Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Preparation To Doll Making and Falling In Love

It's funny how one thing often leads to another.  This past month I was to make preparations for my doll making adventure.  Fabric was purchased and the pattern was copied onto card stock for ease of repeated use.  If like me you have wondered why Waldorf Dolls are so expensive...it is because of the materials used to create them.  100% cotton knit, Wool Stuffing and lovely soft mohair yarn for the hair, no polyester fiberfill or fabric would do.
My Sister-In-Law raises sheep and she generously offered to send me a fleece to create the wool stuffing.  Sounds fun, wash a little wool and have some stuffing...yeah right, that's what happened.  The wool arrived about a month ago in a box, I peaked inside and promptly closed the box!  That wool was dirty, this would be a project for another day!  The box was taken to the basement, out of sight out of mind.  Every trip to the basement was a reminder of my task needing to be done.  I recently had some foot surgery and was told to stay off my feet and keep the foot dry.  Why is it when we are told not to do something, the thought of doing something opposite seems so enticing?  That wool was calling my name, so I began reading about the washing process and watching youtube videos....it all seemed very doable and not as scary as I thought.
I brought the box outside, sat up a table and chair to begin the cleaning process.  The fleece had been skirted which means most of the raggedy edges and poo tags had been removed.  What it does not mean is, that all of the hay bits, chaf, ticks, burs, twigs other poo tags and items you would find in a barnyard had been removed.  Those were there all mingled in with the wool, did I really want to do this?
 Yes I was determined I would clean this fleece, muck and all.  I sat there picking up a handful of locks and began the process of removing what I could, it was a beautiful day and really not a terrible job.  What I did not expect was my mind began to wander, the fleece was full of lanolin and felt so good on my hands and the smell....well, surely it must be what heaven smells like.  I was head over heals in love with my task at hand.  It took me 2 days to pick through the fleece (the box weighed 11 pounds).
The washing process involves using HOT water and soaking, more hot water, more soaking and lots of rinsing.  Yes,  that water is as dirty as it looks in the photo!
After rinsing I took the fleece out to dry in the sun.
It is amazing how much cleaner it is!  There are still small bits of hay they call that "vm" or vegetable matter.  I was so caught up in the whole process I called my SIL and told her I would be buying a spinning wheel next!  I did pay a visit to a nearby fiber store The Woolery and sought some advice on fluffing up the wool and removing the remaining vm.  That conversation led me to purchasing hand carders and a drop spindle.
I have been carding and rolling up rolags of wool for using with the drop spindle.  My resulting yarn is a bit lumpy but I was assured with practice it will smooth out.  I still have small bits in the wool and have read Wool Combs will remove all the vm. The wool combs are expensive so I am thinking of making my own, that will be another post!  
So, the idea of doll making, lead to the pattern/book buying, which lead to the fabric buying, which lead to the wool stuffing need, which lead to a generous gift from my SIL, which lead to studying, which lead to finding heaven in a box of  dirty wool, which lead to  HOT washing and very red hands, which lead to drying on a screen, which lead to a trip to the fiber arts supplier, which lead to wool carders and a major crush on a spinning wheel and some wool combs, which has lead to me drop spinning every day...and all I began wanting to do, was make a doll!!!

Love to all,

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Doll Making Together

The Puppenmitmacherei (doll making together) has begun.  You will find more information and other participants on Marie Gold's Blog and Nature Children.  The first month we are brainstorming and have been given some questions to think about.  The questions and answers are to help us find the doll that is living in our heart....the doll we will create during these upcoming months.
This process is new to me...the thought process.  I usually jump right in without considering if what I am creating is actually from the heart....from my heart.

Question One:  What interests me about doll making in a group and what do I want to learn?
I have already learned to stop and consider what is I want to achieve.  There are so many different ways of creating and I have always heard 2 heads are better than one so a group environment should be a wealth of information.

Question Two:  What is important and what makes a doll beautiful?
I have a pinterest board Waldorf Inspired Dolls which allows me to collect lots of inspiration and ideas.  It also allows me to notice what features I am drawn to and like.  Most important to me would be that doll is huggable easily loved, no hard edges or stiff attachments.  Beauty is in the face, the eyes and a sweet simple mouth.  No need for a big smile as not all of life can be handled with a smile.  A simple expression that allows for secrets to told and hearts to be poured into.  We all need someone that will listen.

Question Three:  Who am I sewing the doll for?
That is an excellent question....I have no little ones here and no grandchildren on the way.  I often think of those children that have no one that they can call their own.  I guess this comes from volunteering in the school system as my children were growing up.  I saw children that were hungry for love and attention, those that their face lit up when they were noticed.  I guess I am sewing for a child like that someone that needs a friend.

Next we are to consider if we will use a pattern or create our own.  For me I will be using the book:
Simple Cloth Daisy Dolls.  Marie Gold did a review of several doll making books...this one seemed to be perfect for me.
So my notebook is out and I will be giving this new adventure much thought and planning.

Love to all,

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Doll Making Online Follow-Along

Maria and Naturkinder are offering
an online doll making follow along.  
You choose the doll and
post your progress.
Here is a bit of an email
from Maria on the subject:
Hi Debbie,

good know that you want to join our initiative. Actually it is not a doll making class in the sense that I instruct you how to make a doll. It is more that every participant is making her own doll and reports about it on her blog. You can decide on your own what kind of doll you want to make. Of course you can purchase a Mariengold e-book and material kit if you want so. Please see my shop atwww.etsy.com/shop/mariengold.
I was recently asked to restore this doll
to her former beauty.

                   She had lived in the home of a smoker
and really needed a good bath.

Luckily the doll was signed on the
back and the doll maker 
still makes dolls.
I contacted the maker, I
was told the doll really
only had sentimental value
and would best be left as is.

The problem was her facial features
were drawn with colored pencils

 a bath was out of the question.

The clothing was fragile, I 
carefully replaced the elastic 
in the waistband of her knickers.
The shoes had been created with
wool felt.  Making them a nice 
snack for some hungry moths.
I carefully removed the sole
and stitching to create a pattern.
New shoes were made and the
socks carefully washed.

The doll was returned home not looking
much different than she did when she left.  
For me it was a great learning experience
 and so surprising that through
 the internet I was able to contact
 the original maker!

Love to all,

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On Their Way

The time had come....yes, they were ready.

They had a job to do...not like a superhero,
but a pretty heroic thing to do.  They would
travel to lands unknown.
Their hearts were large and they longed for
a friend.  Each dreaming of sharing secrets 
with someone who cared.  Finding a home
filled with love and compassion.

 Where meals were prepared and yummy scents filled the air.
Hugs would be plentiful and frequent. 

 What fun to lie in the grass and watch the clouds, while feeling
the warm sun on your face.

  To play games, climb trees,

fill your pockets with rocks, feathers and other treasures.

Yes, a home....a loving home...with a friend.

The time had come, they were ready to find a foster
child they would love. 

These dolls will be sent to the Soft Toy Drive to Benefit Children in Foster Care

 Two  of the dolls will also be entered in the Spectacular Softies Contest

Love to all,

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,

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