for other people and that are my own which I have wanted to repair and then sell. So I am looking forward to this new year with lots of new things to do.
The last year began with me frantically working on a doll commision and I am happy that this year is my own to start out the way I would like.
I hope to post pictures of more of th ornaments and the doll workings soon.
Stay tuned.
Happy New Year!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas is coming

I have just finished making Christmas ornaments for a friends Doll Shop Christmas tree.

I wasn't sure what to make for him. I wanted it to be as original as possible and sort of doll related. So I ended up desiging dancing ladies. They are made of muslin and handpainted. I am pleased with the way they turned out. They were easy to design and make and I am already thinking of other designs using this same technique.
This one to the left is of course NOT a dancing lady. This is a cat I made using an antique book holder I had as an inspiration. I purchased two book ends at an antique store and they have a cat sitting and reading a book. But the cat is basically dressed and looks like this. I think it has a vintage look to it. I want to make more and maybe do a pug dog and a rabbit similar.

Here are the ladies. They are not vintage looking at all but more modern.

They each have a jingle bell in one hand. The ones shown here were not all finished so some of the jingle bells had not be added. I like the lady with the glasses. I used acrylic paint on them and then dimensional paint for the embelishing. The metalic gold adds a nice Christmasy touch.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lots of Stuff

That's what happens when I do not post for a long time. Lots of things happen.

I put 8 items in the State Fair competition and won 7 ribbons. A blue for my Santa gourd, snow man gourd and partridge gourd, all of which are in the archives in the blog. Two red ribbons, one for a rubber stamped card which i already sent away to someone and i can't even remember who. And one for a little Christmas elf ornament i made. Then a white ribbon for my black cloth doll Lacey which is also in the archives.

Since then I have crocheted a sweet little dolly made from a pattern by Beth Webber whose blog is 'By hook and by hand'. I will have to post a link to her site. She has made the cutest little puppy dogs and has those patterns free as well.

She has been given away today to my sweet neighbor who is in her late 80's and is still crocheting blankets and prayer scarves.

And now I am finishing up some Christmas ornaments for a friend's doll shop. I am hoping to get them to him in the next couple of days as it is getting close to Christmas and I am falling way behind schedule.

I designed three dancing ladies which I made in cloth and then painted. They will all have a bell in their hand. I then got on a roll and made an antique looking cat and sewed a snowman but can't find it to paint it. I have too much junk laying around and things get lost a lot.

I still have to put hangers on them and find that snow man and paint it. I am making four each of the ladies and maybe a few more of the cat and snowman. All the ladies will have a jingle bell in their hand.
I am working a little at a time on two dolls that I should have done two months ago. But it seems everything takes way too long lately.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This is taking forever

I really did not think it would take this long to make this costume. Things keep getting in the way. And then, I got sick. But... I'm closer. I am hoping to finish it tomorrow and put it on ebay.

I decided to let the person who wins the ebay listing decide which kind of tail they want. A feather boa (which is pictured) or a velvet one like the rest of the costume. I made a gourd treat container. It is so cool. it looks like the moon. And i made a moon medalion to hand on a necklace. the medalion is made from a gourd as well.
I made two face masks from paper mache but both broke. So I am going to try just doing a cloth one. I had planned on mitten paws attached but like the hands showing better so I am going to make paw mittens that can be removed.
I love this background that i got off the internet. I think the beads are too big on the necklace. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I have always wanted an Annette Himstedt doll. Now I have two. And the first thing I wanted to do was to make a cute Halloween Costume for them. This one is almost finished. She still needs a tail, a necklace, a gourd trick or trick 'bag', and a toy cat. Then she will be modeling for her costume to go on ebay.
I want to repaint this doll just a little. She is a sitter and so has bent knees for sitting. She has pretty blonde hair in looped braids. The other doll has long red hair and is a stander doll with straight legs. I'll photograph her in the costume as well.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't be Afraid

Don't be afraid if you think I'm going over to the other side from cloth dolls to vinyl. I might be in a repaint frenzy but I still love my cloth dolls.I decided to try out repainting my Gene doll last night. It was harder than the Tonner girl because I had to do those tiny eyes. And i think I was trying way too hard to get them realistic.

But here is the transformation.

