Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Process

Everything we do, involves a process, a list of steps, an orderly way to progress. Doll making like everything else has it's own routine.  

When I began this journey, I really did not have a certain doll in mind, my dream doll. I was focused more on the steps involved... that continues to be my focus.

 I began by pinning to a pinterest board "Waldorf Dolls"....the more photos pinned, the more I realized they were "Waldorf Inspired Dolls" even naming a pinterest board is a process.
 Then came the notebook:

I wish I had used a beautiful journal to fill with ideas, but on that day I grabbed a composition book and began to take notes. There are many videos to watch online, so I watched them...many times. Pausing the video to jot down an idea or note a tool being used. Obsessed is a fitting descriptive word.

In reflection a new hobby, was always learned for a goal or finished product...needlepoint from wanting to make a needlepoint belt, learning 
to crochet meant a Granny Square afghan, an admired stained glass window had me purchasing glass and soldering equipment. 

 In each of those examples, I was focused on the final project. I did learn to needlepoint, crochet and to cut glass with ease.
But, I really did not focus on the process of learning each
new skill.

Jillayne mentioned a James Clear quote in a recent blog post:
"it's not the things we learn nor the dreams we envision that determine our results, but rather the habits we practice each day".

That quote brings to mind the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team and their Coach John Calipari...the team has been top rated since the beginning of the season. Lots of talk about being undefeated, being the champions....and all along Coach Cal has said their focus is on practice and being better...each being the best player they can be.

After Jillayne mentioned James Clear, I signed up for his newsletter.  In yesterday's newsletter he makes the statement:

"it's not the things we learn nor the dreams we envision that determine our results, but rather the habits we practice each day".

From this statement, I am taking this thought.....practice, enjoy the process of learning, strive to be a bit better.  Do things a little different each day, learn from your mistakes and be happy for the experience.

Love to all,


 GO CATS!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Make A Softie!

Have you seen what is going on over at
a contest with fabulous prizes! 

My recent obsession with doll making, 
finds me very interested in their 
"Six Weeks Of LOVE For Softies"!
A Soft Toy Drive to benefit children in 
foster care with The National Foster Parent Association. 
You know I have a soft spot for worthwhile
projects .  What better than creating a 
softie for a sweet child to hug...something
to hold on to while transitioning into a 
foster home,
The contest is open for softies created between
2/23/2015 and 4/5/2015.  Today I will begin
designing and creating my own original softie!
Check out the Sew Mama Sew site for full details.

Love to all,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Doll Making

  Learning something new, takes practice.  A bookbinding teacher once told me you have to create 10 books before your eyes see all the details, your hands feel the touch and your mind learns the process.  Somehow knowing this takes the pressure off learning a new skill...you create without expecting perfection and you create with the wonder of what each will teach you.  You can experiment with fabrics and patterns, while developing your own style. 

So begins my new adventure...doll making, Waldorf inspired dolls.  These dolls are simple in design made with cotton interlock knit and stuffed with wool.  The facial features are intentionally simple to allow the child to strengthen their imagination and creativity. 
My first doll was inspired by Pinterest pins and one of the many videos on youtube.  After drawing a pattern and collecting the needed materials I set to work.
Basically star shaped with tapered arms and legs making him easy to hold would be good for a baby.
I did not name him but I love him.

Next came Lou Lou, I think she looks like the cartoon character Little Lou Lou.  Her body was created using a cashmere sweater, so she is ever so nice to hug.   
My daughter had an imaginary friend named Bellina when she was young...Bellina Ballerina was my next creation.  Her body is quilting cotton and she has a tutu, a must for every ballerina!  The lesson learned here was adding yarn hair.

Those were the first 3.

My dh is a member of the local Rotary Club.  Every spring they have an auction to raise funds for student scholarships.  Last year I made a smocked dress to donate.  This year it is a doll, I will be donating....Doll #4, sounds a bit like Agent 99 from the tv show "Get Smart", so she needs a name.

