January 31, 2009

new sewing machine

My husband surprised me yesterday.He brought me a new to me sewing machine. It is a Phaff 18.
I have used my Phaff 139 machines for years and have always loved them.
This one was supposed to go to the junk but he rescued it. It has a nice wooden cabinet. I think it was used very little.
The wood needs to be dusted and pledged.I oiled the machine,bought a new.60 belt and I am ready to work on the doll quilt.
I have all the pieces cut out to start on the little quilt.
The machine is a straight/zig zag machine. Nothing fancy but i have never had a really fancy machine.
The 2nd picture is the pieces for the quilt.

January 29, 2009

45 years

Years ago when I read about the high school reunions in our local newspaper I used to think the people having 45th school reunions were so old. How did I get to be one of those people? Most days i don't feel old.Most days i can do all the things i have always done.
All this comes to mind because we had our first meeting tonight to plan our 45th high school reunion. I live 6 miles from where I was born. Many of my friends i have had since kindergarten.
The meeting was fun and it is good to see the classmates that live close. Remembering who is no longer with us and there are more than a few. Makes you reflect on how little time we really have in this life.

wool shoes

the doll i have been working on has new shoes.they are made from wool and i embroidered them with vines.the bonnet is also done.
the pillow i shared worked really well. it is just right for resting your fore arms.it takes the strain off the shoulders and neck.
there was talk on one of the yahoo lists about punctuation and spelling on e-mails and blogs. perhaps that is why no one reads my blog. i try always to have correct punctuation. i had never typed before getting a pc. so it is really hard for me to capitalize my words. sorry.----- i do well just to get the things into a blog. you know what they say about teaching old dogs new tricks.
it was a lot of former teachers that were having a problem with reading incorrectly written messages.
makes a person fearful of posting. oh well if you read this far then thanks for taking the time.

January 28, 2009

a pillow for hand work

good morning,
yesterday i made a pillow. a friend of mine had one she had made. it is from Legacy a design by Audrey Wright and Stephanie Wright. http://www.makingalegacy.com/
i did not do a really neat job on this first one.it was an experiment to see if it really worked.the pockets in the front are going to be handy for the little scissors and the pillow itself is a great pin cushion.
the idea is to rest your arms on the pillow as you do hand work.what a great idea. perhaps an end to the shoulder and neck strain. i will let you know if it works.
have a great day.

January 27, 2009

little girl in a hat

Her dress and bloomers are finished. it used to take me forever to make the clothes. i put it off as long as i could. i never liked doing the clothes. now however, after making american girl doll clothes, i love making the clothes. i really enjoy the detailing. finished seams and hems.she has tatting at the neck of her dress it is vintage,from my stash, and was a perfect fit. she also has vintage lace on her bloomers.
she is trying on hats. no shoes yet. i;m thinking she also needs an apron.
i have errands to do today so i will not get back to the hats till later.the one she has on i made a few years ago for an american girl doll. i really do love making hats and bonnets.

January 25, 2009

her face is done

I have a sense of accomplishment when i finish a face. . She is so sweet in person. I will start on her dress and bonnet tomorrow.A lot of the time I am not satisfied with a face right away.Often i need to look at it for a while and make little adjustments.This little gal is just right. Her hair is very dark auburn with gold and dark highlights. Her eyes are green with brown flecks.

January 24, 2009

shopping trip

We went to Ames today. First time out of the county since before thanksgiving.Hobby Lobby had paint brushes 1/2 price.I always need good paint brushes and on sale is the only way I can afford the really good ones.I also added another shade of blue to my oil paints.
the gel medium and the modeling paste was not on sale and I needed to buy both.That set me back a bit.
well I added another thing to the list of things to do.A wonderful doll quilt book by Kathleen Tracy.
it is called American Doll Quilts.I can hardly wait to make my first little quilt. I am going to make a quilt to go with each of the mj dolls. One of the little quilts is called Strippy Triangles.
In the picture of the little quilt is one of Gail Wilsons dolls.
We did go to the book stores. I was sad that they no longer carry the doll magazines. I picked up the Country Living.there is a page on Christine Lafever. I am glad to see doll makers any where!
She does repo china type dolls.
We stopped at wal-mart for their french bread. I do not buy groceries in wal-mart except for the french bread we like it toasted and as french toast.Guess what we will have for sunday morning breakfast.
The black and decker store and Lowe's were among the other stops we made. It was a full day.