Not too bad. She looks better in the picture because in real life I think her face now looks a little 'dirty'. But maybe I am just being too picky. One eye is a little bigger than the other but the sculpted mold is like that. i might have to adjust it some though.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I am finally almost done with a little doll that was ordered back in March at the Land O Sky event. Poor little thing has taken so long. Life just kept getting in the way. But little by little she finally came to be. She only has to wait for her little topsy turvy dolly to be made before she can be relocated to her new home.

I used a vintage fabric and trim for her dress. And I embroidered her apron and hat. She has tiny painted toe nailes and fingernails. And her hair is mohair that I sewed to her head in tiny little curls.

Sometimes the things that got in the way of completing this doll was the tug at my creative strings. It is hard to do something for someone else when I am just dying to make something or do something I have not done before.... or to try something new on something old.

I have been wanting to do repaints for a while and I finally got the opportunity to do one.I had purchased a Tonner Magic Attic doll that had received a really bad haircut on her bangs, her face was a little faded and she had blue marks on her body.

I decided to use her as my first repaint. It was SO FUN! And it was easy. I repainted her lips, eyelashes, eyebrows. And gave her shading under her eyes, around her nose, in her ears and even inside the eye rims. Then I decided she would look better with real eyelashes. So I took hair from her wig and glued it to her eyelids. I gave her freckles and blushed her good. And then of course I rewefted some hair to cover the cut places. And finally she got a new hair style.

I have more ideas for her body and I still need to paint her finger and toe nails. Then I new outfit.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I am in an online group called the Coffee with Tea doll artists. We are doing a Red Riding Hood Doll Parade. Here is my Little Red. Some of the artists have their dolls on ebay or etsy or other on line auctions and stores.
I will keep my doll for a while. But it was fun to do a new challenge with a group of such wonderful doll artists.

Click on the Red Riding Hood banner above to go to the Coffee with Tea Group Blog.
About my doll.
She is all cloth and around 20" tall. Her head turns lots of ways. Her face is done with colored pencils, gel pens and pastel powder.
Her hair is made from yarn that was wrapped around a dowel and stitched to make the curls. The curls were then stitched to a crocheted wig cap.
I used vintage fabrics for her apron and pantaloons.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


My new doll is almost done. I have taken a long time to get this one finished. Her name is Willa.

I love everything about her and am looking forward to making another one with an easier body.

She needs shoes and underware. I also need to decide how I like her hair best and if I want a hat for her. I think I am most satisfied with the picture above. Although I had made her an apron and a hat as well.

There will certainly be things that I will do differently with the next one. But I am so happy to have this one at this stage.
I still have a few orders that I need to work on. It is so hard at this point to get around to starting them. I think I have burned out on making dolls for others and just needed some time to work on some of my own projects.
I will be teaching Hammered Dulcimer at the Swannanoa Gathering the week of Aug 2- 8 at the Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. I am looking forward to that. If there are any out there that live in the area please stop by and take in the concert on Monday night. I will be playing in that as well and my sister will accompany me.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Time for me.

I finally have time to work on one of my own projects. I had a wonderful time directing Vacation Bible School at my church. We had some neat kids, great skits, and learning times. And a number of kids made decisions to follow Jesus.
And now I have some time to doodle around on my own dolls. So I am trying to finish one that I had started almost a year ago.
This is how she looked with her body on and gessoed.
Then I started painting her face and body a flesh color. I always like painting the eyes first. This our first look at each other. We are both pretty happy.

This is her pretty face almost done. I love using chalks and pencils for final touches.
Now her eyebrows are done and its almost time for a wig. I wanted to make one but I'm not so great at that. And this is a pretty big head so I'm wondering how hard it would take to make one.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Today a sweet friend surprised me with a gift she purchased off of ebay. I had shown it to her and said how adorable he was. And today she gave him to me. Isnt he just about the coolest thing? I thought he might be Topo Gigio. But after looking at pictures of the Topo puppet I don't think he is. This mouse has a long tail with a wire in it that goes to the surface and helps him stand up. he also has a head that moves really easily. I'm wondering if there is some mechanism that causes him to do something special.

Yesterday I finally got around to working on the last of the orders from the Asheville event. They are two littl litho type dolls. I draw them out using a template onto cloth and then paint them. Then I stitch the back and front together leaving an opening and stuff. AFter closing the hole I have to make clothes for them. This is the stage that I am at now.You can see that there are more than two here. I decided to make a couple more. maybe this time i will keep one.