We had a dear older neighbor, he always called my youngest daughter Sweet Pea....so Sweet Pea it is.
A name for a young lady that is about to make her way out into the world.  The world looks cold and snowy from the window and she loves to snuggle with her baby doll under fuzzy blankets.
I have created a soft carrier/bed so all her favorite things can be kept together.
Of course she will need pajamas and a cuddly bear when she sleeps.
She has some fuzzy mohair slippers in shades of pink that match the buttons on her pajamas.  I will need to include a note about the choking hazard those buttons can pose.  Her new friend/owner will need to be over the age of 3.
A new friend, a playmate, someone to share secrets with.
Someone to love.
Sweet Pea

Love to all,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party Giveaway Winner...Winners!

Preface to post....drawing was held 2 days early due to an unexpected circumstance!

It is time for one of these ladies to leave for her new home...

The winning comment:
 Lavender...for my dear sister.

As I went to package Miss Lavender for her journey,
 the other 2 girls raised a fuss!  They are tired of seeing me
work on numerous other projects and not give them any attention. 

So, they will be off on adventures of their own!

The blue lady would look lovely among my own handmade porcelain pieces! 

 I love Pink

If the winners would please email me their addresses I will send these ladies on their way!

If you are wondering what to do with half dolls...Maureen has a tutorial and patterns on her blog for lovely pincushions.

Now, that the girls are gone....I miss them 
 and need to make more!

Love to all,

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Welcome To The Party!

A big thank you to Vicki for hosting this party and inviting each of you to visit.  I can't imagine how much work must be involved in putting on such  a fun party!  Vicki is one that is always thinking of and doing for others.  She is someone that I am proud to call my friend.  There are givers and takers, follow Vicki's example, be a giver... give til your hands are empty, but your heart is full...."2 Bags Full".  

Welcome to my blog, I hope you will visit often.
I have been blogging since 2010....a look back reveals a variety of interests.  I am envious of those that find their niche,  the one place where their heart sings..my heart must be composing a symphony with all the things I like to do.

Crazy Quilting seems to be one of those things, with some staying power.  I am currently working on a Mother of the Bride bag.  

The copper frame is so beautiful, I think I could stitch a plastic bag to it and it would be stunning.

The embroidery thread I am using is from years ago, I bought it with the intentions of doing a counted cross stitch picture of my tabby cat, Pooh.....that salmony color was the exact color of his nose.  Funny to remember such a thing.

Another interest is basket making:

I asked my daughter's boyfriend if he had any deer antlers I could make a basket with...he brought me the antlers from the first deer he shot as youngster.

How could I do anything other than make him a basket with those special antlers.


I had a friend that taught me the art of basket making.  It is nice to think back on those that taught us and those we have taught...each sharing our love of using our hands and hearts.

Smocking is a way to use your heart and hands to create small "Wee Care Gowns"...tiny gowns for tiny angels.

These gowns are donated to hospitals to dress sweet infants that are stillborn or die shortly after birth. I pray for the mother, of each child the gown goes to...may she find some comfort in knowing someone cared.  Making these tiny gowns, has led me to my next interest.
Recently, I have become obsessed with doll making. Waldorf dolls, with sculpted cloth faces and stuffed with wool.

 My friend and I ordered a kit from etsy and  we look forward to getting started.

 I say, I am  obsessed, as I have a Pinterest board devoted to these dolls and I have watched every You Tube video I can find.  Do you do that with a new interest? 

 Another doll interest I have is half dolls...the bottom of the doll is quite often a pincushion.  I have an antique reproduction mold to make a few of my very own. 

As a "Thank You" for visiting me during this party I will be giving away one of these half dolls.  Please leave a comment telling me which color you prefer and I will draw a winner on February 15th.
Drawing was held on February 13th due to 
unexpected circumstance!  Congratulations to the winners!!! There are never enough hours in the day to do all I want to do...my mind and pinterest boards are full of ideas of new things to create!  

                                            Love to all,


Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Beginnings

The New Year always reminds me of the first day of school.  New beginnings, fresh new notebooks, pencils, boxes of crayons, a new classroom and often for me a new school.  We moved 36 times as I was growing up and this lead to a great many new beginnings.  
I recently took an online Crazy Quilting class and this lead me to joining the "2015 Crazy Quilt Journal Project".  Each month through the year an 8" block is to be completed and embellished.  This is a learning opportunity and a chance to challenge your skills.  The projects are not graded but shared with the group for review and comment.
I wanted a project that would keep me involved, I have trouble with quickly losing interest and having yet another project end up in the UFO pile.  I also wanted to work on something that was useful...how many Crazy Quilt blocks does 1 girl need...I have no place to hang a wallhanging...so I had to put on my thinking cap.
I have recently seen beautiful Crazy Quilt bags, purses, and cell phone holders.  Pat Winter and  Annamaria have several on their blogs and Facebook pages.  So these, will be my focus and with several weddings coming up they will make nice gifts.