January 23, 2009

the painting of cloth dolls

i have started painting the unfinished dolls i have. there are 7 with a dry base color.
i will share the process pictures.
when i start the process i draw the face with water color pencils first making sure the face is in the correct place on the doll head. i see many dolls that the face is to hing on the dolls head.the top of the eye is about even with the top of the ear.then i outline with the oil paint. using a shade brush i blend the color in.then put in the eye color and detail. less is best---- this is what works for me.

January 22, 2009

new blogs

we went for supper with friends last night. what a really enjoyable time we had. the men talked planes,corn burners and computers. we gals talked fabric, patterns, quilts,computers and food.
i took a ready threader as a gift to charleene and a tray of goodies for them both.
the brownies are great and she asked for the recipe. i had just found it the day before in the brownies in a jar site.they are simple and very good.

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup melted marg. or butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup choc. chips optional
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans(optional)
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13inch baking pan. 2.Mix together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder,sugar and salt in a bowl and stir to blend. Mix in 1 cup melted butter and 3 eggs and vanilla. add choc. chips and nuts. Mix thoroughly. Spread batter evenly into prepared baking pan. 3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely in pan before cutting into 2 inch squares.

i have tried to add 2 new blogs to my list with no luck.tells me they are there when they are not
one has the great spool needle holder called the ready threader i gave last night. i have made around 25 of these to give to friends. everyone needs a spool of thread and needle in their purse of car glove box.

the other site is http://sympletymes.blogspot.com/
she gave me an award!!!
thanks sherrie

January 19, 2009


they have their first coat of oil paint.

more unfinished dolls

there was another group of dolls that remain unfinished. today i gave them their flesh base coat.i will wait for the oil paint to dry then i will put on the faces.
i am going to try to take progress pictures on each doll. perhaps it will help some that are shy at painting faces.
each of these dolls has gone through a process. they are all cloth. with some they have helen pringles messy mix and gesso. others have a paper clay molded face over the cloth then messy mix and gesso. each was sanded smooth. the doll on the left had a course fabric over a molded face. i did not like the courseness of the stockingette i used so i covered that with a fine layer of paper clay. the stockingnette was like they used to use on dolls. it was too rough for an oil painted doll. she did have her face painted and will again.the doll on the right is another of my alabama dolls. the tiney one in the front is one of ike's dolls.

keeping an intention

i made no resolutions this year, instead i have good intentions.
the first is to complete some of my unfinished dolls. the first picture is of this group of dolls.
last spring we had a flood in the basement.2 feet of water came up the drains into my sewing rooms and we had a disaster. there was a basket of unfinished dolls that got wet.
i cleaned them and let them dry they are stained but people do that on purpose so i figure i better finish them.
the 2 in the back row with the painted faces are 2 of the first dolls i made using a sculpt i did.then i made a mold and made the paper clay faces. they are pre susan fosnot classes.they are pre internet. they are at least 10 years old and deserve arms and legs. oh my--- poor things.
the biggest doll has been repainted twice already and i am hoping the 3rd time is the charm.

January 16, 2009

love of old dolls

i have a few friends that know how it is to really like the old style cloth dolls.
not the primitive ,dark with the grunge look that some like--- but the beautiful much loved old dolls. the doll makers of by gone days would be so surprised to find the dolls they made are still cherished.there is one modern day doll maker whose work i liked the instant i saw it in a magazine years ago. helen pringle is an amazing doll maker.i have only ever seen her dolls pictures, and have tried to emulate her style. most of my friends do not understand how it is that a flat face doll can have much appeal.my family does not understand either but my online friends do get it.
one is sherrie n of http://sympletymes.blogspot.com/
her blog is great fun for me to read and there is a lot of information there.
i love all sorts of dolls but the columbian and pringle dolls are one and 2 on my must have list.that will never happen but i can dream.
because it is not possible for me to own an original i make my own. the picture is of 2 of my dolls. maggie joy is the first of my own pattern design. mallory jennette is the latest one from the pattern. the process is long and one i enjoy very much.i do hope 2009 will be a year for more of the mj pattern dolls.

