Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Latest Project

I've completed another doll this week. I had the week off and spent most of it working on this doll. I named her ClaraBell. I'm not sure why I named her that but it seems to suit her. When I was finished with her and stepped back to look at her, that's the name that came to mind. So, ClaraBell it is!. The pattern I used was designed by Judi Ward. It is her latest pattern called A Reproduction In Cloth. She said the inpiration came from the original, Circa 1580's wooden doll that sold at auction for $21,000 in 2006. I thought this would be a fun pattern to work with, since it involved some painting and staining. A little different from the dolls I usually make. What's was nice about making this one is I had some wood grained fabric in my stash for a few years now. I don't remember buying it but I had it and as it turns out it's the perfect fabric for this project. I made the body from this fabric to make it look more realistic. It also cut down on painting. The pattern actually calls for painting the entire body to make it look like wood. The hands, neck and head are painted a flesh color. The hair was made from yarn and some trim which looked like a braid. The yarn was glued to the head after sewing a part down the middle. I used gesso to flatten it down and prepare it for paint. Before painting, the braided trim was wrapped around the head tacked in place and also glued to hold it in place. This was also covered in gesso and allowed to dry before applying black paint. The face, neck and hands were lightly sanded for the aged effect. The entire piece was then covered with a layer of white glue. Once that dried, the piece was further aged by applying brown shoe polish which was wiped off and re-applied a few times. You can see the aging effect in the close-up photo. I was pleased with results. I really like the last photo of her. Doesn't she look like she's about to curtsy? I really liked working on this doll. Now I will have to make the other adaptation of this doll. As a bonus for a particular time period, the pattern came with an additional pattern pack to make another version of this doll. The difference is the bodice and the breastplate. There's no painting and aging techniques used in the alternate version. I think I'll try my hand at that version also.

Mystery Craft Box Update

The craft box has been sent from Florida to the next destination in Georgia. We got word today it has been received in Georgia. So far, our little game is going well.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I completed a doll today which is a project for the doll group I belong to. It is a Japanese Kimono doll designed by Elinor Peace Bailey named Yuko-San. This is not a typical pattern for a Kimono doll. The Kimono is the body in this case which I found very interesting. The Kimono collar is a separte piece sewn to the front of the pattern and the Obi was appliqued with a paperbacked fusing. Both steps were done before sewing the front and back together. As you can see in the photo it is all one piece with stitching at the points where the doll will be folded into a sitting postition. The photos show the body before and after it was stuffed. Once stuffed and the head is attached; the doll is folded in a "Z" and tacked at the folds to hold the sitting position. Her arms are brought down in front and hand sewn to her lap. Her feet are sewn to the back. I think the ladies at the club will like the way she turned out.

As you can see, not your typical pattern but it works! It was an interesting doll to make.

Mystery Craft Box Game Update!

The box has reached it's destination in California and has been sent on it's way to Florida. So far, so good!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mystery Craft Box Game

I was invited to play what is called a mystery craft box game. The game consists of about a dozen players all from different parts of the country. The box begins with one of the players filling a box with different crafting items such fabrics, beads, tools, etc. The items are listed in a journal that is shipped in the box along with the address of each player. The person who starts the box maps out a route for the box to ship. As the box reaches each person, they are to list what item they took and what items they replaced them with and ships the box to the next person on the list. Sounds like fun huh?. The mystery is you don't know what's in the box or what will be put in the box by each player. The box continues it's journey until it reaches it's starting point again and that's where it ends. The group I was invited to play with got so big we had to split it into two groups. I volunteered to send box #2. My box was sent off today and is on it's way to California. Why California from New York? This player was the only one on the west coast so I decided to start there. She will be sending to Florida and then the box will be coming almost straight up the east coast. Well, if everyone plays nice this can be a fun game to play with people from all over. I will keep you all posted on the progress of the game. It should be interesting.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Here's Another One!

As I stated in my last post I had to make another doll from Tonya's design. So I spent part of my weekend doing just that. I really like the curves in this one and I think the fabric I chose for this one really flows with the shape. Tonya really liked the first one I made and said they really look like her little Divas. She wanted to know what I named it and I told I didn't name her but Diva sounds good to me. So I guess I'll called them little Divas. I hope to make a few more from her designs. There are at least two others I would like to make but for right now I will have to stop here. I have to start on another project I have to complete for my doll club meeting this month. We're working on a pattern from Elinor Peace Baily called Yoko-San. As you may have guessed from the name it's a Japanese doll, but not your typical Japanese pattern. I'm not going to give you the details of that patten right now. You'll have to stay tuned for that one. So, come back soon!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

What I've Been Up To

I've completed a new project but I had to get permission to use a design before I began. I belong to a dollmakers group ( and one of our members Tonya Dyce makes these beautiful greeting cards. I was going through her website and couldn't help but think how her designs would make very cute dolls. So at our meeting last week I asked if it would be all right if I used her designs. She said it would be fine so that's what I did and look at how it came out. I think this doll would make a fabulous shelf piece or store display. I think the geometric shapes Tonya uses are what really stands out. The face is very minimal in her designs which doesn't take away from the shapes and color of the fabrics she uses so I applied the same concept in making this doll as you can see in the closeup. I really enjoyed making this doll and you can bet I will be making a few more of these using the the different shapes. Tonya said she has never thought to make a doll from her designs so I hope I did her proud with my interpretation. Well, back to the drawing board. I received a new pattern today and need to read through it to see if I would want it to be my next project.