This first step is order a metal purse frame...you can find them on etsy, ebay and other purse making/crazy quilting supply websites. 
 After the frame arrives you draft a pattern using the frame as a guide.  I found several "pins" on Pinterest about creating a pattern for the purse.
Here is my pattern, I have cut the pattern out and kept the paper surrounding it...this will serve as a frame so to speak to help me decide which area of the 12" block I want to embellish.
 Here is the front :
And this will be the back:  
The pattern piece then is replaced  and a faint pencil line is drawn around it to help me confine my stitching. 
Edited to add:In the comments below MA suggests running a basting line of stitches instead of the pencil line.  This is an excellent suggestion...when I finish the purse the basting stitches will be a guide for my machine stitching.  

 Next comes the fun of gathering your threads and embellishments.  The fabrics are white and the purse frame is copper. I found a piece of antique silk ribbon for color inspiration.
I love the colors and they blend nicely with the frame.  Threads, laces, ribbons and lace motifs all were added to the pile.
I won't use them all but they are here for inspiration.
So cheers to another new beginning!  

Several bloggers choose a special word each year to serve a source of focus.  I gave it some thought and really nothing came to mind other than contentment.  Finding pleasure in the activities you choose to spend your time on, whether for a greater good, or to enrich your own soul. Take your time, enjoy the process, we are not in a race for the finish line, allow contentment to fill your heart.

Love to all,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gifts Incoming and Outgoing

I was asked to smock a dress for a very special young
lady.  The dress fabric was purchased at a quilt shop it has
a linen like look and is 100% cotton.  The smocking
design I worked out on smocking graph paper.  I know
the design looks simple but it took me days of drawing and
erasing to figure it out.  I have new found appreciation
for smocking plate designers.
The center section is back smocked and the 
University of Kentucky logo is picture smocked
on top.  The hearts are geometric smocking, I designed
that area as well.
A one of a kind dress, stitched with love.

Sweet Marie recently had a month long
celebration of her blogging for 5 years!  5 years
of blogging and 5 giveaways!  I was the lucky 
winner of this beautiful necklace!
Have faith in you...that is something
we all need to remember.

The necklace is long and so
much fun to wear as everyone
seems to notice it!
A sweet tag, 
 book pages, and LACE!
Thank you Marie!

Love to all,

ps  I also completed the Beginning
Crazy Quilt Class Kathy Shaw
taught here is my completed

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Lonely Dragonfly Finds A Friend...A Tutorial

I preface this post with the fact,
I am taking an online Beginning
Crazy Quilting class from Kathy Shaw
shawkl .  The classroom is a private
blog, so I am sharing my post
from the class blog here with you.

Kathy suggested a couple of you may want
to know how I created the dragonfly on my 
There once was a lonely dragonfly
stitched to the corner of a crazy
quilt block.  The dragonfly had
a purpose, he was to spread his
wings and create some interest
in an otherwise quiet corner
of the block.  
The dragonfly was proud to be the
first creature to grace the block,
but he was lonely.
So, the stitcher began to create
a friend.
Using 4mm silk ribbon a loop
was formed much like the beginning
of a lazy daisy stitch.
A tiny stitch using 1 strand
of embroidery floss helped to 
form the shape of the first 
Another wing was added
in the same way.
The tail was formed with a
stem stitch.  The same stitch
we used on our vine.

A bullion stitch forms the body.  
The bullion may be new to some
of you it looks difficult to
stitch, but really it is quite
fun.  The best hint I read 
about stitching a bullion
was to stroke it as you are
settling it into place. 
Straight stitches were added
for the antenna. 
French knots were placed
at the end of the straight stitch.

The dragonfly was lonely no more
he had a friend to help with his
task of adding interest to their
corner of the block. 
I hope this was helpful!

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