These two are my favorites. I will post more pictures when they are done. I also started working on the body for my sculpted face mask doll that I have been waiting so long to make. Judi Ward drew me a pattern for the body while she was here making it much easier for me.
I was able to cut and sew all the pieces late last night but I believe the neck is too large so I am going to unstuff and make a few alterations and then put it back together. I can hardly wait to be able to paint the beautiful face.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Still in Doll Show mode

Although it has been 5 days since the doll event I am still in doll show mode. I can't stop making the dolls and the clothes. I even had to try and paint one of the wardrobes. The picture does not do it justice. I think it came out nicely. I rubber stamped a design over the crackeled and antiqued paint. It was fun to paint the wardrobe. I might have to try another one in another color.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I finally finished this little girl. Her name is Lacey. She won a third place ribbon at the Land O Sky doll event in Asheville NC. I like her a lot. This was not the dress I had in mind for her but as time ran out I put a dress on her that I already had and then made the apron up really fast. She sits really prettily.

I had made the dolls for the event and they all were sold. I was able to make and sell a companion doll and outfits as well. My husband made the cutest wardrobes for the dolls.

OH, and I made a baby for the dollies as well. I did not have time to dress her but I took lots of orders for her. I think the event was a big success. I enjoyed the meal, the fellowship, and the programs. One program was by Linda Edwards who researches and writes about cloth dolls. She has a very nice book that I was able to purchase and have her sign.

I also was able to take myself and two friends to see the Biltmore House as i was given free tickets by a friend of mine. What would I do without my friends?!

And speaking of friends, my two friends Beth and Selena went with me and helped me to sell my things and take orders. I could not have done it without them.

Beth is on the left and Selena is on the right. That is me in the middle.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I finally got around to working on a doll of my own instead of someone elses. I think she turned out pretty. Still not what I was aiming for but pretty. Now she needs a dress and penafore. She already picked out the fabric. I will have to make her sandals because her feet are sweet.

I also finished a little apron for the dolls that are going to the Land O' Sky event in two weeks. I hope to make a bunch of these to take with me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I finally finished all the dolls that are going to the big doll event at the end of March. I have a lot of dresses to make. But that is fun. At least I say that at the beginning of the work. After about 50 dresses I'll be wishing for something new to do.
I have been sneaking a little work here and there on some dolls that I have been wanting to make. One is done and has a new home already. One just is not coming together right. Her face is a sculpt and it is too pretty to just "settle" for the bodies that i have been putting together. I have cast out two bodies and one pair of legs. And now that I have put one new leg on the body I settled for it isnt working properly. This girl is just going to have to have better than that. I'll try and post pictures of both dolls.
In the meantime I am selling some of my treasures on ebay. One of the neccessities created by the economy. Plus I am learning how not to 'store up treasures on the earth'. But instead to store them up in heaven. Not such an easy lesson sometimes.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday - My day?

It seems that every day, morning, noon, and night, I have had to be working on something for someone else. But yesterday I decided that i would take a few days out and make something I have been wanting to make for a long time. Months ago (in fact, I think it started over a year ago) I had sculpted a face mask for a little girl doll. She has a cloth-over and has just been waiting for a body and a head to attach the face to.
Yesterday I finally made the pattern, sewed the arms, legs and torso. Today I have stuffed and sculpted the arms and legs. I will put the first layer of finger/toe nails on and go stuff the torso.
When the torso is done I will take a picture so you can at least see some of the process. I can hardly wait to get to my favorite part - painting the face.
Come back and see.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I got another box of 20 dolls finished and mailed off. Just another 18 more to go and I can start working on their dresses. There are two of the dolls I am so tempted to keep. One favors a picture of my mother when she was young and the other is just very unique. The one pictured here is the unique one. She has a turned and tilted head. She is looking down more than the others. It is hard not to keep the ones that are truly different.

I have an earnest desire to make a new doll. The day is almost over but it could still happen.

My husband has built a beautiful 5 ft tall lighthouse for the front yard. He put a solar light at the top and a chain around the top.