blooming plant

my amaryllis is blooming. it is beautiful. it will have 4 blooms.
it brings a touch of spring into the house during a really cold snap. i am more fortunate than most to have a small greenhouse attached to the family room. it is small but it is a space i can go into and lose hours. every morning i go to feed the pond gold fish. when they hear the door open they come to the surface of the tank waiting for the food. it is these small things that help me make it through the cold iowa winters. don't get me wrong there is no place i would rather be than iowa. it is our home and those of us that choose to live here know what the weather can bring in all the seasons. there is no place i have ever been that is more beautiful than iowa, as beautiful but no more beautiful. i have a couple of friends that really do not like winter in iowa, and complain a lot . i say make the best of where ever you are no matter where that is. it could be so much worse.

she is finished

the kit doll is done. she took longer than i thought.these cold days i just don't seem to have the git up and go.
she turned out very nice. i am happy with the repaint.the only thing i do not like is the way the head is attached to the body. i will do it different the next time.glueing the cotter pin in(according to directions) was a mistake i think.must not have been clear down in and so it left a little gap at the neck.the clothes are sewn on so no problem . i just know it is there and i am fussy when it comes to that sort of thing.
her hair is raw roving i made into a wig.
the lenci dolls i have studied on line have colorful felt clothes and side glancing eyes.
i made her clothes from felt and wool. the skirt of the dress is wool. i added ribbon and did some handwork on the collar and sleeves of the dress. she has on heavy socks.she has a pair of wooden clogs that are a wee bit big but she will wear them any way.

January 12, 2009

kit doll

she is all together.her face is penciled in. i think i will oil paint her but i want to make her clothes first. i'm not sure about the hair.tomorrow i will try other kinds of hair on her.
her head is on as tight as i could get it but i wish it was more snug to the body. i'm not sure what i did wrong there.
this is a great kit.very well put together.everything you need to make a really nice felt doll. i did not mess with the ears. i may still do it but the hair will cover them so i'm just not sure i want to do them. her eyes need more work so they do not have that blank stare.she also has no blush yet. lot to do yet.

e-bay doll

the doll i bought off e-bay came today and i am happy with her.
i will try to find out something about her maker.
on the card attached to her wrist it says the days of the week doll collection.she is signed yesterdays 2002
the address on the back of the card is
Yesterdays- 2545 Broadway Schenectady, New York 12306
she is thursdays child.
her name is flora adele.
she is worth much more than the $10 i paid for her.
she is well made and stuffed very well.
i have had a head cold and been down the last few days. she was a good pick me up.
she is a welcome addition to my doll collection.
i am lucky she made it here the bottom of her box was open and she should have fallen out but didn't.

January 11, 2009

new doll

i have wanted to make a felt doll like the lenci doll for a while. i found a kit on line and ordered it. it is going together really well.
i am not one to follow written directions well. with this doll i read the direction twice and a good thing i would have cut on the wrong line if i had not reread the directions.
she will be about 14 inch tall i think. smaller than i usually do.
i'll keep you posted on progress.

January 8, 2009

funeral for thelma

today our hearts were sad------- but happy too.
our little(in stature) friend thelma went home on sat. jan. 3rd. she was 96
she was small but mighty in her faith.
her family will miss her.we will too.

January 7, 2009

posting to a blog

i read blogs others post. they seem to lead a far more interesting life than i do.
there are those that post everyday with something---- interesting plus pictures.
i have the intent to post more often.there will be nothing earth shattering.
on a yahoo group i am on one member suggested picking a word for the year.
my word is enjoy
i plan to
enjoy each day.
enjoy my family
enjoy my friends
enjoy my gardens
enjoy doll making
you get the idea. life is to short to not enjoy our blessings, no matter how small.

enjoy every day

January 4, 2009

her name is eve

she has bloomers and a can can.
i finished her face and hair. it feels good to have finished a doll.

new doll

well 2009 has started off with me making the first doll of the year. it is a pattern from genvieve jones.she still needs her face.
she is wearing a vintage dress from some doll clothes i bought at an antiques shop.she has bloomers and a can can.the over skirt is from the top of a wedding gown.
the dress was plain.
i am so glad to be making dolls again.