Saturday, February 28, 2009

Holy Cow!

Here I was thinking I'd do something for my 100th post, and I missed it! This is my 101st.

How 'bout this? A facelift for my blog. I've just spent the past hour or so experimenting with different backgrounds, and have successfully managed to turn this into a 3-column format (see the Cutest Blog on the Block)

My next goal is to find a cute old photo and try to customize a banner. I see so many really great banners, and I want one too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A doll is done, finally!

I'm not sure why, but it's felt like I've been in a creative slump of late. I've been plugging away at this doll as time and energy allowed, and I'm happy to have finally completed her (note ~ this is NOT one of those many unfinished projects featured in an earlier post). Here's a pre-assembly photo.

This is a doll made for one of my co-workers, using my Averill pattern with an alternate clay face and different costuming (she wanted a doll like "Sonia" made late this past year).

This doll has the hands and feet featured in my fingernail/toenail tutorial a few posts back (see the link to the left).

She has hair made from hand-dyed Tibetan lamb on the hide, which is the perfect scale for dolls.

More pending dolls with deadlines:
Penny challenge - due March 31
Eugene Joint Meeting luncheon doll - Madame Alexander inspired - due April 2
I know there's more than that, but this is all I can begin to think about right now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

And the Winners Are....

Yay!!! Thanks to every one of you who posted. That was really the best present of all - so many birthday greetings and warm wishes. I think I'll have a giveaway every year on my birthday!

I'll be contacting the winners for their mailing addresses, and will send the patterns right away. You can click on the names above to go to their blogs. Dot - I can 't find an email for you, can you please contact me with your mailing address?

Thanks again, everyone ~ you're all very special to me.


Happy Birthday!

Today's the big day. Hope it's not too busy at work - that's not too much to ask, is it? For my birthday (per my request), Hubby is having my van detailed, inside and out. It's sorely in need of it.

The Pattern Giveaway drawing will be tonight at 9 p.m. Pacific Time. I've really been enjoying the comments, and am thrilled at the great response.

I'm also approaching my one hundredth (that looks weird, did I spell that right?) post, so will have to think of something special for that, too. I've really enjoyed blogging - more than I thought I would. Just wish I could write really clever or insightful posts like some others.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pattern Giveaway!

EeeGads! Didn't I just have a birthday? Surely it hasn't been a whole year?
I think this year I'll celebrate the Big Day (the 20th of this month) by having a Giveaway on my blog. This will be my first attempt at such, so I'll have to make my own rules.

Hmmm. Let's say that everyone who wants a chance to win my Hazel the Witch pin doll (or ornie) pattern will leave a comment here. I'll pull three names from all the comments to this post (one comment per person, please), contact the winners for their mailing addresses (please make sure I can find your name or email or blog or something), and send you a Hazel pattern.
The 20th is on Friday, and since I have to work that day (and the next), the drawing will be held at 9 p.m. Pacific Time. That way my old bones can get to bed early.
Hazel is one of my very first patterns. For those that make little dolls, you'll know it takes nearly as long to make one of these as it does a big doll. Have fun with that.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

First Bicycle Race

We were so nervous. Our youngest son participated in his first race, the Cherry Pie Road Race near Albany, Oregon. He started cycling in earnest this past summer, and has become a really strong rider over the past few months. The photo above was taken at the start of the race. As a new rider/racer, he competed with the Category 5 riders. There were a lot of first time racers, which can make a race more dangerous. Riders in a peloton can bump into each other, wheels can overlap, causing accidents.
Happily, Kyle rode extremely well (photo to the left taken just after crossing the finish line), and is looking forward to his next race. There is a time trial (Jack Frost Time Trial) next weekend, and both Kyle and Husband Chris will participate. Unfortunately, I have to work and will be worrying from a distance.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Grandbaby Fix

The perfect Valentine's Day - spending time with family, especially the grandbaby (Ivan) whom I've been missing these past six weeks. He's got that beautiful combination of red hair and brown eyes.

It's amazing how much the little guy has changed over that short period of time. He's about 6 1/2 months old now. Looks like he's got mischief on his mind.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Miranda the Mermaid Pattern Revamp

For the last two days I've been reformatting an old pattern's instructions. I did this because I wanted to be able to print the pattern directly from my computer (better for graphics). I also prefer a two-column format and a different font, though there was really nothing wrong with the instructions as they were. The pattern includes templates for two sizes of mermaid, and is probably best suited to those with intermediate dollmaking skills. It comes with this cover photo, enclosed in a ziplock bag. From a non-smoking home, yada yada...

So this means I have about 16 patterns in the older format that I'd like to sell at a reduced price while supplies last. Postage is included. Please contact me if you don't want to use PayPal and you'd like one of these patterns.

All discounted patterns have been sold.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fingernail & Toenail Tutorial

This technique came about as a complete accident. I was using chenille stems as armature for fingers, and found that the wire had rusted a bit. I added nails to hide the rust, and after some experimentation found that this method created realistic looking nails.

This photo shows the toes and fingers before beginning the nails. Do not draw the shapes of the nails with anything - you will free-hand them with Mod Podge.

Using a very small paintbrush, paint a layer of Mod Podge in the general shape of the nails. It will be hard to see this first coat, as it soaks into the fabric a little.

When dry, add another layer of Mod Podge. It goes on white and dries clear.

When dry, add a third layer. Refine the shape of the nails with each layer of Mod Podge. This photo show the nails with three coats of Mod Podge.

Next, paint the final nail shape with flesh-colored acrylic paint. Leave a little of the dried Mod Podge visible around the edges of the nail. 

Now paint a fine line of white (acrylic paint) at the tips of the nails to create a French manicure look.

Add one more layer of Mod Podge over the paint.

The finished nails. You can see why drawing the nails first is unnecessary. This is more subtle.