It is hard to see in the picture but the little chain goes around through the posts that stick up around the light. We may try and see if they sell.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Can it be?

January is almost half over. It seems that Christmas was just around that last corner.
It just doesn't take long for the days to pass. I have nothing new to report. However, I'm working steadily on the dolls for the Land Of Sky event in March. A friend gave me two passes to see the Biltmore house in Asheville while I am there. How wonderful! I am looking forward to it. But I don't want the weeks to pass too quickly.
I think that sometimes I wish my life away and am so busy thinking of what comes next, or of somewhere that I am not that I cannot completely be aware of how wonderful the moment is, or how grateful I can be about where I am.
In fact, yesterday as I was feeling sorry for myself and being angry at God for what I did not have and how hard this was making my life, He reminded me that even if I had the things that I thought were going to make my life easier; life would not be easy. Life is always going to be hard in one way or another. Whether it is broken relationships, personal or national conflicts , financial issues or health issues, there will always be something that makes life harder than what I would like for it to be. But the test of every trial is whether or not I am willing to rely on God and trust Him with whatever may come my way. In fact, I now realize that this experience of not getting what I want is actually something that I need. If I can learn to trust my God in this situation then it will be easier to trust Him in the next. So what I really need in this situation is not to get that thing I think I need, but instead learn how to trust God enough so that in this and in future difficult situations I can respond in a way that displays faith in Him with grace, mercy, lovingkindness and wisdom.

Oh.. it just occured to me. It's not HOW I get out of this trial. It's WHAT I get out of this trial.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This is my first attempt at a pin lady. I made her face from a covered button. I don't wear pins. She will probably be a gift. But it was fun. We had a small challenge in one of the doll making groups I am in on line. Nice little distraction.

Today I am doing that fasting thing in preparation for one of those procedures you are required to have once you hit 50. ARGH!! If everyone else can do it. So can I. I'll be working on dolls today so maybe that will be a good enough distraction.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Well, today is the day I get a lot of work done on those 60 dolls! I hope.
I had to take just a little time off and work on a little bitty project. I really like Flora's bead head dolls at her bonehead studio blogspot ( ). So I had to try to make myself one. Here is how it turned out.

I think it turned out really cute. I did not take the time that I should have so the next one should be a little more to my liking.

I might try some larger beads to make heads from. One of my internet doll groups are making faces on large covered buttons. I have not finished that one yet, but it is a fun way to do faces and not have to make the entire body.

Yesterday I went to my new cloth doll making club. It was the second time we met and there were only two of us. But we had a blast. And I have to post Heera Prabhu's dolls on my blog so everyone can see what a great job she does.

What do you think of her Eleanor Peace Bailey Doll the Celtic Princess? She also brought in one of my favorites that she made, the kids playing leapfrog.

How cool are they!?
We had a great time of sharing about doll joints and talking about what we will do as a club in the future.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sometimes I think that I will never really learn how to paint these dolls. The little buns in the back get to me every time. And no matter how hard I might try to paint them all alike. Never happens. So of course, I quit trying.

Here are the 11 dolls at the fixative stage. After the fixative dries I will seal them. I like a little shiny sealer. And then they will be ready for their legs ( which have not been painted yet) and their clothes.
UGH! I am ready to do something entirely different now. Oh.. have to say, all the dolls came out pretty except for the one I was making for myself. I was working on a different doll to be my first doll of 2009. YUck . I had to sand off her face and start again. I think the problem is that I am not really working on the doll I WANT to work on for my first doll of 2009.
But she would take too long and I have too much to do.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Well, here it is the first day of 2009. I have heard it said that what you do the first day is an indication of what you will be doing the rest of the year. Well, I guess mine will come true since I cleaned house, cooked supper and made dolls.

BUT... I also had my husband stuffing dolls the better part of the day. And I got a LOT of dolls started. So hopefully that is an indication of how well things will go the rest of the year. I know it is hard to tell but the picture below is my husband stuffing a doll leg! Whoo HOo!! And he does a good job too!

I even got started on a new doll for myself and finishing up on some that were on hold.

This is my new doll. She was originall a reject but I thought I would try some new techinques with her and now she might be a keeper. Look at the opposing thumbs. I just have to decide whether or not to gesso and paint her or leave the cloth unprimed and paint the features.
Happy New Year everyone!